Baby Bradshaw #4

Well, clearly it’s far too early for me to be posting another birth blog. We  hadn’t shared this with many people yet because of the traumatic miscarriage we had in February 2016 but we found out in early October that I was pregnant with our 4th little blessing. Yay! We had our routine 8 week ultra sound early November and everything looked great, strong heartbeat of 170.  We had our 12 week appointment and everything was great then, nice strong heartbeat again, my 1st trimester symptoms had been subsiding and I was feeling good. We had told a few friends and family and decided to include it in our Christmas cards that were sent out. Then on Friday 12/23/2016 (Christmas eve…eve), I woke up with a tiny bit of spotting. Very minimal, nothing to be concerned about but we called into the clinic anyways just to let the doctor know. The clinic was closed for the holiday so they advised the on call midwife who called me back and said to call back again if anything changed. I started feeling worse having some cramping so Bo came home from work and sent me to bed and stayed downstairs with the kids. I called the clinic back to let them know of the change and was waiting for a return call. I thought everything was just fine, I was going to rest, Bo got the little 2 kids to bed for their naps and left at 1:30 Friday afternoon to spend some time with Elijah and keep it quiet at home for me to rest. At 2:00pm, my water broke. I delivered our baby at home. It looked perfect, tiny, cute, precious and beautiful. I immediately called Bo and told him I needed him back at home, called my mom to ask if my parents could come stay with the kids and called the hospital to let them know what happened. I stood in the bathroom in shock, shaking, holding my tiny baby knowing it would only be alive for a few seconds if it was at all. It looked like a perfect, tiny little baby. I wrapped up baby, Bo grabbed what we may need and we headed off for the hospital. At the hospital, the nurse who checked me in was the first of the staff to refer to it as a ‘baby’ rather than a fetus. Being just about 4 months gestation, medically & legally, baby is actually considered a fetus but to us, it is our baby and it looked like a perfect, little, tiny baby. It made me sob in the hospital and I thanked him profusely for referring to it as our baby. One of the nurses from the OB unit (who I had spoken to on the phone earlier) came down and offered to try to get footprints for us. More sobbing. We had no idea that was even a possibility but we were very excited for it. She was the one who said ‘It’s a boy!’ So sweet. We sort of expected a girl because I had been so sick with this pregnancy but it was so sweet to hear that he was actually a boy. He had the cutest, tiny little penis there has ever been. She didn’t have much luck getting his footprints but let Bo try and he successfully got his teeny, tiny little footprints. So precious. Then he said “This is my boy, Joshua.” I  said “yep.” We both cried. Bo had been referring to him as Joshua since I got pregnant and really wanted that as his name. I was never very supportive of him before now. So we named him Joshua which means God is salvation, which is of course is perfect for him since he got to go straight to his salvation. One of the nurses took Bo to the break room to feed him, neither of us had eaten anything and it was about 7pm, we were both starving and exhausted. She fed him, gave him something to drink and gave him gum from her own pocket so I wouldn’t have to smell the pizza on his breath since I wasn’t allowed to eat (in case I ended up needing a D&C). She was so kind. We had an ultrasound in the hospital which showed there were still “products of conception” inside my uterus which was the cause of my excessive bleeding and cramping/contractions. We were given 3 options to deal with that, get admitted and have a D&C the next morning, get a prescription for Cytotec (the abortion pill) to try to help my uterus expel what was left and also try to stop the bleeding or attempt to pass everything on my own with a high likelihood of returning with an infection for a D&C. We opted for the Cytotec because I have a history of excessive bleeding after birth and have needed medication to stop the bleeding after my previous births. Sadly, I had lost too much blood on Friday and wasn’t quite stable enough to just take it and finish off this whole ordeal so they discharged us that night and told me to take the pills early in the morning to start labor all over again on Saturday – Christmas Eve to labor for the day at home. Pretty crappy option given that we had already had our baby, he was dead, I had gone through labor already on Friday and then had to do it again on Saturday when we had family plans to celebrate Christmas Eve and still try to celebrate Christmas with the kids. Our nurse, Katy, who had spent the whole day with us gave us our discharge papers and was ready to send us on our way. She said “can I pray for you?” which caused us both to just hold our breath and cry and we all held hands while she prayed for us. It was the perfect prayer and we hugged for a long time when we said goodbye. When we came home, a neighbor had left a beautiful bouquet of flowers on our doorstep and another friend had made dinner for our whole family but we weren’t  home to get it so she saved it for us for lunch on Saturday instead. I didn’t sleep Friday night with too much anxiety for how Saturday was going to go. I took the pills Saturday morning (Christmas Eve) and laid in bed all day while Bo had the kids downstairs watching football (and eating the delicious roast my friend made for us the night before). The longer I stayed laying in my bed missing Christmas Eve, the more upset I got. I streamed the candle light service for church online from 5-6pm and cried through the entire service. They kept referring to the person who  is struggling this season, how we all know someone who is dealing with a loss at this time…. Yeah, I’m familiar with that person… .I decided this was NOT how we were going to spend our Christmas eve and convinced Bo I was healthy and stable enough to just go sit in the van and let him drive us around to go look at Christmas lights and try to enjoy some of the beauty of the season. Bo took care of everything, loaded up all the kids in the van with snacks and drinks and blankets and we all buckled in for some Christmas Eve fun! Turn the van on…. Smoke. Evacuate! There were never any flames but the van didn’t start and we were clearly not going to go look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. Back to my pity party for me in the house. We read some Christmas stories with the kids and got them to bed since it was close to that time anyway and left some cookies and milk out for Santa to visit. Then Bo and I decided to celebrate our Christmas right then so we opened our stockings and all of the Christmas cards we had received. It was so fun getting all those precious gifts from those we love with pictures and stories of their families, so fun and uplifting to read at a time when I needed it most. We woke up on Christmas morning and celebrated with the kids. They ate snacks from their stockings for breakfast which they were super excited about and each got 1 new toy to play with. Then we baked our birthday cake for Jesus. The kids were so excited, Christmas success! I’m so thankful they are so young and easily excited and thankful for such small things. They got 1 toy, 1 book and to bake a cake and had the best day ever. Monday we stayed home and hung low. I took the kids out front to play with the neighbor which was good for us all. They rode bikes and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine and I enjoyed chatting with my neighbor and sharing our story. Bo and I had been trying to decide what we wanted to do with our sweet boy. He wasn’t just medical waste to us to dispose of in a red bio bag of garbage at the hospital but we couldn’t just keep him at home with us forever so we had to figure out what to do. It was between burying him under a burning bush which I considered would be a yearly reminder of Gods love for us and his protection for our boy when it changes color every year or having him cremated. The bush was a scary option to me because neither of us have green thumbs and I’m terrified the bush would die and so would the remains of our boy so he would be all the way gone forever. Cremation seemed like an expensive option but a safe and permanent way to remember him. I did a little research and asked a chaplain friend of mine and was referred to Yahn & Son Funeral Home in Auburn. I spoke with a gentleman on the phone and scheduled a meeting with him. We took all 4 kids with us to meet him and were so blessed by him and their staff there. They were so kind and generous and sensitive with us. It was perfect. We picked  out the cutest little urn, it’s adorable and we both love it so we left  Joshua there with them. We were able to include some memorabilia with him so we took one of our large family pictures, wrote love notes on the back, each of kids drew him a picture and we wrote out the scriptures we had chosen for his name/life and I cut off part of a blanket bear I have all to be cremated with him so we will become a part of him as well. The bear was a gift from a friend I received for Elijah’s baby shower. I brought it home from the baby shower and put it in my bed thinking that I would sleep with it for a few nights so it would smell like me for when Elijah came home with us, it would be comforting for him. That was 5 years ago and it’s still in my bed. I sleep with it every night and when the kids need an extra snuggle or cuddle or are sick, they get to take it for a special night into their  bed. So it’s a shared bear for all of us that’s very special to all of us and now is with Joshua too which brings me even more comfort. Today is exactly 1 week since he was born and we just brought him home where he belongs now which is a huge relief for me. Our friends and family have all been so supportive and caring for us as we’ve wandered aimlessly through this past week. We’ve had meals delivered, gorgeous flowers delivered and many calls/texts/messages & prayers. We don’t  have any physical needs at this point, we just appreciate your prayers as we try to process this and walk through it with the kids in a healthy way. Elijah, as sad as he is, seems to love the fact that his brother is up in Heaven with Jesus watching down over him all the days of his life  waiting for him to get  there so they can be together  and wonders if he will be a tiny baby when he gets to meet him or if he will be tall like a daddy. So cute. Moses is more upset about it and has been waking from bad dreams at night begging Bo and I to go up to Heaven and ask Jesus to please give us our brother back because he loves him and he wants him here with us. Moses is also upset about the fact that he was a boy, not a girl, he really wanted a sister ;)
Here are some photos of our journey with him…

His 8 week ultrasound picture

His tiny little footprints. Quarter for size
The memorabilia we included for his cremation
His tiny little precious urn

The scriptures we included with him were:

1:3 – I will give you every place where you set your foot…
1:5 – No one will be able to stand against you…As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you…
1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

John 14:2-3 (MSG)
There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live.

Mark 10:16
And He took the [child] up into his arms, put His hands upon [him], and blessed [him]…

Solomons Birth





This is me on 2/20/2015 at 40 weeks. Both of my previous babies had come early so I did not expect to make it to 40 weeks (+) with my 3rd guy at all and was not quite enthused he was still so comfy inside. We walked a lot and it’s the only time in my life I’ve eaten Jalapenos to try to spice him out as well, ouch!

Here I am again on 2/22/2015 just 2 days before he was born. 40 weeks, 2 days pregnant. Still trying to walk him out….. no go. 
Then we make it to Wednesday 2/24/2015, my sisters birthday. I had a gift prepared for her and had planned on celebrating her birthday with my family at my parents house that afternoon. I wasn’t quite feeling well though and we ended up deciding to stay home. We had dinner as a family at home and I started feeling worse and worse. At 6pm, I started hurting. I was having what I thought was digestive stomach cramps. Bo banished me to the couch to “rest” (yeah, right, with 2 toddlers in the house??) and rather than relaxing and feeling better, I felt worse and worse. Bo had notified my parents that I wasn’t feeling well and it could be “go” time but I wasn’t aware of that. I thought I was having digestive issues and was just cranky with the kids being hyper that night while I didn’t feel well and Bo having anxiety about it all. It wasn’t a very pleasant time in the house. I laid on the couch from 5pm-7pm and finally realized, yes, I was having consistent contractions and started timing them and they were already 3 minutes apart at that time. We asked my parents to come over so we could go check at the hospital to see how I was doing because they were getting stronger and closer together as I rested on the couch rather than farther apart and less intense. I remember sending a text message to my friend/photographer Sara that said something along the lines of “I think it may really be time this time”. My parents arrived at our house to stay with the kids, we arrived at the hospital around 8pm and they checked me before we even got settled and said it’s basically time to go already. They had to call the doctor and his team, prepare the room, etc so they put us in a different room with a tub so I could lay and “relax” in the bath. It was nice and comfortable but my contractions only increased and intensified in the tub. Sara with The Blessed Everyday Photography arrived just after we did and helped get us settled and started snapping away. The nurse got concerned that I was going to deliver in the tub because I was so close and made me get out of the tub. I told her I couldn’t deliver that day, it was my sisters birthday and I wanted her to have her special day to herself and not wreck her birthday with a different birth. (delirious much?) Hahaha. The nurse pretty much laughed in my face and said not a chance. I still had planned to squeeze my legs tight and hold off for a few more hours  until morning. I finally made it up into the bed and got situated as the doctor walked in ready to deliver and something bad happened. I didn’t know what it was but it felt awful, it was bad and I got scared. Solomon had flipped over in my tummy and was ‘sunny side up’ at that point which was concerning to the doctor as well. He just said he’s facing the wrong direction so it will be a more difficult delivery to push him out naturally and I would have to work extra hard. I don’t remember all the details but I know I was put on oxygen though they had me flipping from side to side to get a different angle to get him un-stuck so he could get out. I was scared and it seemed like everything was falling apart so quickly, I had no idea what was going on, I was exhausted and all done pushing already (weenie, it hadn’t been long at all) but I had been doing it wrong. Once they got me to tuck my chin and hold my legs, Solomon flipped over on the way out and popped right out with the cord wrapped around his neck. He was a scary shade of blue and didn’t scream right away, that’s when Bo got really scared as well. It didn’t take long for him to take his first breath and pink up and we were good to go! I remember a few hours later when we were in the recovery room after I had the chance to take a shower, clean up and get in a clean room, I did not feel good at all. So much so that I wouldn’t even hold Solomon and I couldn’t sit up on my own. We hadn’t realized that I had been continuing to bleed profusely even after having pitocin & another post delivery medication to help stop bleeding. They hopped into emergency mode again and gave me shots of something to clot the blood and clamp the uterus and got me cleaned up again. It wasn’t until the next day that I felt well enough to even hold Solomon. He was born at 10pm on my sisters birthday, the nurse was right! Hahaha. Thanks again to Sara with  The Blessed Everyday Photography for the amazing photos that captured every moment of his birth for us to remember forever! This is one proud daddy…. again. The best photos I have from both sets of photos Sara took for our births were of Bos proud look when he sees his boys for the first time. It’s so sweet.

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Moses Birth Story


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Moses was born on August 1st, 2013. (I’m a little behind on blogging) :) I was 38 weeks pregnant and woke up very early that morning to an excruciating headache and the sound of my blood pressure ‘wooshing’ loudly in my ears. I woke Bo up, told him something was wrong and asked him to call in sick to work so we could be seen. My parents came over to the house before Elijah even woke and we headed to the hospital. My blood pressure was too high at the hospital and I had some signs of pre-eclampsia as I had with Elijah as well so we spent the day walking around the outside of St Elizabeth hospital in Enumclaw trying to walk myself into labor so I wouldn’t have to be induced like I was with Elijah. I can’t even count the number of stairs we walked up and down, round and round that day. It was a long day. We finally got released to go home around 9pm that night so we stopped  by McDonalds to get breakfast/lunch/dinner on our way home since neither of us had eaten anything all day long. We got home, I took a shower, Bo rearranged the living room furniture and put the couch square in front of the TV so we could sit down, relax, eat and veg out in front of a tv show. I think by the time we got our food, got home, showered and collapsed on the couch to eat and relax it was midnight.  As soon we sat down, contractions started. Fast and strong. We shoveled in as much food as we could and headed back for the hospital. We went right up to the birth unit, got checked in, settled and were all ready to go! We labored all night long (even some in the tub which I hated at the time) and delivered Moses in the morning! Everything went smoothly until the very end when it got a bit hectic and scary and I was put on oxygen and they were trying to monitor him more closely. I remember getting scared right at the end knowing it wasn’t going how it was supposed to go but Dr. Merrill and his staff remained calm, patient and stern with me with what they needed and we had our desired birth with no medical intervention.  Special thank you goes to Sara with The Blessed Everyday Photography for the amazing photographs documenting Moses birth. She captured the actual feelings and special moments of his arrival and it amazes me that when I look back on these pictures, they take my breath away and take me back to those exact moments with the feelings of exactly what was happening in that moment. I’m so thankful for these to remember forever. I wish I could remember more but I’m in a hurry to get caught up with my late blogging  so maybe I’ll add more later as I remember more. :)

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Hello Fresh Delivery Review

A friend of mine sent me a free code to try the Hello Fresh meal delivery service. I was super excited to give it a try and signed up when there were a couple of dairy/egg free meals coming up so Moses could eat them too. I chose the Family box for 2 meals per week which would normally cost $79.95/week to have delivered to your home. My cost was $0 with the free coupon. Delivery is included in their weekly fee. It’s a subscription based service where you chose how often you want delivery, etc. It’s not quite in our budget to do this regularly but for free, I’m certainly happy to give it a try! I was very excited when this box showed up on my porch Monday morning! I wasn’t sure which of the recipes I was going to get so it’s a bit of a gamble but they both looked delicious to me. Here are the contents inside the box as I opened it up. 
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The first recipe was Apricot glazed chicken. I’ve never made apricot anything so I was excited to try this one. 

This was inside the smaller individual meal box. The flyer that came gave detailed instructions on how to prepare the meals and a time frame for how long it will take. The chicken meal
stated  it would be 10 min of prep, 30 min total. Ha. That must be for an experienced chef. Here we go: 

The 10 min prep of wash/dry veggies, peel & chop carrots and chop potatoes too me a half hour. 

Ready to roast… This was the first time I’ve ever cooked with fresh Thyme. Stripping the leaves off…. No thanks. I even Youtube’d instructions on the quick & easy way to do this and still failed miserably. It took me way too long and I gave up midway through and actually sprinkled a little of the ground Thyme I had on hand in the cupboard on the potatoes because it was taking way too long. 

I was supposed to have a pan that I could sear the chicken in then put it in the oven but I don’t own a pan that I can use on the stove and put into the oven as well. I might want to get something like that in the future. 

The recipe only called to strip the leave off 1/2 the Thyme. I may have misread them because this sauce is not how their ‘glaze’ looked in the picture. Also, it was a soup not a glaze that thickened up. Mine never thickened up. I ended up digging out the thyme stems and discarding those. The glaze (soup) was so delicious! I could have eaten it with a spoon. I may have…. 

The end result was gorgeous and smelled delicious. It tasted even better than it looked and smelled! I will keep this recipe for sure and do it again!


I have to be honest though… This is how I actually served the meal………..   :)


The second meal was a lemongrass beef stir fry. Also yum. I did much better on the prep portion of this one keeping on time even though I had a baby at foot yanking on my pants. I had never seen lemongrass before and had no idea what it was or how to use it. I’m glad the instructions included how to peel and use it or I would have cut the whole thing up like a scallion and eaten the whole thing which I assume, would have been very tough. I also ended up slicing the steak into thinner strips to make it easier for the kids to eat. This meal was also delicious and I will keep the recipe to make again. 
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We have  leftover rice tonight which I just threw a can of diced tomatoes on and black beans with some chia seeds, groound flax & hemp hearts of course with some salt & pepper, ground thyme, oregano & cumin. We’ll see how that turns out to fill little tummies.

Overall, I loved the service. .The meals were so delicious, not something I would have made just picking a recipe off the internet. The food was fresh, I love that it’s pre measured for the recipes already and got me out of our food rut for 2 days. Loved it!

Next week, I’ll have something different to review & share with you!

My First Stitch Fix!!

I have seen so many of my friends trying out this new ‘Stitch Fix‘ thing and have been intrigued. I hate shopping with a passion and won’t even attempt to go try on clothes while toting around 3 kids so I thought this may be a decent option for me. It’s more than I would normally spend on clothes, but I want to create one of those capsule wardrobes (a very minimal wardrobe made of a few key pieces I can mix and match to create endless outfits) and I believe that you get what you pay for so if I spend a bit more on a piece of quality clothing, hopefully it will fit well, feel great, look fantastic and last me a while. I have paid good money for CAbi clothing before and kept/wore those items for 10+ years so I know good quality can really last and stay in style. I plan to try CAbi again soon as well, keep your eyes peeled for a home party invite for that! :) Although I haven’t attempted to lose the baby weight yet and I assumed nothing would fit, I missed the reschedule deadline to push the date back (again) so I’ve got my first box. What do you think?

Even the box is cute! I am already excited to receive another one of these in the mail.

Even the box is cute!
Even the box is cute!

They sent me a pair of boyfriend jeans. I would never try these on in the store for a variety of reasons but I love them! Normally, I think jeans that get skinny at the ankles make me look like a carrot and I can’t stand that look yet I see other women wearing them all the time and they look great, even some plus size women. I don’t feel that these ones do that to me. I’ve also never had pants that roll up before but I like that too, it’s a casual feel. They are a bit too snug right now but I like them enough that I’ve decided to keep them as a reward for working off a few pounds. I think they will look great… soon… They give me motivation to keep getting on the elliptical machine, I just finally started doing that this past week. I’m only about 4 months late getting a start on exercising.

Kut from the Kloth - Kate Boyfriend Jean $78
Kut from the Kloth – Kate Boyfriend Jean $78

I love the color and print on this turquoise tank top but the fabric is just a little thin and clingy, I don’t like the unfinished collar and the ruching on only 1 side looks funny to me when I put it on.

Pixley - Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top $48.00
Pixley – Montgomery Chevron Cross-Front Top $48.00

This is another item I wouldn’t chose to try on in a store but I think I would actually like it, if I could get it on. Hahaha. Nope, couldn’t do it. I don’t remember what the fabric was but there was no give to it at all and already being a voluptuous lady, it’s even more so now that I’m nursing.

Fun2Fun - Sonoma Striped Sleeveless Top $38.00
Fun2Fun – Sonoma Striped Sleeveless Top $38.00

This gray looking shirt was another shirt that had no give and again, I could not get over my chest. It looks gray in this picture which I would like if it were actually that color but it’s more of a washed out, pale purple that I’m not really fond of.

41Hawthorn - Carla Crochet Detail Blouse $58
41Hawthorn – Carla Crochet Detail Blouse $58

Another piece I would never try on in the store. I love the sleeve length and detail of the buttons on the sleeves on this one. Sadly, the buttons on the front look like the are going to pop off when I put the shirt on. Hahaha. The colors are a bit washed out on this one as well which I just don’t really like.

Pixley - Edminod Henley Knit Top $54.00
Pixley – Edminod Henley Knit Top $54.00

Although not everything fits and I don’t like it all, I still loved my first ‘fix’ experience and can’t wait to try it again! If you have been considering this, give it a try! I even took my box to my friends house and opened it with her so we went through it together which certainly made it more fun. Use this referral link and lets go through your box together too!

All Stitch Fix Pieces


Click here for the referral link.

Building a Birdhouse

I’ve wanted a birdhouse since we moved into this house back in 2008. We have a friend who builds the most amazing, beautiful birdhouses who was going to make me one but he passed away so I never got the 1 birdhouse that I really wanted. Long story short, Bo arrived home the other night with this……………….


I laughed out loud. A lot. He brought home a big board, a box of screws, sandpaper and some sort of drill bit thing to drill the hole for the birds to enter. He was so proud of himself and excited to build a birdhouse with me. I thought he had lost his mind and laughed hysterically. When I talked recently about building a birdhouse, I had planned to go spend $9.99 at Walmart in the kids craft section and buy a birdhouse kit made for kids, one that my niece recently received and I wanted! Hahaha. But I quickly got on board and figured this could be a great project for Bo and I to complete together so I started “google’ing” plans to build a birdhouse with the piece of wood we had. We got a basic idea of layout we figured was easy to try and Bo drew up his own plans and got to cutting. Yes, he used the bed of the truck as his worktable.


I really wanted to participate too since this was ‘my’ birdhouse and our project. I got to drill the hole for the birds to enter the house!


Elijah was very excited to help out as well! His first building project!


Elijah playing peek a boo in the unfinished house.


“Look dad! I can put the roof on! Aren’t you proud of me!?!”

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Helping daddy pre drill the holes to screw it onto the fence post.

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Figuring out how to use the tape measure.


Helping daddy screw in more screws 1/2 way into the roof.


Yup, still helping!


So after 2 days of work, we have a birdhouse! Bo of course did most of the work, I stained a little bit of it, drilled the hold for the birds to go in and out and screwed in most of the screws so I could feel like I did something. The twig we used for the perch is one from our butterfly bush out back that Bo’s mom bought me a few years ago, I thought it would be neat to include part of that in the house and we cut off the perfect size perch just for the birdhouse. It’s now screwed onto the fence post just outside the back door nestled nicely in a tree that birds frequent so I’m really hoping they will take up residence soon in their new home!



I love how it turned out! It’s not what I had in mind, I didn’t think we would be able to actually create it (always the optimist I am) but I love it and I’m so excited! It’s perfect!

Elijah’s Birth Story

Tuesday 11/8/11 (37 weeks, 3 days):

I woke up early that morning and took a shower which I NEVER do in the morning, I only shower at night. But I woke up feeling icky even after showering the night before so I got up early and showered anyway. I had a bit of an upset stomach throughout the day and used the restroom probably about 6 times before 3pm and figured I may have eaten something bad the night before. I had also been laughing a LOT and crying a LOT for no reason that day but that wasn’t too out of the ordinary, I had become more and more emotional and hormonal recently as well so I figured it was just par for the course, something normal with end stage pregnancy.  (Denial much? I knew all this stuff was labor indicators but HUGELY in denial about it…) Then at about 3pm, I was at work and got up to take a break. I felt a small gush of fluid so I went up to the OB office to ask if I could get a PH strip to test the fluid and see if it was amniotic fluid or not or find out if I could buy them over the counter. I had been leaking fluid for about 2 weeks since I had lost my mucus plug. They wouldn’t give me a strip to check myself and said that I needed to be seen so they checked me in and I sat in the Dr’s office waiting for the Dr to come in. I waited nearly an hour on the table in the Dr’s office for him to arrive. It was a hot room and I had to use the restroom (again) while waiting but didn’t have clothes on and figured he would be in soon so I held it the entire hour. The Dr arrived and checked me and said there was a lot of fluid visible though it didn’t change the PH strip that he tested so it was “inconclusive” as to whether it was amniotic fluid or not. He told me to get dressed and meet him in the other room so he could do an ultrasound as he was concerned that I may have leaked out all of my amniotic fluid. He did the ultrasound and saw that  and there was more than a normal amount of fluid in the amniotic sac as well and was concerned about it. He told me that I needed to go to the hospital right now and be checked out due to the level of fluid he was seeing, how much I was leaking, the inconclusive PH test and my elevated blood pressure. I argued with him and told him that I was fine, I just needed to use the restroom, calm down and go back to work. He told me again (a few times) that I needed to go to the hospital and get checked out and if it was just anxiety like I had suspected it was, they would discharge me and I could go back to work tomorrow. We continued to argue about it and I ended up leaving the office at 4:30pm telling him I would talk to Bo about what we should do and make the decision together. I had told Bo not to come to the clinic for the appointment assuming I would have been back at my desk working again by 3:15pm but he showed up just as I arrived back at my desk to finish the work day.

We discussed our options and decided I would have my blood pressure checked once again before leaving work by a nurse and again by one of the firefighters at the fire station later that evening to monitor that it had in fact gone back down and I was just fine. I had my blood pressure checked before leaving work for the day and it had come back down to 130/80 which was much better than it was while I was in the OB office (166/88 ) so I felt much better. Bo and I left and decided to grab a bite to eat on our way to our very last birthing class that evening. We attended birth class from 6pm-9pm and practiced some counter pressure techniques and relaxation techniques, asked the last of our questions, received the last bit of information and got some handouts to take with us and headed home. Here’s a picture of the 3 of us girls still pregnant in our birth class on Tuesday 11/8.

We stopped at the fire station at 9:30pm on the way home to get my blood pressure checked again which was 180/90. I told the firefighter that he was using the wrong size cuff and asked him to check it again with the larger cuff. He did and got 160/100 so I knew we would have to go to the hospital. We got home, dropped off Bo’s car, picked up the rest of what we wanted to take for our few hour visit to the hospital late that night and got checked in to the hospital at about 10pm.

While in triage (at about 11:00pm), I was sitting on the bed on a potty pad with no pants on (hospital policy) and started laughing. I told Bo to stop making me laugh but couldn’t control myself (though he had done nothing to actually make me laugh) and couldn’t hold back, I tooted a little. Then I tooted a LOT and really loudly. Then I peed the bed. Entirely. With a full bladder onto the potty pad. Then I started sobbing (while still in uncontrollable hysterics) because I was absolutely mortified that I had actually just peed the bed. I told Bo I needed to go to the bathroom and tried to take the sheets on the bed with me so the nurses didn’t find out that I peed the bed. Bo told me that there were probably 70 other women in the past month who had come in and done the same thing, it was no big deal, it happens to all pregnant women, blah blah blah, trying to make me feel better about it. I went to the bathroom while Bo and the nurse changed the sheets on the bed and I came back to a clean room and some fancy underwear and what they called a “maxi pad” that I needed to ask instructions on how to use: (note: the “maxi pad” was not in a wrapper, that was it…the actual pad itself-in my right hand).

The Dr was there ready to examine me again. He said he had good news, that I hadn’t peed the bed, that was amniotic fluid. I felt so much better and was so relieved. I got up ready to pack my stuff and go home to go to bed and asked how soon we could leave. He said we could leave after we had the baby since my water had broken. I didn’t understand, I had planned on going home and going to work the next day and said that I needed to get home so I could get some sleep before going to work. He said I wouldn’t be going to work tomorrow, I would be busy having a baby. Reality set in right about then that it was “time”. We took this picture:

We were told we’d be transferred to a labor and delivery room in a while to get situated and could get moved in and went to take a walk while we waited for our room.

We finally got settled in our own room at about 1:00am Wednesday morning 11/9/11. It was then that we finally had cell phone reception and sent a couple of messages out and called our families to let them know we were in the hospital. The nurse had mentioned getting me started on Pitocin at about 4:30am which we did NOT want (we spent good money and 12 weeks in a husband coached, natural childbirth class so we wanted to go all natural) so we told them we would try natural methods first instead. They left us alone for a couple hours during which time I sat in the jacuzzi tub, took a walk and attempted some other natural techniques for kicking your body into labor, none of which worked when we stopped actually trying them to see if the labor would continue. The nurse came back at 4:00am and said she was going to get the order for Pitocin so we could get my body going. Bo told her that neither of us had slept and if we were going to induce, I needed some time to rest first and asked for a few more hours. They agreed and said we could have until 8:00am to rest. So we did. We attempted some more natural methods which didn’t work and I took a nap. At 8:30am, the on call Dr came in and told us it was time to get serious, we had to get Pitocin started, sometimes labor doesn’t go the way you had hoped or planned for but for the safety of our baby, we had to do something, so we agreed.

At 10:00am on Wednesday 11/9 they hooked me up to Pitocin at 2ml/hr. The nurse checked me to see where I was at before starting the Pitocin and I was dilated to a 1, the Dr pretty much told me I could plan on having the baby on Thursday, this was going to be a LONG day. The hospital policy states they increase the Pitocin 2ml every 30 min until my body was having consistent contractions. I slept from 10:00am until about 11:00am when the contractions were picking up, by 12:00pm, they were really starting to hurt. The Pitocin was at 8ml/hr at 12:00 when I was unable to sleep anymore. They turned it up to 10ml/hour at 12:00 and I had enough. The contractions were not at ALL like I had imagined they would feel, a different type of pain in a different area than I had expected them and much, MUCH worse than I had ever imagined. They were also pretty close together and I felt like I had no break in between them at all. I thought I was relaxing through them pretty well and Bo was telling me over and over to relax through them and rubbing my back, we had a decent system going. Until 1pm when our nurse came in and saw how I was doing and sat down and got in my face and told me I wasn’t going to make it. She said I was in the VERY early stages of labor, I would have to find a way to cope with this because at the rate I was going, I would not be successful in having a natural childbirth because I was unable to manage my pain or relax through my contractions at all. She said my entire body was tensing with every contraction and I was going to exhaust myself very quickly. She said we needed to come up with a new game plan for what we wanted to do so I could last until tomorrow when we could expect baby to come. I was so discouraged, I was about ready to give up already. Bo recognized I was tensing up with every contraction and instead of just telling me to relax through them, he would touch my arm and tell me to relax my arm so I was able to recognize that I, in fact, was not relaxed at all, I actually was so tense and gripping the bed so hard my arm was about to dislocate so I was able to relax that and everything else Bo touched and told me to relax.

I knew I wasn’t going to make it until tomorrow without having any medication to help me out so I asked Bo to call our childbirth instructor Ruth to give us some advice. Truly, I just wanted her there because I knew if I caved and asked for pain medication, Bo would say no but Ruth may be on my side and help me to get what I thought I needed. Bo was more than happy to call her (for his own reasons – he thought she would completely talk me out of the pain medication idea) and she was on her way to the hospital to come and help us out. I don’t know when she arrived, I don’t actually know too much of what happened after 10:00am other than bits and pieces here and there but I do remember her being there and Julie the nurse sitting down talking to me as well. By 2:00pm I was in agony and didn’t want to do it anymore. I figured if it hurt THIS bad by now, I would literally be dead before tomorrow, there was absolutely, positively, no way I would make it having a drug free birth (or even a drugged birth, I would still be dead before tomorrow) at this rate and just wanted to quit at this point. I remember sobbing and begging Bo to please just help me and repeating it over and over and over again begging him. I begged Ruth, I begged the nurse Julie, I begged anyone who I could hear was there who could possibly help me and begged for a break, I just wanted the Pitocin turned off for a bit so I could get a break in between contractions because they felt like they were about 2 minutes long with about 15 seconds in between. I finally caved and begged for drugs as well. Bo told me to pray so I started begging Jesus for help, Bo said it made him laugh that my prayer was “Jesus help me” over and over and over and over. It worked for me for a while. I remember questioning Ruth as to whether I was in transition yet since I know that’s what hurt the worst, she didn’t answer me. The nurse finally told me she would check to see where I was at to see if pain medication was even an option at that point, she thought I was still too early in labor to be given any medication and needed to find out where I was before we moved on with anything. Ruth asked if that mattered to me, I said yes. She asked at what point would I not want to receive pain medication, I said I didn’t know. She said if I was at a 7, would I still want medication? I said I didn’t know. She asked 8? I said no. At about 3:30pm Julie checked me to see where I was at. I remember hearing her exclaim “I can not believe this!” I asked “what?” She called to have the Dr paged and told me I was dilated to a 9.5, it was time to go, time to start pushing! I asked again if I was in transition and Ruth told me I had flown right through that and it was already all over! WOO HOO! 2nd wind!

The Dr arrived at about 4:00pm, they prepared the bed and everything they needed and got me ready to start pushing. I know Bo was there, Ruth was there, Julie the nurse and the Dr. (not our Dr, she was the on call Dr for the day). I have no idea if anyone else was in the room. I started pushing and fought with the Dr about how long to push and how many times to push during a contraction. I pushed how I felt most comfortable and blew her off, Bo was proud. Bo told me that he could see babies head, I was so excited! I said “I’m crowning!?!?!” and he said “no, not yet, just playing peek a boo right now.” So I knew I was close. I pushed a couple more times, Bo encouraged me to give it all I had, push 1 more, a little harder, etc and I felt baby SHOOT out of me. I opened my eyes just in time to see the Dr, Julie and someone else hitting the floor at the end of the bed. I was scared to see them all diving for the floor since I felt baby shoot out of me quickly but Dr caught him by the leg before he hit the floor and placed him on my chest. She immediately clamped the cord (which was against our wish but oh well) and had Bo cut it.

Another argument ensued between the Dr and I about medication options for the “repair” she needed to do (sew me up) and I ended up getting a local anesthetic rather than IV narcotics since I had just successfully had a medication free childbirth, I didn’t want to screw it all up and have drugs after baby came out just to get stitched up when it was over with. Dr did the repair and I snuggled baby boy from his time of birth 4:21pm until about 7:00pm when they finally took him to the other side of the room to get his weight and measurements. That’s about when we decided on his name as well.

Elijah Michal Bradshaw

11/9/11   4:21pm

6 lbs   10 oz    17.25″

He is perfect. And quite the snuggler. We snuggled for hours then ordered pizza. Bo and I were starving, we hadn’t eaten really since Tuesday and it was Wednesday night now at about 10pm. The hospital cafeteria was closed so they told us our only option was for Bo to leave the hospital to go get us something or have something delivered. We called pizza hut and had a pizza delivered. I had 1 slice, Bo had about 5 and we went to sleep. Early Thursday morning Elijah got checked by the pediatrician and was fantastic, I got checked by the OB/Gyn and was doing great and he wrote up the discharge papers since we wanted to get out of there and go home and we went back to sleep while we waited. Then I actually woke up at about 8am and was SICK. Sick with food poisoning and a killer sore throat… Bo was too when he woke up. Within a few hours, I was unable to function, I couldn’t even get out of bed anymore, I was vomiting, had diarrhea (after giving birth and being sewn up… ouch…) and was hurting, dizzy, nauseated, clammy, just felt awful. Bo was throwing up so violently they sent him to the ER to be seen down there. He returned about 8 hours later in a drugged stupor and slept for the next 14 hours straight. They had cancelled our discharge and we stayed until Friday since we couldn’t care for our newborn, let alone ourselves.

Friday we got to leave the hospital around 12:00pm though my killer sore throat had turned into a pretty nasty cough. We stopped at starbucks on the way home to get a good cup of coffee. Having had gestational diabetes, I hadn’t had a mocha in MONTHS so I got one on the way home (decaf of course since I’m nursing). It was so good.  We made it home safely and had a bunch of people at the house on Saturday, there were people here from 10am until 5pm. I didn’t even have a chance to go pee or feed the baby all day long since we had company and was absolutely exhausted and felt awful by Saturday night. Sunday my sore throat turned cough got nasty bad and went up into my head as well. I saw the Dr on Monday who said it was just a cold and to let it run it’s course. 2 weeks later, I saw the Dr for a second time who finally gave me antibiotics for bronchitis and a sinus infection and I finally started feeling better 16 days after giving birth.

That’s the readers digest version of our birth story. It wasn’t what we had expected but it was wonderful, painful, but wonderful and we’re so thankful for the birthing classes we had taken, the support of our families and friends, our awesome nurse Julie and amazing birthing class instructor (now friend), Ruth. We couldn’t have done it without all of them though I joke with Bo, I think we could have done it without the doctor!