a sickly house guest

I can’t post today.  Someone in my house is sick.  Can you guess who?

Here are a few hints:

Last night when the babysitter was here, she peed on the floor on her way to the tub, then promptly pooped in the tub.  Causing hysteria everywhere she turned.

She woke up 12 times in the night crying for “daddy!” then after daddy tended to her, she would start crying for “mommy!”

She demanded “brepast” right when she woke up (with a hot little fever).  Then more specifically “Ogurt”.

Then before I could think of feeding myself for breakfast she was asking for “chok-it… mik”.

Then she wanted to watch “gumpy show”, but when I went to turn on gumpy show, she decided she wanted “meow show” – in a fit of rage.

After I turned on meow show, she wanted to “Color mom, I color.  Color, mommy.  I color!!! COLOR MOMMY!!!”

I promptly got coloring stuff out, but as soon as she scribbled a few lines, she decided she wanted to come to the office with me to “watch elmo show”.

Now she is watching “elmo show” while I try to write, but I am interrupted every few minutes with “new elmo show, mom! Dat one! Dat one, mommy! I aaaant dat elmo show.” while she pounds on the keyboard and clicks the mouse 203,302 times.

So, I can’t post today.  Someone in my house is sick.

That little someone?



the bump – 30 weeks

Goodness Grace! I am already 30 weeks along.
The last 12 weeks of this pregnancy have seriously gone by in a blink.  I could actually use a little slow down about now.
I have done exactly nothing to prepare for this sweet little babe.
I need to start getting my baby stuff together!
I’ve learned that how you prepare for a surprise baby is… you don’t.  Other than a handful of white onesie and some newborn diapers… I got nothin’. 😉
If I had to guess this week what I’m having, I would say girl.
We have been talking about names this week.  We are currently at the stage of naming that we’re sick of all our options and hate everything. ha!
I’m hoping taking a breather from discussing names will help us come back to it with fresh ears.
At least we have a list of a few to narrow it down from.
My birth is just right around the corner.
I have slacked off reading this go-round (actually I borrowed my birth books out to someone and can’t remember who!) I’ll be placing an order today to get things moving.
I have found that reading birth books is my best preparation.  Knowledge is power and I always feel so empowered when I read a few pages from Ina May.
I’ve started prepping for the big day, making a list of things I want/don’t want.
I want to focus on having a very calm environment this time.  When I had Grae, we had moved just two days before, so things were pretty chaotic.  I know things will be much more relaxed this time no matter what, but I’m hoping to be more intentional about it.
I have assigned Brady to make me a laboring playlist.  I never really think about this and then after I have a baby I realize it would have been nice to have music playing.
I got a birth tub last time and I was so glad.  I’ve never actually had my babies in the water, but I really love it for laboring. I’ll be doing that again this time, and maybe I’ll actually have a water birth this time.  I always play that part by ear.
Labors and kids can be tricky.  I had Grae in the middle of the night while the girls were sound asleep.  They have made me PROMISE this time I would wake them up so they can see what goes on during labor and delivery.  I plan on having some things for them to do, like quiet games and new movies – things that can keep them busy while they wait for the baby to come.  When the time comes they may choose to stay in the room with me or wait out in another room and either way is okay with me.  Depending on the time of day, we’ll figure Grae out.  We’ll likely just have someone who is solely in charge of her. If I have this babe in the night, we’ll just let her sleep. :)
I have also found I do better with a very limited number of people around during my labors.  We’ll have the bare minimum to get everything taken care of, but I always make it clear to everyone that I pretty much only like Brady and my midwife while I’m in labor. 😉 Having too many people around makes me anxious while I’m so vulnerable.
One thing that I am really making a point to do this time is to not rush calling everyone and posting and all that.  I just want me and B to have that time together, and the girls to have all the time they want/need to bond with their new little sibling.  There is so much time for all the calls and texts and visits later.  I always get excited and kind of jump the gun, but this time Brady and I really want to take a beat and just have that sacred time for our family, uninterrupted.
I will also be thinking a LOT more about what we need after the baby is here.  I plan to have some freezer meals stocked up as well as a fridge stocked with plenty of snack type foods, which is all I really eat after I have a babe.  It takes me some time to get my appetite back, but I need to eat to get my milk in and all that.  I love having things like granola on hand that I can grab any time of the day or night.  I’ve already started making a list of things I think of that will be nice to have when the baby comes.  Special snacks and drinks for the girls, stuff like that.
Having a baby around here is SUPER special and I want all the details to match the occasion. :)
I had my 30 week midwife appointment yesterday.  Baby is head down and posterior which means I have little limbs poking out all over the place, feet constantly in my ribs.
My belly is measuring 32.5 cm so it’s not in my head that my belly is bigger this time. Yikes!
I get comments asking how much longer and if I’m due any time now on the daily… at church especially.
Super fun to say “nope, actually I have two and a half months left!” ha!
Times I’ve been asked if I’m having twins so far : 3
I’ve gained more weight with each baby I’ve had, so we’re right on track! (although I’m really only a couple lbs more than I was with Grae at this point).
I find that I always weigh different at the beginning of pregnancies, and end up at the same by delivery.
Sleeping has gotten hard.  I can’t breathe.  I feel like someone is sitting on my lungs when I sit or lay down and I can hardly get any air though my nose if I lay down.  So weird.  I put Breathe oil on every night, but between fighting for breath, having a super wiggly baby in my belly, a squished bladder and barely being able to roll over, I usually look at the clock like every 20 minutes through the night.
I also already feel pretty achy.  My hips and feet are super sore by the end of the day.  I warm up my heating pad basically every night.
This baby is incredibly active.  It’s almost always moving, I swear.
This last week it started getting the hiccups. :) We have such hiccuping girls, so we always love this part.  The girls got a kick out of feeling them the other night.
We’re definitely feeling things getting closer! Some days I have mini panic attacks over having another baby in the mix, and other days it feels like we’re missing one.
I’m so grateful I’ve felt well.  That has been the biggest relief this pregnancy!
Hoping to make the most of these next ten weeks!


The Birth Series | Jenna & Haden

Are you guys loving these birth stories as much as I am?  I sure hope so!  Makes me so excited to deliver my own baby in just 10 weeks or so!  I am still trying to collect birth stories, so if you have a birth story you’d like featured, ANY type of birth story, I would loooove to have it.  Please email me at cassmillerphoto at gmail dot com.  Thank you thank you to everyone who has sent me their stories so far!

Today’s birth story is a precious one.  Thanks so much Jenna for sharing!


{Haden’s Birth Story}

Giving birth is such a beautiful and sacred experience. When I started thinking about getting pregnant with my third child, it came with an intense desire to learn more about pregnancy, labor, and birth. My first two births were great, but both babies had a rough time moving through the birth canal even though I was fully dilated. This caused labor to be a pretty long process. I had epidurals with both of them so I didn’t actually mind the long labor, but it did leave me wondering if there was something I was missing. I believe there is always more than one right way to do something. We are blessed to live at a time where we have so many good options. I prayed to God that I would be able to figure out what would be the best option for me and my child.

Before I got pregnant this time, I wanted to have a better idea of what my options were for this pregnancy and birth. My sister-in-law was pregnant at the time and was going to classes at the library taught by her midwife. Anyone was welcome so I decided to go. The second class I went to was about different methods of childbirth. A few women gave their presentations on different services they provide and then a doula named Kelly Colvin got up to speak. I instantly felt a connection to her. As she spoke she was so calm and soft spoken yet she was confident. She taught about a hypnobirthing called hypnobabies. It all made so much sense and felt so right. When I left class there was no question in my mind: this is what I wanted to do and I wanted Kelly to be there as my doula. As I drove home I thanked God for answering my prayers in such a clear way.

A few months later I was pregnant and so excited. I knew I wanted to have my baby natural although it totally freaked me out. When I was 26 weeks the hypnobabies classes started. I learned so much the next 6 weeks. I learned how to change my way of thinking. I learned how to think more positively. I learned how powerful our minds truly are. I learned how to deeply relax both my mind and body. Those 6 weeks were super busy with reading, listening to the assigned tracks, and practicing relaxation techniques every day. It was a lot of work but so worth it. By the end of the 6 weeks, I was no longer nervous. I was actually excited and confident that this was what I was meant to do.

I really wanted to make it as far along as possible with my 3rd baby because I had my first two quite early. From my classes I learned how powerful the mind is and so I told myself over and over that I would make it at least to November (my due date being November 12th). My doctor generally does a cervical check at week 36 but I asked him not to at this appointment and again at my next appointment because I felt like the checks got things progressing faster with my other pregnancies. At week 38 I felt fine about getting checked and I was at a four. The doctor said he would be surprised if I made it through the weekend (this was on Thursday, October 29th).

That Friday came and went. No baby. Saturday was Halloween. Since my goal was to make it to November, I felt fine about having him any time now. I went trick or treating with my kids knowing that if it did put me into labor it would be just fine at this point. Sure enough, I woke up that night with cramping. At 4:00am on November 1st my first pressure wave hit (hypnobabies has some different lingo in hopes of only having positive connections with the words we use. One of those is pressure wave instead of contraction). I timed a few and they were about 5 minutes apart. I got up and put on some mascara and fixed my hair. After a little while my pressure waves started getting stronger. I laid on the couch and listened to a hypnobabies track. I went to my “special place” in my mind and felt confident and peaceful. My pressure waves were strong, but I felt like I was handling it great. Then my water broke and I thought, “Wow! That was the coolest feeling ever!” It was 5:30am now. I went upstairs and woke up my husband. He says I looked and sounded as though it was Christmas morning as I said, “Carlos! My water broke!” He got out of bed and got ready.

I called Kelly and she said she would meet us at the hospital. I was still thinking I had some time so I asked Carlos to make me some breakfast and take my bags to the car. After a minute or two, things really started to change. My pressure waves became stronger and I could tell that I was progressing quickly. I told Carlos we had to go and we had to leave now. We live about 25 minutes away from the hospital so I told him he was really going to have to go fast. I was still listening to my hypnobabies tracks but I was no longer calm. The fear of having my baby in the car had entered in. During each pressure wave I squeezed Carlos’ arm and groaned loudly. The only time I opened my eyes was to check the speedometer to make sure he was driving fast enough. Luckily it was early in the morning and there weren’t too many cars on the road. After about 5 minutes or so I could feel my baby moving down with each pressure wave. I kept saying, “He is coming! You HAVE to go faster!!!” My husband stayed calm and kind replying, “Okay we are going as fast as we can. Try to relax.” I told him to call Kelly to tell her to have everything ready. She could hear me in the background and told Carlos to tell me not to push. I was trying not to push, but I couldn’t help it. After a few more pressure waves I was sure I was going to have our baby in the car but I SO did not want to. Carlos called Kelly again and said, “I don’t know if we’re going to make it.” She told him to call 911 and to turn on the heater in the car. I obviously didn’t hear the conversation, all I knew was that for some crazy reason the heater was on and Carlos was following a car. I said, “What are you doing? You have to pass this car!…Seriously PASS THIS CAR!” I didn’t realize it but he was trying to dial 911 and couldn’t do that and pass a car at the same time. By the time he called an ambulance we were pretty close to the hospital so he told them not to worry about it.

We got there at 6:15. He parked the car right as a pressure wave ended so I somehow hopped out and started hobbling in with Carlos supporting me. When Kelly saw us her eyes got big and she hurried and opened all the doors. We got to the room where they do the cervical check right as another pressure wave hit. After it ended I asked the nursed if she could take me to the natural birth room. Our hospital has new rooms that are set up for natural births. They are very pretty and I was super excited to give birth on a beautiful, queen size bed. But the nurse said, “Sorry we have to check you first.” She checked me and said, “Okay the baby is crowning!”

The on call doctor came in and was there for one or two pressure waves before my doctor came in. I was so happy to see him. He was already at the hospital doing another delivery so I really lucked out. By this time I could feel Haden’s head trying to push out. I got in a side lying position and turned on the “pushing baby out” track. My track wasn’t turned up very loud, yet, I couldn’t hear anyone. I guess that is what people are talking about when they say they are “in the zone.” I tried to relax and used my key words that I had practiced. It helped but I think I was still in crisis mode from thinking I was going to have my baby in the car so I didn’t feel as calm as I had envisioned. Kelly softly rubbed the back of my neck and her cool hand felt so good. Carlos held my hand and they both encouraged me. At 6:25 my sweet baby Haden was here. He was so beautiful and all of a sudden everything felt still. They layed him on my shirt and I wrapped my arms around him. I can’t explain the feelings I had then. There was so much love and gratitude. There wasn’t a feeling of finally being able to meet him, just feelings of happiness to finally get to hold him. We bonded so closely during the pregnancy that I felt like I already knew him well. But it was oh so sweet to be able to see him and hold him in my arms.

After a few minutes the nurse asked me if I wanted to do skin-to-skin. I did and so they helped me get my shirt off and they laid him on me. I had learned about the breast crawl while I was pregnant and really wanted to try it. I laid him in the middle of my chest. After just a minute he started wiggling around and started to root. He would turn his head back and forth and wiggle his body. After a few more minutes of scooting he did a big stretch and latched right on. All by himself. Words just cannot describe how neat this moment was. It was a totally natural thing and I will cherish that moment forever. After he ate on one side the nurse asked me if I wanted to go to a real room. I was loving every minute and I didn’t want it to end so I asked her if we could stay there for a little longer. She was fine with that and I nursed him some more. I was so happy and wanted this moment to last forever.

After a little while we went to the natural birth room and spent the day there before we went home. Even though I didn’t get to give birth in there like I had planned, everything worked out great. The car ride to the hospital may not have been the most beautiful thing, but the birth was and I will cherish it always. I love my sweet Haden boy and I am so grateful that he arrived safe and sound. This birth was full of goodness; it strengthened mine and my husband’s relationship, it helped me realize the inner strength that I have, it brought me closer to God as I developed greater appreciation for the miraculous way he designed our bodies to give birth (and the whole process of having a human being develop inside of me!), and it brought me so much joy to bring my sweet Haden baby here.


valentines cheer

So, January is not my favorite.  In fact, if I had to choose my least favorite month, January would top the list.  The holiday cheer is over, the cold and dreary weather is still in full swing, there’s no fun holidays or birthdays in my family in January… January is like the Monday of the year, a month-long Monday.  I find myself in a bit of a funk every January.

This week I felt the need to speed things up, so on a busy Tuesday I called my girls to the kitchen to help me craft.  If there’s anything that puts a pep in my girl’s and my step, it’s crafting and creating.  So without basically any planning, I gathered some pink decorations (I was surprised by how easy it was to whip up some pink decor in my all-girl house) and we put together a little Valentine cheer in our favorite room of the house.  I’m usually not one to decorate much for small holidays, but I think I’m a v-day decor convert. 😉

I picked up the sparkly “V Day” and “&” sign in the target dollar spot.  The banners were also from Target’s party section, most I had lying around already that I’d used for something else.

My girls helped me hang each and every thing and are so proud of their handy work.  Stella asked if we could keep it up forever, and I don’t think that idea is half-bad. 😀

It definitely helped breath some new life into our dreary January house!  We really needed that.