It seems like when we go to the beach, the kids take different directions with their activities based on weather, tide, ocean conditions etc... This particular evening, the water was full of life! And the kids enjoyed catching, collecting and releasing. I never really document it, but this day was special since they got to do it with some great friends! Thank you @brookelogue for the great memories :*
Posted by Keila at 6:19 PM
I need to publicly THANK all those friends and family (near and far!) for making my transition into being a mommy of 4 so much easier!
For the first week after Preston was born, my sister Sharyn, took such good care of my family and I! She provided meals, helped with laundry, brought some Easter goodies for the older ones, decorated my home with fresh flowers and balloons... I was seriously floored by her willingness to help and generosity!!
Then... I was even further surprised when my other sister from New Jersey, Debbie, came up with a list of family and friends that would provide meals every. single. night. for 2 weeks!!!!
I am in total AWE of how God takes care of us! Through my friends, I was able to feel His love because they were all loving on me. I felt God's care and provision, because He was caring and providing for me through my friends, in an area I knew would be a challenge for the first few weeks with a newborn. I have never had a postpartum experience like this!!!
I wish I could name every single person on here, that went shopping for me, showed up at my door with diapers, gifts, meals, picked up my kids to have ice cream, watched everyone while I showered, came to wash and fold clothes, or even that special one person that mopped all my floors against my will!! hahaha I LOVE YOU!
It takes a village -- and I love MY VILLAGE!
Posted by Keila at 5:21 PM
It's funny to see people's expressions when they hear about me choosing to have a home birth. Given my past hospital birth experiences this was a no brainer actually! :) It was probably my most painful and empowering birth yet because I was standing the whole time, gravity sure moved things very quickly! From when active labor started until the time he was born was just about an hour long.
So for the story....
I had contractions on and off all day on Monday 3/21. I didn't think anything of it. But my AMAZING midwife, predicted a baby for that Monday because it was two days before the full moon. I was in total disbelief that she could possibly get the date right on the nose like that! LOL Another clue was that I was in the bathroom for most of the day too (sorry tmi) but my body just knew baby was coming and was cleaning itself out. This happened with my third pregnancy as well -- I should've known better! ;)
I kept in touch with my midwife the whole time, and she probably knew it was labor, but was telling me all sorts of things to try to sleep it off! hahahaha I really did try to sleep and follow her advice, since my contractions would come in sets of 2-3 every couple of hours! I told my photographer at 11pm to keep her phone on just in case for that night, because "maybe" something was happening.
We had my husband's friend come over, and he hung out for a little while (we are night owls like that), but I couldn't really focus on any conversations, and not because of contractions -- I was just. that. cranky!!! I wanted to SLEEP so badly! So I laid down.
Around 2am, my husband asked me how I was doing, and I couldn't give him a straight answer because those contractions sure were painful but so sporadic that I was confused if labor was starting, or maybe I would have a baby the next day or two, or what....
But he said he heard my moaning through these surges and he remembered that this is what I sounded like in my previous births!
Smart man he is!
He then contacted the midwife, and she said she was on her way around 2:45am. Good thing she lives near us, because at that point I felt like there was NO relief in between contractions! Labor went from 0-100mph in a 20 minute span.
When she arrived at 3 am, she said to my husband "oh - she's very close!" What I thought was pretty amazing about her too, is that she didn't do a single internal check the whole time. She KNEW how close I was just by looking at me, and listening to me. This woman really has super powers!!! :)
All I wanted was for her to set up the birth tub though!! I wanted to get in the water and get some relief, because the contractions were out. of. this. world intense and I began screaming, literally!! It was the only way I could cope with the intensity of the pain, baby was coming down FAST and FURIOUS! :D My husband quietly whispered to me as I got louder, and louder: Babe, soon the neighbors are going to call the cops! lol
At this point, my parents walked in, with one of my sisters (who travelled from NJ that week) and 3 of my nieces. A couple minutes later my other sister arrives, and my midwife's assistant too.... It seemed like a really full house. But you see, it takes a village folks. They were all silent, and respectful. Helping and assisting me in areas I didn't even know I needed! I had my husband supporting me, and my mom fanning me, holding my legs... One sister praying over me, the other bringing me coconut water and taking whatever photos she could on her phone. My dad, the grandfather.... just being present as the backbone of the entire family. The kids all learning about family values and priorities, even at 3AM. A whole new generation of girls and future mothers learning about how birthing choices matter. All I can say is, yes my house was FULL! Full of love, full of support and positive vibes.
Now, as they were trying to fill my own tub in my room (because we obviously had no time for the birth pool), I reached down and felt his head crowning with each contraction, but I wasn't pushing (just screaming lol), he was almost out all on his own... so, as per my midwife, I got into a squatting position on the birth stool and with one long push he went FLYING out into my midwife's hands at 3:45am! How in the world she caught him no one really knows, it was way too fast for anyone to see! All I know is, she went from behind me to in between my husband's legs. There were no pauses, like "there's the head out, now the shoulders... etc etc" He flew like a football! As soon as I felt his head coming out there was no stopping me from pushing his whole body out in one shot.
To go into my own bed after birth was priceless! To have the baby checked right there next to me was even better.
No, I didn't get my water birth, and no, there was no time for the photographer to arrive, and no, I didn't get to light candles to "set the mood", there was no music or playlist playing in the background, and no, there was no time to put on the top I bought just for the birth!!! Things definitely didn't go as I planned or envisioned it, but it was just as beautiful in its own way.
This experience has topped all my other hospital births. And I would do it all over again!
I can't stress enough how good it was to have my family there.... My oldest sister and my niece massaging my cold and shaky feet, my other sister cooking me a postpartum meal and feeding it to me... my mom helping to clean up a little. I mean, it does take a village y'all. And I had my village there! All surrounding me with tenderness and love.
Everyone had gone home around 7am and our lives as a family of SIX had just begun <3
Here are some additional photos of Preston's birth day that I took while in my comfy bed, and some that my husband took too!
Sandy was so gentle - we all fell in love with her kind soul
I just love how big sister did not take her eyes off the baby the whole time!
Please excuse the super tired faces!
Daddy is the best baby swaddler ever :)
Everyone got their turn to hold and meet Preston!!
With big sister...
With big brother #1
With big brother #2The whole crew - bed hair and all!
And daddy of course....
And with cousins, Becky, Sarah and Hannah....With Tia Sharyn... who did so much to make his entrance earthside as smooth as possible!
One with Opa, Oma and uncle Jesse too....
And with tia Debbie who got the honors of changing his first meconium diaper!! :D