Naomi Grace | A Birth Story

Monday, January 19, 2015






Miss Naomi Grace is one month old today. WE MADE IT A MONTH YOU GUYS. I think it's safe to say that the past month has been the most challenging of both our lives. But this whole parenting thing? It's pretty darn incredible. Throughout most days I have moments when my heart could just explode with how much love I have for this little girl. And then other moments when I find myself bouncing her on the exercise ball for hours on end, debating how long I might last before I wet myself if I don't use the bathroom sometime soon. Too much?

We were expecting her debut on December 4th. ELEVEN days later, I tapped out and picketed outside the midwives office asked the midwifes to be induced. Before we went into the birthing center, I reluctantly admit to taking a few tablespoons of castor oil to...ya know...move things along. I'm still gagging over the sink just thinking about it. And no, that melted plastic-like "oil" didn't convince Naomi to budge. 

So we went into the birthing center on a Saturday night to be induced. The hours that followed involved lots of Seinfeld and McFlurries and "oh! I THINK that was a contraction" contractions. Things had gotten much more intense by the morning and all day Sunday was a lot of working through those in hopes of seeing that girl's face by the end of the day. We rolled on balls, walked hallways mid-contraction as the happy pregnant couples toured the center (you should have seen their faces), "watched" the Packer game, and asked the midwife about a thousand and six times...HOW MUCH LONGER?! I was all for the natural birth thing but, friends, if things got real...and they did...I was all for the huge needle in the back that makes it all go away. 

By Sunday night I was put on Pitocin to keep things moving along. And then things got REAL. You never think that you'd find yourself pants-less in a huge bathtub, nearly breaking off your husband's hand bones, sobbing and shaking in pain and using choice words towards a very nice woman that you don't know very well and a nurse who for some reason feels the need to keep pouring cold water in the tub. But there you are. There. You. Are. I finally got out and since I was still only 5ish cm and who knows how much longer I'd be doing that...it was time for the big huge needle in the back. 

So the angels in green gowns and masks came in with their magic potion and papers to sign and bright lights and before I knew it, the very nice man told me how I'd start to feel a warming sensation crawling up my legs. YES SIR, YES I DO! THANK YOU! And all I could think was...everyone should have babies this way! Even though I totally respect any and every way people want to have their own babies. After 24 hours of labor, I could finally close my eyes for a hot second and gather the scattered pieces of what was left of me so I could finish this thing. 

We did not have a baby that night...in fact, my dear out of town sister slept in the bathtub that night and Jeremy in a chair as we waited for Naomi's head to move it's way down so I could finally push. After several hours of holding a peanut shaped exercise ball between my legs and a little bit of sleep, Monday morning came and it was time to push. Two and a half hours went by and we were still at it. Since her head was facing up, it was nearly impossible to try and turn it and impossible to birth a baby that way. I rested for a half hour...by this time I had not eaten or drank any water because of the epidural for over 12 hours. Oh! Did I want some water. A person cannot go on like that! 

This little girl and I and the good Lord in heaven had a little exchange of words that morning. This baby was going to come out. She was! So we went back at it again. During that time I'm pretty sure the midwife made me order breakfast and asked me why my toenail polish did not match my fingers...the master of distraction techniques I tell you. The epidural had started to wear off and I was like, "Oh h-e-double hockey sticks NO." I got a small little tie-me-over dose and an hour later, after 3 hours of pushing...she was out. She came FLYING out. I have never felt that kind of relief in my whole life. And there she was, our little girl. Her forehead all bruised and her noise smooched in on one side. We had a hockey player on our hands! The rest of the morning was all a blur. Pretty sure I guzzled some water and ate that breakfast I ordered hours before. And dear sister who slept in the bathtub got a chance to hold her before it was time to head back home. 

As far as I'm concerned, there will be no repeat of this whole giving birth thing for awhile if I have anything to say about it. But Naomi has totally rocked our world since then and I am one very, very proud mama. 

Happy one month birthday, Naomi. We made it!

True of 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


There has been a load of inspired goal-setting posts on every inch of the internet come the new year and I am hesitant to add to the noise. However, I can't help but get my fingers on that January restart button and feel particularly ambitious as we move into 2015.

Dearest husband lovingly shooed me out the door a few weeks back in the throws of newborn cabin fever chaos to spend a couple hours forgetting about my current milkmaid-like state and enjoying some alone time. THANK YOU DEAR HUSBAND. Off to Starbucks I went with my brand spankin' new Day Designer with some goal setting worksheets for 2015. I really love the thought of starting fresh and this year in particular feels like a good time to hit that restart button. We are brand new parents, about to move to a brand new city, where we will both be starting some brand new jobs -- he as a pastor and me as a mama and work at home designer.

In lieu of keeping things simple this year, I decided to focus in on five core values that I want to be true of my life and our family in 2015:

1// DEPTH : Depth in relationship, in reflection, in spirit. I truly want this year to be chalk full of deep, honest relationship, real growth, and a focus on sharing the realness of life with those we interact with instead of keeping our masks on. As leaders in ministry the desire to want to make great impressions and be everything for everybody is there. But I gotta tell you...with a new baby and the experience of a thousand life changes happening at one time for us, there's not a whole lot of room for fake. And I'm glad for that.

2// BRAVERY : Brave mom, brave wife, brave woman, brave business owner. I want to take steps in life that scare me and build character and cultivate an environment where the spirit is present and moving us. In the time it's taking me to write this blog post I've gotten up about 10 times to rock, pacify, change, bounce, wrap and kiss my crying 3 week old. I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of moments to choose bravery in the upcoming weeks and months.

3// THRIVE : This means a whole lot of things to me but I really want to focus in on moving towards being the woman I am made to be in our current season of life. For me, this means lots of self care, pursuing passion in work, finding contentment in the daily things, and being willing to walk into the new and unknown.

4// SIMPLICITY : I am a minimalist at heart. Just yesterday Jeremy mentioned that if it were up to me to pare down my craft supplies, all that would be left is a couple notecards and a highlighter. (Which, if I may mention, aren't really craft supplies...) but I digress. Oh, but the things I want to make simple this year! Our belongings, for one, my relationship with social media, household processes, the way I do business...pretty much everything.

5// COMMITMENT : As a new parent, there is a compulsion to hand back the baby to it's rightful owner once crying insues...except this time the rightful owner is me. It's also easy to want to quit #allthethings when being in business scares the pants off me. To shut it all down and forget it happened. Or some days...some days I just want to be Erin. Not the pastor's wife, not Naomi's mom, not anything. Just Erin. But to commit to these things, these identities, these blessings, these responsibilities...the commitment builds character. And we're about that around here. So we're committing to the sometimes hard stuff this year and walking boldly into the not so easy, knowing that God goes before us in that and calls us to it.

2015 excites me. We are putting some roots down, learning to how to be a family of three, and walking into a lot of newness together. I would love to hear what you're all about this year. All the new year's noise has a way of banding together individuals and I kind of like that.
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