Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Nora Reeves' Birth Story

There are no words to properly describe how I feel about the birth of Nora Reeves.  It was the birth experience Jeremiah and I both prayed for and dreamed about. 

As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Nora, I knew I wanted to have her at the Birthing Center just as I had had Eden.  Giving birth there was altogether a better labor and birthing experience than what I’d had at a hospital.  Jeremiah and I both felt comfortable there and knew that was the route we wanted to go again.

My pregnancy with Nora flew by so quickly.  Overall we had a healthy time and no major complications.  Towards the beginning of my pregnancy I remembered I had a book called Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize.  I had won it off of a facebook page named the same.  I knew it was about having a childbirth/pregnancy experience the way God intended – pain free.  And, so I read the book and affirmed in my heart that’s what I wanted Nora’s birth to be.  I encourage all mommas a read it, no matter what kind of birth you’re wanting, it’s good!  It’s not a common type of childbirth experience, so I didn't go around shouting from the rooftops about it, but in my heart, I focused on God’s plan for me.

Since Eden was 2 weeks overdue, I had no idea what to expect from Nora.  I knew 2 things, her expected due date was April 5 – Easter Sunday, and I did NOT want her born on April 1, April Fool’s day.  Other than that, I was ok with her coming anytime.

hadn't experienced going into labor on my own with my older girls.  With Emery I was induced with Pitocin and with Eden I had my water broken at the birthing center and used a breast pump to get the contractions started, so I prayed to go into labor on my own.  I really prayed that I would have a cool experience and my water would break on its own.  Jeremiah even prayed he could have the experience of me going into labor on my own.  So thankful it happened!

The week leading up to Nora’s birth, I had experienced some early signs of labor.  I had a series of contractions (that were pain free, but not just Braxton Hicks).  My body also cleaned itself out, if you know what I mean. Ha!  I could feel Nora’s head engage and un-engage during the contractions I was experiencing.  I had a feeling she would be coming sooner than later.  When I went to my check-up the Friday before, I had dilated 3-4 cm.  So, that night Jeremiah and I went to Nashville on what we figured would be our last date night before Nora came.  Grandma and Poppa took care of the older girls and we got a night to ourselves.  That Friday and Saturday I went into extreme nesting, it’s like my body knew she was coming soon.

Sunday, March 29, we did our normal church and afternoon nap.  We had a nice family dinner and got the girls in bed.  Jeremiah and I started our routine of watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix and folding laundry after the girls went to sleep.  When it was time for us to go to bed (around midnight), I told Jeremiah, “If I go into labor tonight I have a plan of what I want to happen.” I told him the plan which included alerting our parents, showering and shaving my legs (that’s important ha!), and getting the girls where they needed to be.  Little did I know, that’s what would happen.

I woke up at 5:15 AM to hearing a little pop and water gushing out.  Thankfully, I ran to the bathroom so there wasn't a huge mess everywhere.  As I was running, I excitedly told Jeremiah that my water broke.  Great way for me to wake him up!  He handled it well, and knew exactly what to do since I told him my plan the night before.

After I showered, we called the midwife around 6:00 AM.  I told her that I thought my water broke, but I wasn't really sure because I hadn't had any contractions or gushing of water since then.  She was going off of her shift at 7:00, so she told me to put on a pad for an hour and see if it fills up with water.  In the mean time she would alert the midwife who would be coming on shift.  I was so excited to find out it would be Tina, AND that Susan would be working in the office at the birthing center that day.  I knew both of these midwives during my pregnancy with Eden and loved them both.  I was very thankful they’d be there!  So, until 7:00, I finished getting ready, got packed for the birthing center, did some laundry, did some dishes, and ate breakfast Jeremiah made.  By then my mom was there with us to watch the girls, so we visited while we waited.  Right around 7, I started having contractions.  They were about 3 ½ minutes apart, but not painful.  When I had one, I would stop what I was doing and breathe as I focused, then when it was over, I went right back to what I was doing. Somewhere around 7 or so, the midwife called and said to head over to the birthing center and she’d check to see if my water broke.

By then, both girls were up so, I got to spend some time with them as we finished up.  At 7:30 AM, I remember looking at Jeremiah and telling him, “We need to leave right now.”  I just knew it was time to go.  There was no urgency in my contractions or anything, I just knew it was time.  So we packed up and left.  On our way we called my sisters to let them know.  We assumed that by lunch time we’d have a baby. 

We got to the birthing center around 7:40 AM.  I was having some pretty intense contractions by the time we got there, still not miserable.  Our midwife, Tina, checked me immediately.  I was at 5 cm and she confirmed that my water broke.  We headed to the monitoring room to check Nora’s heart rate, my hemoglobin, blood pressure, etc.  I also had to get an antibiotic at this point because I had tested positive from Group B Strep.  All that took about 15 minutes.  I told Jeremiah to go ahead and bring our bags up because I knew we’d be staying.  When he got back up with all of our things, I told him we needed to move to our birthing room.  We got the Tuscany Suite, which is the same room I had Eden in.  It’s so relaxing and beautiful in there.

We got into the room around 8 or a little after.  At this point, I remember telling Jeremiah and Tina I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, but I wasn't sure.  She said ok, that she would check me again if I wanted and she’d start filling up the tub.  Everything felt like it was moving so fast (contractions, pressure from Nora’s head, etc.), I had a moment of panic.  My contractions were becoming very painful, and I remember looking at Jeremiah and telling him, “I don’t know what to do!” in a very panicked state. He immediately calmed me down by just firmly saying, “Kristen.” When he did that, I snapped out of panic and decided to have Tina check me again.  I got on the bed and she checked me.  I was at 8-9 cm.  Basically, right after she checked me, I knew it was time to push.  I told Tina and Jeremiah it was time and Nora was coming right then.  Thankfully, Tina had enough time to call Susan up from the office to help her because the nurse hadn't even had time to get there yet. 

I started pushing.  Nora’s head came out and Susan walked in the room just in time to help Tina with the rest.  After a few minutes of pushing, Nora was here!  She arrived at 8:25 AM.  They placed her on top of me (I was still in my clothes since I hadn't had time to change), and I got to love on her and her sweet cheeks!

Unfortunately, she came so fast, we didn't get any pictures, I didn't get to have any time in the tub, and my mom didn't get to be there.  But, thank God she was healthy and it was by far the easiest and quickest delivery I could have ever imagined having.  While it wasn't completely pain free as I had hoped, it was extremely manageable, and I realize that when I let panic and fear take over, is when I felt the most pain.  It was such a learning experience, and I’m very thankful I had Jeremiah there to ‘bring me back’ and remind me of my vision for this labor and delivery.

I had prayed for a ‘Hebrew Woman’ childbirth, and I believe I got to experience that!  Thank God!

Midwife Tina who kept her cool and got the job done!

Midwife Susan who got there just in time!
Nurse Priscilla who kept us entertained and pray-ed up!

We had such a great team around us the rest of the day.  Sweet nurses, and of course the greatest midwives!  God went above and beyond in providing us with this birth experience.  I am so so thankful!

A little bit after Nora was born, my mom got there and my sister, Amanda, got there and were able to meet her.  Also, Jeremiah's mom got to bring Emery and Eden by to meet their new sister.  Emery fell in love at first sight.  Eden wasn't sure what to think of the new baby and new surroundings.  Since then, Eden seems to really enjoy Nora and likes to 'pet' her. :)  

We're blessed to have our family of 5!  We love our girls!

Nora Reeves Miller

March 30, 2015
8:25 AM
9 lbs 1 oz
21 inches

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

TLC's Preaching Alabama: The REAL Speegle Family

Recently my husband and I were talking about the Speegle family and Preaching Alabama.  We had just left a conference where we were with all of the Speegles.  They were fresh on our hearts and minds as we knew their show would be premiering within a couple of weeks.

I was telling Jeremiah how I had been praying for them to not be discouraged if attacks came at them because of their show.  He said to me that we didn't need to be discouraged either.  It hit me.  I didn't think about myself feeling any of the attacks they may personally face, but he was right.  When you do ministry and life a long side people, even states away, they become 'your people'.  When they hurt, you hurt. When they rejoice, you rejoice.

I have to say I was nervous for the Speegle family about how they would be portrayed in Preaching Alabama.  Would it be the real Speegle family I have known for years?  Relieved, happy, and proud after watching the show last night, I would say that America got a pretty good dose of the Speegle family I know and love.  They were real.

I know they will have people say negative things about them.  I know they will have people say wonderful things about them.  In the mean time, I have to share my story of coming to know the Speegle family...years ago.  Before any cameras.  Before a big move to Alabama.

When I was in elementary school, my family went through an extremely hard time where everything we knew and were comfortable with was gone almost instantly.  My dad was on staff at a church.  He walked in one day to find out he had been fired for reasons unknown to him.  See, when your family is in ministry, you're usually at every church service and function, involved in all sorts of things.  It becomes the norm.  And, when it's taken away from you so drastically, you're kinda lost.  Church and people burned us, bad.  Our hearts were broken by the people who we thought were our friends.  The small social circle I had as an elementary school student was practically gone.  What I knew of church was gone.  Thankfully, by the grace of God, our family made it through this very difficult time victoriously.   Thankfully, we made it through knowing it wasn't God's fault, and He wasn't allowing all of this hurtful stuff happen to us to 'teach us a lesson'.  Thankfully, our family knew that sometimes people who are supposed to represent God don't really represent Him at all.  And thankfully a couple of years later, my family crossed paths with the Speegle family.

Our family came to know the Speegle family through mutual friend, Dr. Jim Richards.  For whatever reason, the Speegle family invited us to Florida one summer to vacation and get to know them better.  I remember for my parents it really was a stretch of faith to go, with money being tight and our family starting a church of our own.  But, thank God we went!  I know they must have known the rough times my family just went through, leaving one ministry and starting another. Even though we barely knew them at the time, it was obvious their goal was to minister to our family God's love, healing, and hope.  Just what we needed, at a time we desperately needed it.

Let me tell you what this family did for us....

When we arrived in Florida, they graciously let us stay at their home and fed us biscuits. :)

They had planned a whole week of fun for us, at no expense to us.  They arranged for our family to have passes to Disney World, to have passes to Universal Studios, to have a tubing/boat ride experience in Lake County, and to have a couple of night's stay at a beach house.  They had arranged all of this with their church family who just gave and gave to us with no strings attached.  The only motive was to show us God's love.

Do you know what that does to the heart of a child who had felt rejected by church people?  It's indescribable.

Not only did they do that, but Jill and Rod took time to take my sisters and I to a park and just spend time getting to know us and hang out with us.  I'm sure they had other things they could have been doing, but instead they invested time in us, letting us know they were interested in us.

Do you know what that does to the heart of a child who had felt rejected by church people?  It's a real display of God's healing love saying, "You're worth it."

And then, to our total surprise, as we attended their church service on Sunday morning, they got my parents up in front of their whole congregation as their church blessed us with a special offering.  People freely gave and gave and gave.  It was amazing.  They collected such a big offering for our family, that when we went home my parents put in an above-ground pool for us girls!

Do you know what that does to the heart of a child who had felt rejected by church people?  It gives that child hope!  It makes that child feel like the things they desire are important.

So, when anyone has something negative to say about the Speegle/Windham/Adgate family, let me ask you this.... Would you say that to this 11 year old girl who had experienced such hurt from people and then experienced the unconditional love of God from this family?

They were the hands and feet of Jesus to us.

I am so thrilled to say that the Speegle family you view on Preaching Alabama is exactly the same Speegle family I have known and loved.  You are in for such a treat by watching this show.  They are not perfect people, and they don't have a perfect church.  What you have is a group of pastors who know that, but choose to love God and people anyway.

Monday, November 11, 2013


It seems like the last few weeks I have seen people dealing with sickness and disease, and my heart has been moved with compassion for them.  If you are one of those people, I want you to know a few things.

FIRST...It is NOT GOD putting sickness or disease on you.  He's not trying to "build your faith", "teach you a lesson" or "make a testimony for you."  And when I hear any of those things about my heavenly father, my heart breaks and I want to puke.  How could someone trust their father if they think he's hurting them?  Matthew 7:10-12 talks about how even evil earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their children and HOW MUCH MORE our heavenly Father gives good gifts.  I looked up that word "good"...there's not some hidden agenda behind it, or some warped meaning.  In the Greek language, it means....GOOD!, of good constitution or nature, useful, salutary, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy, excellent, distinguished, upright, honorable.  Sickness and disease don't fit into that anywhere.

SECOND...It IS God's will for you to be healed!  In John 8:28 we're told that Jesus was the exact representation of God on earth.  And in Acts 10:38 we're told that Jesus healed ALL that were oppressed of the devil!  So, God wants ALL healed!  Why isn't everyone walking in healing?  That's a question I don't have an answer to.  I think some of it has to do with people's emotions, lifestyle habits, and to be honest, sometimes people just want to be sick.  BUT, just because I don't have the answer, that doesn't mean I'm going to blame God for it!

THIRD...When James and John came across a town of people who wouldn't accept Jesus in Luke 9, they asked Jesus if they could call fire down from heaven on them.  Do you know what Jesus said?  He said NO!  He rebuked James and John and told them that they didn't know what manner of spirit they were of.  AND, Jesus told them that HE DID NOT COME TO DESTROY MEN'S LIVES BUT TO SAVE THEM!  I looked up what that word SAVE means, and it's so good, y'all!  It is the greek word "sozo" and it means: to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction one (from injury or peril), to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue!  Jesus came to HEAL AND MAKE WHOLE!  He's not even putting sickness or disease on people who won't accept him!

Listen folks, this is the GOSPEL, the GOOD NEWS!  God loves you!  He wants you healed!  He wants you whole!  If you're not walking in complete healing or wholeness, trust that God wants you to.  Trust that Jesus paid the price for it.  Trust that He is not the one putting sickness and disease in your life.  Would you inject your own child with Aids, cancer, mental illness, infertility, etc.?  NO WAY!  Well, HE is not doing that to you! Ask yourself if you're holding on to bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle that's keeping you from the health Jesus paid for.  Ask yourself if you're walking the path of healing He has for you.  He's already paid for it.  It's ours to walk in!  Ask God to put men and women in your path that will help you walk in healing and wholeness.  And, don't listen to any religious garbage that tells you God is making or keeping you sick for His "glory" or "If it's His will to heal, He will."  His glory doesn't need us to do anything to maintain itself.  He's as righteous as righteous gets.  And, it IS His will that you're healed!  He just wants us to know He loves us.

And please, oh please, if you are one of those people saying that garbage to people who are dealing with sickness and disease, stop.  You could be hurting them.  God wants them well.  God wants YOU well.  Rest in that.

I'm believing God that if you're reading this, you'll have a tangible experience with God's healing.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday to My Emery Rose

To know her is to love her.  That's my Emery Rose.  

When she was a tiny being in my womb, and I found out she was a girl, I knew what I wanted to name her.  I believe parents have so much power in naming their children.  I knew Emery was something special when she was just in my womb.  I knew she was destined for greatness!  The name Emery came from a loved friend whose name is Emery.  I thought it was an awesome name.  And when I found out what it meant, I knew it was for my little girl whom I hadn't met yet, but just knew.  A momma knows.

Emery means: Industrious Leader, Brave, Powerful. Have you met my child?  If you have, you know this is her.

Her middle name is Rose, after my sister, Amanda Rose, and my Mimi, Rosemary.  I knew with such a powerful first name, we needed a balance with Rose: flower, delicate.  For those who really know my girl, they know she is preciously delicate.  A rose also has a tough side, and Emery Rose sure does.  She can handle herself.  She always gets back up after falling, and I know that's a trait she'll always have.  I have to remind myself sometimes that she's still so little...she's so mature for her age!

She turns three years old today, and what an amazing three years it's been!

I know Emery Rose was given to me to be my teacher, after all, she is the little girl who made me a mother.  Every single day Emery teaches me so much about myself and life.  She knows how to push my buttons best, but she also knows how to melt me in an instant.  She is full of life and love.  She is a daddy's girl, but has a unique and special relationship with me.  She may look exactly like her daddy, but she acts so much like her momma.

Emery is the best big sister I ever could have imagined.  The moment she met Eden, she beamed with pride.  If her sister cries she'll say to me, "Momma, help her!"  She protects and loves Eden with her whole heart!  Shortly after Eden was born and we were visiting my parents house, I left Eden sitting in her car seat on a chair and walked towards the door, Emery said, "Momma! Don't forget her! Don't leave her!"  If Eden is not in the same room as us, she asks me where Eden is.  She loves to kiss and hug her.  I love having a glimpse into their special relationship.

Emery loves her daddy with her whole heart.  She says he is her boyfriend, and he is.  They go on dates.  He takes her for rides in his truck so they can have daddy-daughter time.  They turn up the music and dance as they ride along.  She hunts for her daddy in the house first thing in the morning hoping he hasn't left to workout yet. And when he opens the garage door when he pulls in from work, she beams!  If her daddy asks her what she is, her response is "Beautiful!" and she is.

A few months back we took a family date night to Burger King so Emery could play on the play set.  There were a few kids there, and after Emery ate her dinner, she was able to play.  The kids were pretty rowdy and rough, and I wondered if Emery would join in on that or if she would do her own thing.  I should have known.  She did not give in to being rowdy.  She did her own thing and played and had fun.  She is strong in what she believes and what she knows to be right and wrong.  In fact, she is already a backseat driver. :)  And, she'll gladly tell me or her daddy when we aren't driving 'right.'

She has a natural gift for music.  She can pick out the beat to any song and she can learn lyrics quicker than I can.  She loves to worship her God by singing, playing music and instruments, and by raising her little hands and dancing.  I don't tell her to, she just does it.  She also likes to 'be on the worship team' and she likes to tell me how to lead worship. :)

Emery Rose is such a leader, we have to help her to not lead people who don't want to be led! Ha!  She loves telling her little friends and cousins what to do and how to do it.  :)  It will be interesting to see what she decides to do when she grows up!

She is one of the smartest kids I know, and I'm not being bias.  We have people tell us all of the time how smart she is and how well she communicates.  She said her first word at 4 months, no joke.  It was "kiss."  And she hasn't stopped talking since! :)  She's a quick learner.  She's sharp.  You can't get anything past her.  She is aware of everything that goes on around her.  She picks up on people's moods and body language.  She is sensitive to how people feel and wants people to be happy.

She does everything she possibly can to get out of bedtime...she'll have to go potty; she'll want to sing a song; she'll want to read books, play with toys, talk, etc. etc.  She knows life is happening around her and she does not want to miss out.

She is extremely loyal to those she loves.  And when she loves people, she really loves them.  Her little heart is so tender.  She already tells me Jesus lives in her heart.  I believe he does.  She has wisdom and understanding beyond her 3 years.  She's a force to be reckoned with.  She is iron that sharpens my iron.  Sometimes I wonder why I was picked to be this amazing little girl's momma ...how can I ever live up to be the momma she needs?  She's such a grand and great little person.  I'm thankful God blessed me with her and trusts me to be in her life.

Emery Rose, I love you.  You are kind.  You are smart.  You are important.  Thank you for being MY little girl.  Happy 3rd Birthday!  I'm so proud of you. Love, Momma

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Biggest Frenemy

Just so you know, I use the term "frenemy" loosely here.  I'm not cool.  I don't keep up with what's "hip" these days.  In fact, my daughter (who is turning 3 on November 5) tells me she has swagger, and I don't really know what that means, but I'm sure she has it.  I know there is a song about a fox that's popular right now, but I've never heard it.  And, when I found out what the Harlem Shake was, I had to look it up, and realized...that's how I actually dance. Seriously. Ha!

But anyways, that's beside the point...back to "frenemy".  For those of you who are not cool like me and don't know all of the cool terms, frenemy means: An enemy disguised as a friend.  I looked up the definition in the Urban dictionary, just so you know it's legit.

As a working mom/wife, my biggest frenemy would have to be DINNER TIME!  This picture described my life perfectly...

Y'all, I can't even tell you how much I hated cooking supper.  I had zero motivation.  My mind could not wrap around the fact that my child and husband wanted to eat Every. Single. Night.  You'd think someone who grew up in a home with such an amazing mom who had a home-cooked meal on the table every single night (even when she worked full time outside of the home) would grasp that fact, but I couldn't.

That 5 o'clock hour would creep up on me.  I could feel myself becoming aggravated and frustrated that again, I hadn't planned for it.  I didn't have the groceries I needed to make something, and my husband would come home with a rumbling tummy and to me giving him blank stares.  Let me say this...my husband doesn't expect me to do it all.  He chips in with everything around the house.  He's not one of those, "Fix me a sandwich, woman." kind of guys.  Could you imagine...me with a guy like that?! HAHAHA! That just wouldn't work.  On those nights when my husband would come home from work to an empty table, HE would cook supper, happily.  He has Iron Chef/Chopped skills where he can make amazing meals out of nothing.  I don't.  I need a plan.  I need a recipe.  I function better that way.

So one day it dawned on me...this realization that I hated cooking dinner.  I had all of the symptoms of it, but never really the revelation of it.  Now, I'm a great cook (if I do say so myself), and I love cooking.  I just hated the pressure of dinner time.  I told Jeremiah that day that I hated cooking dinner.  He said, "Kristen, honey, I already knew that."  And, then we came up with a plan.  He would cook dinner and I would clean the house.  I was so excited to be relieved of that pressure.  Freedom!

God taught me so much through this.  As I began to experience the freedom from cooking dinner, I WANTED TO COOK DINNER!  No joke, y'all.  I cooked dinner more after that "confession" and time of pressure being relieved than I had in the last year.  It was like a switch was flipped in my heart.  Isn't that how God works?  He removes pressure from our lives, and gives us the freedom to transform?

So now, believe it or not (believe it!), I cook dinner pretty much all of the time, unless Jeremiah just wants to.  I make a weekly meal plan, grocery list, find new recipes and try them out, and cook delicious meals for my family.

God has shown me the value and love I can express to my family through dinner time.  Emery tells me every night, "Momma, thank you for cooking me dinner!" without being prompted.  Her little heart KNOWS it's an expression of love for her from me.  And, for that, she's thankful.  My husband LOVES coming home to a house that smells of a home-cooked meal and I LOVE doing that for him.  I found that when the pressure and expectation I had placed on myself to be a pinterest-pinning-and-cooking-momma was released, I could be what I wanted to be.

The Lord is teaching me every single day how to live this life with happiness.  To some people this little dinner time revelation wouldn't mean anything, to me it's been a huge blessing.  I often say, if what I'm learning in my personal study time, church time, Bible study, etc. with the Lord doesn't help me pay the bills, raise my children, love my husband, love people, and have dinner on the table, I don't have time for it.  God is doing just that...he's so graciously teaching me how to live life and love my family the way He intended...without pressure.  I'm blessed.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eden Lee's Birth Story

What a sweet surprise to find out I was pregnant with Eden!  I found out in October of 2012 and was really excited we'd be having a summer baby (rare occurrence in our family!)  Time passed when in January 2013 we found out we were having another girl!  I've always known Jeremiah makes the perfect daddy to girls...it just fits.  In February after prayer and research I decided to switch from my regular OBGYN to a midwife and have a natural birth at our local birthing center.  It was a tough decision for us to make as a family because of some of the things we went through with Emery's labor and delivery, but I had a strong peace about it and desire for it.

Emery's birth was a tough one.  She had shoulder dystocia and a broken collar bone.  As new parents, we were devastated and never wanted any of our children to go through anything like that again.  I felt like being able to labor the way I wanted, labor in the water, move, get up from the bed when I wanted, etc., would be the key to preventing that from happening with Eden's birth and I knew I could easily do that at the birthing center.

As my pregnancy with Eden progressed, the midwives kept a close eye on her weight gain to make sure she wouldn't be 'too big' for me to deliver.  When I was 38 weeks they did an ultra sound and found out she was tiny (6lbs 5oz) and decided to do ultrasounds every week until I delivered to make sure she wasn't too tiny.  She continued to grow at her own pace.  My due date (June 23) came and went.  I was so ready to have her!  I thought she would come early, but she had her own plans.

On July 1, a Monday, when I was 41 weeks 1 day pregnant, the midwife told me I had until Wednesday to have her at the birthing center.  It's their policy to only have patients 41 weeks 3-4 days for safety reasons.  I was stressed!  I desperately wanted to avoid hospital birth.  I had some friends and family pray for very specific things regarding labor and delivery of Eden that week...one being that I would have supernatural favor with the doctor and midwife that they'd give me extra time if needed.  We went in the next day for natural induction methods (nipple stimulation) and it didn't work.  Again, I was super bummed because that meant Eden only had 1 more day to come on 'my terms' :) .  We went in again on Wednesday, July 3, to try the natural induction method again and when we went in we had another ultra sound and non stress test.  Everything was still perfect in the womb and with Eden's growth, so the midwife came in and told me they would give me until Saturday when I would be 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant to have her at the birthing center!  I was SO relieved.  God answered the prayer of so many.  I knew she had to come by then, my stress level dropped tremendously, and I relaxed.  She said we could come in on Friday, July 5, and have my bag of waters broken and start the natural induction method again.  I would have 12 hours to get into active labor and could stay at the birthing center to have Eden without a transfer to the hospital.  That plan sounded the best to me and Jeremiah.

We had a restful 4th of July at my parent's house and spending time with Emery.  She spent the night with her grandma and poppa so we could get to the birthing center the next morning and relax.

Friday morning, July 5, Jeremiah and I went to the birthing center, had another ultra sound and non stress test where everything looked perfect still.  We went up to our birthing suite, The Tuscany Suite, and got settled.  My midwife was Annie.  Around 10:30 am she checked me (3-4 cm), broke my bag of waters, and we started the natural induction method again.  Things were progressing slowly.  Contractions were coming, but not very strong or regular.  My mom, sisters, and friend Natalie all arrived around noon to be my support alongside Jeremiah.  While we continued timing contractions, bouncing on the birthing ball, walking, squatting, etc, they all kept me laughing and entertained chatting and listening to worship music.  We were all praying active labor would kick in soon.  I loved having the freedom to eat and move around how I wanted to.  Such a different experience from a hospital birth!  After a couple of rounds of the natural induction, I noticed every time I would go to the bathroom, my contractions would get stronger and I was feeling a lot of pressure.  So, after sitting on the toilet for awhile, the contractions kept coming and coming.  I was in active labor!  The position must have been perfect for Eden to come down.  After getting checked again I was at 6 cm and remained there for awhile.  I got in the birthing tub around 8 pm because I was now in active labor from the contractions I had while on the toilet. :)  It was relaxing and the water helped ease the contractions.  We were all listening to the Civil Wars, chatting in between contractions, and watching the fireworks outside the window.  At this point, it was my dream labor come true.  It was easy, relaxing, and just how I wanted it.

After some time, I decided to get checked again because my contractions slowed in timing and intensity after being in the tub.  So, I got out and was checked and hadn't progressed at all.  At this point I was pretty discouraged.  In the back of my mind I was worried I wouldn't progress quickly enough and have to be sent to the hospital.  I think Annie must have known I was holding onto a fear because she had Jeremiah and I stay in the birthing room alone and talk about it and try to 'let go' of that fear.  After that, and some amazing hip motion exercises she helped me do, the contractions came back very strong, very consistent.  She had Jeremiah and I rest in the bed...which was what I really felt like I needed.  The contractions from that point on are what I consider transition contractions -- the contractions that build up to pushing.  During the contractions I could feel Eden moving down (finally!).  In between contractions I would rest in the bed and when they came, I would wake Jeremiah up (poor fella was exhausted) so he could help me through them.  At one point I remember yelling, "HELP, HELP, HELP!" and Jeremiah jumping out of the bed to get Annie.  When she came back in I told her I wanted to get back in the tub...I needed some relief and I felt like it was getting close.  As they filled the tub, I sat on the toilet again and let the contractions do their thing.  Annie and Jeremiah helped and encouraged me.  Then, it was time to get in the tub.  When I got in the tub it felt so good!  Just what I needed to relax.  The contractions were super intense at this point and it was impossible to get comfortable, but the water helped.  I don't think I was in the tub for 5 to 10 minutes before I felt like it was time to push.  I remember looking at Annie right as I felt a contraction coming on and saying, "Help me."  And she did, bless her heart! ha :)

The first urge to push I was hesitant on and didn't do it.  I didn't have myself in a good position to feel supported and push.  But, by the second time it was time to push, I just let my body do it's thing.  No one coached me on when to push, I just did it when I needed to.  I felt everything including the ring of fire!  I was extremely...vocal...during pushing lol!  I felt like Xena Warrior Princess!  It's a good thing I was the only momma in the birthing center that night.  I remember screaming to Annie, "Get her out of me!!!" a couple of times. Haha!  Once her head was out everyone told me to feel it, but I couldn't...I was so concentrated on pushing I couldn't think of anything else at that point. I remember at one point Annie telling me not to push for whatever reason, but it was nearly impossible not to.  Within a couple of minutes (at 12:46 am) Eden was completely out and Annie laid her on top of me.  She was completely covered in vernix and I was completely shocked I had just given birth to her.  Jeremiah and I were in love immediately!  It was such a cool moment.

We had decided to do delayed cord clamping, so it was kind of tricky getting from the tub to the bed with the cord still intact.  But, we did it!  And, once her cord stopped pulsing, Jeremiah got to cut it. :)  Once I got in bed I started having more contractions...it totally freaked me out!  I thought I was done! Haha!  After some time the placenta came out and I finally felt relaxed.  Eden latched right on to nurse and we had skin to skin while Annie and our nurse were taking care of everything else.  It was such a precious moment.

We left that morning around 10:00 am to go home.  I loved being able to go to my own house and be in my own bed!  I was really looking forward to having both of my girls together.  Jeremiah's parents brought Emery later that afternoon to meet her little sister.  Emery was in love!  It was the sweetest moment to see them meet.  Pride beamed from Emery!  She's such a protective, sweet, and loving big sister.

Big Sister & Little Sister

I feel overwhelming gratitude for Annie.  It's hard to explain.  I can never thank her enough!  She worked so extremely hard to help me have my dream birth experience.  She bent over backwards to accommodate.  She was nurturing and comforting. She prayed with us, gently guided us, and made Eden's birth amazing.

Eden with our midwife, Annie

Jeremiah was such a rock for me.  He is such a good partner in this life.  I'm thankful he was with me every step of the way.

My momma and sisters (including Natalie) :)  made me feel comforted.  They knew when to pray, laugh, be funny, be quiet, and be supportive.  I'm thankful they all go to be apart of Eden's birth.

Aunt Natatlie, Aunt Rachel, and Dea (Aunt Amanda was taking the picture)

I would do it all over again if I could.  I'm so thankful to have both of my girls in my life!  God is so good!

Eden Lee Miller
July 6, 2013
12:46 am
8 lbs 1 oz
21.5 inches
Coming out of the water

I love Jeremiah's face!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex GIVEAWAY!

That's right, I'm giving away another copy of Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex!  You have until tonight to win!

Just follow the directions on the Rafflecopter Widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Open to USA residents only)