Sh-tuff I've Made.

I go through spurts(hahaha) where I will blog regularly, then stop. Then blog again, then stop. Such is the cycle. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my keyboard looks like this:

And using the spacebar requires a jackhammer and a bulldozer (what?). Nevermind.

As a stay-at-home mom, who isn't so much good at the stay-at-home part, I set out on a journey. A journey of sanity, if you will. See, the cliffs of insanity! (name that movie) Because, whether you like it or not, being at home a lot, when you'r a SAHM is nearly unavoidable. But I digress.

Anyhoo, this Sanity Journey began, where all journey's should. Google . And I happened upon a few websites (not THOSE sites, perverts), websites of mom's, just like me. Ok, not like me, but needing something besides diapers, and snot to stimulate their minds. Sewing, crapting (spelling fail, intentional), wood building dealio's, and just like that, a DIY'er was born.

I've done quite a few projects, sewing and what not, or what not (name that movie). And, I feels like I wanna show you, show you the crap I've made. Not cuz I think I'm all that awesome, but because....why the hey-diddle not?

Drrrrrruuuuuuummmmmm Roll Please!

Presenting, the artistic capabilities (or lack thereof) of Miss Brianna Walters (yes Miss, because calling me Misses. makes me feel 1,000 years old, and Mrs. Walters is my mother-in-law) Mkay Pumpkin? (name that movie)

First up a Bug and a Tator Tot (heh heh heh):

My Greatest Creation....Ever (TMI)

Second, a plaque sign, thingie: (Mrs.Jones if you're reading this (she isn't), I think of you every time I say "thingie" or "doomaflidgey").
(Made with 100 year-old barn wood from the region of Bates City)

A faux-Pottery Barn mirror -
Inspiration $700.00

My creation $50.....winning

An ancient mosaic -

(FYI, my walls are not pea green as is depicted in this pic)

A rockin' baby doll bed and bedding, for my super-fly niece:

Learning towers:

A hideoderous outdoor bench:

Moby-Style Wraps (please note, I did NOT make the babies in this pic):

All sorts of baby leg warmers:

AND a bikini onesie:

There are more sewing projects, but I won't bore you any longer. In fact, if you are still reading I thank-you.

So, in case you cared(which I'm sure you didn't), you now know about all the stuff I've made, because I'm to cheap to go and buy it.

Until next time. Peace up, A-Town.

The Pain of Being Mom.

First, I would like to apologize, a while back I wrote a post on circumcision, and I approached it in the wrong manner. It is a subject that I am passionate about, and I do not apologize for that. I apologize for any hurt, or anger I may have caused.

So, the pain of being Mom
When you are pregnant, you hear birth horror stories, you are never going to sleep again stories, your body will never be the same stories, and the list goes on and on. But, no 
one ever warns you about Mommy Wars.

Unfortunately, some of the meanest people you will ever encounter are other mothers. It starts out with a mom, searching for help, advice, friendship, direction, whatever. They find an online group, Facebook, Twitter, MommyHelp, there are thousands. They ask a simple question, "I am struggling with my baby latching correctly when they nurse. Any advice?'

And it is like a firing squad is unleashed. "Breastfeeding is gross." "You're baby won't be smart if you breastfeed." "Just switch to formula, your body is inferior." "You obviously don't love your baby." 

Or the reverse, "The formula I am using (insert brand) is causing my baby to have gas. Anyone have this problem? Is there a better formula?" "OMG, you formula feed? You obviously don't love your baby." "Your baby is going to be fat." "Any one who knows anything, doesn't formula feed." 

If you vaccinate(your baby is going to die), don't vax,(your baby is going to die) selective vax(your baby is going to die), circumcise(your son's penis is mutilated), don't circumcise(your son's penis will fall off), work outside of the home(why have kids if you don't want to raise them), you're a SAHM(must be nice not to have to work), homebirth(your baby will die), c-section(your baby will die),  co-sleep(you are lazy), CIO(you are lazy), breastfeed(your body is inferior), formula feed(formula is gross), homeschool(your kid will be socially retarded), public school(your kid will get beat up in the lunch line), private school(snobby, know-it-all kids), yes preschool(just teach them at home), no preschool(your kids will be so far behind), spanking(abuse!), time-out(neglect), no discipline(weak parents); if you do or don't do any of these things, some mom, some where thinks you are a loser. 
Why can't we just all get a long? Why can't we accept the fact that, everyone does things differently, but that  doesn't make them evil, or unloving. Why can't we look at someone who does things differently, and say, "She does it differently, and she LOVES her kids"? Why can't we do that. 
Instead, we backstab, attack, and rip apart those who aren't doing exactly what we see as best. 

I have learned that, there is no one right way. We are all right. We all do what works for us. We have our reasons behind each decision we make. We love our families, and want what is best for them. 

So, the next time you see a mother doing something you don't do. Like feeding her kids McDonald's french fries.
The Horror! 

 Instead of giving her the stink eye, 

or telling her how terrible you think she is, just smile and say, she loves her kids and she's a great mom. 

Moves Like Jagger.

This past weekend, my cuz Daniel Cody Heavy Loady, got married. My folka-dillies did ALL of the food, and the fan-flippin-tastic cake. Eet ees beautiful, no? Those flowers.....are made from gum paste. Handmade, edible(taste like garbage) flowers?! A thing of genius. Genius I tell you!

N-e-wayz. So, in addition to this yummy cake, they catered the meal for the reception. Bar-be-que brisket, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans. How many vegans does it take to cut the fat, cartiledge and veiny thingys off a brisket? *Gag* The answer is, 3.

My parents are just amazing. AH-MAZING! I'm a little biased.

The wedding, was beautiful. Daniel Cody Heavy Loady, and his bride Gina are just the cutest couple. Their reception featured food, cake, dancing, and adult beverage. Ahem.

So, to get the dancing festivities off to a start, there was a Bride/Groom dance, Father/Daughter dance, and then they opened up the floor. I was sitting with my kiddos and hubs when the music started pumping. People filled the dance floor, showing off their sad dancing skillz. Wes jumped up, grabs my hand and says, "Mommy, will you dance with me?" I choked back a few tears and smiled. "You bet your bippy I will!" Emma joined, and we danced the night away.

For those of you who are thinking, "Sacreligious! Dancing, is evil." I can assure you, that the intentions of my 3 year old and 1 year old, were purely innocent. We were just having a good ole time.

As far as dancing the night away, when you're 3 and 1, 8:30pm is a late night. Top night! Top night!

Congrats to you Daniel and Gina.

Flop the Parkway

This past weekend I ran the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon. That's 13.1miles of pure atrocity. Pain. Exhaustion. Fatigue. More pain. I had never actually ran 13 miles...ever. But the weekend prior I ran 11, figuring if I could do 11, then the adrenaline pump of the race would push me the last 2.1. Not so. The adrenaline stopped at about mile, 2. People think that running is physical, saying things like, "Oh I could never do that, I am too out of shape!" But what they fail to realize, is that running is 90% mental and only 10% physical. No. Lie. I fought my head the whole darn tootin' (literally) time. Every now and then I would see a spectator holding a sign that would make me laugh, and it would change the focus of my thoughts, which helped. Here are what some of the signs said:

"Your feet hurt from kicking so much asphalt!"
"Worst parade ever!"
"I thought they said 1.31 miles."
"You've got stamina! Call me! (insert phone number)"
"13.1 only half crazy." -This one actually irritated me, cuz I felt 100% nuts doing it.
"If Romney can run, so can you!" (I have no presidential candidate preference, but it just caught me as funny, you laugh at just about anything when you're delirious)
"Don't POOP!....Out"

That last one about pooping.....let's talk about that. Pooping, that is. People who have never ran, have never experienced the all to common phenomenon of the "runner's trot". What?! Laying cable. Dropping the kids off at the pool. Making a Gomer Pyle. The list goes on. So runner's trot happens when you drink and don't have anything in your tummy tum to absorb the liquid. Thus causing, nearly projectile BM. Jogging along, jogging along...STOP! Clench cheeks. Try not to look like you're clenching. Profusely sweat. Start scoping out bushes, trees, tall grass cuz you might(will) not make it to the next "lay station". Taking inventory on what you can use as TP. Considering asking the hunky cop at the intersection to give you a ride to the nearest toilet. Then, as quickly as it hits you, it passes. You walk a few steps to make sure it is gone, and you start jogging along, jogging along.....STOP AGAIN! It's worse this get the picture. The battle rages until you finally get to the porta-potty and you can...yeah. This happened to me at mile 8. Awful. Awful. Awful. This was after I had seriously considered sitting down in the middle of the road and quitting. Imagine a small child throwing a temper tantrum. That was almost me.
Pinned Image

Then, the last hill. I can't feel my legs at this point, and Kesha is about to drive me crazy. So I take my ear buds out. The sounds of feet hitting the pavement, the deep breathing of the people around me, the cheers on the sidelines. How a race horse must feel at the Kentucky Derby. People keep saying you're almost there. I can see the finish line. It seems like it's not getting any closer, even though I have begun to run faster. Finally...finally I cross. *crowd goes wild* My amazing Mom not far behind. *the crowd goes wilder*

At first I was thinking, "I am NOT doing that again!" But, the further I get from race day, the more appealing it sounds. Why? Because I like to see how far I can push myself. Will I run a marathon? No, I'm only half crazy.

Emma's Testimony

            On the morning of Saturday July 3rd, 2010 we were preparing to take a family trip to the KC Zoo.  Just before leaving I sat down to feed Emma, when I put her up close to me I noticed that she felt warm, so after feeding her I took her temperature, which was 103 degrees.  I called my midwife Carolyn, the one who delivered her, and asked her what I should do.  She thought that if it was just a fever, no other symptoms, that I should just watch her and see how she did.  When I told her that Emma seemed to be breathing quickly she told me to count her respirations, in and out would be 1, and that she should only have 45-60 respirations in a minute.  Scott timed me, and I counted her at 91.  Carolyn immediately suggested that we take her into Children’s Mercy and have her looked at for a respiratory infection.  We decided to call some elder’s in our church to have her administered to.  Charlie Booth and Eric English came quickly.  I prayed from the moment that we took her temperature that God would step in and heal her. I called him on the carpet, praying “Lord you said that you would be our physician, and I’m asking you now to heal her.” My heart cried out, yearning for Him to hear my prayer and answer it immediately.  Once Charlie and Eric arrived, I just knew that as they laid their hands on her head she would be healed.  That I would feel her body cool, that she would start breathing slower.  All throughout their prayers I expected an immediate healing from this infirmity.  However, once they were finished and had left, she was in just as bad a state as before the administration.  We decided to wait another hour, and if she hadn’t improved at all we would go to the hospital.  That was the longest hour of my life, while I continued to pray for her healing.  I begged, and pleaded with the Lord to take away her fever, to slow her breathing.  But each minute she seemed to only get worse.  She wasn’t waking up, and she was limp and pretty lethargic.  At 2:00pm we called my parents, who were already on their way, to see if they would take Weston with them while we went to the hospital. 
            Once they arrived we left quickly for Children’s Mercy, packing a small overnight bag for Weston just in case we ended up there overnight.  Both Scott and I were hoping, that they would tell us that it was nothing major to just come home and rest.  On our way Scott called and got a prayer chain e-mail sent out, and Marceia got the phone prayer chain activated.  We arrived at the ER at 3:30pm and were immediately seen by a triage nurse.  She took Emma’s vitals, her temp was still 103, and her heart rate was over 220 beats per minute.  Within minutes an ER nurse came to get us and took us to a room where they would start an IV and do blood work.  Emma’s little body was hot, and she was almost panting.  When she would open her eyes they were glassy and she looked out of it.  The nurses came in and started asking us questions, about her birth, how was she born, where was she born, what tests had I had during pregnancy, what tests/shots had she had since birth, had anyone been sick that was around her.  They tried 3 times to get an IV started, twice in one arm, once in the other, finally succeeding in her scalp.  She was dehydrated pretty severely, and every time they would get a vein it would collapse.  They got all the blood they needed and started her on a bag of fluids.  A resident pediatrician came in and started talking to us about all the tests that they would run, mentioning an LP or Lumbar Puncture.  Which is drawing fluid out of the lower part of the spinal cord.  We had decided before arriving at the hospital, that we in no way wanted this test to be performed.  I had read up on it, and this test seemed to be extremely invasive, very aggressive and excruciating.  After about 2 hours of asking questions, trying to figure out how to get around the test, we finally decided against it.  They told us that if we didn’t have it done it would be a minimum of a 21 day stay, because they had no way of knowing if it was bacterial meningitis or not, which was their main worry.  So we decided that we would stay there until she got better, and then sign out AMA, against medical advice.  We were convinced there was no possible way she could ever have any strain of meningitis. 
            After making the decision to forego the LP, they left us alone while our room was prepared.  I asked if I could nurse Emma, as it had been almost 4 hours, and they agreed that it was fine.  After she ate, she was lying on my chest and I noticed a wet feeling. I looked down and her IV had come out and she was bleeding all over me.  We called in the nurses again, who cleaned her up, and then went about trying to get another IV started.  They were successful on their first try in her left foot. They taped on a hard boot, and taped the IV to her foot so that it wouldn’t pull out again.  A few minutes later, a nurse came in to start her first round of antibiotics, one was a viral antibiotic, one a bacterial antibiotic, and another for a severe and deadly strain of Herpes.  They would administer these antibiotics every 6 hours for 48 hours, and since we decided against the LP they were probably going to go continue them for the entire 21 day stay, since they weren’t able to tell what was wrong with her.  Since she didn’t have any other symptoms to go with the fever, they assumed meningitis. Before taking us to our  room, an x-ray technician came in to take an x-ray of Emma’s chest to make sure her chest cavity wasn’t swollen, which might indicate swelling of the heart caused from her high temperature and rapid heart rate. After just a  few minutes they determined that she was ok, and left us once again.
            Once we were settled in our room, the Senior Pediatrician came in to talk to us once again about the LP.  We still were very adamant that we weren’t going to have it done. but she further explained that we could try to sign out AMA after Emma was better, but that they would get a court order and keep her there anyway.  She also explained that if we refused to have it done they would have to put in a pic line IV which increased her risk of infection, and the antibiotic for the Herpes was extremely hard on the liver, and if they didn’t have to give it to her they wouldn’t.  But if we didn’t have the LP, they would continue that antibiotic for the full 21 days. Seeing no way around it we finally consented to the procedure. I had two stipulations 1 I wanted to be in the room, and 2 I wanted to be able to touch some part of her.  They agreed but made sure that I understood that she would cry and that most parents didn’t want to be there. While they prepped the room we called our families to let them know so they could pray that they would be successful.  Because she was dehydrated they couldn’t promise that they would be able to get enough fluid, they needed 4  milliliters of spinal fluid. At 9:30pm they came to get us.  They took us back to the sterile room they had set up, there were two nurses there just to watch, the senior resident and another nurse who had to hold Emma in the C-Hold.  I laid her down and they began swabbing her back with Beta dine, the room was cold and unfriendly, she cried when they swabbed her. After a few minutes the nurse grabbed her shoulders and bottom and scrunched her forward into a tight C position, to maximize the space between the vertebrae.  Emma was crying loudly at this point, and tears were streaming down my face as I rubbed her head and she clutched my finger with her tiny bruised hand.  They inserted the needle just below the spinal column in the Lumbar space, Emma’s cry became more piercing.  After fishing around for a few minutes and being unsuccessful with drawing any spinal fluid they moved to another spot.  They withdrew the needle and reinserted it lower, Emma continuing to cry. This time they got blood, she went ahead and got 2 milliliters, they needed four, of just solid spinal fluid and the stuff they were taking was mostly blood.  She said they would try to run the cultures on what they had, but chances were they would have to try again after Emma had more fluids and wasn’t so dehydrated. I picked her up and cradled her close to me, her cries almost immediately stopped and in exhaustion she fell asleep. 
            We went back to our room and prepared for the long sleepless night ahead of us.  Every hour or so they would come in and take her temperature.  While in the ER they gave her some Tylenol, but it hadn’t worked at dropping the fever at all.  At about midnight they started the second round of antibiotics, and gave her more Tylenol, her temperature had spiked to 104.  They placed cold rags all over her naked body.  But she was too tired to even care at this point.  The temp started going down, but never getting below 101.  A few hours later they checked her again, and the temp had again gone back to 104.  They gave her a heavy dose of saline water, which was to help with dehydration and get her temperature down.  They did this several times through the night.  She had to lay in only a diaper on a pillow on my lap, so that my body heat wasn’t warming her at all.  On Sunday morning I met the pediatrician, she was going over with us the different things they thought could be wrong with her, bacterial meningitis, herpes (which can be passed even if there isn’t an open lesion anywhere on the body, and it doesn’t have to be genital) enterovirus (which goes around this time of year and is harmless to older children and adults).  Her worry was bacterial meningitis and herpes, which can lead to death or severe brain damage.  With herpes they had no way to kill or get rid of the virus entirely, they could only weaken it and hope that Emma’s body was strong enough to fight it off.  With bacterial meningitis, even though they were already treating her with antibiotics for it, it could still cause brain damage.  I asked her after talking with her for quite a while “Is she going to be ok?”, and she looked at me and said “I don’t know.”  I just wanted someone to tell me that my daughter wasn’t going to die, that she would live and be ok.  But at that point they didn’t know, her temperature wasn’t staying down, she was still very dehydrated, her heart rate was still in the 200’s, and she was very lethargic only waking up and crying when she was messed with.  As this was happening there were prayer services at three different branches, Oak Grove, Atherton, and Bates City, where many prayers were offered up  on  behalf of our sweet little daughter, people who had never before met our family  were offering up heartfelt prayers on our behalf.  I had been praying from the time we took her temp to that moment that God would heal her.  That his healing angels would come down and heal her instantly.  I was so angry with God.  We prayed before the spinal tap that they would get what they needed on the first poke.  But after two pokes all they managed to get was some bloody spinal fluid and they would likely have to draw again.  I couldn’t see His hand anywhere in the situation, and we had been praying diligently all night for a blessing. After talking with our pediatrician my prayers changed.  I was sick and felt like I was dying inside.  Scared of what was going to happen to our precious daughter I came to Him again in prayer.  “Please God, let your will be done and help me to accept whatever that is.  Please don’t let her suffer anymore.  Help me put aside my desires for her, I lay her in Your hands.”  I prayed this over and over for the next several hours.  Our pediatrician came back to tell us they got spinal cultures back, it wasn’t growing herpes or bacterial meningitis but the enterovirus, which was harmless to her.  They couldn’t promise that nothing else would grow but they were “cautiously optimistic” that she was ok. They would continue trying to grow them for at least 48 hours and then would know for certain what was wrong with her.  The nurses came in and gave Emma some Motrin, to hopefully help with the fever.  In less than an hour after I prayed her fever started dropping.  103, 102, 101, 100.  It hadn’t been 100 since we arrived at the hospital.  It finally reached 99, and stayed there all day, her heart rate dropped, and she wasn’t breathing so quickly, she looked peaceful for the first time.  Her color improved.  From the moment I prayed that God’s will would be done, she turned a corner and continued improving.  They were going to continue the viral and bacterial antibiotics for another 24 hours, but stopped the antibiotic that was for the Herpes virus. That afternoon they were going to try to draw some blood samples a liver and kidney test (because the enterovirus is extremely hard on them), an electrolyte test, and a blood clotting test.  Our nurse and the charge nurse came to draw the blood.  After 3 unsuccessful attempts and 2 blown veins, they decided to call in the ER nurses to do it because they drew blood all the time.  A few hours later two ER nurses came in, the two we had when we first arrived at the hospital, after two failed attempts and another blown vein they decided to call in the Life Flight Transport team.  Dad and Uncle Johnny arrived at this point and offered up an administration just before they were to draw blood again.  After they finished praying two men in their life flight jumpsuits came in to draw the blood.  One failed attempt in the arm, they were finally able to get a vein in her scalp.  They drew the blood for the kidney and liver test but her vein collapsed before they got to the blood clotting one.  They decided that they got the blood for the two most important tests and that they would be happy with that.  Emma was exhausted from the afternoon and woke only when I woke her to nurse.  She would nurse for maybe 5 minutes and then fall back asleep.  She still looked peaceful, even though the afternoon had been rough and kind of traumatic.  They let us be the rest of the day, allowing her to rest.  It was decided that they didn’t need to draw anymore spinal fluid, that what they were able to get was sufficient.  Later that evening her temperature hit 100 again, and they gave her Tylenol.  It stayed at 99 all night, they continued administering the two antibiotics through the night, but they didn’t have to do anymore Saline flushes.  At 3 in the morning her temp hit 101 and they gave her more Tylenol.  It dropped to 98.5 and stayed there the rest of the time we were at the hospital.  On Monday morning she was awake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Her nursing was picking up and she was bright-eyed and happy.  In the early afternoon, the Vascular team came in to try and draw blood again.  They tried in one arm and were able to get one viale full, she blew a vein but they continued to try and milk blood from her arm, pushing the needle past the collapsed part.  They tried again in her other arm and were able to get all of the blood they needed for all 3 tests.  She rested until later in the evening and then was awake again for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  It was good to see her eyes bright, not dull and glazed over.  We had to take her to get a stomach x-ray, to make sure that her intestines were ok. Because her illness was contagious, before we left the room we had to drape Emma in a sterile yellow robe, that anyone who came in contact with her had to wear. Once in the x-ray room we placed Emma in the sitting position on a small cold table elevated about waist level, they draped the lead blanket over her legs while I held her body up. After taking x-rays from the front, back, and sides we were taken back to the room to wait for the results. The rest of the day we were able to just rest, and enjoy being a family. Mom and dad brought Weston up, and I left Emma with Dad so that I could spend a little bit of time alone with Weston. He was such a trooper through it all. 
            Emma’s temp continued to stay down and she was nursing more and more, which meant she needed less and less IV fluids.  They stopped the antibiotic for the bacterial infection and kept her only on the one for the viral infection, just to support her body as it fought off the enterovirus. Tuesday morning the pediatrician came back in to talk with us, and said that if things continued to go well, that we more than likely could leave that day. Her temp had to be down for 24 hours without the aid of Tylenol or Motrin, and she had to have an Echo, or heart ultrasound, which had to come back clear. They thoroughly checked all the chambers and tissues of the heart to look for swelling and any other abnormalities that may have occurred from her being so sick. That took about an hour, Emma cried most of the time, she didn’t like to be laid down. For our entire stay I had held her, only laying her down when they needed to do blood work or an x-ray.  It gave me strength to hold her. After the echo we again went back to the room to wait for the results.  Later that day the results came back perfectly normal, and we began the process of discharging. As I held her and they told us that we could go home, it was like holding her again for the first time. Her eyes shined, she looked bright and alive. It was beautiful. We left for home, but I didn’t want to wait for Mom to bring Weston to us, so we drove immediately out to their house.
            The next weeks were difficult to adjust to. I was worried that Emma was going to get ill again, and Weston had to readjust to our new family member. It was a strengthening journey, one that I will never forget.

Where are you God?

Newborns. Babies. Chunky Monkeys. Infants. Squishy Cheekies. Chunka Dunk (I very lovingly call my niece this). No matter what you choose to call the little one's, I think we can all agree that they.are.awesome. The way they smell, smile, cry, and curl themselves into a tiny ball when you pick them up, it's all just so wonderful. What I especially love is that dreamy smile they give you in their sleep. Their eyes flutter, their breathing quickens, and then a perfect smile spreads across their delicate face. *Bliss*

They do it frequently as newborns, and then they slowly stop. But when do they stop completely? Why do they do it in the first place? I have heard two things, (1) gas, and (2) they are so fresh from the courts of heaven, that they go there in their dreams. I believe the latter. Here is why....

When Wes was almost 2, he had come into Scott and my room one morning, as he usually did. It was early and he was peacefully sleeping;  up to this point in his life, he continued the sleepy, peaceful smiles. Emma had woken to nurse, and as I sat nursing her, Wes started wimpering, "God, where are you?" He sat up, his eyes half open, crying, almost like he was afraid. "Where are you God?!" "God?!" He carried on for a minute or two, then lay back down, and continued sleeping. As if nothing had happened.

I have never seen that dreamy smile again. My heart ached. Was this the separation from God we all must go through, the separation Adam and Eve experienced in the garden? Was my sweet little prince able to walk and talk with God in his dreams? I think so. Maybe you don't agree, and that is OK.

The next time you see your little love(s) giving you that peaceful glimpse into heaven, don't take it for granted. Cherish it, like a precious jewel.
This is the birth story, of one of my coolest, and closest friends. She is flippin' awesome. Here's to you Olivia & Shelton!

The day Gabriel came into the world was a rainy, gloomy one. I had lots of pressure the night before and the doctor said I was already dialated to 3 centimeters! I remember calling my good friend and birthing teacher, Brianna, to make sure I wasn't already in labor. Contractions were coming about every four minutes when I headed to bed. 
Tuesday morning I got up as usual and got ready for work. As soon as I woke the contractions continued. They were still about four to five minutes apart, so I went about my day. I warned Shelton, my husband, that I may come home early if they continued, or got worse. I left the house at about 7:15am. I arrived at work and was only there about 15 minutes when the contractions got harder. I immediately knew these were no longer the "practice contractions" known as Braxton Hicks. I live about 35 minutes away from work and my hospital is only about 10 minutes from work. Feeling confident that I knew what was going on, I headed home. 
When I got there I drew a bath hoping to relax and possibly soothe any discomfort. The contractions continued to get harder and closer together. I had called my parents, who live an hour away, to come up for the birth. When they arrived my husband was timing the contractions and they were coming about every 2 minutes and lasting a minute or more. By this time it was 12:00pm. It was time to head out! The ride to the hospital was pretty uncomfortable. When I got there they put me in a room and I met my nurse, Amanda. She checked to see how far along I was and to my surprise, I was almost 7 centimeters dialated! What a relief! One of the first things she asked me was if I was going to have an epidural. I firmly stated that I wanted NO epidural or other form of pain reliver. She was very respectful of my decision and she put me at ease knowing she would help me through. To keep labor going I began to walk the halls. Luckily they have rails to hold onto! I did that for about an hour and then I went back to my room to be monitored. That was something they wanted to do for 20 minutes every hour. 
(Olivia will undoubtedly hate me for posting this pic.)
I then tried the birthing ball, which I was not a fan of. It put WAY too much pressure on my pelvic area.

I was about 8 cenimeters at this point. I walked some more and finally it was time for the bathtub. It was warm with nice jets to help with that lower back pain that came with the contractions! At this time my bag of water was still intact. My nurse informed me that I was progressing but the baby wasn't moving down. I was in the tub for probably an hour, maybe more. I knew I was in transition because I started to shake badly and I got sick. I was starting to feel a little urge to push. She instructed me to grunt a little to relieve that. It was about 4:30 when she had me get out of the tub, but not before breaking my water in hopes that Gabe would start heading south! This part or my labor was without a doubt the hardest. I was asked to lay down partially on my side, partially on my stomach, with one leg down and the other hiked up as far as I could get it. This was how I'd been sleeping, but with contractions coming every minute and dialted to a 9, it was no picnic. I had to stay in that position for about 30 minutes. This was the point where I lost the desire to talk or look at anyone. I tried my best to breathe through each one, one at a time, and relax in between contractions. I wanted to save all the energy I had left. 
A little after 4pm I got the urge to push. This was it! I tried a few positions, none of which felt right. I ended up on my  knees on the bed, holding the head of the bed, which was elevated. This position made it very easy to get enough strenght to push like I needed to. At this time I dont remember feeling anymore contractions. I just felt the urge to push, and I could feel the baby moving down. The "on call" doctor showed up in the middle of all this. I was way to focused to worry about him. At that point I dont think I cared who was behind me! One thing I won't ever forget was the "Ring of Fire." I remember the moment he crowned and then out came his head. I was told to stop pushing, which at the time I thought was ludacris! I needed to push, I needed this to be done. The nurse and doctor checked to make sure the cord wasn't around his neck and then I was told to push again.
 At 5:43pm out came Gabriel. I flipped over so fast, my mom thought I was going to kick one of the nurses by accident! They handed him over and my world was changed forever. That's a feeling I am very sure will stay with me the rest of my life. I cried, my mom cried, and Shelton had the biggest smile I have ever seen. He got to cut the cord after it was done pumping blood and oxygen to the baby. 
I didn't have Gabe weighed or cleaned for quite some time. They sewed me up and I held him the whole time. Finally we weighed him and he was 6lbs,15oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. He was perfect and healthy. I owe my wonderful experience to my wonderful Husband, my teacher and friend Brianna, and my awesome nurse! I will never forget the best day of my life!