Monday, December 10, 2012

Jane Alice's Birth Story, Part Two

To read Part One, click here.

Once home, your daddy began packing for the hospital and I showered.  We were mostly packed already, but there were a few last minute items to pack before the car was loaded.

The fluid would not stop dripping down my legs as I was toweling off and I was forced to put on a maxi pad for the first time in ten months!

Once we were both showered and in comfy clothes, we settled on the couch to watch a little Seinfeld - your daddy's favorite television show of all time.

We were both tired and thought about going to bed, but there was no way I could sleep with the contractions I was having.  They were not bad and were not regular, but they were there and Angela told me you would probably come that night.  Who could sleep under those circumstances?!  I was about to meet my daughter.  MY DAUGHTER!

About 15 minutes into Seinfeld, I felt a third POP!, but this time I swear Scott must have heard it!  He didn't hear it, of course, but what he did hear was my gasp and subsequent panic over the amount of fluid gushing out of me!

I stood up and headed up the stairs to the bathroom when BAM! I was hit with a breathtaking, toe curling contraction.

With your daddy's help I made it to the bathroom and called Angela.  I began explaining what had just happened, but was unable to finish my sentence due to BAM! another contraction.  They were coming back to back and the fluid was still gushing so that I could not stay dry.

Angela was on her way and I spent the next half hour on my knees, face buried in the rocking chair in your room, rocking back and forth through each contraction.  Between each contraction I would change into dry clothes.

At some point I realized that I had chills and wondered if I was already in transition...10 minutes or so after my water broke.  Was that even possible?!

My breathing soon turned to moaning and by the time Angela arrived, it was time to go to the hospital.  She came upstairs while I was glued to the rocker and then helped me get to the toilet once again, this time to poop.

Only, I didn't really have to poop, that was just your head.  The pressure down there was unreal and almost as uncomfortable as the contractions.  It felt like I needed to poop a bowling ball.  Because people poop bowling balls, right?  Right.

Angela helped me get dry clothes on (again!) and this time I put on one of your brother's pull ups, rather than a maxi pad.  Don't believe them when they say they're Super Absorbent.  They ain't.

It took to get to the car.  Contraction = drop to my knees + breathe in + mooooaaaaan out. I remember having to stop, drop, and breathe at the bottom of the stairs and then again on the front porch. It was close to 11 PM at this point, so luckily no neighbors saw me.

Once in the car I sat facing the back of the passenger seat - on my knees, arms and head draped over the head rest.  Your daddy said I turned into a black church lady with all my praying out loud for Jesus to come down and rescue me from THE PAIN!  I remember praying for Him to help me have you naturally and for the staff of the hospital to help me too.  There might have even been a prayer about getting there before you came out!

Angela and your daddy had previously worked out all the logistics of dropping me off at the Emergency Room and parking, so all I remember is walking in and dropping to my knees.  Between contractions Angela helped me shuffle over to the desk to check in, and by check in I mean answer a million ridiculous questions.  One of them being, Are you scheduled to be here?

Um, yeah.  DO I LOOK LIKE I'M SCHEDULED TO BE HERE?  Give me a break!  I'm literally dropping to my knees every minute now and my moaning has morphed into other-worldly, gut wrenching sounds that I had no idea I knew how to make - yeah, I'm here for a scheduled induction.  NOT.

Meanwhile, all the patients and their people are staring at me like they've never seen a woman in labor before.  (Okay, maybe they had never seen a woman in labor before.)

Finally a calm, quiet young nurse offers me a wheelchair, which I decline, because OH.MY.GOSH. who could sit with a baby's head THAT low?  No thank you.  Besides, I needed to be on my knees to survive each contraction and we all know that our butt is not our knees.

The calm, quite young nurse leads the three of us down the longest hallway of my life and into an elevator.  Of course, this adventure took as well because, you know, I'm dropping to my knees every minute or so.

Each time I drop, I lean onto the birthing ball and rock while Angela is on her knees, facing me, holding my hands and talking me through the breathing.  I think your daddy is behind me with our suitcase, but really, I have no idea.

The elevator doors finally open, DING! and we bound into the closest hospital room.  In that room stands Ornesha (or-nee-sha), or as I like to call her, the answer to all my black church lady prayers.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jane Alice's Birth Story, Part One

Dear Jane Alice,

Welcome to the world. You are my daughter. I am your mother. Here we go!

I started this blog when your brother was about seven months old as a way to record his childhood and all the hilarity it would entail. I never dreamed I would have YOU and get to record YOUR childhood too.

I thought my first letter to you should be your birth story. That's right, my dear. This post is not about your big brother and his potty training, or lack thereof, but rather, about the way and the day we first met.

It all started on Memorial Day, about two weeks before you were born. I just knew you were going to come a little early, like your brother, so every day for those two weeks there was some symptom, some sign - a cramp here, a contraction there - that led me to believe you were coming ANY MINUTE!

At 40 weeks you still had not come and I just knew you never would. I was going to be pregnant FOREVER. A freak of nature. And, I kept telling myself that it wouldn't be so bad. At least I wasn't nauseous anymore. I could handle this. I was a cute pregnant girl, right? Everyone said it was all in my belly. Imagine how great my hair and nails would look for the rest of my life!

But then, on Friday, June 8th - three days after my due date - I woke up with a "bloody show". That is, I peed and when I wiped, there was a little pink something.

Finally! This was the day! It had to be! My mom, your Patty Mama, had bloody shows and then had babies within a few hours. Surely, you'd be here by lunch!

I called my doula, Angela, to give her this update and told her that I'd probably have you by lunch. She asked a few questions and then gingerly told me to try to keep my daily routine as normal as possible. I was to let her know if anything changed.

Still thinking I was going to deliver you by lunch, I kept your daddy home from work and sent your brother to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

To pass the time, your daddy and I decided to run some errands, one of which was to Home Depot.

When I waddled in, the girl at the entrance asked if I was over due. Weird question, I thought, but I told her yes and that I was actually in labor. Her eyes got as big as saucers, but I reassured her that I was okay - baby wasn't coming 'til lunch!

I was okay.  I was having contractions, but nothing regular and nothing I couldn't breathe through. Even talk through.

On the way home we stopped at McDonald's. It was their grand opening and I thought maybe the quality of food would get things going in my intestines, thereby inducing labor. I was wrong.

We got home and napped. Nothing changed so we decided to go for a walk. It was too hot to go for a walk outside, so we went to Opry Mills Mall. I hadn't been since they reopened. They had been closed since the Flood of 2010.

We walked the mall, but still, nothing changed. Might as well cross the street and walk Opryland Hotel!

Before leaving the hotel, I stopped to pee. It was a little after 4:00 PM and I didn't want to get stuck in rush hour traffic with a full bladder. We were heading to Grandma and Grandpa's house to eat supper and bring your brother home. Surely, as soon as we got home with him, you'd start coming! I mean, it was after lunch, and that pink something from this morning had lingered all day and was now a red something.

On my way out of the bathroom, I felt a pop and a trickle. Not sure what it was, I told your daddy and asked if he could see any wetness. Indeed, he could. I couldn't see it because of my big belly, but the front of my pants was a little wet.

Oh my! I wonder if my water just broke?!

I went back to the bathroom and tried to figure out if it was amniotic fluid or pee. Maybe I hadn't gotten all the pee out, ya know?

Everything smelled like pee, so it must have been pee. Oh well.

We drove to Grandma and Grandpa's house and had dinner with no change. After dinner we sat around talking and as I stood up to check on your brother, another pop and trickle. Uh-oh. This can't be more pee. I better call my doula.

As I stood on the front porch talking to Angela on the phone, I noticed an increase in pain during contractions and found myself leaning over the railing to get through them. I also kept leaking fluid and by the time we hung up, my pants were soaked.

Angela explained that your head was very low and was acting as a cork, keeping the fluid from gushing. I could either go to the hospital and be stuck there until you arrived, or I could go home, shower, rest, etc... and expect you to come sometime that night.

Since I had been planning on and preparing for a natural birth, your daddy and I opted for the latter and left your crying brother with Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pearl JOY Brown

Dear Pearl,

I remember the first time I heard Kim at The Village Chapel pray for you.  You, a tiny little image bearer.

You were still in your mother's womb, but I remember thinking that doctors don't know everything and that since I had worked with children with disabilities, including diagnoses like "incompatible with life", that not only could you survive, but thrive.

I remember praying for you every time I saw your name on the prayer list, Pearl Joy Brown. And, whenever I'd tell someone about you, I always said your whole name. Emphasizing the Joy.  Still do.

Now that you're here, and thriving, I count it all joy to continue to pray for you.  To rejoice in photos of you on Twitter. And to tell others about you.  Pearl Joy Brown.

I pray that your life will be evidence that God still works miracles.  Doctors said you were impossible.

I rejoice in your beautiful red hair and soulful big eyes. My own children have red hair, so I may be biased there. But, no one can deny the wonder in your eyes. They are convincing and convicting.

I tell others about you because, Pearl, your story is a reminder that we are not in charge. It is not up to us to decide which babies get to live and which ones to die. Which ones survive and which ones thrive.

May you and your family be blessed beyond measure. More than we could ask or imagine. And may all those who hear your story be transformed in mind and heart, with joy.

Hoping to meet you soon,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Tribute to Aunt Lynn

Dear Aunt Lynn,

I thought I'd write you a letter to tell you just how special you are to me since I'm not able to be there for your memorial.  These are things we don't tell each other when we're alive - I guess it makes us uncomfortable.  Maybe we would tell each other these things if we knew that it would be the last time we'd have the chance.  

The last time I saw you was in November when I was home for Pop's memorial.  I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy with my sweet baby girl, Jane Alice, born just two days before you went home to be with Jesus.  Not far along enough to know the sex of the baby - except YOU already knew it was a girl and had been telling everyone that it was, in fact, a girl!

Scott and I got a kick out of your certainty and I whispered silent prayers that you were right.  Don't tell anyone I told you that, but I really did want a girl, and I believed that you have always had a special relationship with Our Father and just might have known something the rest of us couldn't know.

We couldn't know because our hearts and minds aren't where they should be.  Perhaps if we lived more like you - generous with our gifts, loving toward others, quick to laugh - we might hear the voice of God more clearly.  Or maybe it was just because you were chosen to have a special relationship with Him.  He gave you faith like a child while you were here on earth. The kind of faith I find so hard to achieve.

I've been thinking a lot about you these past two weeks and childhood memories of our time together bring a smile to my face or tear to my eye - depending on the moment.  

Just you, me, Joni & Codie piling in your bed with a dog or two for sleepovers, eating Vienna sausages out of the can, fishing in the pond with earthworms YOU dug up (Lord knows I wasn't going to dig 'em up!), being tickled to the point of tears, picking out Christmas gifts from the Sears catalog and trying to cross stitch as well as you - just to name a few.

You were a constant in my life.  There was never any doubt that you would be there.  Always happy to see me.  Always with a story to tell.  Always ready to laugh at a story I told.  Always with a cross stitching (or two!) in progress.

I cherish all the cross stitchings you made when I was a baby and those that you've made for my babies.  There are some that deck the walls of Foster's room and others that swaddle the bottom of Jane Alice.  They may not remember you the way I will, but they are covered in your love.

Until we meet again,


Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return.  The LORD gave, the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.  Job 1:21

Friday, May 11, 2012

Monthly Update: 39

Dear Foster,

I wasn't planning on writing an update until after your baby sister was born, but there is just too much material here lately.

Like, you just walked into the kitchen where I am sitting, and said "Watch dis!"  Then proceeded to pull your pants down.  Twice.

What the heck?

Our day starts off between 6:00 and 7:00 with you climbing out of your big boy bed - THUD - and pouncing into my and your daddy's room holding as many of your "fwends" as you can.

We immediately greet you with a loving chorus of good mornings and then tentatively wait to see what side of the bed you woke up on.

Usually you're in a good mood and climb into bed with us to watch cartoons.  Sometimes, though, you have to pee and will handle the whole process by yourself.  And, I do mean, the whole process...pulling your pants down, pulling your DRY pull up down, peeing, emptying your potty into the big potty, rinsing out your potty, washing and drying your hands and then getting yourself a candy corn - your treat of choice.

I'm equal parts loving this new found independence, even if it does take us eight times longer to get anything done around here, and terrified that you're going to spill pee all over the bathroom floor and then slip in it and bust your head open.

Sometimes, though, you wake up on the WRONG side of the bed and your alter ego, Fuss-ter, comes for a visit.

I don't know what it is about your fussing, but I literally, can. not. handle. it.

Those are the days I am so thankful you attend Mother's Day Out and go to Grandma's house a few days a week so that I can work part-time.

Perhaps there are other mothers who can deal with the fussing with grace and patience, but I am not that kind of mother and right now dealing with your fussing is my biggest challenge because when you start in, I really just want to scream and stomp and slam and WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP ALREADY?!  UUUGGGHHH!

Your daddy loves to point out that you get your temper from me.  And I like to point out that I am nine months pregnant and he better WATCH OUT!

The other day I was feeling so hormonal that I actually rolled down my window and screamed at another driver to USE YOUR BLINKER!

That is not typically how I handle bad drivers - normally I just take a deep breath and go on my way - but again, I am nine months pregnant.  WATCH OUT!

So, once you're good and awake you start asking me to take you downstairs for breakfast.  Usually I make you wait until 7:00, when Curious George comes on, and then we head downstairs so you can watch while I get breakfast ready.

We have a really good routine and your breakfast of choice is a pancake with nothing on it and a side of fruit.  You choose to have a dry pancake so that you can eat it in the den while you watch cartoons.

Meanwhile, I get to have a quiet start to the day in the kitchen with my coffee.

I'm the type of person that is not awake until I've had coffee and food.  It's not that I'm in a bad mood, I'm simply not ready to talk.  To anyone.  About anything.

This personality trait of mine does not correlate well with Fuss-ter, as you can imagine.

Once Cat in the Hat (your favorite cartoon) is over at 8:00, we head upstairs to get ready for the day.  You usually play well while I get dressed and then have to do everything yourself when it's your turn.  From putting the toothpaste on your toothbrush to putting your socks on.

This routine involves a lot of patience and praise on my part and it isn't lost on me how hard you're working to do it all by yourself.  Good job, bud!  I am so proud.

On more than one occasion you have worn your underwear backward because that is how you wanted to wear them and you know what, that is fine.  You look like you're wearing bikini underwear from the back and you have to pick a wedgie out of your butt all day, but it's your choice and it's not a battle your daddy and I think we should fight.  Go us!  Aren't you proud?!

Thankfully you still nap most days.  Not necessarily at school, but that just means when you're at Grandma's house or home, we can usually count on a 2-3 hour nap after lunch!

Seriously, I am so thankful for that quiet time and I'm praying you continue that habit for a while after your baby sister arrives so that I can get some rest too.

On the days you refuse to sleep, we ask that you play quietly with your "fwends" and if you get too loud we go into your room and take them one by one.  Sometimes this tactic works to our advantage and you go to sleep, but other days, we spend the whole 2 hours in and out of your room taking friends.  Sigh.

The last time this happened you blamed me for not being able to sleep, "Mommy kept coming into my woom!" is what you told your daddy.

I love hearing your stories about school.  Whether you're telling on your classmates or yourself, it is always eye opening to hear what really goes on there.

You recently told me that you have to say "Yes Ma'am" to your teacher.  This came as a surprise to me, but not one that I mind.  Your daddy and I don't require you to say Sir and Ma'am to us, but it is a good habit to have here in the South, and especially when we visit your Papa and Nonni.

I was required to say it to my parents when I was growing up, but your daddy wasn't.  His yes had to be "yes" and his no had to be "no", but his dad (your Grandpa) was an officer in the Army and was called Sir all day long.  He didn't want to come home to his children calling him Sir too.

We simply require you to say "Yes, please" and "No, thank you".  Or, in your case, "No, sank you."  Until recently you were even still signing, please!

As soon as we get home from school, or if we're spending the day at home, you want your pajamas on.  My little Hugh Hefner.  I have no idea what the deal is with pj's, but this is another battle we don't fight.  So, most days when your daddy comes home from work, you're in your jammies.  We make you get dressed to go most places, but the marina to feed the ducks and the library after dinner are fair game.

Your sound effects are getting better and better and I am truly impressed by how much your Mac truck sounds like a tractor trailer truck and your airplane sounds like an airplane.  This skill has always impressed me about your daddy, and boys in general, and I'm loving it's development in you.

Dinner time is interesting around here, as you rarely eat your meal when it is first served, but rather, you wait until it's time to go upstairs for your bath and then decide you're still hungry.  Unlucky for you, my mom (your Patty Mama), taught me to leave your food out and that is what is offered.  You usually finish eating your dinner at that point and then ever so politely ask for a "tweat".

Bath (bass) time is one of your favorite times of day and your daddy is now the official bath giver since my belly is too big to bathe you comfortably.  And, after bath time is bed time, of course, and that is one of my favorite times of day!  I am exhausted by the time bed time rolls around.

Your daddy and I take turns putting you down and the routine consists of a few books, a few cuddles and a prayer.  Then just as we're leaving your room, you sit up and remind us to put your milk in the refrigerator and leave the light on under your door.

This is a request that your daddy and I repeat to each other in your voice just to make the other smile.

Foster, you are such a delightful child.  Full of surprises and demands that we never expected.  Equal parts sweet and sassy, fun and fussy.  There really is never a dull moment.

I am so excited to welcome your baby sister into our little family and I can't wait to get to know her!  I'm even more excited to introduce the two of you, though, and I know she's gonna love you so much.

I hope you teach her all the cool stuff you know, except how to fuss.  And, I hope to teach her all the cool stuff I know, except how to fuss.  Maybe she'll be like your daddy - calm, cool and collected.

You and I, we're like peas in a pod.  I get you.  You get me.  We get on each other's nerves, but we love each other like no one else can.

We've spent the past two days together hanging out at home and it has been great!  It's days like these that remind me to write about how wonderful you are and how much I love you.



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year

Dear Foster,

Today is Leap Day.  Wait.  Is that the correct term?  I mean, it's Wednesday, February 29th, 2012, so it's definitely not a normal day.

February 29th only comes around every 4 years and when it does, it's called a Leap Year.  But, what is the actual day called?  Hang on...Imma google it...

Yep, Leap Day.

Okay, now that we've established that.

I wasn't planning on writing today, but a couple things have happened that I want to make sure I write down, so here goes.

First of all, you're funny.  Very funny.  Laugh out loud funny.

Since my last post your Foster-isms have only gotten better.

Last night while your daddy was changing your poopy diaper you made this declaration:

"Daddy, goils (girls) don't have pemises.  Dey have butts, wis hair on dem."

I immediately called my mother, your Grandma Patty (i.e., Patty Mama or Mama Patty) to tell her and she reminded me to write it down.

It's a risk, me writing that, because I don't want all 11 (eleven!) of my followers to think A) I have a hairy butt, or B) I'm in need of a trim...if you know what I mean.

But, that's what writing is, I guess, a risk.

In the meantime, I pointed out that Daddy was changing your poopy diaper because you refuse to use the potty for pooping.

You are doing very well staying dry when it comes to pee-pee, but when you need to poop, you ask for a diaper.  Or, go in your underwear.

My brother, your Uncle Jonathan, did this until he was at least 4 (sorry, Bro!), so I know it's not unusual for boys to have trouble with this.  The funny part is that when I ask you when you think you might go poop on the potty, you say you'll do it when you're 14.

This month you got in trouble at school for saying the word, STUPID.  [Enter gasp from around the world.]

Your teacher, Miss Gretchen, pulled me aside at pick up and whispered that she had to have a talk with you because you asked her "to tie your stupid shoe."

I immediately started laughing and explained that it was my fault because that's not a bad word at our house and I frequently refer to the STUPID cats!  Or, the STUPID dog!

She assured me that she did not tell you it was a BAD word, just a word that 'we' don't use at school.

Well, goody, cause we're gonna keep using it at home!  Never to refer to a person, unless of course that person is stupid.

No, not really, I've tried to tone it down at home and now refer to the STUPID cats and dog as "silly".

The other thing I want to make sure I write down has to do with your baby sister, you know, the one in my belly.

That girl has caused me to put on 26 pounds already!  Can you believe that?  I gained 10 pounds each -  this month and last month.

What?  What?!

My doctor says she is not concerned, and that if I continue to gain as expected, I will be right where I was with my weight gain with you and within normal limits.

So, I guess I'm not concerned either.

Now, where'd I hide the Nutella?


Mama (i.e., Miss Piggy)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Monthly Update: 36

Dear Foster,

Last week you turned three years old.

Wait.  Forget last week!  I haven't written you in a few months because I was hoping to write about other mommy related things when BAM!  I got pregnant.  And sick.

It wasn't a surprise, really, it just happened right when your daddy and I thought we'd be okay with having a second child.

Selfishly, I was hoping it would take a few months.  A few months that I could indulge in you before you turned a whopping THREE YEARS OLD.  Kissing the crook of your neck.  Your head resting in the crook of mine.  Running my fingers through your wild hair.  Kissing your chubby cheeks.

Already you don't want to cuddle.  Or be carried down the stairs.  Or give me a hug and kiss goodbye when I drop you off at school.

Those are natural rites of passage, I know, but you are my first born.  My first love (not counting your daddy, of course).  My first glimpse of how deep the Father's love is for us.  And I was just hoping our uninterrupted time together would last a little longer.

I love being your mommy and the time when it's just the two of us.  Talking.  Rocking.  Reading.  Walking.

A few weeks ago we found out the baby I'm carrying is a GIRL!  Just like you said.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about that!  As my dad (your Papa) said, I'm going to have a little buddy.

You used to be my buddy, then you grew up and became a "big boy" (your words, not mine).  And now it's all about daddy.

I know the tide will turn, yet again, especially once Baby Girl is here, but for now I'm enjoying the freedom and spending my time dreaming about frilly dresses, pink lace, and pig tails.  Sugar and spice and everything nice.

As always, your speech and language continues to be your strength and these past few months have been ripe with funny Foster-isms.

Like this one:

Foster:  Daddy, is today Sunday school?
Daddy:  No, today is Tuesday.  Which day is SUNDAY school?
Foster:  WITCH day is not Sunday school!  Why you say WITCH day?

Or, this one:

Foster:  Mommy, did God make spiders?
Mommy:  Yes, I think so.
Foster:  I bet he wore gloves.

Or, this one:

Foster: Mommy, look!  This stick is beautiful!
Mommy:  Yes, it is beautiful and you're beautiful too!
Foster:  No, I not beautiful.  Daddy is beautiful.
Mommy:  Yes, Daddy is beautiful.  Am I beautiful?
Foster:  No.

Gee thanks, kid.

Your favorite play activity is pretending with your friends (i.e., stuffed animals).  Your best friend is Bear-Bear, of course.  Then Kitty-Cat (the only girl of the bunch).  Then Lamb.  After those three, it's a toss up.  Depends on your mood, I guess.

Your daddy was out of town for a week over your birthday, but when he returned he brought you back a new friend, a penguin.  You named him Happy Feet.

Tomorrow we celebrate your birthday (a week late) with local family members.  This has been our tradition every year so far and will continue to be until you care otherwise.  I don't think you mind, though.  I mean, all of your friends are already here!

Your cake has a train on it.  Very fitting because you love trains and are so proud of yourself that you can now say, TR-ain.  It used to be CR-ane, and sometimes when you said it I wouldn't be sure if you were talking about a crane or a train.

"No!  CRANE!", you'd yell.

"Oh, TR-ain.  Oh, okay.  I see it now."  This usually happened when you were in the back seat.

Then one day, you were talking about a train and just to make sure I got it, you enunciated the T-R.  "Not, CR-ane, Mommy."


You are a big boy now.  Potty training (sort of).  Brushing your teeth (sometimes).  Brushing your hair (not very well).  Pulling your pants up.  Pushing them down.  Putting rain boots on..."Mommy, are dees on da right feet?"

I have loved every minute of these past three years.  (Notice I didn't say every second!)  And I am going to miss this time, just the two of us.

I will never be able to give Baby Girl what I've given you and I hope you know just how special you are.

Love and tears,


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: Unbound Birth by Jennifer Yarbrough

As a mother of one, pregnant with my second, I have a vested interest in making this, my second labor and delivery, better than the first.

Not that it was bad.  I went into labor naturally and labored at home until my contractions were five minutes apart for at least an hour.  I had a vaginal delivery with minimal tearing and a healthy baby boy. And, I was able to breastfeed for over a year.  

But, during my pregnancy I spent so much time reading about pregnancy and the newborn that I neglected the part about HAVING A BABY!

My intention with the birth of my son was to labor as long as I could and then if I needed an epidural, to get one.  I mean, that's what all women do, right?


It wasn't until after I had my first child that I really started thinking about all the aspects of his birth that I didn't love.

Like how I wasn't allowed freedom of movement.  And how my OB broke my water without discussion.  And how after my water was broken I asked the nurse if I should go ahead and get an epidural or wait and see.  And how she replied, "Honey, it's only gonna get worse."  

(My full birth story here...)

Like I said, it wasn't a bad experience, but looking back, those are the things I would change.  And so, I am planning a natural birth this time around.

I have already hired a doula, one that my OB recommends (a patient of hers, no less!)  I'm practicing relaxation and yoga.  And, I'm in the process of reading everything I can get my hands on about natural birth.

Enter Unbound Birth by Jennifer Yarbrough.  

I read this book in one sitting.  It was THAT good.  THAT easy to read.

Unbound Birth is a book for women like me who have decided to have a natural birth in the hospital, but need some encouragement.  Who want to hear real success stories, not just statistics.

It is also for women who aren't sure what they want, but are interested in learning more about a natural birth in the hospital.

There is "if I were you" advice on how to really have a natural birth in the hospital. Relaxation tips for getting through the pain of labor.  Often neglected information on why the baby's position is important.  And a sample birth plan.  All in under 60 pages!

Jenny provides recommended reading if you want to learn more, but you just might find that this book is enough!

Unbound Birth is not preachy.  It is not pretentious.  And, it is not pricey!

Do yourself a favor and read Unbound Birth before you decide what kind of labor and delivery you'd like to have.  I wish this book had been available before I had my first child.  I'm sure I could have squeezed 58 pages into my library and I just may have had a birth I LOVE!

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