You Can Wash Down Baby Outfits With Liquid Detergent

Using liquid detergent is something all mother will do when they have children, but which liquid detergent should you use and how would you know? Each baby you have comes with a ton of clothes. Babies also like to mess things up constantly. For a situation like this, you are going to need a liquid detergent that is gentle, smooth, sensitive, and powerful. You can spot many detergents at the store you go grocery shopping at. That is not the issue. The issue is finding one that is sensitive. Babies have very sensitive skin and they need the best laundry detergent for babies with sensitive skin on the shelf. There are more things I think you should know about using detergent below.

Prepare for Wash

Very important to prepare for the wash before you wash. Make sure you look inside the washer and see nothing. Everything in the washer should be empty. You don’t want the baby to catch something. Next, take a look at the label for washing on each baby material. The fabric has instructions on how to wash the item. If you ignore this rule, you can risk your baby clothes getting messed up or baby getting infection. Follow the washing clothes rule to the fullest. Last, go get the baby laundry detergent and wash the all the baby clothes. You must wash them first because your baby has very sensitive skin.

How to Treat Stains for Baby Clothes

Always treat stains in the baby clothes like urgent matters. Using the best laundry detergent for babies with sensitive skin will not stop the baby from getting a infection. Their fragile bodies do not have a strong immune system. They are most likely to catch something in the early stages. Wash every single stain you see them get really fast. Wash it as soon as you seem them get it on their short or pants. The faster you get it the faster it can come off and prevent spreading an infection.

Finding a product that can remove baby stains fast would be good too. Laundry detergents is for washing the clothes. You need something that can make the stains go away fast when the baby is born. Not just fast but also a descent amount. Make sure you get something that can take the stains out fast. The baby is going to make many messes. You will see the baby go through so much stuff.

Wash Baby Clothes Before You Wash Other Clothes

I already told you before, but you need to wash your baby clothes before you wash anything else. Every new born baby is weak, fragile, capable of catching a virus, and not smart enough to do things in a smart manner. You need to be the overlord for your baby. Make sure the baby clothes are washed first and make sure the baby is safe at all times. Babies tend to get into a lot of trouble.

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When Should You Call a Doctor After Experiencing Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding is so embarrassing and you should do something about it. I remember when I was bleeding out when having sex. I didn’t wan to tell my boyfriend about it. Didn’t know the right words to say. It was all so strange and happening too fast. My activeness has been present for the past 6 years. Only the 6th year showed me bleeding down there. I think you know what I mean. My doctor told me something. I thought he was lying when he said it. He told me I was overreacting the situation. All of it, was just a mere coincidence from my body. He said I was going to be fine. You might have the same problem and I strongly suggest you don’t worry about it. Here are more reasons to not worry that my doctor told me.

You Can Wear Pads for Post Vaginal Bleeding

Wearing pads while you sleep or go about your day makes since, after you had your first vaginal bleed during sex. Ok, the soreness is gone and you want to go back to having sex. But, it seems you got to deal with your vagina bleeding more then it usually do. Now, would be the time to put on those vaginal pads and prevent blood spread. The smell and the embarrassing moments will go away too. Try the best pads for postpartum bleeding to hold back excessive amounts of bleeding. Ask questions at the store you go to. Call in if you feel to embarrassed to asked. It is a sensitive topic to ask a stranger in a store.

The First Few Heavy Blood Days Are Normal

Despite most woman complaining about vaginal bleeding, it is a normal thing for a woman to experience in life. It is like having periods before you get pregnant. Equip the best pads for postpartum bleeding to cover it up. You are going to be fine and have nothing to worry about. Atleast, for the first few times you experience vaginal bleeding for random reasons. Go take a good drink and relax. You are not going to die. Its ok to panic about this on your first child. You didn’t think your vagina was going to bleed out so much out. I had the same feeling too when I wanted a baby.

When You Should Call a Doctor

The right time to call a doctor would be after 12 weeks. If you stat bleeding after 12 weeks then you need to call a doctor. Nothing to freak out about for the first few weeks after giving birth. Although a few more weeks then 12 weeks, you really need to call your doctor and tell them what’s going on. You only having time to live on this Earth once. Make every moment as long as you can make it. He or she will probably proscribe you with drugs. So, go in there with happy thoughts. Most of the time you take pills or something to fight it right?

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To Isis on Her First Father’s Day

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Dear Isis,
Today is your first Father’s Day. Technically you were with us last Father’s Day, but you were held in my belly, not in my arms. So today I’d like to talk to you about your daddy because I can. The most important thing you need to know is that he loves you so perfectly and so unconditionally. One day you’ll get to see the way his eyes light up when he sees you, but watching it these first few months has been an absolute joy. I hope you find joy knowing that you have brought it to him.
Your dad will teach you so many things throughout your life, whether through words or through actions. I could not have picked a more perfect man to introduce you to the world. He will protect you and affirm you and encourage you every step of your journey. I know from him you will learn courage because he is truly courageous. He will help you learn to live with integrity because he has learned to live with this conviction throughout his life. He will teach you to investigate, to think and to discern. His mind is one of the most attractive things about him. I hope you feel the same.
I believe he will challenge you. He will push you to be your best, but he will also hold you when you are not yet who you need to be. Don’t be afraid to come to him with pain, loss or failure because he has experienced all of these and has still risen to the place of a leader. He will help you see that you can be strong in your broken places. I know he will love and accept you as you are. I cannot even begin to explain to you how sincerely he takes his responsibility as your father. I know that he will be gracious, kind, funny, unique, interesting & encouraging to you. He will model for you the love and life that God has for you. I know that he will daily be on his knees to lift you as high as he can toward the only One who can really provide for all your needs.
I hope that one day you know how blessed you are to have him as a dad. Life is going to get rough and messy and there may be days that you don’t understand our decisions as your parents, but I can promise you now that your dad is praying and preparing for your life. He has been doing so since before we even knew you were here. One day I hope you know and feel how very much we both love you.
Happy First Father’s Day to your daddy!
Love,
Mom
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A Dad’s Perspective on Cloth Diapers

This post was written by my husband, Lewis. I wanted to share his view of the cloth diapers as I know many times it’s the dads who are thinking, “no way I’m doing that.” At first, I was worried that Lewis may not be on board, but the more we talked about it, the more it felt like something that was right for both of us. Here’s a little view of cloth diapers through his eyes:

dad & isis faces

Honestly I didn’t know much about diapers in general when we first began discussing cloth diapers. Just like most people, when I thought about cloth diapers, I saw essentially big white napkins with safety pins. After Cameron showed me a few of our options I realized that we had much more modern tools to work with than I thought. I had never changed any type of diaper before, so to me, I was up for anything. Now after I have changed many months worth, I have to admit that I no longer can see us using anything else other than cloth diapers for our children.
What do I love about them?
They are significantly cheaper than disposable diapers since they are obviously reusable. Who doesn’t want to save money?
We occasionally have to use disposable diapers for various reasons and I actually think cloth diapers are just as easy to use. We use GroBaby diapers with Velcro tabs. It’s just like the adhesive part of a disposable diaper. It takes all of 30 seconds to snap the soaker pad into the shell and then Velcro it around the child.
They look much cooler than a disposable, plus cotton has to feel better on the skin than synthetic drying pads.
Creating less trash in landfills is definitely a good thing.
It is a fantastic conversation topic that allows you to get to know other parents. Since using cloth diapers is a less common choice, others often want to know more.
Here are some of the counterpoints that I can understand.
Although I find cleaning them a breeze, you do in fact have to hold a soaker pad with #1 or #2 on it in order to spray it off with the sprayer connected to the toilet. It is seldom that I actually get anything on my hands but obviously is always a risk. If you can’t see yourself spraying off some poo and putting a wet diaper in a lined trash can, well this isn’t for you.
It creates more laundry. Throwing them in the washer is easy. Then you have to hang the shells to dry and put the soakers in the dryer. It’s simple but definitely harder than throwing a diaper away and grabbing a new one.
Occasionally, they can be hard to situate so that they cinch around the baby’s legs and waist (especially with an extra pad for nighttime).
My viewpoint:
After using cloth diapers for over 6 months now, I am completely satisfied with our choice. I’m not trying to make a statement by using them; I honestly just like them better. Any dad that has reservations should ask themselves if it’s diapers in general they have a problem with or just cloth specifically. If I can use them, without ever changing a diaper before, so can you. On a side note; if you are scared of some poo, I feel sorry for you. Also that wasn’t meant to be a funny rhyme or anything. It’s just that babies are going to put you in some gross situations regardless of which you choose. Just weigh the pros and cons for yourself and see if you feel the way I do.
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Happy Anniversary!!

Six years ago today, I married my husband. Here’s some of our story.
cam & lew early dating
We met more than eight years ago in April 2002. When we met, I had short, dark red hair – almost purple. He had a mohawk. We were quite the pair. Although, we didn’t work out at first. I was 17 years old. He was 21. I know it sounds crazy, but I knew immediately that I would marry him. After our first phone conversation, I just knew. I went to school the next day & told my best friends at lunch that I met my husband the night before. Of course they thought I was crazy. And I was surprisingly not really thrilled by this realization.
cam & lew early dating 2
We went on a date that weekend & it went okay, but not great. I was not very nice. You see, I was 17 & all that entails. I was perfectly ready to go to college & date around & just have fun. I was not interested in a serious boyfriend. I was definitely not interested in getting married young.
cam & lew later dating
About six months later, we were dating – officially. He pursued me & I just couldn’t stay away. I finally allowed my head & my heart to be in the same place.
cam & lew engaged
There were a few bumps in the road & we broke up a couple of times over the next 2 years – his choice, not mine. Ah, young love. He just didn’t know yet what I already knew…that we were going to get married.
cam & lew wedding
Needless to say, I was right! He figured out that he just couldn’t live without me & on October 2, 2004, we were married.
cam & lew show pic
The first year was newlywed bliss, the second year was ridiculously hard thanks to several different things. It’s really hard getting married at 20 (me) and 24 (him). There are a lot of things you haven’t done and haven’t learned and a lot of ways you make things harder on yourself than you need to. Those first couple of years were hard.
cam & lew zao shirt
But honestly, God knew exactly what He was doing putting me & Lewis together. We really do complement each other very well. We came through some difficult things stronger than I ever imagined. Over the past several years, God has taught me so much about marriage & compromise & sacrifice & joy. I’ve learned how to fight in a healthy way. I’ve learned how to share life with someone. We’ve learned how to speak & when to stop speaking. We’ve learned what works & what doesn’t. We’ve learned that it’s okay if our marriage looks totally different than someone else’s because we know where we are focused – or better yet, Who we are focused on. I’ve grown up a lot & so has Lewis & our marriage has been blessed through this time.
cam & lew blue jacket
I really could not ask for more than the humble, generous, loving, gracious, hilarious, intuitive & kind person that he really is.
cam & lew band pic
In June 2006, we went on tour with Lewis’ band.
cam & lew yay
In August 2008, we decided we wanted to have a baby.
cam & lew pregnant
In May 2009, we found out we were pregnant!
cam & lew new baby isis
January 2, 2010, Isis was born.
cam & lew now family of 3
Our family of two is now a family of three.
cam & lew happy post baby
Seeing Lewis become a father has been one of the most amazing experiences in our marriage. This year, I am particularly grateful that we are married. I could not imagine raising my kids with anyone else. I look forward to the future with so much hope because I know that the possibility that was created in our union has unlimited potential. I am so grateful for my husband & for my family!
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Graduation…Mommy’s Piggy Tales #14

This was the year I realized that it was okay to be me. I stopped being ashamed of the fact that I love Buffy. I stopped worrying about what everyone thought of my clothes or my hair. This resulted in some pretty fabulous ensembles & pink hair. Yep, pink. My hair has also been black, blonde, brown, red & most other fun colors like that. I had great friends & a lot of fun this year, but I was ready for high school to be over.
I didn’t go to my Senior Homecoming. I was at my Senior Prom for about 20 minutes – just long enough to see the most fabulous people win for king & queen! You know how normally it’s the popular kids that just get picked for all those things & they win every year – yeah that’s not what happened my senior prom. It was awesome & I loved it!
This was also the year I met my husband. (The picture above is me & a friend, not me & Lewis.) Our anniversary is coming up in October & I’ve got something planned to share more about how we met, but basically some friends of mine from high school introduced me to him. We went on a date in April of my Senior year of high school. We didn’t actually start dating until August after I graduated.
Overall high school wasn’t that great for me – especially seeing how life got after I graduated. Things were harder in a lot of ways, but I found myself after high school & I discovered friendships that were stronger than a lot of things I know & I experienced things I never thought I’d get to experience. High school was necessary, but by no means was it the best years of my life.
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New Mom Tips!

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“I’m feeling better!”
Ah ladies, yes I am still here!! It’s been a crazy week with the start of student teaching, Isis’ first sickness & then I’m in a wedding next weekend, so there were lots of bachelorette festivities this weekend! But I am definitely getting things worked out & Isis is feeling better! No more fever, but still some congestion. The doctor said that could stick around for a week or so, but it’s getting a little better each day! Thank you SO much for all your advice about dealing with congestion! I’ve definitely implemented several of your tips & it has really helped!!
Speaking of advice, I’ve been excited about this coming week because I’ve got 5 beautiful bloggers who are going to be sharing some guest posts with all of you! This will give me another week to get used to my new crazy schedule! I also think they’ve got such great perspectives & stories to share! I really hope you enjoy their tips! Below are my top 5 new mom tips!
1. Sleep when the baby sleeps
Everyone says this & at first, it was really hard for me to do this, especially when I was home by myself with Isis once Lewis went back to work. I was scared something would happen & I would be asleep. But once I started taking advantage of the excess sleepiness of newborns, I felt a lot better both day & night!
2. Accept help, but also know when to say no
Hopefully you will be lucky enough to have several people who would love to help you in this new hectic time of your life! I had several people who were willing to bring me casseroles or come do my dishes & laundry real quick & even a couple of people who knew I was struggling with baby blues & just came over to watch a movie with me so that I wasn’t alone. But at the same time, it can get overwhelming & it’s important that you aren’t afraid to say that today you just don’t need any visitors for a little while. People will understand that those first few weeks are different for everyone.
3. Don’t worry about the schedule
Most of you know by now that I am a fan of scheduling. I think Isis has thrived from a consistent, although flexible routine & I know that I have had a much better time knowing what she needs & knowing what to expect by having a routine. You don’t have to be crazy with it. We really aren’t robots, but the routine helps. But at the same time, those first few weeks at home, just focus on bonding & sleeping when you can & making sure the baby is getting full feedings when they are hungry. I tried not to set up bad habits, but I also just tried to go with it. Days & nights are mixed up for a while & you’d get too stressed out trying to stick to any sort of routine at the beginning.
4. Differentiate day & night
Days & nights are going to be mixed up. I already said that. There’s not much you can do about it. The only thing I tried to do in the very beginning was really differentiate day from night. At night, we were quiet, kept things really dark, still cuddled & stuff, but were just really slow & quiet about everything. During the day, I tried to keep it bright & cheerful & I talked with more animation & tried to let her know that this was daytime & playtime (to a certain extent – you can only play so much with a  newborn). In my opinion this helped transition her pretty quickly to get days & nights down, but there could be several other strategies for this.
5. Don’t be afraid to talk about baby blues
If you are one of the lucky ones who don’t get the baby blues, then that is absolutely awesome!!! I truly hope that no mom gets them, but the reality is that 75-80% of new moms will face some form of baby blues & about 20% will struggle with postpartum depression. I definitely faced the baby blues, but it never continued to PPD, but both are fairly common. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother. It doesn’t mean you have anything to be embarrassed or ashamed of. Baby blues is just an abundance of hormones that haven’t evened out! PPD is hormones mixed with several other factors that I won’t even pretend I am fully informed about, but I do know that if you’re struggling with either or both, it’s okay to talk to someone about it. I started by talking to friends & family about my baby blues. I also mentioned it to my nurse-midwife at my 2 week appointment & then she asked me about it again at my 6 week appointment. So just don’t hold it in if you are struggling with that. You are definitely not alone & there is so much support available!
Overall just try to take this time to really bond & enjoy these first weeks with your baby! Things will get easier & harder as it goes on, but I’ve found it to ultimately be the hardest & most rewarding experience of my life. I’m actually having some major baby fever at just 8 months into motherhood! That may not be normal, but what you’ll realize as you become a new mother as well is that normal is relative & what is “normal” for you may not be “normal” for someone else. So definitely listen to advice & tips, but take what works for you & leave the rest. This is ultimately your journey & I think it’s a beautiful thing that the journey looks so different to each of us!
Congratulations new moms!!
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Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips

me & Isis!

I don’t take breastfeeding pictures, so here’s a pic of me & Isis!

I’m only 7 1/2 months into breastfeeding my first child, but it’s gone pretty well, so I have a few tips to offer. I was going to share 10 tips, but after sorting through my thoughts, I found I only have 5! Also, I am not a doctor & I am not an expert. Definitely talk to your doctor or other experts about breastfeeding. I can just offer what has worked or been true for me.
1. Work for full feedings from the start
I believe there is great benefit to making sure your baby gets a full feeding each time they eat. This helps to make sure they get the nutrient-dense hindmilk that is released at the end of the feeding and it also makes sure that they are emptying your breast, thus promoting more milk production! Also – it can help them be able to go longer between feedings because they were full. Definitely a benefit later when they can go longer. In the beginning, though, you’ll be feeding every couple hours around the clock no matter what.
2. Study up!
There are lots of great online resources with info on breastfeeding! Kellymom & La Leche League are probably the best ones! Just make sure that you make some effort to get informed on latching techniques & other info. It’s also great to find places you can go when you have questions – which you absolutely will have – when you start!
3. Don’t stress if things don’t go according to plan
While I definitely recommend learning what you can (see #2), it’s also important to remember that things aren’t always going to go the way you expect. Sometimes milk doesn’t come in. Sometimes the baby has trouble latching on. Sometimes it’s more painful than you expected. Be prepared to just do the best you can. Know who you can call – La Leche League, the lactation consultants at your hospital, a friend who had success with breastfeeding, etc.
4. Don’t freak out about green poop
Basically, don’t assume that what you are eating is affecting the baby negatively. This is something I had to calm down about from the beginning. I heard stuff from several different people related to what I’m eating & how it could affect Isis – don’t eat cheese, don’t eat spicy foods, don’t eat broccoli, stay away from chocolate! I felt so stressed & worried about what was in everything I was eating in the beginning. When I finally talked to my doctor about it, he said that these are all old-fashioned views that have been disproved for most women in more recent years. Apparently, it’s actually rare for the food you eat to affect the baby negatively unless you or your husband have a major food allergy. Be looking for frothy poop & blood in the poop, but as long as it’s not frothy, any color of the fall leaves is ok except red.(Again, I am NOT a doctor. If you really think your baby is having an allergic reaction to something you ate, go with your instinct & call your doctor! You won’t ever regret finding out for sure.)
5. Be aware of the normal breastfeeding problems
By “normal” problems, I mean cracked nipples, plugged ducts, mastitis, etc. Even a mom who is successfully breastfeeding can have these issues. I didn’t study enough about this. Things I learned were that breastmilk is actually a treatment for cracked nipples. Seriously, it’s crazy how that works! If you notice that your breast is hurting, it could be a plugged duct, but if your breast is tender & pink or red or purple, GO TO THE DOCTOR. This is just something I didn’t really know much about, but I got mastitis when Isis was 4 weeks old. I’m going to write a separate post about this in particular, but basically – pink or red, go to the doctor. Maybe you’ll avoid a 101+ degree fever & feeling like you have a really bad flu for 3 days.
What worked for you when breastfeeding?
What tips would you add to this list?
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Isis’ Big Debut!

This is my kick-off post for my week of birth stories written by guest bloggers! I wrote my original birth story earlier this year. I also published the following story to Unexpectant, but I wanted to post it here as well. Please come back each day this week to read more birth stories from This Mom Loves, The Planet Pink, Nine More Months, Common Sense Dancing & Sporty Mama Says!

23 - sleeping isis 2

9am New Years Day & I awake to a contraction. I had been having Braxton Hicks for weeks, but this felt different, stronger. I felt another one a few minutes later & started timing how far apart they were soon after that. They stayed consistent at every 6 minutes or so. I told Lewis that I thought it was possible I was in labor. Since we had been dealing with some contractions for a while, neither of us were too quick to believe it really was labor. It seemed like God just wanted to tease us, so we decided not to get excited until we were sure.

I spent the morning laying in bed with Lewis, watching Cops. I ate lunch around noon & started to notice that my contractions were getting stronger & were coming about 4 minutes apart. There were a few that I had to focus a little more to get through, but still nothing too bad. I could’ve done this part all day. I watched some Buffy episodes on TV, which was awesome! It was New Year’s Slay on Logo & I enjoyed it for a while, but I eventually needed a little more help getting through the contractions. I don’t remember exactly when I started communicating with my nurse-midwife through text message, but it was somewhere in this time. I told her what was going on & just kept her updated every hour or so. I wanted to stay home as long as I could because I was most comfortable in my own familiar space.

Trying to explain contraction pain is so hard. For me, it felt sort-of like a wrenching menstrual cramp. They were really low. Mine would slowly come on & then slowly go back down. I focused a lot on my breathing. In & out, in & out. I did a lot of visualizing Isis moving down & out, down & out. Every contraction was her moving one tiny step closer to me. I had to think about it like that or I’d lose focus & just think about pain. I did my best to never think of it as pain. It was life, it was movement, it was her making her way out.

I ended up taking a bath & that helped a lot with the pain. Somehow being able to float a little bit helped take the pressure off the other parts of my body like my back & just focus it in my uterus. When I wasn’t laying against something, there wasn’t extra pressure. It was all just belly.

When I got out of the tub, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart. Lewis had been with me from the time I got in the bath, so he was helping me get through things. We tried having me do different positions, like sitting on a birthing ball, on my hands & knees, laying on my side & standing. I eventually got to the point where I felt like I probably wanted to go to the hospital & Lewis was definitely on board because he was feeling like he couldn’t do much to help me. I was nervous to go to the hospital because I thought that the intensity of actually being there would slow down my labor, but we packed everything in the car & headed on our way. I told the nurse-midwife we were going, so she called ahead & told them I wanted a natural birth, no IV, no pain medication, labor tub, nurse who was ok with natural birth, etc. I at least felt comfortable that I was going somewhere that was prepared for me.

Luckily, we were able to get the only labor room with a tub in the hospital. It was at least twice the size of mine at home & was so awesome because I could submerge my entire body in there & still not lay on the bottom. I could just float. This helped my contractions immensely! Looking back on it, I’m not sure I could’ve done a natural labor for as long as I did without the tub.

I was monitored intermittently for 20 minutes of every hour. They also used a small heart monitor wrapped in a plastic bag to listen to her heartbeat while I was in the water. My best friend, Diana, was there with us. For the next several hours, it was me, Lewis, Diana & the labor nurse. I had told the nurse-midwife that she was ok to stay home until I was ready for her. She wasn’t even on call, but was graciously coming in anyway to deliver my baby. She was ready to come in when I wanted, but I knew I wasn’t dilating really quickly & I felt comfortable with our process of going back & forth from the tub to a birthing ball to be monitored.

I was almost completely effaced when I got to the hospital, but I was only 4 cm dilated. As I continued on with labor, I dilated about 1 cm every hour & a half to 2 hours. After a few hours, the nurse noticed that things were slowing down a little & she told me it’d probably be good to go walk around the halls to speed things along. So I put on the little mesh underwear they give you with a big pad – I had no idea you start to bleed a little when delivery gets close – & we went for a walk in the halls. Every 30-45 seconds, I’d have to stop & hold on to Lewis while I had a contraction. I was the only one in the hall, although I knew there were other women in the room in labor, but my nurse told me they were all hooked up to IV’s & epidurals. Even though I was definitely in pain, I was happy that I was able to walk around to speed things up. I liked being able to do what I wanted as long as Isis & I were both doing good.

Shortly after the walk, they checked me again & I was 7 1/2 cm. The contractions started to get stronger & closer together & the nurse offered to call my nurse-midwife to come in to break my water & speed things along. We said we were ready. Up until this point, I had been confident & felt good about everything that was going on. It wasn’t easy & the contractions were a lot harder than I probably make it sound when I’m talking about it, but I was still happy & confident with the way things were going.

Once my water was broken, a lot of that changed. Everything got a lot more intense. The nurse-midwife described it as having no more cushion, so the contractions felt a lot harder. This is definitely true. They started coming faster & felt a lot stronger. It was a lot of things at once. I was clearly in transition, I had no more cushion from the water & I got to the point where I had to stop talking at all, even between contractions. I went inward, focusing on her moving down & out, down & out. I’ve heard that the majority of labor happens in your brain & I found that to be so true for me. When things got hard like this, I focused all my energy on “breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.” It was a conscious effort to not think about pain & put it on something else. It took every ounce of my energy to just keep my mind where I wanted it & not lose control.

The nurse-midwife told me to make noise. She said that a lot of times it helps to let out a groan or a growl or a yell or whatever while in the contraction. I didn’t want to do that because I just didn’t see the point & I thought it seemed embarrassing, but as soon as I finally started doing it, things started moving along. I started feeling a desire to push at the end of every contraction. Not a lot, but a little. Everything in my body wanted that baby out. I was breathing out & groaning out & pushing out. I was ready for her to be out.

I pushed on the birthing ball & I pushed while sitting on the toilet. When I was sitting on the toilet, I looked down & noticed that there was brighter red blood coming out & I got scared. I didn’t realize that this was normal. That’s one moment where I almost lost it. I looked at Lewis & then I saw myself in the mirror & I thought in my head, “I’ve made a huge mistake…” but I wouldn’t say anything out loud. I knew if I said it out loud, I would lose control, lose focus. I closed my eyes & focused on Isis – moving down & out, down & out.

Finally I got back on the bed & the nurse-midwife checked me one last time & ended up having to push the lip of my cervix back so that Isis’ head could get through. That one single thing was more painful in that moment than anything before or after. Even pushing Isis out wasn’t as painful as when she did that. I’m not sure what makes that so much more painful. Maybe it’s the fact that the baby is already making its way down or that you could be in the middle of a contraction when she does it, but either way, Lewis had to literally hold me on the bed because I was in so much pain. Still, I never said a word. I groaned, I cried, but I was thinking in my head, “down & out, down & out, breathe, breathe, breathe.”

Then came pushing & I remember very little of what was going on around me. I know Lewis & Diana were having to help me curl my body up to push her out because I was completely exhausted. I know that 2 other nurses came in right before she came out to do all the prep stuff to her right after she is here. I know that Diana stood at my head. I know that I couldn’t tell the difference between her still being in the birth canal & her crowning.

But I remember exactly what it was like when she came out. 6:06am January 2 – It was an instant, a second & she was there. Within the same second she was placed on my bare chest & we looked at each other. I was completely overwhelmed with what I had just done, with the fact that she was here, with what was coming up, with what I had to do now. I was exhausted & I was scared, but I was home. This girl was going to change everything. She was brand new & I had sacrificed to get her here. Real love always requires sacrifice. For me, that sacrifice began with 9 months of pregnancy & a 21 hour, medication-free, painful labor. She was born through sweat, tears, blood, but also hope, excitement, joy. She gave so much more in that moment than had been taken from me through labor.

My body knew what it was doing. It was bringing her to me. Breathing in, breathing out, pushing down, pushing out, moving second by second, to my arms. Looking back, I wouldn’t do it any other way. Although it is the hardest single thing I’ve ever done in my life, it was also the most rewarding by far.

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