Eowyn’s Birth Story

Let’s start at the beginning sweet girl.  Everything about your pregnancy has been different from the start.  I promise I knew I was pregnant with you within days of conception when I got a horrible headache and started throwing up but it took so long to test positive that I convinced myself it wasn’t true.  I was so sick for the first half of your pregnancy that it made taking care of your sister pretty difficult and the second half I started having pain from a separated pubic bone that made it difficult to walk at times.  Then I started having contractions and trouble with a racing pulse.  So for most of your pregnancy I couldn’t do much but sit around let you cook!

I had so many contractions from about 28 weeks on that I had to take a supplement (that smelled and tasted horrible and is made from cow uterus!) to slow them down.  Then out of no where, once we were in the safe time to deliver you, they stopped! I felt so confused and went a few days with no contractions at all.  It started to feel like you would never come.  Then last Friday they started again and immediately I knew they were different.  They were coming regularly and getting stronger all afternoon but fizzled at bed time.  Saturday I woke up to more of the same and it continued all. day. long.  but again, I was able to go to bed and sleep through them. By Sunday morning I was starting to get exhausted from them so my midwife suggested taking a dose of castor oil to see if that would push them over into full labor.  By afternoon they were still coming regularly and had suddenly got much stronger.  I threw up a bunch and we made plans to maybe head into the birth center soon so I hopped in the shower.  And that was it.  They stopped again.  This continued most of the time until you finally made your appearance!

Tuesday evening my contractions were regular and 10 minutes apart but then I had a half hour break with nothing and almost didn’t send big sister with grandma and grandpa for the night because I thought it would be another night of nothing.  They decided to take her anyways and it was a good thing! I woke up around 2 am and decided to start timing contractions again.  They were starting to feel much stronger but were so sporadic.  I worked hard all night at relaxing through them.  I remembered from my labor with Emmy that fighting them only made them worse so I laid there for hours just letting them wash over me.  With Emmy I envisioned I was swimming in warm deep water when they got really bad but with you, that only sometimes helped me relax.  Instead I kept imagining I was swimming in paint and all the colors swirling around me.  It was totally strange but absolutely worked so I went with it.  Around 4:30am I woke daddy up and told him that I was getting pretty hungry but was afraid if I didn’t eat now that I might get to the point where I was too focused to do it so I sent him for a breakfast sandwich.  At 6:30am he came in and asked if he should go to work or not because he knew my contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart.  I almost sent him but right at that moment I had an extra strong contraction and told him to just stay home for now.

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After laboring all night my contractions were just not getting any closer.  Occasionally there would be some five minutes apart but usually they were still closer to ten and sometimes I’d miss one completely.  They were getting stronger though and I had one that made me think sometime I could almost feel ready to push.  Around 8am I decided to call the birth center.  I got our midwife Lois and told her what was going on and she had me call Angel.  I told Angel that my contractions just weren’t getting closer and she said that sometimes they never do but because they were getting so strong I should probably come in and at least get checked.  We said we’d be there around 9:15am.  On the way there I started to think that we might get sent home.  I went 15 minutes without a contraction which made the ride down much more bearable.  Lois ended up being the one to meet us there and checked me right away because I had several contractions walking into the building.  She then told us that we would be having a baby that day because I was already 6, almost 7cm!

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We got settled into a room and Kendra got there to take pictures.  Contractions were still all over the place.  Because it was cool and rainy outside the heat was on in the center and I was desperate for some fresh air so I hung out in the backyard for 15 minutes while Jason filled out paper work.  When I came inside I decided to get in the tub.  I still hadn’t decided for sure whether I was going to have you in the tub and wanted to see how it felt. After about an hour Lois had me get out so we could switch out the water and she could check me again.  I hadn’t progressed more but you were much lower and Lois told me to push just a little bit to see if having you push again my cervix would dilate me further.  Suddenly my water burst and you were full engaged!

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It was decision time and I asked to get back in the tub. I was only in there for a few minutes before I felt ready to start pushing but I was suddenly filled with dread.  When your sister Emmy was born I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t afraid to start pushing but then it took 3 hours to get her to come out.  There was part of me that was suddenly terrified this would happen again but I knew that fear is what makes pain escalate and told myself to not fight it.  I decided to just let it happen.  I wasn’t going to push until it felt right.  And then it happened.  One or two good pushes and your head was out and as painful as it was, it didn’t feel like I was even trying.  I remember hearing Kendra be surprised to see your head and both midwives and daddy saying good job over and over. One more and you were here and you slipped out covered in vernix. I was so excited to see you so white and creamy and here!  Everyone was talking about how easy I had made it look but all I could think about was how surprised I was to be holding you already.

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At first I thought that you looked exactly like your big sister. You had the same crease at the top of your nose. But we quickly realized how much rounder you looked. You had chubby cheeks, a double chin and the most adorable pouty bottom lip ever. We waited for my placenta to come so that we could make sure you got every ounce of cord blood possible and to see you next to the wonderful organ that helped grow you for the past nine months. We talked about how even though our midwife Lois has helped mamas deliver over 3,300 babies, you were only maybe the third she has helped out in the water!  Then we headed into bed to snuggle.

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We got your measurements and everyone was so surprised that you were 8lbs 11oz and 21.5″ because you were 4 days early and just didn’t feel that big. Everything checked out great as the midwives monitored us for the next hour and you latched on to nurse almost immediately. You knew exactly what you wanted and it was food!  After a couple of hours we took a bath together and got dressed and ready to head home.

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Once we got home and settled it was time for big sister Emerson to come meet you. She walked in and saw your car seat right away and then saw daddy holding you. She pointed and said baby Eowyn but didn’t want to get very close to you. She said “two babies” because she thought there was still a baby in mommy’s tummy and now you too. Eventually she let us hold you near her but only for a second. I held you against my chest and Emmy climbed up an laid next to you. She kept looking at you trying to figure out who you were. We were now a family of four with two beautiful girls.

Half a year old!

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How is it possible that you are already half a year old!? What a past month it has been. If I’m being honest baby, I’d probably say this month has been the toughest of our time together so far.  Ever since we got back from Florida it has been a rocky road with not a lot of sleep and quite a bit of tears.  I remember in the middle of one of our mostly sleepless nights I turned to your daddy and asked him to please take good care of you when I have to go to the hospital from sleep deprivation. I was very serious. I’ve had the flu (twice now!), had to go on a medication that screwed with my moods and hurt my milk supply and all of this caused you to be extremely fussy for a while.  I couldn’t figure out what you needed, you were sleepy but wouldn’t nap and as it turns out, very hungry.

But it’s a new month and things are looking up. You are back to sleeping 3-5 hours at a time during the night with an occasional 7 hour stretch. I never thought we’d get naps figured out but after a lot of trial and error and occasionally literally falling on my knees asking for divine wisdom, it seems we have finally found our groove.
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A few weeks before you turned 6 months we decided to try giving you solid food. You had been trying to grab our food at dinner time for a couple of weeks and even managed to get a black bean once. You never seemed satisfied after nursing and now I knew why. So we gave you some puréed peas mixed with breast milk and despite the faces I captured that first time, you loved it.

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Now days you eat mixes three times a day and chow down. We’ve also had to use some homemade formula with you occasionally. Sometime we give you solid bits of steamed veggies. We have known for a few months now that you have a flair for the dramatic but this really comes out when you experience these new textures. You make a loud noise like you are choking and make a hilarious face. We freaked out the first few times but soon learned you were fine. Hopefully we will know when you actually ARE choking? Between 4.5-5.5 months you didn’t gain any weight but now you are up over 15lbs. But most importantly you are so much happier!

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You are becoming quite mobile although you aren’t exactly crawling yet. You love to pull yourself on anything you can get ahold of and move yourself around that way. You sit up all the time these days and can almost gracefully get yourself down on to your tummy from there. When you are on your tummy you lift yourself up and get really excited and then drop back down which causes you to scoot backwards. So far this is the only direction you’ve got mastered but I think you’re on the verge of forward motion.

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You love when we are around other people and get bored with just staying at home with me. When we are in a store you look around for someone to make eye contact with and then often smile at them like you are willing them to come talk to you. Mommy isn’t sure what to do with such an extrovert. You have started reaching to go to other people but keep tabs on mommy and daddy to make sure you can’t still see them.

You give hugs now. Every afternoon around 4 you start to say “dadada” and I think you know it is getting closer to time for daddy to come home. You shake your head like you are saying no but generally it seems like you just like the way it feels.  Sometimes you get really excited and you make a funny face and blink both eyes.  You try to hold on to all four of your rubber duckies in the bath tub at once. You’re very silly.
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Emmy, I pray that

“May she be bread and feed many with her life and her laughter
May she be thread and mend brokenness and knit hearts
May she be dead to all ladders & never go higher, only lower, to the lonely, the least & the longing
Her led of the Spirit to lead many to the Cross
that leads to the tomb wildly empty.”

5 months young!

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Mommy’s big girl! You are 5 months old now and ready to go go go. The past month has been one full of change for you. A few weeks ago you suddenly stopped sleeping good at night and I knew something was up. Around this time you stopped babbling too.

Then the day before we left for Florida I tried sitting you up on your own on our bed and you did it!

I thought maybe it was just easier to sit on the soft mattress but when we got down to Florida and tried it on Grandma and Grandpa Becker’s carpet you did it again. At first you were unsure of yourself and only could stay for 20 seconds or so but by the end of the week you were starting to balance and could reach out and play with toys while you stayed sitting. Now you catch yourself with your hands if you start to go to one side and can even let yourself down on to your stomach without just completely falling over. You can roll both ways and sometimes do a a complete cycle from tummy back to tummy. You lift yourself up like you want to crawl but mostly just scoot backwards.

You also suddenly started talking again when you turned 5 months. The last two nights you have had a long talking session around dinner time. You use your tongue more and it basically sounds like “blah, blah, blah”.

You’ve started sleeping a little bit better on some nights and even slept through the night again the other night but you are still up quite a bit over all because of your next challenge…teeth! When we were in Florida daddy discovered a bump on your gum, half way back! Sure enough you have a molar popping out there already. When we got back to Kansas we used a flash light to look in your mouth and could see a couple of other pimple looking spots, also half way back. I guess you didn’t want to be traditional and get your front teeth first.

You had so much fun in Florida (except for when we had to ride in the car!). We went swimming, to the beach, and met lots of friends and family.


We also celebrated your first Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma Becker and Aunt Britany.

We are having so much fun watching you change and grow every single day.
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“Father who breathed into this daughter…

I pray for this girl being formed into eternity….

May the wind always be in her hair

May the sky always be wide with hope above her

And may all the hills be an exhilaration

the trials but a trail,

all the stones but stairs to God.” -Ann Voskamp

You’re a third of a year old!

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Happy Happy 4 months! What a big girl you are. You haven’t slowed down with your amazing feats and ridiculous need to grow up too fast. You stand up all the time and even lift yourself up from sitting if mommy’s hands are in front of you. You’re getting a lot closer to figuring out how to scoot around on your stomach but it still makes you pretty frustrated when we do tummy time. You still love trees and love that now we have a tree INSIDE our house covered with lights.

Speaking of lights…. we celebrated Christmas with daddy’s family on Thanksgiving. Merry first Christmas baby!

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You got to open, or watch mommy open, too many presents for such a little girl! You are spoiled by your aunts and uncles and grandparents. You got toys and clothes and your aunt Annette made you some bibs and a cool book (and lots of other things)

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Every day is so much fun to watch you experience life and learn new things. I miss you being a tiny baby already but I wouldn’t hold you back for the world. You’re meant to do amazing things and mommy and daddy can’t wait to see the awesome kid you become.

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I pray every night that grace and peace will be yours in abundance.

Tres months!

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Mommy is a little bit late wishing you a happy 3 months! In general, since your arrival earth side, I’ve been more organized than ever before. It’s just getting around to blogging that I’m not so good at. I don’t think I ever imagined the personality changes in myself I’d discover after your birth. Even on bad days when you need extra attention, I still manage to get more done than I did before.

So you’re three months old! We’ve really settled into our groove now…as long as mommy doesn’t eat anything with dairy in it. Then there goes our routine out the window and happy baby with it. When I’m dairy free you sleep from about 9-6am, are up to eat and get a diaper change and then put yourself back down for a morning nap until around 9/10:30am. It’s pretty awesome because now mommy ends up with 8 hours of sleep and gets a few things done in the morning. When you get up from nap you are usually very happy and we’ve been doing play time on the floor. Mommy has been working hard to teach you to learn how to entertain yourself. We aren’t into noisy light up toys. Daddy and I want you to learn to use your imagination without needing constant distractions. Right now we are working on building you a mobile for playing with on the floor. Daddy is building the frame with wood and between mommy, Aunt Annette and Grandma Nisly we will come up with some hand made toys to hang from it.

After lunch time you go down for another nap. Some days you sleep over three hours, some days only an hour. A lot of times you wake up exactly 45 minutes after going to sleep and mommy works hard to get you back to sleep.

Over the past couple of weeks you’ve started using a funny cry sometimes and lately it has become your hungry cry. The really interesting this is that you say “ahhhgeeee” over and over and it sort of sounds like hungry.

A couple of weeks ago daddy was changing your diaper and you grabbed on to his fingers. He pulled his hands up and you held on and suddenly you were standing! He thought it was really funny so he tried it again and you did the same thing. He called me in to show me and you kept doing it, every time. Now you think standing up is the best thing ever and you try to do it constantly. Every time we reach to pick you up you stick your legs straight out and stiffen them. This is sort of inconvenient when trying to dress you or get you out of your car seat. You are so determined!

You are totally laughing now, especially when daddy does silly things. You live it when he makes you fly through the air. He thinks it’s great that you make your own airplane noise, out your tush!

Trees have continued to be your favorite thing. When we go on a walk you squeal with delight as we go under them.

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You were the cutest little lamb for Halloween ever!

And (mostly) cooperated for your 3 month photo shoot…

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Baby girl, I pray you will “learn to ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.” – Wendell Berry

that time you laughed at mommy…

Mommy hasn’t been very good at updating this month!

You had your 2 month doctor’s appointment and clocked in at 11lbs 7oz and 25 inches. That put you in the 50-75 percentile on weight and 95 percent on height. Go figure! I just weighed you with me tonight and you’re getting pretty close to 12 lbs.

You have become such a happy baby these last couple of weeks. Mostly I think you are feeling better now that I cut dairy out if my diet. You’ve gotten over your angry car rides for the most part too. You generally take pretty decent morning and afternoon naps and a short nap at lunch and after dinner. You were sleeping up to 9 hours at a time at night but lately it’s been more in the 5-7 hour range.

You still love bath time and love watching the trees go by when we go on walks. You still try to talk to us all the time and have started doing it for other people some too. You love to blow bubbles and I’ve started putting bibs on you because otherwise you drench your outfits.

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You’ve started trying to put everything in your mouth and love playing with your wood teething toy. We got you an amber necklace to wear and went ahead and put it on you now instead of waiting for teething to officially start.

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You hate when mommy sneezes but love when we blow in your face or beat box for you.

Last weekend Mommy was gone for your whole night time routine but you and Daddy handled it like champs. It takes you a little bit to figure out the bottle but you’ll be getting some more practice soon.

Tonight you were looking at mommy like you thought I was ridiculous. I’m pretty sure I make the same face. Mommy and daddy both started laughing at you and you looked at us and laughed too!

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Hey hey baby- you’re 2 months old!

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You’ve been out of my tummy for 2 months now but it feels like I’ve always known you. Getting to be your mommy is the coolest thing I’ve experienced. Some people make the mistake of thinking their kids “complete” them. I get the sentiment but baby, you and I, we are both totally complete. Completely loved. Completely known. Completely created. We just get the privilege of being in each other’s lives.

You are still growing up way too fast and showing very little interest in being a tiny baby. The other day I weighed you on the bathroom scale with me and you clocked in at 11.2lbs. You don’t like to be held to close, you want to SEE the world around you. After you are fed and burped I lay you in front of me so you can stare up at me while we talk. And boy do you talk! You can even make a D and T sound.

The other day I laid you on your back in our bed and only looked away for a few moments when you pulled this stunt…
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Just in the past week you’ve decided that you don’t like car rides. This is not cool! You scream while I try to get where we are headed as quickly (and safely!) as possible. Hopefully this is just a phase! It isn’t your car seat that you hate, you do great on walks in it. I suspect it is that you can’t see anyone when you are back there.

You’ve been becoming a mommy’s girl. I think you are way too young to be pulling a stunt like this but even Auntie Tonya had a hard time soothing you when I left you for a quick appointment the other day. But she’s a quick thinker and remembered that I sing to you every night and Amazing Grace calmed you right down. You know what you want and like, that’s for sure!
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that time you tried to eat your hand…

There are times that you are so excited to eat that you find your hand before I can get you latched. I have to wrestle your hand away from you because you are so enthusiastic. We kept finding what looks like bruises on the back of your wrist and could not figure it out until one day I realized you were leaving marks you were trying to eat there so hard. Silly girl!

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My hope is that you learn to not fight so hard in life for something that will never satisfy you. That your hunger will not lead you to become bruised and disoriented but instead that you will be filled to overflowing with the fullness of God. That you will come to know how wide and long and high and deep you are loved, so much that it is more than any of us can understand.

The writer Ann Voskamp is always praying that her children will not climb ladders but learn to go lower. I pray this for you. That you will go deeper into His glorious riches, and not get lost in chasing success here on earth.

I pray that you will have enough frustration that reminds you that we don’t belong to this reality and deep satisfaction when you are aware of the role you play in the Kingdom.

May you always be comfortable being a work in progress and always know you are loved exactly where you are.

Because baby, the world will offer you a lot of counterfeits. Things and ideas that will seem right at the time but that will leave you unfulfilled. Don’t settle for the lies. Press on. Always keep searching for the real deal.

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That time you taught me to be still…

You’re seven weeks old and still growing up way to fast! The other night we went back to the birth center for a follow up appointment (mommy and baby both are great) and I held you on the scale with me-you’re 10lbs already. Your little thighs are filling out and we still lovingly refer to you as the Buddha burrito because of your awesome tummy. You eat pretty much any chance you get and the other day Grandma Nisly have you a bottle with 3.5oz and you finished it like a champ and still wanted more.

Seriously kiddo, slllllllow down. You’re teaching me that art so why don’t you practice what you preach little missy? I recently rediscovered Jónsi and Alex’s Riceboy Sleeps album when I wanted some soothing to play for you while we went out on a drive. Usually canned music isn’t your thing and I have to sing for you to focus but you seemed to really dig this stuff. The music is slow. Exceptionally slow. Like a barely flowing stream. It progresses but it’s almost like you can’t perceive it happening. I found myself wanting to put the radio on at first because I got tired of waiting around for it to get somewhere. That’s when I realized how long it had been since I had taken it in. It used to be one of my favorite albums. Now I’m not used to the patience it takes to soak it in. But I made myself keep it on, made myself slow down and let it progress at it’s own pace. Driving and listening to it put you to sleep and made me take some deep breaths. So thanks for that.

We spend most evenings in your room on the rocking chair. You eat off and on until you finally settle to sleep. Some nights you are fussy, some nights you smile and talk to us. But you stay much calmer if we hang out in there in your happy place. I know you’re not officially supposed to be babbling, just cooing but considering the amount of sounds you make including consonants, I’d say it’s safe to say you’ve passed that milestone. Every night Daddy tries to get you to say “daddy”. Sometimes you sound ridiculously close to it! I’m fine with his one sided lessons (okay, he occasionally says mommy too). What he doesn’t know is that if you’re first word is daddy then that’s who you will call for in the middle of the night. 🙂

We decided to try putting you back in your sleeper instead of your crib but in your room this time. Ever since then you’ve been sleeping for 6-7 hour stretches! We think this is because you’ve had some reflux that was waking you up when you lay flat. We’d prop your crib mattress up but since you’re so good at rolling I’m afraid you’d always end up on the bottom end of your crib.

Happy One Month Emmy!

Look who is 1 month old today!

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This week we moved you into your own room. Over all, you’ve been rocking it like a champ. It’s like you were just waiting for the independence. Mommy isn’t sure why you are so set on growing so fast but she’s okay with you sleeping for 7 hours and going down easy!

You can’t fit any newborn onesies anymore and as soon as you start wearing your cloth diapers you might be too big for 3 months. Yay for fuzzy butts!

You make mommy and daddy smile and laugh all the time. I can’t believe a whole month has gone by but we’re having a blast with you here!