How it all went down #freebirthing
It’s taken me a few days to get to the point where I was ready to write out ‘how it went down’ on Friday the 13th. The much anticipated day was nothing like either Ali or I had imagined but there was definitely excitement and tenderness all the way around. Here is a recap of the birth story for my processing and your enjoyment!
A few weeks ago I joked with Ali that Friday the 13th would be a cool birthday- who knew it would be baby boys birthday!! Ali and the girls flew in Wednesday the 11th and the week was jam packed with fun things, going to the circus, school carnival, some pamper time, a girls night out, maternity pictures. We had it all perfectly scheduled which left the weekend and following week wide open for baby to come....welll my Bryce woke up sick Wednesday night and Christian and I tag teamed the puke fest all night long. I don’t do well with puke. The smell, sound, clean up etc. is enough to make me hurl. So I wasn’t surprised that I started feeling nauseous that night and into Thursday. I didn’t feel like eating or drinking and pretty much napped all day. Bryce and I stayed home from the circus Thursday evening and I got to bed early, desperately needing a good night of sleep.
I didn’t sleep great, which seemed to be the usual lately. I lay in bed Friday morning thinking how I needed to really pull it together today. I wanted to get my room cleaned up, birth plan printed, hospital bag packed and house picked up. Not to mention today was the busiest day of the week and one I was really looking forward to! I still wasn’t feeling great but was sick of feeling sick so I got up and hopped in the shower around 7:20am hoping to get a fresh start on the day and to make it to my 9am OB appointment. I lost my mucus plug right before my shower and after a little examination I deducted that I would go into labor within 2 days....according to my hypnobirthing class.
7:21am my friend Brett text me to coordinate babysitting for later that day. I responded at 8:12am that I needed to cancel because I was “starting to cramp and feel uncomfortable”
8:11am Ali text “How did everyone survive the night” (referring to sickness that had been going through the family)
I started feeling really crampy in the shower but chalked it up to being exhausted and dehydrated. After I got out of the shower I barfed in a grocery sack- save yourself the trouble and just don’t ever trust them not to have holes;)
8:15am I called Christian to come help me clean up my puke- thanks babe! He then left for work....we still thought it was the flu! I did tell him he needed to keep his phone on him just incase I needed him to come home.
8:26am Chelsey text Ali “I just threw up a bunch a few minutes ago”
Ali replied “Really!!???”
“ohh chels I’m so sorry”
8:23 and 8:38am I called OB office to see if they wanted me to come in for my appointment since I had just thrown up. No one answered.
I couldn’t get any relief and finally realized that I was now having contractions. My go to stance was kneeling at the foot of my bed. As I was kneeling there I thought to myself. If this is the beginning of labor please kill me. I cannot do this for 12 hours! I timed a few contractions. Each was ~40 second long maybe 40 seconds apart. Which according to my class the contractions needed to be about 1 minute long for dilation to happen. So then I thought, "SCREW mother freakin’ hypnobirthing. I’m going to the hospital and getting an epidural and if I’m not dilated at all, I’ll have them induce me and give me an epidural!"
8:53am I called Christian to come home and take me to the hospital- luckily he hadn't gotten too far.
I was either going to be having a baby or getting an IV or something strong because I was NOT going to keep doing this.
9:03am I text Ali “I think I’m in labor. Its hard to say since I’m so dehydrated” Ali responded but I’m not sure if I even read the response. I definitely was past the point of thinking clearly.
9:10am I text Danielle our Doula “I think I’m in labor. I’ve been not sleeping and I’ve been sick so it’s hard to tell what’s going on. I keep throwing up. I’m dehydrated and don’t think I can keep going without and epidural.” She text back a few minutes later and I couldn’t mentally pull it together enough to respond to her either.
Christian got home and started doing counter pressure, which felt amazing. We were chasing our tails trying to pack the hospital bag. I think I turned every drawer in my room inside out looking for a dang phone charger adapter! I only had a few seconds between contractions to do anything and then BAM another one would hit.
Mom walks down to check on us and sees Christian doing counter pressure then asked if she should call Ali. “YES!” She then stepped in the hall to call.
9:26am Mom called Ali to tell her that this was for real’s labor and to meet them at the hospital. Ali was just about to get in the shower in Bluffdale. She asked if she had time to shower and mom said "NO!" Ali then asked when she should meet us there. Mom asks me when we are leaving and I said “NOW”. She tells Ali “now” and hangs up. Ali, Jumps out and gets dressed and practically flies down to meet us. Made it to us in about 12 minutes- thank you guardian angels for watching over her!
I had finally gotten dressed and then I had the world’s longest contraction. I think I was sort of crying to Christian saying “it won’t stop!” and as soon as that one stopped I sort of fell over sideways on the floor. Christian came over to put pressure on my hips and I said “don’t touch me!” Mom had just come back from talking to Ali and asked what she could pack for me and I said “not now.”
I then proclaimed, “I've got to go to the bathroom!!” which thanks to my birth class I new meant the baby was ready to come out. Christian tried to help me up- I was half squat standing with my arms around his neck.
My mom said, do you think the baby is coming and apparently I said, “will you check mom?” so she felt between my legs and could feel the head. As soon as she felt the head she ran out of he room to grab towels without saying a word. I was then kneeling down and reached inside my shorts and delivered the baby!
After I pulled him out (guessing it was about 9:33am) I said, “Baby’s here”. I looked up at Christian, whose eyes were the size of golf balls, and then at my mom. Time stood still for a few seconds or maybe it was just one second as we tried to let our brains catch up to what just happened.
I remember thinking, “oh no! This was NOT how it was supposed to happen. Ali was supposed to be here (or rather THERE at the hospital) to catch baby!”
Somehow after baby came out I ripped off my shirt to give more skin to skin to baby and help stimulate him.
9:33am We called Ali and I said, “you have a baby!” Ali:“OMG are you serious?” “at home?” ME: “Ya- we had a home birth” “I’m keeping him warm for you- hurry here!”
Christian suggested we call Danielle and tell her we had the baby at home.
9:34am We called Danielle doula (26 minutes) she told us to call 911
9:35am Mom called 911 (12 minutes) in between running back and forth to the dryer to get warm towels.
While on the phone with 911- Heidi (who was amazing btw). asked us if baby was breathing or crying?? Told us to hold baby down and rub his back. He started to cry
I think we tilted him down twice to pink him up and get him to cry.
She later asked if the cord was still pulsing which it wasn’t by then and asked if we had any clean string to tie the cord...we all just sort of looked around the room and Christian eventually found an elastic to tie around the cord.
9:41am I text a picture of baby to Ali and Bryce, Ali responded that she was 4 minutes out.
9:46am I tried to nurse
9:47am The paramedics showed up
9:49am Ali ran in
The paramedics clamped the cord and Ali cut the cord and then was finally able to hold her babes.
I was still wearing my shorts sitting on the floor while the commotion swirled around me. I felt very calm and peaceful but so shocked at how radical that last 30 minutes was.
9:54am Casey came to pick my mom and kids up for the school carnival. Mind you I’m supposed to be at my OB appointment. She drives over the hill to our house and sees all the emergency vehicles outside. Sorry for the scare!
The kids were outside with the police officer when Casey pulled in. Our neighbor Anna had come out to see what was going on and Casey sent Ivy, Junie and Brooks in with Anna while she ran inside to see what was going on. She was shocked to find us all there in my little bedroom with the baby.
9:55 One paramedic said to the other you will probably deliver the placenta on route to the hospital and just about that same time I felt the placenta slip out. I guess I said, “placenta’s here” sort of like “pizzas here!” lol sorry if you never enjoy pizza the same!
I wanted to take a good look at the placenta to make sure it was all there. So I grabbed it and looked at it before dropping it in the bag. There was a tear on part of it, which we later learned that a portion was still inside.
They gave me a shot of Pitocin which I wish didn’t happen because it made retrieving the small pieces very painful since everything had already began contracting.
9:58am They hoisted me onto a tarp and carried me out the house and down the stairs to where they had a fancy wheeled stretcher all ready for me. They strapped me down and then loaded me into the ambulance and off to the hospital. At this point all I was wearing were my knee-high compression socks!- woot woot!
10:01am Ali, baby and I traveled together to American Fork Hospital.
My mom hurried back inside to clean up the birth scene and then drove Ali’s car to the hospital. Christian grabbed my stuff and met us there in our car.
Dr. Thomas met us shortly after arriving to the hospital. He sewed up my tear.
When they were checking my uterus he realized there was some placenta still inside so the worst part was everyone helping me “remain relaxed and calm” as my uterus got scraped out. I did feel very grateful for my people during those hellasous moments.
Soon after, I was transferred to recover and the rest was easy peasy. Ordered some food, took a nap, snuggled the babes, and visited with my mom and sister. There is still so much more to share but this is all for now.
Thanks for following along, loving and supporting us through this amazing adventure! We sure love baby Koda. Growing him inside me will always be one of my greatest joys.
It’s taken me a while to put into words the things I’ve been feeling over the last 9+ months. I’ll start from the beginning because I think it helps illustrate God’s hand in making this happen.
2021- Three, 3 year olds nearly did me in. Toughest year of my life for many reasons and most days ‘getting through it’ was my only goal. Ok so really rough year, I basically didn’t like children, babies gave me anxiety and I was SURE that we were DONE having kids. I was about ready to get rid of our last embryo because I was that sure!
Then something happened, not sure what but my heart started to soften a bit, I found a little more joy in my children and I even flirted with the idea of being ok being pregnant. THIS WAS BIG and I was super confused because I knew the timing wasn’t right for our family to have another baby right then but why was I starting to think and be OK with the thought of being pregnant?? I realized I was being prepared for something and I think I knew before anyone else what that was.
A year prior I told my sister that if she needed me to carry a baby for her I would. At the time they were still in the throws of infertility treatments and not ready to consider that option. I offered again and made sure she knew I was serious and said to think about it and let me know. After a brutal year full of loss and let down (my explanation of their year) they were open and welcoming to the idea.
I hadn’t quite cleared the idea with Christian but I knew he would be supportive. The night I told Christian about what I was thinking he was completely supportive and said "sure maybe in a few years when our kids are in kindergarten or something." To which I replied, “how about in 3 months at the end of this summer?” It took him a minute but after we talked through the why of the timing we were both in agreement that immediately was the best timing for our family.
The closer we got the more excited I was. Probably had something to do with my experience with infertility and knowing how crappy the process can be. It felt good to be helping. The best way I could describe how I felt and still feel is when you find the perfect Christmas present for someone and you cannot wait to give it to them. Especially when the gift is home grown and close to your heart for 9 months;)
Overall the process was pretty smooth, but most importantly the embryo transfer worked the first time – hallelujah! And here we are at 37 weeks getting ready to welcome this sweet boy into the world! Unlike my last pregnancy, this pregnancy has been relatively stress free. Of course there is the sickness, swelling, heartburn and exhaustion that come with pregnancy but I think for most that’s something that you accept and deal with as it comes. In many ways this has been a healing time for Christian and me but that’s another story for another day!
I’ve felt very confident about my decision to be a gestational carrier from the very beginning. I strongly feel that this was something I volunteered to do before I came to earth. Over the past few months I’ve tried to explain to friends how this experience is really good for our family. None of our kids are biologically ‘ours’. Our family was built by many people, and although it’s not weird or shameful to us, I know it’s not the ‘norm’. So preparing our kids for this experience and talking through it as the baby has grown has provided lots of opportunities to discuss our family and what makes a family. It’s been a sweet time for sure. I love the pure love of children because they have been excited about this gift that we get to give and they think its pretty special. I say that with a smirk because tonight as we were getting ready for bed, one of mine announced to the rest of the family that they “do not love mom!!!” lol
Some adults on the other hand seem to have a little more to say on the matter. For the record, I’m not bothered by their opinions, questions or reactions just more of an observation. I think most come around to think it’s a good thing, eventually:)
Overall, I’ve been blessed with an amazing support group of friends and family who have been there from the beginning, offering nothing but love and encouragement. I’m constantly in awe at how good and loving the people in my life are.
I’ve been asked more times than I can count if I’m going to be OK after the baby is born, if its going to be hard to give him to my sister, and other similar questions. I know full well those strong hormones after birth are likely to make the experience emotional, but not how you might think. From the beginning I’ve known this baby wasn’t mine. He is my nephew. I’ve mentally pictured him in my sister’s arms- always. I don’t ever entertain the idea of him being my baby...because he isn’t! He is 100% biologically theirs and my only role is to grow his body and then of course love him as an auntie loves their nieces and nephews. I’m excited for my sister and brother-in-law to hold the baby and start bonding right after birth. I know how special and important that time is and I’m excited for them to experience it.
Part of why it’s taken me so long to write about this experience is because the overarching word that describes how I feel about this journey is, sacred. It’s scary to be vulnerable and open about things that are sacred. Turns out this whole thing is sacred- life is sacred, growing a child is sacred, helping another family grow is sacred, service is sacred. I feel honored to be a part of such a special experience.
Hopefully soon I can post again with some pictures of this little dude and about the birth! Stay tuned!
Stayin' alive stayin' alive...
I’m feeling extra grateful for Christian today because this morning marks one year since he dropped a truck on his head and survived! Woof- that is one phrase I hope to never use again!
It was mid morning and Christian was working on his truck which was on a car jack. He was lying on his side when the truck slipped of the jack and fell to the ground hitting Christians face in the process. Because he was lying on his side the truck hit the side of his head, face and chest before landing on its tires. No doubt, if the truck didn’t have tires on he would have not survived that day.
I’m not sure how long he was outside, not sure if he blacked out and if so for how long but as soon as he was able he came inside looking fairly pale and says to me, “I just hit my face really hard with the truck. I was in the middle of getting the kids fed and ready for day and honestly I was half listening, so after he told me that I pictured him opening the car door and smacking his face- I mean who hasn’t done that before right? LOL And although that would have totally sucked I didn’t think it really warranted a pity party so being a little annoyed I asked him if he was ok and if he was planning on working (not my finest hour of compassion!!). He said I don’t think you understand, I hit my face really hard, I need to go lay down. Still not understanding what happened I continued on taking care of the kids thinking he would take care of himself and probably be fine within the hour. i went to check on him a while later and it was obvious that his face was hurting but the most concerning thing was his jaw locked- yikes so much for being ok after an hour or so of rest!
My sister-in-law is a nurse practitioner and has rescued us many times. This time was no different, she came over or to see how Christian was doing and after we talked about a few of the possibilities we all agreed that a CT scan was needed.
I’ll never forget walking into the hospital pulling our three 18month-2 year olds in the wagon and walking next to my hurt husband. This was a moment where time stood still for me and I remember asking God over and over again to please not let there be anything wrong. I didn't think I could handle it, yet deep down I knew something was wrong. Let me remind you that Christian didn’t look different, no blood, no major swelling so it wasn’t crazy for me to have held out hope for a muscle spasm or something that would be causing his locked jaw.
After the CT scan we headed home and anxiously awaited the results. Casey and Chad came over that night to break the news that Christian’s face was indeed broken. By now Christian’s face was starting to look droopy on the broken side and I was mentally gearing up for what the next few weeks would look like. I was terrified. Casey worked her magic to get us an appointment with an amazing maxi facial surgeon who explained what would need to be done to fix the break. I was shocked as he explained how they would cut behind the hear all the way to the top of his head and then peel his face off to access the break!!! The surgeon wanted the swelling to go down so surgery was scheduled for the following week.
Christian was so impressive through the whole process. He never complained, continued working, came home from work exhausted but happy and spent the rest of the evening playing with the kids. For someone who suffers several times a year with a bad case of the man cold, I was really impressed with how he powered through and remained optimistic #stud
In preparation for the surgery we cut Christian’s hair really short. We almost shaved his head entirely but wimped out at the last minute because we thought it wasn’t necessary...in hindsight I should have shaved the whole thing!
Surgery day had finally come. Christian's cousin Ali came to watch the kids- thank you Ali!
The surgery was a couple hours longer than I expected which had me worried and it didn’t help that there were several code blues called to the OR that afternoon and since I wasn’t sure which OR Christian was in I had convinced myself that it had to be him.
When the surgeon came to talk to me I was relieved to hear that everything went smoothly and I couldn’t wait to actually see Christian. When I finally did I was a little taken back because he looked ROUGH! Swollen, bruised and all wrapped up. I for sure thought the kids would be terrified of him!
I worked in a hospital for several years but nothing really prepares you to be the patient/patient family. From the dozens of nurses we interacted with to the surgery waiting room, the handful of code blues that were called to the OR that day and the less than impressive recovery care we received we were glad to be heading home.
The next day I did my best to prepare the kids for a scary looking daddy. When they finally saw him they were so excite and more curious than scared- mind you his head was still wrapped up.
A couple days after the surgery, I took off his head dressing to clean the incision and reapply ointment. I could not believe what I saw. Cleaning his head was torture. So gross! I still wasn’t convinced he would ever look the same and while I was grossing out he couldn’t get enough. I think he called everyone in his contact list to show off his incision!
I’m happy to report that Christian has healed up handsomely and that he no longer works on our cars LOL
When I think back to this incident I’m first reminded of the many good things that happened. I think of how Casey came to our rescue and never complained how inconvenient it was to spend all that time making phone calls or driving around picking up the CT results. I’m reminded of how comforting it was to leave the kids with Ali, someone I 100% trust. I’m reminded of the many friends and neighbors who brought over dinners. The cousins, aunts, uncles and siblings who generously pooled money, which was such a blessing when Christian wasn’t able to work.
This experience has once again taught me that God is in charge. Even when its scary and uncertain, He created the bigger picture and relying on Him can bring peace even in the most trying of times.
The label “ADOPTION”
Many of the things I shared in this post have been on my mind for a while. I’ve taken time to process what is best for our family and since every family and adoption situation is unique there isn’t a one size fits all method to follow. I share to bring awareness and to give a gentle reminder to pause before you slap a label on someone, especially a young and very impressionable someone. Its not socially acceptable to label adults so why are we quick to label kids?
One question that I frequently get asked is how/when are you going to tell Juniper that she is adopted?
When we are in public I refer to my kids as the triplets so its only natural for some to think that Juniper doesn’t know she was adopted. Before I continue, I'll put you at ease by saying that she does know she is adopted, just in words that a 2 year old understands- more on that later.
From the day we decided we would be adopting I wanted to advocate for adoption and hoped that frequently sharing our story with others could help end some of the negative stigma that society has built around ‘adoption’. I remember when the babes were only a couple months old I was walking around a store pushing my triple stroller (definitely an attention grabber!!) and I had several people ask me about my kids. I hadn’t given much thought about how much or what parts of my story I wanted to share with others. Unprepared for the attention, I stumbled through the highlights of our family story saying something to the effect of, “we were trying to have kids for a long time through infertility treatments and adoption but nothing was working and then we were finally matched through our adoption agency and at the same time got pregnant with twins!”
Stranger, waving a finger at my kids asks, “so which one is adopted?”
Me, feeling cornered in our conversation and obligated to answer replied, “our daughter is adopted.” I looked down to see Juniper starting at me with her serious little face and bright blue eyes. She was listening to every word I said. I had a moment of clarity; it was my responsibility to protect her story and her from being labeled as the adopted one. Unfortunately well intending people are too nosy and must know which child is adopted. My intentions of advocating for adoption haven’t changed but how I answer questions in order to protect my daughter from labels has changed completely.
It was after that and several other similar instances that I decided I needed to change how I answer those well-intended yet damaging questions. At first it didn’t feel authentic to call them triplets and for some reason I felt like I owed all these perfect strangers something by telling them how our family was really built but with time I’ve gotten over it.
Sooo when others ask, I typically avoiding adoption all together. We don’t single Juniper out as the ‘adopted one’ and because they are so close in age its easier to answer that they are triplets. Honestly it isn’t practical and kind of dangerous to have a conversation with someone when I’m keeping three busy kids contained in a shopping cart- I’m sure many others can agree with this!
If I shared our family story with every inquisitive stranger, or family friend, or friend of a friend that we pass in the store, on a walk, or at church, Juniper would constantly be bombarded with the label of being adopted, which I don’t think is healthy.
She should not be defined by a decision that she had no say in and I want to eliminate the label as much as possible. So are we keeping it a secret?? Nope, I have spent many days and sleepless nights thinking, pondering, educating myself and praying for guidance on how to navigate this idea of ‘telling’ Juniper that she is adopted. I finally feel at peace with a more gently age appropriate explanation.
The word ‘adoption’ means nothing to a child until there is a foundation of understanding. Instead of using the word adoption or adopted or adoptee we use words she understands that help create the foundation for the label.
At an age appropriate level she knows she was adopted but like I said previously, I don’t want that to be her defining thing and I don’t want it to be how she is described to others, especially strangers. I don’t want to see those beautiful eyes looking at me wondering if I’m going to label her as adopted. For Junipers sake when we are out together and you see a friend please share the details of our story with them another time. I would love to tell you about our adoption journey and answer all of your questions just not in front of my kids.
>>If all of our kids were adopted this post might be different. the label adoption would probably feel more inclusive instead of setting Juniper apart as different<<
The lucky ones
This day was made for us and not just because we have Irish triplets but that's a good reason too.
March 17, 2017 didn’t feel so lucky. I woke up that morning to get ready for work and I was covered in blood. I immediately started panicking because blood is not what you want to see when you are trying to get pregnant or pregnant and to be frankly honest, I kinda don’t ever like to see it! I especially wasn’t expecting to see blood because we had recently transferred 2 PERFECT embryos and I desperately wanted them to take. Plus, in our previous embryo transfer failures I wouldn’t even start bleeding until several days after I stopped all the meds. This wasn’t supposed to happen!! That morning I kept praying and begging God to save the babies, and at the very least just one. I was a wreck. I felt like I was choking all day at work barely able to keep it together.
I called our fertility clinic because that’s what you are supposed to do when you start bleeding unexpectedly. The nurses were straightforward and as understanding as they could be given the fact that they deal with these situations everyday. I explained my symptoms and they told me it was an ominous sign. What a clinical word for what felt like an earth shattering situation. I wasn’t ready to hear what I already knew, so stretching for some ray of hope I asked what exactly she meant by the word ominous. I kinda chuckle at this part now because it was like I was trying to find a loophole in the conversation and somehow that would change the outcome of the situation. Anyway, later that day I went in for an exam and blood test to confirm that it was indeed an ominous sign. My plea to God to save the babies or at least one baby wasn’t answered. I needed to know why. In my head there HAD to be a reason. And there was a reason I just didn’t know it yet. My doctor believed it was because we used a different kind of progesterone which wasn’t effective in my body causing the miscarriage...super rare but I went with it because I needed an answer. The nurses kindly asked if we needed some time before scheduling our next cycle, they offered a start date several months away. My normal self would have wanted to give my body some time between the drugs and shots but I found myself NEEDING to start immediately. So we literally started that next day. The cycle was going as planned, we decided to implant 2 embryos again and a few weeks later we found ourselves getting cautiously excited (it takes some time to recover emotionally from fertility failure and after years of fails you get a little numb to the excitement and cautious with expectations).
Then we got an email from our adoption agency, asking if we could meet an expectant mom *tomorrow* and our world froze. I recently watched beauty and the beast and the line “there is something there that wasn’t there before”... keeps going through my mind. The emails and phone calls to our agency were different this time. There was something there that wasn’t there before! One sleepless night later we shared lunch with someone who would change our lives forever. We left our lunch date with a verbal agreement that we were going to be adopting a baby! No words can describe how we felt that day. Elated is maybe is the closest. That night the reality hit and we needed to make a BIG decision and make it fast. Were we going to proceed with our ivf transfer? If so, one or two embryos? The decision wasn’t hard. We knew we wanted to stick with the plan and transfer 2 embryos. It just felt right and of course in our wildest dreams we never would have guessed that the adoption plus both embryos would have all worked!
Skipping forward to March 2019. I’ve now had a year and a half to watch these three become best friends. Juniper leans in to give Bryce a hug when he is crying, after gently sticking his binky in his mouth. The boys are laughing and lean in to give each other big juicy open mouth kisses. Brooks claps for Juniper, they all three look at each other and are laughing for some secret sibling reason that I’m not privy to. One of them pops their head out from around the corner and says “boo!” It's all my kind of candy! My soul sings and bursts with joy every day because I love these three so much.
There was purpose in the timing of our family growing failures and successes.
I didn’t see it then but I see it now. Had the March 2017 failure been a success we probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to adopt Juniper. If my prayers to save “even one” would have been answered we wouldn’t have had the boys and Juniper... That day 2 years ago didn’t feel very lucky but it was lucky in a way I couldn’t see at the time. Now I get to enjoy my lucky charms everyday and I’ll always feel like March 17 was made for us. Gods timing for answering prayers has blessed my life over and over again. Many times it’s not until years later that I see the wisdom and the blessings. Even still I scratch my head at a few life events but I’ll keep waiting patiently (or as patiently as a mortal minded person can) watching for the rainbows after the storm because God is good.
Happy Fathers Day!
I always thought it would be so cool to surprise Christian on Father’s Day with some grand announcement that I was pregnant. I must admit, this is the first year that I’m totally OK not making that announcement- our hearts and hand are completely full this year!
I’ve been working really hard with Juniper on her “dada” and its paying off! I haven’t been able to capture a video of it yet because she is obsessed with phones and as soon as she sees the phone come out she can’t do anything but try to get the phone. But i promise she can say, "Dada" and it the sweetest if I do say so myself. Watching her learn and develop is way more exciting than anything else I can think of.
Last year on Father’s Day we were expecting twins and anxiously awaiting the birth of our sweetest adoption miracle. As we laid in bed on Father’s Day morning I said to Christian, “next year we are going to have three!!” As excited as we were we had NO clue what that meant. Turns out having three babies is amazing but so much work. Our kids are awesome but the demands are almost constant. We quickly realized that we needed more help than what we originally thought and we soon made arrangements for me to stay with my parents in California until the load got a little lighter… well here we are a couple months down the road and I’m still in California. The distance has been so hard and not the ideal for either of us but Christian selflessly supports me getting this extra help so I can enjoy these first few months with the babies and not go too crazy. He has been working like crazy and traveling back and forth between CA and UT every couple weeks to spend time with us. The days we send together are the best days :)
Ever since I was a little girl I dreamt of being a mom. I think I played with dolls and barbies until I was 15 and of course I always wanted to be the mom. Now I get to be a mom and Christian has been so supportive me in stepping down from my career in order to raise these beautiful souls. Every day I look at their little faces and my heart melts because I love them so much and I can’t express enough gratitude to Christian for being our family’s provider in order for me to be the mom I’ve always dreamt of being.
Happy Father’s Day to this one in a million “Dada”.
Sure love you- love your 4 biggest fans!
I imagined this Mother’s Day to be extra special since I now had three littles to celebrate with. It was a sweet day but not for the reasons you might think. I had spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the previous year and remembering back to last Mother’s Day when we had just met Shannell and she had chosen us to adopt Juniper. Last year was a dream a really, really, good one full of so much excitement and changes we had been wanting for years. No other year of our lives will ever compare- I’m sure of it. I’m excited for every year ahead of us but I don’t think any will pale in comparison to this one. How do you top having three babies in one year? Don’t say having 4 babies in one year ;)
As exciting as this year has been I felt funny as Mother’s Day approached. I hadn’t looked forward to this day for some time now and I kind of thought I would feel different this time around. I didn’t feel much different. My heart was heavy for the many friends and family members I know that are wanting to have kids but unable for one reason of another.
I know Mother’s Day is to celebrate women and our divine role as mothers (whether or not we have kids) but it doesn’t seem to make the day any easier, especially when you don’t have kids yet.
I spoke in church on Mother’s Day Sunday and here is a little excerpt form my talk.
“….if today isn’t your favorite day of the year for any reason, let us shift our celebration to be about YOU, the women God created in his own image. Celebrate you as a daughter of God, the gifts that are inherently yours and the blessing they are to all those around you.
I want to shed some light on how God views his daughters. My sister shared an article with me about the word “Ezer” and its significance regarding mothers.
In first Samuel there is record of a great battle, the great and numerous philistine army was invading Israel and would have completely overtaken them if the lord didn’t intervene. Israelites pleaded with Samuel the prophet to plead with the lord. The lord intervened and the Israelite soldiers were miraculously able to defeat the philistine armies. Samuel, who had just previously called the Israelites to repentance, erected a monument and called it “eben-Ezer” or Stone of help. And proclaimed, “hitherto the Lord helped us”. In other words the army would not have prevailed without the Lord, their stone of help, their ebenezer.
In genesis 2:18 we read, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Some might read this verse and think that the creation of women was an afterthought, or not as important as the creation of man. That is not the case. …The original translation of “help” in hebrew is “Ezer”- the same word that was used to refer to the savior in the previous example.
You may also recall the song, Come thou fount of every blessing and the line that proclaims, “here I raise my Ebenezer. Hither by thy help I’m come.”
Scholars trace the Hebrew word “Ezer” to a combination of two source words, one which means strength and another which refers to rescuing, saving, and defending. “Ezer” is always used in a military context (except when referring to Eve) and almost every time it is used to describe God as the Divine Helper and Protector of Israel. It is this same word that is used to describe Eve.
“Ezer”, the word used to describe Mother Eve as a “help” to Adam, has nothing to do with the role of an inferior or domestic servant. The word that is used to describe the Creator of the Universe as a savior, source of strength, and “the Helper of Israel” cannot have a demeaning implication.
In the Old Testament, the Lord is described as an “Ezer” when Israel is too weak to face its enemies alone. Other nations are described as an “Ezer” to Israel, when Israel’s strength is insufficient to defeat its enemies.
And so it is with Eve. Eve is referred to as an “Ezer” when God sees that Adam cannot do it alone. Eve is referred to as an “ezer” because she was Adam’s first ally and friend, his partner in doing battle with evil and bringing about the purposes of God upon the Earth.
So, when you think of women picture a warrior with a drawn sword. Think of a change maker. Think of a leader because this is how God created her.
Sisters- this is you and me! We are strong, rescuing, saving defending women- this is what God intended for us.
I look at my own mother and although she was gentle in every way she was a fierce warrior when it came to our spiritual wellbeing. She fought daily battles to keep the spirit present in our home. She continually taught us how to withstand temptation and to view ourselves as our Heavenly Father does.”
So today I’m grateful to my mom and the example she was to me. I’m also grateful to the many wonderful and impactful woman that have been warriors for my sake. I continually aspire to be the woman God intended me to be. This is challenging in a world that belittles the divine roles of women but I am proud to stand firm and be a warrior for righteousness because that is what the world needs.
Happy Mother’s Day ladies.
I cried that first night
Let’s talk about the crazy hormones raging through your body after having a baby. Yea- no one prepped me about those! I was a basket case. Cried all.the.time. Happy tears, sad tears, no reason tears. Yep I had them all. The first cry was one I’ll never forget.
I came home from the hospital at night, got all my bags unpacked (I left with 2 and came back with 10?!), fed the babies and got them settled into bed. We were all exhausted and ready for some well-deserved sleep (haha- jokes on us, no one gets sleep around here :))…I had really missed Juniper while I was in the hospital so I decided to snuggle her for a few minutes. We cuddled up on the rocking chair in the nursery and as I rocked her I just started sobbing. My baby suddenly seemed so big and grown up and on top of that I felt like I was betraying her by bringing home two more babies. I felt a loss for the time we wouldn’t get to spend together now that my time was divided between three babies. I felt an urgency to figure out what we would say to people when they would ask us about our kids. Do we continually divulge our whole story to perfect strangers whenever they ask? Should we just call them triplets? How do we share our beautiful story without Juniper feeling singled out?
All these feelings and questions were worrying me, mostly because I wanted to protect her from getting hurt. I looked down at her and she was just as cozy and content as could be, dozing off in my arms. As I sat there, watching her drift to sleep, I decided that I would enjoy every moment I had with her and the boys. These were my people.
I’m pretty sure I had a few more good cries holding Juniper over the next couple weeks. Since my delivery was so ‘involved’ I couldn’t carry Juniper for a while which made me feel even worse! Luckily, I healed physically (straight up miracle what our bodies can do!) and my emotional wellbeing simmered down but I still make it my goal to enjoy every moment with them.
Baby Boys Are Here!
Our hearts have burst into a million tiny pieces. Bryce Loren and Brooks Robert made us a family of 5 on the evening of January 18th. We are so in love with them <3
When we first found out we were expecting twins I knew I wanted a doctor that specialized in high risk pregnancy because I had convinced myself that at some point along the way something bad was going to happen. I met with a couple doctors all of which were disappointing. One doctor was a major downer about my twin pregnancy and there was NO WAY I was going to put my trust in her so I text a friend who had had multiple high-risk pregnancies and asked her advice. She directed me to Dr. Wayne Young. My first appointment with him was at 18 weeks. I felt very confident in his experience and knew he was the right doctor for me and this pregnancy. At that appointment we found out that both babies would be boys-OH BOY OH BOY!! He agreed to let me deliver vaginally but insisted on an epidural just in case…I wasn’t stoked about the epidural but agreed.
Fast-forward 20 weeks>>
I went in for my routine appointment which seemed to be happening about every day (2 NST per week and all the growth ultrasounds and my regular OB appointments) My doctor was concerned because my labs came back with signs of preeclampsia. I had additional tests done that same day which came back all clear but the risk of becoming preeclamptic was high. My doctor was heading out of town for a few days so we decided to be induced before he left in two days.
The morning of my induction>>
I rolled out of bed exhausted after watching the clock all night and anticipating what fun the next day would bring to the rest of our lives. Being induced wasn’t how I pictured having the babies so that day was definitely not what I had imagined. I came into the hospital, checked in, survived the IV( #2 biggest fear), started Pitocin, got an epidural (#1 biggest fear), took some naps between all my ‘progress’ checks (oh the joys J), broke Baby A’s water, nausea started hitting hard core, barfed a lot J, started pushing in my delivery room then transferred to the OR where I would deliver both (this was precautionary in case they had to do an emergency c section), delivered baby A, still barfing and really nauseous. I remember when Bryce came out I saw his scrawny body passed to the respiratory team and for the first time it hit me that there was actually a tiny human inside my body….then I laid my head back and thought, “oh crap- there is one more in there that I have to push out!!”.
When Baby A (Bryce) came out Baby B (Brooks) flipped back to transverse and was presenting his face with each contraction. The next few minutes were spent trying to get Brooks to drop and rotate his body so he could come out…not gonna share all those gory details. I’ll just say it was pretty involved and quite invasive:/.
Brooks then made his way into the world and after a little help from the respiratory team he was breathing like a champ. Christian and I got to hold them both for a little bit. They were so precious and I was still wrapping my head around the fact that we had three kids.
We were so grateful that the boys were big and healthy and able to come home with us.
Welcome to the family Bryce Loren Evans, 19”, 5#11oz, and Brooks Robert Evans, 19” 5#4oz.
Christmas: A season to love
I’ve always loved the Christmas season, the music, lights, family time, an added feeling of peace and love for mankind. Fond memories of making caramels with my mom and nana, exchanging Christmas ornaments with the family, singing Christmas songs and listening to my mom play her violin are just a few of the things that have laced beautiful memories of my ‘Christmas past’.
I remember many moons ago when Christian and I decided to start trying to get pregnant we talked about how exciting it would be to bring our sweet new addition home for the holidays. We thought about all the family traditions we so loved and couldn’t wait to share them with our kids. Well the first Christmas came and went and there was no baby or sign of baby to bring home. I think we were both a little discouraged but thought the next year would be different for sure. It was different; the anticipation of Christmas was different than ever before. The Christmas season had become a marker that reminded us each year that we still had no baby. As the years went on we began seeing our family’s and friend’s families grow. It was bitter sweet as we often thought about how we could have had a child ‘that’ age and still desperately longed to grow our family. It got to the point where I would have a fair amount of anxiety built up around the holidays. I started dreading them. The thought of going home was painful and then I would feel worse for feeling that way. I remember last year begging Christian to take me anywhere but home to California. I didn’t think I could emotionally make it through another year. We still went home and as I had anticipated, it was hard. I remember in the middle of opening presents with my family I looked over at Christian and saw a few tears rolling down his face. A simple glance and we both knew what the other was feeling. There we were, sitting in a family room full of the people we loved most but feeling a sting of sadness- how could that be??!!
Before you get too judge-y its not that we don’t like Christmas, or family time or our nieces and nephew. We LOVE all these things especially those nieces and nephew! The hard part for me was the anticipation of the holiday, the marker of time and the yearning to share it with our own little family...that we never dreamed would possibly take so dang long to make! It was the feeling that something so good and righteous and beautiful was missing from our life. A reminder of the loss we had felt throughout the year as attempt after attempt to make a baby had failed.
This year is different. I’m writing this post while snuggling our perfect baby girl with the laptop barely in arms reach because of my belly housing our baby boys. Maybe the last several Christmases wouldn’t have been so difficult had I known what this year would bring. I can’t go back and change how I felt and I’m not sure I would if I could. I don’t necessarily regret feeling the way I did. It’s made me more sensitive to others who are experiencing something similar regardless the cause. My message or reasoning behind this post is to share a little insight to what those around you may be feeling and encourage you to love them regardless. This experience has opened my eyes to so many who suffer in silence, who feel for one reason or another that their family or friends wouldn’t understand why they feel the way they do. Hearing that would always break my heart because I believe one of the biggest and often most difficult assignments we have as mortals is to love one another. PERIOD- the end. Its not an “I’d love them if...” or “I love them but...” Just love them. Feeling the way I did all those years wasn’t fun but it made a world of difference when I knew someone genuinely cared and loved me, and most importantly didn’t try to change how I felt or made me feel bad for feeling the way I did. So put your arm around someone this Christmas and tell him or her you love them. #lighttheworld by sharing some of that Christ like love.
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