Armed With Duct Tape

…'cause duct tape fixes everything!

Benjamin’s Birth Story May 1, 2014

Filed under: Family — swedblue @ 9:53 pm

On Tuesday morning, April 29th, Benjamin made his way into the world a little differently than we had planned.  But that is the end of the story, I need to start at the beginning-which starts in December of last year.

At that time, Josh was still employed and working over 45 minutes away from the house.  There was an unexplained urge to start looking into different options other than a hospital birth.  I like my doctor who delivered the boys, but I really didn’t want to be induced again (which seemed to be a theme with him), nor did I want to be stuck to a bed during labor.

I really wanted to go natural and have the baby at a birth center.  I looked into our insurance to see if they covered any midwives or centers and found a couple.  I contacted one, got an answer that they were already booked.  I started thinking to myself, “Who am I kidding, I am 24 weeks pregnant, I am not going to find a center that will take me on.”  I put it on the back burner for a week, but it kept bugging me.  So, I did another search and found another birth center close to home.  I was over joyed when I found that they had 1 space left in April.  Of course, now I had to convince Josh that this was a good thing.

After going and interviewing with one of the midwives, Josh and I made the decision to go ahead move over to the birth center for the delivery of our baby.  I had one last OB appointment, where I found out that my doctor was going on extended medical leave.   For me it was a sign that we made the right decision.

The plan was to deliver at the birth center.  I really wanted to have a water birth.  I was looking forward to the advantages that laboring and delivering in water had to offer.  I liked the fact that I would labor mostly at home, then go up to the center.

I had my labor bag packed, everything was ready…then we waited…and waited…and waited.  Monday morning, I went in for a non-stress test to listen to the baby’s heart beat for an extended period of time.  At that point, I was 3 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced.  The midwife was pretty sure that I would deliver in the next couple of days.  So, we went home ready to head back up at some point this week to have this little one.


Well, that WAS the plan.  How it really ended:

Monday night around 7, I thought I heard the UPS truck (we were expecting a package) and got up to check outside.  As I opened the door, my water broke nothing big-just a little leak.  No contractions yet.  I went ahead and texted the midwife and doula just to let them know what was going on.  My midwife didn’t quite believe me when I talked to her.  A half an hour later, there was no doubt that my water broke, thankfully I was sitting on towels.

My contractions started just a little before 8pm and were coming pretty regularly.  Poor Josh was so tired, so I sent him to bed around 11, I figured one of us should get some rest.  The midwife checked in about 11:30, and about that time my contractions starting getting more intense.  She wanted me to come in and get checked.  So, I woke up Josh, and got up to the birth center around 12.  Though the contractions were more intense, there was no other movement.  She sent us home and told us to rest.  She thought that things would progress further later the morning (like 6 or 7 am).  My doula was also told just to go home and rest as well.

Oh, were we all in for a surprise.  I laid down, but the contractions kept coming more and more intense.  At this point, I really should have called my doula and midwife, but I was convinced as well it was regular contractions.  Around 2, I called the midwife.  She wanted me to time the contractions again.  A few minutes later, she called back and told me to come up to the center.  By 2:30 with contractions coming closer together, we start walking to the car.  Halfway down the front walk, I knew there was no way we were going to make it to the birth center (which was about 15 minutes away).

In we go back in the house, talking to the midwife who was on her way back to the birth center.  She made a route change and headed to our place.  All this time, I was ready to push.  Josh was a champ getting me to focus on him and not the baby coming at that moment. During this time, my mom got a pot of water boiling (because you always need boiling water at a birth!) and got the towels out of the dryer.  About 2:50, the midwife arrived, which was not a moment too soon.  I was sitting on the edge of the bed getting through each contraction trying hard not push the baby out.

There was a chaos of action putting down garbage bags and towels on the bed.  My mom, Josh and the midwife got me on the bed in time for me to start pushing.  Three pushes later, Benjamin was born.  He was laid on my chest, and we waited to cut the cord.  Josh got to cut the cord.   The second midwife arrived (there is normally 2 present at every birth- but ours was not a normal birth).

Benjamin just moments after birth.

Benjamin just moments after birth.

Not how we were planning on Benjamin coming into the world.

Getting checked.

Getting checked.

Then Benjamin got toweled off, and his vitals checked.  The midwives at this point thought for sure I birthed a 10 pound baby.  They bet he was at birth, but he pooped so much the first hour, that his weight was not quite 10 pounds!

Getting his first bath and loving it!

Getting his first bath and loving it!

Just chilling after pooping on his new towel.  :)

Just chilling after pooping on his new towel. 🙂

I glad we went with a midwife, and even though I didn’t get the labor and birth I thought was going to happen.  Having Benjamin at home was pretty cool as well.  The midwives were so calm during the whole process (they are pros), though my midwife has told me never to do that again! 🙂


How to encourage a mom close to or past her due date April 27, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 10:11 am

This is the longest I have ever been pregnant-almost 41 weeks.   I didn’t expect to carry this baby this far past his due date.  Many of my friends and family were convinced that this baby was going to come before Easter…a week later he has proved them wrong. One of the most interesting things that I have learned this pregnancy, is that there is a protein that gets excreted from the baby’s lungs which signals labor to start.  It reminds me that God is in every little detail, even when I feel the world is spinning out of control.

During the past few weeks, I have received countless comments from well-wishers about still being pregnant.  I know that they were well meant, but after a while, it does get tiring and sometimes makes me feel like I am doing something wrong that the baby isn’t here.  I am going to use this feeling to better communicate with friends of mine who are pregnant, ready and waiting for their baby to arrive.  I thought I’d share some of my insights.


What not to say/ what to say instead:

Don’t say:
“You’re still pregnant? ” or “No baby yet?”

First off-even if a woman is still heavily pregnant, saying this does nothing for her self esteem at this point.  Most women I know, still look pregnant after delivery-so tread carefully.

Instead say:
“You are looking great!  How are you feeling?” 

Every woman (though she may deny it in her response) wants to know she looks great.  I have a wonderful friend who every time she sees me, tells me how cute I look.  It does a world of good.

Don’t say:
“Are you ok?” 

This can put the momma in a very defensive mood or position and is a very effective conversation shut down.

Instead say:
“How are you feeling?”

This is a more open question and allows the momma to express what is going on.  She may be tired, stressed, in pain, or just ready for the baby to come. She can choose how to respond according to the level of friendship between you.

Don’t say:
“You haven’t popped, yet?”

Put yourself in her shoes for a moment.  This beautiful woman has been carrying a baby in her for close to or past 9 months.  Most likely she feels huge already, this comment again does nothing to help that momma feel good about herself.

Instead say:
“I’m praying for you.”  Or affirm her beauty.

This is more encouraging for her to hear, and maybe just what she needs to hear that day.


Other ways to encourage:

Pray for them!

Ask if they have specific prayer needs at this time.  If they can’t think or any, you can say you are praying for them that they have:

  • Rest– this is a big one.  The last final weeks are a dozy when it comes to rest.  I know that sleep is restless at best and during the day I find myself exhausted.  Especially since I have 2 other children I am taking care of during the day.
  • Energy– again a good one-especially for moms who already have kids they are chasing around.  Also, that they are able to get done what they want to get done everyday.
  • Comfort (relief of pain)– I have lived through pain 2 out of my 3 pregnancies.  Thankfully, this pregnancy the pain has been controllable, but my second pregnancy there were times I could hardly walk, I was in so much pain.  Most pregnant women have some discomfort, and it tends to show more the last few weeks.
  • Peace (relief from stress)– the unknown of what is going to come can be stressful-even if there is a planned delivery method, it is stressful for the mom.  For us, we have had added stress with the lack of job for my husband.  The stress not only affects me and my husband, but the boys feed off it too.

Find ways to help them:

  • Bring them a meal or gift card to a take out place close by.  There are many days I have had no energy and cooking has been the last thing I want to even think of doing.  If someone asked, hey, what is it your family loves or will eat that I can bring by, I would give them a definite answer!  Even just swinging by a grocery store and picking up a rotisserie chicken, rolls, and veggies, is a great meal for anyone (think ahead and bring paper plates, so it is one less item to wash).  The simpler the better-esp if they have picky eaters in their house.  Find out what their favorite take out place is, and bless them with a gift card.
  • Volunteer to watch their kids at your place or take them to a park for a morning.  There have been times, where I just don’t want to see my boys.  I love them dearly don’t get me wrong, but here is where the lack of energy comes into play-I sometimes don’t have the energy to be on top of every little thing that sets them off.  A change of scenery is good for the kids as well.
  • Depending on how comfortable you are in your relationship-offer to help clean their house.  Even if it is to vacuum 1 room or get down and dirty and clean a bathroom.
  • Write them a note.  Let the know how much you are thinking of them and praying for them.  Even telling them how much they mean to you.

What other ways can you think of encouraging a mom who is ready to meet their little one?


An Experiement of a low media week January 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 1:57 pm

A few weeks ago I came across a blog post on Raising Low Media Kids ( and keeping your sanity)-there are some really great tips.  I have to admit, I use the TV to help maintain my sanity some days, and to keep the boys occupied while I do things around the house.  While we don’t have the TV on all the time, nor do we have smart phones for them to play with, and I highly limit their time my tablet (maybe once a week-though now Pete has to earn his time on it by filling up part of his sticker chart), it was still a crutch-esp around the time to cook supper.

With Baby #3 on the way, I want to start developing in the boys a sense of self play, so that I don’t feel as though I have to entertain them.  My goal as a mom has always been to get my boys to be self-sufficient.  I don’t have an open concept house, and many times they are in a different room playing, while I am working on something else.  I even let them play outside in our back yard unsupervised (gasp!).

In the house, they always seemed to have issues with playing by themselves. So, I started limiting how many toys they had out (still feel we have too many toys out).  Crayons, markers, coloring books, paper, and play dough are always accessible to the boys.   This week I allowed them to be bored-I didn’t feel that I had to create for them something to do.  If Pete asked, I suggested items for him to play with.


The fort

The evenings,the boys have been taking apart the couches in the living room.  There have been pillow trails, pillow piles, and our current configuration is a pillow fort (today I think it is a castle) complete with its own hiding tent.


Car, Train and Plane tracks

A few days ago, I taped roads for Pete to use during his quiet time. Both he and Tim have played on it a few times this week.  It will soon come up as I need to tackle that room to get ready for our next addition.


Can you believe this had 50 pounds of sand it? My guess is that there is now 10 pounds left in it, and the rest of the sand is in different places around our yard.

Today, it was warm enough to let them go outside and play in the rain. They were making their own fun.  I had warm towels and dry clothes ready for them when they came in.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how their little imaginations have taken off, with just limiting TV time this week.  I love to hear them playing together, sometimes I have to intervene.  It can be done, and your kids will be happier for it!


It is in whisper of the wind January 9, 2014

Filed under: faith — swedblue @ 2:17 pm

Many times when someone around me says that God spoke to them, I long for that kind of relationship and time to meditate and hear God.  Yet, I have learned that God speaks in many different ways.   I get an idea or pressing on my spirit.

Around Christmas time, I got an idea in my head, and as I researched it that idea became more of a pressing on my spirit.  It would not leave me.  I looked into a couple of things, and the door was closed.  Instead of giving up (which I think my husband would have preferred), I checked one more door.

I found it open and inviting.  I had no idea why I was going this direction or why I felt so sure about it.  Honestly, I did not see the signs of this being God’s doing, until today.  I got confirmation of what I was doing was the right way and found out why I needed to go this way.  I did not know that God was preparing me for a change, and because I was open this change is not painful, but rather pleasant.

I am excited for what is to come, and I’ll share more about this journey as we go.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel God is speaking directly to you.  He is there, and His still quiet voice is talking to you and guiding you, whether you recognize it or not.


They Say Be Careful What You Ask for… December 12, 2013

Filed under: Family — swedblue @ 4:25 pm

What seems a life time ago, when I was a fifth grade teacher, I remember coming out of the experience and prayed a very specific prayer.  It seems like the Lord has very much answered the said prayer.

“Lord, please if you grant me children may they be….”

Be what?


Here is a clue:

DSC_0575Wait…is this a gender announcement?


popThat is what I’ll be doing in about 19 weeks!

And…what is the color?  Is it a boy or girl?



I had a lot of drama with girls in my classes and yes, I tell God that I would prefer to have boys.  We are expecting another boy.

If you ask Pete how he feels, he’ll tell you, or not.  When we knew the possibility of another boy at the last appointment, Pete cried for 5 minutes.  He so wants a little sister.   On the way home from the doctor’s office this morning, he asked me why I didn’t tell the doctor that I wanted a girl (what he really wanted).  Now we have to talk up the benefits of having another little brother.  Like, while he’ll have to look out for his brother-it is not like protecting a sister from other boys. 🙂   Having another brother to join in the fun that he and Tim have will be great-sometimes girls don’t want to play the same things boys want to play.

And no, in case you want to ask-we are not going to try to have a girl.  We are quite happy with 3.

Or maybe the doctor just saw a foot….


The Letter September 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 7:11 pm


2. getting it

3. opening


6.bye bed bed

Yep, that Tim loves his bed.

Then again, he loves Pete’s bed too.

And he loves Daddy and Mommy’s bed as well.

I suppose if the cats had beds, he would love those as well….

…as long as they had a blanket.

What is that?

Oh?  You want to know what was in the letter?

You do?  You could just close the page now..

.but then it might bug you that you never found out what was in Tim’s letter.

Ok… Here is the letter

7. announcement


Mary,Mary Quite contrary… June 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — swedblue @ 9:03 pm

How does your garden grow?