Samuel’s Birth Story

Birth is something that I feel you can never truly prepare for.  You can read all the books and hear all the stories from other moms, but it is an experience as unique as each baby. This is my story.

Thursday, April 20, 2017, Early Labor

I woke up about 5 am with some contractions, but to be honest I really didn’t think that they were the real thing. I tried to sleep through them as I wanted to get as much sleep as I could, but I finally could not get comfortable.  So, I woke up Brandon and asked him to start tracking them for me. They were about 38 seconds apart and came about every 7 minutes.

I continued to track them until about 8:30, and they were still very consistent, so I called my doctor. We already had a doctor appointment scheduled at 1 pm that afternoon, so the nurse said to go ahead and come to our appointment.

I went ahead and did things as I normally would.  I ate breakfast, then I took a shower and got ready for the day.  Brandon and I watched some TV and ate lunch and then we were off to the doctor appointment.

In the car, the contractions started coming every 4 minutes and lasting about 40 seconds.  But I still could talk and laugh and breath through them fairly easily.  When we got to the doctor office at 1, they were feeling a little more intense, but I was able to wait in the waiting room and continue with our appointment as usual.  When the doctor came in, I told him how close the contractions were, and he checked me to see if I had dilated.  He told me I was already dilated to 4 centimeters, so he said that we should go ahead and get admitted to the hospital.  The nurse came in with a wheel chair, and we were off.

At the Hospital

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We got to our room and the nurse had me get into a gown and hooked me up to some monitors. The worse part of early labor was when they tried to insert an IV.  It took three nurses and left me with three sore spots and later bruises in both arms.

I gave the nurse my birth plan, and she was very excited to see that I wanted to do things as natural as possible.  Our nurses name was Heather, she was an awesome lady, she gave me several very helpful tips throughout the process and only came in periodically to check on my and baby’s vitals.

I tried several positions to feel comfortable and the best position seemed to be sitting upright with my ankles crossed on the lowered bed in front of me.  Breathing through the contractions and holding Brandon’s hand seemed to work best for relaxation.  Brandon would also talk me through the contractions which helped me to focus and keep them under control.  Once things started getting more intense Brandon also recited some scriptures to me to help me relax and focus on the Lord instead of the pain.

Contractions continued to get more intense, but I don’t feel like they ever got much closer together. It took me about 20 hours to get to a full dilated 10 centimeters.  I walked a little bit, took a bath in the Jacuzzi tub and sat on a birth ball to help things progress.

Friday, April 21, 2017, The Pushing Stage

Finally, I started to feel the urge to push.  I asked the nurse to let me try the squatting bar, and I tried pushing like that for about an hour.  Things progressed a little bit, but baby hadn’t moved down the birth canal much.  The doctor came in to check me and said I might be having some back labor, so he told me to lay with my head down and my bottom up in the air.  This position was very uncomfortable, and I kept begging them to let me get back up.  After what seemed like forever, I thought I felt my water break, but it turns out that baby just moved and pushed against my bladder. So, the doctor asked if I would like them to break my water to help things progress, I said yes. After my water broke, I continued to push for another two hours.  Baby moved a little bit but was still not crowning.  The doctor asked if I wanted him to try to assist.  I agreed and the doctor placed a little suction cup on baby’s head and the doctor tried to help pull when I pushed. After a couple tries, the doctor finally told me the news I didn’t want to hear, baby isn’t coming, I think we are going to have to take him by C-section.

Unplanned C-Section

My heart sunk as I looked at Brandon and told him I really didn’t want one, but I was so tired and in so much pain. I appreciate my doctor so much because I know that he truly wanted to give me the opportunity to do it naturally.  Even after I agreed that a C-section probably was the best choice, he let me continue to try to push and even tried to assist me.

The time leading up to the C-section was the worst part of the whole labor. First, they said that they forgot to take blood, so they had to take blood, and we had to wait for the lab to get the results back. Then they wanted me to sign a bunch of paperwork all while I was having pushing contractions.  They finally came in and wheeled me into the surgery room to get the anesthesia.  They told me that Brandon would have to wait outside while they did this.  It seemed like forever before the doctor could get the anesthesia in the right place.  I had to sit on a flat table and was told to hold completely still.  I was still having contractions, and I could feel baby in the birth canal.  I felt bad for the poor nurse that held me as I clung to her to keep from moving when a contraction came.

Finally, the anesthesia started to work, and I was numb from the waist down and I was able to lay flat.  I felt nervous, but such great relief to be free of all the pain. after a few minutes, Brandon was back in the room dressed in scrubs and by my side again.  I didn’t feel any pain, but I could feel tugging and pressure. It only took a few moments, and I heard our baby cry.  They pulled down the curtain, so I could see our perfect baby boy with lots of dark hair and a super chubby body.  I started crying and looked at Brandon to see him crying as well.

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Samuel David Bellows

Samuel David Bellows was born at 4 am April 21, 2017.  He was 9lbs, 3oz and 22 inches long.  He was perfect.  They took him over to a table, so Brandon could cut his cord.  They took him away only for a few moments, but Brandon was with him the whole time.  Then they brought him over to me, so Brandon and I could hold him and just look at him. It was the most amazing thing to see this tiny creature for the first time after carrying him for 9 months. It didn’t seem real.  It was true that all the pain was worth it and yes, I would do it again (but hopefully not for a couple years LOL).

After they finished stitching me up, I was rolled into a recovery room and was able to nurse Samuel for the first time. He did great, he latched on without any trouble. He has been good at eating ever since.  He likes to eat as much as possible.

Recovery and Healing

Recovery from the C-section was hard.  I had good pain medications, so it wasn’t bad the first day. I was not allowed to leave my bed the first day and adjusting in bed was painful because it would pull on the staples.  Thankfully I could hold and feed Samuel, but Brandon was left with diaper changes and rocking him if he got upset.

I feel very fortunate because healing has come very fast for me.  It is only two weeks since the C-section and birth and I don’t even need any pain medications and my stomach has gone down to almost it’s former size.  The hardest part of the recovery for me has been an emotional one.  The first few days after birth, I was having a lot of thoughts of regret that I should have done more to be able to push Samuel out naturally. I felt like a failure.  Thankfully, I have an awesome Husband and best friend who reassured me that I did nothing wrong, and I shouldn’t feel like I had failed. They also prayed, and I prayed and the Lord was faithful to help me through it.  Samuel and I were both healthy and that is all that matters.

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Adjusting to motherhood has been hard and I have cried a lot, but I really love being a mother. I know that it is an amazing calling from God to have the chance to raise this little person. So, even though my birth did not go exactly as I planned, it went the way God knew it would, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to carry a child in my womb and give birth to a healthy baby boy.  Motherhood is a gift, and I look forward to all the things God will teach me through it and all the joy that it will bring.

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Mr. On Main: Edition 1, Biblical Parenting

Hi everyone,

This is Mr. On Main. I have decided to hack Mrs. On Main’s account and post a blog of my own. I’m just kidding, I asked for her permission to publish this post. First, I want to thank you, the readers, for the support you have shown Mrs. On Main and the comments that you have posted on her blogs. I’m sure that she appreciates them very much. I’m sure most if not all of you who are reading this are aware that soon there will be a new addition to the Main Street family. The topic that I’m writing about today has been one that has been on my heart for oh I’d say 9 months and that topic is parenting.

Going through the Bible has revealed to me a lot about parenting the way that God intended parenting to be. Since God created parenting, I have a confident feeling God knows what He is talking about when parenting is brought in the Bible.

My first thought is, once I become a father to Samuel and he grows to start considering career choices, I do not want to be the parent that tells him you can be whatever you want to be. I have not found any Scripture that shows this. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is important to support and encourage our children in the career path that they desire; however, I ultimately believe it needs to be done in a different approach. The Bible consistently talks about walking in God’s direction and will. Proverbs tell us to not lean on our understanding, rather we are told to trust in God. Jesus, shortly before being crucified prayed to God that God’s will be done not his will (Matthew 26). When Samuel comes to a point of choosing a career, I want to be there not to tell him that he can be anything he wants, rather I want to ask him, have you prayed about this direction and will this direction hinder you from following God’s will which is being obedient to His commandments, not submitting to sin, repenting when you do sin and seeking growth, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

My second thought is on discipline. I have worked in retail for nearly 7 years now. The discipline that I have seen is quite frankly barbaric and unnecessary. I have seen parents yell and spank their kids for asking for a candy bar. I have seen parents scream at their kids because they are talking while the parent is checking out. This to me is wrong. Discipline, according to the Bible should be done in a manner that leads to godliness and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. In Ephesians, Paul instructs fathers to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This means that as a parent I should be training Samuel to follow the commandments of God and not the commandments of men. Unfortunately, this is where society has gone oh so wrong. We discipline our children to the norms that we create and not the norms of our Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the Judge of the Universe, Jesus Christ.

Parenting, when done biblically presents a challenge. However, I believe when parenting is done right, according to the Bible, will instill a much greater joy in our children. They will be able to see that there is a God who loves them. They will see that while they are born children of wrath, Jesus Christ died for all the sins that they commit shortly after their cognitive processes begin to work in full throttle. They will see and understand that Jesus died for them not to be slaves to sin but to righteousness. They will see that the way we discipline them is train them in the pursuit of righteousness that leads to a beautiful crown of righteousness and being able to spend an eternity with the one who gave himself up for all. What a joy it will be as Christian parents when we see our children walking in the light and knowing we will get to spend eternity with them rather than the 50-70 years on earth.

 

Behind the Bump, Edition 6: The Man Behind the Bump

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I’m 35 weeks pregnant, and I have come to realize that I would not be able to do this without my husband Brandon.

I’m am so thankful for Brandon.  He has picked up so much since I became pregnant.  From cooking, when I didn’t feel well or I completely forgot to put things in the crock pot to doing many other household chores for me (including the dishes, which he hates to do).

I can see why God created marriage and meant for a wife to have a husband while pregnant.  Sure I could push through and do it all myself, but having special help and support that only my husband can give makes pregnancy so much better.

Brandon has truly shown me Christ’s love in the past 8 months.  He has been so loving and made me feel so beautiful (stretch marks and all).  He has made special date nights and shown me extra affection on the days when I just cried because I didn’t feel well (physically or emotionally).  He has made me laugh even when I wanted to cry. He has encouraged me to turn to Christ on the good and hard days as he leads me spiritually.

I have come to realize what true love looks like.  It is not in gifts (sometimes it can be) but in the way he treats me and how he loves me enough to tell me when I need to correct an action and turn to Christ. It is in the help with tasks around the house.  And it is in the hugs from behind and the kisses before bed. Sometimes it is even in him picking something up off the floor for me (a task that continues to get harder).

As I approach the birth of our child, I don’t think I can put into words what it is like to have a husband that supports me through this amazing and scary thing known as pregnancy.  I am excited but a bit anxious as Samuel’s due date approaches, but I know that Brandon will be there with me and with his and God’s help I know I can do this.

I am so happy to know that Samuel will have a Father that loves him so much and will do whatever it takes to lead him toward Christ and provide for him. Because Brandon and my greatest prayer is that Samuel will one day repent and turn to Christ.

So, I would just like to say Thank you Brandon for all you have done and said to make this pregnancy easier.  Also, thank you for all the times you have made me laugh (even if it is at me and my changing body) I love you so much!

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Behind the Bump: Edition 5

Well, here I am at 30 weeks.  The final trimester.  It is a bittersweet thing, I am very excited about meeting our baby boy in less than 10 weeks (or more depending on when he decides to come) but at the same time it seems like this pregnancy has flown by.  I have been doing a lot of research and trying to prepare myself for birth.

One book that I have been enjoying is Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley.  It is a method of natural childbirth that has your husband involved.  It focuses on relaxation and changing positions to help with the birthing process. It also talks about having your partner be right there by your side to help make you feel relaxed and encouraged. It is a good read for daddy’s-to-be because it is written by a man for men. Dr. Bradley compares human birth to animal birth and the fact that most animals give birth much easier naturally without interventions than most human women do with several medications and interventions.

Now I realize many women have used drugs, and I don’t want to judge them because it is a personal decision, but I have decided that drugs are not for me.  I have decided to do natural child birth for many reason.  The first is that it is the healthiest choice for me and by baby.  You can’t deny with all the research out there that natural is best.  The second reason I want to do it naturally is because drugs don’t always work for me, and I want to be alert during Samuel’s birth.  Often when I take drugs, I end up in more pain because my mind is too sluggish to know what to do to best manage my pain (eg. change position or try walking).

I want you to know that this is my wish, and I understand that things can change or happen during birth that require the use of drugs or interventions, and I am fine with that.  I want to do whatever is best to keep me and Samuel safe and healthy.

I have met with a friend who is doing Douala work. She has given birth to three children in three different ways, and she is such an encouragement to me.  She has given me information on exercises that I can do that will help prepare my body, and we are suppose to meet again soon to go over different positions to try to be the most comfortable during natural birth.

I think it is important to have friends and family that will encourage you as you prepare for birth.  Try not to read or listen to too many things or people that will cause you to be afraid or dread birth as some kind of punishment at the end of pregnancy.  Because it is possible to do birth naturally and with little interventions (if you have a normal pregnancy).  I was feeling a little anxious the other day about birth, and I realized I was listening too much to the negative voices of how horrible birth can be.  But God and Brandon reminded me that I was created to do this, that God made my body to be able to give birth and that it doesn’t have to be a terrible and traumatic experience.  Yes, it will be painful and hard, but many things in life are that way, and we can learn from them and the end result in birth is that I will get to see and touch and hear Samuel. Any amount of pain or hard work is worth that.

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Behind the Bump: Edition 4, How to make a nursery in a small space

I must say I am so happy to have so much support from family, friends and followers through this pregnancy.

This past weekend my mom and grandmother came up to help me make a space for Baby Samuel in our one bedroom apartment. I am also fortunate that my grandmother loaned me several pieces of furniture to make our two-in-on nursery and bedroom possible.

Just so you know, babies do not need that much space.  Yes, it would be nice to have a separate nursery for Samuel that I could decorate with a fun theme (maybe some day), but honestly you really only need a few main things.

1. Somewhere for baby to sleep

Co-Sleeper

My mom was able to find me a collapsible co-sleeper on one of the Facebook swaps for under $40.  It is level with the bed, which will make it easy for late nights feedings.  It can also convert into a playpen, so it is really a two-in-one item.

2. Somewhere for baby’s stuff

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Now this is where you really have to get creative depending on your space. Thankfully Brandon and I have a large bedroom, so we were able to make a space for baby and for us.  My grandmother gave us two large bookcases that I turned sideways against the wall.  My mom then purchased some of those cube organization bins to hide what is on the shelves (tip: order them in bulk on amazon, you can get them for as cheap as $2-$3 each).  My grandmother gave me a small narrow dresser with has 5-drawers for easy organization. Another nifty trick that my mom found on Pinterest is that if you have a tall shelf or you take out a shelf, you can buy one of those small spring loaded rods and then you have a makeshift hanging clothes rack.  P.S. You can get a pack of 6 baby hangers at the Dollar Tree for a $1.

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3. Somewhere to change baby

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I purchased a changing table, not that you necessarily need a changing table, but if you get one with shelves, it gives you even more added storage. I purchased my on a Facebook swap for $15.  You should definitely check out garage sales and online swap sites for baby items because you can normally find everything you need, and it is much cheaper than buying new. Another options would be to just get a nice changing pad with a strap that you could place on a dresser or even on your sofa when needed.

4. Somewhere to feed baby

Now for this you may be able to just use something that you already have.  My grandmother had a glider that she gave me.  But you could easily use a small recliner or a rocking chair or just your favorite spot on the sofa.

*Bonus Item* 5. Somewhere for baby to relax

I also received a swing from a friend who was no longer using it.  Again, check garage sales and swap sites for these items because most people will sell them cheap just so they don’t have to store them.

Let me know in the comments if you have any other great tips for small space organization.

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Behind The Bump; Edition 3

I know it has been a long time since I made a post, but with the holidays, working full time, and being pregnant I have not had time or energy to write something worth while. That being said it is good to be back!

I am now 25 weeks pregnant and very soon approaching my final trimester of pregnancy. I will say that I know why they call the second trimester the honeymoon trimester because, at least for me, that is exactly what it has been.

The second trimester has been an exciting one for me and my husband.  For me, I have actually enjoyed my new rounding belly and actually looking pregnant and not just overweight.

At the end of November, I had my 20 week ultrasound and we found out that we are going to have a little boy!  Brandon and I had already choose a name if baby was a boy or girl, so we had decided on Samuel (middle name to come after birth).  It has been so wonderful being able to call our baby by name, and it makes him so much more real.

itsaboyThe other exciting thing that happened is that I was finally able to feel baby.  Brandon and I were sitting on the sofa watching a movie, Brandon’s knee was just slightly laying on my stomach and all of a sudden I felt Samuel push outward.  It was the coolest feeling, and I wasn’t sure if it was real at first but then he did it one more time. Unfortunately, It took a little longer for Brandon to feel Samuel, the doctor told us that my placenta is on the front of my stomach which can make the movements mulled.  But thankfully the day after Christmas, I was feeling Samuel move a lot and told Brandon to feel and he was finally able to feel the little kicks!

Emotions have been a lot better in this trimester as well.  I am so excited to meet Samuel and see his face and snuggle him.  Mostly the only time I get emotional is just thinking about Samuel and who he will be and what he will look like.

The only thing I have really had for symptoms has been a congested nose, which could also be part to the weather.  I have also experienced some aches and pains, just from my changing body shape.  I did have a little bit of heartburn early in the second trimester, but that only lasted about 2 weeks and I haven’t really experienced it since.

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Another fun thing that I have recently noticed is that Samuel responds to loud noises and tapping/touching my stomach.  When we were at church and the pastor would get loud, I felt him jump and also at a movie theater the other day, I noticed him move when there was a loud sound.  Last night, if Brandon would tap on my stomach Samuel would respond with a kick, it was so cool.

Please leave me a comment with what was your favorite part about pregnancy in the second trimester.  I am so excited to share this special time in my life with you.

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Behind The Bump; Edition 2

I have made it to my second trimester and the half way point in my pregnancy, so I would like to share with you some things I learned and tips for the first trimester.

I must say that as far as first trimester pregnancies go, I was very fortunate.  The most severe symptoms I had were nausea, fatigue, and some mild cramping.  I was very happy that I did not throw up once, as that was the one symptom I was least looking forward to. I also did not have a lot in the way of hormonal problems. There was only the occasional time where I would be watching TV and a commercial with children came on, and I would get a little misty eyed.

The top two things that I learned are that water and sleep are your two best friends.  I always felt better on the days where I had plenty of both.  I know that when you feel nauseous water can be hard to keep down, but sipping it throughout the day helps. I got as much sleep as I could at night.  I really wish I would have been able to nap, but I work a full time job, so that wasn’t going to happen.  But I did often get at least 9 hours of sleep a night, and it helped me feel better the next day.

Tips for nausea

(please keep in mind that these are things that worked for me and may not work for you as each pregnancy is different).

  • Eat small and often.  I found that eating small meals several times a day really helped me to not feel as nauseous.  Normally about every two hours seemed to work for me.
  • Cold food/water.  For some reason, really cold things made me feel better when I felt nauseous.  One thing I did was to freeze those little cups of applesauce.  It was cold like ice cream, but a lot healthier.
  • Try to be healthy, but eat what you can keep down.  I know that it is very important to be healthy especially when you are pregnant, but in those first few weeks when the thought of food makes you sick, eat whatever taste best to you.  I have always had a sweet tooth, but for some reason in my first trimester I couldn’t eat anything sweet except some fruit.  I ate a lot of salty food because that is what didn’t make me want to throw up. Nuts are one thing that is healthy and pretty bland that I enjoyed. Also plain saltine crackers.
  • Be willing to try different things.  My sense of taste changed a lot during the first trimester.  If you suddenly can’t stomach a food that you were eating all week (for me it was carrots) don’t.  Try different things until you find what is best for you.

Tips for fatigue

  • Get enough sleep.  There isn’t a lot you can do other than make sure you give yourself enough hours of sleep.  Go to bed earlier if it takes you a while to get comfortable.
  • Napping.  I only got to do this a couple times, but it sure did help.  If you have a schedule that allows for it, don’t feel guilty, just sleep.
  • Pregnancy Pillow.  I got mine very early in my pregnancy.  It has helped me so much with sleeping through the night.  They say it is best to sleep on your side and since I am a tummy sleeper, this helped me to change my position.  I ordered one on Amazon and it is worth every penny. I like that mine has two sides, so it is easy to change sides throughout the night and the other side supports my back as well.
  • Turn off your mind.  This was and can still be very hard for me.  I never knew there would be so many things to worry and to think about the future of this little person, that I didn’t even know yet.  I would say the best thing to do is pray, ask God to help you not to worry and to trust him for all the things to come.

Tips for cramping

  • Drink water.  Be sure to stay hydrated, this will help your muscles not to cramp as much.
  • Stretch. I will admit that I have not done well with this one, but it really can help.  Just be sure your movements are slow and controlled and don’t overdo it.
  • Severe cramping.  If you have cramps that are worse than normal menstrual cramps and or you have bleeding be sure to see your doctor.

I hope that some of these tips work for you.  If you have any more advice please leave it in the comments.  I will try to post more now that I am past the first trimester.

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