Psalm 127:3-5

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"

Our Birth Story

Abigail Grace Roland has arrived!

Our turkey baby was born on Thanksgiving morning, November 25th, at 2:44am, weighing 6lbs. 9oz. and was 20 inches long.




Since a number of people have asked to hear our birth story, I thought I would share it on here. We are so thankful to the Lord for a healthy delivery and baby! We could not be more grateful!

Tuesday, November 23rd, I went for my 40 week appointment with my midwife and was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced. She stretched me to 3cm and we went home. Around dinnertime I started complaining of cramping. After a few hours of that I realized that they were coming frequently and began timing them. I didn’t think it was labor because it did not include back pain but when I contacted my doula, she felt that I was in early labor. As we continued to time these early contractions they continued to stay fairly frequent. By eleven o’clock they had backed off to 6 minutes apart so we went to bed. Throughout the night they slowed to about 10 minutes apart. They lasted all through the night and I hardly slept a wink. They continued on all Wednesday sporadically and by the afternoon had picked back up to approximately 4-6 minutes apart. After two hours of this we started getting ready to go to the hospital, since I was group B positive. My doula thought that it would be wise for me to go on in and get checked by my midwife at the hospital and believed that I might be able to relax a little more in order for my labor to progress.

We arrived at Clark at 6pm and were admitted. When my midwife checked me I was only 3cm and 90% effaced. I was disappointed to have been in labor for 24 hours and with still so little progression.  I was encouraged to use pitocin to help my labor progress. It was a long hard decision for Kyle and I because I was afraid I would not be able to continue naturally if I used pitocin. However, we finally decided to use it after they encouraged me that many women use pitocin and are able to deliver without an epidural. They started my drip at 9pm and we waited around for the contractions to intensify. The hospital only had one telemetry monitor and another natural delivery was using it so we were stuck to the area right around my hospital bed, which meant no walking the halls or using the laboring tub.

At 11pm, my midwife came in and said she was going home. It’d been a crazy busy night there at the hospital and she didn’t feel that much else would be going on in the near future. She said she could break my water but after considering it, I decided against it because I was so exhausted and was afraid I didn’t have the energy to progress quickly. So she left the hospital. We all were planning on me just resting and slowly progressing through the night. I laid down in bed to try to rest and soon my contractions began to pick up. I quickly moved into active labor and soon after told Kyle that I didn’t think I could do it without an epidural. (Looking back I realize that was transition!) He quickly reminded me that it was not an option (which I had asked him before labor to tell me when I doubted myself). When my nurse came in and saw me in active labor, she turned off the pitocin.

At 1am I needed to go to the bathroom so I got up and went to sit down. On my first contraction on the toilet I suddenly felt the urge to push and then a slight burning sensation. When I told Kyle and my doula, they both got wide-eyed and looked at each other. On my second contraction, I felt the same thing and Kyle asked my doula to have the nurse to come check me. (I had not been checked since we first came to the hospital at 6pm!) I was basically complete with a little lip of cervix left. My water broke when she checked and she quickly said that she didn’t want me pushing on the toilet and they called for my midwife to come back to the hospital. Once back in bed, they told me not to push until my midwife had arrived. That was hard and I honestly did little pushes just to follow my body. When my midwife arrived about 1:20am, I started pushing. I pushed for about an hour and a half and little Abigail Grace Roland was born at 2:44am, Thursday, Thanksgiving morning! Kyle got to catch her and cut the cord. :-)

I was exhausted and overwhelmed by how quickly everything went at the end but so grateful to the Lord that active labor and transition were short because I was so tired and it was so intense. Kyle and my Doula were AMAZING and great supports throughout the entire process. I couldn’t have done it naturally without Kyle’s persistent encouragement and support!

I’m so glad we made the choice to stay at the hospital that night and use the pitocin! It’s wonderful to have little Abigail here with us, healthy and strong. We have thoroughly enjoyed being a family of three and are so grateful for our little bundle of pink joy!








video

Happy Due Date Day - 40 Weeks - Baby Roland

Hello and Goodbye Due Date! Yes, I have now joined that wonderful statistic of first time moms whose baby's come late! :-) We have been excitedly awaiting Miss Roland's due date but have also been trying to prepare our minds for this possibility of her going late. Now that it is reality, we are looking forward again with excitement to wait out her arrival. 

She was strong and healthy today at our Midwife's checkup and we are so grateful for that. Next week, if I make it to 41 weeks, we have a sono scheduled to check my fluid levels and a baby stress test scheduled to make sure she is handling the extra wait ok. 


How far along: 40 Weeks

Baby Size: Approx. 7 pounds! 

Dilated: 3 cm


Effaced: 70%

Station: 0

Mucus Plug: Lost!

Bloody Show: Not yet.

Baby Movements: She continues to be a night owl, enjoying her active time usually somewhere between 10:30pm-12:30am! 

Sleep: On the whole, still really good! Praise the Lord!

Symptoms: Lots of cramps, pressure, lower back pain, hip pain, sharp leg pains, etc... I've definitely had a few contractions, as my body is trying it out, but nothing that has progressed into full blown labor. 


What I'm looking forward to: Seeing what our little girl looks like and bringing her home to our house and being a family of three! 

Week 39 - Baby Girl Roland


So, as I sit here writing, my little baby ticker at the top of the page says we have 4 days left until our due date. I'll have to be honest, I didn't think I was going to last this long here recently. However, the Lord knows best and our little bundle of pink joy is taking her time before entering our world. I am grateful though that she is getting this extra time because I know she will be better developed, hopefully a better eater, better sleeper, etc... So it's worth her taking her time since it helps once she is out. 

I have been warned by a number of friends to not expect her to come early, but to plan for her to come late, and then if she arrives early, it's a surprise and exciting. Well... I sadly fell into the trap of hoping for an early baby and I sure have paid for it! These last two weeks have been so hard waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and I know it could still be two more weeks! Last night I finally cracked and had a huge emotional pity-party and breakdown... full of frustration, impatience, and questioning God's timing for my baby to come. As I laid in my bed crying, I remembered that I have to trust God and asked again for patience to wait for our little girl. God is the One who breathed life into this precious child and He is the One who has ordained her days and the timing of her birth. Who am I to question that? This child is the Lord's, not mine. Even in child birthing, I have to relinquish my feeling of "rights" to have her come at a certain time and rest in the Lord to bring about that timing. Thankfully, God's grace is sufficient and He continues to prove Himself faithful, even in the little things! I am so thankful that I can entrust our baby girl to Him! 

So, as we quickly approach our due date on this coming Tuesday, November 23rd, we look forward with excitement to meeting our daughter, whenever that may be. Not much is changing as far as progression, so we continue to wait for her to progress. :-)

How far along: 39 Weeks

Baby Size: Approx. 7 pounds!

Dilated: 1 cm


Effaced: 70%

Station: 0

Mucus Plug: Lost!

Bloody Show: Not yet.

Baby Movements: She continues to be an active mover late at night. I can't wait to see her active in person! As I feel her little bum hunch up on one side of my tummy, or feel her knee sticking out of my belly, or her hands moving, I wonder what she will look like doing that when I can see those movements with my eyes.

Food Cravings: Sweet things

Sleep: I have had a few great nights where I only get up once or twice and sleep for many hours... and then other nights, similar to last night, when I'm up 5 times making trips to the bathroom and tossing and turning throughout the night. However, I think my body has gotten fairly used to being awake off and on and I've gotten better about falling back to sleep. Praise the Lord!

Symptoms: New this past week is lower back pressure and soreness. Yay! One step closer! One day I had over 4 hours of braxton hicks contractions and I thought it might possibly be the beginnings of early labor, but is suddenly just stopped. Then I went a couple days without hardly any contractions at all. 


What I'm looking forward to: Need I say?? :-)


Maternity Photo Shoot

Last week... at almost 37 weeks, a sweet friend of ours did a little photo shoot for us so that we could get a few pictures together, as a couple, before our little bundle of pink joy arrives. Here they are:



 Sweet kisses for his daughter!
 Sweet kisses for his wife!

 Yes, this belly and baby are huge!
 I do not remember what he was saying here, but I love his expression with my questioning glance back up at him! haha... Look at how that belly hangs low! My goodness!
 He is such a joy to me! I could not ask for a better husband! I love him so dearly!

Week 38 - Baby Roland


I'm sorry I missed my 37 week update! These last two weeks seem to have just flown by. This week, however, will hopefully be very restful as we continue to further prepare for our daughter's arrival. Her diaper bag is packed and our hospital bags are getting there. Haha... 

This past week, at 37 weeks and 4 days, I had my weekly midwife appointment and received my first exam to determine if I'm progressing towards Baby's birth day. Below, you'll see what we found out!

How far along: 38 Weeks

Baby Size: Approx. 7 pounds! (Kyle and I both weighed 7+ pounds when we were born so I'm assuming she'll also weigh in at 7+ pounds!)

Dilated: 1 cm


Effaced: 60-70%


Mucus Plug: Lost!


Bloody Show: Not yet.

Baby Changes: No real changes. She's mainly just plumping up and her lungs and brain are continuing to grow.

Baby Movements: She certainly is tight on space these days! In fact, when I went in for my appointment this past week, my midwife hooked me up to a fetal monitor to track her movements to make sure she was ok because she hadn't been moving much for a couple of days. She was fine, however, and now she's been moving like normal at night and off and on throughout the day. I'm being extra careful to tune in to her movements during the day to make sure she is fine.

Food Cravings: Well, I just finished off two rounds of tuna fish salad and crackers for lunch... does that count? It was so good! (Of course, I only buy low-mercury tuna... in case anyway is about to hurry to the comment section to tell me not to eat tuna while pregnant. It's really fine, as long as you buy low-mercury! haha...)

Sleep: The last couple of nights I've been sleeping really well actually! Kinda surprising because that is the complaint of most women near the end. I'm certainly grateful for it though and hope it continues!

Symptoms: Lots of hip soreness with some pains down my legs. However, my chiropractor has been amazing at helping me with this! I so look forward to my adjustment every week!

Highlight: Loosing my mucus plug after finding out that we are actually starting to efface and dilate! It still doesn't tell us when she will be here or how long the wait will be, but it's fun to know that my body is at least progressing!

What I'm looking forward to: Being past the delivery! haha... 

Yesterday, I set up a little baby nook by my side of our bed to use the first little while after we return from the hospital. I have her pack'n play next to me, with a stack of bins for her diapers/wipes, swaddle blankets, and newborn clothes, plus a little bookshelf that holds not only my books and Bible to read while nursing, but also a few blankets, burp cloths, etc... I brought our glider from her nursery in as well so I can have the privacy and comfort of feeding her in our bedroom. It will make for easy feedings at night, too, I hope!


(haha... and yes, the brown towel in the glider is there just in case my water breaks while we're laboring at home!) I sure have enjoyed rocking in the glider since having it in our room! It's so peaceful, right before crawling into bed!


 

Creamy Corn Chowder

I've been searching the web for new fall recipes to try for our November meal plan. I wanted to add a lot of soups to help keep our budget low this month and easy. Here is a great little tutorial for a Corn Chowder that looks super yummy! I'm making it for dinner tonight and making just a couple changes. Since our family does not like a lot of spice in our food, I am eliminating the jalapeno pepper. Also, because we are dairy free, I am replacing the cows milk with coconut milk. Should be yummy!

Watch the Video of how to make it!

Recipe Link

Yummy Apple Crisp!

When the month of October hit, so did my cravings for apples! I tried making an apple pie, apple oatmeal muffins, and this apple crisp. The crisp quickly won itself a spot in my "holiday baking favorites" list. (It's not an official list, just kept in my mind! haha... I should write it down!)

I found the recipe online and of course tweaked it just a hair to meet our dietary / allergy needs. You can find the original recipe at GlutenFreeMommy.

Apple Layer

  • 7 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced  (I prefer to do half granny smith and half with a sweeter apple, like gala.)
  • A little bit of lemon juice for apples

Streusel Topping

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

In a 9x13 baking dish, layer the sliced apples and toss with lemon juice. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and oats. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add in almonds and mix well. Spread this mixture on top of the apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.


*** I've also just recently tried this recipe replacing peaches for the apples. It was great and a hit with our guests! Omit the lemon juice and place four 14.5 oz. cans of drained peaches in bottom of pan and spread streusel topping over them. I also omitted about half of the cinnamon in the mixture as well. Enjoy!

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