Category Archives: baby 3

The Depths

Eight years ago I was in a fight for my life.  Postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis had taken hold of me after Patrice was born.

It is much too easy to remember the desperation of those days…being busy with the girls non-stop because I knew if I stopped or slowed down I would fall apart and I was just as certain that if that happened I would not be able to pick up the pieces.

I remember looking at my newborn sleeping–so jealous that she could sleep and I could not–knowing that in a few short hours my other girls would be awake and there would be no time to rest–and yet, I couldn’t sleep.

There was the day I took a very new baby and her two older sisters across town to a play place.  Our A/C was out, it was hot and I could not stay home.  I could not sit.  Hubby was home that day, what if he saw what a mess I had become, I could not bear to have that happen, so away we went.

Daily, I reached out to my midwife for one reason or another.  She was a friend and I instinctively knew she was safe.  She was so patient.  She talked me through my desire to disappear, she passed on recipes for butternut squash.  She helped me find help when the inevitable came and I did fall apart and I couldn’t pick up all the pieces.

Eight years ago, many doctors, medications, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and a few hospitalizations later, and here I am.  Is it easy–nope, each day is a balance.  Is it possible, yes.  Am I thankful–more than you will ever know.

The Lord has brought me through so much.  He has brought a calling into my life–a couple of them really, and He has brought me my tribe–those women who love me, reach out, and help me take care of myself.  I am so thankful to Him and all of them.

Eight years ago.  Eight years ago.

What Does Grace Look Like?

This is what grace looks like:

Leah at park 2010Grace is 5 years ago this little bundle screaming her head off as we put her up to the slide (not down the slide), while her very sick mama battled postpartum depression, anxiety and psychosis in the background.

2015-10-01 18.01.08Grace is a mama still be here, homeschooling, her three beautiful daughters that 5 years ago today she tried to surrender them to her midwife during a psychotic break.

2015-10-28 09.22.43Grace, grace, Gods’ grace is this little girl, who was screaming on that slide 5 years ago while her mama battled for her mind, now wrapping her arms around her mama and telling her she’s the best mama ever.


Welcome to the Roller Coaster

A year.  A year.  Up.  Down.  Round the bend.  Round the next bend. Up.  Down.

Praying it’s just baby blues.

It gets a little better.

Then the darkness comes.

Start a medication.

Get a little relief.

Try an additional dose.

All relief disappears.

End up sobbing at the midwife’s office.

Find yourself in a psychiatric hospital.  Away from your family, away from all you know and trust.

Come home more despondent and hurting than you started.

Get the hope of a postpartum depression specialist.

Ahhh, the right combination of medication.

Some sweet relief.





Find other mamas on twitter @ppdchat.



Medication stops working.

Discover new depths of dispair.

Try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.

A bit of relief.





Wonder if there is any hope left.

Bite the bullet.  Ask for more help.

See the light again.

Support another mama.

See her make the hard, necessary choice to go to the hospital.

Memories rush in.


Get support.




*Please excuse the absence of Snapshot Saturdays.  Please head over and pray for Ali.

*Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday.

Several Random Posts Put Together

I didn’t have a chance to pop in Tuesday and show off my work getting an area organized, but I did do something 🙂 And shocked my hubby in the process by cleaning off the staircase up to our room. Putting stuff on the steps is a bad habit I developed growing up. It drove my dad nuts and now drives my husband nuts. Is that what “they” mean when “they” say girls look for someone like their daddy to marry?

Well regardless, here they are, our clean steps.  (so be honest, how many of you just turned your head sideways to look at them?)

How is Body after Baby Morphed going?  Pretty well.  I have continued to do the 30 Day Shred and even ran one night too!!!  I missed working out last night and am totally feeling it today…I gotta get down there and workout.  Tomorrow I am going to move my workout OUTDOORS.  I am going to try cross country skiing for the first time in roughly 20 years.  I lost much of my balance when the Multiple Sclerosis got bad.  With it went skiing.  Now mind, I had not done a lot of it, just once or twice, but I had enjoyed it.  For some reason it is something I really missed and am now feeling confident enough to try it again.  One of our local parks, Independence Oaks, is offering a two hour ski lesson and ski rental for $10.  And my wonderful hubby is going to keep the three kidlets while mama heads out.  He doesn’t mind me heading out, but he sure is bummed he is not going to see my adventure.

What about 5 Question Friday?  Okay, you asked for it, here it is.

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?

Steel Magnolias, Fried Green Tomatoes, Back to the Future and Three Men and a Baby
Guess I don’t feel like narrowing things down today.

2. What’s your biggest pet peeve right now?

Hearing my child say “I don’t like that.”  So now they have to say, “I don’t prefer that.”  Same obnoxious thought when they are rejecting dinner, but it sounds cute when they say such big words.

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?

Does my hubby count?  A funny, sweet, strong, smart companion.

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?

Either a stay-at-home mom or a midwife.

5. What is your one “splurge” item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?

Diet Coke!  I considered giving it up last week.  Then I woke up.  The only time I ever gave it up was at the end of my pregnancy with Patrice when she kept going breech.  I thought maybe the caffeine was making her too hyper.  So I gave it up for about 2 weeks.  We brought some with us to the birthing center so I could have one right after she was born!

And what would be a post without mentioning my wonderful midwife?  I saw her yesterday and she was as always her wonderfully encouraging self.  I am so thankful for her investment in our family.

Okay, I thing this post has been the epitome of randomness…now back to your regularly scheduled weekend…
After this cute picture:

Cutie Patootie

We recently had Patrice’s 4 month check up.  It is amazing to see how much she is growing and changing.  She is now over 12 pounds, in the 25th percentile for weight.  The crazy part is her height.  It was in the 70th percentile.  My child.  That makes it two of my three children above average for height.  Mine.  I think that is God showing His sense of humor.

Our little girl is also rolling over now.  She started last week.  The first time was when she was mad, but a few since then have been when she was just as calm as can be.  It’s a good thing, since she is calm most of the time.

Patrice is the most laid back, happiest baby you have ever met.  She is content to just look around, watching her world, sometimes from the Bumbo Seat, other times the swing or playpen.  And she loves to smile.  All the time.  She is just happy.  She does not yet play with toys, but she positively lights up when someone makes eye contact with her.  I like to think her brightest smiles are for me.  But I digress.

I love watching her smile.  I love watching those little eyes crinkle at the corners.  And those adorable toothless grin is enough to make my day.  She is positively adorable.  I am completely taken with our newest daughter.  You will be too after you see these pictures!

Could she be any cuter?

This time, I mean it…is cuter possible?

Well okay, adding another of my kids makes it a little cuter.

The cuteness is truly overwhelming.

Say it with me, awwwww!!!!

Didn’t I tell you that smile was amazing????

WFMW–Calling Nursing Moms

I am finding blog hops to be very fun.  Today I am joining one over at We Are That Family–Works for Me Wednesday

I know I don’t hold any records here, but I am proud I have been pregnant and/or nursing a baby since November 2005.  I nursed my first baby for 11 months, until she weaned while I was pregnant with my second, who nursed until 28 months when she weaned herself during my pregnancy with my newest. 

Nursing and pumping for my first went okay, but I found a lot of great resources while nursing my second.  Here are a few of the things that Work For Me.

One great website is Kellymom.  It has great resources, including how to figure out the amount of milk baby will need when being bottle fed away from mama, info for caregivers of breastfed babies on how to not overfeed with the bottle and ideas on how to pump hands free without having to buy special bras.

I have done tons of hands free pumping. It allows me to type this blog :), play video games, read, hold my other kids, lots of things, all while pumping.  Here’s the instructions I put together on the hands free pumping:

“Hands-free pumping

You can buy bras and apparatus specially for hands-free pumping, and for some that may be the way to go, but after pumping 9 months with my oldest and 15 months for my youngest, I had to find something cheap and easy! Searching on-line I found two methods—a pumping bra and hand-free pumping with any nursing bra.

Pumping bra—buy a cheap sports bra, preferably one that latches in the front. Based on the size of your pump bottle flange, cut a hole in the bra where it needs to line up with the nipple. Make sure to make the hole smaller than the flange so the material hugs it and keeps it in place. This works well if you are home and are not needing to go out. You can tuck a nursing pad in the hole when you are not pumping so you don’t leak. You can also unhook the bra to nurse the baby.

Note: with a lot of movement the nursing pad will move around making odd shapes under your shirt and may even fall out, so I found it undesirable to wear to work, etc.

Hands-free with any nursing bra—this is even cheaper than the first. You need 4 regular size pony tail holders (not scrunchies). Take two, loop them together to form a figure 8. Put the bottle and breastshield through one loop so the loop is just at the bottom of the widest part of the breastshield. Hook the other end of the loop where the nursing bra unhooks from. Position at the nipples. You may have to lightly hold them in place at the beginning of pumping, mainly the let down mode on the pump-in-style advanced. Once the pump settles in rhythm or there is sufficient milk to weigh it down, it should stay in place well.

Hands-free pumping cuts down on neck and back pain and allows you to type, read, write, even pick up a small child while pumping. It also tends to lead to longer pumping sessions which will get you more milk in both the short and long-term due to the supply and demand principles that govern your supply.”

*As an item of disclosure, I need to let you know I am a Medela Mom Maven.  I do not receive any compensation from them, but do get info and newsletters from them in exchange for sharing my experience using their products when pumping for my kidlets.

Another wonderful resource I found was a recipe for more milk cookies.  These are yummy and somewhat good for you and a great way to get the calories you need to keep up your supply.  I originally found this recipe on Babyfit and have modified it some for my tastes:

Housepoet’s Famous Lactation Boosting Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Flaxseed cookies ™

Ingredients :

* 1 cup butter or marg
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal*
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
* 1 cup or more chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous)


Preheat oven at 375 degrees F. Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream (beat well) margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips. Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment or silpat. The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.

Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Serves: 6 dozen cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

*can be found at any local health food store.


You can substitute for carob chips, raisins, butterscotch chips, whatever.

Don’t cook too long or they are dry and too “healthy” tasting. Leave them a little moist and they are GREAT!

I hope what works for me will work for you too!

My first and current nursres

On the Road Again

Well we’re not quite on the road again…little Miss Patrice fell asleep after her diaper change, so we can’t get to our jog just yet.

After a long hiatus, I am back to jogging.  I did a jog/walk combo a couple times last week.  I am a little embarrased to admit, Caitlyn could keep up with my running.  Here’s hoping a get quicker, some day. 

Right now it is beautiful in our area.  It’s one of those days that you want to make the most of because the cold weather is coming…

But until then, Patrice and I will get out to jog as much as we can.  As soon as she wakes up, that is.

September 2010

Patrice’s Birth Story

Here is my version of Patrice’s birth story.  I say my version because parts of it are a blur.  And for all I know, the parts I think are clear, may have happened a little different than I perceived them.

Really her story begins with an e-mail I received Friday morning about 2 am.  My grandfather passed away Thursday night about 11:30. 

We had visited him in June as things did not look good, and my time of not being able to travel was quickly approaching.  During our visit, he and I talked about the coming baby.  I told him about our plans to name the baby with Dussel as the middle name if it was a boy (that is my dad’s side of the family’s last name).  My grandpa liked that.  And told me to bring that baby back to meet him when baby came.  A couple weeks later he was asking about us.  He rallied and we hoped he would make it for baby’s arrival.

It was heartbreaking, for me, to hear he went to Jesus before baby came, but I know he is enjoying his great reward now.

But, I did not get to sleep after getting that e-mail.  I was kept up by my whirling thoughts and some random contractions.  Then later that morning I talked to my mom and my other grandfather had a minor heart attack on Thursday as well.  To say I was a bit stressed by my midwife appointment would be an understatement.

I was not having any major contractions by the time hubby got up for work, so I told him to go ahead and we planned for him to meet us at the midwife office.  Thankfully I was able to get ahold of him when the office called to have us come in earlier.  So the whole family tromps in for our appointment.

They hooked me up to a non-stress test.  My midwife came in a couple times to buzz baby to see how baby’s heartrate was doing and how baby was handling the few contractions that came during the test.  Sue touched the machine a few times, so I leaned over to get her away from it.

Then they finished the NST.  My midwife came in and looked the printout over.  There were a few drops in heartrate that she found concerning.  I thought the dips were from when I had leaned over to get Sue. 
“Can’t we blame it on Sue?,” I said.
“No, there are too many for it to be that.”
She explained how those dips could be an indicator that my amniotic fluid level was low.  Fluid levels can be measured by ultrasound so she went and got the scanner.  First we got GOOD news, baby was still head down and in perfect position for delivery.  I was thrilled.  I mean, thrilled.  Then the news got a little dicey. She found a few pockets of fluid, but got just barely 5 when she measured, and that was the cutoff for needing to deliver a baby.  When the fluid levels get too low, it is possible for baby to crush their cord.  So we talked about possibly needing an induction. 

As you know from other blog posts, I am very set on natural childbirth if at all possible, so I was not thrilled with the thought of induction.  I was bummed when she checked my cervix to only be at 1 cm and 70% effaced, the same as the week before.  So no membrane sweeping to see if that would move things along.

But my midwife was very confident we could likely do an induction without any pitocin and regardless, it would be up to me how much pain medication I used.

She asked me how I felt about all of this.  I said, “honestly, I don’t know, all I know with this kid is not to expect anything.  I kind of expected blood pressure issues with this one, never had it, kind of expected sugar issues, didn’t have that either.  Instead we ended up with breech issues and now fluid levels.”

From there, she sent us to the hospital to get a more thorough scan to see if they could find more fluid and another NST.  The bright spot in all this was my midwife was on duty for deliveries that night.  And I wanted her there more than anything for this baby.

First, we made plans for the girls to stay with a friend while we went to the hospital, grabbed some lunch, I drank a ton of fluids and we headed off to the hospital.  We had to wait a long time for the scan, but the results came back quick, they got about 6 for a fluid level, still pretty low for that point in pregnancy.  My midwife, hubby and I talked again about how that could mean the placenta was starting to break down and/or may not be functioning properly.  She still felt we should have a baby that night; if she sent us home, we could not monitor baby, we wouldn’t know how baby was doing.  I knew if I went home, I would be totally stressed worrying non-stop about lack of movement, too much movement, etc.  So we opted for the induction.

They got me in a room.  Hubby left to take the girls to a friends house where they had stayed the night previously.

At my midwife’s insistence, I ordered dinner.  I found that reassuring the induction would go smoothly, otherwise I did not think they would want me to eat.

After I ate, I waited, for hubby, for my midwife, I waited.  Not patiently.  Then I started contracting and they hurt, they were enough that I had to walk around to get through them.  Someone came in to put in my hep lock for antibiotics I needed before baby was born.  It was hard to sit still for some of those contractions.  Then my midwife came back.  Hubby was still not there.  She asked me, “so is he coming back or is he planning to sleep at home?” 
She checked me and found I was already 3 cm. 
“So were you going to tell us you were in labor before the baby was born?”
“Well, I was hoping they were doing something, but I didn’t mention I was in labor til almost 6 cm with Sue.”
She gave me some medication to for the induction and told me to lay down for an hour and hooked me up to the monitors for two hours.  She also decided to start the penicillian at that point instead of waiting til I was 4 cm as originally planned.

Hubby arrived shortly after and the contractions were already really strong.  I only laid down for about 40 minutes and then had to get out of the bed to survive each one.  Baby’s heartrate dipped a bit, so they added 20 minutes to the monitoring time.  I can not even tell you how I hated that extra time.  I just wanted to be able to walk around. 

Hubby and I started our rhythm of counting each contraction.  We had learned during the birth of Sue, if he started counting when he saw a contraction hit me (my face is a good indicator), we would find out how high he had to count to get to the end and I would know how long I had to “survive.”  With Sue it was a count of 42.  With Patrice he counted slower to try and help me to slow down my breathing and focus, so it was about to 28.

I must say these contractions were much more overwhelming than Sue or even Caitlyn’s had been.  I was about 4 cm when I was unhooked from the monitors and could walk around.  I was having a horrible time “getting on top” of the contractions, I felt like each one overwhelmed me.  I knew from all my studying and preparation, it was counterproductive to scream, as it wasted energy that could be better used to get baby moved down and closer to being born.  Even during the labor, I knew that, but many times ended up giving in to the desire to yell.  This labor felt more primal.  It felt like the energy came from deep within and was washing over me each time.

My midwife suggested I try getting into the jacuzzi tub to labor. It did not take all the pain, or even a measurable amount, but it took some. After a bit more yelling at the beginning of each contraction, I was able to breathe through more of them, and even put my head down on the edge of the tub to rest for a bit. Then I did a few on all fours, with hubby counting and my midwife doing counter pressure. I got through a few more, about 1 1/2 hours of labor.

With my two previous births, I was proud to say I never yelled at anyone.  I can no longer say that.  I was yelling at hubby and at my midwife.  I kept yelling at hubby, “this hurts, no really, you don’t understand, this really hurts!!!”  And at one point, he didn’t start counting soon enough and I yelled “Count you Idiot!”  Now mind you, I do NOT think my hubby is an idiot, I think he is rather brilliant, but right then…

And I was begging for someone to help me with the pain.

I have never been so thankful to be surrounded by two people who knew my desires for unmedicated birth and helped me to stick with that.  I must admit there was a point that if someone would have said, do you want the epidural, I would have said yes, even though I did not want it.  Not really even at that moment.

They helped me breathe through several more.  And I kept crying that I couldn’t find my place.  With Sue, even when they hurt, I felt like I found this place where I climbed inside of myself and could survive each one.  A place where I didn’t care what went on around me.  This time I could not find that.  And missed it.  Cried for it.  My midwife said maybe this time the place would be different and reminded me these contractions were coming really fast which might make it harder to get on top of them.  I was frustrated, but felt affirmed to know there was a reason I was struggling.

Then I started begging for help again.  And yelling at hubby and my midwife.  I remember hearing my midwife ask hubby what the sta-dol had done for me during labor with Sue.  He explained that it did not noticably take any pain, but allowed me to relax in between contractions just a bit.  So she asked me if I wanted something in my IV.  At my agreement we started the process of getting out of the tub and across the room.  We had to stop several times as I got hit by contraction after contraction.  Even once I got laid down, I had to tell my midwife to wait before checking me, as I worked to get through each one as it came. 

By that time I was about 7 and progressing rapidly.  It was good to hear her say that I was at transition, which is the hardest, but quickest part of labor.  They started to give me a non-narcotic medication in the IV, but baby’s heartrate dropped, and they had to stop.  I got a little and it was enough. 

The next thing I know, I hear someone saying, “Get me an OR (operating room), get the OR opened now.”  I vaguely remember thinking, well how is that going to work, I’m not drugged and then it was time for more contractions.  Then there was talk of a vaccuum (extraction) but that faded away.  And then I heard, “push Charity, just push, don’t wait for a contraction, push now.”  And me thinking, I am pushing, what do you think I am doing here???  And then, “push for your baby, push NOW!”  And from somewhere I pushed more.  And out baby came.  The cord was wrapped around the neck, baby was blue. 

My midwife cut the cord, tied it off and handed baby off to the waiting team.  And Praise the Lord, by the time they got baby half way to the warming table, she was screaming her head off and nice and pink!!!

Miss Patrice was soon handed over to daddy and she was ours.  Our third daughter was here, safe and sound.

Getting to Know YOU

These days are filled with busyness, joy and love.  And dirty diapers, feeding baby and holding baby.  And play-doh, cartoons and coloring.

When we were at the doctor earlier this week for Patrice’s check up, the doctor gave us that little sheet about baby’s development.  One of the things it said to do was get to know your baby.  And that is what we are doing.  Here is some of what we have learned:

Patrice likes to be held.  She doesn’t sleep much otherwise.  She likes the baby wearing wrap.
Patrice likes to eat, and eat and eat and eat.  We’ve never had a baby who liked to eat at this young of an age.  Our older two slept most of their first weeks, getting them to eat was a challenge with a capital C!

Patrice gains weight.  At 6 days old she was within one ounce of her birth weight.  Sue was still losing at that age, Caitlyn was just starting to think about gaining.  At 10 days old, Patrice was 7 ounces over her birth weight.  I am amazed.  She is doing so well, we do not have to go back to the doctor until she is 2 months old.  Both the doctor and I commented how we have never been set loose this early.  We have always been in every week or so until about 3 months old to check weight gain, particularly with Sue.

What I have learned about myself:

I can handle 3 kids, and enjoy it, a lot!!!!!!  Today is the first day I thought I might go crazy but that feeling has passed.  Thank you Mr. Play-doh, Mr. Sidewalk Chalk and Mr. Coloring Books.  You are providing much needed distraction for the older kids.

I feel very accomplished for doing cloth diapers with Patrice.  Does it make me a better mom?  No way.  Is it something I thought about doing with Caitlyn and Sue, but wimped out on, yes.  But thanks to a dear friend I feel less clueless this time and have a great set of supplies.  The earth and my wallet thank her.
I love my littlest girls’ name more and more every day, especially her middle name.  Thank you honey for indulging me in naming her after our midwife.  Actually, I adore the names of all my girls, and each of them, their middle name, holds extra significance.  Caitlyn is the combination of names from three special ladies from my high school years that were great encouragement to me in my Christian walk.  Sue is my mom’s name (and my middle name).  And then there is Patrice. 
Now, maybe most would not think to name their daughter after their midwife, but my midwife has given me a great deal.  She gave me the opportunity to learn my body could handle and do a lot.  With my history of MS, I got told a lot I could not do this or that, enter any number of things, but when I first approached my midwife, who I found through an internet search, she saw me as a person and simply acknowledged the MS existed, giving it no more importance than it needed.  She helped even my neurologist see it did not have to hold me back. She has encouraged me along the  way when I struggled with some postpartum depression with my oldest, and when Sue was not gaining weight she helped me brainstorm ideas on how to help our little one.  She has answered so many e-mails, too many to count really.  She also helped us find solutions for Patrice’s breech position, never giving up and saying we would have to have a c-section. And she invests herself in the mom’s who are privileged to know her.  She has, in short, become a friend. And that does not even begin to touch her role in our birth story (which I am almost done getting written).
I know there is much more to learn about Patrice and about ourselves as we do the family dance, but there are some glimpses in our first 12 days.

Ticker Missing, Been Replaced by Another Kidlet!

I am a week behind, but here is the big news around here…we welcomed a third daughter on Saturday August 7, 2010 3:52 am.  She weighed in at 7 lbs 5 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long. She was born at 40 weeks 5 days along.  Her labor from start to finish was 5 1/2 hours…a wild and crazy 5 1/2 hours, but amazing and yes, I would do it all again in less than a heartbeat.

We couldn’t be more thrilled.  I promise to get her birth story written soon, but for right now, here are a few pictures while I get back to holding our newest addition.  As with her sisters, here on the blog we will use her middle name, Patrice, to give a modicum of privacy.