Sweet Miraculous Indy decided to come a week after her due date on August 12th.
It seems I am always cooking my kiddos a little longer. I was convinced that a back rub from my dad is what put me into labor with Amelia. So after being a week late, I decided to give that ago again to see if my hunch was right. My dad and mom popped over our house and whenever he rubbed my lower back, I would feel a weird tingly feeling just like I felt with Amelia. I felt like maybe it was the night! After, Ryan and I watched a show and snuggled Amelia and then went to bed.
At 12am (just like with Amelia, which is weird!) I woke up with cramps and told Ryan I thought I was in labor. My water didn't break like before, but they were definitely contractions.
Around 4am, they were pretty annoying so I got up and showered. I blow dried my hair because I had just gotten bangs and wanted them to look good. Haha. Priorities! I told Ryan I was going to pack the bags and get everything ready. I was anticipating it all going WAY faster than with Amelia. By the time I got contractions, we ended up in the hospital a few hours later. Not the case this time.
By 7am, they were 20 minutes apart but stayed pretty consistent so we decided to wait at home until they got fairly unbearable. Amelia was not feeling the drama and kept crying when I would have a contraction. It was SO sad!
At around 9am, they were 7 minutes apart and pretty strong. But I could still talk in between the contractions. I didn't feel like I could do that with Amelia's, so I told Ryan to go to his meetings and I would just call him when I needed him to come home.
Around 12pm, they seemed to slow down and almost go away. They weren't bad at all and I got so freaked out that I was in false labor and alerted everyone for nothing. How embarrassing! Ryan came home and brought me Wendy's. I was in good spirits and we made out a bunch and spent time together while Amelia napped. ;) It was such a weird thing to have no idea if you were gonna have a kid that day or not.
Around 2pm, the contractions started again. They were 6 minutes apart and way stronger. I kept thinking I was imagining it, and then a contraction would hit and I would yell "nope, it's real, it's real!!"
At 3pm, my sister and my mom came over. They brought me a yummy coconut milkshake. They also thought my contractions were super funny and decided to film them for me to remember. lol. See video below. Thanks guys ;)
At 4:30pm, is when it got bad. I felt like I couldn't breathe and kept saying "I feel like my bottom half is being sawed off!" Which made everyone laugh more. ;) Amelia was getting nervous and I couldn't talk in between them anymore.
At around 5pm, I told Ryan all the sudden "we need to go. I can't do it anymore." He knew it was time because I had been super stubborn up until that point. Amelia stayed with Auntie Cassidy and my dad and we left.
Ryan drove like a crazy guy to the hospital because I kept yelling "we waited too long. this was dumb! I can feel her coming out!" He was terrified, I'm sure. lol.
After checking in, I was almost 5 cm dilated and 100% effaced. Praise the Lord! I was so worried I wouldn't be dilated at all. I was in that level of pain with Amelia and had only been at 1 cm! So I was pumped I had made it that long. Ryan was the sweetest and talked me through every contraction.
At around 7pm, I opted for the epidural again at 7cm. I was proud to have made it that long and felt like maybeeee I could have powered through this time (never in a million years could I do it with Amelia's birth), but once I got it, I was so much more focused and calm. So yay for epidurals!
All my fam showed up around this time to root me on. And YES, I let them all in the room. Haha. Everyone is always so surprised at this. Do what makes you comfortable! But for me, I loved having all my siblings and family there to pray over me and celebrate. (and the rooms were big, so they could just hang out in the chairs and not see the private bits). :) Amelia hung out in the waiting room with her Uncle Dawson.
At 7:45pm, I started to get shaky and nauseous. They checked Indy's heart rate, but were having a hard time finding it. I was freaking out and so worried. They checked my dilation and it turns out, Indy was headed down the birth canal and that was the reason she wasn't fully in my tummy anymore. They immediately yelled for the doctor and started yelling at me to push.
Action Time: This was honestly the HARDEST part. I had no ability to hold the sides of the bed this time and felt really out of control. I panicked a little bit and kept asking my mom "can I do this???" I started crying because I was worried about Amelia and so scared about everything changing.
We took a second and my mom gave me the BEST mama pep talk. And my family prayed over us and for Indy, for protection and joy as she entered the world.
After this, it went SO fast and because they were worried about my oxygen, so they kept pushing me down in the bed. I couldn't push at all like that. Finally it got too hard and I asked them to turn the epidural off. Once they did, I could finally push hard. But I felt SO MUCH. It was WAY more painful than with Amelia. This time I was yelling and crazy and not calm at all. haha. But it all changed when she arrived.
Indy Babe Arrives: After this, I pushed twice and Indy popped right out. We were all crying and so happy it was over and she was here. I felt so much better once I SAW her. I had been SO worried that my first labor went so well, that something was bound to go wrong. But even though it was harder, everything went so right. God blessed us AGAIN. Every time we think he is done blessing us, he keeps lavishing us with his love.
We took photos, cuddled Indy, and prayed again. After a while, Amelia came in to meet her. She was so happy to see us and kept saying "baby" but I don't think she knew it was our baby. Seeing them together just felt right. It didn't feel sad or weird. It felt good. She was able to hold Indy a couple days later and has fallen right into being an amazing big sister.
It's been an incredible first couple of months with Indy. It has also been so much easier emotionally for me because I knew what to expect and how to cultivate joy in the midst of a really emotional season. We've been enjoying our family of four and I could never imagine life without my sweet Indy girl now. I'm so excited to watch her and Amelia grow up together!
I had posted on my instagram a couple weeks ago that this pregnancy has just flown by! All the things I had planned on doing - a baby blessing party, maternity photos, getting our house ready - have all been put on the back burner as Indy is popping into our world so quick. We couldn't be happier, but I was feeling a little sad that I didn't feel like we got to properly celebrate.
And an amazing friend reached out and offered to take our maternity photos....only one week out from birth. She is such an incredible photographer and was so flexible....she even offered to dual write the photos to our memory card so we could quickly edit and post them. Seriously, if you're looking for someone in the central Florida area, Haley Martin with Native Expressions in the bomb.com. (Does anyone even say that anymore??) Oh well! Book her!
She snapped us doing what we do best....roaming around at the beach with Amelia, getting sandy, and making out way too much. We are so looking forward to adding to our fam in just one week.....we are ready for you Indy! (Especially Amelia, who is furiously excited for a baby sister).
We are so excited for baby #2's little life!
Watch below to see how we found out and how I told Ryan.
I'm here with my husband Ryan today and we are sharing our 5 tips for healthy communication in our marriage!
For all the deets, listen to our full podcast below.
I met Ryan when he was 11 years old and I was 12. We were at a community pool and sparks were flying. Okay, maybe not so much. We were pre-teens and super goofy and awkward around each other. But give us a few years and we got on board with the whole not being awkward thing. At 14 years of age, we both admitted to one another our crushes (so middle school, right?) and started 'dating.' I put dating in air quotes, because we weren't technically allowed to date at the time, so it was more like supervised friendship with our parents or siblings always around. But it didn't matter to us, we were head over heels in love! Not out of the ordinary for middle schoolers, but what was different is that we actually made it. We made it out of the awkward tweens, the midde school years of unsurety, and the tulmutous time of high school, going off the college and finding yourself.
We've been together for over 10 years and are still as madly in love as the day we admitted our goofy crushes to each other at church. ;)
How have we managed to stay so in love. Two words. Healthy Communication.
So today, we're going to jump into our 5 tips for Healthy Communication from two middle school sweethearts. Ready for it? Okay, let's go!
1. UNDERSTANDING THEIR VALUES
Every person has different values, but we tend to treat people the way WE expect to be treated. And hey, the golden rule isn't a bad one. But sometimes, it plain doesn't work.
Why? Because we aren't all made the same. We grow up different, have different parents, varying life experience. Because of this, we ALL have different values and we can't EXPECT people to operate on our own. In our marriage, we've found that the love language tests online really help you determine what some of your values are. I really value quality time, where as Ryan really values words of affirmation. If I keep giving him my time, but never praise him or verbally thank him for what he does for me, he feels hurt. If he tells me how great I am, but doesn't make time for the little things I value, I feel hurt. So understanding your love languages and your values is a huge thing.
This is also a BIG conversation when it comes to money. (More on that it another podcast). But couples can definitely have different opinions on how money should be used and when. Neither viewpoint is evil or necessarily wrong, but making sure both people feel valued and heard is important. Before we even got married, we talked through our values and we continue to do this every year to make sure we are treating each other the way they dream of being treated.
2. DON'T BE AFRAID OF HEALTHY FIGHTING
Now, I'm not talking 'throwing chairs around the room'. But there is a healthy way to fight. Engage in conversation, even if it’s hard and could lead to tension. Fighting is better than passivity.
Disagreeing to have your thoughts known is not necessarily bad. We all got married with the hope to be known and understood, so that is PART of marriage. But disagreements turn into a problem when you are trying to wound the other person. Ryan and I fight, but we always, always, always try to remember to never wound, and to never attack the other person’s character or heart.
There have been times that I don't want to "fight," so I never mention that my heart is hurt from something. And then it's natural to resort to bitterness and passive aggressive comments that actually do MORE damage than the fighting even would have. So learn to EXPRESS yourself and ENGAGE with the one you love, even if it causes some tension. If you're both committed to not wounding the other person... but instead coming to a safe place together, you'll be all the better for it.
3. MAKE THEM THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN EVERY ROOM
We learned this from my parents. As soon as my mom walks in a room, my dad takes notice of her. Whenever my dad is up on stage speaking, my mom leans over and makes a comment about how smart or goodlooking he is. It is clear they adore each other.
So whenever Ryan and I are out, we still make intentional action to notice the other person. Whether we are at church, at work, or out with friends, every few minutes we'll look at each other, Ryan will squeeze my hand, we'll send each other texts, or lean into one another. This let's the other person know, "hey, I know we're with all these people, but you are the most important person in this room to me." Being noticed and adored is a feeling that will give you butterflies in your tummy again. :)
4. BELIEVE THE BEST
Always believe the best about your spouse. Whether you're hurt about something they did or fighting with one another, understand that their HEART was probably not out to hurt you. Remember that they probably just operate on different values and don't even understand that the way they said "that one thing" could have been hurtful. Believing the best helps you FIGHT FAIR. Don't demonize your spouse. They are not the enemy and are rooting FOR you. Sometimes you just have to talk out your values to come to that place.
5. HAVE AN ANNUAL TIME TO RECONNECT
Every year, we try and do something special for our anniversary. And we don't just go on a trip, but we take that time to talk about our lives, debrief about our year, ask for forgiveness for the ways we may have hurt the other, find ways to do life better together, and talk through our future goals. Let's face it, we change. And if you're with someone for 10 years, they are going to change too. But you CAN fall in love with them in each new season....it just takes some intentionality. So be intentional. Check in with one another weekly, quarterly, yearly to make sure you are both doing your part and walking in sync. Sometimes you won't be and will need to re-adjust, and that's okay. But if you are committed to the other person, these meetings will be healing to your heart and will re-bond and re-connect you over and over again.
So that's it for today, folks! Our 5 tips to healthy community from us dorky middle school sweethearts. To hear all the stories, listen to the podcast above and don't forget to leave us a review if you found it helpful!
(and here's a freebie for ya, a very embarrassing yet adorbs photo of us when we first met.)
Talk to ya later, friends! <3
the beginning & labor
Amelia's birth was so beautiful and special that it's honestly a little hard to write about. Birth feels like something so sacred that even trying to put the emotions into words is difficult. There's a few moments in my life that feel almost too special to describe...my wedding was one of them and her birth was another.
But I don't want to forget. I want to remember how amazing it all was, which is why I'm so glad my family was there to witness and document it for me. At first, I really wanted a midwife, but it was very difficult to find one covered by our insurance. So we opted to do a hospital birth with a doctor. We ended up loving our doctor and felt he was super kind and open to our needs and hopes.
Amelia's due date was March 19th, but they thought they could have gotten her due date wrong so they told me I could go to the 26th. We waited that whole week. It was such a rollercoaster of emotions waiting for her arrival. I was doing squats, yoga ball bounces, hip swivels, and all kinds of stuff to try and induce natural labor. :)
Finally, on the night of the 25th, I got a pregnancy massage and had a funny feeling that maybe it would trigger all the birth hormones.
Sure enough, at 1:15ish AM on March 26th, I woke up in a pool of water on the bed. I wasn't in labor at that point and was still feeling really good. I excitedly woke Ryan up and called my mom to tell her my water broke. We decided to wait until contractions kicked in to go in, so I packed my bag some more, watched New Girl, and anxiously waited in bed.
I fell asleep and then woke up in severe pain at 2:30 AM. It was odd, as I went from having no contractions to intense contractions about 5-6 minutes apart within an hour.
Ryan kept asking me to leave, but I wanted to wait as long as I could. Finally, I really couldn't talk through them and had to lay in a ball on the floor. At that point, I figured it was time to go in. :) It felt like my body was being squeezed by an outside force trying to turn my tummy inside out.
As we grabbed our stuff around 4:30 AM, I filmed the below video. We called my parents and texted friends to pray.
Laboring in the car is the absolute worst, and Ryan was awesome and would help me count down a minute from when the contraction started to keep me focused on the fact that the pain would end. We played Beyonce on the 20 minute car ride there and it rained outside. It felt scary and magical...and like we were on the precipice of everything.
We finally got to the hospital and when I got checked, the contractions got severely worse. I was only 1 cm dilated and was super discouraged because the contractions were so close together. I couldn't rest in between at all.
They moved me to the laboring rooms and I kept asking Ryan where my mom was. They asked me so many questions, and I couldn't even think straight so wanted her there to help me know what medical things they were trying to say.
Ryan was so sweet. He held my hand and let me squeeze it as hard as I could when a contraction came on. He even stayed in the bathroom with me when I needed to use it because I was so scared to be alone. I was so embarrassed, but he was the most kind and servant hearted husband ever.
Finally my parents arrived around 7 AM. Like superheroes, they charged in the room. :) They are birthing pros.
Because I was giving birth in a hospital, I wanted my mom there as a support, but to also act as my advocate in case any of the nurses pressured me to do anything I didn't want. She has had 5 kids and was amazing at rooting for me during the birth and making sure I knew what each nurse was doing. My dad, (the most compassionate dad of all time) rubbed my head and talked me through contractions with Ryan.
Finally, at about 6 hours in, I looked up at my mom and told her that I didn't think I could do it much longer. I was falling asleep between contractions and had started to shake and throw up. She knew that I wanted to try a natural birth with no epidural, but I told her prior that I knew my body. If I asked for it, it meant I really did want it.
So at 4 cm dilated, I decided that for my own peace, I needed rest. I couldn't even think straight and, from dealing with very intense anxiety in the past, I didn't want to bring my baby into an environment where I felt scared or unsure. I was so upset at myself for 'giving in,' but my mom was awesome at reminding me how brave I had been for over 6 hours and that my choices are up to me to decide. Getting the epidural didn't mean my body wasn't still powerful and incredible.
After the epidural, everything changed. There was still pain, but I could think again. I was so elated and ecstatic to feel good again that I was laughing and singing and over the moon.
I invited my whole family in the room with me, as I felt incredible and wanted all the people who were closest to me to remember the moment with me.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3