jack’s birth story.

Preface: Evelyn’s cesarean birth taught me a lot. So my prayer for this baby’s arrival was that God would bless the birth with a safe delivery for a healthy baby and a healthy moma. How the story came to play out exceeded my hopes and desires but I know that that is not always real life. So if your story doesn’t play out how you were hoping, if you hate cesareans and have to have them, if you love cesareans and get to have them, etc, and you want some support, call me. I’ll tell you that you are amazing and we can pray and be thankful for a healthy, beautiful baby.

Also, it’s to be noted that all bodies are different. (shock). One reason I dreaded a repeat cesarean was the recovery time for me. But then again, I’m kinda weak sauce. I once had a manicure, looked down and saw a few drops of blood on my hand and blacked out. Slightly embarrassing. My friend was grocery shopping with her newborn and toddler two weeks after her cesarean. I was still trying to figure out how to get out of bed. Basically, what I’m trying to say is all stories are different. And I don’t want you to think yours needs to be mine. And no matter how you deliver, you’re amazing and lets rejoice over your bundle. So without further ado…here’s the story.

I’ll try to keep this PG. Going through the whole labor and delivery thing kinda skews your sense of PG.

So. One day after my due date, I woke up at four in the morning with my first ever contraction. It was kind of like when there is an earthquake and you pause and try to figure out what just happened. It slowly dawned on me what was going on and I grinned and practiced breathing until Wesley’s alarm went off at six. I then cheerfully told him he should probably reset his alarm clock and get another hour of sleep as you ‘never know what a day will bring forth!’.

It was kinda weird. I had been fairly confident that the whole ‘have the baby on Friday night with my favorite doctor’ would work out and as I laid in bed I contemplated when I would go to the hospital and when I would have the baby so that I would be sure to have this doctor. I timed my contractions and they were 8-10 minutes apart.

I got up with Ev around nine and we had our normal routine. I decided I’d better get a jump start on my pilates to get a jump start on this whole labor business. I asked Ev if she wanted to join me and she said, ‘yeah.’ So she sat between my legs and stretched hers out while I stretched behind her.


We had a break outside and enjoyed the scenery and waved toast around and then went on a mile plus walk. I had heard stories of people being in early labor for days before moving on and since I’d been up and at em I’d kind of lost track of my contractions and was nervous that this might be happening to me.

Things must have progressed some because I called Wes around three and told him I might be ready for him to come home.

Wesley made me laugh inwardly several times this day. I don’t think I was giving off very many ‘this is happening signals!’, so he was very leisure about everything he did. When I called him, he told me, ‘ok, well I’d like to get this certain job to a good stopping point.’. lol. Never mind the whole labor thing going on.

I texted him at four and told him it was now time. And home he came.

Evelyn had taken a very long nap and woke up as soon as Wes came home. I hit the road to do some more walking and breathing and would occasionally come in for a breather and would find Wes and Ev cheerfully splashing bubbles around in the tub. They looked at me like they wondered if I was having as much fun as they were. I inwardly shook my head and went back outside.

I called my Dr at 6:23 to let him know what was going on. Contractions were five ish minutes apart when I walked but slowed way down when I rested. He told me to text him in an hour as it sounded like I had time.

Wes put Ev in the stroller and the two accompanied me for the next hour as we walked up and down the road. I put quite a few miles in that day. I carried a rice sock on my back and occasionally would have Wes pound my back during contractions.

At 7:23 I texted my Dr, told him I’d been walking for the past hour and that contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. I wanted to add that my legs were about to fall off but I didn’t want to sound like I still had a sense of humor. He told me my labor sounded ‘disorganized’ and that I was maybe still in early labor but to use my best judgement and to come in if I was at all anxious.

I decided to hang out inside on the birthing ball to see what would happen. At this point, Ev and Wes were cheerfully putting together a vacuum cleaner that had arrived on the front porch. Another head shake.

Fifteen minutes later I told Wes, ‘Ok. Ev either needs to go to bed or go to her grandparents.’ So off they went. I was planning on him returning in a quick ten minutes but he was gone a good twenty. I rolled around on the ball, pounded the floor, tried to pound my back, did some gasping, fell on the couch, fell off the couch, ran around the house and was at the door by the time Wes got back.

‘I about gave up on you,’ I dryly told him. He mentioned something about his parents being in the garden. I told him he’d better eat something before we left and he told me Chik-fil-A sounded really good and he thought he’d just go through the drive-thru on the way to the hospital. I inwardly shook my head and we hopped in the car.

In the five minute drive to the main highway, I had two contractions and was already squeezing the tar out of Wesley’s hand.  Car rides and contractions aren’t the most fun and it was a forty minute drive ahead of us. Wes called the parents and told them what was up. All I could think about was that massive tub waiting for me at Martha Jeff.

I had my eyes closed 95 percent of the time, uttered maybe ten words when Wes was on the phone with my parents, and was doing some serious breathing. By the time we reached Chik-fil-A, Wes told me, ‘Kels, I think we should just skip Chik-fil-A and go straight to the hospital. I inwardly shook my head again and thought, ‘hmm. great decision Wes.’. Oh it makes me laugh.

We pulled up to the hospital at 9:00, I got out of the car, leaned against the pillar and had a contraction. We left the car where it was and hurriedly walked to the check in spot where I had another contraction. They asked me how far about they were and Wes told them about five to six minutes apart. I inwardly shook my head again. We made it through the doors and I had another. The nurse looked at me and said, ‘Hmm, those look like they’re more like two minutes apart. ‘Thank you for noticing,’ I thought to myself.

They got me situated in my room and because we were trying for a VBAC, hooked me up to the monitor to hear baby’s heart rate and began trying to get an IV in me in case of emergency. They asked me what I was planning on doing for pain and it took me a minute to get, ‘a bath?’ out. Someone called the Dr to tell him to come in and Wes was planning on running out to move the car. He never had time. I think sometime in the car he had realized that this was happening and was really jumping into the roll of support partner.

It’s funny, I had this picture in my head of how laboring would go. I wanted to look back on the time and remember Wes. I envisioned him holding me, helping me relax and just looking at him to refocus. In reality, I barely saw him and would just kinda gasp, ‘Wes. Back! Harder!’. And away he would pound.

By the time they got the IV in me (took them a few tries), I was like, ‘um, I’m pretty sure I need to push.’

‘Can someone call Dr. Arnold and see where he’s at?’, was what I heard next. Thankfully, he showed up minutes later. I was contemplating how I was going to stay alive if I had to endure this the whole night. He checked me and said, ‘She’s ready to go,’ and the heavens opened and the angels sang.

Dr. Arnold walked over to the bed and with a straight face and a twinkle in his eye and a smirk on his face said, ‘Well. I guess you were in labor. That’ll be the last time you ever listen to a Dr.’. I chuckled inside.

And then the fun began. Pushing is really not my jam. Someone came in during this process to draw my blood and we had to take a break. I was like, ‘really. is this really the time?’. They explained it to me later and I was like, ‘ok. fine.’.

I was the only one in labor and delivery that evening and so this might be why I had my own personal cheer squad. Seriously, the nurses were awesome. My personal nurse was in my ear, calmly but very firmly telling me what to do, Dr. Arnold was saying ‘good girl’, and I heard all the others saying my name and encouraging me.

And Wes. He had his arm around me and I could feel him pushing right along with me and doing all the breathing I was doing. I told him later how great he was and he said, ‘well, I didn’t want you to hear me breathing easy like I was taking a walk in the park.’.

And then, miraculously, finally, wonderfully, Dr. Arnold asked me if I wanted to pull the baby out. I looked down and was like, ‘hmm. A little garden gnome.’ And up he went to my stomach. It was very important to me that Wes tell me the gender of the baby and I could vaguely hear Dr. Arnold telling Wes to check it out. And vaguely I heard Wes tell me it was a boy. I just laid there and went pat, pat, pat, pat on his back and rejoiced that he was out.


So yeah. The whole thing was crazy. That’s all I could say when I revived. ‘That was crazy.’ Over and over. I couldn’t believe how fast it went and really, it was not as terrible as I’d imagined. It was just crazy. And I was up on my feet within the hour. That was crazy. And I had my little Earl. That was crazy. (My brother, dad, grandfather and great grandfather all carry the name Earl. I’m sure I could find a Jackson somewhere in the family tree as well if I looked hard enough).

I told my nurse the next day how the whole thing had gone down and she was like, ‘Wow, that sounds incredibly smooth for a VBAC.’ And this wave of realization came over me as I thought of how many people had been praying for me. It kind of made me catch my breath. To think of the many prayers that went up on behalf of myself and the bebe and see how beautifully they’d been answered.


And so. All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. [Ephesians 3:20-21]


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oh jack.

Jackson Earl entered the world on five, one five, one five at eleven eleven pm. He tipped the scales to six pounds, fifteen ounces and measured nineteen and a half inches.


Jack. You are melting our hearts and we absolutely adore how you have made us a family of four. We sit and laugh at your different facial expressions, we turn into a puddle watching your sister snuggle with you, and we cherish the feeling of you snoozing on our chest.


We love you little boy.

Story coming soon,

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this fortieth week.

Happy due date to me, happy due date to me, happy birth day dear baby, happy due date, to me.

Well. Here I am. Doing pretty darn well for arriving at this fortieth week. And while today is not looking like a birth day, my favorite doctor is on call tomorrow night so I’ll shoot for then since the whole mother’s day idea didn’t work out.

So. Definitely on the mend over here, no longer walking about with my head in a fog. That’s lovely. And doctor appointment went swell on Tuesday. So much less stress involved. So that was wonderful.

And the guy came and picked up my bedroom furniture! And I bought a new bed! And we love it.

And pretty much the last two days have felt like a gift. The weather has been what I call, ‘San Luis weather’, 75, sunny and clear as a bell. Ev’s been taking long afternoon naps and I’ll be like, hmm, wonder what I should do that would be productive. And then I go sit in the sun and read a book. Pretty much pretending I’m on vacation. I did do something impressive today: vacuumed. (hahaha).

Yesterday evening we went over to a friends farm, Wes droned and I walked and it was stunning and just a wonderful way to end week 39. And I’m getting excited as we launch into week 40.



Lots of love and prayers and kindness shown our way and it makes my heart fill and flow.

(Me, Ev and the bebe hanging out on due date.)

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it’s real.

The fatigue. The hormones. I’ve been going about today with a dripping nose and leaky eyes. I feel like a whale who swallowed a puffer fish. I keep thinking this cold is getting better. And now I feel like I sound like a swarthy pirate when I cough.

Despite all this, we had a pretty swell weekend. Saturday was stunning. And much time was spent outdoors. I did my pilates outside around 8:30 (I’ve been sending time lapse videos of myself doing pilates for the amusement of myself and my parents. My parents, in turn, have sent them to everyone and their brother. I believe my dad has entitled the video, ‘Bugs life’ because of my large belly and tentacle like arms swinging madly. If you need a laugh, message me and I might send you one. Maybe.).

We ate our steak dinner outside by candlelight at 9:00 and then pulled our chairs out into the middle of the yard, huddled under blankets and watched the stars for about an hour. And then in the morning, pulled our chair back into the shade of our beautiful tree and listened to a podcast while drinking iced lattes and eating dudes. Some lovely times together.

Wes continues to gussy up the outdoors. It’s looking pretty good around here. I no longer care much about the furniture situation. I’m just tired.

My thirty nine week check up was kinda stressful. We went in on Friday and it felt so much like the day Ev was born. They do this thing where they measure your belly and the number is supposed to correlate with how many weeks you are. Don’t ask me the reason why. In theory, this means I’d measure close to 39 but I measured 32 which was smaller than the week previously. So, they had me do an ultrasound. Bebe was in tenth or smaller percentile, but because these things can be inaccurate, they had me do an non stress test (correlating baby’s movement with baby’s heart rate).

I laid there on the table and dripped. The sense of déjà vu was heavy and I couldn’t turn my brain off and finally told Wesley he either needed to read to me Song of Solomon or Revelations 21.  Shockingly enough, he chose Revelations. So we discussed the length of the wall and what color chrysoprase was.

Bebe passed test with flying colors but I get to go in tomorrow and do the same thing all over. I think I’ll be calmer. I’m seeing the doctor that told the baby had flipped and we have great rapport.

So. Other than all the dripping, I’m doing great! And I hope you are too! And perhaps I’ll just think and type everything in exclamation points for the rest of the day to remind myself how great I am!


Okay. Think I’m going to go eat something. Or something.

Love to you and yours.


39 weeks. 4 days.

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this 39th week.

Stars continue to align.

I finally received an inquiry on my bedroom set on Craigslist. They seemed very interested and were coming to look at it so I spent an hour thoroughly cleaning everything and removing remnants from the night stand. Wes came home and we spent another twenty minutes shining everything up.

Then they showed up in this little tiny car. And I was like. Are you kidding.

But! They paid for it and will hopefully be picking it up next Monday. So my bedroom is still full of furniture but now it’s not mine. So that’s exciting. Now to find a bed and some night stands.

My mother will be happy to know that while I was hanging up some winter clothes upstairs, I found my hospital bag. I’ll get right on packing that.

It took Evelyn eight days to recover from those eight cute little steps I posted last Tuesday on Instagram. Last night, she took four and a half steps before collapsing onto a chair. She really does (I think) prefer walking to crawling but she must be holding your hand, The good news is that I think she grew an inch since April or is just standing up straighter because I no longer have to hunch over to help her go places.

How do I feel? I think my body feels fine. I’m not sure because my head feels large and fuzzy. I either have caught a cold or a case of allergies. At either rate, tissues are disappearing at an alarming rate and I’m like, ‘meh.’

At this point, Evelyn was 13 days old. Seems kinda incredible. So yeah. I’m ready to get this show on the road. I have this pretty perfect picture of how labor will go. I’ll be doing pilates in the morning, do some impressive stretch and poof, labor begins. And then I go to bed at night and baby does it’s usual, ‘I’m going to go crazy from 9 to 11′, and I’m exhausted and like, oh no. Baby is now doing pilates and will do some impressive stretch and poof. Labor begins.

So we shall see. I do really hope that I can just continue to sympathize with you dear ladies who go on past the lovely 40 week mark and that empathizing will not take place. It’d be so lovely to not have a ‘this 40th week’ post. Or 41st. Gosh. Mother’s Day is on Sunday. So perhaps we’ll shoot for that.

And I could go on. About meeting neighbors. And the back forty. And fried ice cream. And Evelyn’s five hours in crib yesterday. (I’m a homebody because she is).

But. I think that’s enough rambling for today. Hope to see you next time with a bebe! woot. Let’s get this party started! (Insert emoticon of lady in red dress waving her arm around. That’s my favorite.)


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this 38th week.

Lots going on around this joint.

Of most note worthy would be the little pook’s decision to walk. I guess she decided that since she had reached the eighteen month landmark, she might as well give it a go. I have only witnessed this adorable little strut twice. On Sunday, I was on the bed folding laundry and she was playing with the dresser. I finally realized that the incessant jabber I was hearing was,’ Mom! Watch me!’. I looked up and she was standing by herself. Once she made sure I was watching, she took about 5 teetering steps and collapsed onto another dresser.

Two days later, I was sitting in a rocker inside and glanced down out the window to where she was playing in the fountain. Except she was on the sidewalk, hands clasped to her belly (does she get that from me?), very very carefully making her way down to see Gladys, about eight steps. When she crawled back to the mud room where I was, I told her I’d seen her walking. She clasped her arms and looked very pleased and smug.

The stars are beginning to align. I now have a new dresser, a new couch, and two new chairs. I’ve found my bed but am having a difficult time connecting with the person who has my bed. My night stands are waiting to be found. And unfortunately, I now have have two dressers in my bedroom, two couches in my living room as well as four chairs, two ottomans and a displaced glider, and dresser of Evelyn’s. So. The stars have a ways to go.

Just as I am nesting inside, Wesley is nesting outside. We’ve always known that there is a potential for us to buy this dear little place in which we reside. It seems like the gears are rolling but we have yet to hear a price from the realtor and neither has the seller. So it might all come to a screeching halt. But we just found out that the place comes with five acres. And a barn. We’ve always wondered who the barn belonged to. So. Within a day or two of hearing this information, Wesley had already found a tractor that he could borrow as well as a bush hog.

I was sunning myself outside yesterday around lunch time when a loud noise came roaring up behind me. I scrambled back into my shirt only to face the driveway and see Wes sitting cheerfully atop a tractor. He passed by me with a large grin and a wave and lumbered on to the back forty where he spent his lunch break mowing down the ten foot walls of brambles and attempting to make a way to the barn.

He’s very excited about the barn and the farmette possibilities. I say, ‘Wes.’ And he say’s ‘oh, maybe not even animals but think of all the fun equipment!’. I say, ‘Wes.’ again.

We’re now approaching eight weeks of pilates. Even I am impressed with my dedication. Last week, I ended my workout three times at 9:15 pm because I’d been gone in the morning. Wes would occasionally watch and tell me that I looked like the lady in the video and looked very graceful. Bless him. This is, of course, exactly what I want to hear.

I am now two weeks further along than the lady in the video and feel extremely pleased with myself and my progress in flexibility. Wes asked if I thought I was any stronger or just more flexible. I thought about it and told him the biggest change was probably in my back. Not that I’d noticed I had a weak back before. But in the first two weeks of pilates (way before I added any weights and was just going through the motions), I seriously had to contemplate how to get out of bed in the morning because my back was so incredibly tight or sore or something. Now I just leap out of bed. ha. That’s a joke. But I do feel a lot like a champ.

My least favorite workout is Core Pilates. I think it just irritates me because I’m like. What core are you talking about? There is no core. There is just a watermelon.

All seems to be good in the baby department. Went in for my check up yesterday and its good Wes was with me, Evelyn was either fearing for her life or mine. My blood pressure was up so they sent me over to hospital to get blood work done. Again, thank goodness Wes was with me. I can just imagine holding Ev as they pump blood out of my arms.

Blood’s great but I have to go back in tomorrow for a blood pressure check. Which is slightly, ‘meh,’ but they like to be ‘over cautious’. So there you go.

Wes, of course, got on the bush hog ten minutes after we arrived home.

And it’s now lunchtime, pooks awake, chattering in her crib and Wes is on the tractor. So I’m off to make Ev her standby egg.

Love to you and yours.

DSC_0010 DSC_0008 DSC_0009 DSC_0033 DSC_0019Gosh. Can hardly handle the adorableness.




Posted in baby, for ev., Life as it Happens | 3 Comments

this 37th week.

Last time around, I wrote a post called this 37th week. And Evelyn was born that night. Today’s that day. I’m 37 weeks and 1 day. And I was a little stressed this week about it, I think. Just a little nervous about my doctor appointment and what they were going to tell me. And I just didn’t feel quite ready for a baby today.

But all is (so far) well. Doctor’s happy. Baby’s happy. I’m happy. Not that I’ll complain if baby chooses to come a bit early. But the two days before Ev was born, all I did was sit in a chair and crochet a blanket. These days I’m running and gunning, feeling the desire to sell most of my furniture on craigslist, buy a few different items, get the stars to align, etc.

So I’m working on just slowing down and breathing. I did just find a cool couch on craigslist though. So..I’ll let you know how that goes. Last time it was the dining room table that caused all the angst.

Incidentally, today is also April 24th. Which means that Ev is now 18 months. Or a year and a half. Whichever you prefer. And I do hope she loves the baby just as much outside the womb as she does inside.

One of the first things she does when I walk over to her crib after her nap is chirp her baby noise and lift my shirt to say hello and give the baby a pat or a kiss. If I call her a baby, she has to say hi to the baby. If my parents ask her about it on facetime, she shows them…So of course, in public, she’ll be sitting on my lap and decide it’s time to say hello to baby. Wes tries to tell her that the baby is night night. I chuckle. (Bebe and Ev pictured below. Avert your eyes if seeing my belly is not high on your priority list).

Wes has been a bit busy with the music gig side of things which has increased my feelings of running and gunning. Ev and I have had a few late nights together because of this. And while I much prefer having Wes home in the evenings, we’ve had some pretty special times that I’ll cherish. I let her go to sleep with me (takes forever) and she snuggles around and shifts and whales and says, ‘ssss’ when I ask her if she wants to sing. Then she holds up her little finger for her new fave, ‘this little light of mine’. I ask her if she wants to pray and she reaches for my hand. And we thank God for her, the baby, daddy, Gladys, the trees and flowers, birdies and pray that she always remembers how loved she is by her moma, daddy and Jesus. And then she rustles around and rustles around some more and occasionally pops up to say hello to baby and then finally falls to sleep.

Beautiful days, these.


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