Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bonnie's Birth Story

I know that I haven't blooged since before I found out about being pregnant with Bonnie, but I wanted to share my birth story. I don't promise to start blogging again after this post, but I will try.

WARNING: This is extremely graphic. Please do not read if this stuff embarrasses you or makes you feel uncomfortable. It is also very long

Bonnie was born on July 18, 2012 at 6:51pm at home in our bedroom. It was an experience unlike any other, and I feel completely in awe of God’s glory and faithfulness. Most people thought I was crazy to want to have Bonnie at home, but Kyle and I had peace with the decision we had made. Then, when they heard I had a C-section with Brookelyn, the fear settled into their thoughts and words. I love how God used my husband to speak wisdom and truth into this decision, and how I was surrounded by a midwife who was a true believer and prayed over me often, trusted God’s design, and didn’t look at birth as a disease I needed to be cured of. I had to be diligent, pray, practice self-control, pray, and pray some more.

The decision to do a home birth was an easy one for us. The thought of going to the hospital and fighting for our rights again was not an option and would only hinder labor and take away from the experience of birth. After we made that choice we asked our Bradley Method teacher, Jan Whitcomb, and our doctor, Dr. Adema, who they recommended. We interviewed two Christian midwives because it was important to us that whoever would take care of me relied on godly wisdom and strength; we wanted their authority to come from above. After having our initial interview with Celesta Rannisi, I cried and prayed and knew she would work best for our family. Her knowledge of not just birth, but nutrition and alternative health was a big factor in our decision.

I woke up around 5:00am to go to the bathroom on July 18 and noticed blood in my mucous. That was something new and different and I knew that Bonnie would be coming soon. I had some contractions but they didn’t seem any stronger than they had been the past week so I didn’t get too excited. My contractions were about 12 minutes apart and when they didn’t let up after a few hours, I decided to call my midwife and let her know about the blood which was increasing with each bathroom break. We went into her office for her to check me and she said I was dilated 3-4 centimeters. Afterwards we went to the chiropractor, came home and got the house prepared for birth: changed the sheets, picked up, blew up the tub, ate lunch, and then laid down to rest. After lunch my contractions were 6-8 minutes apart but not that strong (or what I expected to be strong), and I was afraid to call my family since last time they waited around forever and never got see Brooke born. At around 2 or 3 pm I thought I would take a shower to see if that would help increase the intensity. By now they were stronger but I didn’t feel it was painful enough. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart and maybe a little stronger. We decided to call our midwife and she suggested that Shari, her assistant, come over and assess the situation. As my midwife suggested I picked up my belly during contractions to help the baby move down into the pelvis. I came into the living room around 5pm to say good-bye to Brookelyn; she was going to ride the carousel at the mall. As soon as Poppa, Grandma, and Brookelyn walked out the door, I had a contraction and this time it felt strong and intense. The next one came about 3 minutes later. Then just like that they were 2-3 minutes apart and finally the intensity I was expecting. I started crying because they were close, strong, and so intense I didn’t know how else to handle it. When I felt the wave of emotion I knew it was time to call Celesta to come over to help me. I got on the phone and she asked me how I was feeling and I just started crying. She said she was coming right over. Shari was there and she reminded me why I was crying; when women hit the transitional stage of labor it comes fast and hard and the women’s endorphins haven't had a chance to catch up to the increase of pain. As soon as my endorphins kicked in I would feel a lot better. This also reminded me that this was the last leg before the final stage of labor.

After she told me that I remember having a few more contractions and then the urge to push. I remember telling her that I either needed to go to the bathroom or it was pushing time. She encouraged me to try the bathroom first, because Celesta wasn’t there yet. I got on the toilet and then it started, I had to push. I tried to breathe through some but it felt so good to push. It is amazing how I could feel everything my body was doing. How I felt my uterus change the way it contracted; it no longer was contracting upwards to help dilation, but it was contracting downwards, urging me to push this baby out.

When Celesta walked in I was still in the bathroom and I told her I feel like pushing. She gave me a big smile and said then you must be dilated. She gave me a little peek and said you are definitely ready. I decided to birth on a birthing chair and officially started pushing at 6:10pm. This was the hardest part for me mentally. I don’t remember it being really painful, and I am being honest, I remember feeling scared and apprehensive of the “ring of fire”  or the mental scarring of pushing 4 hours with Brookelyn only to be told I couldn’t do it. I remember Celesta encouraging me by showing me Bonnie’s head and what I was able to do. I remember her coaching me to hold my legs up and push less in my face and more in my butt. Then, after 30 minutes, my baby was right there and Celesta looked me right in the eyes, knew I was holding back and said, “Lori it is time to push out this baby, this baby needs to come out, do it now.” And I did. She came out in the next two pushes at 6:51pm. It was all kind of a blur to be honest. I remember she came out vocal and beautiful. She was 9lbs 4oz, 20 1/2 inches long. I have never felt so happy and grateful for the opportunity to have a home birth.
I did start bleeding really bad right away and for that reason I am so glad Brooke didn’t end up being there. I held my baby as they got me down on the floor and starting working to control the bleeding. My husband could only describe it as something from a horror movie; the blood just spurted out of me. My midwife and her team worked diligently and fast as they first gave me a tincture to help control the bleeding. Kyle was instructed to keep me constantly drinking, the last thing I wanted was an IV and Celesta knew that. My placenta was what they call a “Dirty Duncan” placenta and was causing me to bleed. She needed to get the placenta out fast and I remember Celesta, who doesn’t have a poker face, looking at Kyle and saying you need to take charge of this situation. I look back at this now and laugh because he was like I don’t know what do and she clarified by saying as the man of this house please pray over this situation. It was a beautiful prayer and shortly after, I can’t remember what came first the placenta or the two shots of Pitocin, but either way she got the placenta out, sliced off a piece cleaned and put it under my tongue. Yes under my tongue. It is highly effective in stopping hemorrhages; don’t believe me? Look it up. As soon as it went under my tongue the bleeding subsided. They cleaned up the mess and got me on the bed to rest. God is good!

 I was extremely swollen so Celesta decided to suture me in the morning after the swelling decreased. The next five hours consisted of eating, drinking, nursing, weighing and measuring the baby, controlling the bleeding and trying to get me to pee. Celesta called our chiropractor and asked him to come over and check the baby because she came out with her hand by her head and wanted to make sure she didn’t have shoulder problems. He came over and checked her and she was perfectly fine. At that time they wanted me to try and pee. I got up, a little dizzy, went to the bathroom, sat down, and tried to pee. I didn’t have pee running out of me, but blood. They quickly got me off the toilet and back in a lying position and put a piece of placenta back under my tongue. Celesta told me that I could have a catheter or I could pee in my bed, but either way I had to make myself pee because my uterus could not clamp down when my bladder was so full. They put chux pads under me and yes people I peed in bed. After I peed the bleeding stopped, but for the next 8 hours every time I had to pee I started to bleed. I ended up peeing 6 times by 3am, and I believe they said it was a least a couple quarts each time, when the bleeding stopped. I guess I should say the trickling bleeding stopped. J

I was an amazing experience and I am still in awe of the amazing support and care I had. A big thank you first to my husband, who also had scars from our last experience and trusted God completely throughout my pregnancy, labor and recovery and never showed fear, but trusted God. I can still hear his little burst of sobs as he was completely overwhelmed as Bonnie came out and was put on my chest. I will never forget how he has cared for me these last few weeks and never complained.

Thank you so much to Celesta and her team, Shari and Sophia. Celesta is a true expert in childbirth and I have learned so much from her about birth, health, nutrition, and she has helped me grow spiritually as I battled negative thoughts of fear and doubt. It is amazing how much about birth has been forgotten and I am blessed to be surrounded by women who trust God and his perfect design, the creation of human life and birth. 

I decided to share all the scary stuff to show that there is more than one way to treat a problem. My experience was wonderful, even with all the other stuff, because if I had been in a hospital I would have not been able to hold my baby that whole time, they would have freaked out, had a blood transfusion and I probably wouldn't being feeling as good as I do right now. I have never had better care in my life. 

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.[a]
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Random Pictures

Chinese Salad

Chinese Salad

My friend gave me a yummy recipe for Chinese Salad and I have kind of made into my own for the most part. J The best part about this salad is that you can add your own kind of cabbage or other veggies. Some people like red onions too! Some times I prefer the Chinese crunchy noodles and almonds instead of the ingredients below.

1 head of cabbage chopped

1 head of bok choy

Scallions sliced

2 pkgs of sliced almonds

1 cup of sesame seeds

1-2 pkgs of Ramen (no seasoning)

¼ c. of butter or ½ a stick

Break up the ramen and mix it with sesame seeds and almonds.

Melt the butter and toss it with the crunchy mixture.

Toast them until they are lightly colored.

Slice all the veggies. Add the crunchies and mix with the dressings.


1 c. of sugar

½ c. of oil

½ c. of sesame oil

½ c. of rice vinegar

2 Tblsp of soy sauce.

Mix together in a blender to emulsify.

To make this a Chinese chicken salad, marinate the chicken in a good teriyaki sauce. I really like Yoshinos. Then grill, bake, or pan fry the chicken-whatever is easiest. Add to the chicken salad.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brooke sayings

A couple weeks ago we went out to Olive Garden for dinner. We had a great dinner and when the waiter came to give us a check she yelled out, "Gracias!" It was hilarious! At least Dora is helping her learn Spanish.

Almost 26 months!

Brooke is a lot of fun! She loves to play and has really wanted me to play with her more lately. She is into dolls, princesses, playing chase, reading, little people, playing with Bernard, and coloring. She is talking very clearly and doing great with potty training again. I ultimately had to stop using pull ups, even we go out. She knows that she can pee without consequences in a pull up. We also started giving her MM's which helped with the potty training.

This last weekend we also changed her bedroom around, giving her the opportunity to grow into her room as a toddler instead of a baby. She has done great in her big girl bed and really loves it! Her first two naps were a little shorter than her normal naps, but she is now back on track. She is very busy and I am having the hardest time getting her to smile for pictures. The only time she ask for a picture and will smile is with Bernard.


We had such a great time for Halloween this year. We don't have sidewalks in our neighborhood and live on a hill, so we went to our friends house for trick or treating. Brooke loved trick or treating with her friends and Kyle got to watch some of the Charger game. She was great about going up to the houses and saying trick or treat and then saying thank you. Afterwards she sat and counted her candy and we let her eat one. She picked M'M's of course!

A couple days before Halloween, we carved pumpkins and ate popcorn. I carved Ariel for Brooke and she was very excited. Every night we would light it and have it face the door, so she could look out and see it.

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

The pictures aren't pretty because I forgot to take picture when it came out of the oven. This is the shepherds pie warmed up the next day for dinner.

A couple weeks ago I read a recipe that used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes for the topping on shepherds pie. I was very intrigued and last night it sounded delicious. It was great because I could make dinner work with what I had. I only needed to get some sweet potatoes which my friend gave me. Ch-ching. Now I wish I had a recipe, but I just don't usually cook that way. I will give you approximates and all the ingredients I used.

Hope you try this, because it was so good!

I only had a half pound of ground beef, so my recipe only made enough for a 9x9 baking dish. I also didn't have any fresh carrots or celery on hand that would have been great sauteed with the onions and garlic.

1-2 T of olive oil

half of an onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

.5lb of ground beef

2 T of tomato paste

1 t of red wine vinegar

1 t of worcestershire sauce

A good amount of mixed frozen vegetables

1/2 t of coriander

1/2 t of smoked paprika

1/4 t of cumin

salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350

-heat you oil and add onions and garlic. cook until softened.
-add your ground beef and brown.
-add seasonings and stir
-add the tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar. Mix it together
-add your frozen vegetables and a little bit of water to help it all come together and allow the veggies to cook through
- Season with salt and pepper and add to your baking dish.

Sweet potato topping

2 sweet potatoes

2 T of butter

1/4-1/3 cup of goats milk feta

1/2 t of garlic salt



-peel and dice sweet potatoes
-place in a pot and boil until soften
-drain and let sit a couple minutes
-add butter, cheese, and seasoning
-mash and add milk until happy with consistency.

Place on top of ground beef mixture and baked uncovered for 25-30 minutes. I knew it was ready when it was bubbling on the sides.

Hope you enjoy my little creation.