Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Long Awaited Birth

It was a beautiful fall day in October. I was due with our third baby, and was just praying that Jellybean (that was our nickname for him – we didn’t know if Jellybean was a boy or a girl, but instead of referring to the sweet, living babe in my womb as an “it”, we decided to refer to him as a “he”) would stay put until at least the day after I was “due”. I had so much going on and was taking my Lactation Counselor Certification exam the next day. I had been having contractions for weeks so far, so honestly wasn’t sure if I would make it.

Well, my estimated due date came and went. I made it through my exam (while having prodromal labor) just fine. In fact, I made it through the next two weeks just fine – lots of prodromal labor and contractions, but nothing regular or progressive.

On my 18th day as an “overdue” mama, I drove up to my OB’s clinic (about 45 minutes away) for a Non-Stress Test to make sure baby was still doing well. I asked Randall to stay home with the kids because I just needed some alone time. As you can imagine, being 18 days over can get quite stressful and emotional. Every single conversation in person, by phone call and text was something about the baby. “Any contractions yet?” “How are you feeling?” “That baby is gonna come out walking!” “Still no baby?!” It was understandable but maddening.

I called a couple of my good friends who are also doulas because I needed to be “doula’d” at that point. I was on the phone most of the way to my appointment and felt super refreshed by the time I got there. I knew I would be meeting our sweet baby soon. Even if it was still a day or two away I could wait. I could trust God and the way He designed my body to birth my baby at exactly the right time.

My NST went pretty well. Baby was doing ok, but not great. If something didn’t happen soon my OB suggested that we consider induction by the weekend. Since I was planning an unassisted homebirth, the thought of changing to a medicalized hospital birth did not excite me in the least. I decided to let her check me just so I had an idea of where I was at. Baby was engaged, I was 3 cm and 80% effaced. So I felt I was in good shape and left there feeling pretty good and confident that something would happen soon.

On the way home I got a phone call from another dear friend who is a doula and we chatted about a lot of things (not all baby!) and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive.

I walked in the door at home and my sweet husband asked me how I was doing. I told him I was having some contractions but nothing to get too excited about…..I’d been having contractions for the past 2 months, after all.

Once home I sat down and did some work but couldn’t concentrate much. At about 5:30 pm I got up to start making some supper…I was beginning to wonder if maybe I could possibly be in early labor. I just didn’t want to get too excited and honestly didn’t want to get all ready and then have it not be it. My emotions couldn’t take that for sure.

As I was in the beginnings of preparing some supper for us my youngest brother called me and we chatted for quite awhile about many things NOT related to the baby. At the end of the conversation he told me that he called me purposely to talk about anything and everything except the baby. He figured I got enough questions and opinions from everyone else and wanted to give me a conversation free of the “you’re still pregnant?!” questions. It was one of the sweetest and best things I could have gotten at that point. What he didn’t know is that I was having contractions through the whole conversation. Not that I believed that I was really in labor or anything.

But that changed pretty quickly.

When we were about ready to eat (6:30ish), I suggested to Randall that he might consider starting to fill the birth pool soon. I didn’t want him to start quite yet in case it wasn’t actually time but just maybe get ready (as if he hadn’t been ready for the past month – ha!). Well, in between him starting to get the pool ready and us starting to eat I was beginning to need some support through contractions. I decided it was time to call my sister so she could make it in time to take some pictures, and then not long after that I called mom to come too. This was it! Finally! We were gonna meet our sweet baby that we had waited so long for!

We all ate supper together (in between my contractions), then cleaned up the kitchen. Randall buzzed around getting things ready and I got into some comfy clothes. I felt ready. I was handling things nicely and had just the perfect amount of support to make it through. I was in the bathroom during some of those early contractions before I needed a lot of support and all the sudden I heard music. I thought Randall had turned some on but when I asked him he said he hadn’t. I had been preparing the perfect Pandora station for months….somehow it just started playing through my phone. It couldn’t have been better timed….I’m 100% sure God had something to do with it! J

When the pool was all filled up we covered it to keep it warm for later and I got out the birth ball and sat on that while leaning into the couch during contractions. Randall gave me counter-pressure on my back, and the kids were amazing supports - they would rub my arms and whisper to me how well I was doing. It was such a special time.

I gave Vienna the job of giving me a drink of either water or labor-ade after every contraction. She took it very seriously throughout my entire labor. She was my perfect little doula and I am so glad she was there!

Eventually I decided it was time to get into the pool. My mom and sister had just arrived and labor was most definitely progressing. As with my previous delivery, the water was just “delicious” and I couldn’t figure out why I had waited so long. At one point I had to get out to go to the bathroom and decided that was a pretty stupid thing to do…….labor on land sucked compared to being immersed in the pool.

Contractions were getting much stronger and at about 10:30 I needed some serious support. I requested someone in front of me as well as Randall’s strength pushing super hard on my back. It was intense….definitely not the gentle labor that my previous experience was. I was in my labor zone and just working through each contraction as it came. I reached a point where I really didn’t think I could do it, and requested mom pray for me. She did, and after a nice 10 minute break it was go-time.

My body began pushing and made me move into the strangest position of ever. I seriously don’t think I could have done it if I hadn’t been in the water. I was in a very weird squat-lunge-kick. It was the only way that felt right to push.

Within a few minutes, our sweet Jellybean entered the world completely in the caul (bag of waters) at 11:31 pm on October 20, 2014. My bag of waters didn’t break until she was completely out. It was so awesome! Porter had fallen asleep while watching Frozen in our room by that time, but Vienna was awake and though she left for about one minute during pushing (it was a little intense for her), she was back within seconds of the baby arriving. She got to find out along with Randall and I that she had a new baby sister instead of a brother, and it was just amazing. Ember Aileen DeWitt had finally made her appearance.

I got out of the pool pretty quickly after delivery so we could move to the couch and she could do the breastcrawl and we could just get to know each other a little bit. It didn’t take her long to latch on, and I kept marveling that I couldn’t believe she was finally here. It didn’t seem real.

It was a precious time with my awesome husband right by my side and helping carry me through, Vienna as my doula, my sister capturing the whole event on camera, and my mom being such a blessing with her prayerful and strong support. Porter was also a great support until he got too tired J. He woke up about 1:30 am or so and came out to greet his new baby sister…..as with everyone else, it was love at first sight.

I had a great team and the knowledge that I could trust my body to do exactly what it was designed to do and give birth safely and at the perfect time. I wouldn’t have wanted to deliver her anyplace else or at any different time. It was completely perfect, and after everyone else had left for the night to get some sleep, we all snuggled in for a long rest and life with our sweet precious girl began.

Friday, October 2, 2015

It's Been a Year

Wait. What?!

Exactly one year ago today I was "due" with our precious little "Baby Bo" (that's one of her many nicknames around here)

Oh, it was still 18 days until I had her (yes, I said EIGHTEEN), but I remember my due date so very clearly.

I was sitting in between two very dear friends of mine (Shelly, also very pregnant with Kate, and Niki) at our week-long Lactation Counselor certification course.

(Cuz that's how I do....sign up for a week-long course all about breastfeeding the week that I'm due).

Meh. I figured I would go past that date. I wasn't worried.

I certainly had plenty of contractions that week....but honestly there couldn't have a better place for me. I was surrounded by other women who have a passion for babies, I was with good friends, and DOULAs.

Did you catch that? I was with THREE other doulas (and friends) all.week.long. At 40 weeks pregnant. Seriously - if you ever have a chance to be surrounded by doulas (who are just naturally nurturing and caring and know exactly what you need) when you are 40 weeks pregnant - for 5 days straight - TAKE IT!

Anyway, I obviously made it through the week with no baby....in fact I had almost 3 whole weeks left before we got to meet our sweet babe.

When I saw this cartoon I had to smile. I've SO been there ;)

One of my favorite things about being so "overdue" was seeing people's faces when my answer was "2 weeks ago" to their well-meaning "when are you due" inquiries. And then came the "Oh, you poor thing. They are letting you go that long?!" type comments.

Ha! I usually responded with something like "Oh, they aren't letting me do anything. I call the shots" ......or you know, something similar.

I loved being able to expand people's minds with the idea that midwives and doctors don't have the final say in maternity care....that we, their CLIENTS do. (Note I didn't say patients? Pregnancy is NOT a sickness!)

Anyhoo, sometime in the next few weeks I'll be posting our little Ember's birth story....I can hardly believe it's already been a year!!

And if you happen to be nearing the end of your pregnancy - don't worry - I can promise you with certainty that you won't be pregnant forever (I wasn't, though in those last days I certainly felt like I would be the first woman in history to be)! Hang in there!


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Life Is Short

If you live in SD you know about the tragedy that happened in Platte a couple weeks ago.

If you don't live in SD you may have seen it....it did make national news, but it was probably just a little blip that you saw and maybe you didn't think too much about it...other than maybe thinking to yourself "oh man...that's terrible" or something to that effect.

I've seen those blips in my newsfeed before....heard them on the radio.....seen short little newsclips. An article here or there about some person or family I don't know or don't have any connections with who had some tragedy happen. A house fire. A murder. A suicide. A terrible car accident. Maybe they all perished. Maybe just one of the children is left. Maybe it was a mother who lost all of her precious babies. Or maybe a dad took the lives of his wife and kids and then his own.

It's terribly sad but I can deal with it. I mean.....horrible things happen in the world. Sometimes people go off the deep end and sometimes families are simply taken way too soon in awful circumstances. It's part of living in a broken world.

Until it happens to someone you know.

Not just someone you know, but someone you grew up with. Someone whose family you spent a LOT of time with because her youngest sister was one of your best friends.

Sometimes tragedy hits you below the belt and takes the wind out of you. Takes a blow and you just don't even know what to do.

So you cry.

Tears fall for your hometown school who lost 4 beautiful children. They fall for your dear friend and her family who are enduring and going through grief like nobody can even imagine. Grief that can be paralyzing. Grief that can overtake their very being and press down until they feel like they can barely breathe. Tears fall for your own family and other friends and neighbors who you grew up with. They fall for the entire community and the long reaching arms of the overwhelming loss. They fall for yourself. The sadness can seem unbearable at times.

Attending three funerals in one day, including a community service that was held for the precious children lost was one of the most emotional and exhausting things I've done in a long time. The community service was beautiful and truly honored and celebrated their lives - stolen too soon. Seeing kids from the community having to come to grips with the fact that their friends were truly gone was heart wrenching. These beautiful little lives that were turned upside down overnight. Once safe in their small town and loving families. They all the sudden didn't have the assurance they were safe....their friends weren't, after all. 

No child should ever have to feel this way.

I'm so grateful that my own kiddos are far enough removed that they didn't need to know any of the details. They knew mommy was sad. They knew that mommy's friend lost her sister and nieces, nephews, and brother-in-law. They knew there was a fire. But because they didn't know the children and they didn't personally know the family, my husband and I were able to protect them from the unsettling feelings that way too many kiddos in a small town in South Dakota are now living with since their reality changed.

One thing that my husband and I have talked a lot about in the last couple days is how we've both felt more loving to one another since this all happened. We are both striving to show each other how much we mean to each other, and we are purposing to love on our kids more than ever. Not that we didn't do that before, but it feels more urgent now, if that makes sense.

And it doesn't end there. Over the weekend I spent a lot of time with my friend and her family, and I didn't hold anything back in expressing my love for them all, and for my own extended family and other friends too.

Life is way too short. Nobody knows when their last day on this earth will be. You might not be here tomorrow. Someone you love may not be here three hours from now.

I implore you. DON'T waste time in needless anger. Don't hold grudges. Be quick to forgive and even quicker to love. Show the people you love that you love them and don't take anything for granted.

I can guarantee that my friend's family wishes they would have told their sister and those beautiful kiddos even one more time how much they meant to them. Given them one more hug. I'll bet they would take back any unkind things that were ever said, and regret any angry feelings that were ever felt.

The tears are slowing now, but the reality of living without people they love is setting in.

Please pray for anyone affected by the tragedy, and especially the families of those lost.

Also? Love on those you love. Call your mom. Hug your sister. Tell your husband how grateful you are for him. Cuddle with your kiddos. Send your dad a card. Take your friend out for coffee. Forgive anyone who has wronged you.

Don't wait. You don't know when it will be too late.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

When It's Not Perfect

We know it happens.....

Sometimes, that super-awesome-amazing product that you find at our store just doesn't work how you needed it to. Or maybe it doesn't fit just right. Or maybe the person you give it to already has it (I mean, you can't *always* know what everyone else has, right?)

Well, we understand, and we have made returning items that you purchase at Elegant Mommy as easy as possible.

Our return policy is simply this:

  • With Store Receipt and Within 14 days
    • We will give you a full refund via the same method of payment
  • Without Store Receipt or After 14 Days:
    • We will issue a refund as an in-store credit only
  • Please note 
    • All markdowns and clearance items (including clothes and nursing items) and diapers that have been worn or washed are not able to be returned.
    • Rebekah Scott Designs items are not able to be returned to the store. Please handle directly through Rebekah Scott at 605-757-6655
    • ALL baby carriers and nursing bras/tanks will incur a 25% restocking fee when being returned. However, if you choose in-store credit toward the purchase of a different carrier or nursing bra, the restocking fee will be adjusted to 10%
So there you have it...Elegant Mommy's return policy made simple.

Come on in during store hours (10-6 M-F, 10-5 Sat) or shop online at www.elegantmommy.com. Let us help you find the *perfect* natural parenting items for your family!


Monday, September 21, 2015

It's Trade-Up Time

Once upon a time Elegant Mommy had some amazing and extremely loyal customers. One day, one of those very loyal customers had a GREAT idea.

Her idea was basically for us to offer a "trade-in" option for carriers.

We have several different babywearing support groups now, and we also have a few Certified Babywearing Consultants on staff - so it would make sense to offer our customers a way to "upgrade" to the next best carrier option for their babies.

Well, we liked her idea so much that we have decided to implement just that!

Check it out:

So....there you have it. Just one more reason to shop locally! As of now, get your carrier with us (keep your receipt!) and if you ever want to trade-in for a different carrier you'll be able to for a much discounted price!

You're welcome.....we'll see you soon :)


Friday, September 18, 2015

Love Them NOW

My heart is breaking.

A family of six from my hometown of Platte, SD was killed in a house fire yesterday. In a small town of around 1300 people where everyone knows everyone this is a devastating tragedy.

Scott and Nicole were high school sweethearts who had immersed themselves in the community and, from what I know, had friends everywhere. They were active in their church, in the school system, in the community. They had four children who were in elementary, junior high, and high school. In such a small town, that means that every. single. child. that attends school in Platte knew them and were likely friends with them.

Because that's what it's like in a small town. You know everyone and pretty much everyone is friends. Obviously you have some cliques, some "mean girls", some bullying, just like any other school. But aside from that I know that my experience there was that I knew and liked everyone...even those that weren't in my "circle of friends". I'm guessing that it is similar today, and the loss of four children from the school will be devastating to the entire school system....it will take a lot of time for kids in Platte to heal.

My personal connection to the family is that Nicole's youngest sister was my childhood best friend (we are still friends - since 1st grade!). I grew up with this family. We went to the same one-room country school in early elementary. I had sleepovers at their house. We went to high school together. We were "rural neighbors" (we didn't live next door to each other, but were only a few miles apart).

I remember one of my very first sleepovers ever was at their house. It was for my best friend's birthday party. In their home the kids had to do the dishes after meals, and because I was there it was considered a "special occasion" so their mom said she would do them. I remember Nicole cheering and saying "YAY for Evie!!".

She was the cool older sister and that really stuck with me....she was happy I was there.

Since she was older than me we didn't hang out much through high school, but she was always kind and I will always have fond memories when I think of her. Honestly, one of the most vivid memories I have of her is seeing her in the hallway with her arm around Scott. They were sweethearts from a very early age and everyone knew they would get married. They did, and from what I know were very happy together through the rest of their lives.

As a couple and family, they had dealt with their own fair share of tragedy in their own lives and families. About 8 years ago Nicole's youngest sibling, her only brother, passed away and then a couple years later Scott's younger sister passed away after a long battle with cancer.

My heart aches for their families. It's a tragedy to lose one child/sibling. But it's infinitely multiplied when you lose two PLUS 4 grandchildren/nieces and nephews too. Words just can't even do the emotions justice.

It's things like this that serve as a very stark and vivid reminder to hold those you love close and tell them you love them. Don't hold grudges. Forgive them for any wrong-doing against you. Pray for them. Love them. Enjoy every single minute you have with them and don't take anything for granted....you just never know when someone's day is going to be their last.

If you are part of my village, please know that I LOVE YOU. Even if I don't tell you every single time I see you. I appreciate you for the part of my life you have, I am thankful for the things I've learned from you, for the encouraging word you've given me, and for each and every smile we've exchanged. Thank you and know how much I value you and our friendship.

I need to go love on my kids for a little while now. I encourage you to do the same.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Layaway at Elegant Mommy

Hey hey hey!

Did you know that Elegant Mommy now offers Layaway?!

Oh, yeah - I'm not even joking!

Check it out:

Now, how's that for some awesomeness - and just in time for the Christmas Holiday shopping season, too!