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5 weeks and Valentime

21 March 2019

Valentine’s Day was 5 weeks ago, and the blessed day I went into labor with little River. I’m so happy he’s here with us and that he arrived at the perfect time. ❤️

I was 41 weeks pregnant and ready for baby boy to arrive. I was doing good things to prepare for baby and his arrival, and we knew a walk would help. And it being our Valentine’s tradition of a family beach walk, we headed toward bishops beach.

2018 Valentines

2017 Valentines

2016 Valentines

No beach walk pictures, but I did find this gem. And Dad gifted me a pregnancy test for some reason, which is extra funny because this is right around the time I got pregnant with Apollo! Found out a couple weeks later. :)

2015 Valentines

2014 Valentines

First Valentine’s Day wedded, living in a studio on the beach in Hawaii. Good times.

2013 Valentines

Long distance dating (ugh) and Chris came to Hawaii to visit. Good times! He planned a great valentine’s date for us.

Valentines before that… not much recollection of anything except for doing a huge group date with my Hale 2 friends freshman year at BYUH.

This year Valentines was extra special since I went to the hospital to bring little River to the world, completely surrounded by love.


Preparing the Nest

31 January 2019

Baby boy can arrive any day. And I am really hoping it’s Sunday or Monday, then all my people and birth team can be there – my mom, my sister, Chris’s mom, obviously Chris, and my favorite midwife! But I trust that baby will come whenever it’s best.

I’ve been accomplishing plenty of little home projects lately to prepare for his arrival, to have two kids, to recover well postpartum, and for my mother in law to get here. Apollo and I have gone on some good adventures and also have watched lots of magic school bus episodes. He knows the characters and it’s so cute. We adore him.

Looking forward to having another little babe to adore, and to receive a piece of life that I didn’t even know was missing. Still deciding on a name, but we’ll figure it out. Naming kids isn’t super duper easy.

Chris has been extreeemely busy and we’ve hardly seen each other, but that busy time is almost over! However it’ll soon be replaced by transitioning to being parents of two darling boys. Chris’s mom will be around for a couple weeks. And my mom and Holly are usually always around too. Except my grandad just passed away so they’re headed to California next week. Hopefully they’ll be here in time for baby boy to arrive! So glad they live just a couple minutes away because they’re so helpful and good.

It’s hard to believe Grandad is gone. That’s going to be a big life changer for my dad, since he’s been with G&G for the past three years helping them out. He’s done an excellent job of helping grandad stay well. And now I like to imagine my baby boy in heaven, being prepared for earth life by his great grandparents, Grandad included. I’m excited to meet our boy and love him and share life with him, very soon!



1 January 2019

It’s 2019!

My last day of 2018 was kind of dumb and lame, until we went to a New Year’s Eve party, then it got mucho better. But overall, the year was great, and it’s exciting thinking of all the prospects and possibilites ahead.

Just have to share this spectacular fireworks picture hahahaha. I feel like, for the most part, fireworks pictures with phones are a waste. And you look away from the actual beauty of the fireworks in real life to capture a crappy picture. Kinda funny. But it does preserve a memory.

Our two years with Apollo have been splendid, and our five years of marriage have been great, and we’re excited to welcome a new little boy in a month or so. Good things straight ahead!


Wintry airport afternoon

14 December 2018

Chris’s phone can take some great pictures, and I’m awake and pregnant in the wee early hours of the morning, so I’m sharing some from yesterday.

This pregnancy I often spend around an hour awake in the middle of the night, which I’ve sometimes been using for some productive português Book of Mormon reading. And other times I use that awake time for less productive instagram/amazon browsing.

Tonight it shall be blogging.

Yesterday was a good thankful Thursday. Apollo and I saw our good friends at story time at the library and went to lunch with them. Then Apollo got to play outside at two sisters bakery with the toys, and in his new coat! Unfortunately I had to haul him away from there with some kicks and screams, but after that came airport time with Chris.

Chris has been working on thawing the airplane out so he can go make some instructional flying videos, but it’s a lot of inefficient work to try and heat it up when it’s been so cold and snowy.

I picked up some $1.50 hot chocolates at the gas station on my way, and Apollo and I wen to the airport with him while he worked on that. It was nice to just hang out and watch Apollo be excited about watching airplanes. That boy loves things that go.

It was pretty chilly out, but it is so nice to have some wintry weather. We’ve had plenty of soggy, rainy, gray days thus far, so having snow on the ground makes a big difference. Seeing the sun and some blue sky yesterday was also much appreciated.

We need to eventually figure out how to enjoy some sunshine and warm weather each winter for a little bit. Need to find some Hawaiians who want to house swap for a month or so during mid winter. :)

Christmas is soon and I’m really really enjoying Christmas time and all the magic and traditions that come with it.


Light the World

3 December 2018


Christmastime can be so magical. I love this time of year and all the lights and music and giving and love.

We went to the nutcracker faire, which is always a festive occasion. And when we came home, after cleaning up our messes, we did our 1st annual December box! Chris and Apollo and I all got some nice gray PJs and the lego advent calendar. Fun fun. Another good idea for the December box would be a new Christmas movie and maybe some good snacks, and I could use some good snacks right now. I want white cheddar cheese-itz haha. We’ve got a lot of new Christmas movies to watch though, thanks to Mom last year and Barb’s video close out sale this year.

It has been so fun singing Christmas songs to Apollo and teaching him and Mary and angels and baby Jesus. What a joyous time of year!

PS I am so annoyed with freaking dog hair and it’s driving and it’s driving me nutso.



Naming Apollo Ray

19 November 2018

Naming our first little baby was not easy! But we put much thought, prayer, and searching of random baby name websites at night to find the name Apollo. I’m not sure how we initially came across it, but it made its way onto our big list of names. Through more late night deliberation, “Apollo” even gained its stars for a name that we both really liked.

The name Apollo is associated with a few big things: the Greek/Roman god of sun and light, the Apollo program of missions to the moon, and the boxer from the Rocky movies. For starters, as much as I’ve grown to love Rocky the past year, we didn’t name our boy after Apollo Creed.

The Greek and Roman god Apollo has been recognized as a god of music, prophecy, healing, archery, poetry, and of course, sun and light. We see our boy seeking truth and goodness throughout his life. And in naming our babe, the main reason I wanted to choose the name Apollo is the connection to sun and light.

There’s a legend that talks about Apollo taking the chariot of the sun across the sky each day. When I look at my boy, I see him spreading the light of the sun (or the Son) as he goes about his day. His smiles, his curiosity, his magic, Apollo is a spreader of light wherever he goes. <3

Long after Ancient Greece, came Project Apollo, which sent space flights to the moon! Super neato. I love looking up at the night sky, feeling small yet significant, and think it’s pretty incredible that humans have been to space. Chris, being an aviator, also likes the flight aspect of it all. And little Apollo always seems to notice to the moon in the sky, weather it’s day or night. He’s connected.

We want Apollo to reach for the skies, to look up, and to know how connected we all are in this vast universe. We hope he understands that anything is possible and he’s capable of so much. His potential is infinite.

Apollo turns two today. My sweet little ray of light has been growing and learning (and teaching) on earth for the past two years, and it has been the best, most joy filled time. Oh how we love our little Apollo!


Fab Four

24 October 2018

I have this picture on the laptop desktop, and it’s a treasure. Not sure what year this is from… though it was when we were all at Chapman school so I had to be in 1st or 2nd grade, making it 1996 ish. Or maybe 1995. Just makes me grateful for my siblings and family.

And looks like overalls were big that year!


Home again!

23 October 2018

Apollo and I just got home from a biiiiiig trip. We were gone almost four weeks and that is too long! But our journey was wonderful and we were able to spend some great time with people we love.

First we stopped in Seattle a few days to play with my BFF, Carla girl. And of course to meet her new puppy, Tucker.

Then on to California, where we spent 11 days with my sister, Stacy, and her family. Apollo had such good cousin time (for the most part) with Brady and Hudson. My dad and grandad and uncle and aunt were also in Ojai, CA while we were there. It’s always so great to spend time in Ojai.

Utah was next. We were there six days and stayed with Chris’s mom, Apollo’s grandparents. I really wanted to go on this trip to keep Apollo connected to everyone and it happened just like that. Our family members were really happy to see him and I want Apollo to know who they are. Oh, and I ate Cafe Rio three times and it was so good.

Then came Vegas, where Chris’s brother’s family lives. I flew there with Chris’s mom and spent a couple days there, and ate Cafe Rio two more times haha. Apollo’s cousins loved seeing him and I loved watching them run around and play together. Really glad we stopped there on our way home.

AND NOW, we are home. And it feels so good to be back home, in my space, and with my number one homie. 😊

(Pictures from our Monday, Saturday, and Friday family walkies)

PS. 24 weeks pregnant with baby boy and doing pretty well. Love feeling the baby move and I love my pregnant belly.



12 September 2018

I keep having great thoughts of what to blog about, and then I get distracted on instagram and forget. Oops.

The weather has been gorgeous lately. The sunniest summeriest September. I feel like I could and should be spending more time outside, but inside is nice and cozy too. :) And I moved the rocker recliner from Apollo’s room to the living room and it is so comfy. Especially when you’re tired and pregnant.

I’m 19 weeks pregnant. It’s going well and I love being pregnant. I haven’t noticed baby moving around yet, and look forward to that because it makes the pregnancy so much more real. My belly is growing and I love that too. Who doesn’t love a good pregnant belly.

I’m concerned with how Apollo will adjust to a sibling. He’s the center of our world right now and soon he’s going to need to make some space for another little babe to join him in the center. I think a sibling will be wonderful for him though, and I’m excited to watch him become a brother.

What else… Chris is out of town right now. I’m headed out of town in a couple weeks. Edel pooped all over the hall last night. 😭 Bel had an abscess on her head. Piper wakes us up at night by scratching that the window. And Apollo is angel.

Lately I’ve been craving Cafe Rio. Still am. Yum. Okay bye.


We made it to summit pass!

29 August 2018

Oh my beloved summit pass.

My favorite place in all the world, maybe. I think it’s these mountains that gave me a love for mountains and valleys and hiking and camping and backpacking. I’m always really happy here.

Even if it’s pouring down rain. Thought it’s much more pleasant when it’s not! This short trip there was a lot of rain and a lot of chilly weather. Apollo had his rain suit (AND LOOKED ADORABLE), but we could’ve been better prepared. We took a couple friends with us this year and had a really nice time together. We really only saw each other while hiking though, because the rest of the time we were waiting out the rain in our tents, or setting up/packing up camp. Funny.

There were LOADS of watermelon berries along the trail and Apollo looooved it. Nice little trail snack. And as you can see, I carried Apollo, and Chris pretty much carried everything else, with the exception of a couple things in Edel’s pack. I had never packed so lightly for a camping trip! Could’ve used more warm clothes. :)

Happier campers when the rain stopped! LOVE THIS KID. And he loved the river – Summit Creek, which comes from Summit Lake. Oh beloved Summit Pass. <3


Journaling with Apollo

28 August 2018

Almost every morning when Apollo wakes up, we start our day with some journal drawing. And of course some cuddling! And honestly, some days I wake up to him yelling, “Mom!” next to me then slapping me in the head to wake me up. It’s funny to write that, but not so funny when it happens.

So I have a notebook journal that we use each morning. It’s always on my nightstand along with a few pens and maybe a colored pencil. Once Apollo is awake enough, he points to that red owl notebook and says, “draw.” Sometimes I reach over and grab it for him or other times he crawls over me and walks all over the nightstand, knocking things over and grabbing the supplies he wants. Then he climbs back between Chris and me and we start drawing.

We find an empty page and he requests things for us to draw. At first it was always circles, then hearts and babies, and now he’s into boats and Earth and planets and Mars and stars and spaceships. Sometimes he’ll put the pen into one our hands and tell us what to draw, and sometimes he takes the pen or pencil in his left or right hand and colors his own circles and scribbles.

Once I feel ready to get out of bed and start the day, we put the journal away and go brush our teeth. Sometimes Chris is present for all these morning moments, but now that seminary has begun, he’s usually already gone.

I’m so grateful for all the time I get to spend with Apollo and the simple things he teaches me. We love our boy and are looking forward to meeting our new babe in February.

PS I want to journal more. It’s important to me.



27 August 2018

Some puddles ahead and some puddles behind. Apollo likes to splash in them all. ❤️

Yesterday I was telling Chris that I wished our driveway weren’t so bumpy, but today I’m realizing how much Apollo loves these bumps and puddles. He likes to fill them with big rocks and small rocks and throw dirt in them. Such a darling boy he is.


it’s agosto augustus

8 August 2018

Summer is a great time. There’s challenges like allergies, Chris being super busy, Edel, money, feeling extra sleepy and a little pregnant, and our lawn growing incredibly fast, but summer is a beautiful adventure time. Here’s a few random pictures of some happy grand moments.

Stacy has been here for the past month which is AWESOME. And my BFF Carla came up for some days too. <3 So good. And Apollo is an incredibly adorable boy who fills me with love and joy. AND there’s another baby growing in my belly which is equally exciting. Can’t wait for the belly to grow more and more and more.



12 June 2018

I assume Apollo is teething. That means it’s been a challenging week at the Palmer house, or at least that we’ve had some lower lows than usually.

But GOOD NEWS! Our kings size bed is a dream and I ordered llama sheets on amazon that are very excellent.

Last night pictures of Chris watching the North Korea-USA signing of something with President Trump and Kim Jong Un and me and Apollo reading and Edel munching on Piper. Grateful for the good times on our wonderful king sized bed with llama sheets!


Fishing on the Tomahawk

10 June 2018

I cleaned fishing boats for 12 summers or so, until Apollo was born and my boat cleaning career closed.

When I was 15 (or 16?) I started out cleaning the optimist and the tomahawk. Such good boats. I really appreciated all my boats and captains through the years, and the cash flow it gave me to pay for school and life and stuff. Through thick and thin, boat cleaning and me were a good pair.

The other day, Captain Greg on the Tomahawk called and asked if Chris and Apollo and I could go fishing! In all my years washing Miss Tomahawk, I’d never been fishing with Greg, and so we were really happy to go out.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. The water and sun and fish were perfect! We got all our halibut pretty quickly which is AWESOME. I like fishing when the weather is great and we’re catching fish. uWe even stopped in Seldovia for a little walk around town and some ice cream. Such a beautiful day and grateful to Greg and his awesome deckhand Chloe for taking us out to sea!

Summertime is just the best around here, especially with good weather. And Apollo… still so darling and adorable. 💗


A cloudy June 5th

5 June 2018

I’ve been feeling allergic the past few weeks. Lame. Runny nose, sneezy, and extra tired. I feel like the beach is a good place of refuge though, and I spent some nice time there this morning. My friend Katie and I took our little boys there and they played in the sand and rocks. Apollo splashed in the water too. So cute. He was just wandering around exploring the wonderful beach. It was so nice to be there with them and just sit and talk, and watch out cute boys. And since I’m sort of instagram fasting this week (go me!) I have to post somewhere of the adorable things Apollo does, so here I am on el blog. Love him so very much. Aaaand he really likes to makes smoothies with me. And recently I’ve started giving him his own cup since he’d take mine and wouldn’t share it with me. But today, he was sharing his smoothie with his little babies. ADORABLE. He was putting the straw in their mouths and it was so cute. 💕Okay, back to my resting. It’s Apollo’s nap time and I took a needed nap today too. Yahoo.


Seven day social media fast

4 June 2018

There was a special fireside with President and Sister Nelson last night, and they invited the youth to do a consecutive seven day fast from social media. This will help to lessen comparing ourselves with others, to waste less time, and to be more present. AND to have more time and energy to gather Israel and build Zion.

When I heard about it, I was fine giving up Twitter haha, since it’s useless and I’ve never used it anyway, I’d be fine without Facebook for a week, but not my instagram! Instagram is my jam.

SO last night I deleted my Facebook app, and committed to seven days without it. Not toooo much of a sacrifice. And then a couple hours later I deleted my Instagram app! Not sure if I’ll want to go the whole week, but I’m one day in and doing fine, except for the 30 times I tried to check Instagram and realized it was gone. :) I check Instagram frequently.

I didn’t delete my account. No way Jose. That would be silly. Buuuut I think it’ll be good to go on an insta fast, especially since the prophet said so. He knows what’s up.

That’s all I have to say. I would’ve expressed all this in my instagram stories…. but I deleted it. So I guess I’ll be blogging more! Cool beans, since I need a place to share my musings.

Okay, good news… WE WERE TEN MINUTES EARLY FOR CHURCH YESTERDAY and the first of my family to arrive. Wow. I basically had a revelation that IF YOU WANT TO ARRIVE EARLY, LEAVE EARLY. So, to get to church early, we just had to leave our house early. Simple. Yes. Monumental. Yes.

Here’s Apollo helping prep our free box of ripe bananas for the freezah today. What a doll.


Unabridged Birth Story of Apollo

21 May 2018

Disclaimer: This is a long, detailed post about Apollo’s birth (and my birth as a mother). Feel free to just look at the pictures and read the end. It was super hard and most incredible, and know that I’m so grateful for my angelic birth team and I love being a mother.

I loved being pregnant. I loved feeling our sweet child move inside of me. I loved my pregnant body. And I was very much looking forward to meeting the babe who had been growing in my belly.

It was mid November 2016 and I was nearly two weeks past my two date. I’d been mentally and physically preparing for the birth of our baby for quite a while, not really knowing what to expect, but being very open to going with the flow. My mental birth plan wasn’t too specific. Basically, I didn’t want to be induced and I didn’t want an epidural and I didn’t want to wear one of those hospital gowns. But most of all, I wanted things to go as naturally as possible and I wanted people I love to be there with me.

Well, my loved ones were there and I didn’t wear a hospital gown, but the rest didn’t really go at all how I envisioned. However, I am so so pleased with my birth experience and felt so well taken care of. I look back on it with much fondness and gratitude, and despite the pain and exhaustion, it was pretty magical and extremely empowering.

Being almost two weeks past the due date, I was scheduled to be induced. Christopher and I went to the hospital at 8 am on Friday, November 18th. We checked in with a friendly nurse named Joy, who was childhood friends with my oldest sister. I had also substitute taught in her son’s preschool class a number of times. She was good and helpful in getting things ready, and told us that the process of inducing could take a while, but I thought I’d have a baby in my arms and be headed home pretty soonish. Soon I found out just how slow the process could be.

My wonderful wonderful midwife Julie arrived as well. She’s the best. I’m sooo grateful for her. I thank the heavens she was there for my whole birth process and we were both very happy to experience it all together. She delivered my niece, Natalie, ten years ago, and I was present for that magical time. And her oldest daughter, who is also a midwife and was at a couple of my pregnancy appointments, is a good friend of mine. So I was so happy to share this process with Julie, and to have her guidance and care throughout my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.

I started the morning dilated about 3 cm and the baby was maybe positioned at like a 1 in my pelvis. I don’t remember exactly. But basically, baby was working its way down and my body was preparing well. So to start the inducing process, Julie inserted a prostaglandin pill in my cervix to help it dilate more. This was probably about 9 am. She left the hospital to attend her regular midwife appointments down the street, and said she’d be back in a few hours to check on me.

So Chris and I just hung out in our nice hospital room. :) I updated my instagram story to keep myself busy and to let the peoples know what was up. And I had my book called Birthing From Within. But I don’t think I opened it. I don’t think birth is a test you can cram for haha. Fortunately I had read bits and pieces of it while I was pregnant, which was helpful. My sister Holly came to visit while we were waiting, and she came bearing gifts! She brought a lovely smoothie and bagel shop bagels! Just what I wanted.

That soda isn’t mine, just FYI. But the water is! And wow, I was guzzling the water down. I drank so much, but I didn’t have anything else to do in my hours of waiting haha. Also, you might notice I am not in a hospital gown. YAY! And you might also notice my cat slippers. YAY! Those cat slippers were perfecto for the hospital time. So perfect. And my stretchy comfy dress was really perfect too. I hung out in that dress for a good while and it was so convenient to go to the bathroom in, which I did a lot because I drank so much water. And I felt modest and comfy and most importantly, not frumpy, so the dress was perfect.

Julie came back up to check things out around noon, and my cervix was still good and soft and I had maybe dilated to 4 cm. She went back to work down the street and would come back in a few hours. Chris and I just hung out. Chris took a little rest in the lovely sherpa blanket my sweet sister Holly brought. And the rest of our birth team came and hung out too – Mom, Chris’s mom RaNae, and my sista Holly.

When I got to the hospital that Friday morning, our weather was still very fall-ish. Leaves were yellow, ground was brown, and we didn’t have much snow. But throughout my hospital stay, Homer entered winter. It was cool to watch from my window and see the view of our town and mountains and bay. For the first many hours at the hospital I had lots time and energy to look out the window. I was having contractions, but nothing very uncomfortable. The only thing that had been uncomfortable was getting my cervix and uterus checked haha. It just doesn’t feel that great!

Then I actually felt like I was in labor. This happened in the early afternoon, maybe about 2-3 o’clock or so. My contractions had been pretty regular and frequent, but I didn’t really notice them at first. But then I began to and just felt kind of crampy. I stayed moving around as much as possible, because it felt better to do and was a bit more distracting. I breathed through them and swayed back and forth. I did laps in the room and walked some in the hall, shuffling around in my trusty cat slippers.

I hung out on my bed too, with lots of pillows, and with my trusty Simba. Here’s a picture that we stopped to smile for.

Chris was constant and present, and just what I needed. I was also so glad to have my mom, mother in law, and sister there with us. Buuuut dinner time rolled around and they headed to the ward Thanksgiving party. I wanted to go too, but I was in labor, and I felt it. :) We told them we’d let them know when things started moving faster, but they were still pretty quick at the potluck. And they returned with some food for us, mostly for Chris, because I wasn’t wanting much food, and the hospital supplied me with pretty decent meals.

Labor pains were increasing and I expected that the babe would be arriving sometime during the night. Guess I was fooled! Baby didn’t arrive for another 30 hours! The wonderful nurses (Susan at this point) prepared the tub for me and I went and hung out in there for a couple hours. Being in the warm water made things easier. And it was a family affair and everyone just watched me labor haha. I was still in pretty good spirits at the time and we were all enjoying each other. Holly was even kind enough to take a video of me with her super bright phone light… haha… I even still had my earrings on. Me so fancy.

My excellent midwife, Julie checked my cervix again, and I was dilating pretty slowly. I wasn’t making much progress and that was discouraging, so we eventually decided it was time for pitocin. Pitocin is like the hormone oxytocin, which your body produces and releases to get the uterus to contract and work baby out. We started out with a low level of pitocin, but as the hours went on and I was still progressing very slowly, the pitocin was increased, which really amped up the contraction intensity.

It was a looong night.

I think the pictures tell a pretty good story of how the night went. I labored through the night, often falling asleep between contractions, but not really getting much rest, and my beloved birth crew slept as the could too. And I’m so grateful for their support.

Morning came and I decided to use some nitrous oxide for pain relief. It’s fairly new to our hospital and you can use it as much or as little as you want. It is supposed to kind of just take the edge off the pain, but I don’t think I used it enough to make a difference. I wanted to go as drug free as possible, because I figured it’d be better for me and bebe, and I knew that women had been giving birth naturally since the beginning of existence. But I decided it’d be a good idea to try it out. I really appreciate my nurses and midwife though. They let me know available options without really pushing anything on me. They were so good.

I really was pretty patient with it all though. I wanted the birth to happen as my baby and my body were ready. I didn’t want to rush the process, but I also didn’t want to be in labor for forever. Labor was so hard. I knew each contraction was bringing my baby closer to me, but each time Julie checked my cervix, I wasn’t making much progress and I think I was stuck at about 6-7 cm for quite a while.

I really didn’t like being hooked up to anything. I had the pitocin drip connected to me and also baby heart monitor and contraction tracker strapped around my belly. It was uncomfortable, but part of my process. Things were not going how I envisioned or planned, but that’s okay. Things don’t always go as planned but they always work out.

The nurses were there for whatever I needed. Susan was there throughout the night for anything, and in the morning came Leah and Rebecca. Seriously though, my nurses were so good. And Julie, she was so constant and present, and she was tired too, but oh so helpful. I’m so lucky she was my midwife. She talked with my about breaking my water to help baby on its way out and so we decided to go forward with that. It felt funny when it happened – lots of warm and lots of wet. I think it helped baby descend quicker into the birth canal, but my contractions got way worse from there, from what I remember. Ugh.

About 10 am, I got back into the tub to labor in there. Chris got in with me. This tub experience wasn’t the fun family party that it had been 12 hours prior! And I’m pretty sure I peed on the floor too before getting in. Oops. Another shout out to the nurses for taking care of me and my bodily fluids! More on that later haha. And I was so grateful to have my mom and mother in law and sister there too. And Chris of course. They were all just what I needed.

Julie checked my cervix again. It is definitely not comfortable to have someone’s hand inside of me while being in labor, but she had to know what was going on. And same story as before, not a lot of dilating or baby moving down, so just a little bit of progress. I tried out the purple glittery birth stool and yeah, not as cool as I thought it’d be. It didn’t work well for me to labor on there, as much as I thought it might. I recall my contractions on the birth stool being pretty painful.

The next couple hours were definitely some of the most intense of my entire life. It was rough. So rough in fact, that there are no pictures or video!

My contractions were intense and long. I felt so much pain in my hips. I breathed a lot. I moaned a whole lot. And had to have someone pushing as hard as they could on my hips/love handle area. I remember Chris and Holly taking turns to do this. I did this in different positions, standing, leaning against the bottom of the bed. And then they put up the back of the bed for me to lean against that. Ugh. That’s where I have some of the most poignant memories. I can picture myself there, eyes closed, just breathing and moaning and whimpering, not sure how much I screamed. I don’t think I really screamed. But I said “oh my goodness” a lot. And I just remember wondering when it would end, and I remember thinking about Jesus and his physical suffering as I was experiencing the greatest pain of my life. I also remember peeking my eyes open and seeing some lovely roses that our friend Autumn had brought. Those flowers and the love she brought with it were a bright light for me.

Julie approached me about the idea of an epidural and expressed how and why it could help. Chris and my family thought it would be a good idea too and I was ready for a change!

It wasn’t very long after until Brian the epidural man was there. And wow. He did such an amazing job. Before he came I was having the most intense contractions for such a long time. I was exhausted and tense.

I had to sit still on the edge of the bed while receiving the epidural. This was especially hard while having a contraction, but I can’t tell you what a great job Brian did. He was so quick and efficient and the effects of the epidural seemed almost instant. Sweet relief. And here’s Chris and Julie, supporting me every step of the way. So grateful.

Shortly after the epidural I had my eyes open again and a smile on my face! They do “walking epidurals” now which means you can still walk and use your legs, but apparently it wasn’t always like that. The epidural served a wonderful purpose in helping my body relax so my cervix could fully dilate. It had been a good while that I’d been stuck around 7 cm or so, and at this point I’d been up for 30+ hours. I really needed a nap before the big push, and not just a 1.5 minute nap between contractions.

Nap time was lovely. I fell asleep maybe around 3 pm and slept for a few hours, with my trusty Simba by my side/on my big belly.

I woke up from my glorious nap (another shout out to Simba) and ate some, replenishing my energy. I had my last prego meal, resting a bowl of oranges on my belly. The hospital had pretty decent food, and everyone was so helpful and good to me.

My fam all came back too, including my nieces and brother in law. It was good to see everyone and I was feeling great, and then it wasn’t too long and it was time to push! I wasn’t really feeling contractions too strongly, but I think I must’ve been fully dilated and baby’s head was descending. So I started with some practice pushes. My midwife Julie and nurse Susan kind of told me what to do and how to push. It was just like play pushing and I felt great and thought it might be fairly easy! It was not. 

The epidural I received was like on a drip or something. And so before I started pushing it stopped being released so that I would still feel the contractions and be able to know when to push. I first started pushes on my side, and then for some reason I was pretty into the birth stool, in theory at least. It seemed like such a nice, natural way to birth! Gravity would help bring the baby down, rather than being on my back, where baby might not come out as easily. I had expressed not wanting to give birth laying down, but that’s what ended up happening, and it worked!

The birth stool was purple and glittery, so that was cool, but then I got back on the bed and I pushed while laying on my side for a good long while. I kept hearing I was doing great and so in my mind I was thinking baby should be here soon. Nope. Progress was still slow.

Pushing on my side wasn’t proving very effective so I rolled over to my back. For some reason I hadn’t really wanted to give birth on my back, but it’s what worked! Oh! And baby wasn’t coming out so they decided it would be good to empty my bladder. I had a big, full bladder in the way and he couldn’t get through the birth canal very well. So they put a catheter in my urethra and drained all my pee, and there was a lot. I peeked down and there was like a huge sack full of pee. It was not comfortable to have the catheter inserted and in, but it was very helpful in the overall progress. And they of course took it out once my bladder was drained. But I guess my body was so tense and all my efforts were focused on pushing that I couldn’t even pee.

I could feel the contractions but they were not nearly as painful as they were earlier in the afternoon. But HOLY MOLY, the pressure in my bum! Oh my goodness, it was so strong. I had a couple hours of intense pushing where I kept hearing everyone tell me “you’re doing so good” or “there’s the head” “the head, the head” “baby has hair” “almost there”… Okay. I heard all that for well over an hour and kept wondering where this head really was! I didn’t really know what was going on and I couldn’t ask. Too tired. I kept my eyes closed most of the time, but sometimes I’d peek them open and see my birth team supporting me through it all. There was also a cold washrag on my forehead which fell over my eyes a couple times which was annoying. But anyway… the pressure in my bum, so intense, and didn’t really get relief from that until the head was actually out.

After two and a half hours of pushing, my baby was finally arriving. My mom and nurse Susan both were holding my legs open helping keep me open. My mother in law was at my side, pushing me forward with each contraction. Chris was waiting to catch the baby by my midwife Julie’s side. Holly was also at the bottom, taking some pictures and video for us. And there were also a couple other nurses in the room, along with the OB doctor.

There’s a couple intense pictures and video with baby’s head out of my body, and pushing him out, and I look at those pictures in awe. Like, wow.

I am a warrior goddess. Women are.

A lot happened in the next few moments and it was all a quick blur of a couple minutes, where I was pushing with all I had in me and didn’t know much else that was going on around me. At some point they had put an oxygen thing on my face, which was bothersome, because I basically had a bag thing on my mouth, and then especially bothersome when the wash cloth on my forehead fell over my eyes, but I guess I needed more oxygen.

I remember feeling so much pressure and like my bum hole was going to burst. It’s so incredible to know what your body can do, that I can stretch, that I can open, that I can birth a baby. Wow.

When baby’s head was out, they realized the cord was tightly wrapped around his neck and it took some good effort to get it pulled off. Baby’s shoulders also got stuck in my pelvis so he wasn’t really coming out with much ease. I remember my nurse Susan just pushing on my belly to try and help baby out, and I was pushing as good as I could. And Chris’s mom was pushing me forward and pushing with me. I imagine everyone in the room was working hard and focused to help get baby out.

After 42 weeks of pregnancy, 30+ hours of labor, 2.5 hours of pushing…

“My baby!”



Once the sweet relief came and my baby was pushed out, they plopped him on my belly, but just as quickly whisked him away when he wasn’t breathing or moving much. I totally had no idea that he wasn’t doing well or that there was any sort of problem. Zero idea. They were all just so fast and efficient with taking care of him. I did notice that things weren’t going how I had discussed earlier with my midwives, with a delayed cord clamping and me and baby skin to skin right away, but I didn’t know why and I was just quite relieved he was out!

Chris was over with baby at the table for the couple minutes and all I wanted was to hold him. I kept looking over happily and saying, “my baby!” And I didn’t even know if baby was a boy or a girl for a minute till Chris came and tearily said, “We have a healthy baby boy!”

I’m not sure what they did at they table but I guess they sucked stuff out of his lungs and wiped him off a little. And then we finally got to be together again after a long couple minutes! We’d been together for 9 months, so even just a few feet of separation for a couple minutes was too much for me. And I wanted to see my perfect baby!

These moments are magical, so I’ll share every picture I have of these early family cuddles.

And the mighty placenta! I didn’t get to see it in real life but at least there’s this little picture of it. The placenta is currently in our freezer and I want to plant a tree over it. Pushing the placenta out was a breeze! So was getting stitched up. I did tear some, but I think Julie did a good job at stretching out the perineum as I was pushing. Baby came out so slowly that there was plenty of time to stretch naturally. But anyway, pushing out the placenta and eventually getting stitched up didn’t bother me at all since I had just pushed a big bebe out of my body.

We were all so happy to meet our sweet boy and be with him and stare at him and watch and listen to every move and noise! I felt empowered and humbled and grateful.

And I feel especially grateful for these angels! Chris and RaNae and Holly and my mother <3.

And these angels! My nurse Susan and my midwife Julie. I could not have asked for a more perfect team. Sharing this experience with all these women and my husband was unforgettable.

Birth is vulnerable and raw and incredible. I loved it.

And the time with our sweet new baby was euphoric. Heavenly. Wow.

Postpartum recovery and the adjustments of being new parents are a different story and another journey. But here we are, a year and a half later, and life is good. We have some hard times, and we have some magical times, some boring times, some exciting times… and all of it is a part of our good life. And even with all the words I’ve written in this post, I don’t think I can adequately describe the love I have for Apollo and the joy that it is to be his mother.