Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Busy Year of 2017

As I usually do, I have the kids help me out a little with putting stickers and stamps on the envelopes of our Christmas cards. We're lazy, and don't lick the envelopes shut, but instead just put a Christmas sticker on it to hold it shut. Apparently, our stickers weren't very sticky this year and at least one card fell out of it's envelope before being delivered. So I'm hoping that if that happened to anyone else, at least they can see our Christmas card here, and I do apologize! I think next year we'll take the extra time (and endure the gross taste!) and just lick the envelopes shut. Without further ado, here's our Christmas card and photos (taken my me, again, of course!)

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Life with 4 children is always busy, even if we’re just at home! This year has been no different. In February, we decided to take a break from it all (and from the cold weather!), and take a road trip to Texas. The kids’ favorite memory is daddy trying to carry the 3 older kids across the Paluxy River on rocks, only to fall in and lose his sandal forever. Nora is in her second year with Little Flowers and with Treble Choir at church. She and Nate also did a soccer camp over the summer along with Vacation Bible School and Totus Tuus. They both have also started piano lessons with a friend of ours, but aren’t that great at sitting down and practicing. Nate has taken an interest in climbing things I wish he wouldn’t, so I’ve taken him rock climbing, and he really enjoys it! Sam started Faith Formation with his older siblings this year and loves being included with more and more “big kid” things as he grows. He and Lily have also been attending a music class, which we found out is taught by the wife of my third cousin! Lily’s highlight was probably celebrating her first birthday in May when we celebrated Danni’s 7th birthday. Adam got a little more free time when he graduated with his masters in Engineering Management from Kansas State University in May, but then marathon training ramped up shortly thereafter, and he actually had less free time. He ran in his second marathon this year to raise money for World Vision. Despite a knee injury, he still decided to run, but only made it half way (13.1 miles!!!) this year. After a couple weeks of rest to recover from his injury, he’s back running again with his team from church. This year he also shot his third deer! In August, he took me to D.C. for his annual EMC Symposium. We loved the child-free time together while my mom watched the kids back home. When I’m not homeschooling the kids, I escape the house for Parish Council meetings and Et Cetera (our young adult group at church) meetings and activities. My photography hobby is also developing into a small-time job, as I’ve had a couple families ask me to take their photos! (Shameless plug: You can like my Facebook page, Sarah Gibson Photography, or follow my blog at I have also been very busy growing our sixth child who we expect to arrive at the beginning of May 2018. We hope your year has been filled with many joyful memories, and the year to come only brings more!

Nora (6 years), Nate (5 years), Sam (3 years), and Lily (18 months)

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Number Sense: Why My Bible is Better

With the celebrations of Reformation going on, I was thinking about how Protestants and Catholics have different Bibles. The Catholic Bible was set up sometime around 367 AD in it's current form (though, obviously it has been translated into many, many other languages since then), by St. Athanasius to contain the 73 books he believed were divinely inspired. In 382, Pope Damasus approved the list, and shortly thereafter, two councils, the Councils at Hippo and Carthage, ratified the list. The list was reaffirmed again by Pope Innocent I in 405 AD and by Pope Boniface in 419 AD. Many Protestants have heard that the Catholic church decided to add 7 books (to a list of 66 books, not to the original list of 73 books) in 1546 at the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent, in reality, only reaffirmed the list of 73 books that was set in 367 AD by St. Athanasius. Nothing changed.

Enter the Reformers...

The Reformers removed 7 books of the Bible in the Old Testament called the Deuterocanonical, leaving 66 books and a chronological gap in salvation history. The Catholic Bible has 73 books, which contains these 7 books that were in the Septuagint (the Bible used by Jesus).

Because I’m a math nerd, I want to look at the symbolism of these numbers: 7, 6, and 3.

Seven is the number of completeness. Think about how God created the world in 7 days. Or when Jesus asks us to forgive our neighbors 7 times 70, He’s not asking us to forgive them 490 times, but to forgive them completely.

So, the Reformers removed completeness (i.e. 7 books) from the Bible and were left with 66. Now, what about the number 6? What does it represent? It represents incompleteness (it is one short of complete), human weakness, and the evils of Satan (Revelations 4:4). What does that say about a Bible that has 66 books in it?

The Catholic Bible has 73 books. I already stated what the number 7 represents - completeness. What about the number 3? It also represents completeness, though not as often as the number 7 does. Most commonly it represents the Holy Trinity.

So, with these number being "defined," what does each bible stand for?

The Protestant Bible with 66 books = "incomplete incomplete" 
or                          = "the evils of Satan (and) human weakness" 

The Catholic Bible with 73 books = "complete complete" 
or                                  = "complete (in the) Holy Trinity"

Thanks, Luther, I'll take the Bible that's "Complete in the Holy Trinity" over your Bible. ;)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017-2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

I started sharing our homeschool curriculum choices last year, and I think I like the "record" of where we are and where we're going. So here I am again posting our curriculum for my many (ok, very few) readers.

Nora | First Grade (age 6)
Nora just finished three subjects: spelling, phonics, and handwriting. She was doing all of these at a first grade level, because I thought she was capable, and she proved me right. She did very well. We're still working through her first grade math curriculum, as planned. But, it's not her favorite, and since she's already working ahead of her brick-and-mortar-schooled peers, I'm not pushing her. I don't want her to come out hating math. Though, she did get really into some of the units, like the one on time, so we moved a little quicker with that unit. Once she finishes the first grade level, we'll move onto second grade right away.

This year we're continuing on with the same spelling and phonics programs, but we're dropping a formal handwriting program. She does fairly well with handwriting, so I don't feel like she needs much more instruction. However, we're going to take another area, which I'll discuss more in a minute, and focus on handwriting.

We're adding history this year, and after much research, I chose Connecting with History (RC History). We started a couple weeks ago, and since it involves a fair amount independent reading (though at her level it's suggested that the parents read to the child, but since she's completely capable of doing it on her own, I'm letting her), she's loving it. Another part of it is either copy work or memorization of a poem or verse that fits the time era we're studying. At her age, I'm having her do copy work, and we're using that as her handwriting. There's also projects to do, which I'm excited about starting with all the kids. It incorporates many different books for reading, fictional and non-fictional, which I think will make history a much more interesting subject. (It's my least favorite, so I had to find something that, at the very least, made me excited to teach it.) On our way up north to go camping, we listened to C. S. Lewis's "The Magician's Nephew," a story about the creation of Narnia.

She also went to a free soccer camp this summer with her cousins and some friends. She seemed to enjoy the games they played.

Phonics: MCP Plaid Phonics Level B
Spelling: MCP Spelling Workout Level B
Math: Math Mammoth (finish Grade 1 as planned, then move onto Grade 2)
History: Connecting with History (RC History) Volume 1 Beginner Level
Science: Elemental Science Biology for the Grammer Stage

Nate | Preschool (age 4-5)
Nate is really starting to like reading. He's teaching himself a little, but phonics are tricky in English. We started working through the McGuffey Primer from All in One Homeschool and we're not quite halfway though it. Considering a little over a year ago when I posted, he wasn't even grasping letter sounds, but is now on Lesson 24, and reading many easy readers on his own, I'd say he's come a long way! Once he had an interest in it, he wanted to learn it! 

I think math will be a strong point with him. If he's sitting at the table when Nora is working on her math, he is often answering the questions with her. I don't plan on starting anything formal with him at this point, mostly because I haven't found anything I like for his level. If I run across something I think would fit him, I might start him on it.

I think I would also like to start working on handwriting with him. I'm sure at some point I'll order him the one of the Handwriting Without Tears workbooks. I think it worked really well with Nora, and I'm sure Nate will do well with it also. 

He still has some speech issues, but I think he's pretty close to other kids his age. The /th/ and /r/ sounds still seems to be tough for him, but given that he couldn't touch the tip of his tongue to the roof of his mouth when he was 2 years old in speech therapy, he's doing okay. We still remind him often of how to properly make the /th/ sound, but he can't seem to make the /r/ sound yet. Reading has helped with it a little as we're properly sounding out words.

One of the highlights of Nate's summer was being on a soccer team: Green Monsters. They had a 3-game season, and Grandpa Jack took him to most of his practices and games. 

Sam | Preschool (age 3)
I intended on working through Year 2 of ABC Jesus Loves Me with him this past year, but I other than making the creation story book with him, we didn't do much. Even without using a formal curriculum though, he now knows all his colors (his favorite is orange) and can recognize most of the letters of the alphabet, and most numbers. He doesn't know most of his shapes though (star and heart are pretty easy!). He knows the names of the different Magna Tile shapes just by playing with Nora and Nate, but hasn't translated that to other objects yet. He does know circle and line though, because he can write the "a" in his name (a circle with a line next to it).

Lily | Toddler (age 1)
She's already been learning a lot through playing with her siblings. I have found that with both her and Sam, I haven't read to them as often as I did with the other two. I feel bad about this and hope it doesn't affect their passion for reading as they grow. Lily seems to be really interested in books, and will often bring a book to someone expecting him/her to read it. I am very thankful that Nora reads to her sometimes. She is also a talker like Nora was (okay, still is!). She has so many words: ba-be (baby), mama-me (mama milk), pa (up), da (down), wawa (water), mak (milk), Ra-ra (Nora), Nee (Nate), and Me-me (Sammy). I think she tries to say sentences too, but most of the words we don't understand. However, with her inflections, we can sometimes figure it out. (There it is and Where is s/he? are two that we know she's trying to say.)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Danielle's Memory: A Post Dedicated to My Family and Friends

I was on a getaway with some girlfriends this past weekend... if you weren't already aware from the abundant photos that were posted by my friends on social media throughout the course of the weekend! It was a time of relaxing away from our mom duties and our jobs, but it was also a time of sharing, reflection, and healing for some of us. I can't tell the other ladies' stories, but I can tell mine.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Stombaugh
Through the loss of Danielle, I have found that there are those that remember her and hold her very closely in their hearts, and there are those that forget about her or leave her "out" of our family, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I have never blamed or been angry with the latter group, but it has stung my heart. I have forgiven them, but just like the pain of losing a child never fully goes away, that sting in my heart doesn't fully go away either. This post isn't about those people though. This post is about the first group. The people who remember her at times I wouldn't expect them to remember her. Those are the people that I know also hold me closely in their hearts.

Sometimes I am amazed at the lives my daughter touched in only two short days. From the people who showed up at funeral, because they were following the updates on her throughout my pregnancy, yet we hadn't talked in several years, to those who I barely even knew during her short life who have remembered her in various ways, and to those who have donated in her memory to Faith's Lodge when I didn't expect them to donate, I am continually touched by their actions.

One of my friends brings her up in conversation with me from time to time. And this weekend was one of those times. Sometimes it only brings smiles to my face, but sometimes it also brings tears to my eyes. But the great thing is, these friends aren't afraid to cry with me. On a couple occasions, we talked about our grief journeys, with one of our friends still being very raw with some of her emotions on a tragedy in her life. I shared this story of my grief with my friends...

... there was one day where I couldn't bear the thought of not holding my child. My arms ached they were so empty. It really becomes a physical pain. I wanted so badly for them to be holding my child, my baby girl. I went upstairs, with the soreness from my c-section still lingering. I went in her bedroom, still set up and waiting for her, and shut the door. I sat down in the rocking chair, wrapped the nursing pillow around my tummy, and grabbed, what we now refer to as, the Danni Bear (It is a bear that plays a recording of her heartbeat that was taken at one of her ultrasounds). I rocked with the Danni Bear, clinging closely to her, to it, and sobbed quietly, so Adam wouldn't hear me. But, he eventually did find me. He didn't like seeing me so hurt. He was hurting too, but much stronger than I am. He tried to get me out of the room, thinking that if I were out of that physical space, that I would be better. Of course, that's not how grief works, and he knew that...

Of course, I started getting tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I told this story. And my most of my friends did too. They don't remember her as I, her mother who carried her for 9 months remember her growing within, and nursing her in my arms, but just as she touched my heart so deeply, she touched their hearts as well. For these friends, and for our family that has remembered her by visiting her grave, and leaving flowers or praying for her, I am eternally grateful that God placed you in my life. Just as I am thankful that He gave us Danielle, even if it was only for two days.

As we approach her birth and death days, we are participating in Hope Walks & Rolls again this year in memory of her. If you would like to participate, but haven't signed up yet, please do so here and select her team. If you can't join us, but would like to donate, please do so here. And thank you all for remembering her. It really does touch both my heart and Adam's.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Laundry Room & Mud Room Remodel: Problems and Solutions - Part 1

As pretty much all of our Facebook friends know, we started a laundry room & mudroom remodel last July. I had been dreaming, designing, pinning on Pinterest, talking, and trying to convince the parties I would need to get involved about it since shortly after we moved in back in 2013. Finally, Adam decided that he had heard enough, and decided to rip down a wall for my birthday present.

There were several problems with the way in which these two rooms were designed back in 1996 when our house was built.

Problem: When you walked in from the garage you walked into the laundry room, then walked through the laundry room to get to the mud room to hang up you jacket and kick off your shoes or boots (we do live in Minnesota, so there's a lot of boot-wearing!). Now, add four kids into that mix. The kids stopped right at the door, sat down on the floor, and took off their shoes, which were then left in the middle of the walkway for us to trip over when we tried to make it to the correct room to put our things away.

Solution: The rooms needed to be switched. This was the biggest challenge and I needed my dad on board with the idea. He would be able to move all the plumbing and the gas line around in order for the washing machine, gas dryer, and laundry tub to be relocated. Once Adam decided to start ripping down walls, he didn't have much of a choice.

Problem: The only place to hang up jackets was on a closet rod (those wire shelf ones with the rod underneath). This problem is two-fold. The rod was too high for the kids and the kids (and Adam most days!) don't know how to use hangers.
Solution: We needed hooks for jackets, and enough of them for six people's worth of jackets. I loved the Pinterest pictures of the lockers for each person in the family, but I didn't think the locker style was quite right for us.

Problem: With six people living in a house, comes six people's worth of shoes, and other than the floor or a box, we didn't have any place to put them. The usually ended up all over the floor.
Solution: We needed a shoe shelf with several shelves.

Problem: The kids love playing outside in the winter, which means hats, mittens, and scarves were always laying around on the floor. There was no good place for them to put them where they could reach them when they wanted to go outside.
Solution: We needed cubbies that the kids could reach to put their stuff in. In all honesty, when we started this, I wasn't sure how that would look. I had several different ideas, and it took me a while to settle on one.

Problem: I almost always use the awesome drying rack that my Godmother gave us when we got married, and seldom use the gas dryer. With the way the laundry room and mud room were built, there wasn't enough space for it to be in there. When it was nice out in the summer, I put it out on the deck to catch that fresh breeze. But, as I said earlier, we're in Minnesota, there's a long stretch of cold, snowy winter that doesn't mix well with drying clothes outside, so it ended up in my living room for a good part of each year. With small children playing nearby, wet clothes were often pulled down and thrown on the floor.

Solution: We needed to configure the new laundry room in such a way that there was floor space for the drying rack to be set up. Since there isn't any breeze like there is outside to help dry clothes, I also wanted a ceiling fan to help move the air to dry the clothes quicker. I also wanted an exhaust fan to suck all the moist air out of the room on those rainy days in the summer that I can't set it up outside.

More Posts About Our Remodel
Find out how we paid $235 for a brand new washer and dryer set!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Short & Sweet Letter: 2016

This year I ended up taking our family photos for our Christmas cards. I'm having a lot of fun using my remote to take our pictures and I feel like I'm getting better at editing them. But that's still something I think I need to work on. So without further ado, here are our Christmas cards and letter for this year!

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After much nagging, I couldn’t get Adam to write the Christmas letter, so you’re stuck with me, Sarah, again this year. With the birth of child number 5, Lily, in May I haven’t had a ton of time, so this will probably be short (lucky you!). Adam’s highlights this year were taking a work trip to Canada in July, and running his first marathon in October to raise money for Team World Vision. Nora has been busy with swimming lessons, vacation Bible school, Little Flowers, and choir at church, though her singing is not only contained to the choir loft. She can be found singing in the bathroom, her bedroom at night, and any other place you would expect to otherwise be quiet. Nate also took swimming lessons with Nora, and is currently playing Peewee Sports with Grandpa Jack. The only thing that slows him down is puzzles (you know the ones with 300 pieces) and coloring inside the lines. Sam has been trying to keep up with the other two, and loves to go pee pee in his “little potty.” You often need to watch your step in the kitchen, as he is often zooming cars across the wood floor while naked. As for me, I enjoyed a relaxing weekend with some friends in Lusten, MN. I also instantly lost 15 pounds on May 22 (Lily’s birthday), and am on the parish council. Lily decided that I needed to lose more weight by chasing another child around, so she started crawling at 5 ½ months, and is now pulling herself up to stand. There’s no doubt she’ll be walking sooner than I would like. We hope you have a blessed Christmas!

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Lilianna's Birth Story

It seems like with all our VBAC babies we've had a "false alarm." (Apparently, I still haven't got this birthing thing figured out even by number 5.) The evening of May 20th (the day before my due date), I started having mild contractions.We decided to go for a walk around the curve to try to get things moving along more. Along the way, we saw our neighbor, Kathryn, out, whose due date was 4 days after mine. I told her she should join us for a labor-inducing walk. She declined though, because she had to go into work soon. So we went home and relaxed with the kids. Probably not 20 minutes had passed since Kathryn and I had posed for a picture together, she sent me a text saying that I jinxed her, because her water had just broke! She was heading into the hospital. My contractions were getting pretty "timable" and I told her that we'd probably meet her there later. I let my mom know, so that she could be ready to come over at some point that night. She got there around 11pm and by the time Adam and I were ready to leave around midnight, my contractions were 3 minutes apart, but still pretty mild.

When we got to the hospital, they sent us to triage for monitoring. By the time we got there, the contractions had spaced out more to 6-ish minutes apart, and I was dilated to 2 cm. The nurse talked to Dr. Arnold, who was on call for the weekend, and he said they could admit me. After being admitted, my contractions just about stopped and after two more cervical checks with no changes, we decided to go home after 4 hours and get some rest in our own bed. I texted Kathryn that we were leaving and I was rather jealous that she was going to be having her baby on my due date, even though she still had 4 more days to go! Adam told the nurse we'd be back in 12 hours. I didn't think we would be, I was guessing she'd arrive on Sunday.

While I was super disappointed in not getting to meet our little girl, it was nice that she waited so that we could both go to Hope Walks and Rolls 5K on Lily's due date, May 21st, to celebrate her big sister's life, and raise money for Faith's Lodge. While I was very tempted to walk to try to induce labor again, after a night of very little sleep, I decided to wait at the start/finish line for our family and Adam's co-workers. But my body was feeling pretty great after feeling uncomfortably pregnant for several weeks, so that I was thankful for.

Thankfully, I didn't need to walk to induce labor, because at 3:30am the next day, I woke up with stronger contractions. I let Adam sleep, but I eventually got up and showered so that I'd be ready to go in when the time came. After getting the kids up and fed, I had Adam call mom to head over. By that point my contractions were 7-ish minutes apart, and I figured I'd hang out at home while mom entertained the kids, but shortly after she got there, they were less than 3 minutes apart and they were much stronger. I didn't want to head into the hospital and be told that I was still at 2 cm, or that I wasn't progressing. When I told Adam that they were less than 3 minutes apart, he said he thought we should go, but would leave it up to me. After a couple more painful contractions, I decided that he was probably right. I kissed each of the kids goodbye. Nora was really excited that her baby sister was going to be born, Nate wanted to give the baby (my belly) a hug and kiss, and Sam looked rather concerned (I don't think he had a clue what was going to be happening).

Of course, as we started driving to the hospital my contractions slowed down, and I told Adam that if they checked me and I was still a 2, that I was going to punch someone. Luckily, when my nurse, Lisa, came to check me at 8:55am, I was 3 cm. Not what I was hoping for, but at least I didn't need to punch her. I was also 90% effaced and Lily was sitting low. With each contraction, I was thinking about an epidural more and more, but didn't mention anything to Adam or Lisa for a little while.

We talked about getting the IV started and labs taken since I had such horrible experiences with Nora's and Sam's births, and because I needed a bag of fluids and labs taken before I could get an epidural. We explained that they only had one chance to draw blood, and that was when a member of the SWAT team (their team of people who are really awesome at placing IVs) placed the IV. I also said that I wanted the area numbed, and of course to wait until I was between contractions. The lady was really sweet, but said she wanted to try without numbing because it usually collapsed veins. She tried in my hand without numbing it, and the vein collapsed anyway. So she tried again in my arm and after digging around and me crying because it was worse than the contractions, she finally got it in, BUT she couldn't get blood to come out. That meant that the lab tech that was standing by would have to poke me again. Since it takes a while for the the bag of fluids, we decided to give me a break and have the lab tech come back to get any and all AND extra blood taken, just in case someone decided that they needed more for some other crazy test (that was Dr. Mahan's idea). Once the fluids were started Lisa started the Penicillin and got me a half a dose of fentanyl to help me through the blood draw and to last me until Dr. Kent could come place my epidural.

When the lab tech came back, she pulled out extra vials, and I asked her to use the butterfly needle. She did such an awesome job, that I told her that even though the lab people don't have a "SWAT" team, that I thought she could be part of them anyway.

Lisa wanted to do another cervical check to make sure I was progressing or that I wasn't too far along for the epidural. Two hours after my last check, I had only gained 1 cm. I figured it was going the same route as the last to VBACs, and that I'd be here for several more hours before I got to meet our daughter. The fentanyl was at least helping with my contractions for the 45 minute wait for Dr. Kent and the epidural meds to come. I asked at one point if he would he there soon, because I wanted the second half of the fentanyl, but Lisa urged me to wait. So, I did.

With both Nora and Sam, I was able to lay down for the epidural, but I know they prefer you sitting up, so I tried that. Lisa had a foot stool for me, and wanted me to hug pillows while he placed it. I wanted the foot stool gone and to hold Adam. So she moved it, and I rested my head on Adam's chest. I don't remember either of the other epidurals hurting as much as this one did. Danni's spinal probably hurt more, but there were also a lot of other anxiety-driving factors to consider. He gave me a test push of drugs to make sure it was working, and then had me lie down so Lisa could hook up the drip bags of meds. I could feel the feelings leaving, but I could feel the pressure of her descending lower with each contraction. Lisa had me telling her when I could feel the contractions to make sure the monitor was picking them up correctly. At this point it was lunch time, and since I was comfortable, Adam asked permission to run to get lunch quick. I was fine with it, so he went, and Lisa stayed in the room with me while making sure the epidural was working properly.

This epidural was so much better than the one I had with Nora where I couldn't feel anything at all. This time I could wiggle my toes, move my legs (though my right leg needed a little aide often times), and turn side to side with a little assistance. After my first turn from my right side onto my left side, I had a contraction and suddenly felt a gush of fluids! My water had broken! Lisa checked me again, and I was now at 5 cm. As with Nora and Sam, I started progressing at a quicker rate once the epidural was going. I still expected it to be a while though. Lisa and I chatted for a while until I started feeling like I could use a rest. I shut my eyes and relaxed, but enjoyed each contraction feeling without pain the movement of my youngest daughter lower and lower.

Adam came back from lunch, and shortly after Lisa left the room. Adam was hanging out on the couch, while I continued to relax and enjoy the my body birthing our daughter. I don't know at what point, but eventually decided that since I could feel when the contractions were coming and since it usually takes me a while to get these babies out of me, that maybe when I felt a contraction, I could give a little extra push, just to help things move a little quicker. After a couple contractions like that Lisa came in to check me, and so she could hook up my second dose of penicillin, since it had been 4 hours. But, apparently I was complete! I told her that I how I had thought I would try to move things along by pushing a little with my contractions. She laughed a little and said not to do that! I was supposed to tell her if I felt the urge to push! (Which I never felt the urge to push like I did with Sam, I just wanted to get the show going a little faster.)

A quick 5 minutes later the doctor was in the room and everyone was in place and ready for me to push. Normally they have you grab the back of your knees and pull them towards you to push, but the baby was up in my stomach still (even though she was partway down my birth canal!), and so instead of pulling my knees to my chest, I was pushing her down out of my stomach with my hands just to try to stay comfortable. But, after a few contractions and pushes of doing that, Dr. Arnold said that she wasn't moving anywhere and we needed to try something different. I'd rather meet my daughter than have my stomach be comfortable for those few minutes, so grabbed my knees for the next contraction and pushed with all my might. She enough she started moving outwards into the world. I can't remember how many pushes it took, but it was only 11 minutes of pushing total, according to Adam's notes.

Once her head was out, I had to stop pushing for a moment, as the cord was wrapped around her neck. Dr. Arnold quickly took care of it, and the rest of her body came out quickly. I could see her blue little body, it wasn't turning pink, and she wasn't breathing or crying. Strangely though, I was calm. I knew she would take her first breath, I knew everything would be okay. And after a what seemed like a lot longer time than it actually was, she did start breathing! Dr. Arnold cut the cord, and since she didn't breath right away, the nurses took her over to assess her and put a diaper on her. While they were attending to her, I could feel myself effortlessly birth the placenta. As Dr. Arnold was checking everything out "down there," I asked if I was going to need stitches. He looked, and he looked, and said, "Maybe one," then he looked some more, "Naw, it's just a scratch." I had to laugh, "just a scratch!"

And then my third daughter, my fifth child, Lilianna Quinn was placed on my chest. She was finally here! She started nursing well right away, and was totally happy and content to be on my chest. Adam snapped dozens of pictures on my DSLR and on his phone to send to family and friends. Once he had his pictures all taken and texts and emails all sent, he wanted his time with her. So, he took off his shirt and grabbed her and a blanket to cuddle up on the couch with her.

My neighbor, Kathryn, had her son on Lily's due date at the same hospital and was four doors down from us, so we stopped by with Lily to meet Ethan the next day.