Friday, April 29, 2011

The ABC's of The SAHM: A-G

A- Applesauce. Organic? Yes. Everywhere? Yes.

B- Burp cloths that get more action as being pot holders
C- Cloth Diapers covered in crap.
D- Dog. Neglected

E- Early Morning nursing sessions
F- Facebook. You talk to people who actually speak English
G-Goldfish...who's all alone because all of his other friends died.

I'll be back with the second installment soon, stay tuned ;]

In other news:

She's a month old...I can't believe it!
Y'all have a great weekend! Tomorrow I'm going to be sharing my birth story at The Art of Birth in Ft Worth. If you're in the area, you should come out! I'll be the first one there at 11!!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Weekend In Photos

I know the week's already halfway over, but here are some more pics from this weekend :]


We went to Homestead Farms for Earth Day

We grocery shopped and had an amazing time out with the girls at a bbq for one of our friends. It was the first social gathering that we've been to with them both and while it was a tad bit stressful, I think we did great!! Lily came home and went right to bed while the rest of us stayed up listening to night one of the never-ending nights of thunderstorms :]


We went to our friend's house for another cook out! Kissy, Cameron, and Zsanae put together a little egg hunt, Lily had a blast! [I was nursing during this so daddy was in charge of the camera, lol]

Norah will be a month old tomorrow....holy cow.

Lily's very ready to be done being cooped up inside all day...

Hope you're all having a great week!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

Hope you all had a Happy Easter :]

I'll post more pictures tomorrow. We had an AMAZING weekend, but this new mama of two needs a day of recovery, lol! Norah might too ;]

Oh and check out today's Moolala offer! It's $19 for $70 worth of Organic Produce!!! WOWZA!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Duck, Duck

DUCK! Ha, you thought I'd say goose ;]

Just wanted to wish you all a very Happy Easter :]
We went out to the farm yesterday afternoon for their Earth Day celebration and let Lily run around like a heathen child. She wanted to steal this duck, but we didn't let her.

This was her last Earth Day...melt my heart!

Hopefully you remember that this weekend has nothing to do with Chocolate Rabbits and plastic eggs.

Romans 1:4-5

And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. (NLT)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Three Weeks

This morning we had a play date set with these two loverly ladies.

Last night before bed I packed the park bag, got out the stroller, set out clothes. I was all set to go! After breakfast we cleaned up, lugged everything downstairs, strapped the girls in, took two steps out, and it started raining. Of course. So instead, we stayed home and played :]

These little girls are only 4 days apart. It's been so fun watching them grow. Her little bro is due on the first, so he and Norah will get to be little buds too! Can't wait to meet him ;]

Lots of spit up this week!
We've also had a bit of insomnia the past few days that I'm not particularly happy about.
She's weighing in at about 9 pounds
Her baby acne is FINALLY clearing up
We started cloth diapering!

Lost twenty pounds after the birth, HECK YES!!!
Bleeding is extremely minimal
Hips and low back are still a little soar [posterior babies'll do that to ya!]

Thought it'd be a good idea to try and bite mama's boob since sister was...nooooo....
She's sort of obsessed with Norah's diapers, she HAS to have a clean one on, even if she farts. It's pretty hilarious.
Here's two pics of her at 3 weeks :]

I happen to think they look alike ;]

Hopefully the weather hasn't been as crazy in your area as it has in mine. Tornado sirens off and on, hail, rain, then 90 degrees and muggy...lame!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I forgot to mention in my post earlier that yesterday we had Norah's two week appointment :]

She weighed 7.15 at birth, but got down to 7.2 at her two day appointment. Yesterday she weighed in at 9 pounds even. I'm absolutely in love with this little chunk

"Because Pink Nipples Aren't Offensive"

*Since I cried the majority of the way through writing yesterday's post, I thought I'd bring something a little lighter to the table today ;] Thanks so much for all of your support! These last few months in DFW should be fun!

One of the strangest things that I told Eamon when Lily was a newborn was

"Uh-oh...Babe, I think she's gonna have brown nipples, not pink"

Why on Earth was I so concerned with the color of my daughter's nipples, you [and my husband] ask? I feared she'll be faced with the sad truth that no one told me about- Pink nipples aren't offensive, but brown ones are.

Now before you think I'm worried about my girls going around flashing their peers, I'm talking about breastfeeding. I learned early on that in a crowded group of breastfeeding women, I gathered quite a few more looks than the other moms did. Then I realized- I was the only one with brown nipples. [I really need to ethnically diversify my group of friends...] Yep, it seemed that everyone seems to be okay with breastfeeding as long as you don't see what's really going on. Most people can ignore the fact that a mama's boob is in her baby's mouth if you just think about it as skin, but when you have a big brown areola staring back at you, even if just for a second, there's no denying what's going on.

Lily's first feeding

With number two I've realized there are a lot of things that I'm just not surprised by. I feel less defensive about how we raise our children and why we do it. I feel like I can say "Well, Lily's turning out just fine, and that's what we did with her" and receive less of an argument. I know my girls are completely different already, but being through it once already gives me confidence that even if the situations aren't the same with Norah, I can do it. I feel more confident as a mother when I'm out with the two of them. [I say that now...stay tuned for the post following the day I actually take the two of them out by myself!]
And sometimes I feel that things are a little harder for me though, like breastfeeding. Not only do I feel like I have to fight the "only mamas with little perky boobies that are hidden by their baby's head" get to nurse without an uncomfortable [this is Texas, y'all. Feel free to read that as "hotter than hell"] nursing cover state of mind, but I have to fight the pornographic fear of brown nipples too. Then I remember that God gave my girls to me. That not only did he oversee the making of my girls inner parts in my womb, but He did the same for me! He knew my hair would be course and thick, my skin would be olive tinted, and even that my nipples would be brown. He knew where I'd live and how the culture would react to such a thing, yet He's called me to carry all of my attributes with Grace and modesty [which can be achieved with a cover up as well as without one] If I can do that, well, I've brought honor to Him!

I guess tonight when Eamon are in the middle of our daily rundown of events [which is always WAY TOO LATE, making me want to throw a tantrum and scream, "LET ME GO TO SLEEP!!!"] I can tell Eamon " I learned I can bring glory to God with my brown nipples!" What about you? What are some unexpected ways that God has used you or your parenting to bring glory to Him?

Hope you're having a great week so far!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Migrating South

When I think about growing up in Rockport, I think about my hair being frizzy from the humidity and wind. I think about running around in shorts and tank tops for 90% of my life, and bundling up on the rare occasion that it got below 70 degrees. I think about the sand that was always scattered around town living permanently in doormats, floorboards and shower drains.

In August, we'll be packing up our girls, and our dog, and moving back.

Us on family vaca last summer

Instead of fighting sleep tolerating the bass of rap music, there will be seagulls and bull frogs, and the occasional Jimmy Buffet single floating on the breeze. There won't be a difference in the seasons, just hot, sticky spring, summer, and fall, and cool, dry winter-ish. There are no mega churches in Rockport, but the few churches without pews and psalm books are a little controversial.

The trade off's seem pretty equal for the most part, but I know that I'm trading my friends for family. My, my ENTIRE family lives within an hour of Rockport, and Eamon's parents and brother live there too. I'm pretty excited for my girls to be close to our family. Playing in "Gra-munk's" [what Lily calls my mom] pool and swinging in her backyard, and chasing Norah around Grandpa Burke's huge yard are things that I hope they take advantage of.
But I feel like I've just recently got a grasp on how to grow and maintain my friendships here, and now I have to leave them. When I was little we moved around A LOT before we finally settled in Rockport. By the time I started school there I took a strong "I'm not going to try to make any friends because we're just going to move again" and it really effected me. I was an outcast for a long time and by the time I finally accepted that we were staying there, I was so socially awkward that it made it impossible for me to undo the damage. By the time I left Rockport I had a very close-knit group of people that I depended on and was semi terrified of the change that was ahead of me.

The last night I lived in Rockport. I sorta had faded out red hair at the time...shoot me.

This kind of mindset has always been kind of hard for me to shake, but I finally let my guard down here and have some amazing friendships because of it. But now what? I feel as if I have to chose my family over my friends, and honestly, the friends I've made ARE my family here. When I've needed a sister I've been able to call Katie or Keri or Morgan, when I've needed some motherly advice, Michelle has always given me some solid answers. Bob and Ann have swooped in and saved the day on many occasion and have been a sort of surrogate family to us. And Angela, what about her? Who is gonna be there for me like she has during my pregnancy? I know God has a plan for us, I know we're going to bloom there, but why does this have to be so hard?!
I feel like God took the time to grow us here. To mature us and have us fight quite a few battles for a while. I feel like He's been preparing me for a role of leadership, but I don't know where. For about five minutes every day since we've made this decision I throw a tantrum and yell at God [I do that a lot, huh?] telling Him "I don't wanna go! You're idea is stupid!!" and He tells me to obey my husband. He says something like "Well if you still think I'm out to get you, trust him. You know he wouldn't do anything to harm your family." and then I feel like a jackass for not trusting Him, again, and go on with my day.

So I guess for now, we'll soak up the good things that we have available to us here in the Metroplex and just prepare for the great migration.

Sorry if this was sort of...all over the place. Can't seem to get my mind on one track today!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Motivated to Move

When I was on bed rest with Lily, I milked it. Didn't get outta bed unless I had to pee or eat for a while. When Eamon was home I said "But I just had a baby" more than I even thought possible. But the pass few weeks, staring at these same four walls, with the same 21 month old bouncing off of them, being hooked up to a newborn mouth...I've been ready to get out and about.

I've been itching to start working out already-no, really. I gained 26 pounds this time [take that 40 pounds during my first pregnancy!] and still managed to grow a slightly bigger baby and a placenta that I was VERY proud of :]  For some reason I've got this motivation to get out with the stroller [that should be here any day now...tick tock UPS!] and just walk my way back into my pre-maternity clothes. It's such a frustrating stage being too small for your maternity clothes and too chunky for your regular clothes. I've decided that the perfect postpartum gift is a $50 gift cert for new clothes. For real.

I've been very carefully studying the pages of Bleubird [especially Mama Style] and Dear Baby and I've come to the conclusion that button up shirts/dresses are the way to go. Last time with Lily I went for the Old Navy look of unstructured tees and sweaters that all of the cute, skinny as a rail, but I reiterate, adorable mamas out there tend to sport...but that just does not work for women with Salma Hayek-esque features [boobs]. So hopefully when I get a few extra bucks I can get down to Thrift Town and get some hot, old school button ups and a pair of shorts to outfit my body this summer.

Before I go, what post baby work out do you like best? What did you do?
Eamon saw me looking at Stroller Strides last night and said it was a good idea. But when I said I was looking for price information he said "Wait, what?! You pay for that!? No...that's something you just do with friends" So I'm on the hunt for something to do. Who knows, maybe lugging the girls up and down the stairs and pushing them in the stroller for a mile or two a couple of times a week will be enough!

Two horrible web cam pics of before and after [Lily lost our lens that goes on the camera...oy.]

 A few days before the birth

2 weeks pp still lookin about 3 months preggo ;]

Have a great weekend! I think I'll be getting out of the house!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two Weeks

First of all, thank you all so much for the encouraging comments, emails, texts and phone calls over the past few days. Your support has been, well VITAL in this time of change.

These past few weeks have been extremely humbling, difficult, and fruitful. I can't believe how gracious God is. Something really weird has been happening too. I keep hearing things like "you're so strong," "you're such an encouragement," "you have such grace" and I want to be like "What the hell are you talking about?!?!" I tend to just say "It's not me, it's Jesus" but I feel like that's such a poser answer. I know so many fake people who would say that sort of thing and I know they don't believe it. But I do! I've felt so close to God since Norah's arrival, and I know Satan always uses times like this to put doubt in my heart-even if it's by pathetically making me concerned with what other people think.

These past two weeks have made me extremely ambitious. I have plans for these little girls, big ones. I've talked about having a specific charge from God to raise Godly, beautiful women before, and in the days leading up to Norah's birth I thought "Well what if we have a boy? Will that mean the Lord didn't really send me that message?" I don't think that at all, but raising up another little girl to my chest totally reassured me that I'm meant to spend some time raising these little women, and I'm more than excited.

Norah @ 2 weeks
She sucks her thumb sometimes. However cute you think that is, multiply it times ten, and your still not even close, it's adorable!
She nurses SO well and has the milk tongue to prove it.
She scoots close to me at night if I roll away...seriously!
Her baby acne is OUTOFCONTROL...I guess my hormones are a little crazy, sorry baby girl!
Her jaundice is finally clearing up out of her eyes! It never got really bad in her skin, but her eyes were yellow/green for a long time.
She smiles SO melts my heart.
When she nurses, she sounds like a goose! Lily would hum and moan, but Norah honks like a goose!

I'll have an update on how the whole family's doing soon, until then, have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Today was...weird.
It seems like I'm going through another time of transition, and this one is going to be long too. Something I learned from my labor with Norah though, is that I dare not fight it.

Lily cried almost every time I nursed Norah, which lead to me putting Norah in her swing a lot [and using a pacifier...shoot me] Norah couldn't sleep for more than about 15 mins since 2 pm, and couldn't nurse for more than 5 for some reason [I FINALLY got her to sleep an hour ago by strapping her in the Moby and rocking her. I'm terrified to take her out and try to go to sleep myself though.] and I feel like I'm at a breaking point, but actually have no idea what that means.
I've had some amazing friends ask to take Lily so Norah and I can get some rest, but it's been such a hard thing to deal with. Since we don't have any family here, Lily's never been anywhere without Eamon or me. So we have to deal with, "No, I promise she'll bring you back" on top of  "No, we aren't sending you away because Norah's here" on top of  "Please don't kill my child with peanuts, here's the Epi-Pen." I just don't know what to do at this point.

I read on another mom's blog recently

"But then, I remembered some advice I had heard a long time ago about bringing a new baby home and having an older child (or children) act out.
You put the baby down as soon as your older kid's behavior has reached a point where you need to act, and you take care of the situation. You discipline. With the same firmness and resolve you would have if you didn't have a newborn in your arms.
Your baby will probably cry.
Oh well! 
It's really not the end of the world.
You show your older children that they can not walk all over you, and then you go pick the baby back up again and continue nursing/soothing/smooching the wee one."

and dangit, I have been, but I feel like I've been ignoring my maternal instincts to a certain extent. All of a sudden I have a baby who wants to sleep in a swing and suck on a pacifier...uh...NOT MY KID!! It feels weird, it doesn't feel like I'm being the mom I know I can be, the mom I was for Lily, the mom I WANT to be for Norah. I feel like I'm sneaking in moments with Norah between telling Lily "No", cleaning up her messes, and trying to keep her from freaking out.

I know this is probably all very temporary...but I'm very ready for it to be over...
Oh transition...

Monday, April 11, 2011

We Are Family

I can't believe this, but my family came up this weekend...and I didn't take a single picture.

I don't think my sisters or my mom actually put down their cameras, but I'm pretty ticked at myself for not even looking at my camera. They were only here on Saturday, but Lily had SO much fun.

On Sunday I snuck out to the grocery story with everyone... Don't tell my midwife :]

I enjoyed getting out of the house and loved all of the "oohs" and "ahhs" that Norah got being all snuggly in her hot sling. I got worn out pretty quick though, so when we came home Eamon let me nap with Norah while he took Rusty to the park.

My dad's family is sending me a double stroller this week [SO blessed!] and I can't wait to take the girls to the park soon. It's warming up here and we could all use the sunshine! This whole having two babies things is a little stressful at times, but at other times, it's second nature.

Speaking of blessings, I cannot thank my friends enough for all the help and food we've recieved this week. You ladies are AMAZING!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Post-Partum Has Taught Lily

I can't believe it, but it's already been a week!
We've been on our own since Tuesday, and today Eamon is staying extra, extra late at work because they have a catering. In this short time, Lily has learned a few things about post-partum mamas.

If you thought Mama was slow before...
Lily has figured out that not only can she outrun me, but she gets a head start since I have to put down the baby, and make sure Laverne and Shirley are covered up. She's been pretty good for the most part, but sometimes...not so much.

Got a problem? Coconut it.
We have been using coconut oil on eh-vry-thing. Boobies, booties, boo-boos, the list is never ending...and I can tell our coconut oil budget is going to have to increase. Lily took it to a whole new level yesterday afternoon though when she decided Rusty needed coconut oil fur conditioner...I wasn't very thrilled about that one.

Mama gets to wear a diaper and poop in it
For a few days I was in Depends and Lily looked at me like "Ok lady, I can't wear them, but YOU can? Something's wrong here" Then she came into the bathroom with me and saw the blood. She screamed "POOP! POOP, MAMA!" I tried correcting her and let her know that it was blood, but then she freaked out because my hoo ha had turned into a giant Owie...There's just no winning with this one.

I hope you've all had an awesome week! Here's some newborn lovin from my baby girl


Monday, April 4, 2011

The Birth of Norah Jean: Part Two

Go here to read Part One

It was about 7:30 pm on Tuesday night, and the work was here. All of my warm up labor, and all of the discomfort had paid off, my body was working, just in a way I hadn't expected it to. It wouldn't conform to any of my expectations that night.

My birth pool had water in it from that morning so it had gone cold. We didn't have a sump tank. Everyone looked around at each other for a minute and then someone said "Let's get some buckets!" Eamon went with me to the living room to labor on the birth ball while my diligent team emptied and refilled the tub. I actually had no idea what was going on until I heard Lily CRACKING UP in our bedroom. Apparently all of the ladies were in there with pots and bowls scooping out water little by little and throwing it over our back porch balcony. Lily thought it was hilarious.

When the tub was ready, I asked for some time to have to just Eamon and myself. I loved this. Eamon prayed over my delivery and set my mind at ease that we were going to have this baby tonight. Before we were done he laid his hands on my belly and just talked to our little unborn child. He didn't say a word out loud, but I could feel every bit of emotion that he was emitting to our little one. More than I was ready to meet this baby myself, I was ready for Eamon to meet him/her.

Us laboring together after our time of prayer

The clock continued to tick and I knew Lily would need to go to bed soon. In my head I was so upset. The night before I went to a Mom's Group and wasn't home in time to put Lily to bed. I had been making it a very special time for the two of us the past few months and it was something I looked forward to. I would bathe her, comb her hair, read to her, just made her feel extra special in case I went into labor that night. I was sad that I hadn't got to the night before and was sort of jealous of Eamon. He said "Well maybe you can read her a story before she goes to sleep?" Capital idea, Watson! As Eamon went into her room to get her ready for bed...I started to climb out of the tub. Wait, WHAT?!? Yeah, I wasn't exactly thinking that one through. Just as I started getting out Eamon walked in with Lily "WHAT are you doing?! Sit back down!" Eamon brought her to the side of the pool and through a contraction or two, I read Goodnight Moon to my baby girl one last time as an only child. 

Thank you so much Michelle, this one's hanging up in her room 

With Lily asleep in her bed [that's where she stayed all night, a miracle I tell you!] I knew it was time to get serious about having this baby. Contraction after contraction came...but it felt different. I remembered being in the pool with Lily. I remember what my breath felt like in my chest. I remember what the pressure felt like in my womb. I remember the relief the water gave me. Only the last of those memories were becoming familiar. My contractions were not long, they were not close together, but they were painful. The water did make them feel so much better, but there was still something off. Then I felt another change. My contractions were only down really low, and I felt like the urge to push was just around the corner. Everyone thought pushing was just minutes away.

Since I started becoming a bit too uncomfortable, I thought maybe I should try to go use the restroom and come right back out. I was still excited. I still smiled in between all of my contractions, I still cracked a joke here and there, and I still was hopeful that it was only going to be a little longer. The clock read a little before 9 as I made my way to the bathroom...
"Any minute now," I thought "Any minute..."

An hour passed.
I went back and forth from the tub, to the toilet, to the bed.
I squatted. I got on all fours. I sat on my ball.
Another hour passed.
I looked at the clock. I got mad.

What was going on? We knew baby was posterior on and off. I knew that must be what was making this hard, but why were my contractions anywhere from 5-15 minutes apart? Didn't my body know what it was doing? Why was this happening to me?
I was trying to keep a brave face and with Leila holding my right hand and Eamon holding my left, I labored some more on the toilet. Adrenalin took over my body and I couldn't stop shaking. I was mad. Why was the Lord abandoning me now? I needed Him! Where was He?!
"This is too hard!!! I can't do this! I'm going to the hospital, this is not supposed to be this hard for me! Why are you doing this to me and my baby?!?"
The pain was overwhelming. My internal dialog was getting hard to hide. For quite a while, the only two things keeping me from saying, "Screw this, take me to a hospital" were the facts that I didn't want to have any of these contractions in the car and that we didn't have anyone to watch Lily.
On the toilet once more, I reached down because I could not understand what the pressure was I was feeling. I felt...bulgy, but there was no baby. I had my midwife check me.
"Can you even feel the head?" I asked her. She said she definitely could, but that my bag of water was in the way of Baby's head engaging. She pulled her fingers out and then asked "Can you feel this?" as she inserted one finger just to her fingernail. I could, it felt like she was touching me-but not. "That's your bag of water" she said. She told me that there was a lip on my cervix that wasn't melting away and that Baby couldn't engage.
I had asked my midwife to call my chiropractor midwife friend, Cindy, to come and adjust me. When I found out she made it, I made my way down the hall to the living room to get adjusted on the couch. In my head I was still yelling. In my heart I was breaking down, not knowing where to turn to. Cindy adjusted me and I laid there on the couch.
I felt my contractions slow down even more. My heart was sinking so low...I don't know where it really went. Someone started to say something and I just couldn't keep it in anymore.
"What's wrong with my body?! Why isn't it working?!?"
I was broken. My cervix, my thoughts, my heart, they were all working against each other. I looked to my midwife and my doula for some sort of answer. I didn't get one I wanted. Angela told me that they were going to stay in the living room while Eamon and I went to rest in the bedroom. As she was telling me this I searched Eamon's eyes for some answers. I wanted him to tell me what to do, I wanted him to tell me that this was going to be over soon, I wanted him to make this easy for me.
My midwives, doula, photographer, and best friend watched me walk back down the hallway with Eamon's help. I cried the whole way there and broke down between contractions. He whispered in my ear "Whatever questions you have babe, I can't answer those for you. I know you want us to, and I know we might have some good ones, but they aren't our questions to answer." We laid down on our bed, and I began to fight it out with God in between contractions.

I can't really explain what happened, but I came to a point of surrender. I had hit this pit that seemed impossible to crawl out of and I realized I needed God. I couldn't do this, but He could. I called my birth team back in to our room and told them I needed them too. Eamon says at this point in labor I sounded like I was giving a sermon...whatever that means :] But during every single contraction I had to cry out to the Lord with my heart and say "I'm not strong enough, I can't do this, but you CAN! Finish this contraction for me, please Jesus!" and with each wave of contractions I got a little bit of relief. But sadly, there was no progress.
Angela checked me, she was contemplating breaking my water for me since I had tried every single thing we could think of. Ann was supposed to be assisting, but she was in the hospital with her husband that night. Instead, her mentor and partner, Donna Miller, had come in her place. Throughout the labor she had just sat to the side praying, keeping quiet, letting my body work. Angela asked me if it was ok if Donna checked me so she could get a second opinion. During another contraction Donna tried to diagnose the situation. When we asked her what she thought was going on she said
"Well she's a 7-8"
Before she could finished I yelled "NO!!!" I had just surrendered, I had not been laboring for almost seven hours at the same 7 centimeters...
But she reassured me and said "BUT when she has a contraction, she's complete. I just know if we break her water that she can push that Baby's head down."
At my follow up appointment I found out three things. One, even when I was complete, there was still a lip on my cervix. Two, my baby was still posterior before they broke my water. Three, Donna Miller never breaks water.
So confident that my baby wasn't at risk, and neither was I, Angela broke my water while I lay on the edge of my bed, again holding Eamon and Leila's hands. I tried every position I could think of that would bring my baby into my birth canal. At one point I got down on my hands and knees. I couldn't even stay up on my own. I could hear the Lord calling me to continue to surrender to Him. He was going to help me.

I felt like I needed to get back on my bed. Suddenly I found myself in the same position I was in when I birthed Lily. Angela wanted to check me one more time to see if I made any progress. Then a powerhouse contraction hit me. I remembered this! This felt familiar, this felt good! I couldn't control my voice and I let out every breath of air in my body. I heard Angela say "GOOD MAE! Baby's head is coming down!" I couldn't stop! The contraction kept going so I kept pushing! This was right. This was the way I remembered my body working. Everyone started to cheer me on. I heard Eamon say "We're about to meet our baby!" I got my excitement back, I reclaimed my joy. Another contraction hit. "Ok, the head is crowning, Mae!" Angela started to say. I still could not stop! "There's the head! The head is out!" Eamon was sitting up and I could hear the excitement in his voice "I can see it!" Another contraction hit right after that and I could hear everyone tell me to slow down, but I couldn't!

I felt the relieving familiar feeling of a warm, slimy baby slip right out of me.
I heard Angela say "Your baby's out Mae!!!"
The buzz around me was unreal. My body did NOT fail. It remembered exactly how to do this, and it did amazing! In three pushes [less than five minutes] I took my baby from a negative station, to out on my chest.

Angela brought this tiny, squishy being up to my chest, just like she had with Lily. Eamon got to see the face before I did and with ecstatic joy in his heart he said "It looked right at me!" [Lily didn't look at Eamon for weeks, it broke both of our hearts] Angela asked "So is it a boy or girl, Dad?!" Both of us knew as soon as she asked, and Eamon said "It's a girl! Norah!" He laid down close to me as she wiggled around on my chest. I said "We have two girls, babe!" and he said "I have THREE!
As she rooted around on my chest, I said "I'm done! Yes! Praise Jesus!" and Angela reminded me "You still owe me a placenta, Mae." I had nothing to else to say but an emphatic "Shit." Everyone laughed, I was embarrassed :]

Finally, she was here. My arms were full. My Lord finished what He started. I wasn't bitter. I wasn't mad. I was full of joy. She was here.
While Norah was waiting for me to get out of the bath, she decided she needed to

I couldn't believe that I had done it. I also couldn't believe that Lily [who wakes up at even the mention of any...uh, night time schinanigans...] slept through the whole thing. But right on queue, she woke up just in time for Norah's newborn exam. She looked at me like "OH! Angela finally brought that baby you guys keep talkin about!" This was the first time she got to see and touch her baby sister. I'm so glad she woke up.

Norah Jean Burke
March 31, 2011
2:18 am
 7 pounds 15 oz
22 inches long

 Everyone got a good night's sleep that..well, morning. The birth team left by about four, and Lily was back in her bed. I woke up to see her laying there next to me, remembered what I had just gone through to get her, and thanked God for every second of it. Donna came by later that afternoon to get her purse and said
"I am so proud of you, you are such a strong woman. Not many women can do what you did."
I said "No, I'm not strong, that wasn't me, that was Jesus."
She laughed and said, "Ya, but you have to be willing to let Jesus work through you."
I took her compliment and said "Well maybe THAT'S why it took so long!!!"
We both had a good laugh. I knew what she meant, but it's still really hard for me to say "I did it" after all I went through. He did it.

I love Norah's story. I don't feel like I got jipped. I don't feel like I would have done anything differently. My baby is here and she taught me things that I don't think I would have wanted to learn any other way.

I can't wait for you to get to know her with me :]

You can go here to view Norah's slideshow.