Saturday, December 1, 2012

11 months old!

My sweet Ruby girl,

I needed to pause and take a moment to write down the thoughts I have swarming around my head right now. I am watching you play with the shape box I had as a baby. You are SO smart! You are figuring out how to open the top, take the shapes out, and put them back in. You lift up the whole box to stand and show off your strength. You even *attempt* to put the shapes in their cut-outs on the box. You are learning to much! Ruby, we have 30 days until you turn one. While I cannot believe it has already been (almost) a year, I am so very excited to celebrate your life. You are my JOY. You are such a gift to me and your dada. I am so very emotional that you are growing so fast, but I am also so excited to watch you continue to learn and grow.

Thank you, Jesus, for this beautiful girl you have blessed me with. I truly did not know the depth of love I could have until I gave birth to this girl. I pray that you would already be revealing Yourself to Ruby's heart and that she will have a love for You that will continue throughout her lifetime. I pray that you call her to be Your own, and that she will know the love of Jesus this life and onto eternity in the next. Help me to be the most loving and tender momma I can be, not only for Ruby's sake, but to bring You glory and to be a reflection of Your heart for my daughter. Thank You for these 20 months that I have known Ruby. I pray for many, many, many more years with her on this earth. We love You, Jesus!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Walk in the Park

I have been dying all season to go to the park and take photos of the beautiful autumn scapes. Every time I drive past RiverFront Park I would go crazy wishing I had my camera with me! So, yesterday I walked to Bush Park with Ruby and took a few photos. Unfortunately, it was freezing, so we couldn't stay long. After I got home, I called up my little sis to see if she would mind riding around town with me and staying in the car with my sleeping baby while I snap some photos. It was fun! Here's what I saw:

Monday, October 29, 2012


Today was my grandmother's funeral. It has been quite a flood of emotions being here for this, but I am so thankful that we were able to make the trip. My grandmother, in years past, has completely filled my mind with memories. Memories between me and her, and memories of hers from long ago. I am so blessed to be able to cherish these memories and carry them with me for the rest of my life.

Grandma Miller really left behind quite a legacy. I have become re-inspired to be the most productive, working at home, mother and wife that I possibly can be. She did it all. She was an incredible hostess, always ironing the lenins, stocking the pantry with treats for us grand kids, having menus planned for every meal of every day that she had guests. She even made goodie boxes for us kids to welcome us into her home. While grandpa did most of the cooking, she had everything planned and loved baking with us grandkids.

Grandma had 4 children of her own, 3 sons and 1 daughter. She has 8 grandkids now, 12 great-grandkids, and 2 great-great grandkids. She was faithfully married to one man for going on 71 years. They were married in the church they met at, on Christmas day, at ages 19 and 20. The absolute worst part of saying goodbye to her, is watching the heartache that my grandpa is facing. He did not sleep at all last night (before the funeral). He has no motivation to eat. He said tonight that this past week has been "lousy" for him, and that it was so hard to see his girl go. He calls her "my girl." I had never seen him or my dad (except maybe once or twice) cry before this weekend. One of the hardest things I've seen. His love for her is a very beautiful thing, and he feels incomplete without her. Sleeping alone after 70 years is absolutely terrible, according to him.

The beautiful thing about this weekend is that so much family, from around the country, have come to be a part of this. We spent the whole day with grandpa today after the funeral reminiscing and enjoying each other's company. It was such a blessing to see everyone and catch up with them. I hate that we can't be with my grandpa 24/7, but it is what it is.

In closing, I want to share the hymn that was my grandma's favorite and that was sung beautifully today at her funeral.

 "In The Garden"

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own; 
And the joy we share as we tarry there, 
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing. I’d stay in the garden with Him Though the night around me be falling, But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What She's Up to

My sweet Ruby girl is almost 10 months old! This is bazaar to me. Along with her age has come many "spot on" mile stones she has met. I wanted to quickly post what some of these things are. :) ~About 1-2 weeks ago she discovered how to open cabinet doors - Yippee! I thought I was safe for a while, because she would only climb up to stand on the cabinet doors. Not soon after, though, she figured out how to swing wide those doors of doom. ;-p I never realized how dangerous the things in my cupboard are! cleaning products, plastic bags, food processor and blender blades.... She is also into the dishwasher any time I am loading or unloading it. Goes straight for the silverware, which is typically OK. The other day while Brian was unloading, she grabbed a super sharp Cut Co. knife. He caught that one fast! *Note to self - REALLY need to get cabinet door jammers!*
~She has become an incredible copycat! She copies sounds SO well, as well as hand gestures and dance moves. One of my favorites is when she intentionally drops something, looks at me so I'll say "Uh OH!" and then responds "Ooooo" PRECIOUS! ~She has got a couple of words mastered now. Of course she never does them when we want to show her off, though. :) She has a raspy, grovly voice like her momma did when she was a baby. Still does, maybe? She's been saying: *Mamamamama *Dadadadada *Ooooo! (Uh oh) *Yay! (Her first word, she says it while clapping) *My personal favorite is when she sings. I cannot type out what that sounds like, but it is precious. Simply angelic! She typically sings in the car when the radio is on. Lately we only listen to Classical music to get her creative juices flowing. She sings so sweetly along to whatever piece is being played. If we're lucky enough to play a song she LOVES, she starts dancing. AMAZING! ~She is sucking anything and everything she can get her hands on. For the most part I don't care. I do draw the line when she sucks on the bottom of the toilet scrubber, though. :( That was a nasty moment. ~She had her first pumpkin patch experience last week. Actually twice last week! She did so well both times, and loved looking at the animals and the mini pumpkin I put in her hands. It became her best friend!
~She now has 5 TEETH! She got her bottom two a couple of months ago. (Don't remember when exactly, bad mommy:() Then she got a third bottom tooth, and her top two have just recently come in! This last week they really started showing. Looks like she has my shape of teeth - square! And the top two seem to have a gap. So precious.
~She goes potty on the toilet about 5 times a week. Usually I put her on first thing in the morning. She has a great time sitting there, relaxed. I make sure to keep things in her hands so she doesn't lean forward to look for things to play with on the ground. It's so much fun. I'm sure I could do more than one time a day, but I am a little lazy. I'll get on it soon! ~She loves samplings of most foods. She doesn't care for baby food, she likes to hold onto her food and eat it herself. I'm not amazing and making sure she eats solids as meals. Just snacks here and there. She's still nursing full time for the most part. Breast milk is still the best source of nutrition for her, until she is 1. So, don't worry, I'm not starving her or anything. :) ~She ADORES her daddy. When he comes home from work, she giggles so giddily and crawls QUICKLY to him. It makes me tear up almost every day. He couldn't physically love her more. He is such an incredible father to her, which really blesses me. Not only is he the best husband I could possibly ask for, but he is an incredible father. Thank You, Jesus!
And that's about all I have time to post for now. Thanks for reading. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Love the Lord Your God..."

I have some incredible women of God in my life. I am so grateful that I know them, and that they are willing to impart wisdom on me! Most of them are wives and mothers which is just a blessing for me to be around. Wednesday morning I was inspired and encouraged by my small group leader with this scripture: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." - Deuteronomy 6:5-7 I have been seriously slacking on my time with my Jesus. I somehow find other things to distract me and keep me busy. How easily I forget that being with Him is a joy, and charges me to be loving mother and wife. A loving Christian. More than that, He calls us as believers to spend time with Him. WHY DON'T WE?! Of course some do, but I know a lot of "Christians" who do not delight in His word. I am guilty of that at times myself. It's really a devastation. This couple of verses have really encouraged me to LOVE God in every way I possibly can, and then to teach them to my daughter. Yes, she is only a baby, but I need to love God in every way NOW so that I can train her to love Him too. What a joy, what a delight to be able to trust in Jesus! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Very Heavy Heart

There is this series of events happening all around my life right now. These events are so far from each other, yet they are the same thing. They both have to do with the loss of a precious life - a son or a daughter - either by choice or because they were taken from their grasp. I have two sets of friends who have recently lost their precious babies, and only God knows why. One girl friend of mine just commemorated the one year of her second child dying prematurely. That same friend also lost her third child within a year of the other one. Both were sweet baby girls, about 6 months in utero. I am absolutely dumb-founded as I think upon her situation. I literally cannot grasp why this would happen to a person, it is the greatest pain I can imagine. But not just once, TWICE, my sweet friend has had to go through this. It is heart-wrenching to think about. My other friend is an old friend from high school. We really don't talk anymore, but my husband and I learned yesterday that they delivered their baby boy two weeks before his due date, stillborn. Oh the devastation! I can't fathom being prepared and ready for this new addition to our lives, a blessing from the Lord, and then to see that taken away in an instant. Life could never be the same! It's not just a bad dream to wake up from and be comforted by. No, it was a very real baby who very literally was taken from the hands of his loving parents. There is no way to mentally escape from an event like this, these things truly happen. Then on the other side of us, my husband and I know two women who are pregnant and want nothing to do with this child. A series of events is what got them pregnant, and they were not prepared or wanting to have a baby at all, but regardless they have created a life. The Bible says that children are a blessing from the Lord, an inheritance (Psalm 127). Though conceived in sin, that child still has a purpose and is still a blessing. The story with these two ladies is the opposite of my other friends. One of these two recently had an abortion to end the ties she had to the baby's father. The other one talked to us on the phone for an hour last night weighing out her options. To her, abortion is the only way out of this bad relationship. The dynamics of these four individual situations are.....just.....absolutely......crazy. I wish I had a better word than "crazy" to describe this. On the one hand, there are these loving godly parents who want nothing more than to have their babies safe in their arms. Then there's the other parents who want nothing to do with the life that is growing inside of them, the precious little life that is 100% dependent on its mother. We are pleading with this second mother to let us adopt her baby, to just wait it out 6 more months and then let us raise him/her. Yet, to this mother there is still something telling her that giving her child up for adoption is equal to ending its life. All of these things compiled together, all happening within about a month of each other, has really made me burdened. I believe that God has given me the gift of empathy, which sometimes feels like a curse. I truly feel deep pain when other people do. I can imagine being that person and all that they are going through. Given this gift, I don't always know what to do with it. All I can do is give my burdens to the Lord, and let Him work out every situation that I give to Him. I am still extremely heavy hearted right now and at a loss for having any more answers than, "Jesus!" There is all that tugging at my heart strings, on top of my grandma Miller being under hospice care starting last week. She has maybe 3 weeks left. My grandpa is absolutely sick with worry. After 70 years of marriage, I cannot imagine the pain. About 6 months ago my other grandma (Mom's mom) died of a stroke. Lots of pain going on my in family right now, but I am so grateful for my Savior. I am so grateful to know Him and to be able to rest at His feet. I am burdened that neither of my grandma's truly knew Him and trusted their souls to Him. (At least not that it was made known). Jesus thank you that I can cast my cares upon You, and that You care about me! Thank You for being the Comforter for those who trust in You. Thank You that You provide peace that surpasses all understanding. Please grant that peace to each of Your children that I wrote about here, and please grant me the peace to give this all to You. Help me to be the best mother and wife I can be, and to not let these burdens affect my loved ones. Thank You for being the life-Giver and that You know why each of these things happens.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Am I strange?

Rhetorical Question.:) Most women want to have kids, but dread the discomforts of pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Ruby, yes, I remember having a lot of discomforts and complaining quite a bit toward the end. It frustrates me, however, when pregnant women don’t take into consideration the miracle that is happening inside of them. Instead they focus on how much it ‘sucks’ and how badly they want it to be over. There tends to be an emphasis on it being over, not necessarily having their little miracle in their arms. I have struggled over the last few months, really since Ruby has been born, with fears of future pregnancies. Since mine went so well, no morning sickness (just nausea) and no discomfort until the last month or two, and a perfectly normal, natural birth and an amazingly healthy baby girl etc., I fear, “what will go wrong next time?” I have some serious fears of potential future miscarriages, stillborns, unhealthy babies, etc. The fear is really crippling and the reality is that I am not exempt from any of those things happening. But, from what I’ve talked to other moms about, that is just part of being a mother. Fears I had never considered before are now very present in my mind. It is a constant process of casting my cares before Him, so as to not live out of that fear. The part that I’m wondering if I’m strange about is this; I loved being pregnant. I miss being pregnant. I savored a lot of my time with Ruby kicking inside of me, praising God for that miracle. I think pregnancy is SO amazing, and I WANT to experience it again. My daughter is only 9 ½ months old, but I want to be pregnant again. I feel like most other moms around me endure pregnancy, but really just want to have a kid. I want to get pregnant to experience that miracle all over again. And of COURSE to have another beautiful Bradley baby. I, however, am not the best mother in the world. My impatience, especially at night time, really makes me fear that I won’t do well with more than one child. I am realizing that I am so insecure about my mothering abilities, yet I want to have more babies. It doesn’t make sense. (By impatience at night time, I just mean I am short with my husband when he can’t fix her crying and if she wakes up more than 2 times at night I can’t bare the thought of more than one child doing that to me during the night. I am not harmful towards anyone in my family, just to clarify!) I guess no one really masters being a mother, at least not when their child is only 9 ½ months old. I guess I am just wrestling with wondering if I am being selfish by wanting to be pregnant and have another baby, or if this is just a God-given desire that I am called to satisfy. It seems like nobody around me (only a couple of exceptions) would want to become pregnant before their child is even one year old. I’ve been warned against it, which makes me feel like I’d be irresponsible to do so. Ultimately it comes down to two things: whether or not my husband feels ready, and whether or not it is God’s will. My husband is absolutely ready to have another baby, whether biologically or via adoption. I just want to be pregnant again… that’s what it comes down to. I feel weird because of it. There are a few factors to consider before becoming pregnant, i.e. loose weight, buy a bigger house, and insurance. This is me being utterly and completely honest…. On the internet of all things. I am being very vulnerable by putting my thoughts out there like this, so maybe take that into consideration before posting comments. To go a step further in my open honestly, I haven’t gotten pregnant yet and haven’t done a great job of preventing either. ☺ So glad my wonderful husband is on the same page as me. I guess we’ll know if it’s God’s timing IF and when I actually do get pregnant. It’s not exactly up to me anyway, He is in control of my life. I am thankful for that!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another Journal Excerpt :)

I just laid my little one down for bed, and sat down to read the journal I wrote while I was pregnant with her. This excerpt amazes me with it's accuracy to what Ruby turned out like! This was written right after a vivid dream I had. May 30, 2011: "...Once I had you, I adored looking at you, studying your every feature. First, you were a girl. (I have a 50/50 chance of getting that one right)! I decided immediately on the name Ruby Joy. You had dark thick hair like mommy did when she was born. When I held you in the light, your dark hair had a very red shine to it, so that's why I decided on 'Ruby.' Your nose and mouth looked just like mom's when she was a baby, except your eyes were big and blue like your daddy's! You were the most precious thing I ever saw. We bonded right away, you were my little buddy. Now, I know this was a dream. It could've been from God or could've been all made up in my head. Whether you look like that, or are a boy with no hair (just like dad) I will be thrilled! You will be the most precious thing in the world to me - you already are! Love you little one, time for bed!" How special! I still remember that dream clearly, and she looks like it to a "t." Her hair definitely has a red tint in the light and so far she has blue-ish green-ish eyes. I love that I journaled that. <3

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Calling All Christian Moms!

Hey my other mommy friends! I am really curious - what is your daily devotion / quite time / time with the Lord like? Do you have a devotional you read? Do you read the Bible? Do you study topically or my book (of the Bible)? Do you listen to worship music (like me)? Do you listen to online sermons? When do you have your quiet time? How do you make that a priority over 'getting things done'? How much time to you spend in the Word, daily? I am soooo curious about how other mommies do it. I tend to mix it up. I love listening to sermons online, turn off the tv and turn on worship music, read a devotional + the scripture it recommends, prayer journal (occassionally) etc. Let me know your style of quiet time. I love getting ideas!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What to Write About....

As most of my posts tend to be, this one is going to be random. Just a mish-mash of my thoughts. Hence the name of my blog, so glad I titled it, "Welcome to Britney's Thoughts"! I have not blogged for a while. I've been struggling a lot with feeling not creative enough. I really enjoy blogging, and have plenty of things I like to write about. But I have a hard time not comparing my blog to others who are SO fun to read. That's part of it, the other is, as soon as I sit down to write, Ruby needs me. I find myself getting frustrated that she just happens to need me when I am about to write about her. Every single time I need to remind myself that she is my #1. I have mentally beat myself up for not keeping better records of everything she does, complete with beautiful photos to go with it. I am already behind in her baby book and the journal I started when I was pregnant. I haven't written out all my thoughts and prayers for my little girl, and I have gotten very frustrated with myself. I just want to have amazing records and memories to look back on down the road. THEN I remember that what is most important for me is to tend to her rather than write about her. ...well that was honest... Another thing I want to write about, which is also brutally honest, is my weight loss journey! I have a couple of friends with blogs specifically about their weight loss progress, and I LOVE reading their updates. If and when I blog about my weight loss, I will be vague. :) Never ever writing my actual weight numbers. So, here I go! I gained 20 pounds within 4 months of marriage. I worked hard to get fit for my wedding, then let loose when I got married. Really didn't want to 'let myself go,' but it was so dang easy. Especially with a husband who loves me unconditionally. ;) Ok, so after 4 months of marriage we found ourselves pregnant - yay! Like I said, I was up 20 pounds from wedding weight until then. I should've gained around 35 pounds with my pregnancy, but no, I gained 50! That was not all because of my baby, I'll tell you that. It was fall and Christmas time when I started putting on the weight. I loved baking and making homemade candy. OF COURSE I had to taste it all along the way. Yikes. So, when I was at the end of pregnancy I had gained 70 pounds since we got married. H.O.L.Y. C.R.A.P. Ok, so I weighed myself the day after I gave birth and I had lost 35 pounds from delivering Ruby. Yahoo! That seemed pretty cool... THEN our amazing friends and family spoiled us with delicious postpartum food which helped me gain 4-or-so pounds back. K.
one week before my wedding
beginning of April 2011 - our April Fools joke, when really we were just about to become pregnant - SURPRISE
last week of pregnancy - 70 pounds heavier than the first photo! 6 weeks after Ruby was born, Brian and I decided to join Weight Watchers together. I have the most wonderful husband. I love him for supporting me by doing it with me. Although the main reason is because he gained some baby weight too. :) So, when I joined WW, I had 19 pounds until pre-pregnancy weight, and a total of 39 pounds until wedding weight (ultimate goal). Here I am, 13 weeks after joining WW and I am down about 15 1/2 pounds! I am so happy. There have only been two weeks that I've gained weight, and it's been less than a pound each time. Slow and steady.:) So I am about 4 1/2 pounds away from pre-pregnancy weight! 24 1/2 pounds away from wedding weight. I am really encouraged. I love WW, I used the program after YWAM when I put on a ton of weight from traveling, and did GREAT. Then I did WW again the 4 months leading up to my wedding. I did great again. I know I can rely on this program and still have the freedom to eat my own food - not their brand. Listen, yes, this is personal stuff. I am semi-sensitive about talking about my weight, but I am posting this for myself. I am using this as a tool to keep myself accountable, and I hope that it encourages you, my friends, also. PHEW - that was a long post. And it was only about 2 topics. But I think I'm done writing for now. I'll post more thoughts soon, hopefully. My Ruby is going to get up any moment so it's time for me to sign off. Thank you, dear friends, for reading. I love you all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"All that I cling to..."

This song really blesses me. Shane and Shane has a way of always making me cry. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I just need you to know, that mommies are heros. If you are a loving mother - you are amazing! If you have a loving mother - you are blessed. From pregnancy, to BIRTH, to the healing after birth, to dealing with and loving on crying babies, to raising them selflessly, mothers are heros. I've always loved my mom, and always known that mothers are very special. However, since becoming a mommy myself, my heart has been touched deeply by moms.

During the last month of my pregnancy my Grandma Ruth (mom's mom) had some serious health problems. My mom wasn't able to see her mom very often because of the distance, but she was able to spend time with her in the hospital in December. After all that had happened to Grandma Ruth we knew her days were short. Something that broke my heart in such an endearing way was when my mom came home from that trip and told me, "I said my good-byes to my mommy." Heart breaking, right?? I was broken after she told me that. After what seemed to be some physical healing in my Grandma Ruth, she had a stroke a week and a half ago and died in the ambulance. I didn't have a close relationship to my grandma by any means, but the loss of a family member is very hard either way. My heart hurts mostly for my mom. She's been reminiscing about her childhood and memories of her mom. They had a very rough life, but my mom assured me, "she loved her babies." My grandma had 7 children, 4 (or so) marriages, and at least 2 miscarriages that my mom knows about. She had to drop out of school in 2nd grade to take care of her family. She had it ROUGH. But she loved her babies. That blesses my heart.

Two weeks ago there was a women's event at our church. It was a blessing to have a panel of women answering questions about being a missional woman. The one that spoke deepest to me was a wonderful mother of 4 from our church. She is WONDERFUL. She is wise. She is absolutely loving toward her husband and children. (You know who you are)! One thing she talked about was her prayer to God before having children. She told God that she did not want to be given any children unless they would come to know Jesus as their Savior. The thought of having children who would not love the Lord and end up in hell eternally, absolutely broke her. She now has 4 children, the oldest is 6. The two older girls share Jesus to each other and the younger ones. :) What a blessing. I wish I could appropriately word how beautiful this prayer was. She put my thoughts into eloquent words. I love children, but if they don't grow up to know the Lord, I would be completely devastated.

Then there's Michelle Duggar. I know most people don't like the Duggar family because of this or that, but Brian and I love them. I wish I could meet them and just chat with Michelle for hours over coffee. She is such a selfless woman of God. She has been through so much, delivering 19 babies and all. I am in awe that someone could be that selfless! What a very rare gem. I could go on....

Mothers are so incredible. I have never been so grateful for my mother as I am now. I love my daughter so much it hurts. I didn't know such a deep love could exist. Speakings of, she is crying in her crib. Time for me to love on my little Ruby. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ruby, Our Chatter Box.

My sweet sweet baby is 2 months old now. Here's some videos (as requested) of her. She's SO chatty these days. She completely amazes us. She also, lately, has been imitating anything we do. Stick out our tongue at her, make kissy lips, open eyes wide, make certain sounds, shake or nod our heads etc. Some people are afraid to think that their baby is the smartest thing ever... but I'm pretty sure Ruby is! Hehe... I just enjoy her so much.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fun Furlough

Just had to think of a silly title for this Monday... it wasn't an extra day off for Brian or anything, so the fact that it was a furlough day means nothing to us. :) It is his usual day off work, and we had a blast today. The last 3 or 4 Mondays I have been begging him to go out and do something fun, but we haven't gotten around to it. Today we played around with the idea of going to OMSI, but didn't want to spend the money. SO we went to Ikea instead. It was both of our first times at Ikea.. we both had a blast! We ended up splurging some. Why is spending money so fun?? ;-) We bough two bar stools - finally! Until now we have eaten every meal on our couch. Our house is too small for a dining table, so the counter that Brian built this last summer is now our table. I am ecstatic about it! We also got a rack to hang my purse, diaper bag, his coats, and keys. Exciting, I know! I though I'd show some pics of our new items and our beautiful daughter.

An up-close of her lovely red mittens from Holly Porter. :)

Her wintery head-band. I LOVE it!


Up close. *Ignore the scratch on the seat.. Brian did that accidentally while assembling.


...and Ruby looks like a doll. Just had to! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Simply sweet

Here's a little video I made for my sister yesterday morning. I was kissing her which usually makes her smile, but apparently can't record while kissing her. :) The best part starts at 1:08!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Ruby's Grand Entrance

WOW, she is almost 4 weeks old. In fact, tomorrow she'll be 4 weeks old, I cannot believe it. I also can't believe that with all the down time I've had, that I haven't written her birth story yet. :-p Hope you'll forgive me. I know I need to just DO it now, so that I will have it documented to remember later. So here she blows....

Saturday, December 30th was the day I went into labor. I was SO tired of being pregnant at that point - I was one day away from being 41 weeks pregnant. That day I went overboard to get labor going with the tips and tricks I had heard of in the past. I remember the day pretty clearly. I started out at Bible study in the morning with my best friend, Tara. I had had that ultrasound the day before and couldn't stop staring at the 3D (or is it 4D?) images of Ruby's face. I was SO ready to meet her! During Bible study I had some light contractions, probably just Braxton Hicks. It got semi-painful (though nothing like what I was to experience later!) enough that I had a hard time reading out loud and had someone else at the study read my chapters.

Later I went home and did all sorts of cleaning and what not around the house. I decided we needed groceries (and that I needed castor oil), so I went to Winco. It was a zoo. Went to the Winco on Lancaster, which is always busy, but especially so right before New Years. While on my way to Winco and while I was there I was texting my midwife, Patricia. I was asking if I should try castor oil and where to buy it. She first told me to try it, then asked if I could wait until the next day, because she had just delivered a baby and was tired. It makes me laugh a lot now, but at the time I was NOT happy about that! I didn't get the castor oil, but bought a HUGE can of pineapple juice. I got home, ate spicy food and had glass after glass of iced pineapple juice.

Later in the afternoon, around 4-5 o'clock I was home alone and thought my water broke. Or at least started leaking. Turns out it didn't at all. But that paired with some bloody show that I experienced right after made me start wondering. I called Brian to let him know, and he repeated out loud what I had said to him (about my water maybe breaking). His co-worker who is hilarious heard him say that and said "Man, get the F*** out of here!" That cracks me up to this day. He did come home then, and nothing new happed. We sat around, ate dinner, watched tv, not sure what was going on. My midwife told me to go to sleep early, because she felt I would go into labor that night. I didn't really listen. I made Brian do some dance videos with me to help things progress. Then we went on a walk around the neighborhood. We walked up a steep hill then did squats at the top. Must've been quite a sight!! Then we got home, calmed down a little bit and watched more tv. At 10:15 I decided I should go to bed. I did and Brian was right behind me. Right as I was starting to drift off - BOOM! My first real contraction. Wow, it was nothing like a Braxton! The contractions continued, but Brian told me to try to sleep. I tried really hard, but couldn't. They were painful! They caused me to squirm and drew tears to my eyes. I was excited! Around 1 o'clock a.m. we started timing them, they got to around 2 minutes apart. We finally called the midwife and she told us to head out to the birth center. At 2:30 a.m. we headed out. Not the most fun car ride ever!

We got there and reality set in. We are going to have a baby!! We walked in, it was quite and peaceful. We were greeted by the midwives who had prepared the room for us. We walked back into the "buttercup" room, the lighting was dim and the bath was being drawn. Again, I was excited.

First thing that happened, was the midwife checked my cervix. I was 5-6 cm dilated already! Good sign. I progressed nicely, about a cm every hour or two. Somewhere along the line, though, it must've slown down. The hours felt like minutes during labor. I coudln't believe that while I was laboring, I saw the sun come up in the morning then go back down before she was born. I felt like I was letting everybody down for not being quicker. I also wondered during labor (many times) "WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THIS MORE THAN ONCE?!" It hurt sooooooooo bad. I was expecting the contractions to just feel 'intense' not painful, but they were painful! I am surprised I didn't pull my hair out, I did pull on it a lot during labor. I also pulled Brians hair, squeezed him, bit him on the shoulder etc....... :) I only bit him once. He didn't mind. I remember making eye contact with him, my mom, or the midwives and informing them "THIS HURTS!!!!" As if they had no idea. :) I didn't understand at the time why nobody told me it would hurt so bad. BUT, they actually did.

I tried every position I could just about think of for labor. Nothing felt good, but I thought the next thing would. I labored on the toilet. I labored in the shower - both sitting and standing in it. I labored on my side on the bed. I labored in the tub - laying down, on my side, and on my knees. I labored standing and swaying with Brian. I tried it all, and it all hurt. By the time pushing came, I got scared. Pushing was scary! I felt like everything 'down there' was going to burst open. I was sure it would. I really held back during pushing, which is why it lasted 3 1/2 hours for me. My midwives, mom, and husband were all so encouraging and sweet through it all. Let me rant about him for a second:

We hadn't taken any birth classes. I thought for sure they would've helped Brian out, but it turns out he didn't need them. He knows me well. He was by my side the entire 20 hours. He never stopped encouraging me. "You can do this baby!" "You're doing so well, you are so strong!" "You're my hero!" "We are going to have a little baby girl at the end of this!" Etc. Etc. The staff was so impressed by him. They tell us all the time that he has a great reputation at the birth center. It's been suggested that he should be the male version of the 'hypno-birth' cd's. Or that he should come in and help other husbands who don't know what to do during labor. This makes me so happy. He never stopped encouraging me. He prayed for me toward the end when I was so exhausted. He was so wonderful, what a blessed woman I am!

I had pictured a water birth. That's what Bella Vie does, and that's what I was planning on. Toward the end, however, the water irritated me. I just wanted to lay on the bed. I did, and on the bed she was born. Seeing her curly dark hair making its way *slowly* into the world re-booted both of us. I think Brian teared up quite a bit once he saw her head slowly emerge...? Once her head was out, the midwives yelled his name, to reach down and grab our baby. He got to catch his first born baby, what a beautiful memory. The moment she was set on my chest from Brian (6:27 p.m.) my countenance changed. That oxitocin really works!!! I was filled with energy and joy. I examined her every feature and couldn't stop giggling. My baby is here! What a relief. She was worth all that pain. She was so beautiful. I was completely overwhelmed.

So there she was, 9 pounds 4 ounces, 22 1/2 inches long. Beautiful baby girl with a curly mohawk. I couldn't be happier, thank you, Lord!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love of My Life

Ruby Joy Bradley, the love of my life, is here now! All of you know that by now, but I needed to post something about her.

Such a joy! Birth story coming soon...