blah, blah, bio ...

We are "natural parenting" a precocious
eight year old, Adeline Brett, her three year old sis, Eliza June and their wild baby brother, Silas Augusten.

Homeschooling ...

Enduring lots of craziness ...

I am living with the life altering, disabling chronic illness
(postural orthostatic tachycardia - POTS) as a stay at
home mommy, wife & small business owner.

But most of all, we are thanking our lucky stars
that we are reveling in lots and lots of love and happiness.

If you enjoy my little, rambling blog, and have a second (literally), I would so appreciate it if you could pretty please click the banner below to vote for me (and thank you so much if you do!) ... Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

{ our home birth story }

Posted on April 15, 2014

So, Silas is turning one in exactly 15 minutes now and so I thought I had better get this blog post up already! :)

I’m not sure where to begin exactly in telling our story about baby Silas’ birth. If you’ve followed my blog since my little girl Eliza’s birth you’ll know that I’ve always wanted a home birth for my babies, but never dreamed it would be an option for me because of serious health concerns. You can read all about my thoughts before Eliza’s birth here and the actual labor and birth experience here (and what is particularly funny is that my post all about Eliza’s birth was also about 9 or 10 weeks coming and I talk all about my habit of procrastinating things that I want to do “just perfect” … just like with Silas’ birth story). I was going to talk a little about it here, but after beginning to type it all out I decided this should be about Silas and his beautiful birth only. :)

Because I’m a little emotional with my almost one year old baby boy laying next to me (and his big sister, Eliza Junebug, laying next to him), I’m going to nix the idea of a long drawn out story and give you the highlights – bullet point style. ;)

• I was in false labor for many days before he finally decided to join us for reals.

• We didn’t decide to ditch our OB until I was 37 weeks pregnant. We talk to an alternate OB choice and she’s even worse than the one we have been with (and when I say “with” I mean almost all our appointments are with her nurses and that we only have a 15% chance of her actually being at our birth). After talking with our amazing doula I realized home birth was actually an option for me.

• Then after finding out I was Group B Strep positive, my hopes of a home birth were dashed once again since we did not want to risk not having the antibiotic IV during labor and it’s rare to find a midwife who is licensed to administer one at a home birth.

• We started planning to just have the doula with us at the hospital, but we were so disappointed (our last hospital birth experience was a nightmare and we didn’t care at all for our OB).

• My doula calls a couple days later with news that she knows a nurse practitioner midwife who can administer the IV at our home during labor. We meet with her and she’s amazing.

• With all the regular contractions happening (I didn’t even want to make the 30 minute drive I was so uncomfortable), we were sure baby boy would be joining us at any time. My doula and midwife are ready, expecting our call literally any time. Scott makes a mad dash to several stores to get all the needed supplies for the home birth and my doula brings the birthing pool over and shows us how to set it up.

• The supplies sit taking up half our family room for THREE WEEKS until Silas decides he wants to finally meet us (I’m 41 weeks pregnant at this time).

• Spread around the family room and kitchen we have enough candles to light a football field, a chalkboard with “Welcome Silas” written on it and four dozen white daisies (the only non tacky flower bouquet I could find to order and have delivered because the last thing I wanted to do while in labor was go to the store, however, we did go get Starbucks and then I posed for photos in the street in the middle of all the contractions).

• I got to play with my girls, have lots of snuggles and just enjoy my family (in between those contractions that is).

• Having a doula was amazing. Scott is flippin’ awesome at being supportive, but having someone there who was only there to talk me through the tough moments, recommend better positions, etc. was so helpful. I was surprised at just how powerful simple things like being told “you can do this, you were born to do this” helped.

• The girls got to write a love letter to Silas which was placed under the lining in the pool so he would see it when he first came into the world.

• We couldn’t reach my good friend and appointed birth photographer, Robin Long, when it was time. I hurriedly showed Addie how to use my big Nikon. She took one of my favorite shots of me while laboring in the pool (see below).

• Robin finally woke up and showed up just as I was getting to the good part – minutes before Mr. Silas arrived.

• I didn’t know I was going to actually give birth in the pool. I had a mattress set up in there as well just in case. It was most comfortable to be in a squatting position at the edge of the pool for most of the intense labor.

• Adeline was there holding my hand right next to her daddy the whole time (Eliza had fallen asleep). She was so sweet and supportive – so wise for only seven years old. She had been through it before with Junebug so she was a total natural by now. She brought me a ball of playdoh so I could squeeze it while having contractions. When she put it in my face the smell made me want to puke, but at the same time I started to cry because she was so darn sweet and thoughtful. She would also offer me sips of water, rub my arm and brush the hair from my forehead. Her daddy and her made quite the team of helpers – I felt so loved.

• Scott lovingly made sure nothing by Adele came on Pandora while I was laboring. I can’t stand her. Sorry. ;) He finally found my “Silas’ Labor” playlist I compiled and put that on for me. I could not have cared less about music at that point.

• My water breaking in the birth pool was an odd feeling – like a water balloon bursting. Adeline said she saw the rush of water. It broke just five minutes before he was born.

• Scott held my hand and rubbed my back through it all, while making sure the girls were feeling loved and safe as well.

• When I was transitioning I told my doula and midwife (who was sitting back on the sofa having a cup of tea) that he was coming. They both patted my arm and said calmly, “Yes, yes … he’ll be here soon.” And I again said, “No, he’s coming NOW.” I don’t think they got it. After repeating it three or four times the midwife leaned over to look and said, “OH! He IS coming – there’s his head!!” Everyone started moving at hyper speed.

• They helped me kind of stand halfway so I could then sit and lean my back against the tub and I went into a very temporary (driven by pain) moment of “I can’t do it … can’t do it … oh, NOPE, I can’t do it.” Then all of a sudden my heart changed I just thought, “I’ve got this. My baby boy is finally here!”

• My midwife had to remind me to reach down and help Silas out … I can still remember that fuzzy little wet head under the water. Oh, my baby boy is here!!!

• And then he was in my arms. Precious, beautiful, healthy baby boy. We did it. I took a moment of looking at faces and looking at his little face to be comforted in knowing everything was good – and it was so, so good!

• He latched on to nurse immediately … the midwives and doula said he was the fastest to take to nursing that they’d ever seen, LOL.

• My amazing husband gathered my girls around their baby brother. Eliza woke up just as Silas was born and was very sleepy still. Adeline stayed awake until 3am with the rest of us.

• I was so, so, so worried about my baby Eliza Junebug. She was/is still such a mommy’s girl. I wasn’t ready to have her be my middle baby yet and neither was she. My heart broke for her. She was nursing around the clock still when I got pregnant, but as my milk dried up because of the pregnancy she weaned herself towards the end. Just like Addie had done she lost the instinct to nurse correctly, and had no suck reflex left with the milk having been gone so long (Adeline kept nursing anyway, finally weaning at 4 years old a couple weeks after Junebug was born). Eliza tried nursing a few times after Silas was born, but was unable to remember how. Unlike Addie though, she wasn’t heartbroken over it. Honestly, with three kiddos and everything else going on in our lives I don’t know if I could have nursed a toddler and newborn around the clock without losing my mind a little. I had always wanted to tandem nurse, and think it could have helped ease the transition for June, but it just may have been more challenging than I wanted to admit.

• Mr. Silas weighed a full two pounds over what the ultrasound at 40 weeks had said. Because he was close to “overdue” and it was a home birth they did an US the week prior and I was worried to death to hear how “small” he was. If he hadn’t had a giant volcano of meconium all over the blanket just seconds before he would have been 8 pounds (he actually officially weighed 7lbs 14oz and 21.25 inches).

• Being able to just lay down with my baby and nurse with my family gathered around me in my own home, the girls laying in the bed kissing their baby brother’s head, was so amazing.

• And waking up in my own bed with my family all there – unbelievably wonderful. It all felt so RIGHT for us. And, honestly, I had fears about having a home birth – we went back and forth for awhile making the decision. And then it just clicked in our hearts and we knew it was the right choice for us. The sun came in through the windows just five hours after he was born (he was born at 12:46am) … everyone was all at once excited, giddy and at peace. The girls held their baby brother as we all cuddled in our family bed and we felt so happy that the missing piece of our little clan was finally with us.

Most of the images of the birth are by my fabulous friend and extraordinary newborn photographer, Robin Long. She was working by candlelight in the middle of the night here, folks! :)

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

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This is one of the images that Adeline took of me when I thought Robin wasn’t going to make it in time and I gave her a crash course (in between contractions) in handling my camera. It’s one of my favorite photos of the experience.

Home Water Birth  - Paint the Moon

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The unsure and almost betrayed expression on Junebug’s face in these images kill me. I got her as close as humanly possible to me while I was nursing Silas. And as soon as he finished (ummmmm, he kind of liked it so we cuddled and nursed for quite a long time, lol) and the midwife did her thing, I scooped her up into my arms and she fell back to sleep.

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

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Adeline is crying in the right hand photo below because she wanted to be the first to hold Silas after me (the midwife needed to check him first).

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photos - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

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First photo by mommy. ;)

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

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Waking up with family surrounding him the next morning … just five hours old.

angel-baby-5-hours-old-copy

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Three day old tootsies …

feet2

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The afternoon I went into labor …
Junebug needed in my lap while I was bouncing through contractions. :) Getting my last self portrait while pregnant in!!

Birth Photography - Home Water Birth - Paint the Moon Actions

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A bunch of iPhone shots from the first couple days of Mr. Silas’ wonderful life …

iphone-shots

The girls wanted to throw him a birthday party … so we did, with just us five.

cake-silas

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And, finally, a photo of Mr. Silas just a few days shy of one year old and an iPhone snap of me with all my babies just waking up in the morning (big thanks to Mr. Manning for snapping that one, I adore this image). Oh my, please make time slow down!!!!

Home Water Birth | Co-Sleeping  - Paint the Moon

If you want to see more frequent photos and shares posted, please take a look at my Facebook page for Paint the Moon. I always have good intentions with keeping up my personal blog, but these little people just grow too fast to spare too much time rambling on here! ;)

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{ Baby Silas Newborn Photos Are Up }

Posted on June 16, 2013

You can see all of baby Silas’ newborn photos (and a couple current pics) up on the blog HERE, or click the image below. :) Check back here over the next week because I’ll finally be sharing our home birth story and photos! :)

Newborn Baby Photography | Soft, Indoor, Natural Light | Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

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{ our prince has arrived!! }

Posted on April 18, 2013

He’s here … I’m in love and taking time to simply soak in this beautiful time in our life. I’ll be back soon to post photos of our baby Silas and tell his birth story (we had a water home birth that was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life). :)

Welcome Baby Silas | Home Water Birth

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{ almost time }

Posted on March 29, 2013

So, I am in dire need of a new blog post here! I’ve been just soaking up every little thing in this pregnancy, since it will be my last (that makes me so sad!!!). I’ll come back when the girlies are asleep and the little man is kicking me all night to post an update! Here’s a little photo diptych I took a couple days ago. I have a feeling our little boy will be joining us very soon (I’m 39 weeks on Sunday). :) You can find my maternity session self portrait photos here.

Maternity Self Portrait In Kitchen - Paint the Moon

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{ nesting time … }

Posted on February 16, 2013

I know I’ve been absent for quite some time, but with the little boy on the way (less than two months now!!), two little girls to love on and a pretty bad POTS flare up I’ve been dealing with, I haven’t had much energy left over to blog as well. :) I’ll come back soon and share my little maternity shoot I did a couple weeks ago … with the tripod and self-timer and a little help from my husband, Scott!

And, I’ve been in full on nesting mode the past couple weeks! As I set up and organized some of the little things for baby boy I snapped a few shots. Notice I’m starting him off with little hints at photography-love all around him (he’ll be sleeping with us, so this is technically just a place for his clothes for now, LOL). Edited with Paint the Moon Luminosity Photoshop actions.

Lifestyle Photography, Nursery Baby Decor | Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

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