Friday, November 20, 2015

Introducing our final baby, and some other random updates!

Well, I suppose since my baby was born almost 7 months ago I should probably let you all know about it! You can read the full birth story here. The short version is that our 6th little boy was born at 38 wks, April 29, 2015, at 11:05pm after a lot of prodromal labor but a fast active labor, all natural. He got a bit stuck at the end and had Erb's palsy of his left arm from nerve damage, which luckily was better within weeks. He was 9lb 6oz (my biggest baby!) and 20.5". It took us a day to decide on a name since his gender was a surprise and we couldn't agree on one before. We finally chose Michael Thayne (Thayne is my dad's middle name). He is a sweet smiley little guy, even if he doesn't sleep well at all lol.

He's starting to sit up a bit now, rolls from back to front and then gets mad about being stuck on his belly. He babbles so much lately and is drooling all over from teething. He wakes way too much at night still but remains cheerful even if mommy is a zombie lol.

Although I'm a little sad that Rachel will never have a sister and I will never have another baby, it's for the best. My health would make another baby more difficult and we are all pretty crazy over here with 7 kids already lol.

After Mikey was born my gestational diabetes did not go away. I had bad results on a glucose test and an a1c of 7.0. I was sent to an endocrinologist who did more bloodwork and on July 31 I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid disease).

Type 1 Diabetes. Not something I ever considered. To say it has been an adjustment would be an understatement. My life revolves around my blood sugar, insulin, watching what I eat, and exhaustion. I am grateful for the technology that at least makes this easier to handle. I have a continuous glucose monitor (cgm) that checks my blood sugar every 5 minutes without me having to prick my fingers so much and makes it easier to adjust how much insulin I need. Because of that and eating better my a1c is around 5.0 now. I'm glad we caught it early, before I could get really sick, and have been able to ease into things.

Quick updates on the kids;

Jason- He's in 5th grade now. He turned 11 in September. Still a short skinny little guy for his age but lots of that preteen attitude starting to come through. He's doing well in school, and would be getting better grades if he wouldn't keep "forgetting" his homework. Favorite things are Minecraft, Legos, and playing with his friends.

Jacob- Jakey turned 9 in June and is in 4th grade. He's so smart, but sometimes has behavior problems at school still, which have been better lately. He really enjoys scouts and playing Minecraft and Legos with Jason. A few months ago we found out he needed glasses (and we had him retake his school pics with them actually on his face lol).

Nathan- Nathan just turned 7 a week ago. He's in 1st grade and full-time school now, which he loves. He's reading more and getting better at it every day. I can't believe how big he is getting. He got a bike for his birthday, he was so excited. Too bad it's starting to get cold now so he won't get to ride much before next spring.

Isaac- My little stinker. Still keeping me on my toes and so active. He loves playing with Mikey and Rachel. He gets to have me to himself for a few hours most days while the little ones nap and the other boys are at school. I've been meaning to start some preschool work with him, but haven't yet. This pic was a few weeks ago when he fell and bit through his lip and had to get 5 stitches on the inside. He was such a trooper.

Caleb- the twins are 4, almost 5. Caleb is still in preschool for his speech and other delays. He goes 4 days a week this year, 12:30-3:15. He's doing so great with it. He's also got quite a stubborn streak.

Rachel- my sweet girl. Turned 2 in August. Such a girly girl. Loves dolls and dresses and bows. She's like a little ray of sunshine. She does have her toddler tantrums too. She just started speech therapy and I really think she'll progress quickly with it. She got glasses in April and then eye surgery July 29th to fix her eyes turning in. She did great.

Here is our latest family picture, from June when Mikey as blessed.
 And a fun one from Halloween:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life is busy

I often forget about my poor little blog here. I used to be such a good little blogger, updating and posting pictures all the time. But the more kids I have, the lower on my priority list blogging has fallen. Here's a bit of an update for anyone who still actually reads my blog.

October 2014:

I'm going to skip back a bit further than my last update to a very important item that I didn't post. On October 10, 2014 my father-in-law passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. Such a shock to the whole family. We spent a week up in Idaho with the inlaws for the funeral and to spend time together. It's still odd when we are there not to have him poke his head in the kitchen every morning to ask "Are the eggs on?", or to come in from his shop and turn the thermostat down that I've turned up just for me to turn it back up again when he goes back out, or calling the boys monkeys.

More pictures from October:

First pic of the new little one, just chilling.


November 2014:
Rachel at 15 months

Jason got his Bear, Jacob got his Bobcat

Nathan turned 6

Nathan lost his first tooth

December 2014:

We moved to our new home December 20th. Yep, right before Christmas. It was an insane, crazy time. The house was a disaster of a mess for weeks with all the moving and Christmas mess. But we found a place for everything and got settled in. The house is much bigger than our old home, which is great for our big family, but not so much for trying to keep it clean lol. Especially with me being pregnant and not having energy to keep up with everything. Oh, and we did get a white Christmas! Woke up to snow Christmas morning, which only lasted a few days.

Old home

New home


January 2015:

The boys started at their new school, which they love. I was worried they would have a hard transition but they made friends right away and love their teachers. We celebrated the twins 4th birthday too. We also had the warmest January weather I've ever experienced after the snow melted the first week. The kids were often playing outside in short sleeves.

On January 20th my husband's grandfather passed away. We had just seen him after Christmas a few weeks before and he seemed fine so it was a shock that he was gone. In 3 months my poor mother-in-law lost both her husband and father, which has obviously been difficult for her.We went up to Idaho again for his funeral.

Gorgeous views from our new home

Grandpa Farnsworth

Huge garage shelving project me, Nate, and my brother Ethan built

February 2015:

Although I have had a really easy pregnancy, in fact I hardly felt pregnant at all the first 4 months, I was again diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Even though I had expected it, it still sucked to get the official diagnoses and have to start the diet. I was actually diagnosed in January just before we went up to ID for grandpa's funeral, but I didn't start the diet until after we'd come back because I knew it would be hard to keep up with while out of town dealing with everything. February was a stressful mess because of it. Last pregnancy I had an easy time getting my blood sugar under control. Not so much this time. Took weeks of trial and error to figure out how to get my meal numbers down without cutting too many carbs, and even longer and more worry to get my fasting numbers down. I was really worried that I'd end up being put on meds, but luckily just before my next appointment they had started to stay more in range so I get to avoid meds for now.

Watching the Super Bowl. Patriots won!

Ice cream

28 weeks

March 2015:

Nothing much else going on except for  being pregnant and having a messy house lol. I get to start weekly appointments and NSTs now, which is a bit of pain working them around kids school schedules and the appointments being 30 minutes away. I am 32 weeks now and should probably start preparing stuff, but since the gender is a surprise this time and the GD makes the pregnancy pass so slowly, I haven't done anything yet. I plan to get some yarn this weekend so I can start on a crochet blanket for baby. Oh, and we bought a new 12 passenger van cuz we'll be outgrowing our minivan!

Beautiful "winter" day

New 12 passenger van

Baby Butz Cream Review

My little girl has a bit of a sensitive bottom. She doesn't usually get bad rashes, but if a diaper is left on a little too long she gets a very sore, very red backside and is not happy about it. I was very happy to be sent a jar of Baby Butz Diaper Rash Cream to try out and review.

Baby Butz is a natural products that does not contain parabens, chemicals, perfumes, alcohol, or gluten. It is hypoallergenic and the main ingredients are zinc oxide, lanolin, petroletum, and cornstarch. As you can see it is a nice mild cream with ingredients meant to soothe and protect.

Shortly after I recieved the cream baby girl got a bad rash, the kind where they scream when you are changing their diaper. I put Baby Butz on her rash that night and by morning it was almost all gone! After using it again, her rash was cleared up that day. It really worked well and for some reason my little girl just loves holding the jar while I change her lol. Maybe because of the cute logo?

There was only one downfall to this diaper rash cream. It is extremely thick and hard to spread. For a baby with a sore, red bum that is not good. She did not like me putting it on because I had to use more pressure to spread the cream around, which of course hurt. Most rash creams are a lot more spreadable. For this reason, I have avoided using Baby Butz very often, because even if it works well, I don't want to be hurting my child just to apply it.

So overall impression- great cream for clearing up rashes, but needs to be more spreadable.

*Disclaimer: I received a jar of Baby Butz Cream for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions on this product are my own.*

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wait, it's almost Christmas?!

So, this year it just doesn't feel like Christmas. For one, we do not have any snow. It's been a record-breaking warm December (which I LOVE because I hate the cold!), which makes it hard to imagine Christmas coming soon. Even though I dislike snow, I do like a white Christmas.

And secondly, we are moving! Yep, we finally sold our house and put an offer on a new house. We are supposed to move the weekend before Christmas. So instead of lights on the house, a decorated fresh tree, and Christmas stuff everywhere we have a house that is getting more bare by the day and a fake empty tree sitting in the living room. Hard to get in the spirit without any visual reminders.

I finally got most of our Christmas shopping done online yesterday. We are trying to keep it really simple this year because of the move and Hubby and I told each other we aren't getting each other gifts because the new house is our present.

Speaking of the new house, I'm really excited about it! It's bigger than our current home, has 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms which is nice with our big family, and has a nice big backyard. So happy to finally have a yard for the kids to play in! Almost 1/2 acre, fully fenced, big deck, and garden area. Our dog will love having so much more room too. It's been fun trying to visualize where all our stuff will go.

Anyway, today 5 of the 6 kids are sick. Fever, throwing up, diarrhea. At least they waited until after my birthday yesterday. And hopefully they get over it quickly. Especially because the older boys are supposed to have a going away party with their friends tonight. Jason so far hasn't gotten it, and hopefully Jakey feels fine by tonight, so I'll probably just keep the little ones in my room while their friends are here, because I can't cancel because I don't have anybody's phone number lol.

Gotta go take care of my little Caleb who started it all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kupp Review

I was happy to get the chance to review these really cute kid cups through Moms Meet. The Kupp is a reusable kids glass with a BPA-free silicone sleeve. I received 4 Kupps in different colors and my kids were so excited to see them and started claiming which one was theirs.

On first impression I really liked the silicone sleeves with the handle. But I thought the glass seemed pretty thin and had a feeling that we'd have at least 1 broken by the end of the first day. I was only a little wrong. It took 2 days for the first one to get broken. One of the twins took it outside and it fell off their slide. Within a week 2 more were broken, on purpose by the other twin who took them outside and threw them on the cement on purpose to watch them shatter. So we now have 1 unbroken, and 3 empty sleeves.

Although I did like the idea of Kupp, I think they are better suited to kids 5 years and up. Little kids are just too clumsy/mischievous for fragile glass cups. My older boys had no problem keeping them intact and are always careful with our last unbroken one. I like that the Kupp and the sleeve are dishwasher safe, and you don't have to remove the sleeve to wash it. My older kids like using a glass instead of the plastic kid cups too, so it makes them happy to have one of their own.

*Disclaimer: I received this product free from Moms Meet to provide an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Well, since it's now Facebook official...

We are excited to announce baby #7, due in May 2015!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ginnybakes Review!

I recently had the chance to try and review baked goods from ginnybakes. From their website:

"at ginnybakes, our passion is to create outrageously delicious and nutritious treats for everyone to enjoy. we believe that your body deserves the finest ingredients, so we work tirelessly to bring you the best we can find. our certifications aren’t just for having a logo on the box. we are gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, vegan and kosher because we believe in quality and excellence. there’s nothing more important than nurturing the body and mind so you feel great."

The great thing about these products is how they make yummy products without all the artificial stuff that's added to everything these days. They are gluten free, vegan, kosher, organic, and non-GMO! I received boxes of premade cookies as well as cookie and brownie mixes to try out. 

I was not a fan of the premade cookies, though to be fair I don't like many premade cookies. They were too hard and crumbly for my taste. But my kids loved them and ate them faster than I expected. One exception was their bite-size snack packs of cookies, those were pretty good and a nice little treat to just grab and go.

I enjoyed the fresh made cookies and brownies from the mixes. They came out softer, though still a little crumbly, and the taste was great. I was excited to share these with my son's best friend and his family because he cannot have gluten. It was nice to have a yummy treat that he could have while he was here playing and I sent them home with a plate of cookies and a cookie mix.

I would definitely buy the ginnybakes mixes again whenever I'm in need of a gluten free baking mix.

*Disclaimer: I received free boxes of baked goods and mixes in exchange for my honest review of this product and company.*

Friday, July 11, 2014

A way past due update!

My poor little bloggy has been so neglected. :( The last "real" post I did was almost a year ago after Rachel was born. I keep thinking I need to start posting regularly again, but then life gets busier and it gets pushed to the bottom of priorities list. I'm not even going to try to catch up on everything that has happened this last year, especially because most of the pictures are on the external hard drive and I don't feel like pulling it out, finding them, and choosing what to post. So I guess a quick recap of how everything is going. Here is the most recent pic of all of us together at Jacob's baptism.

Rachel- Oh my, this sweet girl has stolen my heart! I never realized how much I would love having a daughter! Of course I love all my boys too, but there's just something amazing about having a little girl. She loves to be cuddled and will go to pretty much anyone, but then cry because she wants mommy lol. Such a mommy's girl! She has 4 teeth, crawls all over the place, pulls herself up on everything and moves around the furniture, can stand for a few seconds alone, and is not at all interested in trying to walk alone yet but will if she's holding on to something. She still nurses frequently, and eats finger foods, and is nice and chubby, growing faster than any of her brothers did! Still not saying any words (though she babbles "dadadada" a LOT) but she knows the sign for "milk" and has started using it occasionally. I love to dress her up and have way too many headbands, flowers, and bows. :) She's usually a very happy girl and such a joy.

Caleb- This boy has got quite the stubborn streak for a kid who is barely understandable lol. He thinks every electronic device in the house belongs to him and will get very mad about thing like me needing to use my phone or not letting him play a computer game. I've thought about having him tested by the school district for speech therapy, because he is not very understandable and doesn't understand things as well as Isaac.

Isaac- If I go gray early it will be from this kid! He is a big ball of energy, likes to get into everything he shouldn't, and makes messes whenever my back is turned. Whenever him and Caleb are into something it is his idea and Caleb just follows along. He is also very loving. He wants to give everyone hugs and kisses (whether or not he knows them) and is a big momma's boy. He adores Rachel so much.

Nathan- He finished up his last year of preschool at the district's developmental preschool. His speech has gotten so much better. His articulation is still a bit behind so he has an IEP to continue getting speech help in Kindergarten, though he will be in a regular class. He is a smart kid and I'm excited for him to start Kindergarten in a few weeks, I think he'll love it. He's also very stubborn and will lie to avoid getting in trouble even if you catch him red-handed.

Jacob- He is so smart. Reading above grade level, and doing math above level as well. We had him tested for the advanced placement program but he didn't qualify. His test scores were very good, way above average, but not high enough for the program, mostly his language and comprehensive skills kept him back. His handwriting is terrible and usually hardly readable, he doesn't take the time to do quality work. Hopefully 3rd grade will be helpful in challenging him more and getting him working better. He's still very sensitive and loving also. He was baptized in June too. :)

Jason- He has also had trouble in school with doing quality work and listening. He started out with some of the same behavior problems as last year- crying, not wanting to listen, throwing fits. But luckily that got a lot better as the year went on. He does great at school when he actually tries, but he still needs to work on the quality. He has a best friend who he has playdates with every week and it's been good for him to have someone he's close to. He loves to play the xbox 360 and computer and has started to get the preteen attitude about being told what to do. He's usually pretty good at doing chores and helping, though he might roll his eyes a bit lol.

Nate- he's been working hard as a software development manager. Longer hours and more responsibility. Very proud of how hard he works. We've been married 11 years in a week and it's crazy how much has happened in that 11 years! Love him so much. :)

Me- I finally got my Associate's degree last December! So happy to finally have a degree. :) I plan to eventually get my Bachelor's too, but needed to take some time off, I was so burnt out from going to the school for 3.5yrs with so many kids. In January I started as a Consultant for The Pampered Chef. I love the products and decided that would be the cheapest way for me to get them! I really enjoy doing the cooking shows and earning free and cheap stuff. It's tapered off a bit the last few months because I've been very busy, but hopefully it'll pick up again soon.

We are also getting ready to move! We spent the last 3 months getting things in our house fixed up, upgraded, painted, etc. Took a lot of time and work but the house looks amazing. It's been on the market for about 2 weeks. I'm hoping we find a buyer quickly because there is a house I really love that I want to get. We will be moving to a smaller, quieter town. Bigger yard, no busy road in front of the house, and just more quiet. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gutsy Chewy Review

I've always been a fan of natural remedies for curing common ills. My thinking is the more simple and natural it is, the better for your body it will be. When Moms Meet gave me a chance to review Gutsy Chewy, an upset tummy remedy that is all-natural, I thought that would be great.

Gutsy Chewy was created by Dr. Haghighi, a gastroenterologist and dentist, who wanted to try out the natural remedies for stomach complaints that his patients would mention. He combined papaya, apple cider vinegar, licorice root, xylitol, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. Through clinical trials he found that his digestive supplement worked very well. These chewy supplements are also lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly!

I received both the citrus and wildberry flavors to try. I don't usually have a lot of stomach issues so I wasn't sure when I'd get a chance to use it. Well, I stopped drinking soda back in January. I've had a little here and there but only a couple times since then. So last week, after a couple very late nights up painting, I had a lot of Mtn Dew to keep me going one day. It gave me a terrible upset stomach for days. I didn't even remember about my Gutsy Chewy tablets until the next day and decided it couldn't hurt to try out.

It didn't immediately make my stomach all better, but I did notice a significant decrease in discomfort within a short time. And the tablets taste ok, kind of like a giant chewy Smartie candy lol. I do keep forgetting I have them, and there have been a few more times I could have used them if I'd remembered. I'm interested in seeing how they work for my husband, who gets an upset stomach from fast food.

Right now you can get a good deal on Gutsy Chewy- buy 2, get 1 free; buy 4, get 2 free; buy 8, get 4 free; or buy 12, get 6 free.

*Disclaimer: I received free Gutsy Chewy tablets of both flavors from Moms Meet in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, May 05, 2014

Score Big with

If you love to go to events but don't want to pay full price for tickets, or the ticket vendor says they are sold out, then you will love You get to bid on ticket prices that you want, in the seating area you want. It's really simple.

First, you choose your event. There are sporting events, concerts, and more and it brings up the events available in and near your city.

Then you choose what kind of seating you want to get. If you are fine with the cheapest seats available then choose that. If you really want some 5 star seating or box seats, choose that. It shows what the average ticket cost is for that seating area.

Then you put in a bid. When you enter a number it will show what the likelihood of that bid being accepted is. You can change your bid or try your luck. Enter your information and submit your bid.

If your bid is accepted you will automatically be charged for the tickets and sent an email on how to get your tickets. If it is not accepted it will tell you an amount that you can pay and you have 2 minutes to decide if you want to get those tickets. You can go with that or bid again for a different seat rating or price.

I was give a $100 gift code to use at Around here the only event available is for Real Salt Lake games (soccer). We recently went to a game for the first time and had fun so I was excited to get some more tickets to try out. We wanted 5 star seating to try to get in the club seating section (free concessions!). The 5 star seating was either in club or front row seats.

I first bid $50 each for 2 tickets and it was not accepted. I went back later and bid $55 each. That was also not accepted but it gave me the option to buy tickets for $60 each (normally about $90 tickets). We went ahead and bought them. Unfortunately it was not in the club seating. Because it only gives 2 minutes to decide if you want the offered price I did not take the time to read the small print that said where the seats would probably be. It was front row seats though, which are still really great. But my husband did not want to sit at a game for 2-3 hours with no food and drink (they don't allow outside food/drink and it's like $4 just for water), so he ended up finding a guy at work who wanted them.

So we did not get to use our tickets, but I really liked how easy it was to use the site. The only thing I didn't like was feeling rushed to decide if I wanted to the new offered seats because I didn't actually read the fine print saying where the offered seats would be. But I would definitely be willing to use the site again the next time we want to go to a game, or if there is another local event we want to go to. I looked on the website for the stadium where the games are and it showed those tickets were sold out, so this is a great way to get those "sold out" tickets!

**Disclaimer: I was given $100 gift code to use in exchange for an honest review by**

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Smarty Pants Adult Chewable Vitamins Review

My children love taking vitamins. I'm sure that's because they come in yummy fruit snack-like chewy form. Wouldn't you be more excited about taking vitamins if they seemed like candy? I admit I've snuck some of my children's vitamins before just because they smelled yummy lol.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out some adult chewable vitamins from Smarty Pants Vitamins. These are a complete multivitamin, including Omega 3s and Vitamin D. It also is made with no artificial sweeteners, colors, or preservatives! And it is gluten and casein free with no high fructose corn syrup. I know many chewable vitamins include a lot of those things, and are basically vitamin filled fruit snacks, but these are just about as healthy as you can get a chewy vitamin.

They have a sugary citrus taste. They don't really taste like fruit snacks, so if you are expecting that you will be disappointed lol. But they are yummy enough to curb sugary cravings. And the serving size is 6 vitamins so it seems like a nice little sweet snack.

Smarty Pants Vitamins can be ordered online or can be found at Whole Foods and CVS stores. Go online to get a $5 off coupon on your first purchase.

*Disclaimer: I was given a bottle of vitamins free to review. Opinions are my own, I was not paid to give a good review.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Introducing Miss Rachel!!!

Rachel Kathleen, 8lb10oz, 21.5", Aug 9 2013
Our beautiful little girl Rachel Kathleen has joined the family!

Rachel was due August 23rd. Because I started my school semester on the 21st I really hoped she would make her entrance a few weeks sooner. Not only that but I had gestational diabetes this pregnancy and they don't like you going overdue if you have that. So my midwife agreed to try doing a membrane sweep at my appointment when I was 37w5d. It made me have some contractions and feel very crampy but that was it, so I went back the next day for another sweep, which also gave me crampy sporadic contractions. The cramping and contractions died down by bedtime that day and when I woke up on Friday the 9th at 38 wks, there was nothing at all going. I really felt that labor was not going to happen that day.

That afternoon I had to go pick up one of my foster sisters so she could stay at our house for the weekend while my mom was out of town. A few minutes after I got home with her I headed up to the bathroom and suddenly had a few small gushes of fluid. At first I thought I just took too long getting to the bathroom, but after I finished up my business and got changed and headed downstairs I had a few more gushes and started to believe my water had broken. It was about 2:15pm. This was a surprise to me as I've never had my water break until well into active labor/transition. I let Hubby know and told him that I wasn't having contractions yet so he could finish up at work and not to hurry. I also let my family know so that my mom and birth mom could head here from out of town and told Hubby to call my midwife (my phone had been dunked in the toilet a few days before and was dead, nice timing right?!) and to let his mom know too. 

My sister Kelsey showed up with her husband and son around 4pm. I finished grabbing a few things for my hospital bag that was already packed and then they watched my kids while I hopped in the shower around 4:30 to see if I could get some consistent contractions. By the time I got out of the shower around 5 I was having contractions 4-5 mins apart. My brother and his wife had showed up by then (they were going to help watch the kids while I was in labor) and Hubby got home around 5:15. I ate a granola bar and grabbed my hospital bag and everything I was taking and we (me, Hubby, sister) left for the hospital around 6pm.

In triage
Around 6:20 we got there, my midwife was already there for another birth and was excited to see me, and they put me in a triage room to check me and monitor contractions. I was 4cm and 80% and my water had definitely broken and contractions were about 4 mins apart. They finally moved me to a L&D room around 7:30 where I got hooked up to the monitors again and got my IV port (but no IV) put in. I sat in bed for a while, the contractions weren't too bad yet. 

Passing the time
My mom showed up soon after and we just talked and waited. Around 9 I asked to get up and walk around. I was 5cm and 90%. They hooked up the mobile monitors, but the contraction monitor would not pick up my contractions and I had to keep moving and holding the heartrate monitor because it would move out of place. I was very annoyed at the contraction monitor not working because I wanted to show them proof of how much I was hurting lol. Around 9:30pm we got out the birth ball to sit on and I was hooked back up to the regular machine so at least I was able to stop holding the heartrate monitor in place, even though the contractions were still not showing up.

Sweet nurse Brooke on the left, awesome midwife Julie on the right
Near 10pm I could feel that I was getting close to transition. I was getting shaky and no longer wanted to go natural. I told them I wanted an epidural. I've had natural births and didn't need to prove myself to anyway, so I decided I wanted to enjoy the end of my labor instead of dreading each contractions. My nurse, Brooke, checked me and I was 6cm and 90%. She called for anesthesia and hooked up my IV to get some fluids in quickly. When the anesthesiologist came in I was in the middle of a contraction. He was asking me if I wanted the epidural strong or light. I held up a finger for him to wait a minute as I felt baby move down and my body started to push a little. I almost asked Brooke to check me again because I knew I was complete or close to it, but I decided I wanted my epidural anyway so I said nothing cuz I didn't want them to refuse for being too far along lol. Having to sit completely still while the anesthesiologist did the epidural and my body wanted to push was torture, but luckily he was very quick and the epidural took effect quickly. Each contraction got less intense until about 5 contractions in I could no longer feel them. Unfortunately I really couldn't feel anything, he had made it way stronger than I'd wanted. But I was happy to be out of pain. He put it in around 10:30 and my midwife came in around 10:45 to put in an internal monitor and found out I was ready to push.

Feeling good after the epidural
We decided to wait to push for a little bit because we were still waiting for my birth mom and mother-in-law to show up. Around 11pm my midwife said we should start pushing because Rachel's heartrate was dropping so we needed to get her out. Pushing is so much harder when you can't feel anything! Much easier to push effectively without the epidural. But they brought in a mirror so I was able to watch everything. Birth mom and mother-in-law were able to make it there while I was pushing. I finally was able to see her head and dark hair and slowly she made her way out. 

Daddy assisting in the delivery
Hubby was gowned up and able to help deliver the baby with help from the midwife. Her shoulders got stuck a little so they had to push my knees way up by my head but she got unstuck quickly and at 11:30pm Hubby laid Rachel on me. 

First cries and lots of vernix
She didn't cry much, was covered in thick vernix, and had a full head of hair. I helped rub her down with the nurse and talked to her as we waited for the cord to stop pulsing. 

Daddy cutting the cord
Hubby was able to cut the cord and then Rachel was laid skin to skin on my chest. 

Holding her skin to skin
Thrilled mommy and daddy
Her breathing was a little wet so we had to get her to cry so she could clear out her lungs, and she gave us some loud screams and sounded much better. I just held her while the placenta was delivered (which I didn't even notice) and I was cleaned up. I asked my midwife if I had any tears, and I didn't which was awesome since I tore with my other deliveries.

Getting weighed, 8lb10oz, 21.5"
I let the nurses take her for a few minutes to weight and measure. She was 8lb 10oz and 21.5"! I was shocked at her size. Not only had I measured right on track this whole time (always measured 2wks ahead with my boys) but she was 2 weeks early too. I was thinking 7.5-8lbs tops, but she surprised us. If she'd gone to her due date she would have been my biggest baby! She was brought right back to me in a few minutes and I held her and attempted nursing. It took a few minutes to get her to latch on and then she nursed for a while. 

Daddy getting some cuddles in
I finally let Hubby take her around 12:20am and he held and cuddled her for about 15 mins until they took her to be checked out at the warmer for a few minutes. 

Checked out perfect, Apgars 8/9
They moved us to a mom and baby room around 1am and after letting the moms and my sister hold her for a while we settled in for a short night of little rest.

Brothers meeting her for the 1st time
Because of my gestational diabetes they had to check Rachel's blood sugar levels every 6 hrs the first day, and luckily they were always fine. She was also Coombs positive, which means we have different blood types that had gotten mixed during the birth which increased her chance of getting jaundice, so they had to test her bilirubin every 8 hrs during the stay. Again, luckily they were always at the low-intermediate risk level. With all those checks plus the normal vital checks for me and her, we really were not given much time to rest lol. 

Daddy's already wrapped around her little finger
But Hubby and I enjoyed the time in the hospital to just hold her and do nothing else. Anytime I wasn't nursing she was in daddy's arms, it was so sweet. 

Cute bow hospital cap a sweet nurse made for her
My milk started coming in the first day and she was eating really well, except for some trouble latching on my left side. She only got down to 8lb4oz by the time we left the hospital Sunday. At her 4 day checkup to get her bilirubin tested again she was already back to 8lb7oz, and by her 2 week checkup she was 9lb3oz. So she is a great eater.

Just home from the hospital
I have been loving having her here, cuddling, dressing her up in cute outfits, and kissing her adorable face. I don't think it's just bias that she is completely adorable, a beautiful little baby girl. The boys love her so much, always wanting to hold her and give her kisses. Here are some more pictures of her from the last 2 weeks (there's a lot!):