The events leading up to Kate’s BIRTHday are interesting… it is always neat to see how God works everything out in His way and time.  My parents came in from Atlanta on Thursday, February 18th.  They had tried to change their tickets, but they were not able to change the arrival date- only the departure date.   My dad had just retired the week before, but he and Glendamom had been busy the entire time without a chance to relax.  Coming to Tulsa early gave them an opportunity to stay in a hotel for a few days and rest before taking care of the Shaver clan.  They came to our house on Sunday, and we all began the waiting game. 

Actually, we didn’t have to wait too long because my contractions began on Monday afternoon, February 22, at 2:00.  The contractions were not very strong, though, and when our doula, Dana, came to check me at 9:00 that night, I was only dilated to a two and Kate was still high up.  I slept really well that night, and the contractions seemed to subside until the next morning.  My dad took Daniel to his swimming lessons and speech lessons that day while Mike, Glenda and I went to Lowe’s to walk (it was in the 30s that morning, so I didn’t want to walk outside).  Walking immediately made the contractions come on stronger… so we went back home and I walked on and off that afternoon since the temperature was in the 40’s.   At 5:30 Dana came by and checked me again, but despite the contractions, NO PROGRESS had been made in Kate’s position.  Ruth and Dana told me that I needed to start SQUATTING as much as possible to try to bring her down.  If things didn’t progress more by bedtime, they told me to take a tylenol PM and try to sleep and let the contractions stop again.  Well, this approach worked, and the contractions completely stopped by Wednesday morning.

  

This is everyone WAITING on Kate to make her way into the world.

 

On Wednesday I sent Mike to work and my dad and Glenda to enjoy the day doing whatever they wanted.  Daniel and I stayed home and pretended that everything was normal.   It was nice to spend quality time with him before Kate came along.  We had fun making 3 loaves of honey wheat bread with flax, foccacia bread and whole wheat cinnamon rolls.  After that we made some Irish stew for dinner.  Phew.  I didn’t get to sit down until after putting Daniel down for a very late nap, but when I did get to the chair, the contractions started again stronger than ever.   I didn’t want to get my hopes up again, so I tried to ignore them wondering if they would go away again when I went to bed.  They did calm down when I first went to sleep, but I woke up about 2:45 with the hardest ones yet.  I timed them and finally woke Mike up since they were just 4-5 minutes apart.  Mike called our midwife, Ruth, at 3:30, and she was at our house before 4:00.   When she checked me I was dilated at a 5, but Kate was still high.  We came out to the living room and proceeded to watch “Anne of Green Gables” for a couple of hours.  Dana joined us around 6:00 and I got to hop in the birthing pool to relax more.  Unfortunately there was some meconium that came out, so I was only allowed to labor in the pool, but I had to get out to push.  We woke my parents up about 7:00 when labor was speeding up and pushing was on the horizon.  They got ready quick and then got Daniel up.  It was nice to give Daniel a hug and kiss before they whisked him off to breakfast and a day at the Aquarium.

Hmmm… the hard work had begun, and I ended up trying to push Kate out for about 3 hours.  She was stuck near my pelvic bone, and even with Ruth trying to push it out of the way while I was pushing (not comfortable), we could not get her out.  Thankfully Kate and I were doing okay this whole time (ie stable blood pressure and breathing)- so other than not being able to get her out, things went well.   Finally Ruth told me that we needed to decide if we wanted to go to the hospital for a c-section since I was completely exhausted and the pain was getting more intense.  I let Mike make the decision, and he definitely said to get me to the hospital.  At that point I was ready to go, so I was thankful.  I will have to say that the ride in the car to St. John’s Hospital (Ruth drove so I could lean on Mike) and time until I got the spinal block  was the worst part of the whole birthing experience!  The combination of the excrutiating pain- contractions right on top of each other- and the sadness at having to get another c-section made everything seem like a nightmare.   We were blessed on admission to have a great orderly who grabbed my wheelchair and literally sprinted with me to the labor and delivery area… I really thought we were going to run someone over in the process.   Mike got up there as quick as he could after doing all the paperwork, and at last I was put in the operating room when I was at the point of yelling at them to “give me drugs” (never thought I would do that!!!).   I was so happy that the spinal block worked IMMEDIATELY, and I was able to relax at last.  God is so good; He gave me an awesome anesthesiologist, doctor and nurses.   In fact, my entire stay at St. John’s was completly different than the one at Hillcrest; it was way better!  Praise the Lord that there were so many people praying for us (we kept everyone updated on Facebook so that they could pray specifically).  I keep telling people that I truly got the best of both worlds… I got to have an awesome team at home helping me attempt to have Kate there (plus the opportunity to use the birthing pool) AND I got the best hospital experience that I think I could have had.  The best news, of course, is that we have a wonderfully healthy, beautiful baby girl. 

Catherine Joy Shaver was born on February 25, 2010 at 1:27 PM.  She was 8 pounds 5 ounces, and was 19 inches long.   What JOY she has brought to our family already.  Thank you, Jesus, for this blessing!

 

I am planning on getting Kate’s long, drawn-out birthday story on here soon, but in the meantime I thought I would let you get a glimpse of our little angel.  Mike and I are thrilled to present to you Miss Catherine Joy Shaver…

Okay, for those of you who have asked me for a pregnant picture, here is one.  I will do more on another day; I just had my friend, Holly, snap this one while we were working on Oklahoma Food Coop pick-up night.  Enjoy!

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We have 2 new girls in the family!  We finally found out today that we will be having a girl, Catherine Joy (“Kate”), in February!!!  It is nice to be able to talk about and pray for little Kate by name now.  Mike and I are thrilled, and I feel like it is more real now.

This afternoon we went and got a little female dog named JJ; she is a silky terrier mix.  She is a sweet little girl who is about 1.5 years old and weighs about 20 pounds.  A neighborhood friend drove by yesterday to let us know that he had put JJ up for adoption because she and his other silky terrier didn’t get a long, but that she is a great dog.  God is so good- JJ meets EVERY ONE of our “specifications” for a dog AND she was FREE!  I am sure I will have better pics in the future, but here are some quick ones that I snapped today to show everyone. 

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I found this yummy (and not very sweet) recipe for cookies on a website for the paleo diet: http://www.sonofgrok.com/2009/02/recipe-carrot-cake-caveman-cookies/.  I made some modifications based on the comments I read at the end, our own preferences and the desire to keep more enzymes and vitamins in them.   Here is the recipe I used…

1 large and 1 small carrot

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used a “powder” that I got at an Indian food store for a good price)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 egg

a few shakes pumpkin pie spice

chia seed (a couple of tablespoons or so… I was just experimenting.  I think you could toss all sorts of things in  like sesame seeds, hemp seed, etc).

Bit of honey (probably about 2ish tablespoons)

Do you like how specific I am???  I grated the carrots in the food processor and then mixed everything else in there.   I dropped them by the tablespoon full on the mat of my dehydrator trays and then flattened them a bit.  If you want to put them in the oven, you can put them in at 400* for 10-11 minutes.   I dried mine at 125* for 2 hours, flipped them (removed mat from tray) and dried them for another 2 1/2 hours.  You could do more if you want them drier, but I figured they might be best more chewy.  I hope someone will try this!

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Wow!  I have been such a blogging slacker lately!  The combo of pregancy, lots of sickness (bronchitis, sinus infection, cold- and that is just ME), and starting to homeschool Daniel for preschool this fall has taken over any possible extra time I have.   In addition, I have been trying to figure out the new camera, and finally took a BASIC photo class from my dear friend, Holly, last week.  This week I start knitting AGAIN… too bad they don’t have remedial knitting!  Maybe something will stick this time???   Okay, enough of me- I just had to make that disclaimer if anyone even looks at this site any more.   🙂

Back to Daniel’s birthday; we celebrated on Sunday, October 18th even though his birthday was the 21st.  All he wanted to do was go to the park and play with his friends, and that sounded great (and easy) to me.   He also wanted to do a Winnie the Pooh cake with plates and cups.  However, the cake we ordered for his friends was Blue’s Clues.  Hmmm… he just wanted to be well-rounded, I guess.  Even though it was windy, it was a BEAUTIFUL day, and we had a great time.  Here are some of his good friends:  

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Bessie, Sebastian, Camille and Isabella.  Quite a few people were late, so we had a small start. 

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Off to play!!!  I love this shot.  I do wish, though, that I had had my photo class before his birthday.  Oh well- we are always learning, right? 

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Cousins!  Nadia and Selena.  I can’t believe how big and beautiful they are getting.

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Camille was having fun with her party favor!

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Daniel and Nadia look like they were just “hanging out” talking. 

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Daniel and Tia Julia!

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On Daniel’s actual birthday we had fun going to Little Gym where he finished his last week of basketball (he says this is his favorite sport, and I think he looks pretty natural here).  Then we went out to lunch at Los Cabos on the river.  I sure do love our incredible little ball of energy!

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Meet my sister, Adriane, and her husband, Boxley, and beautiful little Elliott (I think I am spelling her name wrong, though).  We drove up to Asheville from Atlanta with my parents and 2 of my nieces, Madison and Makenzie, to celebrate our new family!  They had a wonderful casual wedding at their house, and we had a lot of fun.  I will try to limit my pictures again, but I sure got a lot of good ones!!!

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Daniel, Madison, and Makenzie at the hotel before the wedding.

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A  three year old trying to be patient…

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“I choose you because you smell YUMMY!”

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FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!

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This is one of my FAVORITES. 

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Parents!

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Sisters!  (yes, I am exclamation point happy… I had a great time).

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We just got back a couple of days ago from a 9 day vacation with my parents ranging from Cocoa Beach to Atlanta to Asheville, North Carolina.  It was a wonderful family vacation, but we are still recovering.  I thought I would add a few of my favorite photos since I haven’t posted in MONTHS.  I will do one post for Florida and one for North Carolina.  It is really difficult to come up with just a few pictures since I took 170 of them!!!  The picture above is taken from the balcony of our condo the first morning we were there.  It was perfect! 

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Dancing with grandmother after dinner!

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Worn out!

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Talk about RANDOM… why in the world am I showing you these strange photos of Daniel???  Because I was hoping to show in pictures (you know, the picture is worth a thousand words idea) why we ended up sadly giving Baxter back to Niki yesterday.  Daniel had a blast with him, but he just couldn’t hold his own with a strong 50 pound dog!   They would have fun wrestling, but inevitably Daniel would get PINNED under Baxter and then Bax would chew on him (playfully, of course).  I would hear Daniel crying- because it would never happen right by me- and go running to free him and inspect his new cuts and bruises.  I was trying to show you his poor little body, but I don’t think my dying camera captured it very well (but Mike has told me that I can officially look for a new camera, so better photos from me are on the horizon).   We have consoled Daniel with the thought that we will look for a LITTLE dog when we get back from vacation because we know it has been wonderful for him. 

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You just can’t beat homemade!  I had to show you a picture of one of my favorite meals from this summer… BLT, fries and garlic dill pickles.  Can you tell I’m pregnant?  The sandwich was made with homemade honey wheat bread, organic, nitrate-free bacon (I love Applegate Farms), and tomatoes from the garden.  I made the fries with organic russett potatoes cooked in beef tallow- I could have stuffed myself silly with them (wait, I DID THAT!).  Lastly, this is my first batch of lacto-fermented pickles that has turned out, but I can still do better than this.  Unfortunately, I let the garden go, and I did not have my own pickling cucumbers to use, but I did use my own dill at least.  🙂  I used the Wild Fermentation recipe for these because the Nourishing Traditions one came out AWFUL.  

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Like I said, the theme today is random!  I just had to share this photo with you because it makes me laugh.  I got these phonics fridge magnets for Daniel this morning at a garage sale, and he is having a blast with them asking me to spell words.   He said, “spell magnesium, mama”… how many 3 year olds ask for that one???  That gives you a window into life at our house. 

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Wow!  My awesome husband sure does send me beautiful flowers!  This is one of the most beatiful and exotic ones that I have seen; it even has a tropical picher plant in it.  Thank you, mi amor!

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It seems like this is one of those times in life where everything is happening all at once.   Of course you know about the house remodeling in the early summer and the new dog we got a couple of weeks ago.  We had to get a back privacy fence put up as well as a new gate since the previous one didn’t latch (not good for keeping kids or dogs in the yard).  We also finally had our water purifier installed- it has been sitting in the garage for the 4 years we have lived at this house because everyone had told us that they couldn’t figure out how to do it.  I also got my top braces put on about a month ago- this has been an adjustment. 

Of course the biggest news (most of you already know this) is that we are finally pregnant again!!!  I say “finally”, but when I look at the situation realistically I know that God’s timing is perfect.  In fact, it is better than perfect, if that can be possible.  I have been free of mercury for over a year now, so my body has had time to recover, Daniel is ALMOST free of mercury… we are hoping that he will be by December (which means less medicine and WAAAAAY less money spent on medicine), Daniel gets more and more fun every day and is at an age where he can understand what is going on and help out.   I probably could go on and on saying why this is the best timing, but I will spare you.  We just could not be more thankful. 

The baby is due February 20th, and I am about 11 weeks along.  I have been really sick for the past month, and this is why I hadn’t posted anything in soooooooooo long.  First I was really nauseous, and then I got asthma and bronchitis.  Needless to say that this has not been the best time physically in my life.  Thankfully, though, I seem to be coming out of it, and I am hoping that the nausea will subside in a few weeks as I hit my second trimester.  We decided to try to have the baby at home with a midwife and a birthing pool.  I am really excited about this since I have been researching it for the past couple of years and had hoped that I could do this despite my previous c-section.  I have my first appointment with my awesome midwife, Ruth, tomorrow, and I can’t wait to feel like this is for real.  I have kind of been holding my breath since I had a miscarriage at about 12 weeks in 2006.  Once I get past this, I think I am going to throw a party.  Please pray for us and the safety of this pregnancy!  Well, that’s all for now.  I’m worn out, and I think it is time for a power nap.