Category: Pregnancy

Okay, so I know this blog is for me and my thoughts so no one has really been waiting to find out when our baby arrived but I really have been meaning to get this story down before details escape me!


One of the last times Ryne and I would spend together with the belly.

Let me begin with the night before.  November 18, 2014.

I was feeling uncomfortable physically but emotionally, I was doing well.  I had come to peace in my mind that if this little baby did not arrive until December that I would be okay with that.  After all, I know how fast time passes so I knew I would have my baby soon and that I would for sure have him or her before Christmas.  This particular week our girl’s Bible study was meeting on Tuesday night to study our Boundaries With Kids book together.  For some reason I cannot remember now, Doug and I were busy doing something and neither of us felt like making dinner so Doug went up to Little Caesar’s and got us some cheap, greasy pizza.  I took mine over to Becky’s so I wouldn’t be super late for study and I just ate there.

Well, we didn’t quite get very much studying or discussion done that week.  We talked about all sorts of things and were laughing our heads off about silly things.  Doug texted me twice and had me rolling…for some reason the past few days I thought everything was hilarious…hormones, I guess.  He texted me that Ryne was asking the dogs to play cars with him and that one of the dogs actually did come over and was like, “okay, what’s up, let’s play”…for some reason, the scene just was so funny to me.  And then Doug told me a lady came over for his Nerium party (Nerium is a skin care line that our next door neighbor sells) and he didn’t even know he was having one.  He said he should have invited her in and ran upstairs to get a sample of Jergen’s naturals and try to sell it to her.  Again, I could just see that scenario in action and how Doug could totally pull off a prank like that for a few minutes.  Then the girls and I were all goofing off and talking about every subject under the sun, and we started to plan a get together that Friday night to watch Frozen and to all do boudoir photos…so discussing that possibility and encouraging one another was pretty funny.

Jess reminded me that the night before she went into labor she was spending time with some family and she was just rolling laughing too so I should watch out!  Amanda was rolling her eyes at me for being so silly thinking it could be a December baby because she was clearly convinced baby would be here sooner.  I told all the girls that I didn’t believe baby was in the optimal position just yet so I thought that might still be holding us back a bit.  After a fun night I headed home and took a hot bath and typed out an email to my girls thanking them for a fun night and asking for their prayers that baby would get in an occiput anterior position, that my body would remain pain free (from the cyst, pelvic pain, and other random things), and that our household would remain healthy.  I pressed send on that email on November 19, 2014 at 12:27am, got out of the bathtub (yes, I emailed from my phone in the tub…I was a big, uncomfortable pregnant lady, cut me some slack!!) and went to get ready for bed.

Before bed I rubbed a generous amount of peppermint essential oil combined with coconut oil on my lower back, as I had done a number of times before, in an attempt to get baby to turn to anterior.  Ryne decided he was going to have a bit of a rougher night sleeping so I helped Ryne into bed with us so he would sleep.  Once he was settled, I focused on visualizing our baby turning into the best position for birth and visualized what I wanted my birthing time be like.  Visualizing was one of my favorite tools from my Hypnobabies home study materials.  I love to visualize so I continued to get in a good frame of mind and drifted off to sleep.  I had a “normal” night of sleep…tossing and turning a bit, hips getting sore, and keeping Ryne’s limbs off of me.

I woke up at 5:30am and noticed that Doug was in the bathroom.  Well, I really had to go to the bathroom too and I couldn’t wait so I went into the other bathroom.  I heard Doug leave the bathroom and then return so I was concerned.  I texted him and asked if he was okay (and yes, I took my phone with me once again, because I planned to be up for the day and take a bath!) and I told him I thought I was having bad gas pains from that greasy pizza the night before because we don’t normally eat all of that.  He texted me at the same time telling me he thought he was also having gas pains.  I told him I was really uncomfortable with these gas pains plus a baby on top of it and that they were really bothering me so I was getting in the bath.  I took the time in the bath to read my verse of the day, Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”  I meditated on that verse for a little while.  I also listened to my “Childbirth in the Glory” mp3.  I love and highly recommend this album.  It has tracks with music and scripture to meditate on and is so calming and affirming to hear God’s promises for birth.  I was in the bathtub for about 35 minutes and was also having some bad back pain on top of the gas pain.  I was just very uncomfortable all around.  I texted Doug at 6:28am and told him I thought this might be labor starting but that I wasn’t sure.  I started timing these “waves”/”contractions”/”gas pains” at 6:34am.

I then went back into our bedroom and leaned over Doug, who was still lying in bed with Ryne, and told him I didn’t know what was going on.  That I was having really bad pains and I didn’t know if it was labor or not.  I breathed through a contraction leaning over Doug but I was so confused and so thirsty that I wanted to go downstairs to get some water to drink.  I made my way downstairs and dropped to the floor on my hands and knees to get through another one.  I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking at this time, other than, “holy cow, these are really challenging, I don’t remember early labor being this difficult with Ryne”.  I made it to the kitchen island and had another “wave” come over me and it was another one that rocked my world with how intense it was.  I think I got my water, or maybe I didn’t.  Doug had come downstairs at some point and was seeing what I was doing since I was completely naked walking around the house.  Doug suggested that I contact Brenda, our midwife, and Sarah, our doula, to let them know what was going on.  When I was leaning over the island, I asked him to put counter-pressure on my back through that wave but it didn’t help very much.  It somehow brought me more back to the here and now and I didn’t need to think about that, I had to focus on surviving through each wave my body gave me.  I remember all of this being very foggy in my mind.  Ethereal, out of body somehow, it is true.  I was so IN my body and strongly feeling each sensation but at the same time, the little things like getting from place to place (upstairs to downstairs and back again) just seemed like I somehow arrived wherever I wanted to be.


Maybe I should see if I can time these “pains”…

I went back upstairs and remember being back in the guest bathroom, leaning over the countertop again, turning on my Hypnobabies “Easy First Stage” and trying to wrap my head around why these felt SO different and difficult to when I was in early labor with Ryne.  I had been mindlessly timing my contractions for about 45 minutes and Doug suggested yet again that I go ahead and let Brenda and Sarah know what was going on.  I was in some serious denial and I was hesitant and told him I didn’t want to yet because “what if this ends up fading away and lasting for days like with Ryne?”  Some part of my brain knew this was the real thing so I ended up texting both Sarah and Brenda.

Texts to and from Brenda:

7:16am: (Me to Brenda) “I hope it isn’t too early to text.  I think things might be starting, but it feels really strong to be so early on…thought I had bad gas pains this morning but it has turned into something really tough and timeable, definitely contractions.”

7:26am: (Doug to Brenda) “They are lasting around a minute or more, and ranging from 3 minutes apart to 5-7 minutes apart.  Nothing super regular yet, but they are sounding really strong.”


This was the real thing, whether I was in denial or not!

Somewhere in this 15 minutes Doug tried to again, help me get through contractions…I would ask him to help and then tell him to stop, that it wasn’t helping and I just had to do it.  I also told him I didn’t care if it slowed down labor, to get that pool filled up ASAP.  I had used all the hot water in my bath in the morning and I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to fill it with hot water.  Ryne also woke up during this timeframe.  I saw him and remember talking to him and saying hi, but Doug helped him go downstairs and get some breakfast and watch something on TV to keep him distracted so Doug could still help me.  Doug brought the pool into our room and began filling it up.  He got pots of water on the stove to add to the pool when our hot water ran out.  He was rushing back and forth, caring for both me and Ryne. I’m pretty sure this was also around the time where in my head, I was trying to figure out how we could quickly get our things ready and go to the hospital because I knew I would NOT be able to have this baby at home with the contractions already being this strong and overtaking me.

7:45am: (Me to Brenda) “This is really strong feeling already, I feel like I don’t know what’s going on because it is difficult for me to handle.”

7:46am: (Brenda to Me) “Somebody needs to get in the pool, pull together.”

I was texting when I could think to, in between contractions, still in the guest bathroom, and when I got this text from Brenda, a part of my brain was like, “hey!! I AM pulling it together, I’m doing all I can do…pull it together, humph!”

7:47am: (Me to Brenda) “But I’m also afraid that this is going to go on forever or that it is going to stop and not amount to anything.  Haven’t seen any bloody show or anything.  Doug is getting pool ready now.”

7:48am: (Brenda to Me) “Ok just moving faster than your first one to hang tight I’m trying to get there.”

7:48am: (Me to Brenda) “Are you sure this is moving faster and not just baby trying to get in a better position or something? Back hurting a lot too.”

I believe with these texts I was in this “in between” place where I was finally believing this was the real thing and it really was happening quickly and also still in a bit of denial and that I was being an absolute wuss and I was doing terrible with these contractions.

7:49am: (Me to Brenda) “Feels really real”

7:50am: (Brenda to Me) “No, I am sure, on the way!”

8:00am: (Doug to Brenda) “I have Val in the tub to help out”

8:12am: (Brenda) “Getting off at the Glade Road exit right now.

Brenda arrived at our home at 8:37am

Texts to and from Sarah (our doula):

7:14am: (Me to Sarah) “I think things might be starting…but it feels really strong to be so early on…thought I had bad gas pains this morning but it has turned into something really tough”

7:16am: (Sarah to Me) “Ok. Were you able to sleep last night?  You may be starting further along this time.  How far apart and how long are they?”

7:17am: (Me to Sarah) “Yeah I was able to get some sleep.  It feels really tough this time, but I don’t know if I’m just being a wuss…or if this is going to go on for days again.”

7:18am: (Sarah to Me) “No I don’t think this will go on for days.  Sounds like today is the day.”

7:43am: (Sarah to Me) “Have you been able to time them?”

7:50am: (Me to Sarah) “Feels like too much too fast.  But I’m still worried it’s not it.  But I think it is.  Doug is setting up the pool.”  And then I sent the text with the screenshot of my contractions that were coming every 2-3 minutes lasting over a minute.

7:51am: (Sarah to Me) “I think so too.  I was honestly expecting you to go like this based on last time.  Have you called the midwife? I am going to leave here in a few minutes.”

7:51am: (Me to Sarah) “Been going on since about 530 I think.  No bloody show or anything though but I feel like I’m having trouble with these.  It came on so quick.  Brenda is on the way I think but I don’t want this to not be the real thing.  Thought I would have more time.”

7:52am: (Sarah to Me) “Ok that definitely looks like active labor patterns.  I think you just skipped over early labor.”

7:52am: (Me to Sarah) “I don’t know.  This couldn’t be all in my head right?  This is already taking a lot for me.”

7:53am: (Sarah to Me) “That was how my labor was with Finley and I kept thinking I could not be in labor yet but was complete when I got to the hospital.  I think you were just expecting it to go slower but it definitely is not in your head.  Those contractions are over a minute long.”

7:55am: (Me to Sarah) “It’s difficult to tell because I’m just in constant mode.  Feels like I don’t know that I can do this whole thing like this.”

7:56am: (Sarah to Me) “You can.  This is probably close to the worst of it.  I have a feeling you won’t have ore than 2 hours of this.”

8:01am (Doug to Sarah) “I have Val in the tub to help with things.”

8:03am (Sarah to Doug) “Ok.  It sounds like she is pretty far along.  If you can do counter pressure on her lower back, that and some soft arm strokes between.  I’m on my way in the car.”

8:04am (Doug to Sarah) “Ok see you soon.”

8:55am (Doug to Sarah) “Baby is here!”

8:57am (Sarah to Doug) “No!!!!!!!  I am almost there.”

It was very difficult for me to text through all I was going through with the waves that kept overtaking me.  Somewhere around 7:30am is when I told Doug to please get the pool set up so that I could get in soon.  I told him I didn’t care if it slowed things down, I needed to rest in the water ASAP.  At some point near 8:00am I guess Doug may have told me that the pool had water in it or maybe I just went from the bathroom to the bedroom and got in.  When I got in the pool, things continued to stay “real” and maybe I then allowed myself to let go even more, even though in my mind I still felt like I was fighting it somewhat.  When I was in the bathroom I was listening to my hypnobabies tracks about early first stage labor, which was honestly a joke since I think I somehow skipped first stage all together.  The track then changed to the Pushing Baby Out track and I don’t think I consciously heard or absorbed much of it but I do remember visualizing and thinking “open, open, down and out” like I encourage my own clients to do.  In my mind I had to think “open” because I was still somewhat nervous since Ryne had trouble getting under the pubic bone.  I was convinced that mentally I could encourage this baby to easily come down and out and that this baby was in the perfect position for birthing and working with my body.

During this time I remember Doug running up and down the stairs.  He was helping boil water and fill up the tub more and he was also keeping Ryne distracted.  I was largely alone during this time in the tub.  The sun had already risen and the soft light was filling the room.  I was aware of this natural light and I was grateful for it on some level.  In the tub things were getting even more intense.  There was never a moment where things really let up.  I was squatting in the tub and could feel baby’s limbs moving against my abdomen and remember thinking, “what is this baby doing?  Baby is supposed to be working on coming out, not on moving around and kicking me still.”  I’m sure baby really was working on moving around the way he or she needed to be, but in my mind I remember thinking it was really odd that I was doing all this work with the contractions and that the baby was just hanging out in there, still kicking at me.  I would have a contraction and vocalize and focus through it and then in between I tried to rest.  I laid down on my side in the water when I could and while it was still somewhat comfortable to try to do but at some point it all became too much and I couldn’t lie down anymore.  I remember resting in a squat in between contractions and just calling out “Your strength, Your comfort, Your rest, Your peace”.  This became my mantra.  In between every contraction I would simply call out and focus on those words.  I would say “I can’t do this without You.  Not my strength, Yours.  Your rest, Your strength, Your peace, God.”  I remember calling these out during some contractions too when I felt baby coming down.  This was such an intense and incredible experience for me.


My birth affirmations banner

When I got in the pool, this is also when my body began pushing or bearing down with the contractions even more than when I was out of the tub.  There was nothing I could do to stop it.  My body and baby were doing what they needed to do and I was along for the ride.  A wave would come and I felt such intense pressure everywhere down below.  I felt baby moving through my birth canal and the pressure becoming more intense.  Since I was alone during this time I was also trying to figure out if things were “okay” and that my body was actually progressing the way it should.  I could only assume that it was.  I reached my hand down several times to try to feel my cervix to make sure it was open so baby could come through but my mind simply couldn’t keep up with my body.  My body was doing exactly what it needed to do and so was baby.  I was able to trust the process because there was nothing else I could do.  I was reaching down to feel my cervix and I thought to myself, “I’m feeling baby’s head.  Baby is coming.  Baby is almost here.”

About that time, at 8:37am, Brenda and her assistant, Jen, arrived.  Doug calmly answered the door and everyone came upstairs.  Of course, Ryne knew something was up so he also wanted to go upstairs to see mommy.  They all came up and Brenda told me she didn’t have time to get any of her equipment out, that this baby was coming.  They were able to get baby’s heart tones with the Doppler and said everything sounded good.  I asked her if everything was okay and if baby was going to be here soon.  I needed that reassurance that everything I had been doing was right and I could further relax.  Brenda assured me that baby was about to be born.  During these next few contractions Ryne came over and gave me a kiss and held my hand.  It was exactly what I had hoped for when visualizing our birth.  I had wanted Ryne to be present but I wasn’t sure how he would do or how he would be acting.  Thankfully it was early in the morning and Ryne was interested in the birth process as opposed to causing trouble at the moment.  Within just a few minutes baby’s head was out and I could see it in the water.  The relief from the pressure on my perineum was incredible.  I just wanted to sit there and wait a few minutes so that is what I did.  I told them all that I needed a minute.  Brenda said that was fine and to take my time.  Then I decided that I was ready to have this baby out and I don’t even know that I waited for a contraction, I just pushed the rest of my baby out.  I reached down and Brenda helped me bring baby to my tummy and chest at 8:46am, just nine minutes after Brenda arrived.



Ryne was calling out “baby came out!!”  And I was crying that we just had our new baby and telling Ryne to look.  Brenda came over and was wiping baby with the towel and rubbing baby’s back to get things going.  Baby was just fine and it was at that time that she asked if we wanted to look and see what we had.  I picked baby up and found out that baby was another sweet, precious boy!  We weren’t surprised.  We were so excited to have another baby boy.  Benjamin Wald Rohde.


It’s another baby boy!

I stayed in the birth pool for another 10 minutes or so but I was ready to get out because I wanted somewhere comfortable to rest.  Brenda, Jen, and Doug helped me to get out of the tub and walk over to the bed to deliver the placenta and then I got to take a wonderful shower in my own bathroom, dress in my own comfortable, cranberry colored nursing gown, and relax back in my own bed.  Sarah arrived once I had gotten out of the tub and was delivering the placenta.  She took beautiful photos of our experience and was there for me to hold my hand while having my repairs done.  The whole experience of birthing at home was an incredible one.  I kept saying, “Can you believe we just had our baby?!  I can’t believe that just happened.  So quickly and easily.”  While I was on the bed Benjamin was weighed and measured.  He was 8lbs 4oz and 19.75in long.  He was just perfect!  And we had been through a lot together during this pregnancy already.

This birth experience was intense for sure.  The speed of it all and how quickly the contractions came on and how strong they were from the beginning.  I definitely felt disoriented but overall, my body and my baby knew what they were doing and in my mind I was somehow able to just let everything go and just ride the waves, as intense as they were.  I knew they would wash over me and then they would wash away.  I had prepared a banner in my bedroom with affirmations along with a book of the notes and encouragement from the women at my Mother’s Blessing.  Needless to say, I didn’t have the time or thought to actually use the book or my birth necklaces but I believe the act of preparing them and meditating on them was what I needed in order to let go and feel the support around me.

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My birth affirmations book from all the sweet women who attended my Mother’s Blessing.

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The rest of the day I got to love on our new little boy with Doug and Ryne.  We were so happy to welcome him into our family and are excited to see just who he becomes and the fun (and fights!) he and his brother will have in the years to come.  We are so grateful for the gifts that God has given us in building our family.  Many gifts we couldn’t even imagine just a few short years ago.  We are grateful for our birth team and that we got to spend so much time with them over the past months of pregnancy and for their continued support and knowledge.  Overall, even though this birth was different from my visualizations, it was everything I could have wanted for my first homebirth.  I am so grateful for a wonderful birth team.  Brenda’s care, skill, faith, knowledge, and wisdom throughout our entire journey.  Brenda’s open communication with me whenever I needed it provided much peace of mind and confidence in our decisions.  Brenda had to go the extra mile for us several times throughout this pregnancy and I am so appreciative; Sarah’s encouragement and willingness to listen as well as provide wonderful support throughout our journey and capture such beautiful moments for us; and I am extremely grateful to my husband for having faith in the birth process and supporting me in the decision to birth at home.

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Ryne waiting for me to get out of the shower. He was amazed by the whole thing I would imagine.

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Relaxing in our own bed after a nice, hot shower!

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Ryne playing with the midwife’s flashlight because, why not?!

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Kisses for baby Benjamin.

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Benjamin being weighed. Love that sling!

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We did it!!

“As your days, so shall your strength be.”  Deuteronomy 33:25  I am so grateful to God for His strength, His peace, His comfort, and His rest.  I am grateful for His design and His beautiful process and creation for birth.  All the glory to Him for allowing us to play even a small part in creating new life!

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Welcome to the world, Benjamin!




I’m still really amazed that I’ve made it this far!  My “estimated due date” is next Wednesday and I’m eagerly, and mostly patiently, waiting for this sweet baby to arrive!  I really can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we will have another sweet little one to love on.  It seems so surreal still.  I feel this baby moving inside of me and it is incredible.  We are ready.  We are excited.  I won’t lie and saying I’m not a little nervous to be a mom of 2 but I’m to the point where I know we will survive because that’s the only choice we have 🙂 But we will do more than survive, we will thrive and welcome this baby into our hearts and give him or her all the love we have for him or her, just like with Ryne.  And it will be so cool to see Ryne become a big brother.  I think he really will do an awesome job, even as he adjusts to sharing his home and his mom and dad.  He is such a cool little guy.  Talking and communicating so well and as always, he just keeps getting cuter and cuter each day!  We are so grateful God has entrusted us to raise these sweet babies.

As far as my plans and to do list from last time, let’s take a look at what I’ve gotten accomplished…or not!!

  • Make birth affirmation banner – DONE and hung up in our room!
    • I really need to get on this.  It is a banner I want to create for our bedroom with verses and affirmations for birth as encouragement and strength
  • Send out thank you cards from Ryne’s birthday party and one of my showers
  • Get Christmas cards started
    • Create excel sheet
    • Purchase cards
    • Purchase return address stamp
    • Purchase stamps
    • Address envelope – I’ve addressed them all and signed them, with the exception of adding new baby’s “signature” and will have to do that once we know who he or she is!  I’m also still waiting on our return address stamp to arrive, which should be tomorrow, and then all I’ll have to do is stamp that on the outside and it’ll be ready once I get the stamps on.
    • Sign Cards
    • Print pic of our family of 4 when baby arrives and include in cards
  • Send out thank you cards from second shower
  • Go on morning date with Doug on Monday, November 17th while Ryne is in school
    • Breakfast/brunch
    • Something else fun with just the two of us
  • Go to Scalini’s sometime around 40 weeks
    • Find a sitter for a dinner date
  • Pack bags for hospital
    • My bag
    • Doug’s bag
    • Ryne’s bag
    • Baby’s bag
  • Car seats installed
  • Clean out baby’s closet/organize
  • Clean out Ryne’s closet/organize  DONE mostly…I organized all his clothes in there but technically it could still use some weeding through of misc items that have just been thrown in there but honestly, it’s not a priority!
  • Keep house clean daily (we’ve been pretty good about this one lately!) – We’re still doing well with this one. All of our laundry is actually being consistently washed and put away daily, which is huge!
  • Finish decorating Christmas tree – Well…we ran into a snafu with this one because the lights on our pre-lit tree, which is only a few years old, keep blowing out.  We have to figure out what to do with it so that we can actually decorate it.
  • Put up other Christmas decor
  • Bake cookies and brownies for labor time for birth attendants and some for us for afterward
  • Go to Stone Mountain for Ryne to ride the train
  • Prep Ryne’s school activities for December – I NEED to do this TOMORROW and turn everything in on Wednesday.  So this will take up my day tomorrow.

I’m happy with what I have gotten done so far and I still have plenty to do to keep busy until baby decides to arrive.  🙂

How Far Along?  38 Weeks

Total Weight Gain?  I’m pretty sure I’m around the 40lb mark for this pregnancy, which is about where I was with Ryne, but I don’t think anyone would believe me.  My height and the way I carry the weight seems so evenly distributed that everyone things I’m just all belly and couldn’t have gained a thing.  Well, folks, I have.  And my belly IS big, it is measuring at 42 weeks already, which is par for the course how I’ve been measuring the entire time.  I do believe, and my midwife confirms, that I have a lot of fluid.  Which is great for baby and for his or her movement.

Maternity Clothes?  I am only wearing a handful of clothes right now that I feel comfortable in.  It is mostly leggings and long shirts.  It is getting difficult with the weather getting so cool in the morning and night but being upper 60s and low 70s during the day.

Stretch Marks? Lots and it is what it is.  I don’t know if there are any new ones.

Sleep?  Sleep is still not so great these days.  It is just difficult at this point to get comfortable at all.  I am in the habit of taking a long, very hot bath with lavender before bed and diffusing lavender before and while I go to sleep.

Best Moment This Week?  I am feeling better, not in as much pain, and I have more energy than in my 36th and 37th week.  That’s pretty awesome for me 🙂

Miss Anything?  Sleeping.  Comfort.  My pelvis not hurting.  It’s all good, just a few more weeks.

Movement?  Baby is still moving quite a bit at all hours of the day and night.  I’m still loving it and I’m sure I will all the way til the end!

Food Cravings?  I just love food.  Period.  I did really want a sweet tea today.

Queasy or Sick?  Nope.

Showing?  More and more every day.

Gender?  It’s a baby!  Can’t wait to meet him or her and find out!

Labor Signs?  Not really but I have had a few real contractions here and there and I am feeling things in my cervix area so I do believe my body is slowing prepping itself which is fine with me.

Belly Button In or Out?  Out

Wedding Ring On or Off?  On

Mood?  Much better than it was 2 weeks ago, thankfully, but I am still pretty irritable.

Looking Forward To?  All the things I want to accomplish from my to do list that I posted yesterday.  My date with Doug on Monday morning 🙂

I truly can’t believe I’m here.  It is surreal to me because even though this pregnancy has been so different from my pregnancy with Ryne, I guess I just really did expect my body to have this baby early.  I’m NOT complaining at all about baby needing to stay in as long as he or she needs…but I AM quite a bit more uncomfortable this time around I think.  I haven’t posted in a couple weeks because when I made that last post I was going through an issue with a TERRIBLE stomach bug that lasted an entire week and took even more time to get back to normal.   We were of course worried about dehydration and I did NOT want to go into labor with the additional pain I was experiencing from that.  It. was. awful.  But it did bring me to a place where I once again was challenged and pushed to seek His guidance for me and to truly trust in His timing and provision.  Of course I want the birth I want and I really am so ready to meet this baby, BUT I am trusting that no matter what happens, Jesus is all that matters.  And as long as I and our baby are kept healthy and safe, at the end of the day, I will accept whatever the rest of this pregnancy and birth brings to me.  I also know that God loves to provide for His children and He gets great joy from seeing us delight in the joys of our heart so I am holding on to that hope too and trusting that He knows what I want, He knows what is best, and He knows the perfect time for me to receive that fulfillment.  I am feeling in a much better place at the moment than I was about a week ago.

I’ve also stopped working outside the home at this point which is scary and new but exciting and fun…and overwhelming.  I’ll have to do an entirely different post about that but right now with 14 days to go I’ll share some of the things I am planning or looking forward to accomplishing before baby arrives.  I’m soaking up this time I have in our remaining days as a family of THREE before we become the Rohde Party of FOUR!

  • Make birth affirmation banner
    • I really need to get on this.  It is a banner I want to create for our bedroom with verses and affirmations for birth as encouragement and strength
  • Send out thank you cards from Ryne’s birthday party and one of my showers
  • Get Christmas cards started
    • Create excel sheet
    • Purchase cards
    • Purchase return address stamp
    • Purchase stamps
    • Address envelopes
    • Sign Cards
    • Print pic of our family of 4 when baby arrives and include in cards
  • Send out thank you cards from second shower
  • Go on morning date with Doug on Monday, November 17th while Ryne is in school
    • Breakfast/brunch
    • Something else fun with just the two of us
  • Go to Scalini’s sometime around 40 weeks
    • Find a sitter for a dinner date
  • Pack bags for hospital just in case
    • My bag
    • Doug’s bag
    • Ryne’s bag
  • Car seats installed
  • Clean out baby’s closet/organize
  • Clean out Ryne’s closet/organize
  • Keep house clean daily (we’ve been pretty good about this one lately!)
  • Finish decorating Christmas tree
  • Put up other Christmas decor
  • Bake cookies and brownies for labor time for birth attendants and some for us for afterward
  • Go to Stone Mountain for Ryne to ride the train
  • Prep Ryne’s school activities for December

Okay, so there’s quite a bit I would like to do.  In reality if these things don’t get done that’s okay, I’m just trying to fill my days but also relax…I really am taking it quite easy despite the looks of that list.  I know these weeks (or days) are really going to fly by and then we will be wrapped up in the whirlwind of our new baby!  Alright, I’ll be sure to put something up tomorrow with a 38 week update!

No turning back.  No turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me.

I have decided to follow Jesus.

Though I may wander, I still will follow.

Though none go with me, still I will follow.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?

No turning back.

I will follow You, Jesus.


He always knows just how to humble me.  Stop me in my pride.  Remind me of His cross.  The cross He bore for me.  For my sins.  For my uncleanliness.  To make me new.  To make me worthy.  To create in me a new heart and a new mind.  A new spirit under His authority.  He is my Jehovah Rapha.  El Shaddai.  El Elyon.  Jehovah- Raah.  Jehovah Shammah.  Jehovah Mekoddishkem.  El Olam.  Elohim.  Qanna.  Jehovah Jireh.  Jehovah Shalom.  Abba, my daddy, and Emmanuel, always with me.   He is all these things to me and more.

And He has greatly reminded me of them the past week.  Especially when I sought Him out yesterday and today through His Word.  His living and breathing Word which always fills my spirit.  Renews my mind and my heart.  Yet, I wander all too often.  What is wrong with me when I go elsewhere to be filled with the empty and useless stuff of this world?  Nothing that I seek elsewhere is truly fulfilling, whereas He can fill me with the water that truly quenches my thirst.  I am grateful that today, I have that filling.  Even when things aren’t going perfectly.  When I feel alone or afraid, I can remember that I am not alone.  I have nothing to fear.  Praise Him, who is most holy and faithful to me, even when I am not faithful to Him.  My heart weeps for that fact.  I no longer want to keep God at an arm’s length from me, pretending only to myself that I am protecting myself.  By keeping God at arm’s length I am keeping myself from His blessings and all the good that He has to give to me and to show me and to teach me.  I am far worse off when I try to manage it myself.  Thank you, God, for this humbling reminder of how much I always need You more than anything else in this world.

Since last week I have been having stomach issues that have not let up.  They have taken my energy, stolen my joy, caused fear in my heart for my upcoming labor and birth, and I am putting a stop to that NOW.  He bore the cross for me and He is all I need.  No matter what twists and turns the remaining days of this pregnancy or my labor and birth may have in store for me, at the end of the day, I can rest in Him no matter what happens.  I pray I can be an example of this to my children every day, not just once in a while.  I pray for Doug’s health and wellness to rise above whatever is in our household.  I claim healing for our family and our home and all who enter into it.  I pray for Ryne’s health through this winter/cold/flu season as well as I pray for his sweet heart as he faces the changes of welcoming a new brother or sister to our family.  I pray he will adjust well and will feel the love and joy and excitement of a new family member as well as the coming season of thankfulness and celebrating the birth of our Savior.  I pray that even as I weather this storm and come out the other side that my God would be mightily glorified above all else and that His light would shine through me.  That the devil would get under my feet during this season.  God will remove any fears, doubts, anxiety from my heart and my mind.  Every thought of mine will remain captive to God and will pass through the lens of His Kingdom before I entertain any of it.  I praise Him for His goodness forever and ever.

Thank you, Abba, daddy, and thank you Jesus for all you have done on my behalf, when I was truly the very least of these.

We’re in the 20s!!  Here’s a pregnancy update for you!

How Far Along?  35 weeks and 5 days

Total Weight Gain?  Not sure at the moment.  Although I don’t think I’ve been gaining at quite the rate I was before!

Maternity Clothes?  I made the poor decision of pants a few more times these past couple of weeks and I did regret it.  Right now it’s either skirts, dresses, or leggings with a longer top over them.

Stretch Marks? Not sure if I have any new ones…my belly was quite itchy in spots last week though so I’m sure I’ll be getting some before this one arrives but honestly, I have so many from before I don’t even know how I would recognize new ones.

Sleep?  Sleep is not so great these days.  Same as before with it being difficult to roll over and with the SPD discomfort but now it’s like whenever I wake up after a few hours of sleep, something else is hurting…like my hip, or shoulder, or back.  Eh, I guess it’s just the added weight and the ways I’m sleeping.  I’d say I can’t wait until the belly is gone so I can shed some of the weight and sleep again, BUT I won’t be sleeping much when baby arrives anyway!

Best Moment This Week?  Well, technically this is from last week but I LOVE our maternity photos.  They are absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t be happier with them.  I’ll see if I can insert some below 🙂

Miss Anything?  Sleeping.  Comfort.  Energy.

Movement?  Baby is still moving quite a bit at all hours of the day and night.  I’m still loving it and I’m sure I will all the way til the end!

Food Cravings?  I’m about to go to the store because I really want some pepperoni and sliced italian dry sausage.  There’s this brand I tried at Publix the other day and now I can’t get enough of it.

Queasy or Sick?  Nope.

Showing?  More and more every day.

Gender?  It’s a baby!  Can’t wait to meet him or her and find out!

Labor Signs?  Well, I don’t know if they’re actually “labor” signs so to speak but I do think there have been seeing signs of my body getting ready a bit.  A few days ago I started to have a lower back ache that didn’t last long but it was reminiscent of what I would experience before I get my period, which I’m pretty sure I felt a bit of before Ryne was born.  I’ve also been feeling slightly more twingy lower pelvic area types of sensations, different from the SPD ache that I usually feel.  So I’m sure my body is just doing its thing how it knows to do!

Belly Button In or Out?  Out

Wedding Ring On or Off?  On

Mood?  I’ve been MUCH more emotional and sensitive this past week.  Everything makes me upset it seems.  And Ryne has been a 2 year old little pill which has really been testing my patience constantly it seems.

Looking Forward To?  Halloween this week, meeting up at the park with family on Saturday, and then meeting this baby soon! 🙂

How in the world does the time pass so quickly??  I’ll think about writing something for the blog and then just not get around to it because of the “busyness”.  We are a month out!  Only 30 days until our guess date.  We will be meeting our baby soon.  I am so excited and have been nesting like CRAZY the past several weeks.  Wanting to clean everything top to bottom, throw away things, sell, donate, etc.  And I’ve had a decent amount of energy to do so but now I feel like I’m entering into a different phase.  Things are MOSTLY the way I’d like them as far as orderly, in its place, as clean as it’s going to get.  Now, I’m feeling that energy fading a bit as I get bigger and bigger and as I do truly believe I’m starting to feel things changing in my body to get ready for this birth.  I’m feel that I’m entering more of a restful and waiting stage.  I do feel I’d like to do a bit more meal prep but I’ve already got about 8 or 9 frozen soups and crockpot meals.  Even though some women make 20 or 30 meals, I know we’ll be fine and thankfully Doug is an excellent cook and enjoys it so even when we’re sleep deprived, we’ll surely not starve!

Now, I’m not sure when this baby will be born of course; however, with Ryne making his grand arrival at 37 weeks gestation, this time I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for any time around or after that mark with this pregnancy, which would be NEXT Wednesday.  I’m also trying to mentally prepare myself that it could still technically be December before I meet this little one.  I’m hoping he or she comes sooner but I’m also willing to let my body do its thing as it needs to and wait for the perfect time for my body and my baby.

I have been getting extremely excited and curious lately to know if we will have another son or a daughter.  I am imagining the moment where we get to meet him or her in our arms and it seems so incredible and so surreal.  When we met Ryne we knew he was a boy, and our meeting was incredible.  I cannot wait for another moment like that.  And this time we will get the added surprise of finding out the gender.  I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” about doing it either way.  It was incredibly fun finding out Ryne’s gender early on in the pregnancy by having a fun gender reveal cake at Easter and then knowing his name and planning and purchasing just for him.  This time around I can’t say I feel any more or less connected to this baby because we don’t know if baby is a he or she.  It has been fun and interesting to hear other people guess what they think it is and how they are so sure of the gender.  One grandma is certain without a doubt that it is another boy, while one of the other grandmas believes it to be a girl…one of them will be wrong, even though they are both SO set that it is what they think it is!!  Well, it won’t be both!  lol

Right now I am continuing to pray and hope and focus on the positives for this birth.  I am trusting in my body and my care team who will support me along the way.  I have my 36 week appointment tomorrow and then it’s game on from then!  I’m excited to meet with my midwife at that appointment as she will assess baby’s position again, which honestly, I don’t know that baby is in a better position despite all of my efforts, and we will review my birth plan and any other “last minute” type of things.  Our doula will also be attending that appointment so she and my midwife will be able to meet and so that we’re all on the same page, which generally I feel everyone knows my/our wishes but this just solidifies it!  Truly, I cannot imagine NOT being under the midwifery model of care with an OB toward the end of my pregnancy where I’m just another number and our appointments are short and impersonal.  I have loved having one midwife to turn to this entire time and the fact that we don’t have to wait for our appointment time and each appointment we’ve been able to bring Ryne and stay for an hour to chat and discuss prenatal information as well as share our lives a bit.  Even though our midwife is an extremely busy lady, she always manages to return my emails or texts very quickly and she helps to ease any fears or concerns that I have going into this birth.  Overall, we are just about READY to meet our newest family member in a peaceful, uncomplicated, natural birth.  I am hopeful and praying for that!

Only 71 days until our “guess date”…craziness, craziness.  I’ve been feeling a little more emotional and moody this past week… I AM getting excited for my Mother’s Blessing this Sunday but the time is passing by so quickly and I’m getting so much more uncomfortable with the extra belly weight that I guess it just feels like a lot coming down on me at once.

Anyway, I haven’t had much time to truly think about or wrap my mind around actually having a “shower” this weekend.  My mom will be coming to stay with us on Saturday and do some cake/cupcake baking as well as go out to lunch for her birthday which is the following weekend.  I am trying to think of a fun/nice place to take her.  Maybe this little grill in one of the small downtown areas near us, or another little farm to table place that isn’t too far away, or maybe just to a local pizza place, we’ll just have to see!  She is coming up for the weekend because she will be making and decorating the cake/cupcakes for my Mother’s Blessing on Sunday afternoon.

What is a Mother’s Blessing?

The practice of celebrating pregnancy and birth transcends all cultures.  Unlike the traditional American baby shower, which is usually focused on the baby, the focus of the Mother’s Blessing is on the mother as she prepares for labor, childbirth, and motherhood.

There are many ways to celebrate and at my blessing we will be making a necklace out of wooden, glass, or metal beads that each guest brings, symbolizing something that the guest believes or wishes for the mother.  We will also be sharing special thoughts, scriptures, and prayers for me to have on hand during my birthing time.

When thinking about how to celebrate this new little one, it was never a question to me of IF to celebrate, but how.  I believe that no matter how many babies you have, each life deserves a celebration, unique unto itself!  I had heard of Blessingways or Mother’s Blessings before but have never attended one but I really liked the idea of doing something a bit more meaningful to me personally than just another baby shower where people may feel obligated to purchase gifts, especially when we really feel like we were so overwhelmed with an abundance of clothing, toys, and other baby stuff for Ryne that we couldn’t possibly create another registry and ask others to get us more of those things when we really don’t need them.  Especially since we aren’t finding out the gender of the baby until he or she arrives on his or her birthday, people have wondered what they can get for us…and since we cloth diaper, people feel out of their element there when diaper parties have been suggested.  I felt by doing a “shower” this way, that we could enjoy each others’ company without a lot of material gifts and that I could walk away that day feeling loved on and encouraged by the women who mean the most to me.  I also love the idea of the gathering having a spiritual aspect too, in order to recognize and show reverence to God that this is HIS creation and that we are so grateful to simply have a hand in it as well.

I have no idea what this event will look like or how it will unfold but I am sure it will be lovely and beautiful and a very special time to look back on and to have experienced moving forward as we approach our special day of meeting our new baby!

I will be sure to update one day next week on how it all unfolded!


Wow!!  I cannot believe that we have ONLY 76 days remaining until our “guess date”!  76.  That is just a little over 2 months AND with Ryne having arrived at 37 weeks, IF this one arrives at that time we really only have approximately 55 days left…eeeeekkkk!!!  Either way, it’s getting close and quick!  I’ll go ahead and do a weekly update but it’ll be a quick one since I don’t know that much has changed in the past 2 weeks, other than we are now officially in the THIRD TRIMESTER!!

How Far Along?  29 Weeks 1 Day

Total Weight Gain?  Not sure at the moment.

Maternity Clothes?  No more pants or shorts for me if I can help it!!  I mentioned 2 weeks ago that they were starting to get uncomfortable and I reached the point a couple days ago where I was really kicking myself in the afternoon for deciding to wear pants to work rather than a dress or skirt.  During my pregnancy with Ryne I had to literally hide all of my pants toward the end so I wouldn’t make the bad decision to wear them in the morning but by the end of the day I wanted to cut them off!

Stretch Marks? If I get ’em I’ll get ’em!

Sleep?  Sleep is decent.  I am still not going to bed early enough and that really has to become a non-negotiable.  It is getting a bit more uncomfortable to roll over from side to side.  I have (what I would consider a mild case) of SPD, symphysis pubis dysfunction, confirmed by my chiropractor and with that my pelvic bone needs some frequent adjustments and rolling over can cause tenderness and it definitely does.  It has actually been about 2 weeks since my last visit with Dr. Dever and I can really tell.  I’m hoping to get over there tomorrow for some adjustments of my pubic bone as well as the SI joints in my back.

Best Moment This Week?  Baby had his/her first hiccups that I was able to feel…I think it was this past Sunday maybe.  Either way, I absolutely love and will miss all of these baby movements and bumps inside!

Miss Anything?  Not really.

Movement?  Baby is moving a lot all the time and I love it 🙂  I especially love those early morning movements when I’m about to get out of bed and Doug and I can just enjoy them for a few minutes together.

Food Cravings?  I really wanted some cream soda the other day.  Hard salami and mild pepper rings sound amazing.  I’m not really turning anything down at the moment.  Some southern-cooked, salty green beans sound divine at this very moment…and that just popped into my head!

Queasy or Sick?  Not from the pregnancy.  I think Ryne and I MAY have a slight cold but nothing too bad actually.

Showing?  More and more every day.

Gender?  It’s a baby!  Can’t wait to meet him or her and find out!

Labor Signs?  No, and I would like them to stay away for quite a while.

Belly Button In or Out?  Out

Wedding Ring On or Off?  On

Mood?  I’ve been a moody, emotional grump this past week or so.  I’ve also been missing a good bit of sleep due to attending a wonderful first time mom’s natural birth that was just awesome.  I just can’t seem to make up the sleep and with the wedding in 2 days I don’t know how possible that will be to catch up on until next week!

Looking Forward To?  Wedding rehearsal tonight, rehearsal dinner tomorrow night, wedding on Saturday, resting on Sunday, and then my Mother’s Blessing NEXT Sunday! 🙂

I’ll be making another post all about Ryne’s biggest new adventure…starting SCHOOL!!!!  🙂  For now, I’m off to wedding land!

How in the world am I already 27 weeks pregnant with this little one?  My little bird.  I have no idea…and the thought of the months ahead moving so quickly are a little difficult to wrap my brain around.  10 weeks from today when I was pregnant with Ryne (if that makes sense!) he was born!!  He was born at 37 weeks on the dot and I am wondering when this next little one will be born.  I am praying that he or she will stay comfortable at least until November 5.  That will allow us to still have the birth location that we desire and we will feel confident knowing we have reached full term again.  I also want to still keep in mind that baby COULD be born in December, as unlikely as it seems.  I know typically subsequent babies are born earlier BUT I do hold on to the hope that this baby will remain just a bit longer.  I may be kicking myself if December 1 rolls around and baby isn’t here yet but at least it should be cooler weather and I’ll have the fun of the holidays to distract me 🙂

I came across a quote today that I want to dive in deeper in another post but I do feel compelled to share it.

The home is where a woman provides the expressions of love for her husband and her children. The home is where she leads and guides and teaches and raises the godly generation. The home is where she is protected and secured from other men and potentially wicked relationships and abuses. The home is where she lodges strangers, washes saints’ feet, shows hospitality and devotes herself to every good work. That’s her sphere. And whatever of that home and whatever of the goodness of her life she can take outside and not sacrifice the home is between her and the Lord and her husband. – John MacArthur

I’ll be talking more soon about our plans once baby gets here but my heart has been pulled more and more toward my home.  Not because we are very well financially set or because I just don’t like working outside of the home, but for reasons I truly never thought I would ever consider and I do want to share them and to reflect upon them because the decisions we are making right now are ones we cannot and do not take lightly for our family.  With that being said we do feel like they are the best decisions we can make for our family right now.  We are looking to God for guidance through this time and trusting Him to guide and direct our paths while we continue to try to be obedient…which is a challenge in some areas.

Anyway, I will go ahead and give a week update up until this point and I will go back to all of the above in another post soon.

How Far Along?  27 Weeks

Total Weight Gain?  While I don’t think it is completely necessary to answer this question for other people’s curiosity, I would like to keep a bit of an update for myself to reflect back on…I may or may not answer this question every week! 🙂  Up to this point I believe I have gained about 26 pounds.  Yes, I know, that sounds insane probably, considering that it is recommended for most women to gain 25-35 during their entire pregnancy and here I am at the end of my second trimester having already reached that mark…BUT I gained about 40 pounds with Ryne and started off both that pregnancy and this one underweight for my height.  The weight gain both pregnancies has been normal, steady, and perfectly fine for my body.  I am fueling up with mostly excellent food choices, it isn’t gain due to eating junk so I feel comfortable in this weight and with my big belly!  Okay!

Maternity Clothes? This is a silly question to me because with this pregnancy I started showing so early and with the discomfort of my cyst I immediately started wearing maternity clothes.  I’m already at the point where my belly is protruding out so much that some of the smaller maternity shirts I have are already riding up in the front, unable to completely cover the belly.  I’ve got to go through what I have and see what is still fitting and what is not and what will last me these next few months!!  I’m thankful for dresses because I really don’t like anything pressing on my stomach area and I’m already to the point where shorts and pants aren’t that comfy.

Stretch Marks? I got so many stretch marks with Ryne that I haven’t even been concerned this time around about going to the trouble to put anything on my belly to attempt to prevent or lessen them.  I’m not really a lotion kind of girl so this extra step is just silly for me.  I honestly don’t have a clue that I’ll even notice new stretch marks if and when they arrive.  It’s all good.

Sleep?  Sleep has still been okay, aside from Ryne being in a sleep funk these past couple of weeks.  Once he goes back to sleeping better I will be able to get better, longer stretches of sleep.  I am trying to sleep mostly on my left side but it’s kind of annoying because this pregnancy I’ve really enjoyed lying on my back or my right side.  Of course, right??

Best Moment This Week?  I just love soaking up baby’s movements.  They are so cool and fun to me and catch me off guard sometimes.  I love lying in bed and feeling this one stretch and move.  I also love when I can get Ryne to kiss the belly or say hi to it.

Miss Anything?  Okay, so I do miss being able to do some more active type of activities that I just can’t do while pregnant.  Running, certain movements, and playing with Ryne more actively.  And don’t take this the wrong way, I am NOT a big drinker AT ALL, BUT with fall approaching and all of the fall stuff out in stores I will say I miss being able to take a taste of some Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider or some of the seasonal Blue Moon brews that are out there.  Again, I wouldn’t be drinking much of them anyway, but it sure does make me want to put my football jersey on with a good pair of jeans and sit down with one to watch a ballgame with my hubby!  With the windows open and the fall breeze coming in…sigh…I just love fall!

Movement?  Baby is moving a good bit now, although I’ve been wondering a lot what other women experience who don’t have anterior placentas like I do.  The anterior placentas kind of buffer some of the movement and because of this I feel most movement on my sides.  Baby likes to move during the day a bit at different times and especially late at night when I go to bed and in the morning.  I love baby movement!

Food Cravings?  I just love food 🙂  This weekend I heard an advertisement for the BBQ and peaches festival and we just HAD. TO. GO.  And we did.  And I had a plate of BBQ, beans, and slaw with peach cobbler a la mode.  And then I got BBQ the next day as well with some more peach cobbler…yum… Oh and sweet tea…I’ve been wanting sweet tea a lot lately.

Queasy or Sick?  Nope, thankfully haven’t had any of this the entire time.  Hoping very much that it stays that way!!

Showing?  Silly question, yes.

Gender?  To be revealed upon baby’s birthday! 🙂  And we are so excited for this.  I do wonder a lot about what gender it will be, but I am SO glad we decided not to find out until the end this time.

Labor Signs?  No, and I would like them to stay away for quite a while.

Belly Button In or Out?  That thing has been out since about 13 weeks!  I don’t know that I’ll ever have a true “innie” again after these pregnancies.  I don’t think it ever completely went back after Ryne.  Anterior placenta have anything to do with making it an outie in pregnancy?  No clue…

Wedding Ring On or Off?  On…with Ryne I didn’t end up taking it off until the very very end…like the last week or two of that pregnancy, which again, for me was around weeks 35 and 36.

Mood?  I’ve been pretty peaceful so far I think, but I definitely have my moments!!  Who doesn’t?

Looking Forward To?  A lot with all the fun events coming up.  I’m also looking forward to getting back to my hypnobabies routine and the yoga!

That is A TON for now so I’ll see ya later! 🙂