Monthly Archives: December 2015

Our final “Bumpdate”

This post is definitely a bit late… 6 and half weeks post-partum, but I wanted to make sure I wrote about my final week of pregnancy so that I would have it to look back on later.  So here it is…

Week 41 (or 39 as we would find out later):

This final week of my pregnancy was rather uneventful.  I moseyed around the house, cleaning and “nesting,” mostly just trying to pass the time.

Our cat had another trip to the vet, requiring yet another surgery that we weren’t quite prepared for financially.  His other ear puffed up really big and swollen.  We knew from the vet that that is how his other ear ended up being “cauliflowered” (when the ear gets all hard and folds over on itself).  This happened while we were away in China so we couldn’t do anything about it.  Anyways, we didn’t want the same thing to happen to his “good” ear, so we brought him into the vet.  Turns out he had another super bad ear infection and so they needed to put a tube in his ear.  He had to stay overnight for surgery and we picked him up the next morning.  I’m sure I looked ridiculous all big and preggo carrying a big ol’ cat carrier.  But he’s doing much better now.  We just had to bring him back in 3 weeks to get the tube out and then another week later to get his stitches out.

Friday afternoon I went over to my friend Laura’s house to see her little baby Rowan.  We took a photo only a few months earlier when the two of us were preggo together.  Anyways, I thought it might help to induce labor being around a newborn.  I was lucky enough to be able to hold him for a while while I stayed and chatted with Laura and Nathan.


Laura and I while we were both still preggo.

I left their house and ran a quick errand at HEB before heading home.  I checked our mailbox on the way (just down the block from our house) and as I got back into my car… it died.  There was NOTHING.  Thankfully, I was close enough to my house to walk my pregnant self and my small bag of groceries home.  I called Trent to let him know and for the second time that week, I was lamenting a major unforseen financial obligation.  Blast!

Saturday came and we spent our morning driving around in our “good” car trying to find a body shop that was open.  We did some reconnaissance but decided to hold off until Monday since the towing would be cheaper.  In the afternoon, we passed the time relaxing and watching college football.  Around 2, my girlfriend Heather called.  We chatted for a while before I started feeling something strange… come to find out, my water broke!  I told her I’d have to call her back later.  At this point we knew our baby boy would be coming within the next 24 hours!

Over the next few hours, we took care of last minute details, Trent painted my toenails and we took our final bump pictures- officially 39 weeks 3 days!  These would be the last pictures we’d have with Jedidiah still inside of me!

week 41

*This seems like a good place to give a shout out to our neighbor who came over the night after we got home from the birthing center.  He knocked on our door and asked what was up with our car (he must have seen us trying to jump it or just asked since it was parked outside of his duplex, which was abnormal).  He offered to take a look at it for us, so we gladly obliged and handed over the keys.  He came back about an hour later, having fixed it and parked it back in it’s regular spot.  We thanked him profusely and then praised God for this little miracle.  We sure didn’t have the money to fork over to pay for towing and a fix, so his help came at a time where it blessed us very much.  I love it when God works like that!  He does provide!*


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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Post-Partum: a reflection looking back

pregnancy a reflection

This seems like a good place to review my pregnancy, delivery, and everything post-partum… so wondering minds may want to know…


Any stretch marks?  Nope, well, not really.  I have the <em>tiniest</em> little stretch mark in between my belly button ring holes (which now look like gaping canyons with how stretched out they got).  It’s probably only a centimeter long and I’m imagining that once my stomach goes back to normal that it will be hidden underneath my belly button.

“Innie” or “Outie”?  It turned into an “outie” in my last trimester.  But now that baby boy is here, I have an “innie” again.

How much weight gain?  30 pounds.  Thankfully most of my weight gain has been only in my stomach and I’m hoping that I will return to my pre-pregnancy size soon!

Cravings?  I can’t say I necessarily had “cravings.”  Actually I haven’t necessarily had the luxury of having “cravings.”  We’re on a pretty tight budget, so there’s not extra money to run out and get me any late-night indulgences or anything of the sort.  Thankfully, I haven’t had any really crazy cravings.  I’ve eaten a lot of grapefruits (I think my body craves the sour), pickles (the vinegar?), pancakes (sugar), and ice cream (I throw that one in there but I’m not entirely certain that it has anything to do with being pregnant and entirely everything to do with the fact that America has excellent ice cream… while China does not).

How has the tattoo fared?  Well, my tattoo artist did an excellent job of placing the tattoo along my natural curves, which has only gotten better during pregnancy.  Obviously the flowers have stretched, but not in any way where they look less flower-like.  They’re just bigger.  I’m hoping that they’ll also shrink back down appropriately.  But for now, I’m very pleased with how my tattoo has fared!

Pregnancy- loved it or hated it?  LOVED IT.  With a few small exceptions, I’m so thankful I’ve had an awesome pregnancy.  It has been an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  Trent and I have both really enjoyed this pregnancy journey and have shared some precious moments with our baby boy in my belly that I will miss once he’s out.  I love feeling him move inside of me, I’ve loved watching my belly change and grow, I have loved being able to eat whatever I want (still within reason, of course) without people questioning me about quantity.  I love not having to “suck-in” for photos or worry about “love handles” or a “muffin-top.”  I have loved documenting each week of this journey and sharing it with all of you and my friends and family.  I love that God chose Trent and I to be Jedidiah’s parents and to bless us with this little bundle of joy that he’s created.  I have loved learning about the female body and what it is capable of… pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding… it’s all amazing (who else’s body actually grows a separate ORGAN just to create life!?!).  I have loved even the hard parts of this pregnancy… the parts that made me question, that made me trust, where I had to walk by faith.

Medicines?  I can honestly say that in the last 10 months I have only taken medication once.  I took Tylenol for one killer headache I had when we were in China, but I only took half the dosage and I haven’t needed any pills or medication since.  I am a firm believer that “we are what we eat” and that God gave us foods for medication.  I have been using natural remedies when necessary, but really, during this pregnancy, I haven’t even really had the need for any medication (except for that one time).  I have to say that it is amazing how good my body feels after detoxing from all the meds that society would like to prescribe for everyday ailments.

Exercise?  I’ve been doing exercise from the beginning of my pregnancy- although nothing too extreme (minus climbing a few mountains, literally).  In China we walked everywhere, so I got lots of exercise that way.  We also hiked a lot because we had some awesome places to hike and explore.  When we came back, I started doing zumba a few times a week and I’ve continued to walk and stay active for the duration of my pregnancy.  Yes, I was even at zumba after having a night of contractions one week.  I’m hoping that staying physically fit during this pregnancy will help with labor!  (It did!)

Swelling?  No swelling, except for when we flew back to the US from China.  That time (and that time alone), I thought I’d developed elephantitis!  My ankles looked like tree trunks!  Thankfully it went back down within a day or two.  I guess I also had some minor swelling in my fingers when I went out in the Texas heat for walks.

Wedding ring on or off?  On!  With no major swelling in my fingers (except when I walked outside in the heat and humidity), there was no need to take it off!

What am I looking forward to after pregnacy?  Running!  I definitely miss running outside.  Well, I actually miss working out in general- like more than just zumba or walking- like SERIOUS working out.  I can’t deny that I won’t mind having a glass of wine occasionally as well.  I’m also excited to be able to hug my husband and cuddle with him without my big ol’ belly getting in the way.

How many inches around was my belly?  40 inches at the end of my pregnancy, measured around the largest part of my belly.



What did we do to prepare for the birth?  We took birthing classes put on by Shelby Miller at the New Braunfels Family Birth Center.  These were super helpful in preparing us for labor and delivery as well as what to expect after baby was born.  Her breastfeeding class was also SUPER informative.  Even Trent was walking around for a few days afterwards talking people’s ears off about all the cool stuff we learned in our classes.

Hospital, birth center or home birth?  This time around we went with a birth center, but I’m thinking next time we may do a home birth.  We found the birth center to be very comfortable and homey.  If you want to read more about our birth, you can read our December post: A Birth Story.

Doctors or midwives?  We preferred to go with midwives.  Our pregnancy was low-risk, so we decided to go the more personable route, plus our midwives (and midwife-in-training)were awesome!  A shout out to Amber, Galyn and Shelby at the New Braunfels Family Birth Center!


Amber and Shelby, the two who delivered baby Jedidiah

Did we get induced?  Nope, although we tried nearly everything we possibly could to naturally induce labor (when we thought we were over 40 weeks).  If you want, you can read about what we tried in our post Inducing labor… naturally.  We truly found that babies will come when they’re ready.  They know and your body knows what it needs to deliver the baby safely.

Did we hire a doula?  No… not exactly.  We aren’t exactly rolling in the dough at this moment in life… in fact, quite the opposite.  We couldn’t afford to hire a doula.  Thankfully, since we were using midwives anyways, they already knew what we wanted out of our birth experience and we didn’t so much need someone to advocate for us.  Our midwife also did massage and other helpful things to help me cope with labor pains.  That being said, we kind of “lucked out” because the doula who taught our birthing class, Shelby Miller, ( is also a midwife apprentice and she was able to be present at our birth.  We were super thankful that she was there to share the experience with us!

Did I use drugs?  Nope.  In fact, you might think this is crazy, but I didn’t even once think about drugs during my labor experience.  I think part of it is the mindset I had going into the whole thing… I knew that if I wanted to deliver in the birthing center, that drugs were not an option.  I also didn’t want to use the drugs because after all I’ve learned that a woman’s body is capable of, it was really empowering to give birth naturally.

Am I happy with my birth experience?  Absolutely.  It was hard… the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also, by far the most rewarding.  I had amazing encouragement from Amber and Shelby, my mother-in-law, Trent and my girlfriend Heather.  Most importantly, it brought me my sweet baby boy!

What was the hardest part?  For me it wasn’t so much the labor (although it was in no way, shape, or form “easy”), but the pushing.  After I got past the intensity of the contractions caused by the castor oil, I opened up pretty quickly- in only a few hours.  However, I pushed for 3 1/2 hours, and that is where I felt like I wanted to give up!  Thankfully, I knew I couldn’t.  I had to keep pushing, I had to get my baby out.  There was no other option!

Did I tear?  Yes, but only a little bit., not enough to need repair.  I almost wish I would have just torn more significantly just so I wouldn’t have had to push so dang long!  But my body knew that Jedidiah would have to come down and out slowly so that I could stretch accordingly.  I’m glad that my body and my baby knew what to do.

What was my biggest fear?  Well, the pain… duh.  But after I was pushing for so long, my fear was that he would go into distress or that I physically wouldn’t be able to push him out.  Thank goodness Jedidiah’s heart rate never spiked or dropped significantly… he always recovered very well from each contraction.  And even though we talked about cutting me, we ended up not needing to and Jedi came out on his own!

Who was present at our birth?  Well, obviously our midwife, Amber Reidel and doula/midwife apprentice Shelby Miller.  Other than the two of them, we had our friend Heather Mosby there to take photos for us.  And although originally I hadn’t wanted anyone else there (I just wanted it to be Trent and I), I am super thankful that my mother-in-law was also present.

Visitors?  We chose not to have visitors while we were at the birth center, only because we wanted to have time to rest, recover and bond as a family.  I don’t regret that decision one bit.  Trent, Jedi and I treasured that time together.



What was I least prepared for?  I could not believe how sore my body was over the next few days!  WOW… I could barely move.  And I’m not just talking about “down there,” no, this was a whole-body, just did an Iron-Man, got hit by a Mack truck kind of pain.  My arms were sore from bracing myself to push, even my neck was sore from that!

How much weight have I lost?  Well, just over a month after having him, I’ve lost 23 pounds of my baby weight.  I’m only 7 pounds over my starting weight, but I can’t fit into any of my pre-pregnancy pants yet.

Breastfeeding?  Yes, exclusively.  Breastfeeding is HARD.  Again, WOW.  It could be a full-time job for how much our little man eats!  The first two weeks were the hardest… man, my nipples hurt so bad.  But little man’s latch was good, I just needed to build up my endurance.  Now things have gotten much easier (I didn’t say “easy,” but “easier…”) and we are into more of a rhythm.

Other challenges?  For me pumping was a challenge.  I was worried about my supply, but my midwives suggested that I pump on one breasts while he’s feeding on the other.  Apparently, the pump by itself just couldn’t trigger a let-down.  So, now we’ve figured that out.  Also, we purposely waited to introduce a pacifier until his breastfeeding routines were established, but now he really doesn’t take one.  We’ve tried many times and have only been successful a few times.  He doesn’t like the pacifier (and we’ve tried several different kinds)!

How am I now?  I feel great!  Well, tired, of course, but great otherwise.  My only complaint is that my tail bone still hurts quite a bit, so sitting for long periods of time, or in hard chairs hurts quite a bit.  My midwives said that this is from the high amounts of relaxin released to prepare my body for delivery.  They said that this hormone can remain in the body for up to 6 months after delivery.

What was most helpful?  MEALS!!!  Thank you to everyone who cooked for us or brought us something to eat.  That helped us survive for those first few weeks.  We would have been eating PB & J’s or cereal every meal otherwise.  We also had people do other amazing things for us, like mowing our lawn.  🙂

Do I miss being pregnant?  I thought I would, but I haven’t missed it as much as I thought I might.  Don’t get me wrong, I deeply treasured the time I was pregnant, but now that my little man is here, I’m so thankful and love spending time cuddling and playing with him that I don’t hardly have time to miss it!

Thank you to everyone who followed our pregnancy story through our weekly and monthly “Bumpdates.”  If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer, leave a comment and I’ll try to respond.  Thanks for reading!

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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


Christmas letter 2015

christmas card

2015 in review…

This was our second year living and teaching in Qingdao, China. Trent and I were lucky enough to be able to co-teach Kindergarten and Pre-K this year (Trent also helped with 1st grade). We had a wonderful, fun-filled year of learning and were blessed with amazing students and families! Trent and I coached the varsity girls’ basketball team for our second season and were also in charge of organizing this year’s talent show. Ending on such a high note made it hard to leave our friends and colleagues at QISS. If you’d like to learn more about our school year, check out my teacher website at:


basketball team

In February we found out that we were pregnant!!! Trent and I were so excited to be welcoming a baby into our family. Just before leaving Qingdao, we found out we were having a boy!

T and A looking down

As far as International travels go, we took our first trip over (last) Christmas and New Years to the Philippines and Vietnam. We rented a motorcycle and rode around the island of Palawan and did some island hopping before visiting Boracay where we went horseback riding, swam at the beach and I became a mermaid. We spent our time in Vietnam in the northern region, visiting Hanoi and the beautiful Halong Bay. A few weeks later we visited Harbin, China to see the world famous Snow and Ice Festival. In February we traveled to Beijing again with our girls’ basketball team for our 2nd annual ACAMIS appearance (Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Schools). Other travels this year included a trip over Chinese New Year to Malaysia and Indonesia. In Malaysia we visited some good friends from San Antonio that teach internationally in Kuala Lumpur. We also visited the oldest rainforest in the world, Taman Negara. After that, we went to Bali where we rode camels, climbed a volcano and spent some time by the beach. In June we traveled back to the United States of America, making our final return from our adventures in Asia.

Domestic travels included a visit to see my family in Minnesota for several weeks before returning to our home in San Antonio, TX. During our time there, we were blessed to be able to see and spend time with some good friends from China (Sing it with me now, “It’s a small world after all…”). We were able to attend our friend’s wedding in Iowa as well as spend a weekend of fun at our friend Warren’s house in Two Harbors. Back in Texas, we visited Dallas and Georgetown to visit some of our best friends from China as well as some family.


Time with my family in MN

When we returned to San Antonio in July, Trent started looking for a job. We are thankful to report that he was hired at Windcrest Elementary school in North East Independent School District. He began work in August. I am lucky enough to be able to stay home with our little guy this year. One of the blessings of living abroad was that we were able to pay off all of our debt (Yay)! This has allowed me to stay at home for this season of life. I will be looking into teaching Spanish courses for home school students this next year.


The biggest news of the year is that we welcomed our baby boy, Jedidiah James, into the world on the morning of November 15th, 2015. We absolutely love being parents and couldn’t adore our little boy any more. We look forward to visiting his grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles in Minnesota this Christmas season. Baby boy will be well traveled as he has already taken a road trip to Dallas and Austin to visit friends and family. We were also very blessed to have had several baby showers thrown for us – in China, Minnesota, and Texas. Trent and I are very grateful that this baby of ours is so loved by so many all around the world!

Wishing you and your family a Christmas season that’s merry and bright. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given… and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Thank God for the grace that came through a sweet baby boy over 2,000 years go! A merriest CHRISTmas to you!

With Love, the Logsdons



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Posted by on December 21, 2015 in Uncategorized


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A fall photo scavenger hunt

A few months ago, my girlfriend Heather posted this Fall Scavenger Hunt Photo challenge.  I swore to myself that I would do it so that I could practice using our new camera, but somehow never really got around to it.  BUT I did take some photos, so I will at least post what I have!  PS-Trent gets some credit for some of these shots- it was a dual effort!

Here was the original list:

fall scavenger hunt

A heart-shaped leaf.  Well, this one isn’t actually SHAPED like a heart, but the other leaf in front of it gives it an (upside-down) heart-shaped appearance.  (The red leaf in the center of the picture)

Leaves falling.  I took this one while we were in our back yard enjoying the beautiful fall weather (unfortunately for us, “fall” wasn’t here until mid-DECEMBER!)  The first picture doesn’t exactly capture the leaves actually falling; however, you will see in the second picture that those leaves are very much responsible for the leaves that were already fallen.



A warm drink.  This cup of delicious cocoa was made for me by Zach Mosby on Thanksgiving morning.  I’m so thankful for the Mosby’s!


Your favorite sweater. Your favorite scarf.  I decided to combine these two into one shot.  I can’t say that any of these are my favorites necessarily because I have so many that I love.


Tall boots.  These are my rain boots.  I love them!


A fall sunset.  We took this one after a celebration at our church.  #Revyourlife

fall sunset

A fall run.  Well… this was more like a fall walk.  But I was super pregnant through most of the early fall and then I had a baby, so a fall run (as awesome as it sounds) was not in the cards for me.

a fall run

Pumpkins.  These colorful pumpkins were on display outside of HEB.  They were beautiful!

fall vegetables


Jack-o-lantern.  Ashamedly, an itty-bitty plastic one was as good as I could do.


Halloween costume.  Trent’s zombie obsession on display… the zombie family, complete with the zombie baby trying to break out of my belly.  This was at De Voir Fitness where I do zumba.  We ended up scaring a few small children, but after talking to them and explaining that my costume wasn’t real, we were cool.


A fall baked good.  I used our pumpkin to make this yummy recipe with wild rice.  It was super tasty and very fall-esque.

fall baked good

A fall soup.  I made a delicious soup from acorn squash.  I have to admit that I LOVE soups made from squash.  There’s just something delicious and hearty about them.


A leaf pile.  Well… we live in South Texas, so the leaves barely even fall until early December… so we don’t so much have leaf piles… this is as good as I can do!



Fall veggies.  This photo was taken at the St. Paul Evangelical Church pumpkin patch.  This is the church where Trent and I got married.  🙂


A fall activity.  Sorry, I realize I’m only supposed to pick one photo for each category, but these were so much fun to take, I couldn’t choose just one!

Thanksgiving meal.  We spent our first Thanksgiving with our sweet baby Jedidiah only 5 days old!


A fall get-together.  It’s only appropriate that I use a photo from Heather’s vampire murder mystery party for this one (since she posted this scavenger hunt).  We had so much fun!


A candle burning.  I can’t take credit for this photo, but I wanted to include it because it is very special to me.  Heather gets the credit for this one.  She took this shot at the New Braunfels Family Birth Center while I was laboring with my little Jedi.


Something warm and cozy.  Okay, sorry in advance that I couldn’t choose just one for this category… what could be cozier than cats and babies???

warm and cozy2

warm and cozy


Cozied up in the sling next to his momma.

Something you’re thankful for.  My precious little family.

t and j

Trick-or-treat.  This year we went trick-or-treating with some good friends and their kids.  Trent stashed his candy in his bra (there’s a line I never thought I’d say…) except for the chocolate, which I “helped” take care of. 😉

trick or treat


And there you have it!  This was a fun thing to do.  Thanks for the challenge, Heather!


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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Bubba’s first road trip


Our little bubba was 10 days old when we left on our first road trip.  It wasn’t a terribly long or complicated one, but we did decide to drive to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Why?  Well, to get our little guy circumcised.  Now, you, along with many others are probably asking the logical question, “WHY?”  Why would we drive all the way to Dallas to get Jedidiah circumcised when there are plenty of places right here in San Antonio that will do it?  Well, here’s our reason.  Rabbi Mike.  Let me explain.

In our birthing and newborn classes we learned about all the different options for birth, after-birth, etc.  Circumcision was one of the things we talked about.  There has been a lot of research lately done about circumcision and the amount of pain actually felt and remembered by the child.  The research was convincing enough that Trent and I were seriously considering not circumcising our little boy at all.  We cringed at the thought of him being strapped down on a plastic bed without us present and having to undergo a procedure with harsh instruments like a Plastibell that can take 10-20 minutes to perform.  We just couldn’t justify putting him through that kind of pain for what now-a-days is a more cosmetic surgery than anything.

That being said, our faith is very important to us and circumcision was originally a command given to the Israelites to set them apart from other nations and peoples.  It was an outward sign and foreshadowing of the “circumcision of the heart” that would be revealed through Jesus.  Trent and I still thought it was important (even though the Bible makes it clear in the New Testament that outward circumcision is not what God desires; rather, he desires our hearts).  Here’s where Rabbi Mike comes in.  He came recommended to us by our doula, Shelby, as well as by some friends who knew people who had used him and had been very satisfied.  Initially when we contacted him, we didn’t realize that he was based out of Dallas, but after looking at his webpage and reading about his techniques and some of the testimonials of families, we decided it was worth the trip.  I will link his page here in case anyone else is interested.  He is a mohel (someone who specializes in circumcisions) who travels all around the U.S. doing circumcisions.

Click on “brochure” to read more about what he does.

So, after talking to him on the phone, we had set up an appointment for Wednesday, November 26th at 1:40pm.  Initially we were going to try to drive up to Dallas (about 4 and a half hours away) and back in the same day, but then thinking better of it (and realizing that the next day was Thanksgiving and there would likely be  a lot of traffic), we decided to try to head up on Tuesday instead.  I got in touch with my aunt and uncle (who is also my Godfather) who recently moved to the Fort Worth area to see if they would be interested in some company Tuesday night.  Thankfully, they were very accommodating and told us that we could come stay with them for the night.

We headed out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after 1:30.  It had been our goal to leave around noon, but we are learning that with a newborn, things are much harder than that.  He runs the show now.  We drove all the way there, only needing to stop and nurse and change him a few times.  Jedidiah did great in the car, he slept nearly the whole way there!

We arrived in Weatherford around 7:30pm and were welcomed by my nearly- 12 year old cousin, Ashley (who I hadn’t seen in almost 6 years).  David and Robyn came out and gave us a tour of their beautiful new house, then the cooked us a delicious dinner of pork chops, mashed potatoes, and green beans with mushrooms.  Trent and I ate like we hadn’t been fed in years and then we sat and caught up with everyone.  We had a really great time with them.

We hung out for a bit the next morning and then headed to Dallas to the synagogue Tifaret Israel where he circumcision would be performed.  I had forgotten just how big Dallas and Fort Worth were, but it took us an hour and a half to get from one spot to the other.  We arrived with enough time for me to nurse Jedidiah before going in.  There were lots of families with babies in the parking lot and we chatted with one family as we went in.  They had 6 boys (6!) and had had the older 5 circumcised in a hospital.  They were VERY pleased with the procedure that they had just had and raved about how much better it was than the previous procedures they had had in the hospital.  They helped put my mind at ease.  The car ride there had been a tough one for both Trent and I, we were both a little anxious for our little guy and worried about the pain he would feel.  No parent wants to see their child in pain!

We went inside where there were several other families who had just finished with their circumcisions, and the family before us was also from San Antonio, which made us feel not so crazy for driving all that way just to have this circumcision done by Rabbi Mike; clearly there were others who felt just as strongly about this as we did.


We filled out some paperwork and then the rabbi began explaining the procedure to us using his button-up dress shirt to describe what would be happening.  He stuck out his left arm and pulled the cuff over his hand.  He explained that this is how baby’s penis is right now (and then jokingly pulled it in towards his body and said that some babies penises are more like this).  Then he stuck his hand out.  “This,” he said, “is how we want the penis to be.”  He then showed us using the cuff again how he would insert a tool into the penis and would go around the penis to separate the adhesive tissues keeping the foreskin on.  He explained that this would hurt in the way that pulling off a Band-Aid would (not too painful).  That would be the worst part of the procedure.  Then he would push the penis back and clamp off the foreskin.  This would cut off all blood-flow and nerve endings to the area.  Once the clamp was on, he would slice off the foreskin using a razor blade.  This part he would not feel.  Once he finished, he would let the penis back out and, ta-da, the circumcision would be complete.

It was our turn.  We followed him back to a room and laid Jedidiah on a comfortable pillow.  We removed his diaper and daddy held his little legs steady.  Then the rabbi did his work.  In no less than 30 seconds, our baby was foreskin-free; the circumcision was complete!  He cried (but he started crying as soon as we started taking off his diaper, which he ALWAYS does… he hates being changed) but as soon as the procedure was finished, he quieted right down.  We took a couple of photos and then he suggested that I take him back in the main room to nurse him.  I only nursed him for a few minutes until he was asleep again, perfectly content.


Then he told us how to care for it in the next few days and we headed back out… on the road again!


But the trip wasn’t over!  No, we had one more important stop before we went home.  We had to stop by and see Heather and Zach in Georgetown (just north of Austin) so that they could meet our little bubba.

We drove several more hours and in fact, didn’t get to Georgetown until nearly 8pm.  We were just going to stay for a short visit, but they offered to let us stay the night, and I’m really glad we took them up on it.  It had been a long day of driving for all of us and we were tired!  Plus, we already had our overnight stuff for Jedidiah from our night in Fort Worth.  Zach made us waffles and we watched Elf while passing baby Jedi around.  It was such a relaxing, enjoyable evening.  We are so blessed by these friends!

The next morning (Thanksgiving morning), we woke up feeling refreshed and ready to make the trip back home.  Zach made us eggs and made me some hot cocoa.  We ate together and then hit the road again, one final time before being home.


By noon, we were back at our house in San Antonio and were ready to get our Thanksgiving grub on.  We definitely had many things to be grateful for- our sweet baby boy, a quick and easy circumcision, time with family and close friends, and of course, FOOD!

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Posted by on December 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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A birth story


After weeks of waiting, hoping and dwelling on when we would meet our little man, it finally happened.

I had been stressing out about the time frame.  If I wasn’t already thinking about when the correct due date was, I was worried about both my midwife and my birth photographer leaving on vacation for a week.  Both were leaving on the 15th, so I kept telling baby Jedi that he either needed to come before the 15th (which would have been at either 42 weeks or 39 1/2 weeks depending on which due date was correct) or wait until after the 22nd.  And believe me, when you’re at the end of your pregnancy, you do NOT want to wait any longer!  But I really wanted Amber to be able to deliver him and I wanted my girlfriend Heather to be able to be there.

Anyways, Heather called me on Saturday afternoon and we were talking about how bummed out I was that Jedidiah probably wouldn’t be here before they left and how, as much as I didn’t want to, that I would try and keep him holding out until she got back.  I was laying on the bed and all of a sudden I felt a little trickle.  I didn’t think much of it but then it kept coming.  I sat up and realized that it was getting the bed wet, so I got up and ran to the bathroom where it became very clear that my water was breaking!  I was still on the phone with Heather and I told her that I thought my water had just broken and that I’d call her back in a little bit when I was sure.  Trent was out on the couch watching some college football.  I called to him and told him that I thought my water had broken.  I moved to the shower to see what color it was and if it had any sort of smell to it.  Water just kept coming.  That’s when I knew… we were going to get to meet our little man very soon!

Since I had tested positive for Group B Strep, my midwife wanted to make sure that labor got started within four hours of my water breaking.  I texted her shortly after it happened (3:32pm) and she messaged me back that we needed contractions to start by 7:30.  I laid low until then, I read my Bible, cooked dinner, and drank lots of pineapple juice (to try to start labor).  Trent painted my toenails.  7:30 came and went and contractions hadn’t started yet.  Amber messaged back and said that we’d need to start with castor oil.  I ate a teaspoonful of it with some ice cream and then Trent and I went out for a walk.


We also took our last bump pictures, knowing that our little Jedi was on his way!

Almost exactly an hour later, contractions started, at 8:30pm.  They were lasting for about a minute but were still pretty far apart and inconsistent.  At 10 I started to feel pretty nauseous and 20 minutes later I threw up my entire dinner, ice cream and everything else I had eaten since lunch.  After that the contractions started to pick up in intensity and frequency.  For the next half hour or so, the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and lasting for a minute at a time.


Then they got even closer and more intense.  From about 11:40-1:00am, they were anywhere from one and a half to three minutes apart and lasting for a little less than a minute apiece.  At this point they were super intense and I barely had any recovery time between them. I was certain we needed to go to the birth center.  We had been communicating back and forth for a while and they told me that the castor oil tends to make contractions very intense about 4 hours after it’s taken and that I probably still needed to wait.  But for me, not knowing any better, I decided it was time to go!

Zach and Heather had arrived sometime around midnight and hung out with me and in the living room while I labored.  Then we headed out to the New Braunfels Family Birth Center around 1am.  Trent’s parents had called several times and wanted to know when we’d be going to the birth center.  They were on their way over to our house when we decided we were ready to leave.  They happened to be close, so we drove in tandem to the birth center.  Heather rode with us and timed my contractions while Trent drove, Zach drove their car behind us, and then Debbie and Steve (Trent’s parents) drove behind him.  We arrived shortly before 1:30 am.  Shelby, the doula who had been our birthing class instructor and is a midwife in training, already had things ready for us.  The lights were dim, it smelled nice and there was soft music playing.  I was immediately grateful for how comfortable she had made it.  The main house was under construction, so we were in the newly renovated birth cottage out back.


The contractions continued close together for a while.  Our midwife Amber arrived shortly thereafter.  She asked if I wanted to be checked when she got here and I said yes.  She kindly told me that we still had some work to do (which I knew was her kind way of telling me that I wasn’t very far dilated yet).  Shelby continued to encourage me to not fight the contractions, but to work with them to help baby move down.  That was probably the best advice she could have given me.

Not too long after, true to what they had told me, my contractions slowed down a bit more and I had more of a break between them.  While I labored, Shelby rubbed my back and Amber massaged me.  Only two hours later, I was nearly ready to push.  Since I wanted to have a water birth, they began to fill the tub.  I moved there around 3:30 am and I started pushing.


After a while, they told me that his head was close and let me reach down to feel his fuzzy little head.  I continued pushing but had a hard time getting the traction that I needed (I was all greased up from the massage).  Baby boy’s head started to show but we decided to move to a different pushing position.

We tried the bed for a while and he started to crown but we didn’t seem to be making enough headway so we moved again, this time to the birthing stool.  I thought for sure the gravity would work him right out of me, but I had a hard time pushing here too.  I was still too slippery and couldn’t get enough of a grip on the stool to really get good leverage to bear down.  I was starting to get discouraged now, it had been an hour and a half and I felt like he should be coming.  Everyone kept telling me how close I was getting every time, but until Shelby went to get a mirror to show me, I didn’t believe it.  I saw his little head… he was so close!

After a while, we moved back to the bed and continued pushing.  We stayed here for what felt like an eternity.  I pushed for 3 and a half hours total, moving between locations with my baby’s head half-way out between my legs.  He was crowning for over 2 of those hours.  Towards the end I was so discouraged.  I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore; I wasn’t doing it right, we weren’t making enough progress.  Bless their hearts, everyone was so patient and encouraging, telling me with every push that he was coming closer and closer.  Even though they really were telling me the truth, it just didn’t seem close enough.  Heather had to leave soon and I kept thinking that we just needed to get him a little bit further and he’d come out.  Unfortunately, Heather had to leave before he was born, even though she pushed it as far as she possibly could.  I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, but I just couldn’t stretch enough to get him out.  After each set of contractions, I had to keep pressure there so he wouldn’t slide back in.  Amber kept trying to stretch me out using essential oils so that I could either tear or stretch enough to let him through.  They used massage and constant pressure to try to get me past this spot.  I was about to give up.  I prayed for strength but I was finished.  I remember crying and saying, “I can’t do this.  I’m trying as hard as I can.  I can’t push any harder.”  Trent was such a trooper through all of this.  He kept me going.

helping me labor

Amber mentioned cutting me open, which is something she didn’t want to do and has only had to do three times in all the births she’s done.  She gave me the option- she could cut me on the next contraction, or I could try one more round of pushing.  I was so tempted to just do the cut, but somehow in my delirium, I decided to keep pushing.  Every time I would push as hard as I could, and every time everyone would say how close he was.  Shelby showed me again with the mirror- his head was so close!  I tried again through two more sets of contractions.  I was going to give up again but they just kept saying, “Ang, you gotta get him outta there!  Keep pushing!”  So I kept pushing, even when I wasn’t having a contraction.  Finally we all heard an audible “POP” and his head was out.  I have never been so relieved in all my life!  I still had to push out his little body out, but two minutes later, we had a baby!  His little head came out at 8:00am and the rest of him at 8:02, his official time of birth.  Trent helped lift him out and place him on my belly.  We talked to Jedidiah and told him how happy we were that he was here, and what a trooper he’d been hanging in there for so long.  I only wish that Heather would have been able to stay for that moment!  She wanted to be there for his birth SO BAD!  We waited until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing and Trent cut it.

he's out!

At this point, Amber had to leave for her flight.  One of the other midwives, Galyn, came to finish up and take over.

They got me a bath ready while Trent took the baby and had some skin-to-skin time with him.  Mom and Dad got to see him and then headed out to get us some breakfast.

daddy and jedi

After I got out of the tub, Galyn and Shelby did all the measurements and tests.  Jedidiah weighed 8 pounds, and was 22 and a half inches long.  His head circumference was 14 1/2 centimeters (the average is 13cm).  As she did his measurements, she said that the official diagnosis of time in the womb was 39 weeks- she based this on the vernix still on his skin, the amount of cartilage in his ears, his nipple protrusion (or lack thereof), the lines on his testicles and the creases on his feet.  So we weren’t overdue after all!  But little guy must have known that if his head got any bigger I wouldn’t have been able to deliver him any later that I did.

stethascopecheck upcheckupDSC_0026

Then we tried breastfeeding for the first time.  He did a good job!  He had a good latch and fed for nearly 40 minutes!  By then, everyone had left and Trent and I finally got to rest!

me and bubbadaddy timefirst change

first outfit

His first outfit.

We chose not to have any other visitors that day and boy, are we glad that we didn’t.  We had been up for over 24 hours and we were absolutely exhausted!  We slept most of the day at the birth center and decided to head home at around 6pm.  Trent and I got Jedidiah in his car seat for the first time and drove our baby boy home!

After 11 1/2 hours of labor, we are so thankful that our little Jedi is here!  We are so thankful to God for our sweet, healthy baby boy and the strength he provided for us to deliver him!


Posted by on December 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


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