Harper Elizabeth’s Birth Story


So I know I kind of disappeared again. Pregnancy and a toddler were seriously draining though! Harper Elizabeth is here though! And as most of you know, I am all about all things pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding related so I’d like to share her birth story with lots of pictures 🙂

Me at 39 weeks. She was born at 39 weeks 5 days.

39 weeks

Harper’s birth was a lot different than Lucas’ was 2.5 years ago! Of course, we had her at home just as we had Lucas at home and labor started with my water breaking just as it had with Lucas. Nothing else was the same though 🙂

You can read Lucas’ here.

I was awoken by a loud pop and gurgling bubbles sound that I could feel. I laid there for a second with my eyes opened and realized that” Oh No! That was my water, get to the toilet!” So I jumped out of bed, and almost made it to the toilet. It was almost 8 am. I called Clint at work and told him to come home and called my midwife to let her know. I also called my mother-in-law and asked her to come get Lucas, who was still sleeping. When she arrived, I decided to jump into the shower since I cannot function without my morning shower.

About 9 am, I started having some contractions here and there but nothing to be timed. Clint got home shortly after and contractions started very quickly and were STRONG! I hadn’t expected things to get so serious so fast, because they hadn’t with Lucas. .I expected a build up… By about 10 am contractions were 2.5 minutes apart and 50 seconds long and about a 7 or 8 in pain. Michelle and Lucas left about this time.

By 10:30 they were 3.5 minutes apart but were 70 seconds long now. I was in the shower again at this point because I was having a pretty hard time dealing with the contractions. Clint and I couldn’t figure out a good way for me to “make it” through my contractions. With Lucas, I would put my hands against the counter and sway while Clint did counterpressure on my back or something along those lines. But I had back labor with Lucas, and that didn’t really work this time. And these contractions were MUCH stronger. It was about this time that we all decided my midwife should start heading our way since she lives an hour from us.

Clint had already started filling up our kiddie-pool-turned-birth-pool since it seemed like things were moving quickly. I just wanted some pain relief. I started praying for “breaks”. I had one contraction in the shower that felt a little “pushy”. Clint freaked out and told me I could not have this baby until AFTER the midwife arrived. 🙂

My little sister, Shaye, arrived around this time. Clint and I had been trying different things to help me cope with the contractions. Hip squeezes worked every now and then, counterpressure on my back worked some, but for the most part we figured that if he would just squeeze my upper body and I squeezed him that felt the best. It just made me feel secure, I suppose.

I had LOTS of pressure with each contraction on my bottom and figured out that a towel between my legs serving as a bit of counterpressure was also relieving. I have no idea why. This made me decide to sit on my exercise ball. I tried to stay moving and keep my mind off the contractions, but it was pretty difficult during them. At least I didn’t really need to time them anymore, THAT was extremely annoying to me for some reason.

Once on the ball, I started feeling pretty “pushy” with every contraction. It was about 11:50 now and we were starting to worry since my midwife wasn’t there yet. Shaye called her and she was right down the road, so we all relaxed a little. She did tell me to get off the birth ball though and the pressure would be less. I decided to lay down on the couch for a little while so Clint could squeeze me through my contractions and I was hoping maybe I could get one of those “breaks” I had been praying for. Silly me.

dealing with contractions

My midwife checked me at 12:08 and I was around 6-7 cms and 90% effaced. That was great news to me! Things seemed like they were happening so quickly. Because we needed to fill the birth pool with warm water, it still wasn’t full. We were filling it with hot water and then when it was close to the level we wanted, we were going to fill it the rest of the way with cold water so it would get warm. But the hot water heater runs out of water so you have to let it refill.

I got really whiny about this time and promised Clint that this was our last and kept letting everyone in the room know that this was in fact our last child. Those “pushy” contractions started up and were pretty intense. Since I wasn’t fully dilated, I was trying to breathe through them. Then, suddenly I had a contraction that was definitely my body pushing involuntarily. My miwdife checked me again (12:45 pm) and I was fully effaced and was fully dilated except for a little lip of cervix.

relaxing between contractions

The pool was ready now, so I got into it and it felt amazing. I hadn’t really enjoyed the pool with Lucas’ labor, so I was very happy that it was so nice this time around. The only bad part is I am REALLY hot during labor so I kept asking for cold rags. Eventually, Shaye put lots of wet dish towels in the freezer and would just bring me a new one when I requested.

starting to push

I started pushing pretty much immediately and pushed leaning forward for a little while holding onto Clint’s hands and then reclined while also holding onto Clint’s hands.

pushing at homebirth

Pretty quickly, everyone in the room was commenting on all of her hair. She does have LOTS!

pushing in birthing pool

At 1:12 pm I got out of the pool because my midwife was concerned about shoulder dystocia. We did have a shoulder dystocia so I didn’t get to catch Harper like I had hoped to and did with Lucas, but my midwife handled it beautifully and Harper was born at 1:19 pm weighing a whopping 9 lbs 3 oz!

cutting cord at homebirth

Clint’s squeamish so Shaye got to cut the cord ^^

And here’s Daddy weighing Harper.

weighing baby at homebirthBecause of the shoulder dystocia, our amazing chiropractor came by the house and adjusted Harper shortly after she was born.

newborn chiropractic adjustment

We could not believe she was so big! I am only 4’10” and Lucas weighed 6 lbs 5 oz, so baby sister is quite a bit bigger than he was.

difference between Harper and Lucas

I felt so much more whiny this time than I did the last, though. Clint and Shaye said I was pretty much the same: I would calmly tell them that I was hurting really bad and they sort of took it with a grain of salt. I was definitely more vocal while pushing this time though! My throat was sore for a couple of days because of all of the RAWR’ing I did. 😉

It’s kind of cool that I’ve had a baby in our bedroom and living room now. haha! Of course, both of my births will be something I remember for the rest of my life. Even with their challenges, I enjoyed both of them so much. For me, having a child with no drugs in my system in the serenity of my own home is EXTREMELY empowering. And I was so blessed to do it twice with a midwife who I completely trust and adore.

midwife with newborn


I’ll post shortly and do a nursery tour. 🙂

Do you look back at your births with pride? What was your favorite part? 

29 Weeks: Pregnancy Update


Hello! Yesterday marked 29 weeks and I’m soooo tired… Thanks 3rd trimester. This is my 28 week picture- I told you- I’m tired!

The ultrasound technician last week didn’t get very good pictures, but we do know she’s still a girl! 🙂 Lucas came to the last ultrasound and he loved watching it. When she was done, he said “Watch again!”

We’ve  finally got some things purchased, though. I’ve bought some newborn cloth diapers and a few One Size. I also bought all of the linens for her crib. We’re not doing a big set with a bumper (which isn’t all that safe anyways). I just got fitted sheets, 2 blankets, a crib skirt and matching changing pad covers. We’re moving all of Lucas’ clothes to his closet either hung up or in baskets in his closet organizer and going to use his dresser for her room, which will also double as a changing table. We also got Lucas a new big boy bed which he refers to as his “car bed”, so we’ll be moving his crib to Harper’s room. Progress!

Lucas in Car Bed

Not to mention, my Dad painted the nursery for us this weekend. I’m loving the color!

Harper's Nursery Painted

(Yes, we’re cleaning carpets this week) So once all of the furniture is set up, I’m going to do some string art of her name for above her crib and will probably buy a few prints/canvases on Etsy for the walls. Along with those gray walls, we’re doing coral, mint, and gold around the room. I’ll try to post pictures along the way 😉

Oh, I also forgot — Lucas got his first haircut this week too! My Big Boy!

Photo Feb 10, 12 04 06 PM

27 Weeks: Pregnancy Update


Hello! 27 weeks– it’s going by pretty fast. It’s crazy how much different this pregnancy is than the last.

I’m almost to the 3rd trimester and I can so feel it. I was so surprised at how great I felt most of the 2nd, but now that exhaustion is hitting me again. I’ve been napping at least a few times a week while Lucas naps. So glad I’m a SAHM now. I can’t imagine working and doing all of the cleaning, laundry and cooking. I would never see or talk to Lucas or Clint unless I was in a grouchy mood.

Oh, we finally decided on a name— Harper Elizabeth. She’s so strong! Or maybe really boney, but she’s still extremely low in my pelvic area most of the time. Here’s some pictures of the last few weeks.

22 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks


Everything has still been going great. I’m on my thyroid medicine, which has been adjusted and I’m doing okay on it. We have appointments Friday to do my glucose test and have another ultrasound done. I’m excited to see her again!

I’ll try to be more regular in updates! 😉


21 Weeks Update


Good morning/afternoon/night! I’m a little more than halfway through this pregnancy now at 21 weeks!

Baby Girl is still unnamed as of now 😦 But she’s growing big and STRONG! I can feel her roll, punch, kick, curl into a ball. It seems like I feel her every movement. And she’s sooo low. Every movement I feel is way down in my pelvic area. I think the only time I felt those movements with Lucas was when he was closer to his due date and head down, but face up.  I felt his little hands in my pelvic area. It’s been really neat the last couple of days though– at night, she spreads way out across my belly and I can feel feet on one side of my belly above my hip and head/hands on the other side above my other hip.

Here is a belly pic of me at 20 weeks:

20 weeks belly pic

I’ve had some confusing health stuff going on with this pregnancy and haven’t really known what to think of it. Right before we got pregnant, I found out I had some high thyroid levels which pointed to hyperthyroidism. I went to the doctor because I was feeling “funny” and knew that we could end up pregnant at any time so I wanted to make sure I was healthy. In the end, my doctor told me let’s just retest in 6 weeks because an ultrasound on my thyroid looked fine. Well before those 6 weeks, I was in fact pregnant. Fast forward through a bunch of bloodwork, OB appointments, and High Risk OB appointments and then an Endocrinologist appointment 2 weeks ago and those thyroid levels that were originally abnormal (my TSH) is now in the normal range, but I have really high thyroid antibodies. The Endo hasn’t technically diagnosed me with anything but I am on medicine now to lessen our risk of complications and we’re pretty confident, through lots of prayer, that everything will work out just fine in the end. And since I’m not technically “high risk” I’m not driving the 2 hours once a month to see the High Risk OB anymore for them to perform an ultrasound and more bloodwork when I already have an OB and an Endo already doing that, which has relieved some stress for me. All the different appointments stress me out!

Here’s an ultrasound pic from my last appointment at 18 weeks:

18 week ultrasound pic

So anyways, Baby Girl and I have both been healthy according to every health care worker we’ve seen thus far, so pray that that doesn’t change 😉

This pregnancy is so different than Lucas’ though. Before I got pregnant, I was losing weight as a result of the thyroid stuff and I still lost about 3 lbs in the beginning. I’ve not gained any. I think I had probably already gained about 10 lbs with Lucas this far. Of course, I was also overweight to begin with this time and was not last time, so that very well could play into it.

Baby girl is the size of pomegranate now (she was the length of a banana last week). Oh, and no, we haven’t started doing ANYTHING around the house yet. I’m sure I’ll feel some urgency soon and push us along though, right?

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18 Weeks Update


Hi! How was your Thanksgiving? We celebrated a weekend early with my Dad and little sister because my Dad would be gone for work on Thanksgiving. We split the cooking duties and it was SOOO good. I love me some Thanksgiving! I’m so glad I wasn’t to that ‘you can’t eat much because baby is so big and your stomach just doesn’t have enough room in there’ stage yet. On Thursday, we went to Clint’s grandmother’s house and ate with his family there.

Then, we went Saturday and got our Christmas tree. Of course, I didn’t take any pictures though. We never think to take pictures of stuff. Lucas loves the Christmas tree farm though. Well, he pretty much loves any open spaces with lots of grass, trees, leaves, you name it. He’s an outside boy. We’re planning to decorate the tree this week as a family. #startoffamilytraditions

This is me this past Sunday. I’m 18 weeks now. Baby Girl is VERY active. I don’t remember Lucas being this active this early. I can’t wait for Lucas and Clint to be able to feel all of her little movements. I’m sure it won’t be long as strong as she seems to be. Oh, and she’s the size of a sweet potato this week.

18 weeks

I’m really trying to do better with my diet and my water intake. I’m not doing bad, but not doing as great as I should be either. It’s difficult to go from drinking about 15-20 oz of water a day to 60-70. Did you know you’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day? Do you?

Other than that, we haven’t start much baby planning yet. I have another ultrasound this week and an appointment with my high risk doctor and an ultrasound there. I want to “make sure” she’s still a her. The only thing we have done is buy Lucas one of these.


We’re hoping to get him in the “big boy” twin sized bed before Baby Girl gets here, so she can just use the crib and we don’t have to buy another one. So far he loves it!

Oh, and since it is Cyber Monday– Aqua Anchor Designs is having a 25% sale that ends TODAY. If you spend $50 or more, you can also use coupon code THANKFUL14 for free shipping. 😉

I’m planning to start posting financial updates this week, so keep an eye out. You can make sure you don’t miss anything by:

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Missed Me?


Life has been extremely busy the last 7 months. I want to update you guys on ALL of it! But not all in this one particular post.

First and foremost, we’re expecting another bundle of joy! I’m 16 weeks right now, but 15 weeks in this photo.

15 Week Baby Bump

As you can tell from the photo, we found out a couple weeks ago that ‘it’ is indeed a baby girl. We’re excited, of course, but scared to death since we feel like we’re ‘boy parents’ now. If only we could agree on a name now.

10 Week Ultrasound

I’m been feeling flutters from baby girl since I was about 14 weeks but they’re starting to turn into more than just flutters now and it’s SO exciting. I can’t wait for Clint and Lucas to be able to feel her move around.

I do plan to keep you guys updated on everything pregnancy in the coming weeks. My next post will be a sort of catch up on our financial aspects of life—I have some BIG stuff to share on that front! I hope you’ll follow along! You can do that by:

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I Dislike New Year’s Resolutions

I Dislike New Year's Resolutions

If you make them, fine. But I don’t think I have ever made one and probably never will. Sometimes just because I’m stubborn, if I think of a “resolution” and it’s around the first of the year, I put it off so that it doesn’t seem like a New Year’s resolution. Isn’t that silly?

Anyhow, I’m making a resolution. Completely unrelated to New Year’s, I might add. We just need some change around this house. Now that the Christmas rush is over for my Etsy shop, you would think I’d be “caught up” with things around here, but I’m still not. Besides announcing the giveaway winner, I didn’t even get a chance to post anything here at Not Your Mainstream Mama last week.

I used to be really lazy, especially with things around the house and I envied those women that actually had the drive to keep a spotless house. Now that I’ve had Lucas (I guess I could blame it on the hormonal changes lol) I have that drive, but not enough time to get it done.

And– since I know I can’t add any time into my day, I’ve just got to manage it better. This is where Clint would pipe in that I should not be working so I could have time for these sorts of things.

The other problem is, I’m also ambitious. So not only do I want to be “caught up” with things, I really would like to be ahead. I like working that way, one step ahead of the game.

For instance:

  • I would like to have more of my Etsy orders either ready to ship or halfway made so each order doesn’t take quite as long.
  • I’d also like to have the house more presentable. It doesn’t have to be spotless for me to be happy, but I would like it to visitor ready, at least most of the time.
  • Last, I really want to start managing my kitchen better. I’d like to start meal planning better, shopping grocery sales more frequently, and cooking more freezer/crockpot meals.

By doing all of those things, I’m hoping I will have the “time” to kick my feet up and watch an episode of Mickey with Lucas or snuggle up with Clint and watch a movie.

Do you successfully stay ahead of the game in your household? What tips would you have for me and others?  

Happy New Year + A Giveaway!!

Christmas 2013

This post contains affiliate links.

Hello 2014!! I can’t believe we’re already starting a new year. I keep thinking we haven’t even had our wedding anniversary or Lucas’ birthday yet this year. Time flies when you’re having fun, isn’t that what they say?

Watching Lucas grow through 2013 has been such a blessing, but boy do I wish I had a pause button. He started giggling, crawling, playing with toys, standing, laughing, walking, playing peek a boo, blowing kisses, saying bye bye, and just recently giving the sweetest little baby kisses — sometimes with puckered lips and sometimes with a tongue sticking out. This Mama enjoys both 😉

Lucas Sleeping

Clint and I have made tremendous progress on the Finance front this year. (I won’t be posting December’s recap until Friday to give all our transactions time to clear so my numbers are right.) Clint has become so much more involved in our finances and budgeting and I am very grateful for that. Having all of the responsibility of the budget on my shoulders is daunting. Clint never actually “budgets” but he does look at the budget, usually on his phone using the YNAB app and helps to keep us reigned in. And I plan to tell you guys a little more about YNAB in the coming weeks too, as I’ve had lots of questions about it lately. If you’re ready to go ahead and get it now though, here’s the link for the $6 off. I’m excited to see how much more we can get paid down in 2014 and can’t wait to be #debtfree!


In September, I started Not Your Mainstream Mama and sharing my life with all of you. I really enjoy it– gives me the chance to get out all of my opinionated thoughts without shoving them down anyone’s throat. Haha! It is very time consuming though so I’m thinking about dropping down to 2 posts a week in 2014. I haven’t completely decided yet.

Christmas 2013

Last, but not least, I started Aqua Anchor Designs at the end of November and have REALLY enjoyed making things and sharing them with people. I got my first repeat customer this week and I was so excited about it. As far as Etsy shops go, I believe I had a really good first 30 days and can’t wait to see what this year will look like. I have garnet crystals (January birthstone) in stock that look great in shotgun shell earrings, by the way 😉 I have several ideas of things to add to my store throughout the year so keep your eyes peeled.

Speaking of Aqua Anchor Designs, what better time than now to do a giveaway!! I am about to start carrying scarves so I couldn’t decide if I wanted to give away a scarf or a pair of earrings, so I decided to just let you decide. It’s your choice between the earrings OR scarf pictured. I hope that you will share it across all of your social media networks for more entries. The more traffic this creates for Aqua Anchor Designs, the more likely I am to do more giveaways in the future. 😉 The winner will be announced next Wednesday here at Not Your Mainstream Mama and on my Instagram, Facebook page, and Twitter.


Which one would YOU like to win in this giveaway?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To Santa or Not to Santa?

Santa Picture 2013

I don’t want a heated debate with anyone and I don’t want any rude comments, but I am seriously considering Not to Santa. Originally, Clint and I discussed it before kids and both agreed that we didn’t see anything wrong with our children believing in Santa. Now that I actually have a child, I think about things a lot differently, though.

Actually, until I read an old friend’s Facebook post about why she chose not to teach her children about Santa, I hadn’t even thought twice about that particular subject. She made very valid points though, and when I shared those with Clint, he almost agreed. Then, I guess he went back to reality and said he didn’t think there was anything wrong with Santa.

I’m not thinking that there is anything “wrong” with Santa, I would just rather focus more on other things I suppose. Like, I don’t like the idea that Santa brings all the biggest, baddest, coolest gifts. Mommy and Daddy worked hard for those gifts and instead of getting any Thanks out of it, it’s all going to some imaginary guy. Clint says that’s selfish, but I still feel that way.

Also, I know as a child that Santa’s existence was always a hot topic on the school playground. If we let Lucas believe in Santa Claus, he may start questioning his existence because he hears other kids questioning it. And then, what if that leads him to question Jesus’ existence. That seems like a logical tie-in in a child’s brain to me.

Not only those two things though, but Christmas has become so commercialized. I don’t want that for our family. I guess since we’ve started on our debt-free journey, all the overspending I see associated with the holidays really disturbs me more too.

I can only hope that Lucas will be a thankful little kid like Clint was. Clint got everything he ever asked for but still appreciated every single thing. I got most everything I wanted, and still wanted more. I still have a hard time working against my selfishness now.

Maybe I’m reaching here, but I just want to protect and facilitate his salvation and appreciative personality traits to the best of my ability and in every single way possible.

I think Clint and I have decided to sort of split the decision down the middle, but haven’t made any definite decisions yet. We agreed to wait until next year to really decide, since he won’t remember this Christmas anyhow. I *think* we will probably tone down the commercial aspect of Christmas every year and do our best to teach the message of Christmas as a Christian one.

Like I said, these are only my opinions. If you celebrate Santa or even a Leprechaun or Bunny Rabbit on Christmas, those are your parenting choices.

Do any of you have similar views? Do you teach your children believe in Santa? Are there any traditions in your family that would make Christmas and Santa easier to not be so commercialized and more of a Christian celebration?

Battling Mom Guilt

Battling Mom Guilt

We all wanna be good Mamas, in fact, we want to be the absolute best! And we think we’re doing okay and then BAM! MOM GUILT! I had one of those moments this weekend.

Clint had gone to the gym and Lucas and I were home alone. Lucas was in the Living Room wreaking havoc and I was folding laundry in the Laundry Room. I walked through with some clothes to put up and he whined and wanted me to pick him up. That made me wonder what time it was and how much longer it would be before he was ready for bed, so I could get some stuff done around the house. I feel mom guilt just admitting that to y’all.

I went and hung the clothes up and the guilt hit me. What is so important in this house that I can’t sit down and play with him for a little while? Then, I had another thought. Here I am wanting to be a SAHM and homeschooling him once he reaches school age, but I barely spend any time teaching him new things now. Clint or Clint’s parents generally teach Lucas new things. I’m usually running around the house doing dishes, cleaning, or cooking dinner while Clint is playing with Lucas. Isn’t that terrible?

I have to change this. Lucas isn’t going to remember whether or not the house was clean and we had a home-cooked meal every night, he’s going to remember the time that Mama spent with him. I can’t wait until I’m able to stay home, if it ever happens, to spend time with my child.

A Child Needs a Mother quote

Okay, sorry, the pity party has <ended>. I have been getting up an hour earlier in the mornings to work on blog stuff, which I plan to continue doing. Starting this week, I’m getting back into meal planning and freezer cooking (post on both of those in the works) so dinner will not be so hectic and take so long. Once we eat dinner and clean up, I am going to spend time with Lucas until he goes to bed. That will leave me with an hour or two to try and get household things done. If things don’t get done, then they don’t get done. My relationship with my child is more important than laundry anyhow.

Do you ever feel like you spend enough time with your child(ren)? What are things you specifically do to ensure you spend enough quality time with them? Or, let’s make a commitment to our families and hold each other accountable. Are you in?