Saturday, June 29, 2013

Choosing home birth

“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we” 
― Ina May Gaskin

I was a big advocate for home births before I had one.  Things is, it's hard to be taken seriously as a cheerleader for something you haven't experienced first hand.  Boy, am I glad that I did!

Without going into too much detail, I wanted to share our family's experience.  Honestly, deciding to do a home birth is terrifying.  You'll second guess yourself a few times, but I have found that reading about positive experiences helped ease that panic.  I want to recommend the book "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin.  I'll warn you now, the book has photos and at some points was a bit too Hippie even for me, but the information and reassurance it provided was exceptional!  The first part of the book is experiences from woman who had home births, birthed in a birthing center, or had a midwife assisted hospital birth.  The book is pretty well rounded on all those fronts and it provides a wealth of info on lots of other things when it comes to having your baby.  Both my husband and I whole heartedly recommend that you watch a documentary called "The Business of Being Born".  You can catch it on Netflix and they have bits and pieces on Youtube, but it's such an eye opening movie.  Ben and I both watched it and both really enjoyed it.

When I found out we were expecting the first thing I did was tell my husband that I wanted to push for a home birth.  I didn't have to give my guy one explanation.  He was on board!  I later found out that he was having a lot of concerns about doing a hospital birth too.  I had used my midwife for the delivery of our first daughter Jade.  She also happened to be one of my best friends mom.  I've known Ashley since we were 16 and having Diane deliver my baby again just felt right.

Let it begin!!!

My contractions had been pretty inconsistent for about a week or so.  Mostly Braxton Hicks but with a few doozies packed in.  So, Monday night I was surprised to see the *gag* bloody show.  I got giddy because I knew that meant that my delivery day was fast approaching.  I was already 2 days late at this point and if baby 3 kept up with tradition I figured he would arrive by the end of the week.  Both my girls were 4 and 6 days late.  Anywhoo, I texted my hubby that without going into too much detail that I was certain that baby would be on his way soon.  That night, I was restless!  I kept getting contractions that were keeping me from falling into a deep sleep.  They were pretty disruptive.  By the time it was 4 a.m on that Tuesday morning, my contractions had jumped from every 12 minutes to every 3.  TIME TO CALL THE MIDWIFE!  Hubby called Diane and left a message and she called back in less than 10 minutes.  I talked her through what had been happening and she said it sounded like I was (FINALLY) in labor.  HOORAY!  Hubby, was immediately a ball of nerves.  He stripped the bed and made it to the midwifes specs (basically our set of sheets was to go under a shower curtain/plastic table cover with a fresh set of sheets on top).  I started a crock pot full of ginger that would act as a warm press when it came time to push, and we buzzed around the house.  Our girls woke up and we told them that today would be the day that baby would arrive.  We had went over what we expected of them a few days before, so we touched base on how they were to be quiet and respectful, about where to find snacks and lunch and drinks that we made in advance, and what they could expect from mommy as the day went on and their brother got closer to being born.  My dear friend Ashley arrived (she was to act as sort of a tag team partner to Hubby should things get to be a bit much for him and as a comfort person for the girls).  She immediately got me up and out for a brisk walk to keep my contractions from stalling.

Our Home birth kit!  Everything you need to have baby at home :)

Midwife Diane, and her assistants Michaela and Shannon all showed up and I felt like things were about to pop off.  They didn't.  In fact, things kind of bounced around.  One minute they are strong and consistent and then another there would be a huge gap or they would lose some of their intensity.  While my contractions came and went, Hubby and I joked and kissed and smiled.  We  got sent on another 20 minute walk and my contractions got so strong I had to stop and breathe through them.  Hubby was awesome at reminding me to take deep breaths.  Sometimes I would cry, other times I would throw my arms around Hubby's neck and rock my hips.  We came home and things stayed pretty strong for a while, but then they would slow down, we would get sent on another walk and so on.  Ashley commented on how impressed she was that I was still able to laugh and joke even with my contractions picking up and getting closer together.  Diane agreed.  I felt  that I was only able to stay myself because I was home.  Home with people I knew I could trust.  Home with my baby girls coloring and writing notes for their long awaited brother.

It felt sooo right to be home.  Even as my contractions became unbearable, I never once wanted to leave.  I joked with Hubby about how I was a FOOL for deciding to do it at home, and he laughed and kissed me and told me he agreed.  He was a great source of strength, and even when I couldn't laugh anymore, he kept the jokes coming because he knew that deep down it helped me to see him being him.  I was so worried about him.  Despite this being our 3rd child together, this was the first time he would be there for a birth.  He was on deployment for Jade's birth and because of family silliness he missed a bulk of my labor and showed up just in the nick of time for Sonnie's c-section.  He had expressed his nervousness (but said he had no doubts about the home birth or our choices leading up to it).  He just didn't know what to expect and that scared the living crap out of him.

Some many hours later, I hit my wall.  I broke down.  I cried and said how tired I was.  I knew that I didn't want to move to a hospital.  But I was just so damned exhausted.  I just wanted to sleep.  I felt like I had given every single ounce of myself.  I kept digging and searching for that last well of power and I couldn't find it.  Thank God for Ashley and Ben.  Ashley kept telling me that I was so close to pushing and meeting my baby.  She was sure to drive me forward, to make sure I didn't give in to my fears and I don't think I would have pushed on with out her <3  Ben would whisper that I was so strong, and that he knew I could do it.  So, despite having no where to pull from, I gathered my balls and kept going.  Before I knew it, I was given the okay to push.  And push I did.  It took me maybe a good 5 or 6 pushes and I before I knew it...there he was.  Beautiful and silent, blinking big gray eyes at me.  Ashley (who caught the baby because Ben had said he didn't have the stomach to see all of the birthing) was crying and later she joked about wanting to raise him up to the light courtesy of The Lion King haha.  I looked at Ashley, with tears in her eyes and then looked at Ben who was beaming with love and pride and excitement and I knew that baby had been born into a room that was filled to the absolute brim with love.  So, I cried and held my very slimy little boy to my chest and just let every feeling wash over me.  I felt relief because I was so glad that the hard part was over.  I felt loved because Ben leaned over and kissed me as I cried from utter joy and I felt my faith in God renew.  I had prayed endless hours that our son would be born safely and peacefully and sure enough, he had been.  Everything I had asked God for when it came to our son, I got.  It was hard for me not to feel God's love at that moment.  My faith had been shaky and in the brief moment when my son and I locked eyes, it stopped feeling so rattled.

Nixon Cash Boutwell, born June 11th at 11:56 p.m.
SOOO in love!!

The girls had been sent to bed and I was thrilled at the idea of the waking up to find a new family member.  It was like Christmas, but better.  When the girls laid their eyes on him, they both cried.  Which made me cry.  They were moved to tears by love.  They are so young and love and excitement moved them to tears.  It was all very special.

That's why I had our baby at home.  This will be our family's last baby.  Ben and I are done having children and doesn't that deserve something memorable?  We felt his birth should be something that was binding and help really solidify the love between us all and the importance of family.

Here's the kicker.  Being home provided such an underrated comfort.  Our girls were awesome, even though Sonnie was a bit nervous for mommy and baby, I feel that worked out so well because they were in what they know to be a safe, comfortable bubble.  The things that make them feel at ease, like Jade's favorite teddy bear or Sonnie's snuggle shirts (long story) were readily available to them.  They watched Netflix and their favorite movies, colored and played in their room.  None of that would have been possible at a hospital.

Ben had the benefit of being at home too.  When labor first kicked off, he popped in his favorite movie and I saw him calm down a bit.  We snuggled on the couch and laughed.  He made me breakfast, so I could keep my energy up.  We wouldn't have been able to do that at a hospital.  When labor got rough, we got to lay in our bed, in our room.  He got to play on his PSP without feeling judged (hey, he had 16 hours to burn!) and when baby was finally born, he got to take a warm shower, eat a warm meal and CRASH!  He didn't have to do what we both agreed was one of the most heart breaking things...leave his new baby and his darling wife to go home and do those things.  How unnatural is that??  As a man, you've just been introduced to this person that you and the person you love have made and waited eagerly for and then BAM, you have to leave.  More like tear yourself away :(

I can't put into words the euphoria a felt afterwards.  From successfully having my dear boy, to having him at home, to doing what I was scared I couldn't muster up the strength to do.  ALL of it.  Laying down that night he was born, in our bed beside my husband and with baby curled up between us (yes, we co-sleep) moved me to tears.  I cried because I was happy.  How awesome is that??

Long story short, don't let fear hold you back from something that could be seriously moving!  I was a VBAC and I heard PLENTY about how unsafe it would be.  If you have your have your heart set on being home for baby,  then press on!  DO the research, find a midwife you trust, and follow your gut!

Just a few hours old :)

I can't end this post without praising to the heavens about how awesome my midwife and her staff were.  They were a such a valued source of comfort and encouragement.  Diane has this amazing gentle presence that, when you're mentally hanging on by a string, can pull you back in.  Micheala and Shannon are both so incredibly knowledgeable.  They also have a great presence.  While in labor, I never once worried about my or baby's safety.  I never had a moment of second guessing them.  If they told me I needed to do something, or try something, I had full confidence that it was the right next step!  When Nixon was born, I could feel their happiness for us and that is such a wonderful thing.  You want the people helping you through something so special to be happy too!!

If your'e interested in home birthing and live in the Orlando area, I wanted to include the link to my midwife's website.  She really is just AMAZING and her team is top notch!

Until Later chickadees (I do have a new baby at home and it has taken me 2 weeks to write this lol!)

All my love,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Spring Fever VoxBox Item Review: Tastykake Kandy Bar Kakes

Hey there fellow sweet tooth suffers!

Doing a brief review on one of the items I received in my Spring Fever VoxBox.  I'm tacking my disclaimer down below this time so you can just get to the..cream filling...of this post (ahhh, see what I did there??  So clever).

So in my VoxBox I received the S'mores Kandy Bar Kake.  I split it with my daughters.  I thought initially that they were going to be small, but it was actually a good sized bar (As you'll see in the photo below, it was almost the size of my voxbox).  Big enough that I could sample it, and give both my girls the other half.  Hubby also managed to snag a bite.  Basically, it will fill any sweets craving you might be experiencing.  I'm REALLY not a fan of anything with a cream filling or marshmallows.  Hostess and I haven't shared a moment together in years and Little Debbie is only around because of her peanut butter bars.  My Hubby and minions LOVE all that stuff, so I was half expecting to write this review from their perspectives.

                                           Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln, this was goood!

Gonna shamefully admit that once I unwrapped it and got a whiff of that chocolate and graham cracker smell, the decision wasn't so set in stone.  I really enjoyed it!  Marshmallow middle and all!  The kids of course loved it and Hubby decided it was worth putting on the grocery list.  After I liked their page on Facebook (in hopes of snagging coupons in the future), a friend commented on the activity and said that her and her boyfriend were addicted to the Reese's peanut butter Kandy Bar Kakes.


OH, MY, GLOB.  So on the hunt we went for these little morsels.  I didn't find them at Publix or Winn-Dixie, and after some pretty aggressive texts to my fellow peanut butter loving friends, and one facebook convo later, I found out she bought them at Wal-Mart.  Sweet baby Jesus, they were amazeballs.  AMAZEBALLS!

The only downsides to the bars are that they are pretty up there in calories and they can be a bit crumbly (the S'mores on was ore so than the Reese's one).  So if your'e not timid about calories and just want one hell of a sweet tooth fix, then you'll really enjoy these.  They'll run you about $4.50 a box and I think they came 5-6 to a box.

Basically, try them out!  We liked the peanut butter ones best, and there is one more flavor that I fail to remember so I'm including a link to the Tasty Kake website down below.

Hugs til Later!!

I just wanted to remind everyone that I am a member of Influenster.  This balls awesome site sends you COMPLIMENTARY samples (FULL SIZED!!!).  Membership is free, but you must be invited by a current member.  You basically fill out brief surveys on categories of your choice and those categories then help them figure out which products would be best for you to test.  You then review the to your friends via social media and word of mouth.  I've been a member for a just a little while and none of my friends hate me or have blocked me and many of the try things after I share them...and thats the whole point! Anyways, long story short:  I'm not being paid to review any the items I receive in a VoxBox :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

REVIEW: Secret Outlast Clear Gel from Spring Fever VoxBox

Before I get started I just wanted to remind everyone that I am a member of Influenster.  This balls awesome site sends you COMPLIMENTARY samples (FULL SIZED!!!).  Membership is free, but you must be invited by a current member.  You basically fill out brief surveys on categories of your choice and those categories then help them figure out which products would be best for you to test.  You then review the to your friends via social media and word of mouth.  I've been a member for a just a little while and none of my friends hate me or have blocked me and many of the try things after I share them...and thats the whole point! Anyways, long story short:  I'm not being paid to review any the items I receive in a VoxBox :)

Time to get honest!

I got to try this product courtesy of Influenster and their Spring Fever VoxBox.  I got it for free, and I am at least kind enough to review it because, why the hell not!?  

First, I don't do gels.  Never have.  I've always used solids and I'm not loyal to any particular brand, though I do have my favorites (Secret being one of them).  Anyways, to say I was apprehensive about using a gel is an understatement.  I liked the comfort of my solid bars.  Ben, was no help.  He has tried both and told me I would hate it.  Men...

The bottle (jar??) says that it provides 48 hours of clear (maybe, it seems unclear.  Excuse the pun).  Below is a general look at it.  It smells pretty good too.  It was strong enough that my husband thought I was wearing a body spray or something.  So below is a list of pros and cons.  Direct is always best right?


  • Smells great
  • Dried quickly
  • I tried on several outfits to test its whole "now white marks" claim and it held up wonderfully against everything from coral to black.
  • It washes away a lot easier than the solids seem to, but that had no reflection in how well it worked.
  • Honestly, saw no difference between the solid and the gel when it comes to effectively keeping the pits dry.
  • No gross, unsightly deodorant balls (HATE!!)
  • My number one hold up is that if you aren't used to gel, it feels really freaking gross.  *GAG*
  • The scent is strong.  My hubby could smell it even when my arms weren't up.
  • It seems petty, but it is cold as hell EVERY time you put it on.  And after a warm shower, that shit is jarring!
That is honestly it cons wise.  They all seem relatively easy fixes and things you can get used to with time.  So , woot woot to Secret!  Before I go, I wanted to share this cute video from Secret.  Good for a giggle :0)

Hugs Til Later!

So I FINALLY received my Spring Fever VoxBox and I can't wait to share my reviews on the items inside!  I wanted to do individual reviews so that I could focus on each product one at a time.  The kicker is that I'm pressed for time before Baby Boy Boutwell shows up (5 days and counting) so I'll most likely be posting back to back.  I REALLY try not to do that but, like I said, I'm on a time crunch.  I cant wait to share my thoughts with you guys, and as usual I will be sure to give and HONEST opinion on each product.  If you cared enough to read this blog, then I care enough to not bullshit you.

Hugs Til Later!
                                                            Look at all those goodies!!