August 20, 2016

"A bit of earth"

Whoa my friends. Whoa. It has been a little over two years since I have blogged. I'm pretty sure I have written at least 15 mental posts but in a season of learning to become and mother and becoming a mother again I haven't found the right time to sit down and type it all out. Lately though, I can't shake it. I MUST write it down. I hope its worthy of your time, or at least your glance.

A quick 2.5 year recap: Nora born. Whoa. Non sleep. Then sleep. Diapers. Talking. Dinners. Groceries. LAUNDRY. No Diapers. Big girl bed. Perry Born. Whoa. NON SLEEP. Laid off. Job. Then more non-sleep. 

And that's basically it, with a whole lot of joy, tears, new friends, seeking the Lord, and reading sleep books. My brain capacity feels so much less than it used to be so bear with my 5th grade vocabulary... as I have regressed. Anyway... here we go...

Have you read The Secret Garden? Here's the part I always come back to:
“Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?” 

In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to say. Mr. Craven looked quite startled.

“Earth!” he repeated. “What do you mean?”

“To plant seeds in–to make things grow–to see them come alive,” Mary faltered.
He gazed at her a moment and then passed his hand quickly over his eyes.

“Do you–care about gardens so much,” he said slowly.

“I didn’t know about them in India,” said Mary. “I was always ill and tired and it was too hot. I sometimes made littlebeds in the sand and stuck flowers in them. But here it is different.”

Mr. Craven got up and began to walk slowly across the room.

“A bit of earth,” he said to himself, and Mary thought that somehow she must have reminded him of something. 

When he stopped and spoke to her his dark eyes looked almost soft and kind.

“You can have as much earth as you want,” he said. “You remind me of some one else who loved the earth and things that grow. When you see a bit of earth you want," with something like a smile, “take it, child, and make it come alive.” 
As I look at my very muddy/weed forest/stray cat crap box of a garden I am sad every time. Remember when Rob just built it?! So exciting. But its a tedious process. And you have to remember to water it. And do all of the other things in life. Then there's bugs on your precious baby veggie leaves and if you spray it with the stuff from home depot is your garden then still ORGANIC?! Tough stuff y'all. 

do notice my pj pants reflection in the window
But I think there is a lot of merit it gardening. As Sarah Clarkson says in A Life Giving Home ...

"However we view vocation and occupation in this modern world, the fact remains that in the beginning, one of the primary human cares was that of the earth. To grow, tend, and, we believe, simply to behold the splendor of what comes forth from seeds planted in the ground was part of the original human identity given by God in the opening glory of a new creation. Planting a garden is a way of returning to an awareness of essentials. It is, first, a way to remember our dependence on the earth to produce the food that nourishes and heals our bodies" 

I want to garden because its peaceful. Because its the opposite of Facebook. Because I want to eat from it. Because I want my girls to love gardening and growing and to have a love for the earth. Because it is beautiful. 

I am in a season right now of really deciding what I want to "plant" in my girls. And how to plant it. But eventually I just have to plant and figure it out as it grows or doesn't. 

So hold me to cleaning up and cultivating that "bit of earth" in my home and back yard. And impart your wisdom on me! I'd love to hear your best tidbits of what works and doesn't (gardening and child growing)

Have a lovely day friends. 

(If you would like to know when I post please subscribe by email in the space to the right) 

June 9, 2014

Why I Chose Midwives and Nora's Birth Story

"What does your doctor say?"
"Oh, well I am with Midwives, but they say .... "
*blank stare*
"So are you like delivering in your house!?"

I think I had that conversation about 8,459 times. 
How did I get to using midwives instead of an OB?

Through A BUNCH of bad stuff that went down with my doctor treating me like a serious medical case when there was no real reason to...  I switched doctors. I started bleeding pretty much from the get go. I would call and they would say come in... she does an exam (I bleed more because of the exam) she says everything is ok. Put this on repeat for 5 weeks.

I told a friend about all the crappy "happenings" with the doctor and she told me about how her sister had had a traumatic first birth and wanted to go for a more natural approach with her second kid and take out unnecessary medical intervention. I started researching Midwifery (my sister cannot handle the goodness of this word) and was amazed with their philosophy and again felt disappointed with America's view of medicine. Let me explain...

Did you know midwives are the primary care people for pregnant women almost everywhere else IN THE WORLD except the US and Canada? Thats right. A healthy pregnancy equals a midwife, and with that a very personalized care model. An Obstetrician is trained in pregnancy as a medical specialty, which is very good and important given the need for "medical specialty." Midwives view of pregnancy is that it is a natural part of life, let your body progress and grow this baby as it was designed to. Medical intervention is used when necessary, not routinely. Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo blog did a segment some time ago about American mothers living around the world. It was really interesting to read their birth stories with midwives (as is the norm in those countries). This one (Northern Ireland) and this one (Norway) are great reads, but really they all are. Like this one about breastfeeding and breast milk in the Congo.

I put myself on the wait list for the Midwives at Texas children's downtown Houston.


When I started with the midwives (based out of a hospital, where they also deliver) I was about 16 weeks along. My first visit lasted over an hour... and that means one-on-one time, me and the midwife talking in depth about my medical history, my current place in life (job, stresses, relationships, hopes, feelings, not kidding!) and of course the baby! I was still bleeding a little but we discussed at length what the bleeding looked like, how much, when it occurred and didn't occur and what the OB had found (or not found via ultrasounds and exams). She decided a pelvic exam was not necessary not wanting to cause any more bleeding from the exam. I left and cried knowing this was exactly where I needed to be.

From this point, a lot of it looked the same as it would with an OB, I went every 4 weeks, then 2 weeks, then every week... each time making sure I had met with each midwife at least once (they are a group of 6) so when the time came for Nora to be born, I would have been acquainted with whoever was on call. Midwives, viewing pregnancy as a normal life process, also believe in helping the body through labor sans medicine if that is the wish of the patient. This looks like education. YOU, the pregnant lady, knowing what labor will look like and how it will progress, and also ways to move and help your body along the way. They, of course, guide you through this during labor but want to know you are informed beforehand.


About week 37, one of the midwifes figured out my belly was too big. I went to a specialist (an OB) and figured out I had excess fluid. That story here. Because there was so much fluid, Nora was basically floating. Though she was head down she couldn't get down far enough to put my body into labor. At 40 weeks 6 days, barely dilated, I went in to be induced.

Go in to have cervical softener overnight. The TV sound doesn't work. Im bummed. Im excited! Tomorrow is the day! Talk to midwife about New Girl and shows on Netflix.

Start Pitocin... 8 hours later, nothing has happened. NOTHING. Take me off pitocin, start over tomorrow. Midwife (a different one) says this happens, my body just needed to get ready today, it will work tomorrow.

Start Pitocin ... 2 hours later my water breaks. It floods the room. There is a "caution floor is wet" sign placed in my door way. Not kidding. Midwife (another different one) comes in and says "I knew it was your room because of the sign!!" Then labor really starts. Slow at first and then picks up. My plan is no meds... so here we go. Mary, the midwife, talks me through breathing. We walk, we sit, we breathe, I get in the bath and she rubs my back and runs water over my back, she massages my legs and feet. We talk about midwifery, babies, behavior therapy, my sister, how I want to throw up because I can smell the beef jerky Rob is eating. About 12 hours in I'm at 9 cm. "You're so close!" Rob says. Well 5 hours later I am still 9cm. In birth class you learn that in transition, the contractions to get you from 8-10cm, are the worst but the fastest and then you push a baby out. Not so for ole Danielle. Mary has tried everything, I am basically dead from being in transition for 5 hours/labor for so long. Also Nora is faced the wrong way, destroying my back. I give it a few more contractions but my body is so tense from pain that I'm not progressing to 10cm. At this point I can try to keep going with no pain meds knowing if I don't get a baby out in the 24 hour mark from my water breaking its a c-section.. OR I can get an epidural, relax and let my body keep working and save energy for pushing. Given epidural or c-section... I choose epidural. Rob has to leave according to hospital policy. Mary, just hugs me and talks to me, tries to keep me still through contractions while they are doing the epidural. I love this woman.

Nora didn't like the epidural. Ugh, this is why I didn't want one. They have to take me off pitocin and start over again, slowly. There is an OB on the case pressuring the midwife to let her intervene. There is no need Mary says. This all becomes blurry. Sometime around 3-4 am Im 10 cm. PRAISE GOD! I push for no less than 4 hours, because she is faced the wrong way and giant (as we now know). A big thank you to sister for holding my leg for so long and seeing way more than you wanted to see :)

21 hours later, Friday 8:04 am, Nora is born. Nora means "light," she was waiting for the sun to rise. She came out eyes wide open looking at Danay and Rob. They laid her on my chest, let me know she's really here for some moments, then took her to the baby station. "10 pounds!" they yell out.

They sew me up (2nd degree tear which is amazing considering her size and that I delivered her head and an arm) I have lost a lot of blood. I turn yellow-green and stay that way for the next 3 weeks. She is perfect. I don't remember very much of the first 3 weeks to be honest. It breaks my heart that I can't really remember her in the hospital. Just bits and pieces. I have pictures holding her so I know that I did. I remember Rob being a super hero, he did everything. Diapers and swaddling, bringing her to me to nurse and laying her back down, getting me food and making sure I ate and drank, helping me stand up (after I could without passing out). Love that guy. I remember in the hospital the nurse saying, "after you feed her let me take her to the nursery and you get some rest." I say ok, I sleep. She comes back and I ask if Nora slept, she says "no, she was my little buddy for the last 3 hours" A theme to continue, little did I know. I never got a sleepy newborn that you can sit in church with all peacefully hahah. Nora is wide eyed and more alert than any baby I have ever seen. And we're in love.

Swaddle Master

I firmly believe if I was not with the midwives I would have ended up in an unnecessary c-section. Nora's pediatrician even said, "I can't believe your OB let you deliver her." I did, and it was tough but I did and we were both fine. I am so grateful for a vaginal delivery and for trusting my body and the midwife trusting me and my body despite what other medical people thought and think after hearing the story.


If you are considering midwives, I urge you to do your research. Ask your doctor what their c-section rates are. Compare that to what the midwives are. In my case it was OB 30%, Midwives 4%. Ask your doctor questions! Challenge them if something seems weird to you! I felt the hospital was still the best place to deliver with midwives, though there are home-based and birth center based too. My insurance covered them. My OB never acknowledged Rob in the room, the midwives got to know him and asked him what questions he had. My OB left for the weekend without giving me a call back in a serious situation because it was past 12pm on Friday. The midwives stayed on the phone with frantic me on more than one occasion and called back to check up. Its obvious I believe this was the best choice for me, but that in no way means I judge your choices. I know there are amazing OBs out there and thank God for them! Just wanted to share my experience because its different than the norm and I have had so many questions.

One Month
Two months
Three Months
Please let me know if you have any more questions! I would love to answer them. Comment or email me at

If you would like to follow my rantings blog, please sign up by email in the sidebar on the right :)
February 18, 2014

Nora's Nursery

Well folks, Im due tomorrow and still no baby in sight... well besides my giant "are you having twins?' belly. But it did give me ample time to finish her room. The only thing lacking is the quilt but its coming!

 The name "Nora" means "light" I had this verse printed in gold foil...

 This print from Satchel & Sage was a gift from Laurel for my birthday and fit perfectly in here :)

Growth chart from Gus & Lula on Etsy

Letters from Rob's mom!

Crib skirt made by my mom is my favorite fabric

February 13, 2014

Sugar Withdrawal: A "cartoon"

I went to the midwife a little over 2 weeks ago and my belly measured 3 inches bigger than it did the week before. Uh oh. I went to get an ultrasound and it showed I have WAY too much amniotic fluid. This can be caused by a lot of things, but usually its gestational diabetes. I tested negative for that but it doesn't mean I don't have it.

So then began my cold turkey cut of sugar and bread. It was a nasty little journey that I thought I would draw pictures about because I wake up at 3-4 am every morning and have nothing else to do. If you want to quit sugar... Here's what to expect:

Never before had I cared about chocolate commercials or understood why they show melty chocolate flowing everywhere. 

When you stop eating sugar things with even tiny amounts of sweet, taste sweeter than they used to!  Your palette adjusts and you crave sugar less. Its an amazing thing. 

Went back to check on the fluid and it has gone down! Praise the lord! 
All the stages are definitely worth going through for me and the babe. 

February 11, 2014

Bad pictures of My Last Minute Projects

Y'all... I don't know how people have consistently cute blogs. I love them and appreciate them but I am not one of the cool "blog kids." You know those girls in junior high & high school who made the cute signs for pep rallies or their friends with their names all bubbled out with colors?! Mine just looked like I had a sweet 3rd grade brother who got bored of his legos and wrote a note. 

Now that we're on the same page about my blog quality: Here are some last min projects for Nora's room. Last post I mentioned this find from World Market (I bought it for $27). I originally got the idea from Nicole on pinterest. It was kinda ugly and I wanted it to have more of the gold/brass finish I have in the rest of the room so BOOM I spray painted it (all babies need to smell some DIY before they're born.) 


Jesus WipesBaby Book 

Next I painted a chair that I had. I have a lot of chairs because I have a chair problem.  At least one of my chair projects made it on design sponge, ratifying the rest. 


LampNate Berkus Frame

Hopefully next post will have the whole nursery! 
Its my goal for today to get the last minute pictures hung and everything in its place. 
Its also my goal to get this baby out of my body... 

February 1, 2014

Nora's Nursery Inspirations

If you know me or have observed 90% of my clothing, you know that my favorite color is white. And maybe gray too. Basically a bunch of non-color. Although super neutral nurseries are really pretty, they aren't the most stimulating to little brains. Color is good for babies! I knew I had to branch out. Laurel introduced me to the blog 100layercakelet where I found my starting point!

I also loved the idea of Hexagons or a honeycomb pattern after seeing this:

Then I started finding goodies that were unattainable for $$ reasons mostly. But OH SO LOVELY. 
Like this dwell studio crib sheet. But $40 for a sheet that will get spit up on and worse??

And this mural is SOOO pretty and colorful and fits my color scheme and then some but $548. 
Da what?!

So I decided on these fabrics after TONs of searching. Spoonflower should have been my first stop for sure. Also used And what for? A crib skirt and a hexagon baby quilt that my mom made/will make. 

Here's a hexa quilt. NOTE: I am linking for picture credit alone. DO NOT BUY this pattern. Its absolute crap.

via/ do not buy this pattern!
If you are interested in making this quilt, there are some quality you tube videos that are much better. Like this one and this one.

And here are just some other ideas/finds/good things:

* Love all these quilts!
* Great idea for diaper/ diapering items storage with easy access.

* Mobile. Bought the DIY kit to save $50. I made it but it might be worth it to pay $50 to have someone make it for you. Seriously.

* Picture wall!
So far I have this print up and framed. Love so many prints from this etsy shop: kariherer

Will be adding these plates, (that spell "nora") a baby gift from Kendall

This print and others!

Hope to have it all done soon so I can show you the finished room! 

Goat & Spoon © 2013.

Design by The Blog Boat