megan steven's birth story

 I woke up at 40 weeks and 5 days STILL pregnant after several false alarms and prodromal labor all week. I dislike being pregnant and have a huge and heavy belly since I have big babies and I'm short so, trust me, I was terrible to be around! I was set to be induced at 41 weeks because I just knew I couldn't bear to go over as I had with my son. We had moved states 3 months earlier, so this was a hospital birth and I had no birth plan as opposed to my midwife and birth center birth plan! (I went backwards, I know!) I knew I could do it naturally but I was so tired and huge and just worn down after a move and an energetic 3 year old, that I said to myself if I needed an epidural, I would just do it and rest. Well, at 6:00pm I started having the same old contractions (after have my membranes stripped that morning at my doctor! Ouch.) but after an hour they started getting more intense. I had my parents take my son for a sleepover and started watching a movie with my husband while bouncing on the birth ball. By 8:30pm I knew it was real and told my husband at 9:30pm, I wanted to go in. So about 9:45pm, we got to L&D and I was STILL 4 cm as I had been for a week but 90%. I was honestly discouraged thinking I would be sent home again and in pregnancy purgatory forever and that I would never know when I was actually in labor! I started to walk with my husband around the unit for 45 min or 17 laps (they told us it was a mile) and by the end I was unable to stand through the contractions and needed to start moaning . With the recheck I was 5 cm, 100% and I knew it was real. We checked in the room and I got antibiotics for GBS while bouncing on the ball. Things got intense from there and I told my husband maybe I wanted that epidural and he said ok, let’s try the water in the tub first. I headed there and hot water is medication to me! Then, I hit transition so much sooner than expected and told my husband that I felt faint and like I was going to puke. When I started saying "I can't do this, I feel like I'm going to die" my husband said he knew this was going way faster than our first labor. This only lasted 20-30 min and then I had the urge to poop and just then the nurses walked in to check on me because I had been moaning/screaming quite loudly.

My husband told them it was time and they half carried me to the bed. When they checked I was almost a 9! I was screaming for meds then and lost my cool a bit but it was too late. They did give me Nubian but it did NOTHING. The midwife got there and I was on my hands and knees trying to fight the same urge to push and after only a few contractions it was time. I pushed his head out pretty easily and then I felt his shoulder get stuck on my pubic bone and I became terrified of tearing upward. The midwife knew I was in a bad position and they literally flipped me over and told me I needed him out NOW and to stop loosing my mind. I actually felt so much better on my back and I regained my cool and pushed him out in one or two pushes. I soon realized she was in such a hurry because he was blue and not breathing. The handed him to the pediatric team and they kept stimulating him and his second APGAR was perfect but my husband said he has never been more terrified in his life. I was kinda unaware but just kept asking, where is my baby? Is he ok? I knew he wasn't placed immediately on me that something wasn't quite right. He ended up being perfectly healthy and HUGE, 9lbs 11oz birthed naturally with not a single tear! I felt amazing afterward and still feel great. The whole labor was only about 6 hrs with only 3 being terrible! Our son is fat and happy, eating and sleeping most of his first 2 weeks. And, I felt like superwoman. I love how proud my husband is/was of me and he just kept kissing my head and telling me thank you and good job. I’ll always treasure both our labors together. As all the nurses said, he was an amazing coach

The funny thing is I had a birth center birth and a baby who would not nurse (see my previous essay "not natural") and a hospital birth with no immediate skin to skin and a baby who LOVES to nurse (though we are working on a shallow latch issue). It's funny how different babies are! 

We are so grateful for God's goodness (after a failed IVF attempt this summer and this cycle that was almost canceled due to poor response) and kindness. For this child we have prayed...

We are proud to introduce Tobias Porter Stevens. Born 8/8/17 at 2:38 am at a whopping 9lbs 11 oz, 22 inches!

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*If anyone needs a listening ear as they are going through infertility or the IVF process please feel free to contact me. It can be a long road and sometimes having someone who understands is incredibly valuable! You can also comment here with any questions and I'll respond!  megstvns@gmail.com

we bought a house.

If you haven't noticed lately, I have not posted much these past few weeks because my family likes to do a lot major life events all at once. Nick and I just purchased our first home!!! This was a dream we never thought would be possible and a huge answer to prayer.  We feel extremely blessed to have a home of our own that we can create memories in. We love hospitality and this home has a huge backyard where our kids and friends can have a blast. 

So here is a run down of our craziness coming up:

pack... move...unpack...fly to Sacramento...host my sister Michelle's bridal shower...Calvin's 5th birthday...Michelle's bachelorette...Nick is in a wedding...my sister Bianca's bridal shower...Nick's 30th birthday...Max's 3rd birthday...our 7th year wedding anniversary...Michelle's wedding... Christmas...New Years'...... and then 2018 continues with the busyness.  

Our life is packed with a lot of amazing life events but hey go big or go home! I will try to post updates on our house as we slowly update things and make it our own. It was built in '84 and has some basic updates but I can't wait to put my own touches on the place. First thing to go is the popcorn ceilings!!! 

I will post much better quality pictures soon, these were just taken from one of our cards. 

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Some pictures from our real estate card 

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the huge backyard is what sold us.  

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a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding

When I was pregnant with Calvin I never gave much thought as to how I would feed my baby besides taking one breastfeeding class at the hospital. I figured I would either nurse or give him a bottle and that was that. Fast forward to having 3 baby boys, two rounds of postpartum depression and having nursed all of them I am here to tell you my love /hate relationship with breastfeeding.

The Love

-Let's state the obvious, it is FREE!

-There are no bottles to wash. I can feed my baby without having to clean or prepare anything which makes those long days and nights super easy and convenient

-It helps you burn calories and lose baby weight faster

-I love the way I feel connected to my baby when I am nursing, it is a relaxing and there is a indescribable feeling you get  once you both get the hang of it.

-You can go anywhere and have your baby's food supply on hand ;)

-Breastfeeding is an easy way to soothe a cranky baby and also is a sweet bonding time

-Once baby is 3 months old nursing sessions are super quick 

-There are many nutritional benefits for mom and baby

The Hate

-All of my babies refused the bottle (minus Leo for a few weeks)

-I legitimately always wondered who would nurse my baby for me if I was to ever die

-I cannot be away from my baby too long if it is close to feeding time

-I need to think ahead of where and when you will nurse in public and find a cover that is not too hot for both you and baby

-I feel an overwhelming amount of pressure because my body literally is what keeps my baby alive

-No one else can feed my baby for me

-It is a lot of money to breastfeed believe it or not (nursing bras, nursing pads, pump parts, time)

-In the beginning nursing can take forever and also can leave you feeling engorged and in pain

-Every baby has to learn how to breastfeed and it does not come as naturally as you may think

-Weaning your baby from nursing can be hard, painful, and mentally exhausting

-You need to pump if you go on a date or if baby sleeps too long at night, because engorgement is the worst

Nursing did not come easy or naturally for me but it is something I am so thankful I have been able to experience with each of my 3 boys. I do often think about how nice it would be to not have to always think about breastfeeding or how my baby's feeding also effects my body. I can easily get jealous when I see a mom giving her baby a bottle in the store or at church and  I have to find a place to sit and cover myself. But at the same time I love how my body is able to nourish my baby and although the responsibility can be much, I love how needed I am.

If I could do college all over again I would have loved to study to be a lactation consultant and help moms with their breastfeeding journey. My experience with breastfeeding has only been successful due to my families support, my lactation consultant, and all of the resources we have online.  And since everyone's journey with breastfeeding is different, some happy, some sad, some difficult, I wanted to share some other mom's insights on breastfeeding. Here is some encouragement, advice, and stories from other moms whom I respect and love.

This is one aspect of your child’s health—yes, it’s an important aspect, and healthcare professionals are pretty solidly agreed that it’s incredibly beneficial to both you and your baby—but it IS only one aspect. Think of the long term goal—a healthy mother, a healthy child, a healthy marriage. Just because you don’t breastfeed doesn’t mean you’re going to raise a soda-swilling, Cheeto-munching indigent. Remember that you’re on a steep learning curve—trying to balance a healthy body and life for yourself, for your baby, and for your family—without any instructions or insight on how best to do that. Be mindful that the best thing to do isn’t always the easiest, but that the easiest thing to do may be the best thing for your situation.
— Brooke V.
For most of my short time as a mom I carried so much guilt that breastfeeding didn’t work. It always felt like a troubleshooting game with tips, advice and even classes encouraging me to do/try/push harder than I currently was. I wish someone at the beginning of my journey just bluntly told me that it’s okay if breastfeeding doesn’t work out (instead of sharing the next thing I’d eventually try). It’s okay. Life will go on & you can still be a great mom if you pump or formula feed or partial breastfeed. I put far too much of an emphasis on what society is telling me that I need to do instead of reminding myself that God is good, this season is temporary, and feeding my son spiritually is far more important than physical food. Those truths still encourage me daily.
— Steph M.
I had to keep setting timelines for myself like, “I’ll try to make it to 3 months, then 6 months. I felt obligated to stick with it since it was good for him, I was producing enough, and I was staying home and wanted to save the money. My least favorite part was the lack of flexibility, and most places you can’t just stop and breastfeed on demand so I never left home or was greatly bending over backwards trying to do it discreetly or hiding out in a bathroom stall. Eventually the introvert in me liked the opportunity to get away because of breastfeeding or pumping and it got easier until I was a little sad when I finally weaned him.
— Anne G.
I loved the way it helped me feel close with my babies. With my youngest I breastfeed 14 or 15 months and I just hated that I couldn’t sit down with her until after she was weaned or she would just expect to be fed, I hate that it’s exhausting! And now my boobs are deflated lol
— Megan P.
If you have to pump often, buy extra parts because washing and sanitizing them is a such a chore. I had 8 of each piece so I wasn’t obligated to wash all the time but did big batches every other day or so.
— Taissa G.
Newborn nursing sessions make for the sweetest pictures

Newborn nursing sessions make for the sweetest pictures

back when leo would take a bottle from big brother max

back when leo would take a bottle from big brother max

milk I donated 3 days after leo was born. in total I have donated over 300 oz to date

milk I donated 3 days after leo was born. in total I have donated over 300 oz to date