A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Birth Au Natural

Going into Abram's birth, I had hoped to go naturally, with no induction, no meds. With both Jonah and Matthias, I was induced. And although they broke my water with Matthias in hopes to get labor started, it didn't progress and I ended up with Pitocin and therefore an epidural. Don't get me wrong, epidurals definitely have their perks: I spent the last couple hours of all three previous births with no major pain. BUT, they make me sick. Sick like throwing up before the birth, and then throwing up after the birth. It is a little bit frustrating to want to hold and snuggle your freshly born baby, and having to hand him off over and over again so you can throw up in a bag.

So, I felt like I had spent the last nine months battling nausea, and wanted to try and see if I could avoid it during the actual birth. I read up on relaxation techniques, talked to friends who had their babies with no medication, and often felt like "Yes! I can do this!", and also often felt like "WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I THINKING???"

Yes, one tells herself that millions of women have done this before, and surely, surely I could as well! But, knowing that you're also going to enter what people call the worst pain ever is a bit intimidating.

At 40 weeks and 6 days, I was ready for Abram to come (not that we knew for sure it was a boy at that point!). We were sure a week and a half earlier that labor was gearing up, and then it stopped and never quite returned. I was dilated to three centimeters, and t.i.r.e.d. of being pregnant. Our Dr. agreed to break my water that morning of the 14th, and we were hoping that labor would progress on its own.

We went into the hospital at 7:45am, got settled into our room, and sat down so I could get a dose of antibiotics. Nothing major for the next couple hours. Dr. came in at 9:45 and broke my water and we got ready to do all we could do to get my body to agree to the process!

Eli and I walked the halls for probably two hours, with periods of stopping so they could check heart rates and everything. Contractions started to intensify some and come at regular periods. Eli was an awesome coach, just being there with me. Close to 1pm, the nurse checked and I was just at a 4. At that moment, I was a bit disheartened. I was sure she was going to say I was a bit further along! But, she was such a fabulous nurse, and quickly knew what to do. She had me switch positions for about 20 minutes, which made things pick up, and then got me into the tub, which REALLY made things start to pick up more!

In the tub I started to lose a little of my resolve: I was telling Eli if things were going to feel "like this" for a few more hours, I didn't think I could do it. I might even have said "I'll need an epidural!" Thank goodness for this man who encouraged me to just stick it out a little bit longer.

When I got out of the tub, I was really feeling it and wasn't getting long breaks between contractions. The nurse checked again, probably close to 2:30, and I was 6-7. Things were intense, and I started to panic. I think if I had really realized at this moment that I was in transition labor, I might have not been so worried. But, somehow in my mind, I still had at least two hours left of what felt like intolerable pain. Little did I know I had a much shorter time! I'm a little ashamed to say that during contractions I was begging Eli for some kind of pain meds, and then in the short breaks in between them, I would apologize for "losing my mind".

The nurse knew, though, that we were nearly there. She said "no pain meds!" and called the doctor, because when she checked things maybe 10 minutes later, I was a 9+. My mom and Eli's mom were both in the waiting room at that point. Eli, trying to fan me because I was super hot, was trying to text them to get in the room, and they said the saw the Dr. flying down the hallway and they knew it was time!

Just a few minutes later I was ready to push, and pushed for 2-3 contractions and Abram was there! 3:02pm in the afternoon. Two hours of crazy intensity, and suddenly it was over! I looked down and laughed: "It's a boy! Of course it is."

Moments after birth
Sooooo ready to snuggle my newborn - with NO NAUSEA. Definitely a little shaky from it all, but I felt great, and within two hours got to eat dinner! He was perfect in every way. We didn't get quite as many pictures during birth and right after as the last three, mostly because we were definitely in the moment and Eli was working to coach me through it all.

I won't lie, it was hard and it was painful, but to me, it was worth it. I have joked that I probably gave Eli PTSD from it all, but he has said it was worth it as well. I think back and I do think if I had known at that crazy transitional moment that I really only had 20-30 minutes left before the baby would be born, I might not have lost my mind quite so much. = ) But, I am grateful. Truly, it was only about 5 hours of labor that day, which was much shorter than I could have hoped for! And I know that a safe delivery and a healthy baby are a miracle ... and that is what our little Abram Nicholas is - a miracle sweetness to our life.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Abram Nicholas Brooks


Friday, November 14, 2014, at 3:02 p.m., we welcomed Abram Nicholas Brooks to the family! He was 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 1/2 inches long. Definitely our biggest baby! I will write another time about the story of the birth, but needless to say, we are enjoying getting to know this little guy.

The big brothers pretty much adore him, and although there are definitely still moments of adjustment as Mommy's and Daddy's arms have to take extra time to bounce a baby, everyone is thrilled with his arrival (and the boys were thrilled he was another boy!).

My days have flown by faster than I can catch up with, and my to-do list (or rather, catch-up list) is long, but sometimes things just aren't going to get done each day! Which is why I'm getting to this post finally, when Abram is already nine days old = ) But, as we approach Thanksgiving in three short days, mine and Eli's hearts are most definitely full of thankfulness and awe as we gaze at another miracle: a healthy baby and three other healthy boys that create chaos and fun in our home. Our bushel and our hearts are full!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Soccer season is well over and we have moved into basketball season (for Jonah). This was the boys' first year playing soccer and they both really loved it so much. Jonah definitely connected with his teammates and got in there and we saw some great improvement. Eli played soccer for many years, and so he did really great with playing with the boys in the backyard during the week, and keeping them excited about playing! Reuben did better than we thought (I was worried he would be the kid standing on the field, completely spacing out) and was very much focused on his game and pretty intense-faced during games. He did great, and had fun with the boys on his team.

Even though they are young, I can see how we're going to be getting into those years soon in which we have to decide how to be involved in sports and activities. Do we really focus and push into one or two? Or just let them try what they want, and maybe enjoy a lot, but never really achieve a high level in one thing? I see families in which soccer soccer soccer consumes their weekends. And I'm not really sure I want to be there. But, I also never want to hold the boys back if they really find something they excel at. And so, it is a guessing game as we enter a bit more social and activity time as Jonah and Reuben get bigger.

Either way, I know it will take prayer and all of us being willing to work together and be flexible as we figure it out. I think back on all the gymnastics and dance classes my mom took me to (and with four other kids to homeschool and take care of) and I am really grateful my parents made those sacrifices - financially and timewise - because I have great memories of those times. And I want to give the boys opportunities to participate in activities, without letting the activities and sports control us.

Jonah was ready to jump right into basketball season, and is loving getting to know new teammates and go to practices. But Reuben didn't even ask to play = ) The difference between my boys. I overheard Jonah asking him a week or so ago if he was going to play basketball sometime, or if he wanted to. Reuben shrugged his shoulders and said "maybe someday when I'm in second grade". Not nearly as social as his brother, he is happy to attend Jonah's games and not worry about it. He rather prefers it.

Getting ready for the kick in

Just love this picture = )

Monday, November 3, 2014

Harvest Party 2014

We worked really hard to get a family picture this year - on a real camera no less! There was one year we got no family picture, and a couple years we've only gotten them on phones. Which is an improvement, but still! I nearly didn't dress up - which I think would have been my first halloween in my entire life that I would not have dressed up for ... but it became apparent to me that I might have faced being disowned by the four most important men in my life. So, I did! And I am glad that I did = ) Pregnant squaw and all.

Our Harvest Party this year was the biggest ever - over 950 people came through the doors of the church to enjoy our evening! Wow! And that is without advertising, save the poster by the side of the church. It did seem crazy and busy and all those things combined, but it was fun.

I ended up leaving early with Matthias. I could NOT STOP candy from getting into his mouth! And couldn't get him to eat dinner. He was having fun, but at the same time, having trouble waiting in line for games and getting a bit frustrated himself. So, I left the two big boys together, with Oma to bring them home, and headed home with Matthias. Who happily ate at home, took a long bath, and then read books with Mommy. Jonah and Reuben stuck together at the Harvest Party the entire time, and had the evening of their little lives = ) So glad that we have this opportunity each year!

And so, the family of Native Americans survived another October 31st ... and we now await the birth of our little papoose.