Friday, June 24, 2011

Baby is HERE!

Brielle Raeleen Porter

was born Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:35 in the morning.

Brad and I decided to have her at home in the basement in a birthing tub.  The experience was SO amazing for us.  We found an amazing midwife (who has delivered over 3,000 babies!) and made all the arrangements. 

(Wednesday night in mild labor)

On Wednesday I was having mild contractions all day.  That night we went on a family walk and they started to get stronger and closer together.  Around 11 at night, I called our midwife to let her know that I was in labor.  She came over and so did my mom who was both my nurse and doula (oh yeah, and mom).

I was able to labor on walks around our neighborhood, on a birthing ball, in the shower, and in the tub.

Just after 5 am the contractions started getting really strong, I got up to go to the bathroom and puked all over the floor (thanks mama for cleaning that for me).  It actually felt good to throw-up 'cause I was getting nauseous during contractions, but I didn't after this.  Then, I got into the shower for a few more contractions.  By this time they were coming on pretty strong. 

Brad and I both got into the tub for these contractions.
This was so amazing for me.  Not only did that warm water and the weightlessness feel amazing, but being able to lay on Brad was such a neat experience.  He rubbed me during the contractions and held me while I slept in between them.  I still get tears in my eyes as I think about how tender those moments were for us. 

While I was pushing, I got to reach down and feel her head.  That feeling was so surreal.  I could feel the hair on her head and I felt her head come out as I pushed.  After I pushed her shoulders, out I got to reach down and pick up my baby myself.  The feeling was one of ecstasy. 
Brad was holding me this whole time and was pulling my legs back as I pushed.  It was so fun to pull her up into my arms and to have the 3 of us meet that way. 

Brad got to cut and clamp the umbilical cord.

She didn't even cry when she was born.  She just came out looking around seeming to take it all in.

I need a better picture of my mom.
About 20 minutes after I had her, the other kids got out of bed and came downstairs to meet her.

The whole experience couldn't have gone any better.  It was such a miracle!

I can't even express how excited I am and how blessed I feel to have another little angel from heaven!

She is truly amazing!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


So we just got back from an appointment with the midwife.
I am now 20 weeks along and every thing is going great!

Oh, and we're having a...


I'm so excited!!

By the way our weather for today is:

Rest Of Today
Snow Snow
Hi: -1°

Mostly sunny with intermittent very light snow. Highs around 1 below. North winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 20 percent. Wind chill readings (FEELS LIKE) 19 below to 29 below zero (-19° to -29°).

Mostly Clear Mostly Clear
Lo: -19°
Mostly clear. Lows around 19 below. Northwest winds up to 10 mph in the evening becoming light.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Is Healing Possible?

Short answer?
A resounding YES!

Is it easy?
Most the time, no.

I was talking with a friend the other day and told her that I hope that my kids will be able to learn from their past experiences (traumas and abuse) and turn them into something that can benefit their lives.  I do not feel angry at the people who caused my children harm, mostly because I know those people grew up having traumatic childhoods as well.  Throughout the process, I have tried to help my children separate in their minds the abuse they experienced from their abusers (most of whom were their close family members).  When I saw my children, at very young ages, continuing the cycle of abuse on each other, I understood for the first time how people can do such horrible things.  I knew that if I condemned their abusers I would be in essence condemning my children as well and I knew that they would never feel fully accepted by me.   

I think I have been blessed with an ability to look past the horrible things that their abusers have done and into their hearts.  I feel heartache for them and their life experiences.  While not accepting or approving of the things those people have done to my children in any way, I try to convey to my kids that those people were lost and struggling.  


The other day, we were walking through the park together as a family and we saw a group of  young people smoking, drinking and using foul language.  I saw Jazmine observing them and wondered what was going through her mind.  She completely surprised me when she turn around and said,

"Mom, when I see people drinking and smoking, I want to go up to them and tell them about the gospel."

The other night some of the kids were ganging up their sister verbally attacking her.  They took turns making snide remarks and insults.  Typically, when this happens I send the one who is being cruel away from the one they are attacking.  My reasoning is that each of my children deserves to live in a home that feels safe to them and if someone is threatening that feeling of safety they will not be permitted to stay near the others.  However, this night we were kneeling down for family prayers (which we do right before bed time), when the badgering was going on so I didn't send anyone away and it kept escalating.  I tried to stop it verbally but my requests were being completely ignored until I snapped.  Jazmine happened to be the last one to insult her sister so she got the brunt of my temper.  She was kneeling next to me and I firmly nudged her leg with the back of my hand and yelled something like, "How dare you!  You guys sit her and repeatedly insult your sister over and over as if you hate her.  How do you think that makes her feel?  Do you want her to grow up believing those horrible things?"  I know in their minds it probably sounded like blah, blah, blah, words, words, words.  Anyway we finished a not-so-reverent prayer and I sent them to bed.  I immediately felt horrible about my reaction especially to Jazmine and caught her before she went to her room.  She turned around with huge tears streaming down her face.  Assuming the tears were from my reaction, I held her in a tight hug and apologized for the way I reacted.  I told her it was wrong and that I was shouldn't have behaved that way.  She pulled away from my hug and said,

"Mom, that's not why I'm sad.  I'm crying because I feel bad for Jada.  We were so mean to her and I feel really bad about it."

I gave her another hug and she pulled away again, looked straight into my eyes and said,

"I've never felt this way before.  I've never felt sorry for something mean I did.  What does that mean?"

I this point I'm crying with her and I tell her that it means she is healing, she is getting a conscience and her heart is learning to love and to care about others.

This happened a few days ago and since then several times throughout each day, she tells me different ways that she has helped people when she sees that they are sad.  

So, can healing happen?
It can! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kenz signing

Makenzie is now 20 months old.  I still think of her as my baby and I can't believe that we'll have another baby in just 5 months! 

Kenzie brings so much joy to our family.  If you ask me, I think she's exceptionally bright!  Doesn't every mom think that about their kids?

We use a lot of sign language in our family for communication purposes and have gotten to know and associate with several people here who are deaf and use sign language. 
Makenzie has been exposed to sign language since she was born and has picked up a lot.

Brad was asking her to sign several different signs tonight so I got the camera and recorded her. 

So adorable!!