Tuesday, September 17, 2013

5 months

I realize I am extremely behind on blogging. I have so much to catch up on, and so little time to do it. Who would have thought that three boys would take up so much time?

I am only 2 days late on this post, so I thought it would be the best one to start with.
My little Connor is 5 months old. Holy moly that went fast. I have been somewhat slacking in the monthly photo department but I did get a 5 month shot with my birthday present. (a new lens) Oh ya, it's my birthday. :)

Connor is has a very sweet calm spirit. My hope is that he will be slightly less crazy than his brothers, but I'm not counting on it.

Connor has pretty much been a dream baby, besides not sleeping, as long as I don't eat dairy products. I started eating them about a week ago to see if I was in the clear yet, but he still doesn't seem to tolerate it very well. 

He's around 50th percentile for weight (16 pounds) and 90th for his height (26 inches)

He loves his binky, his blanket and his older brothers.
He also loves to snuggle. 
He can role over and sit up for a few seconds.
We sure love having him around. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013


We have a winner for the Empowering Fearless Birth ticket!

Congratulations Stacy Minch!!!!
I will be sending you an email with the information you need to collect your ticket! 

You can still get a discount ticket by using the code "cararocks" when purchasing your ticket. A day pass is only $39 with lunch included. Old Town Grill is catering, and their food is AMAZING! 

Does your hubby have a ticket yet? Consider getting a sitter for the night, enjoy the gourmet dessert bar, take Lauralyn Curtis' Daddy Doula Training AND catch the Daddy Panel--all included in the nighttime ticket! Only $8!

Our Fruitful cafe will remain open if you would like to purchase dinner as well! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


A few months ago I wrote a post "Why I am obsessed with birth." Since then I have been involved in planning the Empowering Fearless Birth Event taking place in less than 2 weeks!

What is this you say? A feminist movement?

There has been some confusion about this event, so I thought I would write a blog post, just to clarify. We are not a bunch of feminist trying to take over the world. (Well not all of us anyway)
The EFB event is like a bridal fair, but for birth, and it's SO MUCH cooler. :)

When you hear the word empowered, you may think of this.

                   To equip or supply with an ability; enable

The goal of this event is to do just that. To equip families with the ability to have the kind of birth they want. Along with birth education, there will be nutritional classes, foot zoning, essential oils, healing from birth trauma, supporting others though loss....Why don't I just show you.

 WOW! Amazing line up, right?

Notice my name in there? :) I am teaching a class on photography tips. The lovely ladies in charge have given me 1 ticket to do a giveaway with!
All you have to do is leave a comment with the class you would be most interested in taking and share this post.
I will pick a winner on Friday the 13th!
As a thank you for teaching the class, I am also allowed to give a special deal for friends and family. $39 for a full day pass with a gourmet lunch included. (Price at the door is $59)
Just go here and enter the discount code "cararocks"
My discount will expire this Sunday! So grab your tickets fast!
Good luck!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gone but not forgotten

Three years ago today I got a call a phone call mid morning, I missed the call and checked my phone to see who it was. It was my mom. I dialed the number back as I was walking up the stairs to my room. My little sister answered, from the tone in her voice I could tell something was wrong.

"Cara, My dad's gone."

It was about all she could get out. I told her I would be right over and hung up the phone.
I burst into tears and sunk to the floor. I was so mad at myself for not making the trip to my moms the previous Sunday. I felt like I should, but I just ignored it.

Steve and I butted heads for most of my childhood. Him being my "Step dad" was something I couldn't seem to get over, despite him always referring to me as his daughter.
I remember getting in trouble when I was 16 for doing donuts in our culdesac. I was furious that he was making a scene in front of my friends. Hind sight, I was clearly the stupid one.

It wasn't until I after I was married that our relationship really started to get better. Steve loved Will, and that brought us together for some odd reason.

A week or so before Steve passed away I brought over a couple burgers from Wendy's. I ate mine and Steve struggled to eat the first of the two I bought for him. We sat and talked for a bit and he offered me his second burger. He played with Lincoln, and told him he was going to buy him a pony. I remember thinking "Why couldn't we have just had this relationship all along?"

I am reminded today of the importance of telling those you love what they mean to you.
Of letting go of small differences and living life to the fullest.

It breaks my heart that my boys wont be able to meet their grandpa's.
If there was anything Steve loved more than being a cowboy, it was being a Grandpa.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Another round of Deja vu, a few weeks ago was Connor's baby blessing. He received a name and a blessing on June 23rd. Will gave a beautiful blessing in a circle of dear friends and my amazing Grandfather. It was such an honor for us to be able to have my Grandpa Keith stand in the circle. He is 92 years old and is still going strong!

What is a blessing without yummy food afterwards?

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it. We enjoyed celebrating Connor's special day.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cutest baby in the World!

We entered Connor in the Strawberry days rodeo. I had to wake him up from a nap to take him, so I almost didn't go. He was not a happy camper.
As soon as I put him on the table in front of the judges he started grinning from ear to ear.
The judges oooooooed and awwwwed and commented on his adorable smile and sweet dimples.
And he totally won! Cutest baby in the world! Ok, just cutest 0-3 month old.
I am still very proud of him. :)

I am glad he won, so I didn't have to make a fake certificate. He has big shoes to feel with his two awesome older brothers. :)

 Spencer won the strawberry day's contest last year.

Lincoln won the freedom festival baby contest twice.

It's okay to brag about my cute kids a little bit, right?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

2 Months!

First, I'm sorry, I have been TERRIBLE about keeping updates on here. I want to do better, I really do. I new goal will be to post at least once a week.

Now on to more important matters.
Baby Connor turned 2 months old yesterday. I don't know how he has gotten so big so fast! I don't know any of his stats yet because his 2 month appointment is tomorrow. I will post them later.
We did do a little photo shoot with the boys yesterday and I wanted to share a few of them.
 A little about Connor at 2 months:

~He is the sweetest most cuddly baby ever! I just love him
~He is sleeping pretty good and wakes up 2-3 times at night
~He smiles all the time
~He adores his big brothers
~He loves bath time
~He is a total binkie baby
~He is a pretty chill, easy going baby, unless I eat dairy, that makes him angry.

Coming up next, a post about our Oregon trip.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Connor's Birth

Connor's Birth

Saturday night we went to bed around 10 pm. I started feeling sick earlier in the day and I had developed a pretty nasty cough. We were all exhausted and I was excited to get some sleep. Around 10:30 I was wide awake. I tried everything I could but could not get to sleep.

I got up to use the bathroom around 12:45am and the second I got back in bed I felt a gush of fluid. I ran to the bathroom and waited to see if it kept coming. Sure enough, my water was leaking and around 1:00am I felt another large gush. I still didn't believe that I was in labor or that my water had actually broken. I figured it would be awhile, but sent a text to my midwife and doula to let them know, just in case. I had long labors with both of my boys but I had never had my water break before labor actually started. So I was worried that he would come so fast that I wouldn't be able to get everyone there in time. Between 1 and 1:30am I only had one contraction, so I figured I would just lay down and try to go back to sleep. As soon as I laid down they started coming every five minutes. I texted my birth team and told them to head over. Natalie ended up coming over early Sunday morning because my doula, Katie was out of town until Sunday afternoon.

My contractions stayed five minutes apart for the next couple hours. We watched a movie and tried to rest as much as I could with contractions being so close together. Around 6:00 am they slowed way down, so I figured I would try to go back to sleep and get a little rest. Around 8:00 am my midwife Angie came to check on me. She said to try to get some rest and call her when things picked up.

Everyone left and I tried to rest while Will watched the boys. I listened to some HypnoBirthing tracks to help me rest through contractions. They slowed way down and were only coming every 10-15 minutes. I played with the boys a little bit and decided it was time to try to get things going again. My doulas (both Katie and Natalie) came back over around 2:00 pm and started doing pressure points and rubbing some essential oils on my feet and belly. Natalie did some energy work with me to let go of fears that I had surrounding my birth, and anything else that might have been holding me back. Will and I went for a walk and talked about how I was enjoying my labor. Even though my contractions were far apart they were still working little by little to open my cervix. We talked about Connor and the lessons he was learning on the other side of the veil. By the time we got home they were five minutes apart again. We got home and started playing Dance Central to keep them going. Around 7:00 pm my midwife came back over and we did another round of oils and pressure points to try to get things to progress. She said to rest if I could and things should pick up in around 8:00 pm. She was going to run some errands and would be back soon.

Around 10:00pm they started coming 5 minutes apart again and they were getting pretty intense. I sent a text to my midwife, Angie, and she gave me some homeopathics to keep my contractions coming and hopefully move me into active labor.  We watched another movie and we were all having a good time laughing and talking together.

I kept watching the clock, knowing it had almost been 24 hours since my water had broke. I was getting frustrated that things weren't moving the way I thought they should and I couldn't understand why. Both of my previous labors had followed the same pattern. Contractions started early morning and stayed five minutes apart until I opened to an 8 at which point things picked up.

Around 11:30pm I hit a brick wall. I was exhausted. I had only slept about 4 hours in the last 24 hours. My cough was getting worse, I couldn't breathe, and my head was pounding. I came upstairs to take a bath. I stepped into the tub and melted down into the warm water. Tears streamed down my face while Will sat by the side of the tub stroking my arm. I was so frustrated. I could not understand what was going on with my body. I was worried about Connor. I kept thinking of all of the different things that could be wrong and making my labor stall. I knew that if we went to the hospital they would put me on Pitocin right away and if things didn't pick up like they wanted them to they would do a c-section. I had heard birth story after birth story where the exact same thing had happened. Which I would fully accept if I thought that was what Connor needed. But prayer after prayer was answered with the same response, I was where I needed to be.

Angie came up and had the “We need to talk options” look on her face. She was confused as well about my labor pattern. She said she had only seen it a few times and that it was just a short cord that needed time to stretch. But that was just her best guess. She said she was fine to keep going and she didn't have a problem waiting. She then suggested Will give me a priesthood blessing so that we could make a decision. Will then proceeded to give me an amazing blessing. He blessed me with the Spirit of guidance, and reminded me of the power that it holds. He blessed me with peace, and patience, and the ability to trust my body and my baby to know what to do. He assured me that all would go well and I need not fear.

My videographer, Sarah, came upstairs and filmed a little bit before putting her camera down and sitting on the floor next to the tub. She said “I know I don't know you all that well but I just have to say something.” We talked about the spiritual side of birth and how amazing my body was for growing this little baby inside of me, and how it would continue to be amazing and birth my baby just the way he needed to be birthed. She also mentioned her experience with a previous birth and how she imagined going to the veil to get these sweet spirits to be born. I imagined walking up a tall mountain,working my way, ever so slowly, to get my baby.

I needed to do a 180 and change my mindset. I was forgetting about the spiritual side of birth and letting fear take over. I looked at Will perched on the side of the tub and asked “Is Connor okay?” Without a sliver of doubt he said “Yes.” I felt at peace. William means protector. I had no reason to believe that my amazing husband would ever do anything but protect me and my children.

I got out the the tub and crawled in bed. My doulas-Katie and Natalie, Will, and Sarah all sat on my bed to refocus. Then my midwife came upstairs. She said she felt like she was holding up my labor. She was confused about my labor and and was dealing with pain from a hernia, so she felt she needed to leave and hand care over to her back up midwife. She ended up leaving and going straight to the emergency room for her hernia. We talked about our options at that point and then we got a call from Angie's back up, Sherri. She asked about how things were going and if my water was still leaking. When I told her no she said it was a possibility that I had a high tear that was able to seal back up on its own. As long as Connor was moving and his heart tones were good, we should be fine to wait until morning to see what happens. She said to try to sleep but if I couldn't sleep to call her and she would come over.

I prayed that all would be okay and that I would be able to rest enough to sleep through some contractions. After a very long day, we all fell asleep around 2:00 am. Every time a contraction would come it just felt like a wave rushing over me. I would feel Connor wiggle and fall right back to sleep. I got up around 7:00 am, checked Conner’s heart rate, and checked to see if I had leaked any more water.

I called Sherri to tell her that I still hadn’t leaked and that Conner’s heart rate was still going strong. She asked us to come over at 8:00am. We left the boys with my doula's and headed over. My contractions had picked up again by that time and were five minutes apart. Sherri checked me for dilation and I was back at a 2, and 80% effaced. She confirmed that my water had resealed, and Connors head was no longer engaged.

We went home and decided to just start over. I was going to forget about the previous 24 hours of labor and just pretend like they never happened. Since I was a week past my “due date” I had made an appointment on Friday for an ultrasound, just to make sure everything was okay. While I knew Connor was safe, I still felt like there was something we needed to know, and I needed to get an ultrasound to ease my mind. We called and moved my appointment to 12:00 pm and started getting ready for the day. Everyone else went home.

The contractions started to get strong again. They were very uncomfortable and hard to relax through while in a car. The sweet OB who did the ultrasound was amazing. He said “These are great contractions, why are you here? Go call your midwife, and have a baby.” He did the ultrasound and we were able to see a few things. First he was posterior, which means that his face was looking up instead of down-which makes for a long labor. He told us that he had plenty of fluid, and that the placenta looked like it was done and that this baby was ready to come. He guessed he would be about 8 pounds and said he was still a boy. Then he got to the cord. It was wrapped around his neck twice. He said “But that's okay, your midwife will just need to unwrap it once his head is out. It could be three times and you would still be okay. But show this ultrasound picture to your midwife so she knows.” He was so sweet and reassuring and kept saying “Go have this baby.” We left and said I would do my best.

We were going to get some lunch and walk around the mall but I quickly realized that wasn't going to be an option. We went home and put the boys in bed. I was feeling tired again so I got in the tub thinking it would slow the contractions down a bit. When they started to get stronger instead I started to get excited. I was finally kicking into active labor! I started working on positions to get him to flip. I kept thinking to myself “I have plenty of time to flip him, I could probably just wait.” But I felt like I needed to keep holding the positions, even though they were uncomfortable, until I felt him flip. Will called both Angie and Sherri to let them know what we had learned at the ultrasound, and they decided that we would have Sherri come check me around 5:30 pm to see if I had progressed any. I got out of the tub at 3:00 pm and told Will I wanted Sherri to come check me now. She said she would be here at 3:30 pm. She checked me and I was at a 4 ½. She also noted that Connor was in an anterior position, which meant he had successfully flipped over to the proper position for birthing. I got in the tub again around 4:00 pm and told Will to call my doula. Katie and Natalie both showed up around 4:30 pm. Sherri checked me again and said I was a 6. She figured at the rate I was going I would have the baby around 8:00 pm. The tub was releaving lots of pressure and Sherri told me if I changed my mind and wanted to birth in the tub I that was still an option. I told her I needed to get out while I still could. Every time I tried to stand up another contraction would come and I would fall back down into the water. I looked at Natalie and said “I need to get out, but I am just so tired!” She balanced my energy and I was able to hurry and jump out of the tub.

We all went to my bed and I laid down on my side. Sherri said she was very curious to see where I was at and asked to check me again. At 5:17pm I was at 8cm. At that point my videographer had not arrived yet. I knew I didn't want to push laying down, it didn't feel right, but I also felt Connor moving down so I wanted to wait for Sarah to get there before I flipped. As soon as Sarah showed up, I got off my side and on my hands and knees. As a contraction washed over me, I was surprised to feel like I needed to push. I tried to breathe through the sensation and resist pushing. But within seconds I knew my body and baby had a different plan in mind. With the next contraction I felt Connors head shoot in the birth canal and started to feel him crowning.  At 5:22 pm his head was out.

My midwife told me to hold on while she tried to unwrap the cord. After realizing the cord was just too tight to unwrap she clamped and cut the cord. Then I heard about ten different urgent voices tell me to push. There were not that many people physically in the room, and I think the only two that actually vocalized the words were my two midwives. Without a contraction to assist I gave everything I had and started pushing, knowing I couldn't stop until the rest of his little body was out. I didn't feel Connor move an inch. His shoulder was stuck. I felt his little legs still wiggling inside as my midwife hooked her finger around his shoulder and pulled his arm out. I started pushing again and the rest of his body was out at 5:24 pm.

He started crying right away and then stopped shortly after. Sherri gave him the kiss of life, a mouth to mouth resuscitation, and he started crying again, and pinked up with in seconds. She handed me my beautiful, warm, squishy baby boy.

While my birth had several complications, there were so many things that lined up perfectly in order for sweet little Connor to get here as peacefully as possible.

The biggest thing was that my midwife listened to the spirit and followed her instincts, even though they were telling her something she did not understand. Angie was my midwife for all of my prenatal care. She was nurturing and loving and just what I needed when I was on bed rest. Under her care we were able to keep Connor safe and cooking well past his due date.

Angie lived about 30 minutes away from me. Sherri lived about two minutes away from me. When we originally got home from the ultrasound Will was planning on waiting until 5 to call anyone to come back over. We really didn't want my labor to stall again. The only reason we had Sherri come at 3:30pm is because I knew she could just run over, check me, and then leave again. Had Angie still been my only midwife, I wouldn't have called her until things started to get really intense, which was around 5:00pm. With Connor being born at 5:24pm, we both would have been in big trouble.

Sherri was prepared for the cord because of the ultrasound. Also from the ultrasound we found that Connor was posterior, and I was able to flip him. Posterior babies make for long labors and long pushing. Once Connor started to move into the birth canal, he needed to get out fast.

On that same note, hands and knees is the best position for shoulder dystocia. A position that I would not have been able to get into had I been in the tub. I listened to my body and my baby, and I was able to do exactly what needed to be done in order to get Connor here safely.

My doulas were also amazing and having two the them here was absolutely essential in keeping my moral up during a long labor. Had I waited until later to call when my water broke I would have only ended up with one of them.

I look at myself in the mirror and all I can think is how amazing my body is. Things that used to be viewed as flaws, I now look at as badges of honor. My stretch marks remind my of my round belly that was a safe home for my boys for nine months. My wide hips remind me of the experience of giving birth, and the complete miracle it is. My body is awesome. My body is wise. And I can do hard things.

 Hugs from Spencer.
 Will playing Dance Central.
 Lincoln giving my some labor support.
 Sweet baby Connor.
 Just a few minutes old and alert as can be.
 Spencer getting a good look at baby Connor.
Love my boys.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I am obsessed with birth.

When I was 15 I remember walking into our garage, which had been converted into a art studio for my mom, and hearing a lady talk about giving birth on the radio. I had never given much thought to birth, only that I was terrified of getting a big needle stuck in my back. I stopped and listened for a few minutes while gathering the paint that I went in their to get. She was speaking about birth and it's spiritual meaning, how during birth, we sacrifice our blood for the sake of another, the way Christ spilled his blood to save all mankind. I thought about this for the next little while, and contemplated what my own journey to motherhood  would be like. Everything I knew about birth didn't seam very spiritual to me, but yet this new concept made such an impact on me. I decided that when the time came I would prepare myself for a spiritual birth. 

4 years later I was sitting in my human development class discussing birth. My professor was very knowledgeable in all aspects of birth, breastfeeding, baby wearing and all things of the sort. We discussed how society's view of the birthing woman has significantly changed in the last 100 years or so. We looked at pictures of women birthing in ancient times, looking up towards the heavens, reaching down to bring their own babies into the world. Giving birth was God like, and women where birthing goddesses. 
 I decided that giving birth was something I wanted to experience, I was excited to experience. Even if part of the experience involved pain. A few years later when I got pregnant, I started doing research on prenatal classes, and started watching birth videos. I came across a HypnoBirthing home birth. The title of it made me giggle a little, but I was intrigued, so I started watching it. I had never seen a calm, gentle birth before. The woman in the video didn't appear to be in any pain. When a contraction would start, she would close her eyes and start breathing deeply. Mind blown. I didn't have to be screaming out in pain in order to have my spiritual birth experience. 

One HypnoBirthing class, HypnoBirthing instructor certification, and two natural births later, I am obsessed with birth. However, until a few days ago, I had a hard time explaining to people why it was so important to me. The baby gets here safe and sound, that's all that matters right? 
Maybe to some that is all that matters. But I believe that it is SO much more than that. 

I read this article a few days ago, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It's from the blog Women in the Scriptures. It is amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone! 

Did you read it? Seriously, go, read, you will not regret it.

The hole thing is amazing, here are just a few of my favorite excerpts. 

She talks about the two veils we pass through and compares our role and Chirst role in each passing. 
"The first veil that all mankind passes through is the veil of birth in which man is born into the world by water, blood and the spirit. Women have a stewardship over this first veil. When Eve partook of the tree of knowledge she became more like God, knowing good from evil and gaining the capacity to bear children. Eve's transgression "opened the matrix", as it says in Exodus 34:19, the womb, the gateway through which the souls of all mankind would pass through into the mortal world. The only possible way to enter this mortal world is through the body of a woman and by the shedding of her blood... there is no other way.

The second veil is the veil we must pass through in order to re-enter the presence of God and continue on our eternal journey. Men have a stewardship over this second veil. Just like Adam, righteous men hold the priesthood keys and administer the ordinances which cleanse us from our sins and enable us to come back into the presence of God. Just like the first veil, the second veil requires a sacrifice of blood, water and spirit. Through His Atonement Jesus Christ performed this great and last sacrifice for all mankind. Just as women are the only gateways into the mortal world, Christ is the only gateway into the eternal world... there is no other way."

How amazing is it that our bodies know how to grow a baby and give birth? I think women have lost faith in their own bodies ability to give birth. Sure there are there are problems that can arise, that require assistance, and in those circumstances thank goodness for modern medicine. 

"Given how incredible it is that women's bodies are able to create complete human beings, without their minds directing how it will happen, it seems possible to me that part of the "first lessons" women received in the pre-mortal world was how to create bodies. While their mortal minds don't remember how to do it, perhaps their eternal spirits do and it is a woman's eternal soul which directs and guides her body in the construction of the baby and oversees the process of labor and birth.
We also know that in the pre-mortal existence that Satan and a third of the host of heaven rejected God's plan to come to earth and receive mortal bodies (D&C 29:36). Because they were not faithful in keeping their first estate Satan and his third are the only ones out of God's children that will never pass through the first veil; no woman will ever create a body for them or shed her blood by bearing them into the world, nor will they ever have wives or children. This is one of the reasons that many of Satan's tactics are directed at women and at the structure which protects and guards the first veil... the family. Satan is doing everything in his power to convince women that their bodies, which are the gateway through the first veil, are dirty, ugly, imperfect, dysfunctional and of no importance. He is doing everything he can to distract and confuse women so that they abandon their responsibility as the guardians of life into this world. If he can destroy women's faith in their bodies and help them lose sight of the importance of the first veil---and the power and sanctity of conception, pregnancy and birth--- then he is well on his way to thwarting God's plan."