Do you think they might be sisters?

>> Thursday, November 13, 2014

Maybe, just maybe?


Phoenix Newborn Photos

>> Monday, November 10, 2014

She's done it again.
Jean Marie has captured and given us beautiful pictures.

This time, of our precious, newest girl!

These shots were taken when Phoenix was 6 days old.
I almost asked her to postpone, because of everything I went through at the hospital and just getting
my blood patch the day before - I was not going to be up for pictures.
Instead though, we decided to go ahead and have her come over to meet Phoenix and get pictures of
just her.  Then, she could come over another time to get some family shots (which she did this weekend).

It worked out well and I'm so glad she was able to come and meet Nixie!

It can be difficult, being a photographer and having someone else take your pictures.
One huge reason I'm so grateful for Jean.  She's very patient with me and all my photographer
requests and ideas.  Parts of our shoots sort of end up being more of a collaborative, fun project.
She gets me.  I get her.
She'll take a picture and make a face and I know she's just gotten "the shot" or she'll make a different
face and I know she's about to delete it and we need to try something else ;)

In other words, Jean Marie is a wonderful photographer and just the sort of person you would
want taking your family pictures (or any other pictures, for that matter).

Ok, onto the pictures...

(I refrained from posting a million shots of her feet... even though I wanted to)

One of my favorites!  Baby yawns have got to be one of THE cutest things ever.

Another of my favorites ♥

Yep, another favorite.

That sweet little nose.

Our precious little October pumpkin.
Wearing the sweater I knit for her, laying with a pumpkin I knit for her, too!

Another favorite.

Precious girl!!!


Georgia Meets Pumpkin

>> Saturday, November 1, 2014

Remember Pumpkin?  The giant, knit bunny that I couldn't wait to give to Georgia once Phoenix
was born?

Since I ended up in the hospital for a few days after Phoenix was born, I wasn't able to give Georgia
her gift until the day we came home.  It actually worked out perfectly.

It was definitely love at first sight.  Georgia immediately took to the name "Pumpkin" and started
carrying her everywhere.

I can't tell you how much it warms my heart to see someone love something I've made for them.
Especially when it's someone I love and something I loved making!

It also warms my heart to see Georgia loving Phoenix.
Especially after a hectic and emotional few days.

(she's wearing a cowl that I knitted a few years ago)


Watching some Minnie Mouse, accompanied by plenty of yarn (as usual).
I love this girl.


Phoenix is here...

>> Friday, October 24, 2014

She's actually been here over a week, but it's been a crazy week!

Phoenix Dahlia Brower

born at home, after 10 hours of labor
and 13 minutes of pushing,
on October 16th, 2014 at 5:26am
weighing 9 pounds even
measuring 21.25" long

If you're interested in the many details of our birth experience, I've written up our birth story.

***There are birth details, so if you think you'd be weirded out by it, you've been warned.***

I am so pleased with how the labor and delivery went, just bummed about post-birth. But, all is well
now, and we're so grateful for our sweet little girl.

Phoenix's Birth Story:

I started feeling contractions about 7:30pm, so we decided to go for a walk in hopes that this was
labor and we could get things going. I was very slow moving and we barely got to the end of our
street (2 blocks) when I had to turn around. We started timing contractions when we got back and
they were averaging 1 minute long and 2-3 minutes apart. After an hour of this (9pm) we called my
midwife and my Mom to head over - it was finally time!!!

Karen (my midwife) got there at 9:30 and my Mom was less than 2 minutes behind her. She checked
me and I was about 5cm. We took it easy for a while, I worked through my contractions with my
exercise ball, a few of us took a nap (not me, ha!) and at about 1:30am she checked me and I was 7cm.

My contractions stayed intense, but they didn’t seem to be making progress. And in between I was
able to walk around and felt almost totally normal. This was NOT how I felt at this point with my
first labor, which concerned me a little. I didn’t want to be in labor forever. SO, we decided to break
my water at 3:15 and every contraction after that was very intense.

Fast forward through lots of pain and groans and squeezing the patootie out of Ben's arms and I’m
starting to feel ready to push about 4:45. I got on the bed at this point and was sitting in position for
birth. I pushed some before I was completely dilated, moving the cervix out of the way a little each
time. Then, all of the sudden, I felt like I HAD to get on my hands and knees. I asked Karen and she’s
like “Yes! Go for it! Listen to your body.” So I flipped over and went through one contraction kind of
moving myself forward and backward. Then I HAD to flip back over to sitting again.
The next push, Karen said that I had straightened her out and moved the cervix totally out of the way
by flipping over to my hands and knees. I was ready to push for real!

I started pushing at 5:13 and she was born at 5:26!  9 pounds, 21.25" long, born at 39 weeks & 4 days gestation.

She didn’t cry right away and was a little purple, but she was breathing and made a few cute little
snorts. Ended up with a 9/10 apgar and rated about 39 weeks gestation.

Ben cut the cord when it stopped pulsing, and I delivered the placenta at 5:33. I didn’t tear at all. As
Karen was examining the placenta she noticed that a piece seemed to be missing. She thought she
could maybe piece it together, but she wasn’t confident.

I nursed her, Georgia woke up and met her, everything was going well, but I was continuing to bleed
quite a bit.
I decided I was ready to get showered off, so I walked with Karen to our bathroom and she started the
shower, but then I got light-headed. I sat down on the toilet and the next thing I know I’m laying on
the floor with Ben holding me and Karen giving me oxygen. Ben said I passed out for about 10
seconds and was having convulsions and everything. Ben and Karen carried me flat back to the bed
and we monitored my bleeding for a little while longer before Karen decided I was still bleeding too
much and needed to be transferred to the hospital.

The ambulance got there very quickly, they eventually got me strapped to the gurney (since I couldn’t
stand or sit up without passing out) and after getting my IV started in the ambulance, we were finally
off to the hospital.

Ben followed behind with Phoenix, Karen followed in her car, and my Mom stayed home with
Georgia. Ben's Mom met us at the hospital as well. Once we were there, I got some fluids and we
went for an ultrasound to determine whether or not there was a retained piece of placenta.
Unfortunately, there was, so we decided to do a D&C to remove it.

They moved me up to Labor & Delivery (they sweetly brought a basinet for Phoenix, even though
she wasn't a patient) and we waited a few hours before I could get in for the D&C. I was pretty
nervous about it, but knowing that it had to be done, I was able to sort of remove myself from all the
things that made me nervous and just accept it. Plus, the doctors and nurses that worked on me were
absolutely wonderful and really helped me through it. They did spinal anesthesia so I could continue
nursing Phoenix. I wasn’t crazy about being awake for the D&C but it wasn’t as bad as I expected (I
actually dozed off a couple times - I was so exhausted). Once the D&C was complete, the excessive
bleeding stopped immediately.

When they brought me back up to my room after the D&C, Georgia was there and she got one
glimpse of me and yelled “MOMMA!!! It’s MOMMAAAA!” and I completely lost it. I sobbed for a
few minutes. All the feels catching up with me. It was so good to see her after such a crazy day.

We stayed overnight (Ben and Phoenix staying with me) and thought we were going home the next
day around noon...


The next morning we checked my hemoglobin levels and they were just too low for my doctor to be
comfortable sending me home. SO, I had to get a blood transfusion. 2 units of blood later, we had to
stay another night to test my levels again.

Next morning, tested my levels, and they were good enough to go home (still not great, but good
enough). I was getting spinal headaches from the anesthesia, but the percocet was helping, so we
decided to go home (finally!!!!).

I took it easy for a couple days, we went to see the chiropractor, everything was going pretty well, but
then Monday night the percocet completely stopped helping my headache and I couldn’t sit or stand
up without an intense headache. Ben called the hospital to see if we could come in that night for a
blood patch or if we should wait until the morning, and the nurse said we could try coming in. So we
did, and they gave me a liter of fluid and some morphine (the morphine didn't even help) and sent me
home to come back in the morning when the anesthesiologist was there. *sigh*

The next day was Ben's first day back at work, so we called his Mom to help with the girls so I could
get a blood patch.  She met us (me, Mom, Georgia and Phoenix) at the hospital and I got checked in
to the ER.  It was a couple hours before I could see the anesthesiologist.  The procedure only took
about 5 minutes, but it was very painful.  They basically had a catheter going from my arm to my
back to put my blood in my spine.  The blood then clots and creates a sort of plug that stopped my
spinal fluid leaking, which in turn immediately stopped my headache!  I gained a bad backache from
it, but it's almost totally gone now, and far better than trying to function with that headache for a
couple weeks.

After the blood patch, I felt so much better.  Terri (Ben's Mom) ran and got me a favorite meal from a
local restaurant and I ate the entire thing (which is huge, considering my appetite had been very
minimal since giving birth).  I just felt more alive without that headache.  And I'm continuing to feel
better each day.

All in all, this has been one of the most not-fun weeks of my life, and one of the most amazing. Our
precious girl has been so wonderful and we are so in love. Our family has gone above and beyond to
help us and we couldn’t have made it through all of this without them. Karen has once again proved
herself to be the most amazing midwife in the world. I swear she is an angel. We love her so much. 
My Mom has been staying with us which has been immensely helpful since I've been so physically
limited.  And Georgia's in heaven with Nana here ;)

So that's our crazy story, and why I'm just now getting this posted!  It's been a wild week.
But we're just SO thrilled to have Phoenix here!!!

All text and photos on BE Brower are the sole property of Ben & Emily Brower unless otherwise stated.
{Exodus 20:15}