Friday, February 13, 2015

A Birth Story: Isla Joy

She came on a Thursday.

The day before she came we saw our midwife for what I hoped would be the last weekly check with her in my tummy.  I got my wish.

All day Wednesday I had contractions that were annoying - mostly because I had a ton to do to get the house ready for baby and house guests. You see, we decided to do ALL THE THINGS in the 2 months before she was born.  Those things included planning a vow renewal ceremony (read: mini wedding) for our 10th wedding anniversary and completely renovating our kitchen. We had been living in complete chaos and disarray and our new flooring had finally been installed which was the last major part of the renovation and this momma was in full nesting mode.  My sister and brother in law were there keeping Evie while we went to our doctor's appointment and they stayed and helped me get the nursery and guest rooms cleaned and prepped just in case baby girl decided to come a week early - unlike her older siblings (Silas came right on time and Evie was a week late).

I timed a few contractions while I was cooking dinner, but by the time dinner was over they had tapered off a bit so I decided to go on to Bible Study at a friend's house. The contractions kept me uncomfortable, but they weren't steady enough to time. I asked everyone to pray specifically that real labor would start that night and said that I would be pissed if I was able to meet with them the next week (which was my due date).  I was ready to have her in my arms.

On the way home I had the first contraction that made me cuss.  It's a 20 minute drive, and I had 4 contractions. Apparently those ladies did some praying. :)

I got home and the big kids were asleep and I told Justin that we should probably pack for the hospital just in case they didn't taper off this time.  I took a shower and fixed my hair (between contractions) while he got our bags ready and there was a palpable energy in the house.  We were both excited and hopeful that this was IT. They stayed steady at 5 minutes apart for a couple of hours, and I got in bed to try to get a little rest. Justin was trying to sleep but I couldn't so I just looked at Pinterest and mentally willed my body to keep going. All of a sudden, with one contraction they went from 5 minutes apart to 2 1/2 minutes apart and grew in intensity with each one.  I called the on-call midwife with my practice and she confirmed that it was time to go to the hospital.  As soon as my mother in law arrived to keep the big kids, we took off.  We were so excited and happy.  We listened to Rend Collective Experiment and sang along all the way there (except for when I was breathing through contractions). It was midnight, so there wasn't any traffic, and it was a strangely peaceful drive (unlike Evie's labor drive, where I thought I was going to die before we got there).

We parked where we usually did at the hospital only to discover after we had walked all the way to the door that it was inoperational and we had to get back in the car and drive to the other side of the building and go up in the elevator to The Birth Center. They put me in triage (thankfully we were the only ones there) and got me hooked up to everything and did a check.  I was at 3 1/2.  Leslie and Magda had arrived (they were to be present for the delivery) and Justin went to make sure they were comfortable (as much as possible) in the waiting room until they could come into a private room with us.  While he was gone I had a very scary contraction that was incredibly intense and that caught me so of guard that I wasn't handling it at all. I was alone, and couldn't get on top of it.  Usually I could just focus my mind and breathe/pant/sway/hit something enough to maintain some management of the pain, but this one was different and I could barely breathe.  Suddenly the door flew open and 3 nurses came running in to me.  It was obvious that something scary was happening and they rolled me onto my left side and moved me all around and I was being so mean and ugly because it was incredibly uncomfortable and I was scared and out of breath.  The head nurse said that the baby didn't like that contraction and wasn't handling it well so I had to do what they told me so they could try to get her heart rate back to normal. They gave me oxygen and made me stay on my side.  Justin got back in the room and that was the first time I cried. I suddenly felt not ok, and was still scared that they were going to send me home since they hadn't put me in a room yet.  Irrational fear, but it happens to me at some point with every labor. I was being super snappy and mouthy to the nurse, but in my defense her bedside manner left much to be desired.  Justin kept gently reminding me to show grace and he prayed over me several times.  That calmed me down.

After that scary contraction, they stayed intense and I started having a weird pain in my hips.  With Silas' labor all of my pain was in my tummy and with Evie I had insane back labor.  This was different from those, and I remember being frustrated that I was going to have to figure the pain management out as I went yet again

Her heart rate stabilized, and after a couple hours in triage they checked me again and when I was at 4cm they moved me to my room and ordered the epidural. Praise sweet baby Jesus for epidurals. It was a couple hours before I got it though, so I asked for something to help me cope while I waited for it.  They gave me a little drug cocktail (Staydol and Phenergan, I think) and it made me feel drunk.  I couldn't open my eyes because they were too heavy, but I was aware of what was going on around me so I kept trying to talk to Magda and Leslie but my speech was super slurred.  I'm sure that was entertaining for them.  They let Justin nap for a while and held each of my hands and let me squeeze during contractions.  The drugs didn't work nearly as well this time as they had with Evie's labor.  

Finally the anesthesiologist arrived, and he was all business. I like when people will joke and laugh with me - especially when there is pain involved, but he was having none of it.  He did his job, and the epidural gave me some relief for about an hour.  We all tried to sleep in the FREEZING room.  I never slept.  I tried to manage the contractions on my on for a couple hours so everyone could rest because both Leslie and Magda had to go to work the next day and it was 5am at this point. 

At some point the contractions got too painful for me to manage on my own, and the midwife on call came to check me.  I was getting close.  She broke my water, and I braced for the intensity that would follow that.  My hips felt like they were breaking in two.  Not too long after that they checked me again and it was go time.  The door flew open and all of the lights came on and in came DeeDee - the midwife on call (there had been a shift change at 7am)  and she was like a bright ray of sunshine and the energizer bunny rolled into one. She said, "Who's ready to have a baby?!!" and all of us screamed and the energy level in the room jumped up several notches with that one question. We were all so exhausted, but DeeDee ushered in a rush of adrenaline for everyone with her upbeat personality.

It was time to push.  

By that time the epidural had mostly worn off, and it was too late to give another dose, so I knew that this might really suck. But I was ready.  DeeDee said that she would let me deliver her myself if I wanted to try.

I wanted to try.

We forgot to ask for the mirror so I could see what was going on, so Magda held my phone up for me and it served as my mirror. Thank you Apple. :)

I pushed with the next contraction, and knew immediately that this was going to be much much different than my other two deliveries.

I felt like she was stuck.

I was pushing harder than ever before, and was actually legitimately concerned that something very bad was happening to my hips.  They felt like they were splitting, and it didn't seem like she was coming.  

Everyone was cheering me on, and I just kept pushing.

Leslie was standing on a chair at the foot of the bed so she could take pictures and at one point she was actually jumping up and down and cheering. I don't think that I laughed, but had I been able to I would have.

After the 4th or 5th push I remember yelling (as much as I could in my out of breath state) that I just wanted her OUT. 

There was no relief between contractions at this point.

I was so confused - I pushed 3 times with Silas and Evie and they were out and that was that.  I didn't understand why this was so hard or what I was doing differently that was messing things up.

Finally her head was born and it became clear what the problem was: she was sunny-side up.

Babies are meant to be born head first, face down - that's how they naturally fit through the birth canal.

She was face up.

DeeDee told me that I was delivering a baby in the most difficult way possible, and just knowing that it wasn't something I was doing that was making this harder was enough to help me rally and get ready for the next hard part. 

All of that was happening very quickly.

The cord was around her neck so I had to wait until they slipped it over her head to push.

I was certain that my hips were broken.  That pain was from her facing the wrong way.

When it was finally time, DeeDee told me I could deliver her so I reached and pushed and she finally came and I put her on my tummy.  

She was crying before she was all the way out.

Amazingly enough, my hips stopped hurting the moment she was out.  

I have never felt such relief.

I wanted to look at her, and I did, but I had to lay my head back and just breathe for a few seconds and recover from the hardest work of my entire life.

She laid on my tummy until the cord stopped pulsing, and then Justin cut it and I moved her up to my chest.  She was loud. :)

Eventually they weighed and measured her.  I thought for sure that she was going to be the biggest of my 3, but she was the smallest at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 18 inches.

It was 7:39am on Thursday, September 25th when she finally arrived.

Leslie and Magda left for work, and eventually we were moved over to the Mother/Baby side of The Birth Center.  We rested for a few hours (after we ate!) and then the big kids came to meet their new sister.  It was adorable.  They were both smitten right away.

We had a party in our room with our dearest friends - at one point there were 12 of us in there!  We loved it and were happy to have people there to celebrate her first day with us.

We went home the next day and began life as a family of five.

She is our beautiful surprise baby.

She is a physical reminder that God redeems.

Beauty from ashes.

Isla Joy Moon

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One Stop Shop: Holiday Mailings

There are 50 days until Christmas.


That means there are around 30 days to choose Christmas cards and a family picture to go in them, stuff them, address them, stamp them, and mail them. Less than that for holiday party invitations.

If you are like me, that will sneak up on you.

This year, Moonpie Designs is ready to help make your holiday season more enjoyable by taking some stress away. This is a season of thanksgiving and rejoicing and the less you have to do, the better, right?

Let Moonpie Designs handle your holiday mailings this year. I will stuff, address, stamp, AND mail them for you.  All you have to do is get them to me. 
*Ordering from shutterfly or tiny prints (or the like)?
Just have them shipped to me and I will take care of the rest.
*Signing individual cards?
No problem! Ship them to me if you aren't local (that's ONE address to write vs 25+) or we can meet up and I'll take them off your hands.

Not only will you have peace of mind knowing that your cards will get to their recipients ON TIME this year, you can also rest assured that they will be beautiful.
Your Moonpie Designs hand lettered envelopes will make a great impression that won't soon be forgotten.

$2.75 per regular postage envelope - stuffed, addressed (with return), stamped, and mailed
*envelopes requiring additional postage will incur an additional fee based on postage prices

You choose black or silver ink.
You provide cards and envelopes.

Avoid the aching hand and hassle of the post office during the holidays - contact me today to reserve your spot before they run out!  5 spots available.

P.S. I will also address your packages for you. Let's talk!

Love with Abandon FALL LAUNCH

Moonpie Designs partnered with Rachel Walser back in the spring to create some shirt designs for her project, Love with Abandon, that seeks to support 6 different ministries/families that are devoted to orphan care and prevention both here and abroad.  You can read more about the project here.

She just launched her fall line, and she brought back my Speak Up and Love with Abandon designs in new colors and styles and also added a brand new design by MpD - Africa Has My Heart.  There are all kinds of goodies in her shop and everything will arrive no later than December 6th so this is a perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and GIVE BACK while you are at it. Two birds, one stone...don't you love it? :) 100% of the proceeds go to support the LwA project.

Shop HERE.

Rachel has made a way for you to earn a free shirt (or sweatshirt!) by partnering with the LwA project.  You can read about it here, but all you need to do is sell 10 shirts from her store and you will earn a free shirt for yourself or to give away!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Evie {one year}

Baby girl is ONE!

Momma had a hard time with it for a little bit.

But something happened to her when she passed that year mark.

She got even cuter.
{I know... is that even possible?!}

She also got even more spunky and feisty.

Her little {BIG} personality just cracks us up and we are having so much fun watching her become her own little person.

At one year Miss Evie is:
*still "teacup" sized and weighing in at 18.7 lbs
*walking all by herself! She hasn't figured out how to stand up without holding on to something yet, but she can walk anywhere she wants
*climbing on EVERYTHING
*eating EVERYTHING and stealing your food. She is very very sneaky sir.
*dancing any time she hears music or someone singing
*a mess maker - her favorites are pulling the cushions off of the couch, emptying the tupperware drawer, and pulling all of the clothes out of the hamper
*talking up a storm. Words we understand: Momma, Daddy, Silas (Die Die), Hi, Hey, Hello
She talks constantly but most of the time we have no idea what it means.  She also "fusses" at toys and inanimate objects when they don't do what she wants. That's pretty hilarious.
*She signs please, thank you, more, finished, and sometimes help.  She has also started pointing to things and my favorite to ask her is "Where is Evie?" and she smacks her chest with fervor. :)  The only body part that she is interested in pointing to is her bellybutton.  I go over all of the others with her daily, but the bellybutton is the only one she cares about. :)
*nursing twice a day, morning and night.  She gets cold whole milk in a bottle before and after nap.
*climbing the stairs.  Silas has a hard time remember to close the gate behind him and more than one time I have "lost" her only to find her upstairs in his room giggle like a school girl and looking so proud. 
*still in her infant carseat.  Poor thing might be 3 before she can face forward!
*still friendly to EVERYONE and makes a normal shopping trip take twice as long as it should because she talks to everyone and everyone comes to talk to her. :)

We had a little party to celebrate and it was a perfectly beautiful day for it. Evie enjoyed opening her gifts and she devoured her cupcake.  She ate every.single.bit of it, icing included, except for the tiny bit that got flung on the wall in her excitement. :)

Happy Birthday sweet girl!  We love you and your spunkiness!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Check out the new TANKS!

Rachel added some awesome tanks to the Love With Abandon shop.

They are a flowy racerback tank and I am smitten with them.

And the best part - they are just $20!
Like everything else in the shop, 100% of the proceeds go to orphan care.

Click each tank to view in shop

Don't you want one of each?!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Love with Abandon

Hello friends!

So the blog got a makeover...what do you think?  I still have lots of work to do (like put something other than "coming soon!" on all of the pages!), but I love the new look. More on who did it for me to come.

Today I want to tell you about a very neat project that I had the honor to be a part of recently: the Love With Abandon Project.

My friend, Rachel, started this project with the goal of raising $6000 and dividing it evenly among 6 different ministries/families that are devoted to orphan care and prevention.  She tells the story of what prompted her to start the project here.  I urge you to read it and check out each of the ministries that will benefit from it. 

She has a store set up and 100% of the proceeds go toward this project.  There are shirts (from infant to adult sizes!), stickers, posters, bags, and bracelets.  

How awesome would it be to fill your loved one's Easter baskets with some fun stuff that would help ministries educate and empower families to stay together and also support the care and adoption of existing orphans INSTEAD of (or at least in addition to) candy?

Rachel is placing her first order of shirts today so if you want yours in time for Easter you better scoot on over there and fill up that shopping cart!

To keep from bombarding you with tons of pictures, here is a sample of a few things she has in the shop.
I designed all of these. Click each picture to go shop!

Love with Abandon dolman style tee $20

Speak Up slouchy long sleeve tee $30

Ethiopian hut classic tee - $20 adult, $15 infant and children

Hut tee - infant and children $15

 Speak Up tote bag $20

 All of these come in different styles and colors and don't forget there are other goodies besides shirts in the store too!

Thanks for supporting this project!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello there.

It's been a while.

Things have been and will probably continue to be a little slow around these parts for the next month.

Changes are coming.  I'm hoping to introduce a new Moonpie Designs soon.  Part of that is a complete blog makeover (a real one).  I already got my own domain name and had the blog re-routed to it.  Did you notice? {probably not.} I'm pretty excited.

We have been so busy living life and enjoying each other that I haven't stopped long enough to actually document it.  Part of me regrets that, but another part has really enjoyed not having to worry about keeping up this blog.

In the future there will be a mix of personal and business posts, just like always, but probably more business stuff.

The Moon family has lots of fun coming up this spring and summer.  Evie will be ONE in a couple of weeks, Justin's sister, Holly, is getting married in April (yay!), and Justin and I are going to Romania for a week in June.  More about those things to come.

Thanks for sticking around {if there is anyone still here after 3 months of silence}.

Keep your eye out for some fun changes!

And just because...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Song

(written by Reuben Morgan & Jason Ingram)

You are good You are good
When there’s nothing good in me

You are love You are love
On display for all to see
You are light You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life You are life
In You death has lost it’s sting

Oh I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are God You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

Oh I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
No other Name

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween 2012

We had like a million Halloween parties/events this year.

Ok, so maybe it was only 4, but still.  I was happy because I LOVE Halloween.

The first was a grown-up party at the Diaz's.  Justin and I went as gypsies, but everyone thought we were pirates.  Either way, we won the costume contest. :)

I had to work the consignment sale that night before the party so we didn't get to get dressed together.  He put this costume together all by himself and when I saw him I fell in love with him all over again.  Apparently the ability to put together and good costume and own it is my love language. :)

YoungLife Rockdale celebrated with our annual Llamaween event - a picture scavenger hunt around town in our costumes.  We are the BEST.  I love these people.

For actual Halloween we went to the Cardozas with the Mays for Chili and trick or treating in their neighborhood.  It was awesome but I didn't take many pictures.  Evie and I were Momma and Baby Jaguar.

Silas was Spiderman for everything - Trunk or Treat at church, his class party, and Trick or Treating.
There are no pics of Justin on this night because he came straight from work (and hitting a deer on his way) and didn't dress up.


M & M Mountain Trip 2012

I have been a huge slacker at preserving our memories on this blog.  Life has been happening, ya know?
But I'm going to try to catch up today, but that means there will be lots of pictures in no particular order and that the stories will probably be short and sweet (which might be a relief to some!).
A few weeks ago we spent a long weekend in Cullowhee, North Carolina with the Mays.  

We were able to stay at an absolutely incredible house that belongs to a friend and it was seriously one of the best trips ever.  The boys all played incredibly well together and they even all slept in the same room without any issues whatsoever.  I'm still in shock.  Not that they aren't always great, it's just that THAT much greatness all at one time was nearly unbelievable. :)

We spent a lot of time just hanging out and enjoying the house and the lake and the boat and the firepit.
The first night we had hot dogs and sausage for dinner and then we went down by the water to roast marshmallows in the firepit.  The boys had a blast with their flashlights (Uncle Zach taught them how to hold it up to their face and look creepy) and everyone enjoyed the marshmallows.  At the end of the night they started throwing whole 'mallows into the fire just to watch them grow and turn into Jabba the Hut.

After the kids were down for the night, the grown-ups got to play.

Zach and Justin were smoking a Butt the next day so they "rubbed" it and got everything ready. There was no shortage of jokes.
{RABBIT TRAIL: When I called to ask Sarah how many/how big of a butt I should get the day before we left, she said, "I think one will be fine for our family."  So I said, "So we need two?" and she replied, "No, I meant our big family.  I combined us."  And that made my heart happy and I wanted to write it down so I remember it.  We ARE family and I love it. END RABBIT TRAIL}

We played Settlers of Catan and I WON THE VERY FIRST GAME I EVER PLAYED. 
There has not been near enough talk about that fact, and when I reminded the guys of it this week they tried to pretend that the whole night was too fuzzy to remember specifics.  Wrong.  I REMEMBER.

We stayed up way too late, laughed a ton, and made great memories.

The next day when I got up to feed Evie, Zach was already outside manning the smoker. Sarah and Justin slept in for a bit (not together, just to be clear ;-) ) and then we made plans to go climb Whiteside Mountain.
While the babies were napping, Zach and Justin took the boys out on the pontoon boat and it was a huge hit.

After lunch we headed to the mountain and began our hike.  Evie was in the Ergo and napped most of the way.  Micah was usually just barely within sight because the rest of us were too slow for him. Connor and Silas took turns moving at a glacial pace and getting distracted by every.single.thing we passed. :)

We finally made it to a place with a view, and even though we were nowhere near the top, we told the kids that we were and they were super excited to have climbed a whole mountain. :)
Back down we went and then we stopped for ice cream before heading to the house.

The Butt was DELICIOUS for dinner, and now the guys are hooked on smoking stuff (meat, that is). They smoked ribs for us this past weekend.  This is a hobby that I am happy to support. ;-)

We were pretty exhausted that night (because staying up until 1-2am will do that to old people), so after sharing a huge bowl of homemade caramel corn, we headed to bed.

The last morning we had crepes and bacon for breakfast (mmmmm!) and then we took everyone out on the boat one last time before cleaning up and heading out. Justin stayed with Evie because she was napping (he was happy to do so because it was COLD and drizzly).  We all nearly froze to death, but the boys still had a blast.

We said goodbye and went our separate ways for the rest of the day before heading back to Conyers.
The Mays went to the Goats on a Roof, and we headed into Highlands to walk around their adorable downtown and have ice cream at Sweet Treats.  It was a great day with our little family. We headed home and had a little adventure on the interstate when our front bumber got destroyed by road debris and we had to duct tape it together to make it home. 

Sweet sweet memories.

Throwing rocks.  Hours were spend doing this.

 Justin learned how to fly fish.

View from the dock

Sarah and Micah (who was being a goof and refused to smile normally)

Before we went to Whiteside, Silas was convinced that THIS was climbing a mountain.

Preparing to fish (no idea why this required reading)

My love.

Breakfast with Daddy

THE Logi Bear doing what he does.  He loves to boop her on the head.  LOVES IT.

This one makes me laugh every single time. BOOP!

Riding the boat and freezing.


YAY! A family picture!

 At the "top" of the mountain.

 Besties.  (and a view from the porch)

 Top of the mountain

M & M Mountain Trip 2012

Spookiness by the campfire