Sunday, December 30, 2018

Anden Jonathan Kershaw

Our baby is here! Anden was born on November 21, 2018, at 8:04 am. He is such a sweet little boy and we love him so much!

I wanted to share my birthing story.

On Monday, November 19, I was having a lot of Braxton hicks. I started noticing them around dinner time and realized they were coming every 10 minutes apart. They weren't coming strong, so I just casually kept an eye on the clock and went to bed. In the morning they were gone, but I had a feeling that this baby was coming soon. I had read all my other birthing stories and realized that with Aveya, my labor started a lot like how this one was going, so I felt like I should be ready for when things actually started progressing.

On Tuesday, I started feeling pretty intense contractions. I noticed they were coming in the afternoon, but they weren't consistent. I told Jonathan that I was going to take it easy the rest of the afternoon, and let the kids watch a few shows on the tablet while I tried to relax on the couch. I had tried to get them to chill with me and read books together, but after the kids climbed on me (and fought about who could sit where) and a few hits to the gut, I couldn't take it anymore. By dinner time my contractions were finally consistent(!!) but they were only 20 minutes apart. I had the idea to call my mom because with my little sister, Holly, my mom had a lot of contractions but didn't listen to her body and (long story short) gave birth on the side of the road on the way to the hospital. That's about all I knew of the story. I was getting frustrated because these contractions were hard but not consistent but I didn't want to relive that story, so I called her and asked for the details. Turns out my mom had contractions throughout the whole pregnancy (so did I, but mine were obviously mostly Braxton Hicks with a few real ones every now and then) and then the night before she had Holly, they were coming hard every 10 minutes all night.  She told me she just laid on the couch all night and waited for them to start coming closer together. Then in the morning, my dad asked her what her plan was (it was Sunday morning) and she told him they were still 10 minutes apart and she wasn't moving until she knew this was the real deal. Well, he hopped in the shower to get ready to go to church, and my mom got up to do something and realized she was transitioning! And then the rest is history... she had the baby on the way. So my take home was, I didn't need to wait until they started coming 5 minutes. If I knew this was the real deal, get to the hospital.

After dinner, I took a bath and contacted the girl who we had set up to watch the kids in the middle of the night. I told her that I was thinking it would happen today. We decided to go to bed early because I knew it was going to be a short night, and I wanted Jonathan to get as much sleep as he could. I didn't sleep much, my contractions were getting hard but still only 10 minutes apart. By about 1:00, I was done waiting for them to get harder or longer or closer together. So I got up and had three contractions in about 5 minutes. I woke Jonathan up and he called the babysitter while I called my OB office. I don't know why, but for some reason, it said the number I called was invalid. I had never had that happen before, and I didn't know what to do! So I called the hospital I was going to go to and they transferred me to the OB on call I told her they were coming hard and almost 5 minutes apart. She asked what I wanted to do, and I told her that I wanted to just come in, so she said she would meet me there. As I was having these issues trying to get a hold of my OB, Jonathan was having issues trying to get a hold of Danica Motes (our nighttime babysitter). She said she always hears her phone, but after 5 or 6 calls she didn't answer. Jonathan called her husband and he answered first time (which apparently is unusual that he heard his phone). haha.

On the way to the hospital my contractions were hard but really far apart, so Jonathan and I were able to carry on a decent conversation. When I got there, I was put into the triage room and hooked up onto the monitors and checked. I was only 2.75!! My contractions were coming hard, how was it that I wasn't dilated further!? The triage nurse kept saying things like "if we admit you"... (eye roll) I wondered if I jumped the gun, but knew that I was in labor. I told Jonathan that if they sent me home, I would just go walk around the lobby for an hour. I was not going to go home! They finally admitted me since I was higher risk labor (since I was a V-BAC and all).

The contractions were still really hard, and my nurse said that I should try to get some sleep... uuuhhh, I'm in labor, I'm not going to sleep. But I stayed in the bed for a few hours, and then said I didn't want to stay in the bed much longer. I asked the nurse if they had a birthing ball. She left to go get it and I really couldn't stay laying down much longer. I got out of bed and when the nurse got back she was surprised to see me up. She kind of reprimanded me for getting out of bed without her help. I was a little surprised, I didn't have an epidural at this point, why wasn't I allowed to move around? As I was on the ball, I asked when I was allowed to get an epidural. **I had decided before I went into labor that I wanted an epidural, partly because I didn't want to take the time to prepare for labor (the method I love using takes at least an hour a day of preparation, and I didn't want to use my time that way... I'm kinda busy with my kids...) and partly because I wanted to have a back up just in case I needed an emergency c-section, so that I could be awake to see my baby.

Next thing I know, the anesthesiologist was on his way and I started getting really nervous. (I've never had an epidral before, and one of the major reasons I hadn't is because I'm so scared of a needle in my spine!) He got his stuff ready and talked me through what was going to happen. As he was numbing me, I kept bouncing as if I were getting poked in the sides. The anesthesiologist said that I shouldn't do that once I got the epidural. I got the epidural and I started feeling better but things didn't get better. My blood pressure plummeted and they had to keep a close eye on me (another reason I didn't want an epidural).

As soon as I got the epidural, my water broke and then things started moving! Within 45 minutes I was 9.5 with a little lip. Everyone started gathering and getting things ready. I asked my OB (who I had never met BTW) if I could push in a different position then on my back. She said absolutely not. That was a little frustrating, because I asked at one of my appointments if I could push in a different position. She said it depended on how my epidural took, if I could move my legs, but that I might be able to. I still could move my legs, but they didn't even want to let me try. I was a little frustrated.

Well, then it was time, I started pushing, and 45 seconds later he was born! This is the best moment! He was on my chest and I was so in love! His hands were up by his face and he was scratching his face, so I put my finger in his hands and he held my hand! It was the best!

All in all, from the time I was in "real labor" (they count that when you are dilated to a 3) to the time I was holding Anden it was about 2 and a half hours! Crazy fast!

Anden Jonathan Kershaw was born at 8:02 am, and he was 7 lbs 9 oz 20 1/4" long! So So in love!

my boys <3

He loves holding my hand. It calms both of us down :)

Monday, November 12, 2018


This Halloween we did another family costume. Jonathan and I dressed up this year (last year we didn't dress up, but having a perfect pregnant belly made it impossible not to dress up).

Cambria decided that she wanted to dress up as Elsa from Frozen, so we all dressed up around her request. This will probably be the last year we will be able to convince everyone to comply with Cambria's dream Halloween costume. Corbin dressed up as Kristoff, Aveya was Anna, I was Olaf (the snowman) and Jonathan was Sven (the reindeer). We had a great time dressing up!

I got some fake hair for Cambria so she could have a big long braid. I had way too much fun doing her hair. It turned out that Aveya had long enough hair for two little pig tails, so cute!!!

Halloween in this neighborhood is seriously the best! Everyone sits out on their driveway with their friends and a big bowl of candy. Trick or treating starts around 6:00 and it's dead by 8:00. The kids went around the block (with both mom and dad) and then said they were both done. I wanted them to go for longer, but nobody wanted to keep going. I was so surprised! Cambria and Corbin actually really enjoyed handing out candy! So that was fun!

Here are what everyone is wanting; pictures.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Jonathan's birthday

Jonathan's birthday kind of snuck up on me this year. I was not prepared like I was last year, but last year was the anomaly. He's pretty easy to please, which takes the pressure off.

This year, I gave him the morning off (he often wakes up with the kids so I can get a little more sleep... isn't he so great!?!) and made omelets, toast, and OJ. We had stake conference today and Aveya wasn't having it... she did not want to sit in the meeting, so I got to walk the halls. The other kids did really well, so he was actually able to listen (which is better than we could say for the last month or so of church, it's not unusual for both of us to be out in the foyer with a different child, and Cambria sits by herself...). Happy birthday to him!

I was pretty exhausted (now that I'm in my 3rd trimester, I'm feeling very tired) so I took a nap, and tried to get Aveya to sleep (didn't happen). Then I worked on dinner and dessert! We had sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, nachos, salad, and root beer. Then we had chocolate mousse for dessert!

As far as presents, he's the hardest person to shop for. He doesn't like stuff, has no hobbies, and doesn't give me any fun ideas... He does have a bike though, so I gave him some bike gear and a new, very slim wallet.

All-in-all, I think it was a good day.

I sure do love that man! He seriously is the best dad and such a great husband. I'm so glad he's mine!

Singing "happy birthday" to himself with the kids.

She's modeling daddy's new helmet. 

Corbin's birthday

I have a big 4-year-old boy! He is old enough to really relish the birthday glory! The main thing he said to me was "mom, can I _____ because it's my birthday?" He got to do a lot of fun things that he usually doesn't do, which he loved.

He stayed home from school because he had a fever the night before. He didn't act sick, but he was feeling pretty warm.

He got to wear his pajamas all day, and watch shows, and eat almost as many canned peaches as he wanted (I capped it at 3 or 4 little-individualized snack packs). We had a great day!

He asked for a cake with candy on the inside, cookies on the outside, frosting and whipped cream. So, why not indulge him for his birthday?

He took a long nap because he wasn't feeling well, poor kid!

Corbin is a Preschooler!

Corbin had his first day on the Monday after Cambria started. He is still speech delayed, so he gets to ride the bus! I was a little nervous about how that would go considering when we walked around on the bus on his orientation day he wouldn't even step on it without clinging to me the whole time.

On his first day, Cambria rode the bus with him (because her bus stop is 4 houses down and they pick up at the same time and drop off in the same location). He walked on without a backward glance, and came home with a smile on his face!

The first week was a little rough, Corbin didn't engage much (I got a note from his teacher), but turned out that he gave himself a fever by Friday. I think he stressed himself out, to the point that he made himself sick. I haven't gotten another note from his teacher, so I'm hoping that means that he's starting to engage in class more.

Turned out that Jonathan's first day of teaching as a tenure-track professor was Corbin's first day too! I had to take that photo opp.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Cambria's in Kindergarten!

This was a big week for us! School started... well, Monday is Corbin's first day, but last week we had orientations and parent meetings, and Cambria had her first day.

Cambria has been so excited to start kindergarten! On Wednesday we visited her school and classroom, she was a little wary but was jumping around as we left. I think she's going to like it once she gets to know the kids in her class. Her teacher seems to be very kind and understanding!

She is riding the bus! Can you believe that? At first, I thought there is no way I'm letting my 5-year-old on a bus by herself! But there are a few 5th-grade girls in our ward that have taken her under her wing. One of which is at the exact same bus stop. That made me feel much better. Plus, waiting at a bus stop is SO MUCH EASIER than picking up and dropping off! (not to mention that the pick-up and drop-off situation sounds like a horrible hassle at this school. It's not designed for a lot of traffic, so there's lots of traffic jams and stuff.)

Can I just say that having Cambria gone from 8:30-3:30 is a long time?! I wasn't expecting to feel that!

She's so big! 

Friday, August 17, 2018

lessons learned from therapy

I decided around December 2017 that it would be good to go to therapy again. Things had gone south again, I was having anxiety attacks and it wasn’t something I knew how to deal with. I found a therapist that was absolutely amazing!

Now that I have moved away, I obviously am not seeing her anymore. So I wanted to make a list of things that I have learned while going to her.

1. First of all, not every therapist is created equal. My last therapist was such a help to me and really taught me so much. The other two I had paled in comparison. I’m sure they were great therapists, but just not what I needed.

2. My biggest take home was the realization (and complete acceptance of) this concept: my worth is infinite. As I’m typing this, all the lessons from Young Womens comes back and I think “well duh!” But let me explain! I knew that was true, but I didn’t believe it. Why? Because every time I looked at my sink at the end of the day (or even my table) and I saw dishes that were from BREAKFAST still sitting there, a little voice in my mind would say “you are such a bad home maker. You can’t even take care of a simple thing like dishes” bla bla bla. And I would believe it. How could I be all that awesome if my kitchen looked like that? That was just one example, but I would do this with a lot of areas in my life. I just yelled at my kids = I’m a bad mom. I don’t play with them as much as I think so-and-so does = I’m a bad mom.
… you get my drift. Well I had a breakthrough while in therapy. God loves me right where I am. He loves me PERFECTLY just as I am.  And if I get the dishes done that day, although that’s great, it doesn’t make Him love me more. The same is true the opposite way, if I don’t do the dishes, He doesn’t love me any less. Nothing that I do (good or bad) changes the way that He feels about me, or my worth as a human being (or spiritual being).

3. To go along with #2, I stopped using the terms “good mom” “bad mom” or anything like it. It doesn’t matter how many tallys on my “mom board” I have. I feel so much better if I just stop tallying all that I do. Just try to do good, and let the chips fall and not worry about it.

4. Both of those things are basically talking about my thought processes and how I use self talk. I learned a lot about those two things. It’s important to step back and check my thinking. I found a fantastic podcast about thought processes that I want to explore more, but it was such a mind blowing way of dissecting our thoughts that I just have to share it.

5. I learned that I repress “bad” emotions. “I shouldn’t feel this way”… my therapist said over and over: all emotions are ok, not all responses are ok. Which then we played with (going back to #2) All of me is ok, but not all of my behaviors are ok. Which, again, is a freeing thought.
It’s OKAY to feel anything that you are feeling, in fact, if you suppress it, it doesn’t ever go away, but if you feel it and sit with it for a while, then it will dissipate and you can move on.

6. I also learned some coping strategies for when I start feeling anxious. (the whole reason I started going). Mainly some self talk ques, and breathing techniques.

There were other things, but they were personal and not so universal. I feel like these things above could possibly help others as well. I really feel like every single person would benefit from learning some of these techniques. I often say I feel like everyone needs therapy, but there are other ways to learn how to check your thinking and stuff. I’m so grateful I was able to go, and learn so much. It definitely changed my life, and I hope it continues to. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I'm back

Hi all!
It's been wayyyyyy too long! I always have really good excuses for my lack of blogging. This time it's a computer that doesn't really work. It still doesn't work well, but I'm just going to go with it...

I have a really good idea for a blog post, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, since my last blog post we have moved from Indiana to Ohio, I turned 30 (so did Jonathan... both of our celebrations were epic), I'm expecting baby number 4, we found out he is a boy, ... ... and so much more!

Here's to trying to periodically do this more often.