I'm starting to feel like I've been brainwashed.  That may sound funny, but I'm totally serious!  I found myself yesterday thinking "awww, I miss being pregnant...I loved rubbing my belly full of baby..."  Then I took a second to really try and think about what was going through my mind.  I had to fight to remember that the reason I was rubbing that belly is because it was uncomfortable and sore-sure it had a sweet baby inside, but that is not why I was rubbing.  It was a fight to try and really remember the discomfort...as if those memories had just been washed out of my brain!! Weird!!  The craziest part-I was still pregnant only 3 weeks ago!!  I swear I can remember the pain of knee surgery 10 years ago better than the pain of pregnancy!!  I will say the labor and delivery part has stuck with me...but the day to day of pregnancy misery is fading faster and faster with each day.  It's weird, not gonna lie.


{simple pleasures}: a list

Life's most simple pleasures:

  • Having a bladder.  Seriously, I haven't had one for the last 3 months and being able to not pee every 30 minutes is wonderful.
  • Sleep.  And yes, she's getting up to eat every 2 hours, but still those hour and a half naps in between on my back, my sides and even my stomach are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  There is nothing like restful, peaceful, no-hurt sleep.  Mmmm.
  • Sweet newborn noises.  Ohhh...I love.
  • Sweet newborn smells.  I love to just breathe her in.  I keep panicking that it's all going too fast already and Jon keeps reassuring me that I need to just enjoy while I can.
  • Bending, Lifting and being generally mobile.  I missed so much.  I do love being able to pick up Paisley and love on her again-it's so much easier without a giant belly!
  • FOOD.  I can eat!!  I want to eat!!  I LOVE to eat again!!  Oh, it makes me so happy!
  • There is nothing like taking a nap with a newborn snuggled on your chest.  I just love to savor every moment....
We are enjoying our little Stella.  And I couldn't be happier now that I'm not pregnant!!


{catch up}: may

May was an absolutely crazy month for us.  We had a lot going on the entire month-starting with friends weddings and showers and ending with my sister's wedding and Stella's birth!  We also went on a Pioneer Trek with our ward.  I was partially in charge of a couple of the meals for the trek and it was our last opportunity to go camping with just the 3 of us.
 These are actual pioneer ruts carved in rock by handcarts on their way to St. George.  I am SO grateful I stayed at camp while Jon and Paisley trekked.  It was pretty intense!!
 I still can't believe they came down this way.  They decided that even though there were only 30 or so people trekking, they wanted to take ALL 5 of the handcarts, barely loaded.  I think next time they'll opt to take 2-ish.  It was rough.
 Paisley (the filthy, filthy child shown above) caught a frog.  I have never seen her so beat up as she was after trek.  She was covered head to toe with dirt, cuts and bruises.  It took a shower and then a bath the next day to reveal all of her injuries.  She LOVED it though.
 This is them, ready to set out for the day!  I'm so glad she went with him!
 I went on a trek of my own.  In the car.  To Enterprise (the closest town) to make some phone calls since we didn't have reception where we were.  I also may have stopped at Marv's for some lunch...teehee.  On the way back I stopped the pioneer cemetery called Hebron.  I thought this grave was interesting...Indian Squaw?  I guess they were kind enough to bury her?  It was way over scrunched in the corner next to another one that just said "Transient"  ouch.
 I still can't get over this damn.  Also built by pioneers (as far as we could understand) it was pretty crazy to see that it's been laid rock by rock.  The reservoir up above is apparently full of fish?  And the wildflowers were gorgeous.  It's cool to see what will bloom in the blazing hot desert we live in!

I wish I had taken a picture of the food.  We had 15 dutch ovens all going at once with chicken, potatoes and cobbler.  I'm so glad I stayed at camp while everyone else trekked.  I wanted to go, but realized that I could either cook or trek.  And I think I chose wisely by cooking-everyone was pretty hungry when they got back.

We actually left early because my biological cousin drove down for the solar eclipse and stayed with us Saturday and Sunday.  It was really cool to actually meet someone from my biological side.  She's from Georgia going to BYU Provo and had tons of fun stories about her family and my biological one.

 The following week/weekend Chad and Sarah got sealed!  It was so neat to go through the temple with them and their sealing was really cool!  My cousin got married that same day at the same time so I got to see a bunch of my extended family as well!
 The next week my family started arriving.  My parents got here Tuesday and Wednesday was my baby shower.  I'm so glad for everyone that came!  It was really fun and so well put together.  I wish I had taken pictures!!  Thursday night was the Rehearsal dinner for Brian and Christina.  It was a Hawaiian themed luau and as you can see they dressed well for the occasion!  The food was amazing!
 Friday, Christina got married!!  Paisley loved her pretty white dress!  And she looked so darling in her dress (a stark contrast to the filthy child pictured above with the frog).  It was so great to see all of my family.
 I'm not sure what's going on with my face in this pic, but everyone else looks good.  I can safely say I was in labor at this point, and not in a particularly good mood.  I was happy to be with friends and family and sad to be contracting and dying of heat.  I believe we hit 102F that day...it was blazing hot.  Paisley could not have been happier.  She made friends with my cousin's sweet little boy and they ran through the park all night together, happy as can be.  It was cute.
The reception turned out gorgeous.  My parents are now completely sold on hiring a wedding planner.  I'll post more pics of the wedding soon over on the foto blog.  It really was darling.  I'm just so glad it's all done.  It's been super quiet around here since and I almost don't know what to do with myself...oh wait, yes I do.  Sleep when I can and keep feeding this hungry little baby!


{questions}: and answers

Here are the most common questions I have been getting and some answers:

  • More details??! Stella was 7 lbs 6 oz when she was born and 19" long.  She had jaundice so we had to stay an extra day and keep her under lights, but she was checked this morning and her bili levels are doing much better!
  • Will I do it again?  Yes.  Absolutely.  But give me a couple of years.  I really have no desire to be pregnant again for a LONG time, but as far as having that next baby naturally goes, I'm in.  I think I'll do an entirely separate post about this.
  • How is Paisley doing?  Soooo good.  I was super, super worried about this and she has been awesome.  She loves Stella and has been surprisingly patient with me nursing and very loving and helpful towards her.  I was worried about leaving her with my Mom and everything and she was super good for her too.  Hopefully this lasts and continues!
  • How's nursing?  Busy.  She is really into cluster feeding in the middle of the day and the middle of the night.  Like every hour.  Our first night home was really rough, but last night was much better.  She really, really does not like sleeping on her back, so I may have to break some rules and let her sleep on her tummy.  Or maybe her sides.  We'll see.
  • How am I?  So good.  I feel great and I just want to get into a routine so that I can feel normal, but at the same time I realize that may take a bit.  I'm tired too, but holding up really well.  Having my Mom here has really saved the day.  She's let me sleep in the mornings and taken care of Paisley.  She had to head back today and will be greatly missed!!
  • How is Jon?  Tired.  And a little bit sick with a cold.  He seems better today than he was but he crashed after everything went down.  He's been working a bit this week since I had my Mom here and will be with me the rest of the week and some of next which will be nice.
Company has been nice-we've had just the right amount this time around, so if you'd like to snuggle a newborn you're more than welcome ;)  We really appreciate all of the love and support we've received-we have the best friends and family in the world.  And we just love this new little girl. ♥


{baby}: stella jayne

Before I begin this post, I have to thank my very kind Father in heaven.  I am still completely in awe at how things all came together, and I'm so grateful.

Christina, my sister got married on Friday, June 1st.  I woke up that morning to my mucous plug shedding...hopeful that it would lead to something.  I then ran around helping her and everyone else get ready, attending and photographing after the wedding and then attending and photographing the reception.  I was not a happy camper-mostly because the uncertainty of when I was going to have this baby, and the amount of pain I was having with contractions that would not regulate.

Saturday, the 2nd was our Gubler Family Reunion.  Jon and I were the first ones at the cemetery where we were starting, followed by Katie, my cousin and midwife.  After complaining to her of my very frustrating pains and lack of regulation she offered to take me over to her house a couple of streets away and at least check me to see if anything was happening.  I was dilated to a 4+ and 70% effaced...progress from my appointment on Thursday.  So she stripped my membranes.  Like really good.

I kept having contractions, went home for lunch and then laid down for a nap.  Finally as I lay down things started to regulate-5 minutes apart.  Painful, but not really.  I let them keep going for 2-ish hours and then got up to start putting things together.  I got in the tub for a bit, cleaned up some things and packed our bags.  Every time I was up they would start going faster and harder and every time I laid down and tried to relax they would settle back down to 5 mins or so apart.

When I had Paisley, my water broke at home.  I really tried to help that not happen this time but doing everything I could to prevent infections and taking both Vitamin C and E.  I really do think that helped keep my amniotic sac intact.  Unfortunately, trying to determine when is the best time to go to the hospital was way more difficult without my water being broken.  Finally, I just kind of felt like it was time because when I was up and around they were getting pretty intense.

They took me to triage and hooked me up to monitors, flat on my back and told me I had to stay that way for the next hour.  The nurse checked me and said that I was still at only a 4+ and 70% effaced, which was a little discouraging considering that's where I had been that morning.  Thankfully my contractions were 5 minutes apart at this point because every one was quite miserable not really being able to move.  My exercise ball had been my place of choice at home because it did wonders for my hips and lower back rolling around on it through contractions.  The nurse came in and explained that if I didn't progress in the next hour it would probably be best for me to head back home...something I DID NOT want to hear.  It was hard not to cry.

They kept giving me water, which made me need to pee so i took the opportunity to go into the bathroom and squat through my contractions-hoping to move her down.  Every time I got up they would get more and more intense, and when I would lay down they would space out-but were continuing to get more painful.  She checked me again in an hour and I was at a 5-ish, so she called Katie, who thankfully was already on her way in.  I overhead her explaining that she just thought this was early labor, and I guess tried to tell Katie that I thought I needed to go home!

Hearing Katie's voice was just the beginning of so many reassurances that she offered me that night.  The nurse had also explained that even if I wanted to be in the tub they would be getting me out every 20 minutes to monitor me because "we have rules here"  So disheartening.  Katie then walked in just after that and I told her I needed to get out of the bed, and now.  She helped me out of the monitors and asked me why I wanted to go home.  Which was confusing, because I did not want to go home.  I started walking the halls and only made it one lap before I started begging for the shower.  Thankfully, she put me in my room and I got in the shower while they filled the tub.  The shower was nice, but the tub was heaven.  Ohhhhhhh...heaven.  It instantly took away the lower back pain and contraction pain and made everything completely bearable again.  She also kicked all the nurses out of my room and left me to labor in the tub-checking in ever once in a while as things started to pick up.  Time at this point started to lose all meaning and became merely life between contractions.

I think it was around this point that I started to get loud-ish.  Moaning was really helping me through contractions and I remember regretting that I stayed quiet while I was in labor with Paisley...so I did not hold back.  I kind of feel bad for the other women laboring around me.  I don't know if they could hear me or not, but it was probably a little scary.  I'm remembering uttering/moaning the phrase "OOOOooooopen, OOOoooooopen" over and over again.  I wanted my cervix to open.

At one point, Katie had me get out of the tub to check me.  I was in very active labor and having contractions in bed was rough.  Thankfully Jon was there the whole way, pushing on my knees while one of the nurses tried to start an IV.  I have a hole in my hand.  I really, really tried to stay still but it was hard.  I was at a very stretchy 7-she could open me to a 9+ but officially I was at a 7. I was feeling SOO much pressure so she asked if she could pop my water (something I originally didn't want but very rapidly changed my mind about and I'm so glad I did).  I ran and hopped back in the tub as soon as I was free.  This was when things really, really started to get intense.

I've watched a lot of home birth videos where the women are in inflatable tubs-I was so glad mine was hard and plastic.  I had a death grip on the sides, and through this period of transition, tried to climb the walls.  The contractions were unreal.  I was continually fighting with everything I had not to panic.  They kept coming on top of each other.  It felt the best to get on all fours, but my knees kept falling asleep so I would try to change position in-between, but it was getting to where there was no in-between.  Katie rescued me.  So did Jon.  Jon jumped in the tub in his swim trunks and started pushing my hips together with all of his might-offering counter pressure to my lower back as well.  Katie stayed 3 inches from my face and told me over and over again that I was ok, I was strong, I was a mother, I was having a baby, I could do this, I was doing this-and I repeated all of this after her.  I needed to be told that I was ok.  Over and over again.  At one point I remember thinking that maybe I wanted and epidural and I went to tell her as a contraction was coming but it came out "I want..no, I don't want an epidural" and she agreed with me and then went back to telling me I was ok, with me repeating after her and trying to breath.  I remember thinking that it was probably too late to get one, and that getting one would require getting out of the tub, and sitting still-2 things I was not willing to do at this point.  I can honestly say what I was doing appealed to me more than that at the time.

I started feeling pushy.  I think for some reason I always thought the urge to push would be this very obvious light switch flipping on.  It was more of a transition.  It started to feel pretty good to push during contractions, but not enough.  Finally Katie asked me if I would get out of the tub.  She could feel that it was holding me back, and thought I might be ready.  I climbed out as quickly as I could in-between contractions and ran to the bed to get on all fours.  I'm so glad she had me turn over because as soon as I was squatting at the end of the bed my whole world changed.  It felt SO GOOD.  Ohhhh, I loved to push into the contractions.  She had just enough time to check, tell me I had a bit of a lip, oh and now the lip was gone, and now I was fully dilated and she had just enough time to get her gown on and my Mom in the door and Stella was out!  I had one really good push for her head, then they tried to get me to stop for a second and then her body followed and suddenly I had this baby in my arms.  The whole thing was beyond surreal.  I guess I just thought I would be pushing for awhile so to suddenly be handed a baby really sent me into shock.  And then it was over.  I had no tearing or damage, the placenta followed nicely, and we have a sweet baby girl!

As I write this I have no idea how I survived.  I have never had such an intense experience in all of my life.  After I settled down and realized that everything took place in 3 hours (we arrived at the hospital at 7:45 and she was born around 11) it overwhelmed me even more.  I am so thankful she is here.  And that she came on June 2nd.  I wanted her to so that my Mom could be there.  And I was so done being pregnant.   I can't even believe how amazing Katie was-she kept me in the game...and my sweet sweet husband.  He managed to not only stay on my back, but also took over for Katie coaching whenever she was checking me or such, and also took some awesome pictures!!  I feel so very blessed.

We're here at the hospital until monday night and love visitors ;)