Hazel’s Home Birth Story

This was the exact birth I was praying for. Though she is almost 11 months old as I write this and reminisce on the day, it all seems very fresh. I remember telling many people how wonderful it would be if I was able to wake up with contractions after a full nights sleep, hang out all day with my family, then have a baby in my arms that night. That is exactly what happened!

 

I woke up between 3-4 am feeling those all to familiar tightenings. The thoughts start swirling. “Is today the day? What a perfect day it would be!!!” Then the doubt. “This baby is probably going to stay another week! DO NOT get excited!” I tried my best to just rest but the excitement took over. I got out of bed around 5 to see if walking around would slow them down. Nope, they stayed the same. I decided to wake up Tim. I remember whispering…”Hey, I think this may be the day.” He jumped up pretty quick.

 

It was perfect really, we were able to sip on our coffee, talking about what the day was going to hold, time out contractions, and have about an hour of peace before the other babes woke up. My contractions remained 15 minutes apart and only lasted 30-45 seconds. They were good and strong though. Up until this point I had been having SEVERAL contractions every day, so even though they were far apart they were very consistent no matter what I did.

 

The day continued to unfold like a dream. It was like Mother’s day. As each child woke up we got to tell them that they may have a baby sister by the end of the day. There is nothing like delivering that message!

We put a call into my midwife and she told me to eat a big breakfast and take a bath and see how things progress. I learned from my last long labor to eat, drink, and get a lot of rest!!! I wanted to let my body do what it knew how to do and not get in my own way. So I did exactly what she instructed, and they kept coming every 15 minutes like clock work.

 

As  the day went on we did all of those family things I love to do. We went on a walk, played in the back yard, sat out on the deck, and just enjoyed one another’s company. Every time I would stop for a contraction one of the kids would come and hold my hand or scratch my back. Once lunch was over they grew to about 10 minutes apart, lasted about 45 seconds, and I was really having to concentrate through them to keep my body relaxed. Though the day was great, I was beginning to fear that this pattern may continue through out the night. As their intensity grew, the more and more tired I was becoming.

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We text my midwife and she asked what time we were eating dinner and if my kids were going to be leaving. Turns out my mom had offered to buy us some dinner and take the kids back with her for a sleep over just in case that night was the night. She said she would come by after they had left  just to check on me and the baby. I took comfort in that, but also hated the thoughts of her wasting her time driving over here. I remember her saying,”I bet things will pick up when the kids leave, I’ll be there around 9.”

 

I remember sitting at the dinner table with my mom and Tim trying to eat my dinner. I could only eat a bite or two. The contractions were still only every 10 minutes, but they were very intense. After getting a few more bites down I helped get everyone’s bags ready for their sleepover and kissed them all goodbye. I told them they may have a baby sister when they get back home! That was about 8pm.

 

The moment they walked out the door I walked upstairs to get some cleaning done. (Isn’t that what most mothers do when there little ones leave?) By the time my feet hit the top step a huge contractions came. I made my way over to my birthing ball sitting on top of my bed and I just laid over it trying with everything I could to relax. I closed my eyes and I don’t think I opened them back up until she was born! There was no more timing the contractions. No more doubt in my mind that this baby was on the way tonight. The only movement I did was bring the ball to the floor where I continued working with my labor, eyes shut, breathing and laying over it.

 

My midwife showed up about 9pm. She looked at me, looked at my husband and said, “Has she been like THIS all day?!” He said it was right when the kids left. I’ll never forget this but she said, “Cool! We are having a baby soon!” I can’t tell you that relief that washed over me!!

 

About 9:45 my second midwife came. It was so great to see their familiar faces! Never before have I felt so taken care of then when I am laboring a baby with my husband and these ladies. I felt safe, empowered , and yet capable of the surrender that must happen when bringing life into the world. There are no cervical checks, no mandatory positions, no right or wrong way for me to do anything. Only doppler checks to listen to that sweet heart beat, and a straw they put in my mouth to encourage hydration.

 

I started to feel the temperature in the room increase and I knew we were getting close. ( They turn the thermostat up high before the baby is born so it will be nice and toasty.)

 

I started to feel the urge to push around 11:15. Y’all this is HARD WORK! I remember saying things like “AHH! This hurts so baaaaad!” and things like “I’m never doing this AGAIIINNNNN!!!!” All I kept hearing was “Your doing amazing work, your doing so well, not much longer…” And the sweet whispers from my husband telling me how proud he was of me and how we were about to have our baby in our arms.

 

At 11:45 that sweet little girl came into my arms. Hazel Mallory Styron The relief, the surge of hormones that make you feel like super woman puts you on a high like no other. The look into that baby’s face is unimaginable bliss. She was beautiful, she was perfect, she was worth every minute.

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We got in bed, she nursed, we laughed, we took pictures, we studied this new addition to our family. It was simple and beautiful.

 

They  got a bath ready for me and Hazel filled with herbs meant for healing. It smelled amazing. I held her in my arms in the bath while she continued to nurse and I relaxed all of the soar muscles in my body. It was heavenly.

 

After out soak we climbed back in bed with my husband and I got to watch the fun part. The newborn check. We finally got the weight and measurements for the family poll!

 

The birth fairies… aka midwives cleaned up the room, made me food, and tucked us in for the night. We face timed our oldest daughter Willow! She was so excited and had been wide awake the entire time! That was a really sweet moment.

 

That was our story. The story of how simple birth can be, yet an absolutely miraculous miracle all out the same time.

 

I used to not always advocate for home birth. In fact 3 of mine were born in the hospital with a lot of interventions, with two at home. Just like most things, education is key. Once your educated it is hard to deny it. Once you’ve experienced it, it will change your life.

 

Welcome to the world sweet Hazel!

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Book Review: “Dear Joey, Embracing Everyday Of Motherhood, As If Your Last”

I’m honestly not quite sure where to begin. I had the honor of writing my first book review. My only hope is that I can do this book justice. The title of the book is called “Dear Joey, Embracing Everyday Of Motherhood, As If Your Last.” Written by Alicia Eggers. The words for this book were inspired by God when Alicia saw the breathtaking picture of the beautiful Joey Feek in her hospital bed holding onto her sweet baby girl.

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The words on the pages were like a, “slap in the face” kind of reflection. The honesty to write a book of this sort, convicts me to be an open book like what I have read. You see, the Author wrote about her dreams, her aspirations, and the beautiful picture of motherhood. She also wrote about the process of pregnancies, husbands working late, bills, and disease both mentally and physically. She wrote about the things we all go through, but rarely post about. (We only want to show the world our good side.) It is amazing to watch the story unfold as she reflects and is able to see the hand of God throughout it all. His fingerprints are all over this book as she took inspiration from this photograph of Joey Feek and applied it everyday to her life.

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Her story was so relatable, but she didn’t leave me in my pity as I was yelling,” Yes! Me too!” at the pages. She provided scripture upon scripture of Truths and Promises that are God breathed. Every single one sunk down deep in my soul where they belong. She gave words to cling to and gave the change in perspective that is needed for the days or even weeks or months when we are lost in the trenches of motherhood.

 

One quote in particular that jumped out at me,We are made to be used. How opposite this is from what the world screams at us! In my own thoughts I had been pondering about this myself. It seems we are always making excuses to self preserve, to say no, or not give. Alisha is right y’all. That isn’t our purpose or what He made us for. We should be used up, if you will, a literal spilling over of all of God’s blessings so we can fall into His arms day after day to be filled once again by His grace to serve again to others.

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A paragraph that spoke to me.I don’t know about you, but to me, motherhood is the most heart-wrenching, soul- exposing, and holiness-making journeys we will ever have. We can’t go at it alone. And, we can’t fight the suffering parts. As much as we desire to flee the scene of our suffering, there is no greater treasure than to stop and notice God in the midst of it. To see His face, filled with love and adoration for you as you parent His gifts. To remember that in the middle of the storm, all we have to do is keep our eyes on Him and we can walk on water, too.” Ahhh I LOVE that!!

 

To read Alicia’s story and watch as it unfolds as she comes to the realization at the source of her strength and the meaning behind sufferings is truly beautiful to see.

 

I am reminded that we aren’t promised easy but we are promised love, protection, and eternity.

 

I was blessed to have the opportunity to read this book. My recommendation is to do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of “Dear Joey”. God used her authenticity to speak write to my heart. I know this book will do the same for you.

 

Alicia Eggers is a Christ follower, Wife, and Mama to 5 little ones. She blogs along with her sisters over at Honestly Motherhood. This is her VIRAL blog post that was the catalyst for this amazing story! Go check her out!

Good ol’ Life update

HELLLLLOOOOOO!

I am here again and am so happy to be back to this little space:) I thought I would give a quick life update and tell you a few new things and ideas I hope to accomplish on this little blog of mine.

-The biggest news is that we had our 5th baby on September 15th. She is our 3rd girl, Hazel Mallory Styron. She is so beautiful from the inside out and has the sweetest little spirit. WE all love her so much and can’t imagine life with out her! (Her birth story will be on the blog soon) -Better late than never right?

-We are still homeschooling, sorta homesteading, gardening, and striving for simple.

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-We became debt free this February when we paid off our mortgage! We could not have done any of that with out God’s provision, family support, and Dave Ramsey! If you are local, we are starting to teach Financial Peace classes, and we would love to see you there! If you aren’t, then you have to get his book Total Money Makeover, or just check out Daveramsey.com. We will be heading to Nashville in June for our debt free scream!!

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-Our family has been exclusively using Young Living essential oils and their products like crazy for almost 3 years now. We have seen huge health benefits! I have started educating people on how to get toxins out of their homes, natural alternatives, and how to stay above the wellness line. My passion has grown so much for this. I love supporting people as they switch to oils that benefit them and their families.

-A friend of mine wrote an amazing book called, “Dear Joey“. I just started reading it and I will be doing a book review. It is sooo GOOD, exactly what my momma heart needed! Stay tuned;)

-Through all of this amazingness that happened during my break, we certainly weren’t spared of our share of heartache, disapointments, and down right tragedies either. One thing I have learned is that through all of the ugly in life He holds us through and continues to bring the good bubbling back up to the surface of our minds. His love runs so deep and I am so grateful.

All of this was quite random!

As always, thanks to you all for reading my heart. Please comment and tell me what you all have been up to!

 

Why I am a Crier Today

I’m quite the basket case today. I am sitting on the front porch, red raspberry leaf tea in hand, while letting the sun dry my tear-stained face. I am filled with gratitude, humility, and overwhelming feelings about this life.

 

This season I’m in is the hardest and sweetest all rolled into a blissful blur.

 

I’ve got the rowdy 2 and 3-year-old cowboys dragging their ropes across the grass lassoing everything in sight, and each other. Then I’ve got the silly 5 and 7-year-old girls cutting flips and singing at the top of their lungs. I’ve got an 18 week swollen belly with a baby girl full of life and little kicks letting her presence be made known.

 

It’s my life.

 

Quick kisses and goodbyes in them morning with coffee cups filled to the brim. Fighting to hold my eyelids open a little longer to enjoy his company and our talks. Collapsing in bed not even remembering how we walked up the stairs.  He and I are walking it together.

 

How can a time in your life be so hard, yet you never want it to end?

 

This motherhood life has turned me into what God meant for me to be. There is no doubt about it. I am a hopeful wreck with hands toward heaven. It’s glorious. The serving, the laughing, the wanting to pull your hair out. It was all the plans for me long ago.

 

I’m smack in the middle of the journey right now. Looking back makes me want to cry and looking forward makes me want to cry. This middle even has me in tears.

 

The pure contentment and purpose wrapped up in the exhausting string of days keeps me trying harder. To love them better, cook better, read longer, stay up later, wake up earlier, and etch it all in my heart to never forget these growing days of them and me.

 

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For The Broken This Christmas

This week is it. It’s the climax, the top of the roller coaster as we coast down hands high feeling the rush of Christmas blow through our hair. The fruits of our labor come to fruition. The gifts get torn open, the new recipes get tasted, the Christmas pajamas get worn, Luke 2 is read, Christmas carols are sung. It’s all a building up, and a preparation to celebrate with every ounce we’ve got. It’s a lovely picture to soak up. I fully intend on breathing it all in and savoring every morsel of the sweetness.

 

Read the rest over at Raising Homemakers

My Confessions

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Guest post by dear friend Amanda Speer From Story and Table

 

Confession: my house used to be clean. Now it is messy. I’ve got 2 under 3, a dog, a small business, and my own lack of motivation to deal with on a daily business. Did I mention my house is almost 100 years old?

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But during this holiday season I’m focusing on living in my house, not just cleaning it. There will always be time for that, but there is only a few moments for my boys to build blanket forts. There is only a few mornings to sip tea while reading Luke 2.

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I once heard that there are only 940 Saturday’s in your child’s life. In my house, I’m spending those days playing on our giant dirt pile or jumping in leaves. I am not spending them nagging family members about dirty clothes or dishes. Saturday’s are for community groups or football-watching. They’re for resting or playing with swords or pretending to be monsters.

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Our house is used to the glory of God, but here cleanliness is not next to Godliness. You know what is? Grace and peace and respect. It’s for saying sorry and offering forgiveness. Our house and lives may be messy but that’s because we live here.

 

Amanda Speer is a boy mom to two little wild things. She believes that cheese and books are the perfect love language. Amanda searches for the extraordinary in the everyday and tries to believe and bestow God’s lavish grace. She blogs with her sister at Story and Table.. You can find her on Facebook or on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Tips To Slow The Hustle and Bustle

We blink and the season has come and gone while we are left with dry Christmas tree needles, a mess, and exhaustion. What if we changed it up? It’s not too late to put your foot on the brake and embrace this fast season that is slipping through our fingertips. We can purposefully say no to the hustle and bustle and capture Jesus in Christmas, sweet memories, and longer family times.

Read my strategy over at A Mamas Story!

 

Life In My 20’s…What I Have Learned

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In 12 short days I will hold my breath and blow out 30 candles.

 

This post has been in the works for over a month. I wanted something profound, something my great-grandchildren could look back on and see wisdom in every word. It was to be titled “20 things I learned in my 20’s.” Turns out, not too much. I was stumped with a mental road block. I realized I have no flowery advice, nothing to bridge a gap or any life secrets.

 

The only thoughts that kept coming to my mind aren’t encouragement at all actually. It’s humility.

 

I cry as I write these words of all the beautiful people and love given to me in my 20’s. Honestly, I wonder if my 30’s will ever even come close in the running. Really, I am blessed beyond measure at the outpouring of people who love me unconditionally. God handpicked an amazing crowd to surround me.

 

I’ve got my husband who is the gentlest hardworking man I’ve ever known. God gave me a love story some only get to imagine. He loves me to a fault. The older I get, I see not everyone gets this kind of love. I have learned to cherish it, to protect it with all my might.

 

My children. There are no words for how they make me feel, smile, laugh, cry, and love on a daily basis. The fierce love is remarkable. I have learned to look at the world through their tender eyes with complete trust in Jesus.

 

My sweet mama. The person I just gotta call and tell, she gets me.  The one who taught me how to love with all I’ve got, loyalty, and how to mother. She’s my best friend. What I wouldn’t give to have this kind of relationship with my daughters one day.

 

My dad. He has made great mistakes affected the life courses for many. He has strived to right those wrongs and has mended our relationship in such a way that when we are together, I get to be a little girl again. He taught me heartache isn’t always a bad thing. He never stopped loving me, and I never stopped loving him.

 

My sisters. The beautiful friendship that has blossomed. The inside jokes, the sharing of clothes, the bickering, the dance parties. They teach me to laugh and help me reminisce. They are beautiful. They’re always there for me and appreciate my goofiness.

 

My Granny and Poppie. The matriarch and patriarch from which all of the good stems. Just there smell and presence feels like home, comfort, and Jesus. Their prayers poured over me and encouragement they have spoken in my life are priceless treasures. They taught me the importance of a legacy.

 

My aunts and uncles. Uncle Chip, Aunt Mitzi, Uncle Greg, Aunt Lisa. They are always at all of my children’s birthday parties. They pour love and respect and are always pulling a sweet babe on their lap. They make sure I get through the line of casseroles at the family gatherings after the 4 little plates have been made. They taught me the preciousness of consistency and being able to count on someone.

 

Aunt Debbie. The one I could call in the middle of the night and say “Hey, will you go get me a coffee?” and her reply would be “Sure honey, how many creams?” The giver… giver of time, resources and is known as the “surprise girl.” She integrates in and through every family member always tending to. She taught me you can’t take anything with you, so spend on the ones you love.

 

My other family. My in-laws Jim and Donna. Took in a bright-eyed 15-year-old girl in love with their son. No questions asked, loved me. I never knew a healthy relationship with in-laws and they taught me everyday through prayers, encouragement, hugs, talks, monopoly playing, dominoes, popcorn Sundays, and even the arguments we look back at and laugh. I am their daughter.

 

My brother and sister-in-law Jason and Tina. Raising little people together in the thick of life. The endless phone conversations we have had, the dreams of our “Folger coffee” moments, the disappointments with less than perfect family days, and the stories, oh the stories! I can go on and on. I learned beauty in sharing life.

 

My forever friend Kylene. My protector friend that has always loved me no matter how many miles apart or how much time has passed, we never miss a beat. She taught true friendship withstands it all.

 

My work girls Katie, Holly, Karina. From the outside we have nothing in common. Our hearts have been intertwined for… I honestly don’t even know how long. Really, it feels as though we have always been friends. I have no idea when we started sharing good meals, good wine, and even better desserts. I love them and I love all of our differences. I learned what a real judgement free zone is.

 

My homeschooling mamas, my people, my kin, the kind you search for your entire life. Kristie, Eileen, Stephanie, Kelly, Melissa, Amanda Cox, Amanda Bradley, Lorre, Ginger, my new friend Bobbie and countless others.  We could go weeks without talking then can send one sentence questions and never take offense when the other only answered the text  in their head. We have a  bond. We understand full length the beauty and the struggle between the calling and the craziness. I have learned the power of an instant bond and the feeling of finally fitting in somewhere.

 

Perhaps wisdom found its way to my soul after all. It was through the love poured, the shed tears, the throw the head back laughs, and the walking through the twenties into my humble thirties.

 

I didn’t make it through my twenties, I was loved through them thanks to the bouquet of handpicked beautiful people who saw past my mess, and ugliness and found me worth their love.

 

From the bottom of my heart you have filled to the brim I am grateful. The twenties were the time of my life, here’s to 30!

Let Them Be Little

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Let them swing, climb, and hide. Teach them every nursery rhyme. Allow them to stay clueless on the popular song or dance.  Pull them on your lap and teach them all your old favorites along with all the words to, “Jesus loves me.” Spread out the crayons and put down the tablet. Pull out the blankets to cover chairs for the bear cave. Keep the shoes at the back door, or maybe, no shoes at all.

 

Keep them little by showing them the big. The stars, the mountains, the ocean, the sky, our Savior.

 

Pretend with them, believe, bring fairy tales to life. Light up history and spark the flame of the desire of knowledge. Get down, bellies to the ground to watch the ants. Put your elbows to the grass as you watch the puffs of clouds disappear. Let them feel a pencil in their hand with real paper to grab instead of a screen. Read the stories for their minds to paint beautiful pictures. Add a constant source of fuel to their imagination and protect it against the tarnish. Let them be wild, with tangled manes, and dirt under nails. Let them scream, laugh, sing and dance.

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Watch the yard get torn from treasure hunts and dragging feet under the swing. Let them pull every flower to give to their mama. Watch them snack straight out of the garden. Put them to bed early, tuck them snug, pray, read, sing the sweet songs. Whisper Jesus loves them and all things right and true.

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Keep them little, let them be little.

When My Children Don’t Have Me

Have you ever sat face to face with a divinely appointed, God directed conviction? It’s a love hate relationship to feel the Lord’s pruning. Though sometimes painful, you know your being formed into His image and reminded of His truths.

Allow me to give you some back story. I am passionate and driven girl. I love to write beautiful words, it comes so easily. I love using the creative side of my brain where my heart overflows. In fact, I get kind of cranky when I can’t get out the creative things on my heart.

It’s all good Jesus stuff I want to do…really.

Read the rest over at Raising Homemakers today!

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Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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