Thursday, February 26, 2009


Carter Miller Steffen

February 24, 2009
8lb 4oz

The much anticipated birth story:

Since Thurday, February 18th I have been having contractions. They had been very spaced out and ranged in intensity. I knew for sure this baby would be early.

Monday night, I watched the Bachelor and went to bed around 10:30pm. At 2am Tuesday morning, I awoke with a very painful contraction. I got up, walked around, drank some water, and the contractions kept coming. I was afraid to time them because I didn't want to jinx it. So, I ran a hot bath and stayed in for a while. Around 3am I timed one contraction. It lasted over a minute and the next one was less then 3 minutes later. Woah! So, I woke up Brian and asked him to call the Dr for me. He called, and the midwife on duty called me back and told me to head into the hospital.

We got to the hospital a little after 4am. I went to triage and was checked. I was mentally prepared to be 1 or 2cm and was hoping I could stay there at least and not be sent home!! I was checked and I was 4cm, 70% effaced! I was on my way to my attempted VBAC! We called our friends the Ashtons to see if they could take Parker until my parents got there. Brian ran Parker down and I went to my labor and delivery room (I was in there around 5am). Not long after I got in the room my doula, Chris (short for Christine), arrived, and it was her birthday!!

The on-call midwife (i don't know her name =[) was amazing. She kept telling me to visualize the baby moving behind my pubic bone while I was standing and swaying. When I had a contractions she would tell me to 'breathe my cervix open'. She was a very sweet lady.

I was hooked up to the fetal monitors and they ran an iv just for a bit. Then Chris and I walked around while Brian went to the car to get the bags.

Soon after, I asked if I could go in the tub. I went into the jetted tub at 6:15a. No iv! No monitors! =] I was 6cm dialated, 90% effaced. I stayed in the tub for about an hr.

I started feeling lots of pressure and pain and so I got out of the tub and went to the room to be checked. I was 9cm dialated, almost 100% effaced.

At this point the contractions seemed to never stop and so, I got in some different positions to help. While I was leaning on the bed at 8:23a my water broke! All of a sudden the room got really bright and I had a burst of energy. Contractions became even more tough. My cervix was almost all the way effaced- there was a tiny little lip left. I asked just to make sure I could not get medicine at this point. Chris said "Holly, you are almost there. You've done all the hard stuff!" That was what I needed to hear. My doctor, one of the midwives, Chris, Brian, and a couple nurses all witnessed what you are about to read:

I laid on my side for about 2 contractions and I said "oh my gosh, I gotta push! I can't stop it". So, they hurried to check me. I was ready to push!!!! At 8:40am I started to push.
After 18min, Carter arrived!!

I did it!! I really did it!! I can birth babies as God intended!!
Tears started coming, I had done it.

My dream came true.


ICAN and IDID VBAC Med Free!

No words can describe the feeling I felt as I felt his little body coming out of mine. This is what it was supposed to be like. This is how it was supposed to feel. My body knew what to do, and did it! Incredible.

They placed him on me, and then took him away to complete all of his vitals. He wasn't breathing and was a little blue. (later I found out the cord was around his neck) I wasn't worried then or when I found out (they would monitor his heartbeat often with the portable monitor or they'd place the other monitor on me to hear/see the heartbeat)..... They got him breathing and gave him a little oxygen. Brian cut the cord. He was weighed, wrapped and we got him back! No wisking him off to the nursery! I saw my baby!!!

I could not have done it without my amazing support team!!! Chris (below) and Dr Berry were lifesavers.

Brian and I are so blessed to have experienced this.
Our first family photo: I know, I look amazing.Brotherly Love:Carter is all ready to go home!
(Random side note: There was a woman due 1 day before me and she was a VBAC too. She had her baby Monday- the day before me- and she was also successful.... we also gave birth in the same room!.... room 16 is a lucky one, I tell ya!)


Oh, and for the guessing:
Britta was closest to the date guessing Feb 23rd and he was born the 24th!
& Racheal had the weight spot on: 8lbs 4oz!
Thanks for playing!

Monday, February 23, 2009

These are my new favorite thing. They will help me get through labor.

my american idol

Parker singing at christmastime.

(I know its way after the fact)

cell phone pics

Since my camera is packed in my hospital bag- you'll have to deal with cell phone pics for now.

^ this is daddys idea of a good dinner.
can't tell what it is?
a chocolate chip pancake. extra chocolate chips.
he was so proud of it that he wanted me to take a picture of it!

^ this is Parker's new favorite thing to do: climb in his toy basket and sit and play with the toys

^ daddy comes home from work and i swear as soon as he opens that door Parker wakes up from his nap. they connect on a level i'll never understand.
after a quick wash of the hands (yecky school germs) daddy's in to get him up and play with Parker and his hot wheels.

^ what a sweet little boy. reading the pokey little puppy.
i am so proud of him.
He's going to make a great big brother!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

fun with daddy

Daddy takes Parker to the mall (or to breakfast, or for a walk.... etc) every Saturday morning so Mommy can clean the house without Parker (and Daddy) making a mess as she cleans!!

I was busy organizing Parker's room and I got a text message. I checked it and this is what I saw:

^ my big boy on the escalator!
his face is priceless. like he thinks he is doing something he shouldn't be. haha.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

time to make your guesses!

The Great Divide

There was an article in WonderTime magazine about "the great divide" between couples to have kids and couples who don't..... This was the last paragraph and I thought I would share:

"So here it is in a nutshell:
Yes, we can still have great friendships and good times after we become parents. And it's okay that some of our friends choose not to have kids. The truth is, parenting is the hardest job in the world, and having the hardest job definitely changes a person. So, if you think it's your friends that are different after you have kids, think again. They are as selfish and self-centered as you used to be. And come on, you can't deny that even with the stress, anxiety, exaustion, and poverty, we parents have a pretty good deal. Could you imagine your life without someone calling you Mommy or looking to see where you are at a soccer game or needed that special hug that only you can provide? Did you have any clue how much love you had in your heart before you had kids? Admit it. You may be poor and tired, but you've got some nice, new, exausted friends to hang out with."

Monday, February 16, 2009

pucker up

So my parents came to visit and they took us out for lunch/dinner and we had such a good time. Parker wanted to try my lemon. After a couple funny faces he was really diggin it! =]

Like mother, like son.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I was craving fruit so bad today.... check out this beauty

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Last night we had a fantastic date night!

We did all things that started with W-

Wipes (we had to get some- we were all out! ew)
Walmart (to pick up swing!!!)
Wacky Wyatts (for dinner- we even got water to drink)
W. (we wanted to rent it but it was sold out everywhere! so we're watching it tonight)
Wash (who says laundry on date night isn't fun?)

So far we've had a D. L. and W. date night!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

doula anyone?

Has anyone had an experience with a doula?

I'm looking into it and more than likely going to hire one but I was wondering if anyone that reads this has had a doula or known someone that has.... =]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

thinking out loud....

Picking a baby name is so hard, especially for the second one. Not only does it have to sound okay with your last name but it has to 'go' with you first child's name!


Brian, Holly, Parker, and _______
______ Miller Steffen (His middle name is definitely Miller)
Parker and _______
______ Steffen

Names I'm (we're) thinking about and reasons I do/don't want them.....

Jackson- It just didn't stick. It's becoming really popular.
Peter- I love this name, Brain doesn't. Parker and Peter... they will constantly get teased that mommy and daddy really liked spiderman. (so this one is definitely out)
Carter- Parker and Carter... hmmm sounds kinda strange.
Connor- This was the name we picked after Parker. It was our #2. However, some people I know have had babies named Connor and now that's all I think of when I hear the name. (so this one is pretty much out)
Oliver- Same as Carter... Parker and Oliver. Er Er Er. I like the name though.
Elliot- Would you like one tea (t) or 2?! ha. Elliot, Elliott..... Brian really likes this name.
Caleb- Feelin' kinda so so on this one.

Let's just hope the 3rd is a girl because she already has a name. Since I have a definite girl name picked out- I will never have a girl. Well, I guess it would make an okay dog name! =]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

officially full term!

This bump is HUGE.
my american idol favorites
(so far)
Annop Desai
Megan Corkrey
Michael Sarver
Stephen Fowler
Jamar Rogers (sent home=[ )

Monday, February 9, 2009

parker had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

Parker was at a birthday party on Saturday when he started feeling a little warm. I gave him some medicine and within the hour- he started puking. After about the 5th time, I thought he was set to make it in the car ride home. This time we were prepared and borrowed a towel from my friend to cover him and his carseat. He made it home, and went to bed. In the morning (Sunday) I got him up and he was running a little fever. So, I gave him medicine and left for church.

Daddy stayed home with Parker from church but I had to go bc I was conducting and doing sharing time in primary. (which is our Sunday School for kids ages 4-12) I hurried home at 1pm to check and see how he was doing. He downed a whole lot of pedialyte and some bites to eat. Parker was sleeping when I got home and so I didn't want to wake him up. Brian said he went down at about 10:30a so he'd been sleeping a while. He finally woke up at around 2:45p. I took his temp. 102.8. Great. So in went the motrin, gave him a cool bath, started the pedialyte and on went just the onsie. He was in a surprisingly good mood! Laughing and babbling and playing like normal. After his bath he sat with daddy on the couch and daddy read him books

After a couple books, Parker wanted to play play play! So, he began to play with all his toys. It was only about 5 min later that I asked Brian to get a paper towel bc Parker's leg was bleeding!! He must have scratched it on something. So, Brian applied pressure and I got the neosporin and bandaids. All bandaged up and ready to play again:

I had to leave and so I was getting ready in the bedroom and daddy and Parker went in there to bug me. Well, Parker tripped on some clothes on the floor when he was carrying his pedialyte and the cup bonked his face. Parker cried and blood started dripping from his left nostril. Are you kidding me?! Poor kid. We got it taken care of and then I let him 'wipe' it himself.

To top off Parker's horrible day, I sold the swing and had to meet up with the people to give it to them. Parker was crying as daddy was bringing it out to the car. It was actually emotional for me too. That was my little baby Parker swing. Parker would never be that little again... it was just a hard day for me too. So, Parker played with the toys on the tray and we told him the swing had to go help another little baby. We got some last pictures of him and his swing. It was bittersweet for sure.
After I dropped the swing off, I went to get more Pedialyte (bc we were all out. even though we had stocked up pretty well. Parker doesn't like the grape flavor one) So I went and grabbed some things from the store (bad holly) and by the time I got home (around 7p) Parker had no fever!

He was cool as a cucumber when we put him to bed and I thought for sure he'd wake up and start the cycle all over again. Well, I got him up at around 8:15a and no fever! Phew!

Hopefully today isn't as eventful as yesterday.......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

square one

Back to square one with baby names?

We were pretty much decided on Jackson but Brian and I have been talking. Jackson is a REALLY popular name. Every year it's climbing the ssa popular names chart. I know we are going to call him Jack, so why not name him that? Well, it's climbing the charts too..... I just don't want my little boy to have a lot of friends with his same name. Plus, I can't help but think of Micheal and Randy Jackson. Ugh.

Popularity of the male name Jackson
Year of birth Rank
2007 33
2006 35
2005 44
2004 48
2003 52
2002 50
2001 60
2000 72
1999 83
Note: Name data are from Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States. (

Now, if Jackson were a name that I was set on and it were number 1, I would still name him that. It's not that the numbers are the only thing that matters, I just don't know if Jackson or Jack feels right.

Friday, February 6, 2009

alert- VENTING

Disclaimer: These are just some thoughts after some recent events. In no way is it meant to offend anyone that reads it. If you wanna talk to me more about it, send me an email. Thanks!

Why are some mothers so critical? I mean really- just because someone doesn't do something the way you do it doesn't make it wrong. There are the notorious debates....

Circumcised VS UnCircumsised
Breast VS Bottle Fed
Disposables VS Cloth Diapers
Scheduled/ Fully Vaccinated VS Partially/Delayed/UnVaccinated
Homemade Baby Food VS Canned Baby Food

I understand and commend your choice on whatever it may be.
However, do not make me feel bad for my choice.
I am a Mother. And a good one at that.
I have decided to do what I think is best for my baby and my family.
Those choices might be different for yours. And they probably are.

But how can you sit there and say cloth diapering is a waste and doesn't save money or time and yet you take time and make all your own baby food? That's not the most convenient way to feed your baby solids and yet why do you do it? Because you feel that is what is best for your baby. That is how I feel about the decisions that I have made. They are best for ME and MY family.

I guess I'm just annoyed because I feel some people are uneducated about whatever topic it is that they are offending the other side. I try to learn all I can about the pros and cons to whatever topic it is and then I make my decision. I hope you do too. And just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't be friends! =]

This is what I do and why I have done it, take it how you will.

Circumcised VS UnCircumcised-- I circumcise basically for hygiene and because of family history.
Breast VS Bottle Fed-- I bottle fed Parker. Not by choice. My milk didn't come in. I am hoping to nurse/pump for this baby. I will more than likely stop at 6ish mon and pump for the rest of the year. When Parker was 1 I just could never imagine nursing him. I'm against the idea of child-led weaning.
Disposables VS Cloth Diapers-- I use cloth. There are no chemicals against my baby's skin, its better for the environment (yes you use water and a lot of it. but water is a renewable resource & my plastic diapers aren't filling up the landfill), it is cost-effective. I use disposables sometimes and have some stocked up for emergencies.
Scheduled/ Fully Vaccinated VS Partially/Delayed/UnVaccinated-- I'm vaccine cautious. I did the whole 'by the book' with Parker up until he was 12mon. And now I'm trying to delay vaccinate him. He will not get the flu vaccine. He will be titre tested for chickenpox before kindergarten to see if he has developed immunity. If not, I will consider the Vaccine. This baby is not getting the hepB in the hospital. He will start vaccines at his 2 mon. And hopefully he'll get 1 aluminium vaccine an appt after that.
Homemade Baby Food VS Canned Baby Food-- I make my own baby food. This is definitely better on the wallet. My baby will get the taste of the 'real thing' (seriously- have you ever tried the canned food?) and hopefully will be more apt to be a good eater. Its healthier. No preservatives or added sugar/salt. With a little effort- it's just as convenient as canned.

I'd love to hear why you do what you do!! =]

Finally, I hope that I have never 'knocked' the other side for their choice. If I have, I am sorry.
Phew, I feel a little better....


You might not want to watch these (they are a little graphic, if you've ever seen a birthing show on tv- you'll be fine!)... but I've really been trying surround myself with positive VBAC messages.

This message hit home because how she felt before/during/after her c-section was exactly the way that I felt. She got to hold her baby after the c-section. I saw Parker for the first time 30 hours after mine. Yes. That's a Three and Zero.

this woman's story is amazing. i couldn't help but sob at the end of her story...

i could post a million stories. they are so uplifting and empowering.
i hope i can add my stories to the thousands out there....

my final thoughts: its hard for people who haven't had a c-section to know what we go through. i know everyone experiences something different. at the time, i felt like i needed to do whatever to make sure that my baby was safe.... but inside i felt like a failure. you have to fight to keep the smile on your face while your abdomen is burning during recovery. i was trying to pump and so i basically got fancy tylenol to help with the pain. it didn't touch it. i could lift my feet 2 inches off the floor. just enough to shuffle down the hall to see my son through a window- enveloped in blue lights. did i really do the best for him? i'm longing for a vbac. it is what is best for this baby and for me. i can. and i will.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

sono results

Baby is:


And he is measuring right on target. 36w 4d.

And his estimated weight? 6lbs 10oz.

Monday, February 2, 2009

swing that football belly

When Parker was a newborn the only place he would sleep was our baby papasan swing. He absolutely loved it. And so did we. The only downside? It runs on 4D batteries. There were many-a-nights we would run out of batteries and Brian would put a sleeping bag on the floor and push parker in the swing until he fell asleep. Brian would then sleep right next to him in case he woke up. After talking to my friend Racheal last night, she told me they now make a swing that plugs in!! My dream come true! But, she said, it only comes in blue and pink. I guess my girls (If I ever have a girl) will have to deal with being swung in a blue swing because Brian is 300% on board to getting this swing. So, I'm off to order it!!!!!!!!
Is that a bowling ball under your shirt?? Ha.
We don't have a full length mirror and so yesterday at the bathroom at church I turned to the side and couldn't believe my eyes!!
36 weeks already!

This was parker, all set for the superbowl in his football outfit! (I could not for the life of me- get him to look up from daddys cell phone)