Lindsay Sledge

a blog about life with Micah, Denver, Everett, Savannah, and Presley the dog

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 2)

That Kid

I am mom to that kid: the boy who is a bit bigger, a bit louder, and a bit more unruly than other kids his age. He is my joy and delight (he, and his little brother, of course). He made me work ridiculously hard during the first four months of his life, with sleepless nights and colic, but we powered through. He learned to walk and talk and run and shout, always a bit earlier than his peers, and he became much happier with his newfound freedom and ability to communicate.

He’s almost three now, and I’ve settled into motherhood for the most part. I know my sweet boy, and he knows me. Our relationship is built on love and trust. It’s a relationship that I am proud of, because it has taken time and attention to cultivate. We both yell at times, because we have big feelings. We both apologize often, and the hugs strengthen our bond. I know that the seasons come and go, some full of calm and cooperation, and others full of crying and hysterics. I also know how important it is for me to remain steady while adapting new parenting strategies to care for such a bright and opinionated little boy.

The new season we’ve entered is one of defiance, and I have not yet figured out how to adjust my parenting to his needs. He uses the word “sneaking” and blatantly chooses to run off when I ask him to stay. Public outings are especially hard with a one-year-old brother in tow, who has his own needs and desires, and also a bit of the strong will that my oldest champions.

Today at the library, we had a rough day. My oldest ran through the building as soon as we entered, laughing hysterically because he thought it was a game. The librarian gave me a reproachful look, and I told her I’d handle it. I needed to use the restroom, and that created a power struggle, because he wanted to play trains. While playing trains, baby brother pooped, and we had to go back to the bathroom for a diaper change. I literally had to drag him across the floor with his brother in my arms while other parents watched. Then, when story time for the one-year-olds began, he wanted to stand on the bench and look out the window, which the librarian asked him not to do. I wish she’d just let him look out the window, because he was happy and not disrupting anyone. Once he got down from the bench, though, he decided to run as fast as he could around the room, circling all the families, and being incredibly disruptive. Nothing I said deterred him. Finally, after another reproachful look from the librarian, I picked up our bags, his brother, and marched through the middle of story time in order to intercept him and drag him, kicking and screaming, out of the library. As we walked to the car, and he was wailing, people watched us and even commented that someone was having a bad day. At this point, I started to cry. We were all having a bad day.

I texted my friend after the outing, for a bit of encouragement, and also to share the embarrassment I was feeling. She sent me kind words, and it was helpful to share the feelings with someone else instead of ruminating on them alone. I talked to my oldest, told him I loved him, and asked him to think about ways he can listen and obey better next time, so that instead of leaving, we can stay. I held my youngest in my arms and read him many books when we got home to make up for the books we missed at story time.

What else can I say? I wish the librarian had been more understanding and used her words and authoritative position to help engage my son rather than wishing him away. I wish another parent had offered me some help or even a knowing smile as I carried 50 pounds of upset children, books, and a diaper bag to the car.

However, as embarrassing and frustrating as the situation was, I don’t wish these moments away. It’s these hard moments that God will use to grow my children and me. These moments teach my children that they are loved, regardless of their actions. They also learn that there is a time and place for certain behaviors. They learn that grownups get upset, just like they do, and that we all have to work on patience and putting others first. I feel as if I am being sharpened by iron each day, specifically in the practice of gentleness and faithfulness, such needed characteristics in caring for children.

I would not trade my strong-willed child for anything. I marvel at his determination and creativity, traits that make the days highly entertaining, even if draining. He is smart, hilarious, and beautifully intentional. He loves with his whole heart, and I can literally feel his feelings, whether he is incredibly happy or sad. I’m still learning how to parent him well in each new stage that arrives, because once I think I’ve figured him out, he changes again. Each change brings new abilities and a deeper relationship, though, so it’s always so worth it once we make it through the tough part.

In the meantime, when I see another mom with “that kid,” I will tell her she’s doing a great job. I will encourage her to keep her head up. I might even give her a hug. These tough little ones are incredible gifts, and it takes incredible strength and endurance to parent them well.

Everett’s Birth Story

I cannot believe that I am writing my second childbirth story so soon after writing my first. Nine months in, nine months out, the story is now complete. As with my first birth story, I’m not leaving out details, so read at your own risk.

This story starts on my six year wedding anniversary, when Micah and I decided not to get each other presents. We went to dinner at Sopapillas (this will be important later), talked about what a disaster year six had been, and decided to have an awesome year seven. One thing led to another, and two weeks later, we found out that we were pregnant! So much for not getting each other a present.

We were shocked!

My second pregnancy was a bit harder than my first, mainly because I spent the days chasing around a toddler. I had more nausea during the first trimester, lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and a foot injury in the third trimester. Apart from those issues, it was another healthy pregnancy, for which I am grateful.

In case you forgot, Denver was a big baby, 8 lbs 11 oz. He came a week early, sunny side up, and caused third degree tearing. The healing process was a nightmare. With this in mind, my doctor and I were both hopeful that Everett would come early as well, but my doctor started to freak me out around the 34 week mark, worrying about his size. I asked her if there were any indicators that Everett would be big, and she said no. I asked her what she would do to help minimize tearing, and she said nothing. So, I decided to change doctors at 36 weeks. I stayed in the same practice but moved to a doctor who recently had a baby herself, was completely unconcerned with Ev’s size, and encouraged me with steps she could take to help ease the baby out. It was stressful to change doctors at the last minute, and it was worth it.

At the 39 week mark, I was ok with still being pregnant. I was enjoying my last few days alone with Denver and also feeling Everett move around in my belly. At the 40 week mark, I was completely over it. I was up every hour and a half to pee all night. I had serious stomach issues, and they continued until I delivered. One night I was so sick that I thought I was in labor, so my husband and I went to the hospital to get checked out, only to leave an hour later with what I believe was food poisoning. There is a mental element at play in the last month of pregnancy, and you really start to wonder if the baby will ever arrive. There is also the panic of knowing that you are sleep deprived, and this only gets worse in the weeks/months after delivery.

Along with these anxieties, I was finally beginning to panic about Everett’s size, and people kept asking me if I was going to induce. I held firm in my conviction that I would wait on my body and the baby, but it was not easy. At 40 weeks and 4 days, Micah and I decided to go on what we hoped was our last date night before baby. Where did we go? Sopapillas! I felt very calm this evening, ate as much food as I could fit into my belly, and prayed that God would get things moving. My weekly checkup was the following morning, and I knew my doctor would have to start discussing options.

I woke up feeling good, went to the bathroom, and saw blood. I was relieved because it was a sign that I was dilating more. We drove to the doctor, I got checked out, and it turns out I was 4cm dilated and 90% effaced. This was hilarious to me, because I found out that I was in labor with Denver at the doctor’s office, 4cm dilated and 90% effaced! I am clearly not good at recognizing early labor contractions. The doctor monitored my contractions for 20 minutes, and they were still erratic. She asked if I wanted to be admitted, and I said no, that I’d rather go home and wait for things to pick up. She agreed, but she did advise my husband to call out of work. After leaving, we headed to Panera for lunch and then spent the afternoon hanging out as a family of three.

Lunch at Panera

After Denver’s nap, we took a walk, at Micah’s encouragement. I think he was feeling antsy about us needing to head to the hospital, and he hoped the walk would speed things up. I felt great on the walk, with a few contractions here and there. When we got home, we had a snack, and all of a sudden the contractions regulated, coming three minutes apart and lasting for a minute. I didn’t say anything to Micah and went upstairs to watch some shows with Denver. It took about 20 minutes, but it finally registered to me that I was in active labor. I called Micah upstairs, asking him to pack up the car, called my sister, asking her to head straight over, and snuggled up to Denver, enjoying our last few minutes together as an only child. Around 4:00pm, I gave Denver a big hug and kiss and left for the hospital. Thanks again to my sister, Lauren, for taking such good care of Denver while Micah and I focussed on Everett’s arrival.

Walking Ev out

While in the car, I called my doctor to let her know we were on our way, with consistent contractions still three minutes apart. She called ahead to the hospital and asked them to skip triage and admit me straight away. When we got to the hospital, we waited for a bit before getting checked in, and then we waited for a bit before anyone came to check on me. My husband specifically wants me to include that while we waited, he read me hilarious jokes that he found online to pass the time. Thanks, babe, duly noted.

After waiting for a while, Micah went to the nurses’ desk to ask when someone would come check on me since I was in labor. A nurse came back, told me that I shouldn’t have skipped triage, and that they didn’t know what to do with me. I stared at them, thinking how ridiculous this was, and feeling like I’d done something wrong. Because I was panicking a bit, my contractions slowed down when they hooked me up to the monitor. I don’t think they believed that I was in labor. The nurses then checked my progress, and I was at 5cm. At this point, they realized I was in active labor and assigned me a nurse. She was really kind and reassuring, I calmed down, and my contractions picked right back up.

In labor

Micah and I then walked the hallways, watched a Predators game on the television, and chatted. I was surprised at how manageable my contractions were, and I felt confident going into my second delivery. Since we had skipped dinner, Micah started to get hungry. Around 8pm he ordered food from a local restaurant and went to the lobby to pick it up. Of course this is when Everett had a significant heart rate deceleration. My nurse got very serious very fast, asked me to lay on my side, and gave me an oxygen mask. I was so worried about Everett, because I wasn’t sure what was going on. I had a similar experience with Denver, during transition, and I never learned what caused it. Well, once Everett’s heart rate came back, and Micah came back to the room, the nurse asked to check me. Lo and behold, I had progressed rapidly to 8cm! Apparently a heart rate deceleration can be an indicator of progress. I bet that’s what caused it with Denver as well.

Quickly, my contractions strengthened, and I had to concentrate more to get through them. I walked around the room, leaned on the birth ball, and eventually laid on the bed and let them wash over me. It was hard to get into a comfortable position, and I was determined to remain calm. After an hour or so, my doctor came in to chat. She was completely on board with letting me continue naturally, told me I was still at 8cm, and that I had a slight cervical lip on one side. She offered to break my water, but I declined, wanting to keep things as natural as possible.

A few more hours passed, and I started to feel tired. Still steady contractions, yet no further progress. Around 11:30pm, my doctor came back into the room to check on me. She offered again to break my water, saying she thought it would force Everett to drop into position and come on out. I was still reluctant, but the nurse agreed that it was the right decision, so I said ok. Let me tell you, it was super easy. Both times my water has broken, I’ve been surprised by the warmth. What a sweet little home moms’ bodies make for their babies. No wonder Everett didn’t want to come out! My doctor told me she expected things to progress quickly from here, and that she’d wait down the hallway.

Hoping she was right, I got out of bed and started walking around again. I felt more water come out during the next few contractions, but I felt mostly the same. Then, all of a sudden, a contraction hit, and I knew it was go time. My calm, even disposition changed into complete panic mode. Everett dropped into position, and my body was ready to push him out. It is incredible remembering it, because with Denver, I never felt the urge to push. With Everett, I couldn’t have stopped the urge if I tried. My doctor and the nursing team ran into the room, I laid on the bed, and my doctor told me to start pushing. I was yelling because I was in so much pain, and I was scared. Pushing Denver out, I was fearless, yet his exit did so much damage. I didn’t want to relive that experience. It took about 20 minutes, and a lot of concentration, and eventually Everett moved down. When it came time for the final push, at 12:27am, I cried out to God, and Everett’s entire body came out at once. He was 7 lbs 1 oz., 20.5 inches long, a skinny little baby. My doctor immediately laid him on my chest, and I remember thinking that he was the most beautiful baby boy. He was crying, and he was here, and birth is a miracle every single time.

My tiny little Ev

Even though he was little, I tore again, second degree. The doctor sewed me back up, which is such an awful experience, and I shook the entire time. On the bright side, I did not have an episiotomy, and the sewing back together seems to have fixed a lot of the problems that I had post recovery with Denver. In some ways, I think I needed to tear again in order to heal the right way.

There are a few other things I remember during the first hour after birth. The first is that Everett would not stop crying. I felt very panicked, thinking that he would be an even more challenging baby than Denver. I was wrong, though. I think he was so cozy on the inside, that it was an incredible shock for him on the outside, and it took him some time to calm down. The second is that Micah gave me a piece of bread, and my nurse freaked out about it, because apparently I was supposed to wait an hour before eating. I still feel upset about this, because I hadn’t eaten in 12 hours, had just birthed a baby, and was hungry. Since I went natural, I thought this was really silly, and I still do. Finally, I had trouble peeing during that first hour, and the nurse told me she’d have to insert a catheter if I couldn’t. All that work going natural, I was not about to have a catheter inserted, and I eventually did pee. I was disappointed, though, that there were all these rules and regulations being put on me when I was trying to recover.

Anyways, we were eventually given the all clear and moved into our new room for the rest of our stay. Micah and I chose to not allow any visitors, and it was an amazing decision, providing us time alone to love and focus on little Everett. Thanks to some lovely nurses who cared for my sweet boy during the first two nights, I got rest and was in good shape by the time we were released.

Birthing babies is an incredibly powerful gift from God. It is so emotional, so physical, and so worth it. I am continually amazed that such a painful process produces such joy on the other side. I kept repeating to myself throughout the labor that it was productive pain, productive pain indeed.

With love,







Bouncing Back from Birth

Each time I birth a baby, I feel incredible pressure from friends and family to get back to my regular life. When will I stop going to bed early? When will I travel again? When will I get a sitter and go out? When will I lose the last ten pounds and fit into my jeans? Basically, when will I go back to being who I once was?

With my first child, I tried so hard to bounce back quickly. I didn’t want people to see that I was struggling, and I had a hard time setting boundaries. I took on too much too soon, and I paid a heavy price physically and mentally.

This time around, I feel the pressure, and I feel guilt. I also feel the extra ten pounds when I try to squeeze into my shorts that still will not fit. I want to be back to my old routines, and my old weight. I feel like I am letting people down when they bring up what life was like before the new baby or when they glance at my midsection curious as to why I lost the weight much more quickly with my first.

This time around, though, I know better. I know it takes time to bounce back. I know that I will bounce back. I also know that these first few months with a newborn are challenging and draining and that what my family and I need most is a calm home environment and togetherness. Most of all, my newborn needs me. Life around me continues to move swiftly, but life in my home pauses for a period. In many ways, it is a holy period, a sacred time of learning to love and live with a new little person. This time around, I am embracing the pause, I am breathing in the simple moments, and I am cherishing this season in my heart.

Babies are only little for so long, and that so long is fleeting. So yes, one day I’ll put on my size six jeans, arrange for a babysitter, travel to Europe, and spend my nights walking the streets in Lucerne or dancing beneath the stars in Venice. I’ll stay up late to see the newest Marvel movie in theaters with my best friends, and I’ll join a sports league to get some exercise and burn off this baby weight.

In the meantime, I am going to nurse my new baby to sleep. I am going to kiss his sweet head, smile back at him when snugging him into his swaddle blanket, and whisper how very much I love him. Because one day he won’t need me to swaddle him up, read him a book, or sing him a song in order to drift off to sleep. He won’t need me, because he had me, and these memories we are making matter more to me than almost anything else could.

Bouncing back from birth is overrated. It’s much more fulfilling to bounce around a house with little people who don’t care about your weight or what life was like before they were born. With the birth of each baby is the birth of a new relationship and a new journey into motherhood. What joy this brings. So, I’ll see you all in a few months. Right now, I’m off to bounce with my baby.

When am I going back to work?

When am I going back to work?

I am asked this question, or a similar version, often. Do I miss work? Do I think about going back to work? What exactly do I do all day?


I have to believe that people do not understand the implications of these questions, or else they wouldn’t ask. Allow me to clarify.

I DO work, inside the home. I am a full time nanny, housekeeper, chef, budget analyst, and chauffeur. I doctor wounds, teach life skills, and counsel emotions. The current headline on my resume, SAHM, may not impress many, but it matters more than any job I’ve ever done.

I DO miss working in an office. I miss the commute when I sang the Hamilton Soundtrack at the top of my lungs. I miss my coworkers, our random jokes, lunch dates, and fantasy football banter. I miss completing a task and receiving recognition for a job well done.

Of COURSE I think about working outside the home. I spent years moving up in the music industry, finally making it to manager. It seems so silly sometimes that I stepped back to stay at home with my son. After all, isn’t the American dream to work hard, climb the corporate latter, and gain success in the form of title and salary?

This is what people are implying when they ask me when I’m going back to work. The implication is that what I am doing is not real work, not true success.

It’s taken a year to settle into life as a SAHM, and here is what I know now. Success is sometimes simple. It’s happily reading the same book to my son ten times a day because it’s his favorite. It’s persuading him to sip milk from a straw after he’s refused countless times before. Success is teaching a child to nap and watching him fall asleep on his own each day. Some days success looks like surviving, and the best I can do is keep everyone alive. Other days success is a clean home, cooked meal, and walk to the park. It’s ok that I don’t have a gig on the side, that I don’t work part-time or full-time outside the home. What defines success is not the lines on my resume, it’s the smiles and laughter, hugs and snugs that I receive from my son each day.

Please stop asking me when I’m going back to work. I am at work.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” Dr. John Trainer

With love,



I never thought I would be a clingy mom, but I am. I am an incredibly clingy mom. I dropped my son off in the church nursery for the first time last Sunday. When I dropped him off, I could tell that he was excited for a new adventure. He loves noise and toys and movement, and the church nursery provides all three. The second I dropped him off, though, something caught in my heart. I was unprepared for the emotion. I cried and cried throughout the church service because I missed him deeply. I was envious of the childcare workers who were spending time with him. Mostly, I was saddened that he didn’t need me.

For nine months, I carried this little man on my own, and for the last five months, I’ve been by his side nearly constantly. I’ve loved him fiercely, through laughs and smiles, through tears and tantrums. There is no way to describe my love for my son. It is unlike my love for any other on this earth. But he’s bigger now, and he plays on his own. He needs to interact with others, for his benefit as much as mine. It’s important that he make friends, particularly at church, who he will grow up with, learning about the Lord. It’s important that I have time with my friends, worshipping without distraction, growing in my relationship with the Father. It’s hard, though, entering this new season of boundaries, because for so long there have been none.

Lately I keep thinking about 1/36th. In one month, I will be 1/36th of the way through raising Denver. 36 is not a large number, and it makes me sad. Children are only little for so long. People say this, particularly to new parents. I heard it repeatedly during the early months, when I was sleep deprived and struggling to regain my sanity. Five months in, I now see how true it is. I miss the days when Denver took three hour naps in my arms. I miss swaddling him up tight and bouncing him around the house. I even miss his grumpy face, but I can’t go back. Those days are gone, and in their place are days with an independent napper, soon-to-be- crawler, and the most smiley face I’ve ever laid eyes on. I wouldn’t go back, if given the option, because I am thankful for these days. I will, however, always miss the days past.

In the meantime, while my son is still little, I will give myself a break when I’m feeling clingy. I will definitely make the effort to share him with others, to let him experience the freedom that will allow him to flourish in the years to come. But I’ll also check on him in the nursery if I’m feeling anxious, I’ll scoop him up for an extra hug whenever he’ll allow me to, and I’ll praise God for each day, each opportunity to spend time with him. As Dr. Seuss says, “Sometimes you will never understand the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

With love,




Breathing Again

Where to begin? I had an easy pregnancy. Apart from a brief hospital stay during the third trimester when my dog pulled me over, I loved being pregnant. I was able to eat whatever I wanted, exercise each day, and I only suffered from minor symptoms such as swelling, heartburn, and a metallic taste in my mouth. My blood pressure was lower than ever, my weight gain was steady and within the recommended limit, and I had flawless skin for the first time in my post-preteen life. Labor was also relatively easy. I had no idea I was having contractions until about six hours before my son was born, and I was only in significant pain for about two hours, during transition and pushing. This is when things changed.

My son entered this world with force. Nearly nine pounds of baby came out fast and face up, and I paid the price with third degree tearing. I had no idea how severe the tearing was until I was stitched up, laying in the hospital bed, and wondering why it hurt so much to move. I was in pain when I nursed, I was in pain when I changed positions laying down, and I was in pain when I walked. Because I’m normally an active person, I overdid it when I got home from the hospital. My family has a history of easy recoveries from labor and delivery, and I thought that I was being a hypochondriac, complaining about pain that wasn’t there. I ended up with two rounds of Mastitis, which often happens to moms who are overexerting themselves, and at six weeks postpartum, I had to have tissue burned off my birthing area because it didn’t heal correctly.

Along with pain from the delivery and Mastitis, my son is a handful. He was colicky for the first three months. When I wasn’t nursing him, I was bouncing him from room to room, for hours each day, trying to keep him from crying. So many people would ask me why I was so tired. Don’t I nap when my son is napping? Isn’t maternity leave the best? My neighbor even asked why I didn’t help my husband with yard work and suggested I pick up a rake for the leaves in the yard. These comments made me feel self-conscious. I felt like I kept shouting, “MY BABY ONLY TAKES 30 MINUTE NAPS AND IS ONLY HAPPY WHEN HE’S BOUNCING.” Sadly, I don’t think people believed me. Nor did they understand the toll the physical exertion was taking, particularly considering that my husband only had two weeks of leave/vacation and is gone from 8am-6pm each day. The few people who did come over to help had trouble getting my son to calm down enough so that I could nap. Consequently, I spent the first three months of my son’s life in a state of panic, bouncing nearly constantly, trying to console a crying baby, and reinjuring myself over and over since I rarely had time to be still. My days were filled with extreme highs and lows since I was amazed at the privilege of being a mom to a healthy baby boy and also overwhelmed at my inability to calm him during his freak outs.

At ten weeks postpartum, a smiling son emerged. The colic disappeared and was replaced with laughs and giggles that melt this mama’s heart. I love that when I greet Denver each morning, he gives me a mean cheese. I love that in the evenings, he sits in his high chair and laughs hysterically while my husband and I make goofy faces. Life is much easier, but my son still only takes 30 minute naps, and he’s more energetic than ever. I spend the eight hours my son is not napping helping him stand, singing to him while he bounces, walking him around the house, and changing activities every 20 minutes to prevent fussiness. I am still exhausted.

I recently went back to work. I am planning to stay at home with Denver while he’s little, but my employer required me to work two weeks before transitioning to a full-time mom. My own mom is amazing and offered to stay in Nashville during the two weeks of work to take care of Denver. She is a mom to four daughters, and I figured that taking care of Denver would be a breeze for her. My mom loves my son so much, and she is incredible at playing with him and caring for him each day. She even helped Denver overcome his bottle strike. Astoundingly, though, six days into watching my son, she said the best thing I could ever hear: “Your son is high maintenance.” Seriously, she said I should quote her in this blog. She said she’d never have believed the bizarre napping habits or constant attention required each day unless she had experienced them herself.

Do you know what it feels like to finally have someone empathize and see things from your perspective?! It feels like breathing again.

I wish I knew four months ago what I know now. Moms know their bodies and their babies better than anyone else. If you feel like your body is not yet recovered from labor and delivery, it probably isn’t. Don’t compare yourself to other moms, particularly moms who didn’t tear during delivery. Though you didn’t have a C-section, third degree tearing is severe and requires rest. Are you depressed? Maybe. But maybe you’re just plain tired and in need of sleep. If you think you have a difficult baby, you probably do. I’ve spent months feeling inadequate, wondering why I have such a hard time calming my child, wondering if I am the problem. My daily highs and lows are directly related to my son’s ratio of happy to fussy. So many people, with good intentions, have suggested I start anti-depressants or find refreshing activities to do in my free time or simply nap more. These suggestions are unhelpful. If I could nap more, I would. If I had free time, I would take a jog. And if I was jogging, I probably wouldn’t seem so depressed. Rather than a barrage of suggestions about what I should be doing to improve my quality of life, what I’ve needed is someone to listen when I complain, take my son for the afternoon so I can sit in silence, or simply someone to say that I’m doing a great job and this too shall pass.

And pass it shall. Just like babies grow out of colic around three months, I’ve heard that babies become much more self-sufficient at six months when they begin eating solids, sitting up on their own, crawling, and playing independently. Many cat nappers also learn to connect their sleep cycles and take one to two hour naps each day. Please God let this be my son. In the meantime, I will rejoice in the knowledge that I am not failing as a mom. My recovery is simply taking longer than anticipated, and my son is simply a bit more of a handful than expected. What a joy, though, to raise such a spirited young man. What a privilege to carry him safely for nine months. What a relief to know that the last four months have been the most physically and emotionally challenging of my life, but I’m still breathing.

With love,


Denver’s Birth Story

Here is the story of Denver’s birth! I am descriptive about the labor and delivery, so read at your own risk.

The last month of pregnancy was difficult, physically and mentally. Between the heartburn, rapidly growing belly, lack of sleep, and constant anticipation of Denver’s arrival, I tried quite a few natural techniques to induce labor. I won’t go into details, but I will say that at least one of the natural techniques seemed to speed things up. 😉

On August 5th, I woke up and told Micah that we had to pack the hospital bag before work. It seemed random since it was Friday, and we could have easily packed the bag Saturday morning. We hustled that morning, though, and the bag was packed. Micah and I went to work, and at noon we headed to the gynecologist for my 39 week checkup. I expected Denver to arrive early, and I’d had the bloody show 48 hours prior, but I wasn’t expecting what I was told. The doctor checked me, and I was 4cm dilated, 80-90% effaced, and Denver was at -1 position, not quite fully engaged in my pelvis, but close. I was shocked to find out how dilated I was, and I asked the doctor if I was supposed to be having contractions. I told her I might be confusing contractions with Denver’s movements, and she offered to hook me up to the monitors so that I could learn to tell the difference. It turns out that I was confusing baby movements with contractions! I wasn’t in any pain and only believed that they were really contractions when I saw that the movements were happening 5-6 minutes apart. It helped that the monitors were attached via bands around my belly, and I could feel the bands tighten. The doctor advised me to check into the hospital when the contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart, told me she expected to see me later that weekend if not later that day, and off I went back to work.

While at work, I was definitely distracted. I couldn’t believe I was in labor, and I spent most of the afternoon trying to distinguish contractions from baby movements. I sent my family a text, hinting that Denver would arrive soon, but trying not to get their hopes up in case my contractions slowed down. At the end of the day, Micah picked me up, and we drove home to make dinner and settle in for the night. When we got home, we let Presley outside and suddenly I felt like I was leaking fluid. I went to the restroom, and there was quite a bit of blood. I called my friend asking if this was normal prior to labor, and she advised that I call my doctor. Reluctantly, I called my doctor, and she said I needed to check into the hospital for evaluation. I was not thrilled because I’d planned to labor at home until I’d progressed further. It seems like a God thing, though, because I was clearly in denial about being in labor. Micah and I called our dog sitter and headed to the hospital. On the way, we stopped at Chick-fil-A for dinner. Against the rules, yes. Worth it, for sure.

I arrived at the hospital around 7:00pm, checked in, and was sent to be evaluated. The nurse asked for my pain level, and I said 3.  She had a strange look on her face and clearly thought there was no way I was in labor. Then she checked to see how far I was dilated, and she said I was a solid 5, maybe closer to 6. She could also feel the bag of waters. I asked if I’d be sent home to labor naturally, and she said no, I’d have a baby by morning. I still didn’t believe I was in labor until I was admitted and moved to a labor and delivery room around 9:00pm.

Lindsay In Labor

Micah and I let our families know that Denver would be born soon, and we settled in for what we expected to be a long night. The rules for natural labor are that moms have to be hooked up to monitors for 15 minutes each hour. During the 45 monitor-free minutes, moms are allowed to labor as desired. During the first few 45 minute periods, I walked the hallways to speed up the contractions, and walking worked like a champ. I had to stop during some of the contractions because they were becoming more painful. During one of the 45 minute periods, I labored in the tub, and this seemed to slow my contractions down. It was a nice reprieve but ultimately counter-productive, so I started walking the hallways again.

Lindsay Walking Hallways

Eventually, the contractions picked up to a point where I decided to labor in the room. I tried various positions, such as on my hands and knees and squatting, and this is when I moved into transition. My pain level went from 3-4 to 7-8 within a 15 minute window, and I became quite vocal through each contraction. It surprised me how quickly the pain escalated from barely noticeable to hardly manageable. I called the nurse in, and she checked me. I was now 7cm dilated. She put me back on the monitors, and this is when labor became much more difficult.

Denver’s heart rate did not look great on the monitors because it wasn’t having the fluctuations the nurse was hoping for. Consequently, the nurse gave me water through an IV to help Denver’s heart rate regulate. The water only helped a little, and I had to stay on the monitors. This was terrible because I was so uncomfortable. I think it would have helped Denver and me both if I could have walked around and changed positions. After a while, the pain became more than I could handle, the contractions seemed to be coming one after the other, and the nurse gave me an oxygen mask. I was stressed out about Denver’s heart rate and sobbing hysterically. I finally said I’d made a mistake not getting the pain meds, and the nurse brought in another nurse to check me. I don’t think she realized how far along I was because my water still hadn’t broken, and I’d only been 7cm dilated an hour before. The new nurse checked me and discovered that I was 10cm dilated!!! I was relieved because I knew my pain level was at its max, and this meant labor was nearing the end.

Immediately after being checked, I asked if I was bleeding significantly because I felt a lot of fluid leaking. It turns out my water was breaking. Craziness commenced. A nurse called my doctor, who was still at home, urging her to get to the hospital asap, another nurse began preparing an area to evaluate Denver post delivery, and another nurse set up a table full of labor and delivery tools. The lights were dimmed so the room was nearly black, and a spotlight was pointed directly at me. Yikes, so much for Micah avoiding the business end. The 15 minute wait for my doctor to arrive was excruciating. Micah rubbed my back the entire time, and I couldn’t have made it without him. Finally, the doctor arrived, about 6 nurses huddled around me, and the pushing commenced.

Let me be clear. It was horrifying to make it to 10cm without pain killers only to realize that the only way Denver was coming out was by my efforts. Yes, I knew I had to push him out. But at 3:00am, after 2 hours of insanely fast labor and dilation, all I wanted was relief, and all I could imagine was pain. I’d never pushed out a baby before and doubted whether or not I could do it, especially if it took hours. I was in a panic when the pushing began, and I am praising God that he delivered me through. What’s interesting is that I’ve always heard that I would have the urge to push. I did not. I asked if I had to push on my back, and the doctor said only at the end. So I pushed on my hands and knees for a few minutes. It turns out that I am an effective pusher. During each contraction, Micah and the nurses would count to 10 three times, and I would push with all I had. After a few pushes, my doctor asked me to push laying on my back since Denver was moving down quickly. Pushing on my back was awful, and I yelled in ways I didn’t think were possible. Apparently someone in another room asked what was happening because I was so loud. At one point, I even yelled that my butt was exploding. While everyone in the room assured me this was not the case, the third degree tear and episiotomy tell me that I wasn’t completely off base. For the record, I was completely opposed to getting an episiotomy, but no one asked me during the pushing, and I didn’t feel it happen. Afterwards, a nurse assured me that there’s no way Denver would have come out without the episiotomy, but I will be having a talk with my doctor if and when Micah and I are blessed with Sledge Baby #2.

Near the end of the pushing, which only took 20 minutes though it felt much longer, I saw a nurse pull up a chair for Micah and ask him to drink a Sprite. Apparently he was close to passing out. He says the cause was the intensity of the pushing, not the view, but I am fairly certain it was a combination of factors. Soon after, the doctor asked me to look down to see Denver’s head. He was staring right at me, sunny side up. It was quite a sight, and honestly freaked me out that he was on the inside and outside simultaneously. I knew I was almost done at this point, and it took only two or three more pushes to deliver Denver’s shoulders and the rest of his body. Finally, at 3:18am on August 6th, Denver arrived, weighing 8 lbs 11 oz. and measuring 21 inches long. Praise God for my son!

The nurses immediately placed him on my chest for skin-to-skin snugs, but I was shaking so badly that the nurses handed him to Micah. Denver was very alert at birth, and he stared at Micah while the doctor stitched me up. I think the stitching was the worst part of the delivery. The nurses had to hold my legs in place in order for my doctor to finish up since I couldn’t stop shaking. Regarding the shaking, I am fairly certain it is related to Pitocin. Towards the end of active labor, a nurse brought in a bag and set it up near the IV. I asked what it was, since I was having a completely natural birth, and she said Pitocin. I asked for what purpose, and she said hospital protocol is to use Pitocin after labor, whether natural or medicated, in order to force the uterus to contract and the bleeding to stop. I felt betrayed. I’d been clear about having a completely natural labor, and this was the first I’d heard of using Pitocin at the end of delivery. It never came up at my doctor’s appointments, the hospital tour, or the birthing class. I gave up the fight because I was 1) unprepared and 2) in significant pain, but I am fairly certain the Pitocin caused the severe shaking. This is another issue I will be discussing with my doctor in the future.

Micah Holding Denver After Birth

Eventually the stitching was complete, and I stopped shaking. The next hour consisted of belly mashing to prevent blood clots, not exactly the calm family bonding experience I’d hoped for. At the end of the hour, the nurse walked with me to the restroom to get cleaned up, and there was blood everywhere, all over me and all over the floor. Why didn’t anyone warn me about this beforehand?!! I cleaned up as best as possible without a shower, a wheel chair was brought in, and Micah, Denver, and I headed to our recovery room.

First Family Pic

In retrospect, I am thankful to have labored naturally, even though I swore during the process that I’ll use epidurals in the future. I haven’t completely forgotten the pain, but the fear of subsequent births has diminished somewhat over the last few weeks. Ultimately, I praise God for delivering me safely through pregnancy and child birth and for the gift of my sweet son Denver. Truly praise be to God from whom all blessings flow.

Denver In Crib

Thank you for reading.

With love,



Every pregnancy article that I’ve read suggests taking it easy in the third trimester. I’d like to be sitting on the couch with manicured feet, a glass of lemonade, and a good book. For me, though, the third trimester has been full of physical labor (painting, moving boxes, and cleaning), Sonic frozen lemonades (due to Sonic’s proximity to Home Depot), and reruns of The Office during dinnertime. And yes, I said painting, no rude comments please. My doctor signed off on it and that’s what matters.

Regarding moving, it would not have been possible without the help of many people. Time for some shout outs!

My Dad
My Dad flew into Nashville for 10 days to help prepare for the move. He painted the apartment, parts of the house, mowed the lawn, planted flowers, installed light fixtures, helped repair stairs and closets, cleaned bugs out of lamps, scrubbed mold off our porch and deck, and spent an entire weekend repairing duct work in the crawl space. He did all of this with a smile and never once complained about the 100 degree heat. Thank you SO much, Pops, for coming into town. It means a great deal to Micah and me, and Presley was overjoyed to have extra company. Here are a few pics of the work Dad did, along with some general pics from the trip.

Dad Work Pics Mailbox Dad Loveless

Micah’s Dad
Micah’s Dad is an amazing carpenter. He built shelves for the master bedroom closet, and he repaired and upgraded the stairwell that leads from the house to the garage/laundry room. I am still not sure how he did all of this, and I am super appreciative. Along with carpentry, he’s largely responsible for painting the house. The green living room in particular is so calming. Thank you so much for your help, Nathan! Here’s a pic of the stairs.


Micah’s Mom
Micah’s Mom also helped paint the house, and she removed cactuses from the backyard. Yes, cactuses, though I am not entirely sure why they were there to begin with. Between the train and the cactuses, the house was becoming a perfect set for the next Wild Wild West film.

Micah’s Brother
Micah’s brother, Colby, is one of the first people who helped out in the house. He spent a morning removing wallpaper from the dining room! I can’t believe how quickly the removal went with his help. Here’s a pic of the wall paper, the wall without paper, and the new paint color.


Moving Day
My Dad, Micah’s family, my church small group, and a couple friends came out on moving day, and we successfully moved out of the apartment and into the house in 4 hours! Thanks to everyone for their kindness, for arriving at 8am, for moving on a very hot day, for sharing the trunks of cars when space in the moving truck was limited. Thanks for the smiles and encouragement. I loved the pizza party post move, and it was such a joy to introduce everyone to our new house! Here’s a pic from Moving Day.

Moving Day Group Pic

Now that moving day has passed, one more shout out must be given to Micah! Micah works in the house every evening after work and every spare moment of the weekend. He moves the furniture (including a piano), paints window sills to make them safe for our son, mows the lawn, trims the hedges, repairs broken circuits, and he never ever complains. He lets me rest on the couch when needed, never makes me feel bad about taking naps, and puts up with my cranky attitude when DIY projects go awry. I love you, Micah, and I am sorry when I don’t always show it as well as I should. Our house is becoming a home because of your hard work and persistence.

Micah Moving

Thanks to everyone for reading!

With love,


P.S. My Dad left a really sweet note on our chalkboard while he was in town. It’s too cute not to share.


Nashville Baby Shower

Two incredibly sweet friends from my church small group offered to host a Nashville Baby Shower. Emilie and Lauren, you both are wonderful and kind, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. I am also very grateful to all my friends and family who came out to celebrate Baby Sledge! Here are some pics and captions from the shower.

Lauren and Emilie: the sweet hostesses

Baby Shower Hosts

The delicious food: I definitely took some cupcakes to go!

Baby Shower Food

Game pics: I wish we’d have taken a pic of Baby Jeopardy too. That was my favorite game!

Baby Shower Games

Some gift pics: a onesie that says “taco bout how cute I am,” a onesie with a monkey butt, and a Curious George book

Baby Shower gift pics

Daddy’s Diaper Dooties: a hilarious tool belt for my husband which we opened at the party and he reopened after the party

Baby Shower Diaper Duties

Group pic

Baby Shower Group Pic

It’s amazing that Baby Sledge is already so loved. The shower was a wonderful reminder of the friends and family God has gifted me with in Nashville. It’s been nearly 11 years since I moved to Nashville from Virginia Beach. While I miss my family in VA, and the beach of course, I love Nashville and am so glad God moved me here.

With love,


P.S. Shout out to Emilie’s husband, Nick, who helped my husband move furniture from our apartment to a storage garage during the shower.

31 Week Hospital Stay

This weekend has certainly not gone as planned. What I thought would be a weekend of moving preparation and birthing classes has turned into a weekend of monitoring at the hospital and sleeping through birthing classes. Why?

On Friday afternoon, I took Presley on his afternoon walk like I’ve done hundreds of times before. We turned a corner, and Presley saw an animal that I did not see. When I walked left, he bolted right. I didn’t realize what had happened until I was lying on the ground, and he was trying to drag me since my hand was caught around the leash. After yelling for him to stop pulling, I got up and realized that my entire right side hurt (arm, ribs, knee), and I had a weird feeling in my lower belly. I didn’t think it was serious, but I called the doctor, and she advised that I check into the hospital for four hours of monitoring.

On the way to the hospital, Micah asked if I wanted dinner. I told him no, that we’d be out in four hours, and I could eat then. This was a poor decision. We got to the hospital, it took about an hour to get checked in, and then the nurse hooked me up for monitoring. There were two monitors: one for baby’s heartbeat and one for my contractions. Baby looked great on the monitor, and praise God for that. My uterus looked irritable. This basically means I was having some minor contractions and fluctuations that could be signs of 1) a placental abruption or 2) preterm labor. After an hour, the nurse informed me that they’d have to admit me overnight for monitoring. She also said I couldn’t eat and would have to be hooked up to an IV. Ugh. Not the news I was expecting.

It was a long night, and I got very little sleep. Micah got a bit more, but he was out and about until midnight grabbing shower stuff and a change of clothes for the morning. He also took Presley on his last walk and got him set up with our friend, Lauren, who graciously offered to dog sit at the last minute. It was sweet hearing Baby’s heartbeat throughout the night, but he did not like the monitors and kept trying to kick them off. He also kept having hiccups which are cute but difficult for me to sleep through.

When morning arrived, I felt ok and asked to be discharged in time for our 9am labor and delivery class. The doc decided this was ok since I would still be at the hospital for a few more hours in case there were any problems. Getting discharged was such a relief, and I definitely had an adrenaline kick. Sadly, about an hour into the birthing class, the adrenaline wore off, I started to feel very achy from the fall, and I slept on and off through the class. I’m glad Micah was there to take notes.

I am now at home and in bed. I’ve been napping, Micah has been packing, and we’re both a bit stressed. We are so thankful that little man is doing well, and we’re really hoping that he stays healthy and cozy until at least 37 weeks. The bright side of the hospital visit is that I met many of the labor and delivery nurses, all of whom were kind and cheery. While I’m not hoping to visit again until the big day, I am less nervous about the hospital stay than I was previously.

Here’s a pic from when I was originally admitted, before I knew I’d have to stay at the hospital for the entire night.

ER Pic

With love,



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