Opal Brightly’s Birth Story (T1D pregnancy)

I’ve been waiting to share Opal’s birth story. I just haven’t had the heart to admit it’s already been this long, and she’s already four months next week. I am so proud of her, so proud of the 9 months I grew her, nourished her and loved her, while dealing with type one diabetes.

So in celebration of her spunky little heart and her joyful soul, here is Opal’s birth story.

( ALSO- I’d love to share anything I’ve learned about being pregnant with type one diabetes. If you or anyone you know has any questions please reach out! OR if you are curious about my birth plan and how I went about that, please feel free to comment, email or PM me!)

(WARNING this is a birth story/DETAILED)

Early on Friday, May 5th 2017, I had my membranes stripped. That’s where it all began, and it all ended. Little did I know my sweet Opal girl would be joining our lives Tuesday, May 9th 2017, just two days before her due date. Following my sweep on Friday I had some mild cramping; I was already 1CM and 50% effaced, baby was a 0 station and my cervix was moderately soft. So my chances of having a successful strip were about 50/50 at this point. My OB was sure it wouldn’t send me into labor but boy was she wrong.

By 10PM I was having irregular contractions about 7-10 minutes apart. They were mildly uncomfortable, and only got worse as the weekend progressed. They became painful enough I was not able to sleep through them, and woke up because of the discomfort. The contractions stayed 7-10 mins apart all weekend. I was tired, discouraged, and very, very uncomfortable. Not to mention impatient. I was so ready to meet my baby girl.

Wyatt and I walked, and walked and walked some more, we hoped it would encourage the contractions to become more regular and  develop a pattern.

(MAY 8th 2017)

Monday came around, I was so uncomfortable, and still experiencing irregular contractions. Wyatt took the day off knowing labor was near, and that I needed him.  At 4AM Monday May 8th, we finally checked in at the hospital to see if I was in labor and or dilating. I was dilated to a 3CM- 100% effaced. I was told by the nurse I would most likely have my baby within 24hrs. She was right!

We left the hospital knowing things were progressing and wanted to get things together for the arrival of our Opal Brightly. The day went on, and my contractions became stronger and stronger. By 7PM they were 2-3mins apart and VERY painful. I had spent the day dealing with contractions trying to get my body to progress quicker. My mom, and doula were in constant communication with me as they knew I’d be giving birth soon. I was experiencing back labor, so we decided to pay a visit to a recommended prenatal chiropractor. She was hopefully going to help encourage baby’s positioning and get labor progressing.

By late afternoon I was 4CM dilated, and progressing. I decided I wanted to go home and labor for as long as I possibly could. Wyatt was amazingly encouraging and so supportive. After laboring at home from 7-10PM I decided it was time to go to the hospital knowing I’d have to be at least 6cm! Nope, I was still stuck at 4CM.

We got checked in, my mom and doula met us at the hospital. I was having very consistent, painful contractions 1 ½-3 mins apart. When my mom walked through the door I remember feeling so much emotion and appreciation for her. My blood sugars were running a little bit higher than normal, maybe it was the stress? Or possibly the fluctuating hormones? My body was exhausted, my whole mindset of looking put-together went out the window as I was in a state of discomfort I had never experienced, and all I wanted was an hour nap to power through the next 24hrs.

My first nurse had only worked at the hospital for a year, she was young and seemed very inexperienced. Wyatt was not happy with her care during the first hour of my stay and requested we please have a new nurse (at this point I didn’t care who the heck my nurse was, I wanted rest and comfort!) Turns out, she was the only nurse on the floor. (Straight face emoji). She was offended Wyatt requested someone else, but she seemed to get over it as the labor progressed.

(MAY 9th 2017

After laboring from 10PM-3AM, my water still hadn’t broken and I was only dilated to a 5-6.

I decided because my water was bulging I wanted to break my water (hoping that it would help move things along). My OB came in around 4AM and broke my waters; I remember feeling such a relief as it happened. I was nervous of course, as the nurses go over risks, but I felt that’s what my body needed to encourage progression.

The nurse (the first one) wanted to put my heplock IV in before things got too crazy; she then proceeded to find a good vein in my hand. She kept fidgeting and telling me I had valves in my veins. She was quiet. She then stuck my the first time, no good, second time, still no good, and a third time, still no good. At this point I was fed up, my hands were swollen from her failed IV’s and I was having more contractions closer together, and more intense. Not to mention I was strapped to the hospital bed on the hour every hour for 10 minutes to monitor the baby’s rate rate to ensure baby was doing okay (being high risk is such a bummer). I was already in the midst of trying to monitor my blood sugars throughout labor.

By 8AM in the morning I had met a new nurse, she was fantastic. She was 100% behind my natural labor/delivery choice, and encouraged me throughout the entire process.

Things began to stall earlier in the morning so they monitored my contractions to ensure they were productive and that I didn’t need pitocin to assist in making them stronger. I ended up passing and didn’t need the pitocin (my contractions were very painful at this point and I could barely hold my head up.) Mind you- I had been in pre term labor all weekend long, experiencing contractions 7-12 minutes apart consistently. 

I labored in the tub throughout the entire night. Wyatt brought me water, ice, and my mom brought me hard life saver candies. Those two were my rock throughout the entire labor. Wyatt, I love you.

I used the peanut ball in the shower to lean over to help with the contractions and to provide my body the support it needed to relax. This really helped toward the late morning when my contractions were most intense.

By 10AM things had progressed significantly, I was dilated to a 7, I was finally in the transition phase! This lasted a good hour until I started pushing. I started pushing around 11AM. This was by far the most satisfying part of labor, and the least painful. I recall very vividly feeling the most exhausted, lightheaded, and tired I had ever been in my life. I was hungry, and nauseous, I was worried about Wyatt as he had literally passed out on the couch for a good hour prior to my pushing, his skin color was a shade of white I’d never seen before. He was exhausted, emotionally and physically.

Pushing came around and I felt the most encouraged at this stage than any other point in my laboring process. I tried multiple positions, the toilet, squatting, and lying on the bed with my feet up, knees bent were the most productive, and efficient. I pushed for a solid four hours until Opal was born. The pain didn’t intimidate or hinder me. Because I had been pushing for so long, my body was dehydrated, my energy was low, and I was light headed. 

Opal Brightly Backholm

 1 minute later. Beautiful, thick brown hair like her daddy, chubby little cheeks, she weighed 8lbs 10oz, and 21 inches long, with pretty olive skin, and a perfect button nose. Our sweet Opal Brightly Backholm entered the world at 3:21PM on May 9th 2017 (Tuesday)

Was it worth it? Absolutely yes. This was the most beautiful, empowering, and humbling venture of my life. She is light, and love, and spunk all in one. And I can’t wait to watch her grow (but don’t grow too fast my little love).

I remember praying out loud during the beginning of pushing, Lord help me get through this, help my body do what it needs to and keep baby girl safe.

The Lord fought alongside me for my natural labor, and delivery. He protected my sweet Opal, and protected my body.

Thank you Wyatt, my mom, and Jesus for holding my head up when it was tired, for encouraging me when I grew weak and weary. Wyatt- thank you for giving me this sweet life, for loving me through the pregnancy, and for supporting the crap out of me when it got tough. Thank for loving us, I love you.

Opal, I’m writing this as you sleep, only ten days old. One day I’ll let you read this, but for now, stay little my love, and know that you are the greatest gift I’ll ever receive. You are precious, loved, and so incredibly beautiful.

 

2016 a year in review

2016 was a good year & a trying one, through it I saw the light unfold in my heart & by God’s grace I get to carry a little life. I have seen the Lord redeem some of the hardest of circumstances in my life & through it He has enveloped in me a deeper appreciation for joy. I can see through all of my questions, an escape. He’s always been faithful & that reigns true even amidst the trials.

this past year stripped some of the grief that had swelled my heart from the loss of my dad. i found myself constantly discovering little pieces, things, thoughts, quotes my dad left behind. things i had never seen, read, heard, or tasted before reminded me of him. God revealed bits of His glory through this past year, through the doubt in my heart, through the what if’s, small triumphs, and incidents that came my way.

Wyatt worked harder than anyone I know this past year. he had a vision to create a more financially stable marriage, to give us more experience, more learning opportunity and it blew my heart away with his genuine pursuit after his goals. we were able to purchase our second car together, take a long vacation to Maui, put money away into savings, go to California, donate to families in need, and so much more. God was in the midst of our finances this past year and I am SO grateful.

in August we felt the healing of Jesus during an experience at Bethel Music Worship Nights that took place in Seattle this summer. we had prayers answered and chains broken. we both left more in love with Christ and one another because of it.

in early September we found out we are becoming parents to our sweet girl. I thank God for her already. she is such a gift to our hearts. I already love her so. she has already healed a part of my heart I didn’t know needed healing, until seeing her little heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. in many ways she has proven the odds of my disease, and has already given me back so much of what I felt was stolen from me at a young age. I’ve always dreamt of being her mama, of being a mama at all, and now my heart is so full knowing even God sees the pieces of my heart I had abandoned years ago. he is always pruning the branches of brokenness flawlessly and faithfully.

I resigned my position at the PT office I had worked at for the past two years and I have been adjusting to the idea of becoming my own #girlboss. I have wanted this for the past year and it is finally happening. I can’t wait to see what doors are opened this new year. my hope is to write (to publish).

October brought on the grand opening of Olympia’s 222 market, Wyatt and I had the opportunity to be a small part of that. I had a photo featured in Seattle magazine, and Wyatt designed their website.

November and December brought more joy to our marriage knowing Wyatt is finishing his degree in just two semesters, we are close to having paid one of our cars off, our little girl is healthy and strong, we have two free flights to use for the new year, & we have high hopes for so many things this new year.

a few of my goals for the new year include:

  • visit our grandparents more often.
  • write here at least monthly.
  • get my a1c down to a 6.2 (or better yet 6.0).
  • learn to cook.
  • replace our couch.
  • buy a dinner for a family when we are out sometime.
  • pray over baby girl & her daddy daily.
  • wear the color pink more.
  • take more home videos.
  • establish a morning routine.
  • spend more time with people who help me grow.
  • write down a scripture for the week every Monday to put on the fridge.
  • learn to swaddle a baby.
  • perfect a winged liner technique.
  • kiss sweet little baby cheeks 24/7.
  • work on myself for myself for the sake of my family.
  • become less focused on things and enjoy the now.
  • throw a surprise party for someone I love.
  • tell my siblings more often how proud of them I am.
  • do one thing every day for Wyatt that will bless him (little or big).
  • wash my sheets every week (because cleanliness).
  • meet for coffee more often.
  • love Wyatt deeper.
  • Serve Jesus better.

happy new year to you! here’s to a brand new 2017!

 

 

won by perfect love

I am terrified by the news reports. By the uncertainty of our Nation, and our presidential election for 2016. I want to know my prayers have an impact the process that will take place in November. I want to know that my voice, my vote and my raised hands make a difference. I want to know that we are not compromising our freedom or faith, for fear. I want integrity, leadership, and God’s mighty hand to guide the way of our next president. I want to be brave and not swept up by fear of what I can’t see. I want to be led by compassion. I challenge all of my beloved sisters in Christ, to be bold in this upcoming election, and in our current worldly happenings. Pray for our Nation, and take comfort knowing that  there is hope in the promise of the cross.

“Jesus is the anchor of my soul”-Hebrews 6:19

I take refuge knowing that He holds the world in His hands, and that ultimately we have been won by perfect love! And His perfect love casts out ALL fear.

” Praise be to the Lord to God our Savior who daily bears our burdens”- Psalm 68:19

Let’s begin to ask the Lord how we can become active in our society, in our current National happenings, and how to pray over our future president. I pray that as we begin to hear from the Lord, that we follow through with the guidance he’s given us. That we show compassion, strength, and faith in the Lord over all. I pray the companionship of the Lord brings peace, clarity and vision. I pray that we are empowered by the Spirit to change the earth and bring heaven closer to our hearts, seeking first eternity’s crown. Amen.

“As you obey, the impressions from the Spirit will come more frequently, becoming closer and closer to constant companionship.” —Henry B. Eyring

Piper

 

There is hope in the promise of the cross. and this hope is an anchor for my soul. God will stand unshakable.

pumpkin spice & everything nice

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

When I make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I think of all of my favorite things about fall; watching Anne of Green Gables, reading Bob Goff’s book, “Love Does”,  in my cozy chair, or waiting anxiously for my sweet husband to come home from work on a stormy night.

After trying numerous pumpkin muffin recipes, my childhood family recipe has held 1st place in my husband’s heart (& mine too!). I thought I’d share it with you!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1 2/3 Cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg. Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside. Next, add 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup of water, 1/3 cup of shortening, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and 2 large eggs. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. While mixer is still going, add in 1 cup of white sugar, then add the dry ingredients. Mix to combined. Pour evenly into your muffin pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes.

Pour a tall glass of milk, or perhaps a nice brewed pot of hot coffee or tea and you are set!

Happy Fall baking!

-Piper

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

October 5th, 2014

We’ve made it one year into our marriage, and I have to tell you how thankful, proud, humbled, and breathtakingly in love with you I have become.

There are not enough words to summarize the year we have had together.

We now know how to put an IKEA bed frame together, grocery shop without arguing, balance your gym routine with my need to say 15,000 words a day, cuddle without making our limbs go numb; pray withholding nothing from one another. We now know how to talk a car dealer down. You have held my heart in all of its delicate pieces, during the most tragic loss I have ever experienced. We spent our first married Thanksgiving in the Emergency room, we’ve spent many evenings up laughing from exhaustion & joy, I’ve still yet to learn to drive a clutch, but I appreciated the one lesson you did give me (BUT DID YOU DIE?), we’ve gone to Disneyland together after many years of saying “one day we will”. You’ve braided my hair, and I’ve shaved your face. We’ve prayed over our finances and have seen God’s provision through and through. You’ve watched the Gilmore Girls with me like a champ! We’ve learned to criticize each other less & embrace each other more. You made me a coconut cream pie from scratch for my birthday (because you are wonderful), and I made you a dozen chocolate cupcakes w/coconut frosting (mostly because I love you but also because I love cake). We’ve sang worship songs throughout our home & we’ve jammed out to Megan Trainor (because we’re all about that bass).

I choose you, and I’ll choose you over & over & over again. Without pause, without doubt, in a heartbeat. I’ll keep choosing you. You are all I’ve ever wanted, more than I’ve hoped for, and the best friend a girl could ask for. Wyatt, thank you for being my heart’s song, my steady comfort, my best friend in the universe, and straight up eye candy (insert emoji heart eyes).

I’ll love you forever and forever you’ll see, you are all that I need, so long as there’s you, I’ll be.

XO,

wife

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset