HIGHLIGHTS OF 2017 : Top Five

2017 was a monumental year for our family but one I am grateful to put behind us. While it brought the birth of my sweet baby girl, it also was the final year for my grandfather. There were so many emotions and roller coasters Jake and I navigated together. It brought us closer together, stressed the importance of teamwork even more than we knew already and allowed us to experience the beginning of dreams we did not know existed.


number 1. The birth of Hadley Rose. I was able to experience the natural birth I had hoped for with Emmett. Her birth was healing for me as I realized (due to it) that I had experienced some trauma after Emmett’s birth. Though shifting into life as a family of 4 was challenging (and still is often times!), we learned this year to slow down and take this year for what it is: a season.


number 2. We bought our first home! What not many people knew a year ago is that Jake and I were contemplating leaving western PA. We were given the opportunity to move back to New England and really wanted to (mainly because of family). But it was through praying and researching for the potential move that we felt God calling us to stay put. We spent ONE day with a realtor here and bought the fourth house that we saw. This house is a haven and most importantly the one we call home. (We moved in March.)


number 3.  Hawaii vacation. We had the awesome opportunity to vacation on Oahu with Jake’s parents. It was such a fun week complete with Hawaiian food, hiking, swimming and just being a family. What a beautiful island and place to be!

IMG_2210 (2)

number 4. We started to pursue new dreams. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, becoming a stay at home mom has granted me more opportunities and ways to pursue my dreams…sometimes dreams I did not even know I had. So what does this look like? For me it was photography and writing. I started my own small photography business taking family photos. My Instagram exploded (in my terms) from 500 followers last November to 3000 in less than a year. The real clincher was when I started making money off of some posts. Jake and I then decided to really give this Instagram thing a “go.” (Look out 2018!) For Jake he continued making his paint cans but also continued making drink openers. He also has another really, really huge idea but we are keeping that one a secret currently.


number 5. Two week vacation. Since before Jake and I said “I Do” we have never had a full two weeks off together. Even though I taught for a couple years and had my summers free, Jake still had to work. We were blessed with an awesome week long honeymoon and several other week long vacations, but this year topped it time wise. Jake had off a total of 16 days in a row….perks of him working for a college and getting Christmas week off! We spent it mainly in NJ and NH visiting a ton of family and some we hardly ever get the chance to see. It was so fun and Emmett had a blast with all his cousins. He was without want of a playmate for 2 weeks. Thankfully since being home he seems to be doing all right overall ❤

IMG_5692[my brother with our kiddos]

2017 was a huge year for us, but it was also very trying. I think I will share those moments next time! Until then, See ya 2017!

Hello 2018.

xo, bethany rose

Hadley’s Birth Story

It’s been three weeks since Hadley’s birth and I’ve told her story to anyone who asked (and probably didn’t ask as well!!). Her story has quickly become one of my favorites to recount. It is full of answered prayer, timing, and an abundance of love.

A couple things to note as you go through this:

1. This is long! If you make it to the end, Bravo! I applaud you and thank you so much!!

2.  All the photos here were taken on mine and Jake’s cellphones. Even though I brought my nice camera, we never even took it out. Part of me is sad about that, the other part of me knows that we just enjoyed her birthday all the more without focusing on pictures. Also, since she was born at night, photos would not have come out well anyway. Plus at the midwife center you’re discharged pretty quickly.

3. I had a lot of anxiety when thinking about Emmett’s birth. It was not that it was a terrible birth, but was not how I had hoped it all would go.  So leading up to Hadley’s birth I had starting praying over it and asking God for a smooth and safe delivery. I believe God answered the prayer because today I will tell you that my anxiety and fear over childbirth has been lifted. I think I dealt with slight birth trauma from Emmett’s birth and did not realize it until AFTER Hadley was born. I look back on her birth and view it as something utterly beautiful. I truly thank God for her birth story.

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

To appreciate everything I need to begin this story on Thursday, the day before she was born.

Jake had asked me earlier in the week which day he should drive to Ohio for work. He had the option of Thursday (6/15), Friday (Hadley’s birthday!) or Monday (6/19). He needed to go pick up a project from work and would be gone for about 12 hours. I was in no rush to have the baby and expected to make it to my due date (6/23). I suggested he go Friday(!!!) but he felt Thursday was the better option so he could get his weekend started earlier. I agreed. Thursday night I started having contractions, but still headed to small group where Jake met up with us. The contractions faded somewhere in the middle of the night and I remember praying and asking God to just make them stop if they weren’t going to turn into anything. Sure enough, they stopped.

I woke up Friday morning, no contractions. Emmett woke up earlier than normal and came into my bed and just snuggled with me. Thinking back now, I realize just how sweet that morning was. It was my last morning “alone” with him!


I texted my friend to see if she was still planning to come over (which she was) and Emmett and I ate breakfast together. I remember thinking, This is my last breakfast alone with Emmett. Jake would be home the following day for the weekend in the morning and then my mom was coming into town until the baby was born.

My friend and her daughter came over and our kiddos played while we chatted. It was seriously the most normal morning ever.

They left just before lunch. Emmett and I ate lunch together (I think, ha ha) and he was acting upset a bit. So I sat on the couch with him and just held him for a little right before I put him down for his nap. Thinking back to that cuddle session is so sweet now, because it was our last one before Hadley was born. Little did I know then though….

I put Emmett down before 1:30 pm which was early for him, called Jake with the announcement, “I am not in labor yet.” He had told me earlier in the week that every time I called him now at work he thought I was in labor. I can’t believe I never thought of that sooner!  This was the only time I remembered to call him and state I was calling to just say hi.

At 2:00 pm I was sitting in the living room chair, scrolling my social media outlets probably, when I heard an audible pop! I literally just stopped. I was not sure what had happened but had a pretty good idea. I walked slowly to the bathroom and sure enough, my water had broken.

Now I hear water breaking as the on-start of labor happens in only 10% of pregnant moms. Well I feel pretty rare, folks! This happened with Emmett too.

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

I quickly called Jake back and he answered saying, “Are you in labor?” to which I responded with, “Um…..”. Communication at its finest 😉

I am pretty sure Jake levitated to his car in 10 seconds as I tried to tell him I was not sure and let me call the midwife and what not. I called The Midwife Center (TMC) and as soon as I mentioned the pop!, the midwife (Emily!) was like, “Yup! Come on in.”

I had tested GBS positive at 36 weeks again much to my displeasure, so especially with my water breaking initially, they wanted to get me in ASAP. I called Jake back and he called the sitter for Emmett and started on his way home.

I was thinking extremely levelly and not at all at the same time. I spent the next 90 minutes walking around the house doing my hair, packing the rest of my bag, writing notes for the sitter, calling Jake to run errands on his way home, etc. There were still no contractions and I think I was in some level of shock from what was happening.

It just seemed like the most normal day and all of a sudden, we were about to meet our baby! I think I also thought I would go into labor in the middle of the night again too to some degree.

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

The sitter and her children arrived and I gave her instructions for Emmett who was still sleeping. There was a moment in those 90 minutes were I became ridiculously sad and did not want to leave Emmett. I sneaked into his room just to look at him and be with him ‘alone’ one last time. His life was about to change when he awoke and I didn’t feel ready for his sake.

Jake got home and was trying to usher me out the door. At the last minute  I remembered our credit card bill was due that day and I had not paid it. I ran upstairs to try and pay it but my computer was going as slow as the past 9 months had felt. I decided to bring my laptop and pay my credit card at the center (which I did!).

Of course there was a lot of rain happening outside and it took us a while to get to the TMC. I was finally having contractions about 10 minutes apart but they were extremely mild.

In our car ride I remember Jake and I looking at each other, feeling like we were on such an ordinary car ride and saying, “We’re going to have our baby! We are going to find out if it is a boy or girl finally!” We then both guessed it would be a girl, even though we did not really have much of a feeling either way!

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

We arrived shortly after 4 pm. My water was still leaking and I ended up walking in with a towel draped between my legs. The midwife looked at me and goes, “I don’t think we need to check you! You can head right into the birthing room.” It was humorous.

They got us settled in to the beautiful Mountain Birthing Suite. It was the newest and biggest room there, and really, very nice. They immediately tried to get the antibiotics for the GBS into me. After 4 nurses/midwives and 6 needles, they finally got the IV in and there was a spoken agreement that I had some of the most difficult veins to stick! All I could think was, Man, this hurts and now I have to go give birth! (I really dislike needles.)

The midwife, Emily, who would be delivering Hadley arrived and checked me. I was at 4-5 cm and definitely contracting even though they were mild. Since it was dinner time we decided to order some food and had it delivered. Jake and I were just hanging out in the room eating dinner. We put on worship music and diffused lavender essential oil. I was swinging in the birthing swing when my contractions finally started to pick up around 5:30 pm. I remember my friend texting me asking if I wanted some company, and I said since my contractions were finally starting to hurt, it was probably best to stay home.

I lose track of time here, but just to put it into perspective, my texts with my friend were roughly at 5:30 pm and Hadley was born at 7:41 pm. What I remember is me looking at Jake on two separate accounts while the midwives and nurses left us to labor alone and saying, “OK, these contractions are quickly becoming more intense and coming a lot closer together.” He called the nurses and midwife back! So during these two hours it went something like this:

The swing was finally not being as helpful as it had been. Jake was giving me counter pressure on my hips during my contractions. It helped a lot and alleviated some of the pain. (Seriously ladies, make your man hold your hips in labor! It helps SO much!). My mentality was this:

I want to use whatever coping mechanism I have until it is not helping anymore and then move on to the next. I was breathing through each contractions and focusing on that. I wanted to save any screaming or deep groans for later when the pain was worse.

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

So once the swing was not helping too much, the midwife checked me again and I was at 7cm but she said she could stretch me to an 8. I decided to move into the birthing tub. I was totally open to a water birth, but felt like whatever happens, let it happen. The tub brought more relief. Jake got in the tub with me and continued the counter pressure. A nurse poured water on my back and they gave me this “noodle” type thing to lean my head against instead of the cold tub. By the way, my contractions were every couple of minutes at this point. The water only helped for so long before I asked for the nitrous oxide.

I know a lot of people don’t know what to think of laughing gas and I was curious to see how it helped me. It did not take away the pain, but it relaxed me and made me very tired. It felt like a tiny euphoric moment.

I felt the urge to urinate and got out of the tub. It was amazing how easily I could still move about. With Emmett at this point during labor, I could not physically move because of the pain. I used the restroom and decided I did not want to get back in the tub. I wanted to be on the bed. At this point the pain was getting very intense. Someone rolled the pregnancy ball up on the bed and I rolled on top of that while on the bed. The counter pressure from Jake was not helping at this point but a deep massage was. I asked if there were any more pain options and the answer was no. I had used up my options.

This is the part that starts to get very hazy for me. I was still breathing deeply but the pain was at the max that I felt I could handle. I remember sliding myself off the ball and onto the side of the bed. My body was in charge at this time and I felt the need to lie down on my stomach, but I remember thinking rationally, I can’t do that. I still have a giant belly. So I laid my head on the bed and uttered a couple things:

 1. “I want the epidural.” (I was at a birthing center. I knew very well I could not have it.)

2. “I can’t do this anymore.” (To which the midwife, Emily, responded, ” You are doing this.”)

3. “Emily, I need you to be straight with me. When is this baby coming out?” (A little bit of background, Emily and the nurses had been quiet for a lot of my laboring. Whenever I would ask a question about how much longer or anything, they would just revert to an answer such as, “You’re doing it well.” “Just keep breathing.” “Your baby is coming.” They never would tell me what part of labor I was at, if they felt the baby was coming soon, etc. Instead they really let my body guide me and lead me to the birth of Hadley. So, she still did not give me a straight answer here either-she said something like, “Your body is doing the work. The baby is coming today.”

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

This is where the yelling finally began. I remember thinking to myself, I am in so much pain and the only way I am getting out of this pain is to push this baby out. And so I started pushing. I’ll spare you the details of feeling like I was pushing out an elephant sized poop. But I started yelling and in about three pushes or contractions, Hadley was out. I ended up birthing her on the side of the bed in a half kneeling/half squatting position (just like football players bend a knee when another player is injured.) Hadley ended up flying out of me. It took a couple moments for me to finally register someone telling me it was a girl.

I then entered that gleeful euphoric state I kept hearing happened after an un-medicated birth and all I kept saying in a joyful manic repetition was, “It’s done! It’s over! It’s a girl! I did it!” to anyone who would listen.

I did not believe in myself enough to give birth without an epidural. In fact at my previous midwife appointments when they asked me where I wanted to birth I had finally decided that I would start my labor at TMC and possibly transfer to the hospital if it got to be too much. Everything happened SO quickly though that by the time I felt I could not handle it, Hadley was out within 20 or 30 minutes!

a natural birth and delivery at a midwife center

It was truly one of the most beautiful, empowering experiences of my entire life (and if you know me, you know I am not one to use the word empowering often 😉 )  I don’t say any of this to take away from epidural or c-section births in the least. I had an epidural with Emmett and looking back think it was the best decision for my birth with him. We as mothers need to do what is best for the birth of our child and that looks different for each of us and each child.

When they weighed Hadley you should have seen the shock of surprise on my face when they informed us she was only 6 pounds and 9 ounces! Jake’s side of the family has 8-11 pound babies and my side settles pretty firmly in the 7-8 pound range. I never thought just a tiny baby was possible but was SO thankful for it because I think it helped with the ease of her birth.

Because Hadley arrived so quickly they did not have time to put the second dose of GBS antibiotics into me. We had to stay at the center overnight for monitoring (12 hours). We ended up being moved to the tiniest birthing room there because of other people coming in for their babies’ births and joked that we went from the mansion to the apartment! We did not sleep much and were excited to be discharged the following morning at 8 am.  We drove home on what was the perfect end of spring day. The sun was shining and people were just starting their Saturday mornings of lawn work and 5ks. But of course, our Saturday was the best 😉

(Oh, remember me mentioning Jake working in Ohio just the day before? Well if he had gone on Friday like we talked about he would have missed the entire labor and possibly the delivery of Hadley as well because of how far away he was. I love God’s timing!)

20170617_091624xo, bethany rose

Emmett’s Birth Story

You wonder from the beginning what your story will be. They are never the same. Unique as the mismatched china in your forgotten cabinet, dreams and scenarios of what will be. But deep down knowing it is out of your control.

Whenever people asked if I had a birth plan, I said not really. I told my doula I had parameters. But I was open to other things. I knew there’d be pain involved despite Ina May’s story of the woman from the 1800’s who gave birth to her baby while sleeping. I knew my pain tolerance was low. But I also wanted a goal and aim for a natural birth. At the same time, I wanted to keep my options open and leave pain meds on the counter. Just in case…

My due date rolled around and left. I was feeling….pregnant and by the time my appointment arrived on April 16th I was more than ready to get the ball rolling. I walked up The Midwife Center’s LONG flight of steps (who planned this building??) with a heart full of hope. Since I was so close to 41 weeks (2 days away) I was secretly hoping and praying for a membrane sweep. But during my appointment I was informed that the midwife on call was too busy and that I would need to come back the following day for one. They also had me schedule a BPP (ultrasound) and NST (non-stress test) for the following morning.

I left my appointment completely downcast. Jake and his mom had been at the appointment with me and I sulkily made my way to a local diner with them. I was just so discouraged. Almost a week past my due date and I had really been hoping for labor to begin that night. Little did I know…

I came home, rested and opened my devotional up after my mom asked if I’d read the Bible that day. I had, but nothing spoke to me. She mentioned “sometimes what is written in the devotional for the day speaks to you.” I debated about what to read but finally opened up a short monthly devotional I use. I found myself crying as I opened up the devotional to April 16th’s reading of God answering prayers. It was written for me. Cliche or God? I take the latter.

The rest of the evening was spent hanging out and watching The Big Bang Theory. At midnight we went to sleep (note: don’t go to bed late if you are hoping to go into labor).

At 1:20 am, April 17th, I woke up to use the bathroom. No sooner had I maneuvered myself out of bed when I felt the gush. I ran to the bathroom and felt my shorts and they were soaked. My water had broken! Since I was GBS positive and thought I needed to head to the hospital right away, I woke Jake and called the midwife (1:45 a.m.) . Contrary to what we thought, she told me to labor at home and call in the morning to make a plan with the midwife on call (shifts switched around 8 a.m.).

Jake ran upstairs to tell his mom what was happening and then we laid back down in bed. I really was going to try and sleep but no sooner had I laid down when the contractions began (2:15 a.m). And they did not start off too mildly.

It is so true that your contractions become more intense after the water breaking (not that I have anything to compare it to….but when you can’t talk through your contractions from almost the beginning of them happening, I’m assuming I pretty much got only the intense ones). They were coming 10-13 minutes apart and soon after that 5-10 minutes apart.


By this point I could not talk through the contractions and finally called the midwife again to let her know the situation. When she heard what was happening she changed the plan and told us to meet her at the hospital at 6:40 a.m. At this point it was 4 a.m.

We moved into the living room to labor. I laid on the couch and Jake made camp on the floor. At this point my body was emptying itself every way it knew possible, and I ended up puking two times. I gripped my peppermint essential oil in my hand and breathed it in to help with the nausea. It helped!

Finally it was time to go. My contractions were coming quickly and while Jake and his mom were thinking of any extra items that were not already packed and bringing everything to the car, I was just trying to make it through each contraction. If Jake was not near by when one came, I would cry out, “Jake! Another one!” He would run to me and place counter pressure on my hips during the contractions. Let me tell you, it helped. Even though the pain was still miserable, the counter pressure relieved some of it and anything helped at that point.

I was so thankful that my mother-in-law was there and willing to drive us to the hospital. It allowed for Jake to sit in the back with me continuing the counter pressure. Thankfully it was a Friday morning which meant less traffic and thankfully we were at the beginning of it so the ride to the hospital was not as long as it could have been.

We were admitted to the hospital at 7 a.m. and wheeled up to my room. My FAVORITE (top 2) midwife, Dia, was on call and as soon as I saw her I weakly said, “I’m so glad it’s you.” Jake and I both had hoped it would be her or one other midwife. Once I was on the bed they checked me for dilation. I was 7 centimeters!!! I was also about as exhausted as a person who had just completed mile 23 in a marathon and was not sure how much more I had to give.

We decided to let me labor a little more and administer the first round of GBS antibiotics and about an hour and half later I was checked again and had made it to 8 cm. Unfortunately, I could not have Nubain to take the edge off because I was so far progressed (they had actually told me this at 7 cm) and my only option was an epidural. I asked what Dia and the nurse suggested. They thought the epidural would be a good option because I had no energy and would need it to push. I asked Jake what he thought. He knew how adamant I had been about going naturally, but he also knew I was open to other options.

As I sat in my upright position  unable to move because moving just plain hurt, we decided to go with the epidural. I had an hour of sleep from the night before and had been in labor for around 6-7 hours at this point. I was beyond exhausted. I found out later that Jake really wanted me to get the epidural. He said looking at me as I was falling asleep sitting up, he knew I needed the rest. I also was SO READY to have the pain relieved.

Over the next couple hours I got the epidural, relaxed and labored down. I remember lying there once the epidural had kicked in, feeling cozy. Lying in bed without any pain at that point felt superb. It was quiet and peaceful for a little while; kind of  like the calm in the midst of the storm (a good one!).  Our doula arrived (9 a.m.) soon after the epidural had started working (our original doula was out of town actually and so a different doula ended up being there, but was unable to come until this time).

At 11:47a.m. (it was written on our white board so I remember the exact time) I was checked again and was 10 cm, 100% effaced and he was +1. It was go time. We got stopped for a little bit at this point though because I needed my second round of antibiotics. It was being run through an IV and my hand was on FIRE. I told them there was no way I could focus on pushing my baby out while the antibiotic was being administered. So they slowed the drip down and I did not end up pushing for about another hour.

Around 12:30 p.m. the pushing began and went on for two hours. At one point there was talk of a vacuum delivery or use of forceps. Jake and I were both immensely against this and I began pushing even harder–motivation factor. I apparently made enough progress to not need either of those! However, at 2:30 p.m. the midwife said she would suggest making an episiotomy. This was something else we were against but after 2 hours of pushing Jake and I looked at each other and agreed to have it done. No sooner had we agreed to it when I pushed our SON out.


I remember pushing and staring at my mountain of a stomach when all of a sudden it arched and fell down and Emmett was born. Someone shouted, “I see testicles!” and he was placed on my belly. Someone explained he had to stay there for the delayed cord clamping because his umbilical cord was short. I remember just sobbing with Jake. Jake checked to make sure Emmett was fine and then just stared at me and later told me he just wanted to make sure I was OK. The moment was completely indescribable, but I will try to give it words.


It was chaos with everyone doing their jobs. It was hazy all around me, but I could clearly see a brand new baby lying on top of me. I couldn’t believe I had just birthed a baby, let alone MY SON. The moment was warm and cozy. There was nothing else to think about because the moment held a thousand tiny memories enveloped in a single major one.  It was busy. I was covered in blood and goo and couldn’t have been happier. There was this familiar stranger lying on me, completely dependent on all of us, but especially his parents. Emmett was born at 2:35 p.m.

Let me just pause to say that we were blessed with an incredible staff. My favorite midwife, a new-to-us (but awesome) doula, and a nurse who really cared about me and my needs. That same nurse even came in the following evening to hold Emmett and hang out with my two friends and me. She commented positively on mine and Jake’s relationship and teamwork during the whole birthing process.

We are both so thankful for the birth of our son. I know God was in the center of it all orchestrating every moment. We were so blessed with a healthy baby, an incredible staff and loving family and friends. What a miracle a child is! Birth is truly a unique experience.

 (The hospital made a big deal out of a ‘special couple’s dinner’ the night after Emmett was born. It was sweet; they wheeled in a table with “special” food and a bottle of sparkling grape juice.)

(Best view of everything ;))

(Going home!!!)