Author Archives: ariellerene

Son #2: J! 

Son #2: J! 

More news in our world! We welcomed our second son, Jensen Luke, into the world on his due date! How often does that happen?! While his birth also did not go as planned, it was 100% better experience than we had last time.  Let’s start at the beginning.  

We got pregnant when Q was 13 months old and then moved (transferred) from Yoakum to Georgetown in my first trimester. (What is it with us and moving while we are pregnant and the timing isn’t convenient?!) So, by the time we got here and settled enough to find a doctor, I was in my second trimester. We tried a birth center first, hoping to attempt a VBAC birth (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean),  but they said based on my history I was risky. (Knowing what I know now, I’m so glad we listened!) They referred us to Nurture clinic in North Austin where they’re a Midwife focused practice and are known for a low csection rate. We met with the Midwife Bergen and were hooked. She also heard my story about Quinton’s birth and diagnosed me with postnatal PTSD!!! What a relief it was to have an actual “diagnosis” and realize that I wasn’t just overreacting or dramatic.  After 6 sessions with a therapist, I was able to get the PTSD under control and was looking forward to a re-do birth experience. 

Every single experience at Nurture was so wonderful. Their practice has you try to meet everyone so that when you get to the hospital, whoever is on call is who attends your birth. They do a 24 hour call period and after 24 hrs, you just get the next on rotation. They are all on the same page as far as their practice is concerned, and care is consistent. So, after always asking as many obnoxious questions as possible, I felt  really confident that they’d be able to help me get exactly what I wanted. 

Another thing that was different about the experience with J versus Q is we decided to have a doula. One of B’s friends from college, Lori, is a wonderful mother of 3 and has always wanted to be a doula, so she started pursuing that this year and needed to attend a couple births as part of her training. We asked her if we could be one of those births and she graciously agreed. Let me tell you what, having a doula available is wonderful. She was able to help advocate for us when we got to the hospital, and remind us of the things that we wanted and when we forgot what we’d said we wanted in the heat of the moment. She was a great support for B when I was taken away for a the csection too, and helped him remain calm while the unknown was happening in the OR again. 

So, fast forward to the day before/of labor. I woke up at 4:30 am with some pretty bad cramps, and they lasted for a couple hours but then they stopped and I got a little more rest and went on with the day as normal. Had my chiro appt, and went up to the DPS office to say hi to the secretaries cos they’d been asking about me and the pregnancy. On the way home the contractions decided to start going again, about 2-3 each hour. B took Q and the dog out to Petsmart while I cooked dinner and during that time, the contractions started happening a bit more frequently. 

I figured it was enough to let my “people” (Mom and sister Genna and doula Lori) know that I was having contractions again and they were starting to be more regular so please stand by. I didn’t want to cry wolf, but because the people would need about 2 hours notice to get here, I was really ready to have them close by around 6:30. I sent the word. Please come. Everyone got to our apartment by 9, and we waited. And breathed. And contracted. They weren’t too bad, but once they got to being about 1.5-2min long around midnight, G pointed out that if I was starting to say they hurt a little and were more than just “uncomfortable”, we probably should go to the hospital. We realized she was probably right, so we loaded up and went to the hospital. We got to triage around 2am and found out I was dilated to an 8 and Dr. Kaufman could actually feel my waters bulging. This was it for sure. They moved me to a L&D room and I labored some more. Lori had a technique that made EVERYTHING feel so much better. We called it the hip squeeze. She showed B how to do it too, and every time I had a contraction, they’d take turns or work together to do that move. It took the pain from a 7 to a 5 instantly. Around 5am, I started feeling more intense, transitionary contractions and baby’s heart rate was fluctuating from the stress. We moved positions a lot and that helped it come back up. A little while later, I felt like I was starting to need to push so Dr. Kaufman went to check me again. As she inserted her fingers, my water burst in that dramatic gushing movie style way! Whoa! We were going to have a baby in moments! “Oh. Hold on. That’s the cord, not the head.” Dr. K said quite calmly, “This is an emergency csection scenario. I’m so sorry but there’s no way to avoid this. Nurse, call OR stat. I’m going to have to ride the bed to the OR because I cannot move my hand or the cord will come and we might lose baby. Are you okay with this, Arielle?” Yes. Suddenly more contractions stronger than any others, and I couldn’t focus on anything other than the pain and pushing sensation as my body struggled against the doctor’s pressure back. They put an oxygen mask on me and that helped J too. It felt like it took years to prep me in the OR, but it was probably actually less than 10 minutes from “let’s go” to “lights out”. Jensen was born at 6:11am. When I was in recovery, they brought me Jensen almost immediately once I was waking up and even though I wasn’t fully awake, gave him to me and my people rotated visiting. I don’t remember who came first, and who was last, but I remember right before they took us back to the L&D room, Dr. Kaufman came in to check on me and say goodbye because she was going home for the day. She stayed and visited for a long time and explained exactly what happened, why she did what she did, and really genuinely cared that I was mentally/emotionally okay with a repeat csection. She explained that because of the way my pelvis is shaped, there was so much extra room for the cord and head that the cord pushed through first. She has a theory that it is possible something similar happened with Q and though the way it was handled was unethical, it’s possible it could have truly been an emergency too. She strongly urged me to consider never attempting natural labor again as it would be extremely risky to now not only me, but also the baby because of what we know about my pelvis and the shapes of our babies heads. So, next time, we will schedule a csection. And I’m okay with that. Dr. Kaufman’s attention to detail and compassion has definitely helped “cure” my risidual feelings of PTSD.  I got to have lots of support for breastfeeding at the hospital from both nurses and lactation consultants! Jensen is a champ and is already gaining back some of his weight. *edit: at his 2 week appointment he had gained nearly a pound and a half!* Every nurse who attended us knew our story, at least enough to be sympathetic, if not knowing all the details. The night nurses especially were sure to wake B and let him follow along every time J was removed from the room. After 2 full days at the hospital, we were missing Q and ready to go home, so morning of day 3, we asked if we could go home and they started the discharge papers. By 1pm, we were all checked out and headed to the car! 

Special extra thanks to my sisters and mom for tag teaming to take care of Quinton at our apartment so that we could really focus on our time with Jensen. 

Thank you to Lori for your support and amazing doula skills! Can’t wait til you’re all official so I can recommend you to potential clients!!!! 

And especially Dr. Kaufman for your calm and cool behavior and working to do everything you could to give me the experience you knew I so desperately desired, and even though it didn’t go as planned, it was still a positive experience! 


Musings on Netflix’s show 13 Reasons Why.


Ok, thoughts on 13 Reasons Why….Here it goes. Be warned: There will likely be spoilers.


When I turned it on, I was expecting it to be hard to watch. The things I’d heard said that it was challenging to watch, it was convicting, and also that it glorified suicide. While the last episode with the actual suicide was hard to watch (I had to turn away), the rest of it seemed like a typical teenage angst-filled high school tv show where there is a lot of unnecessary drama.  Overall, the main idea seems to be that parents and teachers should pay more attention to their kids and friends should be more “friendly”.

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Christmas 2015 and Good Friday – Easter 2016


Late (for me) night musings….
Now that I have a son, thinking about Jesus from Mary’s perspective is so much more powerful. Christmas was a blur, but how amazing to think that I went through what Mary went through at the time we celebrate it…. Moving, nowhere (comfortable) to sleep and dealing with a newborn baby…. Q was a good little tiny baby through all the stress. I hope Jesus was that good for Mary. It isn’t easy now to move with a baby, but how hard would it have been back then. Not only did they have to get there for the census, but then they had to get back home! Yikes! Babies are a lot of work and need a lot of accessories….. Diaper changes on the road without disposable diapers?? Ew. Poor Mary and Joseph! 

Now to Easter, I’m glad I don’t have to experience that part of her life! I couldn’t imagine my son being killed in the most brutal way possible! She was a strong woman to go through it. Even if she knew that he would come back, she still had to watch. The agony of this precious baby bleeding out and suffocating to death?! Of course, he was a grown man, but I can see how it’s going for me, and Q will always be my baby……. The otter picture, “I made dis”, always comes to mind. Here’s this kid that you worked on for months, and let me tell you, late night feedings aren’t a picnic either…. But there he was. Dead. For her. For us. Amazing. 

If you haven’t read the bible for a long time, or you’ve read familiar passages so often you just think “yeah, I know that story”, I’d encourage you to think of it from a different perspective and read it again. 

Presenting: Baby Q!

Presenting: Baby Q!

Here is Q’s long-awaited birth story and my hospital experience.  While things didn’t go as planned, baby and mommy are healthy. That’s all that matters, right?

December 21st marked me a week overdue, and when we went to my doctor appointment that afternoon at 4:15, we expected to discuss making an induction appointment for the first available date after Christmas. Read the rest of this entry

Pickles and pregnancy…


Guess what! No, you’ll never guess…. B and I are going to have a baby!!!! Yay! Baby T is due in December!  

 This means, of course, that many cravings happen. One of which is pickles. Cliche, you say? Clearly you’ve never tried my grandmother’s dill pickles. Well, I decided that I better learn how to make them, since I’ll be the main consumer for the next few months, also, she won’t be around forever…but that’s depressing to think about. On to pickles! 
Of course, every good thing starts with a hand written recipe from a zillion years ago:  

The sacred recipe!

First you have to prep. Wash the cucumbers, wash the jars, peel the garlic… 


  Next, you add the garlic, alum, and dill to the jars. Note, Grandma uses the whole head, and bends the stem so that it will fit too.  

More preparation!

Now, time for the cucumbers! We cut ours into spears and disks, since the cucumbers weren’t the most beautiful shapes. Pack them in TIGHT! I filled them too high, so grandma helped by trimming the tops, and sampling, of course! 😊 While I cut the cukes, Grandma made the brine, a mixture of  pickling salt, apple cider vinegar, and distilled water. Yes. That matters. Also, she boiled the lids.  

Cuttin’ the cukes!

Finally, everything packed, brine added, lids on, we gave the 4 quarts a lovely 10 minute soak in the boiling water. (There’s a fancy contraption to put the jars in safely, too!) After their bath, we took them out to cool and seal. Now the hard part. Waiting at very least a whole week to open them!! 



Thanks, Grandma for passing on your secrets. She said she can’t help herself, when people complain about pickles, she tells them her secrets… The real secret is the love she puts into making each batch. 😊 



Now, excuse me while I go eat some pickles from the last batch while I wait for mine to be ready! 

Ferguson, New York, and beyond…

So it may be beyond the point now, but with the shootings in New York and the officers turning their backs on the mayor, maybe it’s still relevant. Who knows, maybe you’ve moved on, maybe you’re still spun up too.  Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
When I first heard about Ferguson, my husband was at the Academy to become a State Trooper (he was injured and will have to return at a later date), and I couldn’t help but view it through the lens of a future LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) wife. My husband will be out there in that world soon, and he will face the scrutiny of the public in a very real way. There are times when he will have to make tough calls. Will he make the right ones? I don’t want him to have to worry about the color of the criminal before he arrests someone for committing a crime.  Crime is crime, right? If a criminal commits a crime, he or she must be caught and punished accordingly.  If a man is going to choose to act as a thug, he will be treated accordingly.  Anyone can act like a thug, seriously. Thug doesn’t mean “big scary black male”…right?  Laws are in place for a reason – anyone of any color or gender or sexual orientation, etc is held accountable to the laws of the area. This isn’t rocket science.

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Clean eating, part 2


Part two, written a few days ago.
I finished the clean eating challenge and lost about 6 pounds. I feel so much better! Overall, the recipes were good, and I will keep a lot of them.

One thing that eating clean-ly helped me realize is that I am gluten intolerant. 😪 I thought the digestive issues were stress from school, but going back to “normal” eating, I noticed that whenever I ate wheat, I would have…issues…again, and I have zero stress at the moment. I tried cutting gluten out and immediately felt better. Darn.. Farewell cookies, pasta, sweet pastries…. It’s not you, it’s me, and I will miss you, but we can’t be friends anymore.

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