The Birth of Greyson Fierce Derington


It’s clearly been a while since I’ve blogged on here. I could argue that I’ve just been too busy, but these days, who isn’t. I guess the bottom line is that this has been a low priority for me. At any rate, another significant life event warrants me sitting down to blog.

March 4th, our due date for Baby D came and went. My mom arrived that day, and it was a relief to have her here to help out around the house, but more specifically spend time with Elam. As the days drifted on I was more and more uncomfortable, but still only experiencing those annoying, irregular Braxton Hicks contractions and no signs of imminent labor. I was okay with waiting for Baby D to come naturally, except in the moments were I read of three different moms with due dates after ours, who one by one had their babies before me. I know that due dates are wrong all the time, but it’s still hard to not be discouraged by that.

Finally, on March 14th I felt my first legitimate contraction. It was 4:45pm—Nick was sitting on the couch while my mom, Elam and I were sitting on the floor playing.  I mentioned it to them, but didn’t think much of it until a short few minutes later I felt another. The pain was minimal at best, and didn’t require me to get up or move around, but these were the first contractions I had that had any pain behind them, so I began to time them.

Over the next hour they continued an average of 5-6 minutes apart and lasting roughly 30 seconds each. As the contractions increased, I finished preparing dinner, now having to sway my hips to cope with the growing pain. Around 6:30pm I messaged my midwife Felicia to let her know what was going on, but told her there was no need to rush over right then.

After dinner I called my chiropractor to see if she could make a visit. She said she could come around 9pm, and I figured we could probably wait until then to assess whether Felicia should come over.

By this point it was around 7:30pm and my contractions were getting strong enough that I needed my mom or Nick to apply counter-pressure to my lower back in order to cope with the pain. The whole time I kept saying that this still could be false labor, and at any moment it could stall out.

Nick took Elam upstairs to bed while mom and I began to set up the birth tub in the dining room. I had to move into the living room and use tennis balls on my back while leaning against the wall, or rock on a medicine ball while on all fours to deal with contractions while she finished setting up the tub.

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When Nick came back down he lit some jasmine incense and candles, and we dimmed the lights. My contractions continued to increase, and were now about four minutes apart, so around 8:30pm I texted Felicia and suggested that she or Julie (her assistant for our birth) come to assess the situation. Half an hour later, I texted her again and basically said, “Please come now.”

Since the tub takes a while to fill, Nick began the process. The chiropractor arrived around 9:15, and I was still rocking on the medicine ball. She watched me work through a few contractions before stepping in and working on some pressure points in my lower back. That helped tremendously, and she even showed Nick and my mom where they could apply pressure so that they weren’t over-exerting themselves and weren’t potentially bruising me—even though that’s what feels good at the time.

Felicia came just before 10pm, and a bit later Julie arrived. Around 10:30pm I decided I’d like to get in the tub and see if that helped, so the chiropractor headed out. I was so grateful for how long she had stayed, though.

The warmth of the water helped some, but it made it harder for mom or Nick to help with counter-pressure. I remember asking my mom to pray for me. Contractions were steadily increasing, and were probably averaging about every two and a half to three minutes apart and roughly 45 seconds to a minute in length. Still, in between contractions I was able to chat and make jokes, so I had no idea when I even hit transition. I just assumed I still had hours to go, and was trying to make the best of it.

My friend, and a fellow home-birth mom (of 6), came just before 11:30pm. I remember saying, “Welcome to the party!” And chatting with her a bit before the next contraction. I had one more contraction after she arrived, and felt the need to use the toilet immediately. Nick helped me to the bathroom, and I had a few more contractions on the toilet. Then, all of a sudden, WOOSH! Nick jumped back startled; I was startled for a second, too. Hands still in the air he said, “What was that!?” To which I responded, “Uh, that would be my water breaking.”

Immediately, I could feel Baby D move lower and I instantly remembered “the ring of fire” from birthing Elam. That terrified me a bit, as I tore pretty badly with Elam. Felicia came into the bathroom, prepared to assist with the birth in there if necessary—this baby was not waiting any longer. I was getting a bit hysterical at this point—mom says I really wasn’t that bad, but I felt like it was the first time during labor that I wasn’t totally in control of my emotions and my reaction to the contractions. I was just so fearful of tearing again. My contractions were coming one on top of another, and I kept saying things like, “It’s not giving me a break! It’s supposed to give me a break!” and “It’s coming right now; I can feel it.”

11:40pm–Nick and Felicia quickly helped me get back into the tub. Felicia gently, but seriously told me to open my eyes and look up at her. She coached me to breathe, since I was holding my breath a bit. Contrary to Elam’s birth, I wasn’t pushing at this point, but rather, I had to help slow things down. Baby D was coming fast, and I needed to provide time for my body to open up to allow baby out without tearing, so Felicia helped encourage me through that. After only a few contractions, things had progressed enough that I could actually push. With just two pushes, Baby D’s head was out.

“Now what?” I asked my Felicia. “Now you can relax and wait for the next contraction. Then you can push the baby out the rest of the way,” she told me. I could see a full head of hair and I reached down to touch it. Still weird to me, but much less gross (in my opinion) in a water birth.

11:50pm–Another contraction came, and two more pushes, and Baby D was out. The cord was wrapped around baby’s neck, so Felicia gently reached in and unwrapped it, while I lifted Baby D from the water.

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I was so giddy when I lifted him. “It’s a boy!” I shrilled, and held him close to me. What a mixture of emotions! The pain was instantly behind me, and I was so ecstatic to finally be holding our baby, and to know what gender he was.

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He nursed well almost right away, and I had over half an hour to hold him by myself while we waited for the placenta to be delivered. What an experience! The environment was so much calmer than when Elam arrived. Despite our natural hospital delivery with Elam, the nursing staff was all in a hubbub and everything felt so chaotic post delivery. This was the opposite. I was able to just sit in the tub and hold him and nurse him while no one poked and prodded at either of us. 

Elam woke up for no apparent reason, but I was so excited to introduce him to his new baby brother. Nick brought him down, and while he was certainly curious about the baby in my arms, he was more interested in the mysterious pool in our dining room and the floating ducky thermometer.

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After delivering the placenta just over half an hour later, I handed Baby D off, and headed for a shower. My mom cut the chord while I rinsed off. Unfortunately, losing all of that blood took its toll on me, and I briefly passed out on my way from the shower to our bedroom. Fortunately, Julie was right beside me, and I had already squatted down, anticipating the blackout. I was only out for a few seconds before coming to, but it was enough to convince me to crawl the rest of the way to the bed.

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In our bed just after midnight as a happy family of four. I am clearly outnumbered now, but I love this new addition so much already. We still hadn’t settled on a boy’s name yet, so we slept on it and spent some time considering our choices the next morning. We gave him the name Greyson Fierce Derington around 15 hours later.

Overall, this was an amazing experience. While it was challenging and certainly earned the name “labor,” it was much smoother than with Elam. In fact, I am feeling excited about doing it all over again with baby #3. I am so grateful for all of the help and encouragement I received. I’m sure there are pieces of the story I’m leaving out, but this is the gist of it.

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Latest Derington Creation: Carrot Chai Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting and Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Bailey’s Buttercream


During Sukkot, I had the joy of making cupcakes to celebrate Heather’s birthday. She had tried a Carrot Chai cupcake at a recent wedding, and requested that I recreate it. I also decided to try this Guinness Chocolate cupcake that I had heard of. I must say, with the internet readily available, it is quite easy to find a couple recipes for ideas, and modify them to fit what I would like the outcome to be. So here are my takes on these two delicious cupcakes.


CHAI CARROT CUPCAKE

Cupcake Ingredients

▪   4 large eggs

▪   1 ½ cups (287g) granulated sugar 120g

▪   ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar

▪   1 ½ cups (337g) canola or vegetable oil

▪   1 ¼ tsp (4.5g) baking powder

▪   1 tsp (4g) baking soda

▪   ½ tsp (1g) salt

▪   2 Tbsp chai spice*

▪   2 ½ cups (248g) all-purpose flour

▪   1 lb (6-7 small or 3-4 large) carrots,

peeled and grated

*Chai Spice

▪   1 tsp ground cardamom

▪   1 tsp ground cloves

▪   1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

▪   1 ½ tsp ground ginger

▪   1 tsp ground nutmeg

▪   a pinch of ground white pepper

Cream Cheese Frosting

▪   2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened

▪   ½ cup butter, softened

▪   2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

▪   1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl (or standing mixer) beat together the eggs and sugar for approximately 3 minutes until well incorporated. Add oil and mix well. Continue mixing on low speed while adding baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai spice. Slowly add the flour to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. Fold in grated carrots after all other ingredients are mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 3/4 filled. Put in oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F for 24 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Yields roughly twenty-four cupcakes.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

Garnish with chai spice or curled carrot.

Cook’s Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a large round tip.

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Cupcake Ingredients

▪  1 cup Guinness (or other stout)

▪   1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

▪   ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

▪   2 cups sifted all purpose flour

▪   2 cups sugar

▪   1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

▪   ¾ teaspoon salt

▪   2 large eggs

▪   2/3 cup sour cream

Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

▪   4 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

▪   1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

▪   4 – 6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

▪   pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using a standing mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and sour cream to blend. Add in stout-chocolate mixture and beat just to combine. Slowly add flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 3/4 filled. Put in oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F for 24 minutes. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Yields roughly twenty-four cupcakes.

For the Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. Add salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar beating until combined. Slowly add the Bailey’s until you reach your desired consistency. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a large star tip.

Cook’s Note: I garnished them with a chocolate design. Melt chocolate in microwave safe dish. Pour into squeeze bottle. Dispense in desired shape onto wax paper. Put in freezer for at least 2 hours; and leave in refrigerator after that. Garnish just before serving.

Sukkot 2011


Our family celebrated Sukkot this past week. We hosted a few nights, and participated in other family’s nights (complete with petting zoo) as well. What is Sukkot, you ask:

Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות or סֻכּוֹת, sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). The holiday lasts seven days. Throughout the holiday meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many sleep there as well.

Sukkot History:
The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, “booth or tabernacle,” which is a walled structure covered with schach (plant material such as tree branches or bamboo shoots).  The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Sukkot was agricultural in origin. This is evident from the biblical name “The Feast of Ingathering,” from the ceremonies accompanying it, from the season – “The festival of the seventh month” – and occasion of its celebration: “At the end of the year when you gather in your labors out of the field” (Ex. 23:16); “after you have gathered in from your threshing-floor and from your winepress” (Deut. 16:13). It was a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Coming as it did at the completion of the harvest, Sukkot was regarded as a general thanksgiving for the bounty of nature in the year that had passed.  According to Zechariah, in the messianic era Sukkot will become a universal festival and all nations will make pilgrimages annually to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast there.

We celebrate Sukkot to:
1. Remember/reflect (Deut. 4:9)
2. To rest and enjoy the fruit of this years’ labor (Deut. 16:13)
3. To anticipate the coming Kingdom (Rev. 21:1)

 

 

Birth Announcement

Through the Course Of a Year


In September 2010, Nick and I were a part of a “Family Teams Training” small group. Basically, we met with three other families and discussed what it meant and looked like to have a truly biblical family. What did it look like in biblical times, and how do we implement that same idea of family now? The family facilitating it had been married for several years longer than the other three couples (including us), and had two children already. During the weeks we met, one of the couples gave birth to their first child. And also during those weeks, Nick and I seriously visited the idea of children of our own.

It didn’t take long in this community for me to fall in love with the idea of having our own children; raising them to be a blessing and contribution to the family. It is unfortunate that so many “Christian” American families function nothing like what they looked like in the Bible. I realize that culture adapts, and time-periods also change family dynamics. BUT…it is my opinion that the basic set-up of family should still at least resemble the style of the Bible–family members looking out for one another, all working to contribute to the common homestead; fathers raising a generation that loves the Lord; sons growing up and taking over the family business; mothers resembling the Proverbs 31 woman; daughters adoring their fathers and respecting their own bodies. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.

At any rate, it was through this whole process that Nick and I did decide that we were ready to start growing our family. Now, when we made that decision, we also knew that the average first-time conception takes a year, so we figured we had a couple months. NOPE!

Two weeks later…

Sukkot was taking place (more on that in another blog). On Monday, Oct 4th I felt off. It’s hard to describe, but I just felt out of it–like in a daze, yet I wasn’t actually tired. I knew it was possible that we could be pregnant, but so soon? So after work I grabbed a pack of tests, and unbeknownst to Nick, I took a test that afternoon. Nothing. I told him later that night, that I had felt strange, taken a test, but that it was negative. However, over the next days I still didn’t feel right, so I figured I’d take a test again that next Monday.

By Friday, Oct 8th, we knew something was up, though, so I took another test. POSITIVE! I walked back to our room with the stick in my hand, looking very much like a deer in the headlights. Nick and I didn’t say anything for at least five minutes. We just laid there silently in our bed until smiles crept across both our faces. Then the giddy reactions. “We’re going to have a baby!!!”

We wanted to wait to tell people, but we lost that battle the very next day, and told our families and close friends. The following 9 months were hard to express in words. My hormones and emotions were all over the board, along with my weight gain :0) So, I will allow you to follow along via photo.

6 1/2 weeks along, and trying my hardest to stick my “belly” out.

On my birthday (Nov 17th) at 9 weeks 3 days, we got our first glimpse of who we would call Peanut all through the pregnancy. He was looking very teddy-graham-esque at that point.

11 weeks along, and I was still pushing my stomach out with all my might.

At 13 weeks we were able to see Peanut again. This time you could actually tell he was human–so amazing.

And we posed for the classic Christmas photo.

By 15 weeks I felt like it was already clear to the world that I was pregnant, but looking now, that seems ridiculous.

And by 18 weeks, it wasn’t much different.

At 20 weeks, we got our final ultrasound, and found out we were having a BOY! It is so amazing how quickly they develop in utero.

By 23 weeks, my belly was finally in full bloom.

At 28 weeks we hit the third trimester and started the home-stretch.

By 32 weeks, I was pretty sure I was going to burst at any point…but we kept growing.

At 37 weeks, we took painted belly photos, thinking that I could pop at any point.

But a week later, I was still heavily pregnant.

Finally…at 40 weeks and 4 days, Peanut arrived!!!  Welcome Elam Atticus Derington. Born June 23rd, 2011 at 2:39pm, weighing 8 lbs 13 oz and measuring 21″ long.

Praise the Lord for a healthy pregnancy and birth. We are so grateful for our little boy.

What an amazing year it has been. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for us next.

~Traci

As Time Has Passed


It’s been over a year since we’ve touched this blog. It’s not as if life has been dull in the least. In fact, this has been one of the most exciting years of our lives. I’ll just highlight some of the things in order to bring you up to speed.

In June 2010 Nick and I displayed some of our photos at a local Starbucks (not the one I worked at)…

and learned to make some awesome sushi.

In August 2010 we harvested some home-grown goods. I’ve previously always had a “brown thumb.”

In September 2010 we watched the fireworks down at the Ohio River.

Following into October 2010 with participating in our first Sukkot….during which, Nick and I found out we were EXPECTING!!! (more to come in a future post)…

and we spent some much needed time at “Family Vacation” in Florida.

In November 2010 I celebrated my birthday and Nick took me to see Sarah McLachlan. Woot woot!

In December 2010 Nick and I celebrated our second Christmas together, complete with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

In February 2011 Nick flew out to Apple’s Headquarters in Cupertino, CA while I went and visited Krystle in New Mexico.

In March 2011 we visited my family and were thrown an awesome baby shower…

We also took the plunge and bought a second car.

In May 2011 we participated in “Go Cincinnati” and helped do some landscaping at an international home for children…

And I was thrown a SECOND awesome baby shower here in the Northern Kentucky community.

And on June 23rd, 2011 we gave birth to ELAM ATTICUS DERINGTON.

~Traci

Keeping Up With the E-mails


It is amazing how busy Nick and I have been lately. My last training camp for AIM was three weeks ago, but things have not really slowed down. I wanted to update you a bit on what I’ve been, and will continue doing for the Ambassador Program.

Right after our last training camp, I took a few days off of “AIM stuff” in order to catch back up on life here in Kentucky. I loved going down to the camps in Georgia, but leaving Nick back at home was not ideal. Plus, with the camps so close together, it was difficult to keep up with the house, relationships, and everything in between for those few weeks.

So after a few days “off,” I started back into the swing of things. We put the new 2011 trips up that following week, and the inquiries have been incredible. I’ve had hundreds of e-mails from prospective participants come in since that point. And it is a bit daunting at points to open the inbox and see 70 new e-mails in bold print. On the plus side, we are now offering two spring break trips, and an even wider variety of trips all around the world during the summer. It is exciting to be at the start of this.

Last year, if you recall, I joined in late February or March, so I missed a lot of the initial inquiries and participants. Additionally, because I started in the middle of everything, I felt like I was always playing catch-up. I hope to stay ahead of the game this year, and help participants get through the application process, and into the support-raising process sooner. Maybe that will alleviate some of the support phone calls closer to the trip that I dread making. More importantly, though, I am hoping this gives me the chance to get to know each participant. I missed a huge chunk this year because they were already through the application process (which is what I primarily help with), and I never had to follow up on their support. So, unfortunately, at the training camps, I was talking to many of them for the first time.

So among my normal duties of e-mailing and calling participants, I am also going to be doing a bit of recruiting. There aren’t too many benefits to me not living near the base in Georgia, but one lies in the fact that I have a whole community people unfamiliar with AIM. I am hoping to speak with the leaders of the youth group at my church, that has a regular weekly attendance of over 300 high school students. I was able to talk to one of the leaders a few weeks ago, and she seemed eager to get me involved since they do not already have their own mission trips set up. That could be an incredible blessing to have participants from right here in my backyard. Please be in prayer regarding all of that.

Thanks for your many prayers and support year-round. You guys are my family and my support system, and without you this would not be possible.