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Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I already feel completely different writing this birth story compared to Michael’s over two years ago. I started writing his in recovery because the days were already hazy and hard to remember. Right now we are one week out, to the day, and I’m still riding the oxytocin high.
We didn’t expect Logan to run late like his brother but that was mostly wishful thinking I’m sure. We had all of our birth supplies together and set in one spot by our 36 week home visit. We’d even done a dry run with the pool. MJ loved having that set up in the living room! We were ready, we just had to wait.
Weeks went by and then more time went by. I started having more and more braxton hicks contractions but nothing that felt like it was doing any good until Wednesday the 3rd. Which was perfect! Hubby was home from work for the next two days so it was a great time to have a baby. Contractions got more intense over the morning but we were low on groceries so I wanted to get that done.
Yes, I did. I walked around Sprout's having some contractions but nothing that stopped me in my tracks. They were certainly not fun but my body was working. It was doing something it didn’t do with Michael.
Contractions got closer and closer that evening. I tried going to sleep but woke up after a couple of hours and was too uncomfortable. I let Dale sleep until I couldn’t deal on my own anymore. I asked him to blow up the tub. After a hiccup that needed some patching it was blown up but thankfully never filled. Contractions were about 3 minutes apart. I was full on rocking and groaning on the floor because they brought me to my knees.
We decided to call in our midwife since they were pretty close together. While hubby was on the phone with her things started to slow down and even weaken. To a stop. She came and checked us and I had made no noticeable cervical change to indicate I was really in labor. The contractions were gone. I felt foolish for calling her. He was still high, which we’d been hearing for too long anyway but I was sure he had been lower that day. I couldn’t believe it but I was too tired to instigate anything else at 3 am. We called it a night and I got some more sleep.
The next day brought on more contractions. More intense and more painful. Not where I was expecting. I didn’t even notice my stomach tightening unless I touched it. I just felt this sharp pain behind my incision that would come and go. I wasn’t concerned about a rupture, even being a VBAC patient, this just felt like he was ramming into my pubic bone. Logan was still moving fine and wiggling around so I thought “open” and at one point “let it go” got me through. It was not at all what I was expecting but I found ways through them. Hubby would jump up and apply light pressure to the back of my hips. Heavenly!!
Each following day brought more intense contractions and each night was awful. I tried laying in bed so that I could sleep through them but it just felt like my pelvis was being ripped apart. I would get some sleep between them but when they came it was awful. How could this possibly get more intense and how could I deal with it!? My anxiety was mounting quickly. If this is what labor was like I was done. But each day I’d remind myself that I was tired and just needed rest.
I turned to essential oils that weekend and through Monday to keep the anxiety down. Balance on my neck and Juniper Berry on my wrists really got me through. Monday we saw our chiropractor. Logan was sitting right at my pelvis and my ligaments were nice and relaxed.The contractions changed after that adjustment. I felt more tightening and pressure than pelvic pain. I couldn’t handle much less sleep so I hoped we would get into active labor that night and be done with everything. It was really starting to wear on me.
Our midwife came to check on us that afternoon. We finally got good news! I was at 5 cm!! Farther than I ever got with Michael. It took her a while to actually check because my bag of water was bulging so much that it was hard to tell whats what. Stimulating a contraction helped! So we had good news, my body was working hard and making changes. However I had been doing it over days and without a regular contraction pattern. She wanted a baby by morning. I just wanted sleep.
|Last belly picture|
Hubby left work early that night to try and help me rest. One way or the other we would have a baby Tuesday. I couldn’t take much more. We were trying to get him engage including spinning baby techniques, butt up in the air, you name it. I had some deep conversations with him. We were trying and we were making progress. I would give it one more night. And I did.
Hubby stayed in bed with Michael after setting up a make shift ramp of pillows on the spare bed to try to keep me upright but with enough support to sleep during contractions. It helped, temporarily. I moved to the living room. Lights bothered me so I closed all the blinds and unplugged the Christmas lights we had hung up for the birth. I tried sitting on the yoga ball and laying my head on some pillows laid on the arm of the couch. I tried leaning over the back of the couch. I tried all fours on the floor. The most bearable position was propped up in the glider. I got the most rest there but even then it wasn’t enough to gain energy between contractions. Frequent trips to the bathroom didn’t cause contractions but sitting did. Not fun.
Every once in a while I’d get overwhelmed and scream loudly in my head “I want the birth tub” and I’d debate waking hubby. But that was a heck of a lot of work for the lack of progress I was feeling. I didn’t feel Logan moving down with them. I just felt beat. By almost six I talked myself into a banana and some coconut water before waking Dale to tell him I was taking another bath. I still just wanted sleep. I tried to do that but as soon as I felt myself drifting a contraction slammed me. Nope!
We debated possibly going to the hospital just for the epidural to see if that would help. But we had to find a place for Michael and I could still be in labor for a bit longer. I didn’t want to be away from him as it was. We would see what Gina said when she came back in a few hours. I’d already talked to my mom about flying out in case we decided on a cesarean. It was looking more and more likely and I was ok with that.
We got another check. 7 cm!! But, he was even higher than before and not even close to being engaged. She felt nothing wrong with my pelvis so possibly augmenting labor was an option but she wasn’t feeling the right part of his head. He wasn’t lined up despite my night of efforts. Contractions basically stopped while I was up and trying to encourage them but if I laid down they hit me like a truck. A very painful truck.
I couldn’t do it anymore. 6 days. I had been going for six days. I had made great progress but it was time. We couldn’t take much more. Thankfully the doctor on call at the hospital was very midwife friendly. If we got there soon we could have a baby by lunch. It sounded great to me! In fact, the thought of augmenting and trying an induction made me want to cry. Thankfully Michael could go play with friends which took a HUGE chunk of anxiety off of me and my mom was on the way to the airport already. I felt good. My only concern was having a gentle cesarean and being able to feel my breathing during the surgery.
We got to the hospital and up to the room that would be ours afterwards. A nice touch. It was a bit rushed which made me a little anxious but everyone was incredible supportive and very kind. We met with doctor Bergstrom who would do the surgery. He did offer an augmentation but I declined. We’d been down that road before. We made sure that I would get to do skin to skin, we could delay cord clamping, and that most importantly he would never leave me. As long as he came out screaming we were all set. They even had a monitor over the warming table for the time he would be away from me or if he would need to be away from me.
|The wonderful Dr. B!|
|Two of our wonderful nurses|
|Our incredibly patient and supportive midwife Gina|
We got the hubby suited up and they walked me down. He was the only one allowed in so our midwife would see us in recovery afterwards. I walked into the OR. Such a difference! We got prepped and hubby came in before they even got the drape put up. I was a little anxious but the spinal wasn’t nearly as high so I could feel my breathing. That was the worst with Michael. I was able to talk with everyone and hubby. So important and such a relief!
|He may hate me for this but isn't this much better than an anxious shot of him waiting outside the OR!?|
Surgery was started around 11:30 and at 11:57 we had a baby! There was a little meconium in the water but nothing much to worry about. LOTS of fluid!! He came out screaming and his cord went limp almost instantly. That made delaying the clamping a bit easier. He definitely made noise so they just wiped him off and let daddy trim the cord. He was held up to see, my first words “He’s so small!” 8 pounds 15 oz compared to his brothers 10 lbs 8 oz Then he was brought to me and laid on my chest under some warm blankets. He was so soft and warm!! I couldn’t believe it. He was there. He laid still for a little bit but then started bopping and rooting. We got him latched on and he nursed the rest of our stay in the OR. It turns out he was coming forehead first despite my best efforts at giving him more room to adjust his position. He was born at almost 43 weeks according to our date of conception and 41 weeks based off of first ultrasound.
|Truly happy in this moment. Even big brother was happy to receive the announcement!|
There was a slight mention of him possibly needing to supplement since his blood sugar was a little low. I smiled and nodded and kept on nursing. Two tests later in recovery he was up to good numbers. Everything went great. It was almost another half hour to complete the surgery. We were all chatting and enjoying our time together. He just kept nursing! It came time to move so I had to unlatch him and give him to daddy who carried him to recovery. Where he continued nursing while we all got settled and regained feeling. Our midwife checked on us and got so see the outcome of our very long ride. Surprised he was not the 11 pound baby she was expecting ;-)
Our hospital stay was short and sweet. We were even visited by our amazing chiropractor and his wife and daughter. They had been such a huge support system for us when things got rough or we needed another natural family on our side. Plus Logan didn’t need an adjustment despite his long stay on the inside!
Nana arrived that evening to stay with me in the hospital. How nice it was to have her with us! I was up and walking around midnight and had met my five requirements to leave by the following night. Though one doctor tried to talk me into staying another couple of days I was doing well. My biggest concern was taking the stairs up to our apartment which turned out to be much more tolerable than I thought. We were discharged a little over 48 hours after surgery.
|She may hate me for this too but she was a HUGE part of our transition and recovery <3|
Big brother absolutely loves “baby” and gives numerous kisses all day! He doesn’t even mind being woken up he just gives baby kisses and goes back to cuddling daddy. What a blessing!
Logan birth is certainly not what we had planned. I went into this in charge, trusting MY instincts, and not willing to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. We wouldn’t induce or sign up of section over the fear of him being breach, which he was at 36 weeks, or possibly big. Those things didn’t scare me so we kept going until it was time. I followed my gut the entire time and just wanted to go into labor on my own and try my best. I can confidently say that with the six days of labor I experienced I was given every opportunity to try and have our home birth. I am happy with our decision. We may try again for a VBA2C someday but right now I am in a good place. Recovery is not ideal but we are happy and healthy and things were on our terms. We got the peaceful pregnancy experience we wanted and needed after Michael. Having that alone is a huge blessing and stress reliever for women with birth trauma.
Birth without fear no matter how you choose to birth. It isn’t a competition. What matters is whats best for you, your baby, and your family. Follow your instincts, be informed, and make your own choices.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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**We have now gone past our "due date" and are expecting our son at any time. if you have placed an order we have sent out an email requesting a deadline so that we know to complete it in time. Whether before or after his arrival. We thank you all for your love and support during this time.**
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014
With having my husband home this last week we have been able to get TWO days ahead. It may not sound like much but I was running about a half a day behind there for a while. I have updated our schedule to include those changes. So a few more orders will be heading out before the 21st.
I know some have emailed me about bumping up their orders. I may have some wiggle room for those. I however can not take on any more new orders for Christmas. Peanut is already causing me some contractions so I am trying to take it easy and not stress too much. Try.
I still have some invoices to get into our schedule so if you've ordered in the last week and don't see your invoice in this list it will be there in the next couple of days:
Orders from Oct. 29th - Nov. 8th will be made between December 8th - 14th.
Orders from Nov. 8th-11th will be made between Dec. 15th-21st.
** We will be taking the week, or most of the week, of Christmas off to spend time together.**
Orders from Nov. 12th - 26th will be made between Dec. 29th - Jan. 4th
Orders from Nov. 25th - Dec. 2nd will be made between Jan 5th - 11th.
**A note for our mobile users. Our schedule is not normally posted in blog format. If you scroll to the bottom and hit web view it will show you that it is normally on the right hand side. Hope this helps!
I hope everyone is having a very happy holidays! We are off to pick out our Christmas tree and restock yarn for the week.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Early January we picked up, what we could fit in the car, trekked half way across the country to what we hoped would be our new home. Colorado!
Hubby got the job he was hoping for and I have been able to stay home with Michael. That brings it's positives and negatives. I am now the sole person behind Briar Rose Crafts & Things (briarrosecraftything on Etsy) but we are still up and running!
Life is great! Be prepared to see more of us soon! As well as more of our adventures in our new home.
|We get snow here!! Squee!!|
Friday, November 22, 2013
It's so hard to believe our little baby boy is a year and a week old. What a year! He has truly changed our lives. I learn something new every day and have never felt more proud or blessed in my life. I still look back on Michael's birth with a lot of "what if's" but I've learned for the next time. When I have rough days or when I'm beating myself up I take a break and read my husbands version of his birth. I'm SO glad he took the time to write this for me. Such a good man <3
The Story of MJ
To say I had always wanted to be a father was an understatement. As the time came I can honestly say I wasn’t nervous about parenthood, or finances, or adjusting to a new life. But I was a basket case worrying over Mommy and Baby.
Christina and I were over the moon with anticipation for Michael James Easterling. Ultrasounds were a tease, and hearing his heartbeat always made me feel better – no matter what the situation. Nina and I had planned since the beginning to have a natural birth. We had a wonderful birthing center chosen, took multiple classes, took natural herbs and prepared for a nice water birth. As labor rolled on past the 40th week, and out until the 42nd week, we saw our plans fade away. We tried everything to naturally induce labor we could find – primrose oil, walking, bouncing on a yoga ball, pineapple, you name it. MJ just wouldn’t drop. Nina even tried castor oil! Yeah, Michael? Don’t ever say your mother doesn’t love you!
Eventually we had no choice but to go with a hospital. Nina was far more crushed than I was. I suppose my priority was their safety, and once the How and Where we wanted slipped away I let it go. Still, I would have preferred a natural birth.
Our first foray into the hospital assembly-line experience came with meeting our OB/GYN “Dr. B.” We had several visits to his office, which was on a run-down block in what amounts to the inner city of Gainesville. Nearly every time we had to wait in excess of two hours to see anyone, and the place wasn’t exactly 5-star. Still, it had to be done. We had several ultrasounds and check-ups and then once we passed 41 weeks we were sent to the clinic for a non-stress test. But first our kitten Yin had to be rushed to the vet for a serious illness, after which we raced to the hospital. We passed the stress test, which meant we got one more day to come home and try things there. Michael was perfectly healthy, he just wasn’t moving!
We headed back to Shand’s for the second part of the exam. We had a lot of worries and concerns with being at a hospital for birth, but fortunately we had an excellent triage nurse. A midwife herself, she talked over induction methods and which drugs NOT to take, and overall helped put us at ease. We decided avoid Cytotec at all costs – considering it says not to use it while pregnant – and instead start with a cervical softener and eventually Pitocin. Just as we were getting settled and comfortable, Dr. B’s assistant came in. She treated us rather callously and rushed, and gave Nina an “exam” – which was extremely violating and uncomfortable. I was too shocked to say anything at the time.
So there we were with one final day to get everything ready. We went home and packed for an unknown number of days in the hospital. We got a call from B’s assistant, where she again tried to push a number of drugs on Christina. She then gave a convincing ultimatum that it’s drugs or nothing. Nina was heartbroken, and I tried to console her as best as I could. But the fact was that no hospital can force treatment or drugs on anyone. When we refused to accept her drugs or hospital-mandated procedures, she passed us off to other personnel instead. Got to love some medical professionals.
To mark our last evening home, I made dinner – rosemary-breaded chicken with vegetables, and a S’mores cup for desert. I completely destroyed the kitchen, but I cleaned it up. It was worth it to see Nina smile.
Tuesday began with a gulp and a sigh. This was not going to be easy. Nina was extremely hesitant about a hospital birth, and I can’t say I blamed her. This wasn’t what we wanted. Still, I considered the fact that Michael was pushing 10 lbs already and packing on a pound a week. Nina wanted to wait, but doing so would have led to a 11+ pound watermelon that wouldn’t have been any easier to birth – in fact quite the contrary. I knew our natural birth dream was gone, but Michael had to come out.
We got to the hospital and checked in. It was a rather small room, but it worked. Nina’s mom and I helped gather the essentials from my car – pillows, water, clothes, food, Nina’s purse, etc. Dona had fun pointing out how nervous I looked and the fact that I was practically power-walking, but it was true. It was a combination of excitement and concern – I knew Nina wasn’t happy, and I just wanted to make sure she was taken care of and treated with respect. I didn’t want her to have any regrets – that was my priority.
After finishing with another patient, Dr. B finally arrived. He suggested Cytotec, which Nina bravely refused several times, and eventually they agreed to start her on Pitocin in the hopes that it would soften her cervix.
We started the Pitocin at 4 PMand the contractions started about an hour later. Nina, Dona and I kept up the energy in the room by joking and moving around. Nina bounced on her yoga ball, and we all listened to the ungodly moaning of a woman having a natural birth next door. Fun times. Nurses came in and checked on us periodically throughout the evening, each time turning up the Pitocin levels. Eventually they maxed out the dosage, and the contractions did indeed get stronger and more frequent – they just weren’t productive. When Dr. B came in and realized the contractions were back-to-back, he lowered the dose. Such heavy contractions were more harmful than good.
When the contractions showed signs of distress on Michael, the staff put Nina on oxygen. She took it well enough, but we both felt defeated. I was helpless to do anything but hold her hand, which we were both grateful I could do. But looking down at this tangled web of oxygen tubes, wires and IV’s I couldn’t help but feel so completely distanced from our dreams of a natural birth. This was about as far from it as you got. Still, I remained positive and stayed by Nina’s side. I knew no matter how bad I felt, she was going through far more mentally and physically. She was so brave, and I had never been more proud of anyone.
As the night hours became the morning, Nina and I had a serious discussion about having a C-section for the first time. It was something we were both adamantly opposed to, but considering the lack of progress and the strain the drugs were putting on them both I proposed we may want to reconsider. The other problem was that no one had properly measured Michael’s skull size recently – so we didn’t even know if he COULD fit through naturally. We knew he was heavy, but his head was the deciding factor. Eventually we decided to wait it out and make another bid for a natural birth. We did, however, consent to an epidural. The pain was getting unbearable for Nina – understandably – and beyond that she was completely exhausted and couldn’t sleep with the pain of contractions.
We called our birth photographer, Wrenda, in the early morning hours and she kindly arrived soon after. It was nice having another kindred spirit in the room to comfort and distract us.
Dr. B returned to check on Nina about 7 AM. Nina had dilated and effaced slightly, but Michael was still very high. His head hasn’t passed though the hips at all. Worried about the condition of the fluid, Dr. B suddenly positioned Nina to where he could break her water. Unfortunately she had no idea he was doing this, or she probably would have objected. He commented that the fluid looked perfectly healthy, but now that the water was broken we had a very serious timer now.
Several more hours went by, and now with reduced fluid the contractions grew stronger and more powerful. Nina finally asked for an epidural. Drawing close to 24 hours without sleep and ever-escalating contractions, it seemed the best thing to do. The anesthesiologist came in after a few hours and administered the epidural. Unfortunately he had to make several attempts at finding the right spot, which was pretty painful for Nina. Eventually he got it, and Nina laid down to rest. It didn’t take long to kick in, and Nina fell asleep several times. I tried to stay awake when she was, and sleep when she did, so I set up a blanket and pillow on the floor beside her bed. It was actually kind of funny, because while “under the influence” Nina didn’t notice me standing there sometimes – or imagined whole conversations with people who weren’t there. Good stuff.
Nina slept the majority of what remained of that day. She woke on occasion, asking for ice cubes or popsicles to eat. At one point we noticed that Michael not only dropped, he LIFTED. He had somehow pulled higher up into her rib-cage like drawing a shade. Don’t know how that happened. Finally near midnight Dr. B returned. With now negative progress, Nina and I finally relented to the C-section. It was time to end this. We had tried everything we could possibly do to have a natural birth at every turn, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us.
Things picked up rather quickly. Nurses flooded in and out of the room. Dona and I made sure we got everything from the car we would need. Nina asked if I was ok. I said “I’m fine, baby. I’m only thinking of you. You’ll be fine.” Of course, I was also trying to convince and comfort myself. I can’t tell you how many nightmares I’ve had where Nina goes into that surgery room and doesn’t come out. Still, I kept my chin up as they came to wheel her away. “I’ll be right there,” I said – to which she answered “you better.”
As Nina went off, Wrenda helped me put on my scrubs, mask and surgical hat. Dona and I made sure the room was cleaned out, and she moved everything to the recovery room. I stood in the hallway, waiting what seemed and eternity for permission to enter the surgery room. I took several deep breaths and closed my eyes, filling myself only with positive energy and hope. Everything was going to be ok.
Finally I want in. There was Nina, on her back, strapped to a table with a swarm of people around her. I sat by her head, and honestly it was easily the most troubling moment of my life. There was the woman I loved more than the world, twitching and shaking, pulled and rocked like she was being tortured in a medieval dungeon. I had to compose myself before I could even speak. “It’s ok. I’m here” I said - once again for my own sake as much as hers. I kissed her and looked deep in her eyes. I was so proud of her. With everything going on, the way things turned out, she still had a smile. I’ve never loved anything so much.
I heard Dr. B say “Born at 1:15AM” and looked over to see a nurse carrying a squishy little baby onto a heating table. “There he is!” I said. Nina was silent. “Let Mommy hear you,” she said. After a little suction and massage, we finally heard the most beautiful squeal on Earth. My heart skipped & Nina cried. We did it!
I held Nina’s hand and we realized Michael wasn’t calming. The nurse tried, but he just cried. Nina told me to go to him, and so I did. I stood and looked at him for the first time. Honestly, my first thought was “Man, he is WHITE.” But after that I remember thinking of how scared and confused he looked. So I did the same thing I do with Nina in those situations. I grabbed his hands and whispered “It’s ok. I’m here.” Instantly, Michael stopped crying. He just looked up at me and blinked. He was so beautiful.
He did have a rather large bruise on the top of his head, almost shaped like a cone. However, since his skull was still completely rounded that told me his skull never even made it past the hips. It was 15” around, for crying out loud! His right eye was also slightly puffy, but I figured it was temporary.
After putting on several hats – since the nice newborn one we made wouldn’t fit – I took the swaddled Michael over to Nina. She looked over and said “there you are!” We all smiled – even Michael, I think. After years of trying, we were finally a family. And for the first time in weeks, Nina looked truly happy.
As Nina recovered from surgery, I accompanied Michael to the nursery. The nurses took his vitals and measurements, but in keeping with Nina’s wishes I turned down his bath. They said he had a slight heart murmur, which while probably nothing, called for more observation. He sat under a heat lamp for a time, content to just look at the ceiling. Soon, though, he got a little fussy. “You can hold him if you want,” one of the nurses said. She didn’t have to tell me twice. I carefully gathered him up and sat in a rocking chair. I couldn’t believe it. I was a Daddy. I was looking down at myself, and he looked back at my with Nina’s eyes. It was so surreal I was suddenly terrified that I’d wake up soon. But it was real.
Soon Dona and Grandpa Jim came in. They got to see their grandson up close for the first time. “He’s a honky!” was Dona’s classy observation. Both had bigger smiles than I had seen in a long time. I swear Jim’s eyes twinkled. It was really nice seeing them so happy and proud. There have been times when I didn’t exactly feel accepted or integrated into their family, but Michael seemed to bridge that gap.
Word came that Mommy was ready to see Michael. I pushed him in his bassinet and, on seeing Mommy sitting up in bed and waiting, announced “Here he is.” Mommy did her typical show of excitement – a high-pitched “Yay!” accompanied by quick clapping. It was cute. I handed him off and Mommy attempted to nurse. Despite any concerns about breastfeeding, he latched immediately and went to work. I had never been as happy as seeing Mother and Child looking to one another, holding each other. I remember thinking, despite all the drugs and procedures, we could still do something natural.
Shortly thereafter we moved to yet another room – this one a rather cozy private room near the NICU. Finally able to relax, Mommy and I began the arduous task of texting, calling or Facebook-posting everyone we knew about Michael’s birth. For the first time we were left alone, just our little family. It felt great. Nurses did come in on occasion, checking on Michael and Mommy, bringing food and asking if we needed anything. It was funny to learn that we had “The 10-Pound Baby,” and apparently he was a local celebrity already. Still, the best part was our first night in that room. Just us three, sleeping for the first time. We both took turns sleeping with him, skin-to-skin as often as possible, for the next few days. Michael rarely cried – only when people messed with him. Leave him alone and he’s fine. Must be a Scorpio thing.
It was nearly a week from entering to leaving the hospital, but we emerged with the most perfect and beautiful baby in creation. Our crazy journey began with “I do” and concluded with “Welcome Home.”
Friday, October 11, 2013
For some reason I have not been able to update our schedule on the side >> so I will continue to update it here in post form.
Thank you for all the fabulous Halloween orders!!
Orders from Sept. 14th - Sept. 26th will be shipped between Oct5 - 9th
Orders from Oct. 5th - Oct. 9th will be shipped between Oct. 12th -16th
Orders from Oct. 9th - 12th will be shipped between Oct. 19th -23rd