Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Any Day - Full Term

37 weeks marks the time in a pregnant woman's journey where her baby is considered "full term". I am over 37 weeks and I'm beyond ready physically BUT I am not doing anything to try to move things along. I really prefer to be closer to 39+ weeks so baby's lungs and other organs definitely have enough time to mature. So we patiently wait...

On Friday, the day I hit 37-weeks, I saw a spot of blood on the TP. I texted my midwife to let her know. I just want to keep in touch with her about what is going on since we are in the final stages. There was nothing else, no CM, all day long. But I did have some whoppers of Braxton Hicks contractions well into the evening! Baby is LOW, LOW, LOW! I think that baby dropped because my belly button looks flatter and isn't sticking out anymore. And I can feel pain shooting in my cervix when baby moves a lot or if I walk a lot. I was getting kind of worried that day that every time I felt pressure to go to the bathroom (which is every five minutes, seriously, so baby really must have dropped) that I'm going to deliver a baby on my own on the toilet! I can do it  and I'm not worried about that but I don't want to do it alone, if that makes sense!

I definitely think my body is gearing up, possibly in those early, early labor stages (which can last days, even weeks!). So I'm listening very carefully to my body to gauge if something is stirring or not.

Today my midwife and her two apprentices came by to drop off the birth pool, listen to heart tones, check out the digs and chat about the upcoming birth. Can we say "THIS IS REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN!!!" It does not matter that I've given birth four times. It is still crazy. A BABY is coming out of there! One way or another a human being is going to be born. Wow!

I don't really mind the labor and delivery part. It's the postpartum part that I dread. Labor and delivery gives you a baby. Postpartum pain gives you... pain while caring for that new baby morning, noon and night! I'm praying for a super easy postpartum recovery because it was a nightmare with Judah. The more you have, they say, the worse the afterbirth pains are. Oh joy!


In other news - I temporarily closed my Etsy shop (I make and sell hand-stamped stainless steel jewelry). I think I closed it later than I should have to be honest. I am really down to the wire with my time and energy when it comes to getting prepared for baby. I think I've subconsciously pretended that birth wasn't imminent, ha!

My goals for this week:
-Finish painting 2nd story bathroom
-Paint baby's little nook in our room
-Clean and reorganize my studio
-List and sell curriculum we didn't use
-Have fun with my kids, especially one-on-one if possible
-Get the rest of our homebirth stuff put together in ONE place
-Keep things clean and tidy (I stress over messes)
-Make returns to the store (keep forgetting)

I'm sure there's more but the main thing I want to do is paint baby's space and spend quality time with my other kidlets. I may have Elaina help paint! I bet she'd love that.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Sometimes it feels like your world is crumbling underneath your feet. That when one bad thing happens it causes a domino effect of other bad things to happen...

A week ago my father-in-law went to the doctor thinking they were going to discuss cholesterol and diet but instead he found out he had Malignant Melanoma, aka skin cancer. One of the deadliest and most aggressive cancers.

Other things have also happened this week but are too private to share (and no, they're not about me or my little ones or husband so no worries in that regard) and involve several close family members who desperately need prayer.

This all has been so hard on Daniel. I hate seeing my husband so torn up. Daniel is a very deep person who feels things with his whole heart and soul (the good, the bad and the ugly!). Telling my kids about this, and some other things going on, has been really hard. I want to keep them innocent as long as possible. But life and death are a part of humanity and is inevitably something that has to be discussed. I don't want to see them lose their Poppy or see him sick. He is so amazing and good with his grandchildren. Patient with them, he can put babies to sleep in a snap, willing to sacrifice what he wants to do in order for them to be entertained, takes them on walks. I remember when Elaina was a baby she'd go and take naps with him after church, the only grandbaby (I think?) that would do that with him. I don't tell him enough how much I appreciate his tenderness with his grandchildren and this is a good reminder to make sure I do tell him... often! And regardless of the outcome.

And in that regard I am believing and praying for the absolute best outcome for my father-in-law. I am believing that his surgery, that he hopes to have next week, will be successful in keeping him cancer-free and that he won't need chemo that will make him ill. Will you please believe with me?

When it rains it can pour. But God is still on the throne. He is still my Protector, my Provider, my Healer, my Friend. He is a Light that shines through the storm.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

IG Randoms

Been awhile since I shared photos so for those of you who don't follow me on Instagram (@joybellejewelry) here are pictures from the last couple days of the kidlets. 

My goofy girl has been refusing letting me take pictures of herself so I caught this one by surprise. Once she realized I took a picture she got upset. Oops!

My Mother's Day crafts from the kids! They did them in secret and all on their own!

 The younger two girls ready to go outside and play yesterday!

My eldest sweetheart! In just a few weeks she'll be 8!

My handsome boy. Only a few more weeks of being the baby. He saw his sisters posing for pictures and once they all ran outside and backed up to the fireplace and kept yelling "Cheeeeeese!" He's such a crack-up!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

35 Weeks

We're having a baby next month! It's still surreal to me that a little person is going to be coming out of my belly. It's still surreal that they're going to be so tiny. It just amazes me that there is a person in there and that I will hold them, breastfeed them, care for them day and night. I just cannot wrap my brain around the awesomeness that is conception, pregnancy and birth. It doesn't matter that I've given birth four times already. Each experience is so new and amazing! And each child is a new gift. I cannot tell you how incredibly ecstatic I am to finally find out if we have a new son or daughter, to name them, to put them in little itty bitty teeny tiny pink or blue clothes!!! My midwife is getting pumped, too, and exclaimed, "It's like Christmas!" at my last appointment this past week. She's excited we waited to find out the gender, too.

Nesting is in full gear. I do have my days where I just kind of sit there and think of all the things I should be doing or need to do but having zero motivation. I call it 'exhaustion'. You may have heard of it!

I get breathless easily, I eat like a toddler (graze little bits here and there all day rather than regular meals) and my feet have gotten a little puffy. I can't walk more than a few blocks before having to go pee (again). My belly is enormous and no, I'm not just saying that and no, it doesn't bother me. It's not a negative. It's absolutely amazing to me how the uterus grows in size and how our skin can accommodate the growth! Stretchmarks rock and I don't mind them in the least.

I've gained 20-lbs even thus far. Not too shabby! Considering I gained like 50-60-lbs with Elaina I'd say that's pretty darn awesome. I think I gained 24-lbs with Abigail. I don't even remember the last two pregnancy weight gains so don't ask. I think I stopped paying attention when baby weight didn't come off after their births and thus started each new pregnancy heavier than the time before.

Anyway back to the nesting bit. I'm kind of getting overwhelmed by it all. Daniel has a list of projects he wants done before baby comes but can only work on a couple on the weekends. We're having our brother-in-law renovate our first-floor bathroom (which we've never even used in the 7 years we've lived here because it's always been a gutted mess!) and he's feeling the pressure of baby's due date as well. He really wants to have our bathroom done for us before baby comes (awww, so sweet!). But he, also, can only work on the weekend for a bit. I am so grateful to these two men for trying so hard to make it easier on me! They're rockstars! I appreciate that they're devoting as much time as they can and cannot wait to see all the finished projects.

My projects include a lot of decluttering and organizing, which I've done in spurts. And my older kids are growing so fast that I've gone through their clothes about 2-3 times now (weather changes helped with that). I've gotten to the point that I don't even think about it anymore. If it has been sitting around, unused, for a year or more it is gone. Buh-bye! If it is ripped, stained in the slighest or just plain ugly it is tossed. Ain't nobody got time for that!!!

I wanted to paint my upstairs bathroom but alas I'm not sure it will happen before the birth. We will see! Maybe if I close my jewelry shop earlier than I originally wanted I will have the time to focus on what I want to get done. I will be posting pictures here of the first-floor bathroom transformation (from gutted to gorgeous!) once it is done and if I paint the second floor bathroom I'll post Before-and-After pictures of that as well.

Tonight I also started putting all of my birth items in a laundry basket. My midwife suggested I put everything together and keep it in my room (that's where we plan to set up the birth tub). Along with the birth kit I purchased from InHisHands.com I also need to grab a roll of paper towels, Kleenex, washcloths, bath towels, ammonia, drinking straws, snacks, nightgown for me, diapers and an outfit for baby, etc. Just all the little things we may need and want to have at-the-ready. It's fun piecing it together because it makes everything more real and I daydream about the birth.

Me getting ready to leave for my midwife appointment earlier this week!
34-weeks, 3-days