Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sonogram, Take 1

Well we were supposed to have our fetal survey sonogram tomorrow (the mid-pregnancy sonogram where they make sure everything is well with baby and that's when most parents find out the gender). But we have a winter weather advisory in effect until just a little bit before we'd leave for the appointment. I'm a nervous ninny. I'll admit it. I do not like bad weather and I don't like driving. Put them together and I really don't like driving in bad weather. So I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm sure my husband would like to put me to sleep for some car rides but he's actually the one who asked me to reschedule because even he didn't want to drive in it (it rained all day today so it'll be a sheet of ice under the snow).

So when we DO get that sonogram we're going to do something a little fun! I got the idea from this online company I stumbled upon. How it works is the sonogram tech will send this company a letter with the gender of the baby. Then this company puts together gender-specific clothing for your little one and ships it in time to arrive a few weeks before your due date so you're not left with gender neutral or scrambling to get clothes once your baby arrives. Neat huh?!

Well... the prices were ridiculous. $40 for one sleeper?! No thank you! I'm super frugal. I could get like 6 sleepers for that much, more if I thrift (don't hate - I have found brand new awesome at thrift stores).

So I decided to make my own letter so the sonographer can select the gender (if baby cooperates) and instead we're going to send that information to my sister. I already have the pre-stamped and pre-addressed envelope. All the sonogram tech has to do is watch me sign the paper releasing them from liability in the event the gender is wrong, they can select the gender they determine from the scan (without me looking, eek! Suspense!), they can make a copy for themselves for their file and then they send it off to her in my prepared envelope! (Remember we were told Judah was a girl at his 20-week sonogram! They can be wrong and while I would never sue for a wrong guess I know it'll give the imaging center peace of mind to have the signed letter.)

We do have little ones and we have stuff for each gender. But all the itty bitty newborn stuff? I think I got rid of it all. So after the sonogram I'm going to go through everything, send sissy a list of what we need and some money to get me gender-specific goodies that she'll ship to us before the birth so we are ready-to-go! I will have to be a good girl and not peek in the boxes.

I like involving my sister like this, too, because we don't live close to each other. Our kiddos don't get to grow up together and we haven't been there for each others' babies' births. And she can lord it over me as big sisters love to do! Ha ha, I tease! She's awesome and I know she will pick out stuff that is my taste. She's already been sworn to not tell another living soul and to not tease me or give hints.

Like my idea? I don't mind if you borrow it one bit (well partly because it is not my original idea but even if it was I wouldn't mind).

Monday, January 21, 2013

16-mo Judah

It's been awhile since updating about the kiddos. Most of my pictures are on my phone but I found these two of Judah from December! Look at how big he's getting. He's 16-months this week.


He walks, he climbs, he jumps off things, he crashes into things and gets bumps on his noggin' from his crazy boy behavior (that I did not experience with my daughters, eek!). When I tell him "No" he narrows his eyes at me or screeches. He's definitely a TODDLER and he's definitely a BOY, ha ha.


Don't get me wrong, it's not all bad. I laugh at about 98% of his antics (even when trying to discipline - oh my can we tell he's the baby?!). When he laughs he moves his jaw up and down like a crazy marionette puppet! Sometimes he laughs when we're laughing and it is the fakest laugh that actually sounds like, "Ha ha ha ha ha" (phonetically) while working that jaw up and down. Hysterical!

He also, apparently, loves to sit on his 3-year-old sister while reading my book "The Princess" by Lori Wick (nice one, Judah!). Note that he's pretty much almost as big as her in that photo above. He definitely feels like he weighs more than her. She's like a delicate little bird and he's like lifting a Collie (solid!).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

It's Not Official BUT.........

........ we are considering a homebirth! I love my birth center and don't plan on "leaving" as I will continue my woman-care there after the baby is born. Daniel asked me, "You don't like reruns do you?" I just stared at him stupidly. So he threw me the punchline: "Because you never have the same doctor/midwife/birthplace twice"! Oh man I busted a gut. I never really thought of it that way! Never really intended to do things that way.

I just know that I secretly wanted a natural, peaceful, intimate waterbirth/homebirth/something-different-from-what-I-saw-on-TV from the beginning, from way back when pregnant with Elaina. But I didn't even realize there were options until after Abigail was born! Maybe there weren't options, or many, before then. I don't know! But I know I have options now and you bet your last buck I'm going to pursue them and make the right choice for me and baby in the moment.

Kind of thrilling! We interview with a CPM* next Monday (I have actually met her before and I loved her back then so hoping this works out). In the meantime I am keeping my birth center appointment this week and I think we will be having a sonogram to see the little one (the little one who is doing some kickboxing at this very moment!).

*CPM - Certified Professional Midwives are highly trained birth professionals.

Speaking of baby movement I have felt the baby a ton the last two weeks but especially this last week. I know you can feel subsequent babies earlier and I have felt those flutters pretty early each pregnancy, but this is by far the earliest I think I have felt actual kicks (from the outside) and have felt baby so consistently (usually I feel more consistent movements around 24+ weeks). And I'm not a size 6 anymore like I was when pregnant with my first baby (add a 10 to the 6 and you'll have my size, eek!) so that's even more shocking. AND the placenta is anterior (I think it is in the upper-left of my belly) so that typically absorbs a ton of movement. I'm feeling all the movements super low. Sometimes my belly twitches and I just feel their presence, not necessarily specific movements.

Part of the reason I want to pursue a homebirth is due to the fact that I think this one will be fast. I could be totally wrong (wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about something) but I just have this feeling. Getting in the car and switching gears from being in good labor at home to having to transition back into good labor-rhythm in the birth place once we arrive throws everything for a loop and causes me a ton of anxiety.

I am feeling confident and have such a strong peace.

I'm posting a poll on the TOP LEFT SIDEBAR to guess baby's gender. We are not finding out before the birth but it's fun to see. I will tell you that some silly quizzes and predictions online have all said BOY. Daniel and I think GIRL. I have such a mix of symptoms that I'm really going with my instinct on this rather than symptoms. So... it really will be a surprise!!! Happy voting!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Nesting in Spurts

Sometimes I don't know what day of the week it is. To my delight I realized today was Saturday, no school! Not that I don't like school but at this age I have to sit with the kids and, well, teach! Which means less time to keep my house in tip-top shape.

I woke up feeling good today, just a smidge of nausea that I thwarted with a piece of bread (delicious!). From there it was Organizing City. Cleaning all the "hot spots" I could, as the FlyLady calls them (you know - the piles that form in miscellaneous corners, dresser tops, shelves, etc.). Got to a point that I looked at something and said, "I'm REALLY not going to do anything with this" (sorry Pinterest!) and then tossing it or putting in a donation bag. I'm just DONE with the STUFF. I don't even know where most of it comes from because we have two constantly overflowing recycle bins (and we need a third!) and I'm constantly purging the house. It's never-ending!

Scrubbed my fridge (doggies rub up against it when they come inside from outdoors and this has been a muddy week = muddy fridge). Oh did I tell you about my fridge? It's so pretty. It's new because our family is so large that our first fridge had no space for anything! I really wanted a French-style but our budget was more suited to a side-by-side at this time. And it has filtered water and ice maker. I've never had a nicer kitchen appliance and never one that gave me water and ice with a push of a button. So weird what delights us when we're adults and mothers.

Now here's the coolest part. I actually entrusted my husband to go to the store and pick out the fridge by himself. I'm so impressed. I know he was nervous trying to find something that would work for us and please me because he delights in making me happy (sometimes, ha!).

I put the kids to work with me, cleaning the house. I'm a firm believer in families working together. Moms should not automatically assume the role of maid, that is not fair to her (or to the Dads who stay home). Sometimes I feel guilty, like my kids should spend more time being kids but honestly it doesn't take that long for them to feed the pets or put away their laundry. They have PLENTY of time to "be kids" and to learn that their place in the family is important and needed (everyone wants to feel needed! Sometimes my kids even fight over who gets to do a chore, lucky me!).

I attribute the fact that they like to clean, for the most part (ha ha - they do put up a stink sometimes if they are not in the mood, just as anybody would), because I've established chores with them since they were toddlers. They don't know anything else. Which reminds me of something else. The other day Elaina took a huge swig of cold water and said, "Water is my FAVORITE!" My kids don't drink soda, juice, etc. Since they were little they've had milk or water. Juice is a rare treat and is always a good juice, not the pure-sugar-Kool-Aid-stuff (but man oh man doesn't that sound good sometimes?! LOL! That's what I grew up on!). I try to keep OJ in the fridge now though. Aldi's sells one that is pure OJ not from concentrate so I get that. It is really delicious!

Okay back to the topic at hand....................


So I armed Elaina and Abigail with a Magic Eraser each and had them scrub their bedroom walls. They thought it would be a great idea to color all over the walls I painted special for them.

EDITED TO ADD: if you or anyone uses Magic Erasers be sure to wear gloves due to the chemicals in the erasers. I found this out after having my daughters clean with them. They're not going to spontaneously combust but I try to limit our exposure to chemicals as much as I can, as often as I can.

Elaina also washed windows (I use Seventh Generation so more kid-friendly than other brands), including the one in our bathroom with the foggy white stuff on the glass panes to keep peepers from watching us pee or shower. DOH! Going to have to get that remedied fast.

Abigail caused the toilet to overflow so I got the lovely task of cleaning up the entire bathroom from top-to-bottom (not like it wasn't screaming to be cleaned beforehand anyway but the overflow definitely gave me the motivation to kick my butt into gear!).

Zoe was tasked to clean her room (she's 3) so I could vacuum. I vacuumed two levels. I didn't make it to the third level. Was pulled in so many directions to get other things done.

Judah followed me around screeching and throwing toys. He will learn... in time. I've been working on having him put toys in his toy basket when we're done playing. He likes to throw them. Needless to say I still do most of it but we're getting there.

And I got a ton of homeschool papers filed and put where they go, cleaned off two of my bookcases (I have several, ha!), went through a ton of samples and papers in the kitchen, cleaned off my dresser (can we say my jewelry business finds its way there...) and cleaned out our medicine cabinet (ewww there was a ton of expired stuff, one from 2010!).


I'd like to say this is a typical Saturday but honestly I got so much done today than I have in a long time that I'm amazed. I once heard that a woman's home is a reflection of her heart. A woman in turmoil may find her home in turmoil whereas a woman in peace may find that reflected in her home. Of course it's never so black-and-white but I have found that quote to be true for ME personally. When I find my home getting bogged down I have such a strong urge to purge.

Feeling blessed and ready to tackle the next project!

Friday, January 4, 2013

SO IN OTHER PREGNANCY HAPPENINGS

I am a rambler so enjoy my rambling thoughts on my pregnancy in bullet points!
17-weeks pregnant with our surprise!

Preparation:
-No preparation at all except we have a girl name. We still need to figure out a boy name. We're NOT finding out the gender of Little One before the birth. We will be having our third "au naturel birth" and I am really looking forward to the moments after the marathon of labor when I find out if I've been carrying our son or daughter! How precious is that?! I think it will be a huge motivation in labor, too. Though it's not easy waiting. My mid-pregnancy sonogram will be this month and it will be hard to not want to sneak a peak!!!

-I'm still in disbelief?! It's still surreal. I look down, see the bump and go "Oh yeah..." Cannot wait to start feeling those baby movements. Excited for the sonogram so I can see them again and make this all seem more concrete!

-More about preparation: how on earth does one prepare when they aren't finding out the gender?! I have tons of boy and girl clothes for all ages and stages. I also have cloth diapers for both genders. Do I just wash it all? Wash a little bit from each gender and then wash the rest after they're born and I know if they will be donning frills or rocking skulls? I wash before I stash anyway but they get "storage smell". As far as rooms go I usually paint and decorate the nursery but I don't want to do it without knowing who they are (and we co-sleep the first half of their year anyway but no idea where to put their clothes!!!). Tons of time but if you've waited to find out the gender what did you do?!

Dreams:
-I daydream (and nightdream) about the birth. I would really love to have the baby standing/squatting. That is how I envision it in my mind. Sometimes squatting with one knee on the ground for support, catching them in my own hands... sometimes I envision standing beside the bed, reaching down and pulling them up as they're born... My last birth I wanted a water birth but kind of had a feeling it might not happen (it didn't happen; had him on the bed, on my hands-and-knees just moments after getting out of the tub because I couldn't handle the sensation of the water anymore. You can read his birth story HERE and see pics).

I have ideals and preferences just as any mother in regard to the birth but I also know things don't always go as we envision so I'm ready to roll with it. Still I think our minds are powerful and I want to think and pray positively about my body and this birth so that is my focus. However when I'm dreaming I'm birthing my baby, pulling them to me and announcing their gender - so freaking awesome!

-Apparently I moan in my sleep. Hubby thinks it is sexy moaning (see symptoms below: has more to do with back and hip discomfort as I've been somewhat awake and heard myself make the noise and it's always in discomfort). Please remind me to not fall asleep this pregnancy around anyone! They're going to think I'm one big dreaming nympho.

Cravings:
-It seems when I get a craving I get it bad. And then once I have the food I take a few bites and it is just not cutting it. It's not as satisfactory as I am wanting it to be. My taste buds are on strike I tell ya! My biggest craving is deli sandwiches and salads (most often this DOES hit the spot so I guess not all my cravings are a bust). My sweet tooth is dying (makes me think boy) but I cannot eat meat unless I pretend I'm eating something else or eat it as fast as I can before I feel nauseated by it (which makes me think girl).

Supplements:

I am taking prenatal (sometimes I just eat my daughters' gummy vitamins, I admit!)
DHA
Vitamin D3 (my levels were really low)
Raspberry Leaf Tea and/or Capsules
*I will be adding Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) later in the 3rd Trimester to help with preparation for labor. 

SYMPTOMS:
I still feel nauseated, especially in the morning.
No puking at all, PTL!
Discomfort in hips, lower back, etc.
Insomnia but once I'm out good luck getting me up!
No more bloating/cramps. Replaced by a firmer bump that's just under the ol' belly button.
Skin was breaking out but seems to have calmed down.
Fatigue (thanks Insomnia, you're partly to blame)

MY GUESS:
I think we're having another girl.

BUT I have symptoms from my pregnancies with my daughters and my pregnancy with my son so it will honestly be an absolute surprise.

I'll put up a poll for your guesses the beginning of June!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Is it the last?

I am often asked "So... is this the last one?"

I reflect back to the time after I had my first, Elaina. How I was so eager to be pregnant again, to give her a sibling, to grow our little family. It was almost obsessive. I *had* to get pregnant again. I had to experience pregnancy and birth again. It wasn't just about that, of course, but I had this drive to have another little one join our family as soon as possible because I wanted them to be close in age.

After we had three little ones pitter-pattering in our home that obsessive drive to grow our family began to wane slowly with each additional child. I began to feel peaceful. I began to feel like things would be just alright if three was all we had.

And then our fourth came, our first boy. It was like things had just clicked together so perfectly and we were content and happy. People asked me all the time if Judah was our last. I just shrugged and said, "Don't know! Whatever happens, happens." I didn't have a plan, didn't have a compulsion to conceive as I did years back after we had Elaina.

Fast forward to the first week of October 2012 when I randomly took a pregnancy test and found out BABY NUMBER FIVE (FIVE!!!) was going to be joining us in this new year. Completely and totally unplanned and a shocker. Honestly I didn't even think I was ovulating because my PCOS symptoms were flaring up. But I randomly test because I don't tend to produce enough Progesterone in early pregnancy without supplements which will cause me to miscarry.

My first Progesterone level this pregnancy was 7.9 (needs to be above 15, they like it closer to 20). The nurse, over the phone, wasn't encouraging but they got me the RX for Progesterone right away. I am blessed to have a midwife and team who support me and took me seriously! Some women are not so lucky and have to fight for that RX!!!

I'm 17 weeks on Friday (tomorrow). I've heard the heartbeat, I've seen my little bean. My baby is a miracle and I'm glad I took that random test when I did. With Progesterone that low I know what would have happened without my supplements. My Prog. levels dropped while pregnant with Judah. Thankfully I only have to take them until week 10-12 (I stopped at week 11 this pregnancy, I believe - they made me feel drunk!).

Is this little guy or girl the last one? I don't know for certain because I don't tell the future. But I do know that I am one exhausted momma who is content, happy and at peace with being a family of seven (twelve if you include the mutts and kitties). I'm told by other women that you will KNOW when you are done. I think I'm getting there. And you know what? That's totally fine. If God does grace us with another down the road, that'll be totally awesome and fine, too.