Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's In a Name?

The naming process doesn't come easy at our house. Names are important to us, and if you haven't noticed all our kids' names come from the Bible: Micah Andrew, Eden Rebekah, Caleb James, Ezekiel Paul, Joshua Eleazar, Malachi Jude, and the latest installment Tirzah Joy. When we were first pregnant with Micah we sat down and discussed names. I have a New Open Bible that has a topical index in the front that I love. It's easy to find names, their meanings, and where to find them in the Bible. We selected 2 boy names and 2 girl names that we loved: Micah, Eden, Caleb, and Hannah. We had Micah, Eden, and Caleb, but Hannah never came. This resulted in a struggle--Mitch suddenly did not want to discuss names. Ezekiel's birthday came, and he was unnamed. :) This surely caused confusion when we called our family to announce his birth. I remember my step-mom called me back to say that Dad "forgot" the most important detail--his name! So that was pretty funny, but the stress of picking a name in the hospital wasn't so funny (to me). Still, we did it 3 more times after that. Mitch just doesn't want to talk names. I did get him to a little bit early in my pregnancy this time--at least discussing girl names--he said, "Because you're not going to have a girl." Haha.

Tirzah is such a different name, and many people have never heard it before. So here's where it comes from. (Oh, and we're still using the same Bible to find our names 12 years later).

Tirzah means "delight." In Numbers 26:33 she is the youngest daughter of Zelophehad from the clan of Manasseh. Zelophehad had "no sons, only daughters." It's very cool to know that in spite of having NO sons, that his daughter is still a delight to him.

In Joshua 12:24, Tirzah is a city in Canaan defeated by Joshua. Tirzah, the city, is mentioned numerous times throughout Kings.

In Song of Solomon 6:4, the Lover says to his Beloved: "You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my love, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners."

When I was looking through names and occasionally saying one out loud to the family, Eden got very excited over Tirzah. She said, "That's the name of Ben Hur's sister!" Ben Hur happens to be one of her favorite movies. My friend Angela told me about another Tirzah who lives in town--and her middle name is Joy. One day coming home from church, Mitch (the person who refuses to discuss names) told me he loves the middle name Joy. It pretty much stuck. Besides, I did have "tears of joy" when I found out I was having a girl. :)

What happened to Hannah? My brother and his wife were pregnant about 3 months before me. They were blessed with a little girl. Guess what they named her? I was only a *little* sad, I would be lying if I said I wasn't. I am happy for them, though!

The end of the story is funnier. I was ready at the hospital for Mitch & I to finally have the "big discussion" about names. I did mention to him as I was wheeled to my postpartum room that "Tirzah Joy" is still a perfect name because I was STILL crying just thinking that I finally had a little girl. But I didn't think that was the end of the discussion. Later when the birth registrar person stopped by I told her to call back for the name--we hadn't decided yet. So while I sat waiting for Mitch to come up and discuss it, Kristin called to tell me she saw the official name announcement on Facebook (Mitch's status). LOL--the world knew her name before I did! Shhh...don't tell Mitch. He will probably say that he had no say in the matter. :) It's ok, I can't think of a better name for her!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday -- Down to 12

Well, our number is down to 12 today, so we can ditch the light--hurray!! Her weight is fine. We weighed her 3 times and decided on 8 lbs even. :) Dr. Tjaden suggested Mylicon drops for her evening/nighttime fussiness, and then I remembered Gripe Water. So we stopped and picked up both on the way home. Mitch went with me today and he didn't even pass out when they pricked her heel (though he did get a headache, lol).

Today is a beautiful, warm sunny day (well, if you can call 52 degrees warm), so we are going to go enjoy it. Yay--she gets to wear CLOTHES today!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday--14 again

So after a weekend (sort of) on the lights, Tirzah's bili count is still 14. Mitch got to talk to the doctor, and that was pretty sweet listening to his version of how things are going. :) He told her all about the fussiness and not being on the light much. Told her that feeding still isn't "easy" and I'm doing the syringe still. Also that she'd had lots of poopy diapers that are watery more like diarrhea (though it's always so hard to tell with a breastfed newborn). He pretty much covered all my concerns! Dr. Tjaden asked us to take her for another bili draw tomorrow and then bring her by the office for a check. She didn't *specifically* say that Tirzah has to stay on the light, but I assume that's what she intended. I think she's just being conservative. I decided I won't feel guilty if I'm holding her instead. And by the way, she's sleeping on the light right now.

I am still waking her about every 2 or 2.5 hours during the day to feed. Last night, though, she slept for 4 hours the first stretch and 5 hours the second. I'm so naughty!!! I know I need to set an alarm, but when I'm tired it's hard to motivate myself. I've been taking catnaps throughout the day, but when night comes I still sleep like a rock. Her poops have less of a green color and more of an orange or yellow-brown color today. They also haven't been watery in the sense that they were. This is good. So hopefully we are on the right track with getting the milk balanced out (hopefully that was the issue causing such fussiness and so many poopies over the weekend). Yesterday afternoon I started to see significant improvement in her demeanor, then I sat down to call my sister and Tirzah decided to throw a fit. We're playing this delicate balance between deciding when to nurse and when to syringe and when to just give a nuk. Nipple confusion is something that is affecting her mildly at this point, and I hope it doesn't get any worse. There are so many variables--when she starts crying I sort of go into this mode where all I want her to do is stop and I can't think as clearly about what to do. If I give her a nuk, I'm increasing our chances of nipple confusion. If I nurse her, she may only be "comfort nursing" and will overfeed, contributing to the milk imbalance, thereby in the immediate present comforting her but causing more fussiness later. Or it is also possible that she didn't get in a good feeding at the last feeding, and it's time to give her the rest of the milk through the syringe. Then there is the factor of needing to let her nurse on demand to in order to establish a good milk supply and a successful breastfeeding relationship. After all this, she still may not calm down and be satisfied. Trying to figure out what she needs most in that instant is difficult. Hopefully today we can get a better grasp on it. Ah, the joys of a newborn!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Update

It is cold, wet, and rainy here today. We need the rain, but it sure is dreary!

Yesterday Mitch and Marc installed a new front door for us. Isn't it pretty? It's not quite done yet, needs to be adjusted or something, but that will have to wait for a warmer, drier day. Our old door had been "going" for a couple years now. We barely made it through this past winter. It wouldn't stay latched shut, and had to be deadbolted all the time. That makes it a little inconvenient with kids coming and going literally ALL the time.

Today they are rearranging our laundry room. When we first moved in, we had it set up to accommodate 2 washers and 2 dryers. We still needed to live and learn, and what we did NOT do right was we did not install a separate vent for the second dryer. Therefore it never worked out quite right. A second washer is pointless without a second dryer (or a clothesline), so today they are putting it back to the way it was. This includes some rewiring and a little duct work. In the end we'll be using our laundry room space more wisely--that'll be great! Ok, so 2 huge projects down. I know Mitch has a long list. It will be fun to see what else they accomplish. I think we'll be starting back daycare on Wednesday (though I wish it were a little bit longer, this seemed like the best).

Not the picture you expected to see? Wanted to see pics of baby Tirzah and hear updates on HER? :)

Here she is yesterday wearing the most adorable cloth diaper ever. :)

In the picture above, she is laying on my bed in front of the window with lots of natural light coming through. In the picture below the window is darkened and we have only the light of the room and the light of the flash. Quite a contrast, isn't it? Her skin looks pretty darn yellow/orange. :( :( :( Please pray for a lower bilirubin number on Monday morning.

I'll be totally honest. Starting on Friday night she turned into miss crabby pants. She screamed every time I tried to lay her on the bilibed. I tried for over 2 hours--it was a weird cycle of nurse, get her calm, change her diaper, lay her down, she gets mad, poops in her pants (over 5 times!!), and we start over. By midnight I was exhausted and gave up. Into my bed she went and we slept for 4 hours straight. Bad and Bad. Right now she needs to be on the light, I know, and she also needs to eat every 2 hours. But what more can an exhausted mom do??? Saturday wasn't a whole lot better. Each feeding "session" would consist of more of the same, and it usually took over an hour to get her fed and calm enough to be back on the light. Then I had to decide when to wake her to feed her--how long do I let her go past 2 hours just to get the benefit of being on the light??? It is so frustrating. In the end, she was only on the light for about 7 hours total on Saturday. Our goal is 20. Saturday night ended the same as Friday--after a 2+ (nearly 3) hour crying fest, into my bed she went. I tried, I really did. I even started earlier. I got into bed at 11:30 pm.

I've been doing some research and I have reason to believe that she has a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance. What this means is she's getting lots of the low calorie-low fat, high lactose foremilk and not enough of the good high-calorie, high-fat hindmilk. This is consistent with the fact that she STILL doesn't stay latched on to nurse for very long during a feeding, and insists on having the "fast" milk that comes at the beginning. It is also consistent with the green watery frequent stools we are getting (seriously, 5+ in 2 hours???) and all the fussiness between/during/after feedings. Lots of burps and gas. So there are lots of different things to try to fix this. I told Kristin that I hate trial and error. I like trial and correct. :) The first thing I'm going to try is I'm going to offer her only one side during a feeding. When she loses interest and I can't get her to keep going, then I'll pump that side and give her the milk through a syringe immediately. It seems like the most logical thing to do.

As far as time on the light today, Sunday, well it's not much better than yesterday. With the rainy, cloudy weather we're not getting help from the sun either. So those are our continued prayer requests: feeding and jaundice. Thank you!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tirzah's Birth Story

So, I arrived at the hospital at 6:15 pm after my water broke on Monday. It broke just after the last daycare child left. I had stood up, declared that I was NOT going to eat spaghetti for supper and that I'd be going somewhere else. :) A little defiant. I headed to the bathroom, where my water promptly broke (no, I didn't do it on purpose, lol). It was a very funny moment. Contractions were mild and not in a regular pattern, but they were coming. By 7 pm I was hearing that I was 5 cm dilated and I was hooked up to monitors. Baby sounded very happy.

Kristin arrived around 8 pm, and I was still 5 cm. We walked the hallways and I had some good contractions. Then I got in the shower, and that helped a little, but it was still not in a pattern and still not good STRONG contractions. At 10 pm my Doctor showed up and I was still 5 cm. I was a little frustrated at this point. I need some progress!! We really wanted to avoid pitocin. Since I was at a risk of hemorrhaging, pitocin would be more effective after delivery for preventing hemorrhage if I didn't have it during labor. Still, my doctor agreed to give me a "whiff" to see if it would help bump things along. That was started at 11, bumped up at 11:30, and at 12:30 am I was *still* only 5.5 cm. At that point I knew what was coming next. Malachi's labor & delivery had been all med-free, with no interventions. This one had been froth with interventions right from the start--I had to have iv antibiotics because I was group b strep positive, and then with the pitocin, I was well on my way. Honestly, though, I had been "on the fence" during my whole pregnancy about whether I wanted to go med-free. Malachi's delivery was painful, particularly during pushing, and my recovery was SO terrible. No matter how I'd tried to relax, I struggled to prepare myself mentally for a med-free delivery. I knew too much--I knew that the pain was coming, and the fear factor there just couldn't be erased. So at 12:30 I decided that there was no point in waiting, I needed to decide on an epidural and get it and quit riding the fence. After all, I knew I wanted it at that point, it was just a matter of when. By 1 am I was visiting with the anesthesiologist. The epi was painful or else I was a big baby. I cried. :( It was over and I looked up. Where was Mitch?? No one knew. Within about 10 min he finally showed back up--at some point during the epi he felt himself getting woozy. He barely made it out the door and the few steps to the lounge (our room was right next to the family lounge) before passing out on the couch. He said he hurt his shoulder as he fell. Poor guy! I know next time to kick him out, that's for sure! The epi started working right away, and I was sure that would be the last of my pain until an hour or so after delivery when it started to wear off. I was extremely relieved.

Because of the epi I had to lay on my side and be rotated regularly to keep the medicine working evenly and to keep baby happy. Kristin kept notes for me and kept track of how often I was flipped so we wouldn't let that go too long. I was flipped at 1:45 am, and she also noted that I was very chatty. I guess they were feeling very tired. :) At 2:05 am I was barely reaching 6 cm--terrible progress--and was flipped again. Contractions picked up a little pressure. At 2:20 I was flipped again, and at this point both Kristin and I noted that the baby's heart rate was decelerating--significantly--during contractions. I started to worry again. It's one thing if you're ready to deliver, but with a whole night of contractions ahead, how long would they wait before saying that baby was in distress?? I questioned the nurse about how low is too low and how long is too long. She said they were concerned, but not ready to do anything yet--it was borderline but not too low, and recovering quickly afterwards. She put an oxygen mask on me--a first for me--and I took very deep breaths to try to get as much as I could, I just focused on my breathing and kept everything else blocked out. My contractions continued to grow in pressure. Only 20 min later at 2:40 am I screamed out that there was a LOT of pressure and it HURT. I was 9.5 cm. The nurse told me to "blow through it." I knew what that meant, that it was time to push and she didn't want to deliver the baby. It seemed like one long, endless contraction at this point and I was miserable in pain. So much for being done, huh? I yelled that they needed to bump up the epidural and the nurse replied, "You're almost done now!" I replied, "I am NOT, I know what comes next!!" It made me mad, and I still wish they would have listened. Oh well. I was crying so hard that the oxygen mask wouldn't stay on at this point. What a difference between this birth and my "Bradley birth" with Malachi.

It felt like they were taking an eternity, but my Dr. was in the room very soon and I was on my back and pushing before I knew it. 3 contractions--9 pushes--and she was out at 2:54 am (14 min later). Face up. What a stinker!! My first question to the doctor was "Is she really a girl???" Yes, she was! From there on out everything was beautiful. The epi was still working and I was glad--I had a 2nd degree tear that required stitching. I was able to enjoy looking at my daughter. I was shaking uncontrollably (had been since I started pushing), and had to put a wash cloth between my teeth to keep them from banging together. Looks great in the pictures. :) I had been taking alfalfa supplements along with my prenatal vitamins and iron supplements, hoping that having my hemoglobin levels up and my vitamin k stores up would help with bleeding afterward. Someone in the room asked, "How's the bleeding?" My Dr. said, "There is none." I said, "Now I know you're lying!" Well, so there was none *extra* I suppose. The bleeding was very minimal, and I'm so grateful. In that respect, recovery continues to go really well. My bottom is obviously sore. I was also relieved that while she is a good sized girl, she is well under 9 lbs. 8 lbs 4 oz is a good size. Her apgars were 8 and 9. We tried nursing at 3:20 am, and she latched on with no problems but kept stopping to "complain." There were a few comments about this likeness to Malachi, but I insisted that we shouldn't say that just yet.

Our first day together was a little rough. I *had* to send Mitch home to sleep, but it meant that I didn't get as much rest as I should have. It was a difficult day. The night was even worse. By 4 am I realized that something was really wrong with her eating. I called the nurse for help. The nurse asked when was the last time she had nursed for at least 5 min. She hadn't latched on and stayed on for 5 min EVER. She had a great latch--no problems getting on--but she would only take a couple sucks then pull off again. She seemed SO uninterested. I had tried every "trick" known to breastfeeders. Not only have I done this 6 other times, but I also read the books during my pregnancy just to brush up. We had tried "priming the pump," and every different position (some creative new ones too) available. The nurse was also at a loss. I didn't get more than 2 hours sleep all night, so I was running extremely empty. At 6 am I called Mitch and asked him to bring me my pump.

So day 2. At 10 am I met with a lactation consultant. We figured out that she would suckle a pacifier because we could hold it in her mouth and keep her from pushing it out. That's what led us to try a nipple shield. I pumped some milk and gave it to her with a syringe while she suckled. I could get about a tsp to a tsp & a half of colostrum each time I pumped. That worked. Between feedings if she seemed interested I would offer her a chance to latch on without the shield. Mitch spent the day with me and I got about 2 hours of sleep that afternoon. By that night she was doing a lot better. I could get her to latch on and stay on around 4 min, plus I could hear her swallowing while she ate. So we went through the night without doing the nipple shield. There's no way I would have been able to stay awake through those feedings otherwise. I was beyond tired. On the other hand, her rough start was starting to take it's toll.

Day 3. She hadn't peed since 5 pm the day before. Her cry was really hoarse, and I was sure she was dehydrated. I stepped up the pumping/syringe feedings. I had her naked in the sun too. Since she was face up, she was sporting a big bruise on her forehead and I knew we were headed for bililights. Thankfully her number came back at 11, so the doctor was willing to send me home as long as I headed to the doctor the next day (I already had the appointment scheduled). She was down to 7 lbs 10 oz, she'd lost 8% of her birthweight, and they were concerned about that, too. Finally at 11:30 am we were headed out the door. It took a while once we got home to get settled. At 12:45 pm she finally had a pee--that was a long 19 hours!! (She had been pooping the whole time--the new newborn diapers these days have a stripe on them that changes colors when the baby pees--so cool!). It was 80 degrees here yesterday and my house was miserably hot. Miserable! I was so relieved when it was bedtime. She got up about every 2 hours through the night.

Day 4. We had to be out the door at 8 am and didn't get up until 7:15. Oops! That was a little chaotic. Eden went with me to "help." She wasn't impressed with the pokes though and held her fingers in her ears while they poked Tirzah's heel for the bilidraw. At the doctor we heard the verdict: 14. Since she's still so young, and we're heading into a cloudy weekend, and she's a lazy eater, the best course of action was to go home with a light. She is so content and easy-going, she doesn't mind eating then going back to bed. Even awake. She is taking it in stride. I hope this temperament continues!! I am not sure what her weight is at. The first time we put her on the scale it said 8 lbs 4 oz--that's impressive to go from 7.10 to 8.4 in 24 hours. So we weighed her again. This time it said 7 lbs 4 oz. Hmmm. We did it 2 more times (7.15 and something else), then went to the peds department and tried their scale. It also had two different weights--one was 8.1. So Dr. Tjaden decided we were probably within an acceptable range and we gave up. :) The weather today is a bit cooler, and tomorrow is supposed to be cold and nasty. After that it will get better again. I got a long 2-hour nap this afternoon.

Everyone seems to be adjusting well. Malachi had a tough night last night, but hopefully things will settle back to normal soon. He's got Grandma and Grandpa here right now and I guess we are all a little spoiled by their presence. :) Malachi loves the baby--really loves her--but seems a little hurt that I'm not snuggling him as much as I used to (or even at all right now). Hopefully I will heal soon and get back to normal. Right now I can't pick him up at all, and I'm just not "available" much for cuddling either.

Pray that Tirzah will get the hang of eating, will gain weight, and that her bili level will be respectably low come Monday morning. Usually we expect it will be, but Malachi sure did surprise us (that was a disappointing time), so now I guess I won't assume anything. Now I've spent way too much time on here and need to go wake her for a feeding (jaundice makes them really sleepy, and I've been trying to keep her eating every 2 hours). Thank you!!

Tirzah Update

We are so excited she is here and home now! Thanks to Kristin for updating the blog for me!! :) I have so much to tell about her birth and first few days, plus a gazillion pictures to share, but for now I'm exhausted and ready for a nap. We came home yesterday and I pretty much spent the day getting settled (ie: wearing myself out). Today we went to the hospital early for a bilirubin check then straight to the doctor. Of course, her jaundice is at a level 14, so we were sent home with a bilibed. These are not my favorite. The little koala blankets are nicer because you can hold the baby, but I think the bed may be more efficient (and I do like efficiency!). Since we are headed into the weekend, it was the best course of action to take. We go back on Monday for another draw, and hopefully we will be done with the light therapy then. That means 5 out of 7 of my kids have been on a light. I refused the vitamin K shot this time, in hopes that would reduce her bili level, but she had a nasty bruise on her head that was working against my efforts! That and her poor feeding. :P

She is not the best eater. She's very lazy. She likes the "fast" milk, and then loses interest after the first couple minutes of being latched on. So after trying my darndest during a feeding to get her to eat I finish by using a syringe and giving her pumped milk. Then I pump whatever is left to save for next time. This is a little less complicated than it started out--I used to have to use a nipple shield to get her to suckle (she had a great latch, just wouldn't suckle). I've nursed 6 other babies and certainly had bumps in the road, but this one tops them all! I do not enjoy the time-consuming work of pumping nor of coaxing her to nipple while she gets a syringe full of milk. Oh well, I am praying that this is just a phase that will pass soon. Hopefully in a few days she'll be more enthusiastic about eating. Yesterday she was dehydrated and didn't pee for about 19 hours...that was a frustrating experience as well. Thankfully she is peeing and pooping in abundance now.

Allright, I'm off to nap now!! Enjoy the pic of my sweet, content little girl!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just thought I'd update and ask you all to pray that Steph will be able to get some sleep soon. Tirzah has decided she doesn't want to sleep much and is waking and crying about every hour all night long. Steph should be going home sometime in the next 24 hours. Pray that Tirzah will settle into a better schedule, that nursing would go well, that the jaundice would clear quickly, and that Steph would be able to get some much needed rest!

Thanks :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tirzah Joy

I (Kristin) was once again blessed to be there as Steph & Mitch's baby was born. Baby arrived at 2:54 this morning weighing 8 pounds 3.5 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches in length. Momma and baby are doing well, but both need to sleep! Steph will update when she gets home. :) (Sorry the pic is edgewise... I've never had a problem rotating a pic for Blogger before, but this one just doesn't want to do it!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Water Broke!!

In perfect timing, just after the last daycare child left for the day, my water broke! This time I think my trip to the hospital will be for a stay!! :) Here's one last pic just for fun. 38 weeks 6 days.

Grandma & Grandpa are Here, Baby is Not

Grandma Karen & Grandpa Marc, Mitch's mom and step-dad, arrived on Saturday! The kids are so excited to have all the extra attention. It takes a lot of patience to put up with 6 short people talking loudly all at the same time and climbing on you in the process. Karen & Marc always seem to handle it well. I have been excitedly giving instructions on what to do with diapers, how to do laundry, where the dishes are and that the dishwasher is only used for rinsing, what's on the menu, what the rules are regarding "screen time," etc, in the eventual hope that we will abandon the 8 of them and go to the hospital to meet our newest.

We had a good weekend. I got more grocery shopping and errands done, even though I'd hoped LAST weekend was my last grocery shopping trip this pregnancy. I wasn't a very happy shopper. There were too many people out, and too many of them stood in my way. :) The weather was nice and we got a couple walks in. I was disappointed to wake up Monday morning still pregnant and needing to do daycare with our family here, but it's par for the course! I am extremely irritable right now. Just a few minutes ago I "caught" Mitch eating one of my blueberry Activa yogurts from the fridge and I just about bit his head off. "Those are for after I have the baby!!" I yelled. (I tested positive for group b strep, so I will have to have antibiotics during delivery. Therefore I planned on some probiotics for when I come home.) There are two large boxes of "light" yogurt (gross--Hope bought them) in the fridge that he can eat to his heart's content. And why does he always have to eat the blueberry??? That's the only flavor I like and he knows it (doesn't he?)! :P So yeah, I'm irritable.

We may head to the library this morning, if I can stand leaving our two daycare babies with Mitch...hehe...I could obviously use a couple good books to lose myself in for a few days. Only I have NO idea what I'd like to read. Oh well. The good news is I should have time to read--the kids are officially done with school for the rest of the month...unless the baby doesn't come soon, then I may make them go back to work. :) Yeah, irritable. :)

39 weeks tomorrow and I'll have a doctor appointment. I'll update afterwards hopefully! This will be only the 2nd time ever out of 7 pregnancies that I've made it to 39 weeks. Uff Da, what a milestone! I know that I'm not "overdue" technically, but since we have definitely passed my "expected" date, I definitely FEEL the same as overdue. By "expected" date, I mean that I averaged the number of days early that I delivered each of my kids--that number was 10 days early--therefore I expected to deliver by the 18th. Ugh. I'll be ok as long as the anxiety and desperation feelings stay away!! I think I do have one valid concern--Malachi was 9 lbs and 10 days early. His size made delivery more difficult and contributed to the bleeding I had afterwards. I'd really, really hoped for a smaller baby this time. I can't help but say I'll be disappointed if she's over 9 lbs just for the simple fact that I feel like I miss out on the "small" baby, but also my anxiety grows thinking about the other difficulties. Pray for a small (you know, 7-8 lbs) baby!! And a calm momma. I'm taking alfalfa along with my prenatal vitamins and iron supplements to hopefully help with bleeding. I could use some good, restful sleep too!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ready Now...

Of course, that doesn't mean that it's "time." :) But my goal for the past few weeks has been to make it to Thursday of this week. As Wednesday comes to a close, that is looking more and more like a reality (although, she *could* still arrive later today). My point is, I wanted to get through at least today as far as daycare goes. I made it!!

Yesterday I saw the doctor. I'd gained 0.6 lbs, which I'm convinced was fluid weight (especially since, well, nevermind...too much information about how many times I got up last night). I hadn't changed in dilation, but she stripped my membranes...or I have good reason to think she did...and if you're not sure what that is, don't ask. :) Baby still sounds good and is moving good. Mitch and I enjoy lots of laughs at night watching her move. She loves to stretch as far as she possible can and my belly looks very, very strange.

This may sound strange, but I am beginning to have a little apprehension about birth. It's just like this, see, I've done this enough to know what comes next. And it hurts. :) But I'm excited nonetheless. We can't wait!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

38 Weeks!

I made it!!!

I hope you're not tired of this might be the last time I post it!!

I'm feeling pretty good during the mornings, but by afternoon I'm tired on my feet. By evening I can barely walk. :) I've been getting a lot of things done. Laundry is all done and put away, and so are the diapers--yay! My inlaws will be here to visit this coming weekend. We want to get as many days of daycare done this week as possible so we can have time off with them. Still, I also selfishly won't mind if the baby comes even today. :) The kids are working hard on their schoolwork and even starting to pull ahead. When they are done with lesson 150, they will officially be on break for the rest of the month. They are on 147 today. Micah's first baseball game is on Thursday afternoon. I told him not to be too disappointed if I don't make it to the first one. Thankfully they have plenty! :)

I see the doctor this afternoon. I'll post later!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection Sunday (and a little nesting)

He is alive!!

We are thrilled to celebrate the most important event of all time today--the tomb is empty, Jesus is alive. We're looking forward to going to church together as a family this morning. We marked our holiday by watching The Passion of the Christ on Friday night. This morning we listened to some of our favorite songs on youtube. We had breakfast together. The kids also got some candy. :) Later today our friends (Kristin & family) are coming over for supper and we'll all play outside together.

I've been trying to use my time productively since the baby is not here yet. :) A little nesting perhaps?

I made Eden a dress I'd planned on making last year. :) I had some extra fabric left over and sewed it to a onesie t-shirt for the new baby. This was a frustrating project for me, though, I'm so good at sewing diapers and SO bad at sewing clothing! There are lots of mistakes when you look close enough. :)
I got some diapers made to sell in my store--yay!!
I got these last two boys' hair cut finally!!
I've also got lots of laundry done and put away, plus some other things organized. Very good!

Please say a prayer for Josh. He's on day 5 of a fever with runny nose and cough. It still appears to be just a simple virus, but he's doing a lot of sleeping. He's staying well hydrated, just obviously feels very crappy. :'(

And finally, doesn't Micah look handsome???

Friday, April 10, 2009

135 Weeks Pregnant!

Give or take a memory is a little foggy. :) That's what the nurse said when she was working on my chart at the hospital the other night. They still had my pregnancy with Malachi 2 years ago "active" in the chart and the computer said I am 135 (or so) weeks pregnant. I laughed and said, "Sometimes it feels like it!"

I know women at the end of their pregnancies can tend to feel like they will be pregnant forever.

Mitch and I have been married exactly 640 weeks today.

I've been pregnant approximately 252 weeks out of 640.

I've been nursing approximately 70 months...or 303 weeks.

Sometimes pregnancy and nursing overlap a few weeks. We'll estimate.

So either pregnant or nursing around 540 weeks out of 640. 10 out of 12 years.

Yeah, it can tend to feel like forever.

I am SO blessed!!

Psalm 127:3-5
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

False Alarm!

So last night around 7:00 or so Mitch was sitting the kids down to supper. It was spaghetti and I've plain had it with spaghetti. No way I can handle the heartburn even if I liked the meal! I felt horribly anyways. I tried to join them, but soon found myself in bed...with contractions! After a while I got up and timed them (didn't go so well), then went back to bed and tried to sleep (didn't go so well). I repeated this up-down process a couple times before deciding it *must* be labor. The contractions were around 3-4 min apart and lasting a minute or so. I called Kristin and headed to bed once again. I got about an hour's sleep with terrible dreams. After that I couldn't go back to sleep. Finally at 3 am I was just about wrapped up in all the anxiety I could handle and got Mitch up. We headed out the door to the hospital. I needed to be monitored and checked just to see "what's going on down there." After jumping through the hoops (and having contractions seem to vanish), I finally got the big news--still 3 cm, but maybe a little more effaced. I was ready to go back home, after hearing it officially I was sure I could get to sleep. The doctor asked me to stay for another hour, walk the halls, then be checked and monitored again. I was still 3 cm, but I was having regular contractions. They seemed nervous to send me home, but I assured them I would come back "in time." We made it home right at 6 am, barely a minute before our first daycare family arrives. No, we didn't call off daycare for the day. I wanted to be sure that this was really going to happen before we did, and I'm glad we didn't.

Mitch took over pretty much everything this morning while I got some sleep. He has been my knight in shining armor!! I've still had occasional contractions, but moving around or changing positions usually throws them off, so they're relatively easy to deal with. I have kicked my "to do" list into high gear and trying to get a few more things checked off so I can really be "ready."

I've never had a false alarm before where I actually went up to the hospital and then came back home, so it was a weird feeling. You can bet I had some anxiety. I did have a suspicion though, we didn't even take the bags inside with us. ;) My nurse was very, very sweet (yay!) and reassuring. I didn't feel embarrassed one iota. It was so nice. I'm actually very relieved to be back home and NOT in labor, but I've had a lot of explaining to do!

We'll keep you posted for the real deal...hopefully it will be next week!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

37 Weeks!

So, I just got back from the doctor. The best news of the day (besides hearing her lovely heartbeat in the 140s) was that I gained ZERO pounds this past week. Hurray!! So I am at 40 lbs even still for weight gain. I was also 3 cm dilated (progress!) and 70-80% effaced...getting there. She seemed to think that I would be going soon, but I plan on waiting it out until next week. I told her I would be in next week, then NO MORE. Haha. Maybe I will be in sooner than I think. I've just got this wild hair that next Thursday is the "perfect" day. Whatever...God has the perfect day, right? Man! I had just got my anxiety over the whole thing under control, and now she spins it for me!

Last week there was a night where I woke up in the middle of the night with contractions that were coming every 2.5 minutes and lasting over a minute. I drank some water because I was feeling dehydrated, and finally they slowed to lasting only 45 seconds. I was able to go back to bed. I was SO nervous because I wasn't quite 37 weeks yet. Now that I am, I don't think I would be so nervous. :)

We have had some kind of nasty virus here. Micah broke out in a weird rash--just on his arms and legs, a little on his torso--which is from the virus. Mitch has been majorly congested and overall run-down. Over the weekend Malachi ran a fever fairly high for 3 days, along with a runny nose and cough. Eden got what looked like pink eye in her right eye and a cold sore on her lip. I had a toothache all weekend. So come yesterday morning I set out to schedule doctor's appointments. I only took Eden and Malachi in. He said it was just a virus--possibly influenza (which we were vaccinated, oh well)--and apologized that I brought them in just to hear that. I am ALWAYS glad to hear a doctor be honest with me about my child's condition. I never want a doctor to give an antibiotic just to make *me* feel better. It was reassuring and lowered my stress level, I was certainly not sorry for making the trip in to the doctor (which we do so rarely anyways). My tooth ache jumped to a different tooth, which was my clue that it was probably sinus related rather than an actual tooth problem. My doctor today again said she feels it is a virus and it's best not to treat it with an antibiotic. So I'm bummed that there's nothing she can offer me for relief, but again glad to have an honest report!

So while I wait for this baby to keep on cooking for a few days longer, I have been trying to plan out the next week or so. Of course, Easter is on Sunday ("Resurrection Sunday") and we are looking forward to that. Our church just opened a new worship center addition they have been building for the past year. This Sunday will be our first opportunity to go as a family (Mitch got to go this past Sunday while the rest of us were sick), and the kids are so excited. I'm also excited because we bought some CANDY for the kids last night and it's hiding in my room. I'm wondering how I can plan to sneak out some robin's eggs early. ;) Yuuuuuummmmm chocolate. Kristin gave me the great idea to get another project done--a dress for Eden I had planned to make a long time ago, so I'll have to dig out the pattern and fabric and see about doing that. That will certainly pass some time! I have been working hard on pushing the kids to get done with school--they need to get through lesson 150, then they can technically have the rest of April off except for standardized tests we are going to do the week of the 20th. Finally, I have a few diapers cut out here and 2 already done that I would like to sell in my store. Kind of a final "hurrah" shout out in my store that the baby is almost here. :) Hmmm...I also want to squeeze in a showing of "The Passion of the Christ" to help get us in the right mood for Easter. Maybe we will make it to the Maundy Thursday service at church this week too. See, there's lots to do to keep me busy!! (She says as yet another contraction takes her breath away...)

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--April Fools!

Since it's April Fools Day I can do a "Wordless Wednesday" post and still put words, right?? =D

We had a nice winter storm yesterday. Mitch and Micah went outside to shovel, then pretty soon they were joined by the other kids. Before I knew it, they called me outside to show me the snow family they had constructed.

Left to right: Mitch, Steph, Micah, Eden, Caleb, Selena, Zeke, Josh, Malachi, and Hope

Malachi wasn't sure what to think

Cute Joshua still wearing his pajamas

My snowman before it got its head...Micah is proud of the baby bump he added to it!

We got more snow overnight so this was the beautiful sight this morning--large clumps of snow clinging to everything, and nice fluffly flakes still falling.

It's all melting very quickly and making a sloppy mess, but you know that goes with the territory!