At least that's how it feels. I just wanted to share some love with anyone who may still attempt to read. So, here are some photos at ...

Never Blog Again


At least that's how it feels. I just wanted to share some love with anyone who may still attempt to read. So, here are some photos at least!














2 comments:

Will it be a 9 oz day or just a 7? My life now that I'm back at work feels as if it boils down to ounces. How many ounces will I pump?...

My Life in Ounces

Will it be a 9 oz day or just a 7? My life now that I'm back at work feels as if it boils down to ounces. How many ounces will I pump? It makes so much sense. A 9 oz day makes me feel powerful and as if I can really do this whole thing, work, three kids, finish my master's degree, breastfeed for a year again, and so forth. A 7 oz day makes me feel like breastfeeding will fail, my child is starving, I'm not doing so great at catching up with work, and that I'll eventually just fizzle out at everything. It doesn't help that the daycare took license to feed Charlie formula whenever she cries because I was short the first day and had to send 1 measly ounce of formula with her. She ate 5 oz all day on Monday and yesterday they fed her 14 and 5 of those were formula. I am angry but at the same time trying not to stress myself out with control issues. It's a big mess though.

My head runs into...if they feed her so much, has she not been getting enough while nursing? Oh yes she has, she's fine, those silly women probably just don't realize that she finishes the bottle much faster than she finishes nursing and is just wanting to be able to suck longer but instead they feed her. Grrr, if they keep feeding her so much then she's going to start wanting more but I'm not going to be able to keep up with her demand since I'm stuck at work pumping 3 times a day trying to be as discreet as possible so nobody will think I'm a freak or get jealous that I have these "privileges." I miss her, maybe this weekend will be better and she'll get back on a good schedule. I hate pumping when I get home from work but I have to in order to get that last ounce for the next day. Why didn't I pump more when I was on leave?

See, it's ugly in there! SO....bummer, bet you're glad to read today!!

3 comments:

Soon, life will go back to a normal I never really expected for my life. Three kids, a husband, a dog, a home to keep, and a full time job ...

Soon

Soon, life will go back to a normal I never really expected for my life. Three kids, a husband, a dog, a home to keep, and a full time job as a stinkin' supervisor at an organization that I adore. As I've gone through this maternity leave, it's been a lot different for me emotionally. I haven't cried yet about going back to work. There isn't that aching wish/hope/dream that something miraculous will happen and I can stay at home with the kids. Gracious, not that I don't want to, but I have finally accepted that it's not going to happen for me. I don't even mean this in some cynical defeatist type of way. It's just that God has worked out in me that my job is a gift. Somehow I was able to work at home for over a year and enjoy my sweet babies, watch Addie learn to walk, nurse her until she was 16 months old, teach Freddie his ABCs and all their sounds, teach him how to count to 10 at least :), potty train Addie, and eventually become pregnant and spend my first trimester able to rest at home! That was a truly wonderful time, but not without significant sacrifice and hardship. I often struggled with guilt while I was working that my kids would be better off at daycare where someone could pay more attention to them or they would have friends to play with. It's just never perfect as a mom I guess, we're always wanting more and better for our kids even when it is too much for us to do or provide.

So, on August 22nd, I'm heading back to work. This past Monday, I took Freddie to his first day of kindergarten. Life is so busy. 5:30 wakeup, shower, get dressed, fix hair/makeup; 6:00 nurse Charlie and pray she goes back to sleep; 6:30 get breakfast ready for kids & me, load up car with bags, computer, backpacks, etc. 6:45 wake up kids, brush teeth, get them dressed, hand them to-go breakfasts, brush hair, potty, etc; 7:05 OUT THE DOOR OR ELSE ; 7:15 drop Freddie off at school; 7:20 drop girls off at daycare; 7:30 head to work! This week has been good practice. All of it is just crazy and all on about 5 hours of sleep a night. It's amazing the stamina that God can provide to us when we are doing His work. I have to believe that raising a family, serving them, teaching God's love, and sharing that loving family with your community is truly God's work! I am sure I will blog more as an outlet for how badly it will hurt to send my new baby girl to daycare and how Addie is acting out now that she's not getting enough Mommy time, and how Freddie wailing at the kitchen table with his poor lefthanded handwriting problems!

P.S. I am watching A Baby Story and this woman is a weenie! ;) HAHAHA!

3 comments:

Photo Shoot with Amomphotographer







3 comments:

I don't have time for a really long post, probably never will again! It's just on my heart recently to remember how incredibly priv...

Privileged

I don't have time for a really long post, probably never will again! It's just on my heart recently to remember how incredibly privileged I am. I don't mean it in a spoiled, rich, silver spoon kind of way. Right now I'm not even referring to living in luxury compared to most of the world, having the freedoms we enjoy in this country, running water, indoor plumbing, access to modern healthcare, antibiotics, vaccines, and all of the many things that I am incredibly privileged to have just because I was born to American parents on a continent full of developed countries (don't be confused, I was born in Germany). Those are beyond my scope for the moment.

Today I am stuck on how incredible of a privilege it is to have children. Maybe it is because Jason and I struggled to even get pregnant in the first place and then we had our entire ride in adopting our sweet Freddie. Maybe it is because I work in an environment where I see on a daily basis how completely ungrateful people are for their children. Perhaps God has gotten through to me on this one thing! It's just that children are such a blessing. They are hard work and often frustrating and sometimes maddening. I am sleep deprived at the moment and terribly inconvenienced by a 3 hour nursing rotation. Those things just seem like nothing compared to the joy and blessing children bring to our lives. It breaks my heart when parents are ungrateful and fail to see the honor they've been given to have a child. I am in awe that God would trust me, bless Jason and I, and walk with us on this journey to raise His children. I am not good enough. I do not deserve this anymore than I deserve salvation.

I am also grateful for the privilege of going on this journey with Jason. We have our arguments and shortcomings, but I am daily reminded of how incredibly wonderful he is. Jason and I have really grown up together and we have watched each other go from college students to young/struggling adults, graduate students, husband and wife, employees, on and on and all the way to PARENTS! We both know we're big posers though. We are both selfish, immature, and irresponsible but God helps us fight that spirit everyday so that we can put God, each other, and our kids before ourselves. We lose the battle sometimes, but God's mercy is bountiful! Our children's mercy and forgiveness is also bountiful, and Jason and I have to be merciful to each other (even if it is on a much longer delay! ;) Okay, I am done preachin' it for now. I am just watching my sweet Addie enjoying some PBS Kids this morning and I'm rocking little Charlie so she'll quit screaming at me, and missing Freddie while he's off enjoying VBS at our wonderful church today, and it just hit me. Here I am in the middle of this thing, this whole motherhood thing, and I am ever so grateful to be on number three and still completely blown away by the privilege!

2 comments:

Is that a politically incorrect term...to call oneself an invalid (the noun version meaning an infirm or sickly person)? Dictionary.com doe...

Invalid

Is that a politically incorrect term...to call oneself an invalid (the noun version meaning an infirm or sickly person)? Dictionary.com does not tell me the social connotations of words, just definitions. Maybe I'm on to a new website!

Anyway, I am tired of feeling like an invalid. I was two weeks postpartum last Saturday when I woke up hurting. I nursed Charlie and during that I started cramping really badly. I thought it was just bad gas which I'd been suffering with since delivery. It got worse and worse though. I laid Charlie down when she finished eating and woke Jason up to share my pain. I was hurting so badly that I was convinced I had appendicitis. Jason was up and getting dressed. I called the midwife to ask her opinion and she thought I might have an obstructed bowel. There was no point stalling, I needed to go to the hospital. Seriously, it hurt so badly that I remember on the car ride just praying that I would pass out and wake up later after it was over. There were tears and lots of yelling and gripping things. We had a neighbor gal run over and sit in the house while the kids were asleep until Nana got here. Sweet Rachel canceled her trip to Russellville to come help with Charlie, and we ended up being admitted to the hospital after several tests and a blessed dose of Demerol.

I had a CT scan and an ultrasound which revealed no appendix problems, bowel issues, or gallbladder complications. Turns out that my uterus was "muddled" and it appeared that there was something still in there from the pregnancy, won't know exactly what those "products" were until I go back for my follow up appointment though. I also had a bladder infection which probably wasn't helping with the pain. I had another dose of Demerol before moving up to my room where we waited on the doctor. When she got there she did a pelvic exam and let me know that she felt we needed to do a D&C, dilation and curettage, where they go in and actually scrape/suction your uterus to clean out any infected, damaged, unwanted tissue. It is sadly the exact same procedure whether you have an issue like mine, had a miscarriage, or have an abortion. It makes the procedure seem scarier to me for reason, not to mention the worry I had over possible risks to my reproductive future. Our doctor was amazingly sweet though and talked to me about the risks and assured me that I did not fall into any of the high risk categories.

I had never had surgery before, only stitches! General anesthesia is weird folks! I luckily didn't have a bad reaction to it, just confused and very out of it. I also woke up in a lot of pain. I lost about a liter of blood during the procedure and apparently had an "angry, spitting uterus" according to the doctor. I didn't need a transfusion, but it did require that my entire vajayjay be packed to prevent more bleeding. Yes, I said packed. It was so painful! There is some special thick gauze that they used and honestly packed an entire roll of it in there to ensure that I didn't bleed out. That combined with a catheter made for a painful night despite morphine followed my hydrocodone. My nurse that evening must have thought I was such a whiner! Everything hurt, my catheter, the packing, my arms/shoulders, I was thirsty, my throat hurt from being intubated during surgery, and I came back to my room with tears streaming down my face for some unknown reason. I was so emotional from leaving the baby, worrying about myself, missing the kids, feeling like I put everyone out, having to pump and dump, Rachel having to stay the night with a newborn and feed her with the bottle (her first bottle!), etc. I was just bawling and I remember the nurse asking me if I was scared or in pain. Neither, both, I don't know!!

Thankfully I got to come home Sunday afternoon and once I got off the hydrocodone I started to feel a lot better. It was quite an ordeal. So, I am basically starting over with recovery. I feel a lot better than I did. Oh, and P.S. Jason asked the doctor. "Is this because we had a homebirth?" The doctor replied, "No, absolutely not. I have seen this happen in hospital births as well. I just put this type of thing in the 'bad luck' category." It made us both feel better because it had honestly been in the back of our minds. Did I mention that my sweet midwife came and sat with Jason while I was in surgery? Anyway, I'm back to the invalid thing.

My house is a wreck, the kids' closet looks like an isolated tornado went wild in there, there are baby things everywhere, my bathroom/bedroom still looks like a birth clinic, the dog hair is rampant, there's a layer of dust on all wooden surfaces, hairballs have collected in nearly every corner, and there's just so much stuff everywhere that I don't know what to do with it. Don't get me wrong, we've had lots of help from Rachel and the laundry and dishes are well kept up with, dinner has been provided pretty much nightly, and I did clean a toilet out! I want to cook a good meal for my kiddos, have a shiny floor, vacuum the couches, dust, have an orderly room so I can sew something, and just feel like a normal mom instead of a cabin fevered sickly lady in a very nice assisted living home! :) A sweet friend got me a gift certificate for a full house cleaning, so I think I'm going to take that up at the end of this week but I have to clear away all the clutter first so that someone could actually find a surface to spray cleaning supplies onto!

Did I mention that my big kids are going to Missouri this week/weekend? Yep, Nana is taking them to visit their cousin and aunt and uncle. They leave today and don't come back until Sunday afternoon. Freddie went last year, but this is the first time Addie will be away from home like that for so long. She's spent two nights away from us when we went to Dallas in May and that's it. I am a little heartbroken and very apprehensive about the whole thing, but everyone keeps reminding me that I need the rest and recuperation time. I hardly intend to rest..well maybe sleep in quite a bit :), but I hope to get things back in order around here so the kids can come home to a new normal for the rest of the summer. We've got things to accomplish and a baby to get incorporated into our lives, and I'm tired of being too weak to participate in things. I am stuck at home right now while the kids and Nana and Daddy are at the library for storytime. Granted, I am glad to be home with the baby...but I'm tired of my kids missing me and poor Addie being traumatized when I leave a room. So, pray for me to use good judgment, keep a good/safe pace as I work, keep myself healthy, and for this dern sweet baby to sleep before 12:30/1:00 am!

I am even going to make a grocery store list and ask Jason to go fill it! HAHAHAHA!! Ooh, or maybe I'll go with and just ride in one of those Wal-Mart motorized carts!

3 comments:

Yep, the ladies I'm referring to are my boobs! I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding and I intend to push on through, but I am not an...

The Ladies want to go on Strike!

Yep, the ladies I'm referring to are my boobs! I am a strong advocate for breastfeeding and I intend to push on through, but I am not an advocate for lying to women about the challenges that breastfeeding presents. I remember when the nurses came to 5th grade to have "the talk" with us. The girls were in one room and the boys another and we were allowed to ask questions about puberty, periods, pads, and pubes. :) Gross. Anyway, they completely lied to us. There would be no pain associated with having your period, there are only a couple of tablespoons of blood, no smell, no one will know or notice, on and on. Imagine my shock when I was doubled over with cramps, changing huge diaper pads every hour, and horrified that everyone in my family could see it coming a mile away!

So, breastfeeding was presented to me as this beautiful, natural, organic experience filled with love hormones, joy, pride, and ease. Um, nope. Breastfeeding is beautiful and natural, but so is labor and birth. It is hard work, requires preparation, knowledge, strength, and dedication. It hurts, it takes away your control of your own body, it can be very difficult to fit in today's society, everyone has their own opinions about it, few are actually supportive, and you feel often like there is a big banner over your head announcing that your milk just let down, your breastpad is about to leak through your shirt, your boobs hurt, your nipple is cracked, the lanolin has left grease stains on your nursing tank, this stupid nursing cover is making me and the baby all sweaty, I'd rather just show the world my boob but my poor husband would likely be rather embarrassed, this baby won't stop eating, you feel like a human pacifier, and you would really with a lot of guilt and shame like to shove a bottle in your baby's mouth so you could sleep!

Too much honesty?? Sorry! Other days I feel like the best mother alive and that I'm providing my baby with the best start in life, my milk is actually changing not only the amount I produce but the actual calories, fat, and makeup of the entire substance to meet Charlie's nutritional needs. My milk is perfect in every way for her little body. She gets so much comfort when she latches on and can instantly relax her whole self and settle in for what seems like the most peaceful and enjoyable activity on the planet. I never have to go sterilize a bottle or mix up formula. Charlie's breath is sweet and her spit up doesn't smell at all, unlike that rotten potato smell of formula. Her poop is easy to clean, easy to pass, and hardly has a smell. She is content and there is always a supply on hand. I am reducing my chances for breast cancer while improving my baby's immune system, brain function, digestive functioning, and possibly increasing her sensitivity and intelligence. I am speeding my own recovery from childbirth and releasing powerful hormones that help me and Charlie bond with one another. Nursing is burning calories, allowing me to take in extra nourishment for myself while also speeding my metabolism and helping me lose the baby weight. I am a lovely picture of motherhood. God created me perfectly to nourish my child and grants me the strength and energy to do so daily.

Talk about some cognitive dissonance, folks! My advice to anyone who cares for it, try and focus on that second paragraph as often as you can but don't feel bad when the first one rears its ugly head. I just wish that women were nicer to each other, congratulated each other daily on even the small accomplishments we make, and found it impossible to judge each other for the choices we make or ways that we live that are different from our own. C'mon ladies, let's pat ourselves on the back and then go pat a friend on the back too!

4 comments:

Where was I.... Oh yes, the fog! I was hanging in there and I remember folks coming to check on me, but I was very focused on my noises a...

Charlie's Birth Story - Part 2


Where was I....

Oh yes, the fog! I was hanging in there and I remember folks coming to check on me, but I was very focused on my noises and preparing for each contraction. At around 2:30, Mary arrived to find me in a 30 second break. I was sitting in the bathroom and she placed the birthstool on the floor between the foot of my bed and the bathroom door. My mom helped me move to the stool where Mary was able to check my cervix. I was seven centimeters! It had gone so fast I could barely believe it. With Adeline it took me like 20 hours to get to 6. I was amazed and not afraid. I could see the birth pool across the hall set up in the serene nursery. Our bedroom was not so serene, tossed about with towels, birth supplies, a glass of ginger ale, ice chips, clothes stripped off from the heat, etc. Mary asked me if I wanted to go to the pool, but I told her I wasn't sure if I could make it. Amy, Mary's sweet and wonderful apprentice told us that there wasn't quite enough water in it yet anyway. Oh well, I had 3 more centimeters to go before pushing, we'd make it.

All of this happened in about 30 seconds. Mary got up and walked around behind me to get something and all of the sudden another contraction hit, but this time at the peak of it I felt something new and kind of exciting. I needed to push! I started calling out, "Mary, Mary, I..I...I need to push." This look of shock crossed her face and she came directly back to me to check again and I was indeed 10 centimeters and ready! I asked for everyone that was missing, I think Rachel was outside the room waiting because she figured I still had awhile to go. Everyone crowded in and I started pushing with each contraction. It was not peaceful, lovely, gentle, etc. The sensation of needing to push was the most powerful thing I've ever felt and it was involuntary. The control I had was only with my breathing, my vocalization, and the strength I put behind each push. There were complete primal sounds coming out of me but I managed to keep my muscles in my face and torso as loose as I could while I beared down with my arms and legs. My mom held my hand as she stood in the doorway of the bathroom, I pulled my other hand against the footboard of my bed, and my sweet husband sat in a chair behind me and pushed on my lower back and put his head into the back of my neck so I could just use that base to push against. He told me I was doing great and that he loved me, which I could only hear because he was right next to my ear. Otherwise, my sounds definitely would have drown him out. There were very few breaks, but it seemed like no time before I felt that incredible pressure and stretching and burning referred to as the "ring of fire." It was her head! I could feel her come out with the push then recede a little and it burned oh it burned. I looked at the midwives and then up at my friends and shook my head and said, "It burns, it really burns." They smiled, Amy smiled so kindly and said, "That's good, you're just stretching. Feel your baby's head." I did, I reached down and touched her soft squishy hairy head and felt re-energized for the next push. It took about two more good pushes and her head was out, sweet relief!

I'd like to say what most moms do, that after that her body just oozed on out easily and then I had this amazing endorphin rush and everything was beautiful. That's not the case though. I took a small rest then resumed pushing but she wasn't coming. Her shoulders were stuck. At this point my eyes were closed in concentration, but I could feel that I wasn't making the same progress with each push. The midwives immediately told me to move to my hands and knees and in the moment I was thinking I couldn't do it, there I was on hands and knees to help open up my pelvis to get her out. I beared down and pushed with all my might as someone (probably my mom) was yelling at me to push hard. I replied near tears, "I'm pushing as hard as I can!" I felt a little more progress and didn't know at the time, but her little face was turning from blue to purple and her shoulders were actually stuck so tightly that it was cutting off her circulation. There was no cord in the way though, her little shoulders were just flexed all the way out instead of folded in like most babies. Then they needed me to roll onto my back and helped me do so. In an instant, Mary and Amy reached down and grabbed Charlie under her arms and pulled her free on my next push.

They laid her on my stomach and time stopped. I thought Mary said, "There's no pulse." Jason thought she said, "She's not breathing." Either way, not good. I had one hand behind Charlie's head and the other wrapped around her little chest. Mary immediately began CPR. I could feel Mary's breath going into Charlie's chest and then I could feel and hear a little wheeze from baby girl. Then she started chest compressions. I was just praying, "Dear Lord Jesus, be with her, help her breathe. Breathe life into her, Lord. Protect her and bring her to me God." I remember those words and this amazing faith that God gave me in that moment. Some may call it arrogance, but not once during those moments did I even consider or conceive that she would not make it. I much more truly understand the faith of a mustard seed now. It just takes really needing to move a mountain to get it I think. No doubt, just blessed assurance. Thank you, God, for giving me that gift in that moment. In two rounds of breaths and compressions, Charlie let out a little rattle and I began to cramp instantly knowing the placenta was coming. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as the third midwife had showed up and caught the placenta as Mary and Amy gave Charlie some oxygen and watched her turn pink. They dried her off and checked her heart and her breathing and she was okay. They managed to get me into bed and brought her to me and laid her sweet little swollen chunky body next to mine as I ate some watermelon chunks and drank water trying to regain some type of strength. All of that was foggy too, but I remember feeling so cared for, loved, blessed, and safe during that time. I was disoriented but not scared or confused.

Charlie weighed 10 lbs and .5 oz for real! No wonder her shoulders got stuck, which my consulting doctor warned me could happen especially with being diabetic and going 10 days overdue! We really didn't think it would though, but the midwives were prepared and did exactly the right thing. Soon after delivery I had to get up to use the bathroom but got dizzy and lightheaded. They had to help me down to the floor where I honestly laid with a pillow and a blanket for 45 minutes before they could convince me to move. Charlie was asleep peacefully in her bassinet and I was asleep peacefully on the cool tile of the bathroom floor! Jason said he tried to get me up and I replied, "I'm not getting in that bed." Our bed is really high people!

I was fine in a few hours, only needed three stitches (which I claim as a major victory after having a 10lb baby wrestled out of me!) The midwives took excellent care of me and my family and friends have been amazing. I had my very own postpartum doula named Rachel, who has been here every day helping since Charlie was born. I am so grateful.

So, here's my reflection after a week. I am broken hearted that her birth was labeled as "traumatic." I don't care at all that it went so fast, that I didn't make it to the pool, that there weren't candles and music (wait, my mom brought my candle in the room when it was time to push because she knew I had a dream so she tried to make it have one element!), or that I was a primal cave woman instead of one of those little "oh me, uuggh" and then there's a baby. Mary said, "Well, we talk about home birth as this beautiful peaceful event, not this railroad, super speed type of thing!" Oh well, there were some scary elements to her birth, but the overall experience for me was amazing. I felt and feel powerful and amazed. I feel completely reassured that my midwives are the most loving, competent, and prepared choice that I could have made for my care and Charlie's. I feel that if I'd been in a hospital, a very similar problem could have occurred but with much more invasive results ending in more pain and recovery for everyone. That could have been an emergency c-section, 10 nurses pushing on my belly to get her out, a broken clavicle or dislocated shoulder for Charlie, a crazy episiotomy that I may never have healed properly from, and fear, confusion, loss of control and dignity, and all that combined. I know some folks won't agree, but that's okay. We all have choices and decisions to make in our lives that nobody else can make for us. I heard on a documentary one time an OBGYN saying, "I don't understand the pride thing in natural childbirth. I mean, when you're walking down the street pushing your three month old in the stroller it won't really matter anymore if you pushed it out without drugs. It just doesn't matter." I never thought of this as a pride thing, and it isn't. However, I finally got out of the house the other day with the family and I felt like I had this secret. Someone will say Charlie is such a pretty baby and I would think to myself, "Yup, and I pushed her out without so much as an ibuprofen!" Isn't that terrible? :) I just maybe doubted myself until that moment, doubted I'd have the strength and kept it all in an open hand without concrete plans because who knew if I'd give up and beg to be sent to the hospital for an epidural. Now I know that I can do it, I did do it, God is amazing in his plan and perfection for our bodies and the gift of growing and bearing life into his children. I honestly don't even want to put clothes on Charlie's little rolls because it makes her look like a child of this world instead of my little infant from God, brought into the world with love and blessings, comfort, safety, and grace.

Thank you again for your support and love, or even just your curiosity. I have worked very hard to understand my feelings on natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and midwifery care as opinions...just that, my opinions. I do feel very passionately about it though. I've read about 10 books and dozens of articles, watched multiple videos and documentaries, and talked with lots of real folks, and prayed and received much validation in these choices for our family. Please know that I would encourage any woman that her body was made for this, pregnancy is a privilege and miraculous, children are a blessing from the Lord, and labor is not impossible, it is just hard work with an amazing reward. At the very least I hope to inspire people to just ask questions. If you're 36 weeks pregnant and your doctor wants to induce, ask why! If you have a plan and desires for your birth, don't be bullied, ask questions and take charge while you can. Labor is not the time that you can make choices and take a stand on things. I tried with my first birth, but was a wimp and got bulldozed by well meaning nurses and doctors and was lucky to have gotten out of there with a vaginal delivery and no episiotomy. Everything else I wanted/didn't want was ignored. We are strong women with choices and a right to the type of birth we want and deserve. Oh, and for all of you wondering....I don't think the Allens are "done" having kids. I just haven't gotten "birth amnesia" quite as quickly as I did with an epidural! HAHAHAHA!


8 comments:

Let me start by saying that I am so grateful to everyone that has been supportive as our family has planned for this homebirth with sweet...

Charlie's Birth Story- Part 1




Let me start by saying that I am so grateful to everyone that has been supportive as our family has planned for this homebirth with sweet Charlie. It has been such a fun pregnancy, despite it going on for way longer than I had planned. Also, my birth went totally differently than I had planned or even hoped. So, here goes.

We were at the dinner table celebrating Freddie's 5th Birthday! Here's the cake, double chocolate yumminess. Despite my better judgment I decided I would have just half a piece to celebrate with everyone. It seemed like I had just stopped eating and passed my plate away in agony when I had a hard contraction. I laughed and shared my pain with the family. Jason said, "If this chocolate cake sends you in to labor, I'm going to LOL." (Yes, he said, "lol") We got dinner cleaned up and I had another good contraction and decided we should go walking to help things along.
It was right at 8:00 p.m. and my mom was bathing the kids getting them ready for bath. I went to put on my pants to go walking and as I lifted my leg to put them on I felt a gush. I was pretty sure my water just broke. It wasn't a lot, so I knew it wasn't the whole shebang or anything. Jason and I headed out on our walk and called the midwife to let her know what was going on. I had a couple of contractions on our walk but nothing with any pattern. Our midwife, Mary, told me to call her when I got home and paid attention and had a time/pattern for my contractions. We got home and I headed for the bathroom. Labor really cleanses the colon, if ya know what I mean! I spent several contractions in the bathroom. The contractions still weren't regular and I could walk/talk through most of them. I took a nice shower and put on my nightgown. It was about 10:00 or 10:30 and they were coming anywhere from 4-7 minutes apart and getting stronger. Mary came over around 11:00 I think and checked me. I was only 3cm but almost completely effaced and she was pretty low but a little posterior. Mary suggested that I do some more pelvic rocks and get some sleep before active labor set in. With her suggestion I took a Benadryl and spent about 20 minutes on the floor basically laying my top half across my birthing ball, rolling my hips, and doing pelvic rocks between contractions. I eventually got into bed and tried to sleep. I was able to sleep between contractions for maybe 30 minutes and used visualization to help me through the pain. We practiced our "happy place" in birth class. Let me tell you about mine.

It's a foggy morning on the Little Red River. I'm 6 years old sitting on a lawn chair cushion in the bottom of my PaPa's flat bottom boat. The motor is off, we're stopped near the sandbar, and casting our lines. Behind me is my great grandmother sitting in her chair with her white curls barely moving in the breeze. Her pink frosted lipstick goes so well with her big 80s sunglasses. In front of me is my PaPa Coy, the best person my family ever produced. The pearl buttons on his Wrangler plaid shirt caught the bits of sun as it shone through the clouds. His mesh cap sat high on his head as he prepared to cast his line and slowly reeled it in just enough to tighten the slack. I could hear the whippoorwills calling in the treeline and the sound of our reels. I could smell the muddy water and my Granny Mable's perfume. I could see the water barely rippling beneath the boat and the faded red waist of my life jacket. In the back of my mind I was looking forward to the pimento cheese sandwich and coke that was in the little red cooler next to me. My favorite thing to see was my bobber on top of the water. I watched that thing, hypnotized, waiting to see it duck under the water to tell me I had a bite. I knew when I did catch a tiny perch that my PaPa was laugh and say, "Well, Mandy Bird, you skunked me!"

My happy place got me through several contractions, but eventually the pain would break through my scene and I'd have to leave and come back to my bed to focus on the task at hand. I so enjoyed my time there, even if it was short. Eventually at around 12:30 I had to get out of bed, move around, change position, and switch pain management techniques. I moved to Non Focused Awareness where you just basically let yourself take note of your surroundings while not focusing on any one particular thing or making judgment about your surroundings. It was so quiet so I had to focus on things I could see and smell. The bathroom was very crowded with supplies and such so I was able to lean over the bathroom sink and focus myself on all the items. I took note of colors, letters, shiny, flat, size, position, etc. of every item I could see. It was like taking an inventory during each contraction and moving farther away from myself to eventually notice the grout in the tile and the color of the door hinges. I had to move out of the bathroom once I'd inventoried everything imaginable. The focus was very helpful though. Then I moved to the bedroom floor and laid next to my sewing bin and made the inventory of each item, color of fabric, fold, ribbon, threads, patterns, etc. Smell was harder because it was more difficult to pinpoint. I tried things I could hear, but they were so repetitive; Jason's breathing (I was trying to let him sleep), my own breath, the fan, the sound of the chain clinking against the light fixture as the fan blew, the bathroom fan, rustling of blankets...it was too methodical to help move my attention away from the pain.

Soon, I moved to the shower. Once in the shower the only pain management that helped was vocalization. I had heard this from many moms but wondered how I would utilize this. Well, it was completely primal and unplanned or intended. I just began to cry out with each contraction with a strong "O" sound. At first it sounded like a whining boo hoo of suffering. So, I changed it to a little higher pitched and moved lower as the pain moved down. The contractions were getting so close together and I have no idea how long I was in the shower. Eventually I called to Jason to come and time them for me because I just felt like things were moving pretty fast. They were coming less than two minutes apart but were short, like 30-45 seconds. I had Jason call Mary and start filling up the birth pool. Of course, that meant I had to get out of the shower.

When I got out of the shower, I felt lost. I was in almost constant pain and felt spent of all my ability to handle it. I sat on the toilet again and called for my mom. Yes, I yelled, "Mommy, mommy!" That happened! My friend Andrea had made it in and I believe Rachel was there by then as well. My mom helped me move from the toilet to the foot of my bed and stroked my hair and my back as I continued to use my strong "oooohhhh" to get through each contraction. Jason was so busy trying to get the pool ready that I hadn't seen him much since he got up. I was definitely in "laborland" by then. I made eye contact with no one, remember very little conversation, and have almost a foggy image of things from there.




1 comments:

Fried Green tomatoes and a totally retro corningware pitcher I found at a garage sale...full of sweet tea. :) Mom made a fried feast for u...

Fun with Nanny

Fried Green tomatoes and a totally retro corningware pitcher I found at a garage sale...full of sweet tea. :) Mom made a fried feast for us last Sunday with all of our Farmer's Market finds. Fried chicken, fried okra, fried green tomatoes paired with cornbread, purple hull peas, and lots of "yummmmmms!"

Several hours later we had some pool time!


We are enjoying our visit with Nanny, but really wishing that Charlie would come on out and join the party! Freddie told me yesterday, "Momma, I want baby Charlie to come out today!" "Me too," I said. He then proceeded to put his mouth next to my belly and said, "Charlie, come out and see us today." She didn't listen to her big brother at all!



3 comments:

All myths busted 1) Spicy Food- no workie 2) Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- no workie (but did give me terrible indigestion) 3) Sex- no workie 4) ...

Myth Busters- Preggo Style

All myths busted

1) Spicy Food- no workie
2) Red Raspberry Leaf Tea- no workie (but did give me terrible indigestion)
3) Sex- no workie
4) Nuhnuhnuh Stimulation - no workie
5) Walking- no workie

Those are the ones I can think of for now that haven't been successful. Patience is a virtue, but not one that I really have mastered! :) I guess I'm not as great of a "natural" childbirth candidate as I'd hoped, hahaha!

4 comments:

Today is the last day of work before my maternity leave! It's been hard to focus, but mostly because I've been crazy productive and...

Last Day of Work


Today is the last day of work before my maternity leave! It's been hard to focus, but mostly because I've been crazy productive and gotten everything done way ahead of time. That was likely due to my hopes of having a baby early, but oh well. :) I feel really good today and slept really well last night. My ligaments didn't ache so bad and I only got up to pee one time. I even went to bed super late because we went to see X-Men last night. I enjoyed it. Man that dude that played Magneto is a hubba hubba for sure. He was in Inglorious Basterds too and I loved him. The best is that he plays Mr. Rochester in the new Jane Eyre movie, which I have not been privileged to see yet. I can't wait until it comes out on Netflix!



Anyway, today is tank dress with pleats day! Others are wearing jeans, which I think is foolish in this heat! I've gotten several compliments rather than just those empathy groans when I walk by, so that has lifted my spirits. I think it is just the most helpful that today is my last day until August and my mom will be here at 8:20 this evening! I have not seen my mom since her wedding which was August of 2009. Can you imagine? I mostly feel sad that the kids haven't seen her in so long and Addie was just a tiny little 8 month old baby last time she saw her. It should be a very interesting visit as Nanny learns these little personalities again and helps us greet the newest member of the family. I'm also slightly excited that we may have a couple of days together to shop and have fun and do some nesting together before Charlie comes.




Anyway, I wanted to leave you with a picture of happiness and a reminder for myself in a few months of just how big my lips and nose actually got!!











0 comments:

Hmmm, my tune may be changing just a little this week so I need to do a gratefulness recap. 1) I have had four days with no swollen ankles...

39 Weeks

Hmmm, my tune may be changing just a little this week so I need to do a gratefulness recap.

1) I have had four days with no swollen ankles, feet, or hands. That is a huge blessing.
2) I am getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, comfortable or not!
3) I have time to knit in the evenings and watch tv with Jason.
4) We got to attend our last childbirth class last night where we watched a video on The Happiest Baby on the Block techniques. It was awesome.
5) Jason will be finished with school tomorrow.
6) My mom will be here on Friday night.
7) The whole family was sick over the weekend and is pretty much all better now (thank goodness no baby when everyone was puking!)
8) I have gotten to work this week which is money we really needed.
9) I got to wear one more new maternity shirt this week!
10) I was able to finish reading the Husband Coached Childbirth book by Dr. Bradley.

Okay, I feel slightly better. I was starting to think about how heavy my belly is, how my ligaments ache when I move, how my skin is starting to break out again, how everyone keeps asking me if I'm miserable and I'm starting to believe the hype, how worried I am that she's going to be huge (considering that she was an estimated 6.5 lbs 3 weeks ago), and how freakin' hot it is outside! So, if I can just replace these yucky thoughts with my grateful ones, then I know I'll make it as long as I'm required. I just had this feeling that she would come last weekend. Addie came 8 days early...that was yesterday people! :) Oh well, no two pregnancies are alike. I have a midwife appointment today and I'm not even going to ask her to check me. I just don't need that type of disappointment! Good news, only two more days of work before I'm outta here until August, woo hoo! I need the rest!

5 comments:

I posted a pic on facebook this morning of my round and jolly self at 38 weeks. I am thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy. ...

38 Weeks!

I posted a pic on facebook this morning of my round and jolly self at 38 weeks. I am thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks of pregnancy. Yes it is too hot, my ankles are swollen nightly, it's hard to sleep comfortably, and I'm pretty exhausted once I get home from work. That is all beside the point though. :)

My skin is playing nice, my hair is thick and I can go days without washing it, I love wearing maternity clothes, Charlie moves all around and reminds me of her presence constantly, I am anxiously excited about labor/birth, the kids love to touch my belly, put their hands on it and tell me Charlie is kicking them. They gave me a full checkup with their doctor kit, stethoscope and all the other day. I enjoy visiting with my midwives, childbirth class is a lot of fun, I'm not waddling too badly, my back is doing fine thanks to the awesome chiropractor, pelvic rocks feel silly but I don't care, reading all of these books with anticipation is incredibly fun, and I just generally enjoy this whole process of pregnancy! I've told Jason to just greet people at church for me with, "She has two more weeks left, there's only one baby in there, and she's not miserable." :)

Keep an ear out for news of baby's arrival!

3 comments:

Cowboys and Cowgirls! Freddie's party was a big hit, and here are some pics to prove it! Addie didn't want to sit next to us,...

Birthday Party!



Cowboys and Cowgirls!


Freddie's party was a big hit, and here are some pics to prove it!



Addie didn't want to sit next to us, she's already embarrassed to be part of the family! ;)
Those are shoestring potatoes around the cake to hide the fact that the cake maker misinterpreted my instructions to leave the "bottom" of the cake empty for decoration. Instead she left the edges with no border, but this makeshift "hay" was a huge hit with the kids!
Cowboy Freddie!

My beautiful girl!
They refused to look at the camera, but at least they weren't throwing a fit because we were leaving. Don't you know they are sleeping so well tucked into their beds tonight?

Thank you to everyone who made it and for those of you who couldn't, you were greatly missed! Love y'all!

1 comments:

Yup, Freddie graduated Pre-K! They had the sweetest program at his school. All the classes sang and Addie joined in. Here she is with one...

Graduation

Yup, Freddie graduated Pre-K! They had the sweetest program at his school. All the classes sang and Addie joined in. Here she is with one of her friends. She loves this little girl and gave her a big hug on stage. If only she was as sweet to her brother! She screamed and cried at the beginning but once she saw her other friends up there singing songs she knew, Addie had to go join in and then screamed and cried when it was time to leave.



P.S. I whipped up that skirt the afternoon before, it has squeers on it. That is squirrels for those of you unversed in Addie speak! ;)

The Man of the Hour


Pictures were hard to get in the dark with lots of other parents trying for their own. It didn't matter though, I was crying nearly the whole time. I had no idea they were going to have the little gowns and all. Can anyone else see him at 17? Jason leaned over and said to me, "We're going to blink and we'll be at his high school graduation." More tears! He did such a good job and remembered his line in their program. I just love this little kid so much and it's hard to believe he will be 5 in just a few weeks. Oh gracious they even had them move their little tassels across their hats after they got the diplomas. It was too much. Freddie is excited to start kindergarten and I am trying to deal with it in a non-dramatic way. I will be an emotional wreck come August, leaving our new Charlie girl at daycare for the first time, sending my sweet boy off to kindergarten, and soothing my darling girl Addie as she ventures off to daycare without her best friend, protector, and comfort, her bubba. I'm already crying, for real, no joke, free flowing tears.
I am proud of him, I miss him already, and all the while I can't wait to see who he'll become.

2 comments:

We had our 36 week ultrasound yesterday and the results are in. Charlie weighs anywhere between 5.5-7.5lbs. :) That tells me about as muc...

Margin of Error

We had our 36 week ultrasound yesterday and the results are in. Charlie weighs anywhere between 5.5-7.5lbs. :) That tells me about as much as those weekly BabyCenter emails! The doc predicts that she's right in between at 6.5 lbs and isn't worried about her size at full term. Technically she will be full term next Wednesday at my 37 week mark. On average, babies gain 1/2 lb a week during this time so even if I go to 40 weeks at his guess she'd be 8.5lbs at delivery. That's a lot bigger than Addie, but still not huge or anything.

We had to go for this final ultrasound and consult with an OBGYN in order to finalize and approve our home birth because of my gestational diabetes. I've been managing it well though and I have full approval. I could now go into labor anytime and safely deliver at home. I have no clue if I'm effaced or dilated and probably won't until I actually go into labor. That's another blessing of midwifery care. Do you know that I've had 1 vaginal exam since being pregnant this time? ONE! That was my initial papsmear at the health department and nobody has gone poking around in there since. It's fantastic and even during these last weeks the midwives don't make that a routine thing and usually only begin checking you during labor and very minimally. I think that's awesome!

Anyhow, we got to see our sweet Charlie on the screen again and she is just pretty awesome. Her legs already look chunky, we could see a little patch of what the tech told us was hair, and we could even see her eyelashes at one point. Her little face was all squished against her placenta pillow though. She's head down and in a fine position to get ready to come out and greet the world. The kids are getting excited and we play a daily game of "Can you play soccer with a baby?" "NOOOOO!!!" they yell. "Can you snuggle a baby with a grown-up's help?" "YESSSS," scream Freddie and Addie. The list of nos and yesses just goes on and on and gets more and more ludicrous. My favorite is when Addie makes up her own. "We can kick da baby?" This precedes very worried glances between Jason and me, then she laughs hysterically and frantically shakes her head and yells, "Naaaooooo!" Oh Charlie, I hope you are the baby of steel!

3 comments:

The camera is here! I only got to play for a minute tonight, but I was glad for that. The view from above!! Addie shows on her new fwim...

Camera is here!


The camera is here! I only got to play for a minute tonight, but I was glad for that.



The view from above!!
Addie shows on her new fwimmy sooooot.
My son is handsome and silly.
Mommy has serious belly!

2 comments:

I had two comments on my last post and now they are gone...strange! Tomorrow is the big home visit with the midwives. I'm probably mak...

Where'd they go?

I had two comments on my last post and now they are gone...strange! Tomorrow is the big home visit with the midwives. I'm probably making much more out of this than it is, but it is a major milestone for me. It seemed like it would take forever to get here and now it's happening. I met with some interesting folks today that shared their opinions with me about home birth. I have to laugh and respect their comments because I was once a nay sayer about the whole thing!! One lady shared with me how she just couldn't do it because she doesn't like pain. It made me laugh to think of the opposite rationale there. I must enjoy pain, huh? :)

Andrea shared with me one of my emails of horror when my dear friend, Lydia, was planning her homebirth several years ago. I was so amazed by that decision. Anyway, I thought I'd give some more details for anyone out there that may be following this blog for the steps/processes of using a midwife and planning a homebirth. At 36 weeks there is a home visit where the two midwives and the apprentice come to your home for a visit to learn where you live, get a lay of the land, and talk to you more about the birth process. I have lots of questions...I think. I mainly want to know about the water birth situation and how we do the pool, how do you fill it with warm water, where should I put the thing, what if I get tired of the pool? Then I head off to my final ultrasound on Thursday! So excited and hopeful for a good prediction on the size.

0 comments:

Yesterday our home birth supply kit came in! It's in this big box and it's filled with mysterious and amazing things. There are 25 p...

Supplies

Yesterday our home birth supply kit came in! It's in this big box and it's filled with mysterious and amazing things. There are 25 puppy pads, iodine, those amazing pads that get all icy cold when you break them, perineal massage ointment of some sort, an herbal bath pack or two, a fish net (for the water birth...apparently in case any "grotto" as the midwives call it starts floating around in there, gross!), gauze, a nasal aspirator, mesh briefs (I loved those things at the hospital so I ordered some for myself), a cord clamp, gee I don't even remember what all came in the kit but it is awesome. Jason also went to the health department to pick up our newborn kit. It has the vitamin K, eye ointment, two pieces of gauze for some reason, the supplies for the little heel prick, and some other newborn goodies. Having these things sitting in my house is kind of a reality check for me.

"Um, self...do you realize that there's a box of birth supplies on the kitchen table?"
"Yes."
"Well, there are also 6 bottles of hydrogen peroxide, a big plastic bowl for you to puke in, lawn bags, and a gallon freezer bag for your placenta."
"Yes, and..."
"That's weird!!"

2 comments:

I can't believe it, Mother's Days have been very special events for the last few years. The first Mother's Day of my "moth...

Mother's Day 2011

I can't believe it, Mother's Days have been very special events for the last few years. The first Mother's Day of my "motherhood" was the day I found out I was pregnant with Adeline. It was an amazing gift. I had woken up knowing it was my day to test since we were actively trying and on our first round of Clomid. I forgot that test morning happened to fall on Mother's Day. After years of negative tests, I dreaded peeing on that stick on Mother's Day of all days. It was stinkin' positive though and things just kept getting crazier from there! We spent that day celebrating with family and Brittany and Freddie were with us then so we both got a Mother's Day lunch at Mimi's!

The next Mother's Day Addie was about 4 months old and Freddie was our foster child. We waited in a huge long line at Loca Luna for brunch with Nana, Pappa Bob, and Robert because they weren't taking reservations. However, a huge group of folks were giving their names at the front and getting seated quickly. I guess that was on the "who do you know" list! Jason bought me a diaper bag I had been eying and an adorable dress I'd wanted for Addie and something else...I can't remember at the moment. It was a huge surprise though and it was just all very thoughtful.

The next Mother's Day Freddie was officially our son!! I was a real live mother of two and Jason worked so hard to make it an absolutely perfect day. We had lunch at Caper's with reservations and excellent service and the kids were angels. I can't even remember what my gifts were but it felt extravagant...I need to ask Jason to remind me. Then we took Freddie to his first ever movie, "How to Train your Dragon," which he found terrifying and spent a large majority of the movie hiding under the chairs! It was a lot of fun though and the day was just super sweet.

This Mother's Day I am 34 1/2 weeks pregnant and have my two sweet children to remind me daily of both the blessings and hardships of motherhood. We had lunch at Caper's again and our sweet Rachel joined us then I got a glorious nap and a date night to Barnes & Noble and Copeland's for a late dinner. Jason got me two beautiful painted canvas prints of pics of the kids that I love and drumroll please..........A NEW CAMERA! It will be making an appearance soon on the blog since my poor Sony has been near caput for the past year and a half or more! Church was wonderful, my husband was charming and kind, and my kids were absolutely themselves 100%.

So, this Mother's Day, I want to focus on those things that often go overlooked when we thank our mothers. Things that I didn't really remember or realize until I became a mother. Thank you moms for not minding holding chewed up spit out food in your hand when we take bites that are too big or tried a veggie that just wasn't what we'd hoped. Thank you moms for always seeming to be a magic trash can for all the paper, wrappers, empty drinks, tissues, and other goodies that we are "all done" with! Thank you moms for having purses full of toys, snacks, candies, extra panties, and chapsticks just to keep us entertained and prepared. Thank you moms for having what seems like 8 arms to carry said purses, catch the food, wipe the noses, catch us before we fall, carry us when we're throwing fits, hold hands across parking lots, and point to things you need that you can't find the name for. Biggest on my heart right now though is a big thank you to the moms that chose life, moms that chose love and sacrifice, to my sweet sister who chose life for sweet Freddie at the age of 15 and then chose life again when she voluntarily gave up her rights and asked that the court grant us custody. I have never been more proud of her or more in awe of her strength. No matter the sad and painful choices that led us to that point, she was given a chance to make another and she chose love and life for her son. I love you Sissy, and I will always be grateful to you.

2 comments:

I just finished reading this book called The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It's a memoir about this girl growing up with extremely ecc...

Pajamas

I just finished reading this book called The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It's a memoir about this girl growing up with extremely eccentric parents that were neglectful, irresponsible, a bit crazy, one was an alcoholic, the other severely psychologically disturbed, and just pretty much wild. The books is really good and some things reminded me of my own childhood, especially that guilt over feeling that you've abandoned your siblings. I cried at the end of the book, just thinking about how I would have made different choices as a young adult if given the chance again.

The best way to get out of that funk was to count through the good choices I've made and the ways that I'm able to provide my sweet babies with stability, structure, love, and pajamas. Yes, pajamas. Not that they are necessary or anything, but I know that I never really had a set of pajamas. Maybe when I was a baby I had some sleepers or something, but in my whole life I only remember having oversized thrift store shirts and old gym shorts that I slept in. My dad had a pair of pajamas that I think we got him for Father's Day once. My mom had some awesome satin type ones that she found on sale somewhere. They didn't wear them super often though. My brother and sister never seemed to have pajamas either. It was just "night night shirts" or some type of underwear/undershirt combo. I remember getting some things that more resembled pajamas in college, but I'm still pretty pajamaless. My kids though....they have an entire drawer in their dresser dedicated to pajamas. They have long sleeved pjs, shorts & tops sets, footed pjs, princesses, dinosaurs, racecars, apples, birdies, and even a matching set with fish on them. They love their pajamas, and nothing makes me happier than when they get to stay in them all day long! I love how the pants ride up and create saggy knees while the bands are tight around the calf. I love how every single pair of pajamas seems to create an insane diaper wedgie on Addie, and how their bellies poke out right under their shirts. I love how Addie sometimes refuses to take off her princess pajama top and I've taken her to school, the doctor, and out to eat in that top with a pair of jeans! I love how Freddie will create his own combos and pair an alligator top with dinosaur bottoms for the ultimate carnivore pj experience. He has this one pair of Calvin Klein PJs I found at a yard sale with little buttons on the front of the pants and they are wayyyy to small now but he won't stop wearing them. The top is an 80s midrift and the bottoms are like skin tight capri pants. I giggle every time he puts them on and make some lame Saved By The Bell reference that he will never get. I just love pajamas for my babies. It's strange how things so simple seem to make life more normal than I ever knew before. When I was a kid, the word "pajamas" was like saying "automobile" instead of just "car." It was fancy. When we say pj's, my kids think of bedtime stories, hugs and kisses, tucking into bed, night night songs, and "I'm not sweepy!"

What are some things you do to create a better world for your kids or even for yourself?

2 comments:

Today is April 15th. I am due June 15th, wha huh??? Things are in full spring swing around the Allen house. This weekend there's socc...

2 Months Away

Today is April 15th. I am due June 15th, wha huh???

Things are in full spring swing around the Allen house. This weekend there's soccer, birthday party, a friend get together, Palm Sunday service, the church picnic and Easter egg hunt, and a bake sale. Next week there's an egg hunt at school, multiple services at church, Friday off work, woot, then a weekend of Easter gatherings and remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus. I really enjoy Easter with my family. It's a time to create new traditions with my kids and find ways to share God's love with them in a way their little minds can comprehend. I never really had that growing up, so this is completely new territory for me. As I told them the story of Easter the other night, they both got so sad and asked me, "Jesus died? Why he died?" Their sadness was so overwhelming and sincere that I understood so much more fully what faith like a child really means. It's a strange thing as a parent because I want to protect them from the more painful realities of the world, but I can't really teach them how amazing God's love is without them first coming to the realization of how very grim things would be without it. Just something to think about.

Other things going on, Jason and I are taking a just the two of us trip to Dallas the last weekend of April and it's going to be wonderful. I have never spent the night away from both the kids. Not that I can remember anyway, nope, don't think I have. I'll worry while I'm away, but I know Jason and I need this time. We've been savoring alone time together a lot more lately and we are both sharing in some anxiety as we realize that three kids is a lot more than two! As we wrangled them around Wal-Mart tonight, Jason motioned towards the two of them and then to my belly and lovingly said, "We're crazy!" He's probably right! The last time we were alone together was Tuesday night for our childbirth class. On the way home we laughed about how terrible music is these days and then tried to identify those truly horrible songs that we loved as teenagers. All those dance mix songs came to mind, "Be My Lover" by La Bouche, "Sex and Candy," and lots of others. It was fun. Childbirth class is fun too, and so confirming. The folks there look pretty normal and it feels like this isn't actually some fringe of society type of thing to do. I like that and I like that Jason gets to meet other supportive husbands that seem moderately normal to him (he thinks everyone is weird...so do I really).

In baby news though, I've gained only 15 lbs and I'm doing well with my diet. Charlie is head down and definitely a girl. We had a confirmation ultrasound over spring break. She punches me all the time and moves a lot at night. My SI joint is doing better after a few weeks with a chiropractor. I have a final ultrasound scheduled for May 19th where as long as the baby is not measuring too big, I will be officially cleared for home birth. I'll have my home visit the next week where the midwives will come out and we'll talk about plans for the birth and really get going on all this. I have to order all of my supplies too. It's really just kind of on auto right now, it's gonna happen! Sweet friends are planning a shower for me in May, then there's Mother's day, then we'll have Freddie's bday party somewhere at the end of May, then MY MOM is coming on June 10th, then Charlie will be here, and the whole crazy thing will be just beginning again!

3 comments:

I need more patience with my children, specifically my weirdo son. Gracious knows that I love my babies with all of my heart. It is just get...

Wanted: More Patience!

I need more patience with my children, specifically my weirdo son. Gracious knows that I love my babies with all of my heart. It is just getting increasingly more difficult to tolerate the craziness that is my son's behavior.

He is constantly talking and it is usually just saying, "Maaa!?"


"Yes, Freddie?"


"Uhhhh.....(blank stare) I like you!"


"I like you too, Freddie."


"Uhhh...Maa?"


"Yes, Freddie?"


"Um.....do you....Ma do you, do you, Um....Ma do you know what movie I like?"


"Which movie?"


"That movie Toy Story 3, that's a good movie."


"Yup."


"Uh, Maaa?"


"Yes, Freddie."


"I know how about we could do before bed."


"What?"


"Ummm...we could, Maa we could um watch that movie...we could watch Toy Story 3!"

This is actually a pretty productive conversation, but they usually aren't so and they happen at least 25-30 times a day. He talks so fast that he doesn't even pronounce Mama, it's just, "Maa!" This is combined with a lot of whining recently and bursting into tears when he puts his shoes on backwards. He has also taken to making airplane noises, shooting pretend guns, talking to himself, T-Rex walking through public places including tucking his elbows into his sides and stomping, rolling his head around while laughing and talking to himself, constantly sniffling and refusing to blow his nose until he's forced to by my nagging and a big droop of snot about to run into his lips. Disgusting, I know! This is typical kiddo behavior, but my patience is so short sometimes that I worry he may get a complex. I nag too much over stupid things. I know that pregnancy, a 2 year old in potty training, and the extreme pain my back are all combining factors in this though. Still, pray if you can for me to have more patience with him and to enjoy his silliness rather than let it be a bother to me. It breaks my heart when I look back on a day and see that I've burdened him more than I've praised him. Sweet crazy kid, how I wish we could all be more like you!

3 comments:

I feel much better thanks to more pillows at night and a few visits to a really kind chiropractor. I'm not very excited about the $40 a...

Much Better

I feel much better thanks to more pillows at night and a few visits to a really kind chiropractor. I'm not very excited about the $40 a visit, but hopefully I can just be able to walk! I don't have much else. No pictures yet of the quilts, mostly because I have only finished one. It was a lot more work than I anticipated! The kids have adjusted very well to sharing a room together. Sweet potato girl is just so big. I can't believe it. Anyway, not much to say, just checking in!

1 comments:

I have been busy with some crafting lately. I set out to make quilts for Addie and Freddie's beds. Toddler bedding is really a pain. ...

Promises

I have been busy with some crafting lately. I set out to make quilts for Addie and Freddie's beds. Toddler bedding is really a pain. It's either ugly, gaudy, super cheap, or incredibly expensive for 2 yards of fabric. Even finding a sheet set for a toddler bed is crazy expensive. I saw some cute sets at Target, but they were $25-$30 a piece and not really perfect by any means. They just weren't what I wanted. Why can you get twin size bedding for next to nothing and then be expected to pay out the wazoo (like $70 for a quilted toddler bedding set) for two yards of fabric to go on a miniature bed?

Anyway, I didn't really save money because my supplies cost me about $40 and there is no coordinating top sheet, but I found very cute fabric and gained experience in quilt making! It has been really fun and I was able to customize the size to actually cover the bed instead of go up to the bottom of the pillow and stop and barely lip over the edge of the bed. ANNOYING! The promises come in with me "promising" to post pictures when I'm done! We put the kids' room together today and they are both sleeping peacefully in their new co-ed room. We have worked so hard today and this weekend has more work in store with cleaning and organizing and maybe some nesting for Charlie girl. Freddie's sweet little quilt and matching pillowcase is in the washer now. I'm so excited! Not that I attached the binding correctly, cut it accurately, joined the ends right, or at all "mitered" the corners in any recognizable way, but I'm just remembering how many times a week it will be washed due to my sweet boy's pee pee palooza he has nightly. This is a functional thing! ;) Stay tuned!

1 comments:

I has it! I've been googling, a dangerous pastime, I know. Google has led me to the diagnosis of pelvic arthropathy. "A woman ...

Discomfort

I has it!

I've been googling, a dangerous pastime, I know. Google has led me to the diagnosis of pelvic arthropathy.

"A woman with pelvic arthropathy will feel pain mostly around her pubic area spreading out to the groin and the front and back of the thighs.

Some kinds of movement, such as lying on her back and trying to turn onto her side, worsens the pain. When she walks, her steps will get shorter until she is almost waddling. Walking up and down stairs is especially difficult.

Some degree of pelvic joint pain affects most women in the later stages of pregnancy but the discomfort for a small group of women is often underestimated. For these women, pelvic arthropathy might develop early in pregnancy and last well after delivery."


That's me, my pelvic bones ache. Not my hips like with Addie, not even my SI joint as badly as with Addie. Every night though, my pelvic bones/groin aches and hurts especially when I lay down for bed. During the day at work I've had multiple people mention the discomfort on my face when I walk. I'll ask my midwives about this, but for now google wins! At least I have something to call it that sounds really terrible so I can talk about how my pelvic arthropathy is acting up! Would more walking help? More water? Massage? I just don't know, but for now I'm just in pain.

1 comments:

I am not nearly as mature as I thought. Also, lots of people 20-35 years older than me are also not very mature. I'm discovering that ...

Maturity

I am not nearly as mature as I thought. Also, lots of people 20-35 years older than me are also not very mature. I'm discovering that a lot of folks are bitter, ugly, scorned, and then even more bitter inside. I have my days where I wallow and feel very sorry for myself and feel like the victim, the target, the "all about me" days, you know. I could never live in that state though for some extended period of time. It would be miserable. Unfortunately, so many of the people in our lives do live in that state and it's always bubbling under the surface. It is so ugly and hurtful when it comes out.

Here's my announcement to the world that refuses to take the blinders off. JESUS is the only reason I have anything. My LOVING GOD is the only reason I am alive. OBEDIENCE to CHRIST is the only way I've found to make anything go "right" in my life. It is not because I'm "likeable," "peppy," rich, blonde, funny, a suckup, fake, cute, lucky, or even a particularly good person that anything good has ever happened to me. On the other side of that coin, it is only because of the evil living on this earth, the spirit of meanness and pain, the devil that lives here even in the hearts of men that any of the horrible things in this life have happened to me. It wasn't because I was bad, I was "unlikeable," I was unlucky, ugly, fat, or brunette. I have to remember that when mean people make my life unbearable or when it seems that the ugly hearted get nowhere in life, that God could turn their lives around just as easily in a moment. More bad things will happen in this life and I will not blame myself or "the universe" nor will I give credit to myself or the universe when blessings come. So, thank you Jesus for helping me to daily remove bitterness from my heart and anger from my soul that I may live in your light rather than darkness. Help me bring that light with me into the dark places where I find so much cruelty and selfishness so that I shall not be dragged into it!

1 comments:

I'm having a very hard time right now letting go of my kids in their own rooms. There are dozens of pros to moving Addie and Freddie in...

Letting Go

I'm having a very hard time right now letting go of my kids in their own rooms. There are dozens of pros to moving Addie and Freddie in together and dozens of cons. Right now the biggest con is that I am having an emotionally difficult time letting go of Addie's "nursery" and all of her girlie things and all the nesting and work I put into it (mostly due to knowing that I will not have that kind of time to individualize a room for Charlie). At the same time, Freddie's room is all boy and filled with the smell of little boy pee, trucks, trains, and robots and superheroes.

Pros
Freddie's room is bigger = more room for toys, playtime, two toddler beds
New room to decorate for both of them
Charlie's own space to sleep/not sleep for probably the first year of her life
A new nursery to nest in for new baby
Their room can be more grown up and have big kid toys separated from baby toys
Addie might do better in her big girl toddler bed with big brother there with her
Consolidation = more space to grow as a family into our home!


Cons
Emotional turmoil for Mom
Bedtime could be a terror with both of them talking/getting out of bed, etc.
Mornings could be a terror with Freddie waking up considerably earlier than Addie most days
The work!!! So much to move, rearrange, not enough closet space for both of them, etc.
The loss of individual space for them for timeouts, naps, etc.
Fear of supervision issues at night/nap time/boo boos, he hit me, get out of my bed, that's mine, etc.

Any advice for this overthinking mom? You can see that my blog has become more active free therapy for me lately, huh??

5 comments:

As I get further along in this pregnancy, more questions are coming to mind. Do you wanna help with some? Okay, great, thanks. :) 1) Whe...

Thoughts & Things

As I get further along in this pregnancy, more questions are coming to mind. Do you wanna help with some? Okay, great, thanks. :)

1) Where should I set up the birthing pool?
  • I would like it to be in a room where I can close the door and just relax alone or with just Jason and me but still allow other people a common room to sit and visit. Thoughts?

2) What if I freak out?

3) Can I do this without my mom or Jason's mom? (she's not planning to attend so that she can watch the kiddos)

4) How can I explain to people that the kind of help I need when the baby comes is not the kind where they take the other kids away?

  • I know that sounds odd, but I just have this fear that folks will want to help out by taking Addie and Freddie for outings, sleepovers, extended stays, etc. and this summer will be my only time with all three of them before Freddie starts kindergarten and I go back to work. Any suggestions or thoughts/experiences in this area?

5) What if Jason and I aren't "telepathic" as Ina May and her hippies say?

  • I don't really think that's a good word for it but the question remains. What if he doesn't know what I need, he can't apply pressure in just the right spot on my back, he gets overwhelmed and then angry with me for being a brat? The man can't even tolerate it if he scratches my back and I redirect him to the correct itchy part and I have no idea if it's because he's a punk or if I am. Thoughts again?

I have lots more, but I figure those will be answered by my midwife as things get closer and I have my home visit. What do you say about these though??

3 comments:

Yep, we had one. Friday night I got to just hang out and chat with my sweet Rachel. Baby Charlie must have really enjoyed our conversation...

Great Weekend!

Yep, we had one. Friday night I got to just hang out and chat with my sweet Rachel. Baby Charlie must have really enjoyed our conversation because she was doing some gymnastics on Friday night. It is always fun to feel her move but this was extreme! Saturday we made it to Murray Park, had a little picnic, played in the sunshine, and even broke out the bike and tricycle for the kiddos. The whole family got a great nap and then a visit from some family. The kids were entertained for hours and so grateful of the gifts they were given. It always makes me feel so good to see them show thanks and grateful hearts.

This morning I taught Sunday school and took both kids despite our 11 o'clock lunch date with Nana and Pappa Bob. The kids actually hate to miss church and get a little tiffed if we sleep in and they miss seeing some of their favorite people. Addie loves the ladies who teach in the nursery and Freddie loves the children's director. We skipped big church which was a compromise to go eat pizza with the grandparents, it was accepted! ;) We all got gifts from Nana & Poppa Bob. I got pens, Jason got cigars, and the kids got tons o'candy!! Once again, the kids were grateful and sweet. Even though they get gifts and surprises almost every time they see Poppa Bob, they are still excited and thankful. I told the kids that they have lucky grandparents! Anyway, we got another great nap, I finally went to the grocery store, and I even got some work done that I was behind on from last week. Now I'm watching one of those outrageous medical shows on TLC. It's late, but I'm not eager to start the week. Well, I'm eager for another weekend though! Spring seems to be springing and I couldn't be happier.

1 comments:

I almost finished devouring Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. I can't believe I didn't read it when I was pregnant with Add...

Ina May G.

I almost finished devouring Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. I can't believe I didn't read it when I was pregnant with Addie and hoping for a natural delivery. I only read one book, watched one movie (Ricki Lake's The Business of Being Born), read a lot on the internet, and followed the weekly pregnancy guide book...oh and I read a breastfeeding book. That was it. Well, I took a hospital sponsored childbirth class also. Since I've been pregnant with this little gal I've been much more proactive in my knowledge gathering.

Have I told you all that we are seriously considering Charlotte Olivia for baby girl's name? We'd likely call her Charlie. We really like it, and there have been virtually no other names Jason and I have both agreed on. There's always a chance though that the goods were seriously hiding in that first ultrasound and it's actually a boy! ;)

Okay, back to Ina May. She is amazing. Her writing is simple and you can tell she is kind of a nerd about her work (which makes me love her even more, everyone should geek out about things they love). She has educated herself from so many fields and time periods and her resources in this book are astounding. I've never heard anyone speak/write so plainly yet have such rich analysis, story telling ability, presence, and gobs of documented information/statistics to share. I'd love to meet her, and I'd probably have something like celebrity shock if I did! The funniest thing is that although she is a midwife, her nurturing side seems much more matter-of-fact than it does our Southern style of "honey-child" "sugar dumplin' " and such. She just knows women can do this and therefore she nurtures that ability. I want to go to The Farm in TN where she lives on her hippie commune and practices, but the odds of meeting her or that she'd be available seem pretty slim! I know lots of people have been on the Ina May bandwagon way longer than me, so sorry to just be catching on! The feminist in me is just so empowered by her, the things she teaches and believes in, and the women who came before her whom she respects so much. I would recommend reading her books pregnant or not. I'm on to her first book, Spiritual Midwifery, when I finish this one!

0 comments:

I took pictures last month during the big snow and here are a few for your viewing pleasure. I can't believe how grown up she looks, ...

Snow and Sweeties

I took pictures last month during the big snow and here are a few for your viewing pleasure.



I can't believe how grown up she looks, not to mention boofull aka beautiful. ;)



Love my hubbers.

3 comments:

Baby girl is fine, heartbeat is strong. It's possible she shifted around and is making it harder for me to feel her. At the ultrasound...

Update: All is well

Baby girl is fine, heartbeat is strong. It's possible she shifted around and is making it harder for me to feel her. At the ultrasound she was feet down so if she is head down or laying sideways I may not be feeling those kicks/movements as much. I feel better though and had no issues with my blood sugar despite the root beer and candy....all the more reason I think it's a conspiracy anyway!

Thanks for the thoughts!

2 comments:

I am downing a Barq's root beer and I've had two fun size candybars in the past 10 minutes. No I have not gone stark raving mad fro...

Homemade Sugar Test

I am downing a Barq's root beer and I've had two fun size candybars in the past 10 minutes. No I have not gone stark raving mad from lack of yummy foods. I just haven't felt the baby move in probably 3-4 days now and it is starting to worry me. When I look at my sugars though, it doesn't surprise me. I have had blood sugar below 100 over half of the time I am checking, poor baby has no energy! ;) Anyhow, I've decided to see if I can stir up some movement with a good sugar shock and if not then I'm calling the midwife. No need to be worried, but I had a pretty good rythm of feeling her move for a couple of weeks so that's the only reason I'm concerned now. There has been a rather sudden slump in her movements almost to nothing that I can recall in the past few days. Cross your fingers that I feel movement and don't go into diabetic shock! ;)

1 comments:

I was inspired by Candice to do a recipe post for snowcream. I usually make it with Pet milk (evaporated milk), sugar, and vanilla. I c...

Snow Cream- Inspired Post






I was inspired by Candice to do a recipe post for snowcream. I usually make it with Pet milk (evaporated milk), sugar, and vanilla. I changed up my recipe last time we got snowed in because I didn't have any evaporated milk and voila, it was even better!



Ingredients

Lots of fresh snow (Tip: Put a large bowl outside to collect your snow and bring it in right before you're ready for it...I used a metal bowl because it gets really cold to keep the snow from getting melty on the bottom)


2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream


1 Cup Sugar


2 tsp Vanilla


Directions

Heat your heavy cream in a heavy pot until it just simmers, stir constantly (do not boil!) Turn on low heat and stir for 10-15 minutes until mixture thickens and turns to a thicker creamy consistency. It will also turn a nice cream color.


Add your sugar and vanilla, stir until completely dissolved


Put this mixture in the freezer until it is completely cooled (you don't want to melt your snow!)


Once mixture is cooled, bring in your snow and slowly add your cream mixture until all the snow is covered and there is a little bit of liquid in the bottom of your bowl. Stir until smooth then serve quickly! Tip: I put mine back in the freezer and although it takes awhile to thaw out again, it tastes just as good the next day!

2 comments: