"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10

Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby update

A lot has been going on lately that I really do want to catch up on.  But the main event in my mind has been preparing for baby.  

Tomorrow is my due date.  If baby was following the set pattern, she should have been early.  As in, up to three days early.  It doesn't appear that will happen.  She has two and a half hours left.  

As of today I am 2 centimeters dilated.  While that is much better than the zero I was two weeks ago, I was really hoping for more.  With Julia I was dilated to a 4, weeks before she was born.  That was agonizing.  I feel like I have been contracting quite a bit like I did with Jules, so I have been surprised that I'm not more dilated.  

All that to say, I feel very content.  My other babies were either summer or early fall babies.  With those pregnancies I was so hot and swollen at the end.  I don't feel like that at all this time around.  Yes, I am tired and big.  But I don't feel miserable.  I feel at peace.  

A week ago I caught my reflection in the mirror and was a little shocked, so I took a quick picture.  What an amazing body God has given us women.  Ignore the dirty mirror, and check out that tummy.  There is a complete little person in there that we will be meeting soon.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April 9, 2014

Today was a good day.  I slept hard during nap time.  We had grilled hot dogs on paper plates for supper.  I went to Target by myself after getting Julia to bed, and ran in to a friend I hadn't seen in a while.  The weather boasted upper 70's and sunny.  The girls played outside a lot.  Lydia finished her math book for the year.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baby Update

Today marks 37 weeks that this babe has been gestating in my womb.  It still blows my mind that there is a real live human being in there.  Even though I can feel her move and am reminded every second that I am growing a person within me, it boggles my mind.  I have always been a bit surprised when you deliver, and out pops a real, live baby.  It is a miracle, whether it is your first baby or sixth baby.

I am having a lot of contractions, just like I did with Julia for weeks before she was born.  I know they are not labor contractions, but if this was my first rodeo I might be freaking out.  They don't knock me out, but some definitely make me stop and take a deep breath.  I think this also may contribute to my tiredness, since my body is working extra hard with every contraction.  Although, I will say the my exhaustion has been better the last few days.  A good (relatively speaking) night's sleep really helps.  My doctor hasn't checked to see if I'm dilated yet, although I would be surprised if I wasn't.  

I had a doctor appointment yesterday and I'm measuring a couple weeks behind because she is down in my pelvis.  Dr. Wurtz asked me if it felt like there was a cantaloupe in my pelvis.  That sounded like a pretty accurate description.  I've not gained any weight the last three weeks.  I just don't have room to eat much at one setting.  I'm not as puffy or retaining as much water this time around, which is a welcome relief.  All my other pregnancies ended in July or very beginning of October, so I was very hot and swollen.  It is in my makeup to gain most of my weight the first half of my pregnancy.  I've found that the best way for me to combat the "morning" sickness is to eat.  And for some reason water doesn't stay down in those dire days while pop and fast food will.  I've learned to just embrace it, and know that my weight gain really slows down in the last half as I reach my set point.  This baby moves quite a bit, but not as much as Julia did.  Julia was my biggest party girl inside.  

I am mentally preparing to go through labor and delivery.  I tested positive for Strep B, which is a first for me.  I'm a little worried at how fast I will go this time, with having to get to the hospital to get the antibiotics going.  Julia was three hours from the time my water broke at home til she popped out at the hospital.  So if that is reduced by an hour, that is a pretty quick turnaround by the time we get out of the house, get checked in to the hospital, and so on.  But, I'm not going to get worked up about it or fool myself into thinking much of this is actually in my control.

Overall, I really can't believe there is only three weeks left.  This pregnancy has flown by.  My mom and sisters are coming in a couple days to help rearrange girl rooms, decorate, and prepare for baby.  The truth is, I need the help.  I still have to buy little diapers, pack a hospital bag, pull out and wash baby clothes, figure out a plan for the girls when the baby comes, clean the baby equipment, and so on.  Until then, sweet little baby girl can stay nice and snug in her Mommy.  

Friday, April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

One difficult thing about having a wide age range of kids is that it is difficult to find a movie that pleases everyone.  Friday night is family movie night.  After being at CC all day, we are all beat by supper time and need a night to just veg out.  We've gone for a while where we rotate who chooses the movie.  Whatever Cora chooses, even if it is Dora, everyone watches.  Everyone gets a turn to choose on their week.  We've been out of that habit for a while.  Tonight there was vast disagreement about what to watch.  I let everyone pick one movie they would like to watch, wrote the movie down on a piece of paper, put it in a cup, and Julia chose the piece of paper with the winner.  That seemed to be a decent remedy for the disagreement.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2, 2014

I have hit the wall in this pregnancy.  Many women talk about how hard the first few months after having a baby are.  Not me.  For me, the hard part is the first 4 months of pregnancy and the last 4 weeks of pregnancy.  The first four months bring puking, exhaustion, and all over yuckyness.  The last 4 weeks bring exhaustion and exhaustion.  I can handle a brand new baby nursing all the time and functioning in the haze of little sleep for the beautiful babe.  I cannot handle the monumental task that just getting through the day is at this point.

I've heard someone describe a person's ability to handle things as a washing machine tub.  There is a small, medium, large, or extra large tub capacity.  You know the people that you wonder if they ever sleep?  They are extra large capacity.  My capacity right now is extra small.  I've also heard of the ability to handle things as points.  Everyone gets so many points per day.  The points may be used on physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual tasks.  Once your points are used for the day, you are done.  I don't know if all my points are going to the physical task of growing a baby or what, but my points are gone by mid morning.  My tolerance level is low.  

The funny thing about me is that as soon as that baby pops out I feel like a different person.  The pregnancy taste in my mouth is gone and I am able to taste and enjoy food again.  My energy level increases.  I feel better.  I make a deliberate effort to take it easy so my body can heal after labor and delivery, even though I for the most part feel better than before.

So, how do I handle this time until Baby Sister comes?  
I think about all the women who have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a baby.  I pray for them, and ask God to bless them.  I know that the difficulty I am going through right now does not compare to the difficulty of not being able to have children.  
I look at our five girls.  I think that I went through this tiring part of carrying them also.  But now they are here, and that hard part is for a very short period of time in comparison to the length and fullness of their lives.  
I focus on how this suffering is not for nothing.  There is a new soul that will be entering the world in about a month, and I have the privilege of knowing her and carrying her.  
Practically speaking, I am pulling freezer meals out of the freezer.  I'm telling the girls "no" more often.  I'm setting low expectations for myself.  I'm asking the girls and Mark to do more.  
I know that this is all worth it as our family grows, welcoming a brand new person.  And for all of this, I am thankful.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 1, 2014

March did not seem to go fast for me.  I'm happy April is finally here.

She fought a valiant fight this afternoon, but Julia finally gave in after rocking and singing.  She is the baby for only about a month longer, so I was happy to enjoy the snuggles.

After much brainstorming, measuring, pondering, and debating, we finally decided on a plan for the girls' rooms.  Last night I got on the computer to order the bunk beds.  Then I started second guessing myself and thought I should check out a couple other front runners just in case there was some great new deal I missed the first thousand times I looked around.  Pretty soon I was finding fault with every single bunk bed on the internet, and couldn't decide what to do.  I called Mark over to help me sort it out.  He asked, "Do you think you're overthinking it a little?"  Um, yes!  But I can't help myself.  I know I overanalyze.  I know I'm a perfectionist.  I can't stop it!  It drives me crazy.  So, no bunk bed was ordered last night.  I got up this morning determined to make a decision, and ordered the Catalina twin over twin bunk bed from Pottery Barn Kids.  Who knew it would be so hard to find a sturdy, beautiful, quality built bunk bed that could also be used as two twin beds?  

Well, we are in the Frozen world now, just like the rest of America.  We held out for a really long time.  Madeline accused me on more than one occassion of being the only family in all of Nebraska who had not seen the movie.  It wasn't that I was adamantly against it, but we just hadn't seen it.  Two Fridays ago the girls rented Frozen with Mark's mom.  Then my mom asked if she could buy the DVD for the girls for an early spring/Easter gift.  They were extremely excited to open up that package in the mail, especially after they had been discussing pooling their money together to buy the DVD.  This past Friday was the first time I saw it.  I'll admit that I liked it more than I thought I would.  But I'm ready for the soundtrack CD to get some scratches on it.  

Tonight is bath night.  Lydia got an early start so she could have plenty of time to read in the bath tub.  That is my girl!