Friday, April 18, 2014

I was just cruisin' along until...

You know you're getting to the crazy, insane part of pregnancy when you actually consider typing "When will I go into labor?" into the Google search bar.  So far I have refrained, but I'm not saying it won't happen.

For me, I was so content still being pregnant... literally, I talked to my doctor, and we decided that if my body is showing signs that it is ready, we will induce ON my due date, the 28th.  And I've been fine with that.

Until my body started doing weird stuff.  Like some weird feeling Braxton Hicks that kept coming.  And then all of the sudden my thoughts go from, "I can ride this thing out till next Monday" to "Is this it? Am I in labor? Will today be the day?"  If you want to know how to make 10 days of pregnancy feel like 60 days, the answer is to pay very close attention to everything that happens in your body and then try to figure out what's happening.

Also don't go to Google.  Once again, I think I have a subconscious (or conscious) fear that Matt will have to deliver our child on the side of the road.  Realistic since we truly live 5 min from the hospital.  I get on these forums and start reading stories like, "I didn't feel any pain until I was 8 cm!"  It doesn't actually help that I know THREE real live people who a) had hardly any labor pain until around 5 cm or b) had contractions that felt completely different with their second child than their first so they didn't realize they were in labor, or c) went from like 2 cm to 10 cm in an hour.

Okay, and late night insomnia is great for getting on Pinterest and searching things like "natural labor induction techniques."  As if I didn't memorize those in my last pregnancies.  And let's be honest, I am too chicken to try most of them.  Like I said, this is when the crazy, insane part comes out.

But if I'm being totally honest, this is the most sane I've been at almost 39 weeks. I think.  In the sense that EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT has not been "When is this baby coming?"  Thank goodness for other children, for friends, for stuff happening outside of myself so that I actually have other things to focus on besides this pregnancy. (Although you probably couldn't tell based on the blog posts recently.  Sorry, not sorry.)

Anyway, we had some yard guys come get leaves out of our shrubs on Wednesday, and the house deep-cleaning people just left my house (the ones Matt hired as an anniversary gift), so now the yard and the bathrooms and the ceiling fans are fresh and just begging for a newborn baby to arrive!! Yay!

Okay.  I'm done with the ramble.  I am so excited to celebrate Easter and have a laid back family weekend, and I am so excited to just ride out this last week because I have DECIDED that I will not live my last pregnant minutes in baby-psycho-anticipation-labor mode.  I never liked surprises, but if he comes early, I'll just have to deal with it!  Here's some preggo pics of me recently- for your pleasure.  You're welcome.

Jenna and Ashley hosted a little baby shower dinner for me and Jack. :)  Ash and I are due the same week.

Ashley and I showed up to Jenna's 30th Bday celebration in the same maternity shirt.  As you can see, light colors make me look like Frosty the Snowman a little more pregnant.

Last night we celebrated Sally and baby Abe.  Sally and I have had all of our babies (minus her very first) within about a month of each other.  She is due about 5 weeks after me this time too!  We were matching.  Also, I can't believe it's been like 8 years since I've known this group of girls!  Plus more for Sal and Amber.

Jenna's Bday Celebration!

I took this selfie to try to determine if Jack had dropped at all or not... but here it is for good measure.
Baby bump love.  Sally's looks like she just stuck a little mini-soccer ball in her dress.  Are you actually pregnant Sal?
Here's the original for good measure.  This is with Henry and Lucy!

Photo bomb in the background.  What are we doing?  Somehow I think I was supposed to be putting my hand on her belly, but we got this instead. ;)
Okay last thing and then I am really done.  If there's one thing you can count on when I am pregnant, it's that my hair color WILL change.  Maybe that's not ONLY when I am pregnant.  Nevertheless... about 6 weeks ago I went in for a hilight, which I thought was going to be my last hoorah before baby... but it got too light, so I went the TOTAL OPPOSITE direction, and am back to being a "brunette with dark blonde highlights."  I don't have much to say about that except that it happened... and it HAS happened in each and every pregnancy.  Truly.  Okay I'm done.

Happy Good Friday/ Easter!  Till next time.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

my strength: a thankful mouth

Last weekend, I had a little list of the last few things I wanted to get done around the house before the arrival of number three.  Let me rephrase - I had a list of things I wanted MATT to get done around the house.  One of those things was hanging curtains... in like three or four rooms in our house.

Long story short.  I wasn't around when these curtains were being hung, but I had given Matt an 86" curtain and asked him to please hang the rod so that the curtains touched the floor. Aaaaand when I got home, he had done just what I asked, but I realized that my curtains weren't actually long enough, so the height of the rod was just barely above the window, and well - if you've been on Pinterest lately, this is just (supposedly) not acceptable.  Slash (I love writing out that word) we hung curtains high in our living room and I LOVE it, and I don't think I can go back.

So basically Matt had hung curtains in three rooms, but in two of them the rod was too low (my fault), and honestly at the time (on very little sleep - as I am now), I was frustrated!  Not with Matt, but just with the fact that he had put some decent time and effort into doing something for me that is not his favorite thing to do, and it was probably gonna have to be re-done. Ugh.

Insert growing opportunity.  Through my time in the Scriptures recently, I had been (and keep) seeing this theme over and over and over again.  "Give thanks in all circumstances" and "Whatever is praiseworthy, think about such things" and "[give] thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of Jesus" and "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all your wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name."

God is showing me I literally cannot do two things at once.  I cannot complain and give thanks at the same time.  It is not possible.  I can't think self-centered thoughts and think God-centered thoughts at the same time.  Even the slight rolling of my eyes at an unpleasant circumstance is a denial of his unfailing, providential love for me.

So last Saturday night, I decided to just push it out of my mind, and then I would see how I felt about the curtains in the morning.  I wake up, sit down to read my Bible, and all I could think about was those dang curtains!  My mind was just gravitating toward the negative... So I prayed for God to please help me, and then I opened my "Jesus Calling" devotional instead of my Bible (in all honesty because I was so focused on the dang curtains that concentrating on Scripture was proving to be a challenge).  I kid you not, this is what it said:
"When you focus on... situations that displease you {ahem, curtains}, your mind also becomes darkened.  You take for granted life, salvation... and countless other gifts from me.  You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until it is fixed." - Jesus Calling pg. 101
So I have literally been choosing to give thanks.  Sometimes it's easier than others, but I think that's why the Bible so often refers to our praise as "the sacrifice of praise."  Because you literally have to set aside your will, your thoughts, your frustrations and dreams and replace them with something that honors and delights God instead.

Now that God's been repeating this theme in my time with him for like three weeks, I can feel the constant tension in everyday life.
  • Someone cuts me off in traffic - I can curse them ("What are doing, you idiot?!") or I can set aside my frustration, and give thanks... not necessarily for the fact that I got cut off but maybe for the fact that I am not in control and that even when I am getting cut off in traffic, my Father is even working that for my good.  
  • Someone ignores, offends, or acts unlovingly towards me - I can ruminate over their wrongdoing and my hurt.  I can act like a victim. OR I can set aside the personal feelings of offense and pray for eyes to see them like God sees them.  I can ask for his love for them (a prayer, I am realizing that God LOVES to answer).  I can thank the Lord that even though I don't have unfailing love from every fallen human, that I have it from my Creator, God.
  • OR if there's not really anything to think about, and my mind is in autopilot, I can switch OFF the autopilot - which typically gravitates to either past or future concerns - and instead choose to find things that are praiseworthy and give thanks.
The last thing I want to say is when we praise Jesus, our praise is SO POWERFUL.  Psalm 8:2 says, "Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." (NIV)

Think about a baby.  A baby has no defense, no power at all.  And yet, God says that the praise from a baby's mouth can silence or still the enemy.  Praising God is literally a weapon.  On that note, complaining seems to breed more complaining.  Worship stops the crazy, downward spiral of negativity and anger.

So there it is.  We can't do two things at once.  The next time an unpleasant circumstance presents itself, let's be quick to bring Jesus the sacrifice of praise.  I have now been awake for four hours.  The end.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

chatty preggo alert

I'm at a weird point in my pregnancy.  Like, I know that I cannot conquer the world - the world being my endless list of house and organization projects and lots of different social obligations.  Physically, I just can't do it.  Even emotionally I can't do it.  Items are slowly dropping off my to do list but not necessarily because they are getting done, but because I'm realizing "That's not really necessary," or "There ain't no way," and "Why did I ever put that on the list to begin with?"  There's waning motivation.

But then I'll just be putting away clothes and suddenly decide that RIGHT NOW is a good time to clean out and organize the file cabinets, or all the printed photos, or the CDs. On that note, can I tell you how unfortunate it is that Matt and I were in high school and college when Napster was popular/legal? SO.MANY.CDs.  If I am honest, many of them are future trash.

Yeah, so it's like my brain knows that I need to tone it down, but then the nesting instinct kicks in, and... end of story.  Generally speaking in the last few weeks, I have transitioned from "I have to get the WHOLE house ready" to "What are the few things I need to do to get ready for the actual BABY?"

Oh, and he's gonna be a bassinet/pack n' play baby, so guess what! There's really not much for me to do.  So I packed a hospital bag, and I think I'll just let Jack wear the same outfit home from the hospital that H and S wore - despite the fact that Sam got some sufficient spit up stains on the neck.  I have all the nursing and pumping supplies ready, so umm yeah, I think I'm pretty much ready.

Thanks to the pregnancy books and apps that I busted out for like the 2nd time this entire pregnancy, I remembered that I need a baby book or at the bare minimum, something to get Jack's footprint stamped on. I know I bought a book for Henry, which is currently upstairs in a box I have unofficially deemed my "scrapbook to do" box.  Oddly enough, however, I can't remember if I bought a book or just got something else for Sam's footprint.  Whichever it was, I am sure I could find Sam's footprint upstairs in the scrapbook box- along with other material dating back to- oh let's see... college!

But if I go up there, I will inevitably begin reorganizing that box.  And, to be honest, right now, I am content just letting that box be a closed mystery.  Although since organizing and trashing things and cleaning out seems to just be something I impulsively do these days, I'm sure that box will get tackled sometime in the next three weeks.  Have I really just spent two paragraphs talking about my scrapbook box?

Also, can we talk about the calendar?  First of all, at 37 weeks with Henry, I was pretty much just sittin' around with absolutely NOTHING on the calendar because those dumb books tell you that your baby can be born "any day" at this point.  Now it's more like - we have stuff scheduled ALMOST everyday leading up to my due date.  Don't the schedulers of all these activities like swim team and school sing-alongs know that I'm having a baby?!  (I kid.)

Oh, and as much as I do wish that the world would just stop and nothing would go on after April 28th, it won't.  So I even have things on the calendar AFTER my due date, which I most definitely did not after Henry OR Sam was born.  So weird to think that Henry was still at home with me all day everyday when Sam was born, and apart from my activities (mom's group through church), we basically had NO activities.  Times have changed.  Fortunately we have LOTS of help available after Jack comes, and the grandparents can help take Henry and Sam to their activities while I sit at home and deny that the world is still turning.

This is getting long, so I will stop.  Gee whiz, I feel like I have so much to chat about.  In honor of impending labor, I thought I would re-post my first pics with Henry and Sam.  Gotta get in the mindset over here.

This one was immediately after Henry was born.
Immediately after Sam.
There's nothing in the world like meeting and holding these precious babies for the very first time!  Cannot wait!  Okay, the end.  I will save some ramblings for future posts.  I'm sure I will need to talk to the air more than usual in the next three weeks.

Monday, April 7, 2014

37 Week Bump Update

How Far along? 37 Weeks.  This is officially a "term" baby.  Unfortunately, I have been doing what I always do, which is think that 37 weeks magically means that the baby could come any day, and that's just an RX for suffering.  What I need to do is 1- get emotionally prepared and then 2- stay busy and keep my mind off of when this thing may go down.

Total weight gain? At my last appointment, my weight stayed the same from the previous appointment, which means that I am pretty much on target to weigh what I weighed at the end of pregnancy #1 and #2.  Moral of the story: your body does what it is supposed to do because all of these pregnancies have been pretty different as far as my diet and exercise go.

Belly measurements? Umm, am I supposed to measure this?  All I know is that at my 36 week appt last week, my fundal height was exactly 36 cm.  If this question is asking the circumference of my belly, then this question is officially dumb.

Maternity Clothes? Yes, I am ready to burn them.  Thank you for asking.

Stretch marks? No new ones yet, but I am not holding my breath.  I don't remember exactly when I got them with H and S, but I know it's towards the end, and like I said, not expecting anything otherwise.

Sleep? I usually have two or three good nights followed by two or three bad nights where I am just up, meandering about the house, usually eating or doing something totally NOT worthwhile.  Or googling.

Best moment this week? Gosh, that's a tough one.  This past 37th week was a really good week.  I am really treasuring the family time we've spent reading books to the boys (in their shared bedroom) the last couple of nights.  Henry is really into the Jesus Storybook Bible, and Sam has been more snuggly.

Miss anything? Why, yes.  I miss not being pregnant.  I remember after Sam was born for a few weeks I would say out loud, "I'm not pregnant anymore!"  It was SO nice.  As much fun as it is to have a baby taking up residence in my abdomen, I know I will be so much happier to have him here... and things like walking up the stairs and bending over to pick something up off the floor will not seem so daunting.

Movement? Jack seems to be super active.  I told Matt that I don't remember the other two being quite so active, and he told me that he thinks I say that every time.  I do think I am in trouble, as he always gets fidgety as I am laying down to sleep.

Food cravings? Actually, yes.  In the second trimester, I wanted protein and veggies and fruits.  But NOW... now I just want carbs and cheese.  Really.  And hot food.  It's weird how all the stuff I was enjoying just a few weeks ago seems repulsive to me now.  So I've been eating WAY more pasta, pizza, and also more sweets and sugar in general.  Maybe the baby is sending signals that it wants to put on the LBs... so eat up mama.

Anything making you queasy or sick?  Yes. Here's the downside to the previous question - I feel sick after any and every "big" meal.  It's weird, and I don't remember this feeling in the 3rd trimester in my other pregnancies. Honestly, I think Jack may be sitting a little higher than the other two did... so he's bombarding my stomach space... large meals = I really do want to barf if I eat too much.  

Labor Signs? Really not much.  At my 36 week appt last week, there was no signs of progress.  I have the occasional braxton hicks, and some crampy feelings, but nothing to indicate that labor is nearing.

Current Symptoms? Sciatica/Nerve Pain... like it's AWFUL, braxton hicks, occasional acid reflux (but it seems to have gotten better), breathlessness, sleepless nights, back pain and I'm not sure if this is a "symptom," but I feel pretty absent-minded... like I can't concentrate on one thing for long.

Belly button in or out? Out, and Henry and Sam think it is so weird. I guess they're right about that.  

Wedding rings on or off? Off.   And I haven't even tried to wear a fake one this time.  I just walk around letting people think I'm the next teen mom.

Happy or moody most of the time? Umm, I am definitely sensitive and emotional.  I'm not sure.  I am not as moody as I was from about week 30-36, and I think that's because I know we are SO CLOSE.  But I am physically much more exhausted.  So I will say I am happy, with bouts of emotion that ranges from feelings of frustration and impatience to the aforementioned weepiness.
So that's that!  While I would be so glad not to be pregnant like TOMORROW.  I do not feel mentally prepared to have this baby yet.  I am praying that I would go into labor naturally (verses being induced), and I am trying to do what is not natural for me, which is wait on God's timing with contentment and patience.  Here's to three more weeks!  Tomorrow is my 37 week appointment.  Sorry I have no belly pic today.  I will maybe add it later.

the latest

¡Hola!  Since my posts seem to be fewer and farther between these days, I thought I'd just give a little update on my already-born children.

Sleep situation: We decided to move Sam's crib into Henry's room, and that has been great!  They are doing so well with the transition (after a week).  They go to sleep at the same time, and Henry wakes up a little bit earlier than Sam.  He knows not to wake Sam up, and comes downstairs when his alarm clock turns green.  Henry, my kid who always needs at least one other person around, LOOOOOOVES having Sam in his room.  Sam was initially apprehensive about the room-sharing, but has adjusted really well.

How they amuse themselves: The boys both really enjoy pretending to be dogs. (??)  I'm not sure if this is to compensate for the fact that most likely, we will never have one of our own.  But they follow each other around the house on hands and knees and bark like dogs.  It is funny.

Other things we are into these days: Hungry Hungry Hippos, Mousetrap, Paper Airplanes, Riding Bikes and Scooters, Swimming, and I am sure I'm missing tons in this category.

More on swimming: We put Henry in swim lessons back in January, and since Sam had no choice but to come along to watch, I went ahead and signed him up too.  Well, after 8 weeks, with some really great weeks (and many very stressful weeks), I asked for a refund on Sam's remaining lessons.  They agreed.  They said we had tried very hard and been patient, but that Sam was actually regressing, which by the way is code for absolutely not cooperating at all. This is so right in line with Sam's little sweet and sour personality.  The thing is, when we take him to Lifetime, he LOVES putting his head under the water and trying new things.  It's only when we spend the $$ on swim lessons that he decides it's a good time to refuse.  Naturally.  If we are giving Sam the benefit of the doubt, the swim lessons are smack dab in the middle of his would be nap time, which means 99% of the time he is exhausted during his lessons.

Henry's personality: Henry continues to be more on the shy/reserved/introverted side.  Situations with tons of people completely overwhelm him.  Case in point: our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.  He does not blossom in these settings.  He is naturally very shy, and to be honest, I am learning how to accept how he is made and parent him accordingly.  I could write a whole post on that alone.  You'd think that being a shy, introverted child, I would have some sort of insight, but it turns out I have just recently begun to accept some of the limitations of my own personality, so there's a lot of wisdom to be gained here.

Sam's separation anxiety phase: Sam has entered a new phase of clinginess to mommy.  I kid you not, that kid has wanted me to hold him more in the last 8 weeks than he had the entire year before that.  I read the other day that in these last few weeks of pregnancy, that I stop making as much progesterone and start making oxytocin, which is the mothering hormone.  Maybe you think I am crazy, but I seriously wonder if Sam is sniffing out that mothering hormone.  I'm telling you, he has been soooo clingy, crying when I drop him off at the gym and at school, after having not cried for months and months.  He wants my constant attention, wants to sit in my lap at dinner, etc.  And of course it's really sweet, but also a tiny bit inconvenient at this point in my pregnancy.  I am trying to be thankful and soak up these last days of Sam being the youngest.  Since he is normally so independent, it is sweet to actually have him wanting me.

Stuff they say: I could write a whole post on all the things they say.  I need to keep a running list because they both literally crack up up everyday.  Here's a few conversations:

After swim lessons the other day, Sam was tantruming, and I was using the IGNORE technique of parenting.  So we are riding in the car, and Sam is being ignored, at which point he starts screaming, "Mommy, you're not listening to me!" Over and over and over again.  Finally Henry chimes in and says, "It's because you're whining, Sam!"  Thank you, older brother.

I wasn't here for this one, but my in laws told me this story.  My mother in law, Henry's mimi was watching him and they were out and about.  She apparently asked him about 10 times before he got in the car to go home if he needed to go potty, and after telling her no, he was getting frustrated that she kept asking.  Shortly after that, Henry told my sister in laws (his aunts), "Sometimes when Mimi talks to me, I just get so BORED!"  We think he must have meant "frustrated" or something like it, but "bored" is what came out, and now it's a great story.

This post scratches the surface of what's happening with us.  Perhaps I can post more than one time this week.

In other news, three weeks till the due date, and while I am not "ready," I am just about done being pregnant.