Mi Familia!!

Mi Familia!!
Roscoe, Sophia, & Emily(across top) and then I think you can figure out the rest!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

...a little personal space, is a GOOD thing

contentment : )

and some cheese!
I have had the very best day today!

It all comes down to the baby getting a little more sleep. I hate to even write it out, because I don't want it to change... : )
...but she seems to be starting to fall into a tiny bit of a routine.
On the days when she isn't ravenously hungry that is (which tends to go in bouts of two-three days).

For the last two days, I have been able to get her back to sleep in the morning, before I go and get the other kids out of their room. They have been getting up and playing nicely until I come get them, about 30 minutes later, which is pretty good I think!

The day starts off much nicer when I am actually able to eat in the morning! : ) Plus the kids get a little time with me, that isn't about Alora, which is nice for all of us! I can not tell you how much easier it is for me to just sit with her nursing, having had a little bit of time to eat, play with the kids, and even brush my teeth!

This morning she actually slept long enough to vacuum, wash and put away the dishes, AND clean the kitchen floor! I know that I can't count on her to do it every day, but I'll take it when it comes around! I think it's a little sad to be as excited as I am to do housework, but when you have absolutely no time to do anything for awhile, you become more appreciative about lots of things that seem small or silly even.

Alora is growing so fast I can't believe it! She is getting so big and awesome, too! She can focus on things very intently now. She is so alert at times, and is getting better at being by herself for small periods of time in her bouncer or the swing(looking up at her own reflection).

She smiles and smirks, and is starting to coo when she's happy and grunt when she starts to get frustrated. She can cry with the best of them, but isn't generally a grumpy baby. She has an appointment coming up on Monday, and I look forward to seeing how much she weighs now. People ask and I have no idea. I can tell she's gained though, because she now has a roll or two on her little thighs and her feet have become much chubbier, too!

An added bonus to her sleeping longer stretches of time, other then being able to breath my own air occasionally, is that we finally got a garden in!

We had Alora at a terrible time as far as having time to get out and get dirty, but we decided that we would just buy all our plants this year... and obviously she was worth the change! When we got out into the yard we were very pleased to see how amazing our compost was this year. We were able to work in enough to not have to buy any extra for the first time! We also discovered about 10 orphan tomato plants while we were weeding, that had we started earlier we surely would have not recognized and just turned under. We transplanted a few that were in bad spots and also left a couple of groups of them and will wait and see what we end up with. Last year we had only one, but it turned out to be one of our biggest producers, and this year another one popped up right in the same spot. Fun stuff!

We lost the rosemary, but the sage, oregano, lemon thyme, and summer savory all overwintered well. By the time we got out there, they were huge! I need to go out and harvest them so they don't go to seed. I am going to harvest more right now than I got at the end of last season! : ) We were able to find string beans at the store. I have always grown them from seed, so figured I wouldn't have them this year, so that was a pleasant surprise! We also bought and planted a green, yellow, and red pepper, two banana peppers, a red hot cherry and cayenne pepper, three basil, a rosemary, an early girl and celebrity tomato(which we've done well with, in the past), and an heirloom tomato we haven't tried before, as well as a bush cucumber and zucchini plant.

It won't be quite as big as last year's garden, but certainly big enough to get the benefits of stress relief and also some yummy food to harvest. I love that the kids go out and help us and really know where real food comes from. They love peppers, tomatoes, and green beans right out of the garden. It's so cool that they love raw veggies, and I think it is because of their exposure to fresh food growing in the backyard.
I am beginning to hear the pitter patter of little feet upstairs, but I am so glad that I was able to put up a post today! Hope all is well out there in bloggyland! : )

Today I am thankful that Alora is starting to mature, now let's hope it doesn't happen too fast!!
I am grateful to have a garden this year, because I wasn't sure we'd be able to pull one off this year!
I am grateful to have had an awesome day, to recharge and enjoy just about every moment of the day!! : )

Saturday, May 29, 2010

7 weeks later...

Not a single post in over 7 weeks!
I can't believe it!

{ I should start by saying that this seriously started out being titled 4 weeks later.... yikes!
I might also mention that since this has taken me over 3 weeks to actually finish, it ended up getting longer than I probably "should" post... but whatever... my blog isn't about rules... it's my outlet! I now return you to your regular programming. : ) }

It is incredible how fast the time flies! I feel like I had 4 more kids instead of just one! I am often overwhelmed with the madness of it all. And I don't even mean overwhelmed in a crying heap in the corner kind of way (although I have my moments), I just mean in a holy crap, I have so many things to do in any given moment, kind of way.

I feel like things are starting, just starting to seem a little more reasonable. We made it to the park today again(sooo much fun!), and I even went and walked the reservoir last night ALL.BY.MYSELF!!! That, btw, was awesome and I am hoping to do it as often as possible.
I'd love it every day, but I'll take 3-5 days a week for now. I was only gone a half hour round trip, so I think that's pretty good. As time goes on I'll be able to leave for even longer periods of time. I look forward to that too, but for now Alora needs her a lot of Mama lovin!! : )

I wish that I was at a place that I could come on here and post more often. I miss it. But I am happy just to be able to eat right now, and occasionally get to pee by myself... but not often! : )
If I had laptop that would be nice, because then I could write the posts while nursing. But I don't have that many quiet times whiles she nurses because of the other rascals. I often make sandwiches or try to clean up while she eats out of necessity. She isn't a super crazy, every second nurser, like Sophia was, except for when she is having a growth spurt... but since that has been most of her life so far... it seems like all the time.

She is so sweet though. She is super mellow most of the time. And although she nurses often because she is still so little, she sleeps soundly at times and has the capability to completely relax, which is very cute and nice for everyone when it occurs. She smiles now and it lights up her whole face. She looks kind of grumpy when she's not smiling, just like her brother. Her birthmark, which is a lot like Sophia's, looks like an angel to me... or quite possibly a squirrel! : ) We'll see how it changes as she grows. Her sister and brother still love her beyond belief. They want to hold her and kiss her every minute of the day. For the most part Alora likes the attention, except for every once in awhile, and I guess we all want to breath our own air sometimes! : )

Let's see, what else has been going while I was away?

Since I posted about her birth A LOT of things have happened around our house... I guess that is always the case. I don't know when it happened, but somehow I turned into that annoying girl at work who ALWAYS had some kind of drama going on. You know the one I'm talking about, she always had some story and usually it wasn't her fault, but ALWAYS there was drama(even if there wasn't) to be talked about to anyone and everyone that would listen...

I honestly don't thrive on it... it just seems like there is always something going on lately. Maybe this is my karma for silently judging those girls as drama queens... I'm not sure.

So let me fill you in on our latest drama and you can judge me as you see fit! :P

A week after Alora was born, Al was putting the two middle kids to bed when he realized he had forgot to grab socks. The socks were downstairs NOT getting folded or paired or put away, because no one can fold the socks like Mama does(ahem...).
So he ran downstairs quickly to grab them. I was in my chair, nursing the baby. He had been downstairs for about 30 seconds when we heard the most horrible thunk followed by an ear piercing scream. We both ran upstairs immediately. I got there right after Al did and knew just from looking at her that Sophia was broken. I went in and tried to calm her down by hugging her(baby still at my breast) and trying to sooth her, but she was inconsolable for a few minutes. After a minute we were able to get her to stop crying and take a good look at her and I could tell by the way she held her arm that she had to go to the hospital.
It turns out that although we have rules about Roscoe not being allowed on the top bunk, Dad usually lets them get up there together right before bed, and when he ran downstairs they started to bounce on the bed(one reason for the rule). Roscoe bounced Sophia right off the bed. She fell onto her face(there was a huge bruise on her face and you could see where her entire face had just whacked the ground), she had tried to protect her face with her arm and the pressure cracked the bone. She and Dad went off to the emergency room and 4 hours later she came home with a bright orange cast on her left arm.

The worst part is that this is actually the SECOND time she broke her left arm!! I swear the neighbors think we beat her or something... The first time she and I were walking up the stairs when she slipped. I was going up behind her(5 months pregnant with Roscoe at the time), but I had my hands full of laundry and although I dropped it and tried, I wasn't able to catch her. She went right between my legs, and I actually lost my balance and almost fell right on top of her. She fell down about 4 stairs and broke her arm up by her elbow. This time the fracture is by the wrist. Poor kid! I tell her that she is going to have the strongest left arm bone of anyone she knows! : )

She, by the way, is (now) absolutely fine. She did great with the cast and it didn't seem to bother her at all. I think it bothered us more than her! The biggest problem was that she couldn't play in the mud and get completely filthy, like usual. She got the cast off on Monday and we were all excited about that! : )

The next major drama, I think, was 4 days after Sophia had broken her arm.
Alora was 2 weeks old at the time.
Al was so tired while he was driving home he fell asleep while driving home from work!! He was trying to do so much to help things run smoothly, that he forgot to take the best care of himself.
He says it felt like he closed his eyes for just a second, but that's all it takes.
He drifted over the rumple strips and into the median. The median at the point he hit was like a really tall chain link fence. He hit several before he regained control. The car was a 1999, and was determined a complete loss by the insurance company.
The truth is there was a lot of body damage(the roof, the left front end, the windshield on the left side). BUT, it was still drivable and no engine damage, so we had been hoping to get it fixed. The insurance company did give us a fair price. Blue book minus our deductible, so it worked out.

The scariest part of the whole thing, was thinking of all the "what if" situations that COULD have happened. You know like, he hit someone else.. with kids in the back... or run into the back of a truck(which there are many on his commute). That he could have been hurt badly and not been able to work.. or of course taken some one's life or lost his own life.

I feel very grateful that all that was damaged was a car. It was a reminder that everyday is precious. It was a reminder to take better care of ourselves as parents, because without us, the kids can not be ok on their own. It shook me up quite a bit, but it could have been SO much worse. We ended up going about a month with only the minivan. It cost us a bundle in gas money, and made me feel a little "stuck" in the house. Our park is close, but not close enough to walk to with three kids, one being a newborn especially! We were able to find a nice enough car for Al to use with around what we got from insurance. Bonus being, it gets great gas mileage.

We have not planted a garden this year. We just haven't been able to get it done. BUT every year for mother's day I get a hanging basket for each kid(yay me!). This year I picked up a few from the farmer's market for 1/3 of what it would have cost at Home Depot(support your local farmer's folks!!!).
Alora took a super long nap the other day and the kids and I got to plant a bunch of mixed flower pots together and had a great time! I have so many pictures I'd like to add, but it is such a pain in the butt here. I haven't even put up a single picture on flickr either.... yikes! That is probably my next miracle naptime hour.(This time the kids are ALL asleep because of our 2 hour hike/walk/feeding the ducks/playground fun today. Hopefully, the more we get out the more I get an hour of peace? Hey, I'll take it when I can get it right? : )

Alright this is already a mini-novel...
I hope that you all made it to the end! : P
I hope that you all are enjoying your own crazy lives!

Today I am grateful that my kids are all asleep right now!
I am thankful to have a family so full of life and love, without them things would be WAY too quiet! : )
I am thankful that my husband is still around to irritate the crap out of me, and be my partner in this wacky life we lead!
I am also thankful I have a few people out there who will read my mini-novels, when I actually have time to write them... if any of you did that is!!! : )

Friday, April 9, 2010

A picture journey to a new life!

It started out a pretty normal day.

We were taking a few shots of the belly to show the latest growth.

This is the belly at 40 weeks and 4 days.

While taking photos contractions hit...
nothing too intense, but enough to breath through.

Happy to have a break! : )
Little did we know that although these had been going on for the better part of two days, off and on, about 5 minutes apart for a few hours at a time.. and then stopping and starting and so on... that this time it was the real deal!
The hubby had gone up to take a bath and I was fiddling around on the computer, when I started to feel like maybe these contractions were not only still five minutes apart... but also getting a little too strong to be "practice" ones anymore. I didn't go up and tell Al until they had been going on for almost an hour... because the truth is we were all tired of false calls, but around 11:30 pm, I went up to let him know he might want to come and time them again. After about 4 more contractions I was in full toning mode, on hands and knees leaning into my ball to get through them and telling him to call in to the birth center.
We had planned on having the whole family at the birth, but the fact that it was almost midnight by the time we were headed out the door, I decided at the last minute to leave the little kids at home with Emily and just go with Al.

This is a shot of us in between contractions at about 2 in the morning.

Seconds after being born.

Seconds after being born.

Me staring in amazement just moments after giving birth to my newest little bundle of love:
Alora Dorthea Fey
April 6, 2010
4:36 AM
8 pounds 3 ounces, 19.5 inches

Daddy getting in his first hugs

Getting ready to go home and introduce little Alora to the rest of her family...
feeling a little goofy with the endorphins and endlessly amused by the monkey butt! : )

The kids meeting their new sister.

Roscoe fascinated by his new sister.

Emily holding her new sister.

Alora with the hint of a smile, swaddled and content! : )

Sophia finally gets to hold Alora!

Roscoe gets to hold his new sister, too!

A picture of us the next day.
I hope that you all can forgive the extra days to let you know that she finally arrived. Of course, now that she has, things have been hectic and amazing and busy and new... there has been a lot of love and only a little sleep!
The kids are all doing well, but there is adjusting going on.
I am feeling incredible... but the sleep deprivation wall is looming ahead in my near future, for sure! I haven't gotten more than 2 hours sleep at a time since the night before she was born, I have a hard time winding down and by the time I am ready, she is up and ready to eat all night long! I can not describe to you the joy and amazement and love I feel for her already. I already can not remember what it was like to not have her in our lives. Isn't it crazy how fast your entire world can change? : )
I hope that you all are doing well and thank you for all the positive energy and love sent our way! I hope to be able to sit down and write about her birth... it was intense and amazing and different from all the others, but for now I just wanted to share some photos and the news of her arrival!
Today I am thankful to have a beautiful new daughter to love and cherish and learn from!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A good weekend, even sans Baby Fey!

Just a quick note to let everyone know we are still waiting for Baby Fey.
We had a really great Easter. The bunny visited our house and got the kids some cool garden tools and fun stuff. We went out to brunch with my sister and her family. The food was good, the company was better, and the kids were reasonably well behaved (Roscoe IS two, so I'll take what I can get!).

We came home and I spent about an hour in a squatting position(good for getting that baby to drop down) while weeding the herb section of the garden. I am happy to say that we have returning Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Summer Savory, Oregano, and possibly Rosemary. Funny enough the Rosemary is usually the hardiest of those herbs, but the winter was hard and I may or may not of cut it back far enough... the jury is out on that one still.

After that, I got to take an hour and a half nap before being awakened by strong contractions. I had contractions every 4-5 minutes for over two and a half hours... but deep down I knew it wasn't time yet. I was 15 minutes away from calling in to the midwives when they stopped for about an hour. I am super glad I waited because it was Easter and I had really not wanted to call wolf during some one's celebrations. They started up again two more times (4-5 minutes apart) last night for about an hour each time. I am doing my best to remember that this is the way that my babies come... slowly... tortuously even... but that my labors usually go very well, and I think it is because my body does much of the getting ready process long before(real labor) actually starts.

I am feeling pretty well, even though I am not getting much rest. I continued to have strong contractions, but without much pattern throughout the night. If I was a betting woman I would say I still have about a week... but I also am HOPING that I don't... because the truth is these things are uncomfortable and often painful, and when I don't get a baby at the end of them... they don't seem as useful... although I know they are in the whole picture kind of way.

I think the thing that is the most frustrating about the waiting is that although deep down I think it will be next week... every time the contractions start I can't help but think... well maybe this IS it. It makes it hard to do much other than obsess over when Baby Fey will get here. The contractions are fairly constant at this point.

The hubby and I are doing pretty well, it is hard on everyone to wait... but I think that having re-established some connection has helped us. We continue to meditate/spend time/talk/regroup together on a daily basis and burn a candle with positive thoughts, hopes, and dreams every night. I am sure that doing this nightly is helping us to feel more and more connected and ready for this little one's arrival. There have been a moment or two of frustration between us over the last week... but not much and never explosive or really intense. I think that we are doing great, especially since we added in a major holiday and group family time into the mix! : )

I'm not sure how often I will come on before the baby gets here... there's not much new going on right now... same stuff everyday... contractions, questions, and some level of disappointment when things slow down again and then start again... and stop again... you get the point.

I hope that every one has had a nice weekend and that this beautiful weather we are having has reached your corner of the world! We had a bursting of Spring at our house with all the daffodils and 5 or 6 hyacinths coming up and blooming over the last week! I LOVE Spring so much and can't help but feel hopeful and renewed with the earth during this time of year!! : )

Today I am thankful for a beautiful weekend.
I am grateful that seriously my time as a pregnant woman is ticking down (no matter how slowly it might seem)!
I am grateful that the flowers have sprung and are scenting the air around our front porch with the most delicious scent of Spring!! : )

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No baby yet....

Ok folks here's the dealio.

It's HARD to be a vessel!!
The hardest thing for me during pregnancy is the fact that although everything depends upon me... I have no real control over anything that is happening in my body. I can eat well, and exercise(which I do). I can try not to get too stressed and get enough rest(which I also do to the best of my ability)... but really there's nothing that I can do about most of the things that my body just does as part of nature. I am a vessel. It can be a beautiful thing, I got to feel all those first little flutters. I have an intimate relationship with this new little person that no one else has had the opportunity to experience yet. And although I know that the things that I do and don't put in my body make a difference in how this new little life developed and grew, when push comes to shove, I can't really control what is going on in there.

I had no power over whether or not my placenta would attach properly in the very beginning of this journey. I could not save the little embryo that wasn't meant to become a fully formed little person, in my early months. I can not force this baby to be born any sooner than it is supposed to be born. I am but a vessel. I have a huge part in this miracle of bringing new life into the world, but no control over how it goes about happening. That is a very humbling thing to accept. I must admit that it is very difficult for me. I feel such responsibility, but have no control at all to change the way that things are going... and it is a struggle for me.

I went in for my weekly checkup yesterday. I had been planning on starting a serial sweeping of my membranes. Last week things were perfectly aligned for me to be swept, but it was too early. My cervix was not effaced(thinned out) yet, but I was dilated to a good roomy 1 and we figured with my daily contractions that I would have more progress by yesterday. Also although the baby's head wasn't engaged(that never happened with my last until I was actually pushing him out) the baby was easily moved into my pelvis to put the right pressure onto my cervix to do the sweep.... last week that is.

Yesterday when I went in I was feeling a good amount of anxiety. I feel pretty torn about messing with nature and trying to push my will upon it. I have been going back and forth about doing the sweep and how comfortable I am with it. Although it isn't a chemical induction it is a "medical procedure" that can have consequences. Things like accidentally breaking the amniotic sac, which could be a big problem if labor wasn't spontaneous after that... causing a hospital birth and possible chemical intervention to help get things started.... all of which is about as far from what I would "like" my experience to be as it could be! And honestly it's not just about what I want my birth experience to be like.... it also has a lot to do with the way that I feel about birth in general. I really do believe that the least amount of tinkering with this natural process is the best. BUT, I also have this hernia repair... which tweaks and stretches in a painful way everyday at this point... so I let my fear of rupture get the best of me and "planned" this procedure. The amount of internal struggle that I was feeling over getting it done was obvious. It was obvious enough to my midwife that she wasn't sure if she should even go through with it. We talked for a bit and she left it up to me, but said it would be fine for me to NOT get it done. I waffled and discussed it some more with her and my husband but in the end, I decided yes..... let's just do it.

So I bared my bits for her to examine, not the most comfortable thing in the world. My husband was there holding my hand( the sweeping is down right painful and I wanted his support)... and then nothing! Well, not really that quickly, but I could tell something was wrong from the beginning of the exam. The midwife was able to fit only one finger inside my cervix still, so I had no more dilation over the week, and my cervix didn't efface at all yet, still. The baby's position also made it impossible to move into the pelvis, so there wasn't the right pressure and she simply couldn't do the procedure.


I can not describe the amount of disappointment that I felt. I have been thinking about and anticipating this for two weeks. I have been having daily contractions for months. The night before I had gone to bed early, because I am getting so tired... only to be waken up with contractions, that although I knew were not "real" labor were strong enough that I couldn't sit still(or sleep) through them. I had to rock and walk and tone just a little to get through them. They lasted for 3 and a half hours, about every 5 minutes, sometimes every 2.
For nothing.
I know that this is the way that my body works. Every baby has come later than my due date, which is not until Friday. And all of my pregnancies have had weeks of contractions that even last time with my THIRD baby, I still convinced midwives and myself were"real"... went down to the center and had all my people ready and everything... to end up with them stopping after a few hours and not being "the real thing". It is immensely frustrating!

Yesterday after I left the office I was pretty grumpy. I was feeling disappointed... I want to hold and kiss this baby!! Plus, there is a part of me that was happy to have some kind of "time" that I would be having this baby. I knew the possibilities that I still wouldn't have the baby after the sweeping but I had honestly not considered not even getting it done. I cancelled my appointment for today because there is no point unless my cervix effaces a little bit more, and I wanted a day off of the stress. I DID NOT cancel my appointment with the midwife tomorrow, because I want to leave my options open, and that is my internal struggle right now. I have decide if I should set myself up for probable disappointment again by going in and not being able to get the sweep done. I also have to decide if it wasn't the universe helping me to see that I was going against my gut by scheduling this thing in the first place. I honestly don't know what I am going to do yet.

I am headed out to the zoo with the kids today. I will walk 2-3 miles today and I'm sure that I will have oodles of contractions because of it. It is possible that I will have effaced more by tomorrow and that even if I don't, the baby's position could be better for the sweep tomorrow... but is that what I really want to do?
I just don't know.

Blah! I will do my best not to be a ball of stress today. My goal is to not think about it at all today(ha ha) while I am out with the kids. I want to take advantage of this time with them before everything changes, but that will be a hard task for me! Not enjoying my kids... I love spending time with them... just the not being distracted part... BUT I am going to do my best. I have been spending a lot of time praying and meditating over the last amount of time, and will spend some time doing the same this evening, and hopefully I will be comfortable with my decision by tomorrow morning, which ever way I decide to go with this.

I just wanted to let everyone know what was happening in our crazy little world right now. I hope that everyone is doing well. I will let you all know if anything happens. If I have the baby I will at least put up a quick announcement... if I don't you can bet that I will back on here venting my frustration and impatience! :P

Today I am grateful that my baby is happy and healthy inside my womb.
I am grateful that I am worrying about when I will get to hold this new little person and not why this life was taken away. (I just found out that a friend who was pregnant in the beginning of my pregnancy and lost her baby, finally got pregnant again and just lost this one as well, and I DO realize how incredibly lucky and blessed we are!)
I am grateful that one way or the other I will be holding my baby very soon... no one stays pregnant forever!! : )

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A better place and three days to go!

Well, the count down has made it down to three more days.
In reality there are more than likely more than that many days left to wait... but like I was saying I can't help but feel like there is a clock ticking somewhere.

We are not quite ready, but we are very, very close. We have one more load of laundry for the baby, to wash a new sheet and the new cloth diapers (for burping/spit ups and so forth... I would love to do cloth, but the reality is I don't have the patience for the laundry or mess of them.... or the money to buy the awesome covers they have now, those things are steep!!) and also to wash my wraps. Even with all the sling recalls in the news, I am still very confident in the wraps that I have. The slings that have been recalled seem to be the ones that were more about fashion and the trend of babywearing, and less about skin to skin contact. I have several wraps that I intend to use with this new little one just like the last two. I can't imagine not wearing my babies, especially in the first few weeks when they sleep so much and we are both in the adjustment period of not actually being connected to each other still. But never you fear, the baby will always be safe and in an upright position, right up next to my chin, heart to heart. I do have a sling as well(one that isn't all fluff and padding and has a lot of flexibilty for positioning), but I use that one once the baby is bigger and stronger and can sit by itself easily... or at least when it has good strong neck muscles!

Anyway, this wasn't supposed to be me getting on a soap box about babywearing! : P
I did want to come on and update everyone on my emotional and marital status. The other day when I wrote out all of my fears and anxiety onto the screen, it helped me to see how truly disconnected I had been feeling from my husband. Things between us had gotten into a negative rut, and we needed to change things up. So, I called him and reached out to him, without blame or guilt, and just told him that we needed to have some special time together. The truth is by the end of the day, with three kids and being so pregnant and his full time job... well by the end of the night we honestly don't have much left for each other. I am dead tired by the end of a day now, and with him picking up the domestic slack that I can no longer handle all of right now... he is too. So when we got everyone upstairs that night, instead of the usual collapse onto the couch with the TV turned on, we headed upstairs too. I went and took a shower while Al lit some candles in our room. We sat on our bed and rubbed oil on my belly. The baby moved around a lot and got the focus on the right thing!! We talked honestly and openly about our fears and our excitement about this impending change. We each lit a small candle and said a prayer for each other to have the strength and courage to try and live in the moment, and let go of our recent struggles to see eye to eye. It was a lovely way to reconnect and has done wonders for my state of mind and apparently his as well. We haven't fought over stupid nothings for the last two days, so something has changed for the better.
This is the hardest time of the pregnancy I think, the waiting is almost over but it isn't quite yet. All of our hopes and fears are on the forefront of our minds, all of the time. Everyone (the kids included) is ready to move on with this new chapter of our lives as a family and the waiting is becoming more and more difficult!

As for the technical aspects of having this baby things are looking pretty good. I got an internal exam last appointment(on Tuesday) and I am dilated to a super roomy one(the goal being 10 for the birth) but not effaced at all (which means my cervix is still very thick, we're going for 100% effacement). Since I that day though, I had an entire day where I felt a really strong pressure and had a hard time even walking around, the same day that I last posted actually, and I am pretty sure that I was either actively dilating or effacing that day because I was an emotional wreck as well. Now today, I feel pretty comfortable, both physically and emotionally, so I think it's pretty safe to say that there was some progress going on that day. The good news from my exam is that on Tuesday I will definitely be able to be swept (because they could have done it last Tuesday).

As I've said, I am a bundle of joy, excitement, anxiety, nervousness... everything that you can expect from someone about to have a baby in the next week or so. The one thing that I don't feel a lot of right now is fear. I am feeling really confident that no matter when I go into labor I am ready to work with my body to help this baby enter the world. I can't wait!!
I will keep you all updated as things continue to develop and change, as they are bound to do.
I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Today I am grateful that my husband and I took the time to try and reconnect.
I am grateful to have such supportive midwives (who I also talked with in my moments of darkness and fear).
I am grateful to have the beautiful family that I have, and can't wait to meet our new arrival! : )

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

and then there were FIVE!!!

In five days I will start the process of tyring to start labor to have this baby. Although the baby might not make an entrance that day, it has felt like some kind of deadline to me. A more definite "date" than I usually have set in my head.
I am about to have another baby. my fourth baby. and I have never felt so alone. I feel alone in a constant sea of people. I spend my time taking care of everyone else and look around for someone to take care of me... and there is no one there.
Things between my husband and I are the hardest they have ever been. We can not seem to get on the same page. My patience is nonexistent for him to catch up to where I am.
I am worried about the labor. Doing this thing without interventions is totally possible... in a loving supportive environment.
I don't feel like I have that right now.
I simply can not understand the grand plan that needed me to have this baby RIGHT NOW... when everything is so screwed up. I have working so hard this entire pregnancy towards things getting better for us.... and it feels like I have been wasting my time. things are not better.
I am hurting so badly.
I feel like I could disappear in the despair and never come back out of it.
How am I going to give all of myself and more to a newborn precious child when I feel like I have nothing to give?
How are Al and I going to make it through all the sleepless nights when we can't make it one entire day without an argument over something insignificant right now.
If I really will only be given what I can handle why do I feel like I'm drowning?
I realize that I am in the middle of ridiculous amounts of hormonal fluctuations but that doesn't mean that the issues that I am worried about aren't real.
That also doesn't mean that I'm not prone to being a little melodramatic right now. I'm struggling to express myself right now so I thought that I would just write.
This all might be too raw to publish, but my heart needs to release some of the sadness, fear, and anxiety from with in.


the darkness consumes me.
from the depths of despair I hear nothing but the breaking of my heart.
I'm surrounded by people but could not feel more alone.
all of their movement and noise is like the buzzing of flies around my head.
I want to listen to what they are trying to tell me, but it is all I can do to try and smile and send them on their way.
I long for sleep but when I finally lay down my head I can not close my eyes.
the images inside are ugly.
I stare into the darkness of my room while tears silently soak my pillow.
my tears are a river of my fears and worries and loneliness.
the incessant snores are a constant reminder that this is my burden to bear alone.
the movement in my womb gives me comfort.
we are in this together.
but this new partnership is the cause of so many of my fears.
how can I possibly be enough for this new little life?
how will I be able to do this alone?


I walked away after writing that poem and think that it actually made me feel a little better. I am still undecided if this will ever see the light of my actual blog.
It is so raw. My heart on the screen.
I cry when I read it, but somehow releasing it out into the world usually makes me feel better. I might sit with this for a little while before I make that decision.

Ok here we go. I am going to throw this out there today, but I have to add on that since I wrote this out this morning, I have talked with my hubby and we have a date tonight to try (again!) to get on the same page with each other and reconnect so that we can try and be there for each other during the this frenetic and somewhat overwhelming time. We both truly are excited about the birth of this baby. I am ready to get to those sleepless nights with a baby in my arms and although I know it will take some time to adjust to the newness for everyone involved... I for one am ready to get started on this new adventure!!
I also wanted to add in that I feel amazingly well physically still. I know what a blessing it is to not have all the discomforts of past pregnancies and if I wasn't such an emotional mess I think that I could go on being pregnant for another few weeks pretty easily.(that is of course a possibility so I should be careful saying so!!)
I have re-read everything over once again and it still makes me cry, but I have to say it is an amazing thing to purge some of your fears and worries out of your heart. I feel much better just giving those hard feelings some air. Thank you for indulging my need to release and thank you for bearing with me as I go through all the ups and downs of this crazy transitional period!

Today I am thankful that I have this outlet for some of my crazy. It helps give me perspective and see what I need to do to help myself get back on track.
(in this case seeing that I need to reach out to the one person who can truly help me through this.... I hope it works!)

I am grateful that the waiting will end soon one way or another and I will have my darling new little person in my arms!! I'm ready!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

T minus two weeks

37 weeks

silly shot while out and ENJOYING a beautiful warm "almost" Spring day!! : )
I was trying to get the huge belly shadow, but didn't pull it off very well!

a view from above, thanks to the hubster you can see his shoes : )

the most frightening perspective of all!
(pay no attention to the stains on the belly that are illuminated by the flash, I didn't know they were there until I saw them here.... because that's below my view! : P)
Al loves taking these kinds of scary view shots, and I have to admit it is sort of cool because that's not a way that I get to see the belly ever. It looks really big from down there... and it's funny because that is the view my kids probably see... no wonder they are always coming up to hug the belly... it probably looks pretty inviting to them !

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my midwives. The baby and I are both looking good! : )
(I have to sneak in and apologize in advance. For some reason I can't get blogger to put in my usual spacing between paragraphs and this post is a little long anyway ...and now looks a bit squished as well... which I think makes it harder to read... meh... sorry!)
While I was at the birth center I had the opportunity to talk with the local PBS station about the birth center. So I'm going to be on TV! : ) (They had called me in advance to ask if it would be ok if a part of my appointment was recorded and also if I would be willing to be interviewed.) It was very interesting for me. I happen to adore the birth center where I have already birthed two of my amazing children and hope to have the third... in the same room... on the same bed. It was a great opportunity for me to try and help other people, but especially women, to see what a difference there can be in a birth experience. For me it couldn't be any different than birthing in a hospital, at least my experience in a hospital, which granted was 15 years ago now. It still is a completely different idea of what is going on.
The medical community at large tends to think of birth as a medical emergency, whereas at the birth center looks at it as the natural culmination of a completely normal and healthy human process. That small difference in thought makes a huge difference to me... and my family. I love that I am able to go to a safe place to birth my child in the ways that my body beckons me to do it, with trained experienced women available to me if I need them. I love that I have been blessed with the ability to have already enjoyed one "perfect" birth. Roscoe's birth, I think should have an entire post on it's own, but sufficed to say that I can not think of a single thing that I would change about it... ok maybe I wouldn't have driven over an hour to get a Whopper(when I hadn't eaten at Burger King for at least a year... but it was a ridiculously strong craving...) to eat right before I went into labor... because let me tell you the Whopper burps (smelling of pickles, ketchup, and smoke flavoring), while dealing with the intensity of strong contractions wasn't very pleasant for anyone involved! But other than the occasional stinky belch, the birth itself was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had in my life. It is one of the very, very few experiences in my life that I can't imagine a single thing that could have made it better. The fact that my husband was such a big part of this experience and such a vital part of it as well, is one of the things that I cling to in our darkest hours. I have hopes that this next labor will help us to renew our commitment to making things as good between us as possible. The magic of watching and experiencing your body do exactly what women's bodies are made to do and have been doing for thousands of years is a sacred experience that deserves the respect that I feel it gets at the birth center that I am fortunate enough to utilize.
I think it is clear to see that I felt lucky to have been selected to speak with them to share my excitement and love of what these women try and accomplish... and then they asked if they could record the baby's heartbeat as well. Well, anyone who has a had a baby before knows that means baring the belly. My large incredibly mapped out and stretch marked, scarred from surgeries belly. At first I said yes, but I'd rather they didn't show my actual belly. I was hoping they could just record the sound or me and the hubby's faces or something. Then the camera man who was very nice and unassuming (although he carried a HUGE scary camera and had a tendency to put it about 2 inches from my face...) had a plan to cover me up with a sheet or some kind of medical covering... and I just couldn't do it. One of the things that I like so much about the center is how"un"medical they are about things. I don't get draped or covered up and it just seemed like a false representation of what they are all about. Soooo, I said just do it. Go ahead and video my big 'ol stretch marked belly. The truth is that I have so many old ones that this time around, having started out with a lot of extra skin to fill from losing all the weight before the baby, I don't have any new stretch marks. I doubt that I will get any actually. BUT because of how large my belly is now all the old white ones(from Sophia) and the light pink ones(from Roscoe) are all pulled taut and showing proudly... and I decided, you know what, I am no where near the perfect body image of pregnancy shown on TV. I have a real body, with real scars of my real beautiful children. I can't be ashamed of that. My belly is a map of all that I have gone through both good and bad to bring my children into this world... and that is beautiful, even if the actual skin might not be anymore.
Which brings me to the title of this post itself. I actually started it a few days ago, but have been out and about with my kids so it's taken a few days to write the whole thing. I am now only two days away from being 38 weeks along, and in my 39th week have decided to start a serial membrane sweep. For those who might not know, a membrane sweep is when a midwife will insert a finger or two (depending on how dilated you are at the time) into a somewhat dilated cervix(which I don't know if I have yet, we'll check at the time of sweeping, but with the amount of contractions that I have AND the fact that this is my fourth baby, it would SHOCK me to not be at least a roomy 1 by now, which is all they really need to do it) and run that finger(or two) around the top inside of the cervix separating it from the bag of waters. The process, as you might imagine sucks (I've had it done before), but its purpose is to irritate the uterus into contractions, thus starting labor. Pretty much, it is a non-chemical way to get the ball rolling. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Serial sweeping is when you go and get this done three days in a row. The statistics are really only relevant for serial sweeping, otherwise a single sweep is kind of like a crap shoot.... it may or may not be the sweep that sets things off because they only will do it once you've reached a certain gestation and a certain approximate baby weight. It's about a 50/50 ratio on whether or not it will help begin real labor. The serial sweeping on the other hand has a higher ratio of working, and at my center one midwife in particular has the best reputation for starting labor, she will be doing mine on the third day.
The last pregnancy I started to try this at 39 weeks, because everyone was getting concerned about the size of the baby (his approximated weight from ultrasound was 11 pounds, it was over estimated he was just under 10). The hospital was pushing for a c-section and the midwives and I were doing our darnedest to get things moving, so that I could labor as I chose. I knew that I had the capability of birthing a large baby, and I was right. It wasn't an issue at all. BUT when I got the first sweep.. and it hurt... A LOT... and then didn't work except to give me hours of non-productive intense contractions. I already felt a bit torn as to whether it was the right decision anyway, so I decided against the serial sweeping and waited a bit longer before doing it again. Then at 41 weeks I had it done again... and this time, after a few hours I was in labor (now whether it was the sweep or not I don't know because I was also 41 weeks at that point... but it was with "long finger" Nancy as she is lovingly referred to when sweeping!).
The reason that I decided to start this process this time around is that last week while just going about my normal duties and activities, I felt something give near my hernia repair. Yikes! This has been a concern on mine since the beginning of the pregnancy. I have been concerned that it hadn't been long enough to heal my incisions and repair site properly, and unfortunately I believe that I am nearing my inner boundaries as far as how much I can safely stretch without tearing again. I haven't gained huge amounts of weight but I have gained more than I would have preferred. I have been eating well, and exercising throughout my pregnancy, but obviously not at my pre-pregnancy level and that change made gaining weight much easier, than I would have hoped for. Sufficed to say that I have concerns about letting this baby stay as long as it might intend to on its own (which for me is usually 41-42 weeks) and would like to do as much as I can to encourage it to come closer to 40 weeks this time. I will deal with the results of the sweep, whether they produce real labor or not, and I will go in all three days. If at the end of three days it hasn't worked I will take a few days off and then try again starting on Tuesday the next week. The day that I start the sweeping I will be 39.5 weeks so that the last sweep will be the day before my actual due date. So I feel like I'm not pushing it too much. The biggest thing I am concerned about is the actual pushing part of labor. I am a little worried that the intense pressure will tear the repair site and I might have to get it re-repaired(is that even a real word?). I hope that that does not happen, but after talking with the midwives, the only other solution is a c-section, and that is not a choice I am comfortable with, for only a possibility that a tear might happen. Even with my first child when it came to the pushing part I only pushed about 20 minutes. The last two have come in about 10 minutes(once I got to that stage), so unless something wacky happens the pushing stage shouldn't last too long. Unfortunately, since I felt something give the other day, I am in fairly constant discomfort now, so it is beginning to make me a little edgy. There's nothing to be done about it until after the baby is born, so that is why I decided to proactively schedule this serial sweeping. I hope that I've made the right decision, it feels a little wrong to try and push this little to be born for my convenience, but at the same time it is really my health that I am worried about. It's not like I'm doing it so I can go get my hair done or something. I just worry that if the baby grows for too much longer it will be that much more pressure on an already overextended weak spot. And the truth is that if the baby doesn't want to be born it won't be. It is isn't a fail safe way to get things going, just the most I am willing to do to push it.
Scheduling this procedure has also made me feel like wow... it is really going to happen... REALLY SOON!! It is a little overwhelming and incredibly exciting too! I go back and forth between feeling so ready and then wanting to hold on to the way things are right now for just a little longer. The changes we are about to experience are so big it can be scary, but I also know only a few weeks after the baby is born that it will be hard to imagine life without it! This is such a crazy time, the waiting is almost over now!
I will do my best to come on and let everyone know as soon as I do or don't have this little one. Obviously, the time is not limitless even if it does not succumb to my prodding it along. Very soon, one way or another this baby will be here in my arms! The kids and I went to the zoo yesterday and while we were there I literally had about 20 contractions in 2 and a half hours... so I think that this prodding has a pretty good chance of helping things along! I guess we'll soon find out! I have my first sweep next Tuesday(not the 23rd but the 29th). I guess the hubby and I should buckle down and figure out a boy name before then!! :P

on another side note:
Thank you to all who wished Emily a Happy Birthday! She had a great day and that is always the ultimate goal for me! This is a shot of the kids before we out for her birthday dinner.

Today I am grateful that I am so close to holding my little one here in the real world!
I am grateful that Al and I have worked so hard to be the best that we can be together before we welcome our newest child.
I am grateful that Emily had a nice birthday and is becoming such an amazing young woman.
I am grateful that my younger two children are SOOOO excited to meet their new sibling. We spend time every single day talking about how much they love the baby, while they hug my belly and tell the baby "come out soon so we can hug you for real!!" (so sweet!) : )

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thank you, Emily!

15 years ago (tomorrow) I became a mother.

My amazing daughter Emily joined the world and helped me to become a better person on March 14, 1995 at about 11:30 PM.

Before I had my daughter I was incredibly self-absorbed. I was a teenager (late teens, 20 by the time she was born, but still a teenager)... a teenager with issues even, so of course it was natural to be that way. I don't spend a lot of time in my life feeling regret. I generally do pretty well, making conscious decisions and knowing that once I have there's rarely an opportunity to turn back, so no since in feeling regret, right? But sometimes I do falter. Every once in awhile I will think back and wonder... what if...

...what if I had decided NOT to have baby at the age of 19, when I didn't have anything at all? Not a place to live, a supportive family, or even any friends at the time (the fact that I had pushed everyone away didn't really matter... HOW I got where I was, was much less significant than the fact that I was there...) and the simple answer for myself is that I truly don't think that I would be alive today. If I had gone through with the abortion as planned, I am completely convinced I would have spiraled into a suicidal behavior pattern that would have led to my death probably sooner rather than later.

The simple, singular decision to carry this little life to term, changed my life forever. For the better, and there is not a single day that goes by that I think I made the wrong choice. My daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me. I have been blessed with the opportunity to guide the most beautiful and amazing soul I have ever met. What an honor it is. I have never met anyone like her and I doubt that I ever will. She was a gift to me. She has given me the ability to look outside of myself. She has helped me to keep going in times that have been fraught with pain, loneliness, and struggle. She has given me the strength to look back in my life and try to heal my damaged heart and soul. She has given me more than I ever knew that she would on that day that I decided that I couldn't end her life before it had even started. And for that I want to thank her.

Thank Emily.

Thank you for being my daughter.

Thank you for teaching me how to love.

Thank you for making it so easy to love and open my heart in a way that I never knew was possible.

Thank you for teaching me how to be more patient, with myself and others.

Thank you for being you, and all the wonderful things that you are.

Thank you for loving me back.

I love you more than I could ever explain or express and nothing makes me happier than being your mother.

I love you kid!!!
{Sadly, I guess part of being almost 15 is that she is much harder to capture on film right now! I have so many more of the little ones who spend all day long with me everyday. This is the most recent picture I could find (where she wasn't in pj's and would NOT be ok with me posting them) of her and it was a picture I took over my head when she came up and gave me a hug from behind! Pretty good for an ambush photo, I think ! : )
I'm sure that I will get some good ones tomorrow on her birthday, but I'm glad I saw how few pictures I have of her recently... I will start to remedy that issue today!! }
Today I am grateful that I have a wonderful daughter who gives me such joy!
I am thankful that through all the changes in my life over the last 15 years, the one constant thing has been the love we share with each other.
I am thankful that as our relationship continues to grow and change, we have such a solid base of love and respect for each other. I hope that never falters!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A quickie!

This is going to be a super quickie, just wanted to say that the baby is not breech and has THE.MOST.ADORABLE.TOES.EVER!! : )
The sonogram went well, and we also found out that even though I still have about a month to go the baby is already weighing in at 7 pounds and 5 ounces!
So, I guess that we don't have to worry about the baby being too small anymore either!
I know that the baby still has time to move around, but hopefully will stay in the downward position. The daily contractions that I have been having for awhile now are starting to get much more intense. Don't get too excited... this happened last time for the last month or so too... but it is still a constant reminder that very soon this little one will be joining us in the outside world here... and I am getting sooooo excited about it! : )
The placenta has gotten very big in there... but is obviously not impeding the growth of this little person in the least! The measurements were all on target EXCEPT for the belly... which was measuring in at 39 weeks and 4 days!! The rest were all right around 36 weeks. I asked why the belly was so big and the tech just smiled... "that's because that's where they store the extra fat!" So it looks like it might be a little buddha baby... but that's not such a bad thing. Now I have to wonder.. will this baby end up being bigger than my last? (I hope not since he was 9 lb 12.5 oz)Or will it settle down and slow down on the crazy growth? I guess only time will tell!
I just noticed how many exclamation points, I've used in this post... so I am going to stop and go to bed. Can you tell I am getting excited about this impending birth? : )
Good night all!
Today I am thankful that the baby is in a good position for birth.
I am grateful (that although there were questions throughout this pregnancy) that this baby has been getting everything it needed to grow and thrive in there! : )

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thank you, Mr Sun!!

Today has been a glorious day!
The sun has been shining in my neck of the woods for a whole 3 or 4 days in a row!! The kids and I have been able to go to the local park and walk around the reservoir 3 times in the last week.
The reservoir is frozen and there is still too much snow to play at most of the playgrounds, BUT there are parts of the water that are starting to melt, as well as the piles of snow. The walkway around the water has been plowed and we were able to walk around outside in the sunshine!! A few of the days were still in the thirties, but I can not tell you how nice it was to feel the sun on my face and watch my children run and yell with delight to be OUTSIDE!!!
Today was an astounding 55 degrees! I didn't even need to wear a jacket, just a sweater. And because there have been several days of sunshine in a row, one of the play areas is clear of snow on the equipment. We went to the park today and the kids just played for over two hours. I walked around a bit but really just spent most of the time on a swing, smiling at my kids, just running and laughing and playing while the sun warmed my back. There was no crying. no bickering. no time outs. It was so very much what we have been needing around here!
I really don't enjoy the winter, but I always appreciate the Spring because of it... and this year with the crazy wild winter we had, I am so much more appreciative for the sun and a little bit of outdoor activity.
Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain for the next three days, but right now all I care about is the fact that we all got outside and enjoyed ourselves... that and of course that my kids are ACTUALLY NAPPING!! That's right folks, being pent up means they haven't been taking a daily siesta and for a big pregnant Mama that has been a VERY sad thing! Today they didn't even fight me at all.. just up to brush teeth and got into bed.... 10 minutes later they were out like the light.
Now THAT is something to be thankful for!!! : )
I am now 36(.5) weeks along now and wouldn't you know it, when I went to the midwife yesterday it looks like my little nugget has decided to switch around and be in a breech presentation now. Not really awesome timing. I have a sonogram tomorrow to verify, but I am hoping that the midwife was wrong. She wasn't 100% positive about it. The problem with the baby presenting breech is that if we can't get the little one to turn back around, I won't be able to deliver vaginally... they won't even do it in the hospital here. That would be a super drag, of course, seeing that I'd like to be able to deliver drug free in the same room and bed as my last two, so I am hoping for the best. I am praying, and being reminded(yet again) that the biggest lesson I try to learn from pregnancy is that I need to let go and have faith that what is supposed to happen will... whether or not it goes the exact way I would choose. I am not panicking yet... we have time even if the baby is breech, but I think mild concern is an appropriate label to what I'm feeling about the situation. It will be nice to know for sure tomorrow either way.
Things between Al and I have been continuing to improve.. slightly... but not from lack of effort on either side and that is encouraging. I'll take less anger and frustration any day, and as there's been more good days than bad lately... I'm feeling pretty content with how things have been going.
My oldest is turning 15 on Sunday. FIFTEEN!!! yikes... it is a trip to be pregnant and thinking about having a newborn while at the same time thinking about how darn fast these last 15 years have gone by. I can put myself back to being about to have her in a second and it is funny to me how the concept of time can change so quickly from one minute to the next.
I am off to finish some chores whilst the little ones are still out from under my feet , but wanted to come by and say hello to everyone!
Send and thoughts and prayers you have that this little one will remember that the way out is headed down!!
I hope that all of you are doing well and being able to enjoy a little more springlike weather in your neck of the woods!!

Today I am grateful that the sun is warm and visible!! : )
I am thankful that my home is silent(and has been for a whole hour already!!)
I am grateful that my husband and I continue to grow together and hopeful that it will continue with more and more ease.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A long time coming...

Ok, here I go again!
I have "meant" to come on here and update so many times since the end of January, but something has always gotten in the way.

The day after my last post I wanted to come on and talk about how much difference a day makes... I was feeling so much more positive and hopeful... but then I ran out of time in the day and the next time I had time, things had changed once again. The truth is that every day is a new day around here. We are in a constant state of flux because of the impending birth of our newest little family member. I can't pretend that my hormonal imbalances have nothing to do with this flux... because they do. They are not the only factor, but they certainly contribute. I CAN say that as of late (and I'm talking the last week or more now) things have been MUCH calmer around here. We (the hubby and I) have been doing our very best to stop making assumptions about how/what the other is thinking/feeling, and actually stopping and (gasp!!) checking in with each other. It sounds so simple, but communication is our most difficult hurdle. We are both making a concerted effort on a daily basis to check in with each other, and it seems to be helping a lot. It is funny how easily we fall into these patterns of living when more often than not they don't work for us... but they are familiar... so we have been trying to change those patterns and some really beautiful moments have come out of it. I think that as long as we are committed to checking in with each other we will get better and better at it.... and in my most optimistic moments, I can envision it not taking quite as much effort and positive communication becoming our "standard". I look forward to that day, but until then I will keep plugging away, because for now that is the best I can do.

I will be in my 34th week of pregnancy tomorrow. WOW!! It is amazing how fast this time has gone! The baby seems to be doing well. I am certainly getting BIGGER. I missed my last midwife appointment because of the weather, but this little one is so very strong now, that I know that the baby is growing and thriving. I have been feeling pretty well physically throughout this pregnancy. After the morning sickness wore off I had some emotional/worry issues with the placental attachment and everything, but as far as how I personally have felt... it's been pretty nice! My last pregnancy, I was so large and uncomfortable for over half of it, that having a "normal" size baby has felt easy in comparison! : ) While I was pregnant with Roscoe I was measuring 4-6 weeks bigger than I was, from 24 weeks on, so that by now I was measuring over 40 weeks! This time around I have been right on target and let me tell you... I have been grateful for it! I look forward to seeing the midwife next week to check in with everything and see where we stand now... but as far as I can tell things are going great!

The hubby and I have gotten through most of our baby to do list now. I have washed, folded, and organized all the clothes, and put them in the dresser. They are ready and waiting to be worn by our newest little one. We bought a new crib... the old one had me worried about safety, so it had to go... a rambunctious toddler (the second one to use it) had gotten into a bad habit of opening the drop side the wrong way and it was pretty wobbly. I had visions of badness, so we got a new one. We don't know if this will be a boy or a girl, and the portable crib with all the features that we liked (and the right price) is so NOT gender neutral.... but I convinced my husband that a boy can happily sleep amongst flowers too.... so here's hoping that he still believes that even if our baby ends up with penis! The truth is that we both think it is probably a girl, but I am almost always wrong (the last one was the only I've had right... not great odds in my favor!), but I honestly don't care if a boy child of mine sleeps in a brown and pink crib. It does add a little more intrigue to the gender outcome now though! : ) We also got a few other things we needed, like a new boppy(the one I used for the last two has become pretty important to Roscoe, he still sleeps with it as his pillow, so we needed a new one.) They are stupid expensive new, the old one we found used, BUT since we hadn't been able to find a used one this time, I splurged and got a new one with a super soft removable sleeve that can be easily washed... it is so soft and comfy. I LOVE IT!! (it's the little things, right?) We also got the baby's going home outfit. We don't buy new baby clothes, they are just too expensive, for what they end up being... receptacles for poop and puke... in fact most of the things we have from the previous two babies were used from the get go... but we have always bought that first one new outfit to come home in... and then I keep it in a box, because I am a sentimental dork. This one is super cute, matches the hat my sister knit for the baby, and involves an adorable monkey butt... enough said right?! : )

Yet another thing we've had going on here is the CRAZY weather!! We have had an INCREDIBLE amount of snow here this month. I think that at last count we had over 70 inches this month. The usual snowfall for February is in the mid 30's. We had a record breaking snowstorm that left behind 22 inches of snow in a 12 hour period. The city was SHUT DOWN for days. The kids and I have been pretty housebound for over two weeks now... and we are all getting just a little twitchy because of it! I don't know how people who live where it does this every winter make it through.... but I imagine that there, the kids don't have 8 snow days in two weeks... or that the streets remain impassable for days (or even weeks, the smaller street across the way has STILL not seen a plow yet!) because they are used to it and prepared for it. People around here have been calling it snowpocalypse... because seriously it has made things around here pretty darn difficult!

All in all I am feeling good right now... I could use a little sunlight and WAY LESS SNOW!!! But on a day to day we are doing pretty well around here! I hope that all my bloggy buddies are doing well with the winter weather, I know that a lot of places have been getting hit hard!

Today I am thankful that things have begun to settle down a little and feel less chaotic.
I am grateful that, although I am not enjoying the copious amounts of snow, we never lost power like a lot of people in our area.
I am grateful to have my hubby around to do things like shovel our sidewalk and spend over FIVE hours digging out our cars(not to mention the daily maintenance since)... if it had been left to me I may have been stuck until Spring!! : )

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hope, Passion, and Reality

It is such a small word, but it carries a lot of weight.
I have been feeling more and more hope for myself lately. That would generally be a good, good thing, but sadly the better and better that I have been feeling about myself, the worse things in my most intimate relationship have become. My husband and I are easily struggling with the hardest part of our growth together so far. Which sadly is saying something in itself, as our lives together have been nothing if not passionate.

Passion is also a word that carries a lot of weight for me. Passion is such an important part of living life to me. If I am not feeling like I am living life to the fullest, it feels like I am lacking something. But passion is a double edged sword to be sure!
The excitement, thrill, and fulfillment can all too easily turn into anger, frustration, and even fear. The pure emotion involved with passion is what makes it so volatile at its core. I had a college professor once who personally thought that passion was something to be ashamed of, he was a philosopher and thought that a life filled with passion was a waste of time and had nothing to do with a life filled with logic and reason, which may or may not be true.
I personally think that a balanced life has a little bit of each! I've never been an all or nothing kind of girl! : ) I want a little bit of everything. A life based on passion, I have found, is one that doesn't have a solid base. A solid base is something that I could really appreciate right now. There needs to be more than just passion, there also has to be respect and a certain level of logic and reason as well.
Right now I am feeling like there is not enough of a solid base in my life. That is a very difficult way to be feeling when you are about to bring another child into the world. I long to feel the stability of a solid relationship, a solid life. My life is anything but that right now... and I am truly struggling with it. It is a very strange thing to be feeling more confident and a little less mixed up on the inside, while seemingly watching my outside life fall apart around me.

The reality of what is going on in my life right now, is not filled with hope or passion.
My husband and I are now seeing someone every week, while also seeing our own person every week. This is A LOT of therapy. It is very intense to say the least! I feel like I am really making headway... and then I go home to where everything is in flux and frustrating. The mutual sessions we have are moving very slowly because the truth is that my husband and I are not on the same page. We are not in the same places right now and I have less and less desire to wait for him to catch up. He is really stuck in the place that he is right now... which would be ok if it wasn't so hurtful to me and my children. But sadly where he is emotionally is pretty destructive and behaviors that once only effected me, have spread out to my kids as well. It is much more difficult to be patient with him when I see our children being hurt by his behavior. I can't help but feel the Mama bear in me come out and refuse to allow it to continue. I know that he is the only one that can change his behavior, but I simply can not allow him to take his time when my family is intimately involved. I am really beginning to think he might have to go somewhere else to work these issues out, where it won't be so hurtful to the rest of us.

Have I mentioned lately that I am having another baby here VERY soon?
The sense of urgency I feel revolving around all of this is IMMEDIATE!!

Just to ease any one's mind there is no physical abuse going on here. The behaviors that I am referring to are all of a verbal and emotional level, which really doesn't make it much better, but no one is in immediate harm. The anger and frustration my husband feels about himself and his life just bubbles out into more and more of his life right now... and it isn't pleasant to watch or be caught up in. He is pretty good at keeping himself in check around the kids, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for him.. and that is my biggest concern. I don't want my kids to see him lose it. I worry about how his anger issues will effect them. My personal compassion for him and his pain is feeling completely depleted. It's not a great way to feel about the man that I love more than anything else. There is not nearly as much hope about the two of us (and our family) making it through this period intact as I had two weeks ago.

There's really nothing that I can think of that could make me feel sadder than all of this right now. This is not the way that I want to welcome my newest little person into the world.. a world filled with sorrow, confusion, and frustration. This is our fourth, so I know all too well what is coming, (complete exhaustion, overwhelming degrees of changes for the entire family, major adjustments to an additional person with needs and LOTS of them for awhile...) and I have to tell you, envisioning things getting worse is not a cheering thought!

With all of that being said, at my core I know that no matter what happens, I will be ok. I will make things ok for my kids. I am nothing, if not a survivor. I have dealt with bad situations in my life over and over again and have come through them a stronger and better person. I know that I am strong enough to deal with anything that life gives me, but I would lying if I said that this was the way I wanted things to be! Right at this moment of writing, I am wishing that at some point I would have already paid my dues and I deserved a little less chaos and maybe a little less pain. I realize that I am indulging in a little bit of self pity, but regardless, I would so take an easier road if I saw one right now!
I am tired and emotionally and physically depleted.
I am in desperate need of some piece of mind.
I wouldn't turn away a fairy godmother right now either... but we all know that I won't be hearing a knock on my door anytime soon. My reality is what it is and I need to do my best to make the best of what it is...
and I'm going to get right on top of doing that...
tomorrow. Today I am giving myself the day to feel the sadness. I am allowing myself to mourn the loss of the fantasy so that tomorrow when I wake up I can deal with what my reality is.

Today I am honestly struggling to feel grateful for much.
But I AM grateful that my baby is healthy and growing well.
I am also thankful that my children are so inspiring to me, even in my darkest hours. I don't know what I would do without them, but I'm glad that is not one of the things I have to worry about!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wading through Muck... to find a little happiness?

Pregnancy is a crazy thing.

It has the capacity to completely take over your entire existence.... even if you already have a lot of other stuff going on. For me there is an undeniable connection to not only myself but also to everything and everyone around me. I feel super sensitive in not only the cliched emotional ways, but also to the working of our universe.

We are all interconnected, and I feel much more aware of these connections while I am carrying a child. The most interesting thing about doing this for the fourth time around has been the ability to separate what is my stuff from what is pregnancy stuff. What I mean by that is that is that some of the inevitable hormonal crazy is easier for me to see IS hormonal crazy... as opposed to me losing my mind or being a horrible person. I am a different person when I am pregnant and although I like my non-pregnant person a little better I am trying to appreciate some of my pregnant person attributes as well.

My goal this time around has been to try and fully take advantage of this connection that I feel that is so different than my "normal" way of interacting and reacting to things, situations, and other people. I am hoping that I can come out of this with not only an amazing little human to watch and love and learn from, but a better sense of who I am and where I am headed.

My husband and I are both very much in love with each other but we have our struggles and frustrations with each other as well. I think that my husband's best quality is what an amazing father he is. I wish he was as committed to being as good of a husband. I happen to think that I am a pretty good mother as well, and I try to be a good wife, but the inequality of our marriage has reached a point that I am not as doting as I used to be. I sometimes worry about the ultimate future of our lives together and nothing makes me sadder than these thoughts.

We have been in counseling for a little while together but with all the holiday madness we had to take a small hiatus. During this time I went and sought out a counselor for myself to try and work on some of my own issues that have nothing (or little) to do with my husband, but are buried in my somewhat dark and mucky past. I shared in my last post that he is now going to start seeing our marriage counselor on his own. We will still go together occasionally, but I am hoping that without the distraction of "our stuff" he can work on some of his own. It gives me hope anyway, which is never a bad thing! I only hope he will be able to reach down deep to do the work he needs to, he had never been in therapy before me and I'm not sure he really knows what he is getting into. All I can do is hope that he will do the best he can, and him agreeing to go in the first place is a pretty big step for him!

I am so glad that I took that step for myself and I am working really hard. It amazes me how much things from my past can effect the way that I interact with people and situations today. It's not as though I haven't dug through all of these things before. I have been through a few incredibly dark periods of time. I have told the story of how I eventually became pregnant with my oldest daughter, Emily in previous posts (part I & II). I have also alluded to some some fairly heavy darkness in my high school days, which I might touch on more at some point but for now I can sum up by saying that during my four years of high school I missed about half of my first two and a half years, by being institutionalized. The first time I tried to kill myself I was only 12 years old. It obviously could be a long story, but it wasn't for attention or because I was trying to call out for help, it was honestly that I didn't think that my life was worth the pain of living every day anymore and I just wanted to give up. I was in rehab for several months the first time. In the next couple of years I was sent back twice. My second time I woke up in rehab after having fallen into an alcohol induced coma from drinking too much after about a week of binging on Crystal Meth. Everyone thought I was trying to kill myself, but I was just too messed up to know how bad off I was. I talked myself out of that jaunt within only a few weeks. I had learned what needed to be said and when, but it didn't really help me at all. I was back to drinking and doing drugs, literally the day I got home. I don't remember how long it took before I was sent back but but it wasn't long. And this time my mom sent me to a bigger city with different people and no one bought my bullshit there. I spent several months there again this time. I spent A LOT of time in therapy. Personal therapy, group therapy, family therapy, group family therapy(that was a super weird one!!) you name it I did it...

The point of putting all of that out there is that I have had a lot of time to air my dark places. They have had a lot of light shined on them and yet they are still there. The interesting thing that I am finding now... readdressing some of that same stuff is how much it STILL messes with me. I have to admit that it annoys the hell out of me. In some ways I feel like there is only so many times you can go over the same crap before you have to put on your big girl panties and fricking deal with it, but at the same time I am desperately trying to be kind to myself and let myself feel the sadness and pain of these things... let myself acknowledge their power over me, because only then can I truly GET OVER IT.

I am working with an amazing woman who I have developed a growing respect for. She has helped me to connect with things that I really thought I was over... but I am obviously not. She has been kind and patient and with her guidance I have made connections that I have never made before. It has been a long time since I dug this deep into a lot of this crap and I am A LOT older now and have a lot more life experience behind the eyes that are looking back. I really think that I am making progress with this stuff and that makes me feel truly hopeful that even if these things are not vanished forever.... at least for right now I am beginning to feel my heart and soul have a little less weight on them.

One of the hardest things for me to do is to sit with my own sorrow or pain. I always want to push it away. Even if the way that I usually push it away is generally a good thing, by looking at the lessons I have learned or see how I am a better person for having gone through these experiences... sometimes I just have to stop and sit with the pain. Allow myself to grieve for the loss of innocence or the pain of loneliness and neglect. I struggle doing this because it feels like self pity to me, which I can't stand, but one of the things that I am discovering is how not giving myself permission to feel the things that I DO feel is a large part of what is hurting me the most.
I think it is funny that I am so harsh, judgemental, and uncompassionate (and yes according to dictionary.com that really is a word, I wasn't sure so I went ahead and looked... OCD anyone? : P ) with myself because I think that if you asked most people who know me, and know me well, those words would probably come up as the complete opposite of some of my most positive attributes. Isn't it funny how easy it is for me to give to others what I find it nearly impossible to give to myself? That is another way I hide from my pain btw, which I honestly didn't see the depth of until recently. I laugh when I want to cry. I have been doing it for so long that I truly didn't even notice how often I do it. Now that I see it a little more clearly, I have been amazed at how often I laugh at things that really aren't funny at all. And again I don't do it with other people's pain, just my own. It is astounding to me how easy it can be to just not see these things about yourself when you do them everyday, for years, maybe a lifetime even. Yet another reason that I am so glad that I made that call and found this woman to help me. My days after a session can be hard because it is so very draining, but I am finding that the next few days are beginning to feel better and better. I hadn't realized how heavy my heart had slowly become over the last good amount of years, it feels nice to air things out and let a little more sunshine in!

Sadly, it's not helping things with the hubby because some of what is happening is that I want to change some of my more destructive behavior patterns... which of course he has become quite accustomed to, but if we are meant to be together forever like we both hope that we are, then we will be able to let each other grow in the ways that will make us happier, healthier people on our own AND together as a unit. I don't for a second think that things are going to be easy for us. They never have been for us. We have always had a relationship full of extremes both good and bad, but I have faith and hope (I know that word has been a little overused this post) that we will make through this together. Together as partners, lovers, and friends building our relationship and our family in the healthiest, happiest way that we can.

Today I am grateful that I becoming more comfortable letting myself feel what I need to feel, with a little less judgement.
I am grateful that my husband has taken a step to be a healthier person.
I am thankful to have more hope than I have felt for awhile. I have missed my natural optimism greatly! : ) I plan to enjoy it while it lasts... even if it only visits, I think it will be visiting more often!