Mi Familia!!

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

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.