Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the wait continues...i'm officially much more pregnant than i've ever been. i must admit, some days i am waiting gracefully...other days, not so much.

saturday was a melt-down of emotions kind of day. i woke up at 5 am with continuous contractions for almost 2 hours...when i finally got out of bed and showered they promptly stopped. after a similar bout thursday evening and friday mid-day i was quite done with the "false-ness"...and i was just plain weary. while Elizabeth and Kate had allowed us to sleep in a bit, they had instead been playing in the playroom which was an absolute disaster...that coupled with an exhausted, emotionally frazzled, lacking Jesus-time momma wasn't the best combo. the day improved...and then tanked...and then improved...and then tanked...oh how thankful i am for His Word, encouraging music, sweet and encouraging friends who reminded me that it is okay to simply "be" where i am with the Lord...not to put on a pretty and patient face but to bring Him my true emotions...and most of all, how thankful i am for my husband who loves me in spite of my sometimes 5 year old-ish emotional tantrums.

sunday dawned a NEW day...and i was thankful for the chance to get out of the house for church, enjoy some fellowship, hear His Word, etc. and i finally got around to having mike take a couple of profile shots...because i am reminded that i won't be looking like this much longer. i'm not big on prego pictures of myself...but, oh well, here i am...all babe in the front...this "little" man is low and out there...

i am thankful that i was able to make it to my MOPS meeting last week. one of my dear sweet friends spoke...she spoke on "glorifying God by just being YOU"...reminding us that God made us who we are, and we most glorify and please Him by living that out...not by pretending we are someone else....not by longing for someone else's circumstances, gifts, etc. one of the quotes from her talk..."When we withhold ourselves from others, when we spend our time and energy trying to be like someone else, we deny the Lord the glory He is due and deprive the Church and those around us of the unique image of God that He has placed in us and us alone." -Nancy Just

oh how true that statement i needed to hear and be reminded. the words the Lord spoke through her last Thursday are still challenging my thoughts, especially when she talked about the Lord planning the unique circumstances we are each in at this very moment. she has been the one on the other end of the phone several times in the past few days...reminding me that i don't have to push myself to be "social" in the midst of the wait...that i don't have to feel upbeat and happy all the time...that i simply need to cling to Him and trust in His plan, even if that means admitting that i don't always like it.

that said, we went for my appointment Monday morning and found that despite lots of contractions, etc. i was still just 75% effaced and 1 cm dialated...the same as last week. we have scheduled an induction for next monday morning...if he hasn't arrived on his own (and, honestly, i'm not holding my breath...he seems to be pretty comfy inside the womb--and honestly, since he can hear the constant chaos of his three sisters i can't say i'm all that surprised :) ). at my ultrasound 3 1/2 weeks ago a conservative estimate was that he was measuring 9 four weeks later at an average gain of 5-7 oz. a week, we could be talking ginormo-baby....but God is sovereign over that as well. while i would love to go into labor on my own...naturally...i am also totally onboard with induction if we make it to monday morning. i must admit, it is amazing how much having a "date" has helped the waiting...that combined with actually having a plan for the week (something we didn't have last week when we thought we were being induced back then...and that about made me crazy--who knew, i am far more of a routine and schedule girl than i would have ever admitted before!).

sunday i got a few books at the it is has been nice to do a bit of reading while waiting...and keep on knitting...i finished earflap hats for jilly and kate...need to start elizabeth's boy already has about 5. :) i've been snuggling my girlies...kate especially loves using her baby brother as a pillow. we've been going through our normal routine (and daddy has done some fab hair-styling while washing!). laundry. diapering. baths. breakfast. lunch. dinner...the norms.

...and because i simply think they are adorable...i HAVE to share pics of the cutie XS and S bumgenius AIOs a sweet friend gave me Sunday morning...they are cute and tiny...and just up the anticipation a wee bit more!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{while we wait}

last week we were fairly certain we would be holding "the baby brother" in our arms right now...but instead we are still waiting. the plan was induction due to his size, but we went in monday morning and found that the hospital's induction policy on induction for larger than gestational age babies had recently changed. we were disappointed at first...for obvious discomfort, thinking we were in the "home stretch", and having an insurance company dictate what was best rather than the doctor who sees me regularly. but, honestly my outlook is much better right now. ultimately i didn't want to be induced...i'd much rather go "on my own"...and seriously, God is in control, no matter how big (or small...) this baby boy ends up being...and no matter when he decides to arrive...or how he arrives.

we thought we were "done" because we needed to get this baby out, but in reality i think what mike and i needed more than anything was the chance to take a step back and simply enjoy being together. this has been a long and cooped up winter...more so than i remember a winter being in quite sometime. we've had date nights, but our date night schedule has been interrupted quite a bit...and honestly, dates have sort of seemed "crammed" into a short time frame...a quick dinner, picking up tired kiddos from our swap and then having to get them and ourselves home and in bed...etc. (don't get me wrong...those kind of dates are much, much better than nothing at all). but monday (which also just so happened to be valentine's day) was probably the best gift we've been given in quite some time.

mike went to my appt with me in the morning...the big girls had school and my sweet friend jill offered to watch jillian for us indefinitely (since we weren't sure whether we might end up at the hospital immediately after the appt). after the appt mike decided to take the rest of the day off so we could simply enjoy some time together (perhaps also because neither of us had slept well at all the night before). after i caught a brief nap we headed to one of our favorite restaurants for a leisurely (and tasty) lunch...and we actually did a fabulous job of avoiding talk of baby, parenting, planning, schedules, etc. (not that they are bad things...i think we just needed something different)...and then we enjoyed several non-necessity errands together on a gorgeously sunny monday afternoon....holding hands, laughing, chatting, popping by sonic for dessert milkshakes. it was fabulous, just what we needed...the chance to reconnect and simply enjoy each other...without our beautiful and delightful but noisy and high-maintenance kiddos in the background. then he headed up to get the girls from school and jilly from jills...and i headed over to the gym to take a nice slow stroll on the treadmill...we may not be talking induction, but i am still eagerly anticipating this little man's appearance...and moving surely can't hurt. :)

and, really, if we are going to be in the midst of the "waiting" game...we couldn't ask for better weather...seriously. last week it was below it is 60 and delightfully sunny...kind of an oddity to be able to walk outside in a t-shirt but still see big piles of snow along the edge of the street and a smooth layer of snow still on much of my backyard. the girls and i went out this morning for a few errands...and we might have walked up and down EVERY aisle of target, aldi and kroger...then we came home and took a nice walk around the neighborhood....a nice slow walk...because, seriously, i am not moving very fast these is a slow waddle. after all, this baby is big, and he is LOW...i probably look a bit comical quite honestly. :)

and so we wait...ready and eager but also doing a much better job of trusting the One who is really in control as opposed to our own plans or agendas. (and reminding ourselves of that over and over and over again as we forget or get impatient.) for those who are curious...yes i am having contractions quite frequently...i am progressing (something that has never before happened until i was hours from meeting a baby)...and i am already starting to think that boys truly are trouble. (just kidding...kind of....he he). i am learning just how much one can "wing it" for dinner...and end up with a decently healthy meal that everyone eats without complaining...something that often doesn't happen when i plan and spend lots of prep time in the kitchen. i am enjoying extra snuggles with jilly...relishing i consider the bittersweet realization that in just a few more days i won't have nearly as much time to rock and snuggle and hold her. i am laundering and cleaning up and constantly trying to keep myself and the house "ready"...just in case. i am knitting...seriously in a 48 hour period i knit two more earflap hats (one a gift for a new baby girl) and another boy one...mike laughs that this baby boy is going to have the most stylishly covered head ever...and that it better stay cold awhile longer (not really!). i am enjoying playing a new game with the we picked up while we were out monday at the recommendation of a friend (s'match).

as evidenced by this post, i have not been taking pictures. the camera is tucked away in the hospital bag, and i fear that if i take it out i'll inevitably forget to put it back in.

...and that, friends, is just a snatch of what we have been up to while we wait....

...and for the record, i am fairly close to the longest i've ever "lasted" in pregnancy...i can't remember exactly how early elizabeth was, but i have already surpassed kate and jillian.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

...all my bags are packed, i'm ready to go.... the hospital, that meet this baby boy. might i mention that he is a big baby boy, just like his sister jillian was. we had an ultrasound on Monday morning and he currently looks to be between 9-10 lbs...i'm huge...and ready. seriously ready...but trying to remember to enjoy these last few days of time with just my girlies...but honestly, i must admit that my patience is thin, especially in the midst of feeling quite "shut in" by the ice, then the snow, and now the frigid temps. i was, however, able to actually fall asleep and take a nice hour long nap this afternoon...which was extremely encouraging, as i am very lacking in the sleep department.

anyway...i am stunned as i think about the reality that very soon my sweet baby will no longer be the "official" baby of the family (she'll always be MY baby). speaking of that sweet little girlie...don't you love her first little piggies...they kind of make me want to give her whatever she wants. she is big into that lately...trying to get her way, to get whatever it is she wants. she has definitely perfected the art of throwing herself on the floor in a night last week she went so far as to end up in bed before dinner was even over. i think a tiny little bit of it is the teeth working to poke their way through on the bottom...however, i suspect MOST of it is simply part of being 17 months old...and testing the limits. ;-) i'm quite curious how she will react to the whole idea of a new baby in the house...i suspect she might be a wee bit bent out of shape for a bit, but i'm equally confident she will love her baby brother.

elizabeth and kate are very eager to meet their baby brother...although, elizabeth has had a few episodes involving tears as she realizes that i will soon be heading to the hospital. i suspect she is also "experienced" enough to realize and remember that while baby's are cute, they are also quite attention-sucking. :) but both girls like to pray for "the baby brother" cute that the other day elizabeth asked me, "umm...mommy, do you and daddy have a name for the baby brother yet?"...yes, sweet girl, we do...we just aren't telling you, lest you spill the beans. :) i am pretty sure kate is perhaps the MOST excited about the impending arrival of baby...and i'm guessing she is going to be my biggest helper of all...i also suspect that in true kate form she will have her fair share of melt-downs, etc. ;-)....but then again, i'm fairly certain i will too!

so what have we been up to...other than not finding time to blog.

well, i mentioned it above, but yes, the weather this winter hasn't been overly kind. we are way above average for snow...which truly doesn't bother me...except that it keeps coming at just the perfect moment to cancel the few "outings" we regularly have...MOPS, etc. but last week we were closed in by a crazy ice storm...bonus that mike was off work tuesday and wednesday because pretty much everything shut down (and that we didn't lose power). we pretty much hunkered down inside...other than my champion of a husband chipping away at the 4 inches of ice and snow encrusted over our driveway. the picture below doesn't give a great reference, but that ice layer was as thick as my iPod is about 4 inches....and quite SOLID...lots of parking lots and side streets are still ice skating rinks (well...most of the driveways in our neighborhood still are as well!). then saturday when we were FINALLY going to leave our house for the first time since monday to head to a birthday party for a super special 1 year old, we awoke to find snow falling like crazy....and ended up with a fresh 5 inches on top of our already icy and white winter wonderland...and now, well, now the air outside is arctic! saturday we put a kabosh on the birthday party plans that were a half an hour away, but we did decide that for our own sanity a quick trip a mile down the road to the china buffet was in order...and the grocery store. let me tell you, it did a family good! :)

oh, and we've baked and decorated cut-out valentine cookies already...since, after all, it is likely we will be a little busy right around valentines day. the girls actually made valentines today for their classmates at the school they attend on mondays. they had fun. i love that the teachers are emphasizing God's love on monday...not so much just a celebration of love in general. jilly did help spread the frosting on her cookie for about .5 seconds, but then she realized she could lick the spoon, and, well, the jig was up then!

and this one...well, it is from way back at the beginning of january, but elizabeth was quite sure i should add a picture of them sliding down the yule slide at the children's museum. so there!

and last "pictoral" from the past week or so...daddy roars, jilly giggles...and you can hear the big girls splashing and laughing in the tub in the background. this was a particularly sweet evening recently.