Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Baby is Here!

This pregnancy started off rocky and ended with a bang!  This was the roughest labor but easiest delivery of our 4 kids.  My husband and I had waffled back and forth on our decision to induce 2 days prior to our due date.  We were not inducing for medical reasons so much as to ensure the doctor we trusted would be the one to deliver our son.  After how this delivery went though, we are beyond thankful that we listened to our doctor and allowed the early induction. 
Delivery day:
We arrived at the hospital a few minutes late.  We had taken our time and just enjoyed the drive.  We laughed, talked, worried and tried to envision how the day would unfold.  After check in it felt so chaotic and nothing like the calm feeling we had during the Professor's labor.  They were sort of rushing to get us checked in and settled before the shift change.  There were 2-4 nurses bustling around, attaching monitors and doing the iv and asking all those questions.  Eventually we were settled and they came in around 7:45 to start the Pitocin.  Almost immediately I began feeling small contractions.  They were quite regular too.  However, due to my anterior placenta they could not keep the baby on the monitor.  Literally every 15 minutes or so the alarms would start going off and they'd spend another 5 minutes trying to get him on the monitor.  At one point I had to shimmy myself into this very tight, very uncomfy band to try and keep the monitors extra tight.  It worked.....a little.  The alarms were going off only once every 30 minutes or so now. 
The contractions continued and were getting more noticeable but when they checked me around 11:30 I was still only at a 3 and about 70% effaced.  My husband and I started fretting and worrying that this little man just was not ready to arrive.  Around 12:30 my doctor came in and broke my water.  At that point she said "We have merconium."  My heart sunk.  I had never envisioned hearing that.  Then she went on to say there was a lot of it.  They were worried about what he may have been exposed to.  They placed the internal monitor and my contractions picked up at a rapid pace.  By 1 I was having trouble talking, or even thinking, through them.  But I was hesitant to get the epidural since my progress had been so slow.  However, I decided to go for it since typically my labors have gone quickly after my water has been broken.  I got the epidural and it was a very easy one.  Right afterwards a nurse comes rushing in and tells us that the doctor called and was not happy with the baby's heartrate on the monitor.  I was put on oxygen and flipped to my left side.  By this point I was in tears.  I was scared and really worried about what would happen.  Things seemed to settle down and we sent my sister-in-law after some lunch for my husband.  We figured the baby would arrive by 4:30 or so and I wanted to make sure he did not pass out from lack of food.  A few minutes til 3 the nurse came in and noticed I had the shakes.  She cleared the room and did a cervical check  Immediately she called the doctor.  The nurse then calls in the teams and everything was moving so quickly.  We were complete and ready to meet our little guy.  At 3 the doctor zoomed in.  We were introduced to the respiratory specialist and pediatrician who were standing by in case he had trouble breathing and we were briefed on the fact that he would be whisked away as soon as he was out.  Around 3:05 I was told to push.  At 3:07 he flew out!  It was so fast we could barely process it.  He was whisked away and they pumped 8 cc's of merconium from his belly.  Thankfully he did not have any in his lungs.  After he was pumped and breathing good (about 10 minutes) he was weighed and measured.  He was exactly 9 pounds and exactly 21 inches.   Then we finally got to hold him.  He was so calm and sweet and we just fell in love with him.  My husband and I enjoyed our skin to skin time and relished the calm after what had felt like a rocky labor.  We brought in the siblings and introduced them.  They all loved him but the Hippie was completely smitten by him.  She seems to think he is her baby.  The rest of the family got to meet him and hold him and love on him too. 
Shortly after we thought we were calming down the pediatrician came in and informed us that in addition to the hole in his heart they were hearing a loud murmur and that we might have to get a transfer to the Children's Hospital.  That was so terrifying.  To make a long story short, there was no problem with his heart and we just follow up with his cardiologist in January.  We did have to stay two nights due to his heart, merconium and having a higher birth weight.  On Friday at lunch time my husband and the kids came and picked us the middle of a huge snow storm. 
Our little man certainly came into our lives with a bang!  We are thrilled to have him here and are all falling in love with him more each day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Time

My last time to write a blog post before this baby makes his debut!  I cannot believe we are to this point.  In some ways it seems like we have waited forever and in other ways I am shocked that he will join us tomorrow.  Either way, I am a bundle of emotions.  I have found myself hugging the kids a little tighter, snuggling the Professor (before his happy little world is rocked) and cleaning. Ha!  I am excited and nervous and happy and scared.  Please keep us in your prayers and look for an update soonish on our sweet baby!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The bassinet is up and ready with a freshly washed sheet.
Hospital bag is packed and waiting (except for bathroom items).
Kids bags are packed and waiting.
The diaper bag is loaded and ready.
My husband installed the carseat yesterday.
Supplies have been purchased and are waiting to be used.
The house is (mostly) in maintenance mode.
Now....we wait.
I am scheduled for an induction this coming Wednesday, but am still hopeful that labor could start on it's own.  No matter, we are as ready as we are ever going to be for this baby to join our family. 
I am very uncomfortable now and am so thankful that I squeezed so much in with my husband and the kids over this past month.  This afternoon I am making gingerbread houses with the kids.  Last night we drove through a park with over 3 million lights, went to a live nativity, took a horse/wagon ride and saw a house with lights set to music.  So many memories have been made and treasured.  Now we look forward to making new memories as a family of 6.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Better News!

I got a call from my doctor's office later in the day.  My doctor knew how much it meant to me to have her deliver.  She called over herself and got me scheduled for an induction next Wednesday! As much as I would love to go on my own, I know that this is best.  I know my doctor's opinion on c-sections and she knows how much I never want one.  Plus, like I said, she is a Christian.  So it looks like we will have 2 children born in the same state, same hospital and same doctor!  Pretty exciting! 
Yesterday I had a bunch of Braxton Hicks contractions.  Whenever I was sitting they would come regularly but when I'd get up and move, the would completely stop.  Last night I was woken up by real contractions but they fizzled out as well.  Even if I do end up being induced, I am hopeful that these are at least helping me make some progress!
A week from now we could be holding our son!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mixed News

Sigh.  I had my OB visit this morning.  The good, or rather, great news is that the baby looks healthy and fluid levels are all fine and dandy. 
The rest of the appointment just left me so disappointed.  My doctor hurt her thumb and is having surgery on Wednesday.  So she cannot work for the rest of the week.  During the ultrasound the baby is measuring very normally and not overly large at all.  He could be anywhere from 7-9 pounds right not, but we are definitely not looking at a big 10 pound baby or anything.  So she suggested and induction next Wednesday.  However, when I went to schedule it, the hospital is not doing any inductions on that day because of computer shut down and maintenance.  Well, next Wednesday is my doctors last day of work til 2013.  After all this time with her, she will not be the one to deliver.  I am just so bummed. I really trust her and like her and we have a good rapport.  She is one who helped us through our loss and she has gone above and beyond to help us with this pregnancy.  Plus she is a Christian.  I know it really is not that big of a deal but at this stage I am so tired and emotional it really feels like a big deal to me.
So it looks like our little man will make his appearance at the end of next week unless I go on my own before then.
Today I was 2 cm dialated but still just 60% thinned out.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fitting it all in

38 weeks today!  Knowing that we have 2 weeks or less really makes me feel like we are in a time crunch.  I truly do not have much left to do.  Most of my list could be knocked out in an hour.  But still, I am ready to know everything is crossed off.  Then I just have to focus on my family and keeping the house cleaned.  Yesterday we got the bassinet set up, the carseat cover washed and ready and a few other things that were on my list. 
Even though there are things I need to get done, there is also a list of FUN things I have planned and want to do.
Tonight there is 2 live nativities and a park filled with Christmas lights that we want to take the kids to.
Sunday my husband get a real date.  A date where my parents take the kids and know we will be gone for awhile.  Some time after church they will get the kids and my husband and I will get dinner, a movie and a little bit of shopping.
Monday I have an ultrasound and a check up.
Tuesday my friend and I and the kids are supposed to do a little shopping and get some yummy Chick-Fil-A food.
The Professor has his 6 month post surgery check up.
We have home-school to try and get ahead on.
And I'd really love to cook a few family favorite meals since I know ramen noodles will be a staple soon enough. Ha!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Winding Down

This morning I took all 3 kids to my check up.  It went really well and the kids were so well behaved.  Thankfully these appointments are super fast!  I think we were in and out and buckled back up within 25 minutes.  The doctor said I am still just under 2 cm dialated but that I am 60% thinned out now.  Not quite the progress I would have liked but I will still take it for sure!  I go in on Monday for my next appointment.  The doctor said she will do an ultrasound to check on the baby's size.  About 1 month ago they had him at 6.6 pounds.  The average baby gains about 1/2 pound a week at this point.  In theory, this would put the baby right now at about 8 1/2 - 9 pounds.  Our other babies were 8.5, 8.7 and 9.4 so I think this baby will be on track to be about the same range.  However, the doctor wants to check and make sure he is not getting too big.  She said if he is measuring extra large she may look to set an induction at 39 weeks!  That would be NEXT Friday.  Crazy!  My husband and I will definitely have some discussing to do.  He does not mind an early induction at all, but I have such mixed feelings on it.  I really dislike going early.  However, I was induced with our first and third.  Our 2nd came on her own almost 2 weeks early and she still weighed 8.7.  Anyways, it kinda hit me today that things are really winding down and soon we will be holding our baby.  The only really impending sign I have that the time is drawing close is that my emotions are going crazy.  Today I cried hearing the Mariah Carey Christmas Song "All I Want for Christmas".  LOL!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Do you do Advent Calendars with your kids?  I grew up always having one and we have continued that tradition with our kids.  This year the Professor is old enough to have his own.  I am guessing in a few days he will start understanding to look for a new gift each morning.  We keep the gifts really small.  Usually it is a piece of candy, a pencil something like that.  I am also a fan a buying something like an 8 pack of cute socks and that takes care of 4 days for the girls PLUS gives them something useful.  Today the girls each got a new headband (and they will be getting headbands 3 more times.....Ha!).  The Professor got a new matchbox car.  On the 24th they will each come out to find a big gift and it will be their annual Christmas pjs. 
What traditions do you have?

Friday, November 30, 2012


Wow.  It seems like just yesterday that we posted this blog post announcing that baby #4 was on their way.  We did not know boy or girl and we were filled with equal parts excitement and fear.  The journey of losing one baby and then getting blessed with another baby led us to choose this baby's name.  We cannot wait to share it with our family on the day he is born.  My husband and I sit up at night relishing these quiet times after the kids are in bed and we talk about this new baby.  How happy we are with the name, wondering how big he will be, who will he look like, will he sleep?  It is amazing to look back and see all we have come through with this pregnancy and this sweet boy and to know that in about 21 days we will be holding him. 
We are blessed.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's the Cutest Thing

Our Thanksgiving traditions are pretty simple.  A meal with family.  A walk outside if weather allows.  And typically the day after Thanksgiving we put up our Christmas tree while my husband's sister is still here visiting with us.  The kids love including her in the festivities and we all have fun....well except for my husband who is in charge of all the manual labor. Ha! This year we had to switch things up a bit.  His sister had to leave the day after Thanksgiving and my husband had to work today.  We decided to move things up a day and do it on Thanksgiving.  Yesterday while the Professor was napping we all put up the tree and all the decorations.  He came downstairs and was amazed at the transformation.  On our tree we have several bell ornaments that will ring.  He spends so much time standing in front of them, gently ringing them and then giggling.  He just loves it and it is seriously the cutest thing! 
Oh, our other tradition is that after doing the tree and decorations we make homemade pizza and watch a movie by the lights of our tree.  Since we live in a rural town we typically make our pizza but other places we lived we would order it in.  Last night I made homemade pesto pizzas. YUM!
What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How Long Does it Take

24 hours or less is the answer is our home.  But what exactly is the question?  Well, I want to know how long it takes after you clean your bathroom before it is nearly impossible to tell that you did clean your bathroom.  In our house it is less than 24 hours.  I cleaned the bathroom the other day.  I sort of have a schedule for which rooms get cleaned on which days.  Of course in between there is maintenance cleaning.  Well on this day I had done my big bathroom cleaning....bleaching out the sinks and toilet, wiping everything down including the tile portions of the walls etc.  The next morning when I flipped on the light I found nasty toothpaste leftovers caked onto the sink, fingerprints and water spots on the mirror, the clean hand towel was dirty and all askew, my nicely straightened towels were now hanging crookedly and where the kids keep their toothpaste, well, there was a toothpaste splotch on the tile.  It's not the place was trashed or that anyone was inconsiderate it just gets used.  We only have one full bathroom so 5 of us use it all the time.  But if someone had walked in there they might well have thought that I had not cleaned it in a week.  So how long does it take at your house before a freshly cleaned room looks dirty again?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Things Don't Go According to Plan

Yesterday started off so promising!  Our son woke up early but then went back to sleep.  I ended up staying awake and enjoying some coffee and quiet time.  After my husband left for work, the kids and I all cleaned together.  Later we ran some errands, bought the items we needed for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and drove through good ole' McDonald's for some much needed grease lunch.  Came home and since the Professor had been up so early he was ready for a really early nap.  This was just a HUGE blessing since the girls had a home-school co-op Open House at 2:30.  He got a fairly good nap in and we went to the Open House.  My parents got to come and we saw the Genius' sewing projects displayed and saw photos of what the girls had done in their Rocket Launching class (and yes these were real rockets!)   After the Open House the plan was to come home and get everyone fed.  Then we were surprising the kids by taking them to a Christmas parade.  One I have wanted to go to for 2 years now and never been able to make it.  I was so excited!  But when we got home from co-op, the Professor said he needed a diaper change.  When I pulled off his diaper I saw blood.  At moments like this, only God keeps me from total panic.  I knew he needed to see someone but it was 4 p.m. on Saturday.  I called around and we are SO rural there are not many urgent care places.  The only open with 40 miles did not want to see him for this in case it was his kidneys.  I gathered the girls up and asked them to pack a bag with things to do, gave them a brief talk about helping out and being patient and we loaded up.  I managed to reach my husband on the phone and he was off early on a Saturday and able to meet us at the ER.  We get checked in and they tell us all the beds are full and to prepare for a long wait.  It was a long wait.  My husband took the girls out to dinner and the brought back food for the Professor and I.  We also had to keep getting him to drink because they wanted a urine sample.  He finally peed in the bag thing they had put on him.  And we sat around some more.  Eventually my husband left with the girls and took them to the parade.  I wanted them to see it at least.  After the parade they came back and we were still waiting.  By this point the Professor was totally over being in a small room loaded with "don't touches".  We had exhausted every song, book, crayon and he was tired of my balloon made out of a latex glove.  And all that drinking he had done...he had soaked through every diaper I had packed.  My husband left with the Hippie and they went to get some (cringe) disposable diapers.  As soon as they left the doctor came in to let me know that 0-1 is normal red blood cell count for urine and the Professor's was just a 3.  Not enough to indicate any infection.  She examined the diaper with the blood on it and his little privates.  She said it looked like he had a tiny cut and when she moved it we saw blood there  So evidently my freak out was for nothing!  And we spent over 4 hours in the ER. 
That definitely was NOT in my plans for a fun Saturday night.
All in all, I am just thankful he is ok!
How was your weekend?

Friday, November 16, 2012

5 Weeks

We are 35 weeks pregnant today. 35. Weeks. That means 5 weeks or less til this baby makes his appearance!  This has been such a special pregnancy for me.  After losing our last baby at 15 weeks and 3 days, this pregnancy took on new meaning.  I have not taken it for granted.   I have tried to not complain.  I have felt so thankful for aches and pains, kicks from the baby and all the extra ultrasounds we had.  I have been so thankful for a Christian OB doctor who, literally, held my hand at times during this pregnancy.  This time around came with a lot of fear.  Not just for me, but for my husband and for the girls.  We have all prayed for this baby every single day since we got that first positive.  Rather than surprising the girls, we told them the same day we got the positive to allow them to be praying for this new life.  Now with Christmas nearing, I find myself thinking about and relating to Mary from the Bible.  The Christmas story feels extra special when you are waddling into the church 35 weeks pregnant with a very active baby boy kicking your rib cage.  This pregnancy has been filled with so many doctors appointments.  With the other pregnancies, I never had anything out of the ordinary.  This pregnancy was rocky from the start.  I had the low progesterone and it kept dropping until I ended up on painful injections here at home.  Then there was the scare with the hole in heart.  And now after all that we sit here at 35 weeks with a healthy baby boy kicking away inside me.  I am just overwhelmed with gratitude. 

5 more weeks!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Overnight Trip!

Surprising the kids was so much fun!  It actually took a lot of work to pull it off but they were totally surprised in the end.  We acted like we were heading off to church.  My husband had packed the van the night before.  The Hippie asked where we going and my husband said to get gas.  We were about 20 miles away when they asked again.  This time I told them.  They flipped!  Then we really did stop for gas, drinks and to hook up their dvd player.  We ended up shopping at a few stores and then had delicious Skyline Chili before heading off to the Creation Museum.

The Professor spent a lot of time looking up.  He was equally fascinated and slightly nervous of the dinosaurs.  "Saur-saurs" as he calls them.

The Hippie helping Noah build the ark.

Getting to ride a dinosaur!!!

The Hippie has officially entered the "i must pose in a weird/funny way for every photo" phase. Ha!

The water fountain was also a popular place to visit.

Attempting to get your family all in one photo.  Kinda hard to do.

After the museum we went to a few more stores but the kids were done.  We had found a really neat place to take them for dinner called Pizza Tower.  Every kid gets a very unsticky dough ball to play with!

The Professor was too tired for dough.

There is a kids area.  We got to sit here so he was able to run back and forth playing.

I believe that is a dog in the front and a heart in the back.

Dinner was delicious! A tad expensive for pizza with kids but well worth it since they were so entertained.  They got free ice cream with their meals.  The kids meals were kinda basic but the pizza my husband and I had was probably the best I have ever had!!!!

After dinner we checked in at the hotel and all went swimming!

Night time was rough with all of us in one room.  The Professor was exhausted and kept calling us all by name and saying "all done".  It was well after 9 before all the kids were asleep.  6 a.m. and everyone was awake again. 
We enjoyed the free breakfast and then took off for the Aquarium.  This was really the only snafu we hit on the trip.  We knew the Aquarium opened at 10 but there was a Barnes and Nobles bookstore next door.  So we went at 9 to go to the bookstore.  They did not open til 10. Uh-oh.  And it was cold and pouring rain.  Luckily there was a closed mall but the lobby areas were open.  We spent 45 minutes playing on escalators and running.

Finally, finally it was 10 and we got to go to the Aquarium.  We got there in time for the Penguin Parade.

The Professor was honestly just too tired.  The girls were loving it and he was just....grumpy.  We still made some fun memories though.  Afterwards we did end up going to the bookstore.  The Professor had never been to a Barnes and Nobles.  He LOVED the trains.  We let the girls each choose a book.  I was super proud of the choices the made with ZERO guidance from us!

When we left we drove through and got lunch in the van.  The Professor was asleep from the time we got in the van until we got home. Ha! 
We had a great time and I am so thankful for the time we all spent together!