December 16, 2012

Christmas Fun!

Last weekend we finally got a chance to go get a Christmas tree! This job tends to be a little challenging for us since we all have so many allergies (including a severe one to artificial greenery. fun.) but luckily none of us are sensitive to a Leland Cypress and a couple of tree farms around here have those. Yay! We were lucky enough to find the perfect tree within just a few minutes of getting there. (which was good since Daxton started screaming his head off right after that and wouldn't stop! I think he was reacting to the smells of the other trees...they were so strong. Poor baby.) Of course in all that craziness I didn't manage to get any pictures of the outing. Which is kinda sad with it being Daxton's first tree. :(

But I did snap a few of the kids decorating it later so here are some of those for you all to see.....
(getting the ornaments out)
 (delancey hanging some on the tree)
 (dathan getting ready to put the tree skirt on)

 (daxton was just taking it easy while the others helped decorate)

 (the finished product!)
 (sweet sisters looking at the tree all lit up)

The kids had so much fun decorating this year and were able to do most of it by themselves this time! That makes it more special than any kind of fancy tree I could do on my own. :-) So there's our 2012 Christmas tree. What kind of decorating have y'all done around your houses?

December 2, 2012

Our First Baby Boy~Growing Up (late birthday post)

If you read my last post, then you were forewarned about me blogging some "old" news. And if you didn't then I guess here's your warning now. Ha! Things have been so crazy around here since August that the few posts I've written have been mostly baby related so I decided to do a little catch up. The first one being about Dathan's birthday since it fell right in the middle of the craziest days before birth. So here we go....

You probably remember the story about me crashing his party (that we tried to have early enough for that not to happen!) by going into labor due to a uti. Yeah, so let's just say we didn't get any good pictures or anything since I left in such a rush. Which I am still kicking myself over cause it was the neatest theme ever. He chose to do police stuff (inspired by the movie Courageous) and it turned out awesome! (if I do say so myself) Oh, well, at least we have the memories of what would have been a great party, right?! I did get a couple pics of him opening presents at the birthing house while we waited to see what was going on with me and the baby.

                      (opening gifts from grandparents and uncle)

                          (trying on the police costume)

Our present for him got left at home so he was able to open it the next day. Wearing his costume again of course. It was a main staple in his wardrobe for a while after first getting it. :-) 

                               (so excited about his gift!)

                            (yeah, he really is this cool in real life;)

A couple weeks later was his actual birthday so we celebrated as a family with him choosing his own food and dessert. This is the picture of him after blowing out his candle. Isn't he the cutest thing ever?! (or maybe I think that because I'm his mom)

There are still days when I can't believe we have a nine year old already. I think especially after having a new one again it's made me wonder where in the world the time has gone? And also realize that it flies by and they are grown before we know it. We've been blessed to have Dathan as our son and it's amazing watching him grow and change into the young man he's becoming.
He bravely deals with all his health issues like a trooper even though he has enough of them to frustrate the strongest of adults. We love his crazy, artistic, athletic, comedic, deep-thinking self more than words can say. Best of all he has a heart to know God, try to do what's right, and work out his relationship with Him. We are thankful of the honor to raise him and so proud to be his parents. I pray that he will have many more birthdays and we will get to see him grow up into a Godly, young man one day!


November 30, 2012

News Flash!!

Since my blogging has been waaaay off for the past few months I've missed posting on several things around here. I plan to gradually start catching up on stuff when I can. So be prepared for lots of "old" news in the future, okay?! :-)

Subjects may include but not be limited to;

~ Dathan turning nine years old. (with all the craziness of labor around that time I never posted his birthday story!)

~ Darcey turning two. (again, just too much craziness around here!)

~ What's going on with Daxton and everyone else's health these days.

~ How quick this baby is growing and all the milestones he's already had!

~ And other random things that I come up with. lol

Anyway, this is a post to let you know about those other posts. You know, cause that just seemed to make sense when I first thought about writing it. (now I'm kinda just wondering if it's another sign of how my tired brain works these days. Or doesn't work?!) Okay, well, on that note I'm gonna stop for now. And maybe y'all won't think I'm too crazy yet! :-)


October 31, 2012

Rather Overdue Update {with some keeping it real randomness too}

With all of the craziness life has provided us the past few weeks blogging quickly went way down on the list of priorities.  But I know some of you have wondered if we're still alive and kicking so I'm gonna try to do a quick update on how things are going around here. I'll probably be sharing the good, bad, and everything else in between. With lots of honesty thrown in for good measure. {deep breath} Here goes...........

~ I can't believe Daxton turned 2 months old last week. Sometimes it seems impossible that it's been that long since he was born and other times it seems much, much longer.

~ To answer the question of whether he has allergies/health issues like the other 3, the short one would be yes. Not as bad in some ways but enough that he requires a lot of extra care and it's pretty impossible to take him out anywhere.

~ Although determined to make breastfeeding work this time around, it just didn't. Without going into tons of details we made the hard decision for me to stop around 3 weeks. And I still struggle with it. Lots.

~ For those who have never experienced life with a sick baby or one who for whatever reason just struggles with not sleeping, hurting a lot, crying, etc it can be difficult to understand what it's like. But please believe me when I say it is one of the hardest things  ever to deal with. It leaves you feeling tired, hopeless, discouraged, frustrated, and with any other number of emotions you can probably imagine. Multiply all that with the fact I've experienced it 4 times over and you know exactly what I've been feeling the past few weeks.

~ Don't get me wrong. Not every day is as bad as some. And not every minute of those days' are either. I'm thankful more than I can say for every good time of him sleeping while laying down or just being able to lay for a few minutes without hurting and crying. I'm doubly grateful that in comparison to 2 of the others he doesn't cry constantly for hours on end regardless of what we do. That may sound crazy but it's true.

~ The older kiddos are struggling to adjust to this "new normal" since Daxton requires so much care, which of course means they get very little a lot of days. The most heartbreaking thing I've ever felt was Darcey grabbing me around the legs while I was holding a crying Daxton and saying, "I miss you, momma." Let's just say that Daxton wasn't the only one crying after that! Once again, every single day isn't that way but the ones that are tend to be rather difficult.

~ On a lighter note, Daxton has grown like crazy and is so big already! He has been wearing 3 months size clothes for a few weeks now (and even a couple 6 mths things) and size 2 diapers as well. From all appearances he looks perfectly healthy and is seriously a happy, fun baby when not in pain or feeling bad. Love seeing his sweet smile and hearing him "talk" and laugh out loud! 

~ We hadn't been able to figure out who exactly he looks like until I found an old baby picture of Blake I didn't realize we had. It is the spitting image of him! I can't wait to see if that will change or if he'll stay a daddy look-alike when he's older.

~ Once again a big part of our days tend to be spent on an exercise ball since bouncing seems to settle Daxton down the best. As tiresome as it can get sometimes it is hands down better than some of the stuff we tried with the first 2.....before we knew an exercise ball would work! Some other things that come in handy these days are Colic Calm, various homeopathics for allergies and stomach issues, probiotics, a bouncing seat, the swing (sometimes), chiropractic visits, propping him up to sleep(when he's able to lay down), and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Oh, wait, that's for me not him! lol

~ I'm beyond thankful that Blake is so good at helping out, both with the baby and around the house. I would definitely not be able to to make it without his help! My parents, especially my mom, have also been great at giving us a break, bringing food, or taking the older kids out places since we can't. I would probably be out of my mind (um, more than I am normally?! haha) if I'd had to do everything on my own since Daxton was born.

Okay, so I'm sure there's more I could write but my tired brain has thought of all it can at the moment. Let me just add that although there have been some dark, hard days for me in the past few weeks, I know that most of all it's been God's grace that has brought me through it. And even in the midst of all my questions and doubts and yes sometimes anger, at the way things are....He's been faithful. Prayers for grace and strength are still appreciated for the future. And wisdom for the decision about all of our health issues. It's hard not to worry and just trust that things will be okay, but I know that's the best thing to do so I'm trying extra hard to learn how! Now I'm really done for now. Hopefully I'll get back to blogging more often one of these days. Until then just know that life in 4-D is never dull for sure! :-) Oh, and enjoy this photo of our newest little cutie....

September 17, 2012

Daxton's Birth Story {part 3}

(to read part's 1 and 2 first click here and here!)

On with the rest of the story.......

We watched as the sun came up and it was such a beautiful morning! It was so neat to be on the farm in the middle of all the sounds of Creation and know I was having the privilege of bringing one of God's greatest creations into the world soon. I decided to go ahead and ask Linda to check me around 6:20 to see what was going on so we would know if my parents needed to start that way with the kids or if it would be a while longer. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was dialated to about 7.5 and the baby's head was, well, about as low as it can get without actually being born! The contractions were still somewhat irregular and strong but not terribly painful. (don't hate me, I totally make up for it at the end. ha!) She said it would probably happen within the next couple of hours though so I went ahead and called my parents to come and decided to wake up Blake so he would know.

I just kept walking around or sitting depending on how I felt at the moment. It felt so unreal that I would be pushing soon since I wasn't really feeling all that different yet. The rest of the family arrived around 8 I think and the contractions got a little stronger not too long after that although still only about 5 minutes apart. (they didn't stay that regular all morning though and had just gotten that close again) It was so nice to be able to see the other kids for a few minutes. I think it helped them and me both to be reassured that everyone was okay and excited about the new baby!

It was about 8:30 when I felt a little pushy with a couple contractions so I asked Linda to check me again to make sure my body was really ready. She said that it was so close that me just taking my time with some slow pushes would stretch things the rest of the way by the time the baby was actually ready to come out. It was a little strange for me doing it that way but also nice to just kind of ease into the hardest part at the end I think. My water had still not broken at this point so that's what was coming out first with the head right behind. I lost track of how many times I pushed but it seemed like it was taking forever since the contractions were slower at this stage than with my other births. It obviously wasn't, as Andrea laughingly pointed out when I said it, and when I looked at the clock I realized a lot of time really hadn't passed yet since I first started! It also wasn't terribly painful yet and I was able to still carry on a conversation pretty well while resting in between pushes which was so different than the other times as well.

I had chosen to try sitting on the birth stool they had which is sort of a squatting position and it definitely seemed more comfortable than anything else at the moment to me. I finally started feeling a lot more pressure when pushing and Linda told me the baby was getting close to coming out. She reminded me to just relax and also to try and listen to them on pushing slowly so hopefully I wouldn't tear. I was holding on and supporting myself on the sides of the chair and she also had to keep telling me to relax my arms after each push. No wonder I had such sore muscles afterwards! The bag of waters came out and burst on the push right after that at 8:57. All those painless contractions didn't mean a thing at this point cause I started thinking I was going. to. die. if I couldn't finish pushing him out. Now! I know everyone has either heard about or maybe even felt the "ring of fire" but I am pretty sure I had a whole furnace going on in there for a couple minutes. Seriously.

I'm not sure what you would call the sounds coming out of me either but I did try to work on making sure it was the low, (albeit very loud) moaning sounds that actually accomplish something rather than just screaming my head off and not really pushing. Pretty sure I almost have it perfected by this 4th time around, although after watching the video I did realize I let a couple screams slip out after all. But, hey, I figured it was perfectly understandable after finding out how much he weighed, right?? Ha! Enough of this though. Back to having that baby!

I waited (very impatiently) for the next contraction to hit and immediately started to push. I really tried to listen as Linda encouraged me to go slowly while she and Andrea helped stretch things but it was so hard to do. After what felt like forever (but in reality was probably less than a minute) I was just like, I have to push and get him out! To which she replied okay and after one more push there he was!! (the official time of birth was 8:59) So relieved to not feel all that burning pain and pressure any more. His cord was wrinkled up and seemed short at first so we could only put him on top of my legs. I can't even begin to describe the feelings that I had at that moment. I remember looking up at Blake and saying, I did it! It was just so amazing to finally be holding him after all that hard work of him getting here. I was totally exhausted but thrilled at the same time!

We moved onto the bed and his cord relaxed enough so that I could put him on my stomach. I was able to cover up while waiting for the cord to stop pulsing and the placenta to deliver so that everyone else could come in and look at him for the first time. I loved that all the other kids could be there so close by to experience it with us! (although they did go outside for the last couple minutes of pushing so they didn't have to hear momma holler! lol) Linda and Andrea were fabulous caregivers and stayed so calm during the entire process which was such a help to me. The whole experience was truly wonderful from start to finish and I am beyond thankful to have been blessed with such a great birth.

God answered so many prayers in that it was a much better time than some of my other births. Also, I had very little tearing and not too much bleeding so that was a blessing as well. We enjoyed just taking it easy for awhile and letting things just take their own time. He was able to nurse right away before getting weighed and measured. (there on the bed beside me!) After us all spending some time together my parents headed home with the kids while Blake and I got some lunch and rested a little more there. I took a shower after that and then we ended up coming home around 5 that evening. It was so nice to be at our own house in our own bed that same night!

I am so grateful not only for a safe, healthy labor and delivery for us both, but also that the experience was even better than I could have hoped for! And of course the best blessing of all is just the privilege of having another baby added to our family. We are so happy to have our little Daxton here at last and are already totally in love with our precious boy! Can't wait to enjoy watching him grow, but for now for some pictures of that day......

          (sitting in the rocking chair since I couldn't sleep)
               (Blake catching some zzzz's while we wait)
(walking around after finding out I was 7.5 cm)
                (getting ready to try pushing on hands and knees)
               (decided I was more comfortable on the birthing stool)
                 (sweet relief and happiness over him being here)
(love at first sight. best feeling ever.)
                       (first family picture with the 4-D's)
                  (having his first check-up, he was perfect of course!)
                     (the big sister helping put his first diaper on!)
(first snuggles with grandma)
                                   (one of my awesome midwives, Andrea)
(Linda is such an amazing midwife! We just love her.)
(ready to go home)
(so glad to be here!)
The End!
*just as an interesting little tidbit, he was born on the 26th which was actually my own original guess date figured by date of conception before seeing the doctor. kinda neat, huh?*

Daxton's Birth Story {part 2}

*If you haven't read part 1 yet then click here!*

And now for some more of the story......

Woke up on Saturday and decided to go to town for a few things I hadn't gotten yet. I figured it would keep my mind off of the fact I still wasn't in active labor and the walking around couldn't hurt either! Also went for a massage at a walk-in place in the mall (which is awesome by the way if you live locally and have never been!) which felt so good to my sore, tired body. Pretty sure I almost nodded off a few times while she was massaging my feet. But, hey, I was a sleep deprived pregnant lady so I figured they would understand. lol Had a few contractions off and on that evening but nothing that seemed much different than before. At this point I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to tell the difference or the baby would eventually just drop low enough to be ready to come out without me ever having harder, regular contractions?! Ha!

Ended up going to bed to try and get some rest but kept waking up when I would have a contraction and felt uncomfortable enough to not really sleep well. I was still uncertain about whether it was the beginning of actual labor though since I'd already done this several times before! I finally got out of bed and stayed up for a little while trying to get a feel for what was going on. After about an hour or so I really felt like that even though they were irregular that these were doing something and would probably eventually get stronger and closer instead of stopping. I woke Blake up to let him know and called my mom about coming down to stay with the kids. I figured it would be best to drive to the birth house before things got more serious instead of it being so hectic while riding.

By the time my parents arrived and we were ready to go the contractions had gotten about 5 minutes apart but still not terribly painful. (which is the norm for me it seems) We were gonna let the kids just sleep awhile and go see how much progress was being made before them coming down so they wouldn't be so tired from waking up in the middle of the night. I waited to call the midwife after we left so she could rest as much as possible too. I think in the back of my mind I was still worried this wasn't really it so I didn't want to get everyone out of bed any sooner than I had to! We headed out and got there around 4 am I think. (the times have all kinda run together at this point)

It was dark and quiet at the house and the midwife, Linda, had started some coffee in the kitchen so it smelled good too. We chatted for a few minutes and she assured me she felt this was the real thing, but said I should just settle in for a little while before being checked or anything. It was nice to just relax and know that I was already there whenever things got going more quickly. We both actually laid down on the bed (where Blake quickly fell asleep) but the contractions were still just close enough and hard enough to make actual sleeping impossible for me. The other midwife, Andrea, arrived (with her 9 month old son!) so we all just sat around talking, with me occasionally walking some during contractions. I was drinking water and had an energy bar as well to keep my strength up. Just one more thing to love about delivering there! It was amazing how calm and relaxed I felt, even in the middle of active labor. And little did I know things were about to get even more active pretty soon.....

*stay tuned for part 3 with the end of the story and pictures!*

September 16, 2012

Daxton's Birth Story {part 1}

After weeks (quite literally) of anticipation over meeting our little guy, I'm so happy to finally be able to share an actual birth story with you all! Here are all the details of his grand arrival....

As most of you already know my labor was rather strange this time, with us thinking that from all the signs he would actually be born early. Needless to say once contractions and other symptoms dragged on for days (or more specifically weeks) I was more than a little tired and frustrated with not knowing when it was really going to happen! There were so many times it seemed like actual labor had finally set in only to have it gradually slow down a few hours later, leaving me in an almost constant state of exhaustion since it happened alot at night. Not to mention more than a little sore!

Went on like that until my "official" guess date that we were going by which was the 23rd. I was due for a check-up on the same day if I hadn't had him yet so we had discussed me just coming in later in the evening and doing some things to help labor along possibly. I was already contracting a good bit again and figured some oils, herbs, etc just might be what I needed to get things going! Blake and I drove up and stayed a few hours while trying a couple things the midwives recommended. We ended up going out to Wal-mart but having to come back because my contractions got so strong and close together with all the walking after taking the herbs and rubbing oil on my stomach. But after thinking this was really going to be the day they once again got further apart and didn't really do a lot beyond me dialating 1/2 a centimeter after all that time. We decided to just go home and wait it out. Again. I was so tired of it all but also so determined to just let him come when he was good and ready!

On Friday I was worn out and hurting a lot from the day before so just tried to take it easy around the house. Still hoping that things would get started for real before long. I actually ended up not having too many contractions that day though and went to bed discouraged over feeling so bad with no end results of a baby in sight. I just kept thinking that if I got any more tired that I wouldn't have enough strength to even labor well, much less feel like taking care of a newborn afterwards! But since I was dialated to about a 4 and his head was very far down before leaving on Thursday I knew something surely had to happen in the near future so I tried to remember that and keep my hopes up. That was sometimes easier said than done though, of course. Y'all know how those pregnancy hormones and emotions can be!

Okay, sorry to leave you hanging but since this is already a long post I'll have to finish the story later. :-)

*Stay tuned for the rest of the story soon!*


August 28, 2012

He's Finally Here!

For those of you who haven't heard yet, we welcomed our baby boy into the world this past weekend! Proudly introducing......

                                    Daxton Judah
                              08-26-12 @ 8:59 am
                              9 lbs 1 oz, 22 inches

(birth story to come soon hopefully.....after we get more rest and snuggles)

August 23, 2012

Things I Love {Thursday}

Well, obviously this isn't a baby arrival update since yes we are still waiting for him to get here! Until that unknown future date that may never actually arrive then I figured I might as well share some other things around here that I'm loving. You know, since I can't honestly say that about the waiting stuff. Or the contractions. Or not sleeping. Ahem, okay, I'll stop now. On to the real point of this post which seriously is going to be telling you about the things I do love..........

~ Baby girl arms wrapped around my neck and early morning snuggles with just the two of us.

~ Big boy hugs given just because without momma even needing to ask.

~ Little girl cuddles in bed while she's feeling yucky. Sleeping between momma and daddy makes everything better! :)

~ Answered prayers to not let fevers get too high during the night.

~ Finding a good deal on a new van before the baby got here. Such a relief to have that decision behind us!

~ Back rubs from the hubby when I'm sore and tired from all these contractions.

~ Celebrating 9 years of being blessed with our first little boy.

~ Hearing exciting news from a sweet friend that they've been blessed with another new life!

~ Parents who step in to help out and bring food when the whole family gets sick.

~ Friends who check in with me and give encouragement in this last stage of pregnancy.

~ Scriptures that speak to my heart and feeling God's sweet spirit in the middle of sleepless nights.

~ Singing around the piano with the family and hearing a sweet baby voice as she learns the words.

~ Delancey working hard to teach herself new songs on the piano. Independently of course. :-)

~ Watching Dathan use his imagination to build something neat. From a box.

~ Making memories with our 3 kiddos before welcoming a fourth.

Well, I'm sure I could go on and on but there's just a few of the things I'm loving around here these days. What kind of things are lovely around your house? I'd love for you to share them with us in the comments!

(On another note, before wrapping up this post that I started last night, let me just share that I am now having hard contractions that are about 10 minutes apart. Waiting to see if they turn into the real thing this time! Hoping my next update will be that this little boy has finally arrived!)

August 20, 2012

No News Is......

....not always good news! At least not around here the past few days. :-( I'm seriously trying to keep my spirits up and not be too discouraged but it's been a little hard. Let me back up and give a few details though. 

Thursday was a midwife checkup, which went pretty well overall and let us know I'm definitely making progress with some of these contractions. In fact, the midwife said she thinks it will go very quickly once things set it and even coached Blake on what to do if we ended up needing to deliver on the way! (I wasn't sure if I should be amused, excited, or scared to death! haha)

From the checkup, Blake and I had decided to drive to a car lot in Franklin, TN to look at vans for sale. We ended up choosing to sale our old one and get something new and really wanted to have that done before the baby came. Needless to say it was a loooong day but thankfully we were able to get a good deal on a vehicle!

My parents were planning to watch the kids for the day and do something fun while we were gone. The girls had both showed signs of what I thought was allergies for a couple days before that and with the weed pollen count high around here I figured that's all it was. Delancey had seemed a little worse that morning but still wanted to go and I assumed she would clear up as the day went on like she had been. By that night they were both worse though and she even had a fever! Ugh. The rest of us have slowly come down with sore throats, sneezing, congestion, headaches, fever, etc ever since so it's definitely not been fun around here.

I just woke up with it during the night on top of having some really strong contractions since yesterday evening. Let's just say that sleep isn't something I'm getting alot of these days. I had been thinking that maybe it was a good thing Daxton hasn't come yet since it would be nice not to have sick kiddos with a new baby in the house. But I have to admit that me getting sick too wasn't really something I wanted or needed right now!

My contractions are still irregular most of the time but getting much harder, so along with all the other signs I've had I know it can't be much longer. I still can't believe how long I've been having this prelabor stuff and to be honest it's getting more than a little old. Being so tired though and not knowing how long it's going to take for us all to get over this cold (or whatever it is), it's hard not to be stressed with it all. Prayers would definitely be appreciated for quick healing for all of us, strength for me as the baby gets ready to get here, and for me to trust that God has it all under control. Especially when I feel like everything is just falling apart!

Okay, so there's my not so great update for the week. :-/ Hopefully I will have much better news to report soon, but until then please keep us in your prayers! Being almost 40 weeks pregnant, sick, constantly dealing with irregular contractions that could turn into the real thing any time, and taking care of 3 sick kiddos is just a little overwhelming right now. I know God is able to give me grace though and all of this too shall pass eventually.

Linking up with Sarah again at My Joy-Filled Life. Be sure to click through to see how all the other pregnant momma's are doing!

                                  My Joy-Filled Life

August 15, 2012

The Humorous Side of Birth

Since I'd already posted a pregnancy update for the link-up, I decided to do a seperate post for the discussion question this week. Thought it would be fun to share some of the more light-hearted things from labor and delivery to help us remember it isn't all about pain. (okay, so at the time it probably is if you're going natural but you can look back and remember how funny it was later anyway! haha)

Before I get started let me just say that I will be 39 weeks tomorrow, still having daily contractions, but NO baby yet! This little boy must have decided he just needed to stay put awhile longer. I'm trying to decide if I want to be just as stubborn in waiting him out or maybe try some more natural ways to get things going when I see the midwife? I'll be updating on that again after the checkup tomorrow I guess.

Now for the fun stuff:

1rst birth: This was an inducement (yes, I was young and naive about all that....whole 'nother story) so I had to be hooked up to all kinds of moniters. I remember Blake and my dad getting a kick out of watching the contraction moniter and telling me I was having one before I got my epidural. As if I didn't already know! haha
After they upped the pitocin and I did end up with the pain meds, I tried telling them I was super sensitive to everything and wouldn't need much. They turned the epidural up high anyway so that when the doctor came in for me to push I was extra numb and couldn't feel a thing or even move any part of my lower body. After telling me to put my feet in the stirrups and me not being able to the nurses finally helped get them up there. They evidently didn't take me seriously about having no control over anything though because they promptly let go only to have both legs fall over by themselves. They didn't even look real! lol I remember thinking that was the funniest thing ever to see my legs doing stuff but not being able to feel it or do anything about it. Blake and I still laugh about that all these years later. :-)

2nd birth: With this one we gave birth with a midwife at a birthing house. I had planned on getting in the hot tub they had there to help manage the pain but hadn't given any thought to actually having the baby in the water. Once I got in (I was already a 7) though it evidently relaxed me enough that I dialated quickly to a 10 and started feeling like I needed to push. We decided to just do it in the water rather than me trying to climb out in so much pain, but I was still unsure about it since I hadn't really done any research. In the middle of me pushing her out I looked down and saw her face in the water (she was born "sunny side up"!) and was like, Is she going to be okay like that?! Looking back it was such a silly question since obviously the midwife wouldn't have allowed it if the baby was laying there drowning. Ha! It's crazy how our minds can work in the middle of something like that though. After she came out on the next push and we lifted her up from the water she immediately started peeing everywhere! She loves hearing that story now and it's definitely something I can look back on and laugh about....since I'm not in so much pain anymore. lol

3rd birth: It's a little more challening to find something funny about this one since it was kinda chaotic with us ending up in the hospital rather than doing a homebirth as planned. I do remember laying there strapped to the moniter and begging to be checked to see how far along I was or them just take it off for a few minutes to give me a break because it was so tight during contractions. The nurse of course said no and kept right on asking her million silly questions that had nothing to do with labor! She then stood up and reached over to mess with the straps on my stomach right when I was having a painful contraction....I pushed her hand away and said, don't touch me! haha Totally unlike me really but turns out I was at a 10 and ready to push so was just feeling all those emotions that go along with that. Not to mention that no one would listen to me! Looking back I was able to laugh about telling her off like that. lol
The other thing we thought was funny later is how sore my throat was. I didn't realize how much I hollered while pushing until I had such a scratchy, hoarse voice. Just goes to show how focused I was on the job and not my reaction to the pain I guess. :-)

Well, there's my {hopefully} more humorous side of labor and birth! I can't wait to read some of the others on the link-up. Be sure to click here to see the rest of the updates and
stories. And if you don't have a blog or do the link-up, then feel free to leave a funny birth story in the comments. I'd love to hear it!

August 13, 2012

Our Little Worker!

Due to him having so many outdoor allergies, there's a lot of things Dathan just isn't able to do. Yard work with his daddy has always been one of them, but after a few treatments and recently seeming a little better with reactions we decided to let him give it a try. He is loving being able to help out and his favorite part so far? Push-mowing! The crazy boy even requested that Blake not finish the yard with the riding mower on Saturday so he can do it himself tomorrow. What a great little worker! :-)

I couldn't resist snapping a couple of pictures of him doing such a great job and thought I would share them since they're just so cute. He does still wear a mask and glasses to help with the allergy stuff and between that and taking a quick shower and his homeopathics he hasn't had any serious problems so far. Yay! Hoping he's able to continue helping out with it since he is having so much fun. He's even mentioned having his own little yard business eventually. So glad he's wanting to work hard like if I could just get him this excited over cleaning his room! lol

August 11, 2012

Hanging in There!

Well, y'all, I've gotta say that it seems crazy for a whole week to have passed since the goings on last Saturday. And still NO baby!! To be honest I am tired and a little discouraged with it all (since I'm having at least one spell every day or night that seems like it's gonna be the real thing, including over 3 hours of hard contractions last night that got 3 minutes apart!), but I'm still determined to just wait this little guy out and let him come when he's ready. After all, we made it 11 days over my guess date with Darcey so I'm pretty sure I can make it a few more this time. :-)

If I was guessing I would probably say I don't think it'll be quite that much longer this time, but then again there's no sure way of knowing these kinds of things! I'm definitely having all of the signs of early labor though so the good thing about that is hopefully things will go super quick once the active phase kicks in. My biggest challenge has been not getting any rest but we are focusing on taking some natural stuff and doing things to help me sleep and the past couple  of nights have been a little better in that area. It will nice to not be so worn out for when I do deliver! The other thing that I think may be effecting things is he seems to be flipping from anterior to posterior position a lot, which seems to cause the contractions to start or stop at certain times. Trying to stay on my hands and knees and rubbing essential peppermint oil on my lower back to encourage him to stay in the right place.(yes, it actually does work!) Hopefully he will do so when it's time to actually have him. I'm not too keen on delivering another "sunny side up" baby this time like I did on #2! Ouch!

As for other stuff, the uti/kidney infection looks totally cleared up. (yay!) My blood sugar is still challenging but manageable as long as I'm careful with what I eat. Everything else seems to be doing well, other than just not knowing why my uterus is contracting so much every day. There could be lots of explanations for that though so probably something we won't be able to figure out for sure. It can be annoying and I am super sore a lot of the time, but I'm just trying to not let it get me too discouraged. Which I accomplish better some days than others for sure!

Here's a picture of me Thursday at my 38 week checkup. In all my big belly glory! Please keep praying for health and strength for us both and that I'll just keep hanging in there until it's time for this little guy to make his grand entrance! After last weekend I'm wondering how he's ever going to manage a more dramatic one?! lol Maybe my next update will be that he's finally here. One can always hope anyway. :-)

*linking up with Sarah at My Joy-Filled Life sure to check out all the other pregnant bloggers too!

August 8, 2012

I Believe.....But?

So many thoughts, worries, and emotions I've had over the past few months, weeks, and especially days as this baby gets closer to being born. Unplanned and unexpected, this pregnancy has thrown me for a loop in numerous ways. (as did the last one as well) Please don't misunderstand, we love our children more than anything and are extremely blessed and thankful to have been given them by God, not to mention that we've always desired a big family. But with all of my health problems I have already, adding in pregnancy is more than a little challenging. That being said, I am so grateful for how our prayers have been answered in so many ways during this one and how the Lord has brought us through the hard stuff to make it until now.

As I wrote in one of my last updates, my health issues as well as some from Blake as well we think, have always gotten passed down to our babies. And even seem to be multiplied many times over or maybe are just harder to deal with when they are so small. Whichever the reason, it unfortunately results in alot of sickness and pain for them after being born. Needless to say, it's a scary thought to bring another little one into the world having to wonder just how sick it will be when it gets here.

Ever since we found out we were expecting again (well, after the shock and numbness wore off anyway!) I've been hoping and praying that this baby would be different. But at times I have to admit that I've been almost afraid to ask for better health since we did the same thing last time only to be disappointed. It's like even though I'm wishing for a better outcome, I'm already mentally preparing myself to not get it and for things to be bad. Not exactly what I would call praying in faith! Over the past couple weeks the Lord has really been pointing this out to me and dealing with my heart about it but to be honest I'm still struggling. My fears of what might be are greatly keeping me from trusting in what He could do.

I've also realized after having some conversations with Blake over the past few days that he's pretty much in the same spot....and really hadn't even noticed it himself. After talking with him about my feelings and how not only was I discouraged thinking about it but that I'd gotten even more so hearing some of things he said as well. Pretty much like we were both expecting a negative outcome when Daxton gets here, even though we say we're praying for the opposite.
After discussing it again this morning before he left for work I was thinking about how little faith we had obviously had that God would truly answer our prayers. And although I fully understand that we sometimes get a different answer than the one we want or ask for, I still think that it's important to actually believe He can and will do whatever it is we're praying about. And then just leave the outcome up to Him.

While I was thinking about all that, the Lord brought the scripture to my mind about the father who brought his son to the disciples to be healed of an evil spirit but they were unable to. Then when Jesus came to ask what was wrong he said if thou can do any thing, have compassion and help us. (kinda sounds like he was already doubting? definitely familiar!) But Jesus told him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Then it says that the father cried out and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief. The man acknowledged that he believed Jesus capable of healing his son, but that there was still a smidgen of doubt and fear in his heart that he just couldn't seem to overcome without God's help. But instead of trying to hide that or pretend it wasn't there, he admitted it and asked for mercy anyway!

This is exactly where I am right now too. My heart wants so badly to believe our prayers for Daxton to be healthy, able to sleep, nurse well, etc will all be answered, but there's still a part of me that also just doesn't believe it's possible after seeing 3 other babies suffer. As the day draws close for him to be born, I don't honestly know what the outcome will be. But my heart's cry is that I truly do believe God is able to work a miracle and I need His help with my unbelief that He will. I'm praying that He uses this somehow to strengthen our faith and teach us to just trust in Him and His goodness more. No matter what. I definitely need grace in order to do that though. And I'm trying to learn to depend on Him for that as well. "Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him. How I've proved Him 'ore and 'ore. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus. O, for grace to trust Him more!" 

Will you please pray for our family in the coming days that we'll truly believe and just rest in His peace? 

August 5, 2012

What a Weekend!

To say things have been a little crazy around here the past couple of days would be a total understatement! Here's a little rundown on what we've had going on around here.

On Friday Blake took off work to help get some things done around the house since we were planning an early birthday party for Dathan. (his is only 2 days before the baby is due so we were thinking doing it now would be better just in case) I had some contractions off and on but just contributed it to being on my feet more. That night I ended up with back pain and nausea on top of the irregular contractions that were still happening. Needless to say I didn't really get much sleep.

On Saturday we got up and went ahead with plans for the party although I felt like something was a little off but just wasn't sure if I was feeling real labor symptoms or just end of pregnancy uncomfortableness. (is that a word??) Anyway, the closer it got to the party time the closer and harder my contractions become until about 30 minutes after it had started they were 5 minutes apart. I also felt crampy, still had nausea and then diarrhea (which I've never done in labor before?), and just overall active labor symptoms. I called the midwife and we decided it would be good for us to head that way just to see what was going on. So we packed a couple of bags and left our company here having a party while we headed to TN! Thankfully it was all family so it was no big deal for them to just be here by themselves and they were totally understanding that we had to leave. :-)

On the way there (which is about a 50 min drive) my contractions were 3 minutes apart so we were like, wow this is really it! They weren't horribly painful but uncomfortable enough that they felt real. It's typical for mine to not get terribly bad til right before the end anyway so it seemed likely this one was going the same way. We got there and she checked us both out a little, then did a urine test. She wasn't totally pleased with a couple things but wanted me to drink some water and do another one since I seemed to be dehydrated. I was only dilated to a 2 but the baby was at a little more than 0 station and I was very effaced so we still figured things would go pretty quickly if my contractions kept up. After doing the next test she confirmed that I had a slight uti/kidney infection and we needed to start me on antibiotics immediately. I did that and also started drinking tons of water. The contractions slowed to 5 minutes apart but were still consistent and hard enough they seemed to be doing something.

After waiting a couple more hours the contractions became a little more irregular so we decided to head home for a little while and try to rest in our own beds and just see what happened. It was a long night again for me with still feeling labor symptoms and not able to get much rest. I'm still drinking alot and taking strong antibiotics to hit the infection before it becomes more serious. At this point we aren't entirely certain if the combination of infection, dehydration, etc is what triggered the labor or not. Since it hasn't entirely stopped yet it's looking like maybe it's just getting close for him to come but we are kinda just having to wait and see.

The plan for now is to take some doses of magnesium (which can slow or stop labor) in order to give my uterus a break and hopefully allow me to get some rest for when it really kicks in again. I'm trying to just take it easy and go with the flow for now, although that can be a little hard with how I'm feeling at the moment. Prayers for wisdom and most of all strength are very much appreciated. I know he will come at the perfect time even if it doesn't look exactly like we planned or thought so I'm trying to just not to worry and let the Lord take care of it! To be honest, I am really hoping that this doesn't go on for several more days since I'm already so tired and sore but then again I would probably feel a little more comfortable for Daxton's sake if he had more time to grow and get stronger.

I will try to keep you all updated with any changes over the next few days and please keep me and this baby boy in your prayers. We are so excited to meet him soon!


ps. I think I forgot to mention that I was 3 cm before leaving last night so the contractions were making some progress....just slowly. Also, I'm only 37 wks and 3 days so that is pretty early for me since the other 3 have come late. This one may be totally different though so now we will just wait and see how it goes from here! :-) I'm also linked up to My Joy Filled Life again so be sure and click through to see to read all the other pregnancy updates.

July 31, 2012

A Baby Shower!

As I've mentioned in a couple of previous posts, some friends of mine generously offered to host a baby shower for Daxton last night. They worked so hard to put things together, especially considering that even planning the food was a challenge between my allergies and gestational diabetes! We had so much fun getting together to celebrate his upcoming arrival though and I was so blessed at the gifts everyone brought as well. And I even splurged with a small piece of cookie cake (which I had been craving like crazy!) without totally driving my blood sugar up. Well, okay, actually I forget to take my moniter and check it so I'm not sure how high it really got but it wasn't too bad when I got home so I think I did okay. Possibly due to the fact, I also ate alot of nuts and cheese to try and balance out the protein and carbs. lol
Very thankful to all the ladies who helped out with it and made it a special time. Here are a few pictures of all the fun. I think we might have ended up having more girls there than mommas! :-)

July 29, 2012

36 Week Update

Can't believe how close we're getting to meeting this little boy! Some days it has definitely seemed like the pregnancy would be never ending but now that I'm so far along it seems crazy that he's almost here. So exciting (and a little scary too) though! Here's what's been going on the past week or so with me and him.....

~ I'm 36 weeks and 3 days. Just a few more days to go until I'm considered "full-term" and able to deliver safely at the birthing house!

~ Having a good many contractions and lots of pressure, etc these days. It's hard to tell if this is just normal, getting ready kinda of stuff that may last awhile longer or I'm actually getting close to the real thing. I'm trying to prepare myself for either way but to be honest it would be nice to know for sure!

~ I love my midwife and am so glad we chose to change care providers, even so late in the pregnancy. Can't wait to see what kind of experience this delivery is going to be with her.

~ Still dealing with the blood sugar issues, allergies, and other health stuff. It's pretty rough some days but just trying to hang in there for now. Prayers for strength to make it these last couple of weeks are appreciated and that I will feel good when actually going into labor.

~ After having 3 kids born with extreme allergies, reflux/stomach issues, and mulitple other health problems it is extremely hard not to worry that Daxton will be the same way. Our babies tend to be in alot of pain, cry almost constantly, struggle to sleep, have to be kept home so as not to be exposed to things, unable to breastfeed, need to wear special clothing, and too many other things to name! It's challenging and heartbreaking to care for them as infants and of course the fact that I still have older ones who struggle with issues just adds to that stress as well. We've been praying that the Lord would be merciful and allow Daxton to not suffer from as many health problems as the rest of us but know that the answer to that may not be yes. Prayers for a miracle are welcome and definitely for us to be able to trust that things will be okay no matter what. We will need God's grace and strength for sure in the days to come! I hope to be able to report a "happy-ending" story to this eventually but know that even if I don't get to that God's grace will be sufficient....just like it has been before. I have to be honest and say that my flesh wants things to be easier and different this time though. Mostly for Daxton's sake, but the rest of the family's too.  

~ Bought some of the bigger baby stuff we needed yesterday so it's nice to have that taken care of. Can't wait to see what all goodies I get at my shower tomorrow night!

~ Baby is kicking like crazy and feels like he doesn't have alot of room left in there. (although I'm secretly hoping he isn't too big!) The kids still love to see and feel him. We're all getting more excited to for him to get here. :-)

~ Got my hair cut several inches last week. I'm still trying to get used to it but think it's going to be easier to deal with for awhile so that is definitely a plus!

~ My next appointment is Thursday so I may be back to update after that. Kinda interested to see what they say about my progress!

~ Last but not least is a picture of the gown my mom surprised me with to wear during labor and/or after. It's super cute and I can't wait to use it! I will definitely have to post a pic of me while wearing it too. Speaking of pictures, I haven't managed to take many of myself these days for some reason. I'm posting one of myself (and our sweet little girl) in a maternity dress I ordered and then couldn't decide if I liked since it's the only recent one I have! (pretty sure I'm returning it at this point but I guess that part doesn't matter. lol) 

So anyway there's the latest news and here are the pictures......

Don't forget to check in over at the My Joy Filled Life link-up to see all the other new updates. Click here to see Sarah's post for the week. Until next time....


July 27, 2012

New Every Morning

Feeling a little more than overwhelmed the past few days for different reasons. Seems like last night and this morning it all just kinda came crashing in. But I'm thankful that when I don't have much left to go on in myself that I have One that never fails to help me if I seek Him. Just wanted to share what I was thinking on after praying and reading His word earlier. Maybe it will be a help to someone else who's struggling today......

"And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord......(but then)

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord." (Lamentations 3:18,21-26)

"My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." (Psalm 73:26)

Something the Lord had shown me from those first scriptures a few months ago stuck out to me again this morning. It talks about His mercy and compassion and the definition of those two words and what they can tell us is amazing. Mercy is "the feeling that motivates compassion" and then compassion is "a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering, usually with a desire to help relieve it". It blesses my heart and definitely gives me that hope when I think about knowing and serving a God who is not only aware of what I'm going through but wants to help me with it as well! And that doesn't always mean that things change for the better immediately, but it's good to remember that while I'm waiting, hoping, and seeking....He's having new mercy and compassion on me. Every. Single. Day.

The last verse came to mind while I was thinking on these other things. It truly feels like some days that my flesh and heart are failing and I just can't take anymore. But when those feelings become more than I can stand, He always reminds me I can just trust in His strength to carry me through. So that's what I'm doing this morning. Hoping in His mercies and compassion, waiting on His help and salvation, and leaning on His strength. Best of all I'm grateful that He showed me once again how great His faithfulness really is and that He will always keep His promise to never leave me nor forsake me.

It never fails to amaze me when I think about how gracious and loving the God I serve is. I may still be discouraged by some of the things we are dealing with right now, but I can't stay that way entirely when I realize what a wonderful Saviour I have. And remember how blessed I am to be His, no matter what my life's circumstances might look like! So thankful for His spiritual blessings on me today. And now I'm off to get the rest of this day started. With alot more hope than I had before. :-)