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. :-) 

July 21, 2012

Praise, Prayers, and Pregnancy

The morning of my midwife checkup started out pretty normal and routine. Got up early (can anyone say "pregnancy insomnia"?!) and had a snack to keep my sugar level okay. Had some quiet time before the kiddos woke up then fixed breakfast and got everyone ready to go. The checkup was great (more on that in a minute) and we all enjoyed getting to see the midwives again. Seriously, it is the best thing ever to have such a more personal experience than you get with using a doctor. After hearing the baby's heartbeat she held the doppler on Darcey's chest so she could hear hers too. So fun! Then the kids mentioned being hungry before we left so she gave them all snacks and juice for the trip home. How awesome is that??!!

So anyway we head for home and make a quick stop at Kroger for a couple of things before driving through the main part of town. Traffic was heavy and we have to pass by the hospital which means there are almost always ambulances to watch out for. While coming up on the last intersection of that area I saw one pulling up to the red light to the right of me but didn't think it had its' lights on. (it could have and I just didn't notice when glancing over) It suddenly flashed them and sounded the siren at the same time obviously letting us know we should stop even though our light was green. The person in front of me went on through and although my stop was kinda last minute and meant I was going to go over the line a little I felt like I shouldn't just ignore him inching out there and keep going. About 5 seconds after we came to a stop and the ambulance was about to cross in front of us we were whammed from behind! Talk about scary!!

Thankfully no one was seriously hurt other than Delancey getting a small bump on her head from hitting the thing on the bottom of the head rest. We aren't sure about the damage to the van yet but at the moment our rear door refuses to open so that's a little frustrating to deal with. But we know vans can be fixed or replaced so are choosing to just be glad everyone's safe and praising God it wasn't any worse! Prayers for the insurance issues to be resolved quickly so we can hopefully make a decision before the baby comes is appreciated.

Now on to the pregnancy news which I will try to be short with since this post is already so long. :-)

~ I am 35 weeks 2 days.

~ The baby's position is still great and his head has dropped down even further. Yay!

~ Having contractions off and on most days and especially at night. I'm thinking I've made a little progress already but that's normal for me around this time. Just getting things ready for the big day!

~ Everything looked great other than a very slight amount of ketones in my urine. They thought it was probably due to my diet more than anything and encouraged me to eat more if I could and definitely drink more. I'm pretty much floating from all the water I'm having these days! lol

~ I've gained about 25 lbs total which is a little less than the other times so far but I weighed more starting out so it ends up about the same I guess.

~ Trying to get some things done and tie up loose ends before he gets here. I still can't believe it's going to be so soon! I'm so looking forward to meeting him and also very excited to see what kind of experience this birth will be with my lovely midwives. Something else I'm excited about is some ladies we met through our homeschool group offering to give me a baby shower! Gonna be so much fun getting to celebrate with them before he arrives.

I think that's about it for now. Prayers for mine and the baby's health are always appreciated as well as for my other children (especially Dathan) who have alot of health issues going on at the moment that are challenging to deal with. I'll post more about that seperately though so I can end this short story for now! :-) I'm linking up over at My Joy Filled Life again this week so don't forget to click through and read about the other pregnant mommas too. Until next time....


July 17, 2012

Everyday Randomness

I didn't really have anything in particular that I could think of to write about at the moment (pregnancy brain?) so I figured I would just share some of what we've been up to lately.

Various doctors appointments for allergies, the dentist, and pregnancy check-ups seem to take up alot of our time lately! Most of it is needed obviously but sometimes it can be stressful to always be on the go. I'm hoping to slow down some in the next few weeks to have a break before the baby gets here.

Trying to get in some school days so that we can take off after Daxton comes without getting behind. Between not feeling good and staying gone alot that's been hard to do though! Oh, well, I'm convincing myself not to stress about that one and trusting that we'll get done what we need to when we need to. (okay, so I'm not always thinking that way about it but I know I should!)

Got to attend a fun baby shower for a sweet friend last week. Delancey was able to go as well and had a great time. We did a little shopping (mostly for groceries!) afterward and it was nice spending time with just the big girls for a change. Although Darcey is getting old enough that she really wants to be included more too! She may be referring to herself as "the baby" since we talk about Daxton alot these days but she totally thinks she's as big as the other two anyway.

The older kids and Blake got in free to watch the local baseball team play Saturday night. They had a blast while me and Darcey hung out here at home taking it easy.

For whatever reason my pubic bone starts popping out of place during later pregnancy and has since the very first time. Needless to say this is painful when it does it and combined with my hip trouble can pretty much get me down if it's bad. It did that early Sunday morning so I had a fun day for sure! Thankfully I had a chiropractor appointment already set up for Monday so was able to get adjusted. Lots of soreness and my hips still giving me a hard time today though. Hoping it will get better soon so I can actually walk around easier!

The kids and I visited my parents for breakfast and a swim before seeing the chiro on Monday so that was alot of fun. I had lots of contractions that night though so maybe a little too much fun swimming?! lol Actually, I think I'm just at that stage where things are getting started early which isn't unusual for me. Now if I just wouldn't do it for SO long and go over the due date! Contractions for weeks on end can get pretty tiresome after awhile.

I guess that's about it with the randomness for now. Oh, I almost forgot about being surprised with the news that some homeschool friends want to give me a baby shower of my own in a couple of weeks! So excited and thankful that they would do that. I'll be sure to share more details on that later though. For now I'm gonna head to bed and see how much sleep I can get. :-)


July 12, 2012

The Best "Things" in Life

Sweetest thing ever is when your 20 month old says, "Momma, baby read Bible."  and then lays on the couch like this while she pretends to do just that. My heart is so thankful to be blessed with copies of God's Word and that I have the amazing privilage of sharing it with my children! May I never take it for granted and always seek to instill a love of it in their little hearts by them seeing me feel that way about it myself. Here's a picture of the sweetness for ya'll to enjoy as well....

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:15


July 10, 2012

33 Weeks....and Counting!

Time for another update on the pregnancy! It's been fun linking up with another blog and following along with other moms' journeys this time. Be sure to click over to Sarah's blog, here to read how everyone else is progressing too. (some of those ladies should be delivering any day) And I should say a BIG thank-you to her for hosting the link up as well! :-)

Here's what's new around here since last week....

~ My checkup with the midwife went pretty well. The baby is head down already (woo-hoo!) and the heartbeat sounded great. A couple of my urine levels were a little off, but I really wasn't terribly surprised since we'd had a few rough days and this heat has been awful! The fact that the day before was a holiday didn't help any either. I was dehydrated (oops) and hadn't kept my glucose levels quite as in check as needed so I've really been working on those two things since then.
The ups and downs with my blood sugar can be frustrating and it's hard not to be discouraged with it some days. Prayers for it to be more regulated and for me to have wisdom on what's best to eat are greatly appreciated! I look forward to seeing how things are improved at my next checkup.

~ I've been having some nightly contractions already but that's pretty common for me at this point. Although I know in some ways it's good for my body to prepare itself for the actual labor it can get a little tiresome considering that I do it for several weeks before the real thing. I'm really hoping to not go over my guess date quite as much this time since my health isn't the best but trying to just trust that he will come when he's ready! I will definitely be doing all the natural stuff to help it along I can as it gets closer to time though. :-)

~ Having a hard time emotionally as the actual birth gets near with worry about the baby's health. I plan to do a more detailed post about our past experiences and give some specific prayer requests about that but until then please just pray that I would "cast all my care upon Him"!

~ As for the discussion question about names, we don't really have any certain way to pick one other than them starting with the same letter. (which wasn't planned on purpose to begin with!) Our first two I had actually found and liked before even getting married and they happened to both begin with "D". We then picked out middle names we liked to go with them, but didn't base it on meaning or anything, just what we thought sounded good. When pregnant with our 3rd we decided it would be kinda sad to leave her out of the whole "D" thing so we searched until we found one beginning with that letter that we liked. The funny thing is that I looked up the meaning after she was born and it totally applies to her! (it means dark-hair/skin and she's the only one out of the 3 who has that coloring. lol) We actually had the name picked out for this one with our 2nd since we weren't sure if it was a boy or girl until after she was born. Super excited that we finally get to use it after all these years! And of course looking forward to finding out how crazy life in 4-D will be. :-)


July 8, 2012

Why Should He Bless Us?

So much has been on my heart lately about our country, families, and just the shape everything has gotten into in the past few years. Celebrating the 4th last week was bittersweet in so many ways since it's hard to be thankful for America being my home but at the same time see it turn into a place I almost don't recognize anymore. Not to mention thinking about my children growing up in a nation that is quickly choosing to turn away from the God that made us what we are today!

My mom reminded me of a song the other day that I had heard a few years ago but not thought about recently. The verses speak about the laws being made to take prayer out of schools and allowing abortion to be legal, but the chorus is even more fitting to society as a whole.....

Why should God bless America?
She's forgotten He exists.
And has turned her back on
everything that's made her what she is.
Why should God stand beside her,
through the night, with the light
from His hand?
God have mercy on America,
forgive our sins and heal our land!

As I sang those words to myself the past few days my heart broke even more to realize that there is swiftly becoming no reason why God should or even will bless us due to all the sin we've allowed to be so prevalent in our lives. And the saddest part is realizing that the main problem doesn't really lie with who our president is or those who have passed such awful, ungodly laws. The main problem is with us as Christians who have just set back and allowed it to happen, while we enjoy having our flesh entertained by worldly things, learn how to fit in so that our lives aren't so hard, condone rather than condemn sin, and mistakenly think we don't need to judge in order to not seem legalistic. In other words, we've chosen the easy way out rather than standing up for what's right......and now we, and especially our children, are paying for it.

So where does that leave us? Is that really the end of the story and now we just wait for God's judgement to fall on this wicked nation and even ourselves? Some may say yes, but I'm not totally sure that I agree. We watched the movie Monumental yesterday that was recently made by Kirk Cameron and it definitely gave me alot more to think about. (if you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend that you go out and buy it!) Even before then though while searching my heart after being so discouraged over the way things are, there was a well known scripture that kept coming to mind and it seemed to just resonate with me even more last night and this morning.

If MY people, which are called by MY name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek MY face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. 2Chronicles 7:14

I'm sure this is a verse that we all know, but I wonder how often we truly think about what it actually says. And most importantly put it into practice!! I know for myself that I am sometimes the worst at seeing what needs to be done about something, but so often failing to be the one who steps up to do it. What I feel like the Lord keeps reminding me of is that this scripture is to me, you, all of those who are His. Not the ones out in the world that don't even know Him. It's my wicked ways, the one who claims to be His child, that needs to be turned from; I'm the one who needs to be seeking His face and praying for our land. Oh, that I would be willing to humble myself more and let go of more selfish, worldly pursuits to do just that. For the sake of my family, our nation, and their future.

Because I truly believe that if enough of God's people would be willing to admit what we've become, truly give up our sinfulness, and get back to just seeking Him, He will still keep His promises. Yes, there will eventually still be judgement on this world and yes, things will probably never totally be better with so many choosing to live in sin. But who knows what a difference we could make until then?! And isn't that all that should matter? I would love nothing more than for my children to see true revival, even on a small scale compared to those in the past, and know that it started with me praying and seeking God.

There's a quote by DL Moody that I think of often and have been feeling convicted of lately that we've failed to put into practice. Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure. Another one that I think is fitting as well says, No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil. Not that he practices it, but that he suffers from it. I truly believe this is why he works so hard to hinder us from praying and seeking God, because he knows the truth that we so often seem to easily forget. Prayer does change things. There's a reason why the Bible says that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. How amazing could the outcome be if we put into practice the verse in Chronicles about turning from our wicked ways and then follow that with a fervent seeking of God in prayer?!

My hope today is that I wouldn't just write this in a blog post and then go on my merry way. That I will be burdened, convicted, and challenged by these words enough to truly make some changes in my life. To fall on my face before the Lord, seek His help, and find out what He wants from us. Won't you please join me in this today? It could just possibly be the beginnings of something greater than we can even imagine. Because He never fails to do what He said He would when we do our part as well.

July 2, 2012

32 Week Pregnancy Update!

Linking up again today with Sarah at My Joy Filled Life for the pregnancy updates. Be sure to click the picture below to read some of the other stories! Now onto the latest news.... 

My Joy-Filled Life

I haven't posted an update for a couple of weeks but there's not really a whole lot to share at this point. I'll try to just give a quick run-down and share a picture of my humongous cute, little belly at the end. :-)

How far along: I'm 32 weeks 4 days.

Scripture on my mind: "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5
We are seeking the Lord's will for our lives in several areas right now so this verse has really been on my heart the past few days. Not to mention that it helps me to remember that I need to trust Him with pregnancy, health stuff, and whatever else going on too!

Baby's growth and movement: He is definitely a busy little thing lately! The family is loving being able to see my stomach move into all kinds of weird shapes. lol He's gotten so big that it can be a little painful at times but I know that's just normal for this far along. According to several websites he should be around 4 lbs and 19 inches. And he feels at least that big to me!

Cravings: Having a hard time with not eating sweets since I'm trying to keep my blood sugar in check. I've splurged a few times but have to be careful to get some protein as well. And sometimes regardless of what I eat it seems to just flunctuate anyway! The midwife says my levels still aren't really bad but it can still make me feel yucky.

Medical Stuff: Nothing new to report there really. (although the blood sugar info could probably have went here instead of on the cravings spot. lol) I ended up missing my midwife appointment last week so I won't see her until this Thursday. I think things are going pretty well though. I'm still struggling with allergies to the chemicals around here so that's hard. I would probably feel pretty good if it wasn't for that since other than normal pregnancy issues I seem okay.

Something I look forward to: I'm more than ready to be done with the pregnancy and meet the baby of course. Also, hoping for some answers to the prayers I had mentioned earlier!

Discussion question: (how do you plan on managing pain during labor and delivery?) I'm planning another natural delivery this time, which I've had 2 out of 3 times so far. I actually don't get terribly uncomfortable during labor until closer to the end so just walking around, breathing, taking a bath, etc works fine with the pain. The last 30 min to an hour can get pretty intense but I usually just try to focus on the contractions, breathe through them, and squeeze my husband's hand super hard. haha Both of my natural births have been a little chaotic in nature so I really wasn't able to relax for the pushing like I wanted but I'm hoping to have a better experience with that this time. I didn't handle the pain very well and pretty much just yell-moaned through the pushing. Thankfully I only pushed about 3-4 times before the babies came out so it didn't last long. I plan on discussing all this with the midwives more as the time gets closer. I'm hoping they'll have some good tips for me!

And last but not least is the latest picture of the belly. I think this was taken right when I turned 32 weeks or maybe 1 day after. We are definitely growing! :-)

(as a side note, this is a shirt I got from Motherhood during my last pregnancy and it's one of my favorites! So comfy! Really wish I had several of them in different colors.)