Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Birth of Charleston North

last pregnancy picture 37 weeks 4 days

To truly get the craziness of Charlie's birth we have to start a few days earlier. The construction crew has been working on getting the covering/roof of our 800 square foot back porch completed. We decided to go ahead and put a new metal roof on the entire house since it was in need of a new roof and that was the only way to properly blend to the two structures. So Thursday they stripped the old roof and started on the new roof. When Jeremy came home he noticed that it was not installed properly according to the manufacture (which voided the warranty). So Friday all work came to a halt and the new roof was stripped off. Saturday, Jeremy and contractor friend installed some of the roof to cover the naked raw beams on the top of the porch and covered part of the roof with a large tarp nailed to 1x6x16. Rain was coming Sunday and we were getting prepared. So Sunday comes and the rain started in the afternoon. By bedtime Jeremy and I were in the attic with pots trying to catch some of the leaks. As the night wore on the wind picked up and torrential rain was upon us. I had just moved to the couch to get in a new more comfortable position when all of a sudden there was a horrible crash outside. My first thought was that the new porch collapsed. Jeremy was awaken too and we found that the wind had picked up the tarp and large board and flung it across the roof and it had landed UNDER the carport on the hood of the van. Thankfully the van was not hurt.

So I went back to the couch and got comfortable again only to be disturbed by what sounded like a frog. I sat up to look to out the window and right at that moment the ceiling in the living room above the front door, about 2 feet from me, crashed down to the floor spraying water and sheetrock all over me and the living room. I woke Jeremy up and told him "he was gonna die". So for the rest of night I was awake, terrified of every sound , hearing the wind rip things around and throw them about. Thankfully the rest of the night was uneventful but resulted in absolutely NO sleep.

Monday evening, after an early dinner, I was about to get a nice relaxing bath when it felt like my water broke. Not completely like Zion but enough that I was concerned. Jeremy was gone to the hardware store so I waited for more leaking but nothing. I decided to call my MW and talk things through with her. She said I needed to go in and have it checked out. So once Jeremy got back we left for the hospital. We enjoyed the drive, got Jeremy a coffee, and admired the full moon. No contractions out of the norm, no leaking, no nothing. Feeling like an idiot and wasting everyone's time.

We got to the hospital about 7, got comfy in triage, and hooked up to monitors. I was swabbed for amniotic fluid and then checked for dilation. I was about a 3. So for about an hour we waited in the room for the test results, all the while having mild contractions. The results came back negative so the nurse called my MW and they decided to have me walk the halls for an hour and see if anything changed. So Jeremy and I walked awhile and then hid in one of the waiting rooms for awhile. : ) I just wanted to go home and go to bed. I was extremely tired from not sleeping the night before and felt like this was a total waste of time because the contractions were no different from the frequent bouts of them I had been having at home.

So we go back to the room and she comes back in to check and surprisely I am at 4. Now at this point I'm afraid to go home so I told the nurse we would be happy with having a baby now. : ) She called my MW and they decided to admit me and rather than risk sending me home.

So we get settled in a room around 10 and by 11 my MW was here. She checked me and was about a 4 1/2 to 5 with inconsistent contractions. She broke my water and we waited. I had already decided to get an epidural so we went and got that done. I have a love/hate with epidurals. This one wasn't so great. My left side was completely dead and I hate that feeling but on my right side I could still feel some of the contractions. Jeremy slept on the couch while Mom and I talked and watched TV on and off.

I wasn't sure what or if the contractions were doing much. The nurse said she would check me again 2:30 and if things weren't progressing we would start pitocin. She came back around 2:30 and I told her we might want to up the dosage (since we were at the lowest amount) because I could now feel the contractions down into my leg. She checked I was 10 and the baby was at +2. She said "don't push" and I'm getting your MW. We woke Jeremy up while they prepped the room (we were in) and brought in the baby stuff.

I laughed through the pushing stage which was about 3 contractions long, pushing slowly so my MW could work his big head out with no tearing. She's SO amazing! Love her. So into the world he came with a head full of red hair at 2:59AM. Crazy thick, short cord but at least this time it would reach to my chest. So I held his sticky little body against my bare chest until the cord stopped pulsing.

We snuggled and he nursed for about an hour before they weighed him. I love that they know do their evaluations while they are still naked on your chest. 15 days early 7 pounds 8 ounces and 20 inches long.

Welcome to the craziness, Charlie. We have waited so long for you!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

35 and 36 Weeks

(Bathroom at therapy 35 weeks plus a few days)

I don't have a prenatal appointment this week. Next week it's time for the final ultrasound and the Group B strep test. But with birth nearing,  it's a constant battle to not freak out just a little. We've got the birth scheduled for 7 days before my due, February 11. 39 weeks is longest I've ever carried and we are hoping to avoid another delivery in the lobby. Last time I was scheduled for an induction 6 days early and of course she came 7 days early. My only other boy came 19 days early and spent 11 days in the NICU but it was PROM, not actual labor plus I had gestational diabetes so hopefully this guy will hang out a little longer.

I have zero trust in being able to read my body. Last time I had several bouts of false labor so when real labor came it was the same, until it wasn't and by then we were already almost half way to the hospital. The only reason I agreed to go to the hospital was because my MW said she would induce if this wasn't actual labor since I was scheduled to be induced in the morning anyway. So while I really want to go into labor myself and would a non-induced natural labor I'm really hoping that nothing happens before the induction. But then again, I can't help but want things to be done naturally. But once those contractions start I'm sure that all fear is going to set in that I won't make it to the hospital in time. Just because my last labor was 3 hours from stage 1 to delivery doesn't mean that this one will be like that. My MW told me of a mom of 6 who's 5th was really really fast and the next was 12 hours. So....... My thoughts are all over the place as you can see.

My varicose veins in my right leg are completely managed (pain wise) with compression hose and a compression sock. The minute I take them off at night they start heating up and puff up like someone started inflating them. Crazy stuff! I do have SPD  which at first I thought was my varicose veins in the pelvic area but after doing research and finding out about SPD my symptoms fit perfectly. It's basically where the pelvic bones spread too far apart. While my MW was not familiar with SPD she agreed that it was the perfect diagnosis and made perfect sense because she can't even find my pelvic bone when she does my fundal height reading. There is not much to be done for it other than to learn how to manage the pain (which involves all sorts of moving, walking, climbing stairs, rolling over in bed, carrying anything, even my purse, getting dressed, etc). I've had 3 therapy sessions to work on strengthening the muscles and trying to pull the bones back together. I can't say that I think it's helping much but I have (by trial and error) learned that shoes play a HUGE roll in the pain. Either barefoot or running shoes are the only things that don't aggregate the situation and I hate wearing running shoes unless I am exercising. Ugh.


(36 weeks headed out to our anniversary dinner)

It took me so long to post this I've been for my 36 week check up too. : ) Charlie is indeed a boy and he's head down. His estimated weight is 6 pounds 4 ounces. They were pretty spot on with Eva's weight so we'll see. Everything measured about a week ahead but he does have a big head. Ugh. My fluid level is borderline low at 8 so next week they will do another ultrasound just to check the fluid. I am about 2 cm, head pressed against the cervix, and still thick. I've officially hit 150 pounds for the time ever and you know what? I don't even care right now. It's been a rough few days. Eva has a virus that has a caused her mouth and tongue to break out in blisters and she is SO SO miserable. All her gums are swelled and bloody between her teeth and she even has some blisters around the outside of her mouth. Her fever comes and goes and her noses runs like made and she drools like you wouldn't belief. It doesn't help that she is cutting her stomach and eye teeth too. She's on some medicine and we also have some lidocaine to apply so she can eat and drink. She's been up constantly the last few nights and this mama is TIRED, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, everything. Oh and did I mention that I have a painful knot in the various vein in the bend of my knee? Yeah, waiting on a call from the MW to find out what to do.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Christmas Card Photo

Jeremy, Emily, Josh (16), Natalie (14), Autumn (13), Maggie (8), Emma (6), Zion (4), Katie (3), Eva (1), and Charlie (coming soon) 

31 Weeks

So I really stink at keeping this blog updated. I had great plans to update regularly throughout this pregnancy but it hasn't happened.

So I took the 3 hour glucose test at 24 weeks and passed all 4 testing times. I almost failed the 2 hour but passed by a few points. Hooray. : ) A few days later my neighbor (who is a nurse) came over to tell me that her daughter, who frequently plays my children, had been diagnosed with Fifths Disease (also called Slapped Cheek). It is dangerous for pregnant woman (and unborn babes) who have never had it. Most people have already had it as children and it's no big deal. So I went back in for some more blood work. Despite what everyone thought I actually have no antibodies for it. Somehow I managed to have never had it as a child or adult. I'm pretty sure one of my little ones had it (it often just shows red cheeks and a body rash) a few days after that but I never showed any symptoms.

At my 30 week appointment everything checked out well. For the first time in many pregnancies, I was actually measuring for the appropriate week. At my 28 week appointment I was measuring 2 ahead but baby was also breech. It seems that he has flipped back to head down. Let's pray he stays that way since Eva decided to give me a scare at 36 weeks and be breech. My weight fluctuates between 140 and 142, which is A LOT since I started at 114. Eck! I feel huge and I am sighing and moaning (on accident) all the time. I feel so much farther along than I really am. My varicose veins in my leg are fine as long as I wear my compression hose and sock from morning to night. It's been 11 weeks since my leg has been free except for night. I am SO thankful for that relief though. Just the time I am in the shower my leg swells up and starts hurting and looks so bad it's terrifying. I now have a new problem area with varicose veins which are causing great problems right now. Praying for wisdom on how to deal with those. Charlie is very active. He is constantly jamming some large body part under my hip bone. Strange. The other night Maggie came to hug me good night after I was already in bed. Charlie was in super active mode and she counted his movements up to 100 in just a couple of minutes.

I have an extensive freezer plan for after the baby comes. More on that later. Right now I'm trying not to count the days until baby comes. I'm slightly obsessed with the count down. I do NOT enjoy pregnancy like I once did. It is challenging in ways I never could have imagined.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recipes For Loving

I've been trying out some new Pinterest recipes and cooking up some old favorites. In the footsteps of Laura, I thought I would share some of them with notes along the way.

This Breakfast Casserole is a family favorite. My mom has cooked it since my childhood. It somehow got shoved to the back of my file but I've pulled it out. And yum yum. I like to prepare it the night before and just pop it in the oven the next morning. I usually will buy a loaf of Wal-mart french bread on clearance (usually .90) and use that since I think it does much better than wheat bread. 

We love love love this Meatball Soup. It's quick (if you do it on the stovetop) and uses common ingredients. I always keep a big bag of frozen meatballs from Costco in the freezer. Even better if you make your own.  I always double the beans and tomatoes and just add as much broth as we like. It freezes great. 

I think everyone probably already has this Taco Soup recipe but it's a hit around here. I not only use it as soup but also (with the liquid drained) use it in burritos and on nachos. It also freezes beautifully. 

This pizza pasta casserole is  new favorite. I often use ground beef or turkey and whatever cheese I have on hand. Sometimes I mix it up earlier in the day and just pop it in the oven in time for it cook for dinner. I have also frozen it and according to Laura it's good too. Just stir it a few times while baking. 

This pork tenderloin is yummy. I have to stop myself from drinking the sauce. : ) I never actually take the time to make the pan sauce. I just use some of the sauce from the cooked meat dish. 

This Sour Cream Noodle Bake is probably cooked on about a weekly basis. I have one frozen in the freezer. I'm hoping it reheats nicely. This is one of Maggie's favorite dishes and always does most of the work on her own. I usually use the whole pack of noodles which is 12oz (I think) and add a little more sour cream and cottage cheese. I usually only use a pound of meat so ours is not as meaty as hers. Just we love love love it. 

I've deemed Mondays as Muffin and Milk Mondays because I normally make a batch of 2 different kinds of muffins on Sunday afternoon for our Monday breakfast. These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (I do half without chocolate) always make the list. They freeze great too. 

I like to buy the airtight Sourdough loaves from Costco. I use them in this The Bread recipe and they taste great!!!!

This 30 minute roll recipe is awesome. I like to use half fresh ground hard white wheat and butter instead of oil. So so good. I plan to try to freeze a batch soon. I'm sure they will do great. 

That's enough for now. The mosquitos are biting too much and it's dusk. Time to head inside with my dirty footed kiddos. : )

Thursday, October 2, 2014

20 Weeks.....Oh Boy

So last week all 5 kiddos, Jeremy, my mom, myself and the ultrasound tech crammed in the tiny room to see who would be joining us, Lord willing, in a few months. Emma and Zion wanted a boy. Maggie and Katie wanted a girl. We were excited to find out it was our second son....we would have been excited if it had been our 5th daughter too. Zion is insistent that we name the baby "Little Zion" and he will be "big Zion". Actually, we plan to name the baby Charleston North. I really wanted a "Charlie" and Jeremy turned Charlie into Charleston North, so there you have it.

My blood pressure was a little high that was likely due to the iced coffee I had on the way plus finding out that the gender. My weight was right at 131 (from 114 pp). My weight seems to be very touchy. One wrong meal has a direct impact not the scale and since Jeremy keeps wanting to go to Western Sizzlin' (remember we live in the sticks and it's either that Hardee's or Sonic) it's affected a lot. : )

I am hoping and praying that "boy" does not mean gestational diabetes like last time. I am skipping the 1 hour glucose test and going straight for the three hour (in 4 weeks). I have always (except for Maggie) failed the one hour so this time rather than waste our money on the one hour (we are self-pay/Samaritian Ministries) my MW suggested that we just skip it all together.  I know to some the glucose test seems unnecessary but from someone who failed it I prefer to take it and know what I can do that is best for my baby. Last time with a specific eating plan and exercise I was able to control my blood sugar with only a few high readings.

Let me say that this post is not meant to come across as whining and or complaining. This pregnancy as not been the easiest to bear and I have found such encouragement from other moms' who have walked in my shoes. I would not have found that encouragement if those ladies had not been willing to be honest about their pregnancy woes. I bear this pain knowing that it is for the an eternal soul and my physical earthly body is not here to be idolized. When my time has come (whether today or 60 years from now), I want to present my body to Christ used up and worn out for His service. Saggy, baggy, scared, flawed, callouses on my knees and hands, and a heart broken for Him. 

So back to this pregnant body, my biggest problem (right now) are my varicose veins. They first appeared with #3, they were a mere slightly-blue coloring on my skin. I didn't even know what they were. With #4 they were present but not much of a problem. With #5, they landed me in the ER one weekend with a suspected blood clot. Thankfully it was not so but for the last couple of months of that pregnancy my right foot would not bend properly, therefore causing me to limp, because of the swollen veins in my ankle and foot. This time almost as soon as the positive on the pregnancy test, my veins started swelling. I am thankful that it is confined to only one leg but over the course of the last few pregnancies they now span from toes to belly. I have started wearing compression hose (thigh highs on the one leg) and they help immensely. I put them on first thing in the morning before getting up ( and take them off when I shower at night (which I do not like). After showering I put on a knee high sock (I did find some cute ones on Amazon) until I go to bed. I have found that I have to keep my leg straight or else the veins in the bend of knee hurt when I get up. I've tried the MMH herbal tincture, which I did not believe to bring me any relief. But I do love the lotion (which is also available from Azure  and is cheaper). It is temporary immediate relief. My MW suggested that I take a baby aspirin a day  to reduce the risk of clots but when I did that I had horrible non-stop heart palpitations ( for 18 hours) until I stopped taking the baby aspirin. I have not tried it again. I battle with fear over what they might become in this pregnancy or in future (Lord willing) pregnancies.

I've been having trouble getting deep breaths. I have to constantly remind the children that I'm not aggravated because I am always having to take intentional deep breaths and it sounds like I'm huffing in frustration. : ) I've noticed that my hands and feet are swelling at night which is not normal for me at any stage of pregnancy. Not sure what that is about.

Nothing beats the flips and flops of little Charlie though. He's not strong enough to be felt from the outside yet but soon and the kiddos can't wait!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

17 Weeks

17 weeks down and seems like forever to go. I'm just not a very good pregnant person. I want time to fly by for the pregnancy but I want time to go slow while I enjoy my kiddos.  I guess I can't have it both ways. 

I've been trying to drink lots of water, taking my prenatals and a Calcuim/Mag/D3/K2 supplement. I've tried to make it a point to get out and walk about 20 minutes a day....meaning I've done it three times in the last month. My weight is between 124 and 126 (I started at 114). I've really been trying to eat really healthy. I use my crockpot several times a week. Love that thing. 

 My varicose veins in my right leg are awful. Nothing seems to help them except for the compression socks that I finally broke down and bought. I have such a huge pool of blood near my ankle that I really battle with the fear of blood clots in it. The other day, I cut myself shaving (which is so common for me) and instead of it bleeding endlessly like I usually do, it just clotted right at the site. Eck! Freaked me out. 

I go back on the 23rd for my 19 week ultrasound. I am super excited to find out if this is a boy or girl. I have no inclination either way. But it seems the more children we have the more nervous I am about the health of the baby at the midway ultrasound. Terrible theology but I keep feeling like it's "our turn" for complications (grant it, we've already had one semi-complicated pregnancy, labor, delivery, and poor newborn health). 

My heart still races quite a lot and I've had several spells where I get up from the couch and can't see due to being really light headed and then my limbs so numb and then tingly. My MW said it's related to blood pressure. Several times I've slid down the wall until I can see again and regain my composure. Crazy stuff. 

So there. That's about it, I think. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby #6 First Trimester Update

13 Weeks

Baby #6

-negative test on Wednesday June 4th (only cycle was May 7th)

- faint positive on Monday June 9th (3wk 5d) took a week for it to get dark
- gave it Jeremy as an early Father's Day Gift

- first dr appointment June 30 - ultrasound dated baby as 6 wks 5 days due Feb 18

- started feeling sick around 6 weeks

- really really sick around 7 - 8 weeks even took some prescribed neausa meds (twice)

- tried switching up vitamins but only helped one day

- found the heartbeat at home on the doppler at 8 wks 6 days

- varicose veins not be having too badly - occasional numbness in right foot and they are protruding but not too badly

- at 10 weeks naseau is better; still very very tired; prone to nausea if not eating frequently; having coffee mid morning helps a lot with sickness and fatigue; usually do half a cup in the mooring and half a cup in the afternoon

- maternity tops feel much more comfy and my jeans are a little too snug - weight gain around albs at 11 weeks, mostly from overeating

- Ending this at (almost) 14 weeks - weighing in around 122 which is about 7 pound weight gain - veins in my foot and leg very noticeable and occasionally uncomfortable - I try to keep my foot propped up as much as possible - nausea gone but fatigue still hanging around - occasionally winded but not too bad - appetite is back and really desiring GOOD tasty food

Amended Homeschool Plans for 2014 - 2015

(Eva sniffing Maggie's skirt during lessons)

I figured since I put our original plans on the blog I might ought to come back and post the changes we've made. We're a few weeks into things and some things weren't working too well. 

(a couch full of learners)

Math - We are loving Horizons. I thought about moving Emma back into the Workbook B for First Grade but she's moving along well after an initial brain freeze so I'm leaving things as planned. I admit that the girls don't know their addition/subtraction facts by memory and that *really* slows things down. I just can't seem to bring myself to drill with flashcards but I guess that's the only way to memorize them. Suggestions? 

(a little one on one)

Reading/Phonics - I almost bailed on Abeka Reading but after a friend offered me the needed flashcards for free we're plugging ahead. We seem to be making good progress. I don't want reading to be drudgery so I'm keeping things short and typically end the lesson when they start getting flustered. We're normally finished before that point. 

(Eva learning to cook)

Spelling - I totally bailed on Sequential Spelling. Not because I think it's a bad program. I actually want to use it in the future but just seemed more "intense" than what I wanted this year. So I ordered the Abeka First Grade Spelling book to go with the Phonics we are already using. It's simple and quick. 

(Z and K "reading" the Jesus Storybook)

I also decided to put up BJU Bible 2 until the girls are able to read better on their own. It was too much at this point. So we're going back to reading from The Jesus Storybook Bible and discussing it in detail. The littles love this too. And I do too. I can rarely make it through a story with my voice cracking and tears flowing. 

So I think that about sums up the changes.... so far. Things are always changing. We've added in a few extra curricular activities, which is a first for us, but more on that later. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 - 2015 School Year

We are anxiously awaiting our school materials to arrive in the mail. I would have preferred to already have them in hand but I had to wait until the annual Curriculum Fair came to town so I could look at some things in person. Looking at random sample pages just doesn't do it for me. Plus they usually have extra discounts at the fairs.

So Maggie, 7 and Emma 6, are both doing second grade. Emma is keeping up very well but if at anytime I feel like it's too much for her I plan to slow the pace on her lessons. I've tried to keep it simple this year. I have a tendency to try to add in so many supplemental books or workbooks that we end up all over the place. This is the first time for us to use so traditional curriculum choices so we'll see how we like. Our main focus this year will still be Math and Reading with the other subjects being on alternating days.

Math - Horizons 2 (everyday)

Reading/Phonics - Abeka Sounds 1 (everyday)- We finished MFW First grade but I'm just not happy with the girls reading abilities so we are going to do Abeka's first grade phonics. Hopefully we'll breezy through the first half and then take the second half more slowly.

Science - Abeka  Enjoying God's World 2 -(2 days a week) We are just going to be reading through this together. No tests. No worksheets. Just discussion.

History - Abeka Our America 2 -(2 days a week) Same as Science. Just reading and discussing. We are also planning to attend a class at church twice a month (for 50 minutes) with 1 or 2 other families and do a group class with the Mystery of History Book 1. The older 3 will all be participating in this.

Bible - BJU Bible Truths 2 - (everyday)  I'm going to try this. Last year we didn't "do" Bible as a subject. I (think) I like the way this is laid out and I really thing all the kiddos (minus Eva) would enjoy it. I plan to let the little 2 color a related picture while the older 2 do the actual workbook stuff.

Handwriting - A Reason for Writing T - (unsure of frequency) We are going to be incorporating cursive for Maggie right away and hopefully Emma by mid-year.


Spelling - Sequential Spelling 1 - I have not order this yet. I like the approach of this program but I am thinking of waiting until later in the year to start it.

Grammar - Easy Grammar 2 - I haven't ordered this yet either. I am thinking of introducing it later in the year.

Typing - Keyboarding without Tears - Not sure when I plan to incorporate this. Anyone ever used this program?????

We also have our Geography workbook and Explode the Code workbooks we didn't finish last year. I might plan to work those in as well.

That about sums it up. Zion, 4 will be not be doing any preschool stuff this year, at least not anytime soon. I plan to just let him color in his "school" book when he feels the need for school. : ) Otherwise, play play play.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

9 weeks with baby #6

Just in case there is someone who still reads here but is not on Facebook or Instagram we are excited to announce that we are expecting baby #6. According to ultrasound baby is due February 18. I hope to keep records throughout the pregnancy so I should be around to update the blog periodically. I love being able to go back to my past posts and read about the other pregnancies.

My body has definitely already started changing. By evening I look very pregnant. My jeans are already uncomfortable and my shirts are aggravating because they often don't stay in place. I haven't yet pulled out any maternity clothes.

We just put out our house on the market on Monday and it's quite the challenge to keep it neat and clean especially with all day sickness in full force.  There are on average 6 houses that sell in our tiny town each year so it's possible that it will take a long time to sell.

We have been continuing with school throughout the summer. There have been several unintended long breaks. The curriculum fair is Friday and I hope to nail down exactly what we will be doing this upcoming year. I have a pretty good idea but there are a few things I want to look at in person before making a decision.


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