Category Archives: Nine Months

I have a two week old.

And his name is Samuel. Sam, Sammy, sweetie. He’s just lovely.

I also have a scar across my belly now (I won’t post a photo of that, though). I have peace about it. There was nothing we could have done. When my doctor broke my water, he was breech. There is a LOT more to the story. I’ll post that later on my Birth Stories page.

All that matters right now is that things are good. Mike is home on six weeks of leave – he’ll go back June 11th – because I can’t lift more than ten pounds until then. Sam is so beautiful, sleeps well, nurses wonderfully and is the family favourite around here at the moment. The kids fight over who gets to hold him next. I’m healing well from what I can tell and tomorrow my doctor will tell me whether I’m right about that. I’ve lost an astonishing amount of weight, which feels really great.

That’s all for now. I have written my story somewhere else so as soon as I can copy and paste it, it will be here, too. It’s a good story, even if things really didn’t go as I had hoped (I was induced after all and then there was the c-section). I had peace about the whole thing, had a wonderful, basically painless labour (made painless by knowledge and breathing rather than drugs), and in the end, had a perfect little boy who weighed 8 lb. 9 oz and was 21.5 inches long. He’s terrific. 🙂

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Still alive and everything is fine. I promise.

I’m still here. And everything is just fine. I promise.

But something happened in the fall. Mike and I went away to Georgia to a ministry called Be In Health and their course called For My Life. It changed our lives. I got my freedom. I may not be able to explain it all here, but something unusual happened in connection with that newfound freedom.

I didn’t have an overwhelming desire to create anymore.

It didn’t feel like a loss. It felt like what it was – freedom from what had been at times, an obsession. Whether it was writing or cooking or crafting, there seemed to be a need in me to create. That need faded quickly without my really noticing.

So, five months have gone by since I wrote here. Only a handful of times have I even considered updating my blog. It just didn’t feel important anymore.

But now, with three and a half weeks (maybe more, maybe less) to go before my fifth child is expected – yes, time flies – I thought I owed the occasional reader an update.

Things are good. My husband is a changed man in so many ways that I cannot even describe. We all seem healthier. I generally have more patience. My Braxton Hicks don’t hurt like they have in the past. I have freedom from fear and anxiety. It’s good.

And now, we are waiting for this baby to show up. I feel so in love with this child and so overwhelmed with curiousity as to who he or she is. And whether this baby is a he or a she. Jenny, of course, is rooting hard for a sister. Erik generally says he’d like a puppy when we ask him if he thinks the baby is a boy or a girl. Elias lately has just been saying, “Boy or girl.” Well, it is one of those. We know it’s not a puppy, anyway. Ben probably doesn’t really understand what’s going on, although when  he sees my bare belly, he inevitably says, “Baby!” and gives it a hug. Or he blows raspberries on it. Depends on his mood.

Homeschooling is going well, although we have been unschooling since Christmas. Pregnancy hasn’t made it too hard, but I found that too much structure was just stressing us out. So my kids are learning more from life than from me (directly) at the moment. We are happy with it. Next year may look different, but I’m satisfied with how things are going at the moment. Jenny wants to write cards and draw pictures and make up stories all day, Elias has recently started sounding words out phonetically when he says them (as in, “B-e-n is f-u-nn-y.”). We have work to do, but things are fine. Erik continues to do best on his own. He has been far healthier than years past and has not had any issues with his lungs since before he turned three. We are praising God for this. He doesn’t get along well with his brothers a good deal of the time, but goes off and does his own thing. It works for us. Ben has been amazing us with his speech since he was not even eighteen months old. He can count to thirteen, parrots everything anybody says, and if you ask him to repeat a phrase and he does it wrong the first time, he goes back and corrects himself. No kidding. At twenty-two months. We love it. He’s a pretty happy kid these days, he just doesn’t like waking up from naps.

They’re all beautiful and happy and healthy. Daddy is working hard at work, Mama is working hard at home when she has the energy. 🙂 I find I am probably working harder at having patience these days, but the last thing I want to do is to go back into fear regarding the arrival of this baby. It will come when the time is right. I know that. It occurred to me the other day that when I was pregnant with Ben, I was terrified of being overdue and when I was overdue, I was terrified of being induced. I got both. In Job, there is a verse that says, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” (Job 3:25, KJV) I have learned that when we spend our lives in fear, it is often those things that come upon us. Our bodies react to this fear and all sorts of things start to malfunction. This isn’t just theory – it’s proven fact (research the fight or flight hormone cortisol and its affect on the body). So I gave that up yesterday. I said, “You know what, I am certain that this is going to be different. I am not going to fear being late – even if I may be – and I am not going to fear induction.” I have every intent of putting my doctor off as long as I can before I am induced, and I will not cave to it this time unless they can prove to me that my baby is in danger. I am convinced that Ben’s birth was traumatic for both of us and I have no desire to repeat that. I have called this baby my “peace and freedom baby” and I want my labour and delivery to reflect that. I trust that we won’t even get to the point of fighting the doctor regarding an induction.

Anyway, that’s that. While this is not the end of my blog, it will be coming soon. I can feel it. And I may start another. One not so focused on the fact that I hate housekeeping (no, I haven’t become a fan of it yet). One focused on my faith, my home, my children, in a positive light as often as possible. Or I may decide to lay all of this to rest and wait for a time when I cannot stop the words from coming, a time when I feel God is directly leading me to write. It generally turns out better when I wait for times like that anyway.

Take care, readers. If any of you are still around. I’ll at least post an update when this little one arrives. Or sometime in the first six months of his or her life. I promise.

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April 19th, 2012

Estimated arrival date of baby number five. 🙂

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Joyful birth

Remember that friend I wrote about the other day?  The one having a baby?  Well, she started having that baby on Saturday.  The baby was only born last night at nearly eleven o’clock.  Yes, three days of labour. 

Sometime today I’ll go down and get a look at the little girl.  Hopefully get to hold her, although going at the opening of visiting hours on the day after birth is never a good idea.  I may just have to admire her from afar until later today.  I can’t wait, though.  I can’t wait to hear how my friend survived three days of labour.  The very thought is completely insane in my mind.  Seven hours is the longest I’ve ever been in labour.  I can’t even imagine what she’ s just been with.  I think she needs a medal. A big shiny medal and a big, shiny, loud, terrifically fun party.  You know, as soon as she’s recovered a bit.

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Do me a favour?

I read this blog.

It’s by a girl named Megan who has been trying to have a baby since 2007.  She has had one miscarriage and otherwise has had no success becoming pregnant.

I don’t know if it’s God’s perfect plan for her to have a baby of her own, but I do know that she obviously has a mother-heart and it hurts terribly to have been told that she is infertile.  She believes that she will never conceive and she and her husband seem to have decided against adoption. 

Maybe God wants them to open their hearts and homes to a child from another womb.  Maybe His plan is to open her womb and allow her to conceive.  Maybe she’s just meant to be at peace with her infertility and live a life free of bitterness and pain. I don’t know that part.  I do know that her life now is not free from bitterness and pain.

The first time I read her blog, I felt like my heart broke for this woman.  I cried, reached my hand to the screen and prayed that God would allow her body to carry a pregnancy to term.  That was months ago, but after the point that she seemed to give up hope.

So, the favour I ask is this: will you pray, even just once, for Megan?  I don’t know her in person, in fact at the moment I don’t even know where she lives.  I stumbled on her blog from the blog of another woman I don’t know – on one of those late nights, waiting for Mike to come home from hockey.

Pray that Megan meets Jesus – I have reason to believe that it hasn’t happened yet.  Pray that she would have peace, regardless of what happens.  I will continue to pray that she is able to conceive – it is my desire that every woman who is in a healthy marriage would be able to conceive if she wants to.  My babies have been such a wonderful blessing to me.

I don’t know why her blog of all the ones I’ve stumbled on broke my heart so easily.  I’ve certainly read other stories of women in the same situation.  It must be a God thing.

I’ve seen God answer prayers – I’ve prayed for infertile women before and have seen their wombs opened and healthy babies delivered.  I don’t take credit for that happening, but I do know that even a woman who has gone three years without conceiving still has hope of being blessed.

As I read something Megan wrote recently, I felt as though I should ask others to pray for her.  I won’t link to her blog or tell you any more about her because I want her to be able to retain her anonymity such as it is.  Anyway, thanks.

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The birth of Benjamin

After working on this for a few days, it’s done.  The details are fuzzy in some places because it was so intense – it’s harder for me to remember some things than it was when I had Erik.  Still, I thought I’d better document it before too much time went by – I just love having these stories for each of my kids.

Benjamin Joshua was born on May 21st, 2010 at 12:01 am. He snuck his way into Friday even though we were certain he would be born on Thursday. We were also fairly certain he would be a girl – but he got us there, too. The one thing we weren’t surprised at was his size – everyone was predicting a big baby and he felt huge when I was carrying him. He still wasn’t as big as Jenny was (9 lb 6 oz), but he was longer than any of our other kids at 21 inches and he weighed 8 lb 14 oz – just eight ounces under Jenny’s birth weight. He was also very late – according to my longer cycle, he was eleven days late, and according to the due date my doctor gave me, fifteen days late. Unfortunately, he refused to come on his own and I was induced on Thursday morning (May 20th).

I went in Wednesday night to possibly be induced and was told that they had too much going on in the maternity ward at the time(five women walked in to deliver babies within a twenty minute period that afternoon). They did a non-stress test on me to make sure baby was doing well – I had a non-stress test on Tuesday night as well so this felt a little redundant. They quickly deduced that he was an active baby but almost too active – so they sent me home to walk for an hour and put him to sleep. We went back to the hospital a little after ten and I was put back on the monitor. He did what they wanted – slept – but they left me on until midnight. I kept thinking about the fact that I had to be back in the morning at seven thirty – and that I wasn’t sleeping well as it was. We went home and went to bed (the kids were already at Mike’s parents’ for the night) and went back in Thursday morning.

Around eight o’clock on May 20th, the first induction gel was administered by my doctor, who then had six hours in town before needing to leave – I hoped to quickly go into labour and have the baby before then. That didn’t happen. We were told to come back if my contractions got bad or if my water broke, but otherwise to come back at two o’clock to have a second, larger dose of gel administered by another doctor. I had contractions but nothing too crazy and managed to have a short nap before we went back in. When I was induced with Jenny, a first gel was given on Tuesday night, then a second Wednesday morning and Jenny was born four and a half hours later. I fully expected things to work the same way this time; they would give me the gel and I would go into labour so fast they wouldn’t bother sending me home again (something I was getting pretty sick of). We went in, the second gel was given, I stayed on the monitor for half an hour and we left again. We came home to eat and watch a movie and around five or five thirty I started having stronger contractions that were bad enough to breathe through. I took a bath and decided around six thirty that we should go back in. I was scheduled for a third gel at seven, so we figured it wouldn’t hurt to go early and see if the contractions were working.

We got checked in and put into a delivery room right away – a good sign since it generally means they won’t send you home again. The nurse told me later that based on the pain I appeared to be in, she expected I would be dilated to a six or so when she checked. No such luck – I was only one centimetre dilated. It was about quarter to seven and I couldn’t imagine going through that kind of pain for much longer. After a shift change, the new nurse suggested I try the shower – something that hadn’t really worked when I was in labour with Erik. I thought I’d give it a try anyway and it turned out to be a good idea. The shower I had used with Erik didn’t have good heat control and would go cold frequently and also didn’t have a handheld shower head like the one this time. I was able to sit and keep the water on my belly or back during contractions while Mike sat on an exercise ball in the little shower room. He was roasting (or steaming, I suppose) but he stuck it out with me. I figured that even with how bad things were, if I could just stay in the shower, I could make it through.

I was in the shower for more than an hour the first time before the nurse had me come out so she could check my dilation. I was pretty hopeful because things were getting worse, but she said I was only two, maybe three centimetres dilated. This was at least an hour and a half after she had checked me the first time and I was starting to feel incredibly worn out. I got back into the shower and about twenty minutes later, the nurse came back and said that the doctor wanted me to consider an epidural, just because I was progressing so slowly but was in so much pain. I mulled it over, thinking that if I got out again in another hour and still hadn’t gone anywhere, I might consider it. I’ve always been very anti-epidural, and because my labours are generally really quick, never imagined getting to the point of needing one to begin with. But after six hours of sleep the night before, a very long day and a trying labour so far, I knew that if I wasn’t progressing, I was going to need some sort of help. The next time the nurse checked me she said I was four or five centimetres – this sealed the deal that I wouldn’t be getting an epidural, but I still felt frustrated at going so slow. The strange thing was that at this point, she also started saying she expected me to deliver any time. Ben’s head was still high but she said she had seen women go from this point to pushing in fifteen minutes before. She suggested fentanyl for the pain, but said she would have to start an IV for that. Then she said maybe I’d like to try the gas – something I had used with Jenny but not found particularly helpful. I took one breath through my nose in the mask and didn’t think I could do it – it just smelled so awful. The next contraction came and she said I should just try to use it once. I tried putting the mask just over my mouth instead of my nose and it worked. I don’t remember what time it was then, but around eleven o’clock, she checked me again and said I was eight – this was probably the one time I really felt happy throughout the whole labour (up until the point that Ben was born, anyway). Five minutes later, though, she said I was a six or seven. Still, she rushed around, calling the doctor and getting the room ready for delivery. The gas was still helping – before I started using it I was nearly screaming with pain (something I generally don’t do in labour), but now I was able to just breathe deep through contractions. From there, my memory of it is mostly just a contraction coming on, putting the mask to my mouth, breathing through the contraction and collapsing when it was over. I felt funny but the gas wasn’t staying in my system for too long so I would just about be over the weird feeling when I’d have another contraction.

As soon as I was confirmed to be seven or eight centimetres, I started feeling the urge to push. The nurse kept checking me and telling me to wait – plus they were waiting on the doctor to come. When he came, he checked me, said I was good to go and I started pushing. Mike says it was either eleven twenty-five or eleven thirty-five when I started pushing. The doctor broke my water then, and they found that it had a bit of meconium in it, but wasn’t very dark (which just meant that Ben probably wouldn’t be affected by it yet). Jenny took me forty-five minutes of pushing, but the boys took only eight and ten minutes, so I was sure that this baby would be born by midnight. Maybe because of his size, he took longer. It was nearly midnight when he crowned and his head was born, but his umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his shoulders so essentially, he got stuck. The doctor cut his cord while he was still at that point, just to make the rest of it easier. They were coaching me, telling me not to push (which, for anyone who has never done it before, seems completely impossible) and finally right at midnight I was able to push again. I asked later and the nurses agreed that Ben was fully born at one minute after midnight. If he had been born at midnight, they might have said he was born at eleven fifty-nine and fifty-nine seconds, just so his birthday could be the 20th and not the 21st, but that one minute meant that the 21st would go on the birth certificate. While the labour was hard and the delivery took longer than my last two babies, I feel more or less the same as I did after the other boys – probably due to having no need for stitches. With Ben’s shoulders getting stuck, I’m actually quite surprised that I avoided tearing or having an episiotomy.

They took Ben to the little table to suction him well since he had pooped before he was born but found pretty quickly that he was healthy. They laid him on my chest skin to skin and we had a good snuggle before he started eating. He ate for about an hour and didn’t want to quit but we figured it was a good idea to get everything cleaned up and get to bed – it was nearly two o’clock in the morning by then. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to breastfeed all my babies right away after birth, and especially Ben and Erik who responded really well to it in the first hour or so after birth. Ben and I got to our room after he was weighed and measured and Mike went home a little after two. I only stayed in the hospital that night and the next night and left on the morning of the 22nd – I was feeling good enough that I didn’t see any reason to stay longer.

Other than some latching issues with breastfeeding – Ben has a small mouth, a big appetite and NO patience – things have been going very well. Jenny wasn’t disappointed by another brother even though she was rooting for a sister. We’re getting into the swing of things with a new baby in the house – making sure everyone is gentle and no one tries to pick Ben up and move him (something that Jenny and Erik have already tried). Mike had the weekend off and since it was a holiday, Monday as well. He took Tuesday off of work and went back yesterday (the 26th). I’m napping whenever I find the time – sometimes sleeping while sitting in the rocker after nursing Ben. The great thing about the older kids is that they play quite well together and aren’t incredibly needy, which means I can focus on Ben most of the time and do things with them when he’s sleeping. I’m still a little stunned to be the mother of four – and especially that three of those four are boys! I never imagined myself having three boys at this point, although I have always hoped that we would end up with three of each. No telling if we’ll end up with any more girls at this point, though! I’m rather smitten with my newest little boy and can’t wait to see his personality form over the next years.

My sweet little Ben

A very proud big sister

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Still here

Since it’s been nearly a week and I never know when I will have the baby, I figured I’d just leave a quick update saying I’m still pregnant, still waiting.  I’m ten days late according to my doctor and six days late according to my dates.  If I base it entirely on my dates, six days doesn’t seem so bad because I’ve been a week late twice before (and induced one of those times, so who knows how late I could have been).  When I feel anxious, it’s because Mike’s parents are leaving tomorrow and won’t be home until Thursday – the day my induction is scheduled.  So unless I get this kid out today, they won’t be here when it’s born.  Not to mention that I would really just like to give birth right now.  I’m not sleeping well at all anymore and can feel my level of patience slipping with the kids and things around the house.

I’ve been reading a Proverb a day for awhile now and the verses that jump out at me the most are those referring to our plans vs. God’s plans.  There is a time for everything (yeah, I know, not in Proverbs) and only He knows when the right time for this baby to be born is.  I trusted when I was pregnant with Erik that I would be able to deliver naturally without any help – and I did.  I had a quick and relatively easy labour and no complications.  I think that if my in-laws were not leaving tomorrow, I might not be feeling like I am, but I know I’ll feel more comfortable if they are available to keep the kids for at least some of the time that I’m in the hospital.  The good news is that I’m not without help if I do have the baby when they’re gone.  My neighbour will take the kids just about anytime and while it would be hard for my sister and brother-in-law to keep them overnight, they could take them if necessary or possibly come here if needed.  When my mother-in-law was planning this trip, she made a comment something along the lines of, “Oh, of course you will have had the baby by then!”  I thought so, too!  I still have today…so we’ll see.

On a much lighter note, I went to a Welcome Wagon community baby shower yesterday and won a huge basket of toys and baby things in a draw.  I then won a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant – hooray for a free date night sometime after the baby comes!!

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