Monday, September 29, 2003

Got up this morning, and despite feeling really icky with a cold, decided to get out of the house. There is a huge antique sale in Warrington, Texas, this week, so a few friends and I loaded up and drove there to walk around and shop a bit.

I collect Jadite Restraunt Ware, so I expected to be on the prowl for a piece or two to add to my current set. I wandered around looking at all the stuff, and before I knew it, it was lunch and I had not found a thing. So, after a huge chicken salad sandwich, I took off again to hunt and find. But, I found myself looking at things like antique cradles and vintage, linen baby clothes. Hmmmm, seems I changed my focus.

I saw some great, white, gauze-like, cotton pants that I imagined wearing around the house as my belly grows, so I bought them. Then I found a wonderful 1/2 sized down filled pillow made out of vintage ticking strip fabric that I thought would make a great baby pillow. I bought it, and then decided that it would be fun to make my own, since I had some goose down at home. I found some ticking strip fabric for a great price right before it was time to go.

I was in nesting mode!!

So, in addition to my almost finished quilt, I will make a few down children's pillows. So soft and cuddly!

A pretty great day!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

I have a cold. It started yesterday, and is pretty minor. Some stuffiness and a bit of a sore throat. It had been floating from child to child, then to My hubby, now it will end with me!

Long, self inflicted, stressful morning today. Woke up with very little breast tenderness, so I psyched myself out! Hubby took me over to the clinic and tried to find the heart beat with the "WORST DOPPLER ON THE PLANET" and was unable to, so we went on to church. After church DH drove me up to the other clinic that they practice in where the BEST DOPPLER IN THE WORLD resides, and found the HB right away. Total relief. -note to self to discuss with Dr. Tim how to end "WDOTP"s electronic life-

What mind games!!! I tell you, I am re-writing the current calender and making 9 months last more like 90 months. This is oooooonnnnnnne loooooooooooooooooong pregnancy.

One the up side, today was Dear Husbands 46th b-day. We had birthday cake for breakfast, and then he took the two oldest kiddos to the ranch they ride their dirt bikes on and had a great afternoon of riding! The kids came home totally exhausted, dusty and happy!

Now it is time for a B-day dinner and some family time!

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Soccer day!! Had the boys soccer games out of town today. We loaded up the car early this morning and took off. It was so fun to watch them play. This is our 6year olds second year to play, so he is still just getting the hang of it! How fun to cheer them on and laugh at the occasional "No, not that goal, the other one is yours!!". Hilarious! Our oldest, 9yo, is really into the game now and knows all the rules, so it is a much more structured team. Very exciting to watch and suspenseful!!

Afterwards we got some lunch (Mexican food of and then went to do some shopping. We went into Lowes to look at bathtubs and such, as we are planning to expand our house a bit to accommodate another little person! I dread the construction work, but look forward to my own bathroom where I don't have to constantly flip the seat back down!!!

I have been thinking lately about what it will be like with 4 kids. Will I be a good mother to that many? I know that it will be fine, but it is interesting to think about. Some friends can't understand why we want another baby. "4 KIDS!!! That's crazy" It is hard for me to explain what children mean to me. My favorite poem says it very well:


Some would gather money
Along the path of life
Some would gather roses
And rest from worldly strife

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin
I would seek a little child
With a big and toothless grin

For money cannot enter
In the land of endless days
And roses that are gathered
Soon wilt along the way

But, oh, the laughing children
As I cross the sunset sea
And the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me.

author unknown

They remain. They are what is real and good and true. They are living proof of God, and his blessings. When I have a child inside me, I am experiencing Gods real presence in this world.....the Hand of God.

While writing this, I recall the last 18 months, and how hard I fought to be in control. All that wasted energy. I tried to MAKE it happen on my time. I had to be in control. Toward the end of all the struggles, I was reminded of two scripture verses in Isaiah:

Isaiah 29:16:

"You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to him who formed it,
"He did not make me"?
Can the pot say of the potter
"He knows nothing"?"

Isaiah 64:8:

"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your Hand".

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Have had no time to post the last couple of days. This is "Birthday Frenzy" week for me, as I have a kid that turned 3 and one that turned 6, and another this weekend that turns 46! So Wednesday was birthday party day for me. Had the 3 year olds party in the morning, and the 6yo's in the afternoon. Fun, but busy and tiring day.

So here we are, with 8 kids under the age of 4 running around, playing, making cupcakes, and opening presents. Lots to do. We spent most of the time outside, but went inside to decorate cupcakes. After the last child was gone, I went into the bathroom and had to blink a few times to register what I was seeing. One of the little ones had climbed in the bathtub with muddy shoes on and ran water, then climbed out and ran around the tile floors. It was hilarious, (sort of). There was mud the tub, on the walls, on the floor. I guess they got bored with all the other fun, and came in the bathroom to play with the tub toys. Go figure!

Evening party was a breeze. Had a showing of "Bionicle Mask of Light", ordered a pizza, and had birthday cake. They had a blast too. No one from this group ended up in the bathroom.

After all the kids were given back to their respective parents, I took off for the hospital to visit a friend who had her baby early Wednesday morning. I tell you, there is nothing as sweet as a newborn baby. Soft skin, that newborn smell. She was totally gorgeous, and her mom was ever so proud and protective. No holding that baby! LOL. Mom had her in her arms the whole time and was NOT letting go anytime in the near future. I remember that well with my first baby..and the second and third too! LOL

I am in my 14 week now, and the morning sickness is still here. I managed to keep everything down yesterday, but today is a different story. Blek. I think it must be getting better, as I seem to have officially gained back the weight I lost, so any gain now will be pure gain and not just catch-up! I also seem to be really filling out in front now. I am actually wearing some maternity stuff now. Mostly stretch shorts and some transition tops.

One more September birthday to go. Daddy-O is adding on another year this weekend. Not sure how we will celebrate. Maybe a couples night out or something. But if I know my DH, he will want to be with his kids too. The Family Man for sure!!! He is most certainly one of the good guys!!

Monday, September 22, 2003

Today was a very quiet, at home kind of day. Quinn was still whining and a bit cranky, so we just did our thing at home. I got lots of cleaning done, and even cleaned out the fridge!!

Still feeling bad. Seems the worst of it is first thing in the morning, and after 5pm. I know this will pass, and I am so grateful for the nausea, as it indicates, for me, that things are as they should be. Funny, but before the miscarriages, I never appreciated morning sickness and its role in pregnancy! I basically just glided through them with nary a thought that things might not be okay. I worried more about the deliveries than anything. Pregnancy just always resulted in a baby at the end.

The birth of my last son was so stressful. His heart rate dropped into the 60's, and stayed down. We were sure I had ruptured my uterus, as my blood pressure bottomed out. I delivered him on the bed as they were wheeling me to the OR. I remember looking over at the warming table after the delivery and seeing him kick his legs, and realized that his left foot looked strange. I turned to my husband and said "He has clubfoot, doesn't he". My husband couldn't even answer me. I remember saying "What is the big deal, he's alive for crying out loud". And he was!!! He was gorgeous, and alive, and he had clubfoot. I remember thinking "We can fix that". And we did. It was a long road that we still struggle with from time to time, but his foot is straight, and he is gloriously alive!

That glorious day is so far away right now. I am doing this day by day, and I pray that soon I will be just counting down the hours. Sometimes the day moves so slowly that it panics me. Getting out of the house is the answer, but with sick kiddos and such, it can't always be done. So I clean, play with my children, and try and focus on the positive.....but there is always that nagging, dragging clock.

Tick, tock.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Whew! This weekend was busy. Saturday was Quinn's birthday, so we celebrated with a fresh baked cake and hamburgers! He got a brand new shiny blue bike! He was so excited! Within just a few minutes, he was riding it like a pro! He also got a new helmet and a horn! A nice 3rd birthday for sure!

More cravings set in, so I made a big pot of tortilla soup for Saturday evening supper. One of the ingredients is an 11oz can of chipolte peppers in adobe sauce. That spiced it up! They are so hot, the fumes make you cough!! I made a separate pot of noodle soup for the kids, since the tortilla soup would have been like Drain-o to them. Mmmmmmm. It was very tasty and the best part is there are lots of leftovers!

Sunday was a quiet day. It rained all night, and continued all day on Sunday. We did laundry, read, and took a least until around 2p.m. when Bill grabbed a hammer and started removing tacks from one of our wood walls. I had been trying to get Quinn down for a nap, and when the hammering started, I gave up. Quinn went in the dining room with Bill and feel asleep on the floor amidst all the banging and slamming. Go figure.

Cory and Cody played most of the day with their new Bionicles, and watched Bionicle Mask of Light, the movie. You cannot walk 2 feet in this house without stepping on a Bionicle piece. They eat, sleep and dream about them. They waited 1 full year for the movie to come out, and since they got it on Friday, they have watched it no less than 5 times. I guess Bionicles are great for rainy days.

When Quinn woke up from his nap on the dining room carpet, he called out and I went to pick him up, only to find his underwear full of diarrhea. Blek!! So was the carpet. Thank goodness it was the weekend and Dad was home, because with the nausea, it was all I could do to not throw up. I put a towel over my face and cleaned the rug, while Dad gave him a bath and threw away the undies. Bill has really been great with this pregnancy. After witnessing my twice or more daily throw-ups, he has taken over the bulk of the household chores, not to mention hauling all the kids to soccer games, feeding them, bathing them, and getting them ready for school each morning. I didn't even have to ask, he just stepped in and took over. He truly is demonstrating the "in sickness and in health" part of the marriage ceremony. I really feel blessed with him as my partner.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Today some friends and I went out to lunch and did a bit of antique shopping. Had some noodle bowl and spring rolls, then off to get ice cream. The kids had a flavor called "Superman" that was blue and red. They all called it "Spiderman" ice cream instead, and to tell the truth, it DID look more like Spiderman ice cream!! LOL. I had mint chocolate chip, and payed for it later in the day.

We walked around some of the little shops, and I found a great neon clock for my kitchen, and marveled at some baby things. I am not ready to buy anything as of yet....maybe after the 20wk US things will feel much more solid to me.

The afternoon drive home was pure hell on wheels. I felt so sick. We stopped at a Sonic and I got a real lime slush, and it helped a bit, but I was never able to shake the m/s.

My in-laws came for the weekend for a visit. The kids are thrilled to death. They went to spend the night at the hotel with them and have a blast. Dad and Mom are in awe of a silent house..........................

By bedtime, my m/s, or whatever it was, was so bad I was shaking. I think I got a bit hypoglycemic. Maybe the ice cream shot my blood sugar up and then it bottomed out. I opened the fridge and grabbed a Fresca and gulped. Then got the tortilla chips and some jalapenos and munched on that! Boy am I glad the nausea went away because that combo would have been murder coming up!!! My husband commented that it looked like the cravings were kicking in! LOL.

So, with a full, burning, satisfied tummy and the nausea gone, its off to bed for a night of tossing and turning. With my other 3 boys, I craved fruit.....couldn't get enough of it. With this one, fruit makes me sick, sick sick, so I nibble a bit here and there, but that's it. I did go through a raspberry bing about 2 weeks ago, but I was sick from it for 3 days, so no more!! As I look back on the last week, it seems that jalapenos have been a consistent craving. Ouch!!! Ha cha cha cha cha!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Today was a blah day. M/S all day long, and I was feeling very tired, hence another 2 hour nap. At this rate I will sleep through most of this pregnancy! LOL

I made a Ziti bake last night, and it was yummy at the time, but I think I ruined ziti bake for myself forever now! It is sooo hard to cook for my family when food is what I want to think about least!!! They have been surviving on sandwiches and frozen food now for weeks! Daddy-O's equivalent to cooking is opening a can of Spagetti-O's and serving it cold. Blek!

One thing I am looking forward to is tomorrow. Cravings must be setting in just a bit, because I have been thinking about Vietnamese noodle bowl! Mmmmmm. So we are heading to a place out of town that serves it. Then a bit of antique shopping.

Quinn survived his virus and is back in rare form. I call him my little angel, and he calls me his big-little mommy! This big-little title is coming to fruition as my belly grows!Glad to have him well!

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Had one sick kiddo last night. Quinn, our 3 yo, had fever and achiness. He felt so icky. But, DH had volunteered to watch the kids last night so I could go to a friends and learn how to make a quilt. So, after much guilt, decided Quinn would be fine with Daddy and off I went with my fabric.

Had a total blast, and in a little more than 2 hours had finished all of the 20 blocks of my quilt!!!We cut the fabric, ironed it, and sewed the blocks on a sewing machine. They turned out so awesome! Now all I have to do is put the blocks together, which should take less than an hour! I plan on hand quilting it, so that part will take a few weeks!! My plan is to make 3 of them before the baby for my baby, and one each for my 2 sister-in-laws who are both pregnant and due within a month of mine!

All the leaning from cutting and sewing of fabric gave me a bad upper backache. It is fine today, but it was so stiff last night. Today I have felt fair to Midland....moderate nausea, my left knees aches, and am very tired. I took a 2 hour nap with Quinn, and I am not sure who needed the nap more!! LOL The mystery fever that he had last night is gone today, but he is still a bit cranky.

Still on a high from the US yesterday. DH watched the tape, and was in awe, even with it being #4. HE stated at one point, "I can't believe you are doing this to me again!" and I said, "What, having another child?" and he said "No, having to worry through another delivery". I have had some fairly eventful deliveries.....the first a c-section due to fetal distress and chorioamnioitis, the second a VBAC that lasted 2 days and was 10cm for over 4 hours. The drama escalated with the third baby, with major fetal heart rate decelerations and a huge drop in blood pressure that signaled what they thought was a rupture of my uterus. I was prepped, and a surgery team was rushed in for an 911 stat c-section...they were wheeling me out the door when they checked me again and the baby was crowning, so I gave one push and out he came on the bed. Totally nerve wracking.

So, it has been decided, due to my past c-section and such, that it would not be wise to try a 3rd VBAC. We just can't take the chance of uterine rupture in our tiny, rural hospital. My doctor will do whatever I want, but this is his recommendation, and DH and I both agree.

Showed the video to the boys yesterday and they loved it. They laughed and laughed when the baby stretched its legs out straight and are now saying they have a skeleton baby. Names tossed around consisted of Skeletor and Bones.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

US was perfect!! Could see the baby moving around and kicking. All is well with the placenta and the baby is measuring 12w1d which is right on for my dates!! Wonderful!

The pain I was having might have been from the corpus luteal cyst. She said that when you're bowels get backed up they can press on the ovary and cause discomfort similiar to ovulation pain, but more intense. And yes, she showed me that I was definitly backed up a bit.

With this US, I am now feeling so much more confident. I feel so blessed, and am overwhelmed with this gift.

Had a doctors appointment yesterday and heard the HB again. That'll do! He said he can feel my uterus about midway between my pubic bone and my umbilicus. We talked about my worries, and he basically said that I could spend this whole pregnancy obsessing about the what-ifs and such, and totally miss out on the joy of being pregnant and the joy of the here and now with my 3 boys and my husband. Very true. I love my doc!!

All seems to be going well, so I had all of my prenatal blood work drawn. This was a biggie for me, as I was putting it off until 12 weeks, and I MADE IT!!!!

I told Dr. T about some abdominal pain I had this almost felt like really, really bad ovulation pain. My abdomen was a bit sore yesterday from it. So, he wants me to have an US this morning at 10:30 just to make sure all is well. I get so nervous before the US appointments. Urgh.

My youngest, Quinn (3yo on Saturday) came in to our room and climbed in bed around 2a.m. last night. He snuggled down next to us, and I didn't have the heart to take him back to his bed. When he awoke this morning, he was so happy to wake up in "Mommy's bed" (Daddy wonders why it isn't "Daddy's bed"). He said "Its a sunny day!" and gave me a huge hug. We always co-sleep with our babies, so this should be interesting when the new baby comes........we have a full sized bed right now. Time for a bigger bed!!!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Life after miscarriage is so strange. Gone is your innocence that everything will always be alright. No longer is pregnancy a joyful mystery unfolding every month and finally the pinnacle is reached, and you give birth to a gorgeous, miracle.

In contrast it becomes a daily struggle. Each minute of pregnancy is counted off as another hurdle overcome. Your life revolves around your pregnancy symptoms, or lack of them. Every bite that goes in your mouth, every drop of lotion you put on your body, and every activity you participate in is analyzed as if this action will send the pregnancy into ruin.

After the 1st miscarriage at 5 1/2 weeks , I was hurt and the disappointment was so hard. But I had the hope that the doctors were right and we could try again and probably have no problem at all. After all, I had done this 3 times before, obviously something was working with my body.

The 2nd time, again at 5 weeks, we were bewildered. But, the doctors were still saying the same thing..."Try again".

I got pregnant again, and the absolute terror of going to the bathroom and seeing a spot of blood on the toilet paper became mind-numbing. But, yes, it happened again at 5 weeks, and now the doctors are not so reassuring. Something is wrong.

On to a higher order of doctor. Yes, they have a little ladder you climb to each level of specialist. The first of them tells me my eggs are old. I am 37yo, and I know in my heart that this is wrong. Tests are run, and all of them come back negative. Great....So I am classified as an essential(origin unknown), spontaneous, recurrent aborter. I hate that title. I used to just be a mother.

This doctor decides that I need some progesterone. So we get the go ahead to try again. We succeed and I carry this one until 7 weeks, and the bleeding starts once again. We rush to the hospital and do an US, and on the screen we see a little bean with a heartbeat.........but it is beating very slowly, and the sac is collapsing in and deteriorating. 4 days later, I go back for a repeat US, and there is the tiny baby, but no heartbeat. I ask the doctor to show me the baby and he snaps "It's not a baby", I said "It is to me" and recoiled into my shell of despair.. At 8 weeks to the day, I miscarry my 4th pregnancy. Obviously progesterone was not the answer.

On to specialist #2 the Reproductive Endocinologist..........he is the one we fondly call my "reproductive exterminator". In the 8 months that I was under his care, I never was able to get pregnant. I was on progesterone in oil shots once each day after ovulation. I wore an estrogen patch for 2 weeks each month after I ovulated. After 8 months of no pregnancy (very weird for me, as all my husband has to do is walk by me and I am pregnant), in May we even tried Clomid and HCG shots. No pregnancy. Several thousand dollars poorer, we "fired" the RE. We had some more specialized blood testing done by a reproductive immunologist, and 2 of the tests came back positive. One showed elevated cytokines, which can signify and immune-related problem. The other showed that I lacked something called 'blocking antibodies'...these are the protective antibodies that coat the placenta and protect the baby...without them, it is said that pregnancy is impossible. Treatment for these problems would be well over $15,000 and is VERY controversial, as are the tests themselves. We vetoed going down this path. We decided to move on with our life. We explored adoption, and had picked an agency and decided to go to China for a baby girl. I had started running again, and was actually starting to feel like myself again. I remember one point telling my husband that I felt happy, and I thought I would never feel that way again..................

July 22nd found me holding a pregnancy test with yet another positive result.....I felt like Bill Murray in the movie "Groundhog Day" when he woke up every morning to the same day, over and over again. All I could think of was "Here we go again"

Was it the medicine that prevented implantation all those months? Did being on all those meds help straighten out what was wrong with me? Was it just taking 9 months off and letting my body heal? We are not sure, but I am now 12 weeks pregnant, and our baby is growing wonderfully. We have had 2 ultrasound, both showing perfectly normal growth and development. The last one I could see arms and legs and the baby moving around and arching its back. Yesterday we heard the heartbeat on doppler, thumping away at a strong and brisk rate of 160-170 beats per minute. Miraculous. This baby has defied the odds, and we couldn't be more pleased. We thank God for this blessing and are so grateful to Him for His love and patience.

When we bought this old house we live in, I envisioned a huge harvest table in the kitchen. I found one that was perfect. It was made by a farmer in the late 1800's for his family. He had 4 children, and he had hand planed all the wood etc..his family sat
around it every afternoon and every evening remained in his farmhouse until after his death, then the family leased the farm out and there it remained.

Someone nailed a Formica top to it, in an attempt to modernize it. Finally, the farm and all in it was sold at a family auction, and the table ended up in a resale shop. The lady who owned the shop had her
husband remove the Formica, and cleaned the table up, restoring it back to the beauty it was made to be. I came in and saw it, and she told me the story.........I was pregnant with my 4th baby....the first one that I was perfect and I bought it and put it in my kitchen. After I lost the baby, the table became a sore spot....see, it seated 6, and there was an empty chair at the table to remind me of my losses. But I knew, somehow, I would fill that chair, and the circle would be complete.

The table, for me, represents my complete family. And it seems, with this baby, we will do just that!! I so look forward to the day when all 6 chairs are filled at dinnertime....when all the children gather around it to make cookies during holidays..........Then I will feel that my family is complete.


"For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
Before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16