Disclaimer: This is a birth recap. Enter at your own risk.

It is strange to type this two weeks from Wesley’s birth.  I expected him, at this point, to be two days old!  Incidentally, our first three children were all born on a Monday and Wesley decided to come on a Tuesday. I guess he decided to assert his individuality on a variety of levels! After three babies all born at 40 weeks plus 4-5 days and weighing in at 7 pounds 6 ounces, it was hard to imagine this pregnancy going any other way.

But babies, and life, can’t be neatly put in a box.

On Monday, May 2nd,  at midnight, I woke up.  Yes, those were contractions and not just braxton hicks.  They were every ten minutes.  At 2:00 am I got up and timed them, ate a snack, drank some water, worried that with my husband and I as exhausted as we were we would have to drive to Denver.  After 2 hours of nothing changing I went back to bed.  I woke up with the same contractions, still ten minutes apart and we started the day.  Exercise, feed and dress kids, get kids to and from school.  My dad had gotten in from Thailand and was going to have two weeks to acclimate to the time change (we thought).  By the middle afternoon I had already decided that my body was going to have these annoying contractions for the next two weeks and if I were offered an induction on my due date, I would take it.

By 4:30 I was calling the midwife feeling ridiculous.  Hi, this is my fourth baby and I don’t know what’s going on.  She suggested going to the hospital in town to get monitored, which could save me a trip to Denver and give us a baseline.  So in I went at 5 pm, to find that I was 4 cm and that the contractions were closer together than 10 minutes (I was only counting the big ones.) So I hung out for an hour while trying to find rides for kids to get to school the next day and making some sort of plan for my dad, who was apparently going to be treated to my three children after only a day of R&R. I signed out of the hospital against medical consent (of course they were not about to advise a trip to Denver) and went home.

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That’s when I started to get nervous.  With Lily, we waltzed into the hospital at 6:30 and she was born less than two hours later.  I got home, we packed up, and helped get the kids ready for bed before heading off to Denver. It was a nice trip.  We had time in the car, the contractions picked up a bit in intensity but weren’t horrible, and the sunset was lovely.

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We got in around 9:15 and made our way to Labor and Delivery.

As if things weren’t different enough with presumably being in labor at 38 weeks 5 days, the midwife came in and I was… still a 4.  What?  Four hours and no progress?  She suggested walking, but after 20 minutes on the monitor they were still trying to figure out if the baby’s heart rate was low and accelerating during contractions (good) or if it was high and decelerating during contractions (bad), so they admitted me and saved me the trouble of walking around the hospital in tears.

The birthing rooms were enormous and I happily labored while sitting on a medicine ball leaning up against some other peanut shaped squishy thing.  The time ticked on, the contractions got harder, the nurse and midwife collected a veritable book of contractions and baby’s heart rate.  Soon it was almost midnight, I was getting exhausted, and the midwife filled up the birthing pool.  She checked me before I got in.  4 cm.  For real.  At that point I suspected that I was going to labor with increasingly painful contractions for the next two weeks.

I have never been so discouraged.  Well, I have, but it wasn’t since I was in (long long long) labor with Isaac.  That was not how I thought it would go.  It was supposed to be quick.  It was supposed to go somewhere.  I didn’t know what to do with what was going on (or not going on) with my body.  So I got into the birthing pool (ahhhhhhhhh) and we started watching What to Expect when you’re Expecting.  We saw it while I was pregnant with Lily and I love it for it’s honesty in this particular scene (be warned, there is bad language).  It was on the May to do list, but of course, we hadn’t gotten there yet.  It was a good distraction, particularly as the contractions got harder but also spaced out.

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We had the best midwife and the most phenomenal nurse assisting us.  You would never guess that 9 babies were born between midnight and 6 am.  They spent time in the room, they listened and offered suggestions, and the nurse in particular was unflaggingly positive and cheerful.  After a while, she suggested moving to the bathroom and sitting backwards on the toilet (sorry, this is a birth recap).  Did I really think I was going to be clenching the metal parts of a hospital toilet four hours after checking into the hospital with my fourth baby?  NO.  But it did change the contractions and between that and moving back to the pool I managed to get to 8 cm.

But it was hard.  I was discouraged.  Two more centimeters AND pushing?  I was having flashbacks to Isaac’s birth, the 40+ hours with hardly any sleep and how horrible I felt by the end.  I got back in the birthing pool and cried a little bit because this whole thing was taking so long and was so outside of anything I had planned or imagined for this experience.  I felt like things were going nowhere, even as I felt the contractions change.  I was so tired I didn’t even open my eyes.  Have a contraction.  Lay my head on the pool’s side and try to relax. Repeat.  I could hear the midwife and the nurse bustling around.  I could hear that they felt it was going to be soon even as I told myself that nothing was happening.  And then the contractions changed to pushing contractions, just a few before that one defining contraction where you know that all you can do is push and your body won’t stop until you’ve had a baby. Can anything in the world hurt that bad?

And then, 30 seconds later, I was sitting there, holding Wesley, and crying, because somehow you can move from that intensity of pain to the intensity of absolute and total love for this tiny person you’ve never seen before.  Birth is the craziest, most confusing, most mixed bag of hormones and emotions that I have ever encountered.

water birth

Wesley Christopher was born in the water at 3:05 am on May 3rd.  He was perfect.

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I will say this, after a water birth at University of Michigan, where you have the baby in the water and then are promptly whisked out of the tub (difficult to assess bleeding and potential hemorrhage while the patient is in the water) I admired the chutzpah of the midwives in Colorado.  I sat in the (absolutely disgusting) water, for at least 20 minutes, and, based on personal assessment, I think that the bleeding was worse this time than the previous three deliveries.  Props to them for not rushing me. As it was, I was fully satisfied with my birth experience. Truly, after having a baby I really prefer not to be “whisked” anywhere, and when I did finally climb out of the pool I immediately started shaking from the hormones and cold.  Wesley and I were skin to skin a good few hours and they didn’t clamp the cord until about half an hour after the birth.  Nothing felt rushed until we hit the 30 minute mark, when they like to have the placenta delivered.  Tried a shot of pitocin with no results.  Another shot in the cord and no results.  That’s when they called in an older midwife with a rather gruff bedside manner and I was suddenly offered pain meds via IV because (in her words, not mine) she was going to be “up to her elbows”.  (It’s okay if you don’t know what that means when they manually deliver the placenta.  I unfortunately, knew exactly what she was talking about, and was properly horrified.) Fortunately for me, she had one more positioning trick up her sleeve that saved the day.  I think I only kicked her (accidentally) once. Maybe twice.

Because of all the babies being born we hung out in the room. Wesley decided to squirm around looking for milk fairly early in the game so we all just sat and lay there fatigued after a night of no sleep at all.  It was so strange to be lying there, with the realization that I was no longer pregnant, he was such a peanut (they didn’t measure him until around 6 am, but I could tell he was smaller than my others), and that we were done and I hadn’t made it to my due date.  How did that happen?!?  I never in a million years expected that, but it was a very happy thing indeed.

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Wesley was 6 pounds 12.4 ounces and somewhere in the 18-18.5 inch vicinity. From what I could hear while showering, he hated his bath and had a very healthy set of lungs. I don’t think I ever found out his Apgar scores.  Fourth baby and all.

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With two weeks of distance I can wholeheartedly say that this was the best birth experience (given the factors I could control) of the four. It was completely different from what I expected, but I have no regrets about my choice of care and how I mixed and matched appointments and providers at the end.  I am 100% happy with how things turned out, 110% happy to have never seen my due date, and about 100% sleep deprived at this point as well.

 

Posted by: Ingrid | May 11, 2016

Bumpdate: 40 Weeks, 40 Things

I am a sucker for tying up loose ends and I have always had a 40 week bumpdate with these late kids of mine. Here we are this time around and Wesley is 8 days old and I only look about five months pregnant.  And here are forty pertinent things on my due date.

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1. I am so very grateful to not be pregnant anymore.

2. I have never loved the newborn stage more.

3. My taste buds seem to be recovering from pregnancy.

4. I have not thrown up in over a week.

5. I now know that to get decent sleep with an infant I should be sure to be in bed for at least 10 hours.

6. I am drinking 90-120 ounces of water from the nifty “pain scale” water bottle that the hospital gave me.  So thirsty!

7. I am pumping 10-15 ounces of milk a day with a manual pump just to be comfortable.

8. I gained 27 pounds with this pregnancy and ended up at the same weight I was with Jonathan.

9. According to the scale today, Wesley is about 7.5 pounds.

10. He is working diligently on acquiring at least one additional chin.

11. I have more acne now than I did my entire adolescence.

12. Having three children romping around while I try to feed a baby is making me feel like a National Geographic special.

13. The fourth time around I have learned that I need to eat/sleep/exercise/garden when the baby sleeps.

14. I have taken a nap almost every day, skipping today at my own peril.

15. I am still wearing maternity jeans because they are comfortable.

16. Based on historical records this looks like it will be the longest pregnancy weight loss. In 8 days I am down only 14 pounds.  With Jonathan I lost that the first day!

17. Now that my varicose veins on my leg don’t look as scary I can rotate my stretchy Old Navy skirts for as long as necessary.

18. On the second day postpartum I ran 2.5 miles.

19. During the first week I ran 14.5 miles and every single one of them felt better than running pregnant.

20. My boys think that Wesley’s tiny butt is the cutest part of him.  That, or they like having the license to say “butt” over and over again.

21. All of my children love Wesley and want to hold him, sing to him, be near him, be near me while I’m with him.

22. All of my children are acting out as well: mouthy six year old, four year old who is constantly teasing and crying, and a two year old who cries hard over EVERYTHING.

23. I have retained the love for steak, blue cheese, sweet potatoes, and asparagus.

24. I have 13 pounds to go to lose the pregnancy weight, 16 to get to where I would like to be before the fall and 21 to get to that elusive happy running weight.

25. I only managed to get half of the house deep cleaned before Wesley showed up and it’s driving me nuts.

26. Thanks to my Dad being here the garbage gets taken out and the dishes are done and the floor swept at regular intervals.

27. Wesley only has a few swaddle blankets and sleepers that we are using and yet the laundry seems to have tripled.

28. I can see my feet again.  That was a happy reunion.

29. Wesley is possibly our child who likes to suck on things the most.  He is constantly going for his hands and fingers or our faces, shoulders, noses, etc.

30. I don’t know how I am going to clear out and plant my garden but I know it has to happen soon.

31. How can you decide that you are done with ever having another newborn in the house?

32. I no longer develop heartburn simply by opening a Cliff bar.

33. Two of my children and I finished a jar of peanut butter with a spoon today because it tastes good again.

34. I suddenly can enjoy chocolate and Nutella again, which may be very bad indeed.

35. I can eat carbs again without gaining three pounds overnight.

36. Isaac has been up before 6 am every day, sitting next to me and keeping watch over his brother in the pack n play.

37. Lily has superhuman hearing and will tell me before I hear, “The baby is crying.”

38. I actually joined Diet Bet this time around so that I am sure to lose the baby weight. Because losing money is worse than not losing weight.

39. I am learning to rest when I’m tired and to ride the “productive wave” when I suddenly feel the need to make yogurt, BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, dinner, bread, and strawberry cinnamon rolls all at the same time.

40. Bringing Wesley home to three other children and seeing how quickly he found a place in all their hearts has been such a precious thing.

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Posted by: Ingrid | May 5, 2016

Bumpdate: 39 Weeks

On Monday (38 weeks 5 days), we headed to Denver in the evening.

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On Tuesday (38 weeks 6 days), Wesley Christopher was born in the birthing pool at University Hospital at 3:05 am, clocking in at 18.5 inches and 6 pounds 12.4 ounces.

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On Wednesday (39 weeks), we came home from the hospital, discovered the hilarity of introducing a baby to a 2, 4, and 6 year old, and then put four children to bed.  That is a feat in itself right there.

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Our hearts are full of gratitude for this precious new member of our family.

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Posted by: Ingrid | April 28, 2016

April projects bring May babies (at least we can hope)

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“What is that?” asked my husband the other night.  Oh, just my April pre-baby list of things to do, of course.  And on the following page we have the May list, followed by the summer list followed by the page of things that falls under the simple heading of “deep clean the house”.

Happily, with three days left in April, I have only to get to attend a student debate tonight, get to Denver this weekend (although now that they are expecting somewhere between 1 inch and 3 feet of snow, this may be more difficult than I’d thought) for a prenatal, swing by a thrift store and Costco, and pick up my dad from the airport as he flies in from Thailand, and add some pages to our family binder (Summer fun!  Freezer recipes!  Books to read!).

All in all, April was rather a success when it came to Getting All the Things Done.  Not all, of course, there are plenty to take out in May, including some of the deep cleaning projects, but overall, I am ready to close the books on April and call it good.  Most notable in the hall of fame for the month….

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The boys are moving towards a superhero themed room and these delightfully cheap pieces of furniture were driving me crazy.  And so they became…

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Which totally make sense if you saw the bed spreads for the bunk beds.  Also, on the list of projects was a changing table.  Not that any of our children have used one, but I realized we had no place to put baby stuff!  So I found a piece of junk (truly) that I shouldn’t have paid money for except for the fact that it came from a non-profit.  It was literally falling apart as they carried it, proclaiming how sturdy it was.  At least it looks better now!  And included with this project came the sub-projects: do baby laundry, be sure I have new born diapers, and make sure that I clean the car seat and buy a baby book.

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I also felt like I needed to create a growth chart.  It was easier than I thought, and I will be getting a decal with our last name to put at the top for doing an Amazon review.

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I made freezer jam and freezer meals.  I don’t really know that I want freezer meals.  I mean, this is the fourth kid and it will be summer time.  It may just be easier to make a salad, tell my dad to grill something, strap the baby on and make some sort of side dish.  Since we are not good casserole, rice, or noodle eating people in general, this involved a lot of meat that I marinated and froze, with some Whole 30 recipes just in case my body decides to never lose the pregnancy weight and I have to take decisive action.

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For some reason it became imperative that I make my own sourdough starter (this part was easy) and then make a single loaf of bread from a recipe in an urban homesteading book.  Between the 18 hour rise time and the fact that having my cast iron pan in the oven at 500 degrees caused the house to get smoky for a single loaf of bread (it was good bread, I might add), means that it is not at all something I plan to do regularly.  Now to find simple sourdough recipes that don’t rise for days on end and pancakes that don’t require 5 eggs and a half pound of butter for one batch.

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Our 7 year old stroller had the wheels replaced with non-puncture tires (I never dealt with flats until we moved here and suddenly our tires were flat all the time). I also washed it as best I could and then hid it from the cat, who promptly wanted to sleep in it.

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It also felt like an absolute necessity to have a menu plan tacked up on the wall, as if A) my children cared if I posted the menu, B) they cared to eat what I made and C) I cared to follow a menu plan very well in the first place.

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Not pictured from the list are all the appointments, the cleaning, claiming property via mail, organizing pictures, getting to Jonathan’s 33rd reading lesson, getting more of our fence put up, checking out some gardening ideas, putting up a costume rack for the boys and painting their mirror red, taking a hospital tour, reading 6 books, trying 19 new recipes, signing the boys up for t-ball and baseball, teaching Isaac to tie his shoes, and shredding two boxes of papers.

No wonder I’m tired.  Now to fill the next seventeen-ish days.

Posted by: Ingrid | April 27, 2016

Bumpdate: 38 Weeks

Due Date: May 11, 2016. 14 days away (plus another 4-5 days for fun).

Weight Gain: Better than Friday, when my weight jumped five pounds in a day.  But still up for no reason.

Symptoms: Random cramp in the middle of my left foot that has been there since yesterday afternoon.  Headaches, horrible heartburn daily, deep exhaustion, upper back soreness, some vomiting, and clumsiness.

What’s different this time: In all three other pregnancies I did a later pregnancy running event, even when I was no longer running with Jonathan (did a 5K at 7 months).  I have no desire to do that with this pregnancy.  I also have no desire to read my running magazines or see fit people.  This is the first pregnancy where we have had a cat and I suddenly hate him.  Like everything he does annoys me and I just want to fling him out the door.  I am also afraid that this will be the first pregnancy I audibly swear at a child.  But they don’t stop talking or crying or whining or let me shower alone and I am so so SO done with all people at this point.

Cravings/Aversions: Why do mints and gum continue to nauseate me?  Pizza as well. I don’t know what I want or don’t want anymore.

Sleep: Still good.

I am loving: That I will not be pregnant in a month.

I am grateful for: The fact that in 2 days we go to Denver, in 3 days my dad arrives, in 4 days it will be May and then maybe I will be closer to having this baby.  Although it sure doesn’t seem like it now.

I miss: Eating without heartburn, eating food that tastes good, being able to trust my body, feeling fit, not having ugly legs, not being exhausted all the time, being able to bend over easily, being able to lose weight, feeling good in my clothes, not having to get up 7 times a night.

Milestones: I am fully 8.5 months pregnant.  I feel fully done.

Best moment this week: Getting a few projects done and some areas of the house cleaned.

I am stressing over: Both husband and I take a sleep aid and it occurred to me last night that if I start real labor at 10:30 pm some evening and we have to drive two hours to the hospital we are in trouble. The alternative of not sleeping doesn’t sound appealing though.

Movement: Yes. Sometimes when his back is in the right place I can see him practice breathing.  At the point you can see another human breathing under your skin it’s time for him to come out!

It’s a: Boy.

Exercise: I ran 21 miles last week, did weights three times, and cross trained.

Diet: Good in the mornings and then progressively worse with a (large) side of heartburn through the rest of the day.

Exercise goal for the upcoming week: I have only run 4 miles this week thanks to leg pain on Tuesday and a foot cramp today.  I am not sure why I am even bothering.  It feels miserable.  I feel miserable since I can’t get in a decent endorphin rush.  Putting in an hour plus of cardio on the bike and elliptical just don’t do it for me, but that is my daily goal if I can’t get out and run.

Belly Shot: 

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Posted by: Ingrid | April 20, 2016

Bumpdate: 37 Weeks

Due Date: May 11, 2106.  21 days, and still less than a month to go even factoring in my history of being late.  Here’s what I can’t believe.  37 weeks ago I actually wanted to be pregnant.  I wish past me and present me could have had a conversation.

Weight Gain: I am up a full 25 pounds. Down a bit from a few weeks ago thanks to lots of hard work.  Maybe also due to throwing up the past three days.  Still higher than the majority of most of my pregnancies.

Symptoms: Tiredness, feeling anxious to be done with this pregnancy, ligament pain on the right side, back pain, vomiting.

What’s different this time: I have never had so many nesting projects.  I have also never had painting projects while pregnant and so far I have had four!

Cravings/Aversions: I feel like everything that sounds good ends up tasting bad.

Sleep: Tired of getting up 7 times a night to shuffle to the bathroom.  Plus every time I get up my husband asks: “Are you okay?” which for some reason totally irks me in the middle of the night, since I hate feeling like I’m waking him up.

I am loving: I finished painting the changing table and washed the newborn clothes.  I forgot that baby socks stick to everything.  I think I lost half of them in one load of wash.

I am grateful for: The fact that I will have a husband home all summer to deal with this crazy transition to four kids (four kids?!?).  I just realized last night that I am used to putting the kids to bed and having them stay there.  Time to buckle up for that weird new baby schedule.  Ack.

I miss: Normal tastebuds.  I miss cooking something and having it taste good.  I miss things sounding good.  I miss eating something that sounds good and not immediately gaining 10 pounds from eating it and then throwing up.

Milestones: I guess I am term?  Not full term, which is 39 weeks now, but term, at least, is a step in the right direction.  Down to only 3 more doctor’s appointments and hopefully only 3 more times I have to squeeze into these jeans for a bumpdate picture.

Best moment this week: Had a fun hour long ultrasound on Friday morning.  I had a great tech and intern and it was fun to see the baby at this point.  Anatomy nerd that I am, it was cool to see the foramen ovale at work before the baby is born and it is never used again.

I am stressing over: My children.  Isaac is suddenly being sneakily obnoxious to his siblings and getting up way too early.  Jonathan cries over everything for no reason and I want to smack him.  Lily has begun acting very “two” and throws tantrums now in weird places.  All of it annoys me to no end.  Quick!  Let’s add a newborn who is attached to me every two hours!

Movement: Yes.  There is far too much stretching in the wrong direction going on in there.

It’s a: Boy.

Exercise: I only ran 11 miles last week and did lots of cross training and weights three times.  Every time I’d run I’d have to take at least a day off because of the pain.  Super frustrating.

Diet: Fine.

Exercise goal for the upcoming week: I have no idea.  I have no control over my running and leg pain, so it seems silly to try to aim for particular mileage. So I guess exercise daily is the only thing I can really commit to but I do that anyway.  Lame.

Belly Shot: I am so done with this shirt and these jeans.  I have had these jeans since I was pregnant with Isaac (and loaned them out once too).  Maybe I will burn them at the end of this pregnancy as a nod to the end of an era.

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Posted by: Ingrid | April 13, 2016

Bumpdate: 36 Weeks

Due Date: May 11, 2016. That would be 28 days from now.  28!!!

Weight Gain: I am still astounded that I have gained this much weight given my diet and exercise this pregnancy. I think I am about as high as I was with Jonathan at 40 weeks 4 days.

Symptoms: Random heart burn, swollen ankles at night, painful varicose veins, exhaustion, whatever it’s called when the ligament (?) at the top of your groin makes you feel like you will collapse whenever you take a step, extremely sore back.

What’s different this time: I’ve gained more weight.  I am way more tired.  I am shuttling kids to and from school every day and I probably have more nesting projects than I have ever had before.

Cravings/Aversions: Craving ham lunch meat and strawberries.

Sleep: For the most part, pretty good.

I am loving: That the end is in sight.  Sort of.  I mean, I can do anything for 30-ish days, right?  Except for go without water, air, food, clothing and shelter in a blizzard… yeah, never mind.

I am grateful for: The chance to make my way to Denver this Friday kid free for my second appointment with the midwives.  I would love some fun shots from the ultrasound, but I am guessing that baby is done with the “cute ultrasound” phase by a long shot.  At 29 weeks all I got was a photo of the spine.  Not that I don’t think that a good spine is important, of course.

I miss: Those early pregnancy days when I was so convinced that knowing that this is the last pregnancy would help me to maintain a glowing positive outlook for almost an entire year of discomfort.

Milestones: Done with month 8, 9/10 of the way to my due date, and under 30 days.

Best moment this week: Hearing at my last appointment that baby appeared to be head down.  That was my guess from my “guess the body part” palpation, but it was nice to have it confirmed.

I am stressing over: There’s not enough time to do everything!  But there’s so much time left it’s going to take forever!  Also, Pinterest reminded me today that I have not been exercising my pregnancy love handles.

Movement: Lots of ripple-y movement now that baby is running out of room.

It’s a: Boy.  It seems like the majority of people I know are having boys right now.

Exercise: I ran 5 times last week, making it to 25 miles.  Cross trained and did weights as well.

Diet: Good.  I did, however, find a whole wheat, sea-salt, chocolate chip cookie recipe that is doing bad things to my afternoon eating.

Exercise goal for the upcoming week:  Whatever it is that makes me (sporadically) feel like I am going to collapse when I step onto my right leg is making running iffy.  Hoping for 20 miles this week since Tuesday I was unable to run because of the pain.  Cross train and do weights as usual.

Belly Shot: 

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Posted by: Ingrid | April 6, 2016

Bumpdate: 35 Weeks

Due Date: May 11, 2016.  Our first (and last) spring birthday in the family!

Weight Gain:  Astronomical.

Symptoms: Poor sleep, waking up hungry at night, feet swelling, general crankiness, and excessive tiredness.

What’s different this time: This is the first time I have been called for jury duty while pregnant.  I have to show up 9 days before my due date. If I burst into tears, will that get me out of my civic duty?  This is also the first time I am using two providers simultaneously, since I had to cancel my Denver appointment last week.

Cravings/Aversions: We have leftover condensed milk in the fridge from when I made carrot cake fudge.  Suddenly I just want to eat it straight.  Also, I needed a caprese salad yesterday, out of the blue, and it was the best thing ever and I had another before dinner.  And strawberries.  But I threw up pizza again last night.  Pizza and I have not been friends all pregnancy and I should know this by now.

Sleep: Sleep is getting spotty, even with a sleep aid.  The downside is that I end up totally exhausted by dinner time.  On the bright side, it seems to make it easier to wake up early.

I am loving: That I am under 40 days even if this baby goes as late as the others.  If he goes later then heaven help the world around me. Also, I love that sometimes I can see my feet, if I try hard enough.

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I am grateful for: Days that have not gotten too hot.  It’s really hard to hide varicose vein stockings under shorts, skirts, or capris, none of which I will be wearing at the end of this pregnancy in order to avoid the “Oh my gosh what is wrong with your leg!?!” comments that make me feel so good.

I miss: Running fast, running well, and enjoying almost all aspects of running.

Milestones: We are in a week divisible by 5 and I have weekly appointments for the duration of the pregnancy. Baby’s lungs are developed and some books consider week 35 the end of the 8th month.  I, however, prefer to spend only 4 weeks in month nine, so I won’t hit that milestone until next week.  Why be nine months pregnant for any longer than necessary?

Best moment this week: Finishing painting the boys’ dressers, which for some reason felt like a super important baby-prep project.

I am stressing over:  The baby can’t come soon enough but I also have SO many projects that need to get done.  So I am feeling like this is too much time and not enough at the same time.  Also stressing me out: Lily has developed a cough and is sleeping badly, I don’t know if the baby is head down yet, and I can’t believe I have 5 more weeks to get bigger. Also, our day care provider for next year won’t use cloth diapers so now I feel like I need to find super cheap diapers and stock pile them.

Movement: When I lay on my back you can see the outline of feet (elbows? knees?).  He bumps around a lot and I am hoping he is head down.  He moves when I run sometimes, which feels weird.

It’s a: Boy. And from the looks of it he will have a small selection of seasonally appropriate clothing thanks to his brothers being born in August and late October.

Exercise: I ran 11 miles last week over three days.  It was beyond sad and discouraging.  I cross trained all the other days and did weights, but I am feeling miserable about missing good running.

Diet: Very good, for the most part.  I am finding myself drawn more towards protein plus squash or sweet potato plus salad for meals, sort of a Whole 30 light since I then add butter and blue cheese dressing.

Exercise goal for the upcoming week: Run 25 miles for the first time in forever, cross train, and do weights twice.

Belly Shot: 

IMG_4394

Posted by: Ingrid | April 2, 2016

Resolutions, three months later

We are now a quarter of the way through the year and I thought that maybe I should check in on how my resolutions are faring.  Aside from some (lose the baby weight, take a summer trip, get back to real running) that can’t even be tackled yet, it’s nice to know that things are getting done around here, even if it mostly appears to be of the cooking and reading variety.

-Read 50 books. 

So far I have read 30 books this year.  I am in desperate need of a trip to the library (sans children) because I have no novels to read currently. Plenty of non-fiction hanging around on our bookshelves, of course, but in the 8th month of pregnancy (and beyond) I need distraction and escape.

-Enjoy the rest of pregnancy #4 and have a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.

Five weeks, five days and the then however many days late this kid plans on going.  I can’t really say I am enjoying it… I had much higher expectations of enjoyment at the beginning knowing that this was planned and our last and I knew what to expect from pregnancy and would enjoy what I could.  280+ days is just a long time to hold onto that though, and I am tired.  Grateful for a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, but pretty done.

-Find 6 sustainable homesteading type activities to implement.

I made homemade dryer sheets and (not sure that this counts) started growing herbs in mason jars in my kitchen.  The bonus with this project is that my four year old wanted to help plant and was beyond thrilled when the tiny shoots came up.  So it was at least fun and educational.  I also found a source of budget friendly farm-fresh eggs, which is good since we can’t have chickens anyway.  There has been talk of rabbits.  I am not sure that I could raise, kill, skin, freeze, and cook Thumper, but it might be… interesting?  Tasty?  I don’t know, I have never cooked rabbit before.

-Take a parenting class.

We started taking a parenting class about a month ago.  The teacher is phenomenal, the information good, and while the class demographics took me by surprise, both my husband and I feel that classes like this keep us more intentional as parents.  Yes, I know we have almost four children and people look at us weird, like, you don’t know how to parent yet? but learning and growing as parents is not something I am about to apologize for.

-Be intentional about my spiritual life.

Finding a spiritual director has been good for this.  Lent was good for this as well and also gave me a sense of what is realistic, reasonable and sustainable for this current season of life.

-Try 36 new recipes.

I have currently tried 85 new recipes since January 1.  That’s how I roll in my kitchen.:-)

-Enter the Nursing program.

So far I have childcare lined up for 4 children, have taken the entrance exam, finished all classes, and applied to the program that is a 4 minute walk from our house.  So now I sit back and wait.

-Superfluous and frivolous resolution: Finish all the seasons of The Office and Gilmore Girls and watch Downton Abbey as the episodes air online. 

We have finished this resolution with flying colors.

Posted by: Ingrid | March 30, 2016

Bumpdate: 34 Weeks

Due Date: May 11.  31 days until my dad gets back from Thailand42 days until my due date.  46 days until the day I expect to have a baby.

Weight Gain:  At this point I have gained more at 34 weeks than I did the entire pregnancy with Isaac or Liliana.    I shudder to think of what would happen if I actually believed the pregnancy books that suggest an extra 300-500 calories in the last two trimesters.

Symptoms: A very low tolerance for being around anyone else’s children.  Headaches.  Exhaustion.

What’s different this time: I definitely don’t have as many options for running times this time around. Either I get out at 6:00 am or I don’t get to run.  Which means most days I don’t get to run.

Cravings/Aversions: I made chicken stock in the crock pot today and it sounded really good.  Fruit sounds great, but is out of season and ridiculously expensive here.  Barbecue sauce makes me want to throw up.

Sleep: Last night in the first seven hours of sleep I was up eight times.  And this was with taking melatonin.  I may be just a little cranky today.

I am loving: That I cancelled my 34 week appointment, giving me one less day of driving to Denver.

I am grateful for: The fact that April seems busy enough that it will hopefully go by quickly.

I miss: Having clothes that fit.  I know that people like to say, “Oh you’re growing a baby, it’s not so bad” when it comes to body expansion, and downplay things, but really, how many of us enjoy it when something as simple as our socks don’t fit right and slide around?  Now take that and apply it to every article of clothing that you wear for at least 280 days and see if that feeling of nothing ever fitting right wouldn’t irk you just a little bit too.

Yep. I am definitely cranky today.

Milestones: This is the first week I have gotten audible comments about my being pregnant from children while taking Jonathan to preschool.  Other than that, I don’t really have any particularly interesting milestones for this week.  Baby is the size of a cantaloupe.

Best moment this week: It was fun to have the kids so excited on Easter.

I am stressing over:  Getting things done on my “before baby” to-do list since it feels like I am either exhausted or have kids around.  Fortunately, I decided that finding, repainting, and assembling the dollhouse kit that I received when I was 12 was not necessary before baby’s arrival.

Movement: I think this kid may have additional elbows and knees because I feel jabs everywhere.  Definitely discourages slouching!

It’s a: Boy.

Exercise: Last week I ran a 5 miler and 10 miler and cross trained the other days.

Diet: It was good except for Easter.  I took the day off exercising and of course there was chocolate and such.  One day, 2.5 pounds that won’t go away.  This is my body’s logic.

Exercise goal for the upcoming week: It would be great to get to 20 miles for the week, but it’s almost impossible to get out at the only times I have to run.  So I guess it doesn’t really matter.  Cross train the other days and do weights twice.

Belly Shot: No pictures because there was never a time I could get my husband to take them today.

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