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Sunday, February 28, 2010

My amazing co-coach and our team :)

Just thinking about our family, and I feel so lucky that I have the husband I do.  It feels so surreal that I could have possible met him 14+ years ago, as a 15 year old and that I had the insight at the time to see and appreciate the specialness in him!!  He is certainly NOT the one that got away!  I made sure of that!! I knew from the start that he was special and as I got to know him more and more, I knew he would be an great husband and a great daddy.  And he has ultimately proved me wrong.   I thought he would be great, but he has proved to be amazing....BEYOND amazing...beyond words to describe the daddy/husband he has grown to be.  His father wasn't that great of a father, so he had no great influence to follow the footsteps of...but he still found his way.

Yesterday, he made me want to cry.  We were heading out for a ride.  And I was sitting in the front seat and he had buckled the twins and my niece in.  He ran back inside the house all the sudden, and I sat there wondering what he had forgotten.  Moments later, he came out, with him arms full of 2 mermaids "mermees", an elephant "ellie", a truck, and 2 blankies "kikis".  The kids were all yelling YEAH and so excited.  He had brought all their favorites for our ride.  And these favorites were spilling out of his arms as he walked towards the van.  And that moment, that simple moment, was better then the moment when I was at one end of the aisle and he was at the other, waiting to be married.  Bc with those little considerations, he shows me how precious our children...the children WE made together...are to his life.  Those moments make me fall in love with him all over again. 

And bc of him, we make an incredible team.  He is my co-coach in life and our family.  And our 5.5 kids are our team members.  All 7.5 of us together make up an awesome team!  I feel so incredibly lucky.  Sometimes it feels too good to be true.  And we have our struggles with life, no doubt.  Life throws us all curveballs here and there-its no Camelot.   But we have each other and our children, and that makes our life feel fulfilling, no matter how hard the season of our life may be at the time. 

So many people have told us in the last few years that we NEED TO get away.  For the sake of  marriage.  Bc for some reason, everyone feels like they need a vacation away from their family to feel connected again?  My husband and I always shake our heads at this advice.  We are happy and we feel as connected as ever.  We have busy lives, but we have NEVER felt the need to be apart from our children-they are a part of who we are and being with them makes us happy.  And we have PLENTY of alone time, contrary to other's beliefs.   Our kids go to bed at 6:30 pm.   Almost every night, we are awarded our date night once 7 pm arrives.  We get to spend our own time together, as a couple, enjoying each other's company, talking about our days and our dreams; all with our most precious assets sleeping peacefully in the other room. 

Yep, I feel lucky to be on this team.  And to have the amazing co-coach I do.  Thank you God for that day almost 30 years ago, when we were both born (12 hours apart) and thank you for crossing our paths again 15 years later...ultimately leading us to the life we live now and the team we have created together.  :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sacrifices of having a larger then average, closely spaced family....

Once upon a time, I once "idolized" another blog writer and her brood of young children, similarily spaced to mine.  But lately, I have seen the light I guess.  Mostly bc I don't understand how she can live the life she does, with the number of young, closely spaced children she has.   The US has an average of 2.1 kids.  And why is that?   Because 2.1 leaves room to have a comfy life still, with 2.1 kids you can still find a babysitter for a week at a time here or there....with 2.1 kids, you can afford the fancy trips once a year to DisneyWorld...with 2.1 kids, you can still buy the fancy, named brand stuff....with 2.1 kids, you can still afford daycare.  I could go on and on.  And after I had my 2.1 kids, I realized how easy my life COULD be.  But my heart yearned for more children.  More children tugged at my soul and wanted to be let into my family.  And so came the sacrifices.

When you have more then the average 2.1 children, especially when they are closely basically give up everything to do so.  You know no one will want to watch your many young children for an extended period of time (HELLO, its EXHAUSTING...I don't blame them at all!!!)  You know when you have many young children, you can't afford fancy vacations/cruises anymore.   With many young children, you give up on the fancy, name brand clothing for the most part.  You know when you have many young children, they are all young enough that they all NEED you-so give up on that career.  After all, you can't afford daycare anyways.   You have to give up on just about everything and dedicate your life as a full time caregiver-its like giving birth to your own private daycare of children. Do you know when the last time I have taken a shower without an audience is (I love that my kids love to set the mood for my shower by turning on and off the lights over and over again.)  Yep, those darn sacrifices we make!!  And for what?  Its exhausting and busy and chaotic...but yet wonderful of course!  Actually, let me take that back, if you are Angeline Jolie, forget all these sacrifices.  You can somehow do it all.  But for those of us average folks, it takes a LOT of sacrifices to enter the club of "mommyhood to many young children".  And its certainly not a life for fact, there aren't that many of us around.

I once idolized this blog because I felt a kinship with one of my own kind.  One mommy of many young children feeling for another mommy of many young children.  We had both made those sacrifices and were living those crazy, busy, exhausting, chaotic, wonderful lives.  And she made it look EASY!!  And she posted beautiful pictures of her life with many young children.  But now, I am seeing that she may talk the talk, but in reality, she doesn't truly walk the walk.  All those sacrifices those of us "normal" mommys to many young children HAVE TO (i.e. no choice but to) give up, she somehow doesn't have to.  But she made it appear that she did.  But then showed she doesn't.  And its hard to understand the facade she has put up.  And honestly,  I have no idea how someone who has many young children can get away with living the life of someone who has few to no children.  But I don't have time to follow and idolize someone that lives the opposite of what I think mommyhood to many young children is all about.  Its not the direction I am looking to head, so its of little value of me to follow.  *shrug*   Instead, I will continue to focus on my kids and my family first, teaching my many young children about life and God and their purpose here on Earth and beyond.  And I will embrace the sacrifices we have made, to have the soon to be 6 children we have been blessed with...and enjoy the rewards of what it brings to our life, each and every day.  These daily rewards that do NOT include money (nor special trips at the drop of a hat) most certainly DO include the joy and precious moments every minute of every day that money can and never will be able to buy!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

22 weeks tomorrow....

I am just counting down the weeks til viability.  Considering how horrible the beginning of this pregnancy went, that goal is going to be very much CELEBRATED once I meet it.  Another 4 weeks and I will feel like I am finally in a good place.  I have been nervous every pregnancy, most especially with the twins....but I think this pregnancy tops the cake.  Every day feels like years.  I have a hard time really believing that I will really hold this baby one day....I am just on a constant state of caution after all we have been through.  I have yet to buy much of anything for this baby, which is very unlike me also.  I hate feeling that way.  I love this baby boy so much.  I want this baby boy so much.  I love feeling him move and reassuring me he is still happy and healthy.  But I am still just feeling very cautious.  I just want the pregnancy to be said and done, so that I can finally have that moment where I hold my miracle baby boy for the first time, and I can finally cry out and unleash those 9 months of worry.

So other then all that, I have a wicked cold which includes a stuffy/runny nose (a very intesting combination that I am NOT loving) and just a generally icky, not well feeling.  Pregnancy colds are always fun.  I feel bad bc I was SOOOOO cranky today with the kids, but its hard when I am running at about 10% and they are running at 110% each. 

I am also finding that I am having some anxiousness every now and then.  *sigh*  Back after Caden was born (my 1st son) I started having anxiety attacks.  Horrible, horrible things.   You feel like you are dying basically.  Feels like you are just can't seem to get enough oxygen and  like something is going wrong with your heart, bc its racing like crazy and its this sense of panic and doom.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  After I was diagnosed with that, I took medicine for a few months...and ended up being able to wean myself off the meds and I was fine.  As long as I don't drink too much caffeine that is.  Caffeine starts everything ALL OVER AGAIN!  Well today, I ate a big dinner (when I should have only eaten half of it) and that in combination with my stuffed up nose and my baby that is already sitting up high and crowding me....well it started that "I'm not getting enough oxygen/panic feeling" and once it starts, its hard to talk yourself down/out of it.  I checked my fingernails to reasure myself that I was FINE (fingernails would turn blue if I wasn't getting enough oxygen) and then I took some Tums and tried to find a position to sit where baby wasn't crowding me so much.  It took like an hour to get that panicky feeling to go away.  I hate dealing with it, especially when Doug isn't home. :(  Another thing to mention to my doctors at my next appointment (with ultrasound) next Wednesday. 

Only 6 more days to go til I get to see Ansen again.  Hope he is continuing to grow well, and that my placenta is continuing to behave itself.  *crossing fingers*

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bad dreams....

I keep having bad dreams this pregnancy, all about scary, c-section/delivery stuff.  I believe with all my heart this baby was meant to be in our family, but I am really starting to get anxious about the delivery and risks after all these bad dreams.  *sigh*  I just want July to be here, and the c-section/recovery to be over and behind me.  I just want to be holding my baby boy, and enjoying what a miracle he is, without all the stress of the looming delivery.  I am 21 weeks today, and I am so excited to be getting so far, but then getting nervous as all heck as we get further and further into pregnancy and closer to the dreaded delivery.  Its just a weird pregnancy, having to worry about all this stuff.  *sigh* 

It would have been easier for sure NEVER having to go through all this stress and anxiety.....thats a given.  I am positive when I tell a lot of people about the pregnancy and the complete placenta previa/risks, I KNOW what they are thinking.  They are thinking why the heck would she even think of taking any kind of risk, she already had 5 kids, whats her deal?   I felt this baby on our heart since the twins were born, and I didn't enter a 100% chance of risk situation; there was still a good chance that baby would implant away from scars and all would be great.  But God had other plans for this pregnancy.  Ansen implanted down low, just like his brother Gavin.  Gavin's implantation site gave me a LOT of headache, but if he hadn't found that place to make his home, he wouldn't be here today.  I can't imagine my life without Gavin, and I am sure others feel the same way.  And I hope to prove everyone that life wouldn't be the same without Ansen either...I want all those that think I am just purely an idiot now, to see the joy and gift that Ansen will be to our life and everyone's lives.  I want to be able to say HA, see... following my heart and bringing this last little person to this world was most certainly worth the arudous journey

But truthfully, I spend a lot of my time worried and scared.  I am human, and although I am sure that God has big plans for Ansen, I just hope and pray that He also still has big plans for me after this delivery.  I wish I could see His plans for July and after...mostly so that I could hopefully stop worrying and dreaming about the unknown.  Yes, I am surely anxious for July to be here.  I want to be reveling in my moment; my moment to celebrate having Ansen safely in my arms, my moment to celebrate having made it safely through a difficult delivery, and my moment to share the specialness of my Ansen with the whole world. 

Only about 15-17 weeks til I can hopefully make that my reality.  Now all I hope is that I don't have another 15-17 weeks of these bad dreams.  They just crush my spirits and chip away at my hope.  How about a good delivery dream??  Just one??


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FINALLY feeling done.

I always wondered if that "done" feeling was a myth.   You see, basically everyone else in the world has 2 or maybe 3 children...and then magically felt "done".  And I had 2 children, then 3 children...and felt FAR from done.  Then I had 5 children...and still didn't feel done.  Maybe I was broken?? Maybe I would never feel "done"? 

Well, I can say with confidence that I 100%, no ifs ands or but, certainly feel "done" now.  This pregnancy has been nothing short of stressful, and I am just feeling really run down by pregnancy.  I am done with the pregnancy dreams and the hot flashes and the cravings and the achiness and the heartburn and the indigestion.  But most importantly, I feel good about being a mom to 6 children.  Its a nice even number, so I won't have someone always left out.  And 6 kids just feels right. I wanted a big family and half a dozen kids IS my big family.  6 kids is enough that we can still provide for them what they need, we can still sleep them comfortably in our house, and we can still take them out and about without too huge of a production.  Our house will never be quiet with 6 kids and we like it that way.  Although, maybe just a little quiet would be nice from time to time.  I am content.  I feel blessed to have been given these 6 little lives to take care of, these 6 little lives to teach, these 6 little lives to love!!  I can finally see myself tying my tubes and not having the deep regret I would have had a couple kids ago.  I feel so happy to know what that "done" feeling actually FEELS like...the feeling that I didn't believe really existed for a while.  Although I will certainly miss parts of this closing chapter in my life, I look forward to the new chapter our family is begining! :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Yep, that is us....

Yep, that is us.  The ones who started this whole journey.  Of moving into my grandmother's house (that I had known as HER house for the last 29 years).  And hoping to make it our own.  And although it was much smaller on the inside, with much smaller bedrooms to boot, it had a great outdoors.  And great potential to add on.  And it was next door to my parents.  And so we felt we could certainly deal with the smallness of the inside.  And the UN-updated aspect of the house.  Who doesn't love wood paneling and shag carpeting.  And the blue nightmare of a bathroom.  We could one day fix it all.  We could deal.  We would deal. 

Yep, that is us.  Who had to bargain with my uncles, who wanted MORE then the house was worth.  It was us who caused a huge rift in the family bc we wanted fair market price for the house, and they started fighting with my father.  How dare we ask for a "deal".  Although, it was hardly a deal.  Everyone seemed to forget about the state of INSIDE the house.  The house straight from the 70's.  Yep, we caused all that fighting...and ultimately caused our family to split.  And uncles to never want to talk to my dad again..  And in the end, they agreed to sell us the house for our asked price, but we HAD to sell our house in 6 months.  And if we didn't, my dad had to buy them out of their profit of the house.  So they could be done with the whole thing.  And be done with our family.

Yep, that is us.  Who continued on with the plan, even though our hearts were sad.  And we put tons of money into fixing up our house, to make it sellable.  We redid the whole kitchen (for 4500 dollars thanks to a friend helping us).  And we LOVED our new kitchen.  We paid someone to paint the whole house for another 2000 dollars, which we should have done when we moved in quite a few years ago.  But we didn't then.  And we did now.  All to sell it.  And we loved it.  But it was for the good of the other house.

Yep, that is us.  The ones who showed our house for almost 6 long, nightmarish months.  Who had to keep the house clean and looking perfect, the impossible task with 5 young children.  And had to run out of the house with 5 kids, many times with only a few hours notice.  All to try to sell the house.  And we were miserable.  And getting more depressed about it all.  And begging and pleading with God to make the house sell so that we could just move on. 

Yep, that is us.  Who just gave up one day in July.  That couldn't deal with showing the house anymore.  Couldn't deal with the stress or the disappointment.  And our 6 months was up.  And my dad HAD to buy the house.  And all our begging and pleading with God to sell this house was not heard.  We had no choice.  We couldn't leave my dad to pay for the new mortgage.  We couldn't get our own mortgage, with having one already.  We had to move.  And so with heavy hearts, we packed up and just left.  Left our home and moved into my grandmother's house.  Which didn't feel so little when there were 2 people in it, but felt positively tiny with us 7 in it.  Right from the start, we missed our other house.  But we had signed that agreement.  We had caused our family to fight and have hatred in their hearts.  We had to make it right.   Somehow.  Maybe this would make everything right?

Yep, that is us.  The ones that really liked the outside of our "new house".  But just didn't feel at home.  At all.  No matter how hard we tried.  Our home was at the other house.  And this was my grandmother's house.   And the inside was positively claustrophobic at times.  But the house had potential to add on.  And so much land.  And being next door to my parents.  We had to deal.  We had to make it right.

Yep, that is us.  Who tried putting out ads to rent our other house, so that we wouldn't just lose it.  And we found no one.  And we still begged and pleaded with God.  Why was He making this so hard for us?  Why did our house not sell?  Why could our house not even be rented out?  And why couldn't we make this house feel like OUR home? 

Yep, that is us.  Who just went on.  And tried to forget about the other house.  While trying to find a home in our new house.  We tried moving rooms around to make more space.  But the space was just not there.  And we found out we were pregnant.  And we had a heck of a time with that pregnancy.  It felt like nothing was going our way.  Why had things turned upside on us.  And how much longer would it take to make our new house feel like home.  And with winter approaching, our glorious outdoors was not being used.  And in the TINIEST HOUSE EVER, we spent most of our days. 

Yep, that is us.  Who still thought about and missed our house terribly.  But tried to forget about it.  But failed.  But still tried.  And we had our first Christmas here.  And it still felt like we were strangers.  It still wasn't our home.  And even the kids started asking if we could move back soon.  But we had messed up everything.  We were trying to make things right for the family.  My dad was happy with us living there.  We could deal.  Hopefully?

Yep, that is us.  Who found out we were having a 4th boy.  We who were sure we were having a 3rd girl.  With the world's tiniest bedrooms, 3 would be a tight fit.  But 3 in the girl's room and 3 in the boy's room would work out.  But it wouldn't be 3 and 3.  It would be 4 boys  in one tiny room.  And 4 energetic boys running around the world's tiniest house.  And as hard as I tried to stay optimistic, I SUNK fast.  Into a depression and sadness I couldn't shake.  I wanted my old life back.  Why did we let ourselves get bullied into this agreement with my uncles, all for the convenience of them getting their money asap.  All while dealing with the unconvenience of just leaving our house.  And having to be fully dependent on my dad now for everything.  And being stuck in a house that we had found to be way too tiny.  We didn't know the house wouldn't fit us.  Until we were there.  With our 5 kids.  And 5 kids worth of stuff.  And one more to be added soon. And the potential to add on was nothing but a potential.  First we had to fix up the things falling apart in the house first and foremost.  The bathroom that was falling apart.  My grandmother had bought the house in the 70's and had made few changes since.  And we now had to deal with the disrepair.  And how much extra money does a family with one working parent and to be 6 always growing, ALWAYS hungry children have?  Not much.  We have enough for the bills and necessitites and a little extra for the extras, emphasis on a "little extra".  And then maybe many years from now, we would be able to find a bunch of extra money to add on??  Like when the kids stopped growing so much.  And stopped eating so much.  Maybe??  And as nice as it was, living next door to my parents, we didn't see them any more then we had living at our other house 5 minutes away.  I had to find a way to deal.  But I couldn't.  And I took it out UNFAIRLY on Doug.  But there was no one else to blame but ourselves. 

Yep, that is us.  Who had DARK days.  And sad days.  And felt hopeless.   And saw no light at the end of the tunnel.  We were stuck.  We had to be stuck.  We were making things right for everyone.  Everyone but us.

Yep, that is us.  Who finally decided to make things "right" for us.  And a DARK cloud suddenly lifted.  The cloud of the last year.  And we now saw it as a huge blessing now that our other house didn't sell.  God had seen the big picture.  We had not.  And we were afraid to tell my dad.  But we had bigger financial reasons why this suddenly made more sense on our side as well.  If we didn't figure out something, we would lose that house forever.  And owe BIG MONEY bc of losing that house forever.  And my dad would understand that more then understand why we couldn't cram 8 people into the world's tiniest house. 

Yep, that is us.  The ones who are moving...AGAIN.    Back into our old house.  Back to our wood floors.  Back to our renovated kitchen.  Back to our big bathroom, with our big bathtub.  The bathroom NOT falling apart.  Back to our HUGE bedrooms.  The ginormous bedroom of ours, easily big enough for 4 boys.  The other big bedroom, certainly a great size for our 2 girls.  Yep, that is us.  Moving back to our house with our porch. Back to our big living room and adjoining playroom.  Back to  OUR house.  The house we first bought.  The house we first loved.  The house that felt like home as soon as we bought it!

Yep, that is us.  The ones whose money will be tighter again once we move back.  But our hearts will be happy.  My heart is singing with joy, just thinking about living back at OUR house soon enough.  We have all heard the saying: You don't realize what you have until its gone.  Well its most certainly TRUE! Ever since the day we moved into this house, I just wanted to relive one more day back at our old house.  So I could truly appreciate what we had had.  And what we had given up.  For 6 long months, I thought it was just a lost dream.  Never thinking it could really happen.   But now, we haven't given it up.  We got lost along the way, trying to make others happy.  But now we are back on track, focusing on the happiness of OUR family first.  And with our happiness, we will be able to share happiness with others.

Yep, that is us.  The ones who thought we knew it all.  The ones who begged and pleaded with God to sell our house.  And then asked God too many times why he was making our life so incredibly difficult.  The ones that had questioned what we had done so wrong in life to deserve such hardship.  But God knew it all.  And he knew this was all temporary.  And that our house would be our house again.  And that ultimately, my sister would want to buy my grandmother's house for her family of 3.   My sister who will NOT have 6 kids.  My sister who wants 2 kids TOPS.  My sister who has  much more money then us, with the ability to fix things up.  My sister who hates the house she currenly lives on-a house they bought from her husband's aunt going into foreclosure, a house they had to rush and buy, to "make things right" for everyone.  But like us, everyone, but themselves.  My sister who originally was going to buy my grandmother's house, until the whole aunt in foreclosure thing happened.  Last year might not have made any sense, but its starting to make sense now.  The world is making itself right once again. Yep, that is us. The ones that are so appreciative.  Once again, we have learned Who is truly in control.  It's not us!  Thank you God for taking care of us, even when we suspected You might have abondoned us.  Yep, that is us.  The ones that have learned another life lesson.  And the ones that are truly grateful.  Thank you.

On my mind lately....

Well since I have finally accepted that our last is all boy and will definately stay that way, I have had many thoughts on my mind lately. 

First and foremost, I HATE shopping for baby boy clothing.  Its all so boring and blue.  WHY can't they put half the effort into creating cute boy's clothes that they do into creating adorable girl's stuff???   Its just not right.  I have gone shopping three times specifically for clothes for this baby (since our boy's clothing is for the wrong season-my 3 boys all having been born in November).  And from those 3 trips, I have picked out just 2 outfits...yep, 2 outfits alltogether.  Most of the time, I leave a store emptyhanded and just annoyed.  Its very frustruating!

On the other hand, I have been thinking about how good it will be to have a last little boy in our family.  With big sisters to dote on him, and brothers close in age to play with him.  It all will make sense with bedrooms once we move back (whole 'nother post).  My boys have all been very sweet and affectionate (albeit a bit crazy at times as well) and it will be nice to have another snuggler (my girls were really not so much into the snuggling-were very independent from an early age!)  My boys were all excellent breastfeeders also-they get that gene from my husband I guess. ;)  And can I just bring up the matching opportunties that I can pull off with 4 boys in a row.  That is, of course, if I can find some NON BLUE, NON BORING boy's clothing!

My girls were as upset as I was about not having a girl.  So I explained to them that we are only human and can't see the big picture like God does.  God sees the WHOLE picture, while we only see a glimpse of what life/this world is about.  Although, being human, we sometimes think that we know it all and that we can see it all.  As perfect as my dream fantasy of having a girl was in my head (and my girls' heads), God KNOWS that this boy will be the perfect completion to our family.  He has big plans for this little life, as he does all our lives.  I have trusted God this far getting me to this point and I feel content that although the boy's clothing might be TOO boring to bear, that this little man of mine will fill a void in my heart and bring a fulfilling completion to our family.   We are VERY grateful for your little life, baby Ansen, and we can't wait to meet you!!! 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homeschooling fun!!!

Well this morning, I decided to take the kids out for donut holes.  I had a coupon.  And I needed an egg and cheese sandwich for Ansen.  All the boy wants and makes me crave is eggs!!!! 

So we went and got the donut holes, and then got my egg and cheese sandwich and parked in the McDonalds parking lot to eat.  The kids passed out donut holes to each other and we sat there and were watching the birds.  The kids begged to feed the birds, so we all saved tons of scraps and then took turns throwing them out to the growing crowd of birds!  We got to see the birds so closely (they refused to leave after we fed them).  We got to see these birds up close and personal and we talked about their yellowish/orange duck-webbed feet, and their white heads with grey spots, and their orange beak with a black stripe and their white bodies, with grey polka dots on head and great wings, with black ends of feathers with white polka dots. 

The kids were enthralled studying these birds and honestly, I have never looked closely at these birds myself, even though they are always around.  I guess you could call them a Western MA version of a seagull.  When we started feeding the one that was originally there, we also got to see how another sounded a call and then there were suddenly about 20.  The kids talked about what the birds might have said to another when the first call came.  And now, Kylie is writing a story about our trip to McDonalds, as well as about what the birds looked like-and both girls drew a picture of a bird with all the details (will have to add pics once my husband and his phone are home-since mine doesn't feel so well after its trip into a glass of milk). 

I love that we homeschool!  And I love that we can have these moments together.  When I look back in the van and see all my babies out and about with me, I just feel so content with our life.  And then we get these special moments to learn....which might seem like the most simple of things, yet I am 29 years old and before today, I could never have told you the details of what one of these birds looked like.  And now we can look up the bird and find out its name and more details about them.  We follow a curriculum normally, but many times these moments of learning from life itself can be so enriching to us as well!!   :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sugar tests....

Since I complained at my last appointment about being nauseous in the morning and not feeling any better after I ate carbs, I won myself an early trip for a 1 hour glucose test.  Which I failed.  Was not all that thrilled by that, since the drink was AWFUL the first time around.  They used to give you a soda like orange beverage.  A little too sweet maybe, but tolerable.  This time, it was a thick, orange syrup.  It got worse EVERY sip.  Who can drink 10 oz of syrup in 5 minutes (without losing it).  Augh.  So I was SUPER THRILLED to get to go in and do the 3 hour glucose test, with a syrup drink TWICE as sweet, and to get my blood drawn 4 times in 3 hours.  Super fun!!! 

There were 4 of us there for a glucose test.  Only one other was pregnant.  I talked to the phlebotomist who took my fasting blood sugar and gave me the drink-and told her they should NOT have switched from the soda drink!  She agreed and said they had all been complaining about the switch, bc they were the one that had to clean up after this test (aka those who couldn't keep the sweet, thick syrup down).  I just kept swigging it while trying not to taste it (the impossible task).  Towards the end, I was gagging...but I refused to be one that she would have to clean up after.  FINALLY, it was gone and it was pretty smooth sailing after that.  Every hour I got called in to get another blood sample.  And during the time in between, I picked out some curriculum for next year and got a little more work down on a project I am making for a friend.  I had a comfy recliner and it was SOOOOO quiet...dare I say it was actually relaxing (besides that orange drink *shiver*.)  I don't get much time like that ever during my days and at nights, I am exhausted!

Got my test results back that afternoon.  I passed.  It was a 4 part test, and I had elevated blood sugar levels at only one part-had to fail two parts or more to officially fail.  Thank goodness.  Oh and I have to take the test again in 6 weeks.  Dang it all!  I might just ask to go right to the 3 hour test again.   Regardless, I am going to have to drink that horrid orange syrup...AGAIN.  And most likely I will fail the one hour....AGAIN.  At least there are the recliners...right??  The stuff we go through to bring these babies into the world!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's a boy!!!!!!

4 weeks ago, I was told "it's a boy!". And I mourned.  For quite a while.for many days.  Yesterday, I was told again "it's a boy!"  And I celebrated.  And told EVERYONE (ermmmm, except my dad).  I have been doing a lot of thinking about this obviously to get to this point.   I feel pretty rotten for being so upset about it not being a girl the first time, but hey, I am human.  I thought it was a girl and it felt like my girl I had dreamed about had died.  In all reality though, it was this baby boy that "should" have died, with all the craziness he had to get through to make it here. 

First, I have now been told by the perinatologist that most people who have had a uterine embolization (which I had after the twins were born to help stop hemmorhaging) are not able to get pregnant.  It doesn't pose a risk to my pregnancy, but it usually makes it near impossible for a baby to implant in uterus in the first place.  My little ball of cells should NOT have been able to implant and would have died...but he didn't.  He somehow found somewhere to implant (although not the best location near my scar).  He was determined he would live. 

Then I was told to terminate the pregnancy immediately bc of how the placement of the sac looked on ultrasound to ob.  I would guess that most people would have followed the advice of a doctor that they trust and would have gone on with it.   When I asked if there were any other patients that have had this turn out positively, she said that all her other patients with this have terminated.  For some reason, this just didn't sit with me at all.  And as she started explaining methods of termination, I felt more and more strongly that I would do EVERYTHING in my power to give this baby a chance.  And that immediately terminating the pregnancy would not be the first course of action for me.  Reluctantly, the ob granted me my wish to get second opinion.  And although I was terrified, I felt peace that I was able to buy my baby a little more time.  He was determined to live after all.

Later that day, I was reassured that what ob had diagnosed was most likely NOT the case and that I would not need to terminate.  But that the reason she had dignosed this was bc the sac had started separating from my uterus and had slipped down.  And there was a huge hemmorhage going on where that separation of sac/uterus was.  I was told it was almost a guarantee that I was in the process of  miscarrying and perinatologist gave me a heartfelt "I'm sorry".  I knew it wasn't good.  I was at peace though that I wouldn't have to end my own child's life.  And I was crushed that this life was going to end so quickly.  But I had seen that tiny little heartbeat, and there was the tiniest part of me that tried to keep hopeful.  My baby might have its home separating/slipping away, but he was fighting hard to be in this world.  He was perfect sized and had that heartbeat.  He was so determined to live and I just hoped and prayed that my body wouldn't fail him. 

Throughout the week I bled.  And I had some small clots.  And when it came time for my ultrasound a week later, I was scared of what I would see on the screen.  Yet there was my baby boy, who had grown and had a much faster heartbeat.  Surrounded by the same hemmorhage.  Perinatologist was pleasantly surprised, but said it could go either way at this point-since hemmorhage was still the same size.  But I felt hope.  My baby was determined to live. 

3 weeks later, I had yet another ultrasound.  And there was my baby-looking like a real baby and not a grain of rice.  Kicking up a storm.  Showing me that he was most determined to live.  And with further ultrasounds, I have had his placenta completely cover my cervix and my scars....but he is still getting what he needs.  And growing really well (measuring at 20 weeks in all measurements at 19 weeks).  I might have initially mourned the girl that I "felt" had died in my mind, but its most certainly time for me to celebrate the life of the boy that should have died. But didn't.

As much as I might assume I know the perfect formula to my life, God always knows better.  We are only human and can only get a glimpse of the world/life.  He, and ONLY He, is able to see the big picture of life. He gave us this little boy with a strong will to live bc this little boy is meant to be in our family.  And he is meant to live in this world.  And he has a purpose in life, like we all do, that only God knows for now.  I can't wait to meet the little person that God has blessed us with.  I can't wait to see what is laid out in God's plan for our little boy.  He is already so special to my life, bc he is my little miracle baby.  He shouldn't be here after all he has been through.  But he is.  He is, after all, determined to live.  And determined to be in my arms one day.  And determined to meet his Daddy.  And determined to get to know his sisters and brothers.  Once we get him safely into this world, there will be SOOOO many tears of gratitude...and happiness.  And maybe some tears of sadness that I was ridiculous enough to be so sad that he wasn't some magic gender.  I am so thankful for my sweet baby boy.  Keep on growing and being the little fighter you are Ansen-we can't wait to meet you in June!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Forever changing diapers....

As I was changing 2 diapers this morning, I started thinking about when the last time I didn't have to change diapers was a LONG time ago!! In the last ~6.5 years, I have never had a break from changing at least one child in diapers a day-NEVER!!  That is one of the "perks" of having closely spaced children.  I have spent most of my years actually changing at least 2 kids-quite a few of those years 3 kids!!  And here I head again, ready to tackle 3 in diapers for the third time.  I guess I should be bummed, or have some kind of desire to potty train my two year olds in a rush.  But they just aren't ready and I am not overly concerned.  And I know in another 3/4 years, with this being our last, that I will have NONE in diapers.  I can't imagine what that will be like and I am actually kind of sad thinking about it.  Its gone by too fast.  There is just something so special about taking care of  young children and doing the mundane tasks like changing diapers.  Yep, crazy as it sounds, I know I am going to mourn the last pack of diapers I will ever buy.  *sigh*

And what I have learned with over 6.5 years of diaper changing behind my belt? 

That cloth diapers are adorable and so easy to clean!!  And that I love AIO's (All in Ones) the best and that there is something innately satisfying about hanging freshly cleaned diapers to dry.  And if I can find a time when I am not so BUSY, I might pull out our stash and give them one more run! 

I have also learned that all diapers are NOT created equally.  That as cheap as some diapers are, they aren't worth it when your child wakes up wet in the middle of the night.  Over and over and over again!  I have found that the cheapest, BEST diapers that work for us are Target's new and improved Up and Up brand.  We don't have any leaks with them, they feel nice and soft when wet on the inside, and they have green and blue polka dots (which is great for a polka dot and stripe obsessed mama). 

I have also found that I sometimes will WASTE my money on Pampers...actually many times I will.  Why on Earth would someone with 5 kids and a tight budget do that?  It is NOT bc I feel Pampers are superior to the Target diapers-not at all.  I have had no issues with my Target diapers and I actually think I have a *small* crush on them and those polka dots!!  So why waste my money??  Its all in the smell.  Yep, the smell.  And I know its a huge ploy by Pampers, and that is why they give their diapers out at hospitals.  To get us mommies to get warm, fuzzy thoughts when we smell those baby dry or cruisers 2 years after our babies were born.  I close my eyes and take a sniff and suddenly I feel right back at the hospital, when I met my gorgeous babies for the first time; when I felt that new intense love and kissed them and loved them and snuggled them and fed them...AND I smelled them and I never wanted to forget that smell of the joy and excitement of new life.  Pampers bring me back to that moment each and every sniff.  As much as I don't want to waste my money on them, I WANT to waste my money on them.  Yep, its all in the smell.  And those sweet memories....

In 3/4 short years (maybe even sooner) I will be lamenting the fact that I have none in diapers.  But I *may* just continue to buy a pack here and there.  A pack of Pampers that is.  And I *may* smell them from time to time.  But for now, I am just enjoying having my little ones, still little enough to need those diaper changes.  It may seem like forever since I have not changed a diaper... but one day it will feel like forever since I have changed a diaper.  And I am just not ready for that yet!

Monday, February 1, 2010

I had a dream....

Early this morning, I dreamt about my upcoming (WEDNESDAY!!!) ultrasound.  The "BIG" one.  In my dream, the most exciting part of my ultrasound was that my complete placenta previa had completely moved out of the way! I was so elated  It meant that I didn't have to worry so much about all the big, bad complications with having a complete placenta previa and 4 c-sections.  It meant that I could go on vacation in early June and not worry about having a major bleeding incident.  It was just an amazing dream (and I fully thought it was real).  And then in my dream, the tech announced she was going to check the sex, for sure...and suddenly I asked to use the bathroom??  And then I hung out in the bathroom for like half an hour??  Thats when I started to think "what the heck is wrong with me and why I can't I will myself out of this bathroom?  Finally, I got up the courage to get out of the bathroom and go back into my ultrasound room and.................................
THE KIDS WOKE ME UP!!!!  Why do the kids always wake me up at a good part of a dream?? 

I hope on Wednesday that my dream does come true.  I would LOVE a much less complicated pregnancy by being placenta previa-free...just as much as I would love one last girl.  Both seem like a shot in the dark to hope for though.  At my 12 week ultrasound my placenta was starting to cover cervix and by 14 weeks, my placenta was squarely situated on my cervix...the dreaded complete placenta previa.  What are the chances that 4 weeks later, my placenta has decided to set up shop elsewhere?  Low, VERY low due to my past 4 c-sections.  Silly enough, I still hope for a girl too, although my 14 week ultrasound showed VERY swollen parts that very much resembled a boy.  Wishful thinking to hope that was just a SUPER swollen labia?  Yes, indeed.  But the beauty of hope is that you can keep on hoping until you are proven wrong.  So I will hope really hard that my placenta moves up and away from cervix, and I will hope that my baby magically is a girl.  And if placenta doesn't move-certainly NOT likely at all- so be it...I will deal with the challenges that come to bring this baby into the world.  And if baby is the boy that was predicted, I will love him deeply, like all my other children.  And what will I being doing tonight and tomorrow night??  I will be hoping REALLY HARD that I can finish that dream of mine!!!!