Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Still here...and still pregnant!

I should be used to it by now, right? I've seen 4 due dates come and go. I scheduled a non-stress test for one week from today, but am really hoping I'll never make it to that appointment. After seeing the midwife this morning, I am feeling a little better about the baby's lack of movement yesterday. I know it's just getting really cramped in there for the poor kid. These last few days of pregnancy are always the toughest and I'm just trying to hang in there. I've been "sleeping" (if you can call it sleeping!) in the recliner to help with both my back pain and my heartburn. I am REALLY looking forward to the day very soon when I can lay on my stomach in my own bed. It will feel like heaven!

Other than my own physical limitations, all is going well. My mom has been a tremendous help to me and has washed up all the baby clothes (better late than never, huh?). She has also been cooking for me and the boys. Maybe I should request something spicy to help get this show on the road!

Thank you so much for all your well wishes! I'm really thinking I'll have something to report by Friday or Saturday.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Now that I am at my due date, I'm just wondering what that pregnancy ticker at the top of this page is going to do....let the "count-up" begin!


What an IRRITATING morning I had at the doctor's office this morning. Now that I have some time off work, I decided it's time to get William caught up on his shots. He had his 4 month shots in June of 2008 and hasn't been back since - OOPS! I am not a big believer in sticking to the prescribed schedule for shots because I feel it's a lot for a little one's system, but I had never intended to get this far behind. Also, with the oldest back in school now, there is more potential for him to bring something home.

So my mom and I took the two boys to the appt at 10am. It was just going to be a quick appt, as he only needed to see a nurse for the shots. No one ever asked me which shots I wanted and I assumed there would be some sort of consultation. At 10:40am (yes, 40 minutes past my appt time) a nurse came out to the waiting room to ask me what shots he's had since 2008 and I said none. That was it - she ran in back again and didn't call us until about 10 minutes later.

I walked in the room and she had a tray of EIGHT SHOTS! WHAT??? She started giving me those hand-outs like she was dealing blackjack, there were so many of them. I said NO WAY is he getting more than 2 shots today. She was clearly upset with me because she had gone to all the work of drawing up ALL the shots to catch him up. Well she never asked me, just assumed I would allow him to get all of them. I held firm as she went to ask the dr which of the two shots she should give.

When she came back, she was going to give him the MMR and the chicken pox vaccine. I argued that the MMR is actually 3 shots and she was again upset with me for arguing with her, since it's really only one poke. My motivation on limiting the number of shots is not as much to limit the number of pokes as the number of viruses they inject into his poor little system. Also, with all the hub-bub over the MMR and it's potential link to autism, I would prefer to wait until he is closer to 2 years old to get it. So I got just the chicken pox and he did just fine with it. They want me to come back in "a couple of days" to get some more shots. HA! After waiting almost an hour after my appt time while I'm CLEARLY pregnant and uncomfortable, I am thinking it will be a few weeks before we go back again.

I just can't believe that she was ever going to give him EIGHT shots in one day - and with one of them being the MMR, that is like injecting him with at least ELEVEN viruses at once! I understand that it would be more convenient for me to get them all done at once and not have to go back, but I will definitely suffer the inconvenience of several dr visits to insure the health and well being of my child. Wouldn't any mother do that???

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I have really been procrastinating and have not yet packed my hospital bag, even though my official due date is in just two days. I went late with the other 3 boys, so I fully expect it will be another full week before this baby arrives but it probably would still be a good idea to get everything together. I'm going to do that today. I am a little spoiled since I had a homebirth last time so it's been almost 5 years since I've had to do this. I'm not even 100% sure what to pack, except I couldn't possibly forget these:

These are my lucky labor socks. I have worn them for all three births. Someone I worked with got them for me years ago because I collect pigs. (Well, not so much anymore because my house became overrun with them.) When I was packing my hospital bag for Owen's birth, I had read on the internet a list of things to take and one was socks/slippers because the floors would be cold. They also recommended not bringing anything you weren't prepared to have ruined in all the messiness that is childbirth.

So I packed these horribly ugly socks, half hoping they would get ruined. My labor with Owen was sooooooo long (25 hours) and I was blacking out between contractions by the time I got to the end. At one point I remember coming-to and hearing the dr talking about how she didn't want to get anything on my "cute socks." I yelled at her to please ruin them because they're so ugly. Clearly, it didn't happen because they are still around 6 years later and will be accompanying me to the hospital for the last time in just a few days.

In other news, my mom arrived on Thursday night and is here to help me this weekend - THANK GOD! Chris is working 16 hours today and 12 hours tomorrow so it's great to have someone here to help me with the kids. My next midwife appt is on Tuesday and I'm sure at that point she will schedule a non-stress test for me to make sure all is well with the baby, although I can already tell you he's fine and kicking me like crazy! I really am hoping the baby comes sometime soon because my back is killing me so badly and sleep is near impossible now, as I have about a 45 minute timeclock on my bladder.

I'll keep the blog posted!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Beginnings

It was Owen's first day of first grade today. I wasn't sad this time - I think we were all really excited more than anything. Well, almost all of us were excited...

I guess Sammy was a tad sorry to see his best buddy leave for the day, but he will adjust quickly since he loves babies and he'll soon have TWO to play with. (As well as his mama, who starts maternity leave tomorrow - YIPPEE!)

(Pay no attention to that GINORMOUS being that waddled into this shot.)

We are looking forward to a MUCH better year for Owen. Last year he went from completely unstructured days to full-day kindergarten. It was a really tough adjustment for him and it showed in his interactions with the teacher as well as some of the other students. Today Owen found his way to his locker all by himself and seemed to settle in just fine. In fact, when he got off the bus he said to Chris, "You have no idea how great it was!" Good for you, Owen! I hope you have a GREAT year!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Calling All Experienced Moms Out There...

As you all know, my kids are pretty young - the oldest is 6 - so I need to get some input from those of you whose kids are a bit older. At what point are these kids going to take responsibility for their own bathroom habits? Because this is how the days sound at our house now:

Morning: Did you go pee-pee yet?

When they are playing outside and try to drop their pants and go in the basement window well: NO! You have to go pee pee inside!!!

When they are talking to me and obviously holding themselves: Just go pee-pee and come back, ok?

When they are wiggling so much they can't even eat dinner: Please just go pee-pee and then you can come back and finish.

Before bed: Did you go pee-pee? Are you sure???

Also, does anyone want to weigh in on whether or not this is strictly a boy phenomenon? Not that it really matters to me, since boys are all I'm dealing with around here. I'd just like to know if/when there's a light at the end of the tunnel for me somewhere.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Looking forward to some time off!

I am definitely in the home stretch now! I have to finish out work today and then I will have my midwife write me out of work at our appointment on Tuesday afternoon. After cleaning out my desk and just finishing up a few random things on Wednesday, I am OUT of work for a while. My mom arrives on Thursday evening and I couldn't be more excited! In addition to the one major project on the docket (birthing a healthy baby boy!) I have quite a few other things I'd like to tackle with her while she's here. She's such a dynamo and is willing to help me with whatever I need, which is so great. I really appreciate all she does for me, even if I only get to take advantage of it a couple times a year.

My oldest starts first grade on Tuesday. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday we put him on the bus to kindergarten with much fanfare. We videotaped him getting off the bus and then went to the classroom to meet him there after he got routed through the playground into the doors the kindergarteners use....except he never showed up!!! Oh my gosh, my heart was in my throat as Chris went racing around the school looking for him amid the chaos of the first day of school. It was crazy! After about 10 minutes where I felt totally helpless, standing there with the two younger boys, he finally found him wandering on the opposite side of the school. Oh, was I MAD! They had assured us that everyone looks out for the kindergarteners since they are so little and new to all of it, but here it was his first day and he was allowed to just go off on his own! For a full week after that, Chris would put him on the school bus and then follow him up to the school and make sure he made it to his classroom. We weren't taking any chances!

What a change in parenting styles from when I was little. My mom literally dropped me off at the school on the first day of kindergarten and said "Second door on your left." I remember very vividly walking into the school by myself and wondering what my left was. But I figured out that I should look for the most "kid friendly" room since I would be in the youngest class in the school. Luckily, I found it right away since my friend from down the street had already arrived with his mother. My mom claims that my older brother had cried and clung to her leg on his first day of kindergarten two years before and she didn't want that kind of scene again. If I were the type of kid to make a scene, wouldn't I have done that at the car when she was dropping me off?

I guess as parents we have more and more to fear for our kids these days. Was there less danger when we were kids or are we just more aware of all the danger for our kids today? What do you think?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

William's Eye Update

This is how we were dressing William last week when he had the black eye to avoid having people call Social Services on us:

Just kidding! He is 100% responsible for this little costume. He must get inspired seeing his older brothers dressing up all the time.
So here is a picture from this morning, just nine days after the big spill that left him looking like Joe Frazier. Pretty good healing, huh? I was definitely impressed!

Welcome Fall

Is September 1st too soon to welcome my favorite season? Labor Day is almost a week away and school hasn't started in our district yet. The autumn equinox isn't until the end of this month. But I can tell you it's felt like fall in Wisconsin pretty much all summer! We are enjoying clear blue skies and high temps in the 70's this week, so it sure does seem appropriate to start sipping cider and wearing orange.
Here are a couple of my favorite things about the season:
Ah yes, revving up my seat warmers in the morning. My mom hates these things - she says they make her feel like she's peed her pants - but I love them and am not sure how I lived without them for so many years!
These are my favorite candies and I eat bags and bags of them every October. It's only 99 cents for a bag and it's a good thing, given my obsession. Seriously, if I have them on-hand I will eat a bag in two days. Mmmmmm......yummy! One really good thing about being this pregnant is that I can get away with buying 5 bags at a time without anyone thinking anything of it. (Another favorite fall candy is the Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin, but I really have to try to limit those.)
Yesterday (yes, August 31st) I saw something that always makes me smile: PUMPKINS! The seasonal farm stand near my work had them on a wagon and I couldn't resist taking a picture, as well as capturing a few other images. I hope they make you smile and feel excited about this very special season. Happy Fall!


With only 13 official days left to what will be my last pregnancy, I am stopping to reflect on the experience and to see what I've learned. When I got pregnant for the first time it was the end of September, 2002 so that would have been almost 7 years ago. I figure between the four kids, I've been pregnant for a total of three years. I sure hope in this amount of time I've learned something!

One thing that I've learned is how LUCKY I am. I have never really had any morning sickness, no swelling (my wedding ring is on as I'm typing this), no complications of any sort that would cause me to worry about my health or the health of my babies. I have been able to work right up until I'm ready to stop on my own and have (somewhat) been able to keep up with the other kids. As far as the actual labor and birth goes, although it's never pleasant I've not had to deal with really any medical interventions and my recoveries have been very fast. I had both of the older boys at the hospital and was home in 24 hours and had a peaceful homebirth with William which was WONDERFUL!

Although I have no room to complain given how relatively easy my pregnancies have been, I do suffer from pretty bad backpain especially in this last trimester. It's almost like my lower back muscles turn to BONES, they are so stiff! I have a really hard time getting up from a seated position and sleeping is VERY difficult because every time I move, my back freezes up completely. Knowing this is my last pregnancy is definitely helping my attitude, but it is still challenging to deal with.

When I've gotten to this point in pregnancy, I have a strong sense of empathy for those who face physical ailments like this every day, especially the elderly. I have a light at the end of the tunnel, a day coming up soon when not only will I have no back pain but I will also have a precious newborn baby to cuddle and love. But elderly people must live with their persistent aches and pains without that hope that tomorrow they will feel better. In fact, chances are things will only get worse for them as time goes on. We hear a lot about old people being "crochety" and "mean," but how would it affect MY personality if I were faced with crippling physical pain every day? And while it's hard to remember this sometimes when you see an elderly person, they had their days when they were able to move freely, jump around, dance. How difficult must it be for them emotionally to realize those days are over?

So my pregnancies have taught me to be more considerate and understanding of people who are facing physical ailments on a daily basis. I do hope this is a lesson that stays with me for many years. And hopefully when it comes my time to start declining in my physical abilities, I will be able to accept it with grace and as much courage as I need to get through. And I also hope I always remember the sign in my mom's bedroom that says: "Don't regret growing older - it's a privilege denied to many."