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Friday, May 31, 2013

Etta Penelope May Williams is here.

There is so much to write about Penelope's entry into the world. Truthfully, most of what I want to write is about the wait. I expected to be overdue, but not this overdue. There were lots of emotions and thoughts worth sharing.
But Sweet P was born today (now yesterday) and I'm tired and don't have any stamina to share those right now (but soon!). Still, I thought I would put a few details of her birth out there for all those curious moms and friends. So here is the quick timeline of the day.
-Woke up at 5:00 still pregnant and slowly but surely headed to the hospital.
-Arrived at 6:40 and was taken immediately to our room.
-Met our doctor for the first time at 7:45. We shook hands and then she checked my cervix. Typical first meeting activities. She broke my water.
-I walked around the halls trying to engage labor and instead just leaked (gushed) water.
-Around 9ish my mom and D'arcy arrived. I laid on the bed and tried to get some rest.
-The doctor came back in at 10. She noted that I was not contracting, and we agreed she should not check me. She said I could wait another couple hours before I started pitocin.
-My awesome friend Falynn arrived to photograph the birth. I initially felt bad that I wasn't anywhere close to giving birth. I got up from the bed and sat on one of those exercise balls. She ended up helping me clear my mind and making me laugh.
-Around 11, I was still not experiencing contractions. I called the nurse in to say maybe I was ready to get this thing going. I explained that I would totally want an epidural if we did start pitocin. I was almost apologetic and defensive about why I would need it which is silly because she considers it routine. She told me the doctor had just left the building and we would need to wait for her to call in about an hour. Fine.
-Nurse came in at 11:45 to say doctor had called and based on my lack of contractions wanted to start pitocin. I had just begun to feel some contractions that I thought might be doing something. I asked if she would check me. She reluctantly stopped fixing the pitocin machine and came to check me. I had changed from 3 to 4.5cm dilated. I asked if she would give me another hour before they started pitocin to see if these contractions would continue. She agreed.
- Within the hour, my contractions escalated. My doctor's partner came to check me around 12:45. Another first hand shake and then completely appropriate check of the cervix. I was at 7.
-Peeps came in to prepare for baby's delivery. I was asked who I wanted in the room during delivery; my mom, Stephen's mom, D'arcy, and our photographer Falynn. This activity got me excited. Everyone thought I would be done soon, but I still had ALL the hard work to do. Crap.
-I decided I needed an epidural around 1:15. Thus far, I hadn't even been hooked up to fluids. They told me that I would need to have a full bag of fluid before I could be given an epidural. I cried that would take forever!!!! Doctor said, "Yep, baby will already be here before that happens because you are at 8."
-I struggled with when I should start pushing. At 1:30ish, I was only dilated to nine, but the doctor let me push a little anyway. Then I got super frustrated when baby's head wasn't coming down.
-I quickly cascaded into crazy over the next 30 minutes. I refused to stop pushing. I refused to lay in the position that the doctor recommended. I demanded to stand up. I asked why the head was not coming down. I complained that I needed to pee and then totally projectile peed on the doctor. I explained that I didn't want to do this anymore and they needed to find another plan. They were pulling back my legs, but I was getting cramps and would straighten a leg out before I was able to verbalize why. They would push back and then I would scream at them to let me work the cramp out.
The doctor initially was saying things like"Melissa, you are doing great. You are almost done." Then I could tell she was starting to get annoyed with me and my crazy. Her responses became sort of a shrug and a "Get it together Melissa because you have no other option."
-At 2pm, I laid back and just rested through a less intense contraction. The doctor looked at the monitor and said, "Are you having a contraction." I said I was but wasn't planning on doing anything about it. I'm sure this was an eye roll moment for her considering I had been refusing to do anything but push despite her suggestions for the last twenty minutes. I think whatever lip of my cervix was still there melted away because I pushed baby out on the next contraction.
-At 2:05pm, Penelope was born. I was so thrilled and relieved to be done. Because I was laying so flat on the bed I didn't even have the energy to pick my head up and look at her. Stephen did mention she was a she which was no big surprise.
-Because she took a second to cry and because there was the tiniest amount of meconium in my water, they had D'arcy cut her cord (pretty awesome) immediately and took her over to the NICU team. I wasn't disappointed because I needed a minute. Within a minute or two, though, she was wrapped up and placed in my arms. I announced that she looked just like Schroeder.
They waited to weigh and measure her for about a half hour. When they did we found out she was 8 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long. Her placenta was delivered and confirmed that she was indeed overdue. D'arcy received a nice lesson in placenta anatomy.
I began to apologize to everyone for my crazy behavior and also to thank everyone for their willingness to take me on as a surprise patient and really adhere to my wishes. We ended up having an induction that only included getting my water broken and did not include pitocin, IV fluid, pain relief drugs (which I'm thankful for now that it's over), stitches, etc.
My thirty minutes of going to crazy labor town will comfort me when Stephen has surgery later this year.
Now we get the privilege of getting to know our little girl and helping her become one of Those Williams Kids. Her siblings came to see her last night. They feigned disinterest but everyone decided to hold her twice. They love her.
I'll leave you with a Kids Say the Darndest things moment. I changed a meconium diaper while they were in the room. Schroeder yelled and pointed from across the room, "She does have a penis!!!! and something is hurting it!!!" He was pointing at Penelope's rather long umbilical cord with the clamp on. It seemed obvious to him that her crying stemmed from what would be to him a very painful situation. I reminded him of his words from a few months ago that girls just have butts and asked him where her belly button was. When he left he still mentioned that we should take the clamp off as it was probably hurting her belly button.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Waiting is a part of life.

Sunday, May 19, 2013 41+3
Woke up this morning still pregnant.  This was not disappointing.   I anticipated being overdue. I've shared this an obnoxious number of times. Looking back over my pregnancy posts it seems that has been a major theme. (Obnoxious posts here   and here.) I suspected I was carrying a girl which made me believe that I wouldn't go into labor until the 42 week mark.  I have this rather unscientific theory, based solely on my experience that my boys come earlier (around week 41) and my girls tend to be later (around week 42).
We went to church.  I stood up during announcements to remind moms that we had a playdate coming up.  I also mentioned the church should pray for fellow expectant mom, Julie, and maybe, if they thought about it, they could pray for me.  I was hoping this would be my last Sunday pregnant (It wasn't, by the way.)
I really was still in a good mental place.  I had decided that I would maintain a hopeful frame of mind until I delivered even if I had to wait the full 42 weeks.  In previous pregnancies, I, at some point or another, would lose heart and patience and spiral into a frustrated, emotional mess.  I was determined that this pregnancy would be different.  I had kept myself busy going to my MOPS meeting, lunch with a friend, a movie with my sister, etc.  I planned to devote the next couple of days to completely emptying my to do list and inducing labor.
My church took a moment to lay hands on me and pray.  Despite my good mental place, when people touched me, all my vulnerability bubbled to the top.  I couldn't look anyone in the eye, I lowered my head and teared up.  I was nervous about the wait and the pain and the health of my baby.
I was excited, too.  I was excited about the experience, the memories that were going to be made, the challenge of it all, and most importantly, the ability to meet this child who was still veiled in my womb.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 42 weeks
Woke up this morning still pregnant.  This was the first morning I really thought I might wake up in labor.  I got out of bed, paced the floor, and cried in frustration.  I downright threw a fit.  Stephen woke up to give me a hug.  He went back to bed, and I went downstairs at 6am to make blueberry pancakes and pull weeds in our backyard.
I had this theory that I would go into labor in the morning.  My last two labors began urgently at around 5am and ended around 6am.  On most days in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I would wake up at 3 or 4 am and would analyze how I was feeling and pray that maybe my water would break.  If nothing had happened by 6 or 7 am, I decided I would be pregnant for another day and I might as well get up and accomplish something instead of sitting in bed brooding.  
Sometime on this particular day, it occurred to me that this process of waiting that I was concerned might harm this baby might also be the reason this baby is alive at all.  What if I hadn't been patient to wait for Julian and went in for a c-section and then had a c-section with Schroeder and Maggie.  Would my uterus have even been healthy enough for a fifth baby?  I felt encouraged and resolved.

Friday, May 24, 2013 42+1
Woke up this morning still pregnant.  We were supposed to close on our house in Texas, but that ended up getting postponed.  The appraisal came back $2500 under the agreed selling price.  I was feeling like our finances were being attacked.  We had already paid for a home birth and now we might have to pay for a hospital one, too.  We might also have to lower the price of our home in order to close the deal. It isn't that we don't have the money. I would just rather spend it on something else. I'm always wanting to get ahead, but it occurred to me, sometimes, it's good to just abide and be thankful that your every need is met.
We met with our midwife, and I finally had my epic meltdown.  I had no doubt that my body can go into labor on it's own, that it would eventually go into labor on its own.  I was struggling with how long I might have to wait for that to happen, though.  At what point do I decide that my body is holding my sweet baby hostage?
My friend Julia took me for a pedicure after my appointment.  Turquoise toes and good friends make everything better. These days of waiting reminded me that I am loved. Our moms took turns staying with me while Stephen was at work, and I had four or five friends who texted me daily, offered to visit and bring me Starbucks. Several of these friends I didn't even know when Maggie was born three years ago. My prayer for new relationships here in Indy has been well answered.

Monday, May 27, 2013 42+4
Woke up this morning still pregnant.  I got up, got dressed, and headed to Home Depot at 6am.  I'm not sure why Home Depot opens at 6am, but I was going to take advantage of it. (Just that once).  Stephen's coworkers gave us a $100 gift card, and I decided I would spend it on paint for the hall bathroom (the one that has had paint sample colors on the wall for over a year).  I was done with a first coat by 10:30.  My extra large, bright orange cultural trail t-shirt came in handy as a painting dress.
Afterwards, I decided to use the Black and Blue Cohosh I bought at the herbal store on Sunday.  They are supposed to induce labor.  I dripped the black cohosh under my tongue as directed and immediately my mouth was on FIRE.  I spit it out and started to cry.  I'm so weary. I had my membranes stripped a million times. I took castor oil twice. I didn't realize that inducing labor would require torture.  Screw that.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 42+5
Woke up this morning still pregnant.  We made a plan with the midwife that if I hadn't gone into labor by Thursday, we would set up a hospital induction for Friday.  My friend Joy calls to see how I am.  I explain the plan to her.  She encourages me and Stephen to pray together and make sure we are being led by the Holy Spirit.  It was a good word, and we spent some time in prayer that evening.
A couple things occurred to me during that time of prayer. Stephen had asked me several days before if I was hopeful. I told him that I was so weary of conjuring up hope. He didn't really respond, but what I think he was thinking occurred to me in our time of prayer. I need to lean on the Holy Spirit to provide my hope. I don't need to create my own.
I had also been reading a book which talked about prayer being sometimes for her a time when she can simply say out loud that his plans for her are good whatever they are. I had been trying to pray that way for a week, but couldn't get these words out. "I don't know how, where, or when this pregnancy is going to end, but I believe you have good things for me. Lord, I trust you to take care of me." That evening I said it, and I meant it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013 43 weeks
Woke up this morning still pregnant.  We had a plan, though, and this baby would be born one way or another the next day.  We went to our midwife and put the plan in motion.  Our midwife seemed disappointed.  I think if it was up to her, she would have had us wait a little longer.  Baby still seemed to be in good shape.  During our conversation, my resolve began to crumble. What if my dates were wrong?
Just a few weeks ago, I had written a blog post about induction.  I believe in protecting my baby and if at all possible respecting my body and it's process to labor.  Now we had hit 43 weeks pregnant.  We were looking WAY crazy and irresponsible to the majority of United States citizens.  Yet, we also realized we aren't completely hippie, baby come as you desire people. Forty-three weeks was as far as I could go. I knew my baby was ready and I also knew my body was ready. I was dilated, effaced, and stretchy (sorry for that graphic adjective). I just needed contractions. Stephen came to my rescue that morning when I began to question myself. He said, "We made a plan. We prayed about it. Let's stick to it."
I threw myself into the activities of the day, shopping and getting my hair cut. Stephen went to work all flustered. Later on that evening I learned that he was in the throws of coming to grips with our new plan. He tends not to worry or think about plan B till he has to. He needed someone to talk to about it all and felt really alone. We snipped at each other all day because we were both going through the same thing in our own way and on our own schedule. We stopped to talk about it all in our muggy front room that evening amid my scurried preparations. We both cried a little which should show you how weary and relieved we both were. Then we both drank a glass of wine. Just one and it was recommended by my midwife.

Friday, May 31st
I woke up still pregnant. Our last hope for a home birth faded as we got in the car at 6am and headed up to Carmel (the posh suberb to our north). I joked that the baby wasn't impressed with southeast downtown as a birthing location.
I had envisioned delivering in our new house in early morning when the sun was coming up and our kids would slowly filter in to get a glimpse of their new sibling.  The labor would be quick, and I planned to not lose my cool.  Most people who wanted to be present would potentially not make it (including the midwife).  D'arcy would get to cut the cord again.  I assumed that despite my protests, I would be banned from coming down our treacherous stairs for a day (the only part I was dreading).  We would again have a well baked 8+ pound baby with a name way too long for such a little one.
I realized, though, in essence, that was Maggie's birth. Each of our kids births have been unique in some way, and Penelope's would be no different. She would have her own story. Looking back on it, we discovered that her birth was a healing, full circle story. We went back to the hospital like we did with D'arcy nine years ago, but this time it was on our own terms and on our own time. It was also a little poetic that it was our ten year wedding anniversary. We've had five kids in the last ten years, but we've also found our path and voice as a couple.
I'm a little sad that we didn't get to have our baby in our home. I'm a little annoyed to be paying hospital medical bills. (From start to finish we were there 31 hours. I didn't have an epidural or IV fluids or even stitches, but that initial bill was over $10,000!). I'm also a little embarrassed that I let that last half hour of labor get the better of me. I don't think I've ever lost my cool during labor as completely. Other than those little regrets, I'm happy. I'm happy with my story. I'm happy that labor is over. I'm happy to finally have my baby unveiled and in my arms where I can get to know her better.

Friday, May 24, 2013

We are saying goodbye to Willow Grove Drive today.

We are closing on the sell of our little house in Texas today. I feel a little out of the loop since we won't actually be there to sign the paperwork and hand over the keys. The house isn't our last piece of connection to Texas as we made lifetime friends who we will never have to sell. The thought of losing this connection to our real first family home made me want to reflect a little.

We moved to Texas about a year and a half after getting married. Stephen had just graduated from college, and D'arcy had just been born. We had this idea of leaving and cleaving. We separated ourselves from everything that was familiar and safe besides each other in an attempt to bind ourselves together in a way that a wedding ceremony or a honeymoon or even a baby couldn't do.

Our relationship was not new. We started dating when we were fifteen and sixteen so by the time we moved to Texas we had already been together for seven years. We were still learning to be independent adults, parents, a wife and a husband, though. All those roles were relatively new.

We chose a church together and found that we both prefer small, charismatic churches with a familial vibe.

We began to make new friends and discovered that we have extremely different ideas on what makes for a good friend. He looked for interesting and I looked for similar. We both realized how extroverted we were. We would never be fine with a quiet weekend at home doing home improvement projects and grocery shopping. We would sit on Friday listing people we should call to hang out with. He would suggest someone and I would cringe and vise versa.

We slowly came to compromises regarding our household roles. I discovered that he didn't mind coming home and cooking a meal as long as I had planned it. This came after lots of frustrating conversations started with, "Hey, what do you want for dinner?" followed by a shrug.

Stephen made it clear before we got married that he wanted our family to be a "eat at the table every night together with real food" kind of family.  This was a departure from how I grew up, but I had been working at making it a habit.  When we moved to Texas we agreed to abandon the use of Chicken Helpers, Tuna Helpers, etc which was seemingly the only thing I could cook when we got married.  Once I figured out that a clove of garlic is not a bulb of garlic and that garlic needs to be properly peeled, my cooking took off.  Not to a Iron Chef level, but to the point that Stephen eventually said that I was a better cook than his mom.

It made sense to us both that I continue to keep track of the finances as long as I didn't get mad and inevitably say, "I feel like I have to be your mom." when I had to ask him to stop spending so much going out to eat or ask him not to buy that item today.

I came to grips with the fact that he has a mental breakdown at even the mention of going to Home Depot. I eventually just decided that if anyone was going to Home Depot it was going to be me. I'm hoping he'll learn from my example that home improvement isn't this skill you come out of the womb with but something you develop from research and trying.

I asked Stephen what he had to come to grips with about me during our time in Texas. He said he learned how to communicate with me. That when he came to me with frustrating or difficult news that he needed to express the news in what I considered a proper emotional tone. If he put a hole in our laminate kitchen flooring while moving the refrigerator or happen to wash D'arcy's new ipod the week after Christmas, he should show his anger at himself and his strong remorse for his mistake. He should NOT deliver the news matter-of-factly with a shrug and a "Shit Happens" attitude. He's hoping I'll still learn to trust that he does experience appropriate emotions without having to prove it to me.

I became aware of my deep need for security, specifically financial. It became clear that I was a miser. I wanted him to step up and support us, giving me the opportunity to stay home with our kids, but I didn't trust that he could keep a job indefinitely. When I finally did quit my job, two months later Stephen's job was downsized. Thankfully he delivered this news with appropriate solemness, and even brought home our pastor to help. We were essentially jobless with two kids for three or four months. Although it was stressful, it was also a time of healing, trust building, and vision setting. Lots of good things came from that time. We simplified and sold our second car. Six years later, we still only live with one vehicle by choice. My little photography company was created. We were prompted to start a two year seminary/leadership school. Most importantly, I began to really know where our sustenance came from, and began to trust Stephen to handle his own work affairs.

We both agree that one of the most wonderful things that came from our time in Texas was a new and different voice on how we could birth our children. I was attracted to the idea of a natural birth, but D'arcy's birth had become a litany of medical interventions that ultimately led, in my opinion, to an unnecessary cesarean section. We knew we wanted a big family. We already had five kids in mind. I wasn't sure if my body could support five cesareans, and I certainly didn't want to recover from five. Texas is a fantastic state to find yourself in if you are contemplating a home delivery with a midwife. Midwives are plentiful and certified. We also discovered many in our church who had birthed at home, our pastors for one. Ultimately, they even let us deliver our Julian in their home since it was closer to the hospital.

It's funny. I'm sitting here exactly 42 weeks pregnant with our fifth baby, the baby we always believed would complete our family. I'm scared about going much further over my due date, but because I go to a midwife, my options for induction aren't quite as simple as when you go to an OB/GYN. I feel this judgement (that may or not be reality) from others that we are a little crazy and potentially putting our child's life in danger. And, yet, I firmly believe that this baby might not have a life if we hadn't made the decision to use a midwife and deliver on what we call our "pastor's hippie birthing bed" almost seven years ago.

So farewell little house on Willow Grove Drive with your wild yard full of snakes and frogs and cactus (cacti?).  We never really became Texans or San Antonians.  We didn't watch the Spurs or set off fireworks on New Years Eve or enjoy the horrible 100 degree weather from June 1 to August 31 (although I do miss March).  I won't miss the scorpians in my shoes and bathtub, or the incredibly long drive from San Antonio to the state border.  Still, you were the place we escaped to and learned to be better adults, parents, a wife and a husband, and I left with lots of great memories.

Here we are the day we bought our house and picked our lot.  D'arcy was about six seven months old.

Here is our home the day we moved in.  

D'arcy's first bedroom.

The day we brought Julian home.

This is the day Schroeder was born in our home.

Celebrating Schroeder's first birthday just before we moved back to Indiana.

What our house looked like just before we moved.
Our family the day before Stephen left for Indiana.  I was six months pregnant with Maggie Lu here.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is not a blog post about my pregnancy.

We live in Fletcher Place. The first neighborhood in the southeast portion of downtown Indianapolis. It is both run down and renovated. There is beauty, in my opinion, to be found in both.
According to my children, this is "the cigarette". My kids get super excited when the can see it while walking or passing on the interstate.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Don't worry about me. This is fun.

Have you ever seen Father of the Bride.  It is officially my favorite movie.  I watch it once a year. Do you remember the part when Steve Martin goes to the parents in law's swanky house and asks to use the restroom?  They say, "Use the one upstairs.  It's the seventh door on the right."
"Second door?????"
"No.  Seventh."

This scene always runs through my head when I'm inevitably asked "So, is this your first baby?"  I was asked that question not too long ago in the presence of friends who knew my baby tally.  They literally laughed out loud.  Then I answer, "No, it's my fifth." I sound the fifth out super precisely, exactly the way they say seventh so as not to be misunderstood.  People's eyes bug out or roll just like Steve Martin's.

I like surprising people with my answer.

Have you seen Father of the Bride part two?  It's officially not my favorite movie.  I don't watch it every year.  I have however always loved the idea of going into labor spontaneously and rushing to the hospital like they do in the movie.  I remember the anti-climatic feeling of showing up at the hospital to be induced with D'arcy.  It's a romantic notion and not as important as a healthy baby.

Still, I've been able to have my cake and eat it too.  I get to have the exciting labor experience AND a healthy baby.  I just have to wait a while for it.  So don't worry about me folks.  Waiting in excited expectation is fun and life giving.  It's like how one might feel climbing Mt. Everest or running a marathon.

I shared this with Stephen tonight.  He laughed at me and said in complete agreement, "oh yeah...or like getting a tooth pulled."

Monday, May 20, 2013

We are ready!

I've had a really fun time getting items together for our fifth and final baby.  Obviously, with the fifth, we have many of the items that a baby needs, a pack n play, a double stroller, a car seat, a bumbo seat, etc, etc.  Still, many things have been worn out from so much use, and, frankly, it's nice to get some new things just for this baby.  All told, I've probably spent about $300 out of pocket (some of the artwork I received at Christmas and my mom-in-law gave me some money towards the crib).  I'm excited to share my treasures with my blog readers and most importantly with my sweet babe.

I'm a huge proponent for swaddling.  I don't see how parents get a good nights sleep without it.  I use to swaddle with just a blanket, but was introduced to these wonderful sleep sacks with Maggie (thank Carrie).  I don't think any other brand is as good.  HALO sleep sacks let the baby move it's feet, and focus the swaddling on the arms.  The key to a good swaddle is to get the arms to stay at the baby's side.  The feet could be bare for all I care.  These things allow me to get the arms nice and tight. 
Maggie was born just before winter and had a thick, micro fleece one which wouldn't do for our baby's late spring arrival.  However, I dreaded the idea of spending $20 for a brand new one (if you can't find them used, they are still worth it).  I also wanted to find gender neutral designs since we don't know the sex of the baby.  I went to Once Upon A Child three times in the last several months and found one each time.  I paid $3.50 for each.  Score.  Instead of $60, I spent $10.50.    
I gave away literally all of our receiving blankets when I found these beauties (Aden & Anais swaddle blankets) right before Maggie was born.  I can swaddle with them.  I can use them as a nursing cover up.  I can cover the carseat with them.  They are light weight and beautiful AND expensive AND seemingly impossible to find secondhand.  I splurged and bought a second pack for this baby because Maggie still uses some of hers to wrap her baby dolls.  
When I was pregnant with Julian, my boss at American Funds made me some lovely spit cloths that I've used for the last three babies.  A few have survived that long trek.  Several years ago, my mom gave me some extra fabric that I FINALLY decided to use and make some more lovely spit cloths. D'arcy and I did these together.  Please forgive our funky corners.  These things are absolutely necessary not only for spit, but to hold up against the breast that you are not starting with so you don't soak your shirt those first few weeks.  Too much information?
Here is my stack of gender neutral onesies picked up mostly at Once Upon a Child for $1 or $1.50 each.  The "Thing 5" shirt was sweetly given to us by our friend Joy.  I have several friends who have had three or four boys and then finally a little girl.  Those little girls had moms dying to put bows in their hair, tights on their legs, and pink and frills everywhere else.  I've had two girls, and while if this baby is a girl she will wear plenty of pink and bows in her lifetime, I'm excited to put this baby in grey, yellow, blue, red, green, and white.  I'm thinking most hot summer days he or she will have a diaper, a onesie, and a blanket on.
If the baby does happen to be a girl, I've made her a bow.  I'm not sure if this is considered a bow in the south, but it suits this little hipster Hoosier.
Left:  After having a devout thumb sucker (which was super adorable), I decided I would push pacifiers.  They aren't perfect inventions, I know, but we decided their benefits outweighed the drawbacks.  In my opinion, you have to teach a kid to use them so we patiently push them for months and then we take them away without guilt the week of their first birthday.  A friend bought us a very sweet pacifier clip for Maggie from Etsy (that I sadly cannot find after we moved into our house), and I decided this baby needed some cute ones too ($5/each).
Right: I go to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group every other Thursday.  They hand out gifts when you have a new baby.  Our last meeting was last Thursday.  My baby isn't here yet.  I figured I wouldn't get a gift this year, and my baby would be sort of lost in the shuffle when we started again in August.  Those girls are super thoughtful, though.  They had a gift waiting for me at the last meeting.  It made me cry to be remembered.  Oh, but they know what we are having so I can't open this package until baby is born!
Baby Penuly's first outfit is all ready whenever it decides to stop swimming in it's own urine and opts for a much cooler whale onesie.
Baby's little collage purchased from Sadly Harmless
I only buy brand name diapers for newborns.  There is this smell of breast fed baby poop in a pampers diaper that brings back so many wonderful memories for me.  So I splurged.  I'll be using Target diapers once this baby hits nine pounds (at the two week mark :)).
Left: Going with the sea theme (think Ulysses and Penelope from the Odyssey.  Ulysses is travelling by sea.), I decided to make a little sock stuffed animal.  My super artsy, clever, and sweet friend Beth introduced me to them.  I used Stephen's sock to make this Socktopus.  
Right: I searched for months...MONTHS...on craigslist for a mid century modern chest to put the baby's clothes in.  I wanted something smallish, cheapish, but also retro and already redone.  I found a few things that were already sold by the time I emailed the seller.  I finally settled for this little rolling medicine cabinet that was $45.  The color worked well, and baby's little things will fit nicely here until he moves into one of the other bedrooms before winter.
Read more about the deal I got on this crib here.
Left: Our bathroom is now fully stocked for a home birth; towels, washcloths, a flashlight, herbs, hydrogen peroxide, bed pads, newborn hat and blanket, a medical kit with cord clamp and such, gloves.  FYI, the midwife cleans up before they leave so I'm not left with a crazy medical mess.  They will leave the placenta if I ask them to.  Anyone in need of a good placenta for their garden?
Right: The little co-sleeper that is hiding behind our door, but will soon (please, soon) be scooted up against our bed so I can easily nurse baby at night.  Baby will sleep beside me for the first four months.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I'm 40 weeks pregnant.

Stephen is awesome because he has come to pretty much every doctor and midwife appointment I've ever had.  I never asked or expected him to.  He just felt like he wanted to be a part of the process.  He lets me take the lead asking questions

but is faithful to listen and participate.  I've always felt very supported and not left alone.

Stephen is frustrating because he is impossible to photograph.  D'arcy helped us take multiple pictures on our front stoop tonight and I think he smiled in ONE of them.  We get frustrated with each other EVERY time I try to photograph him.  He says he's trying hard to seem relaxed and friendly (Insert my eye roll).  I tell him it can't be THAT hard.

His awesomeness outlined in paragraph one totally trumps my frustration with him in paragraph two.  I know this.

Tomorrow, I'll officially be 40 weeks pregnant.  I've been so careful to guard my heart and mind from hoping or expecting an early delivery that forty weeks has sort of snuck up on me.  I'm taking comfort in the fact that I know how my body works.  I told my midwife last week that I would give her $100 if I delivered before our next appointment.  Well, I made it to Tuesday.  On Tuesday, I told her I would give her $75.  I'm pretty confident I'll make it till next Thursday (41 weeks).  Remember, I've still got things to do.  After that all bets are off.  A week can feel like a very long time, though.  I'm hoping that all my resolve won't crumble if I have to wait until a full 42 weeks.

I wanted to take a picture of us in front of the home that baby will hopefully be born in.  We are about to sell our home in Texas.  We should have a closing date set very soon.  When you put your house on the market, there is always that question about whether a death has occurred at the property.   I always want to cross off death and put born.  Was anyone born in this house?  YES!  A beautiful baby boy was born in that house in 2009.

The house we live in now is 140 years old.  I would love to know if this baby will be the first baby born here.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kids say the darndest things...

This afternoon, I'm going to pick D'arcy up from school and we will be taking home three chicks.  They have been watching them hatch in their classroom and now need a home.  D'arcy wanted them to live at our house, but instead they will be going to live with our friends, Twon, Alan, Alida, and Adam who already have chickens and the proper equipment to care for them.

D'arcy came to me last night and says, "So, mom, what is happening tomorrow?  Let's make a plan."

I say, "It's pretty simple.  The plan is that I will pick you up and bring the chicks home. What else do you need to know?"

D'arcy says, "Well, what box are we going to take them home in?"

I shrug and say that I'll find something tomorrow.

She says, "So we are just going to wing it?!"

Chuckling, I say, "Yes, that's pretty much how this house works.  Where have you been for eight years?"

Poor girl seems to desire to plan ahead but is strapped with parents who fly by the seat of their pants.  Daily, D'arcy asks what we'll be doing tomorrow in the morning?  and what about the evening?  And I start to shake and say "I don't know!!!  Stop drilling me about our schedule."

On another completely different note, I was reminding Maggie this morning that we still don't know if the baby is a girl or a boy.  She is adamant that it is a girl.  Schroeder steps in to back me up and says, "Maggie, we don't know if the baby has a penis AND a butt OR NO penis and JUST a butt."