Friday, April 30, 2010
Sunday 5/2 - 7.45pm
I'm so sorry for the delay in updating. I've been busy with a precious bundle of boy who was born last night at 10.40! One of his names is Andrew... we're still pondering names. More info in another post.
Saturday 5/1 - 8.20pm
The castor oil seems to be working (but with only one of *those* trips to the bathroom so far). I'm having contrax one on top of the other right now, which is typical for the beginnings of the CO effect. Need to stop to breathe through them. Just had a yummy supper of high protein waffles with blueberries and yogurt on top. SO glad to be at home.
Saturday 5/1 - 4pm
Stalled. Cervix is still in a good position, but contrax have slowed way down. We're going to do something we normally wouldn't and try castor oil. As far as our normal philosophical hesitation with pushing labor along, my body obviously tried to go into labor and my cervix made those efforts ineffective. So it isn't as if we're trying to jump start things from scratch. Logistically, there are many reasons to see if the castor oil will work, so we're going to give it a shot. Our prayer is that if the time is right, it will work, and if the time is not right, it won't work. We'd love it if you'd pray that with us.
Saturday 5/1 - 11am (anatomical details)
I've definitely never had a labor quite like this before. Last night around 10, MW checked me internally and found that I had dilated very little over the course of the day, and that my cervix was in an awkward, extremely far forward (almost tucked up under the pubic bone) position. That meant that Baby's head was not able to apply pressure properly to the cervix, hence the lack of dilation. As we discussed this dilemma, B got a call that a mom was in labor, so she headed out for her house.
Our wonderful chiropractor (Dr. Mary) was here last night and she and MW came up with a belt-like contraption to try to get things in a better position. We decided that it would be best for everyone to try to get a decent night's sleep. So Sue and Dr. Mary headed for home, I went to bed, and MW and sis Liz settled down for the night in the living room. When Jonathan came to bed shortly thereafter, I mentioned, "Well, we made it to May Day... we'll see what happens."
I had lots of contractions through the night and in my sleepiness, it seemed that they felt different somehow, so I was hopeful the belt was helping. My 7.30'ish potty break showed signs of progress, so after a while, MW checked and found that it seemed my cervix had moved enough that contrax were indeed able to be more productive and I had made some progress (all the way to 3cm... better, but not was I was hoping for).
Things are progressing and contrax are continuing, though I must admit I'm struggling with being patient and fighting frustration/discouragement. I just need to remember that the Lord will bring this little forth in His time and in His way. MW and Liz are out running some errands right now, so J and I are going to try to relax and hope we make some more progress.
Please pray for our friends Eric and Jen. Their precious daughter Elisabeth was born around midnight last night... with spina bifida. She's in NICU and it sounds like she and they have a rough road ahead. May God give comfort and grace.
Friday 4/30 - 7.30pm
Still waiting for MW to arrive, but she's getting close. Contrax getting more intense. Played scrabble with J and B, ate sandwhiches for supper. Dear Sue is on her way over as well. There's a storm coming in, so we'll likely lose connection soon.
Friday 4/30 - about 2.30pm
Last night as midnight approached, I was having pretty steady contractions. Still ~20 minutes apart, but feeling a bit more serious. So I had a snack and headed for bed to see if things stopped, if I could sleep, etc. I snoozed between contrx, but was starting to wonder about my primary MW's 3+ hour drive. I finally called her around 2am and reached her on the way to another client's house! I called again at 2.30 after 3 more contrx that were 10 minutes apart and feeling more demanding. This other precious mom was at 6cm, so there was no way MW was leaving her for a while. We decided I'd go ahead and call B, MW's assistant and a dear friend of mine, who got on the road shortly after I called. Then we called Dad and Mom Smith, who came to pick up the Blessings.
B drove in about the time that the Blessings pulled out of the drive, and I felt relieved to have her here. She found I hadn't really started to dilate yet, but that baby was very low and everything was soft and ready to go. We decided to get some sleep if possible, both for the sake of rest and to give MW an opportunity to finish up and make the drive over.
Today has been spent mostly relaxing, because things really intensify whenever I'm up and around and I'd really like to give MW plenty of time to get here. The "other" baby was born around 10.30 this morning, and we're guessing MW is on her way.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
In Baby news, I had an encouraging prenatal today. Baby is nice and low, in a good position, with good heartones. I'm enjoying getting to wait at home in my own space, and am looking forward to whatever timing God has for this little one.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I read a recommendation recently for using Windows Live Writer for blogging, so I’m giving it a shot. The part that interests me is being able to use it to insert photos using Picasa or Flickr.
The above picture I inserted using the Picasa plugin. I don’t know how to move it or resize it, but from what I read, once I figure that out, it will save my settings and insert photos accordingly each time.
That was a bit more user friendly. Easy to find how to put it in the middle, choose a size, etc.
I’m curious how the formatting works.
And I’m looking forward to playing with this more.
Do any of you use WLW?
Are there other blogging tools that you find helpful?
P.S. – No major labor progress yet. We’re at Dad and Mom Smith’s right now. They fed us a wonderful meal of chicken alfredo and we’ve had a nice visit.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Josiah and I did some weeding in the garden.
The boys and I strung yarn on tomato cages to make trellises for our peas (which are doing much better than last year, yay!).
I swept my own room! And was amazed at how much dirt had accumulated since Saturday.
I watched my man add some supports to the door of the chicken tractor, and took some pictures of the chicks and turkeys.
I went on a walk with my man and visited the pond for the first time this spring. Wow, I've missed it! We checked on the strawberry patch on the way, were caught up to by Stephen and Kate, and were eventually joined by most of the Blessings.
It's been a lovely day, and with contractions getting closer together, we'll see what else it has in store!
Yesterday, while Jonathan was working and the Blessings were at Good News Club, I did some last minute cleaning of the areas in our room that have been neglected as we've gotten our "birth space" ready. Namely, the desk and the buffet.
Here are some before and after shots of the areas I tackled (sitting down) yesterday, as well as a couple other shots of our room as it waits for labor to begin in earnest.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
And here's Grace in the lovely green grass, carrying our rooster who formerly was the bully. He's been knocked out of his "top spot" by a younger rooster and has become quite docile.
Do not be anxious [careful] about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This morning, we had a wonderful time of worship around the Lord's table with the saints of Bible Truth Fellowship. The meeting was not in the usual place because there was a fellowship lunch planned, and let me tell you - the acoustics in a double car garage can be wonderful! Such focus on our Redeemer and His amazing love for us; my heart was stilled and filled with thankfulness.
One of the themes that emerged during the breaking of bread this morning was the "But God" statements in Scripture. Jonathan shared this passage from Ephesians:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We sang this hymn, which (among others) was a blessing to me (especially the bolded part).
A Mind at Perfect Peace with God
by Catesby Paget
A mind at “perfect peace” with God,
Oh, what a word is this!
A sinner reconciled through blood;
This, this, indeed is peace!
By nature and by practice far,
How very far from God!
Yet now by grace, brought nigh to Him,
Through faith in Jesus' blood.
So near, so very near to God,
I cannot nearer be;
For in the person of His Son,
I am as near as He.
So dear, so very dear to God,
More dear I cannot be;
The love wherewith He loves the Son,
Such is His love to me.
Why should I ever careful be,
Since such a God is mine?
He watches o’er me night and day,
And tells me “Mine is thine.”
When I looked up the words to the hymn this evening, one of the websites mentioned this verse:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.
What a faithful and loving Heavenly Father I have, Who is patient and gracious to me when I doubt Him. He provides abundant resources for re-focusing my mind on Him and reminds me of His love and care for me. I pray some of His reminders will be a blessing to you as well.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
When I went to add blogs to the link lists, I realized that you can choose how many blogs show up at a time, as well as how they're sorted. So I chose to show the five most recent posts in each list. Makes the page a bit shorter and should have some variety that way.
If you mostly read my blog on a reader, it won't affect you much. But I thought I'd explain the change, because I'm an explainer. Jonathan is laughing by this point; I'd bet money on that if I ever bet money...
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So... what's been going on, pregnancy-wise?
Near the beginning of April, I started wearing my sacro-iliac support belt much less often, for three reasons. 1) Baby was not settling down like usual and I felt the belt was making things less than comfortable for Baby. 2) I was tired of feeling like an invalid and the belt was seriously restricting my movement ability. 3) I had gained enough strength in my SI joint and hips that my chiropractor was comfortable with me going without the belt more to see how things went.
The first week I just wore the belt less, but the past two weeks I haven't worn it at all, haven't missed it, and my appointments with my chiro have shown that I'm staying strong/gaining strength this way. The belt was extremely important and helpful in this pregnancy; I'm just beyond grateful that I don't need it anymore.
I have been amazed at how much difference this change has made in my outlook and attitude. Not only am I more comfortable, I feel much more confident about labor and birth, about my health overall, and about my body's ability to do what it needs to do. I once again really KNOW that my body was made for the task ahead, and that my Creator has equipped me and will walk with me through the journey.
Friday will mark the 37 week milestone. I am looking forward to passing that mark and being in the "comfort zone" as far as birthing at home is concerned. The last week or so has seen me restricting my activity level quite a bit, as I am feeling a good bit of pressure and tightness when I'm up and around very much. Once Friday arrives, I'll feel more free to be up and around, taking care of things I'd like to have done before Baby arrives. I'd like to make it to 38 weeks, and think I will, but we'll see.
Almost all of our "baby prep" is done. The birth pool is here (we still need to test for leaks), and all of the essential birth supplies are ready. I have about a dozen meals in the freezer; I would have liked to do more, but am happy with accomplishing what I have. There are several odds and ends that we need to take care of, but nothing that seems stressful or like things will fall apart without it.
And in non-pregnancy news...
We discovered last Friday that Davey has a very bad tooth. After several days of us researching options, he has a root canal scheduled for tomorrow morning at the dentistry school in St. Louis. We honestly don't know how we're going to pay for the whole process (the root canal is just the first step), but will take it one step at a time and watch to see how the Lord provides.
The garden is coming along. We're a bit late on planting carrots and potatoes. Maybe we can get them in this week. Our seedlings are doing well and should be ready to plant next month when our planting guide says it's time. We have peas, spinach, and onions coming up, and we need to replant the lettuce bed (my mulchers didn't know that bed was already planted and didn't need another layer of mulch).
We're almost done with logging hours for this school year. We'll stick with at least some math daily through the summer, and of course, reading. But it will be nice to have the hours recorded as required by our state.
Whew. That's enough for today! Hope all is well with you!
Friday, April 16, 2010
One of the highlights of the book are the chapter headings, which spotlight Miller's ability to turn a phrase. An example: “In which our hero hones his business acumen along with his art, experimenting with novel metallurgic methods and embellishments, while still making time for compotation and conviviality at the Green Dragon – and joining an extraordinary society of immense secrecy.”
Miller has done his research and documented it well; there are more than 26 pages of footnotes. When historical documents have not provided the details, Miller uses language that clarifies the use of conjecture based on the circumstances of the times. I appreciate the clear line drawn between established facts and reasonable imagination.
As Miller takes us through Revere's life, he covers Revere's personal, religious, professional, social and military experiences. His account of Revere's involvement with other patriots in the years leading up to and through the Revolution gives enough detail to whet the reader's appetite for learning about this period in American history without detracting from telling the story of Paul Revere. My enjoyment of the book was obvious enough that my sons are eagerly looking forward to reading it.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Last Wednesday, we met Dad and Mom Smith at nearby Shaw Nature Reserve. Shaw is one of my favorite places to visit in the St. Louis area, as is evidenced by the myriad of pictures on my computer and on my blog. I love the emphasis on plants are local to the area, and the fact that they give it as natural a feel as possible.
I love to hike at Shaw, but knew that just wasn't an option this spring. In fact, I hadn't been able to figure out how I was going to get to enjoy it at before summer, because this pregnancy has had me a lot less mobile than usual.
Well, we figured out that we could drive into the reserve and park near the Bascom House, which we had never visited, despite the fact that it's rightnextdoor to the wildflower garden, which we have frequented. So Dad & Mom S. walked out with the Blessings while Jonathan and I drove. We investigated the Bascom House, then went down to the wildflower garden where I found a bench in a lovely spot while the rest of the gang went walking.
The Bascom House is definitely a worthwhile excursion. It was built in the late 1800s and the Missouri Botanical Gardens (which runs Shaw) and the MO Dept. of Conservation teamed up to restore it. I like the architecture, the woodwork is gorgeous, and the displays are interesting.
Here are some pictures from outside the house:
From inside the house:
And a couple of other outside shots from the wildflower garden (there are more in my Spring Flowers post from yesterday):
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
From these purple beauties hand-picked by Stephen ...
To Dad & Mom Smith's beautiful daffodils ...
To the lovely flowers at Shaw Nature Reserve ...
To the bunches of wild sweet william Kate, Siah, and Ellie brought in yesterday ...
... God's creation is so lovely!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I have used cloth for two of our Blessings, and am planning to use them with our little one who is due to arrive in about a month.
Here is a article covering the 4 basic types of cloth diapering systems. It does a great job of describing and covering the advantages/disadvantages of each system.
This is an article talking about the "why" of cloth diapering. Some good information in there.
And here's one on making/using cloth wipes. You can use disposable wipes with cloth diapers, but cloth are easier in many ways, b/c their destination is the same as the diapers!
And here is a link to Jillian's Drawers, where you can try a bunch of different kinds of diapers for $10 for 21 days (from when you receive them). I believe you pay for the package upfront ($150), then receive the refund (-$10) when you send them back. Seems like it might be a good way to try a variety of types of diapers with almost no risk.
As far as my personal experience, I have used:
~~ Pre-folds with wraps (I use the Prorap, which I like b/c it is inexpensive and you don't need to pin or snappy the pre-fold; the wrap holds it all together very well). I like this system; it is inexpensive and works well with rare leakage.
~~ Fitted diapers with wraps, on loan from a friend. Loved them. More expensive (though would still be a savings over disposables in the long run), easier to use for those unfamiliar with cloth diapering, even fewer leaks.
~~ Pocket diapers. Getting ready to try these. I got a great deal on a bunch of Bum Genius 3.0 (one-size fits from 8-35# pocket diapers) at a recent sale and am excited about using them with our coming little one. They sell special inserts for the pocket diapers; I will be using my stash of prefolds as inserts. You can "pre-load" the inserts and have your stack of diapers ready to go, which makes these as easy to use as a fitted or all in one, I think.
I will admit that I have quit on the cloth diapers in the past once the poops started getting extra stinky (table food). I just don't like swishing my hands in the toilet. :-) However, my goal is to make it through potty training in cloth this time!
A couple of ideas on this:
~ I've asked my hubby to install a diaper sprayer on our toilet once Baby gets to table food. He's not excited about it because of the "play" possibilities, so that might not happen.
~ I think the flushable liners would help this a TON and still be very economical.
~ A dear friend who has recently started cloth diapering her two year old (to help him along with potty training by feeling the wet) shared with me that she doesn't rinse the dipes in the toilet. She gets off what she can (using TP if needed) and uses a wet pail (water and lavender essential oil). She just dumps it all in the washing machine, rinses twice, washes once (correct me if I'm wrong on that, Shawna). No stains, no hands in toilet. Sounds pretty good!
So that's where we've been with cloth diapers, where we're headed, and some links to great resources. Hope it's helpful!
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
In the late afternoon, we headed over to the home of our dear friends the Teeters. We don't usually do an egg hunt, so this was a first for many of our children. They really enjoyed it! (Click on the collages to get a better look at the pictures)
The "littles" had a hunt in the front yard:
And the bigger kids had a much more challenging hunt in the backyard:
It was a joy to spend time with such dear friends whom we don't get to see as often as we'd like.
Friday, April 02, 2010
I'm guessing that my hormones are going a bit wonky right now. Spring has sprung; we've had one gorgeous sunny day after another this week; the garden is coming along; there's a lovely green haze showing up in the trees, etc. All great reasons to be cheerful and springy myself! And mostly, I am. Just seem to be extra emotional and set off far too easily.
Now, for me, realizing that it's likely my hormones is NOT an excuse. It is an alert, a wake up call. It tells me that I need to get grounded in Truth and focused on Him. To paraphrase Amy Carmichael, a cup of sweet water won't spill out bitter water, no matter how you jostle it. And my water needs some sweetening.
So, here's to getting refocused and grounded. And what a great day for it... Good Friday, when we turn our eyes to Calvary (where they should be every day).
I've been thinking on Isaiah 53 this morning:
(1) Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
(2) For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
(3) He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
(4) Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
(5) But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
(7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
(8) By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
(9) And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
(10) Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
(11) Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
(12) Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
And 1 Peter 2:19-25:
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. (20) For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. (21) For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (22) He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. (23) When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (24) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (25) For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
I was also thinking of this hymn this morning:
Oh, my Saviour crucified,
Near Thy cross would I abide,
Gazing with adoring eye
On Thy dying agony.
Jesus bruised and put to shame,
Tells me all Jehovah's name;
God is love I surely know,
In the Saviour's depth of woe.
In His spotless soul's distress,
I have learnt my guiltiness;
Oh, how vile my low estate,
Since my ransom was so great.
Rent the veil that closed the way
To my home of heavenly day,
In the flesh of Christ the Lord,
Ever be His name adored.
Yet in sight of Calvary,
Contrite should my spirit be,
Rest and holiness there find,
Fashioned like my Saviour's mind.
~Robert C. Chapman~