Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baby Eve

Happy Baby Eve!

OK, I admit it, it finally seems like I can truly see the end of this road. I'm excited! Tomorrow, early in the morning, we head to the hospital to meet Samuel.

I've finished my baby shower/meal bringing/helping-however thank you notes.
I only have a few stitches left on my embroidery project for Samuel.
I've written up reminder notes for Ruth since she'll be taking over for a few days.
I've written up instructions for Ruth, with questions to ask and paperwork to return, since she'll be taking all 3 kids to their school Open Houses on Friday.
I've packed my bag with a tiny outfit for Samuel, a huge outfit for me, and the coziest baby blanket ever.
The infant seat is in Richard's car, ready to go.
The camera batteries are charged.

And here's one last shot of my belly. Not that different looking from the 35 week shot by appearance, but I can tell that Samuel has dropped. He's just hanging out, waiting for those stitches to be removed so that he can just slide on out.

Soon, Samuel. Soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Thoughts

I thought I'd better balance out that last grumpy post with some of my happy thoughts.

My biggest happy thoughts come from this bassinet. I love it. It's beautiful and it makes me think of beautiful, small babies laying in it and sleeping happily.
Inside the bassinet, I lay one of Samuel's sweet, small outfits - to remind me again about the baby that will soon sleep there.
Taped to my cupboard are two lists. The one on the right is entitled "Samuel's Sudden Labor Plan" and has names and phone numbers of people who would have been called in to help had we needed to leave for the hospital in a hurry. My happy thought is that now, taped on the left cupboard, is another list entitled "The Official Schedule" that has each day this week listed and what is happening, who is in charge, who is bringing dinner, etc. So that the bevy of helpers and caregivers and parents can all stay on the same page. We made it to the actually planned part!
And finally, Ambien. It makes me happy. Sleep is very hard for me to come by these days, so each night I take one Ambien, climb into bed, and read by flashlight (so it doesn't bother Richard) until I literally drop the book in exhaustion. (I usually have to re-read the last few pages the next day because I was so out of it that I don't remember them.)
As the song goes, these are a few of my favorite things.

Friday, August 27, 2010

No More Miss Perky

Alright, People. No more Miss Perky. Several of you have expressed the view that I should be feeling great at this point since I'm so close to the end of my "confinement". Well, let me tell ya, that just means I've got 4 months of suckage behind me. And I'm tired of it. No "end in sight" is gonna be good enough until it's in my rear view mirror. I'm tired. I'm now in physical pain. I'm tired of being not in control. I'm tired of thinking over and over the future and running every scenario. I'm tired of my children looking at me when I tell them to do something and then ignoring me because they know I can't back any threats up with action. I'm tired of having to make lunch requests from the couch. I'm tired of thinking "such and such needs to washed/cleaned/done" and then having to wait for days until someone asks me what they can do to help. I'm tired of having nothing on my schedule for the entire day. I'm tired of making up things to put on my schedule just to feel more fulfilled. I'm tired of people serving me. I'm tired of feeling like crap. I'm tired of crying. I'm tired of sacrificing the other three kids for the sake of one. I'm tired of being tired or so many things.

I'm tired, People. So stop telling me I should be perky. It just makes me cry more, at this point. It's not over til it's over. And it's not over yet!

(I know this is a ridiculously grumpy post and I'll probably regret it later and maybe even remove it, but for now it feels pretty good to just be honest.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chore Chart for Beginners

Beginners at doing chores, that is. I've often asked my kids to help with this or that, but before I was on bed rest for 4 months, the boys didn't even dress themselves, or (ew, sorry) brush their teeth daily. I figured that with school starting soon, it was time to change that.
Someone gave me this great, medium-sized, whiteboard a while back and I knew just what I wanted to do with it. Using only Microsoft Word and their included graphics, I created this chore chart. Then I printed it on a transparency, and attached it to the white board by sticking the edges of the transparency under the lip of the front of the white board and two pieces of tape just to be sure. Then Richard found these magnets at the office supply store which were just white, but using colored Sharpies, they were easily turned into color coded markers for each child.

The chores on the list are hardly even "chores". They're really just daily basics. But the point of this for our family is to train the kids in two things. One, taking the responsibility each day for getting themselves ready. And two, the idea of having chores at all which need to be done before the fun stuff happens each day. Once they master these things, it'll be easy to swap out the transparency with some more advanced chores.

For now, for us, this is perfect.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Gymnastics

Naomi just finished her 10-week summer gymnastics class. She had a great time and really pushed herself to try new things without fear. This place was a real gymnastics training facility, not just a kiddie place. In fact, several Olympians train there right now! So she got to try things like jumping and/or flipping into a pit full of foam blocks, the uneven bars, flipping on a long straight trampoline, the parallel bars, etc. I never got to go see her do it, of course, but Nanny Amy took pictures during this last class (which wasn't easy since it's against the rules to take pictures in there - maybe because of the creep-factor with all those little girls in leotards, and maybe because there are secret Olympic routines being practiced).

I'm so proud of Naomi for never backing down from anything the teacher asked. She says that she even encouraged other children who were afraid to try some things. I'd love to keep her in gymnastics longer, but I think we'll just sit out this session - what with a new baby and school starting and all that. I'll put her back in after things settle down a bit.

Mom's Birthday Week

My birthday was last week. And what a week it was!

Tuesday: Dr's appointment in the morning, and the Young Women from my ward dropped by for a surprise party that evening including cupcakes, ice cream, and the game Apples to Apples (which was interesting since these young women didn't know what half the cards were - including who Jack Nicholson and Keanu Reeves are).

Wednesday: My bookclub was at my house and while we didn't technically celebrate my birthday, it was something for me to look forward to all day.

Thursday: Had a nice dinner and birthday cake with just my little family. Ice cream cake! Watched a silly movie with Richard and Ruthie.

The kids made this great collection of art for me with the help of Nanny Amy.
Richard gave me the most rockin' rainboots I've ever seen in my life!
My parents gave me a sweet necklace stamped with my new life motto: Choose Happiness.

Friday: Invited two of my best girlfriends over for some good chatting, Boggle playing, and general catching up after a long somewhat-isolated summer apart.

Saturday: A small hiatus from partying on, except for eating leftover ice cream cake.

Sunday: A big combined Worth birthday party for me, my SIL Kelly, and my sis Ruthie. Loads of fun. And more cake - this time chocolate!

Whew! I milked that for all it was worth!

Now just 8 days to go before the best present of all - Samuel!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grand News!

I had a doctor's appointment again today and received some very grand, truly blessed, news.

I'll try not to be too graphic, but basically, as my doctor was checking my cervix and the stitches he inserted there three months ago, he said, "Your cervix is still nice and thick. That is very heartening news! I think that if you were to have more children, and we put the stitches in at 20 weeks or so, you might not even end up on bed rest! Your cervix is just doing so great!"

I can't think of many things that he could have said at that moment that would have made me happier! I've been trying very hard not to worry about the having-more-children-in-the-future issue at this point. I've been trying to just be happy that we're going to get Samuel. But I know we've got at least one more spirit up in heaven, after Samuel, just waiting for his/her turn to come into our family. Our family just isn't complete yet. And to receive the news that maybe it won't be quite as hard to get him/her down to Earth as it was to get Samuel, is just so wonderful!

What a true blessing from our Heavenly Father. And following so closely on the heals of so many other true blessings, it feels almost indulgent.

*I am crying just a little bit. With joy and gratitude.*

In other news, after getting everything all set for a September 2 delivery, my doctor has rescheduled me for September 1. Hard to argue with getting this boy here a day earlier, but now I need to start re-planning things!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Companion

My sister, Angela, did a post yesterday on her blog about how thankful she is to have her loving husband as a "very supportive partner". Then she listed several examples of how he has helped her get the rest and nourishment she needs (she is expecting, too). And it got me thinking that I could certainly do a similar post for Richard. Certainly Richard has been going the extra mile (or 10) the last few months. He often acts as Dad and Mom.

But as I started thinking about the specific examples that I could use to copy Angela's post pattern, my thinking changed a little. What I am feeling most thankful for right now is not all the things that Richard does for me - even though they are numerous and could take up pages and pages if I started writing them down. What I am feeling most thankful for is the times when he and I can work together.

I am most thankful when I can work side-by-side with my companion. When we can co-parent. Tag team. Using each other's assets to the benefit of our family. Genesis tells us that "it is not good that man should be alone." I feel like in some ways Richard has had to work alone during this small trial of ours. And, in some ways, I have had to work alone, too, to grow this baby. But, in the end, we have each other to lean on. We know that the other has our backs.

I wish I was more eloquent so that I could express more deeply how thankful I am for Richard. More fully describe to you how hard he has been working. And to express my thanks for a normally healthy body that allows me to work beside my companion day after day.

Just to brag about my awesome husband a bit, here are a few examples of things Richard does for me every day (sometimes multiple times per day):

Refills my water, time after time
Fetches my pills
Brings me breakfast, often in bed
Thinks of my needs and wants when he's out running errands, bringing me treats and lunches and other things for my enjoyment
Wears a Breathe-Right strip at night since I sleep so delicately at this phase
Makes me cookies on demand (often)

There are plenty more things he does, not only for me but for our family, but those are a few of my favorites.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Months ago I blogged about wanting this particularly fabulous argyle pattern car seat (called Brunswick) for little Sammy. I didn't buy it right then because it was still early and I figured I had plenty of time. But then, for the last month or so, I've been trying to order it online only to discover that it's out of stock everywhere! Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks it's fabulous!

Anyway, today, in my daily stalking of Amazon.com, I discovered that one seller had it in stock! So I quickly ordered it - paying full price for it, rather than the Amazon discounted rate. But now I'm worried that they were just messing with me. They claim it will ship between August 24 and 27. That's cutting it pretty close! It had better be here before September 2, or we're in trouble!!

(I just realized that there are quite a few exclamation marks in this post. Apparently I feel strongly about this car seat!!!!!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

35 Weeks

Technically, I'm one day shy of 35 weeks, but close enough.
He's still growing and growing! My doctor says his measurements are right on target where they should be.
My sister, Angela, just announced that she is expecting too. So now I'm picturing Samuel up in heaven with his little cousin, peaking over the edge of a cloud together, anticipating what fun and mischief they'll make on Earth together.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The End is in Sight!

After a long chat with my doctor today, I successfully convinced him that September 2 should be the big day! Of course, that doesn't mean that Samuel can't decide to come sooner than that - but he's not coming any later than that! On September 2, assuming nothing has happened before that, I'll go into the hospital, get my epidural, the doc'll take out the stitches, then he'll induce me. That's the plan.

And now that I have the plan, all that's left to worry about is Samuel not sticking to the plan. I could certainly still go into labor at any time. And if I did, the stitches would start pulling and it wouldn't be fun.

But the end is in sight! Wa-whoo!!!

Samuel's Baby Shower

Saturday night was the awesome baby shower for Samuel. It was so fun for me to get out of the house and be surrounded by my friends and even some family.
Below is the beautiful cake that my sister, Ruth, made for the shower. You know I love me some purple and green!
The house the shower was in was perfect since the chaise stuck out into the middle of the room. I lay there, in the middle of things, loving every minute of it. In the midst of it all, this room was packed wall to wall. I don't really know how many people came, but I would guess between 20 and 30. Some of those people I haven't seen in 3 months. It was so great to see everybody.

We played a game at the very beginning where the host puts a sticker on everybody's back with the name of a famous person on it. Then you have to ask the other guests yes/no questions to figure out "who you are". I was Cleopatra, and I have to admit, I felt a bit like the reigning Queen laying in the middle of my loyal subjects. All that was missing was the palm fronds to wave before me.
My Aunt even came all the way from Alexandria. And, of course, Ruth.
And here is the friend who made it all happen - Stephanie. She is such a sweet friend. I feel so blessed to be so loved by such great people.
Of course, Samuel was very loved at this party, too. I think my friends feel a little more invested in this baby than usual since they've been routing for him and praying for him and helping me take care of him for so long now. Samuel got some lovely gifts. I'm thankful that he'll have a few new things of his very own that aren't hand-me-downs.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Am Ready For Sleep

I climb into bed after a long day

I lay my head on my soft pillow

And enjoy sinking into the mattress.

I am ready for sleep.

But then my legs start twitching.

And the baby starts kicking.

And my neck starts itching.

And my mind starts racing.

I turn and heave my belly to the other side.

I toss around for an hour.

I get up to pee.

Maybe it will help.

I stretch my legs.

Maybe it will help.

I lay down again.

I try to control my breathing.

Maybe it will help.

I am ready for sleep.

But then my legs keep twitching.

And the baby keeps kicking.

And my back keeps itching.

And my mind keeps racing.

I am ready for sleep.

But instead I lay awake.

Tomorrow I’ll take an Ambien.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Potty Training Update

After a pretty good start on the potty train, Isaiah stalled. I'm sure that's because we were being inconsistent. Nanny Amy did a great job in the mornings, but then in the afternoons we would often just leave his naptime diaper on him. Our afternoon babysitter is only 13 and I just don't feel like she can handle the nuances of potty training. But I realized this inconsistency was a problem when I heard Isaiah say to Amy, "I not need go potty, Daddy say I just pee in my diaper." - even though he was actually wearing underwear at the time. Also, I realized Isaiah was hesitant to sit on the toilet long enough to give it a good try because he's so small that it was uncomfortable and scary. So I ordered a potty seat, a special book for him to read while he waits, and extra Hot Wheels as motivation. The potty seat is the kind that sits on top of the regular potty seat to make the hole smaller. The book makes him slow down and wait. And the Hot Wheels get him excited about actually peeing in the toilet as opposed to just trying. He gets candy for just trying.

Anyway, with this new scheme, plus me cheating on my bed rest a bit each afternoon so that I can be sitting outside the bathroom talking to him while he does his thing, we've been having a lot more success. In fact, we haven't had an accident since the box from Amazon.com arrived yesterday with the seat and book. I'm hoping this is the turn-around, the click, the last piece that makes it work, that happens with every kid who goes through this.

Or maybe we still have a long road ahead of us. But I'm trying to stay positive!

***This afternoon, after nap time, Isaiah ran to the bathroom all on his own, hollering "potty! potty!", took off his nap time diaper, and peed in the toilet! It's really looking like he's got it!***

Ok, Ok...

(you should read pretty much this entire post in a begrudging, somewhat reluctant, grumpy tone.)

You all win. I've decided to wait until September 2 to have Samuel. After hearing a few horror stories and discussing my plan with my friend who is a post-natal nurse, I guess I have to agree that it would be silly to wait this long for Samuel and then force him to come out too early. Especially since my main concern with waiting until September 2 was just it being too close to when the other kids start school (Sept. 7). So, to calm that concern, I talked with my Mom about her definitely being here by then to help dote on my children on their first day of school. That makes me feel a little bit better. And doing what I think is best for Samuel helps me feel a little bit better, too. Plus, September 2 is less than a month away! I can live with that.

These decisions that I have to make between helping one of my children or the others really suck. Give Samuel a healthy birthday, or be there (emotionally) for the other three kids on their first day of school. Give Samuel a healthy birthday, or properly potty train Isaiah (which has to happen before Sept 7 when school starts or else Isaiah can't start school as planned). Choose, choose, choose. I really hate this feeling.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I've Decided

I've decided that Samuel's birthday should be August 26.

Here's why: First of all, he should be born on a Thursday because that's my doctor's day to be in the hospital all day and do all his planned deliveries (c-sections, inducements, surgeries, etc.). August 26 is the Thursday that I choose because Samuel'll be 36.5 weeks at that point. Some places I've read say that 37 weeks is counted as full term (I've always heard 38 weeks was full term, but who am I to argue with the internet?), so really August 26 is only a few days early. And, August 26 is this month! That just sounds good to me... to know that I'll be having a baby this month. Plus, I'm worried about this baby getting too big when I have absolutely no muscles left to push him out. I really, really worry that it'd become one of those situations where I push and push until I'm over-exhausted and then they have to do a c-section because I'm passed out. So earlier is better in that way.

Richard says I should wait one week more than that, until September 2. But school starts on September 7 and I want things to be a little more stable for the other kids before then.

Of course, all of this is mostly irrelevant. What I want, or what Richard wants, is really not the most important thing is this situation. It's about what's best for Samuel (she admits, grudgingly). If my doctor told me that it would be better to wait until September 2, or even the 9th, I would. Bitterly, but I would.

I have another appointment on August 10 and I'll discuss this plan with my doc then. We'll see what he thinks about it. He asked my opinion on the matter at my last appointment and I told him that I promised I would not have the baby before August 7, which is my baby shower, but that after that I made no promises. He laughed and patted me on the shoulder. So we'll just have to wait until August 10 to see what he really thinks.

So that puts you up to date on the circle that I think through every 5 minutes of every day. What I want, what Richard wants, what's best for the baby, what the doctor will say, what I want, what Richard wants, etc. Over and over. And over. Maybe it helps me feel in control. But every mother knows that sometimes you just really aren't in control of when a baby comes. I may get no say in the matter whatsoever. Gosh darn it.