Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Achin' Everything

I get tired putting my hair in a pony-tail. I'm really really really DONE with this pregnancy.
If this weren't Holy Week, I couldn't really go to church any more (last Sunday about did me in) but I'm going to try to gut through singing in the choir Thurs., Fri, and for Easter Vigil. After that, church will probably have to wait until after the baby is born.

I have a HUGE bunch of scheduling conflicts this time.

1. I had Mari a week early (induced) and I still don't think she was "ready", so I'm reluctant to induce more than 4 days early.

2. My doctor will be out of town after this weekend until the 15th

3. I'm due the 18th (Sunday) but want to be induced on Friday, the 16th.

4. I'm not sure if the baby's head is even down, which will affect everything.

5. My youngest sister will be out of town over the due time.

6. If I went over, my other sisters won't be around (vacations).

7. I don't want to go over.

8. I am seeing the doctor this Friday and I'll know more...but I REALLY want HIM to be there for the birth, since I've witnessed my sisters' deliveries (via that same doctor) for 7 babies and I just KNOW that I'd have a great experience with him and all of my sistahs present.

9. I need to have this baby soon because I'm very quickly running out of things to wear and pretty soon all that will fit is my mom's size 3 muu muus. (No, they don't fit her...she just buys things WAY too big for her.).

I know a lot of people would read this and think: Yeah, the baby will come when she comes and what's the big deal with having all of those people there? Haven't you done this 6 times before???

It's just that I've had so many not-so-great birth experiences, I don't know if this is my last, and I've had this doctor before but he was gone when I went into labor with Bocker and the doctor on call was the devil's minion (I think) and it was a HORRIBLE experience that I don't want to repeat. Also, the worst experience was only two years ago with Thomas so I'm still suffering PTSD about that. I know it can be GREAT, but I also know that most of my deliveries are really not great-truly awful. The only "perfect" situation would be:
1. To have my kids all in a good place and comfortable where they are during the delivery so I don't have to worry about them at all.

2. To have Butch be there.

3. To have all my sistahs be there.

4. To have MY doctor be there.

5. (maybe this one should have been number ONE) to have the anesthesiologist be standing right outside my room, needle in hand, ready for me the minute I have a contraction and long before I'm in actual labor/I get pitocin.

I just don't think, after all of these babies, that's asking too much.

Do you?

We went on "vacation" last week. From Tuesday night thru Saturday afternoon, we had the pool at Breezy Point resort all to ourselves. The stay was free from an angel that works with Butch. It was so great for the kids to have this adventure. Butch actually had some work, so he missed out but got to sleep in his own bed!

Here's a picture of all of the kids in the pool. They were so wonderfully behaved and helpful. Matthew cheerfully helped Tommy nearly the whole time and most of the time, he had two kids within reach for whom to be responsible. Trina was my other eyeballs and helped me with everything as well. They were both not feeling so great, so I really have to give them credit for all of the hauling and watching that they did last week.

Here is the baby. She's swimming, but this is as close as she got to the chlorine pool! (Don't worry, I watched her very closely.)
P.S. If Tommy stands directly under my belly, he disappears completely.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


I think it's kind of funny how, with each birth/hospital experience, my "go to the hospital" bag has shrunk.

With Trina, I brought a huge duffel bag full of every possible thing a new mom could need: special music, scented stuff, pampering things, special blankets and a choice of clothing for the baby to wear when he/she went home, some bigger clothes from before the pregnancy, so that I could have something to wear home.

I wore what I walked in the hospital wearing.

I was annoyed with any smells/sounds and didn't need any of that crap.

I didn't use 90 percent of the stuff I packed.

With Tommy, I brought the following things:

My bag: extra pads (I've noticed the hospital charges enormous amounts of money for those dumb things), my daily makeup/personal care gear (small bag), an extra pair of underwear, some comfy sweats/pjs, and some extra slipper socks.

Baby's bag: an outfit for going home, some spit blankets, a carseat.

I made sure my phone was charged up and that my camera was in my regular purse. I also made sure I had a tweezers and fingernail clipper...for when I had extra clipping and tweezing time. That hospital was miles away and I knew I'd have a lot of down time.

I was glad I didn't have a lot of fussy stuff to put away once I got home. This time, I might add some snacks so I don't feel like a pig, asking for juice after juice and snack after snack besides the meals. I drive the nurses NUTS with my snack requests. I might just pack a REALLY BIG BAG of snacks this time.

I also try to remember one of my pillows. I think I might try to come home early this time (depending on what time of day I go to the hosp.). I don't need the extra billing and those hosp. beds are SO uncomfortable. Besides, I always feel like I'm overstaying my welcome by the third day.

I think I might try to get away with NOT having that damned blood pressure cuff attached to me the whole time during labor. That thing will drive a girl insane.

I might try to do most of the labor without the epidural. That intrathecal morphine thingy worked really well last time (the anesthesiologist was late and it was my only option)...but I'd hate for it to "run out" and not have any more pain relief when it really matters. Do you know if you can get an epidural AND the morphine (toward the end if the epidural isn't working properly...which has happened to me three times)?

Boy, you'd think I'd have it DOWN by now! You'd think I'd just go in the hospital, pop out a baby, and come home later that afternoon, weighing 50 pounds less and with a cute, happy, non-yellow, happily nursing child in my arms!

I wish.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sick Days, Birthdays, Happy Days, Sad Days

After our Crazy Dance Party a few Friday nights ago, we got strep in the house. The whole works (except for Trina and I) had to go to the doctor and get meds. THEN, Tommy couldn't breathe one night, so we went to the ER with him and he got a steroid shot, with the lovely info that the doctor thought he must have croup. Really? Croup (virus) AND strep (bacteria)? How lucky can one family get? Everyone else got the virus too, including Trina.

It took three weeks and finally, today, everyone sounds and feels a whole lot better.

On Wed. we celebrated Tommy's 2nd birthday (he was sick and miserable, I don't have any pictures of that day, but here's a shot of him at that dance party the Friday before. He danced so much he collapsed on the floor...several times...especially when he saw the camera was on!)
We then celebrated Mari's 4th birthday on Friday. She went to a pre-school screening (I don't intend to send her to school, but I just like the screening and the people who do it in this town. They're very supportive of homeschoolers in this district.)
She wanted to wear her crown and bring her purse along for the screening. It was pretty obvious that it was her birthday, since she wore this special collar that said "Happy Birthday" that she'd been saving ALL year, just for the occasion. They sung "Happy Birthday" to her at the school. She was so pleased. She also said goodbye to the neighbor as he took his kids (that we babysit) off to see their grandma. Mari hollered across the street, "Bye! Hey, did you know today's my birthday?" The neighbor said, "Oh yeah! That's right!". Mari hollered again, "You forgot to say 'happy birthday'!". He thought it was funny...I thought she was getting a little to into the princess thing.
That girl's got some MAJOR sass going for her. I have a feeling she's going to work it until she figures out some other thing that will work for her to get out of doing chores and taking naps.

Saturday morning, Butch's parents took the birthday kids (including Butch) out to their breakfast/shopping for birthday gift/shopping for cake, tradition that we started a few years ago. It makes the birthday kid feel really special but we figured three birds with one stone was the way to go this year! Butch reported that this exchange happened at Perkin's:
Server: Do you want pie, or ice cream?
(she got a choice for her birthday)
Mari: Ummm, I think because I'm FOUR, I should have cake and ice cream.

She got ice cream. Butch put the brakes on the princess complex there, but she handled it just fine!
Saturday night, we had my side of the family over to celebrate the birthdays in our house (Butch's was Sunday!) and my twin niece and nephew (birthday today) and my other nephew who will be 4 this Saturday. It was super funny to sing happy birthday for 3 cakes (two names on each) and it ended up being a total blast. We had a couple other people over, too. Our neighbors (who are like family since we have their children over every week for babysitting)and Tommy's godparents, Rachie and Billy. Even Matt and Anna got to come from Menomonie with their dog, Jake. A good time was had by all!

The "sad days" in the title only refers to the illnesses...but there is some sadness in that the worry of an unstable economy is threatening Butch's job. He has been laid off (this will be the third week) for the first time in years and years. His company is very stable, one of the only companies that does what they do, and THEY are feeling the pinch...I can't imagine how the rest of the construction/industrial world is doing right now and for the past two years. I don't know how people live on just unemployment, but I know we can't. We can NOT sustain this for very long. I don't know what we would do if he were laid off for more than 5 or 6 weeks. We have to make some tough choices, I know that, but with 7 kids, there are certain things that pass the "want" category and really are the NEEDS. We need a roof over our heads, clothing on our bodies, food in our bellies, and transportation. What can we let go? Not much. We have come to depend on the internet for communication, education, and bill paying...although, the thought just occurred to me that if I can't pay bills, what's the point of paying them online? Just (mostly) kidding! I'm cracking up a bit here. This is all a lot of worry that a LOT of people are going through, I know that. It does make things a little easier, knowing that there are a whole lot of people in this sinking boat with us. Misery loves company, right? Ugh. How about misery can take a hike. I wish misery would leave people alone once in a dang while. Misery stinks on ice.

Well, the ONE good thing that comes from having Butch here is that he is helping with school. Math is hard (said in my best Barbie voice) and Butch does it so much better than I do! He gets to see how schooling works for each child, which is something he misses out on while he's working. He has also gotten to take them ice fishing a few times (something he's never really done before) with one of his retired co-workers (a great friend of the family). That's been great bonding time with the kids, too. Butch and the kids also primed and painted the entire basement. We had all of the equipment and paint but hadn't had the time to finish that job until now. If we only had money, as well as time, we could put in carpet and trim things up...but that might have to wait for a while. We haven't driven each other crazy quite yet, but I'm sure that day is coming.

Oh well, I guess we'll just have to gear up...

Find the strength to push each other to not give up...

Remember to lean on God, who will help us when we feel like falling...

And when we fall...

And get discouraged...

We can know that all of that prayer and love will carry us through...

And help us (however shakily) get to our feet...

Until we rise again!

Triumphantly calling from the highest mountaintop!

"Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. For in his hand are all the ends of the earth: and the heights of the mountains are his. For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us. For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts..."