Sunday, July 24, 2011

He's Here at Last!

Announcing the birth of:
(click to read the letter about his name)

Born healthy at 1:51AM on Sunday, July 24th, 2011 after 15 hours of labor culminating in 90 minutes of intense pushing.

He weighed 8lbs 6 oz and was 20 inches long.

He's got a bunch of hair just like his siblings did.

Friday, July 22, 2011

42 Weeks

Well, I never thought it would happen, but here I am, 42 weeks and still pregnant. I had a doctor's appointment this morning, but I took Eli and my mom with me so we could all make Dr. Ed do something!

We started with an ultrasound. Guess what? The baby is healthy and comfy, still has good blood flow from the placenta and still has plenty of amniotic fluid. I have made him a very pleasant home in there!

Then we found out that I'm still not totally effaced, thought the cervix is nice and soft and I am dilated about 2 or 3 cm. The baby's head is engaged, but he's still a bit high.

"So," said Dr. Ed, "everything looks good. There's no rush." When he said something about Monday, I shed a tear or two.

Since the baby is healthy and happy, we had the option to continue taking herbs, keep resting, and just wait for things to gently kick in on their own. This would allow for a relaxed, "easy" labor, similar to Esther's. If we try to jump start things, labor will most likely be more difficult.

As we talked over the options I began to realize that I don't care how hard labor is! The baby is ready for his new life, he's ready to go through delivery...the only reason to wait is to have a gentle labor. And I'm done waiting for a gentle labor. Let's get this show on the road!

So, I'm off in a few minutes to see an acupuncturist. My sister-in-law, Hannah (one of the Hannah's who was at Esther's delivery, who then married my brother) went to an acupuncturist and went into labor about six hours later. I think it was about six hours after that that she was holding her baby. We'll see how it goes for me. If that doesn't do anything tonight, then Dr. Ed will come tomorrow morning and induce with prostaglandin gel. My mom was induced with that once and she was holding her baby about nine hours later.

Thank you for your interest in my long wait. How quickly all this will be a dim memory! If you think of me, you can pray that these methods take and that labor, if difficult, is at least smooth and uncomplicated. And you can pray that my next post is a baby announcement! We are so blessed to be surrounded by the love and prayers of so many friends and family members!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

In Which We Celebrate a Birthday

No, not the new baby's birthday. Two years ago I was waiting (and waiting and waiting) for another little baby to make her appearance. At last, on the 24th, Esther was born into my arms and now I barely remember that long wait.

On Sunday she will be two years old, but I figured, while we were sitting around, we might as well do the celebration now. So yesterday morning I mixed up cupcakes.

It's tradition: the birthday person gets to lick the bowl!
I called Eli and told him to bring home two presents for our two-year-old girl. It's handy owning the best place around to get gifts.

While the cupcakes were cooling I dressed up the birthday girl and took her outside to take her portraits.

After dinner, my family joined us outside for dessert and gifts. She was so cute as she opened the presents and stopped to admire each one.

She thinks it's pretty great that everyone is singing "Happy Birthday" to her!
It was nice to spend the day thinking of someone else other than myself and the all-too-comfy buster inside me. Also, our new cell phone charger arrived so we have a phone again and I finished Strong Poison.

And now I'm 41 weeks 6 days, officially later than I've ever been. I was hoping this baby would not be a record-breaker in this respect. Oh well, two years with Esther has pretty much flown by. I suppose that the next couple days will pass as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No woman has ever been pregnant forever, right? Right???

No woman has ever been pregnant forever, right? Right??? 'Cause I've reached the phase where I'm pretty sure I'll be the first. I'm just too darn comfortable—there needs to be more pain!

Anyway, we had yet another Monday (day off for Eli) to fill up without a new baby. We have a zoo pass that we haven't used much yet so when we woke up yesterday I suggested that as the activity for the day. This time we brought my youngest brother along as our free guest. As we drove off prepared to spend the whole day away, we were both hoping our plans would get interrupted.

We've been to the zoo three times now in a relatively short amount of time and I would think it would begin to feel as though there's nothing new to see. But each experience has been quite different.

The giraffe was finally outside!

We got to see two presentations: one at the big arena displayed a porcupine, a boa constrictor, three tropical birds of a variety I've forgotten, and two vibrant parrots live on the stage and the other showed us the type of training they do with the lions to keep their minds active. This second demonstration actually answered a question I've long had about animals at the zoo. To me they always look so bored and I've wondered why they don't put sheep or bunnies or something into their cages to let them hunt down their own lunch. It would give them something to do and I think it would be fascinating to watch! Well, that doesn't seem to be acceptable zoo practice, but they too are concerned about keeping these animals active, even though they get everything they need handed to them on a silver platter. It was amazing to be that close and to see the power and energy in every muscle as that female lion paced back and forth responding to commands.

We like the lorikeets!

Then we went home, ate dinner, cleaned up, put the kids to bed, watched The Business of Being Born (streaming on Netflix), went to bed ourselves and slept altogether too soundly.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Saw the Baby Today

Too bad it was only via ultrasound. Too bad he's so big all I could see was a round thing that the doctor said was his head, a round thing he said was his fat little belly, and a long white thing that was the bone in his leg. Ultrasounds make me think of 1 Corinthians 13:12:

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 
Now I can only see my son dimly, but soon it will be face to face. Now I can only guess at what he will be like, but soon I will be getting to know him as I watch him grow.

But it will probably not be as soon as I would like. According to the expert, the cord and the placenta are doing great, there's still plenty of fluid, and the baby appears to be growing just fine. I am only 50% effaced and not really dilated at all. He said I am fine for another week. Not exactly what you want to hear when you are seven days past your due date.

So, anybody want to guess again on the date and time?? We only have a couple guesses for next week and in all likelihood it will be sometime then. I appreciate all your optimism, but seriously, I have never had a baby before six days late and this one will not be any different.

Dr. Ed said that hormones are the only thing that will cause dilation and that rest and relaxation are the only thing that will let them flow. Since everything's fine, there's no reason to induce so I'm planning on laying around and thinking as happy of thoughts as possible.

I bought myself a peach Jamba Juice smoothie on my way home.

I listened to the 10th Anniversary Les Miserables soundtrack at full blast as I drove down the freeway. ("Red, I feel my soul on fire! Black, my world if she's not there...)

When I got home I promptly arranged this:

So what if it's barely 70 degrees. The sun is shining and there's nothing like water to keep kids happy and when kids are happy, Mommy's happy.

"Thanks, Mom!"
So, bring on your new guesses, tell me if you have any labor-starting techniques I haven't already tried, and let me know of any fun parties happening. I'm going to see if I can get a tan on my legs and finish Strong Poison before this baby comes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Picnic

We're still waiting. I'm in the zone now and can't think of much else besides keeping the house clean and listening to my body. So I search for distractions—ones that don't involve messes inside. Yesterday we walked nearly two miles to the bank and then got popsicles at Safeway. I pushed Esther and Lucy in the stroller and Joshua rode his little Lightning McQueen bike the whole way. This morning we finished the mystery book we were reading about ancient Egypt (the boy caught the tomb robber!) and then I packed a snack lunch and a picnic blanket and headed out the door.

I have written before about the Mount Talbert Nature Park nearby. It's a favorite walk of ours and we've been three or four times before. It's small enough that the kids can run ahead while I follow at a two-year-old's pace with Esther and it's not so busy that I worry when I can no longer see or hear them.

At the clearing, under the shade of mighty oak trees, in a patch that appeared to be poison-oak free, I laid out the blanket and we ate outside. The sky was patchy with clouds, but when the sun broke through it warmed up all the grass and flowers around us till we could smell them growing.
"Sandwich outdoors isn't a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite."

"Know just what you mean, Dad!"

Dandelion Wine
This is why I like to call it the Golden Wood.

I keep trying to decide if I feel ready for the baby—ready to face labor, ready to do night time feedings, ready to raise another child. Esther's sleeping right now, a little girl in the middle of a big bed, rhythmically breathing, thumb half in, half out of her mouth. Joshua and Lucy are having the kind of quiet time where the "quiet" goes in quotes, but I like hearing their conversation faintly from the other side of the house. What will this new little one add to the mix?

I am excited for the next chapter and of course I can't wait for that little-body-on-my-shoulder feeling. But in the meantime I'm really enjoying Life As It Is Right Now.


This time we brought three kids with us!

When I was three days overdue with Joshua Eli and I hiked to the top of Multomah Falls (in January!). With Lucy we just walked all over Oregon City, but when I was going late and later with Esther we escaped again to the Columbia River Gorge and hiked the Horsetail Falls trail. Since Eli had the day off on Monday and since I'm once more overdue, we drove out there again and now it's tradition.

After lunch we drove off in search of restrooms and ended up at Crown Point. Eli and I have both been several times, but the Vista House up there has always been closed. Surprisingly it was open this time so we got to see the beautiful marble interior.

When Eli was done reading plaques we returned to our hike of choice for this visit: Latourell Falls. According to Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon, the trail is about 2.5 miles and it took us up the creek to see the Upper Latourell Falls as well.

Three days past my due date.

Joshua and Lucy both walked the whole way like troopers and Esther walked most of the first half. At that point it was past nap time so Eli carried her in the Moby wrap until we got back down to the lower Latourell Falls. By then we were all quite warm and my feet hurt. The water splashing cheerfully on its journey to the river looked so cool and refreshing that I called a halt.

Ah, much better!

It was the perfect end to a lovely hike!

Last time she was the one in there!

Soon there will be four little monkeys!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Due Date

Today is my official due date. The floors are vacuumed and mopped so now he needs to come before they get too dirty again. The clock is ticking, little man! Yesterday my brother and his wife came over with their new baby and you should have seen how tender our kids were towards him. They are going to love having a baby of our own!

So, it's always fun to have a pool of guesses for when the baby will be born and how big he will be. We are inviting predictions and Eli will award a $10 gift certificate to Exodus Books to both the closest time and the closest weight. So bring on the guesses—one for date/time and one for weight, but please only guess once for each. You can't  guess a new date if your estimated day comes and goes with no new baby!

To help you out, here's a little birth history for you:

  • I have been 6 days, 7 days, and then 12 long days "overdue".
  • My babies have been born at 11AM, 5PM, and 3PM. 
  • Joshua was 8 pounds 6 ounces.
  • Lucy was 7 pounds 7 ounces.
  • Esther was 7 pounds 12 ounces.
Have fun! I can't wait to see who wins! ;-)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Which I Am Busy With All The Things That Make For A Lovely Life

I think I'm going to have to start doing the busy mom's version of blogging: a sentence here, a bullet-pointed list there, but mostly just cute pictures. So here it is, the busy mom version of what we've been up to:
  • I'm 39 weeks pregnant now and I'm ready to have this baby out of my ribs and into my arms!
  • I found some adorable Carter's brand, newborn-sized layette items yesterday at Fred Meyers: jungle themed! Eli did not show sufficient appreciation for their cuteness when I showed him. Thankfully Grandma was upstairs and she knows just how to oo and aw over baby clothes!
  • I'm teaching Kindergarten and loving it!
  • On the first day of summer I started re-reading my #1 favorite book, Dandelion Wine. I was afraid it wouldn't be as special this year, but I've already bawled my eyes out more than once. If you haven't read it yet, do. Now. It's a perfect summer read.
  • We bought a van! We no longer have three car seats crammed into the back seat of a 5-passenger car! And when the baby arrives we will be able to take the whole family to church to get him baptized! I feel strange and grown-up-ish driving around a minivan (Toyota Sienna, by the way). 
  • We all went to our church's Family Camp. For the whole week. Eli too! The beach, campfires, sweet things to snack on, lots of friends who also have babies to put down for naps... It was the best Family Camp since the year I was 14 and we spent the entire time playing epic games of freeze tag.
  • We finished writing the letter about our son's name and Eli got it scribed into his journal. This is a ritual we have done every time and it's very important to us. We can't wait to share it with you all!
  • Eli and I manned the Exodus booth at the OCEANetwork curriculum fair. I got to meet lots of wonderful customers and I got to sell Spell to Write and Read.
  • We started our new summer schedule in which Eli goes to work at 8:00AM. The kids have taken to it really well.
  • In general life has been very busy in the loveliest ways!
I've been reading some excellent books and we've watched a few interesting movies, all of which I would have loved to write about (see above list for excuses.) Last night, though, we watched Frequency and I wanted to mention it quickly. It's a creative time travel film in which people don't travel through time, information does through a process involving HAM radios and an aurora borealis. As with any story having to do with time and/or multiple dimensions, it's a bit far-fetched and fantastic at times. However, the real heart of the story is the relationship of a father and his son. There is fire-fighting, police investigations, a serial killer, baseball, and tender scenes of family love. I thought it was well-done and I would recommend it quite highly.

And now I'm off to mix up a pie crust for some 4th-of-July apple pies, do the dishes, moderate a squabble or two, and take the kids to a birthday party. Still to be done before the baby comes:

  • Cook and bake for the freezer
  • Keep the house clean
  • Take our parents out to dinner to read them the name letter
  • Have Dr. Ed over for the home visit to make sure he can get here. It would not be good for him to get lost if labor was going very quickly!
  • Organize the computer desk
  • Go on a date to an Italian restaurant in Sellwood and then to browse at Powell's Books