Friday, May 31, 2013

Brand-new baby borealis, yet unnamed

 8 lbs 3 oz :: 22 inches long :: one hour old
Born at home at 2:13 AM on 5.31.13
He is the exact same weight (but an inch longer) than Baby Diego --
We think he looks a lot like Truen as a newborn.
♥ His hair is dark and little tendrils curl upward ♥
He has a good latch and took to nursing like an old pro.

The next morning: 
Meeting the two biggest brudders for the first time.
They were so excited!
We went to bed "as usual" last night and they slept through everything
They went to G&G borealis' for the day today . . . 
the solitude is divine.

 Big brudder Diego got to hold him first --
He ooooh'd and ahhhhh'd over all his little baby parts.

 Big brudder Truen held him second --
He was particularly interested in his little hands and feet.

 Big brudder Jamie held him third --
He tapped his little nose gently and seemed very interested and pleased.

 Surrounded by boy-ohs

First family picture --
I love all the action in this shot.
Jamie was cranky because we took his "papo" out.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An update in short

I've had contractions all day long, 15 minutes apart during the day, 10 minutes apart in the evening hours.  I went to bed like normal and tried to sleep, but pesky contractions kept bugging me and waking me up from my almost-sleep.

Then . . . right as I was about to call the midwife to report, my water broke.  I felt a pop and it gushed all over the bed.  So I guess this is it.  For realz.

Various updates

Updates do not include a baby on the outside of my womb.  Or any rumblings therein.

They do include:
  •  A concerning lack of nesting instinct.  Seriously, I'm not feeling that compulsion.  A first.  Does this mean I'll be pregnant until the end of time?  Kidding.  But seriously.  Maybe another week...?  It seems odd.
  • Lots of contractions triggered by the babe's activity level in the evening hours, coupled with my body's fatigue after a long day.  Very unpleasant.  It includes lots of pushing on my innards and groin spasms that don't go away when I sit or lay down (oh joy).
  • The babe moved back up, recommencing pressure on my ribcage and stomach.  I measured 44 inches at this week's prenatal because of it.  Last week I measured 39 and 3/4 inches.
  • The enjoyment of sweet snuggle sessions with our little 2 year old and the ability to pay concentrated attention on the older boys.
  • And time to get "one more thing done".
  • I am also experiencing the strangeness of planning my week (menu outline, activities, errands, schoolwork, housework, etc.) with such a huge, distracting, life-altering event on the horizon.  I keep weekly lists in my organizing notebooks, something I usually do in the solitude of Monday mornings.  Very helpful in keeping me on track.  
  • My agenda is loose enough, but I am still left wondering, "Maybe I should get at X today, because I might not be able to do it tomorrow".  Like today.  I need to go to the meat locker to restock to ensure we have enough food for my parents to work with while they're here.  But I'd rather go tomorrow, because that is an ILL delivery day at the library.  But dare I wait?  That kind of thing.
Overall, I am still doing fine.  I feel good (and normal) throughout most of the day and have been surviving the evenings.  I want to accept this waiting game with grace.  There are certainly many, many women who have waited much longer than I ever have.

I can take it.  I will wait in peace.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Two things.

First off, sick kids.  Yes.  Un-un-un-un.

Truen played outside for most of the afternoon on Sunday alongside Blaine as he weeded the garden and cleared a ski trail through the trees.  He felt fine and acted totally normal until he came inside and crumbled into a sore throat and runny nose.  It seemed to come out of nowhere.  Then the next day he had an upset stomach.  Warm compresses and a warm bath seemed to help a lot on Monday and he feeling better today, thankfully.  The sore throat is gone, his stomach is fine, and he has a just the scantest trace of residual congestion.  So weird.

Part II.  Jamie was complaining of a headache yesterday.  It was so cute (and sad) to see him holding his dimpled little [big] hand up to his forehead to show me.  Things developed into a fever mid-afternoon, which turned into puking mid-evening.  He spent all last night blazing hot in hazy sleep, the poor little guy, with a 101.3 degree F temp.

His fever broke this morning around 10:00 AM.  He ate a piece of toast with yogurt, got down out of his chair and said, "Me fine, Mama.  Me fine", then proceeded to go get our copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and ask me to read it to him.  He acted more like himself after that and crashed into an early afternoon nap around noon.

Diego is yet unscathed.

All this makes me very happy that this babe has not made his grand entrance yet.  I can't imagine laboring or recovering with a newborn while one of my boys is feverish.  That would be very hard on me.

Besides, we still don't have a name.  Heh.  But seriously.  We don't.  And I bet no one is surprised.

Secondly . . .

I did the math yesterday and realized that I have had an extra 5 days gestation with each subsequent pregnancy, at least based off the projected due date.  For realz.  Very strange.  Diego was 8 days early, Truen was 3 days early, Jamie was 2 days late.  If we follow the pattern, then this little fella will be 7 days late and born on Saturday.  What if??  That would be really weird.

So yes.  I'm still holding tight and feeling fine with it.  I'm glad to be pregnant still with sick little guys.  That is so much easier than the opposite scenario.  I just hope nothing will develop until this whatever-it-is clears outta our house.  Believe me, I can wait.  I want to enjoy my birth and those first few days with my new babe.  Not stress or distress.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Holding steady

Nothing has changed other than the baby dropping last week.

I'm still feeling fine, just fine.  It actually makes me a little worried, because I've been so antsy and irritated at the end of my other pregnancies that it makes me wonder if we're in for another couple weeks.  I don't even like contemplating that, because honestly . . . I really would like to be done.  Just give me a few more days and not a few more weeks, little baby.  Please?

I found my breast pump in with the newborn diapers this morning and thought, "Oh, I am so smart!"  Seriously.  That was some good thinking.  I remember packing everything away last time 'round with sorrow, assuming I would never use it again.  But I packed things away with forethought nevertheless, "just in case". 

When Baby Truen was born I was completely unable to find the breast pump (granted, we had just moved) and ended up seriously bruising my breasts in the process of trying to relieve some of the pressure.  Yeouch.  That hurt.

So yes . . . . there aren't really updates other than to say that nothing is happening.  I am getting contractions on and off, but it isn't anything consistent and they are usually triggered by working too long in the kitchen.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sweet relief

I walked out of the bedroom yesterday morning and realized that my belly had sunk down an inch or two.  The babe dropped in the night, giving my ribs and stomach some blessed relief.

I ate breakfast yesterday morning and felt mostly normal.  I've been forcing myself to eat for awhile now because I know I'll pay for it if I don't.  The fee?  Heartburn and feelings of fatigue and ill-will toward men.  It is so nice to not be pressed upon, though peeing is now even more of an emergency.  Oh well.

The babe has moved into a different position because of it.  His back and butt are right in the middle of my belly (they had been on the left/upper-left for months) and his feet are much lower and switched from upper-right to the middle-left side.  I guarantee I will measure smaller at my prenatal appointment today.

I've only had one other baby drop like this.  It was with Baby Truen, also in the night, and coincided with my water breaking.  He was born the following night.  Not the case with this one!  But whatever, it is one step closer.  I still have a lot to do.

And ultimately, it is so nice to have a little more space.  The boob-shelf is gone.

Monday, May 20, 2013

39 weeks

Un-un-un-un.  My mind is boggled.

We have the baby's due date (this coming Saturday, May 25th) marked on our school calendar.  What a visual.  There are only four blank days until that date.  Wow . . .

I washed my nursing bras this weekend (that was weird).  All the babe's clothing is washed.  Diapers are down, I need to double-check whether I need to wash those or not.  Probably.  The box of pads for the lochial flow are out.  I need to find the breast-pump.  Etc.

These are the things I'm thinking about right now.

I took care of all my scattered paperwork this weekend.  I tackled that unpleasant phone-call list this morning.  Freezer meals are taken care of.  I got the majority of next school year's weekly schedule laid out this weekend (my goodness, but did that feel good).  I still need to brainstorm a work list for Blaine's mom (she'll be here for a couple of hours each morning that first week): housework and weeding are on the top of the list.

Other than that, the most pressing need is to complete the seasonal clothing shift.  All summer clothes are downstairs.  Most of the winter clothes have been washed, checked for stains, re-washed if need be, and waited to be folded, then sorted, then put into storage.  It's tough though, because we're in transition: there are still cool days mixed in with the warm ones.

My uterus.

I'm feeling generally good.  Contractions are coming daily; the old girl is practicing.  It is rather annoying, but it just comes with the territory.  TMI, but I've noticed that my flow of urine is either sped up or cut off if/when the baby is bopping while I'm peeing.  It is the weirdest thing.  We are definitely running out of space; all my innards are protesting.  The baby is riding high, so I get heartburn when I get too hungry.  The little sucker is pressing on my stomach and wreaking havoc.

I've also noticed that I am reminded of labor when the babe is pressing down and putting pressure on my pelvic floor.  It makes me remember what is ahead of me and I've realized that I don't want to feel that unpleasant sensation until it is the "real deal".  When I'm able to focus on the task at hand, I'll be ready for it.  Meanwhile, I just don't want to deal with the discomfort.  If that makes sense.  It doesn't happen with much frequency, mostly just when the babe is awake.  His most active time is around 6:00-ish - 7:00-ish PM.  It is better to just sit during that time, or I'm doubled over or stopped in my tracks with the groin spasms, and feeling downright uncomfortable and pressed upon from the insides.

Overall, I'm still not feeling all that antsy.  I am definitely looking forward to having my body back.  I am tired of being pregnant.  But things aren't razzing me like they have in the past.  I'm fine.  I'm honestly fine (though I do feel a little more ragged in the evenings).  I still have a lot of work to do, which helps me maintain my calm.  I am focused on my tasks at hand.

The birth.

For this birth, I will have two midwives (the same two from Baby Jamie's birth), my doula-friend Suz, an18 year old daughter of a local friend, and Blaine.  I will be literally surrounded by women!  I remember feeling so taken care of last time 'round, supported and held up by the three women attending me.  It was wonderful.  I like having Blaine there; to have his solid presence, playing witness and participating in the awe, but I'd rather be tended by women.

The 18 year old, like I said, is a friend's daughter.  She is extremely curious about birth and is interested in becoming a doula.  I figured this would be a perfect opportunity for her to get an inside view of the real deal.  She came to my prenatal appointment with me last week and will be coming with me again this week.  She seems really excited about it, which is fun.

I'm curious to see how this birth pans out.  I am experienced enough by this point to feel like I'm not quite sure what to expect.  Every birth is different.  Diego and Truen were both born around 1:00 AM.  Jamie was born at 10:30 AM.  My water broke 22-ish hours ahead of time the first two times, but not until the very end last time.  My second birth was the most peaceful, the third birth was the most tumultuous, the first birth was the most confusing.  So what will happen...?  I'm not quite sure.  How will it begin?  And when?

It will be very interesting to see what happens.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A meandering post

After two days of fierce wind, it is now 90 degrees F outside.  Un-un-un-un.  I put on a dress this morning (a thrifted number I wore while pregnant with Baby Truen) and it felt so amazingly good to not be in pants.  I love skirts and dresses, I really do.  They're the best.  So much cooler and more interesting.

I'm at 38.5 weeks.  I'm starting to feel more uncomfortable, particularly on such a hot day.  But just in general, I'm feeling plenty of squeezing contractions and feel weighted down, unable to move very fast.  Moving fast has dire consequences; specifically, groin spasms that stop me in my tracks.  I literally fell on my knees during one episode, which feels so pathetic.  But there is something about the baby's position that triggers my right groin to seize up when I'm moving around a lot, particularly when I'm tired, but also when the baby is awake and moving.

Oh well.

I'm enjoying the last few weeks of Three, soon-to-be Four.  I marvel at how sweet my fellas are and how well they play together.  Not all the time, of course.  But they really are a crew.  Lately, they've been pretty obsessed with She-Ra (of all things).  We got a Smart TV this spring in order to access Netflix and that has opened the flood-gates of vintage episodes of He-Man, She-Ra, and Heathcliff.  Blaine loves to watch it with them in the evenings.  He particularly enjoys the color and kitsch of He-Man, though She-Ra is basically the same/diff.

Just as long as I don't have to watch it.  Our house rules for television watching is that we "watch TV at night, with Dada".  They don't even ask me to turn it on during the day, which is so nice.  I love the freedom from harassment.  Likewise, Diego gets to play video games (Blaine's old Nintendo NES) for a half-hour or so after Blaine gets home.  Having set expectations is key in living a pester-free existence.  It really is.

Anyway, back to the boys playing together . . .

Jamie is always She-Ra, Truen is his crab-claw sidekick, and Diego is "all the bad guys".  This usually involves a lot of running and yelling and rolling around.  Diego is always on the attack while Jamie swirls around bravado-style kicking and hacking, saying, "Ya! Ya! Ya!" and "She-Ra!" and Truen rolls around on the crowd clacking his imaginary crab-claws.  It is hilarious.

I tried to capture it on video yesterday, but it disintegrated into chaos that ended up with Truen and Jamie screaming and crying.  Also pretty standard.  Diego is twice the size of each of them and tends to be quite impulsive, so there are typically a lot of injuries on the little fellas.

In other news, we have a garter snake den on our acreage (under a mysterious rectangle-shaped strip of concrete that was here when we moved in).  The boys caught literally 8-10 snakes at the end of last week and used our handy-dandy thrifted 5 gallon terrariums with mesh-lids (we have two of them) to keep them as "pets".  Diego swore passionately that he wanted to keep the snakes for the rest of his life and that all other pets were boooooooring, but he was already ready to let them go today.  We've been feeding them earthworms and bugs, but it was time to let them move freely again.

Truen made a "Snake Chore" list in his special notebook.  I wrote it down as he dictated it to me.  Amongst the chores of making sure they had food, water, and plenty of grass, one of his daily tasks was to "bask with the snakes in the afternoon".  Bask with the snakes.  And he honestly has been doing that.  He'll sit in the sandbox in the afternoon sun, holding a snake quietly and gently.  For 10-15 minutes or more.  He does that with the goslings too.  He is un-un-un-un.

Jamie has been lugging the snakes around as well and is amazingly gentle with them, for the most part.  I have to keep my eye on him because he likes to pick at their scales with his fingernail (out of curiosity vs. maliciousness, the little rascal).  But overall he does very well.

And I'm not sure if I've taken a single picture of any of it.  Dah, I'm getting really bad.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Can't stop chortling

Post title: The Phantom of the Living Room
Picture caption: It was the start of something beautiful.

Love it: Awkward Family Photos

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Not antsy

I just looked at the calendar this morning and realized that we are approx. 2.5 weeks away from birth.  Zoinks!  I'm 37.5 weeks.  That is amazing.

While I am thinking about what I need to do before the babe comes, I'm not feeling particularly antsy about it.  Not wishing the time away.  Honestly, I'm not even thinking about it that much.  There is too much else to think about and do.

I definitely feel depleted and ready for bed by the evening hours.  I can't lift anything heavy.  I get muscle spasms in my right groin when I try to move too quickly in the evening hours or when the baby shifts a certain way.  I'm dealing with yeast both vaginally and in my armpits (treating it with garlic suppositories, GSE internally, topical applications of tea tree oil, etc.).

I'm drinking approx. a gallon of water in a 24 hour period, probably more.  I regularly suck down a quart throughout the night (on my way back from my bathroom trek) because I am so thirsty.  I get up to pee 2-3 times a night, but don't mind much.  Getting back to sleep is easy enough and I get to be alone . . . no one needs anything from me.  I feel completely refreshed and like my normal self every morning, which feels very good (though I slowly go downhill by the afternoon until I'm ready for bed in the evening hours).

I am also slowly whittling away at my to-do list: baby clothes out, diapers out and ready, seasonal clothing change organized and put away, freezer meals stocked (done! thanks to the help of my friend and neighbor Lindsay), Year Two homeschooling curriculum guide under wraps (in process), baby necessities purchased (layette gown, swaddler, birth kit, butt paste, new diaper bag, Ergo baby carrier), etc.

We still don't have a name.  And we certainly don't have any excuses this time 'round, since we know we're having a boy.  We are pathetic.  Blaine brought it up last weekend, but Jamie woke up from his nap literally 30 seconds after the conversation was initiated and nipped that one in the bud.

* * * * *

Speaking of . . . our garden is almost totally planted with the cool-growing varieties.  All that is left is the cabbage.  This weekend Blaine planted the onions (100+), celery (40-ish), and broccoli (55).  He planted a bunch of stuff (seeds) last night as well, but I don't even know what it was because I was inside working in the kitchen and talking to my brother on the phone.  Oh dear.

The tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are outside "hardening off".  They'll go in the ground within the next week or so.  He'll also plant the West Garden soon, with all the heat-loving squash and melons.

* * * * *

And, last update: approx. 3/4 an acre directly south of our driveway will be seeded this week with native prairie grasses and flowers.  We are so excited about this.  It is going to be a gorgeous view out our sunroom windows come next summer.  We had the perimeter of our property seeded similarly in 2010 and it is a rainbow of different flowers and interesting grasses throughout the summer, but we have to trek out to see it.  Not anymore.

The area has been brown and dead since last summer in preparation for seeding, so we are really looking forward to seeing a bit of life.  Before that, it was a grassy weed patch.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Recent quotes

"Did you know that a 'dude' is a horse's butt-hair...?  Dada told me."

::: Diego ::: at breakfast this morning.  I laughed for several minutes after this lil' beauty.

* * * * *

"'He eats his lunch and asks for more'.  That's just like me."

::: Truen ::: yesterday afternoon after listening to a song about a pet dinosaur.  His snack quota has skyrocketed this week; like, 2-3 boiled eggs, cheese, raisins, nuts, and a banana all in one day in addition to eating full meals and asking for more.  Growth spurt anyone?

* * * * *

"Catching floggies, Mama.  Yike dis!"

::: Jamie ::: last weekend.  He then making a grandly dramatic swipe through the air with his net.  Frogs = "Flogs",  Broken = "Bloken", etc.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


 A fine game of "chesst" with Diego.
(We found the missing rook just this morning.)

Two bandits in carefully crafted costumes --
Once dressed, they disbanded and played something else.
Like, within a couple of minutes.  Go figure.