Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This week, we have a break from all our outside classes. I was really excited thinking maybe this would be the week I'd have the baby without the distractions of homework and pack in lunches and having to be anywhere at a specified time (my favorite).

On Saturday, it seemed like the baby might be amenable to that plan too. In the late morning I started feeling some strong contractions, back pain, and general irritation/distracted.  I took a warm shower to see if it might slow down. Shane asked if I'd like to go look at cars. I said

"No. I don't want to be looking at cars when I go into active labor!"

He asked if I would like him to go look at cars.

I said I didn't want him to be out looking at cars when I went into active labor.

The shower didn't stop the contractions. Every labor has started out in earnest ( and with the brief interlude in the middle  of Malachi's delivery) has been pretty straight forward. No false stops and starts for days on end. So we were pretty sure this was it. The 15th. I liked that. And we cancelled our re-re-scheduled dinner plans with friends. Who were going to cancel as well as the wife was not well.

I called my mom, who was out of town, and she  advised I call the midwife now. Number 6 might progress sooner than I thought. Which was a happy thought. Maybe before dinner, I hoped. So I made the necessary calls. Got really annoyed with the midwife answering service ( And the reason for your call? Can you spell your last name? If you don't hear back in 10 min call us back and we'll do this again.)

The contractions were 8-9-10 min apart. Kateri was happily writing them down for me while I lay in bed with a hot water bottle on my back. Shane suggested I start the energy chews I'd gotten from the sporting store, and remembering how awful I felt running out of steam with Malachi, I did. The midwife finally called and we discussed what I'd like her to bring ( namely the birth stool, which she'd send the assistant to fetch) and she told me to call back when they started getting closer. Her direct number so I could bypass the question and answer part again.

Really, who wants to be interrogated while in the throes of labor? Ok. So, I wasn't exactly there. But I could have been.

Shane's parents and my sister arrived. I got antsy and decided I wanted to get up and walk, so I did. Then I ate. Then I took a nap. Then the smells of banana bread and slowcooked meat started wafting up the stairs and I eventually came down to eat again with everyone else. The contractions continued to slow and we made preparations for bed. Kateri already had a sleeping arrangement worked out for her and Malachi and Tirzah. My in-laws went home to sleep. Tirzah baked a big pan of baked oatmeal for the next morning, or whenever we needed it, and around 12:00 we all went to bed. At 12:30 I felt a few more strong contractions again and was feeling really annoyed with our kids preferred arrival times. Why can't it ever be AFTER a full nights sleep?

But in the end it got quiet and we all slept. All night. In the morning Shane and I got up and had coffee together, which felt really cozy. My sister joined us and we discussed plans/options for the day. The kids came down, Kateri was especially relieved she had not missed anything. We ate oatmeal. Second cups of coffee. My in-laws came over. We went for a walk in the freezing cold rain and wind, partly to test for labor starts and to wear Malachi out. Neither was successful so we carried on like a normal day. My sister went home to her family. We continued our name search, adding some new ones and crossing others off the list. For the last time.

I got an email from the homeschool group asking for grade numbers for the year book. Apparently, lots of kids were missing their grade numbers so the list was quite long and I was excited to see all the new names to look over. There were some good ones definitely worth considering, though we are still not done.

Bedtime went somewhat smoothly, though I think Malachi was missing having Auntie Tirzah to snuggle. And we slept all night. Again.

The next day Shane went to work for a bit. I sat and fiddled my fingers. Not really.  I had the kids do some housework and I tried brainstorming about meals post-baby. I didn't get very far. But I did come up with some other things I might want for labor: like a birthing ball. I have never used one but am willing to try anything. And the kids would enjoy a new toy if it didn't get used anyway. So I set out to get one. Then I returned it and got a bigger one. Then I went to a different store to get an even bigger one. And today I returned the middle sized one. I felt a little like Goldilocks but am glad I persisted and am happy with the final one(75 cm size). My father-in-law took the big boys out to lunch and then to the sporting store to get me some more energy bites, as I had eaten most of the ones I had already purchased. I got more drinks and snacks, did more laundry, my mother-in-law took Kateri and Muffin to their house and when Shane got home we went out to look at cars.

Which is not an activity ever to be attempted if you are really in labor. Which I was not. But felt just close enough to it to have very little patience for the whole,

"We don't put prices on ANYHING. Well, I cant really give you a ball park price until we pencil it all up. And with delivery fee I can't be certain it won't change. So whenever you are ready. These are really hard to get right now. I might be able to intercept a delivery to another dealership, but I might have to shoot someone in the process."

So after a very fruitless and non-helpful visit, where all my car-dealership pre-conceived ideas were proven true, but where at least I was able to see how much self control I could assert in not throttling the man to make him actually say something helpful, we decided to head down to a restaurant near Shane's office he's been want to take me to. Only to find they were closed for remodeling.

On the way home I found myself breathing through a particularly strong contraction and was relieved to be able to get my cozy jammies on and just wait. Although the freshly made fritters Shane described sounded really tasty. I said that should be our first outing with the new baby as I will be able to eat a full meal (plus lots of extras) once there is more room and the nursing appetite gets going.  So now we wait.

 I am certain that all the pre-work is going to have an effect and it will be the easiest, fastest labor ever.  It was  a good practice run, I got some extra foot rubs and lots of tasty treats which we are still enjoying, and the midwife who attended the last two births was able to get back from a trip. Which may be what the baby, or I, have been secretly waiting for.

So all is good.

Friday, February 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes on What Drives Me Crazy About Valentine's Day

 The combination of red and pink.

 Hearts. And clowns. And teddy bears.

 Red and pink hearts.

 Bad chocolate.

 The signs telling you what she really wants this year is a red and pink heart filled with bad chocolate. Maybe held by a teddy bear, if you want to go all out. (Teddy bears follow closely after clowns and hearts.)

 The complete lack of  acknowledgement that real love takes real sacrifice. And that it only has to be demonstrated once a year on this MARTYR'S (talk about sacrifice) feast day which we celebrate with over priced flowers, which can be added to the chocolate-heart-wielding teddy bear. But only if you are ready to say I really, really love you. 

Where are the  Hallmark cards with sayings such as:

I know you've had a long day. I did too. But I would love to put the baby down tonight and then give you a foot rub.

Or something real life that says I love you like,

I am going to work every day for the rest of my life without complaining no matter how little sleep I've gotten because I want to provide for you and our family.


I searched the entire house and found all 12 of your dirty sock piles and washed and put them away for you. Happy Valentine's Day.


Yes, the baby and I were up all night but I'd rather get up at 5am to make you breakfast than sleep in.


 I love the way you down the half and half and noticed you were on your last gallon so I stopped and picked two more up for you.

 So Valentine's Day is not anything we make special plans for. And not just because our first Valentine's Day as a newly married and newly pregnant couple is always and forever remembered for the good chocolate I was too sick to eat and the repeated requests to please shower and put on fresh deodorant for the 8the time today. The potent combination of  your pregnancy hormones and the bad Italian is making it impossible for me to sleep.

Valentine's Day is every day. Every moment we have a choice and choose the other it speaks volumes. Louder and longer lasting than anything the stores are trying to get you to buy.

So we will have a normal family dinner. Maybe Kateri will make a cake. And maybe Shane can say I love you by rubbing my back for hours if I go into labor and have bad back labor this time. And I can say it with the completely unique gift of  'Look what I pushed out for you. Beat that Ben Bridge.'

Or if I don't have the baby, we can just trade foot rubs and share a glass of half and half.

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

Check out Jen's Quick Takes.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

O Menopause, Where Art Thou?

So no more puking here. But the day of our re-scheduled social visit, Muffin and I came down with colds. Now 75% of the kids have colds and I am begging the new one to stay put for at least another week to give us time to get over it and get some good sleep. It is looking like her arrival is not imminent. I saw the midwife today and no changes. I scheduled appointments for the next three weeks, hoping at least one of them will turn into a one-week-check up. Actually, I've felt so all over the map this last week I'm not sure what I'm hoping for.

One day I was feeling anxious and underslept and downright paranoid of labor. I just did this. I have not recovered. There is no way I can do it again so soon. And then what am I going to do with a newborn? Besides absolutely nothing but eat and cry.

Then I had a hair appointment and did a little more newborn prep shopping (shot blocks and stretchy bras) and even though I only got 5 hrs of sleep that night, I felt like 'sure. I've done it before. It will be fine.

Today I did a big grocery shopping, somewhat loosely based on a weeks menu plan, so I felt really prepared and comfortable knowing the family would not starve and I actually know what I am making for dinner tonight. And tomorrow night.

Then I got home and cried feeling overwhelmed at all the NEEDS needing to be met and feeling inadequate at meeting them in a timely way. Apparently people need more than just a meal. Then I realized I had not eaten much so I'm having a steak sandwich while I type this and anticipating getting a latte in as well before Muffin wakes up from his nap. So pretty good. For the next minute or so.

But I am getting really worn out by the yo-yo hormones swirling madly around. I think I do ok with the post partum hormones. What? Doesn't everyone not wash their hair  or bother putting on real clothes until the 6 month check-up? Or cry when they run out of coffee? Or when they spill their coffee? Or when they burn their lip on  hot coffee because they didn't have time to check the temp first?

These third trimester ones  have really been a doozy for me though. And on top of that feeling like I might only have 3 weeks to get all sorted out. For so many reasons I am really looking forward to the steady pace of menopause. Although they say that can be a tricky time for women with MS because of the drastic events happening during peri monopause. So I'm not entrirely looking forward to that. But really I am.

I got a little more nesting in this last week. I was putting Mufin down for a nap and he was having none of it. I blamed it on the crack of light filtering through the curtains on one side of the bedroom. So instead of pushing on, I put him down, laid out the big bolt of blackout fabric I used for Kateri's room last summer, and got to work. I knew sewing would not be a wise choice of action just then, the sewing machine still being a near-occasion of sin for me, so I measured the square of fabric and found a little spring rod the kids had bent but had been sitting in the back of my closet just waiting for such a day as to be useful. And some packing tape.

Kateri was assisting in keeping Malachi from taking my scissors, for which I paid her with some long strips of black out fabric. (I'm dying to see what she decides to do with them. I didn't see any of the neighbor kids sporting new accessories yet, but I'm sure whatever she chooses will be great). Then I asked her if she knew where the packing tape was.

"So that's how you make curtains?" she asked.

"That is how we do it today." I told her.

And shortly, I had a nicely darkened window. It looked so cozy. Then, as  I sat there giving Malachi a bottle while he finally drifted off, I started to notice how bright the other window looked. It faces North, but still I'm pretty sure it could benefit from some light tempering. I told Shane about the new addition. He looked at me and said,

"I think you'd be happiest living in a cave."

He does not share my belief that dark=cozy and is always opening the curtains to let the world in. If I want to  be out in the world, I'll go outside. In the house I want to feel like I'm in a cozy cocoon. At least that is how I feel right now. No bets about next week. Or month.