Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I take it back...

My last post was titled, "Won't be long now,"and I was wrong. I thought I'd have a baby by now, for sure. But here I am, two days before my due date, still pregnant. I have never gone within a week of my due date. It's a bummer because it's made me feel like my due date was actually a week ago. Never been this pregnant. Probably never had such a big baby in there...
It's very frustrating. I'm extremely restless. I can't think about anything other than getting this baby out. I know I should be treasuring these last days of pregnancy I'll ever have, but I'm not. I'm ready to get this party started, to meet this little one.
My sister is here. Everything is ready. Now we just need a baby. Please, God...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Won't be long now...

Slowly, surely, everything's coming together.

After a day of irregular contractions yesterday, I finally got myself in gear and took care of a few things: bags are packed and kids' stuff is ready to be transported in the middle of the night.

And, over the course of the past few weeks, the obsession has begun.
I've read my favorite books on midwifery and birth stories. My favorite is written by a midwife who works with amish women in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The stories of those women inspired and strengthened me as I went drug-free for my last birth.
I've chosen my "labor music" (don't worry...no tribal chants or african drums, just some of my favorite slow songs).
I've watched the tear-jerking birth videos set to music on youtube.

I need to do these things. I don't want to forget that labor is a part of the birth process. And that every contraction is a step toward meeting our new baby. I need to wrap my mind around my obsession over birth in order to be ready, to be "in the zone" when labor comes. And I think I am. We'll find out!

Now...we just need to hope this baby is a girl. (Remember, we are going on a hunch and really have no clue...yikes!) Because if it is a boy, he doesn't have a name. Oh boy...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Raining, inside and out...

It's fitting that it would be pouring rain today for the first time here in weeks. While I'm glad for the sake of my newly planted tomatoes and flowers, it's just a reminder of how I really feel inside every June 15th.

Eleven years ago, today, my dad passed away. He was 44.

It wasn't sudden. He'd been fighting cancer since he was 35. 35! Greg is older than that. Dear Lord.

The scariest moment I experienced having a sick dad was on the last day of my freshman year of college. He had driven halfway across the country to pick me up for the summer. My mom had warned me that his health had deteriorated quite a bit over the months prior. But I was 18. I was lost in my own little world. I didn't give it much thought.
I'll never forget when he got out of the car. He looked like he was 75. My daddy. My young, sweet dad looked like he was 75.
He was horribly sick for the next day or two, but he tried to enjoy the time we had in my college town. I was supposed to sing in the school's choir for the commencement ceremony, but he warned me that he was probably too sick to attend. We had a long drive ahead of us. He needed to rest.

I remember sitting on stage, watching him walk through the door. He stayed just long enough to hear us sing before he left to return to his hotel room.

The next year, he was in the hospital more than he was home. I met Greg that year and they got to know each other. My dad knew just as well as I did that Greg was "the one" and told Greg to take care of me.
I was still oblivious that my dad was mortal, that his sickness would actually take him away.

I was still in my own little world and spent very little time in the hospital. My dad couldn't really die, could he?

We were told that his insides were like cobwebs due to all of the radiation done on his abdomen. He was down to 89 lbs. Still, he was my dad. He was going to make it. Off I went to do whatever it was I did back then.

I shouldn't have been surprised that morning. Just after 6 am, I was working my home healthcare job, a 45 minute drive from home. My mom called.

I remember walking outside and realizing that I wasn't on my way to see anything other than my dad's body. Confused, I looked up, and out loud, said, "Dad?"
I somehow managed that drive to where my family was gathered at the hospital.

It wasn't until life started happening that I realized how much losing my dad meant. A month later, I was engaged. Six months later, my brother walked me down the aisle to marry Greg. Another year or so later, I had my first baby. My dad wasn't there.

I wish I could go back. I wish I could change my mindset back then. I would have spent so much more time telling my dad what he meant to me. I would have asked him so many questions. I would have been there to tell him I loved him as he took his last breath.

There's a sappy country song that was out a few years back that explains why the rain is significant,
"there's holes in the floor of Heaven
and her tears are pourin' down
that's how you know she's watchin'
wishin' she could be here now.
And sometimes if you're lonely
just remember she can see
there's holes in the floor of Heaven
and she's watchin' over you and me"

I certainly don't think that my dad would trade the glories of heaven to come back here, and I don't know if he ever gets glimpses of his grandkids. But today, it's raining.
And I'm kind of glad...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

so that's it???

Last Friday, June 5, 2009, we had our last official day of homeschooling.

Emily and Kaleb took their end of year testing (passed with flying colors), and that was that.

The four year homeschool journey that began with Emily's kindergarten lessons, she and I sitting at the kitchen table, inspiration and fear battling for my brain, is over.
It hasn't really hit me, I guess. I don't feel relief or sadness. Not like I thought I would, anyway.
I'm trying to reflect on those first months, when I'd drop Kaleb off at preschool in 2005 and Emily and I would settle in at home or a coffee shop. Just us. Wow, she was a smart cookie. Absorbed everything I threw at her. She taught herself to read. No lie.
Many days, I sat with my three and five year old and did art projects that taught bible verses. Emily completed her lessons with ease. We had soft classical music playing in the backround. We went to gym/swim class. We took picnics and bikerides, talking and learning about trees and leaves. I remember thinking it was a lot of work. Ha. I had no idea how life was going to change!

This past year, especially in the fall, our days went a little more like this: Exhausted from nursing and being pregnant at the same time, I try to choke down a cup of coffee in the morning. I throw up. We sit at the homeschool table while Avery begs me to turn on Dora. Poopy diaper. I remind the kids to stay seated and finish their work while I clean stinkypants. We make it through one subject. I throw up. Someone else has a poopy diaper. I throw up. I try to go over phonics with Kaleb. I can't keep my eyes open because I have zero nourishment in my system. I nurse a baby. We do Emily's math lesson. Avery pees on the rug. I try to get lunch ready. I throw up. And it's not even noon yet...

So I guess the fond memories and the scary moments are balancing themselves out right now. I am sure I will have my moments of mourning. (I always, even in the crazy moments, considered myself VERY blessed to have all of my kids home with me.) And I'm sure I'll have my moments of relief. Right now, I guess I'm just too freaked out about everything else in life to give it too much thought.

Oh, and I do hope to do it again. The youngest three will begin kindergarten for three consecutive years! (Avery in 2012, Levi in 2013, new baby in 2014!)


The semi-annual boys' campout whisked away my husband and 6-year-old this weekend. Emily's ninth birthday is next Friday, so I promised her she could have a couple of girlfriends here for a sleepover last night. Oh boy...
It went very well, for the record.

The only problem was that yesterday and the day before were full of the signs of labor. I will spare the details (be glad!), but it was enough to put me into panic mode. My bag isn't packed. The house is not ready. (Who doesn't want to go into labor knowing they've really cleaned the best they can?) I have no definite plan for the other kids while I'm in the hospital. Baby clothes are in the attic still. No new outfit for baby's homecoming.
And, perhaps most important, my sister can't be here until the 26th! She and Greg are my official labor partners this time around.
Today is better. I think that the anticipation and worry over the weekend is what brought on all of those other signs. That and exhaustion/dehydration.

Anyway, this week, I'm on a mission. It's time. I need to check all of those things off of my list.

Then I just need to hope this baby will stay put until the 26th.
Or at least until Greg gets home, tomorrow!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

3.5 weeks...WHAT????

Okay, here it is...
I'm freaking out!
I am officially 36.5 weeks pregnant. That means that within a couple of weeks...oh my goodness...a couple of weeks...I am having this baby. Totally not ready...
And, scarier still, all of my babies have been early.
Emily was 6 days early.
Kaleb was 3 weeks early.
Avery was 11 days early.
Levi was 6 days early.
My due date is in 3.5 weeks...
I just had to have this moment...oh dear...