Wednesday, June 22, 2016

37 Weeks

It looks like I'm going to be pregnant for awhile longer. I recently left my thirty seven week appointment and I am halfway effaced and not even two centimeters. Sorry, I know this talk grosses some people out so there's your cue to not read on. It is discouraging, for sure. I've not been feeling stellar lately, but on Sunday during church I started feeling like I might pass out and was having lots of contractions. Most of them were just taking my breath away, but they didn't hurt. They were about five minutes apart. I started feeling less of them as the afternoon wore on and by nightfall, I wasn't having any. Then Monday and Tuesday night, they were back with a vengeance. In fact, last night I was ready to go to the hospital, laying out contacts and clothes that weren't pajamas so that I could slip them on when I woke up in the middle of the night in pain. That didn't happen, though. Each night, I find it hard to breathe, get comfortable or sleep. I have back pain and contractions that seem to be getting stronger, but not strong enough yet. The contractions last for hours and are 2-3 minutes apart ranging from 30-60 seconds long. I keep track of them because this is how labor came on with Merit. I got so used to doing this same scenario for weeks that I wasn't sure when I was actually in labor! The contractions, pain, and pressure are confusing. It's a bit unnerving for me because of the last two close calls we've had with getting to the hospital. But I know she'll come when she's supposed to so I will keep soldiering on as best I can. I just wanted to update each of you who have asked. I'm still pregnant and I'm getting quite miserable, but apparently it's not quite time yet. 
As if our lives aren't up in the air enough waiting on baby, we've been making some major changes in our house this week. New floors for our kitchen were becoming a necessity after discovering a leak we caught too late. When we got those done, we thought "Well, the appliances are already out. Perhaps we should go ahead and replace those. While we're at it, some new paint and hardware for these cabinets would look nice. Also, let's finally sheetrock the stairwell to the basement and slap some paint on that, too." So, there you have it. You knew we were crazy already, but now it's confirmed. We're on the cusp of welcoming baby number four in less than five years and our house is a construction zone of dust, paint, and disconnected appliances.
I'm tired, y'all.

37 Week Questions:

Baby is the size of a: tackle box or a winter melon
Weight: 151 (up thirty one pounds)
Cravings: I don't care about food anymore. I just need to eat it, but I don't always want to. My belly is so huge and tight, I don't want to put anything into it because it just causes more discomfort.
Stretch Marks: Nothing new
Exercise: I've been to workout a couple of times. Sometimes just walking, sometimes taking short jogs and incorporating weights, too. If I'm feeling good enough to exercise, it's a good day.
New Things: Pressure. Baby feels so low.
What's going on with her? Baby's lungs are likely mature now!
What I miss: rolling over in bed without wincing in pain
What I'm looking forward to: Postpartum exercise


Sunday, June 5, 2016

What if she's deaf? Thoughts on Baby #4

I'm five weeks or less from meeting my newest little gift from above and I haven't even considered my thoughts on if she'll be deaf or not. That is definitely uncharacteristic of me, but I think it probably has everything to do with the power of God inside me. He hasn't let me worry about that. I've had so much going on, so many other thoughts to attend to.

I'm thinking about it now, though-- and it sort of seems like it's just another pondering. Will she have curly hair? Will she even have hair? What will her nose look like? Will she be hearing or deaf? Five weeks out and I think I'm okay. I haven't worried about it. It's incredible. Of course, this could change between now and then. I know I'll be so nervous during the hearing test. And truly, I don't want her to have hearing loss because I believe life is easier without having that hurdle, but I hope if I hear those words again, "Your baby is deaf" that I will be at ease, happy even because I finally have a little girl in my arms that God created perfectly.

When I had Merit, we were two weeks away from having Abel implanted with bi-lateral cochlear implants. The weight of the world was on my shoulders and all the hearing tests, surgeries, ear infections, hearing aids, and therapies were fresh on my mind. When the lady took him away to do the hearing test, I had told her about Abel and she could likely feel my anxiety. When she brought my sweet boy back to me she did so with a smile and an encouraging word that he probably only failed because he had so much fluid still in his little head from coming so quickly into this world. My heart ached for him as I stared at his perfect, tiny little newborn head and thought about them cutting into it. Other hearing tests were set up and I tried to push it from my mind. I began to notice him startling at sounds and my hope was restored a bit as we geared up for a very long surgery for my (less than) two year old. As you probably know, it turned out that Merit could hear. The point is that there was a tinge of doubt and fear. With baby #4, I have much more peace. Still there are thoughts surfacing. Even now as I type I'm hoping this blog post isn't some foreshadowing of what's to come in our lives. But what I feel right now is comfort in God's plan for her. I'm excited to meet her and find out more about her and who she'll become.

This weekend as I've watched my deaf child seem more and more like a happy, "normal" child and multiple friends have commented this week that they can see a marked difference in his progress, I've been able to see past the struggles we've had over the last three years. Abel is waking up and conversing with his older brother, playing, and laughing like he gets to grow up with his best friend. Can I tell you how incredible it makes this mama feel? I used to worry so much about his relationship to his brothers. I didn't want him to lack communication in any way, but instead I think he's teaching us so much more than we are teaching him.

It is well with my soul.

Kinley Jordan- 2011

Abel Elias- 2012

Merit Kimsey- 2014


"For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline."
1 Timothy 1:7

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hope Over Worry

I have such an ambivalent relationship with the Internet. I love it and I hate it, too. Don't you? Disguised under the guise of connectivity, more often than not it pulls us all apart.  It pits us against each other. Against ideas. Ideas that really just don't matter. Period. It's why I have to step away from social media a lot- it's because I don't care where people go to the bathroom....or HOW a child got in a zoo enclosure (just that he did and now he's safe and you people have NO IDEA how quickly children can get into trouble despite the most attentive caregivers)...I don't care if you vaccinate or formula feed or leave your child rear facing in their carseats until they are six years old. I do not care. Leave me out of it.

I'm tired of freaking out reading signs at Walmart reminding me to turn around and go get my baby out of a hot car. My baby is not in the car, but thanks for the brief heart attack.

I'm tired of rubbing sun screen all over my kids to protect them from the harmful sun only to come home and read an article about how all the sprays and lotions cause cancer.

We're coming upon swimming season and although I swallowed gallons of water growing up around pools and at the lake every summer, I will freak out for twenty four hours after any of my kids are around water because of the massive amounts of dry drowning posts I will see. Already, I'm worried. Just yesterday, Abel took off his puddle jumper near the pool. I stood up to sit nearer to him in case he got any crazy ideas and before I knew it, he had jumped in the pool, something he won't usually even do with floaties on. Thankfully, I got to him very quickly but he is very tired today and feels warm and where does my head go? It goes to the extremely rare thing that might happen that I saw on the Internet last summer and the summer before that.



I'm just so exhausted by the list of what good parents do. It's on Pinterest. It's on Facebook. It's on the news. It's in your hearts and minds. More than ever, I will keep the tendency to trust that parents are, for the most part, doing what is best for the kids they've been entrusted with. There's no parent shaming here because I know. Every day, I sacrifice myself to do what I think is best for my children in the moment. 24/7, that's what I'm doing. It's because of this that I know you're not a crappy mom because you sent your kid to school with a lunchable for the third time in a week.

It's a Catch 22 everywhere I turn. Hey, my kids are fed and happy and safe. Do you think 5 popsicles in a weekends time is going to permanently damage them? Me either. If you're one of those parents that their kids only eat the freshest of organic vegetables then that is great! I applaud you. I just also happen to think those other parents who don't follow that strict of a diet or lifestyle are good parents, too.

There's so much out there online that you might lose sleep over....so much that can get you fired up. And for what?

Accidents happen all the time, y'all. It's a consequence of living in a fallen world. I'm just so glad I have a HOPE that is greater than anything this world could provide.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

33 Weeks: (another) Bumpdate

This past week was a rough one for the books. The kids have been sick and I've been sick. I'm not entirely sure what is going on with me because I haven't had a chance to go to the doctor until today and, go figure, offices aren't open on Saturday or they don't open until ten. So, here I sit, hoping that I'm on the mend. I do feel a little better today. I wonder if that's because my in-laws took all the kids for us last night and I went straight to bed by 8:30. It was amazing to get to sleep and not have to wake up and take care of three small children. SUCH an enormous blessing. {THANK YOU!}
33 Weeks Bumpdate
Bed head and clothes. Sorry, I don't really get dressed these days.

Baby is the size of a: honeydew

Weight:144
Cravings: Nothing really. Anything I can swallow without wincing in pain because of my sore throat. 
Stretch Marks: Well, yeah but nothing new.
Exercise: It was going well until I caught whatever it is that I caught. I haven't been able to go to the gym much because one of the kids always seems to be sick, but this past week I haven't wanted to move from the couch. I even took my fitbit off and am sporting a wrist watch tan line now instead of watching how few steps I have made each day. I've been miserable, y'all.
New Things: I find it strange that my braxton hicks contractions have stopped. For months now, I've had them quite a bit but over the last few weeks I haven't had any. Other new things worth mentioning are:
1. I started painting/restoring a piece of furniture for her room. I should probably be working on that right now instead of blogging.
2. Tomorrow my mom and sister are throwing me a shower.
What's going on with her? She is gaining half a pound a week and might grow up to a whole inch this week! Her bones are fully developed and she's now working on making them harder and more stable. Now, her goal is to start packing on the fat.
What I miss: feeling good, clothes that fit
What I'm looking forward to: holding her and soaking her in knowing this is my last baby and getting back to working out and feeling comfortable in my skin again

I hope each of you enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Winter People

One of my great loves is reading. It's a hobby that has been put aside in the throes of raising babies and when I do read, it's usually desperate studying of scriptures or scholarly reading of nonfiction. It's rare that I pick up a book of fiction and actually finish it. When I grabbed The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon, I believed it to be no different. Actually, I started it months ago and put it down a few chapters in because I wanted to read a book that would help me understand Abel's latest diagnosis a little better. It's not that I prefer nonfiction. It's more of a time/benefit analysis. One day, my husband came home from work and I put on my running shoes and practically sprinted to the local walmart for a reprieve. I just wanted a breath of air, of sanity to cling to. I know, I know. Walmart a reprieve does not make, but I was desperate and I live in a small town with few options. Before long, I found myself surrounded by the crisp smell of new books and many alluring titles. Intriguing covers were beckoning to me to open them and I soon found myself in my happy place--reading summary after summary, imagining I was one of those moms who still had time to read. I finally settled on this story, a dark one set in the woods of old Vermont, a place I could easily envision because I visited there a few years ago (Vermont trip Part 1, 2, and 3). 

In my advanced age (ha), I've become much more of a wimp. As a child, I loved scary movies, daring roller coasters, and ghost stories. Now, I think my boys will be lucky if I ever let them step foot in the line for one of those anything-could-go-wrong-man-made-and-not-to-be-trusted-with-my-precious-kids roller coasters. And ghostly mentionings and horror movies? Not so much my thing these days. I legitimately feel uneasy when watching them unfold on screen and this book was no different. Jordan was traveling a lot of the time I was reading this and there were a few nights that I put the book down and turned on a funny tv show instead to take my thoughts away from the story that unfolded in the book.
It was good, though. It tells the tale of Sara Harrison Shea and the tragic happenings that occurred back in her day in the early 1900's. She suffered through the loss of her daughter and while doing so she kept a journal that would survive her and provide a useful tool in uncovering secrets and old legends to a family living in her old house in present day. Ruthie, the nineteen year old daughter of the owner of the farmhouse, finds a copy of the diary and is sucked into Sara's story. What she finds is that she isn't the only person interested in uncovering what happened to Sara Harrison Shea all those years before.

"McMahon has developed a subgenre of psychological mysteries...in creepily seductive settings." 
-Booklist

I love some psychological suspense! When paired with creepy "sleepers", it makes for a perfect book to conclude on Friday the 13th! What I also found is that if I quit reading the mindless articles I read on social media, I have lots more time for fiction in my life. Here's to reading and writing more!

Next up:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Thoughts on this pregnancy, my recent 5K, and Mother's Day


I have written so many blog posts in my head lately, but have not carved out time to actually sit down and write something out. Now that I have a few minutes, my mind is not settling on one particular topic so I guess I'll chat about life lately. I'm thirty one weeks pregnant this week. I feel pretty good. A couple weeks ago, I got sick and ended up in the hospital but I'm leaps and bounds better now than I was then. I feel as if time is winding down now and she'll be in my arms before I know it. Honestly, I have no idea how one person will go out in town and run errands with that many small children, but I also know that people figure it out and I will, too. I find myself already thinking about the mechanics of taking the kids to school next year. Portions of the parking lot at one of the schools is gravel so the easy strollers are out of the question. Am I going to have to baby wear a newborn in the front and a two year old in the back so I can walk the other two into their separate schools? Sounds like a blast. I already get the wildest looks going in now. Some folks comment that my hands are full or my mornings are busy in a friendly manner. Others stare at me like I'm the worst parent in the world when one of them falls and I tell them to walk it off....or when I end up dragging one in kicking and screaming. I'm getting to the point where it doesn't bother me anymore, though. I just remind myself that they probably have no idea. 
I've been trying to stay active during this pregnancy. My diet has not been all green and leafy, though. My sweet tooth is in full force so sometimes I up my workouts to accomodate. Knock on wood* The back pain has been a lot better lately. On Saturday, I ran (ahem jogged very slowly) a 5K. I did better than I thought I would, but as I was racing I thought I was doing a lot better time wise than I actually was. That's okay. I didn't pee on myself nor did I pass out so I'll take it! By the end of the thing, I sat there with my family, recovering and listening to the awards being handed out when I heard "...running for two...Third place goes to Kacy..." What? Totally unexpected. Score. I'm just hoping there were more than three people in my age group. :P

That's my mom. She ran in the race, too and she has been killin' it in the gym. I'm so proud of her and it makes me anxious for postpartum days and being able to see the numbers go down on the scale again. 
Mother's Day was a good one. We usually get out of town to celebrate, but we stayed home this year. I guess I shouldn't say we stayed home, though because we were gone all day. We got up and went to church and then started making the rounds so we could see all the special women in our lives. We didn't end up getting home until around ten o'clock.
Left: 9 months out for baby #3, Right: 9 weeks left for baby #4
But any Mother's Day that I'm with my boys is good for me! I hope you had a good one, too. I know it can be an impossibly hard day for some people. Those who have infertility problems and those who never had a motherly figure in their lives, and those who have mourned their mother's death-- you all were on my mind. Just clicking through the archives of this blog and seeing the picture progressions from year to year remind me that time is fleeting. I spent the day cherishing the women I do have in my life that have shown me the ropes of being a woman, wife, and mother. I'm so so thankful for each one of them.

Monday, April 11, 2016

What's New?

Top of the Monday mornin' to ya, friends! I hope your day is starting off as fabulous as mine (or better). I mean, I didn't wake up at the beach so there's room for improvement. Still, it has been a good morning. Jordan was around so I didn't have to wake up Merit to take the other two boys to school, meaning that I also didn't have to throw my back out of line as I hobbled across two parking lots with a baby on my hip and two other little goons tugging on my other hand. Isn't it amazing how not having just one of your kids with you makes everything seem so much easier? I bet once Saylor arrives, I'll be feeling like three out in town is a breeze. Because Merit slept in (10am!!), I got a lot done.
Dishes are clean, laundry has been started, and I'm about 4,000 steps into my day. In addition, I've been plugging away on the nursery.
Last week, I bravely moved my two oldest into a room together and that has been...well...going. Anyway, I was determined to have a little room for our newest addition coming soon. Kinley had a room set up about a week before he arrived due to a move shortly before my due date. My other kids didn't have rooms until they were closer to one. It's not a big deal, but since this is my last babe I figure there's some room to spoil her (and me!). I just think a girl needs some room for her clothes! :) I don't have money to make this room the Pinterest perfect place, but I do have some mediocre skills that will improve the look of Abel's bland, tiny old room. When Jordan left on business, I set to work. In a week, I have moved out furniture, moved more in, set the crib up, and painted. Additionally, my dear husband humored me this weekend when he got back and hung some crown molding for me. I'm getting excited to finish cosmetic issues and start decorating. I'll show you more later.
We survived the first week of J being gone. We had some rough moments, but they were made better by friends and family who stopped by to provide a smidge of sanity for me. My in-laws brought over dinner for the boys and girl scout cookies for me and told me to leave and go to the grocery store alone! It was so nice to have an hour. The week went well. Abe had his first appointment with his occupational therapist. By the end of the week, I had noted that he said two new phrases: "It worked!" and "Do it again!"Merit is growing and changing so much, too. This past week he learned to climb up to the top of their outdoor play set by himself and slide down. Big boys.
I'm 27 weeks now. 
Baby is the size of a: cucumber or lantern
Weight: 140
Cravings: Nothing to write home about
Stretch Marks: I think I see a new one every six minutes. Kidding, but yeah...I'm trying to keep them under control. 
Exercise: I haven't been to the gym in weeks. My back pain is awful. I finally broke down and bought a pregnancy belt yesterday. It does seem to help, but the pain is still there and knocks me off my feet at times. I'm a little worried because I have a 5K coming up and it really hurts to run.
New Things: Does a feeling count? I just feel so much more pregnant than I actually am and it gives me this uneasy feeling that she might be early. Watch her come at 43 weeks now that I said that! :/ Anyway, I think that's why I've been wanting to get things in order. Nesting in full effect. I also got her car seat yesterday!
What's going on with her? She's about two pounds and if she's hearing, she probably is starting to recognize Mama's voice.
What I miss: sushi, running, climbing stairs without breathing heavy....you know, the good life.
What I'm looking forward to: Never being pregnant again.


 
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