"Lo, Children Are An Heritage of the LORD: and the Fruit of the Womb is His Reward" - Psalm 127:3

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bed Rest, Day 9 - I Made It!

Wow. The ticker on my sidebar says 1 hour 27 minutes to go! Yikes! But that means I made it to July!! (assuming I don't have this baby in the next hour and 27 minutes, that is.) But I'm not staying up till midnight to do this post - ha. I have to be at the hospital at 6 am now - they called and want me there earlier. That means we have to leave here by 4 am. 4:30 really, but I want to be on time with some to spare.

I didn't get the diaper bag made, but that will be a project for another day. We have tons of bags anyway that we can use in the mean time. I was busy obeying bed rest rules. Okay, and I just put it off for months... Instead, I rested most of the day as I was told to (not wanting to get labor going too early - after all, it wasn't July yet!), then enjoyed the evening out with my family. We walked to the park, played and did a little fishing. It's about 6 blocks to the park, and since I've been in bed for awhile, it was plenty of a walk. I pushed the stroller so I would have something to hang onto. I was hoping to kick-start this labor process, and it might have helped. (I also ate pineapple, which is supposed to help too, but who knows how many of these things really do any good?) I will say I had constant contractions while I was walking, but as soon as we stopped, so did they. Hopefully they helped me make some progress though.

The creek at the park is running very high now... not because of flooding, but because everyone is so worried about potential flooding that they are letting a lot of water out of the lakes around here. It's kind of ridiculous really. I think they're panicking over nothing. The lakes are lower now than I've seen them in years. It was a real challenge to load and unload the boat for the fishing derby on Father's Day, and they're still letting out a ton of water.

We enjoyed the park. This is the two year old's preferred way to swing. He's like a little koala baby - you don't even have to hang onto him because he has a death grip on you... He won't even think about using the baby swings. Too scary!

He much prefers just to run and play on his own.

And he likes the slides.

... most of the time. This tube slide was a bit scary. He wasn't sure what to make of it. (Sorry. This is terrible, but it was such a cute picture, I had to include it!)

The seven year old is much more adventurous. He prefers to swing wildly and jump off.

He loves climbing.

And never does anything the conventional way :)

Really, everyone got into the fun.

She swears this was comfortable, but I have my doubts.

Anyway, it was a great family outing. Very calming.

And we got some fishing in. Or at least the boys did - this is a kids fishing pond, after all.

They caught a lot of fish, but most of them didn't make it on shore - they would wiggle off just as we tried to land them. They were all pretty small, but fun to catch. We had to keep this one because the hook was completely swallowed, and by the time we got it out, he was a gonner. Oh well, the boys can have him for lunch tomorrow.

It doesn't matter around here who catches the fish. The two year old will claim it.

It started out pretty well for him with his fishing tonight. But then he decided he wanted to do his own thing and wouldn't listen ... or sit still ... or reel in when he had a fish on the line. He lost at least 3 fish because he refused to reel them in. Oh well. He is only 2!

It also got a little dangerous sitting next to him.

It was such a nice evening. We needed jackets by the time we were done, but then it was almost 9:30 by the time we got home. I love summer nights!

This was the perfect way to spend an evening before going into labor! I think it will mean a lot to the kids too, whether they realize it now or not :)

Wow. Okay, now the ticker says 39 minutes to go. I better get in bed. But I have a feeling I'm not going to sleep very well anyway. Too much excitement in the air. Maybe I'll nap at the hospital in the morning :)

Bed Rest, Day 9 - the Hexagon Project

Okay, I know. It's WAY early, and a lot could happen today (such as going into labor) but I wanted to get this crafty post out of the way before I have a baby and fill my posts with cute baby pictures :)

Here are all the hexagons I have done so far, stacked up according to fabric pattern. There are 445 of them here. I finished another 77 of them since my last update. That went fast!

Here are all my blues - 30 different fabrics. As you can see, there are a bunch of some of the fabrics, and not a lot of others. I want to start with even numbers of all fabrics so I can fairly evenly scatter them throughout the quilt. The problem is going to be that I have some fabric that I just had scraps of, and others that I bought yardage for - quarter, eighth, half yards, and so on, so I don't have the same amount of each fabric. And I don't remember which ones are which. So the plan is to make it as even as possible, then buy something similar if I need to fill in gaps later.

Here are the reds. The tall stacks on the left are all the squares I had for those fabrics - just scraps from my stash. I have 24 different reds so far. I think though, with as strong as the reds are that they will balance well with the extra blues. And some of the blues read more as whites or light greens anyway, so I think it will work.

So anyway, after stacking them all according to fabric, I counted each pile, then wrote the number of hexagons I have in that color on the back. I needed to see where I was. I decided to start with ten of every fabric - just to give me a good jumping off point. I may find that I want more of a particular fabric or value (darker blues, especially), but this will give me a place to start. I do have two more blue fabrics I need to have my daughter cut (at least ten squares of each) so I can add that to the mix.

After I did all that counting, I got out my extra hexagon papers and counted out as many as I would need to get 10 of each fabric done. Some stacks had more than 10 in them already, so I won't have to do any more of those. I pulled the extras out of those piles and put them away for the next set.

Then I stacked the correct number of papers onto the correct number of fabric squares...

... and paper-clipped them in place. These are the last of what needs to be stitched (not counting the 20 squares I need to have my daughter cut this afternoon) before I can start the layout and get to putting them all together.

I had one fabric I decided I hated and didn't want to use, so I took the paper out of it. I think that's going to be the most challenging part of this process - removing the papers. Might have to get my daughter to help with that step - ha. I'm considering hole punching the papers. I think two holes would allow me to stick a toothpick or something similar in, then pull and pop out the papers without too much trouble. I'm going to give it a try with a couple of the papers and see how it goes.

So now, my final preparations are done. I can go have a baby now... er, after midnight, I mean. HA. I have this project all packed up ready to go to the hospital with me. I don't really think I'll get a chance to work on it there, unless I end up staying longer due to the baby's health (as I mentioned in the last post, possibly jaundice or Group B Strep complications). But it's better to be prepared than to sit and have nothing to occupy my time. Besides, I think this will be an easy project to work on while nursing too. I like to keep my hands busy all the time! Redeeming the time...

Bed Rest, Day 8, in Which There Was No Bed, and No Rest

Yesterday was rough... the worst I've had since starting bed rest. I was too exhausted to post anything last night. I basically crawled from the truck to the couch, where we did our family devotions, then went straight to bed.

Yesterday started with me waking up - as in WIDE awake at 5 am. Since I've been on bed rest, my sleep cycle has been messed up. I nap when I feel like it and stay awake when I feel like it, regardless of time of day or night. I think this will come in handy when the baby is born and I'm up half the night. I never could nap during the day very well, but I've gotten the hang of it since being in bed for a week - ha.

Anyway, this was the day of the big checkup, in which my main goal was to convince the doctor NOT to induce me. I really wanted to wait and see if the baby would come naturally on the fourth of July. So we headed to the doctor's office in the town 77 miles away. We had time for a leisurely lunch (during which I ate way too much - a whole French Dip sandwich. It was good, but I've been eating about half that much lately). The doctor had been called to the hospital for an emergency just 15 minutes before our appointment, so we ended up waiting over an hour before she made it back. No problem. We always bring something to read. But I was getting tired already - especially with the full belly.

Everything went really well at the appointment. Blood pressure was excellent. I had lost 3 pounds during my week of bed rest. And I wasn't showing any symptoms that concerned the doctor, so she easily agreed to let me wait to deliver naturally - under the condition that they measure my amniotic fluid levels, and track the baby's heart-rate on the monitor for half an hour. No problem. Then she checked to see if I was progressing, and I definitely am. I was dilated a good 3 cm, and 70% effaced, and the baby was at a -1. I know that means I will deliver soon - and quickly, once it all starts. I tend to have fast labors anyway, and my husband is already worried about making it to the hospital in time to deliver. We have an hour and a half drive through a mountain canyon, in which we have no cell phone service, and there are very few homes along the way to stop and make a call from - not that we're going to be thinking about stopping at that point - ha. With my other children, I haven't even been that far along when I got to the hospital.

Then I thought to ask the doctor if she would be on call to deliver over the weekend. She won't be. That was a major hit. I LOVE this particular doctor, and have gone out of my way to see her throughout the last half of the pregnancy. I would have seen her through the entire time, but she was on maternity leave when I started this whole journey. She is the doctor who delivered our last baby, and having her deliver this one would be the first time I have had the same doctor for two babies. And this is number five for us! Anyway, to have her deliver us, we would have to have the baby by Friday, or wait until next Thursday. I know with my numbers, there's no way I will make it to next Thursday. And for that matter, I know it is extremely unlikely I will make it to the fourth.

Well, the ultrasound showed I have great amounts of fluid (no surprise to me - I've felt "squishy" and even pointed it out to my husband the other day). Then we went for our half hour on the monitor. They have a great room for this - quiet, less light, nice place to visit, and with the most amazing - sink into it recliner you've ever sat in. It's like being swallowed by a pillow or a cloud. So while we were in there, I talked to my husband about the idea of going ahead and inducing Friday, so we could have this particular doctor deliver. I really don't care for the doctor that is on call over the weekend. Nothing personal. She is just very heavy handed - as in rough. As in painful. And I haven't had a chance to visit with her about my personal preferences for the delivery.

I still don't want pitocin or an epidural, but I think as far along as I am, all it would take would be breaking my water or stripping the membranes. The doctor agreed, and thought it was a great idea. She said she didn't have a problem with me waiting, but felt that it would be good to go ahead and deliver while she knows he is doing well. And, after all, Friday is my due date. This will be my first baby born on his due date (if he cooperates).

It was a hard decision, which I am still second-guessing. She told me I can always call and cancel the induction if I want to, and I may do that, but I have a feeling I might go into labor naturally by then anyway. My biggest goal has been to make it to July and not deliver in June. Why? Because the July birthstone is a Ruby, and I think that would be a great addition to my mother's ring - ha. Not to mention the significance of the Ruby to the Proverbs 31 woman, which is the real reason. I know. Not a very good reason. Pretty ridiculous, really. But the June birthstone is pink, and what boy wants a pink birthstone? (Though my husband assures me that boys don't care what color their birthstone is.) Oh well. This boy's mom cares!

After we saw my doctor, we slipped over to the pediatrician's office to chat with him. He's great too. In fact my husband even saw him when he was a kid (an older kid, but still, this guy's been around awhile.) I love that he takes a lot of time and is very thorough with explaining everything - and the pro's and con's of everything. Our last baby had bad jaundice, and we were in the hospital a few days longer to cure it, so I had questions about that as well as another complication I have. I tested positive for Group B Strep which can cause spinal meningitis in babies. Because of that, I will have to be on antibiotics during the delivery. (This was another reason we think the induction might be a good option - at least this way we can get some antibiotics into my system before they break my water.) They say it's best to have two doses, and that they are given 4 hours apart, so being there already when labor starts might be a very beneficial thing. After we talked to him, we felt much more confident that inducing was a good option. My husband is my rock in all of this. I am wishy-washy when it comes to making decisions. Too much emotion and hormone influence at this point. I'm always second guessing myself, so it was nice to have him there to make the decisions. In fact, he is so at peace with this that I doubt we will cancel the induction.

The only negative was that the pediatrician won't be available this weekend either. He has another one covering hospital calls for him. His daughter is getting married. So while we have some idea how he would have handled the possible complications, we don't know for sure how the other doctor will. If we deliver early enough Friday, he will still be the one to see us. If not, we get the fill in doctor, which is fine, and very understandable. These people have families too, and I'm big on making your own family a priority.

Anyway, with all the extra testing, visiting the pediatrician, etc, it turned into a very long day. We had a little shopping to do, then went out for dinner, and then had an hour and a half drive home through a mountain canyon in the pouring rain. I love rain, especially when it comes with thunder and lightening, but by then I was completely wiped out. I'm sure it was a combination of getting up at 5, the multitude of tests, shopping, etc, when I've done nothing but lay in bed for over a week.

So what am I doing today? I'm laying in bed all day ;) trying my best not to go into labor before tonight, when I can have my baby any time after midnight ... in July - ha. I'm actually praying I will begin labor spontaneously tonight or in the morning so I won't feel guilty about "inducing" - and I do feel like it could easily happen. I know the baby has dropped more, and I'm having some stronger contractions, but nothing consistent yet. We were originally supposed to be at the hospital at 7:30 am, but they pushed it back to 12:30 pm due to some scheduling conflicts at the hospital. Maybe that will give me time to progress. Tonight I plan to walk with my family to the park (if I'm able - the baby's low enough now that it is painful just to walk to the bathroom). And then tomorrow, I want to get to the town where the hospital is in time to walk around awhile before my water is broken. Then I won't have to make the drive through the curvy canyon while I'm having contractions. Those are my plans. We'll see what God's plan is :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bed Rest, Days 6 & 7

First let me say that Audrey's surgery went very well, the heart is in and functioning well. Praise God! Continue to pray for her recovery, as well as for the donor's family. I can't even imagine losing the little one that heart came from...

Okay, so I knew it was too early to post on Day 6. Here's what happened the rest of the day.

I heard squealing outside my window and had to take a peek.

This is HUGE for the two year old. This child goes into mass panic - screaming, panicking, clawing, etc., when you even ask him if he wants to take a bath or shower. Not sure how he got brave enough to enjoy the sprinkler, but YEAH! Maybe things will get easier for him in the bath department.

I had my daughter take the pictures, and just peeked out the door for a minute, then got right back in bed. Remember that was the first day my husband was going to be an hour away from home at times, so I pretty much stayed flat in bed most of the day.

But at least I could see them out my bedroom window. I was glad they had such a great time, and the lawn got a very thorough soaking too!

Apparently the neighbor's cat came over for a visit after they were all dried off.

The two year old especially likes the kitty, but doesn't usually get this close.

I see they made friends :)

I had a meeting I had to go to, which went fairly quickly. Then, back to bed, with my constant entertainment. The boys were making pictures on their magna-doodles. We got both of these used, for next to nothing, so it's nice that they can both have one. I do have to say that the two year old's favorite part is erasing the picture ... and as soon as the seven year old got up to do something, he erased the seven year old's picture. He does this constantly. Thankfully the seven year old just laughs and thinks it's funny ... so far.

Dinner Monday night was mashed potatoes with elk meat gravy and a stuffed artichoke - thanks to my sister for that recipe. My daughter has been spoiling me. My breakfasts usually consist of hash browns with cheese, a piece of fresh fruit, and a couple slices of sourdough toast with homemade apple butter (which she made Sunday from the Granny Smith apples in our co-op basket this week). Dinners have been wonderful. This one was excellent (and way more than I could eat).

Then later, after the meeting, she made us strawberry limeade - from all fresh ingredients. We still get our co-op baskets of fruits and veggies, and this week, we ended up with 14 limes. We don't ever use limes, (even though I love them) so this was a new treat for us. You should have seen how fast the two year old sucked his down!

Day 7 was more uneventful. I had my normal visitors...

Plus a giant dog...

My husband figured out a better way for us to play cards. We have been just playing on the bed, but the cards slide all over (especially when the two year old crawls in). Who knew we'd be using this little table for this? It worked fairly well. As you can see the two year old pulled up a chair to join in the fun.

That is, until he decided my chair looked more comfortable. Do you see him there? This is his latest thing. He tells us he's "driving" - and usually pretends to drive a mixer.

Of course the day wouldn't be complete without the usual silliness either :) It was another good, relatively uneventful day.

I did get all my prepped hexagons sewn, and now I just need to pull out all the finished ones and see which colors I might need more of before starting to sew them together. I'm not sure how I'm going to do placement yet - or keep track of it once I figure it out. Sure wish I had a design wall or something - maybe one of those puzzle savers that lets you roll up an unfinished puzzle in felt? Guess I'll figure it out. But first, I've got a doctor's appointment Wednesday, so we'll see whether they will allow me to wait to deliver naturally (which is my hope) or whether I'll be induced. I may not get back to these hexagons for awhile :/

Oh, and if it seems like I'm favoring the two year old with all the pictures being mostly him, it's because he's the one who visits me the most. The seven year old is usually out on his bike or with his friends - though I have noticed him coming in more often lately. He even voluntarily brought his school work in to do with me yesterday! I think he misses me ;)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bed Rest, Days 5 & 6

I know it's a little early to post as I'm only half-way through day 6, but we just received some good news and hope you will pray with us if you read this in time. Since January we have been praying for a 1 year old girl named Audrey who has been having heart problems. She had to have heart surgery in January, and after the surgery her heart never would start beating again. Since then she has undergone a heart transplant, but they found a defect in the new heart and she has been having major problems - especially over the past couple weeks. Now she is listed for another heart transplant, and we just received word that they found a possible match, and may do surgery on her tonight - and she has only been listed for just over a week! What a miracle (in the doctor's own words). It truly is a miracle. She has hundreds of people praying for her, so if you don't mind, would you take a minute and pray for her as well?

My seven year old has been very touched by Audrey's story and has been praying diligently for her every night. He is so thrilled. When I gave him the news that they may have found a heart, he immediately went and prayed for her, and then drew the picture above on his magna-doodle.

Now back to my regularly scheduled, boring, stuck in bed posts...

You know, the ones with the obligatory cute two year old pictures...

I've found that the key to keeping visitors coming is to have the right supplies on hand. Books for the two year old...

And hunting magazines for the xx year old *snicker* - okay, so I better not tell you how old he is :) Anyway, he keeps me good company when I keep him supplied with elk hunting magazines. And did you know that there is now a scope you can get for your rifle that also measures the distance the animal is away from you, and then automatically adjusts to sight your gun in perfectly so you don't even have to think about it? Yeah. Me neither. I'm pretty sure I heard more about the ads in the magazine than the articles. Oh well. At least he was visiting with me - and now I know what to buy him when I become a millionaire. HA.

Here's something completely off topic. Did you know these little girl scout cookie imitators existed? I didn't. My favorite girl scout cookies are Samoas - which look exactly like these, and the taste is pretty close too. I'm pretty sure the girl scout version has darker chocolate, and more caramel, but these are pretty good. I'm getting spoiled on bed rest. People keep bringing me snack foods. And it seems like between all the reading and napping, I feel like it's always time for a meal. Not that I'm hungry - just that dinner keeps showing up. Today I'm skipping lunch. Just not hungry. I may change my mind later, but honestly when you lay in bed and don't move, how many calories could you need? I was worried that this would be my biggest weight gain week of the entire pregnancy, so I stepped on the scale this morning, and was surprised to see that I have actually lost a couple pounds. Don't know how that happened. Could be that I'm a little dehydrated. It's hard to make yourself remember to drink enough when you're just laying in bed.

One other thing. I know I said I would be staying in bed from here on, but have a meeting I have to attend tonight - at least for a few minutes. It is daycare related and will allow me to possibly get a couple thousand dollars in grant money, so I really have to go - at least for a few minutes. I've requested to be at the beginning of the agenda, so hopefully I will be in and out in no time. If my husband gets off work in time, he's going to take me to it. I've been trying to be really good and lay quietly in bed all day. My husband is very busy at work today and tomorrow (he drives a cement mixer) and these two days have him in a location about an hour away from me. He's back and forth to town, but there is the possibility that he could be an hour away when we need to head to the hospital - which is an hour and a half drive anyway. So, you might be praying that I don't go into labor today or tomorrow too ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bed Rest, Day 4 ... too much :(

Turns out I blogged a little too early yesterday. I actually had a lot more activity than I expected. My in-laws came by and my sweet mother-in-law brought me this wonderful rhubarb cobbler - YUM!

I had just been talking to her over the weekend about coming over to get some rhubarb (and this very recipe) so I could make some of this, and then I got put on bed rest and figured I was out of luck. She surprised me by bringing a nice hot cobbler by :) I almost forgot to take a picture before it was gone - could you tell?

I also had a lot of "visitors" via phone. I was on the phone most of the day. Ran my battery nearly dead too. It was good to be able to visit though. Most of my days are pretty quiet.

Then last night I decided for sure to take the plunge into the Farmer's Wife quilt. I printed out the 15 pages of templates, and sat around on the computer considering color schemes. I've decided to go with Wyoming colors - brown and gold and tan. I'm going to use all solids. Anyway, something about my pregnant brain makes me dwell on things and work out things all night long. This can be good - I've solved a lot of problems and planned a lot of specifics in my sleep over the last few months. On the other hand, it can also be classified as obsessing over things. So last night every time I woke, I was thinking about these colors, and worrying over being able to accurately choose colors off a computer screen. I don't have anywhere local to buy the fabric. Okay. Deep breath. Just order small yardage at first ... duh.

I also got a little overwhelmed by all the template pieces, and have decided to try my hand at paper piecing - which I have never done before. I think it will be much more accurate, and there's no better way to learn a new technique than to do it 110 times over, right? That's how many blocks there are :)

This morning I managed to convince my sweet husband to give me a slight reprieve from bed rest. (Well, it was supposed to be slight). I have permission to be up in chairs and to ride in cars, so I very politely asked him to drive me to a yard sale that had a lot of baby stuff advertised. He agreed, since I've done so well all week, with the condition that I would come home after the first sale. Well, I begged and pleaded (ahem, argued) and he let me "ride along" to all of them - after all, the first one had only girl stuff, and I really needed infant boy pants... So, of course I couldn't just sit in the car and let them do the looking. I ended up getting out at all of the sales. All 6 of them. And then we went to the thrift store because I hadn't found much baby stuff at the yard sales.

I paid for my bad behavior all afternoon. I felt horrible all day. I will be staying in bed from here on out :(

Anyway, here is some of my ill-gotten gain. Puzzles for the boys...

They've already done all of them :)

The Monster's Inc version of the game of life...

28 new books :D My seven year old pointed out to me that every time I go to yard sales, I end up buying 12 books. "At least" was all I could say :)

This was one of the best deals of the day - a Columbia coat for the seven year old that will fit him this ski season. The cost? TEN CENTS! Literally. It was in with the winter clothes at the thrift store that they were getting rid of for 10/$1!!

This was another great deal - a Willow Tree figurine of an expecting mother. I love these. I almost bought this one when I found out I was pregnant, but couldn't justify the expense. I got this one for ... FREE... God is good! I'd love to collect all sorts of "motherly" figurines, but again, I can't justify the expense. Oh, and the two year old thinks it's a doll. He laid it down on a pillow and said, "Take a nap, Mama!" The seven year old reminded me how good he is at art, and offered to draw eyes and a smile on her... I think they miss the point. I've put this on display on the TOP shelf of my secretary, under lock, behind glass, just to be safe :)

For the two year old and the daycare, I got this tunnel - it looks like a caterpillar - see the legs? And each end has a face on it. Not sure why both ends have a face, but who am I to question the anatomy of a caterpillar? Anyway, the two year old was terrified of it until everyone else showed him how to use it.

Now he packs it around and plays with it all the time. He loves it.

Oh, and on top of all that, we also brought home two garbage bags full of clothes - including the pants I needed for the baby boy, and a grocery cart seat cover for our new baby :) It was a good haul. And, my husband was especially thrilled with a practically new reciprocating saw he found for $25.

While I was recovering in bed, my seven year old got bitten by his friend's dog. As I was in bed at the time, and haven't yet met this friend and his dog, I asked him what the dog looked like and he offered to draw me a picture. When he described it, all I got from him was the color, the spots, and the eyebrows. See them in the picture? He's fine by the way. Just a little surface scrape and a good lesson in why we leave other people's dogs alone :)