Alicia & Ben » Blog

A looonnngggg time ago I wrote this post: http://aliciaben.com/?p=100 when I was 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant with McKay.

As I sit here tonight, 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant again, these words rang true for how I’m feeling:

I go to bed every night and think, “Please let this be the night.” And, wake up every morning and think, “Ugh, still here!  Heavenly Father pleasssse help me through this day!”…..I feel like everyone is tired and struggling and the sooner we have this baby the sooner things will start to get back to normal.  Well, the new normal.  It will probably get harder before it gets easier, but right now I just feel stagnant and I’m ready to move forward.

McKay was born about 3 hours after I wrote that post.  Maybe history will repeat itself and I’ll go into labor tonight.  That could happen.  I’m not sure it will.  But I hope it will!

Ben and I have guessed that January 16th, tomorrow, would be her birthday since early on in the pregnancy.  Of course, I’ve also said that about other dates hoping it would happen sooner, but realistically I expected it to be January 16th.  I hadn’t prepared for the fact it could be past the 16th!!!  I’m trying to wrap my mind around that today.  The anticipation is becoming painful.

Thankfully I have been able to get a lot done the last few weeks.  All photoshoots are edited and delivered, baby stuff is all bought, and the house is really organized.  My motivation for to-do list items dried up this week, though.  My brain only thinks about one thing – baby.  I can’t focus on much else.

On Wednesday of this past week I hit the “I’m done!” day.  It was a physically draining day full of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, and Charlie’s fun birthday party.  We got home from the birthday party around bedtime and I was exhausted and achy.  Ben had YMs and was heading out the door.  I begged him to stay and told him I just didn’t have another hour of stamina left in me but I don’t think he realized I meant it.  Bedtime was hard with the boys and I ended up crying and they ended up crying and it was awful.  I went to sleep angry with Ben, frustrated with the boys, disappointed with myself, and physically and emotionally exhausted.  One of the most exhausted moments of my life perhaps.  Can’t recall a time I’ve ever felt more drained.  That was my “I’m done!” Day.  I had been patient up until that point but since then I’m so anxious to get this baby out and move into our new routine.

The kids are normally very content, happy, and obedient but the boys haven’t been their normal selves the past week.  They’re coming in bed with us at night, not wanting to do their chores, and fighting going to bed. Their stress and anxiety levels are high!  Jax is especially struggling – he’s cried about going to school for the last 6 days and cries much of the morning when he’s there.  He says he just wants to be home with me.  It’s so sad.  I’m ready for this baby to be born so things will settle back down eventually, not just for me, but for the kids!

So, on to actual baby related events from the week….

On Tuesday I had my follow up doctor’s appointment with the hematologist.  My numbers still weren’t great so they kept me so I could do another IV Iron Infusion.  I brought the kids with me and my half hour appointment turned into two hours!  We went straight to piano and singers company after than and arrived home to meet the missionaries at 6:30 for a lesson and then hurried to bed. Long day.  Lots of time in the car that day, too, which was hard on my back and the kids.  They did great, though!

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On Thursday I had my routine OB appointment and since I was over 40 weeks it’s their standard to do a non-stress test.  The baby did phenomenal until after a half hour her her rate dropped to 70 – 80 bpm for about 10 seconds.  That made them nervous and they were also nervous because of my small measurements so they sent me to Morton Plant Hospital for further testing.  I was hooked up to the monitor for another 5ish hours, did some blood work, and had an ultrasound.  They were considering inducing but everything checked out beautifully – good placenta, healthy/active baby, she was in perfect position, cord was not around the neck, and I had tons of fluid (95th percentile).  She had a perfect score, an 8/8 on the test.  Usually if the heart rate drops it’s because of low fluid or cord is wrapped.  Since that definitely wasn’t a problem in my case they eventually sent me home.  They told me if I hadn’t had the baby by Sunday (today) that I needed to come back for an induction Sunday night.

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However, the next morning I talked to my midwife and since everything looked great I decided to declined the induction at Morton Plant.  Being at the hospital reminded me of how much I dislike that place and made me more excited than ever to have the baby at the birthing center. This birthing group is really informed and thorough.  I am more and more impressed with them with each interaction we have. I trust them and I’m really looking forward to having the baby through them.
At the hospital they checked my cervix and I was discouraged to hear I was only 1cm dilated, 40% effaced and still a -2 station.  At this point in McKay’s pregnancy I was 4cm dilated.  Makes me wonder if things are still a ways off?  I usually dilate early.  They did sweep my membranes but I haven’t been having any contractions.  I had been having a lot the last few months but things stopped last Saturday. They’re slowly picking up but nothing too strong or frequent.
I hate to sound like a broken record but I’m really ready for this pregnancy to come to an end!!!  It’s like waiting for Christmas morning to arrive when you’re a little kid.  So much excitement, nervousness, and anticipation.  In fact, I’ve had the thought several times this week that I wonder if I’ll ever feel this much anticipation for an event ever again in life.  I don’t think I will.  All I think about is holding this baby.  Hopefully I’ll be doing so in the next day or two!  That would be so wonderful!
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  • January 17, 2017 - 4:13 am

    Shannon - It’s so hard to wait once you’ve gotten past your due date. She’s almost here. You can do it :) You are in our prayers.ReplyCancel

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I’m 40 weeks pregnant!  Now seems like a good time to cover the second half of my pregnancy.

This pregnancy has dragged on and flown by at the same time.  I’m a little shocked I’m at the end and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact we’re having another baby.  I don’t think it will feel real until they put her in my arms.  I say to Ben quite often, “I’m pregnant, you know?” just to remind both of us that this is real.  He agrees it won’t feel real until she’s born.

Thankfully, I have experienced excellent health throughout most of the pregnancy.  I had a little cold around Jax’s birthday in June and I’ve been fighting a little cold the last few weeks.  It’s been lingering for a while and I’m hoping it will be totally gone by the time she’s born. Other than that no major illnesses.  Unfortunately, my back has been more sore this pregnancy.  I think I have a bit of a pinched nerve on the left side of my mid-back.  It hurts to sit for longer than 30 – 45 minutes.  It’s not terrible since I have relief if I’m standing, walking, or laying down.  This was a problem towards the end of McKay’s pregnancy but it started a lot sooner with this baby, probably around month 6, and it’s been more painful.  One other problem has been anemia.  It, too, was a problem in past pregnancies but they were more concerned about it this time.  In order to deliver at my birthing center I cannot be considered high risk.  They consider any hemoglobin below 10 to be high risk.  Mine was an 8.7 even after taking supplements for months so they sent me to a hematologist for an evaluation around 27 weeks.  She started me on IV blood iron infusions.  I had to go for 5 treatments and each one left me feeling quite tired for a few days.  It was anticlimactic because I was expecting to get an immediate energy boost.  Turns out it takes a few months to feel an improvement and you actually have a dip in energy before any noticeable benefits are felt.  A few weeks after I completed my final iron treatment they checked my hemoglobin and I was still only at 9.8.  Thankfully at my most recent draw I was at 10.2 so I’m fine to deliver at the birthing center.

Back in mid-November it hit me how little we had done to prepare.  Most of our baby stuff was broken or expired by the time McKay was done with it.  So we needed almost everything and we basically had nothing at that point.  The problem thickened because we didn’t have a great place for her in our house.  I told Ben early on that I really wanted to convert the garage into a playroom so that we could use our 4th bedroom as a nursery.  He was reluctant to do it.  He wanted Sadie and the baby to share a room or to do away with a playroom.  I felt Sadie’s room was tiny and already pretty tight.  Also, Sadie stays up reading in bed and babies have random sleep patterns so I worried about them waking each other up.  And I really didn’t want to do without a playroom.  I knew I would feel stressed and crowded with the toys scattered throughout the house and kids would be loudly running circles throughout the house. For me loudness is stressful.  So we had gone back and forth for months about what the best solution would be.  Since we couldn’t agree we had done nothing. By mid-November I was getting a little panicked about our lack of preparation and basically told Ben my happiness would be great enhanced if we converted the garage.  He hesitantly agreed. So happy he did.  It was a lot of work but I’m so happy we did it!  We had to buy a shed, set up the shed (that alone took two days of Thanksgiving break and my dad came to help one of the days), sort and move the stuff from the garage to proper places, scrub the garage, repair the ceiling in the garage where Ben had fallen through from the attic two years ago (that’s another story), paint the garage/ceiling, weather proof the garage, install new lighting in the garage, get flooring for the garage, purchase and set up storage units in the garage, get a crib and furniture for the nursery, build an organizational structure for the nursery closet, get out all our baby stuff from the attic, clean and sort that stuff, organize all the toys/clothes into their new spaces, and assess what we still needed and purchase those things.  Much of this work was done during my busiest months so it wasn’t an easy feat.  We had more than a couple late nights getting it all done.  Bless Ben for all his hard work!  There’s still projects to be completed – the window needs framing, we need to buy an AC unit for the garage, we hope to buy/build a sleeper sofa for the long wall, hang things on the wall, etc.  It’s at a great functional point, though, and it’s been fantastic to have the extra space.  The kids love it!  We spend more time in the garage than any other room in our house now.  The kids have done a fabulous job of keeping their stuff organized.  They each have their own niche and it’s very easy and quick for them to clean up their things.  There’s also a lot of empty bins so there’s plenty of room to expand as new toys gets introduced.

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In the nursery we left the paint color and curtains the same. The crib and swing were practically new hand-me-downs from Uncle Jim.  I bought some prints off Etsy and a few more things at Homegoods.  I found the chair on the side of the road and somehow managed to get it in the car by myself at 8 1/2 months pregnant. It’s really heavy!  I had McKay with me and asked him to help but he was too embarrassed.  “No, Mommy, someone will see me.”  Haha.  Amazingly, Jax and I got it into the house.  He’s surprisingly strong and helpful for only being 6 years old.

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Ben did a great job building out the closet shelving. A friend, Caroline, helped me sort and organize the boxes and boxes of baby stuff from the attic….

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Also, during this time we finally finished up the downstairs bathroom shower.  We still needed a door,  hardware installed and the drywall patched.

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Moving on from house stuff…..

We still haven’t committed to a name.  Actually we have but then we change our minds a few days later. I still love Andi/Andie.  Ben loves Avery or Morgan.  I like Mary for personal and religious significance but something about it doesn’t feel like the right fit for this baby. So we feel conflicted. Jax and Sadie refer to her as Andi/Andie.  McKay wants to name her Avery but he accidentally calls her Andi/Andie and then has to correct himself.  I’m a little tired of thinking about the decision and going back and forth with everyone about it.  We never officially decide until the baby is born (except I think we did with Sadie) so we’ll see what we feel once she’s born.

I measure small.  I always do but she’s really small like Sadie was.  At each appointment they measure my fundal height (belly) and it’s supposed to be the same number of centimeters as I am weeks pregnant.  This last week’s appointment I was at 39 1/2 weeks but only measuring 35 cm.  They sent me for an ultrasound to confirm she was healthy and my amniotic fluid was okay.  Both things checked out fine.  They estimated her weight to be 5 lbs. 4 ounces.  Again, I remember them telling me this with Sadie, that she was going to be a tiny nugget – around 5 1/2 lbs.  She was more than a pound heavier than they had estimated though.  I’m not worried about it.

Funny comment I get a lot throughout this pregnancy – “Is this your first?”  I say, “No it’s my fourth.”  People are always shocked and it’s funny to see their reactions and hear their follow up comments.  It’s the “Oh you have your hands full” comment of the year which was said to me at least 1,000 times in 2011.

I don’t have a set labor plan.  I have a lot more options since I will not be hooked up to an IV and monitor like at the hospital.  People have asked if I plan to do a water birth. I haven’t ruled it out but it doesn’t sound especially appealing to me.  Maybe I’ll feel differently once things are underway.  Frankly, I’m a little worried I won’t have much time to labor at the birthing center at all.  McKay was born about 40 minutes after I arrived at the hospital.  They were still asking me what my highest level of education was and starting my IV when I was ready to push.  That was annoying!  Sadie’s labor was 4 hours from start to finish, Jax’s was 3 hours, and McKay’s was 2 hours.  Does that mean this one will be one hour?  We’re about a 45 minute drive to the birthing center so I’m just hoping we make it!  I don’t hate labor and delivery.  For me it’s so exciting to know the end has arrived and I finally get to see the baby.  The contractions don’t bother me much but I do hate transition and beyond.  During transition I get panicky and get that feeling that always reminds me of the Children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – “We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!”  That point of no return….no fun.  But, for me, that only lasts two or three contractions and then pushing usually lasts for two contractions and it’s over.  So 10 or 15 unpleasant minutes in all.  Not so bad if you think about it really.

I feel conflicted about the pregnancy ending.  Part of me is so anxious for this baby to be born.  I’m eager to hold her in my arms, inspect all her little features, and be rid of this 20 lbs of growth in the middle of my abdomen which is causing me great discomfort. Another part of me wouldn’t mind if I’m a week or two overdue so I can get a little more caught up on my neglected tasks. My feelings on the topic do an about-face all throughout the day.  “Get this baby out of me….oh wait….I really need to get this done before she’s born….stay in there a little longer little lady.”  Back and forth I go.  If I’m still pregnant in another week my preference will be entirely for pregnancy completion, I’m sure.

So we wait and wonder and dream about how it’s all going to happen.  I’m feeling like a bomb that’s about to go off.  A simple mistake of spilling a cup of water gets the kids excited, “Mommy, I thought your bubble had popped!” (true story)  When I’m out and about people ask, “Wow, when are you due?”  And when I call people on the phone they answer with the question, “Are you in labor?”   Not yet but soon enough.

Me pregnant around 32ish weeks??

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Pregnant with Sadie on my due date:

DSC_1194Here’s a post with a picture when I was 4 days overdue with Jax: http://aliciaben.com/?p=198

Here’s a post with a picture when I was 41 weeks pregnant with McKay: http://aliciaben.com/?p=100

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A few other noteworthy items from December:

Christy and Matt Visited

I like them.

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Gramma Meyers 89th Birthday Party

The woman is amazing.

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A Night in Bethlehem

Our Stake hosts a really wonderful live nativity performance each December.  They have an outdoor area set up like Bethlehem with little shops and activities – the Shabby Sheikh where you dress up,  Old Tyme Pottery where they made beaded bracelets, Hebrew School where kids are taught how to write their names in Hebrew, etc.  After you visit Bethlehem there is a performance of the Nativity and reading of Luke 2 with live animals and actors singing.  We’ve gone most years since Sadie was little and we always have a wonderful experience.  We joined Mike and Sarah’s family this year.  Here is a picture of the only people who were willing to dress up from our group at the Shabby Sheikh……

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Student of the Month

Also, Jax had an award ceremony for being Student of the Month the next morning at school.  I felt so bad because we forgot about it. I remembered when I turned on my phone in the morning and had the calendar alert but I was 10 minutes late. He was crying and sitting with a sweet grandpa he’d never met when I arrived.  Luckily, he calmed down quickly and I was there to see the award given.  I felt so terrible, though!

He’s a really great kid!

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Dates with the Kids

I thought it would be a good idea to take each of the kids on a date before the baby is born.

Ben took Jax to the Florida Orchestra Christmas show with Gramma Meyers.  The tickets were actually my parents’ but they fell ill so we inherited them.

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I planned a date for Sadie which included painting, pizza and puppies.  We had a lovely time together!  Special thanks to my mom for watching the boys.

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Lastly, Ben took McKay golfing with my dad, Joseph, and Kimmy.  Sadly, I don’t think they took any pictures.  McKay loved driving the bumpy golf cart!

Ethan’s Baptism

Ethan got baptized on a Saturday morning in December.  It was a sweet program.  Other than the actual ordinance itself, Mimi’s talk on the Holy Ghost was the highlight.  She took Ethan on a safari all around the primary room and likened her being the guide to the Holy Ghost guiding us through life.  Ben played the piano and did ok.  He hit a couple wrong notes when he was warming up, and Jax whispered to me “It’s your fault for not letting him practice.”

Pictures will be forthcoming…

So there you have it!

 

 

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  • January 6, 2017 - 8:52 pm

    Joe - I took a picture of Ben golfing on McKay’s golf date but no pictures of McKay. I also got some photos of a baby alligator we saw on the course.ReplyCancel

    • January 9, 2017 - 11:43 pm

      alicia - I’d love to get a picture. Will you send it to me?ReplyCancel

CHRISTMAS ADAM

The kids are looking forward to and enjoying this Christmas-y tradition more and more each year!  (Recap: On Dec 23rd we let them open one present in the morning, we eat a cheese and fondue dinner, and then we camp under the Christmas tree and watch a Christmas movie at night.)  This year we watched Elf and they giggled their way through it.

 

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve morning Ben made us Santa pancakes.

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We prepped throughout the day and then went to Mike and Sarah’s around 4:30 for our family get together.  We played the saran wrap ball game and that was a hit with the kids!  The food was excellent!

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CHRISTMAS DAY

Thankfully the kids slept until sunrise on Christmas morning.  They were so, so excited to open their presents.  McKay had been hounding me for months about what he wanted, what he thought I thought he would receive, and when the time would arrive for him to open his presents.  I was happy the day had arrived so I could get a little relief from his inquiries.  He’s already started a countdown to his birthday and has ideas of what he’d like so the relief was short lived.

Santa brought Sadie a mermaid tail, Jax received a bunch of Star Wars Lego characters, and McKay got his transformer TRex.  They were all thrilled!

We bought a TV for the playroom.  We were going to show them after all the present opening but Jax went out there to get something at a mid-point and said, “Um….guys…..there’s something strange in the playroom.”

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I loved that Christmas was on a Sunday this year.  We attended an hour of church after present opening.  It was mostly all music and quite relaxing and enjoyable.

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After that we went to the Homestead for more present opening, naps, supper, a trip to the beach for sunset, and a visit with Aunt Debbie’s family.  Mimi and Grampie gifted each of the kids with a tablet.  They were quite excited about that.

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Merry Christmas!!!!

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5 Christmas performances in 5 days.  We were lucky nothing overlapped!

First up, Saturday December 10th, Jax had his first piano recital.  He loves to perform!  It was cute and simple, but I think he really enjoyed it all.  He played two songs, ‘O Christmas Tree’ and ‘Jingle Bells.’  His piano teacher, Caroline Hausman, provided accompaniment for each song, so they played in a duet.  I was a little skeptical Jax would keep up the correct timing, but he played flawlessly and we were all very proud.  He’s come a long way since he began in September.  He looks forward to his piano lessons each week and rarely complains about practicing.  I hope his enthusiasm continues.  His teacher is sweet and calm – perfect for Jax.  They seem to both like each other quite a bit.  That is always important.

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Second, a few girls at school were asked to perform their Christmas concert at a retirement home one Sunday afternoon.  Sadie received an invitation, and since Jax is in chorus and a sibling they let him join in, too.  I had church meetings so Ben took the kids.

Third performance, Sadie’s Singer’s Company Christmas concert.  This is a highlight of the year for me!   Sadie grins from ear to ear the whole show.  Also, they always have the cutest songs, costumes, and moves. I love that it’s laid back and imperfect!

Fourth was McKay’s school Christmas performance. He was a shepherd. I wasn’t sure how he would do. He hates to perform and often tells me he “doesn’t know how to sing.” For reasons I don’t understand he often yawns when he sings, too. The morning of the performance he was so excited though! Ben wasn’t planning to come, but McKay wanted an audience, so I talked Ben and my Mom into coming last minute. So happy I did! He was so excited and surprised to see Mimi. I thought extra people would make him more nervous but he lit up every time he looked our direction. He also loved showing us his classroom afterwards and eating cookies with Mimi and me after the show. He was the cutest little shepherd I’ve ever seen!

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Lastly, we had the real School Christmas Chorus Concert for Sadie and Jax.  They had a special dance part in one of the songs and were assigned to dress as elves.  They were ridiculously festive and cute. Jax got nervous towards the end of the show and walked off stage, because he thought they sat in the wrong seats after their dance demonstration. They were on the top row of the risers and they were supposed to have sat on the bottom row. He insists he doesn’t want to do the chorus performances anymore.  I hope he doesn’t mean it.  It’s a big production.  I think there are 350 kids in chorus so I’m guessing there are 1,000 people in the audience.  This was his first time in front of that many people and it must have overwhelmed him a little.

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