Alicia & Ben » Blog

I’ve heard people say that after you have three kids it all feels the same when you add more.

They were lying!

I could go on and on about how adorable and perfect our baby is (I’ll get to that and here’s a little teaser of what’s to come….)

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…..but I also wanted to record the difficulties.  One day I’m going to forget how exhausting the first month is with a newborn and I don’t want to forget. I want to always remember so I’ll have compassion for friends and family going through it and a desire to help them!

The older three are really independent, rather obedient, and mostly self-sufficient so it’s been a big adjustment to have a wee little one that needs constant care and attention.  Truthfully, I’m not a huge lover of the newborn phase.  I thought I was a baby person but we actually enjoy our kids more and more the older they get.  Newborns are difficult to comfort, exhausting, and their delicate health makes me anxious. Love ‘em but that’s the truth!

So a few of the life adjustments….

Lack of sleep is probably one of the hardest parts of the newborn phase.  Andi does better than our other newborns.  Most nights she eats every three hours and goes back to sleep.  Last night she was up for 3 hours straight, though.  I find the unpredictability the most difficult. It’s hard to think and hope you’re going to get to go back to sleep only to find out that she has other plans.  Also, all this lack of sleep happens in the midst of recovering from some pretty traumatic physical wounds/changes so it’s not like one is at the peek of their physical strength and endurance.  Quite the opposite.  It’s tiring in so many ways.

The hardest thing for me is actually not the lack of sleep but sacrifice of personal freedoms.  I sit on the sofa and nurse all day.  I’m so grateful she’s an amazing nurser, but I feel tethered to that sofa and nursing sessions. Everything must wait and be strategically planned – showers, meals, and bathroom breaks.  My time is not my own.  I can’t make decisions about what I get to do in a day and when.  Also, the first week or two of adjusting to nursing – ouch! Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.Showers must be strategically planned and often get cut short.

Simple outings are not so simple.  I tried to return some clothes to a store yesterday.  I had Andi perfectly prepped, fed, and asleep when I left. However, she woke up shortly after arriving at the store.  So I nursed her in their bathroom and rocked her back to sleep.  Five minutes later she was awake again and fussy.  So I held her and she calmed down.  However, people stared and wanted to have some friendly chat, “Oh how old is she?” “Are you sleeping at night?” “Is she your first?”  Haha.  “Oh you have your hands full!” – nice enough but the fear that they’re going to touch her makes me nervous and I could feel the clock ticking and just wanted to get my errands done.  What was usually a simple, enjoyable errand became stressful and exhausting.

This newborn phase has been more difficult, because I’m bound by the pick up and drop off schedule of the older kids.  It feels like just when I get Andi down for a good nap I’m forced to move her to her car seat to go pick up someone from school.  She’s not a big fan of the car so she often cries and that’s heartbreaking.  When we get home I usually nurse her again to calm her down because that’s all that works, rock her, and hope she goes back into a deep sleep.  Doesn’t always happen, though.  We’ll get on a regular schedule eventually but things are still so unpredictable in the newborn period.

Lastly, I hate the stretched-out-nothing-fits-will-I-ever-look-normal-again, yucky postpartum body!  I think I feel better about my image 9 months pregnant than I do one week post-partum.  I’m tired and stretched out and sore and leaking and….yuck!  I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin and I’m so eager to start exercising and getting back to normal but restricted by rules, exhaustion, and lack of time.  No fun.

But there have been so many blessings which I should also acknowledge!

First, we feel blessed that I had a normal delivery and therefore a faster recovery.  We prayed long and hard for that blessing!  I had zero “baby blues” this time around – so nice not to feel emotionally out of control.  Also, Ben was home for over a week and did pick up and drop offs, cooked, cleaned, did HW with the kids…everything!  I forgot just how helpful that man could be.  He was amazing!

My parents cancelled their scheduled trip to Utah so they could take care of our kids while we were in the hospital.  They are so attentive to their needs, and we had so much peace of mind knowing they were in good hands.

Also, a good friend of mine, Caroline, has been helping me with housework for the past 8-ish months.  She usually comes once a week and does laundry, cleaning, organizing, or whatever else needs to be done.  During this postpartum period she’s been coming twice a week.  It’s a game changer!  I’m able to mostly give up the burden of housework and just focus on the kids and their well-being.  She has made such a difference!

We’ve also felt the love, support, and prayers from friends and family.  It’s so nice to know we’re thought of and prayed for.

So those are the challenges and blessings.

Now let’s talk about the great rewards!

I get to cuddle this cute little face all day….

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It’s intoxicating.  Her little face is a constant source of entertainment and wonder for me.  I stare at her all day.  It’s heaven.

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Her favorite place is close to me.  I’m her favorite thing in the whole world.  Instant and unconditional love for each other. That depth of love is amazing and such a gift.

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I feel like our family is double the size.  Which maybe sounds like a bad thing but I love it. I don’t love the noise, work, and arguments, but it’s nice to feel substantial and complete. I know one little newborn isn’t that big of an addition, but goodness, things feel so much fuller and it’s a wonderful feeling.

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One of my favorite things this time around is watching the three big kids fall in love with Andi.  They are so smitten! They beg to hold her all day.  They love her so much already and I wasn’t expecting them to feel such an instant connection with her. “Mommy you made the best baby ever!”  Long after Ben and I are gone there will be 4 of them to support, love, and help each other.  It gives me so much peace of mind.

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We all love her so much!!!

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Finally!

My last “bump” picture – 4 days before I was induced.

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Here’s the short story….

Induced at 42 weeks.  16 hours of labor.  Pitocin.  Epidural.

Not quite how I had pictured things unfolding.  In the end, we had a happy, healthy baby so I’m choosing to be happy.

Here’s the long story….

Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church, Evelyn, the midwife, called and explained that at midnight of that day they were legally obligated to transfer me out of their care.  She explained we needed to get the baby born that day or I would be needed to be induced at the hospital in the morning.  I had been anxiously trying to start labor – acupuncture, walks, herbal supplements, 3 membrane strippings, 2 rounds of castor oil, foot massage, long baths to “relax”, etc.  She suggested me to come into the office and she could strip my membranes again then I could go for a walk, bounce on the birthing ball, and use the breast pump for an hour. Then she would break my water and hope to get labor started.

So we went to Sacrament meeting, and then returned home to gather/pack things for ourselves and the kids.  Picture on the stairs after church…..

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1PM – We arrived at the birthing center.  Evelyn examined me and said I was 3cm, 50% effaced and baby was still high.  I was pretty disappointed that after all that efforts and struggles to go into labor it didn’t create any more change in my cervix.  She stripped my membranes again….so fun.  We discussed options for a while.  She felt, and Ben and I agreed, that breaking my water wasn’t a good idea since things weren’t further along.  She suggested we could walk, bounce, and pump for a few hours and see if labor started.

My parents and Joseph arrived and we chatted for a little while.  My parents took the kids back to their house.

Ben and I set off on a walk.  I love to walk.  It was nice to have time to be together and discuss our options.  I was pretty positive that labor wasn’t going to start on it’s own, and I was tired of torturing myself trying to get labor started.  So, we decided to go to the hospital to get induced.  We could have waited until the morning to get induced but we hoped we could get her born that day and hoped that would allow us to get home in time for Sadie’s birthday on Tuesday, the 24th.

3:00PM – We stopped to eat at Christino’s Coal Oven Pizza for pasta and gelato.  So happy we did!  It gave us time to process what was happening.  Also, we didn’t know this at that time, but they wouldn’t let me eat at the hospital because they were worried I’d need a c-section. So I went nearly 24 hours from this lunch before I could eat again.  I eat a lot and often, so that was hard for me.

3:45PM – We checked in at hospital.

4:00PM – Nurse Patti checked us in and hooked me up to the monitors and IVs.  I was pretty disappointed to be in that hideous hospital robe, stuck in an uncomfortable bed, hooked up to machines.  I’m really not an admirer of hospitals.

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5:20PM – Doctor Richard Jameson checked me and reported I was 3cm, 30% effaced, -2 station.  We discussed induction options – pitocin, cervadil, and cytotec.  We/he decided to start with cytotec.  It seemed like the compassionate and benevolent option so we were happy to go down that path.

6:00PM – Nurse Natalie took over and she was fantastic!  So attentive and helpful all night long.  A good nurse like her makes a drastic difference!

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6:15PM – First cytotec treatment placed in the cervix.  Contractions started up within an hour.  They weren’t very strong but they were very regular within an hour.

 

8:00PM – The baby’s heart rate dropped for a good minute or two.  Natalie took action quickly and had me flip from side to side 4 to 6 times and massaged my belly until it came back up.  We had been through this before during Jax’s delivery so I pretty much understood what was going on and knew it was a bad news.  Every twenty to thirty minutes for the next 8 hours her heart rate would drop and our room would get flooded with nurses flipping me and rubbing the baby.  Once we found a good position I would be stuck in that spot until the next deceleration.  They also pumped me full of fluids which made me need to go to the bathroom.  They wouldn’t let me off the monitors so I was using a bedpan every 45 minutes all night long.  A very humbling, unenjoyable experience.  My back and hips ached so badly from being stuck in positions not of my choosing.  I think I had a pinched nerve in my back and I kept being forced into positions that put terrible pressure on that spot.  Ben asked me how I was a few times and I told him, “Death would be a welcomed relief.”  The contractions weren’t terribly uncomfortable but they were strong enough that I couldn’t sleep through them.  The back, hips, and desperate need to go to the bathroom were the bigger discomforts.  We were also concerned for the baby and the c-section word was thrown around a few times. I’m so scared of c-sections so that was an added stress.

 

2:10AM – Dr. Jameson check me and I was 4cm, 50% eff, -1 station.  Since my previous labors were 4, 3, and 2 hours we expected this was to be fast, too.  We were surprised the baby hadn’t been born yet and even more surprised to hear I wasn’t much further along after hours of contractions.

 

5:00AM – Nurse Gladett took over.  She was a nice Jamaican woman.  We liked her but she was a little less attentive than Natalie.

 

5:45AM – 6:45AM – My contractions really started to pick up.  They were strong and frequent and I thought I was in transition.  I felt nauseous and eventually got sick.

 

7AM – Shift change.  Dr. Keltner and Nurse Mariza took over.  Mariza was even less attentive than Gladett, but she was likable enough.  Dr. Keltner was fantastic – level headed, gentle, understanding.  When they entered the room at 7AM I had just been sick and contractions were lightening a little.  I expected to feel pressure to push because I thought I was in transition.  So, I was confused why contractions were becoming a little gentler.  Dr. Keltner checked and I was, “4 cm. Still high and not effaced.”  Devastating.  After 12 long hours of pain and zero sleep I was no further along.  How was that possible?!?!

By this point the baby’s heart rate had been stable for 2 – 3 hours so Dr. Keltner suggested we start with a very small amount of pitocin.  Only 1 unit increased by 1 every 30 minutes.  He asked if I planned on getting any pain management.  I told him, “No”.  They left the room to get the pitocin and then I re-evaluated….I wanted an epidural.  I was emotional and physically exhausted, in so much pain, and figured labor was still 3 – 4 hours off at least.  I wasn’t sure my back could survive another 3 – 4 hours in that position and I knew I wasn’t relaxed because I was in so much pain.  Also, I was getting squirmier and couldn’t stay in one position for very long anymore.  I figured the epidural would allow me to stay in positions that would help the baby.  Good for her; good for me.  I told Ben I was considering an epidural and he was super encouraging. I told him my biggest concerns were just a sense of wimping out.  He told me that was ridiculous.  So I ordered an epidural.

 

8:10AM – The epidural was placed.  Ben can’t handle the needle in the back so he stepped out.  The nurses and anesthesiologist said it was the fastest, easiest placement they’d ever seen/done.  I was grateful that something went smoothly.  Within minutes I felt deliriously happy and relaxed.  I know pitocin doesn’t affect mood, but that epidural had a lightening effect on my emotional state of mind.  I felt drunkenly happy. I felt like I’d had a long massage.  I felt better than I’d felt in 9 months.  No back pain, no hip pain, no stomach pain….so much happiness! Ben returned and the sun was rising and he spotted a rainbow and I felt so much tranquility.  I knew things were going to work out and we’d be holding our baby soon enough.

 

8:40AM – Started the pitocin.  This was a pretty calm time.  The baby’s heart rate continued to do well.  So thankful!  The only problem was my blood pressure.  It dropped to 70s over 40s and I was freezing and trembling.  They eventually brought the anesthesiologist back who gave me some medicine which helped the blood pressure to go back up.

 

10:10AM – I could feel the baby coming down more. Mariza checked and said I was a 7 cm and my water was still not broken but bulging.

 

10:45AM – I started to feel pressure so Mariza got Dr. Kiltner.  He said I was fully dilated but still had a tiny lip of cervix.  He offered to break my water or we could wait for a few more contractions.  I was still nervous about the baby’s cord compression so I suggested we just wait.  He waited 5 minutes, suited up and then suggested I give a little push.  With the next contraction I gave that little push and my water broke and went everywhere!  It was pretty dramatic.  Poor doctor and floor.  Good thing he had suited up.  He encouraged me to push really slowly and gently hoping it would prevent tearing so I did that on the next contraction…..

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11:01AM – Andi Katherine was born!  Instantly all the pain, difficulty, and waiting was forgotten and felt like such a small price to pay for such an amazing blessing!!!  She was a little purple at first but perked up quickly.  We kept locked gazes for a while.  It was so amusing to inspect all her tiny features and hold her miniature body.

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I cut her cord….

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I held her for a long time.  Eventually everyone came back to examine her.  Several people remarked, “Oh, wow, a little one.” I guessed her weight to be at 7’6″ and Ben guessed 7’3″.  She was 6’9″.  She was considered small for gestational age.  She looks plump in pictures but she’s actually itty-bitty.

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The kids surprised us and arrived at our door maybe an hour or two after she was born.  Jax was the most eager and first to hold her. McKay kept his distance for a while but eventually did hold her hand.  They were most fascinated by her umbilical cord!  It was so fun to see their reactions!

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So that’s the extended version the birth of our sweet babe!  We’re so grateful she’s here and healthy and ours!  God is good!

 

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  • February 8, 2017 - 3:55 am

    Shannon - She’s a doll Alicia! You deserve an award for being as patient as you were for Andi to arrive. You beat my record by four days! I’ve noticed after looking at pictures of Sadie and Andi together that Marissa and Katelyn are the same age difference. It’s amazing how quickly all the kids have aged in just a few years. Enjoy your sweet baby! Love you all!ReplyCancel

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