39 Weeks with Baby GIRL

This will probably be my last blog post before she is born! We have 3 days left.

We are so lucky because Joey is getting 6 weeks of paternity leave, and it started on Wednesday. I literally just COULD NOT anymore. Taking Shep to school and picking him up was killing me. I seriously cried everyday in the parking lot after I picked him up. That sounds dramatic but having to get Breaker and Major out of the car then all three of them back in the car and car seats and blah blah it was so hard.

Its been so nice having a few days before we have a newborn to relax and get our bearings (aka me boss everyone around to clean). We've been finally working on getting her nursery set up and tomorrow night we have a "Family of 5 Fun Night" planned. Shep and Major have it all planned out. The boys want to get in the hot tub, rent a movie and have a taste test, lol. Their idea. Tomorrow I'm going to buy every flavor of Pringles then they want to guess which flavor they're eating.
Tonight all of our boys were with aunts...Shep and Maj had a sleepover with their cousin, Matthew, and we dropped Breaker off with Jen so Joey and I could go to dinner and shop around for some last minute baby items. I got a few things I needed for my hospital bag, exciting stuff ;) We also got a gift for each of the boys for their sister to "give" them when they meet for the first time.

Also me:

A few weeks ago at my 37 week appointment we got to have an ultrasound and see her sweet face. The whole circus came with me to the doctor and the boys loved getting to see their sister. Major was very concerned about what was happening to me, he kept asking what the goop was they were putting on my belly during the ultrasound. 
Now, I know I'm probably biased...but. I have NEVER seen such a beautiful ultrasound picture. Someone asked if we were going to do the special 4d ultrasound this time and I said no because they always all look the same to me and I feel like you can't really tell anything. But when we had this ultrasound I really think it is the prettiest ultrasound that's ever been.

She was estimated at 6 lbs 14 oz.

So, at my appointment that day, at nearly 38 weeks pregnant, my doctor told me she would unexpectedly have to be out of town on the day we scheduled my C-section. Now, I literally cry at every single appointment, no matter what happens. I don't know why, I just get very emotional at doctor's offices. So as soon as she told me this I started tearing up. I asked if we could reschedule it so she could be there. (No.) So we set up my next appointment for the following week to meet with the other doctor she recommended. Joey came with me to that appointment, and I am relieved to say I really really liked him. He just immediately put me at ease and had a very calm demeanor. When I asked about having a clear drape for the C-section, he pulled out his phone right then and there and put it on speaker so I could hear and called Labor and Delivery. You could tell the nurse that answered the phone had a lot of respect for him and she right away found out if they could do that and said she would put it in my file and make sure they had it for me. I told him the main thing I want is it to feel like her birthday, and not a surgery. I was just very put off by Shepherd's birth, when the nurses and doctor talked about their weekend plans the entire surgery.

I have been so anxious this entire pregnancy about the C-section. I still feel it is the right decision for me, its just very disappointing.  And after Breaker's birth, I've just been so stressed out about it. 
Why its the right decision, here.
 (Long story short, during Major's labor I severely injured my tailbone and it took 8 months to "heal" but it is still (4 years later) something that I can feel everyday. And I made the decision before Breaker was born that I wouldn't risk it happening again and giving myself chronic pain.)

When Breaker was born, the doctor and staff were amazing, and so on board with every request I had. But I was so anxious and had such bad side effects from the epidural or whatever it was, that none of my requests mattered because I was so out of it. 
Breaker's birth, here.
So I've just been practically sick thinking this birth will be the same. Like, for weeks I've cried randomly throughout the day just thinking about the C-section. I'll think about it just driving down the road and feel weak. I'm crazy! I swear in life nothing stresses me out, but this sends me over the edge. 
BUT. Ever since I met Dr. Greene, I've felt very calm and not had one of my random cries over this. So while I can't guarantee I won't be having a panic attack on Tuesday when we get to the hospital, I'm going with this wave of calmness and praying it stays.
 Dr. Greene was on board with all of my requests, so hopefully I will have an easier time this go around and be able to enjoy it more.

This is my C-section birth plan, edited a little since Breaker's birth:

Family Centered C-section:
-Clear drape
-Our music playing
-Not to be strapped down
-Non dominant arm have IVs, etc
-Talk among staff be focused on the birth
-No students
-Newborn tests be delayed until recovery
-Skin to skin immediately with either myself or my husband
-Dad and baby stay with me in OR until I'm moved to recovery
-Delay bath and baby not be fully dressed until I've had bonding time (cover in warm blankets)
-My husband assist with first bath
-I will be exclusively breastfeeding, so no formula, paci or sugar water
-If baby requires any medical attention above that of a healthy baby, please communicate everything with my husband and I so we can understand and make decisions


CRL, we are so excited to meet you!

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Our Song for our Daughter

Each of our children have a special song just for them, that we chose when I was pregnant and we will always associate with them as little newborn babies.

I posted about them here.

I've also posted before (here) about our love for Dave Barnes and how he has the best timing with his songs. Well, Dave came through again and we have the perfect song for our daughter. He just released a new CD and the day he released it Joey came home and said he found her song to play in the delivery room and he'll also dance with her at her wedding to it.
Then we both stood in the kitchen and cried listening to it ;)

Remember That I Love You 

From the moment that I first held you
I knew some day I'd have to let you go
I woulda stayed there forever
But there's some things a heart just knows
I've been begging the seconds, the minutes
Always asking them to take their time
Wanna make some memories before you leave
While you're still mine
And when its time...

Whichever way the wind in your wings blows
Whichever way the dream in your heart goes
Whatever you do remember that I love you
When the world around you keeps changing
Feel like you can't keep your heart from breaking
Whatever you do remember that I love you
I love you

I wanna show you the life worth living
Try to keep you from mistakes I've made
Tell you all about Jesus
The streets of gold we'll walk someday
Hear me say, yeah

Whichever way the wind in your wings blows
Whichever way the dream in your heart goes
Whatever you do remember that I love you
When the world around you keeps changing
Feel like you can't keep your heart from breaking
Whatever you do remember that I love you
I love you

Can you just keep falling, falling
Don't know which way to go
You come out of the road you're walking
They all lead back home

Whichever way the wind in your wings blows
Whichever way the dream in your heart goes
Whatever you do remember that I love you
When the world around you keeps changing
Feel like you can't keep your heart from breaking
Whatever you do remember that I love you
I love you

I'll always be here for you
I love you
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36 Weeks with Baby #4

 I wrote this at 36 weeks, but I'm just now posting!

I cannot articulate how over it I am. I added it up and by the time she is born, I'll have spent 157 weeks of my life pregnant. Roughly 40 months, over 3 years.
I am uncomfortable, I am moody, I am huge. Everything is hard. I can't breathe. I want to lay on the couch for the next 26 days. All I do is pee. And blow my nose. And reapply chapstick. I am not a negative person, but the last month of pregnancy is the absolute longest and most miserable month, ever. I have to get out every day to pick Shep up from school, and parents are required to walk inside to pick them up. So I have to unload Major and Breaker, I put Breaker in a stroller to contain him, to walk inside for 5 minutes. Then I have to load all of them in their car seats. Being nearly 9 months pregnant and whisper-screaming at my kids to sit down and buckle up, while I'm crouching over inside the car to get Breaker buckled. I will not miss this.

I have an irrational fear of fire. I can't tell you how many times I wake up in the middle of the night and start thinking about it and can't go back to sleep. I get up and walk through the house to make sure it isn't on fire. I made Joey put a new smoke alarm in every room. I have always had a big fear of fire. I told my mom she probably should have sent my to a child therapist, because when I was little, I would pray every single night for our house to not catch on fire, and for NO ONE in the entire world to have their house catch on fire. Our house does not have normal windows. Every single window is tall and skinny, and they crank open. I am terrified there will be a fire and I would have no other option but to escape through a window and my giant pregnant belly wouldn't fit. 

 So her birthday is set for February 27th! I can't wait!
We still do not have her nursery done. Its painted pink and that is it. I still need to buy a car seat for her, and a few other random things.

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Baby #4 31 week Update

^Beginning of third trimester^

I am currently 31 weeks, although if you ask me I have to check my What to Expect app to make sure. 

All of my pregnancies have been the same. I have it super easy other than I gain a ton of weight and by the third trimester I'm miserable. No vomiting or morning sickness, just nauseous in the beginning and grossed out by most food, so I am the pickiest eater when I'm pregnant. I hate meat.

Right now she is as big as a coconut! Shep loves to hear what food she is each week, he thinks its so funny!

I am having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions. Usually more at the night because I'm on my feet pretty much all day. You just never get to sit down with three kids. If you start to relax they sense it ;) I also have the annoying issue of my legs going numb all the time. When I'm on my feet too long I'll have to go sit down until I get feeling back. One of my other kids did that to me too, I think it way Shepherd. My midwife said she is pressing on a nerve.

I am craving ice like crazy. Yesterday I actually took my glass of ice in the shower with me because I had to wash my hair and I didn't want to go that long without it. I know I'm craving ice because my iron levels are low, I'm taking supplements for it. 

As for the nursery...here's Joey and Breaker taking down his crib so Joey could paint, then the paint color we chose and one of the wallpaper options I really like. Other nursery plans...she will use the Jenny Lind style crib we had for Major, but we plan on painting it. I am also on the hunt for the perfect floral wallpaper to go on the wall behind her crib. 
Before we painted, I wrote a few Bible verses on the wall inside her closet:

After paint and new carpet:
Poor Breaker is my only child who's never had a full out nursery just for him. He's currently sleeping in a pink bedroom and will be until we decide to move her in. She'll sleep in our room for the first 6 months, just like her brothers. By the time she's ready to move into her own room, Breaker will be 2.5 and hopefully ready for a big boy bed. Then we'll move him in with Shep and Maj. It will be a little crowded but I don't want any of our kids in a bedroom on the other side of the house too far away from us. Plus the boys are so excited for Breaker to move in with them.  They seriously love him so much.

Shep and Maj talk about her all the time. Breaker is too little to understand it, but he will give my belly kisses when you ask where the baby is. The other day Shepherd and Major were hugging on Breaker and trying to get him to love on them. They are so good with him, nearly 2 years later and they still act like he's brand new. I know they are going to be so precious with a little sister. Anyway, when they were hugging on Breaker, Shep said that Breaker was "his baby." So Major said, that's fine, his sister will be his. So sweet. 

She does have a name, and her initials are CRL. I also have this oversize monogram to put in her nursery:
Its not a secret and I will tell anyone who asks me. We just aren't putting her name on social media until she is born. I kind of secretly love when people do that because I literally get excited and stalk their Insta's all day to hear the name lol.

We still have not scheduled the C-section, but I'm assuming they'll do it at the end of February. 
I'm seeing a midwife for the pregnancy, but since midwives cannot perform surgery, I have to pick a different doctor in the practice. The one I met with at my appointment last week, I did not like at all. I'm hoping for better luck when I try a different one at my next appointment. 
I spent Breaker's entire pregnancy trying to be Kumbaya about the whole thing, even though I was so anxious about the C-section. Then I ended up having a near panic attack on the operating table and the anesthesiologist basically knocked me out. This time I realize I am not someone who can be mind over matter, at least not in this situation. Now I'm like, I need drugs. 
(More about why I'm having a C-section in this post.)

So I think I mentioned that I was really excited to have a posterior placenta with this pregnancy. All my boys were anterior and I never felt them move a lot, and not until the end of the pregnancy. I definitely felt her move earlier, and it is more in the front of my belly, whereas the boys I felt more on the sides. But it is not what I expected. People always act like they are getting kicked in the ribs and can't sleep from the baby moving and that has not been my experience at all, and I thought it finally would be with a posterior placenta for the first time.

After Breaker was born I wrote this post and mentioned my midwife in Utah telling me there is something about the third pregnancy that is harder than any of them. I thought she was just trying to make me feel better because I was miserable, but my midwife here told me the same thing! Well I am here to report, I back up this claim. My fourth pregnancy has been easier than my third. Yes, with my third I think it was harder because I didn't have anyone to help or babysit or ever get a break, and I was living a Utah winter and basically a shut in. But even with that in consideration, this pregnancy has been easier on me.

Sleep has gotten really hard. I toss and turn all night, except its so hard to turn over. Also I can't breathe. All of my pregnancies I've been congested pretty much from the beginning. I also am out of breath all the time just from my lungs being crowded.

I *think* this will be our last baby. I'm not going to say 100% sure on that yet, because Joey would love more and honestly if I didn't have to go through a pregnancy and C-section I would too. I love big families and I'm obsessed with our kids so I just want more of them ;)
But I do feel good about four. I told Joey the other day, when Shepherd was a baby I would cry at the drop of a hat thinking about him growing up and worrying if I was soaking it all in enough, etc. Now nearly four kids later and some perspective, I KNOW I have soaked it all in as much as one possibly could. I have enjoyed everything, I have been present and Lord knows I have documented it ALL. I think I'm at a place where I can really enjoy knowing this is my last baby and being ok with it, and just soaking it all in.
Who knows though, I'll probably have another baby in 2020.

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2018 Word of the Year

Every year Joey and I pick a “Word for our Year.” Not necessarily a resolution, just something we want to focus on, something to guide our decisions and something we hope we’ll look back on December 31st and be able to say we succeeded. With 2016 ending the way it did, we entered 2017 tired and weary and hopeful and in desperate need of REST, so that was our word for this year. Well within a few months we realized Rest is not in the cards for us, so we adjusted and changed our Word of the Year to SETTLE. We’re in a new house, in a new town, we’ve spent this year getting comfortable and creating the home we want and just getting settled. 

This was an “underground” year for us. No flower blooms year round. We were really just focused on getting our feet on solid ground.

“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the Heavens...
A time to plant and a time to uproot...
A time to tear down and a time to build...
A time to mourn and a time to dance...
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them...”

Our word for 2018 is LISTEN. We pray all the time, but how often do we sit in silence, how often are we STILL, reallllly trying to hear God’s voice? We want to spend the next year really seeking God’s will and listening for what’s next for our family.  God can dream a bigger dream than we could ever imagine for ourselves, and we don’t want to let it pass us by because we’re too busy to see it. 

After doing this for years, I can look back and see how spending a year focusing on one thing has developed/shaped my character. One year our word was intentional. I can truly say that everything I do (or don’t do) especially since becoming a parent, is intentional. 
The year we decided to embrace change, really did end up changing us forever. That year taught us so many lessons, especially about what we're capable of and how God is always taking care of us. Taking a year to settle reminded me that life needs “ups” and “downs.” Not that this year was a down, but it’s a year of rest and that’s necessary. 

I also chose a secondary word for myself this year. Lately I've really had this yearning to CREATE. I've always considered myself an artistic person, but any outlet for that gets put on the back burner because my main focus is my kids. At the end of the day I'm so exhausted that I just want to lay on the couch and zone out.  I'm also pretty much always pregnant ;) I love writing and blogging, I love to paint, I love decorating our home. I want to force myself to find the time to do more of those "life-giving" things this year. I really believe doing something creative wakes up a different part of your brain and energizes you in a way nothing else can. 

Cheers to 2018!
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I am so ashamed of myself for my long blogging break! Especially because I am pregnant with my daughter and the #1 reason I blog is so my children will read it one day! I've kept such good track of all of my pregnancies because I pictured my daughter wanting to know one day what her pregnancy might be like, and here I am not even documenting her own! Honestly, the reason for my hiatus is that our computer finally kicked the bucket (you may remember me sharing Major spilled OJ on it and its been holding on my a thread ever since). And I have no idea how to add pictures now that there is no longer a Blogger app for my iphone. Seriously I'm just technology illiterate, send help. I'm typing this on Joey's work computer and I can't promise when I'll update again.  So allow me to just ramble a bit!

Y'all, having 3 kids is insane. I am overstimulated all day long with noise and touching and questions. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it for the world, but like I don't ever sit down. The past year of our life has been crazy. That seems to be a theme with us. I would like to do a separate post on this topic, but we had to change our original "word of our year" from REST to SETTLE. Rest just is not happening with all these chitlins running rampant. Instead we have spent the last year trying to get our feet on solid ground.

As I type this, my house is messier than its been since we moved in. I cannot live in mess. My brain does not function. I'm not by any means a clean freak (you should see my car).  Lord, I wish I was OCD. But I like my house to be picked up and somewhat in order. I'm just a nicer person. We hosted Thanksgiving and I'm still recovering. I just got serving dishes washed and put away yesterday. We have Christmas decorations and boxes still waiting to be fully put up. We are having carpet installed on Friday in our guest room, Breaker's room (which will turn into the new baby's room) and Shep and Major's room. So Joey has spent the past week trying to get all 3 rooms painted before the carpet is installed, we have to take everything out of those rooms to get ready so I have crap everywhere, including a mattress and box springs blocking my guest bath and laundry room. #firstworldproblems

So I'm I think a week or two away from the third trimester. I'm at the point where if I drop something I just leave it there as opposed to bending over. #bendingoveristheworst
I had my baby shower a few weeks ago and it is so exciting to see my house filling up with pink stuff! I'm just not used to it, it feels foreign to me. We've painted the nursery pink and I'm searching for the perfect floral wallpaper to go on one wall. I've been feeling her kick for a few weeks now, which is so sweet. I finally have a posterior placenta and I am so excited to experience that. The boys were all anterior and I could never feel them until later. I'm having anxiety over the C-section, which if you've read this blog for awhile you know I could go on about allll day. ;)

A little update on the boys:

Shep is still loving school, he moves up to blue or purple on the color chart every day because he is an angel. Then I pick him up and he turns into a crazed person. I guess he's been holding in his wildness all day so he lets loose as soon as he gets home. He has such a manipulative streak. #lordpleasekeephimoutofjail
He is like the little devil on his brother's shoulders whispering to them to do something naughty. Today I told Breaker not to climb on something and started walking away, and I hear Shep say, "Breaker, climb up there. Do it."
A few weeks ago Shep got in big trouble because he legit masterminded a big coverup and had Major lying for him to keep himself out of trouble. He's a sneaky one.

Major has always gotten the rap for being our wild child, which he is, but he is also the literal sweetest person you will ever meet, and our current easiest to handle child. He just gives love so freely. All day long he asks me if he can give me hugs and kisses. He follows Breaker around the house, saying, "Breaker? Huggie??" That story I just said about Shep getting in trouble for his big cover up? We were making him apologize to Major and we told him to give Major a hug and say sorry. Shep is not a hugger. Well Shep starts walking towards him, Major's arms are outstretched, so excited to be getting a hug, and Shep just walks right past him. We yelled at Shep to come back and Major says, "Its ok, Shep. You just missed me."  I could go on and on, but he really is just the sweeeeetest.

I don't know if its his age or truly his personality, but Breaker is just really goofy. He makes the funniest faces and is a little wild child doing flips and throwing himself around on the couch or wherever. He is obsessed with books. He loves his brothers and gets PISSED if he gets left out. He wants to be doing whatever they are doing. He is so rough and also destructive. He will wrestle his brothers and straight up hit them if they make him mad. He loves to throw things and jump off stuff.  I swear angels have intervened and let Joey and I have superhuman reflexes to catch him when he jumps off things without waiting to see if anyone is ready to catch him. Last night he was climbing on the table and jumping to me over and over again. Well then he loses his balance and falls backwards off the table. I lunge for him but can't get a good grip, I was seriously holding him with both hands by his head. Then big ol pregnant me loses my balance too and we both topple to the ground. Joey rushes over not sure who to help first, his pregnant wife or his baby who nearly had his head ripped off. LORD.

Well, I just thought I'd check in and get some rambling off my chest. Hopefully I'll be back to blogging soon :)

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Summer Catch Up Post

If you saw my post yesterday, you can guess the reason I've taken a blogging hiatus. My motto the 1st trimester is always just to get through it. And I don't even have it hard so I can't imagine if I was sick everyday. Now that I'm into the 2nd trimester I'm getting some energy back and motivation to keep up with my blog.

Side note: If anyone has any tips for me how to blog from my phone, please let me know! The Blogger app for the phone is awful and I would prefer to blog from my phone vs. on the laptop.

Today is just going to be a Summer highlight post, catching back up on the past few months.

Hanging out at my aunt and uncle's house and their horse farm.

Grammy came to visit!

Lots of hanging out by the creek and in the garden.

4th of July at Pop Pop's.

Twins :)

The Market in Frankfort.

Family Reunion with my dad's side of the family.

The boy's first trip to Holiday World.

Family trip to Thomas Land!

One day, Breaker was napping and I was trying to eat lunch in peace, so I chose to ignore the questionable noise coming from the living room. When I got up (after like ONLY 5 MINUTES) I see the boys have gotten into styrofoam packing materials and tiny little balls of styrofoam are EVERYWHERE. The ONLY reason I could laugh about this...when my sister and I were little, probably age 6 and 9, we had matching bean bags. One day we realized there was a hole in one, and if we ran and jumped on it, tiny white balls flew out and we felt like it was snowing inside. To this day, we still make fun of my mom absolutely blowing up at us. Its the most mad I have ever seen my mom. I can still see her yelling and vacuuming, and she donated the 2nd bean bag to my 3rd grade classroom. So I called her and said 20 years later, her being a psycho kept me from being a psycho to my own kids ;) and I just took pictures and then made Joey finish the clean up.

This was the summer of the kitchen. For two months straight, Joey and Whisman spent every spare minute working on our kitchen. I am so glad it is finally done, and I will share pictures soon :)

3 precious brothers.

Watching the eclipse.

Breaker cut open his head on a glass vase :( I wasn't home because I'd had a doctors appointment and Joey just facetimes me at Target and all I see is my baby's face covered in blood. I said I think he needs stitches and luckily our neighbors were home to watch Shep and Maj while Joey took Breaker to the ER and I rushed home. They were able to glue it instead of stitches, and we were very thankful it cut right at his hairline and not somewhere that could have been a lot worse. It scares me to think just an inch or so down and it could have been in his eye. Breaker and Major were chasing each other around and he somehow hit the thick glass vase.

Another night at the Market in Frankfort.

September 1st was the 1 year anniversary of Rhonda's death, and we had all of our family over to spend time together. 

Shepherd's 1st day of Pre-K, 2017.

Small town homecoming parade. This was so special, as this is the high school the boys will attend. When the football float came by, our neighbor is on the team, and he yelled at all his buddies, "Guys! The kid in the orange shirt!" and the whole team started throwing candy right for Major. It was so sweet, and I told Major he'd probably be on that float one day.

Breaker has gotten really into books, and it's precious. I'm embarrassed to say this is just now happening because I read a book to him for pretty much the first time a few weeks ago. #3rdchildproblems 

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