Oliver is a super duper sweet baby and generally very happy. He sleeps well most nights with very little prompting from mama and dada, and his only food sensitivities so far are dairy and gluten in my diet which gives him a rash on his face. We’re cloth diapering this go ’round and he’s finally fitting into his “one-size” pocket diapers (we are currently loving SunBaby diapers) which makes life a little easier. Breastfeeding is going well with occasional “dips” in my supply, but nothing requiring supplementing. I just drink some Mother’s Milk tea and we’re back in business again (along with lots and lots and lots of extra nursing).
Postpartum depression (which is typical for me) has been lingering more than I would like, so continued prayers for my sense of well being are appreciated. I’ve started taking St.John’s Wort along with evening primrose oil and have been slowly seeing improvement.
My desperate need for caffeinated coffee at regular intervals throughout the day is lessening. I’m taking that as a good sign that I’m headed in the right direction :).
I lost my typical 12-15lbs after having Oliver and haven’t budged a pound since : / which is probably due to my voracious appetite when nursing a baby. I can’t stop thinking about FOOD. 😛
I started tracking my basal body temperature again to give me clues to my health in general and it’s been lower than it should be, which (along with my excessive hair loss) makes me suspect my thyroid is a bit under-active. For now I am going to work on supporting it through diet, supplements, and tracking symptoms.
Other than these things I’m current wracking my brain trying to figure out how to make life continue flowing with 10 crazy wonderful kiddos. 😀 More on that later.
To see pictures of our sweet little “Ollie Wallie” who is about 3.5 months old now, check out my instagram feed in the sidebar.
Sorry about the lack of updates the last 6 weeks. We went through 4 weeks of serious illness (where everyone got sick, this hasn’t happened in quite a while so it caught me by surprise!) and I’ve spent the last 2 weeks wrapping all those little things that need doing before a mama can have a baby at home :). But now I’ve officially watched my due date come and go – something I’ve only done 2 other times out of a total of 10 pregnancies. Our oldest was born 5 days past his estimated due date (EDD) and our 9th child was born 4 days past his EDD, but everyone else has come within 5 days before their due date along with 1 being ON his due date :). I’m feeling antsy, but surprisingly doing ok. I was blessed to attend a women’s conference at our church, that I hadn’t planned on going to because it was on my due date, and the message was exactly what I needed to hear. The speaker was Margaret Ashmore and the message was trusting and resting in God’s sovereign plans and walking in humility. So here I am… trying to walk through this being “over due” patiently because it’s all in God’s plan, even if it’s not in mine.
A little update as to my pregnancy itself…
I haven’t been exercising regularly since everyone got sick – just some sporadic stretching and walks here and there. I had been exercising consistently before illness struck, so I’m hoping that ends up counting for something 🙂
My varicose veins haven’t gotten any worse, although the circulation in my left leg is still not good. After researching and talking to my care health care providers, I’m fairly confident the circulation issues primarily has to do with 2 factors. 1) The fact that I’ve been standing with my hips jutted out to one side for years (thanks to the way I hold my children), so I’ve been working on switching sides and using more arm strength rather than propping them, and 2) the pregnancy itself which comes with increased blood volume and increased internal pressures for a growing uterus.
I’ve gained 11/12 lbs at this point – 2 of those over the last two weeks. I have allowed my self a little more wiggle room these last two weeks as I don’t want to deprive the baby of much needed calories to put on weight 🙂 – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it lol.
My will power to eat really well has been dwindling slowly over the last week, but I’m continuing my pregnancy tea (1/4 cup red raspberry leaf and a 1/4 cup nettle leaf tea steeped overnight with peppermint and lemon balm leaves), my prenatal vitamins, calcium & magnesium (one of these and one of these daily), methylfolate, methyl b12, and fish oil, along with a few other herbals.
Per my midwife’s instructions, I’m drinking lots and lots of water (at least 3 quarts of just water daily) which ended up being very important as you will see….
I didn’t get to finish it because…… on April 6th at 11:38pm we welcomed our sweet 10th child Oliver William (“baby Ollie”) into the world!
He is my personal biggest baby at 7lbs 8oz and measured 21 inches long. He’s a few days old now at the writing of this – he seems to be adjusting to life on the outside amazingly well. His labor story will have to come later as I’m still tired and sore, but I didn’t want to put off sharing him with you any longer :).
You need a pep talk this morning. I know you’ve been up on and off all night with three separate children with three separate issues. I know when you did lay down the baby in your belly was doing summersaults and keeping you awake and uncomfortable. I know you’re tired. I know your head hurts. I know you just want to just go soak in a long bath (and I just might still do that). I just wanted to remind you…
God has got this. He knows just how weary you are in body and soul. He loves you and your children and knows you are all not feeling well. I want you to picture all of you resting peacefully in his enormous loving hands. He’s going to carry you all through this day. He will show you what really needs to be done and what can wait. He will show you how you need to love on your kids and what battles to fight. The dirt, the dust, the crud will all still be there tomorrow and guess what? Those things won’t follow you to heaven one day so they don’t really matter in the end. God’s grace will be enough for you today, in this moment, right this very second. Don’t worry about later. You don’t know what is going to happen anyway. For now, just rest in God’s loving mercy.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?… Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Your birth was a journey. It began 9 months before you ever took a breath outside my womb. While I waited for the big day of your arrival I prayed with many friends for *our* safe passage as you came into this world. I was scared of what could happen while at the same time preparing and planning for the best (and the worst). On your “due date” the contractions began. I knew these were different and it was time, but little did I know you wouldn’t be making an appearance for 4 more days! The labor pains started and stopped, getting increasingly more intense, keeping me from sleeping well. I was one tired mama my sweet boy. Your siblings hung out with your Grandma as Daddy and I tried to keep ourselves preoccupied. You see, I wouldn’t let your daddy leave my side as I knew you could come at any moment. We went for many long walks. Daddy took me out to lunch :). He also prepared lots of food so he wouldn’t have to cook dinner for a few days. I napped a lot. I got in and I got out of the birthing pool many times so the warm water could help my body relax. Wednesday morning came and after a 2 particularly strong contractions I prayed to the Lord and finally surrendered to the fact that I just really had no idea when you would show up. I was fully ready now though. I would do anything to help get you here. Then the next contraction hit and it was a monster. I called to everyone that I was going upstairs to the birth pool, I needed some comfort. I made it up the stairs and another massive contraction hit and I hit the floor on my hands and knees – there was no standing through that one. I stood up shaking – I knew that meant you were coming and SOON! Daddy ran upstairs and helped me into the pool. I told him you were coming – I’m not sure he believed me :). The next contraction made me panic just a little until Daddy reminded me to stay calm, freaking out would not help lol. In that moment I remembered he was probably just as concerned as I was because our midwife was NOT there yet and that gave me courage to be calm. I moaned so loud through the next contraction HA! I sounded so funny. I was trying with all my might not to push as I could feel you descending. I told Daddy to get behind me and to get ready to catch you, I was on my hands and knees and that was not going to change. I was so proud of your papa, he got right in position. I pushed through one contraction and your head was out. Amazingly, when the contraction ended I was in no pain whatsoever and felt a little disconcerted that you were half way out but I was in no pain! I felt the next contraction coming and told Daddy to get ready. One more breath and there you were! You were beautiful. We were safe. It was a beautiful moment of laughing and crying and breathing freely for the first time in 9 months.
You were here. We were safe. God was so good to us. 5 min. later our dear friend Amanda arrived and began laughing and crying with us (and snapping some precious photos).
About 5 minutes after, the the midwife arrived and was just as surprised as Amanda was that you got here first! All was well. We made our way out of the birth pool and were thoroughly checked out by Marilee.
Then we slept.
We’d done some hard work you and I.
You’ve been such a blessing to us from the very beginning.
I am so thankful to be your mama. As I write this I carry your little brother in my womb. I hadn’t expected to be going through this again so soon, but I am thankful for the privilege. Your birth taught me so much. Courage. Patience. Trust. Empathy. That I am not helpless. And again God reminded me that he is always with me. I pray I will make the journey safely once again. I love you dear boy.
My energy has recovered, but I’m already starting to slow down a bit. The same amount of physical effort I was putting out 6 weeks ago now doesn’t move me quite as quickly as it did, which is most evident during my daily walk.
I’ve continued to walk consistently, but have had to shorten my walking time due to our current school schedule. I’m also trying to do specific stretches every day and I’m hoping to be a bit more regular about my MommaStrong prenatal exercises. My current mantra in life is, “Something is much better than nothing at all!”
Nutritionally I’m doing better than I was, although I have much room for improvement. I’m taking a handful of supplements (which I hope to outline in another post) to help with general health as well as specific health concerns I am dealing with due to pregnancy. Spring mix lettuce FINALLY sounds good again, so I’m trying to have a big salad (or a few small salads) every day again. I’m also trying to find my groove with drinking my pregnancy tea regularly again.
I had my first prenatal visit with my wonderful midwife Marilee at 12 weeks and just had my first round of blood work done. Prayers would be appreciated that there would be no unexpected surprises on that front!
And finally, I think I’m feeling the baby move *eek!*, but I’m not 100% sure yet. I suspect I might have a anterior placenta, but only time will tell.
As of today I am half way to my goal of 40 miles! I even started jogging (slowly) this week as well, which is exciting because I really do love to run and this may be the closest I will get!
As a compromise to help me eat my veggies (because salads just don’t sound very good right now) I bought some Caesar and ranch dressing and I’ve switched to eating mostly crunchy lettuces because my usual spring mix sounds really unappealing right now.
I’m eating all the time. It’s the thing that keeps my tummy happy 🙂 thankfully I haven’t gained any weight yet.
I’ll have my first midwife appointment in the next few weeks. Assuming there are no new risk factors as pregnancy progresses we will try for another home birth with our midwife Marilee Pinkleton with TLC Birth.
I have felt pretty good this week. My energy was really low over the weekend, but seems to have recovered some. I just wish my internal motivation would improve with my energy levels :)~
I’ve walked 8 miles since last week and I have a goal to walk a total of 40 miles by September 20th.
I am beginning to feel a little discomfort from “symphysis pubis” are when walking and I think adding in some additional strengthening exercises for my hips and glutes should help. I’ll keep you posted.
I purchased the MommaStrong Prenatal workout – I think there are some exercises to help with the above mentioned areas. I hope to start that at least by next week if not this week.
From the outside I still look very much like my normal self, but I can feel my abdomen beginning to thicken a bit.
Despite eating more starches than usual, I haven’t gained any weight yet (yay!!) All the pregnancies I have started around the weight I am now, I only gained 10-15lbs by the end. I am hoping to follow that pattern as I am still a bit fluffy from Ian’s pregnancy.
Although I’m 8.5 weeks along I still find myself worrying about miscarriage. I experienced a miscarriage between Gideon and Ian and it completely changed the way I experience pregnancy. As someone else described it, I feel like I’m holding my breath the whole 9 months. Pray with me that I can continue to cast this anxiety upon the Lord. This baby is just as much in His hands as it is in my belly.
EDITING TO ADD: I mixed up a batch of pregnancy tea. It’s a little different than my old recipe, so I can’t wait to try it! 🙂