Family Fun

Family Fun

Monday, March 16, 2015

 I need to write Serenity's birth story down...time is already flying by  and I don't want the details to get fuzzy. This is a birth story, with gritty details. You have been warned.

38 weeks
The pregnancy went well. I gained a lot more weight than normal people do, but it is my normal. I had a really hard time this go round with swollen legs and feet, and pain when moving. I think it has something to do with being older!  I had prodromal labor for a few weeks...again, my normal. Contractions would be every 5 minutes, lasting 60 seconds, every day. I still thought I would go to 40 weeks...I really wanted a Valentine baby! The full moon was February 3rd and I was very low, and crampy that day. I went to bed as normal though...other than feeling like she was down really low I did not feel out of the ordinary. I woke up at 7:30 the next morning(Feb 4th) to a weird, strong kick and rolled my huge self out of bed. I wish I could convey the huge task this was! I rolled off the side and gingerly(swollen feet and plantar fasciitis) walked to the kids bathroom across the house. I think someone was in my bathroom that is only a few feet from my bed...I don't know why I went all the way to the kids bathroom! I sat down and peed, had a contraction that brought a bunch more...wait...this felt more "solid" or thick than pee. I wiped, it was really mucousy , but the flow stopped with the end of the contraction. I stood up and went to leave the bathroom, but had another small gush.I sat down again, starting to wake up mentally and realize that this "might" be my water breaking. That was just like the way it felt when Lucian was born and my water broke. But that brought with it hard labor and I was barely feeling contractions this time. I sat for a minute, gave a small push to test it, and whoosh! Yep, that was amniotic fluid! I had a huge surge of fear...the memories of the overwhelmingness off Lucian's birth flooded back full force. I wasn't done being pregnant yet! What if this is my last baby and I didn't get these last two weeks?!? Why were the contractions I had had for weeks now not happening? Can I do this? I looked in the mirror, leaned over the sink to let my stomach really hang down, and prayed for strength and courage. I felt my resolve bolster, I felt so much excitement that I was going to meet my baby this day! I grabbed a towel from the rack and wadded it between my legs, then trekked to the kitchen and grabbed my phone. I called Ruth(my beloved midwife,the one who has seen me through the last 4 births before this as well) and told her my water for sure had broke, butI wasn't feeling any contractions. She was sleeping, having just got home from another birth(or 2...they had 8 in 6 days!) She told me to try to rest, and call her back when things picked up. After hanging up I went into my room and told Brian it was time to get up, we were having a baby. ;) He was lounging in bed playing the kindle and he just looked at me being all calm and he couldn't tell if I was joking.I laughed and told him that this was really it, my water was broke and she was going to be born today. He got up and helped me strip the bed to put the shower curtain he had bought on.( Back story...we weren't sure how we were going to afford the homebirth and had started with ob care. It was hellish from the start and Brian got a guide to unassisted birth from the library. It said to cover the bed with a shower curtain. I remember how proud he was the day he came home with one lol...he was so much more involved after reading the book! I told him the blue pads would suffice, but we still used *his* shower curtain too.) Then I vacuumed the room again, and Brian had the kids helping clean. Since I had nested the house was already in order and we were out of chores in just 10 minutes.I put on some lipstick and eyeliner lol...I had never looked very good having a baby and wanted to do it a little differently. I felt some small contractions starting up and upon timing them found they were every 3 minutes, 75-90 seconds. I just wasn't feeling it unless I was really paying attention. I called Ruth back(it was now 9:30) and she said she was heading my way(an hour drive). She told me that after laying back down she had realized who was calling and started doubting having waited lol. (My last 4 labors had been 1 hr from water breaking, 1 hr, 3 hrs, and 1 hr.) I told her things were still calm, so we should be good. I called a few family and friends and let them know Ruth was on her way. Ginni(my friend, and pastor's wife) said she would head my way. My neighbor Marcia also came over, and did crafts with 7 of the kids! What a blessing that was! Trinity(my 16 year old) stayed in my room with me. Time starts feeling hazy at this point. I recall Ginni arriving, with her husband(wait, what?)Brian stayed out in the dining room to be with the kids/talk to Derrick. I was rocking in the old rocker in my room mentally turning inward during contractions. They picked up in intensity a lot at this point. I started standing during them, then sitting back down.Then I was swaying through them and couldn't talk anymore. Ruth arrived and asked if she could check me. I was terrified to lay down, but also curious if this strange labor was actually dilating me. I was an 8(phew). I got into the shower , things were pretty intense and I wanted the relief I always got in the shower. Unfortunately it wasn't happening. I felt like she was hanging out...the contractions were getting stronger but she wasn't moving.I squatted in the shower, nothing. Just more intense contractions. I couldn't get away from them, but I couldn't change this either. I aimed the shower at my back, it felt much better than when it hit my stomach. It hit me that this was just like all my other posterior babes. The realization mingled with the steamy water and I felt super queasy. I shut the water off and got out. I threw my hair into a half ponytail, makeup forgotten! and pulled on a shirt. I waddled out to the bed, climbed up and got in a side laying position. No good. I clambered onto hands and knees. I started feeling desperate...why wasn't she moving down? I feel like I got whiney at this point, I remember begging someone to help me. Ruth ,Brian, and Ginni all said I was really very quiet, but it didn't feel that way to me.
I started to push, more to do something to try to move her than because I felt a real urge.  It was horrible. I was pushing so hard and she was not coming down still. I moaned that she was stuck, and Ruth said,"Don't say that!" She told me after that she could see that she wasn't moving and was thinking of our next move. I pushed for several more contractions. This was new for one of my the hospital I had had hours of pushing, and forceps delivery, but at home it was always one contraction of pushing and a rapid birth. Despair led me to not stop on one really hard push and I felt her move! I gave it everything I had and felt her head come out, then had to wait a sec to birth the shoulders,body. Finally, she was born!

I was shocked at how hard it had been. Ruth said her head never moved, she was born looking straight up.
Serenity Love was born at 11:56 am. Labor was just under 2 hours from start of contractions, and the eternal pushing??? Only 9 minutes. I don't know how, we all agree it felt like much, much longer.
8 lbs 8 ozs @38 weeks, 20 3/4 inches long.She took to nursing beautifully, better than any babe I have ever seen. I birthed the placenta, which I later encapsulated myself. Brian took the baby out to meet the other kids and show her off to Marcia. Ginni left to go back to work. I sat in bed talking to Ruth while we did the post birth palpating of the tummy. I felt great! As I sat up I felt a huge gush, bigger than when my water broke. Ruth's face changed fast to a serious one. I lost about two cups of blood with that one gush.She gave me a shot of Pitocin and I took a couple placenta pills from Luke's birth that I still had. I kept bleeding, but it slowed. She said anyone else she would have transferred immediately, but knowing my past trauma with hospitals and Dr.s she waited it out with me and I was fine. I lost about 4 cups total, and am still trying to regain all my strength,but I didn't need to go in.
Trinity(16),Jubilee(8),Epiphany(5),Lucian(2) and Serenity 1 hour

Sunday, June 29, 2014

   Lol, I reread the last post and it is comical now to say that life was definitely moving forward. While I was feeling so down and tired my body had moved forward entirely, and gone and accepted new life. I am now 7 weeks along with a baby that already has a strong heartbeat(122) and has been seen on ultrasound, measuring perfectly. I am due on Valentines Day,2015. I am tired, oh yes, but it is a tired I can relish. I am sick, but I am happily dealing with that as I think of the little being growing stronger each day. With each loss I have come more and more to acceptance that I am very small in this life, that the Lord is truly in control, and even the sorrowful things have meaning and importance. This is actually very reassuring for me.
   I am very happy that Brian and I have come up with a generic plan. Our hearts both long to be back in MI. Our physical reality makes that not possible yet. We are aiming to be back up there in the next five years. Financially we should be able to do it that way with no difficulties. It feels good to have a plan in place to get back "home".
    The oldest three children and Brian are getting ready to leave this week to travel to Nashville for the International Youth Convention. It is a huge meeting that takes place every other year for the Church of God youth. Brian is obviously going as a chaperone, and he has really been feeling led to start working more with the youth. I believe this will be important when we go back to MI, but am so glad he is open to it here too.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

 Moving...forward? More like marching in place.  I gave myself some extra grace in what I allowed myself to eat following the recent miscarriage and as a result went back up a couple pounds. Nothing extreme, but up enough that I am now re losing weight I already lost. My body has not cycled in a clearcut way either, so I am a little uncertain of where I should be. I have been minding other people's children often enough that I feel like the days are a bit blurry due to being exhausted and monotonous.
   On the other hand I have planned and purchased most of the new school year curriculum! Yay! I can hardly believe how close I am to graduating my first, and how fast it will go after that.
   Our garden is a little smaller this year, but growing nicely.
    The animals are doing wonderfully. We have Frogger separated from the girls, so we can control the kidding season a little better next year. The chicks are out in the coop in a birdcage, soon to be allowed free. Our girl bunnies need a male to give them some lovin. ;) The pond regained a bit of water this week, after going completely dry. This drought has been hard.(understatement)
    We went and signed up for the library's summer reading program today. They had face painting, sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and play-do and coloring pages. The younger ones and my 8 year old nephew loved it.The teens and Logan were indifferent. So odd to see them growing up like that. They found tucked away chairs and dove into their books. Gavin was happy to learn that audio books count(he has profound learning disabilities so this is the first year he is excited to do the program).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

  With much sadness I lost this pregnancy this week. I was seven weeks, and so filled with hope and desire. I am very thankful, though, that physically it has not been nearly as hard as my last loss(which was 3 years ago,also during Lent). I have not hemorrhaged, and because of this chance to compare I now realize how bad last time really was.  I have placenta pills left from Lucian's birth and they have helped balance me out so well. I was very weepy on Sunday and after taking two a day since then I have been much more even and able to see things without feeling so depressed.
   We have finished with our kidding season now. On Thursday I looked out the back window and saw a little red goat laying at the back fenceline. Then I saw a big red goat laying next to it. We only had one red goat! I ran out and sure enough Calhoun had a red buck on the ground, all fluffy and adorable. My heart sank a little as I spotted a second baby laying lifeless in the dirt, a gorgeous red/paint buck. I picked him up and he was cold,but breathing. I toweled him vigorously, and squirted some colostrum in him, but he wasn't really perking up. I brought him in the house and blow dryed him until he was warm and he started doing much better.  We gave him colostrum from his mama, bu he couldn't suckle. Long story short...we bottle fed him and cosseted him for three days,but he died. I feel rather guilty for even interfering in some ways, as though I prolonged his death, but at the same time I would do it again because he had a 50-50 shot of making it. His brother is doing wonderfully, strong and growing. That same day Vanellope had twin bucks(I was out there for this one). Her boys are both traditional red head white body Boers, and are hearty and big.  I thought we were good for a month or so, I could swear Seamus wasn't bred until later, but she had twin bucks yesterday! I looked out the window in the morning after they had been fed and she was laying apart from everyone else. I knew what that meant, and booked it outdoors in time to clean baby 1 and a few minutes later help her with a malpositioned(minorly) baby two. The first one got her wattles, the second is traditional, both big and healthy. While I was marveling at all our gorgeous babies I noticed one of the triplets is in fact a boy...I think I must have checked one girl twice!!! So we now have 8 bucks and 2 does that made it this year, 16 goats all together.
   Lucian is turning two tomorrow. I am not sure what we will do...normally we go to the zoo on Fridays but to be honest I don't feel up to it. My sister is having voluntary surgery so I will have both my nephews all weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring time! I love it!!!
   Things are turning green outside. The white and purple buds on the trees light up the background. Our pear trees have a new little companion, we planted a nectarine tree between them. It is self pollinating, so we only need the one, but I would love to get another next year just because they are so pretty! Also, I love nectarines. ;)
    The five wee goatlings are adorable and energetic. The two boys are super sweet and friendly, while the three girls like to play together and ignore people. There are two more does who should be kidding soon(the next two weeks?) and one more who I believe has two months to go. bit of happy Me news...I am pregnant! I tested positive on day10, and have tested throughout, pleased to see darkening lines! It is really real! I am 5 weeks now, due the beginning of December. I am so hopeful, so excited. I am trying so hard not to worry, or think of how devastated I was with the miscarriages, because I don't want it to go that way. I have not had any November or December births yet :D so that will be fun. I am still doing Trim Healthy Mama as a way of eating, so hopefully I will have a decently controlled weight gain this time around. I am starting 20+pounds heavier than I ever have before. :/ excited!
    I have been watching my nephew full time(he arrives Sunday night and stays until Friday night) and my whole system is skewed. I am trying to get back on track, reorganize and come up with some new ideas. Having two one(almost two) year olds is tricky!!! They do not play well at all together.

Friday, March 14, 2014

I can't believe it has been almost a year since I blogged. :(  I just lost my mojo...but it is spring and I feel good so I'm back!
   So much has changed, while still being basically the same. The kids are all doing well. Trinity is weeks away from getting her license...a somewhat daunting idea, but she drives very well. Christian has a new little dog who adores him, and he feels very much the same. Her name is Gizmo.She is the first small dog to be a part of the family and she is sweet and so good for Christian to have. She sleeps with him, he bought her a jacket. He works now with a paintball company, so he has money and I think she is the only one he has spent it on! He is fantastic at saving. Gavin has been seen, and diagnosed officially. We are in the process of finding some curriculum that really suits him, and rethinking what will best help him on his learning road. Logan is really blooming and coming out of his shyness. He is such a clown! He will be joining the youth group this fall, that seems so odd. Griffon is doing really well in all he endeavors to...he loves to draw and write and is addicted to Minecraft. Jubilee had a thumbsucking deterrent put in her mouth, and will have that in until July. I am glad she will be over that, although she has a hard time talking with it in. She is going in for a diagnosis as well. :/ I guess it is not that unusual for multiple children to have issues, but it is hard!!! to go in for so many kids! I feel like I contributed faulty genes, irrational though it sounds. I am working through it, and the kids are really all thriving so it is more of a mental block. Epiphany is an amazing girlie. She is 4 now, and so smart, funny, and vivacious. Her long brown curls stretch down her back and she picks out the funniest outfits for herself. Lucian is 22 months and such a sweet boy to those of us he knows. He tends to growl at strangers, which is funny but completely not ok, so I choke back the giggles and try nto teach him to be a nice kid lol. He has a heart melting smile(even with the big chip from his front tooth >:{  ) and is quite the mischievous boy .
         We had triplet does born yesterday, 3 weeks to the day after a set of Strong bucklings! We already have more kids than last year, and still have three does to go!!!The bucks are so handsome.
Here are the twins meeting the rest of the herd.

Here are the triplet doelings right after they were born. When the first one was born I immediately knew it would be triplets because she was a bit small for how big mama was, and sure enough there were two more not long after. Both times the mamas had good straightforward births that I was able to be at and all the babies have been healthy(Praise God!).
   We have a few chicks and keets in my room to squee over until May when we will get our Murray McMurray order of 50 birds.
The kids on a recent zoo trip.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lucian is 1! What a whirlwind year it was, and how absolutely bittersweet that he is already this big. He walks, climbs, plays, laughs, points, eats as a toddler now. He is everyone's favorite, and he loves everyone.
   Ms.Pacman had twin doelings. One red little girl and one traditional redhead,white body big girl. It was a tricky delivery, and I had to glove up, go in, and assist her. I was so aware of each second ticking by as I tried to straighten bent legs and sort out which baby was going to be born first. Thankfully all went beautifully and both were/are healthy,big,and strong. Mama nurses them like a champ and they are frolicking with the herd now. Metroid is due in the next couple weeks with her first, and I am praying for a delivery that is even easier, with equally strong and healthy babes!
   We got two little doe bunnies! They are so small and sweet. I have been watching Craigslist to get the breed we wanted at a smaller than show bunny price. I saw this ad and jumped on it, and a good thing too. The man sold out within the hour!
   Pippi has the next birthday, on May 2nd. She will be 4...I don't know how these years keep going on so quickly. We may be in MI for her birthday, or soon thereafter. Brian had some legal issues to resolve from 18 years ago. We hired a great lawyer and did a lot of footwork to get things ready for a trip up in August to make this all right. His lawyer called on Tuesday and said they are dismissing all charges!!! Praise the Lord!!! All we have to do now is go get some court papers filled out and it is done. We are still going to take our vacation in August, but will be popping up really quick to get this finalized in good time. I am so happy,excited,and relieved. I also LOVE road trips and am very excited to be going "home" if only for a day.
  I can't load pics today...gonna have to figure that out.