Sunday, March 25, 2012

Enjoying the last bits of pregnancy.

Not comfortable me on the left, comfy me on the right :)
I never thought I would be so patient as we approach the end of this pregnancy.  But, I'm feeling comfortable, I'm not bloated, sleeping is O.K. (and I mean ok, not great),  I'm 30 pounds lighter, and by some grace of God (and a LOT of hard work from my husband) we've finished everything on my "baby bucket list."
In the past 3 weeks or so we have completed the following:
-head gasket replaced in car (ouch! )
-sold our truck
-bought a "new" vehicle
-finished baby room
-made it to the zoo
-had blessingway
-kept the remainder of our family out of the hospital and ICU
-made it to the ICAN meeting
-pool fence installed
-belly cast made (but not yet painted)
-office in garage is built and even has a/c (not totally finished, but its functioning)
-and last but not least, Christmas Lights are down!!!
And of course after finishing all that, my poor husband has a lingering cold/cough/allergies mess that won't go away.  I'm up to pee 12 times a night, and he's up coughing, and our 21 month old just likes to be up.  Thankfully, they both are getting some sleep this morning.
Well.  I only have 1 week of work left.  And an ICAN meeting this week.  Nothing but relaxing, walking, and playing with my first baby until BGF gets here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The day finally came!  The Blessingway was amazing in so many ways.  I know I am one lucky lady to have so many loving and supportive family and friends on my side.  Not only support from family that lives here, but also a very loving letter and bead sent from my great Aunt in Ohio, the bead from my Great Grandmothers jewelry box.  But, before I get things out of order, lets start from the beginning.

The morning started with my friend and sister in laws decorating the dining room with flowers, quotes, birth art, fresh fruits and many little surprises.  My mom was tearing up already.  I still didn't know much of what was to happen.  Who doesn't love surprises?  The morning also started ON TIME.  That is one for the record books in this family.  And at 10 am to top it off.                  

I had requested healthy food, NO CAKE (I know, its like a pregnant sin)  and the food couldn't have been more delicious.  We indulged in some brie, crackers, pink lemonade, tea, fruit salad, and veggies and dip.  After all my hard work this pregnancy, it seemed counter productive to be eating cakes and sweets at the ceremony.  (don't worry, there were a few lemon cookies here, and they were delicious)

We started the ceremony with everyone reading their poems, prayers, or quotes.  I'm going to share a few:

"No one ever told her about this thing called 'mothering.'  Maybe because it was a journey of discovery.  Her greatest work of art, her biggest lesson in letting go, where she'd learn to nurture a 'self' to shine bright and find her own self in the process.  No one can tell you that.  You have to live it, to know it, and when you do, it changes you forever."  - Bone Sigh arts (From my Sister in Law Andrea)

"The whole point of woman-centered birth is the knowledge that a woman is the birth power sourse.  She may need and deserve help, but in essence, she always had, currently has, and will always have the power"  -Heather McCue (From my friends Nicole and Stephanie)

"Happy are those who dream, and are ready to pay the price to make them come true"  (from my Mom)

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me, and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."  Jeremiah 29: 11-12  (from my Grandma)

"The Lord is my Shepherd: I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For thou art with me; Thy rod and they staff, they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever."  The 23rd Psalm  (from my Mother in Law Hattie, her husband recited this with her through every contraction of her last birth, and by the time the verse was over, so was the contraction)

"It is spring and your baby is coming.  I wish for you a mind of prayer when your baby decides she is ready.  I wish for you deep strength and patience for yourself and your body.  I wish for you courage to not doubt what your body is capable of doing.  And when Baby arrives may you be awake and enlarged by the experience.  May your love give you the energy to figure out who Baby is and what she needs.  May the journey be joy-filled."  (From my friend Kayla)

After many tears were shed, we moved on to the bead ceremony.    Basically, we went around the table and everyone who brought a bead, described what theirs meant.  Power words like bloom, strength, wonder woman, slow and steady, liquid of life, and afterward, I made a bracelet to wear.  That way I can remember everyone's kind words while in labor.

Next, we went around the table again, everyone sharing their gifts and crafts.  My friend Stephanie made me a birth art statue, Nicole brought a beautiful pregnant Willow Tree Pregnant statue, My Grandma made some beautiful cards, MIL Hattie also made a me a card, with a gorgeous beaded cross on the front of it.

My SIL Ruth made a family of handprint elephants (elephants are the theme in the baby room)  quoting " There is no creature among all the beasts of the world which hath so great and ample demonstration of the power and wisdom of almighty God as the ELEPHANT.  - Edward Topsell.

My SIL Andrea made a beautiful mandala.  On one side - A woman coming into a cycle of life with the full force of womanhood.  She dares to live the passion of what are absolutely her own thoughts and choices.  K-Vogen, the other side- A circle of loved ones around a woman giving birth to provide a space of love and energy for birth to come with ease.

From my SIL Sharon, she made a gorgeous "name" for us to hang in the baby room.  (we will share when she is here what that name is!)  Kayla made a gorgeous scrapbook page with a wonderful quote, Kelly gave me journals, to write anything that comes to mind while raising 2 children, and some much needed diapers.  My mom hand my daughter color a picture for us, and shared some sweet wishes and a thank you from G for being such wonderful parents.

Lastly, my Grandma (tried) to read a letter from my Great Aunt Sherry,
"Dearest Jesse,
When your Grandmother told me about your blessingway ceremony and the various aspects of it, such as the bead ceremony, I thought, what kind of bead could I give that would have any meaning.  And then I remembered a little elephant I found among your Great Grandmothers jewelry in a little box she kept it in.  I don't know anything about it.  Why she had it, where it came from, or what meaning it held for her.  She did like collecting elephant figurines so perhaps it held more significance than we will ever know.    So, with those thoughts I am sending it to you on this special occasion in remembrance of your Great Grandmother, Frances DeWulf.  And know too that she loved you and loves you still.  And I am sure that she is looking down from heaven and smiling.  Love and Prayers, Your Great Aunt Sherry.
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus..... For I Can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength"  Phillippians 4:6,7,13"

I feel so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many strong women.  Women who know how to love, and it flows from their veins.  I wish everyone could feel this much love before going on their birthing journey. I want to thank everyone who had any part of my blessingway, allowing it to happen, and making it happen.  Now, in these last few weeks of pregnancy, I have nothing but positive words, quotes, prayers, letters, pictures, artwork, statues, surrounding me and my family as we go through this journey.  I am more ready than ever.

My MIL Hattie and I

Some of the birth art and quotes

Grandma and Mom

Kelly and I

My "moments of clarity" jar for after the baby

Pregnant Willow Tree statue

Bracelet made for the baby

The other side of the mandala

more birth art

My favorite quote

my bracelet

Card from Hattie

Saturday, March 3, 2012

BAM! 9 Months Pregnant

about 14 weeks

35 1/2 weeks
Seriously, where did the time go???  With my first pregnancy I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs, off work at 37 weeks, waiting for baby!  The room was finished, I had my baby announcements all addressed and ready to assemble, all I had to do was shop and eat ice cream!  Fast forward 2 years, and we have 3/4 of the room painted, and office to build, our Christmas lights are still up, we need to sell our truck/buy a new vehicle, have a head gasket fixed on the car, have a pool fence installed, make the belly cast, and have the blessing way that we had to reschedule because my father in law was (still is) in the ICU.  (He's doing better, thank you)  SO, next week, baby is "full term"  but she is welcome to stay in for a few weeks, so mom and dad can get ready.
Pregnancy symptoms include:     (don't get me wrong, overall feeling pretty good!)
-heartburn (papaya enzymes are helping)
-fatigue  (naps aren't helping much anymore)
-pregnancy brain (For example, I have forgot deodorant 5 times in the past 2 weeks)
-IMPATIENCE  (in all aspects of my life, until I come back to my breath, thank you Birthing from Within)
-frequent urination (well, with all that baby in the way, who wouldn't be!)
-mild mood swings  (I would be lying if I didn't say I was weepy)
-inability to fall back asleep  
-Braxton Hicks
This pregnancy has brought a whole new meaning to "Braxton Hicks" contractions.  I must say, its way more exciting than not having any. It might just be because of the "contractions" but I feel like this pregnancy will come to an end sooner than later.  (Watch me go to 42 weeks now)  Either way, when baby is ready, she will come.  I start weekly appointments next week with the midwives.  Still every 2 weeks with my chiropractor.
Now, to make myself feel better, a few things that we do have done:
-Birthing classes are finished
-Doula hired
-I'm attending every ICAN meeting that comes up
-eating well
-hospital bag packed (SHOCKER)
-celebration champagne purchased
-books are being read
With all this said, we are getting there, slowly.  Or quickly if baby does come sooner than later.  This mom is getting excited.  I can honestly say I don't feel nervous about it at all either.  That means I've come a long way too.