Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homeschooling Begins

Monday we began homeschooling Kara and Lydia. If you are interested in following as I journal our year of homeschooling please check out my homeschool blog. I just put up a post with pictures of our first three days of school.

Ezekiel's Birth Story

I know several of you have been waiting to hear the story of Ezekiel's birth, so if this is not something you are interested in, then please skip this post.

First of all, based on my last prenatal exam showing I was only 1 cm and barely any thinning (the same as the previous week), I resigned myself to having to wait at least one more week before the birth of my baby. I left the doctor's office knowing that JA would be walking me all over town for the next week. However, I was wrong. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were very normal days for us. We did decide Friday night to walk the kids to the park (only three blocks from our house). So we walked there and then ended up walking/running home in a torrential downpour -- I didn't run but JA and the kids did). We cleaned up the kids and put them to bed. JA ran out to the restaurant and brought me home a Taco Salad -- you know they say Mexican food is helpful for inducing labor.

Well, Friday night I had the same cramping in my stomach that I had had for the past month -- nothing, I mean absolutely nothing was different. We stayed up and watched the Olympics and went to bed sometime shortly after midnight. At about 1:50 I woke up with what I thought were terrible gas pains in my stomach. My thoughts were thank you taco salad for waking me up :) At 2:00 I woke JA up and asked him to rub my lower back because the gas pains were really bad. He would rub out the pain, and then I began to notice that about every few minutes the pain was back. He did this for about 20 minutes before I decided that I was not having gas pains but that I was having contractions about five minutes apart. I told him to go back to sleep and I was going downstairs because I couldn't sleep with the pain.

I went down and caught up on reading blogs and facebook. Then I decided I should probably time my contractions. I pulled up a contraction timer and discovered the contractions were actually 3 1/2 minutes apart and lasting for a full minute. I then called the hospital (it was about 2:40) just to let them know I was in labor. I was very surprised by the nurses response. I told her I was in labor with my fourth child, the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, lasting for a minute, and that my water had not yet broken. At first she said, well come on in when they get closer and the pain a bit . . . Wait, did you say this was your fourth child -- I think you should come in right away.

Okay those of you reading this are probably saying "of course you should get yourself to the hospital." Please understand I have never had a labor where I did not progress past 4 cm on my own. They've always had to induce me with pitosin and break my water. So, my plan was to try to stay at home at least until my water broke -- I figured this would reduce my chances of needing a C-Section (which seems to be very popular around here).

Well, getting back to my conversation with the nurse. I told her it would be at least half an hour before I could make it to the hospital because I needed to call a babysitter. I finished on the phone, went upstairs to finish packing my suitcase, woke JA up and told him I was going to take a shower before going to the hospital -- could he please finish loading the dishwasher for me (I couldn't stand the thought of having dishes on the counter when my babysitter showed up). After I got out of the shower I called the babysitter, and we ended up arriving at the hospital at 3:45 -- an hour after I finished talking with the nurse.

I walked into the ER, and instead of being placed in triage and having my dilation checked they immediately admitted me and called the doctor. I was really surprised because I thought they would at least want to verify I was in labor before admitting me. They put a needle in my hand so it would be ready for extra fluids when the doctor requested them. Finally After I had been there for at least 30 - 45 minutes they checked me. I was just praying that I would at least be at 3 or 4 cm. I was shocked when she said I was already over five. When the doctor showed up, he checked me and I had already progressed to six. The anesthesiologist showed up and gave me a spinal shot for pain killer -- I admire all of you who can labor without pain meds, but early in the morning with almost no sleep I knew I would not have had the energy to go through labor and deliver (especially since I figured it would still be at least another four hours of labor). Well, about 5:50 (about an hour after the shot) the doctor came back in to check me and said I was ready to push -- What! How could I be ready already. I was just having a fun time chatting with the ER nurses.

Well, at 6:25 JA and I were shocked when Ezekiel literally shot out about five minutes after my water broke -- hey it was a good thing I didn't stay at home until then :). However, the shock wasn't in the fact that the doctor almost dropped him because he came out so fast, but when the doctor said we have a boy. We were told when we had the ultrasound at 24 weeks that the baby was a girl.

Anyways, I had the shortest labor I've ever had feeling my very first contraction right before 2:00 and delivering Ezekiel 4 1/2 hours later. We have decided that next time I am nine months pregnant we are going to stay very close to a hospital the last two weeks of my pregnancy. I had a very very quick recovery since I didn't require any stitches. I can even say that the after pains are gone (which for my last two children they lasted at least 1-2 months after birth). I feel great and have had more energy. Also, Ezekiel is already sleeping 6-7 hours at night.

Here are the pictures of Ezekiel with his bilirubin blanket. I am so thankful he no longer needs it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Works of God Monday

Currently my heart is overwhelmed with the many blessings that God has given to us over the past several years that we have been married. However, I must say that the biggest Work of God in our lives is the birth of four very healthy children. While each of our children have faced small health issues shortly after being born, all of their problems were very minor and easily fixed.

Kara Struggled with respiratory problems for her first 2 1/2 years.

Lydia struggled with severe constipation for her first six months
until I finally resorted to putting her on soy formula.

Andy was born with a cleft lip that was repaired
when he was four months old.
Ezekiel was born with a cephalahematoma that should clear up in the next three months. As a result he has had to use a bili blanket to help lower his bilirubin levels.

Other praises include winning a toddler backpack from Carabella's. JA and I decided to use it as part of Andy's birthday present in a couple of months.

Another tremendous blessing is how the Lord has given me such fantastic friends here. One of my good friends watched my kids so JA and I could enjoy a candlelight dinner while I was in the hospital. However, she also decided to clean my house while she was here. So I had the opportunity to come home to a clean house :) I've also had several friends who have provided dinners for our family. It has certainly been a blessing to not have to rack my brain about what to fix for dinner.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Please Share Your Opinion

JA and I are preparing to take a long vacation to FL and VA this fall. With four kids now we are trying to determine how to best pack our van so we have plenty of room. We would like to place three kids in the backseat. In order to do this, we are looking at the possibility of purchasing the Safe Rider Travel Vest for either Kara or Lydia (or both) so we can eliminate at least one car seat.
My questions for you are:
1. Have you ever used this or a similar product, and what is your opinion of it?
2. If you haven't used this product is it something you would be willing to spend nearly $100 on?

Thank you for sharing your opinion. If we end up purchasing it, I will be sure to give a review of it so you can know whether or not it is a worthwhile investment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Head on over to Grosgrain to enter to win this fabulous dress.

Garden Party Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Introducing my new Son

I'm sorry this post has taken so long to get up here. We arrived home from the hospital and my batteries died in my camara so I had to wait until I could get new batteries.

Ezekiel Peter was born Saturday morning at 6:25 a.m. (details for those interested will come in a later post). He weighed a 6 lbs 12.8 ounces and was 19 inches long. I was pleasantly surprised that he was born 9 days early (only a few hours past the 10 day mark :) ).

And now for what you really want -- The Pictures!

Kara came to visit me Saturday afternoon - so she
was the first of her siblings to meet her new brother.
JA brought all of the kids over to visit after church on Sunday.
Lydia is not as excited as Kara and Andy are about her new brother.
Andy is simply enamored by his new baby brother. I am constantly
having to pull him away to keep from smothering his brother with
kisses and hugs -- not to mention how often he wants to try and hold him.
My Four Blessings
The entire family! My eyes really are not closed -- I was looking
at Andy.

All cleaned up and ready for mommy.

Very upset about not being held.

Once again upset about not being held or touched.Daddy with his youngest child.

To see more pictures, click HERE

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vacation Bible School

I'm sorry this post has taken so long to write. We had a fabulous week of Vacation Bible School last week. We had a high of 25 children, and on Friday we invited the parents to attend VBS with their children. The parents appeared to have a wonderful time hearing the Bible lesson, playing games with their children, and helping with crafts. After VBS on Friday we had a reception to be able to spend some time getting to know the parents. I am thankful for how the Lord has worked in our church this past year and blessed us with such a fabulous week. We are also thankful for my dad's church and Bible Baptist Church is Osborne for helping to provide us with decorations, some crafts, and other materials to help us through the week. The children learned a lot about God's creation and his love for them. Please pray for us as we seek to follow up and to be an encouragement to these children and their families.
Click to play Dino Detectives VBS 2008
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Pregnancy Update Week 38

Last week when I went to the doctor, my blood pressure had jumped to 136/85. This was the highest my blood pressure has ever been. Typically it hangs out around 116/60. Yesterday I went in for my appointment at 38 weeks and was very pleased to see that it had dropped down to 122/80. I presume that the sudden spike in my BP was because I was 37 weeks pregnant on my feet a lot working with Vacation Bible School, and the weather for the week was 100 + degrees. The drop in my BP was certainly a relief to me.

Another item from my checkup is that it appears this baby is going to take it's time coming. Tomorrow is the 10 day early mark (at which all three of my other children were born). However, at this point in time I have only dilated 1 cm, and am no where close to going into labor. Now I realize that things can change quickly and I only have three previous births with which to compare. I have resigned myself to the fact that this baby is perfectly content to stay put a little bit longer than Kara, Lydia, and Andy were.

My weight gain is up to 20 pounds -- so much for trying to keep it below 15. However, I must admit that my intense cravings for chocolate over the past three weeks is certainly the cause of my extra five pound weight gain.

Kara is currently very eager to meet her new baby brother or sister. Lydia has recently been talking about Sammy more frequently, and Andy remains clueless other than pointing to my tummy and saying Belly. JA and I are also very eager to meet our newest child, so I can guarantee that my typically loving and caring husband is going to be walking me all over creation this next week in order to try to get Sammy to come.

Well, that is it for the update. My next Dr. Appointment is next Wednesday and at this point the Dr. says he won't even talk about induction until after my due date. So I guess all I can do now is wait -- and grin and bear it as JA wears me out walking :)

Toddler Backpack Giveaway

Mommin' it Up is offering a toddler backpack from Carabella's giveaway. Just head over here to participate in her giveaway. You don't need to have a blog to participate.