Thursday, September 30, 2010

Labor Eve

My husband is on the road. 

My in-laws will be leaving KC shortly. 

My baby is hours away from breathing his first breath...truly his first breath of life. 

My daughter is excited to see her daddy, her grandparents, and to meet her baby brother. 

My son is already feeling the changes that are about to occur saying that he doesn't want baby Keaton to come out. 

So much to happen in the next 24-48 hours and beyond.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Final Days of Pregnancy

So, as I explained before, I'm a bundle of emotions.  I have my good moments and my bad moments.  Church is sometimes pretty difficult because of all of the "well intentioned" people that make comments about how big I am, how I need to get that baby out, or "you still haven't had that baby?!?"  I know that they all mean well, but most of it is very counterproductive and/or discouraging when you're a blimp.  Today, however, was a good day for me.  I felt pretty decent and was able to smile and honestly tell people that I was doing well.  I was also able to let the comments roll off of my back without bothering me...both of those considerable accomplishments, I would say, at 38 weeks, 4 days pregnant!

As I approach induction day, I am also conflicted on wanting to pray that I go into labor beforehand and wanting to not go into labor beforehand so that Mark doesn't miss the big event.  From my 2 past experiences of natural labor and induced labor, being induced sucks big time.  I would say that the pain involved was about 300% more severe being induced than natural.  I always said that I would never, ever be induced again.  Never say never, right?  However, circumstances have changed my plan and my mind.  I want so badly to be done, but I don't want to wish or pray for that, because I feel selfish...that means that Mark would miss it.  It's a tough spot to be in.

Also, approaching labor and delivery, I've noticed a big change in my kiddos.  They are driving me nuts, actually.  Conrey has become aggressive and Cassie has become an emotional wreck much of the time.  She cries over anything and everything.  Conrey does all kinds of things to rial (sp?) her up and to destroy things.  It's been fun...let me tell ya......

Along with the emotions, sitting has become quite uncomfortable thanks to my iron intake.  I'll leave it at that. 

All in all, we're ready to be done...all of us.  We're ready to see Mark and we're ready to meet Keaton.  So, sometime within the next 5 days or so, we'll be holding him and loving on him.  Prayers are, of course, petitioned!  :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let the Countdown BEGIN!

One Week.  From tomorrow, that is.

One week from tomorrow, at the very latest, I will be holding Keaton James in my arms instead of lugging him around in my belly.  We are scheduled for induction October 1st if he has not yet made his way into this world.  The thought is overwhelming with the multitude of emotions that accompany it.
















I'm going from 2 to 3.  I don't have that many hands, eyes, or arms.  Someone is going to be left out, overlooked, and/or will have to wait.

I get to meet my little man after a loooong pregnancy.

I get to be with my husband soon!

I will experience the joy of watching my two big kids fall in love with their little brother.

Will they?  Will they love him and care for him and protect him?  Will they resent him and hit him and try to punish him for taking over?

I will watch the world change for my sweet Conrey Graham.  No longer will he be the baby...the spotlight.  It breaks my heart.  Momma's sweet baby isn't such a baby anymore and he'll have to grow up even more once there is a baby around.

I am living in the mode of expectation right now.  What was that twinge?  How many contractions have I had?  Was the my water breaking?  It is both exciting and frustrating.  The anticipation of each moment is overwhelming.

And yet, I can sit and be still and know that God already knows the minute of his birth.  God has it all under control and I just have to TRUST.  I can be still and rest in the peace that I've had.  Sure, I hurt like crazy all over.  Sure, I want him out.  But, I can still say that I am at peace with my Lord who is orchestrating it all.  All of those emotions are human and okay to be feeling.  However, they aren't so overwhelming when I realize that God knows each one.  He has been tempted and tried in every way and He overcame.  If He was stronger than those emotions in the flesh, He can certainly help me overcome them in the spirit.

Dear Lord,

I ask that you give me an unending supply of your peace, your rest, and your assurance.  I ask that you be with my sweet, baby boy through the remainder of this pregnancy, delivery, and really throughout his life.  Right now, though, my focus is on the present in the next few weeks to come.  Protect him.  Give him strength, health, and the breath of life that only you can breathe into his tiny lungs.  Help our labor and delivery to go smooth, to be timely, and to be nothing but pure joy as we act out the pattern of life that you have established.  Be with the doctor and help him to be sure of hand and quick to action if need be.  Be with the nurses and help them to nurture us through this process and to make good choices for baby Keaton and myself.  Be with my support people as I do this with or without my husband.  Help them to keep focus on the matter at hand, the situation, and the needs that Keaton and I have.  Keep Mark safe as he travels here whether it be in a rush or in order to be here for the induction.  Give Cassie and Conrey understanding, gentleness, and joy.  Fill their little hearts with love for their brother.

I ask much, Lord.  I know that you will provide and will protect our baby boy, myself, and my husband.  Thank you for being all that you are so that we might live to a higher standard in your shadow.  We love you, Lord.  In  Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

40-Year Legacy

The average length of marriage right now for my parents' generation is 24 years.  Saturday, my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary.  Sunday, we had a reception for them to honor their legacy of love, laughter, life, and family.  Sorry..."family" broke the alliteration.  :)  Anyway, it was a looooong week for me with the planning, preparation, and then actually pulling off the reception, but it was definitely worth it.

We started out with the reception as a surprise, but then my oldest brother, Derin, decided that mom needed preparation and time to shop for something to wear, etc.  :)  So, we told them about it.  What mom DIDN'T know is that my brother, Dustin, was going to fly in for the occasion.  Dad knew about this.  What neither of them DID know, however, is that he was bringing his littlest little angel, Kiera, with him.  She is 6 months old and therefore, free to fly.  We were all sad that his whole family couldn't come, but at 500 bucks a ticket, it wasn't possible.  We were all thrilled to get to spend time with him and sweet little Kiera.  They left to go back today.

The reception had a great turn out and we were so pleased that so many people came out to honor my parents and their 40 years together.  It is a huge accomplishment that has been done with prayer, committment, likemindedness, having God as a foundation, blood, sweat, and tears. 

Congratulations to my wonderful parents who have left a legacy for us to pattern.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So, we've hit full term with this pregnancy...well, as of tomorrow, that is.  HALLELUJAH and AMEN!  He is definitely preparing himself for the big event.  He has shifted into a different position to where I cannot see my belly button unless I lean waaaaay over.  That is different than yesterday.  Also, I feel a huge pressure/ache on the underside of my belly with this shift of distribution.  I feel like I would like to just set my belly on a shelf.  That would be helpful, I do believe.  :)  He still moves an incredible amount for a baby of this size.  They say that he should have slowed down by now due to lack of space, but he apparently didn't get the memo.  What can I expect, though, from a baby that I felt move for the first time at 13-1/2 stinkin' weeks!  He's a wild one!

I've been trying to prepare the kids...well, Cassie really...for the big day as far as different ways that it can happen.  I wanted her to be somewhat prepared in case my water breaks.  I told her long ago that he's in a swimming pool that is like a bag of water with him inside.  I have recently explained to her that it could break and all of the water would come out like it did when she came out of my tummy.  She thinks it's cool and I think she's hoping to see that happen.  I've told her that mommy might be in a lot of pain.  I've told her that she'll be with someone else (and have told her the options of whom she might be staying with depending on day or night, etc.).  I've explained that she might wake up to me gone, but that someone else would be here.  I've tried to cover as many bases as I could come up with so that she's comfortable with things.  Most of all, I've just tried to play up when she gets to come up to the hospital to meet her brother and that Daddy will be coming home again.  Those are the 2 best parts!  :)

Conrey is clueless and I feel sad that his little world is about to be turned upside down.  He is SUCH a mommy's boy and there is no way around the change that is coming.  I will just have to do my best to make it as smooth of a transition for him as possible (and for sister, of course).  He is not fond of sharing mommy with anyone at ALL, so it could be interesting!

So, he can safely come at any time and I will be more than happy for him to come sooner than later.  Be watching for updates that he's on his way!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Potty Training

So, I just wanted to put a little something about our potty training.  It is going really well for the lack of effort on mommy's part.  Conrey is doing a great job of remembering to go and of staying dry.  Mommy, however, forgets to ask him a lot and therefore he does have accidents.  I mean, he's not even 2-1/2!  He loves wearing Pull-Ups.  The disappearing pictures are great incentives for him.  However, I plan to switch to undies this week and see how that goes.  I just don't have it in me to be on the floor scrubbing pee right now with my big belly!  He wakes up from naps dry and nighttime every 2-3 days he's dry.  The others in between he's wet, but that's probably my fault since he takes a drink to sleep.  Well, really Daddy's fault for starting that with Cassie, but..........

[EDIT] We've had a few setbacks today and a triumph. He kept saying he needed to pee pee and I was tired of sitting in the bathroom for hours on end. He won't use the potty chair, so I couldn't just bring it with us wherever we went. There is no comfortable place for an almost-37-weeks pregnant lady to sit in a bathroom. So, I told him to just go sit and try. I heard a strange splashy noise and looked up from where I was sitting in his bedroom. He was standing on his little stool peeing with all his might into and on the potty! I was so proud of him for taking the intiative...though I had a nice little mess to clean up! He has peed in undies twice today. Once, he was standing next to the potty. What in the world? He just didn't want to go on the potty. He had just woken up and was a grump. The second time was on my sheets. Yay for that. Guess who's getting clean sheets tonight?!? That's my update on potty training.

Along the same line of toilet talk, Cassie randomly dunked her head in the toilet last night.  I don't know why.  I don't know how, really...  Strange girl.  Who would ever think of doing such a random thing.  We don't have TV anymore, so I'm fairly certain that she didn't see that on anything.  We only watched Nick Jr. and PBS anyway.  So, she gave herself a swirly.  Hopefully, it will be the only one she ever gets.

I guess that's it.  I just wanted to update on the potty training and say that he's doing well. I'm off to bed.  Peace out.

No, wait.  First, I want to remember 9/11.  I know that we all will always remember what we were doing, where we were, how we felt, etc. when we heard about it.  Don't forget.  Tell your children.  Pray for those people and their families when you remember.  Take a stand as a Christian in this great nation.  Cassie has recently learned The Pledge and my heart swells with pride to hear it from her little mouth.  ONE NATION.  UNDER GOD.  JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An unknown peace

So, I've done this pregnant thing twice before.  Both times previously, I have been dying...DYING to get the baby out by this point.  I am 36 weeks, 1 day as of today.  Typically, I am gearing up with all of the natural induction methods to try to get baby out as soon as 37 weeks hits.  Nothing has ever worked for me that early.  In fact, the only self-induction that HAS worked was the castor oil with Cassie at 39 weeks 2 days.  I tried it again with Conrey and puked after the first drink.  Just thinking about it makes my stomach churn.

So, anyway, I was driving to my OB appointment yesterday and I thought to myself, "It doesn't really matter what he tells me today after checking me.  In fact, why is he going to check me.  It won't really make any difference."

For a reason unexplainable to me, I have received, without thinking to ask, I might add, the peace that passes all understanding.  I am not in a rush any longer.  I mean, don't get me wrong, if he came sooner rather than later, I will certainly not be complaining.  However, I don't feel the need to get my arsenal ready.  I don't feel like I need to eat an entire pineapple.  I don't feel as though I need to be pushing all of the pressure points or other awkward go-into-labor things.

I just feel like he'll come when he's ready and that timing will be right.  SO not my feelings the last 2 times.

I can only explain this one way.  For the past year and a half, we have been cruising down the highway of God's timing not knowing when or where our journey would lead, but just trusting like we never have before.  It has been scary, yes.  It has been trying, yes.  We have tried to get off at exits not intended for us and it has gotten us quite lost, but we always managed to find our way back (well, we had to be led back, of course...we're not THAT smart).  I truly believe that this is what has allowed me to receive this peace that God has offered.  I'm not doing things on my terms or timing, but simply trusting the master of the universe whom is, afterall, creating this little boy within me every second of every day.  It's so foreign to me that I am kind of bursting with joy over it.

Two Sundays ago at church, by the time I walked out of the building, I was in tears.  I have been soooooooooo tired of people asking when I'm due and then freaking out when I say how long I have left.  I'm tired of the twins comments.  I'm tired of the "are they sure they have your due date right?" questions. 

Last night, I had a completely different perspective.  People would ask how I was doing and I'd tell them honestly that I'm doing well!  Sometimes I would add in how tired I am, but what pregnant lady ISN'T tired?  What mom of 2 isn't tired???  However, it was just so refreshing to say that I'm doing well and mean it!  It is just such a different perspective.  I have my normal aches and pains that are associated with end-stage pregnancy, but they are manageable...they are tolerable...they aren't nearly as bad as they could be!

I know I'm rambling.  Sorry.  I probably have said the same things over and over.  I just cannot describe the joy that has accompanied the peace.

God has most definitely used some close people in my life to encourage, uplift, and root for me.  Yes, even those that think that they haven't been a good support for me have kept me going and have helped me get to this point.  With the help of a fellow (formerly) preggo, we decided that we will not succumb to the control of hormones ruling our attitude, mood, and way we treat our spouses and children.  God made those hormones and we choose to let Him shine through us even when we want to scream at our children (or when we are weak and DO scream at our children and then need a time-out, to apologize to our precious babies, and refocus).  We choose to not allow society to lead us to believe that we have the right to behave as we choose when we are hormonal and everyone else just has to deal with it.  God did not make them to give every female a grouch pass, but to allow our bodies to do amazing and beautiful things.  So, today, along with my joy and peace, I will practice love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentless, and self-control with  my children, my family, and my friends in spite of the fact that I'm exhausted after little sleep, I have a pressure-y head, and have to get the house ready for a showing before my baby shower.  I will rest in His promises of daily supplication and in the peace that is so foreign to me, yet so welcome.

Sorry for the long, babbly post.  Hopefully, it made some sense somewhere in there.

So, whether baby Keaton comes out tonight while at my shower *smile* or somewhere in the next 4 or so weeks, I will do my best to continue to dwell within His sphere of peace.

*I wanted to add a disclaimer that I absolutely believe that hormones can do things that are not in a woman's control and that it is a difficult battle for many.  I don't want to discount the struggle that we all go through with hormones.  I simply choose for this moment to overcome them through GOD'S help.  God has provided medications for some that need it...counseling for others...great friends for, I pray, all of us.  I just didn't want anyone to think that I was being condesending.  If I ever had depression or other hormonal issues, I would not be afraid to seek help, so I just wanted to make that clear!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to Life...Back to Reality

The reality is that Daddy went back to Nebraksa and that Baby Keaton will, Lord willing, be here safe and sound SOON!

Yes, Mark made it home safe and sound.  Thank the Lord for that.  We had a good weekend with a few stresses.  Overall, though, it was good to get hugs and kisses whenever I wanted them and for the kids to enjoy Daddy so, so much!

This morning, my dad said, "Conrey, where is your Daddy?"  His response was, "Nebraksa.  Choo-Choo Trains."  I thought that that was pretty smart for such a little guy!

Today, I am 35 weeks, 5 days.  In one week and 2 days, I will be full term.  There are times when I look back at this pregnancy and feel that it has draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaged on.  However, I think of the fact that I'm that close to term and only 1 month today away from my due date and I almost cannot believe I'm so close!  I am so anxious to have this section of our lives behind us.  This separation has been tough!  Willing it to hurry by is so bittersweet because I don't want to leave my family and dear friends, but at the same time.  However, we NEED to be together as a family as soon as possible!

Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.  Daddy's trip home is over and done and we're back to the reality of what has been normal for us for over 5 weeks now.  We will not have to wait that long again and we'ew ALL happy about that!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Mommy Moment (or 2)

So, Cassie started preschool this week, as you all know.  If I had had the time, the pictures would be already uploaded to go with this post.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  My entire Thursday (today) was spent at the hospital, but we'll get back to that...  Anyway, thanks to my sweet friend, Kelly, I actually HAVE pictures of her first day of school, but they are still on her camera waiting to be uploaded.  Mark has our camera in Nebraska.  Bad planning on my part.

So, she walks up to her class.  We hang up her backpack.  She stands by the classroom door for an obligatory picture.  She walked in and never looked back...

I stood there for a moment trying to figure out what to do.  I weakly called out, "Have fun..."  She never turned around, but went to join one of her best friends, Xander, on the rug with the other kids.  I thought to myself, "Well, I guess I'll be going then......................"

We work and work to get our kids to do things independently; getting dressed, walking, feeding themselves, playing with others.  Then, when it is time to turn them lose, we must struggle against the tether that ties them straight into our heart. 

No, I did not cry.  I figured, if she's not, why should I?

When I picked her up, before she even got to the classroom door, she called out, "MOMMY!  You were RIGHT!  Preschool IS so much fun!!!"  My heart soared as she reconnected that tether and began describing he day in detail.



My other mommy moment was the day spent at the hospital.  Started out this morning with fluid that ran down both legs.  Concerning in pregnancy?  Quite possibly.  I was not concerned, but was curious as to the origin of said fluid.  I called up to the dr's office on the advice of several and said that I didn't think it was, but thought I should call anyway, etc.  Of course, what do they say (and why do I even bother calling them)?  You need to go to the hospital. 


I get there and it is quite a long process before the nurse gets around to testing me.  Negative.  However, in that long process time, I start contracting a lot.  No biggie at first, but I find myself contracting harder and harder and closer and closer as the minutes tick by.  By the time the 15-minute test finally comes back negative, my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and were really pretty painful.  I'm not talking this-baby-is-crowning painful, but enough that it would bring tears to my eyes occasionally.  Then, I started having some super duper contractions that were lasting 4-5 minutes WITHOUT A BREAK!!!!!!!  I was NOT lovin' that!  That did all kinds of tests with a urinalysis, various swabs, etc. to see what was causing this.  Answer?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Negatory.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a medical freak?  Well, I am.  BUT, at least I'm not a flesh-eating bacteria freak like my brother.  *ahem*  The severity of my anemia has never been explainable.  I was sick for nearly 6 years with no diagnosis.  Now this.  Love it.  Nothing like hearing, "We don't know what's causing this, but......."

Anyway, bad contractions for several hours.  I then get up to potty (for the 3rd time) and when I get back in bed, they start to slow and decrease in intensity quite rapidly.  Soon, I am no longer contracting but once every 30 minutes or so and they are not even bad enough to make me quit talking.

So, negative tests plus no contractions equals no reason for the hospital to keep you longer!  WOO HOO!  I'm home now and am enjoying the lovely, chilly, fall-like weather!  It is currently 68 degrees here...perfect for a big 'ol pregnant lady!

Thanks to everyone that knew what was going on and prayed.  Let's just keep him in here for 1 week and 6 days longer until 37 weeks to be on the safe side!