One Week

I love this life...

Our little princess was one week old yesterday!  Only one week, and I feel like she has always been a part of our lives. I can't imagine our little family without this perfect addition.  We had a really great first week with her.  Craig was able to take a whole lot of time off of work, which helped me out so much.  I loved being able to sleep a little later (since I was up numerous times at night) and wake up to hot coffee.  All four of us enjoyed getting to know our little Skylar.

Here's a couple of pics....

Skylar is wearing a little outfit that I loved on Annabelle.  It is going to be so much fun to see her wearing things that I remember Annabelle wearing.
Like this outfit... One of the first cute outfits Annabelle ever wore.  This was at Skylar's two day doctor check up.  

A little smirk in her sleep...

My most favorite picture EVER!!!  I love these three kiddos so so so much!

Carter adores his sister.  I knew he would.

I LOVE a swaddled baby.  This one does not love to be swaddled.  She tugs and fights until she can pull an arm, or just a hand, out of her blanket.
Sweet little buddies.  This is Maxine, Skylar's cousin.  Almost four months older.  They grow so fast!!

More sleepy smirks...
Her hair looks wavy/curly when it is all wet. I would love to see one of my kiddos with some little natural curls.  

I wondered how the kids would adjust to having a new baby around here.  I worried mostly about Carter because of his personality. I did think and  he would get jealous and possibly a little clingy.  I figured Annabelle would be fine.  For the first few days, that wasn't the case.  It was opposite.  Annabelle had a couple rough days.  She was very disobedient and seemed to cry a lot more than normal.  We actually wondered if she just wasn't feeling well.  Her teacher at school even asked if she had been acting out a little bit.  She seems ok now, and we will be keeping an extra eye on her behavior so that we can be more sensitive to however she may be feeling.  She can not express her feelings to us, so that makes it even harder.  
Carter had done GREAT!  He adores his baby sister so much.  He asks to hold her and he calls her "Sweet heart".  Sounds like he is saying, "Sweet Tart".  So adorable.  He is so precious and tender hearted.  I am so glad that I decided to keep him home with me this semester so that he can get lots of my attention, too.  :)

We are so grateful for our little Skylar Faith.  I love her so much.  I can not believe that my heart grew so much.  It might explode. My heart grew with love for a new child, but also for my man.  He is such a sweet daddy to his babies.  I LOVE seeing him with them when they are tiny.  These little ones are always so comforted by his voice, and they look so content in his strong arms.  An amazing relationship forming at an early age.  :)



Our sweet daughter, Skylar Faith, arrived on September 21 at 5:45a.m.  She is amazing and perfect. All 8lbs, 2oz. 19.5 inches of her.  She has incredibly thick, blonde hair, and nurses like a champ. Craig and I are overwhelmed with love for her.  We have been home a little over 24 hours, and I want to tell you the birth story while my emotions are still overcharged and the memory is fresh. This may take a while, so grab your cup of coffee if you're up to reading every detail I will include.
  The theme of this labor is this....

Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think"

A couple of weeks ago, I expressed my hopes and dreams for the labor and delivery of Skylar.  It was scary for me to tell you my hopes out loud, knowing that things may not turn out the way I desired.  But, my heart and my mind were at peace, so I did.  After I hit a certain point in pregnancy, I am anxious while I wait for my body to kick in to labor mode.  I wonder if every twinge and pain may mean something is about to happen.  I become so anxious about how everything will go.  I imagine all the good, and fear some of the bad.  My mind becomes constantly consumed with all of this, that I can't even relax.  I hear this is totally normal.  After I hit 38 weeks, I was 'ready'.  All last week, I could tell that my body was doing something, and wondered how soon she would come.  I was feeling a lot of Braxton Hicks, some stomach issues, etc.  Saturday morning I woke up feeling mentally at peace, and strangely patient.  My mind began to ease as I was doing my best to trust God's timing.  Craig encouraged me to just let go and breathe, and to just be patient and know that our baby would come when she and when God were ready for her to.

Saturday morning, Craig and I did a little shopping, then he left me and Annabelle to walk around a shopping center to spend some time together, while he and Carter went grocery shopping together.  It was a sweet time with Annabelle, and I was glad to be on my feet.  It was a normal afternoon, with naps for the kiddos, and a little housework for us.  Nothing crazy.  I had been having the normal twinges and small contractions that I had been having for a couple weeks.  But, did notice I was losing some 'fluid'.  I am not going in to detail so that I don't gross you out.  You're welcome.
We had a regular evening, too.  Put the kids down at a decent bed time, and then popped in a movie.

 Around 8:30 pm, almost exactly when the movie started, I got one pretty painful contraction.  I pulled out my phone to actually start timing the contractions just to see what would happen.  I kept eating my Ben and Jerry's Phish Food, and contractions kept coming.  I knew they were real because it made me put my ice cream away.  I expected them to fade off, but kept timing anyways.
I would get a couple really uncomfortable contractions, then would get a regular ole BH one.  Some were 2-4 min apart, and some were like 5-6.  Didn't seem consistent enough to me. I sat on my yoga ball, or paced the living room as we watched the movie.  After the movie was over, I realized that they had not stopped at all the entire movie, so I told Craig I needed to just go to bed and that they would probably stop.
We both went to bed, probably around 10:30, and that is when they actually got worse for me. No position I would lay in would ease the pain I was feeling.  I kept timing them, and they were much more consistent than they had been.  I woke Craig up around 11:45, and told him I was giving it until 12:30, and then I was going to call labor and delivery just to see what they would say.  Around 12, my body started to shake for just a second. (The labor adrenaline shake) I remembered this feeling when I had Carter and I delivered him like 30 minutes later, so it kinda freaked me out.  So, I didn't wait, I called L&D and they said to come in just so they could check things out and see what was going on.  I then texted my mom to wake up my dad so he could come be with the kiddos.  It didn't take long for him to get here.  I told him that I hope we come back with a baby, and that they don't just send me home in false labor.  He was happy to be there in the middle of the night, no matter what happened.

On the way to the hospital, I was so so nervous that they were going to send me right back home.  I told Craig that if I was only at a 4, then I didn't want to be admitted yet. I wanted to go walk around somewhere and then go back later.  If I was any smaller, they would send me home anyways.
We entered the hospital through Emergency because it was the middle of the night. They made me sit in a wheel chair, and wheeled me up to labor and delivery.  I wanted to walk!  Hello!  Craig needs the wheelchair more than I did at this point, with his ankle the way it is.
They wheeled me into the Triage room, and I couldn't stand up yet, I was in the middle of a contraction. A nurse came in and told me she was going to monitor my contraction pattern and the baby's heartbeat for about 10 min before checking me for anything else.  So, she hooked me up, and left the room.  They kept coming, which I was glad about.  I thought, "Ok, good.  Now she won't think I was just being hopeful about labor contractions. She will see they are real."

She came back about 10-15 min later and told me she could see a good pattern and wanted to check to see if  I had progressed at all.  (OH, I didn't tell you.  I was at the doctor on Friday for my normal check, and was only dilated to about a 2, and she said about 75% effaced.)  Anyways, so she checked and kind of giggled and said, "well you are at a 5, and almost fully effaced.  I feel baby's head, and part of her back."  YAYYYYYY!!!  This was real labor, and I didn't have to go home.  She said she would go find out which room I would be in, and asked me if I wanted the epidural.  I said no, and told her I would like to not have anything to even speed things along, like pitocin.  Eeek! She did tell me that if I changed my mind, then to let them know as soon as I could because it would take at least 30 minutes from the time I asked until they could actually come, and may even take longer depending on where the anesthesiologist was at the time.  But, She was totally supportive and said she would get us to our room, and then just let me hang out and labor.  I had to be in bed for 30 minutes, and then I could be free for 30 min.  Off and on just to monitor contractions and the baby.  I was ONLY going to be hooked up to those two monitors for 30 min at a time, nothing else.  That was the game plan, and I was happy with it.  So scared, but happy.

We got in to our room, and I immediately texted and called my mom and my two sisters.  I wanted them there this time. I think this was around 1:45 or 2 by the time we got settled in our room.  I was able to be free for the first 30 minutes, so I just paced and tried to find comfortable ways to make it through contractions when they came.  I was trying to just really really relax when contractions came. I had read that it is best not to tense any muscle in your body and to try not to fight the contractions.  Relaxing your hands and your face and just thinking about what the contraction is doing to your body is a good tip to making it through.  That is what I did, and how I managed.  I found ways to sit or stand where I would be most loose and relaxed.  I closed me eyes, and tried to focus on what my body was actually doing.  Not holding my breath, and not squeezing anything or fighting away from the pain, but just breathing through it.  It was awesome, because once a contraction was over, I felt like I could hang out and maybe chat or just chill until the next one came.

The scene...
Our room was dim, I had turned on Pandora to my Album Leaf station, and everyone was relaxed and calm.  One thing I have loved about every birth I have had, is the background noise.  The constant sound of the baby's heartbeat on the monitor, the occasional calming sound of the blood pressure cuff randomly taking my blood pressure.  My sister, Lisa was closest to me the whole time.  Either rubbing my feet or my back between contractions, or just laying a hand on me.  I had told Craig to please just rest because I didn't feel like there was anything anyone could do but just be.  I knew I would be needing Craig the most at the end, so I really truly wanted him to just close his eyes while he could.  All I wanted during a contraction was a calming quiet, my pillow, and my own way to be comfortable.

My nurse was incredible.  She came in only during the every 30 minute on and off time to hook me up to monitors or take me off.  She was totally supportive of me and how things were going.  She didn't ever ask me if I wanted anything for pain, only asked if I needed water or more blankets or pillows or something.  She told me a couple times how good I was doing, and then would just tell me to hollar if I needed anything.  She never lingered and only encouraged and supported me.  ONE HUGE answer to my prayers.  Around 3:30, I think, she asked me if I wanted to be checked again.  (She had not checked me since 1:00 am when we got there, and that is when I was at a 5).  I said yes, and that this time when I got in bed to be monitored, I just wanted to stay.  I was getting too uncomfortable to move around any more.  She checked me and I was at an 8!!!  She asked if I wanted to continue to wait for my water to break or if I wanted the doctor to do it. This I was ok with since the beginning.  I wanted to experience my water breaking, but knew that kind of intervention was kind of more typical and that it was ok.   I wanted the doctor to go ahead and do it.  She broke my water around 3:45 and told me things would start to really pick up and might get more intense.  I expected that any ways.

This is when I got a little nervous.  I knew that contractions would of course just get worse until the end.  I also knew that since I was at an 8, there was no going back now.  I had spoken to the anesthesiologist just a couple weeks before, and he had told me that they don't often do epidurals after you get to an 8 because of how quickly things can progress from there.  Especially in your third birth.  I also knew in my mind that if I was going to make it that far, I would not ask for any intervention at all.  So, here I was.  At that point, and I knew it was about to just get more 'exciting'.  AND IT DID!!  I knew it was getting close, so I asked Craig to get a chair and come be RIGHT BY ME.  I wanted him as close as he could possibly get.

Probably about 30 min after she broke my water, contractions were much more painful.  This is when things went kind of fast, and some things and time frames are a bit of a blur.  I still managed to make it through those painful contractions for about an hour or so.  I am pretty sure about 5 ish or 5:15 I asked her to check me again.  I think.  Baby was there.  But, I was at about a 9.5.  She said there was just a little bit of cervix that just needed to melt away.  She encouraged me to roll to my side or lay down completely. Somehow that would help get the baby down there farther to push that cervix out of the way.  I couldn't roll to my side at this point.  I just couldn't barely move.  Pain had gotten pretty bad.  I laid back, and that didn't really do the trick, so with some help, I rolled to my side. To face Craig.  Pain got almost unbearable at this point. I threw up in Craig's hand during one contraction at this point, that's how bad it was getting.  But, turning to my side worked.  They brought in the doctor and the delivery table and all their special things for delivery!  So exciting.  We were so close to meeting our girl.

Nurse checked again, and said it was time to push.  I felt like my body was already pushing all on it's own at this point.  I had to somehow get in to position and get this baby out.  This whole process is such a blur, it was SO painful.  They say I only did push about 7-10 minutes, but all of this felt like it was longer than the whole entire labor process.  I pushed, or my body was pushing itself, and I could feel EVERYTHING.  I felt her head come out and everyone was just cheering me on, and then her body just slid right out after that.  The feeling of that little body coming out was incredible and it was also INSTANT relief.  Relief from the pain I was just feeling and also emotional relief that it was done.  She was here!  They immediately put her up on my chest and wiped her off with swaddle blankets, and they let me hold her for the longest time.  She was all covered in that white cheesy stuff, and other things, but I didn't care, i just wanted her close.  I ripped my cover down so that we could be skin to skin.  She was crying and working the fluid out of her lungs.  I just kept saying, shhhh, shhhhh, i got you, shhhh.  But, really you want the baby to cry, it is good for them.  Craig was right there with me this whole time.  I did give another small push to get the placenta out during all of this, and my doctor just hung out and did all her doctor sorts of things while we just sat and enjoyed her sticky little body.  Craig cut the cord this time.  Not sure if he did with the others.  I immediately tried nursing her, and she caught on pretty quick.  They did take her and cleaned her a little better and stuck a diaper and a hat on her, but then handed her right back to me.  She latched like a champ and just suckled for a bit.

This pic was pretty shortly after her arrival. This is my doctor, and she delivered all THREE of my little ones.  I was so thankful that she was there this weekend when I went in to labor spontaneously.  God gave me such a gift in that.
Our First picture together with our youngest daughter.  Totally smitten, I tell ya...
 First weight check.. 8lbs. 2oz.
Getting a little doctored...
Her first bath!!!  She did not love it, but I was so excited to get her own little outfit on and smell her sweet head after her bath.
The nurse had to really comb through all that hair to get all of the white cheesy stuff off.
First nap on daddy.  Daddy's favorite thing ever is having his little babes nap on his chest.  I bet they feel so comforted and safe with him.
My mom and dad brought the kids up to see us after we got a tiny bit of rest that morning.  They loved their little sister so much, but didn't love being at the hospital.  So, they only stayed a little while. :)
So in love!  Only hours old.
LOVED napping right next to her and hearing all her little squeaks and little breaths.
Sunday was a very sweet day, just taking it all in and reflecting on the experience I had just had.  We had only a few visitors in the hospital, and the rest of the time it was just Craig and I.  Hanging out with our new daughter.  It was a very very peaceful time.  We almost felt like we were on vacation.  Nothing to do but sit and enjoy each other with other people take care of US!  It was such an awesome day.  We were both so exhausted.  I have heard that often the daddy is more tired, even though the mom just did all the work.  But, even hours after, I guess I was still running on adrenaline, and felt more awake than he did.  He was so drained from no sleep and a very emotionally charged experience.  Sunday night, we tried to go to sleep early. He for sure got more sleep than I did, as I woke up to every small whimper.  :)
By Monday morning, we were ready to go home and settle in and start our life.
Monday morning stretching!
I felt very emotional as we were leaving the hospital Monday.  We got released around 11;30am.  I was sad to leave that room where I experienced one of the most amazing things I have ever ever gone through.  I was sad to leave the hospital where we have been taken such good care of for three pregnancies and three deliveries.  There are so many good memories for us in that hospital.  I was feeling emotionally high and emotionally drained all at the same time.  I almost didn't want to go.  I was so overwhelmed.  I couldn't cry though.  And still haven't.


This whole experience is something that I can not put in to words.  God gave me such a gift.  Just after delivery, all I could think of was PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW. I said it over and over again that day.  Looking at Skylar I can't help but say that.  I can't stop praising him for all of this.  For her, of course.  But, for labor and delivery.  Everything went the way I had hoped and dreamed it would.  It was actually better than what I had envisioned.    " Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think"   This verse says EXACTLY how I am feeling.  God did more for me than I even asked of him.  He blessed me beyond my dreams.  NONE of this do I take for granted.  None of this is anything but a huge gift wrapped in a giant pink bow.  My life will never be the same because of this whole experience.  My faith will never be the same.  In a matter of hours my life, and my heart changed. My heart grew, which I knew it would, but did not know if would grow this much.   " Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think."

So, about the natural delivery.  People had asked me why I wanted to try this without an epidural.  I guess my answer was, to try it.  I had epidurals with my other two, and it was awesome, but something made me really want to try.  I wanted to know what it was like.  I'm not a hippie, or am I all about doing everything the natural way, but I do like the idea of letting my body do what God designed it to do.  It wasn't about the effects of medicine on me or the baby that made me want to avoid it this time.  I just wanted to see what difference there might be compared to the other two drug induced labors I have had.  

Now that I have done it, I can compare.  I loved both experiences so much.  Not one experience do I love more than the other actually.  But, I do love the experiences in different ways.  I would never change anything about the way any of my three labors have gone.  Not even this one, with all that pain.  I would never want to go back and ask for the epidural, or ask for an induction.  I LOVED going in to labor on my own, and laboring the entire thing the way my body was designed.  God made my body to do what it did on Sunday morning.  It was awesome to be that in tune to my body.  I have never felt so close to my own self.  Not sure if that even makes sense.  It was neat to be able to praise God through my pain.  Praise Him for the strength and power He was giving to me.  

I am so thankful that my mom and sisters got to join Craig and me this time and that they were so supportive and loving.  My sister, Lisa, was an incredible encouragement to me during pregnancy and through this labor because she knew what I was feeling.  She knew what was happening to my body.  She was an amazing sense of peace to me in the delivery room.  I will say, that right after it was over, in my mind I said that I would never do it again.  That if I had a fourth, I would get an epi.  But, i did think that right after experiencing the most outrageous pain i have ever felt.  I would never change the way things happened.

john 16: 21 Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.
I read this verse a couple days before labor, while I was in labor, and right after.  It's so true.  I have so much joy and peace right now.  I love this little girl, and that she has joined my sweet little family.  My little family of FIVE feels so complete.  I could NOT be more thankful or express in words how appreciative I am.  Thank you, Jesus, for my life.  


38 (plus) Weeks!!!!

I have been cherishing time with these two sweet kiddos before their baby sister arrives.  With what energy I have, I try to do the things that I know they will enjoy.  Last week we went to the park and had such a fun time together.  This park is so peaceful to me, and always rejuvenates me.  When I can run, it is where I run.  I love that it is basically across the street from me.  I will never take this amazing park for granted.  
I am laughing already as I am about to type this next sentence.  Carter got attacked by a goose when we were there last week.  It was NOT funny to me at the time, but makes me laugh a little now.  Because, obviously, he is fine!  He was SO interested in this goose as it stood there and squacked at us.  I didn't like it, but carter was pretty fascinated by this bird that stood as tall as he did.  I kept telling him not to touch it, and to back up.  I was standing right by him, grabbing his hand to pull him further away from the damn thing, when it started attacking Carter.  He was basically pushing him with his yucky beak, and flapping his ginormous wings as I was trying to pull Carter away from him.  I started freaking out a little and kicking at it, and it ran off.  I scooped Carter up and he was crying and crying and holding on to my neck for dear life.  I set him down to check him out and make sure there was no bite or blood or anything, and it only took a minute for Carter to want to go back to playing.  But, I still shook for a good ten minutes!  Geez.  Stupid bird!!!!  It's funny as I replay it in my head, only because Carter did not get hurt, only scared, and I am sure that anyone who saw it may have laughed a little too.  But, I learned to stay away from them from now on.  Grrrrrr.

At the Park.  (after attack, and Carter is happy)
I love including them when I bake.  They loved sitting there watching me whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies!  

LOVE how Annabelles little legs just dangle over my belly...

This was last Thursday.  People keep telling me that I look small, and honestly, I do NOT feel small.  And, I realized that I am actually looking a bit smaller than I was before, and I realize it is because sister has been dropping very low.  She is SO low right now I wonder how shes not punching a fist out.  I know, TMI, but seriously.  I have gotten so uncomfortable in the last few days.  She wants to come out and join us!

This past weekend was quite exciting around this house.  Annabelle ended up with a stomach bug Friday night, which kept craig and I up pretty much all night.  She slowly got better Saturday.  Craig went to work on Saturday and called me around 2 to tell me this:
Craig: "Hey, I'm all done with work, but I had a little accident.  I think I broke my ankle and am driving to the emergency room."
Me: "Are you ok? What happened? Do you need someone to drive you?"
Craig:  Something about a ladder, and him being ok to drive, and that he would call me if I needed to come up there.  
Me: Uhhhhhhh. Ok. 

So, he ended up with a bad bad sprain, unable to walk on his ankle, and with an air cast.  For Craig to not be able to do all he wants to physically is such a challenge for him, but I basically made him stay on the couch ALL day on Sunday.  So this was me:

(Only not as smokin hot!)
I had to bust out super mom mode and get it all under control! God gave me energy and strength, and I was super thankful.  Now it's Tuesday, and I am EXHAUSTED.  Physically, mentally and emotionally.  I need more of that super power.  I woke up feeling awful today.  Wondered if I had what Annabelle had.  I couldn't barely function. I am going to say that what I have is either something I ate, or my body really preparing for labor.  Whatever it is, it sucks.  Luckily, my family is close by, and Lisa came to my rescue today.  She took Annabelle to school and hung out at my house with me until I felt better.  And, I do feel a bit better now than I did this morning.  I'm tired and wanting a break, and that makes me actually excited for being in the hospital.  I am hoping that it is a break from the every day demands.  I'm just trying to catch my breath.  I should put myself to bed EARLY tonight!!

How far along? 38+ weeks
Total weight gain/loss:  A little over 20 lbs. Had lost a couple at my last appointment.  Don't know how thats possible with the amount of ice cream i eat. ;)
Stretch marks? No. :) I have used coconut oil again this pregnancy.
Best moment this week: Annabelle started preschool again last week, and she LOVES it.  I love that she gets the opportunity to be somewhere where people love and care for her.  The teachers are amazing, and Annabelle was so happy last week!  :)
Miss anything: Yes.  Putting on my pants like a normal person.  I can't even dress myself.  whaaaaaaa.
Movement: Yes.  She moves around MOSTLY in the evenings when I am relaxed.   I LOVE to feel her move. Love it.
Food cravings: NO!!! Especially not today.  I have had saltines and a rice cake. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yes.  About everything today.  
Labor Signs: Wondering if what I have right now is a sign?  Other than that, I still get lots of 'practice' contractions, and have been feeling a LOT of pressure in my pelvis. 
  Belly Button in or out?  out actually.  weird.
Wedding rings on or off? Off. Still trying to make it happen, but I need to keep it off.  My feet and hands are almost always swollen.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Been doing good, but feeling pretty drained today. 
Looking forward to: Feeling my water break, or having some 'real' labor signs!  Let's get this show on the road.  


37 weeks

Today I am SUPER tired and not feeling so great.  I woke up at 4 to pee, and heard Annabelle wrestling around about 4:15.  She was awake.  Wide awake.  Finally, i brought her in bed with us so that she wouldn't wake up Carter.  Pretty sure I/we were awake till about 5:15.  Then awake again about 6.  I am wishing nights/mornings like that would not come until Skylar gets here, and that until then, I can be blessed with good sleep.  Coffee did nothing for me this morning, and it seems that these two kiddos are requiring MORE of my energy today than usual.  Is it a full moon or something?  What's happening?  Am I just SO exhausted that I notice how much energy it takes just to be me?  
I feel so guilty that I don't have energy to play with them, take them anywhere, OR to take care of this house and the demands of the everyday work of a stay at home mom and wife.  It's not just today that I feel that guilt.  It is OFTEN.  Don't want to write an entire DOWNER post, but those are just my thoughts and feelings this morning.  
Pregnancy hormones are a REAL thing and occasionally really affect me.  I feel like there are tears just waiting in my eyelids, and it takes the smallest thing for them to come out.  I have very sentimental thoughts, and at the same time, get very irritated at the most ridiculous things.  Within 30 seconds I can cry, laugh, and punch a hole through a wall.  My dreams have also been weird.  The weirdest ones are always about my kids.  I remember after having Annabelle, I would have dreams that I couldn't find her, or that something was wrong and I would wake up in a panic.  After Carter, the same thing happend, but not as often.  Last night, I dreamed about Carter and Annabelle, and the dream made me want to go sleep in their room and snuggle them really close.  I have also been dreaming about Skylar.  Not bad dreams, but dreams that make me so excited to meet her and hold her!  I did dream that she came out a boy, and that the ultrasounds were wrong the whole time.  I wonder if that would make me laugh?
Anyways, prayers for these last couple weeks are appreciated.  Of course.  Also, I would love prayers for labor and delivery.  I have special hopes and dreams this time, knowing it is probably my last baby.  I know that birth and labor OFTEN does NOT go the way we hope and plan, therefore I have never made a birth plan with any of my babies.  Babies will come when they are ready, and your body will also make it happen when IT is ready.  Unless you have a scheduled c-section or induction, you never know the exact day it will happen.  And even if you are scheduled, things can go wrong or can change in an instant.  Labor and delivery are an incredible picture of faith, aren't they?  I will share my hopes this time...

With both Annabelle and Carter, I wanted an epidural.  And I LOVED that epidural.  So much that I wouldn't mind having one just to relax.  That sounds so bad, but I am sort of serious.  They are awesome.  I had no bad reactions to the epidurals I got.  I enjoyed labor. I got to relax, hang out with visitors without screaming, and enjoyed the whole labor process!  Annabelle's labor was spontaneous, Carter's was an induction. (although i was dilated to about a 4 or 5 when I got there.  I was already in the process.) Carter's birth was a DREAM!! I got to the hospital early in the morning, enjoyed some time with my visitors, and had Carter a little bit after noon.  It was perfect, really.  Perfect and quick, and HE was perfect.  I am forever so greatful for that day and that experience.  Especially after our experience with sweet Annabelle.

This time around, I hope to NOT be induced unless I make it to OCTOBER.  I hope to experience my water breaking on it's own.  I hope for a quick labor! (who doesn't though, really?) I hope to be already progressed pretty far once I get to the hospital.  Like at a 7!  I hope to do all of this without an epidural.  I hope for Skylar to be well and alert and perfect.  I hope for everything to be perfect. (again, who doesn't hope for that?!?!)  Why would I not want an epidural OR an induction if it went SO well last time?  Well, I do have the desire to know what it is like without all of that.  I want to see what the best of both of those worlds are.  I watched my sister, Lisa, have a TOTALLY natural, almost hippie natural, labor and delivery and it was pretty awesome.  I have read about it, and read testimonials from women who have done it, and I rarely come across anyone having terrible things to say about it.  Pain? YES. But, awesome? Also, yes.  I never want a birth outside of a hospital because of what I have experienced, but I DO wonder if I can do a natural birth in a hospital with total support from nurses and doctors.  
I'm scared about it.  And can't even believe that I am telling you publicly what I want to do, because I know it may not happen this way.  I don't want to feel like a failure if I give in to medication.  And I understand that I may depending on how everything plays out.  
I can NOT believe that within the next 2-3 weeks we will know HOW this did all play out.  How crazy.  I am ready to meet her. I am ready to adjust to life with a new baby.  I am ready to begin the physical healing process.  I am ready for Annabelle and Carter to meet their sister.  

How far along? 37+ weeks
Total weight gain/loss:  A little over 20 lbs.
 Maternity clothes? DUH! 
Stretch marks? No. :) I have used coconut oil again this pregnancy.
Best moment this week: Craig treated me to a manicure and a pedicure this past Saturday, and it was AMAZING.  The time alone was so peaceful and being pampered was such a treat.  Isn't he thoughtful?  I appreciate him so much.  
Miss anything: Yes.  I can't WAIT to feel better physically, to work out again and to drink a giant frozen margarita. ;)
Movement: Yes.  She moves around a lot. I LOVE to feel her move. Love it.
Food cravings: It's weird, but I have lost my appetite for the most part lately.  Nothing really sounds good, and everything seems to give me terrible heartburn.  I DO love ice cream.  I really should just replace every meal with a big bowl of ice cream.  That's ok, right? 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Yes.  I have been feeling very yucky.  Because my stomach is squished and again, my heartburn is so awful.  
Have you started to show yet: Ha ha. It is funny though the reactions I get from people.  Both strangers and friends.  in JULY, there was a group of old ladies that were so shocked that I still had to make it to September.  They said I looked so big like I was going to have the baby any day.  But, younger people say the opposite.  They tell me, even now, how small I look and how I couldn't possibly be due this month.  I guess the old ladies don't see pregnant women often and have just forgotten how big we can get.  And, people who I am around see pregnant women OFTEN.  I don't feel small at all.  But, I will say that I know Skylar is not as big of a baby as Carter was.  By this point with him, I was in pain.  He took up every inch possible.  Skylar is bigger than sweet Annabelle was, but still has some room in there to get chubby.  :)  
  Gender: GIRL
Labor Signs: Just some Braxton Hicks.  I kind of wish I was seeing and feeling more of something towards labor, but I am pretty sure she will bake a couple more weeks.  
  Belly Button in or out?  out actually.  weird.
Wedding rings on or off? Off.  Tried to put it back on the other day, and I would have had to force it.  Sad. :(  I feel so naked without it, but my finger is swollen.  
Happy or Moody most of the time: Ha ha, did you read my little intro up there?^  Such a mix of both that I don't even know how to hang out with myself.  :/
Looking forward to: Feeling my water break.  ;)


It's September!

Pretty excited to wake up to September today!!! Due date month. Been waiting for September since January. I might want to update the pregnancy questions at least every week till Skylar comes because my body and things seem to be changing a bit these days. I am feeling very in tune to these little changes and the strange feelings. 

How far along? 36+weeks
Total weight gain/loss:  around 20. I might not admit exactly how much. ;)
 Maternity clothes? Of course.  And even some of my maternity shirts are getting short.
Stretch marks? No

Best moment this week: Today was pretty great hanging out with just kiddos and my man.
Miss anything: I really want to sleep on my belly!
Movement: Yes.  So much. Some of it hurts,some of it is cute!
Food cravings: Not really right now.  I have been really wanting to bake lately, but I try not to even turn on the oven in the summer. It just heats up my kitchen so fast! Today, I caved and made a peach cobbler. I'm still just craving fall. I wanted to smell something baking and taste a little cinnamon. :) it was wonderful! 
Anything making you queasy or sick: heartburn is still just terrible. Not fun! 
Have you started to show yet:  duh! And she has dropped a bit, so my belly is looking a little different these days. 
 Gender: GIRL
Labor Signs: Yes actually! As of Friday, I was dilated to a one and about 50% effaced. I know that doesn't mean much, and I could be like that for weeks, but I was happy to hear that I was making some kind of progress. Since Friday, I have had regular Braxton hicks contractions, nothing crazy. Today I am feeling a LOT of pressure in my pelvis and hips, and am getting some strange pains, but I know they are "good" pains. I can totally tell my body is getting ready and closer to labor! Makes me excited for the next few weeks!!! We'll excited and so nervous. 

  Belly Button in or out? in-ish. Almost flat 
Wedding rings on or off? I actually took it off yesterday. My hands have been swelling and I got nervous that they will swell more. Actually my feet, ankles, and calves also swell. They feel swollen most of the day, especially when I am on my feet a lot or outside in the heat.
Happy or Moody most of the time: totally both. :) :/ :(
Looking forward to: meeting our sweet baby girl in the next few weeks! Happy due date month to us!!!