The Update I Never Thought Would Be, 40+ Weeks

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

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Here I sit, 40 weeks and 1 (almost 2) day pregnant.  I truly never thought I’d make it to this stage in the game.  I blame Reagan for arriving 2 weeks early, thus spoiling my ability to wait.  But it appears that Ashlynn is more like her older two siblings than Reagan.  Its ok, really it is, and I don’t mind the wait, so long as I have a plan in place.  I would much prefer to do this labor thing naturally and would appreciate all prayers, thoughts, and good wishes for my body to FINALLY go into real labor.  But since I had to be induced with Devyn, I’m fully prepared to go that route too.  Personally, I think she’s going to need a little coaxing to come out, but she could definitely prove me wrong.

How Far Along:

40 weeks and 1 day

Size of Baby:

The average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long.

Total Weight Gain/Loss:

Since I’ve weighed the same these last two weeks, I feel I can say that my total weight gain has been 22 pounds.  Again this is not including the 5-7 pounds I never lost after having Reagan.  So I would say my weight gain is really between 27-29 pounds, which is pretty average for all my pregnancies.

Maternity Clothes:

I’m now yanking on all my shirts to make sure they’re covering every piece of skin possible.  I wish I’d invested in some maternity dresses and leggings.  Those would’ve helped a lot, I’m sure, and they look so comfortable too.

Gender:

Our baby girl, Ashlynn Rose.

Movement:

Still moving, still trying to break a rib or two.  She is most active at night, which often keeps me awake.

What I Miss:

Rolling over in bed without heaving my body up and over.  Seriously.

Sleep:

See the last two questions.

Symptoms:

I have been stuck at 4cm dilated for the past 3+ weeks, but she has moved from –2 to 0 station within the past week.  Yes!  Only 3 more stations to go!  (If this is utterly confusing to you, I’d like to direct you to this site.  This does not come without some warning, childbirth information will be seen.)

Best Moment This Week:

Date night with Jon.  Actually, once I finished date nights with the kids, Jon asked when it was his turn and tonight we had a wonderful dinner out, followed by Christmas shopping, and a delicious Peppermint Mocha Starbucks drink.  4 hours of alone time with my hubby, and don’t think I didn’t enjoy every single minute.

What I’m Looking Forward To:

Getting to meet this little girl, once and for all; getting to count her fingers and toes; getting to look into her face; and  getting to know this newest addition to our family.  We wonder if she’ll be Diva or Laidback after all the ups and downs she’s taken us through these past few weeks.

Here’s hoping that she makes her appearance sooner, rather than later.  And I’m still holding out hope that my body will finally go into labor on my own.

Hitch Hiker

Monday, November 29, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

This is such a classic snapshot of my life with little ones.

Imagine my surprise when I looked down to see GI Joe hitching a ride from Strawberry Shortcake. I'm sure it had everything to do with the fact that Strawberry Shortcake's ride is faster and smoother than the Humvee.

A Picture Says 1,000 Words

Saturday, November 27, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

watchedpotI know everyone is wondering.  Hope this answers any questions you might have.  And yes, I can still laugh about it.  For now.

A Disappointing Morning

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7 Comments A+ a-

Jon and I were up early this morning, from 1:30-3:30am, tracking contractions that were coming every two to three minutes and lasting at least a minute long.  I sat in a hot bath, aching for relief and fighting back tears on some of them.  We debated back and forth between the two of us, do we go in for another labor check?  Or should we wait?  This was a game my body’s been playing with me for weeks now, a game I’m not too fond of, and since we were heading to the hospital in a few hours to be induced anyway, I decided to go with my gut and wait.  We crawled back into bed, fell asleep (as I usually do), and the contractions went away on their own (like they always do).

I was awake a few hours later, answering texts about whether or not I was excited that this was the day, the day we got to meet to Ashlynn.  I was cautiously excited, warmed at the idea of holding my newest baby girl by the end of the night, and hopped in the shower.  I’d been given explicit instructions to call the hospital’s number at 6:30 to make sure everything was still set for our induction.  Yes, this was a scheduled induction, but we were also the first on the list to be bumped off if anything came up.  I was toweling off and getting dressed, thinking about where to find the sheet of paper with the hospital’s phone number on it, when my phone rang.  My heart sank.  I knew instantly what that meant and the voice at the other end confirmed it, the Birthing Center was full and I was no longer going to be induced that morning.  “Ok,” I thought to myself, “a minor set-back.”  I listened to the rest of the voice’s instructions and waited eagerly for my doctor’s office to open at 8:00 to find out the next stage of the plan.

Jon took the kids so I could try to sleep for another hour, texted with a friend who had intimate knowledge of the Birthing Center’s busyness, and prepared myself that I was probably looking at another day or two or three before getting on the schedule again for a second chance at induction.

I’d just fallen asleep when the phone woke me and I recognized my doctor’s number.  Dr. Susie’s voice registered through the phone and I fell into instant shock as she relayed the unhappy news.  Not later today, like she’d originally hoped, not tomorrow, nor Thursday, nor Friday.  The Birthing Center was booked solid and we were now looking at the end of next week!  Shock kept all emotion from my voice and all feeling from my heart, until Dr. Susie started prying into my real thoughts about this change of plans and then the dam burst.  Suddenly I was drowning in a sea of disappointment, pity, sorrow, and disbelief.  We talked through my tears about some other ideas and she ended the call that she’d call back later, and that she wanted me to get some rest.

I called Jon into the room and relayed the horrible news, hiccupping and sobbing my way through the conversation.  It was an ugly cry to end all ugly cries; the kind that makes the skin blotchy and red, the kind that swells your eyes shut, and you can feel the beginnings of the pounding migraine that will be your punishment for allowing such a pity party.  I sent off some texts explaining the situation, laid the phone next to the pile of used tissues on my nightstand, and allowed Jon to pull me into his embrace to fall asleep. 

I didn’t answer a single call during the next few hours, not from my mom, my sisters, or friends.  Some texted and offered a coffee date or lunch date, Mom wanted to know if I wanted to see a movie, but the idea of going out in public was just too much for me.  I had much to process, the least of which was my overall disappointment that I wasn’t going to be holding my baby girl by nightfall. 

As I laid next to Hudson during his nap time, a fresh perspective and understanding seeped into my heart.  I read news of another blogger, who was due the day after me, that the son she’d borne this morning was on oxygen and she’d yet to hold or see him.  I remembered my own inner-turmoil when we first started discussing induction.  And somehow both Jon and I had known that this was going to happen.  When we finally emerged from the bedroom after Hudson’s nap, I was at complete peace with the circumstances. 

For whatever reason, God firmly shut the door to inducing Ashlynn’s arrival, there wasn’t a doubt to be had that this wasn’t of His hand and His plan.  And as much pain as I’m in, as much as I detest the contractions that are bringing slow, almost non-existent, progress, I also know that each day inside is another day for her to grow and be ready for life on the outside.  I can honestly say that as horrible as this morning was, I am now in agreement with the change of plans; plans that we obviously really have no control over in the first place.  Who knows what these next days will bring…  Will I finally hurdle that wall and go into labor on my own?  Will my water break?  Or will she need a little help like her oldest sister did at 10 days past my due date?  But if you want to pray that God will grant my body a break from the contractions, I certainly won’t stop you.

Stories to Bide the Time

Monday, November 22, 2010 6 Comments A+ a-

Story #1:
Grammy, Jon’s mom, created a new game with the kiddos that involves them trying to convince “Ashlynn” to come out and join them.  They’d chime in, “Come out Ashlynn” and she (Grammie) would respond, “No, I’m all warm and snug inside Mommy.”  Then they’d take turns trying to sweeten the deal…

Hudson:  “We have donuts!”

Hudson:  “We go camping and fishing too!  You’ll like it!”

Devyn:  “And we have pretty great Christmases too!”

Story #2:
Jon and I are currently reading this book and this book in our couples bible study.  Yesterday we curled up on our bed and read aloud the chapters, and Miss Paige decided to join us.  Out of nowhere, she interrupts us, “I know what married means.”

“Oh really?” I ask nonchalantly, and she shakes her head in affirmation.  I continue, “It means that two people fall in love, create a life together, buy a house, and have kids.” 

“But the honeymoon comes first!” she interrupts.

I don’t think I’ve seen Jon go as pale and sweat so fast at the same time before.  Poor guy!

Story #3:
On our way home from bible study, the on-again, off-again contractions were picking up and I was breathing through the worse of them.  Devyn pipes in from the backseat, “Uh oh, Mama has to go to the hospital again!”  Even they know my trips to the hospital for false labor is getting ridiculous.

Story #4:
Reagan has fallen in love with dolls and Barbies recently.  While I remember holding off Barbies as long as I could with Devyn, Reagan is another story.  Such are the perks of having an older sister.

Regardless, while she will play with them and we’ll take turns undressing and dressing them again, my absolute favorite is when she takes the doll, sniffs the bottom, and holds it out to me.  “Stinky!” she proclaims.

NewDesigns And lastly, check out the gallery for some new designs.  I feel so blessed to have stayed as busy as I have!

A Sunday Funny

Sunday, November 21, 2010 4 Comments A+ a-

Top 10 Signs You’ve Been Pregnant Too Long
  1. At your doctor's office, they're talking about inducing you. But it was the janitor in the elevator who suggested it first after taking one look at you.
  2. You won't be held accountable if you happen to punch the next person who says to you, "You don't look comfy," or "Are you sure it's not triplets?"
  3. Family and friends who were once interested and excited in your upcoming birth are bored with you.
  4. Even your husband is no longer interested in helping you out with that #1 method of getting labor going ....
  5. Braxton-Hicks contractions no longer phase you, and you wonder in the back of your mind if you'll glaze over real-labor contractions too and be surprised when the baby arrives while you're eating breakfast one morning.
  6. You are considering charging your baby rent. You could take it out of his or her future allowance.
  7. When you hear a friend's neighbor had her baby two weeks early, you scoff, "Showoff! Overachiever!"
  8. When people politely ask how you're doing, you tell them you feel you're going to burst -- and they believe you and take five steps backward.
  9. Everyone answers a call from you with “Are you in labor yet?”
  10. Your toddler son gets confused when you show him a real baby -- and it's not in your belly.

Coming Full Circle

Thursday, November 18, 2010 8 Comments A+ a-

BirthdayBannerOn this, the eve of Devyn’s 6th birthday, I am overcome with emotion and memories.  The birth of our oldest runs like a movie reel in my head and I’m overwhelmed by the similarities between now and then.

Six years ago tonight, I cried myself to sleep as I’d been turned away from Labor & Delivery for my planned induction due to the fullness of their floor.  Six years later, I’m near tears as I deal with intense contractions and no progress to show for it.  Six years ago tonight, I wondered what it would be like to hold my baby girl for the first time.  Six years later, I’m wondering the same thing.  Six years ago tonight, I sat on the precipice of my life changing forever.  And six years later, I sit on the same precipice wondering when we get to meet this latest addition to our family, changing it forever.

The only difference between then and now is 10 days.  Devyn was born 10 days after her due date, and Ashlynn still has 10 days to go until her due date.  Its an ironic twist of fate, is it not?  As we celebrate the birth of one daughter, the daughter who ushered in this new stage of our life of being parents, we anxiously await the arrival of another daughter to complete our family.  Aside from the hormones of a pregnant lady, I can’t help but tear up at the extraordinary timing of our God.

 

DevynBirthdayCollageIt was truly a lightning bolt with the arrival of Miss Devyn Paige.  From the moment they laid that baby girl on my chest in 2004, a lightning bolt of love seized my heart and I haven’t been able to love any less since.  “Where did time go?” I whispered to Jon as we sifted through the pictures of birthdays past.  How on earth did my baby girl go from infant to school girl in the amount of time it took me catch my breath?

She is beauty personified, in every way imaginable.  The person that she is inside radiates from the core outward, and I have no idea how I was given the honor of being her mother.  She humbles me with her unwavering faith in God, even going so far as to ask Him for a darker hair color and showing no surprise when it happened.  Her patience far outweighs mine, as she continually exceeds my expectations in her role as Big Sister, Big Cousin, or Caring Friend.  She is everything I strive to be, but fall so very short.  And neither Jon nor I can take any credit for the girl she is becoming.  Her heart is good, it is pure, and she is such a joy in our lives.

Miss Devyn Paige, the day you came into our lives forever changed us.  We are thrilled and blessed to be your parents, and continually pray for the guidance and wisdom in shaping you into who God has called you to be.  Baby Girl, I admire your quiet confidence in all situations.  I adore that you refuse to go along with a crowd, always willing to invite others to join you, but doing what you want even if no one else does.  That, my love, is a trait I never acquired and I know it will serve you well.  Thank you for touching all those around you with your stories of unwavering faith, I pray that you will always be a light for Him.  We love you and are so thankful to call you “ours”.  Happy Birthday, my love!

Still Here

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

Yes, folks, I’m still here.  I’m still around, with no baby to hold.  Yet.

I had a number of friends check in yesterday, wondering how I was doing, how I was holding up, curious to see if something had happened since I hadn’t updated the blog in a few days.  It made me smile!  So many people who want to meet Miss Ashlynn and I can’t wait to share her with y’all too.

Labor always seems just out of reach for me.  Things will progress (and yes they are progressing, I’m just not sharing the nitty, gritty details on here or on Twitter) and labor will seem imminent, only to have the contractions back off again.  I told Jon that it seems like labor wants to start but is having a hard time getting a consistent pattern of contractions to do their job.

Yesterday I had a good, ugly cry in the doctor’s office, with Dr. Susie there.  It was born of both pain and discouragement.  Plus it wouldn’t be a pregnancy for me without at least one ugly cry. 

Yesterday the back pain was so unbearable, I thought it might be back labor.  And it may very well have been, but she thinks Ashlynn may be sunny-side up (which some of you may have no idea what I’m talking about but basically, she’s facing up instead of facing down and her head is rubbing again my tailbone) and gave me some exercises to try and turn her around to the correct position.  I can’t even being to describe how silly I feel moving around on all fours while I clean up the living room, but there you go.

In all of my pregnancies, with the exception of Reagan, I have tried numerous different ways to induce labor.  I’ve been fully aware that if my body isn’t ready to go into labor, then no matter what I try, it won’t.  I have drank red raspberry leaf tea until I could hardly stomach the taste any longer.  I even ingested a herb called black cohosh when I was overdue with Hudson.  Jon has rubbed peppermint oil into the pressure points above my ankles, even getting some into his eyes.  (That’s a great story for another time!)  I have walked up and down hills, eaten spicy foods of all kinds, and Dr. Susie even stripped my membranes once I was overdue with Hudson.  The only thing I have never tried, even when I was 10 days overdue with Devyn, was drink castor oil.  I realize it might be a fool-proof way to induce labor, but it just scares me and sounds entirely unpleasant.

I have tried everything on this list, with the exception of the castor oil, all to no avail.  And it appears that Ashlynn appears to be as comfortable as her two older siblings, so I may be in this thing for a while yet.  We’ll see, huh?  Good things come to those that wait.  And while I truly believe that, I can’t help but curse Reagan a little for her early arrival; such a false sense of hope to give her mother.

Apparently there’s still time to enter our Baby Pool, as you can see, my guess has already come and gone…

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Saturday, November 13, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

I’ve been playing the Waiting Game for most of the week.  I seem to be in that time of my pregnancy where we sit around, do nothing, hurry up, and wait.  Truth be told, it hasn’t been fun and I’ve missed working up to the very end of my pregnancies.  Instead I’m in a new season, a new role, and it is requiring more patience of me.  Patience that I’m not sure I have.

Tuesday night found Jon, my mom, and I in the hospital for a few hours.  I’d been having contractions, right on top of the other, and they hurt.  Even as we walked into the hospital, Jon was pretty sure it wasn’t the real deal, but he knew better and indulged his hopeful wife.  I was checked and surprised to hear I’d progressed since my doctor appointment the week before and settled into bed wondering if this was THE night.  And while the monitors picked up some of the stronger contractions, and proved that I was in an-every-3-minute-pattern, they soon dissipated and we were sent home.

The next morning Reagan walked into our bedroom, crawled into bed with me, and asked for the Baby.  With a somewhat discouraged spirit, I lifted my shirt to show that Ashlynn was still inside.  And yet on the other hand, I was thankful for another day with Reagan as the baby.

Wednesday my parents indulged me with a lunch out for spicy Mexican food, some of the spiciest I’ve eaten in a long time, and long walks up and down a 3-block-long hill by my parents house.  Nothing.  No contractions, no backaches, nothing.  Although disappointed, I woke on Thursday morning with a new attitude and vowed to enjoy our first snowy day at home, which we did, complete with grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and hot chocolate with marshmallows after playing in the snow.  It was a good day.  A day to sit and count my blessings.

Then on Thursday night the contractions picked up again, complete with back aches and incredible pelvic pain.  I begged Jon not to take the Nyquil he so desperately wanted, “just in case”.  And thought for certain I was in the early stages of labor.  The whole next day I focused on those contractions, some merely uncomfortable, some having to breathe through, and one even waking me from a nap.  I focused on getting to my weekly appointment, sure I’d hear that I’d progressed to 5cm and to get to the hospital. 

I was sorely disappointed to hear there was no progress at all, and unfortunately Jon was the scapegoat the entire way home.  I would much prefer no contractions at all if there’s no progress to be made, but unfortunately, when you’re on child #4, our bodies don’t work that way.  And so here I sit, determined to ignore every contraction, instead of focusing on them, until I can’t ignore them any more.

toesBut the biggest blessing of today?  The thing that truly lifted my spirits and revived my determination to be patient?  These beautiful toes  right here!

My dear friend Mandy told me last week that we needed a girls day, then proceeded to make pedicure appointments for today.  She listened patiently to me all week as I excitedly told her of each new sign pointing to impending labor, she encouraged me during every letdown, and kept reminding me that Ashlynn couldn’t arrive until after our pedicures.

It was two hours of girl talk, of being pampered, of commiserating with another woman the pangs of this waiting period.  And it was greatly appreciated!  I feel rejuvenated and rested; I’m thankful for a friend for knowing exactly what I needed, when I couldn’t see past my own disappointment. 

And to all the other women in my life who have patiently listened to my complaints, my hopeful calls, and texts, to the friends who have sent encouraging words my way, my heart thanks you too.  I’m so blessed by each one of you, and I’m undone by your love and support.

Now I’m going to finish up some designs while I admire my buffed, massaged, and polished toes.

A Day to be Content

Thursday, November 11, 2010 6 Comments A+ a-

The snow is falling outside, another 4-6 inches is expected, and Jon's been working since midnight. He'll be home around noon, sleep the sleep of the dead for several hours, wake up for dinner and some family time before heading out at midnight again. I don't say it as often as I should, but I am so thankful for the hard-working man that is my husband.

As for the rest of our family, we're currently cocooned inside next to the fire, a cup of hazelnut coffee in my lap, a bowl of oatmeal has filled my tummy, and the sounds of my girls playing in the basement are making my heart content. Soon Hudson will come home after having a sleepover at my parents house and the noise level will rise several decibels. Sigh. Life in our house on a snowy day is good, and comforting, and evokes a sense of contentment and thankfulness like no other.
  • I'm thankful for the roof over our heads, a fire in our hearth, and a picture window to watch the falling snow.
  • I'm thankful for the pleas of hot chocolate that I will soon be hearing from little voices.
  • I'm thankful for the food that I will mix together in our crockpot; the smells will make our cozy home even homier.
  • I'm thankful after a discouraging night of false labor, then I awoke with a new perspective on His timing for our little girl's arrival.
  • I'm thankful for conversations between young siblings as they play indoor games and color pictures.
  • I'm thankful for a body that continues to nurture and protect our growing babe.
Life is about finding the blessings in all the small things, even the gargling toddler standing next to me. Her facial expressions are cracking me up; her small white teeth showing as she drinks, then gargles her water. Even when life seems so uncertain in the security of Jon's job and the tightening of the state's budget, even when we play the waiting game for Ashlynn's arrival, I am determined to find contentment in the every day things.

And truth be told, I'm even thankful for a day that forces us to stop, cuddle up, and soak in each other. My God knew exactly what I needed today.

Decking The Halls Early

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 9 Comments A+ a-

If you’re one of those people who refuse to acknowledge Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving, you may want to stay away from my blog during the next few weeks.  Due to the fact that I really have no idea when Ashlynn is coming, or how much time I’ll have between now and then, I’ve decided to upload my Christmas design now.

I’m loving the overall feel of the design, I may still make a few tweaks here and there as time allows.  But I’m loving how festive (and cold) it appears.  Plus, when I saw that Amanda had uploaded some new fonts and saw this font on there, I had to use the Pea Ashlyn font.  Seems all too appropriate right now.  Pretty soon (I hope), I’ll be able to include a picture of all four of my little darlings in here.

Here’s to one of my favorite holiday seasons (I just adore November through December), and hopefully the addition of a baby girl soon.  Enjoy!

Excuse me, does that say 6?!

Monday, November 08, 2010 5 Comments A+ a-

BirthdayCollage1

In spite of the fact that I just gave birth to Devyn Paige yesterday, yes, that candle does, in fact, have a number 6 on it.  I cannot get over the fact that my oldest, the beautiful girl that gave me the title “Mama” in the first place, is turning six years old this month.  I plan to have a whole post dedicated to her on her actual birthday, but today I just want to touch on a new phenomenon in our lives… the Friend birthday party.

After last year, Jon and I discussed the fact that we simply could not continue to combine all our family and friends for one birthday party and thus began our talks of dividing the two.  This was the first year that Devyn invited friends outside of our circle, the first time that Jon and I did not handpick her invite list from our circle of friends.  Devyn excitedly sat down with me one day and wrote out the list of friends she wanted to invite.  My eyes got wider as I realized we’d reached a new phase in our life.  One, she had to be the one to write down each name herself, painstakingly taking her time, and sounding out each name carefully.  And two, I had no idea who half these kids were, let alone whether or not I’d get along with their parents.  Sigh.  Our lives have changed.

The big day arrived, and with it, a new world of getting to know new friends, their parents, and a new dynamic to this growing-up thing.

BirthdayCollage3

 BirthdayCollage2

 BirthdayCollage4

36 Weeks and Counting…

Saturday, November 06, 2010 8 Comments A+ a-

For those that are interested in playing, we have created a new ExpectNet game online for family and friends to guess when Ashlynn will make her arrival and her size.  You can click here to participate or go to www.expectnet.com and the title of the game is AshlynnRose.  If you play and know us in real life, we only ask that you refrain from using our last name or the name of our city when entering a guess.  There are hints listed to help you guess.  Uncle Josh (Jon’s brother) won the pools for both Devyn and Hudson, while Grammie (Jon’s mom) won the pool for Reagan’s birth. 

36WeeksCollageThese were taken at Devyn’s birthday party today, which was actually held 2 weeks early just in case Miss Ashlynn arrives early.  Her party deserves a post of its own, as it was the first time we invited her school friends.  What a surreal experience!

How Far Along:

36 Weeks and 5 Days

Size of Baby:

Between 6 lbs, 18.5 inches and 6.5 lbs, 19 inches.  Since Reagan was only 5lbs, 10ozs, and 18 inches long at 38 weeks, I know this to be only an estimate.

Total Weight Gain/Loss:

I didn’t gain a pound during these past four weeks.  In fact, I feel like my face looks a little thinner in this picture.

Maternity Clothes:

Oh definitely!  Now we’re at the point that I’m even rubber-banding my maternity jeans!

Gender:

Another beautiful girl!

Movement:

Things must be getting cramped in there, as Miss Ashlynn’s movements have definitely calmed down.

What I Miss:

Getting to hug my other Littles closely.  Every time one climbs into my lap for a hug, Ashlynn kicks the both of us.

Sleep:

I wish I were sleeping better but contractions wake me about 3 or 4x a night, which is usually then accompanied with a trip to the bathroom or the kitchen for a snack.

Symptoms:

The contractions are coming more often, and the intensity is starting to increase.  But at my last appointment (Wednesday) I’d only moved from 1cm to 1.5cm and from 20% to 30% effaced. 

Best Moment This Week:

Watching little hands splayed all over my tummy as the older three all vied for a spot to feel Ashlynn move.  I wish I’d had a camera in that moment.

What I’m Looking Forward To:

The anticipation is building, knowing that she could make her arrival at any time.

The Space In-Between*

Thursday, November 04, 2010 6 Comments A+ a-

Ashlynn is currently straining against the confines of her home.  Every so often an elbow pushes out the side of my belly, or a knee implants itself at the very top, and more often than not, she pushes with all of her might so that her bottom sticks out, just begging for a caress.  Most evenings are spent with the two of us at my laptop, the kids are in bed and she keeps me company while I work on blog designs.  Its her most active time and I smile to myself as I watch the various movements press against my skin.  No matter that she’s my fourth child, it never ceases to amaze me the miracle that has taken place inside my body.

Right now, we’re in this space in-between, she and I.  We play the waiting game as contractions grow more frequent and become stronger.  We sit here and wonder when the time will come for her to arrive and we can finally get to know each other on the outside of my womb.  Its a new place for me, one I haven’t really been in before and I find the contradicting emotions a bit much to handle. 

With the other three children, I worked up until the day they were born.  The only times I wondered constantly about whether or not I was going into labor where night times and the weekends.  The hours of the days were occupied with thoughts of work, of preparing my office for my maternity leave and therefore I was kept busy laying out plans and making sure that all my work was caught up.  Yet this fourth time around, I find myself being a stay-at-home-mother and yes, while I am busy, there’s an underlying anxiousness as the thought of Ashlynn’s arrival is constantly on my mind.  I can’t help but feel like I’m going a little stir-crazy as I analyze each contraction and pain.

Not to mention the fact that I was a bit spoiled by Reagan’s early arrival.  Devyn set a precedent by arriving 10 days past her due date.  After that experience, I always had the expectation that I’d go late.  And there was no disappointment when Hudson arrived four days past his due date, it had been expected.  When we found out we were pregnant with Reagan, again I naturally assumed that she’d come late like her siblings.  Only that expectation was shattered when she arrived almost two weeks early.  And therein lies the danger of having a child arrive early.  The very thought of going to full-term, let alone going over my due date, seems a little cruel to me.  I fear that I’ll come undone if Ashlynn decides to follow her older two siblings and arrive late.

So here we sit, the two of us, in the in-between.  In-between the anticipation, eagerness, and impatience of holding my baby girl and trying to savor these last moments of it being just her and I.  These last moments of having life grow and flourish inside my own body.  I’m very aware that my days of being pregnant are coming to an end, that this phase of my life is coming to a close.  Its a bittersweet heartache as I experience the aches and pains of pregnancy in the third trimester for the last time, the last time that my child moves within me.  And so as anxious and excited as I am to meet her, I’m also mourning the end of this era and trying to memorize these last days.  This space in-between is hard on my heart, but I’m doing my best to soak it in.

*alternately titled… This Time, Its Different, Part II

What They Said

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 2 Comments A+ a-

A post of links, nothing more.  I promise to write a more meaningful or updated post soon, but in the mean time I just had to share these links. 
  • I love what Elizabeth, from Motherhood is Not For Wimps, had to say in this post about how each child has a different mother, all wrapped up in the same woman.  It is so true!  I found myself nodding in agreement about so much of what she said, and laughing when she writes about mothering her third.  Love this post!

  • The idea share in this post by Raechel at Finding My Feet is ingenious!  I love everything about this idea!  The community, the sharing, reducing grocery bill costs, and most importantly, the idea of cooking less.  If anyone is open to creating our own dinner supper around her, let me know!

  • My sister, Courtney, posted the first in a series of giving thanks during this month.  I’m sharing it simply because so many of her thanksgivings and blessings resonate with me. 

  • And lastly, I just wanted to bring your attention to the fact that I’m offering discounted blog designs during the month of November.  I’ve also posted a number of new designs too, I am so blessed by this creative outlet in my life.  Head over to Munchkin Land Designs and check it out!
I’ll be back soon!  I have a doctor appointment today, and while I’m hoping for some progress with these contractions, I’m also trying to maintain a realistic expectation too.  25 days until Miss Ashlynn’s due date!!