Merry Christmas!

 Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 
May you find the peace and joy of Christ in this season of holy celebration...


Pregnancy update, 25 weeks!

I was 25 weeks on Monday! The time has really flown, and it's so exciting to me that in about 15 weeks I will meet the LONG awaited 6th member of our family!

I am feeling very good, lots of energy, sleeping well, and just generally very comfortable. I attribute all of that to the healing that has taken place over the past several years by way of dietary changes and visits to our naturopathic physician.

Aside from my extended bout of morning sickness (last well into my 15th week), this has been my most comfortable pregnancy so far...as best as I can remember! Ha! I haven't been pregnant for many years (youngest is 6) so perhaps I'm forgetting some of the finer details...

We are planning a natural labor and birth, in a hospital that is natural labor friendly, assisted by a doula and a midwife. My other labors were fully medicated, in a "baby factory" hospital, attended (briefly) by an obgyn.

I have since learned that obgyns are actually trained surgeons, and nearly never familiar with a normal, healthy, natural birth. They are trained to look for opportunities for intervention and act quickly. If you have a very high-risk pregnancy they are probably your best choice. However, the majority of women will, if given the proper care, deliver their babies with no problems. Risky interventions are just not necessary and lots of times will actually CAUSE more complications. But that is a whole 'nother post!!!

I am optimistic about labor and birth, and looking forward to experiencing it the way God intended. On the flip side, however, since I have done this three other times all the same way, I am a bit apprehensive about trying something "new"!! Not afraid, just cautiously curious, I'd say. Our doula is fantastic, and we are intending to take a natural birthing class during my third trimester.

I'm trying to stay active, and am looking forward to starting my exercise routine back up once the craziness of the holidays and travel and birthdays is behind us in January.

Strangely for me, I'm craving fruit and potatoes, which are foods that I normally don't want or eat. I'm also not really able to digest any meat, nor does it sound appetizing to me. My appetite and digestion have hit a wall again, so my naturopath has suggested that I try adding diatomaceous earth to my daily routine. So far it's helping. He also suggested that I might need more antioxidants and vitamin D, and has me adding a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses a day, also. I love using food and naturally occurring minerals for medicine!

Things the kids are saying:
"Mommy, I LOVE the baby!"
"When will the baby come?"
"I want the baby to come NOW!" (to which I hastily replied, Oh no! it's not ready! If it came now it would be sick in the hospital for a while)
Still talking to the baby through my belly button.
Ava and Benji talk about baby all the time, Alec nearly never says anything...wondering if it's his age?


Thoughts About Member Number Six

After Ava was born, I was done. Just done. Her birth was difficult, not complicated, but painful. She was my largest baby, weighing 9lbs 8oz and had HUGE shoulders!
I remember talking to myself in the mirror afterwards, forcing myself every day to remember the pain so that when I wanted another baby I could talk myself out of it!

How I've grown and learned since then! Once Ava outgrew her "baby monkey on speed" phase, as we so fondly called it, and became more independent, I realized that this was a very new stage for me to have only "older" children. No toddler to cling to me, no one to watch out for 24/7...At first I was like YAHOO! and enjoyed the freedom. Then came the sadness...the realization that perhaps I would never again nurse a little infant, never again enjoy baby belly laughs, never again have to buckle anyone into a car seat...all the little things, the little privileges of being a momma to a baby...maybe never again!

And I got sadder and sadder...and we ALL changed our minds! Or should I say the Lord changed our minds! There was a whole lot of prayer and correction of attitudes that happened...and learning about my true role as a wife and mother and keeper of my home.

And with the humble acknowledgement that my womb belongs in the Lord's hands, not mine, here I am. After 6 years of rebelling, being scared, and learning, I'm finally waiting for baby number four, family member number six!

My heart rejoices daily at the miracle of life growing inside of me, and at the privilege of being called upon once again to nurture a soul, a gift from our Creator.


I can't help but wonder...

What will it be like?

After so long...will I bond with the baby? Will I remember how to breastfeed? We've been a little family of five for so long, we're a bit set in our ways...will I feel resentful towards the baby like it's an intruder? Will the kids welcome it with open arms? Will they welcome the changes or fight them? What will I say to remarks like,"Oh, was this a surprise baby?" because there is such a gap between it and the other three? Will I get annoyed and worn down quickly because I'm not used to round the clock vigilance anymore? Will I truly be able to welcome the new one into the fold with open arms and no resentment? What if I don't bond? What is wrong with me for thinking all of this? Why am I even worried about any of it?

And the truth is...I don't have the answers for my questions...and I do feel nervous. I feel like a first time mom all over again...but with "baggage"! I know the kids are excited...well at least the younger two. I really haven't taken the time to sit down with Alec and see how he feels. He's too old to be rubbing my belly and yelling things at the baby in hopes that it will hear him like his younger siblings do. He's just quiet about it...until I suggest that perhaps he's like to be the designated diaper changer!

And I really am excited, deep down. Whenever I think about that moment when my brand new, messy, squalling baby is plopped down on my chest and the ending of one thing becomes the beginning of another, I can't help but to grin...or get teary eyed...Because I know EXACTLY what that will be like! THAT is not something easily forgotten!

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