Category Archives: pregnancy

The one where I cry over a wet diaper


You’re going to laugh at me.

This morning, I woke up early.  (No, that’s not the funny part.  Don’t laugh yet!)  I normally sleep until Mercy wakes up, since it’s hard to get out of bed with a baby draped over my lap, you know?   But this morning I woke up worrying about something, so I snuck out of bed and made coffee.  The boys weren’t even awake yet!  My house was quiet like my favorite 11:00pm quiet, only the sun was shining.

I heard footsteps upstairs just as the coffee finished brewing, so I darted back in the bedroom to hide with my cup of coffee.

I settled back in bed with coffee and a book.  Mercy woke up and climbed back in my lap to nurse.  As she did, I caught a whiff of her rank, wet diaper from nursing all night, and I had a sudden pang of nostalgia and sadness.  I wondered if it would be the last time I noticed that smell, combined with a warm, snuggly baby in my bed.  I would miss it, I realized… a scent marking this cozy time of motherhood.

Now is when I thought you’d laugh.

I knew I’d be sad about all the other lasts.  The last time teaching a baby to wave bye-bye, to blow kisses, or how a cow says “Mooooo!”  The last time I get open-mouthed, slobbery baby kisses, or laugh at a baby just discovering her belly button.  The last time I cheer wildly…  irrationally excited about first steps… and watch siblings get just as ridiculously excited.  “MOM!!!  Come here quick — Mercy is STANDING UP!”  A tiny miracle that — watching life unfold.

Last shared peach, sticky juice trickling down baby’s chin and Mommy’s arm.

Last time watching a toddler’s face light up as the fireflies blink on and off, and watch them chase fireflies in erratic patterns around the dusky front yard.

Last time hearing a toddler giggle with delight as I place a new brother or sister in their arms.

How can I be done, having babies?

No, never quote me on this, because I have an incredible weakness for the tiny ones, and you just never know…

But I do know that my growing-up children need me, and it seems like the bigger they get the more they need.  I don’t know how to be a grown-up Mommy.  Emotions from an almost 10 year old girl are way more difficult to handle that the emotions spewing from a 3 month old that just wants to tuck in and nurse.

How in the world do I take care of big kids?!

I wish I could pause time right now.  I’m not looking for later on… when things get easier.  (My guess is that’s a myth!)  My life is perfect right now.  I have a baby, my favorite thing in the whole world, and my older kids are independent, helpful, and still think I hung the moon.  They still hold me hand, tell me I’m the best mommy EVER, and ask me to tuck them in bed at night.  Half of them still scramble to sit in my lap when I sit for a movie.

So yeah, this morning, with a warm, stinky baby draped across my lap, I had a moment.  I watched my sleeping girl… memorizing her.  Freezing this moment in time.  Her chubby fingers twitching in sleep, the ones that like to pat my face and poke my nose.  Damp curls, growing longer by the day.  Perfect, healthy skin on that beautiful face, her adorable lips and tongue still making unconscious sucking patterns.

Oh heavens, I’m going to miss this.





P.S.  I also sniffled a little as I tucked Zach’s outgrown fleece hoodie into a give-away bag.  I have no more boys to save clothes for!  It’s been a rough day for Mama.  *serious bawling going on over here…*


No, we’re not done yet!


(September 14th, 2011, around 6:00pm)

My babiest boy is a week old today!

Dee and I had recently arrived at the hospital this time a week ago, and I was hooked up to a machine that monitors the heartbeat and contractions.  (The lack of machines is one thing I would love about a home birth!)  I was 5 centimeters dilated when we arrived, and even though we were only at the hospital for 4 1/2 hours until Zach was born, that was a long 4 1/2!

I’m glad it’s over.  Labor and delivery is HARD!  I’ve given birth to all 5 of my babies naturally, without pain medication.  But in the moment, I always moan to Dee, “Are you SURE I can do this without an epidural?”  My sweet husband always tells me he knows I can do it, but that I can have an epidural if I want one.  Good answer!  He passed the test.  And then usually, by the time we’re done talking about it, I’m almost fully dilated and ready to push the baby out.

And I’d do it all again, yes.

Yes, for those wondering, I think we’ll have more kids.  I LOVE my children!  I can’t imagine being done yet.  Now, if you’d been a fly on the wall in the hospital, you would have heard me tell Dee, “Let’s have five kids.  Five is good!”  But that was moments after pushing a head and fist, and the rest of a 8 lb, 10 oz little body into the world!

It always makes me mad when I go to the hospital to have a baby, and the nurse doing the “questioning” asks if I want my tubes tied.  I know it’s a mandatory question.  They probably have to ask the women with 1 kid and the women with 5 kids the same question, but it still makes me mad!  But I usually only get mad on the inside, so the nurse only sees me smile politely and say “No,” while I’m thinking, “NO!  I DON’T want my tubes tied!  I chose to get pregnant with all of my kids, and you’ll probably see me at this hospital again in a year or two.  So there.”

Why would I want my tubes tied when I can have another one of these…

We’ve been rocking a lot, me and Zach, in front of the kitchen radio.  By the window with the pink roses outside.  We sway to country music, since I assume that’s his favorite!  He’s been listening to it for 9 months.  Yesterday, the song “High Cost of Living” came up.  It’s a sweet lullaby tune, good for rocking babies to, but such a sad song for too many people.  I was thinking how so extremely grateful I am that we can have 5 kids, plan to have more, and afford to put diapers on their butts and food in their bellies!  Even so many of our wants and wishes are met, not just our needs.   I love being a mom, and I love knowing that I have the rest of my life to “mother” my 5 kids.  (Sorry, kids!)

Basement pictures, and ways to induce labor that do NOT work!


Does somebody else want to come vacuum my house?  Maybe Baby doesn’t like my nesting style.  He missed another storm, too!  Now that I’m three days past my due date, I’m not giving him so much wiggle room.  Time to be born, and snuggle with the rest of the family for all of this rainy week!

I tried overdosing on red raspberry leaves.  I drank 18 tea bags and took probably 24 capsules in a 24 hour period.  No go!  A few sporadic contractions, but nothing that stuck.  Last night, Kbug told me, “Mom, I want you to go to the hospital tonight!”  (I’m not sure if she was thinking about the baby, or the party I’m sure will happen while Mommy and Daddy are gone.)  I told her, “Believe me, I do too.”  Besides the anxious-to-meet-baby-and-start-snuggling factor, there’s the size factor.  All Baby’s doing now is getting fatter and fatter, and I am NOT looking forward to pushing out a 9 1/2 lb baby!  (That’s the size Dee and I guessed.)

(This weight conversation happened on a walk, another try at inducing labor.  We’ve also tried all the fun, couple-oriented ways of inducing labor.  Which, by the way, did not work with my first four kids either.  I’m sure it’s a scam started by a male doctor.)

I tried over-eating.  Yesterday, for Labor Day, Anna and I made a yummy feast.  Chicken pot-pie, fried green beans, and stuffed jalapenos.  I ATE, let me tell you!  But it didn’t force Baby to give up his space.  If I had castor oil in my house, I’d be mighty tempted to drink it right now.

Maybe I should run out to Wal-Mart…

I promised basement pictures a while back.  Here’s where we’ve been hanging out, and where we’ll be hanging out a lot more in the near future!  (I’m the type of mom that loves company after a new baby, so stop on in to say “Hi!” and hang out with us!)


Waiting busily! (Is that an oxymoron?)


No baby yet!  But I do have permission, from Dee’s boss, to go into labor any time now.  Dee had a big commercial job to unload today, with multiple truckloads of roofing material arriving every 45 minutes.  He’s the only driver that could do it from our branch, so his boss really wanted him to be available today!

Now that job is done, and I can tell it’s a load off of Dee’s mind.  He kept calling me today, after he was done, asking, “Sooo… How are you feeling?”  I’m thinking, “No, Dear, I have NOT gone into labor yet!”  But I was just polite and said, “I’m fine.”  Because I am.  No contractions, nothing.  Which is fine, because I haven’t even reached my due date yet!  I’m happy to have Baby stay in until he’s strong and healthy and ready to face the world.

Dee’s been super sweet recently, helping me get stuff done before Baby comes.  Monday night he put new cabinets in our bedroom closet, which now looks amazing!  I’ve been throwing stuff out like CRAZY!  All over the house.  This afternoon I finally dropped off the whole Suburban load of junk things at a thrift store.  It felt good to get everything not just out of the house, but off the property!  The nice people at the thrift store were very grateful.  I don’t know if it was genuine.

(Side note:  You know how little boys usually want to be like their Daddy when they grow up?  It’s hilarious in our family.  EVERY. single. time we pass a dumpster, all the kids shout, “Mommy!  Mommy!  A dumpster!  Can we dive into it like Daddy?  PLEEEASE?!!”  I mean, who dreams of dumpster-diving?  Maybe I should say “yes” one of these days.  At least we’d get free food from the Taco Bell dumpster!   Annnyyyyhoo….  At the thrift store today, Cboy decided he WAS going dumpster-diving, and proceeded to bloody his toe all up trying to jump from the hood of the Suburban into the thrift store dumpster.  Dangerous work, I tell you!)

Dee’s also been letting me get out to shop and run last-minute, before-Baby errands.  He had the day off work on Monday, and instead of working on his projects, he sent me and Anna shopping while he watched the kids.  AND did school with Kbug and Cboy!  While watching a two-year-old and a three-year-old!  I was properly impressed and appreciative.  And, I was properly appreciated when I returned home Monday afternoon.  I asked how school went, and Dee said, “Good… But next year, they’re going to PUBLIC school!!!”  Oh yeah.  I’m thinking he’ll be bringing home lots of compliments and Starbucks home to me this school year!

Tuesday evening we hung out with friends, and tonight we took the kids swimming.  It’s been nice to take a break from projects, and just kick back with our kids.  This morning, my three youngest kids piled in bed with me for half an hour, and I soaked up every precious minute!  I can’t wait until they have a baby brother or sister to come and cuddle with in the mornings.  This little baby is entering the world with a ready-made fan club!

So come on, little one, we’re all anxious to meet you!

Baby belly pictures!


Okay, Baby can come now!  Anna took pictures for me today, and I LOVE them!  I think this photo shoot really was the last mental blockage.  I didn’t want to explain, years down the road, “Oh, where are your pictures, sweetheart?  Um… Mommy just didn’t get around to taking any.”  Yeah.  Not cool.

Rosie said there are no signs of me going into labor soon.  I could have told her that!  I’m having no contractions, and no… other stuff.  But isn’t this baby adorable just hanging out in my tummy?  (And Baby, just so you know, there’s a hurricane coming.  Maybe you could make your entrance this weekend?)










School’s here! And Baby’s not.


No, the earthquake didn’t send me into labor.  I thought maybe, with a shift in the earth… But I guess since I didn’t feel anything, Baby didn’t feel anything either.  My sister felt it (in the same house as me), my husband felt it at work, my neighbors had stuff falling off shelves, and my family up in Massachusetts felt the tremors.  But me?  I totally missed it.   So Baby missed it too.  Baby missed the full moon clues last week too!  My midwife said all the other women due in early September have already delivered.  Isn’t that nice?

I could be jealous and say, “Lucky them,” but I’m not so sure I’m ready for Baby yet!  Of course whenever Baby comes I’ll be thrilled, but, I don’t even have my hospital bag packed yet!  I should get a move on, huh?  And Baby’s bed isn’t set up, and I haven’t scrubbed down every square inch of my room.  (I decided the rest of the house was impossible!)  But my kitchen cupboards ARE clean!  Thanks to my sister, the angel, my hero.

Oh, and I’d really, really like to get some baby belly photos.  I had a pregnancy photo shoot done with my first four kids, and I know I’ll be sad if I don’t have belly pictures of Baby #5.  Like, I would cry!  Maybe that’s the main thing holding my body back from going into labor, this need-to-happen photo shoot.

Some days I even forget that Baby is due next Saturday!  Yes — NEXT SATURDAY!  (When I do remember, I get super excited!)  Life is just SOOOO busy around these parts.  I started school with Kbug and Cboy this week.  CJ begs to do school too.  I know I should capitalize on his eagerness, but I usually say, “No, you can’t do school right now.  Go play in the basement.”  (I know. cringe.  Bad Mommy!)  I have NO idea what homeschooling with a new baby will be like, but I’m expecting chaotic days and lots of tears.  I’m not sure we’ll even be finished at a decent time of late May or early June next spring…

On the futuristic days when I share these tears, somebody please remind me that instilling a love of learning in my kids is more important than checking off catagories on my academic checklist!

And somebody remind me that God’s strength is available, and is made perfect in my weakness.  I mean for real, is there any mom out there who has 5 small children, homeschools, cooks healthy meals, keeps her house clean, keeps her husband and kids happy (and well-behaved), and does it all perfectly?  (If you do know someone like this, please don’t tell me their name.)

Sleepless nights are coming too, along with the chaotic days.  I’m just excited that NBC has such great evening shows lined up for this fall.  Like, for example, a third season of “PARENTHOOD!”  Yes!!!  “Excited” doesn’t even justly describe my feelings about watching more Braverman drama.

Speaking of chaos and drama, I think I hear a child screaming.  Wait.  That’s the teakettle.  I’ve started to drown myself in red raspberry leaf tea, hoping to speed labor up and slow the after-labor pains down.  I have a midwife appointment tomorrow, and I’m anxious to hear Rosie’s theories on what my body’s doing and what baby feels like right now.  Last week, Rosie said that Baby felt like another big baby.  Sigh… so much for my wish for at least one teeny-tiny newborn!  Baby must be trying to beat Moosies’ record of 9lbs, 3oz.

Oh, you know what I forget more than Baby’s near arrival?  My oldest daughter’s birthday!  Kbug turns 7 next Saturday, Septemeber 3rd.  Yes, same day that Baby is due.  Kbug says she wants the baby to be born on her birthday, but I think if I had my ‘druthers, I’d choose for all my kids to have their own special birthday.  No sharing.

I still have to do more birthday shopping for Kbug, and plan a special party for her… And once again, may I point out that my life is never quiet and dull.  Happy chaos reigns here!