you were made for this

I texted a bit this weekend with my friend Shannon. I don't know if I have ever written out my favorite story with Shannon on this blog...but I was with her when her water broke quite dramatically before her second child was born. That story is in my top three stories of all time, which is saying something, because I have a lot of stories (other two: Story City and the Water Skiing Story). If I have time today I'll look to see if I have already written my Shannon Story, or maybe I'll just write it out again because it's as good as it gets.

Anyway, Shannon is a supporter of mothers, of birth, of making sure women feel empowered and strong during pregnancy and postpartum. She has a studio on California that offers all sorts of classes and workshops and seminars that basically surround the new mama with resources and support and friendship.

So it is not a real surprise that the words I think about most often while in the throws of labor are Shannon's words to me, spoken before I had Ivar. She had two kids already and knew all that was ahead of me. When I was concerned about the pain of labor she said to me, "Becca, you are a strong Scandinavian woman built for giving birth."

Those encouraging words always come to mind while gripping some hallway railing, trying to breath through intensifying contractions. At the moments when I wonder if I will really survive this pain, I begin to remember that I am a strong woman, built for giving birth.

So that's what is ahead! I have a doctor's appointment today and I have a feeling they are going to want to get things started. So prayers would be so appreciated. Especially for the moments when I'm white-knuckle gripping the hallway railing! This isn't my first rodeo, and I am fully aware of what comes next... But I'm also aware that after that part, I HAVE A BABY!!!!

And I do want to just say this: I LOVE being pregnant. And I am going to miss this feeling. I love carrying a life in my womb. I love that I get the honor of feeling baby move and sway and kick and dance inside of me. The miracle of it all is not lost on me for a moment.

In an odd twist, this pregnancy has been my very best. I have felt healthy and strong and able the whole time, right up to the end. Take that Geriatric Pregnancy Pamphlet that told me all the things to worry and fear! I felt better at age 38 than I did at 30! And I don't take that for granted either. I know every pregnancy is different for every woman, but what a joy to have this one to leave me feeling so good and grateful.

So I'm off. I got up at 4:30 this morning and got a few more things situated. You'll be happy to know the inside of my microwave looks brand new. I do believe that means it is time to go and have a baby.

the good fruit app

I have this app idea called Good Fruit. I think about this app nearly every week. It's just a hub on your phone where you can report what fruit is awesome at what store and location on that day.

For example, last week I got peaches at Aldi and they were the best ever. Perfect in every way. I would have logged on and reported "The peaches called "Hollywood" that I purchased on Saturday August 3rd were exceptional. I got them at the Aldi with this zip code." And then if someone was at Aldi later that week, they can get the peaches too and leave their own comment. Because the kicker is that this week I bought the same peaches and now they're mealy and not worth it. I would quickly log on, enter the fruit, brand, date and description and tell others to forgo to the peaches.

That all sounds way more complicated than this nifty little app would be. It would be simple and fast. And it would mean you would know if the green grapes are good and firm or soft and lame.

I'd love to see this one available. I'd drive to a special grocery store if I knew the cherries there were fantastic and affordable.

Anyways, these are the things I am thinking about these days. Still no baby as of Saturday night, still no real contractions. But my official due date isn't until tomorrow, so I can't actually complain yet. It's just that I feel so ready! So I think about app ideas.

Yesterday our One Fun Thing was to cook hotdogs over the fire. I'll tell you it was not that fun. It was rather stressful and full of bugs. But that's okay. My clean bathroom continued to bring me joy all day long.

Today our One Fun Thing was homemade cheese curds (Those are cheese strands hanging from the kids mouths above). I had a hankerin' for some fair food and decided to make it at home. For dinner we had cheese curds, sweet corn, fried green tomatoes and watermelon. It was all delicious.

I'd get on the Good Fruit App and report that the watermelon I bought at Aldi today was awesome and only $3.99.

project: one fun thing

Yesterday I began a new program called: One Fun Thing. Each day until baby comes we will do something out of the ordinary that will help all of us pass the time. Hattie woke me up early this morning (as always) and told me, "baby come out and put clothes on. baby is very chilly." She is quite concerned that the baby has no clothes on right now. She's ready to swaddle and snuggle. So am I!

Yesterday's fun thing was super fun. We took six scoopie tokens we got at our town's home and garden show and cashed them in for cups of delicious ice cream. It was so good. And so sugary. I am still doing whole 30, except for obvious moments like this...and that custard is so sweet! And delicious. We drove our ice cream to my favorite picnic table in town and had such a happy time. Followed by popcorn from the popcorn stand and all the kids putting their feet in the fountain. It was a perfect summer moment.
And here I am! This picture goes out to my Aunt Louie who said she needed a side profile shot. So thanks to Ivar for taking my picture. :) I had my very first contractions last night from 12-4, enough to wake me up, but not enough for me to get out of bed or anything. So things are moving in the right direction.

I woke up this morning and cleaned my upstairs bathroom for over an hour. This is hilarious/embarrassing, but I thought my bathtub was discolored from some product or something, but after some serious elbow grease while on all fours, I realized it was just that dirty. Ha! ...and Gross! I think I was trying to overdue it to see if I could get things moving along. But nothing happened other than I now have the cleanest bathroom ever.

Enjoy the weekend! I cannot imagine more perfect weather than these days we're enjoying right now!

the fence!

We're all still here! And baby is still cozy on the inside. But we got the fence in and we love it. We walked the perimeter of our property last night and it was such a beautiful night. I am so tight in the belly and I couldn't sleep last night until 2am. Things feel like they're beginning, though I still have not had a who knows. This afternoon we are going out for ice cream cones. I insisted. :)

39 weeks, 3 days

Well here we go! My due date is this Sunday, August 11th. That said, Alden arrived 7 days after his due date, Hattie came 10 days after her due date, Elsie came promptly on her due date and Ivar made his appearance one day before his due date. My babies stay put for the long haul, it seems.

However, at my appointment a week and a half ago my doctor felt my belly and said, "oh my. that's the head. it is so low!" And then at my appointment a week later (this past Monday) she said, "it is so, so low." And it's true. I usually carry my babies so high right up to the end. But I actually look smaller with this pregnancy because I think everything is positioned so differently. And when I sit in a chair, it feels like I have a bowling ball snug on my lap. 

So we are right in the middle of the mind-game stage. The one that makes me think every little feeling or tightening or wave of nausea might be the start of the real deal. But then I remember it's not that likely, so then I hit a huge project to keep me occupied. But them I am exhausted and worry that now I'll go into labor tired and then I sit and think that every physical feeling might be the start of labor... And on it goes. 

It's also that stage where the kids are extra clingy and have all sorts of emotions of their own as we all are waiting. Hattie helped me pack the kids' overnight bags for grandma and grandpa's and mimi and papa's. While packing she asked one thousand times, "we going today? no? when baby comes? oh. when will baby come? today? no? when will baby come?" 

And I suppose that's the exact script running through all of our heads this week.

But today we have the very last project on the list: the perimeter fence on our property is being installed! The guys dropped off their equipment last night! This is a project that demanded 27 other projects to get done before this day could arrive. You know those projects? Rory has spent the whole summer removing trees, stumps, wood piles, clearing brush, leveling land, taking down an old wooden fence, mowing down thistle, calling in friends for a chainsaw party to help make a way through thick woods... oh it has been so much work. But here we are! The guys come today and after today 3/4's of our property will have a permanent fence to keep our animals in and other animals out. It will help greatly with setting up temporary paddocks with our electric netting. It's like that game you used to play with your siblings with the grid of dots on the paper, and you each take turns drawing one line to complete a box. Having the perimeter done will help so much in the world of fencing. And really, much of successful farming is simply successful fencing. So we are thrilled.

I felt like things were starting up last night and Rory asked kindly, "oh please, let's just get the fence in first..." So real quick, we're going to get the fence in...