still waiting...the beginning of a birth story

I was having some symptoms over the weekend so that when I called my doctor on Monday morning, her nurse wanted me to go to the Birthing Center immediately. We called Grandma and got the kids situated. Then Rory and I packed our suitcases and drove to the hospital.

They put me in a hospital gown, hooked me up to a monitor to hear the baby's heartbeat, took all my vitals and I got right to work looking through the cafeteria menu. This is always a highlight for me when giving birth. After the baby comes I eat off the breakfast menu for every meal until we go home: omelets, oatmeal, hash browns, bacon, sausage, orange juice and french toast. Over and over and over. I've been looking forward to this part of giving birth ever since getting pregnant again. I wanted to call in my order for oatmeal, but Rory insisted that we wait and make sure we're actually staying before calling room service.
So they checked to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. The test took a half an hour and I just kept feeling these swells of excitement to meet this baby. It was the exact enthusiasm I felt as a little girl looking forward to my birthday or to Christmas. I just was so, so excited. I knew that if it was amniotic, they would want to get things going immediately and I would be meeting this baby within hours.

You might remember in Elsie's birth story that I went to my 40 week appointment and told them, "Pregnancy is so weird. I just keep slowly peeing my pants..." And they rushed me to the hospital after testing that my water had actually broken.

So here I was, same boat, different kid. The nurse finally came back and said, "well, it's not amniotic fluid. you can go home."

And I laughed so hard, "oh my word. does this mean the baby is just on my bladder?" And she nodded.

I got dressed and Rory and I took what he later called The Walk of Shame. Four nurses all popped their heads over their computers to see the woman here to deliver her 5th baby, who came in because she'd just peed her pants. Oh dear.

Not coincidentally, we now both had a hankerin' for a big breakfast. We drove around for nearly an hour, every single diner closed once we got there, or had stopped serving breakfast. Finally we ended up at Perkins and I decided that I will now switch from Whole 30 to a new eating program called Whole Waiting, where I can make any food choice I want while waiting for baby. So we shared a mammoth muffin to begin our meal of omelets and eggs benedict and hash browns, and split the pancakes. All of it was so good.
Then we went home to nap for an hour so I could sleep off all that gluten.

We went to our doctor appointment later that afternoon, and she said we could induce Sunday night if things didn't begin before then. Rory and I left and went to walk around a nearby nature center for a few hours. It was a dreamy afternoon and full of really great conversation. Then we went to the grocery store to defeatedly stock up on meals for the week. My folks were ready to bring our kids back, but I asked if they could stay until after dinner. I just needed the whole day off. And I wanted my house to stay tidy for just another hour or two.

And now today we spent the day in a haze. All the excitement of yesterday wore off. I slept a lot. Hattie and I ran errands for a while and ended up at Culver's sharing another scoopie of peanut butter cup custard. I swung by my good friend Allyson's house who loaded me up with home cooked meals including a loaf of bluberry lemon bread.

Tonight Rory took the recycling bag out and told me he had it lifted over the chicken fence before he realized he was about to dump it into the chicken yard instead of the recycling bin. And that sort of sums us up right now.

What is strange is that we have been here before. We absolutely should be used to this and know how to handle these extra days. But it seems it doesn't work that way.

Birth and always amazes me how we truly have no control over the timing of both. There is a good kind of surrender that simply has to happen, knowing and trusting that God holds all time in his hands. And I trust him.

I just may eat a lot of ice cream and blueberry lemon loaf in the meantime...

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. :)