Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hi guys. I’ve been pretty quiet on here. 
     I think I’ve said this in numerous ways before, but I’m still working through all the hard things from the last few years. (My 3rd pregnancy’s physical and emotional challenges. The death of my grandpa, followed shortly by the death of my brother. And all the ways those events changed my life.)I needed some time to, very quietly, be myself. Some time to assess things. Some time to approve things. And I really, especially, needed to do that without explaining any of it. That’s just what I needed to heal.
     So I’ve not shared much online. And I’ve been very selective about what I share offline as well.     The process of giving myself that level of grace has been transformative. 
     During this quiet time, we’ve tackled a lot of projects. Both inside our house and outside in the yards. As well as in our lives.     And one of these projects definitely stands head over heels above the others. It’s a project I wasn’t sure I’d EVER tackle. And it took months and months to complete. But I’m pleased to reveal the results…







     At the beginning of August we added a very precious new family member. After 41 weeks of pregnancy (that thankfully were not as difficult as my third pregnancy, yet decidedly were more effortful than my first two) we welcomed a new daughter. On the blog I will call her Lily. (I like to keep my kids’ real names off the Blog for their privacy.) She was born 8 lbs 10oz, 21” long, healthy and strong.



      Last summer I embraced the idea that I really did want four kids, despite the fear of another pregnancy. Blake and I talked through the “what if’s”, made a few plans, and back up plans. And then chose to go for it.
     Feeling fairly sure this was our last pregnancy, I really wanted to respect it in best way possible for me. I decided I wanted as private a pregnancy as possible. No matter how it went, I didn’t feel like explaining anything to anyone. I didn’t want any opinions, good or bad. I didn’t want any additional concerns, besides my own. And after the last difficult pregnancy, and then the grieving period on the heels of that.... I didn’t have any additional energy to give to anything other than putting my feet where they needed to go. I wanted quiet space to just do that. In the past few years, the additional pressures of others’ feelings were bringing on panic attacks. I wasn’t able to healthily separate myself and I couldn’t figure out how to handle all those feelings at once. I knew that level of anxiety would physically affect my pregnancy and the baby. So we did not announce our pregnancy (online or off.)  And it allowed a healthy space for me and my baby to grow.
     Since the decision to get pregnant again was something we gave some time to, I was able to do some major prep work beforehand. I made doctors appointments to ensure I didn’t have anything underlying that could impact pregnancy for me. (Mainly wondering if there was something wrong last time to cause all that nausea. And also making sure all that nausea didn’t hurt anything. As well as just a general physical checkup after so much stress and grief.) I was given clean bills of health all around. 
     And so while that was in the works, we chose to complete the harder projects for me, in our house while we waited. (Mainly sewing the couch covers, and painting the kitchen cabinets.) And man, am I glad we did that!
     Then in the remaining time before nausea set in, I cooked up tons of meat and froze it in our deep freezer so it would be ready for the family when I wasn’t ready to deal.


     As I said, thankfully this pregnancy wasn’t as hard as my third. I did have extended nausea. I took Unisom throughout the whole thing to deal with it. But thankfully, about half way through my second trimester I started having chunks of time when the nausea paused for a bit of the day. And the difference in unrelentingly nausea vs getting breaks from it, made all the difference in my sanity.
     I also discovered ginger beer — (like root beer -- nonalcoholic) and unlike ginger ale, it’s made with real ginger. How it took till pregnancy number four for that is beyond me. (No idea how it would have been during my #3’s intensity level. My guess is less than impressive? But I’ll never know.)
     Having lived through pregnancy #3, and then being able to see Bronny and his outrageously lovable self walking around and snuggling me, definitely made it easier to keep perspective during hard days.

     But I found not documenting or sharing the pregnancy a huge relief. I didn’t have any additional processing to do besides just being there and doing it. And the pregnancy flowed faster without the constant countdown going.
     Then thankfully, by about halfway through the third trimester, nausea was only an occasional thing, instead of the norm.
     Energy was very hard to come by this time, likely due both to being older myself and having more kids to care for this time. But it all worked out just fine.
Everything kinda just started to blend into what it needed to be. 
     
      Near the end my nesting was strong! For this pregnancy our house is much more completed than last time. So I was doing the nitty gritty organizing stuff, and decorating details stuff, like a mad woman. And Blake is my hero for helping me whenever I asked. 
     I’ve never felt so at home in any of my adult homes. I was really able to harness my hormones and channel them into crafting just what I was aiming at. (Some of which was found by trail and error.)


     And finally little Lily arrived. I had a lot of Braxton-Hicks this pregnancy. So that last chunk of time was just as confusing as every end-of-my-pregnancies have been. But I was way more at peace with waiting around this time. It helps not being watched by the world and being able to kinda dissociate from the calendar a bit. But the fact that she showed up before 42 weeks (unlike my other three) will forever thrill me! (41+1 day counts as early for me!)

     Since her arrival I’ve been feeling really good. Her delivery was really smooth and I didn’t tear this time. Which is awesome! And I owe that to my midwife, because she very specifically helped during pushing to avoid some stuff that happened last time. 


     Unfortunately, I am struggling with some intense hip pain on one side. Lily had one hand on her face in utero (so long that she had her nose smashed to the side for about a week after birth) and it made that hip act up at the end of pregnancy. And then she left that hand there on her way out. So I think the uneven pressure on my pelvis during pushing is to blame for my hip pain. I’m seeing a chiropractor now and trying some stretches to try to work it out. It’s improving. But I have a ways to go to feel normal.
     
     But no matter what I went through, and continue to go through, I’m soooooo grateful to have this precious person in our family. 

     I’m so happy I chose to allow space for her instead of letting fear keep her out of our lives. It feels really nice to have so many pieces in place right now. We feel whole. We feel ready to grow into ourselves as a family.


     Lily is just the sweetest little person. We are all really enjoying getting to know her.

     And I do plan on writing her birth story when I get a chance.


     (Also sharing our kitchen which is actually finally done now. It just took a long time to get the details in place and now you know why.)





Love to you all.


8 comments:

  1. Oh, congratulations!!!!! I am so happy for you! And good for you for protecting your mental health.

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  2. It's so good to hear from you. I glad you have taken so much time to care for yourself and just process life. She is just beautiful! 💜

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    1. Thank you Cori ❤️ That’s especially nice to hear from you.

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  3. Congratulations! I'm inspired by not only all you have shared with your past pregnancies, but also your ability to know your own needs and put your family first! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

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    1. Aw thank you so much. That actually made me tear up. That means a lot. ❤️

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