Week 18 Pregnancy Update

First of all, I was wrong about something I put in yesterday’s post…

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baby development

So, an interesting turn of events this week.  I went from one sick mama to feeling GREAT!  As in, so great, I ran down the stairs last night without thinking about the fact that I was hefting a baby belly with me!

Yay for 18 weeks!

I am cooking again.  I’ve even gone back to eating Trim Healthy Mama style because it does such a good job of balancing my blood sugars and that always makes me feel better.

We are slowly catching up around the house, which included bringing up the better washer from the basement so I can keep a watchful eye on the laundry and buying 3 new bookshelves to control the book/homeschool chaos.

A note on the laundry…
Ever since we moved in February, we’ve struggled to find a good laundry system.  Nothing was really working well.  Then, I got pregnant and sick and let’s just say laundry began to stink…literally.  Our remedy for laundry that ends up that way is OxyClean.  I know, not super all-natural, but it works.  It takes clothes that smell like wet-dog to clothes that are fresh as a daisy (as my sister likes to say).  Using a lot of that stuff these days as we catch up. ;)

Honestly, now that we are back to one washer (and it’s upstairs), I think we’ll have an easier time with our laundry system.  We will probably go back to the same one we had at the other house.

On the down side of all this 2nd trimester goodness is that all of my lovely first trimester fingernails have broken.  This happens every pregnancy to me.  I don’t have very nice fingernails to begin with.  They don’t grown long unless I am newly pregnant.  But once the pregnancy hormones level out at around 12 weeks, that’s it.  No more nails.  Boo hoo.

Oh, by the way…guess who has a sonogram coming up in a week?!  Cannot wait!

Week 17 Pregnancy Update

baby development 17 weeks – wow!  For some reason, 17 weeks sounds pretty close to 20 weeks, which is half way there, which is incredible!

Baby is still pretty quiet.  Kicks are few and far between, but I am super thankful for the ones I do feel.  They are reassuring.  I find myself needing a lot of reassurance that all is well.

I am also finding that the weight gain has been harder for me to be okay with this time, probably due to the fact that I had lost so much after Creed and I feel like I’m packing it all back on.

Here’s my big confession – I’ve gained 25#.

**GASP**

Never have I gained 25# in the first trimester.  (Well, I didn’t gain all of that in the first trimester, but a fair share of it.)  And that feels discouraging.  Yes, I know I’ve gotten the weight off before, but it’s hard work, and I had thought this time I wouldn’t pack it on quite like this, but here I am…

Livin’ Large.

And yes, the comments about being almost due have begun to pour in.  In fact, just this past week, I told a woman when I was due and as her eyes got as round as my belly, I followed it up with my customary, “I always get huge.”  To which she replied, “I’d say so.”

Um…thanks….where’s the nearest exit?

I did realize one issue with my weight gain was a really bad taste in my mouth that I combatted by eating…all. the. time.  As soon as I stopped eating, the bad taste came back.  So, I ate…and ate…and ate.  When my weight gain hit 25 pounds, I decided I had to do something other than eat.

So, I researched.

What I found out was that sometimes a bad taste in your mouth that causes you to want to eat to keep it at bay is an acidity issue and the best way to take care of it is by swishing your mouth out with a mixture of baking soda and water – 1/4 tsp to 1 cup water to be exact.  I keep it on the kitchen counter so that I can swish as needed, and surprisingly it has helped tremendously!

One not so good thing I’ve found this pregnancy, is that I have turned into a complainer.  I’m not usually a complainer.  (OK, I was with my first and second because I was young and ungrateful, but I really don’t have that excuse anymore.)  I do not want a repeat of the postpartum depression I had with Baby #7, so I am hyper-aware of my attitude during pregnancy because that is where it all started with him.  The complaining is really nothing more than making mountains out of molehills.  Stressing and fussing over little things that are fleeting.

Pregnancy isn’t a permanent condition (no matter what my relatives think).  I won’t be pregnant forever (no matter what I think).  And actually, pregnancy is typically a very sweet time for me.  Not as much is required of me.  I get to take breaks without anyone thinking I’m a wimp.  My life slows down.  My family takes very good care of me.  I am blessed!

So, complaining…hit the road!

Speaking of taking good care of me…

You know what my husband is doing in the photo below?  He’s picking mulberries for me from the tree I used to eat off of as a little girl.  This tree is at my dad’s farm.  I would climb on top of the cab of my dad’s pickup and pick the juiciest, yummiest mulberries until I was all purpley.  The mulberries Ty picked for me tasted exactly like my memories.

picking mulberries


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Week 16 Pregnancy Update

baby development This last week was very full. July 4th was Emily’s birthday, so we traveled back “home” to where she is buried to do our traditional decorating and sparklers.

2014 wreath

2014 birthday

It was a long weekend, but very nice.  Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to travel so much to see family, but that’s just the way it is right now.  When we lived closer, we had the ability to visit family and friends, now we seem to only get through all the family, leaving very little time to see any of our old friends from the area.

I will say this week made me appreciate fair weather.  I don’t handle heat well when I’m pregnant, so as soon as it gets hot, I no longer want to be out and about.  However, this week, we have some beautiful days!  In fact, a couple of nights we left the windows opened and got the house nice and cold!

While I was sick, I neglected to cut the boys’ hair.  I slowly worked my way through all of them, leaving wiggle worm Creed for the very end.  As you can see, he had quite a mop on his head…

Creed before haircut

To some people, long-haired boys aren’t any big deal, but with Daddy being military and a former police officer, buzz cuts are a way of life.  In fact, even though Ty has a civilian job, he still keeps his hair cut very short.  Honestly, I like it that way.  Reminds me of a shar pei puppy!

Creed haircut after

Even without morning sickness, I don’t do well cutting all 5 boys’ hair the same night.  I have Sacrioilic Joint Dysfunction to varying degrees when I’m pregnant.  I have learned what aggravates it and try to avoid those things.  One thing that really bothers it is standing in one place and bending from side to side like you would when cutting hair or doing laundry.  So, I give a couple of haircuts at a time and have someone else help with giving the showers afterward to avoid getting “stuck”.

A little bit about SI Joint issues…
I originally thought it was sciatica.  It wasn’t until a few years ago, I realized it was actually my SI joint.  There isn’t any real treatment for it, and as soon as I’m no longer pregnant, the pains goes away.  It makes you feel like you are “stuck” and could not possibly move without breaking your hip.  While that is not truly the case, the pain is seriously intense.  Sometimes I need help to get unstuck and move my legs enough to get headed in the right direction.  Even sitting down once I’m in that kind of pain is difficult.  It’s like your hips simply do not work.  But you learn to cope.  I have not met anyone else who has had this issue in pregnancy, so please speak up if you’ve lived with this!

One final thing about this week - I am starting to see all the things I haven’t gotten done and all the bad behaviors that have crept in over the last few weeks.  As I say in my ebook, Large Family Homeschooling, I have to give myself some grace.  We have been working on weaning from the screen (the 5 year old is really having a rough time), and this coming week, I will start decluttering.  It all takes time to get back to “normal.”

Week 15 Pregnancy Update

baby development A lot to tell you this week!

Last Wednesday, I had my 14 week OB appointment.  My doctor spent some time checking my diastasis and talking to us about how to fix it and when.  We have a lot to think over and pray about there, but it seems that exercises alone are not going to fix it.  She feels it is a full on hernia and will require a general surgeon and a plastic surgeon to fix it properly.  This really isn’t a huge surprise to us.  We’ve known for a while that the split in my stomach muscles were extreme compared to what most women have.  Ideally, I will need to be finished having children and give myself enough time postpartum to lose the weight I’d like to and not need to lift a baby during the time I am healing.  So, the surgery could be quite a way off, but at least we have a plan of attack when that time comes.

A little bit about diastasis and pregnancy, for those of you who have not followed my story over the years.  For the most part, it isn’t dangerous to pregnancy.  I end up looking due around 15-20 weeks and from there, my belly stretches even more as my uterus tips outward.  There are no muscles to stop my uterus from tipping frontward.  Baby either ends up with its head toward my back and its bum sticking way out or baby floats and turns breech because of the amount of room it has to move around without the hinderance of stomach muscles.  Herein lies the most major pregnancy complication associated with diastasis.

Several of my babies have been transverse breech and needed to be turned.  My last two have been head down, but Creed had to be pushed into place at the very end.  Pushing the baby into place basically involves two people on either side of me tipping my uterus (and baby) so that baby’s head slips into the birth canal and I can push.  Some OBs would not understand this and would be likely to call a c-section rather than work to get baby where he or she needed to be.  Thankfully, I have an OB who isn’t quick to operate.

Sarah & AmyIn other news, Ty and I attended the final Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention of 2014 in Dallas.  We had so much fun and met so many people!  The photo above is Sarah of My Joy-Filled Life (another large family mom blogger) and me after one of my sessions.  All the sessions went well, and I can only attribute that to the fact that I could not have done any of it without the Lord guiding my words.  What a blessing!

This week on July 4th marks Emily’s 7th birthday.  As usual, we’ll do sparklers at her gravesite to celebrate.  Every year, it seems unbelievable that another year has gone by.  Here is a photo of Megan (our now 13 year old) and Emmy to give you an idea of just how much time has passed.

emily&meg

As I’m sure you know, another girl would be quite welcome in this family.  Even my boys are ready for another girl!  When #7 was born and became the second little boy in a row following Emily’s death, I was devastated.  It feels awful to say that – especially considering that little boy is a sheer delight – but, it was the truth.  When #8 turned out to be another little boy, I was okay with that.  But, here I sit again, really longing for another girl, and wondering if that will ever happen again.

There is no replacement for Emmy.  This isn’t really about Emily as much as it is about all the things I store in my basement in the hopes that someday there will be another girl to wear the clothes Emily wore as well as the clothes she never grew into that I continue to hang onto.  It’s about the pink and purple and frills that come with having a little girl.  It’s about the hair to fix and the little extras that come with having a baby girl that I’ve nearly forgotten.

And so we pray, knowing the Lord has His perfect plan for our family – girl baby or not.

Week 14 Pregnancy Update

baby development I wasn’t able to put together a pregnancy post for yesterday because we had a big rainstorm here, and living way out in the middle of nowhere means no internet when that happens.  Such is life, but it did give me one more day to collect my thoughts about the past week and where we are heading this week.

14 weeks with Baby #9

I am definitely feeling better and more like myself.  I can pull my thoughts together better, but I still feel a little foggy, especially early in the morning and later at night.  4pm continues to be the hour that things go downhill, but things don’t go as far as fast.

It was a good thing I was doing better because I spent the last two weeks on my own without my husband.  He was at Phase 1 of OCS for the Army National Guard.  During this phase, we had no contact with him.

Daddy's Home!

Hug for Daddy

We are all very thankful to have him home!

This week, I have a doctor’s appointment.  I really enjoy Dr’s appointments.  It is something to look forward to every month or so because we really like our OB and often spend time just chit-chatting about life in general.  And of course, it feels like we are actually getting somewhere in this pregnancy!

I also hop a plane to the Dallas Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention!  I am excited to see what God has for me to share because there is no way I’ll be doing any of this in my own strength.

In fact, as I was driving home from the city the other night, I was listening to Casting Crown’s Thrive.  There is a stanza in the song that says,

Just to know You and to make You known, we lift Your Name on high.

I heard an interview with Mark Hall of Casting Crowns in which he said,

“We aren’t supposed to be great for God, we are just to know Him and make Him known.”

The last several months, there’s been no great about anything I’ve done.  Pregnancy is tough.  Pregnancy is humbling.  Pregnancy doesn’t make me look good.  Yet, this is where God has me.

I haven’t blogged regularly.  I haven’t read many emails.  I haven’t answered many comments here or on other social media.  School has been on the back burner.  My to-do list each day doesn’t consist of much of anything.  I’m feeding my kids food that comes in boxes.  I’m feeding myself whatever sounds good.  The house is sort of picked up and sort of clean some of the time.

But…

Am I getting to know Him through this?

Am I making Him known through this?

That is what really matters.

Week 13 Pregnancy Update

baby development This Sunday, I broke down in church.  We are studying Lamentations Chapter 3, and I could identify all too well. (Read it – pretty weighty stuff.)

As I pull out of the first trimester, I find myself longing for normalcy, but knowing I’m just not there yet.  I avoid Pinterest because it is full of food.  I avoid my own kitchen because it is full of food.  I can’t talk about certain foods and I can’t shop in certain areas of the grocery store.

Food is both my nemesis and my crutch.

As I said in an earlier update, nibbling all day long keeps the nausea at bay.  In fact, before I go to bed at night, I grab a quick bite, turn on the fan, lay down, turn on some music, and go to sleep.  All these things together make for a fairly restful night.  (Some of my favorite sleeping music is David Nevue and Enya - if you order the CDs from Amazon, you get a FREE MP3 version as well so you can play them from your computer or other devices.)

I am trying really hard to be more peaceful about where I am in this pregnancy.  One thing our pastor mentioned in his teachings from Sunday was that as Christians, we know our suffering is not forever.  As a pregnant woman, I know I won’t feel like this forever.  There will come a day when food will not be my nemesis.  There will come a day when I will feel good enough to do all the things I haven’t been able to do over the past few months.  Every day, I get stronger.  Every day, I am one step closer.  And I am thankful.