Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cherry Blossom

 The cherry blossoms are blooming right now in the city where we live.  They are beautiful this year.  Today was a spectacular day, with a bright blue sky with no clouds, so I grabbed my camera and headed out to snap a few pictures of the blossoms.
 This is one of the few years that we didn't make it to any of the cherry blossom festivities.  The season of life that we find ourselves in is so busy and we just couldn't find the time to go.  But that's ok.  It will be back around next year.
 Ellie's little cat, who is hardly more than a kitten herself, gave birth to 4 kittens on Friday night.  Oh my.  We really had no idea what to expect- and we did not get anything we expected.  I had noticed that Rose (the cat) had been hiding all afternoon and evening.  I assumed she was in Ellie's room, which is usually where she spends her time.  Paul looked under the bed at one point for her, and he didn't think she was under there.  A few hours later, as Paul and I were headed to bed, she appeared and it was obvious that she had the kittens  and it was obvious that something was wrong.  First we called the girls to come home and then tried to find the kittens which we all assumed were under Ellie's bed.  We were so wrong.
 We looked around in a panic and freenzy.  Ben kept getting out of his bed to "tell us something".  We assumed he just wanted to be in on the excitement.  He was insistent, but everytime he got out of bed, we quickly shooed him back to his room.  Ellie, on a whim, went into the kids room, and heard the mewing of the kittens, where else but under Ben's bed.  And, come to find out, Ben heard the kittens and was trying to tell us!  He later informed us that this "famwy owed him an apowolgy".  Ha ha.  He got one.

 The kittens are doing well.  (Who knew such a little creature could make such a loud sound??)  We are not sure the mother is going to make it.  We are headed to the vet in the morning to see if she will make it or if we need to put her down.  She has been such a good little mother, even though she has had complications.
 Sometimes it seems nothing is ever easy in our house!
 Jackson is growing.  I can tell in my belly and I can tell by the increasing forcefulness of his kicks and movements.  I cannot wait to meet this baby!  I am feeling well, just tired, especially after 6 or 7 in the evening.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pregnancy Update

I went back to the doctor on Tuesday for a blood pressure check.  My bp was very high a few weeks ago, so the doc put me back on bp meds.  I did not want to take them, but I was afraid not to.  And, actually, they turned out to not be so bad.  The meds caused a severe headache for 2 days, a bit of dizziness, and then nothing.  I'm not tired out (well, no more than usual) and I'm not lightheaded or dizzy.  Those were my biggest concerns as that caused me to not be able to function the whole pregnancy with Emma.

My bp was much improved!  I was thrilled that I did not have to go on higher doses of the medicine.  I'd say it was a great visit.  And, I was in and out of there in about 45 minutes.  That is wonderful.  I have spent hours at the doc before so it was refreshing to be in and out.

I am feeling pretty good.  My back aches on and off and of course, I'm tired.  But, the difference between this pregnancy and Emma's pregnancy is amazing!  I am so thankful to be able to function and be able to exercise on a regular basis and keep up with the laundry and housework.  (Well, at least try and keep up!)

Jackson is growing and moving.  I love feeling his little kicks and jabs and wonder what he is going to look like.  Will he have hair?  Emma had an abundance; Ben, not so much.  Emma's was very dark; Sam and Ben's were much lighter.  Emma was very big; Ben was one of my smallest.

So, I guess I will just have to wait and see!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Happy 15th birthday Ellie!

 Ellie turns 15 today. It hardly seems possible.  She was talking about getting her permit the other day and couldn't quite understand why I was almost chuckling.
 I tried to tell her it was because I was having a hard time believing she was old enough to be considering that.  I don't think she understood.
 She has the distinction of being the "baby" the longest in our family.  She held that position for nearly 6 years, and enjoyed every minute of it.
 Ellie can be such a fun big sister, and the little ones all love it when she plays with them,  I think she is destined to be a veterinarian.  She can do about anything with her cats and dog without a problem.
 Our family life is going to change quite a bit in the next few months.  Ellie will be the only big kid left at home and I am sure that will be quite a challenge at times for her.
 But I am certain she will rise to the occasion.
 Happy birthday Ellie.  You have been a great addition to our family and your mom and dad and siblings love you very much.
 I pray you have a great 15th year and that you are able to get your permit soon.
I love you very much.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Big Reveal

I had an ultrasound  appointment on Tuesday bright and early.  I didn't get my hopes up to find out what the baby was because Emma was uncooperative at her first ultrasound, but I was looking forward to seeing the baby for the first time.  I walked in the office and within 5 minutes I was called back.

I was disappointed when the ultrasound tech told me I wouldn't be able to see the monitor while she did her measurements. I don't get that.  It's insane and kind of cruel to do that to an expecting mother who only wants to gaze at her baby.  But she was kind about it and told me she'd turn the screen so I could see at the end.

She said I bet you are feeling lots of kicks right now.  Oh yes I said!  The baby was moving around quite a lot.  She scanned my belly for a few minutes and said, the baby has it's legs all folded up and I can't tell what it is.  Sigh. 

A few minutes later she said I think it's a boy.  Yeah!  But, I didn't want to just "think" it was a boy, I wanted to know for sure.  She turned the screen around and showed me the different parts and then said, Oh there's a better view.  It's a boy for sure.

Honestly, I wasn't surprised at all.  I guess I had been thinking all along it was a boy and to have it confirmed was no big deal.  I was very pleased.  I love little boys.

Then she told me he was measuring big.  Not a surprise there either- I tend to have big babies.  I also was not sure of my dates, so I'm thinking it's a combination of both of these things.  I was just glad she didn't tell me I wasn't as far along as I thought.  I was 18 weeks- and she said he's measuring 21 weeks.  Wow.  That would make his due date July 29.  But then she proceeded to tell me that they don't usually change due dates unless it's a 3 week difference- and mine was 16 days.

Soooo, I guess my due date is somewhere between July 29 and August 14.

I had already planned how I would tell the family.  I stopped at Party City and picked up a yellow gift bag and filled it with blue candy.  By this time Paul had called twice and was a little put out I wouldn't tell him over the phone.  I had told him I was pregnant over the phone and I wasn't about to tell him the gender that way too.

I arrived home with my yellow bag and some blurry ultrasound pictures to some very excited people.  I handed the bag to Paul and he took it and sat down and glanced inside and a big smile crossed his face.  The kids were bouncing up and down by this point and he very slowly pulled out a blue lollipop.  "ITS A BOY!"  Everyone was thrilled.

The kids dove into the candy and in a few minutes their mouths and tongues were blue and that's how we decided to announce it on FB.

His name is Jackson Timothy Dziadul.  Timothy is after Paul's brother who died suddenly a few years ago.  Jackson is just because we all like it.  Both Paul Jr. and Zack told us they love the name and the other kids did too.  It's quite unusual for us to agree so easily on a name.

5 sons.  Wow.  I still can't believe it, but I'm very pleased.  Jackson, you will be one loved little baby boy.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Evening

It is 10:05 on Sunday evening and the house is peaceful.  Everyone is in bed, asleep, except for Ellie, who is finishing some last minute schoolwork and me.  I am trying to figure out how to build a bridge out of straws, rubber bands and play do with my class of 4 and 5 year olds tomorrow.  I still can't imagine how we are going to do this.  I wanted to try and build one myself at home tonight, but I can't find the rubber bands I just bought yesterday.  Such is life in this house.

This is such a strange season I find myself in.  I am helping Anna plan her wedding in between prenatal doctor visits.  Having children in about every stage of life is comical and challenging.  Paul and I ate lunch at home today with just Sam, Ben and Emma.  I looked around at each of their little faces and thought, "I've been here before".  And I have.  15 years ago.  With three different, yet eerily similar,  little children.  I can't fully explain how unreal this experience is.

Tuesday I have an ultrasound and I am assuming we will find out if we are completing the pattern with a baby girl or going a whole new direction with a little boy.  I'm not sure which I'm hoping for- I guess either would be fine.  We have decided firmly on a name for a baby boy that we both love, but we are still undecided on a girl's name.  But there's always a chance this baby will be modest and we won't be able to find out yet.  Emma and Sam both did that to us.

Tomorrow morning is week 20 of Classical Conversations.  I love this program and I love teaching my class of little ones.  But the past few weeks have become increasingly difficult to have enough energy to get through the morning.  Tutoring this age group requires a lot of energy.  After tomorrow, we will only have 4 more weeks until we finish up for the year, and I am looking forward to being done for a while.  I plan to teach next year, but I will use a substitute for the first few weeks.

I'm headed off to bed.  Thankfully, I'm still sleeping well (with bathroom breaks, of course!) and I am feeling good.  The new bp meds caused a pretty bad headache for two days, but it went away yesterday which was a relief.  I'm praying this medicine has lowered my bp enough that I won't need to increase the dose or take another medicine.

Good night.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Five

  • I am thankful today for the bp medicine that is lowering my bp and keeping my baby and I healthy.  I am not thankful for the pounding headache it has given me.
  • I am thankful for my young children so excitedly folding a load of laundry.  I am thankful that they still find it fun and do a halfway decent job of it.
  • I am thankful for Anna and Ellie who do the majority of housecleaning around here.  I am especially thankful now that I am pregnant again.
  • I am thankful for my husband, who, after a long day of work on Tuesday, came home and grilled me a delicious steak and served me a wonderful meal. I was tired after my doctor's appointment and was so relieved I didn't have to come home and make dinner.
  • I am thankful that I have been able to get back into a routine at the gym.  I have never even attempted to exercise or eat right while I've been pregnant and I am glad that this pregnancy I have the energy and stamina to do that.  
What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ben's 6th Birthday

 Hard to believe, but Benjamin turned the big 6 years old on February 22nd.  He was so excited for his party and we had a houseful of loud, excited people!
 Aunt Angie gave him a pack of stick on moustaches.
 That even some adults enjoyed.
 His big present from mom and dad was a "training" bike.  He has been asking for a "training" bike for quite a while and was delighted to see he had finally got one.

 Handsome Ben.

 This boy is a unique creation and we are blessed to have him in our family.  He loves to create, very much similar to his older brother Zack.  He is happiest when he has crayons and paper and can keep himself busy for long stretches of time with tape.
Happy Birthday Ben!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pregnancy Update

I finally got into see a doctor yesterday. I had a bit of a difficult time finding a doctor who would accept me as a patient because this is my 5th c section, but thankfully I found a doctor who specializes in high risk patients who agreed to see me.

It was surreal, walking in that office.  Even though I'm about 18 weeks along and even though I've felt the baby moving, it still seems unreal that this is happening again.  I signed in and sat down.  I was pleasantly surprised to only have to wait a few minutes before being called back.

The nurses were all so nice and kind.  I felt very comfortable with them.  Until they took my blood pressure.  Ugh.  My old pregnancy nemesis has returned.  I've been checking my bp all along at the grocery store, and while it has never been low, it hasn't been that high.  I was optimistically hoping to avoid medicine this time around.

Suffice it to say, that isn't going to happen.  I was put back on bp meds.  It's a different medicine than I've ever taken, so I'm hoping it doesn't cause me to be so tired and lightheaded all the time.  And I'm hoping it is effective so I don't have to be put on a second medicine.

The doctor walked into the room and sat down and looked at his computer, then looked at me, then looked back at his computer.  "You are kidding me" he said.  "You are not really 47?"   I assured him that yes, indeed, I was 47.  "That's amazing!" he said.  Ha.  I think that was a compliment!  He also told me that I was tied for being the oldest patient he has delivered.  Not sure if that was a compliment!

Then he let me hear the heartbeat.  Wow.  I've heard the heartbeats of all 8 of my children (including the one I lost), and everytime, it is amazing.  I've been replaying that sound over and over in my head since yesterday.  It makes it all real.

He told me I was due August 14, which I already knew.  I'm having an ultrasound next week, and have to go back in 2 weeks for a bp check.  He told me I am extremely high risk, which I already knew.  They took some blood for routine blood tests, and then it was over.

He was so kind.  He did not give me a hard time about anything.  The first visit I had with the doctor for Emma was a nightmare.  That doctor chewed me out for not using birth control at my age and basically treated me like an idiot.  I was so relieved to find a doctor that was kind and nice.

I feel great!  So far, this is the best pregnancy I've ever had.  I've had the  mildest morning sickness and the most energy.  I go to the gym about 5 days a week and walk for about 45 minutes.  I am tired and I feel "very" pregnant already, but that is  to be expected.  In this pregnancy and in my previous pregnancy, I have noticed that I "feel" much further along than I actually am.  I guess that's part of being an older pregnant mom.

So that's the update!  22 more weeks to go.....