Sunday, April 22, 2012

I have stuff to say

I wish I could upload all of the blog posts I've put in my head over the past 18 months. Some were pretty good.

I finally came over here to share a few, only to get sidetracked by reading old posts for the first time ever. Some made me cringe. I hate when I sound stupid. Some made me smile. Some made me cry. Way too many emotions to consider writing about... what was I going to write about? Now all I can think about is how to segue from 10/10 to 4/12.

My little maniacs have grown so much. My fetus is now a toddler, my tween is now a teen, and my middles have shifted from littles to mediums. I wasn't here to talk about peach fuzz or period talks or training a nature boy to wear pants. Although, we still haven't totally mastered that last one.

I can't believe I never introduced our grand finale, S, who has been the most surprising joy of my life (and I've been fortunate to have quite a few happy surprises!) Or that I missed venting about newborn fevers and spinal taps or MSPI. Or the fighting with insurance companies and doctors over multiple issues. Or changing custody arrangements. Or normal, everyday stuffs.

But I guess I mostly wasn't here doing that because I was HERE doing that!

It's been crazy. And wonderful. And miserable. And exhausting. And exhilerating. Basically, the same as before, but with another adorable maniac!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Catching up

Blogging has been so far from my mind these past few months. I guess you can say I've been busy with the 4 kids and preparing for Number Five but, the truth is, it's mostly my brain that's been in overdrive.

Just about every week, I make a new list of things that need to be done before Number Five gets here. And, nearly every week, the list gets longer, instead of shorter. And the house gets messier. And the kids get crazier. And my body gets bigger. And the budget gets tighter. You get the picture.

I'm a few days short of 31 weeks pregnant, and my goal has always been to finish preparing by 37 weeks. That's SO not happening! While I'm very glad to know deep down that all I REALLY need is a car seat, a few outfits, some cloth diapers, and my boobs (and I have all but the car seat right now), my brain won't shut off when it comes to all of the secondary gear.

But it gets crazier than that. For one thing, my due date is 3 days before Christmas. When I consider my history of going into spontaneous labor at 1 day past my EDD, all the way up to being induced at 13 days past my EDD, I get panicky about having my water break while trying to fill stockings.

On top of that, it was recently announced that my midwives will stop catching babies in the only hospital I feel comfortable in TWO DAYS before my due date. As much as I loathe the thought of another induction, I feel myself starting to give in to the idea, which is making me even more stressed, when I thought it would do the opposite.

But there are positive things going on, too!

After what felt like ages of alternating between avoiding naming conversations and fighting about them, we're pretty sure Number Five has a name! Having had plenty of experience with judgments that make naming an even more difficult process, I won't be revealing this one until the ink dries on the birth certificate. All I'll say is that I finally gave in to breaking my two-syllable rule. I did stick to my guns on keeping everyone's first initial unique, though!

And the best current news of all is that the husband and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary tomorrow. 10 wonderful, crazy, trying, exciting, eventful, stressful, hysterical, busy years of laughter and tears with my very best friend. I have no idea how we've managed it, but I can't wait to see how the next decade unfolds!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back to normal

It has been so... interesting, trying to get back to normal around here.

For a couple of months, we were turned upside down by injuries and the idea of a new baby. Then we were turned inside out by the prospect of losing a baby. And then the joy of discovering all was well was a bit shadowed by all of the things we needed to catch up on after such a chaotic time!

Finally, our 2010/2011 school year is closed out (J received an excellent evaluation, by the way!), the laundry is almost caught up, the clutter is... being worked on, and we're all able to BREATHE again!

Through all of this craziness, we did manage to celebrate 3 birthdays (4, if you count mine), with another one (2, if you count the husband's) next month. Suddenly, all of the kids seem so OLD! J, with his tween attitude, H and M with their insane growth spurts, and even C, with his exploding vocabulary and stubborn independent streak.

I know that, if I weren't pregnant right now, I'd probably be satisfied with this new stage of parenting, in and of itself. But now I'm starting to get really excited about watching the first four grow up while still getting one more chance to cuddle a newborn!

And then I'm reminded that I will have a kindergartener and a college student at the same time, and I start to get all nervous again!!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The call

My anxiety over these test results really began to soar Wednesday night. As much as I hated the waiting, I figured waiting was better than bad news. Our genetics counselor had told us to expect the results on Friday, but be prepared to possibly wait until Monday. The husband arranged to stay home on Friday so I wouldn't be alone with 4 kids and the news. So I set out to make Thursday as calm and relaxing as possible. There was a good chance it would be the last day to resemble any sort of normal for quite a while.

Thursday morning, I watched my younger 3 fly construction paper kites and build a "pool" out of garbage bags while J caught up with the sports channel. I sipped my coffee while surfing the internet and wishing my baby sister a happy birthday. When I got up for a refill around 9:30, I decided to grab my cell phone from the charger upstairs. And then I saw the Missed Call icon.

At 8:57, the office had tried to contact me. My voice mail was blinking.

I took the phone into the bathroom, afraid I was going to throw up. I wasn't prepared to get this call yet. The husband wouldn't be home until after the kids were in bed. I probably would have been better off waiting to listen, but I just couldn't.

"Hi. This is Kay, from 'ABC Baby Place'. I'm calling with good news...."

And then I just started bawling. "Good news." I hadn't really planned for those words. My 9 days of researching convinced me that my energy would be better spent putting that idea aside. My numbers were just too far off to cling very hard to that hope.

"You indicated on your paperwork that you'd like to know the sex. If you've changed your mind, hang up now!"

After finding out the sex of J, H, M, and C, I had been trying to convince the husband that this tie-breaker should be a surprise. He wasn't really going for it, and, faced with all of this pain, I had checked off the "yes" box. I guess that was my little bit of hope shining through. I might have hung up if my tiny BlackBerry keys hadn't been so blurry.

Our baby has 23 evenly matched sets of XY chromosomes. The boys win!

I called the husband and gave him the news while he was with a client. There was no way I'd be able to wait until he got home! I'm not sure how the client reacted to his choked up sniffles, lol.

We're having a baby boy. Our lives can get back to our version of normal. I can start shopping for a baby who will be coming home.

And I can actually look forward to the knock-down, drag-out fight that we call baby naming. :-)

9 weeks ago, my positive pregnancy test scared the hell out of me. It took me nearly 2 months to make the news public. I was afraid of other people's reactions, but I think I was also afraid to make it "real" to myself. And now I'm just so elated that I want the entire world to know how much I'm looking forward to meeting Number Five.

I'm so damn excited that I have enough left over for Number Six and Number Seven if need be! Well, not really. But close!

It's a beautiful Friday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The scariest thing yet

I don't actually believe in jinxes, but I'm getting close.

Just days after making taking this pregnancy public, we got the first trimester screening results back. There was no real reason to suspect any issues. I'm barely 33. I have 4 healthy kids. The ultrasound went well. I went for the screening mostly to see the baby and put my mind at ease.

I knew this screening came with a "high false positive" rate, and I accepted that. Women are encouraged to have additional testing when the results for Downs or Trisomy 18 or 13 are around 1:100 or so. My results for Trisomy 18 or 13 were 1:<5. Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13 are considered incompatible with life.

We did chose to follow up with CVS testing. The procedure was scary enough in and of itself, but I'd do 100 more if I could trade away this waiting. 3-7 more days to go.

I can't really say much more other than I'm numb. I've chosen to be numb because it makes the time pass a little easier. As hard as the waiting is, I'm afraid it may be even harder later.

I hope this story has a happy ending. And I hope I can find the strength to get my family through this if it doesn't.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's Facebook official

I had a family event to attend yesterday, and I knew I was going to look huge. After carrying 4 babies, the stomach muscles are no longer all that interested in holding back a 12 week fetus! And after having lost so much weight about two years ago, I really didn't want people thinking I was *only* getting fat. So I had to spill the beans.

Announcing a 5th baby has been an awkward experience for me. Large-ish families are so controversial, and I already hear all the usual comments with "just" my 4. To top it off, I feel like I'm surrounded by people who have lost babies and who are trying to have babies (or both), which adds a huge dose of guilt. Thankfully, I seem to have pulled off my "I dare you" attitude well, because I've gotten nothing but congratulations that at least appear to be genuine.

I still haven't completely adjusted to this whole idea, myself. I had an ultrasound the other day that confirmed we are having a human baby and not a litter of puppies. That was good. I've thumbed through my fabric stash to plan for more cloth diapers. And I wore a complete maternity outfit yesterday. It's almost becoming real.

Of course, my little demons are busy being little demons, and I'm somewhat afraid that 5 will be able to pull off a successful mutiny. Then again, by the time I have another toddler, I will also have 14, 10, 9, and 5 year olds. SOMEONE will make sure I get an occasional nap, right?

It's just after 6am now. The crew is still asleep while I sit here, on my front porch, overlooking my little yard littered with scooters, bats, balls, kiddie chairs, and Little Tykes pieces. It's kinda cute. And there actually is plenty of room for more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My legitimate excuse

I know I said I was going to do better with this blog thing, and I really did mean it! But there was a glitch. Or several.

For one thing, I'm 7 weeks into recovering from a fractured foot and sprained ankle. After surrendering my house to 4 children, a husband with long hours, 2 cats, and 2 dogs, this place became a real pit. Which is saying a lot, since I'm no Suzy Homemaker to begin with.

As I began to recover, I began doing a little more around the house. As I began doing more around the house, my recovery began slowing down. And so on and so forth. And now my house is a REAL real pit and I fear I'll never catch up on laundry, let alone the ever growing gob of toothpaste (and whatever else has stuck inside of it) in the kids' bathroom sink. We won't discuss dishes.

On a positive note, I no longer require crutches. Which is good, because J is using them now. He has been diagnosed with Severs Disease, which I still don't fully understand, but have come to learn is not nearly as scary as it sounds. He's out of commission for the next two weeks, which happen to be the final two weeks of baseball season. :-(

Have I mentioned that I've still been hauling all of the kids to baseball 3-5x/wk on this bum foot? That's been fun. We'll continue to attend the next few games so J can support his team, but I'll be so glad when it's over!

We're also in the home stretch of our homeschool year. We tend to continue school in bits and pieces through the summer but, legally, J's paperwork should be wrapped up next week. His evaluation needs to be done and his portfolio has to be submitted. Also, I have to get H's paperwork in soon, so we can count summer work toward the '10/'11 school year. It'll be her first year on the record!

Summer work is important this year, because I intend to take a LOT of time off in December and January, for the exact reason I've been ignoring my blog. I'm finally ready to make the announcement.

We're having another baby!

So, yeah, all of the above has been combined with health concerns, nausea, and extreme exhaustion.

Fortunately, we've determined that F (for Fetus) is in the right spot. The nausea is subsiding for the most part, and the exhaustion is probably best for my foot, anyway.

And now that I've got that off my chest, I need to start looking for a new excuse for being a lazy blogger.