Summer is over but the sunshine is not…

It’s been awhile since I posted. Hmm..

So, July was hot but not nearly as hot as it was in TN. My sister Abby came for a week the beginning of July and that was a complete Blast!!! We went to the beach and the river of course. We laughed and we cried. We cooked and we cleaned. Altogether we just had a great time being with her and Nate and the kids!

Then, I got sick. The kind that last til you’re about 12-14 weeks along and you have a little baby pooch making your shirts stick out. So the rest of July we didn’t do much more than fill the little pool in the back yard and lay around the house.

Oh, I completely forgot!! I was blessed with the chance to fly back to TN to be there for my oldest brother’s 40 birthday party. Another brother of mine was also there and I hadn’t seen either brother in years. That was a very nice time excluding feeling sick some in the evenings.

I also got to help a midwife friend with a birth. I had not done a birth for almost a year and as a midwife it was great to be able just to go to one. (I know, that’s weird to miss going to births). Just helping and not having the responsibility of it was also very different but relaxing.

So August is here and with it came ‘back to school’. We started back on the 15th and also had 2 birthdays in the family the same week. Was a little bit crazy. School has been fun so far. We have new and different curriculum and some new and different challenges thrown in the mix. Tristan started Kindergarten so keeping River occupied has been, err, fun? The first week was the hardest and we are still finding our way so things are getting better. Tristan plays with him some of the time (his schooling takes an hour at the most). Still, River would rather that mom could pay 100% attention to him all morning. Let’s just hope he doesn’t gain too much weight for his age because food is about the only thing that will keep him occupied when Tristan can’t play. 🙂

I am 14 weeks pregnant. It’s going to be a boy or a girl. 🙂 Not sure if we want to know yet which is fine since we can’t tell what it is yet anyway. We found some great midwives and feel like God is making a way for us to have them help with the birth. We just did a consult with them. I’m about to set  up my first prenatal. It was fun to meet with them and they went out of their way to see how they could help us. God is good.

Larry and Charlotte and kids are here to spend a week with us. This has been great so far and we are on our first day. The boys so enjoy having other children here, they don’t care how old they are. Tristan loves Evan and Ronan and Kathrine play great. Maybe by the end of their time here River will have learned how to share… with Sean! We stayed up late last night just talking our heads off. Seemed like we were trying to catch up as fast as we could in just a few hours. Today we laid low, went to a ladies breakfast, let the kids play with my cake decorating tips and use up the leftover frosting for art. Then the guys washed the vans with the kids and all involved got wet. Now it’s nap time so we ‘catch up’ on sleep before our weekly get-together tonight.

That’s all for now. Will post some pics later…


Birth Story

My due date was February 3rd and as the date approached everyone in our house took a guess at when the baby would come, how much he/she would weigh, and if it was a he or a she! I guessed I would have the baby February 5th, it would weigh almost 9 lbs and maybe it would be a girl???  Well, I only had the other 3 births to compare and they all came 2 days late. This pregnancy wasn’t much different except a few details- I didn’t have nauseating morning sickness, just digestion problems in the beginning, also a couple nights of irritating ‘practice labor’ the last 2 weeks. Other than that it felt the same, I actually felt the best with this pregnancy except this baby did feel heavier (or should I say my belly felt heavier- it got very hard to roll over at night:) ) .

Well, the due date came and went (which was fine), then Feb 5th came and went, (which was still fine), then I was up for a couple hours with contractions the night of the 6th and noticed in the morning that this baby was riding as low as it possibly could (without coming out!). Then, I was not fine. 🙂 Fortunatly, it was Sunday, the 7th, and I had plenty to do.

We had a great corporate gathering, all of Memphis gatehouse was here! Then, David & I walked (I waddled) up to Tabbach’s for a birthday party for my best friend- Stephen. (He turned thirty and forbid me to have the baby on his birthday- like I have control over that or something). Then David & I walked a few times around the loop here. It was such a beautiful day!

While we were walking we passed Joy Williamson. She stopped us and said we reminded her of her last pregnancy. She was out walking with Lynn and he said ‘When are you going to have this baby?’ She answered him ‘ If it would rain, this baby will come’. It rained that very night and she went into labor. David and I laughed and I said, ” What should I say? If it snows this baby will come?” He laughed at me because there was not a cloud in the sky and the weather was on the warmer side.

Well, Monday the 8th arrived and with it came…. Snow, but no baby. It snowed hard and thick, school got canceled so I cancelled my bread-making plans for the day and took the kids outside! God was good to me. Gannah came by and pointed out how much He loved me to give me such a nice distraction!

Our snowman!

The kids and I built a snowman almost 5 feet tall in the backyard. (We got Zemar to help us stack the balls on top of each other- I was finding it hard with my own ball in the way!) Then we had an awesome snowball fight with Uncle Matthew- the boys are good aims! I stuffed snow down Othniel’s shirt and Jeremiah’s. Mala & I threw snowballs at Abbas sliding door, then him when he poked his head out. Anyway, we treked around in the snow having fun for a couple of hours! That night David went to the Chosen meeting and I stayed home. I did not want to be asked one more time,  ‘when is that baby gonna come?

The day before he came!

At 10pm I started having slightly irritating contractions about every 6-8 minutes apart. They kept me up till 11:30, never getting any stronger or closer together. So, finally I fell asleep.

February 9th 2:15am- I woke up to use the bathroom and had some bloody show. No contractions, no water breaking, all is well (though I never had that happen before, it did make me wonder??) so I went back to bed. Drifting off, about 20 minutes later I had a hmm… slightly hard contraction. Now I couldn’t sleep. Is this it? 15 min later- another. This happened till 3:30am when I decided to wake up David.

I turned the light on to watch my belly during a ctx. David said, ‘ Wow, that looks like a real one’. I responded with ‘ Ouch, this feels like a real one’! I promptly wanted out of bed. 🙂 Contractions on your back are NOT fun!! The ctx started coming every 8-10 minutes now, so at 4 am I called the midwives, and my mom and sister (who had to drive an hour & a half thru the snowy roads to get here.) I woke up Alaina (my 20 year old sister) and her and David started filling the birth tub and getting things ready.

My photographer sister and my Strong sister!

The midwives came at 4:30am and finished getting the set up done. I ate an early breakfast, then just labored on the birth ball, standing for contractions. Still, no water breaking yet.

My midwives!

At 6am my mom and sister got here. I went out to the living room for about 15 minutes. Had about 3 ctx out there and then headed back to my room. I don’t enjoy laboring in front of a lot of people. This is who was in my living room- My mom, David’s mom, my four sisters, 2 of David’s sisters, my sister-in-law (also a good friend), and the other 2 ladies that live with us (also good friends).  So, you can see why I wanted my room!

David- The awesome Mid-husband!

At 6:30 we woke up the boys for school and my sisters got them dressed and out the door to a friends (so she could take them to school). They all trouped in to say good-bye to me in between ctx. It was fun to see their excited faces when we told them that our baby was coming today!! We let our oldest son- Morgon, (8 years old) stay home so he could be in the living room when the baby came. He was very excited!

By this time it was about 7am ish and we entered the ‘time is not’ point in labor. (I call it this because I can’t tell you what time anything happened because I wasn’t the one charting at this birth, I was somewhere else in the primitive part of my brain):) I was trying to keep my brain focused on just one contraction at a time at this point, because I kept wondering things like.. what if the baby is in a bad position and this takes forever?, I wonder what God wants to do with this birth? What lesson does He have for me? I’d rather not end up at the hospital but it’s always a possibility… I felt like this pregnancy and birth was different, so I was waiting for God to do something different with the birth.

I don’t know why but when my brain thinks different, it thinks- difficult, hard, trial… like God has just been waiting to torture me. Even  so, I felt at rest knowing that no matter what, I could feel God with me. I felt Him closer than ever, so whatever He had for me, I could do it just because He was there. David was there too, staying with me the whole time.

Finally, I just wanted to know what point I was at so I asked the midwife to check dilation. She said I was 8-9cm with a bulging bag of waters. WOW! I was in disbelief, I thought or hoped for about 6 cm. I had no nausea yet and had no clue I was in transition! (I had nausea and definant  transition with the other boys.)

I labored a little longer, then started feeling the urge to push. I felt the contractions change- they didn’t have that pulling hurt, it switched to contracting on top-pushing.  I had the midwife check me one more time and begged her to break the water, (so she did). Now I was complete with an urge to push and oh, it felt good that the water was broke! The birth tub looked so inviting at this point so I got in.

I pushed for about 20-25 min. It took awhile for him to come down. He felt big, just moving a little bit at a time.

Finally he came, he had a cord around his neck that was too tight to pull over his head, so the midwives pushed it over his shoulders as he came out. Then, up, up out of the water he came.

I looked, and yes, another boy. What in the world would we name him?? We only had a girl’s name. I was relieved, not pregnant anymore! He had  a head full of dark auburn-colored hair & my did he look chunky!! He had big cheeks, and rolls of fat on his arms and legs. When they cut the cord I  floated him around in the water and he loved it! We let Morgon come in and see him while we were still in the tub (only 5 minutes old). He was fun to watch, he was so excited! He just kept saying, ‘He’s soo cute’. As he left the room he said, ‘Thanks’ ! I got out of the tub and the placenta came, I showered and crawled in bed with my baby.

Then the fun began- they weighed him. 7# 8oz. No way he was that small. Whoops! The scale was programmed for memory recall. That was how much the last baby weighed. They reset it. Oh my Gosh!   10# 1oz  !!! My other boys were 8# and 8 & 1/2 #. He looked all of 10#. He looked like a 2 month old.

Well, then we brought the other boys home from school and the three of them came marching in the room, oohh’d and ahh’d over their brother and promptly started singing “Father David has many sons, and many sons has Father David, and I am one of them, and so are you, so lets just praise the Lord…” They were soo cute! We got video.

God was good to us. I got another water birth, the birth went really well, we got a healthy baby and I’m soooo glad I’m not pregnant anymore!!! Oh, it took us a week but we finally got  a name- River Solas Dickerson. It means ‘River of Comfort & Light’. He is simply a very good baby even though he does prefer to be awake at night!:)

Our cute boy!

Awesome skin oil!

My sister posts food recipes and I post belly oil! 🙂 This is a recipe another midwife gave me. I use it on my skin when I’m pregnant. Not sure what to use, or what really works? Do I use cocoa butter cream? Lotion? Oh look, this one guarantees no stretch marks! Well, I’ve tried a lot of them and I like this the best! It’s not sticky, doesn’t stain, moisturizes your skin and doesn’t stink. Oh, but I don’t guarantee that you won’t get stretch marks!! No oil can do that, stretch marks are hereditary so if your mom got them, you probably will; sorry. They are your motherhood battle scars. You Can improve your skin’s health if you eat nutritious food, take vitamins, and use belly oil!

Vit E and carrier oil

A carrier oil (can use almond oil, grapeseed oil or olive oil)

2 Tbsp Wheat germ oil

1 tsp Vitamin E oil

1 tsp Apple cider vinegar

Small 2 oz glass bottle, measuring spoons & a small funnel (I use an empty liquid herb bottle)

Put Wheat germ oil, Vit E oil and Apple cider vinegar  (using the funnel) into the glass bottle. Then fill the rest of the way with your carrier oil and shake.

* I make this in small 2 oz amounts and it lasts me about 3 weeks. I keep it on my shower shelf and just put it on (while still wet) under the warm water, get out and towel dry off. Your skin will be moist but not sticky.

* Refrigerate  your remaining Wheat germ oil & Apple cider vinegar. Otherwise they will go bad within a month.

*Important to use a glass bottle! Will help your oil keep longer.

The carrier oil I’m using right now (the one in the picture with the belly on the front) is a mixture of several different oils. I bought it before I got this recipe and am trying to use it up. I’ll probably switch to almond oil when I run out.

Week 31

Pregnancy!!! I forgot! How is it possible to forget all the little discomforts of pregnancy?! I have 3 boys and my youngest is almost 3 &1/2 years old. But, it happened to me… I forgot. This kid (I don’t know what it is… just hope it’s not a cat!) is in my ribs, yet riding on my legs and I still have 9 weeks to go! It’s hard to walk, it’s hard to breathe, it’s hard to eat… alright, I’m not trying to complain, I just forgot. However, the one thing I remembered is just as much fun as I remember- feeling a little being move, kick and swim around inside of me! I love to imagine what he/she will look like. It’s either a girl or it’s a boy with dark hair. 🙂 My three boys have 3 different colored hair- Brown, Blond and Red. 🙂 We want a girl but we love our boys and I can’t ever decide which one I would change out for a girl if I could! The boys are excited! We made a paper chain counting down the weeks till the baby is here and my youngest- Tristan keeps talking about ‘when the chain is gone and Sissy comes out and I can hold it and play swords with her!’ Poor guy if it’s a boy- Tristan will be calling him ‘Sissy’. He insists that it is a girl; he ‘already has 2 brothers’, he says. Well, right now I’m just trying to enjoy what there is to enjoy and not focus too much on how much longer I have to go or think about the possibility of how much bigger I will get! 🙂 And no, it’s not twins! I had an early ultrasound.