Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baby's Birthday is Set!

Today Jason and I learned that sometimes being laid back isn't such a wonderful quality. That is, for a doctor anyway.

I had my weekly scheduled appointment, during which if I hadn't gone into labor on my own, I was suppose to be induced.

Well, my doctor failed to make the official induction appointment for today, so we were told the birth care center was just too busy with deliveries today for another induction. If I go into labor on my own, that's another story. But it just doesn't look like that's happening.

So, we were again sent home, but now have an official induction appointment with the birth care center this Friday at 7 a.m.
Needless to say, this has been a very long ordeal, but is just about over so I'm very thankful for that!

In my doctor's defense, he is keeping his word. He said he would not let me go past July, and although he's cutting it close with a July 31st birthday, our baby boy will be a July baby.

In addition to the letdown of not getting to meet our baby, it's really not fun to get things ready and planned out for our three kids to be taken care of while we're suppose to be staying in the hospital, something we've gone through twice now. We're thankful that the grandparents have been extremely good sports about it, and are hanging in there with us!

But I know the kids are getting quite frustrated, especially Gabe who looks at this whole baby ordeal as a vacation for him. He gets to stay at grandpa & grandma's house, sleep in a tent, and do all the fun things you do while with grandparents. No wonder he gets annoyed every time I come home with no baby! I'm doing my best to remember this and not take it personal :)

We continue to be so excited for this boy's arrival, and continue to pray for a quick labor that yields a healthy, and not too big, baby boy. And although it's a letdown to our anxious minds to have the birth postponed yet again, we are also very aware that this will all happen in God's timing and I will certainly not be pregnant forever!

Thanks for all of your continued thoughts and prayers. We'll have this baby soon, I promise!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Favorite Childhood Photos

My friend has been participating in these McLinky Blog Hop posts every Tuesday. I've never participated myself...a little too unorganized to find the time. But today it's all about childhood photos, of which I have many of my children. Plus, my friend really sweetened the deal by providing a chance to win a free custom necklace...she makes the best necklaces! Visit her blog here to check out her custom photo jewelry. You won't be sorry you did!

Now, on to the Blog Hop post...

I got my first digital Nikon camera when my oldest son was one, and have been upgrading my camera equipment ever since. I've learned so much over the years about photography, from being an apprentice under a former Sports Illustrated photographer at a newspaper, to just practicing my skills on my own kids practically every day. The result...thousands and thousands of photos of my kids!

Being the youngest of four children, my parents seemed to forget how to take photos by the time I came around, so I definitely lack photos from my childhood. {Don't worry, I'm not bitter or anything. I've forgiven them *tear, tear*} I didn't want the same to be true for my kids, so I have literally landed at the polar opposite of the spectrum and taken way too many photos! But what better subjects than your own children, right?!?

I have three children {and another one due any day} so I have many favorites. I thought it would be fun to post photos from one year ago, and photos from the present day to see how much they've changed in a year. So hard to choose, but here's just a few...Enjoy!

All three kids a year ago...

And all three kids today...

Chloe one year ago...

And Chloe today...

Gabe one year ago {pretending to be Spiderman while jumping on the trampoline...}

Cooper one year ago {one of the few photos I have of him where he's not smiling...}

And the boys today...

Boy, how time flies when you're having fun!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 27, 2009

Still Pregnant

I am getting call after call, email after email, all wondering...are you still pregnant?
Well, the answer is YES, I am. Surprisingly so, since I have been having regular contractions since Saturday night.
So for all of you dying to know, I'll give you an update.
{For those of you who are tired of reading about pregnancy and nothing else on this blog, sorry. It's pretty much all that's on my mind these days!}
I did make it through our friend's wedding, and Jason was able to perform the beautiful ceremony which I cried through. I could blame pregnancy hormones, but lets face it, I would have cried through it pregnant or not.
I'd been having sporadic contractions throughout the day and after the reception I started experiencing more regular contractions. I awoke Sunday morning to contractions that were 5 to 7 minutes apart, so we decided to go into the hospital.
They did all the preliminary checks, hooked me up to the baby heart monitor and contraction monitor, and checked my cervix. I was 4 and a half centimeters dilated. I was then told to walk the halls for an hour and a half, and then they'd check my cervix again for progress. Unfortunately, the walking yielded no results, as I was still at 4 and a half centimeters an hour and a half later. I was then told since no progress was made, I was going to be sent home.
This was of course frustrating, as it's not easy to get everything ready for three children to be taken care of while I'm in the hospital, and now it will have to be done all over again. But even more frustrating was what the nurse told us. If I had been 39 weeks pregnant, they would have just kept me and broken my water since I am already 4 and a half cm dilated. But since I was 38 weeks and 5 days {2 days short of 39 weeks,} I was being sent home. Also, if my primary doctor would have been on call, the nurse was sure he would have ok'd my stay, but he wasn't on call of course.
They gave me discharge papers which outlined some criteria to follow. This included a list of symptoms. I was told if I'm having one or more symptoms on the list, I should come back in. The funny thing is, the nurse says, "But you're already having regular contractions and bloody show, so just ignore the first two symptoms."
Hmmm. Makes sense, doesn't it?
So here I am, at home having contractions and waiting it out.
I do fear that since I don't want to go in and be told to go home again, that I may wait too long and experience my first home birth. Jason is fearful of this as well, and has actually studied up on how to deliver a baby at home. Scary, huh?!? I caught him on the computer last night reading about delivery procedures, after which he got his head lamp and the baby nasal suction tool ready. I suppose we're now prepared for anything, although I really do not want my baby delivered by Jason wearing a head lamp.
I have my next doctors appointment on Wednesday, where he will induce if I haven't had the baby on my own. It's only two days away, but we're getting very anxious. Even Jason is anxious, and he rarely gets worked up about anything.
But at the same time, we keep praying for God to give us patience and strength to endure. It's only a few more days, and we'll be holding our little guy in our arms. I continue to pray that I will be able to get through this labor without pitocin to regulate the contractions, but in the back of my mind, I'm prepared for if I do have to have pitocin. It's painful, but I've done it before and can do it again.
Thank you again for all your prayers. Soon enough the pregnancy talk will be over and the newborn photos will begin.
I am so excited!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Countdown

It seems like I've been on 'pregnancy countdown' for so long now. I can't venture out of the house without running into people I know, and those I don't, all inquiring about the same thing: 'how much longer?'
Well, I had my weekly doctor's check-up yesterday, and it sounds like the answer to that common question is 'not much longer at all!'
When my doctor checked me, he response was, 'I will be very surprised if we have to induce.' That was music to my ears because, as I've shared before, I would prefer to not have to be induced again.
I am dilated to 3 cm and, as the doctor put it, the baby's head is so low he's just waiting to fall out. Sounds awfully reassuring. I already feel like this baby's about to fall out every time I walk, and now I have confirmation that he may very well do just that!
I am trying to hold out through the weekend, because we have a very dear friend's wedding to attend, where Jason is actually suppose to perform the ceremony. It's kind of hard to get married without a pastor, but it's also not in my plans to have a baby without my husband, so hence my need to hold out!
I also have three different logo design projects to finish, graphics to finish designing for a website and a brochure to finalize. All not easy tasks to complete with three kids running around, but still much easier to finish without a newborn baby added to the mix. Needless to say, I've been working hard trying to finalize some projects before the baby's arrival.
And then there's our extreme home makeover project, for which we're the general contractors. Jason and I have decided that we now understand why general contractors make so much money. It really is a pain to deal with all the aspects of ordering supplies and lining up labor when you have deadlines to meet. It takes a lot of coordination, organization, and a lot of time, which we seem to be running short on right now :)
It's really a struggle between excitement /anticipation to finally hold our little guy, and a nagging list of things to do before his arrival.
But when it comes down to it, this baby boy is going to come when it's time. And after all, God's timing is always perfect. I can find great peace in that fact!
I know so many of you have voiced your thoughts and prayers for me and my family as we await our newest arrival. I cannot tell you how much your prayers mean to us, and I can't thank you enough for thinking of us!
We are so blessed to have so many family and friends share in our excitement of a new Sanders arrival!
And now, for a random photo.
I actually had a photo shoot with a friend and her family the other day. They recently adopted two children and I was glad to help get them some updated family shots. But I'll save those photos for another day.
Instead, here's what Gabe's been up to...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Big Sister

This girl is about to have her world changed forever.
No longer will she be the baby of the family.
She's going to be a big sister!

I've tried to talk to Chloe about her baby brother. We've read books. We've practiced taking care of her own babies. I've had her help me put baby brother's clothes in his dresser and prepare for his arrival. And she loves to talk about 'Baby Broder." But I think that ultimately at age two, Chloe has no idea what's about to happen.

Don't get me wrong, Chloe LOVES babies. She sees a baby and starts to squeal. She likes to look at babies and talk to babies. But the fact is, Chloe also has a jealous streak and those babies she loves so much are other people's babies, not mommy's baby. Having mom hold a baby, feed a baby and love a baby that's not her could possibly send Chloe over the edge. Or, she could just absolutely love him and show no signs of distress at all.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
But we won't be waiting long...

I had my doctor's appointment on Thursday and found out the plan. My doctor would like to induce labor at 39 weeks if I haven't gone into labor on my own. That puts the induction date in about one week, with the specific day to be decided at my next appointment, which is this upcoming Thursday. I am still praying that I will go into labor on my own, but I also don't want to have another huge baby, so understand induction is necessary if I don't.

In a little over a week, we'll meet the new Sanders boy.
And boy, I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Secret Hideout

It's been a crazy week so far. Between Vacation Bible School every morning, then coming home and feeding kids and putting them down for naps so that I can work on the newsletter for the next day of VBS, my days have been eaten up. Then throw T-ball, doctor's appointments and a visiting friend from Colorado into the mix, and I've really been on the go! Is it really only Wednesday?

Well, I am still pregnant, but thankful to know that I only have a few more weeks until I hold that baby that is
kicking me constantly in my arms. I can't think about it too much, because I get super excited and impatient. Maybe keeping busy has been good after all!

I thought I'd update the blog by sharing some photos of the kids in their Secret Hideout. I really don't know how much of a
secret it is, since Gabe is pretty forthcoming with its location to just about anyone who comes around. But nevertheless, the kids call it their secret hideout. Funnier yet, when I was taking photos of the kids in their secret hideout, Gabe said, "'re not going to put these on the blog are you? Cause then everyone will know where our hideout is." I thought he'd been doing a pretty good job of revealing the location all on his own. But I told Gabe not to worry, that I wouldn't divulge the exact location of the hideout, just some closeup photos of the kids in it. He thought this was a good compromise.

So, here they are...

{Ok, so this first one is a little revealing of the location of this secret hideout. There's not a lot of huge bush formations in our yard.}

{This was when Gabe was still a little apprehensive about me taking photos of this undercover location. Look at his face...can't you just hear him saying, 'Oh, Mom! Come on!'}

Cooper was not too thrilled with the hideout photo shoot either...

And in case you were wondering,
Girls ARE Allowed in this hideout! Even Chloe talks about the 'Secret Hideout,' saying the words plain as day. She gets so excited when the boys take her there to play. It's nice the boys let their little sis tag along...

Upon me trying to enter, however, I was not allowed access due to the
'No Babies Allowed' rule. You know, since I kind of have to have a baby with me at all times these days, Gabe made it very known that I was not getting into this hideout! 'After the baby comes, then you can leave him in the house and come into our hideout Mom,' Gabe said. Gee, thanks Gabe!

Friday, July 10, 2009

37 Weeks

There have been many inquiries and rumors that maybe I've had the baby since I haven't updated the blog in so long. Well, let me put the rumors to baby yet. Baby boy is still waiting to make his world debut inside my overcrowded tummy.

I did have an ultrasound today to estimate this little guy's weight. He's in the 60th percentile for size, and my doctor is estimating he'll be between 8 and 8 1/2 pounds, which is right around what both Cooper and Chloe weighed. I'm definitely relieved to hear that he won't be competing with his oldest brother for the prize of biggest Sanders boy! I shutter to think of giving birth to another 10 pound bundle of joy!

I also found out that I'm 2 and 1/2 cm dilated and the baby's head remains extremely low. So, he's definitely getting ready! I absolutely can't wait to see him, hold him and introduce him to all of you!

In other news, my birthday lens arrived!!! After the morning storms we experienced here, I was able to try that baby out, and boy, do I love my new lens! It is a Nikon 18 - 200, so I no longer have to be in the kids faces to get the shots I'm looking for.

Here's a preview, I'll have to post more later because I took so many!
I'd love to hear what you think!
Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Growing Up

Lately I've noticed just how much our oldest son, Gabe, is growing up. As you may recall, he turned six awhile back, and it has recently become very apparent to me just how much this milestone has meant.

Maybe it's just me thinking of holding a newborn again soon, and realizing how many years ago that Gabe
was a newborn. Maybe it's the fact that it's summertime, meaning Gabe is home everyday from school, and while his brother and sister nap, he's gotten too old for nap time. Maybe it's the fact that my little boy, who was not too long ago deathly afraid of fireworks, now wants to light them on his own in celebration of the fourth of July. Maybe it's the helper he's become, often offering without being asked to assist me with chores or taking it upon his own to be such a blessing to me.

Maybe it's a lot of things.

I know it's inevitable. We all grow up. No one stays a baby, or a toddler, or a little boy forever. But that doesn't make it any less sad for a mother, letting go of her oldest child being a child. And it doesn't make me long to preserve the memories of his childhood any less, which I hope this blog helps me to accomplish.

One thing growing up does do is make me realize the vast need for me, as his mom, to pray for him all the more. As he begins to understand more and more of this world we live in. As he begins to let go of the innocence of childhood. As he matures. My prayer is simply this: that He may choose to follow the ways of the Lord, to hold tightly to God's Word and to Christ's example of how to live in this world. And that I, as his mom, may be able to provide him with every tool and every example I can to enable him to walk the straight and narrow road.

It's not easy in this world, where we so easily conform to the earthly ways demonstrated all around us. But God tells us in His Word not to conform, but to be transformed in Him, so that we may know His Will. I pray this for Gabe, and for all my children, and I pray each one of them can be a light in this all-too-dark world as they grow.

I took some photos of Gabe while he wasn't napping, and while the other kids were. These photos really reinforced how much Gabe is growing up. He looks like a young man, not a little boy.
And oh how I love this young man.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hold me Mommy...

As the big day of the new addition to our family draws closer and closer, and our lives seem to get busier and busier, I am trying to be very mindful of giving each of the kids lots of attention. The thought of any of our kids being neglected in any way or feeling 'left out' breaks my heart. It's always something that's been in the forefront of my consciousness as we've added to our family every few years. I don't know why I've always had this overwhelming need to make sure each of them are getting equal attention. It's certainly NOT because I myself was neglected growing up. Nor was I even a middle child, being the youngest {by nearly 11 years} to my three older brothers. As the youngest and the only girl, I got plenty of attention. But nevertheless, I've always had a desire to make sure everyone feels included, not only in my family, but in social situations in general. And in my own family, I have always desired to make sure each child feels special, that each child feels wrapped in the love and protection of me as their mom, and more importantly in God's love and protection.

But lately, Cooper, our 'middle' child {middle for now anyway,} has seemed to need a little extra attention. He is definitely the most sensitive out of our three children. He always has been. He just has a tender heart and seems to feel things more deeply than the average four year old. I don't know if that's why he's been very close to mom lately or not. It's hard to tell because we've always referred to Cooper as a bit of a momma's boy.

But he has seemed to be following me around more lately than usual. Asking me to hold him. Asking me to smile at him, a Cooper trademark saying. Asking me to simply sit with him. And last night, as I sat with him and smiled at him and held him, he looked up at me with those big baby blues and asked me a question that brought instant tears to my eyes. He said, "Mom, am I still your baby doll?" {Baby doll is a nickname I have always had for Coop.} And although my response took a few moments as I tried to talk through the tears, I looked at that sweet little boy, this boy asking for his mom's love and security in a simple question, and I responded, "Oh yes Cooper. You'll always be my baby doll. No matter how old you are. No matter how old I am. You'll always be mommy's little boy."

He smiled so big, squeezed me with those little arms so tight, and said, "Thanks mommy!"

Seriously, what kind of kid thanks his mom for loving him? Cooper is just that way.

It's moments like those where I am reminded of my own father. And not my earthly father, although I know I am loved greatly by him as well. No, I'm talking about my Heavenly Father. He loves me so much, so much deeper than I can ever understand. He loves me more than I could ever love my own children, and that's really a hard concept to grasp. But because His love is so pure, so real, so sinless, it is the greatest love anyone could ever know.

I pray that each and every one of you knows the love our Father in Heaven has for us. I know that as I think of holding my little boy and loving on him, I can't help but feel the love of my Lord and Savior wrapped around me. After all, like the verse says, "We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19.

Thanks for 'listening.' :)