Saturday, May 28, 2011

Piper's Birth Story

My entire fourth pregnancy had been different than any other. I didn't have one bit of morning sickness and my baby bump didn't "pop" for months and months. At each of my first and second trimester doctor appointments my blood pressure was absolutely perfect. While I knew that whatever would happen would happen, I held out hope that the uniqueness of this pregnancy would extend into the third trimester and birth--that I would not have pre-eclampsia for the first time and that I would have the experience of going into labor on my own.

At my doctor's appointment, one day before the 37 week mark, the nurse frowned as she took my pressure. It was 140/100. She took it again and the doctor took it and then they sent me to the hospital for an evaluation which included serial blood pressure readings and various tests. All the tests came back "stone-cold normal" as my doctor put it. I did not have pre-eclampsia. But the doctor did suggest I take it easy and try to make it to 38 weeks--further than I had in any of my previous pregnancies.

I admit by Monday of the next week after a weekend of "bed rest," I was throwing myself a little pity party in my mind. It's so easy to let depression set in but I tried to stay focused and accepting. The next day (Tuesday the 24th) I had a doctor's appointment and my blood pressure was slightly better (130/80) but the doctor encouraged me to have an induction scheduled since things appeared to be going a south and I had officially made it further into pregnancy than any other time. She wanted to avoid having to use magnesium sulfate as did I. So I requested to just come in the next day. "5-25 sounds like a good birthday," I told her. She arranged with the hospital for me to be there at 4:30 a.m. While at my appointment the doctor checked to see if I was dilated and I agreed to let her stretch my cervix to see if it would kick-start labor. She said she could stretch me to a 4 easily but when I didn't start cramping she said she didn't think I would go into labor.

I went home, told Jackie, and began making preparations to go in early the next morning. My incredibly awesome neighbor and friend, Melissa, had already volunteered to keep the kids while I went to the hospital. We decided to go out to eat for supper--a little celebration in my mind--and hit up Chili's for some fajitas. While we were eating supper, I began feeling contractions. I'd had Braxton Hick's contractions for MONTHS so this wasn't anything really new but something was different about these. I chalked it up to the fact that the doctor had stretched my cervix and believed that I might be in for a night of uncomfortable false labor. By the end of our meal, I was squirming in my seat and HAD to get up but still thought nothing of the contractions. We even went to Target to get a few last-minute things for my hospital bag!

On the way home, I continued having contractions. "Do you think we should time these or something?" I asked Jackie. I would occasionally glance at the clock; they appeared to be about 6 minutes apart, were intense, but short-lived. In between needing to pause during the contractions, I packed the rest of the things into my hospital bag, laid out clothes for our early morning hospital trip, and got a shower. Now I had talked to a few people about having a water birth and it had come highly recommended by all and I can see why. Just the shower made everything SO much better. When I turned the water off, however, and tried to step out of the tub, I had to wait doubled over, one foot in and one foot out until the contraction passed!

I tried to lay down. It had been a long day and we were only going to get a few hours sleep. Jackie was so tired and, I swear, could fall asleep and be snoring in between my contractions! Ha, ha! After just a few contractions, however, I knew I could not lay in that bed. "Do you want me to go to the living room?" I asked Jackie, thinking I could walk around and maybe watch a little TV until time to go. It was nearly midnight. So I took a couple of pillows, turned on the TV, and immediately buried my face into the pillow trying not to moan too loudly. It seems so ridiculous to think but I still didn't even consider that I was actually in labor! Jackie knew, though, and was coming down the hall in seconds telling me to get dressed that we were going to the hospital. I'm so glad he perceived how serious things were or else we might have had an accidental homebirth!

We called Melissa who came right over bleary eyed from only having one hour of sleep but smiling uncontrollably. "She's coming!" I remember her saying.

I watched the clock in the van on the ride to the hospital. Contractions were now about 5 minutes apart and lasting at least a minute. I tried not to look at the speedometer and should you ask me about any red lights, I might have to invoke my right not to incriminate my spouse. = )

We pulled up to the emergency room entrance where it was obvious they did not think this was an emergency. I signed a paper that could have said anything in the whole world and waited--squirming in a seat completely unable to be quiet--for a nurse. When she came out I think she asked me my due date and maybe a couple of other questions then she actually said, "So what brings you in tonight?" REALLY. REALLY? You know those stories of laboring women biting people's heads off? It's because of stupidity such as this woman's question. Finally, finally, finally the labor and delivery nurse came to get me.

Through all of this I still thought we would get up there, they would check me, I'd probably be dilated to about 5, I'd get an epidural (even though I'd really wanted to try to labor naturally) and wait until the doctor got there at 4:30 like we planned. So that's what I was thinking on the ride to my room, as I got undressed, and had the monitors strapped to me. But as the nurse began asking a myriad of completely ridiculous questions, including whether or not my grandparents had diabetes and the birth weights of my previous children and whether or not I had any tattoos, the contractions got more and more intense. Incredibly intense. The nurse asked me my level of pain. "One being no pain at all and 10 being you just got your leg ripped off in a wreck," she said. Now I've never been the victim of a vehicular amputation but I imagined that as much pain as I was in the removal of a limb had to be worse so I told her an 8. Then I asked her how all of this could possibly be important and told her to HELP ME.

The nurse finally decided to check to see how dilated I was and I was surprised to hear her say, "You're a seven and a half or eight." They called the doctor who I was assured was two minutes away but then the nurse asked, "Are you pushing?" Hmmm, yes. Yes, I think I am pushing!

Luckily the doctor came in just in time and broke my water at 2:09. Then I tried to figure out how to push effectively--which isn't as easy as you might think--and at 2:16 a.m. I did it! I pushed our baby out into the big world and she was laid on my stomach and oohed and aahed over by us all. She was perfect--literally. She scored a 10 on her APGAR! She was perfectly pink from head to toe and so alert. She latched on like a little piranha and nursed for an hour right there in the delivery room until the nurse said they probably should take her to the nursery to be weighed and washed.

Piper Evangeline Combs weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces--a full pound heavier than any of my other babies--and was 19 inches long.

I think I was still in shock that it happened so quickly and that I'd actually done it--I'd gone into labor, we'd rushed to the hospital, and she'd been born without an epidural! I know that it was all God's doing. He knew the desire of my heart and He is so, so good to me. I believe He even orchestrated the fact that there just plain wasn't time for an epidural because He knew I'd give in and get one and would probably regret it afterwards. God spared me pre-eclampsia and gave me a wonderful, wonderful birth experience than ended with a beautiful, healthy baby. Who could ask for anything more?

I can't say whether I would want to have another natural labor or not because there's no doubt about it, it hurt. But the benefits have been obvious to me. Piper was much more alert than any of my other babies. She nursed immediately with a perfect latch and hasn't stopped since! That fact has helped my uterus begin to shrink back down quickly and has helped me avoid hemorrhaging like I did with Jathan. I was able to move around right away and thoroughly enjoyed not having to have that awful epidural tape ripped off my back. I have felt completely fine since, as well; recovery has been very easy. I definitely believe that drug-free is probably the healthiest way to deliver though I don't for a second believe I have the fortitude to labor for hours and even days the way some women do. I'm certainly thankful for my speedy labor!

My blood pressures have been normal since birth (besides one high one taken while I was holding a hungry, screaming baby) and we got to come home on Thursday. My milk has come in thanks to Piper's barracuda-like nursing tendencies. The other kids simply adore her. Keeleigh is elated to have a sister and is already talking jewelry and painted nails. Jathan will be Piper's protector...he is serious about watching after her and won't even tolerate jokes about her coming to any harm at all. Ryland wants to be near her always. She has withstood his tough love thus far and he has kissed her poor little head a million times! I believe they will be wonderful playmates and am really thankful for their small age difference.

My parents are coming next week and I can't wait for them to get to see the newest addition to our family. Dark-haired, sweet-faced little Piper. My miracle.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Hobby

As of Friday I was *supposed* to be on bed rest. I haven't exactly chained myself to the bed but I have been taking it easy and spending a lot of time of the hobby that I love--knitting. I don't knit with needles, however. A few years ago I discovered loom knitting and bought a set of Knifty Knitter looms. Like all crafts it takes practice and I'm pleased with the progress that I've made since my first few little hats.

Lately I've been making some things for our baby and other babies soon to be born. The first project I completed was a little orange knit hat and diaper cover to match the owl shirt I appliqu├ęd.

I also make this little set for a friend who will soon be blessed with a baby boy.

And this Sweet Pea set is going to yet another expectant friend!

I've been lusting over everyone's super cute knit owl hats forever and finally decided to try to come up with something of my own. Here's what I made:

I also saw these cute little simple swaddled babies online and gave it a try. Not perfect still pretty sweet, I think, and just right for little hands. I'm sure I'll make more of these in the hopes that my baby girl loves dolls as much as I did.

As I was busy on all of this stuff, Jathan requested socks. So I set to work making some for him. He was pleased when he got to slip this one on this morning.

Of course, the thing about socks is that though you feel such a sense of accomplishment having finished one you must realize you're only half-way there. Sigh.

I can't decide if I want to start on the other sock or sneak in a baby headband since I found a pattern for one this morning. I suppose I should finish the sock for Jathan since I'm not sure if I'll be having a baby this week or not.

I must say, however, I wouldn't mind a little more time with the excuse to lay around and knit!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

37 Weeks

Jathan was born at 33 weeks.

Ryland was born at 35 weeks.

And Keeleigh was born at 37 weeks (and one day).

Soooooo....this is officially the longest I've been pregnant! I'm 37 weeks and 2 days today.

Up until my appointment this past Wednesday things have been absolutely perfect. Bizarrely perfect. Then Wednesday the nurse got a high blood pressure reading which the doctor confirmed: 140/100. Ugh. So they sent me to the hospital to be evaluated. They did serial blood pressure readings, blood work, and began a 24-hour urine test all of which would tell us if I had developed pre-eclampsia. Well, the blood pressures they got fell into the normal range (one was even 119/78), the blood work was spot-on normal, and at that point there was no protein showing up in my urine. (Pre-eclampsia is defined as high blood pressure + protein in urine.) The doctor sent me home telling me to take it easy and see her next week but to call if I got consecutive high pressure readings at home.

Thursday's pressures were high. Friday morning's pressures were high. So I called. And the doctor wasn't there. ERRRRRR. I ended up having to go in and see a different doctor which stinks because he had no clue about my history and I think my personal doctor would have taken my concern more seriously had she not been in Connecticut. = (

But when they took my blood pressure it was only 130/80 and they had gotten my 24-hour urine test results back--totally normal! So I don't have pre-eclampsia but I don't exactly know what's going on with my pressures. The doctor suggested I be on bed rest until I can see my doctor Tuesday so I'm taking it easy, trying not to take my blood pressure obsessively, and praying through paranoia.

I strongly suspect that if my blood pressure is still elevated on Tuesday my doctor will want to induce me and I suppose that I will consent because I do not want to get sick. I've been there and I don't want to go back. Even if I do have to have pitocin, perhaps I won't need magnesium sulfate which in case you don't know is OF THE DEVIL.

Of course I know it's not beyond God's control to heal my body of whatever's ailing it and that my blood pressure could very well be normal Tuesday! Or I could maybe go into labor naturally before then. But not before my doctor gets back. Geez, this delivery thing can get so complicated! Which is exactly why I'm also not getting my heart set on any one thing. Whatever happens, happens. Go with the flow, right?

Friday, May 13, 2011

On the Subject of Salvation

References have been made to new believers as spiritual babes who are dependent on easily-digested milk and that over time we should mature and be ready for meatier matters. The thought occurred to me, however, that we might also go through a spiritual teenage-hood during which we fill ourselves up on junk and think we know it all. I’ve been there and hope to goodness that I’m finally emerging from that phase! During that time in my life when I was certain I had all the answers figured out, however, I did what teenagers—physical and spiritual—do: I ran my mouth. A lot. I wasn’t afraid to help everyone out by pointing out where they were obviously wrong and God and I were right. Ah, growing pains stink.

Now I’m not saying I have arrived or anything but I am getting better at being slow to speak and quick to hear. I’m playing the Holy Spirit less and opening myself up to God’s guidance instead of filling in the answer to “What would Jesus do?” with my own logic. Recently, however, a friend asked me a question and I replied with a whole-hearted 100% certain answer that I’d now like to amend. Figures! = P

The question was on the subject of someone who professes to be saved but who continues to live a lifestyle of open sin. Is that person really saved? Now, the person who asked me this had a particular sin in mind but I believe the question could apply to any sin. At the time that we discussed this my thought was somewhere along the lines of what they teach you in Bible school: Admit, Believe, Confess, right? If you believe in Him, you’re in, right? Then I got involved in a Bible study at the home of a friend on campus. The Bible study is Kay Arthur’s “Lord, I Want to Know You,” and goes through the names of God as a way of discovering God’s nature. One of the names we studied was Adonai—Master. As always I was eating it up. That is, until I came to the paragraph where she discussed Matthew 7:21 which says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” What does that mean? It seemed to me that Kay Arthur was implying that something more than simply believing was required for salvation. Hmmmm. She used several verses to explain her point.

Luke 6:46 says, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

Malachi 1:6 says, “’And if I am a master, where is My respect?’ says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise my name…”

She brought up the passage where God is calling Moses to free the children of Israel and how God’s anger burned against Moses (Exodus 4:10-14). Why? Because Moses was saying, “Lord, Lord,” but not trusting and submitting to Him.

Luke 14:25-27 and Matthew 10:34-40 talk about how Jesus has to be our one and only Master—that His commands and His will but be #1 priority in our lives even over ourselves, our family, and so on.

Kay Arthur mentioned Romans 10:9-10 (Ah, I thought! The good old Roman Road! Ha!) which says, “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” “Notice what it says you must confess,” the Bible study pointed out. Jesus is Lord. That word there—Lord—literally means “supreme in authority,” “controller,” “master.” How had I missed that?! I knew that verse and yet had ignored the weight of its meaning.

This explained a lot to me. See, for several years despite the fact that I believed that Jesus was God’s Son and that He died to save me and that He had risen and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, I lived in sin. Not just your everyday “oops” sin. I was deliberately telling God, “No.” Can you imagine? I justified it in lots of ways just like those who Jesus talked about in Matthew 7…”Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?” But God, I’m doing everything else RIGHT! I’m going to church and teaching the children and I’m being pretty good in everyone else’s eyes! Why, why do I have to do that one thing?

It took me 5 years to say, “Yes, God.” How sad is that? And that whole time I lived without peace and in fear, actually. I would often wonder why I was fearful of death and why I didn’t look forward to Christ’s return with the same fervency that everyone else does. I avoided reading Revelation as if it was the plague. Then one night Jackie was reading from Revelation 21 during our family Bible time. It was talking about the new heaven and the new earth and God’s people. But verse 8 says, “But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in a lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” At that moment I knew that I didn’t belong in that group because of what I knew to be true about God but at the same time my actions hadn’t been lining up with those of the group of God’s people who would thirst no longer. I submitted. I didn’t fully realize it at the time but I was letting God have His rightful place in my life as Adonai, as true MASTER.

Romans 6:16-17 says, “Do you not know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Joshua 24: 15 is the often-quoted verse that says, “…choose for yourselves today the one you will worship…As for me and my family, we will worship the LORD.” I talk with Keeleigh often about who she is choosing to worship and serve. There are only two choices: God or Satan. Satan’s sin was denial of God’s supreme authority which is the sin unto death--the sin that we hardly even consider that we’re committing. So every day I feel we must submit ourselves as slaves of God or by default we fall into the slaves of Satan category.

So what happens to those people who know the truth—who stand before the glory of the Lord like Moses did and say, “Lord, Lord,” but do not trust in His ways and in His self-sufficient sovereignty? I certainly cannot judge between anyone else and God but I would not want to hear, “I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!” (Matthew 7:23)

And if you read all of this and thought to yourselves, “Well, DUH,” I apologize. I’m a slow learner but still wanted to share what had been on my mind lately!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

I was lamenting over my elevated stress level yesterday on Facebook and someone suggested I journal these experiences with my kids that are driving me insane so I thought I'd record yesterday's events here for your entertainment.

I woke up to Jathan at my bedside speaking quiet loudly (volume control is not his strong suit) about how he lost his penny and how I needed to go find it. I tried to get him to quiet down because Ryland was obviously still sleeping and Mommy likes that to last as long as possible. I also tried to explain to Jathan that he had been in charge of his money--a fact that he'd been THRILLED about 24 hours earlier--and that he would have to find it himself. Teaching stewardship to a three-year old? Not easy. So it ended up that Ryland woke up.

When I went to get Ryland from his bed, I noticed he had what looked like a smooshed Reese's cup in his hand. "Did you give Ryland candy?" I asked Jathan. It was not candy. It was the result of his putting his hand down his dirty diaper. Thank God it was only on his hand!

I cleaned him up and got breakfast ready (Keeleigh was at a friend's house already) then began my daily ritual of saying, "Get down, Ryland. Get down. Get down." Eventually the boys ended up playing in their room for a little while and I sat down to knit. Then Jathan came bringing me his busted snowglobe. Ryland had thrown it and, though it was plastic, it had cracked and now GLITTERY water was all over the floor. Thankfully, Ryland had seen fit to drag the clothes out of his drawers to wipe it up for me.

Then I absolutely forced them to play with their toys. RiDiCuLoUs. I had to actually say, "Get the helicopter out. Jathan, you show Ryland how it works. Put the balls through the top!" Does anyone else have to coach their kids through playing? They would have much rather sat with me on the bed! And yet Jathan begs for toys each and every day. I am trying to be strong. Trying to say he can only get toys on his birthday or at Christmas (don't feel sorry for him--his room is literally overflowing with toys!) but I do give in sometimes especially at the Dollar Tree. But yesterday I gathered up several things from his room and from Keeleigh's that will soon be carted away to the SWAP shop. I'm sort of sad to see his dry-erase table go because it was so cute in his room and he got it for Christmas one year but it is very rarely used and really just in the way. I'm trying not to be attached to things even when they have memories attached to them. Afterall, when the things are gone, the wonderful memories will remain.

So while I was making the boys play with their toys, I talked to my mom and told her I was sending some pictures to her local Walgreens for her to pick up. Then I got on the computer to send them. Jathan had asked to blow bubbles into the bathtub and I assumed that's what was happening in the bathroom. Then I started hearing giggles. Loud giggles. Then big splashes. And I knew there was only one place they could be splashing: the toilet. I ran in there and they had splashed pee water (Jathan doesn't flush!) everywhere. Jathan's clothes were soaked as was the rug. It was on the walls all the way to the door. I tried to clean it but if you visit my house and think my bathroom smells funky, thank the boys!

I have to admit at this point in my day, I lost it. I was texting Jackie through tears about how the children hated me. The boys sat in the bathtub while I sat and cried.

Then we moved on. I fixed lunch, we ate, and the boys went to sleep. Angels descended and sang a hallelujah chorus--softly, of course. Wouldn't want to wake Jathan and Ryland!

After naptime I had a plan. I would let Jathan play a game on the computer (tried Starfall but he wanted NickJr.) while I played with Ryland in his baby-gated room. Except before I managed to get Ryland behind the baby gate, he climbed up to the computer and scribbled on the screen with a pencil that was laying there. It was only a few little marks so I wiped it off and took him to his room where I taught him the joys of barnyard bowling. Oh yeah, it's fun to make things crash loudly. Sorry, neighbors!

I spent the next 30 minutes or so walking back and forth between there and the computer to help Jathan. The last time I went to check on Jathan I saw IT. He had taken Ryland's idea of scribbling on the computer screen and ran with it. There were marks all over it! I scrubbed and scrubbed calmly while delivering the worst message a child can hear--just wait until your daddy gets home.

Upon hearing that Jathan was intent on having a snack. I think he thought it might be his last meal or something. But supper was almost ready and it was smelling good. Yes, somehow I'd managed to cook chicken and wild rice (thank you, crock pot!) and some homemade yeast rolls which are sure to improve even the worst day.

Then Jackie got home *free* Redbox movie in hand and I knew I was saved!

Today Jackie decided to skip church and take the kids all by his lonesome on an all-day outing leaving me at home for peace, quiet, and relaxation. I can imagine what he was thinking yesterday during my frantic texts. "I'd better do something quick before she runs away and leaves them all WITH ME!" Ha, ha. So now I'm here. Alone. For the first time in God knows when. Aaaaaaah.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

35 Weeks

Today I am 35 weeks pregnant. I have been taking pictures every 5 weeks during this pregnancy so I'm due to snap one today. The day that I snapped this one I was wondering if I would have a 35 week one.

I've suffered from pre-eclampsia in each of my previous pregnancies. It came on suddenly (due to, I believe, tremendous emotional stress) when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Keeleigh and the doctor induced me immediately. Looking back I can't say that enjoyed one minute of her birth. I had a headache due to my high blood pressure, felt like I was on fire due to the magnesium sulfate that was supposed to lower my blood pressure, and hated the way the epidural made my legs feel. Eventually all of these feelings gave way to nausea and the next thing I remember is looking at my screaming, bloody baby trying not to cry.

When I became pregnant with Jathan I believed what everyone including the doctor said, that I wasn't likely to experience pre-eclampsia again. So at around 30 weeks, I think, I got permission from my doctor to travel to Savannah, Georgia, on a "babymoon" with Jackie. For the next few days I walked approximately one million miles give or take on swollen feet including to the top of a lighthouse. Because I'm an idiot, that's why. I didn't want to ruin the fun and maybe I felt like I had a little something to prove--I am pregnant woman, hear me roar. Anything you can do, I can do better and so on. Well, I did it all and I came home very sick and Jathan was born the next week at 33 weeks gestation. It was an even worse birth than Keeleigh's and if a doctor had been present willing to give Jackie a vasectomy at that very moment, Ryland and Baby #4 would not be here.

Then I became pregnant with Ryland, the baby that I had begged and begged (God and Jackie) for. Yes, despite my two horrible births he was greatly desired. I was desperate not to have pre-eclampsia again. I studied all the theories and tried the protein diet recommended by some only to give up after a week or so because it's really an absurd amount of protein for me to try to intake. I wondered if aspirin therapy would work. I admit I even Googled "faith healing." I really, really wanted a healthy pregnancy.

Things went well until around 33 weeks into that pregnancy and then I went on bed rest with elevated pressures. He was finally born after I was induced at 35 weeks. His birth was an absolute piece of cake. It was only 6 hours long and for the first 4 hours, I was totally and completely chill. I was on the highest dosage of Pitocin that I could get (and it was working fine) but calm and in control. I remember the nurse telling me at one point that I must have a high tolerance for pain because most women would be crawling on the floor by then. But I was just using what I had learned in a Hypnobabies course to relax and not fear what was happening within my body. I wasn't fighting it; I was picturing it working wonderfully just the way it should. 4 hours into the induction and at 4 centimeters the doctor broke my water which changed the feeling of contractions for me. They still didn't hurt the way that everyone describes them hurting but they did feel intense and I got scared. So I said yes to an epidural. About an hour and a half after the epidural, Ryland was born with about three pushes so I kind of regretted even getting the epidural at all. I TOTALLY could have done it! Either way though I was so, so happy to finally have a terrific, enjoyable birth that ended with them placing a slippery baby on my chest to nurse. He stayed with me almost every minute from then on and I was so very grateful.

When Ryland was around 8 months old, I discovered I was expecting again. This baby was also greatly desired. I was ecstatic that we were giving Ryland a little sibling and growing our beautiful family even though many others simply did not (do not) understand. I kind of gave up the notion of a non-induced, unmedicated birth. I will go with the flow, I decided, and not worry about things beyond my control. But I did worry a tiny bit starting after about 30 weeks. I resisted the urge to take my blood pressure every day. I didn't decrease my salt intake because I really don't think that has a thing to do with it. I couldn't do much about how active I was having a preteen, a preschooler, and a toddler and all. But I did (do) pray. A lot. Thankfully I had gotten some things that had been wrong for a long time right with God before I even became pregnant so I felt different spiritually. During Lent I felt led to give up Dr. Pepper and began drinking a ton more water. I don't think Dr. Pepper causes pre-eclampsia but faithfulness to a healthier diet can't hurt!

Almost 35 weeks here...

And now I'm 35 weeks pregnant with a precious little girl. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and as always I was a little nervous perched up on the table waiting for the chatty nurse to come take my blood pressure. So I closed my eyes and prayed Jeremiah 17:14 which says, "Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved, for You are the One I praise." I know that my health--my very life--rests in His Hands. It may very well be His will for this pregnancy with pre-eclampsia again and if it must be then it simply must be. But up until now, I know it is He that has saw fit to bless me and my baby with health. He knows the desires of my heart--a healthy, term, natural delivery--and I'm trusting Him with that hope. It's been most wonderful learning that trust over these last almost 12 years of having babies. Here's hoping I continue to grow in my knowledge of who God is so that I can forever let go of worry!

Oh and by the way, yesterday's blood pressure was 110/72. The doctor was all smiles and joked that I'm going to be full term begging her to just get the baby out. I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy every single second I can get of this pregnancy, though!