I started this blog about 3 years ago, just weeks before the birth of our third child, Samantha. I was so excited about it and posted something almost every day. Add in another baby (CJ) 12.5 months later and Miss Allison, who is due in about 6.5 weeks, and I think it's safe to say that things have changed! I go months without posting (all while dying inside because I have so much I want to say and share!), but I don't have time to sit down long enough! I'll survive though. I wouldn't change my life for anything - except maybe moving closer to family. And more sleep. Definitely more sleep!!! Anyway, I wanted to give an update on this pregnancy and ask for prayer as well. It is too much for a simple status on Facebook, but I have several people asking how things are going. So, here it is.
Elizabeth was a full-term baby, coming just 5 days before her due date. She was healthy, though she only weighed an even 6 lbs. Jennifer came next. She was born 4 weeks and 3 days before her due date. She weighed 5 lbs., 15 oz. and was in the NICU for 10 days. Samantha was next in line. She was born 3 weeks and 5 days early. She was 6 lbs., 1 oz. and stayed in the NICU for 7 (I think) days. Then came CJ. He was 5 weeks early. He weighed 5 lbs., 7 oz. and stayed in the NICU for 10 days. I know this is a lot of info and seems unnecessary, but it will help you understand our circumstances and the prayer request a little better. The doctor told us they were probably all coming early because they were so close together and my body was tired. She suggested we wait a year before getting pregnant again. We made it 11 months before I had an allergic reaction to two different birth controls. We decided that was God's way of telling us it was okay to stop waiting. He did give us another 4 months though before he created Miss Allison.
This has been, by far, the hardest pregnancy so far - physically and emotionally. Maybe even mentally. Thankfully, God has carried us through and has provided friends and family to help at just the right time. He created this little girl and He is taking care of her, and me!
Anyway, I went last week for my 33 week checkup. The doctor said everything looks great. No dilation or anything so far. I didn't really think there would be. I have been resting more with this baby and haven't had many contractions. He also said that, according to the sonogram, she is 5 lbs., 8 oz. already and in the 84th percentile! This gave him (and me as well) hope and concern.
His explanation that caused hope:
Sometimes when a woman is carrying a small baby (like at the end of second and beginning of third trimesters), her body will recognize the pressure that the baby is putting on her, but because it's not much weight, the body will not adapt to that pressure and tighten up to hold in the baby. As the baby gets bigger, the body seems to recognize that significant weight and then will tighten and hold the baby better. He is hoping, since Allison is already bigger than CJ was at birth, that this same thing will happen with my body, and she'll stay in until at least 37 weeks.
The thing that caused concern:
As you can see above, my three oldest, whether early or on time, all weighed within an oz. of 6 lbs. (They were all even the within half an inch of the same length!) He said it's very possible that my body was just tired, but it is also likely that my body just can't carry a baby over 6 lbs. This causes concern because she is already so big. If I can't carry a baby bigger that 6 lbs., she could come earlier than any of her siblings have.
None of our babies have arrived before 35 weeks. I figure that means the progress starts some time in the 34th week. The safe point is 37 weeks. I realized that means that for the entire month of February I need to be off my feet and taking it easy. The issue that arose with that realization: How do I do that with 4 kids (ages 5, 4, 3, & 2) at home and my husband gone to work for 13 hours a day??? In order to help this situation, our families in Houston have requested to take our children - all 4 of them! - for the first two weeks of February. About Valentine's Day and just before Samantha's 3rd birthday, they will come home and one of Chase's sisters will come with them to take care of them here at home. This way, they'll be here for Samantha's birthday and (hopefully) be back before Allison is born. They, obviously, won't be in the delivery room when she's born, but I would like them to at least be in town and at the hospital.
So, here are the prayer requests:
1.) Though I don't particularly want to give birth to a HUGE baby and don't have a problem having another 6 lb. baby, pray that my body will adapt and hold her until at least 37 weeks even if she gets bigger than 6 lbs.
2.) Pray for me around here as well. I've been told it's okay to get up and move around (as long as I don't overdo it), but that I shouldn't be mopping or vacuuming. If you know me, this is a difficult thing for me to do, especially when I'm nesting!
3.) Please pray that I'll be wise in what I should and shouldn't be doing. Please pray that I'll listen to my body (and obey it, as the doctor said!). Pray that I'll know when I'm about to overdo it and not when I've already overdone it.
4.) Pray for our family during this time of separation. I know it's only 2 weeks and that we just did this with our three youngest while Elizabeth and I were sick, but it's still hard to have them gone. It's also hard for them to be away from me. In addition, Elizabeth has not be gone from me for that long before (the others hadn't either until last month), and she is very insecure about it. She doesn't want to go, and though I know it's what's best and what needs to happen, I'm having trouble with the fact that I'm going to have to make her leave on Sunday. Please just pray it all goes smoothly.
Thank you all for being here for me and joining me in prayer for myself and my family. I appreciate it more than any of you will ever know! 37 weeks is the safe point so we are shooting for February 25th, though I wouldn't mind waiting until after CJ's 2nd birthday on March 1!