Category Archives: Parenting

The Final Week before BB-8

Hooray! My due date is now only seven days away!

grand multiparity n. the condition of a woman who has had five or more previous pregnancies.  This means my pregnancy is considered high risk, but I really haven’t had many complications!

One fun fact are that babies of “moms of many” sometimes don’t get into birthing position until labor starts. The other day I had an ultrasound just to check to see if my little one is head down. She is head down but not dropping so all the contractions that I’ve been having aren’t productive in changing my cervix. Did I mention that I believe Braxton-Hicks contractions are evil?

Another not so fun thing is that I have lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions and they get worse with every baby. This week I had three days in a row of misery where I couldn’t get the contractions to stop. Thankfully I’ve been given a couple of days break from them, but I know very well that this is just the calm before the storm!

I’m trying for a VBAC delivery, because #7 was breech I had to have a surprise C-section, but chances are a VBAC will go off without a hitch!

We’re ready and waiting!!! My bag is packed. The car seat is ready and the tiny clothes are washed and put away.  Now if only we can find the “safe place” where I put the Pack ‘N Play bassinet!

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BB-8 Gender Reveal

Our sweet “BB-8,” also known as Baby 8 has caused quite a stir among our friends and family! So many have been wondering and praying that our new addition is a boy because we have shared God’s promise of three sons!  We have a deal with God! James and I are up for whatever God wants and how ever many kids He wants for us!  We have been trusting Him and He ALWAYS has a better plan for us than we do!  If James and I would have stopped at three kids we would have missed out on a whole lot of love!

Here’s a video of us telling the kids the news by giving them some gifts to open! You may need to turn the volume down at the 1:40 mark!

BB-8 Gender Reveal

Gift number one: A little ornament

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Gift number two: a totally neural outfit

Gift number three:  A note that read, “You get to find out today if a brother or sister is coming your way.”

Gift number four: a tiny snowman sleeper

It should still be nice and cold in Indiana in mid-February when our sixth baby GIRL comes home and we can’t wait! Our ultrasound showed that she is healthy and well and an estimated 15 oz.  Praise God!!!

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A Heartbeat and Two Hundred Days

My first doctor’s visit for baby number eight went wonderfully. I love the doctors’ office that I go to. Every time I go I feel like I am visiting friends that are dear to me.  Their caring, compassion, and professionalism as they have cared for me and my babies through the years is priceless. I should be used to the hurried pitter-patter of a little heartbeat playing on the doppler, but I leaves me awestruck each and every time. I made a recording on my phone to play for my husband and the kids. I keep playing it over and over to listen to. During the recording you can hear the my heartbeat and the quicker heartbeat of our little baby. I have been feeling pregnant; I’m extra tired, a bit queasy, and I’ve put on a few extra pounds, but hearing the baby’s heartbeat makes is all the more real to me. I know the next 200 days until we get to meet our little one is going to fly by!

We are blessed and oh so thankful for everyone’s love and prayers for us! God is good!

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A Sweet Little Moment

In the midst of chaos a sweet little moment can be so rich. I had a moment with the girls tonight. With the littlest one in my arms, the others took turns giving me hugs and kisses, and just like that I knew I was exactly were I was supposed to be.

These moments don’t last, but I can only hope and pray that I cherish them while they do last. Next week we’re sending our oldest off to a week-long church camp and I am struggling with remembering that the boy who was just a baby only a few short moments ago is growing up and becoming more and more independent every day.

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My Gum Ball Hero

God knew that I needed a little old lady to stop and talk to me how wonderful she thinks large families are. She told me that she only has three children, but she always admires large families. I confessed that they are some times exhausting, and she agreed before saying, “But just look at them.” Thankfully at the moment they were behaving!

The kids were blocking one lady and as we passed she told me that her daughter has five children but they are all teenagers now. She said something about how hard it is for them to get ready in the morning. These nuggets of truth I can do without knowing . . . I know it will be a different kind of hard when they are all teens!  I’m trying to survive here and now!

Three different strangers asked if all the kids belong to me. I never know how to answer. I usually just say, “Yes they do!” If he hears people ask, Mr. J usually pipes up that there are seven of them. He tells them that there two older boys and five sisters. He goes on about how hard it is to have so many sisters. It’s hilarious.

God also knew that I needed a stranger to buy two extra gum balls at the gum ball machine as we were leaving. Two of the kids started crying when one gum ball fell onto the floor and we were another gum ball short! Some times God gets our attention with huge things but other times he uses the little things! That guy who spent 50 cents on my kids was my gum ball hero!

 

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A Chiari Story, a God Story

Over two years ago we found out that our oldest daughter has Type 1 Chiari Malformation. It’s a neurological disorder where the bottom part of the brain, the cerebellum, descends out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord, putting pressure on both the brain and spine and causing many symptoms. 

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We found out that Eliana has a Chiari after having a CT scan and then an MRI because she was having horrible vertigo spells and headaches. She was 5 years old then and vertigo spells were so bad that she would jump into our arms and hang on for dear life until the room stopped spinning.  There were some times she would get sick. Afterwards she would be completely wiped out and just want to go to sleep. This happened once or twice a month for several months. 

We saw a Riley Hospital neurologist and a neurosurgeon. Eventually the spells stopped and she has had 6 month checkups with her neurologist and her neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon suggested that because symptoms were not severe and would not require surgery. Eventually the spells went away and she was having 6-month check ups with a neurologist and a neurosurgeon.

She did have some vision symptoms like seeing spots and saying things looked blurry so we say a pediatric eye doctor and found out she needed glasses, but after very through eye exams her vision issues seemed unrelated to her Chiari. 

In March,  more than two years since her last vertigo spell, Eliana started complaining that she was getting dizzy again. Every night after she lies down for bed, she complains that her head hurts and that she feels like the room is moving and/or spinning. 

After I called both doctors to report her new symptoms they ordered another brain MRI. The length of the herniation of her Chiari is less than it was 2 years ago from 9mm to 4mm, but the MRI showed that there is decreased spinal fluid flow.   

There are normally two options for treating Chiari. The first option is brain surgery and the second option is to treat symptoms. Next week we have appointments at Riley with both Eliana’s neurologist (on Tuesday) and her neurosurgeon (on Friday) to discuss her symptoms and her latest MRI and find out what our next steps will be. 

We don’t know what the doctors will suggest, but we know that God is with us.  Through all of this we are trusting in Him. Eliana’s name means, “God has answered my prayer.” Not that He will answer some time or we’re waiting on him to answer, but He has already answered.  We are sharing all this to ask you to pray with us. I will keep you posted! 

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Adventures

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I love so many things about this photograph. I love the flat pumpkin that Miss E named Joe last fall. It was the one and only pumpkin that grew on our vine last year and we have had fun watching it decay. I love the baby’s bare feet because she completely hates wearing shoes. I love the purple sweatshirt over lime green t-shirt. I love the one pink sock and one gray and purple sock. I love that one little lock of Mr A’s hair that will not lay down. Mostly I love that these little people belong to me.

You never know what will happen in a days adventure. I had them all sit on the front step of our house because some one locked us out of the house after they went in to use the restroom. The identity of the offender still has yet to be disclosed. We waited on my parents to come and let us back into the house. It was a super nice day and I had left one of the living room windows opened. I’m convinced that I could have gotten one of the kids into the window if my parents had not been available to let us back into the house.

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