So little time…

I am sorry for those that are checking daily for updates on here. With homeschooling and a new baby, time is precious. Sleep is precious. Both seem to be less than I’d like! HA! We are doing well. I’m working on my birth story. Not finished yet. I’ll add pictures, too. Hang in there!

–Jen

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Baby Arrival!

So, our sweet, sweet blessing has arrived!

Friday, August 21st at 5:56 am

7 lbs 2 oz

20 1/2 inches

We have a new baby BOY!

Charles (Charlie) Samuel Joyner

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We are soooo thankful for his safe arrival!

Samuel means “God has heard”

We know that He has heard and answered our prayers for this special baby.

Thank YOU for all of your prayers!

More on his arrival soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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37 weeks and 1st Day of School

Here we are at 37 wks! I am considered term now! Yay! Here is a picture from today.

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Last night, I was having strong braxton hicks contractions for quite a while into the night. I started to think they might turn into real contractions, but they finally eased up around 2 am. Stephen had told me I couldn’t have a baby last night anyway. HA! He has given the green light for a weekend delivery. hahaha! We’ll see how that all works out. I am ready to hold this sweet baby in my arms!

Prenatal appointment went well today. Baby is a guesstimate of about 7 lbs now. Baby also seems to be in a posterior position, at least today. Still head down. I have suspected a posterior position many times because I feel lots of little parts kicking on the front of my abdomen more than the sides. That can be an indication of a posterior lying baby. Sandra also thought she felt a hand down near the baby’s head. I said, yep, I have suspected that as well. Feels like a little hand just poking and swiping across down there lower. What does all this mean? Eh, well, I’ll do more of the spinning babies exercises to try to encourage baby to a more favorable position. But, with it being my 4th term delivery, it likely won’t be a big deal. My pelvis is probably just fine to handle some of the odd positions. But, I also wouldn’t be surprised if the baby just rotates during labor anyway. Many do. So, I’m not worried.

Aside from the 37 wks, the kids started back to school today! We are doing the blended model school again. They were on campus today, and we’ll have our 1st homeschool day tomorrow. Abriella was so excited. Colby was nervous. Both ended up having a fabulous day! They were all smiles when I picked them up today. Here are some pictures of them.

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I suppose maybe I should help fix their hair a little more next time. HA! Colby has the same teacher that Abriella did in 1st grade. We love her! We look forward to getting to know Abriella’s teacher this year. We did not know her before. We are praying for another good year at Providence! Ridley starts to preschool in a couple of weeks. So, for now, he gets to hang with me and run errands and lay around until baby arrives. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, we all say, come on baby! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Chaos!

Well, here we are at the end of the summer break, and I feel like our house is in utter chaos! We were supposed to be all ready for school and baby. Well, our upstairs is a complete mess! The nursery has furniture moved into the middle, drop clothes all over the place, paint supplies, a ladder, etc. Then, the rest of the furniture has been moved to the playroom. So, the playroom is a total disaster area as well. Oy!

The kids start school tomorrow. I’m certain they have their book bags ready and lunches made, so that’s good. I forgot about teacher’s gifts, so that’s out. I’m not going anywhere now to get something. Well, aside from the fact that Stephen isn’t here anyway. Can’t leave the kids alone. Maybe during the day tomorrow, Ridley and I can get something. But, maybe not.

We’ve had things breaking lately, so Stephen has been in repair mode. I’m thankful he is so handy! I would rather him spend time on things besides stupid breaking stuff, though. That’s just the way it goes though, right?

Tomorrow, I’ll be 37 wks. Full-term! Yay! While I’m so incredibly anxious to have our baby earthside, I feel completely out of sync right now. I don’t have any inkling as to when this baby will arrive. Right now, I’d just like to get the upstairs somewhat back in order though! Maybe when Stephen gets back, the nursery can be put back into order a slight bit. It’s painted for now. We’ll add some gender specific color touches after the baby arrives. But, for now, it’s done. Also, school…. First campus day tomorrow, first homeschool day is on Wednesday. Oy. Let’s get school started.

Pray for peace for me. Peace in God’s timing. Peace in the chaos. God’s in control. I don’t need to be…and that is so hard for me!

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A Peak Inside Our Journey

I just wanted to share some thoughts of the journey we are on. If you know me, or have read this blog with any regularity, you know that this baby follows the loss of 2 babies last year. That is why the posts are always tagged with “baby #6,” as this is our 6th baby. Our babies were real, and I am certain we will meet them in heaven one day.

I do wish others would include our babies in the count. When asked by complete strangers how many kids I have, I do often say this is our 4th, not wanting to get into it with some random at wal-mart, ya know. Recently, someone said to Ridley that he was finally going to be a big brother. My 2 older kids were pulling at me, saying to me and trying to interrupt the lady and inform her of the fact that he already was a big brother to our babies in heaven. I love that they do not forget!

In the spring of 2014, we were in a marriage study with a wonderful older couple. When they introduced themselves the first night, they told how many kids they had. They also shared how many grandchildren they had, saying that 2 of them were in heaven . They included the babies their kids had lost in pregnancy. I remember thinking that was so special. We hardly knew this couple, but this was just part of their introduction they shared. This happened to be before we lost our babies (both of those losses ended up occurring during that study). I still think just how special it is that they include ALL of their grandchildren in their count of how many they have. Each one is special. This couple also were an incredible source of encouragement after we lost our babies.

I do love explaining my “hope nest necklace” with others when they ask about it. It has 6 pearls in it, 1 for each our our babies, here, in heaven, and in utero. They are all my babies, even if we don’t get to meet some until heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚

And, what is pregnancy after loss like? Well, I can’t go into all of it in one single post. I do want to share a few things. So, the kids almost daily ask right now when the baby will be born? I don’t know is pretty much the standard answer. Well, one day recently, Colby and Abriella were beside my bed where I was sitting. Colby said, “What if this baby isn’t born?” I said, “Oh, this baby will be born.” He said, “I mean, what if this baby doesn’t get to stay on earth with us?” Oh, my heart. I couldn’t tell him that there was no way that would happen. I just said something to the effect of “Oh…yes… that would be very, very sad…” Abriella just sadly said, “Oh, I don’t want to think about that.” ย I told her I didn’t either. This is the reality of it all though. I don’t think Colby has missed many nights this entire pregnancy of praying that “the baby in mommy’s tummy is growing, healthy, and will stay on earth with us.”

Then, there was a day that Ridley asked me when my baby, Tiny, was going to be born. ~Sigh~ I had to remind him that our Tiny already had been born, but was in heaven already, and we wouldn’t get to meet him until we got to heaven. I told him this was a new baby. He was like, oh, ok.

For me, yesterday brought back some sad memories I hadn’t anticipated. We finally started painting our nursery, which is so exciting. When I say “we,” I mean Stephen. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, last night, my mind went back to last January (2014) when we were painting Abriella’s room. It was during that day that I started bleeding. That was the beginning of losing our 1st baby. A few months later, we lost our 2nd baby. Grief is just so interesting how it pops up. Just reminded me again of the beginning of a journey I never anticipated.

This pregnancy has been a journey in trust. I now fully believe that nothing that happens is a shock to God. He is fully sovereign and in control. He is all powerful. When someone dies, whether is was a horrific, tragic, peaceful, merciful, surprise, or expected, death, He doesn’t say, “whoa, didn’t see that coming!” He knows. He is in control. Satan is not in control. There is so, so much more to this that I’m still learning about. One book that I’m still not done with (after starting it over a year ago—good thing it’s on my kindle!), is Trusting God: Even When Life Hurtsย by Jerry Bridges. In fact, when I first started reading it not long after Tiny died, it made me mad, and I put it away for months. It was so confusing to me, and brought so many questions to mind. But, I am still working through it and need to go back through it…probably about a 100 times.

I can tell you, though, that us losing 2 babies in 2014 has changed Stephen and I. Our theology has evolved into something new. I hate that we don’t have those babies with us. But, I know God had a purpose for their short lives. I may never fully understand it. I know He has a purpose for the life of our baby that we are anxiously awaiting. I am fervently praying that His purpose is for our baby to live an amazing life for Him with us here on earth. I am desperately trying to trust in His sovereign will.

Will you continue to pray with us? We have been so thankful for the support we have received through this pregnancy especially. We are praying that God will carry us through, and we desperately desire a happily screaming baby in our arms soon!

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When are you going to have your baby?

Well, I don’t know! Like I always told my patients, if I knew when they were going to have their baby, I’d make a whole lot more money than I did as a midwife!! Same for my babies. I have no idea when this sweet thing will come. Yes, historically, I’ve delivered on the earlier side, but that’s not to say that I will this time.

Some have asked me if I was having any signs of labor, specifically contractions. Well, truth is, I’ve never had one bout of false labor with any of mine. Once contractions started, it was go time! And, it’s not often a long time of contractions! I have Braxton Hicks contractions all the time, but I have those for months before the baby comes. Those do not signify impending birth at all.

Truly, I’m feeling pretty good. My phantom gallbladder rarely aches. My back doesn’t bother me much (thank you chiropractor!), I don’t feel nauseous. I do get some shooting pains from nerves being irritated, but I can live with that nuisance. I do have to pee frequently since the baby’s head is pretty much resting on my bladder all the time. So, maybe I don’t rest as much as I’d like. ย I’m hot, but everyone is in these triple digit days of the Texas heat! I’m grateful to have a/c!

Our house is relatively clean, the kids are gearing up for starting school on Tuesday, and we’re hopefully going to see about painting the nursery this weekend. The bedding came in on Monday! The kids ask everyday if the baby is coming today. I reply with well, I don’t know! HA! Because, well, I don’t know!

So, we wait. We trust. We let the baby keep growing and getting stronger! We pray that everything goes smoothly and is uneventful, and I’ve even asked the Lord for a “sweet birth.” ๐Ÿ™‚ He knows the date and time, and I don’t have to. So glad He’s got this!

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36 wks

Yay, 36 wks! I like each milestone we hit, but I do like 36 wks as one of them! Here’s a picture from today.

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Today, my midwife came for a home visit, just to make sure everything is in order and she remembers how to get here. Since we did mostly home visits with the pregnancy with Ridley (she didn’t have her birth center then), she drove right to our house today, no problems. Anyway, baby is doing great! Head seemed to be in a bit of a better position this week. My GBS result was negative! Yay! My iron levels are really good, too! I tell you, I eat lots of iron laden foods, so I figured I would probably be good on that one.

Tonight, Stephen moved our bed over a little bit to make more space for the birthing pool. I’ve never ended up with a water birth for different reasons, but we’re going to give it a try again this time. We have the pool blown up and just hanging out in the office for now. Just gotta keep curious children from messing with it! We have our birth kit, too. Also, my sweet friend (former midwife colleague from my Ft Hood days) has moved to town, and is ready to help out as needed. I really am just excited for her to be present at our birth! If she needs to be the birth midwife, she’ll be fantastic! We’re getting together later this week to catch up. Also, I have a couple of friends in our neighborhood that would be happy to take Ridley when birth time comes, if it occurs during the day. If it occurs during the night, hopefully, he’ll sleep through it.

So, now, we just wait to see when things happen! This is when I feel like a ticking time bomb. But, I’m excited for this little one to arrive! The kids can hardly wait! And, boy, it is hot here! We have been solidly in the triple digits lately. But, you know what…today was the 1st time I really felt the effects of the heat. Like, I felt bad. I stayed home from the outreach program we go to each Tuesday night. Ridley stayed home with me and we read books in the bed until the others returned. I started feeling better after a while, thankfully. I’d say it’s pretty good that it’s taken this long before I had a really yuck feeling from the heat!

All in all, I’m still doing good. Some days, I feel like this baby will not be in for much longer. Other days, I’m like, eh, we could still have a few weeks. So, we’ll just see! I’m thankful that we are where we are, and I’m prayerful that we get to have this baby Joyner join us soon, happy and healthy. Praying for a sweet, uneventful labor and delivery. Thank you for those that continue to walk this with us!

 

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Thoughts at 35 1/2 wks

So, today, I’m 35 3/7 wks, one week before my earliest delivery of my full pregnancies (Ridley). How am I feeling? Well, overall, I feel good. This baby moves a lot! This one feels like he/she is trying to break out often–coming straight out the front or the top…sometimes the bottom. HA! So thankful for a crazy active baby though!

Tonight, I told Stephen that I feel like a walking time-bomb for some reason this time. Not the anger meaning. But, I have a fear that any second my water is going to break this time. I never had that with any of my others, even though my water has broken first with all of them! I have this fear that I’m going to go into labor too early. Right now is too early in my book.ย I have this fear that we won’t be ready for this one’s arrival.

Why do I feel this way this time? I have no idea. There really are no indications or reasons for such thoughts. Maybe it’s a control issue. I have no control over when my babies come. As much as I try to be ready, I just don’t know when they’ll come, so I may or may not be as ready as I think I want to be.

I know in my heart that God is in control and knows the exact time and day that this little one will show up. I need to rest in that…peacefully. I’m just struggling with that for some reason. I think (ok, I know) it kind of makes me grumpy towards the kids at times. When I clean the floors and then they go tromping through the house with messy feet…I get irritated. After the playroom has been completely cleaned and organized, and then I go up and it appears like a tornado blew through…I get irritated. Oy. They are kids. It’s summertime. I need to let go. This baby isn’t going to care if the playroom is picked up or the floors are cleaned. I guess I shouldn’t either. But, I do…

Anyway, that’s where I am. I have no idea if this baby will come next week or in 4 wks. Although, I’m not thinking we’ll make it to September honestly. But, God knows.

Pray that this baby will arrive safely in His timing, and that I can enjoy this final time of pregnancy with peace and trust in His will.

Here is a little video I took yesterday of a little movement of our sweet baby! It’s hard to get anything on video. Seems the baby knows when I have the video on, and gets all still…until I give up and turn off the recorder. Booger! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Updated Picture

Ok, I washed my hair last night and fixed it a little this morning, so I took a picture for this week. ha! So, 35 1/7 wks today. Here’s the “selfie.”

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Oy, last night, I was having lots more pressure with my braxton hicks contractions. It took a while into the night for them to finally ease up. They aren’t painful contractions like labor contractions. Those are unmistakable. But, yhey aren’t comfortable because my entire abdomen tightens up nice and hard, and last night, I felt pressure in my bottom with all of these BH contractions. I’ve had that in other pregnancies. I especially remember that more with Colby. Just not pleasant.

I said to Stephen last night, “Man, I really hope we do make it to 37 wks!” Last night, I was having my doubts! But, today has been fine so far. Hardly any BH contractions so far today, and it’s nearly 5 pm. So, it was just one of those days yesterday, I guess. So, the countdown to who-knows-when continues calmly! ๐Ÿ™‚

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35 Weeks

Today, I’m 35 wks along with this sweet baby! No picture today. I had another prenatal appointment today. I lost 1/2 pound since my last appointment 2 ย wks ago, but my uterus grew 4 cm! That’s the way to do things! HA! I’m certain the tummy bug I had over a week ago had something to do with the weight loss. Plus, Stephen and I have started exercising again (doing a walking video a few times a week).

So, the report from the midwife today was this—the baby is already getting quite low in the pelvis (I can feel that as I mentioned in my last post), head down still. She said right now, she estimates this baby to already be about 6 pounds! And, she feels the baby is long. (Now, disclaimer is that all of this is just an estimation, not fact. Shoot, even ultrasounds are off at this point. But, experienced practitioners are typically better than ultrasounds honestly). Anyway, she did also feel like the baby was in military presentation at this time. We had that with Abriella…and that was not fun pushing with. Soooo, while I’m not really concerned as my body could probably much more easily handle a military presentation at birth now than like baby #1, I am going to do some different exercises to try to get the baby up out of the pelvis a bit and hopefully allow the little one to flex his/her head more for a better birthing position.

And, 6 pounds already! I have said for a while that I felt like this baby was bigger than my others. I told my midwife again that one of my very vivid dreams was that the baby was born at 37 wks, weighing 7-13 and 23 inches long. Ha! If the baby is 6 pounds now, that 7-13 weight very well could happen by 37 wks! (For reference, my 37 wk Abs was 6-6, my 38 wk Colbs was 7-7, and my 36 1/2 wk Rids was 6-4). Babies tend to grow about 1/2 lb to a lb a week from here on out–of course, all babies grow to their unique size.

I had my GBS screen today and also a final CBC (to check my iron levels). I’m praying for a negative GBS this time. I was negative with the 1st 2 pregnancies, but positive with Ridley, so I had IV antibiotics in labor with him—which I actually feel caused lots of issues for his immunity. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal, but I’d love to avoid the whole thing. ย I plan to do things a bit differently if I’m positive this go round.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve had some different “butt” issues this pregnancy. Now, don’t stop reading for fear of grossness yet! It’s a nerve issue. I think it’s my sciatic nerve that is bothered at times this pregnancy, but it is only my right butt cheek that suffers. ha! The result is me having a very difficult and painful time walking. It tends to happen mostly at night, so at my last chiropractor appointment, she adjusted my pelvis based on that information. I have only had I think 1 or 2 nights in the last 2 weeks with that issue this time, so maybe that helped. I go to the chiro again tomorrow. This baby has also managed to find a spot that hits a right inner groin/thigh nerve that nearly brings me to my knees! It’s like a bolt of electricity right through that area! That has only started happening in the last week or so. Fun! HA!

But, on the upside, my phantom-gallbladder pain is much more rare now! In my other complete pregnancies, I was in pretty much constant pain from the late 20 weeks to delivery. Now, I realize that was my pregnant uterus pushing up on my gallstone filled gallbladder. I had pain in my upper right abdomen that radiated to the back. Didn’t know it was my gallbladder then, but hindsight, I know that’s what it was. So, I’m thankful I don’t have a gallstone filled gallbladder this time! Yippee!!

So, now, the wait for when this baby will come starts. I’m still praying for at least 37 wks (considered a term pregnancy). But, honestly, I don’t want to go all the way to September. I know, I know. It’s true though. I’m still trying to mentally prepare for that, but can’t say I’ll be pleasant if that happens. HA! I’m probably just asking for it now. :-/

Also, a neat thing this week. I had talked to a retired lady that goes to church with us about making me some baby items for our “rainbow baby.” These will be some things that we can use for pictures. I had sent her a few pictures of some items on Etsy. She said she’d love to make them! She has a small business. A few days later, she tells me she’s done. She brought them over and I gladly paid the price for them! Here are some pictures of them. ย She went ahead and made a girl specific hat, which was a bonus! So sweet! So, there is a rainbow blanket (it’s long like a rainbow), a girl hat, a gender neutral hat, and then a snuggie that you can put the baby in for pictures. I thought she did amazing work!! No pattern (just a few pictures from the internet), and it was done in just a few days. Highly recommend her! She said she has been crocheting since she was 10 yrs old, so she can go really fast. Simply amazing.

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So, that’s the update for now. I am praying that God brings this sweet life into our lives soon, very happy and healthy. I’m praying that I will continue to be healthy. I’m praying for the labor and delivery to be uneventful and sweet. I would ask you to pray that with us! Thank you!!

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