Sunday, April 25, 2004



I just don't have time to prepare for this baby, need to garden instead! :-) Friday was kind of rainy, but my friend came over anyway and we got quite some stuff done. Turned over three garden beds, and sowed radishes, carrots, greens, and lettuce. I want to put those nice hoops over them, to speed up germination and growth, but it has been so windy that I was afraid they would be blown away. So they aren't installed yet, hopefully soon though.

Today, I dug up some daylilies that are too close to the house, and don't get enough sunlight. I put them next to the pond instead, where there is a lot of sun, and hope they will do well there. I think the pond will look really nice with the blooming daylilies. Now I have to decide which other flowers I want there, I am tempted to put some beebalm there too, although it might overtake the whole bed, or the whole yard. On the other hand, the flowers look really nice and attract butterflies and hummingbirds, so maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing.

After planting the daylilies, I got out the hose, and watered my new strawberries and the daylilies. Decided to add some water to all my seeds too, and to the new blueberry bushes. I was about finished, when I felt the first rain drops.... Had to run to get my laundry inside, and it rained so much that I felt really silly about doing the watering with the hose...

I went to a LLL district work shop yesterday, it was a lot of fun. Not only the workshop, but also the going out with friends, but none of my kids :-) I left dh with 8 kids, because we had 2 friends sleep over... That was after having 2 of our kids sleep over at a friend's house the night before, so we went overnight from 4 to 8 kids :-) He did fine though, although he seemed happy when I came home again.

I did some transplanting of my seedlings, but still lots to go. My dining room table was being taken over by seedlings, so I needed to clear off my island to have more space. Got that done tonight, so only half of the dining room table is unsuitable for eating now, instead of three quarters :-)

More and more flowers in our yard are blooming! Most daffodils are in full bloom now, and I even have some tulips. Those are the species tulips, smaller and a bit less showy than the more cultivated ones, but they are supposed to naturalize much better. I hope it works, usually my tulips do come back year after year, but only the green, not the flowers. Which just isn't the same LOL.

And today I found that some lungwort which I got from a friend last year, is blooming too!!! I hadn't realized it bloomed this early. And the amaryllis I planted on the anniversary of my last year's 11wk loss is blooming in our window sill. It's a very impressive flower, I should make pictures tomorrow. I love this time of the year!

A friend had her baby today, nice home birth, and a cute baby girl! I am so happy for her! Hope to go over tomorrow and admire their new little one. She sent out a picture via email and my kids admired it. Kate asked about the numbers on the lower corner.
'What's this?'
I replied 'That's the date'.
She brightened 'Oh, they had a date!
And then they had sex!
And then they had the new baby!'
Well, kind of LOL

I guess now it's my turn to have a baby, maybe I better start ordering some birth supplies? Although I still should have at least a month! No sense in getting stuff too early.

species tulips

Thursday, April 22, 2004


Wow!! Where did the time go? It's amazing how I seem to have been pregnant forever, but at the other hand it doesn't feel like I can't possibly be this close to birth! Especially not since I haven't really gotten anything ready. Hmmm, maybe I should get started on stuff?

All the things that I haven't done yet and would like to do some time soon:
  • Making an inventory of which birth supplies I have already, and which ones I still need to order
  • Order those birth supplies that I still need

  • Find some baby clothes and wash them. I got rid of most of my baby stuff last year, when I was thinking that maybe, if I got rid of my baby things at a friend's garage sale, that that might help me to get pregnant. It did work :-) But now I don't have many baby clothes, although I have been given quite some already, so the kid won't have to go naked :-)
  • Organize my diapers and wraps. I have more than enough of those, but a lot of my newborn / small stuff is still in the basement, while the toddler stuff is within easy reach of my usual diaper changing spot. So I need to switch those around.
  • Declutter my whole house. OK, maybe just clean the fridge LOL. Usually I do a lot of decluttering during pregnancy, but somehow I haven't been as motivated this pregnancy. Oh well, maybe the decluttering bug will still hit me soon. And maybe not :-)
  • Get my garden in! It would be nice to have as much of my garden in as possible before this baby comes out, but we'll see what happens. Gardening is much more fun than all the other things though, so I have been spending most of my time on it lately. Who wants to be in the house now that the weather is so nice????

OTOH, I always go quite overdue, so I still have lots of time to get this all done, right? Gardening wise, I am doing great. I got all 51 strawberries planted in my new, raised strawberry bed, and found out that it is way too big. I think it didn't help that I thought the cinder blocks were 1 foot each, but in reality they turn out to be 16 inches each... It was supposed to be a 4' x 8' bed, but is a bit bigger now.... Guess I need even more strawberries :-) A friend is going to give me some, and I might dig out some of my old, grass overgrown strawberry bed.

Got all my asparagus roots planted. Planting those is pretty discouraging. You spend all this time digging and planting and then NOTHING shows! Makes me wonder whether anything is going to happen at all? It'd better!

Sowed some spinach, beets, and shell peas. Funny story about the shell peas. Last year, we got them quite a few times at the farmer's market, so the kids got used to helping me shell all those peas. Erik got so used to it that he was totally amazed when I got out a package of frozen peas from the freezer this winter. I opened them, and he looked at them and was very surprised 'You don't have to peel them???????' LOL He obviously hadn't realized that they actually could be bought after somebody else shelled them :-)

My garlic is sprouting! I planted it in the fall, I am happy that it survived the winter and started growing. I have lots of daffodils and even some tulips blooming now! I love spring!

Prepared 1.5 garden beds, a good friend will come over tomorrow to help me garden, so hope to prepare more of them then. I was going to transplant seedlings to bigger pots today, but as usual, I ran out of day time. There should be more hours in the day, especially in the summer!

Baby is still nice and active, I just love love love feeling him kick.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Crazy Weather!

Where I still was shivering last week, watching the woodcocks, has the weather surprised us now by turning really hot! It was 30 C today (86 F)!!! A few days ago, we still had ice on our pond every morning. Now we were sweating and kids were begging for lemonade. It was very very windy though, gusts up to 45mph, everything kept being blown away the moment you put it down. Things like Erik's clothes and such.... He thought they were optional in this kind of weather ;-) I couldn't blame him, I walked around in shorts and a t-shirt and still was hot. I didn't do as much digging as I wanted to do either...

Tomorrow, it's supposed to be in the 60s again, more typical for this time of the year. And since this is New England, most likely next week we'll have snow or so LOL.

Yesterday, I got 26 cinder blocks and we built a raised strawberry bed. That was a lot of hauling, to get all those blocks from the car to the back yard. Especially since it was mostly uphill :-) Found out that they were bigger than I thought, so now my strawberry bed is a bit bigger too. Oh well :-)

Sander did the real building, but I helped to get the blocks there, using the wagon. Even the kids helped! The blocks are all around the bed now, and filled with soil. The filling was a perfect kids task too. Today, I got 10 bags of top soil, and 2 bags of cow manure, and the kids put those in the bed. They thought it was disgusting that we put 'cow doodoo' on the strawberries LOL.

Tomorrow, I plan to get a few more bags of top soil, and then the bed just will have to be filled enough, so I can actually plant the strawberries. They are in the basement now, eagerly awaiting their new home :-) I dug part of an asparagus bed for the rest of the asparagus, but today it was just too hot to dig, so they'll have to wait till tomorrow or Wednesday too.

Today, Erik went over to the newly planted raspberry canes. They just look like sticks in the ground. He squinted at them, and asked me 'Are they ripe yet?????' I had to disappoint him LOL. I have to admit that I keep going over to my new plum trees, to see whether there are any leaves budding yet, which seems unlikely a few days after planting too. So maybe it's something genetic, that both of us just are very impatient :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2004


Had yet another prenatal yesterday. It went well, we talked a lot about the birth and all the issues surrounding it. I thought it was interesting that she didn't try to talk me out of an unattended birth at all, she really seemed to accept my choice and to be comfortable with it. Or maybe she knows that I am too stubborn to be talked out of it anyway LOL. Seriously, she supports my choice, but just isn't able to attend the birth, and I totally see why not and accept her choice in that too. She will do my prenatal care though, so that's good. And I feel very confident in my decision to do this as an unattended home birth, it is the right decision for me. We are very close to ambulance station and hospital, so I would be able to transport very rapidly if anything happened. But it won't. I'll just have a perfect birth at home, with a healthy baby in my arms. And then I can send my triumphant birth story to all the obs who predicted doom and gloom :-)

My fundal height was 33.5 cm, baby's heart rate was 130 something, baby was head down and his back was towards my right side. She even was able to easily hear the heartbeat with her ear on my belly! Have to get the kids to try that! I gained back the weight that I lost, blood pressure was perfect, so basically everything is going really well.

Went home to start digging yet again, got a small asparagus bed prepared (including cleaning the bunny cage to add some organic matter ;-) and planted 11 asparagus roots. They have to go pretty deep, so it took me a while. I am now the proud owner of a real asparagus bed, even although you can't see anything in it yet, but the soil. No idea how long it will take before asparagus will pop up, and then I have to cover them again I think. Next year I should be able to harvest for 2 weeks, the year after for 4 weeks, and then the third year for 6 weeks, but 'only the most vigorous crowns'. Hope I can recognize which ones are the most vigorous ones :-) Looking at the bed, it's hard to imagine that anything will ever grow from it :-) I am sure the first dandelions will pop up soon though...

Today, a good friend came over to help me plant more stuff. We ended up planting 4 hybrid plum trees, 10 american plums, 4 high bush blueberries and 11 raspberries. Wow! Quite a lot! Those were all the items from my Fedco trees order that were waiting in the garage, and that I wanted to get in as soon as possible, I was worried about them drying out too much, or maybe freeze. Now I just have 50 strawberry plants and 14 asparagus roots left, and then I will be done! Well, with this order that is. Lots of other gardening stuff to do :-) I finally started seeds last Monday, and both my broccoli and my cabbage are sprouting already. I am so happy that it's gardening season again!

Thursday, April 15, 2004


Finally!!!! It's about time that winter is over. After a few very rainy days, I had kind of expected more rain today. But the weather totally surprised me by being nice and sunny, even although it was kind of windy. Didn't care though, especially since my Fedco trees order arrived yesterday. I am now in the panicking stage, looking at those trees and shrubs and wondering what the heck I was thinking???!!! LOL How am I going to get all that in the ground? I know all be fine and I'll get it all in, but for now I am just panicking :-) I'll have a good friend come over on Saturday to help me dig and plant. Looking forward to gardening with a friend. My dh couldn't care less about gardening, he just helps with heavy digging as needed, but he just doesn't have the addiction to gardening that I have.

I now have 4 hybrid plum trees, 4 high bush blueberries, 10 raspberry canes, 50 strawberry plants, 25 asparagus roots, 10 american plum trees, and 1 bleeding heart waiting to be planted. Should keep me busy for a few days :-) Today I spent a few hours trying to prepare the strawberry bed, but there is one of those huge rocks under there, so most of the time, I just tried to get that one out! Got lots of smaller rocks out, but the big one is still unmoveable. Guess I have to talk hubby in solving this one for me. Not sure whether even he will be able too, I think it's not a good sign that I still can't move it even although most of the soil around it is gone. I might just have to move my strawberry bed a bit :-) But for now not giving up on it yet.

More on the ob who dropped me, some one asked whether it was legal to do so. I think it is, maybe they have to give a few weeks notice or so, but they are allowed to drop you as far as I know. I have to admit that I don't really care anyway, since I had made the decision to home birth even before he decided to drop me. One thing about the home birth decision is that it feels totally right, as opposed to going to the hospital and being regarded as a ticking time bomb. My review of all the research has shown me that this home birth is not higher risk than any of my other six home births were. I feel confident that this is going to be a beautiful, uneventful birth, with a healthy baby in the end. I am going to surround myself with supportive friends, and enjoy being in my own environment, being able to make my own decisions, as opposed to being in the hospital where I would have to fight against all kinds of hospital rules, especially given my 'high risk' status.

Tomorrow, I'll have a prenatal again, early in the morning, so I can go by myself, which will give me more opportunity to talk to my midwife. And hopefully the weather will be as nice as today, which means I will be able to spend the rest of the day gardening again!


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Woodcock Watch

Yes, a woodcock watch, that's where I went tonight. I wasn't even sure what a woodcock was, although it sounded like a bird to me. A friend wondered whether it would just be a painted tree stump? :-) Got out my bird book, and yes, there it was, the woodcock. Looked a lot like the snipe I saw last year on one of my birding outings.

It had been a very gray and dreary day, and I just wanted to get outside, I didn't really even care what a woodcock was, or whether we would see one. I figured I would just enjoy the outside air.

Well, one thing I hadn't realized was how COLD it was. I had walked earlier today, and it was gray and wet, but not as cold. Tonight the wind made it really really cold, I was freezing! And that with my own internal space heater! I am usually not cold at all when pregnant.

It took a while before the first woodcocks appeared, they only come out at dusk. Then suddenly, we heard this 'bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz' buzzing sound and knew that there were some woodcocks around. After a bunch of buzzing, the sounds changed to a more twittering, high pitched sound, and there was our first woodcock! It flew up, and up and up, and up, way higher than I had expected. It circled for a bit and then came down again and went back to buzzing. The males do this to impress the females. We didn't see any females, not sure whether they were just ignoring all the males showing off or whether they were watching too.

It was cool to see them take turns doing the flying up, spiraling, coming down again. I was surprised that they were relatively small birds, or at least smaller than I had imagined. And the way they were flying made them look almost bat like. I enjoyed watching them, but I also was really really COLD, so I didn't mind when it got too dark to see them and we could head back in the warm car. At home, I made a nice hot soup and turned up the heat high!

I led my first LLL meeting today! I had been pretty nervous, even although I knew that that was silly. But things went pretty well. There were some things I forgot to say, but I think every one had a good time. We had a newborn baby, only two weeks old, which fit in very well with the meeting topic 'The arrival of the baby'. It was a pretty small group, all regulars, which helped. It would have been harder with a lot of new moms I think.

Baby is still kicking along, very active. I just love it! Guess I should start getting ready for him soon, only five weeks to go, ok, maybe a few more with my history of overdue babies :-)

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Baby belly!


I got a wonderful surprise baby shower yesterday! A good friend had called me last week, telling me that she wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate the new baby. We set the date for last night. It sounded like it was just her taking me out to dinner, nobody else involved. Of course, you can predict where this is going :-) We came into the restaurant and 'everybody' was there!!! Well, almost every mom from our homeschool support group. Seven moms for the seven kids I have now :-) OK, maybe the number was a coincidence, but it still was a fun way of thinking of it.

I had a wonderful time! We had great, Indian food. And we just enjoyed sitting and chatting and having no kids around to take care of. I got some presents, photo frames (seven of them, one for each kid), and a bunch of cute outfits. Which is good, since I got rid of most of my baby clothes last summer, when I was wondering whether I ever was going to have a baby again. So it's nice to know that this baby doesn't have to go naked after all :-)

I still can't believe they planned this and were able to keep it a secret! The meal was over too soon, and we chatted for a bit more, but at some point it was time to leave. A bunch of us decided to go to a pub where one of the moms was going to dance that night. But then some were too tired, and another one called home, and let's just say that her dh wasn't doing well with the kids. So in the end it was just two of us going, but we met the other friend and her dh there and had a great time anyway! I learned a new card game (well, new to me :-), called pitch, and I even danced.... Not that I have any particular talent in dancing, but let's just say that the others were really convincing LOL.

So I had a great dinner, wonderful shower, and fun time in the pub, all totally unexpectedly! Well, the dinner wasn't unexpected, the rest was. I came home around 11pm and my dh was actually doing really well with the kids. The kids wanted to know everything about the surprise party, since my girls turned out to know about it from a friend. Even more amazing that they didn't spill the beans!

Some baby shower gifts

Kids are hyper, so I guess I'll wait till tomorrow to tell about our Easter celebrations We had a great time, but way too much candy :-)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Well, the ob did drop me, after reading my letter. Which wasn't a total surprise, but I had kind of hoped he would be more reasonable, I guess I just lost another illusion.

My midwife called to tell me, she says that he can't be sure how all this research is relevant for my particular incision, so they won't 'allow' me to birth in their hospital unless I consent to a c-section. Well, too bad for them!

When my midwife offered to call our local teaching hospital (very high tech) I politely refused and told her I would just stay home, thank you. The thing is that she won't be able to attend a home birth because of my myomectomy (licensing? / something because she is a CNM? not sure, but uterine surgery is a no no in her guidelines). I told her that I am comfortable with an unattended birth (heck, 2 out of my 6 were born unattended by accident :-) and would she still be willing to do prenatal care? She is willing to do that, so I guess that's the plan for now.

Saves me driving two hours to and from the appointment with him next week. I am happy that my home birth plans are 'official' now, it is the right decision for me. No way I am going to let them cut me open, just to prevent an uterine rupture that won't happen anyway. The moment they do that c-section, they increase my risks both for this birth and for any future births.

On a better note, I had a wonderful day with my friend today! Her older girls and my girls disappeared upstairs most of the time, and just enjoyed themselves. Her baby had grown so much since the last time I saw her! Can't wait to hold my own baby soon!

She brought a box full of baby clothes and a few cookbooks, I feel very blessed to have good friends like her. I showed her my new baby quilt. Most of the time we just sat and chatted and enjoyed ourselves, I am glad she was able to make it up here today. She was the first one who heard about my 'ob dropped me, too bad I will have to have a homebirth now' news :-) Was nice to share with her. She is the one that dreamt that I had a healthy, little baby girl at home, so I am sure that this is a good sign!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Perfect Present!!!

The QuiltToday, the mailman brought me a package, just a boring, brown box, but I saw that the return address was a good friend's. So I eagerly opened it, to find a beautiful quilt, which she made for me! It even has a small deer on one of the corners, wow! What a wonderful and thoughtful present! My little ones were playing over at another friend's house, and I just had to take the quilt with me, when I went to pick them up, to share with them. They were impressed. Looking forward to using this for my deer baby!

Last week, I got a pair of soft, cute, and colorful baby slippers from another internet friend, I am truly blessed with the friends I have met on line!

I had a really great day at the LLL conference this weekend. I thought I would have to drive there by myself, but then the phone rang at 6:30am (yawn :-) I had been up for a while already, was almost ready to leave, and I wondered who would call me at that time of the day????? Turned out it was a friend who also was going to the conference and did I want to car pool? We had been trying to connect earlier in the week, but it hadn't happened, I am so glad she called me early that morning!

It's an almost two hours drive and it just was way more fun together. Lots of time to chat about birthing and other issues. This was my first American LLL conference and I am so glad I went. I learned a lot, and I enjoyed the atmosphere and everything. There were lots of cool things for sale, but I just couldn't justify spending more money on cute diaper covers LOL. I did end up buying a few things for a friend's new baby though, and I won two things in the silent auction! A $50 Shaklee gift certificate (paid only $30 for it!) and three Jim Weiss CDs with stories (Greek Myths and two other cool ones) I was happy with both of those. The only thing that wasn't that good, was the lunch, not many vegetarian choices, but that was a minor blip in an otherwise wonderful day.

After the conference, we went out to dinner with another friend, and we sat and chatted for a long time after dinner was over. We were just having too much fun to go home :-) Eventually we had to anyway, of course, but I came home pretty late :-)

Tomorrow I'll have a friend visiting me with her three girls, looking forward to that. For now I am off to bed, I hear a lot of HHHHHHHHHHHYPER kids upstairs :-)

Friday, April 02, 2004

Thirty Three Weeks and Three Days

33w3d today! I am still amazed and thrilled that this pregnancy is going so perfectly, after all the pregnancies which didn't. Baby is head down, kicking, I just love it! Officially, I have only 46 days left, but with my history of late babies, I am sure it will be more like 55 days at the least. Still, it means that I have less than two months to go, how exciting!

One of my good friends dreamt last week that I had a little girl at home, and we named her something that she couldn't pronounce :-) Erik has predicted the baby's gender by stating 'He is a girl!' I felt pretty sure that this is a boy, but this week I feel more like a girl too. I guess we'll see who comes out :-) And no, we still don't have names. Somehow I feel afraid of jinxing it all by deciding on a name before the birth. Erik was named one week after his birth, and we really liked that anyway. One thing is that we don't have to come up with both a boy's and a girl's name this way, we can just see the baby first and then find the name that best fits her. Or him :-)

We have had way too much rain over the last few days, and it's supposed to rain even more for the next week or so. I want spring weather, not rain!!! Well, I guess rain is better than snow, but not much better. Maybe I am going to start some plants this weekend, to beat the rain blues!

Tomorrow, I'll go to my first American LLL area conference. Very much looking forward to it. It's a long drive, 2 hours, but it will be nice not to have any kids to distract me during the drive, or to ask me 'Are we there yet????' The only kid who's going with me is still inside, and unable to complain about long car trips :-)