Saturday, April 12, 2014

Circa June 2013

Because sometimes you need a little reminder of how fast these babies of ours change. This was not even a year ago when Nate and I took the girls camping at Bonham State Park.

I've been reading a lot lately in my studies and preparation for birth, about families, eternal families to be more specific. My heart is so happy when I think of the family our Heavenly Father brought me to through the sealing of Nate and I.  I know the Lord has a specific plan for each of us. It's beyond words to describe how blessed I feel that He has chosen Nate and I as protectors over these sweet children. I love them so.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Wonderous Years

Ever watch an episode of The Wonder Years? You know how throughout some of the shows they sprinkle them with home videos? Well, I felt like this is exactly what was happening to our family Sunday afternoon after church. Nate and I were enjoying the wonderful weather, eating our homemade dessert, all while watching our three daughters thrive in the love they have for each other and the love we have for them. I felt like I was in the middle of one of those blissful family home videos. 

Not only were our older two showing Winnie the ropes of downhill bike riding, but Nate was home to witness it! The past almost two months have been a little trying with him being gone for weeks at a time. I didn't want the weekend to end!

So, here they are, our fantastic little gals in all their bike riding glory. Notice Winnie keeps her feet up the entire ride downhill. That's what I call a balance bike success story! Seriously y'all, balance bikes are the coolest thing ever! Not only have all our girls started riding bikes super early, but they have done so without training wheels.

What was even cuter than the toddler cruising down the hill was when they got to the bottom of the and Charly and Piper giggled up a storm while embracing each other. Then, for the long journey back up, which they traveled at least twenty times.
On another note, here they are digging underneath the trampoline a few weeks ago. They are breaking in the Tonka toys for their little brother Ephraim. Of course, when the Campbell girls play with the tractors, they must include miss Pinky Pie (the little pony). Good times. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When I Am Prepared

You want to know what I love? I love coming over a trial. Especially when I was nearly blinded from the trial in the first place. It's not that I didn't realize my faith was being tested, I just didn't realize in what way it was. 

Ever since I received the inspiration to go forward with a hospital birth, the idea of being subject to a cesarean has been weighing heavy on my heart. In my mind, I could imagine a few possibilities of why the Lord would want us to be in a hospital setting. One of these, of course, was the major possibility of having a C-section. This is an actual fear of mine, one that is attached to fear of emotional trauma and, of course, the physical trauma as well.  I think, for me, it would be a really hard idea to have to cope with. I have been thinking about it night and day, and when I'm not actively thinking of the idea, I have it stored in the back where it's weight has been distributed throughout my whole body. The funny thing about it though, was that I had no idea how much weight I was carrying around by feeding that thought. 

The past month, I've been reading a really uplifting book ,"The Gift of Giving Life", written by LDS women about pregnancy, birth and our divine nature as women to be able to bring life into this world through a partnership with God. It's really been a wonderful book to read, I would highly recommend it for any woman actually. Anyhow, sprinkled throughout this book are birth stories from other LDS women and how their experience and faith helped them through the birth, whether it be natural or by C-section. As I would read the sections on C-section births, I would desperately try to connect myself with being at peace with that situation, should it arise. I didn't get that peace. I would tell myself to keep searching and all will be OK if I just go forward in faith.

I wasn't really expecting this fear to go away, I just assumed I would be able to come to terms with the idea and deal with it when and if it should arise. 

A couple of days ago I went to see our midwife for my monthly appointment and the dreaded glucose test. Because this would be a longer appointment, I left Charly and Piper with a dear friend and kept Winnie with me. As our very cheerful midwife entered the room she informed me that from here on out I would be seeing her every two weeks, as it is for women in their third trimester. The idea that we are nearing the end kind of jolted me. I'm not ready, I thought to myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm of course ready to add to our family and love our precious son, but it's super important for me to feel mentally and physically prepared for birth, which at that point in our discussion I wasn't. It's like gearing up for the ultimate marathon, one does not just simply go into it without any preparation. Anyhow, this appointment with our lovely midwife was different. Usually I don't engage in heavy conversation, I am friendly but have an attitude of someone who has done this three times before.  Jenean measured my fundal height and concluded that Ephraim is just where he should be, I'm measuring right where we should for this time in the pregnancy. This fact made me happy because, more than once, I have been approached by people asking when I'm going to "pop" and them being totally shocked that I still had three more months. Seriously, I was starting to have issues with it. None the less, everything is well.  So, here is where my light bulb moment occurs. I hadn't ever planned on mentioning anything about my fears of a Cesarean to our midwife. Seriously, who wants to put that on your provider's radar. Certainly not me. It was then that the words of all my concerns came spewing out of me like a faucet that had no off switch. I was rather surprised that I let the lid off that one. Suddenly, though, I felt like I needed to "prepare" for any situation. All I could think about was being prepared. As much as I hated to be talking about my fears, it was relief of pressure I had no idea was bubbling up. 

Every single word my midwife spoke felt like it was delivered especially for me. I am thankful she is a woman of faith! She went through procedures and calmed me almost immediately. It was the weirdest thing as I sat their for thirty minutes discussing c-sections with her. Slowly, the Lord was taking my fears from me.

As soon as I walked out of her office I felt physically lighter. I'm not even kidding. My body felt different, my mind was clearer and I felt like I stood more upright. It was then that I remembered the scripture, D&C 38:30 " I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore treasure up wisdom in your bosoms....if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."

The Lord has not been leading my heart in fear! The Lord knew exactly what I needed to be prepared to birth in a hospital. He knew my fears of a Cesarean and how that has hindered my body physically from moving forward. How could I be so blind?

I'm not afraid anymore, in fact, I don't think Ephraim and I will have any problems with the birth. I now know that, by preparing for every aspect of what could happen, I am now mentally at peace with moving forward. The Lord wanted to give me peace by being prepared. Such a simple concept, yet one that took me so long to understand. 

It's funny, as I have reflected on the past few months, I've been so tired. I've felt exhausted beyond belief and I thought it was because I was just physically tired from growing a human being. No, this physical exhaustion was overflowing from the mental exhaustion I was causing myself by worrying.  People didn't ask me if I was due any day now because I was looking extra large, it was because I had the countenance of a woman who was ready to be done. And, in all fairness, that was sort of true. I had the presence of someone who was ready to birth but the mentality of a woman who was scared and hesitant to move forward. 

I know with all my heart that our Heavenly Father loves every one of us and is aware of our situations and trials. I'm so grateful for this knowledge!  What a blessing to be able to move forward with not only a stronger physical body, but with a strengthened testimony as well.

Monday, March 24, 2014

This is Me

So basically, I just spent ten minutes venting in my private journal about things that have been really bothering me lately. Sorry, but for you guys, this is the only clue you will get on that note. For realz, no one wants to read that and I'm hopeful that when I am done growing our delightful little Sir Ephraim, I will find my writings laughable. 

For now, enjoy this visual we took when I first found out we were pregnant. I was displaying my "angry" face for my emotions reveal to the family. Remember this? Who knew it would come in handy for me now.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Drop That Microphone, Girl!

Tomorrow I am going in for my check-up with the midwife. To prepare for this meeting, I have been collecting concerns on a piece of paper and I'm keeping it in my purse, you know, so I can whip it out and go through the list during my appointment. Our midwife is really pretty great actually, and totally understands our background and previous birthing locations. She has mentioned a time or two that maybe we ought to tour the hospital just to get a feel for it, but then she will say maybe we shouldn't because it will draw us back home. She gets me. She gets us.

With that being said, I know she won't be the only one in the room when Ephraim arrives. I'm concerned about what may happen in the aftermath. Want to know what I worry about? Baths, retractions, and gowns. Yup, I'm worried about the bath. Dear nurse, please don't bathe our baby! I want so badly to smell Ephraim in his original scent, I don't mind the vernix one bit, in fact it's a delicious smelling natural lotion that rubs right in. Johnson and Johnson is nice and all but it's not the smell I want associated with our fresh baby. Seriously, fresh babies smell out-of-this-world good!

Is it unrealistic to think I could have my little Ephraim in either mine or Nate's arms the entire hospital stay? I think not. So my desire is to not have anyone sweep him away, even if it is just to a side cart next to me. They do in room care at this hospital but I would like to change that to "in-arm" care. We definitely won't be circumcising and so I'm kind of thinking I should make a sign that gently asks to not even go near his penis.  Seriously, don't even look like you are going to touch it! I've heard of some nurses retracting the foreskin and that is a big no no!

Also, I want to wear my own gown. I can do that, right? I mean, so long as there is access to the goodies.  Just a few small requests for when I have our baby, which, by the way, will be the property of the Campbell family and not the CEO of Baylor Mckinney.  I don't mean to be picky, oh wait, yes I do. Who am I kidding?

My dream is to go to the hospital in the very late stages of labor (having labored on my own on the streets of McKinney, or maybe in a fancy hotel), giving them zero time to even hook me up to an IV, "just in case", push out our sweet smelling, intact baby, nurse the little guy, get my street clothes on, take a shower and drop the microphone as I'm walking out with Ephraim, the girls, and Nate by my side. Yep, that's the plan. Wonder what the midwife will say to my requests demands.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What's In a Name?

Naming babies in the Campbell house is kind of a big deal, and when I say 'kind of', I mean it's HUGE. I like to have names picked out before I'm out of the first trimester, so obviously Nate and I have been discussing names for quite a while.  When Nate told me about how he has had this name on his mind for a bit (about 6 months or so before we found out I was pregnant), I was shocked. Usually we find a name that we both feel meshes well with the others and then we are good. This time, I was kind of scratching my head with the name he gave me but I was totally willing to go with it because of the strong feelings he had about the name. Am I building the suspense enough for ya?  Anyhow, I was really digging the name Harry and, let's be honest, that was never going to happen with baby number four. Coincidentally we agreed if our babe was a girl, her name would have been Harriet Drew. I still love that name so much, I think it's partly because one of the general authorities of our church, Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, speaks so lovely about his sweet wife, also named Harriet. I've always adored that, and, it would have been a great excuse to use the nickname "Harri".

So, now here we are with a name, for our son, that has molded to our hearts deeply. I immediately thought of him being called this name from the moment we found out we were having a boy, which surprised me, because up until that point I was still kind of not sure how I felt about it. Don't get me wrong, the name is great, I just wasn't sure how or if it fit with the Campbells. Now I see it fits perfectly.  Every day, it seems, I find something new that melts my heart even more over the name. 

I guess I should be thanking Winnie at this point for allowing us to share our joy with others. Heck, this, I figure, could also be a super cool missionary opportunity!

Soooo, without further ado, our future missionary will be named.......

Please share in our joy, and remember there is an ultra sensitive pregnant momma who is not too keen on hearing anything negative about her baby,*wink*. Go ahead, paint on your smile and go with it. I promise you will learn to love it, and if not, eh, I'm good with that too. If Ephraim is a new name for you, it's pronounced like this, (click here). Ever heard of Ephraim from the Old Testament? Book of Mormon? Let me tell you more! After all, I'd be living up to his name, that's for sure! You can also click here for some general scriptural guide on the name.

As for the middle name, Bear, Nate and I have been dying to use that name for years and it's probably the coolest middle name ever for the first Campbell son. Made even cooler by a Google discovery we found after we picked the name. Ever heard the legend of Old Ephraim? Apparently, back in the early 1900s, the biggest, baddest and strongest bear around, named Ephraim, roamed near the Northern Utah region. Seeing as how my delicious hubby is from Utah and has probably heard of him growing up, we laughed at the coincidence in our choice of middle name paired with Ephraim. We're awesome like that.

There you have it folks! Sleep well, my friends. Sleep well!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Get Your Derby On!

Last week, before we headed down to San Antonio, the girls and I went to our very first Pinewood Derby. Did I say Pinewood Derby? I meant to say, Outlaw Kicking Butt Derby! True to his wonderful daddy form, Nathan helped Charly with the carving of her very first pinewood car just days before he had to head out of town for some training. Normally the gals don't get to participate in the actual derby, but this year all the girls from our church 8-12 participated in the after race called 'Outlaw'......don't quote me on that though. My knowledge on all things scouting is in the negatives. Hey, I have all girls you know!  Well, did anyways. I'm taking the eight years I have to prep for scouts very seriously, which is why I didn't look up a single rule for the derby this year. I figured the only rule was that the kids design the cars, carve them with some help from dad and then paint the heck out of them to resemble a cheetah, the FASTEST land animal. Naturally.

I had a rude awakening when dining with some lovely friends the night before the derby. All the stops were pulled out for their children's cars after dinner. It. Was. On. I'm talking weights, graphite powder and some major drill action to get it all race ready. Meanwhile, back at the Campbell house, Charly's car sat perfectly painted, wheels on and not a drop of weights, powder or special sanding to give it the extra push it needed to crush the opponents. What the heck? I hung my head low knowing that Charly's thoughtfully painted car had not a chance of winning. Oh well, there is always next year, right? I seriously could not believe all the extra enhancements these cars had when they showed up for the race. How did Nate not know about this? Isn't that in some sort of man code? 

The night of the derby, we arrived early to help with set up. There were a couple of other kids there and they were racing their cars. Just as I expected, Charly's car was seriously lagging behind. Not only were the wheels not sanded, but her car lacked the weight to keep up the big guns. As a friendly gesture, one of the dads hooked her wheels up with some graphite powder. This helped the spinning tremendously, although clearly she was still lacking the 1.5 ounces to be up to par with the others. The next thing I know Charly has some spoons and a quarter literally taped to her car. Not only did this bring her car up to the 5 ounces weight limit, but it also seemed to be the trick to make it the swiftest car around. Charly's cheetah car with spoons, blue tape, and a quarter dominated the competition! She took first place! What?!! Tell me now if you have ever heard of a cooler underdog story! The competition was fierce! Look at these kids cheering, they took it very seriously! Charly, I mean "Spoons", was stoked and completely shocked!  
This super awesome adoptive grandpa was the mastermind behind her super aerodynamic spoon mobile. I loved all the help/support she got, and totally wish Nate was there to see her victory, but I'm sure he is grateful as I am to have our kids surrounded by love even when he is away.  Happy Derby, ya'll!  Next year, I'm not sure if we will make a spoon replica or get our hands dirty while melting metals to weight our car down. Nate, let's get the game plan started now!