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!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Birthday Plans

Friday was a great day.  I had a non-frustrating phone call with a representative from our insurance company. With the help of this gentleman, we found a midwife in network Nate and I could seek the services of to have the desired birth we desired, rather, I desired. The idea of where I would give birth has been a road block for me this whole pregnancy. Nate has been content and confident in our current choice for the birth, which by the way, is the only hospital near us which features a birthing suite complete with birthing tub. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Well, for me, not so much. I have been dragging my feet this whole time lacking the commitment to cling on to this location. The hour plus drive, the security monitors, the rules, THE REGULATIONS, and did I mention the hospital environment as a whole! Collectively this gave me the anxiety that would launch me into investigator mode so I could find a way out of it. I really did not want to be subjected to the politics of a hospital for the sake of saving money. Friday, I was optimistic that I found the way. Or at least I thought I did. I was determined to do what I could to find a way to have a homebirth-type environment, without having the financial burdens associated with it.

The conversation I had with Mr. Insurance man was probably the fourth or fifth conversation I've had  with someone from Blue Cross/ Blue Shield trying to find some sort of loop hole to having a homebirth covered.  The news that, by some miracle, there was a midwife in our network who would be covered 100% under our plan was extremely exciting and hopeful for me. This meant I wouldn't have to worry about all the nonsense I worked up in my head about having a hospital birth, and believe me, I had a long list of the cons the hospital would provide. I would be able to have the safe birth I wanted in an environment that would be conducive to my needs, as well as our son's needs. With this new found knowledge, I felt eager to schedule an appointment for the week and get going on plans to birth either at home or the birth center associated with this particular midwife.  Great strides in my quest to have a homebirth covered, right?! How awesome, to have a homebirth and not have to pay $3-5,000 out of pocket which, prior to this, was our only known option.

This whole weekend I have been super eager for Monday to arrive so I could get the go from the birth center that our insurance was indeed accepted and we could move forward. As I was getting ready for church I wasn't even thinking of our birthing options, I sort of assumed all was settled out and we would have a homebirth, and that was that. Funny the inspiration we can get when we aren't even seeking it.  I sat in the chapel as I normally do, fidgeting with Winnie, answering Piper's list of questions, and trying to manage my hunger when I had an interesting thought. As a sweet gal from church was delivering her talk I had this come to my mind and burn in my heart, "Even if I talk to the midwife at the birth center, we should still go to the hospital for this birth." This idea was then followed by this statement, "Our choices will be inspired by the Holy Ghost.".  I felt a huge lump in my throat as I wrote this seemingly out of place thought down on paper so I could share it with Nate at that exact moment.  The lump wasn't necessarily out of sadness, but out of love for our Savior. I knew that He wouldn't lead me astray and all of the sudden my heart felt OK to birth in the hospital. I will go and do as the Lord has commanded me to do. This personal revelation came as a surprise as I wasn't even actively searching for it. To be completely honest, I didn't even want the hospital to be a choice in our plans. In my mind, I wanted a homebirth and I should have one, especially after having two beautiful births at home previously. This is where I have grown accustomed to be comfortable and where I feel the safest. Shortly after, with my brain in a state of shock, I was searching through the scriptures when I came across these found in Helaman, 

5:30 "And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul."

5:47 " Peace, peace be unto you because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world. "

I can't explain any better than what the above scriptures state as to how it came to me and how I felt. The Lord gives us commandments and then delivers us with the peace to be able to do the things he commands of us. Elder Ian S. Ardern states, " The receipt of revelation depends on our faithfulness, but the clarity of the revelation depends on our listening skills. ". How full of gratitude I am on this rainy Sunday for a loving Father in heaven who, through His own grace, has allowed me to be able to not only listen to his words but to recognize it as it comes to me, and most importantly, to act upon it. 
As tomorrow comes and goes, I won't even tease the temptation that lies for me at the birth center. As tempted as I want to be to at least call and investigate, I wont. I have my answer. I have the plan for these next few months. As unconventional it is for me to have a baby at a hospital, I have faith that it is exactly the place He wants us to be as we welcome our son into the world. With this faith, I have peace. I feel comforted. I will move forward in faith just as we have done in the past, and continue to do, with our children. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

She Now Knows

I could never find a box large enough to box all that happened this weekend! Yes, we found out we are having a baby brother. Yes, it was fantastic and all things great, but that wasn't the only big happening in the Campbell household this weekend.

As our Sunday was winding down, we all sat around the couch to talk about the week. It was then that Charly, who will be ten in a few weeks, asked me to come talk to her upstairs. I knew something serious was up, but I wouldn't have guessed she would come to me again with a question she came to me about nearly two months back. As she held back tears, and after long minutes of waiting, she finally asked me about Santa and then started sobbing.

I always have a prayer in my heart when we have conversations, so as to answer her questions in a way that is best for her. I was so glad I was paying attention during our primary lesson at church because that is the first thought that came to my mind. The kids learned about the Plan of Happiness just hours before. How does Santa fit into the Plan of Happiness? It was actually a really lovely and smooth conversation we had, when we talked about The Plan of Salvation and how Christ came to earth and was resurrected after he died, Charly could see how the idea of Santa being around on the earth forever just didn't fit into His plan. When we die, we go live with our Heavenly Father and even Santa doesn't escape that wonderful fate. By the end of our discussion, the worry left my heart and she was smiling. She is genuinely OK with what she now knows, and I even think she feels a bit more special knowing she is in on it with Nate and I. I was so thankful in that moment, and now even, for the guidance our Heavenly Father gives me on a daily basis. Yes, this wasn't a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but for Charly this conversation could have been detrimental. When she came to me with this question a couple of months ago I wasn't ready to answer it in this way. I remember reading a letter about how to tell kids about Santa when they asked, but something about it just didn't feel right for Nathan and I so we delayed the answering a little bit longer. I had no idea it was still heavy on her heart.

Charly is such a gentle and understanding girl, she has a deep understanding and connection to things that catch me off guard. She just gets it, she always has. I love that about her. While her deep emotions can be overwhelming sometimes, I'm also so grateful for the ways she feels and thinks. Even this morning as we were discussing different climates, Piper mentioned that Santa lives where it is very cold. Charly and I caught eyes,  and then she winked and smiled. Oh, what a blessing! I always had in my mind that this day would come and it would be horrible, but I think for my little Charly and I, it was a day to strengthen our testimonies a bit more and to build a closer bond together. Just to top the sweet moment even more, I read this touching blog post from her this afternoon. I asked her to write a paragraph about something exciting that happened this weekend. I thought for sure she would write about her little brother. Instead, this is what she wrote..... 

I Should Have Known

Hello, Monday! The Campbell household is slowly recovering from our incredible weekend, although, I am still pinching myself and wondering if the last three days have all been one very long dream. Saturday night, I did not sleep a wink. All I could think about was how it will be to have a son, I also think I was afraid to close my eyes fearing this was all just a dream. Thoughts have been running wild through my mind all weekend and I just can't stop talking to myself about everything I'm thinking. Mostly, though, I've been thinking of the symptoms and happenings that have occurred up to this point that I should have really known our little babe was in fact a boy. Here is my "should have known" list....

1. My pregnancy symptoms have been quite different from any of the girls. First, there was the breast tenderness, something I have NEVER experienced. Let's not forget the constant feeling of hunger despite eating all the time and never feeling full. THAT should have been my first clue there is a little boy growing in there.  And, of course, there was the sever nausea that went on and on and on leading me in bed for two months. Seriously, it was bad! So bad, I have been convinced I will never be pregnant again. While I still almost stand by that statement, I find myself not so sure anymore. Finding out that we are having a son makes it all so worth it! The severe nausea makes so much sense to me now, it was necessary. Did it suck, of course, but it is all worth it! By the way, I'm still working down the dosage on my anti-nausea medicine.

2. One of the coolest things that's happened during the pregnancy is the personal revelations Nate and I received about this baby.  Normally, I don't know if I would be so open about this but I feel like it's OK to share these experiences. I have already mentioned  how Nate has had a boy name on his mind even before I got pregnant, but there is something even cooler related to this experience. From the onset, we have talked about names and Nate has felt very strongly about the name he has had on his mind. I, on the other hand, have not been such a fan of the name. It's not a weird or made-up name but it is somewhat different and not heard of often,  and it sounds like another name that I wouldn't chose for our babe. I've not really been on board with it, although, I trusted that Nate has had strong feelings about it and respected that so I was OK with going along with it. Then we get to finding out we are having a boy. Remember, up until this point I wasn't so fond of the name. As soon as we opened the gift, the first thought I had was the name Nate has been talking about. I knew with a surety that would be his name, and the thought melted my core. I love how, at just the right moment and in the perfect time, the Lord allowed for me a change of heart. He works kind of perfectly in that regard, doesn't He? So, what's the name? You'll have to wait until the birth for that one, for now, I have loads of nicknames for the little prince.

3. Another early pregnancy experience, which is my favorite, occurred during a weekly Family Home Evening lesson. This one makes me just want to shout for joy! I can't even believe I didn't have to faith to trust this feeling I had at the time I had it! We got on the topic of temples and eternal families and I had the strong feeling in my heart that this was a boy and when he leaves on his mission, it will be the first time all of us, as a family, will be able to go through the temple together!  I remember even saying, 'Yep, this is a boy, he is our missionary and this is going to happen!'. My heart burned, I knew it was true! I imagined all three girls married, and Nate and I watching little brother go through the temple. Brings tears to my eyes even thinking about what a special day it will be to have my whole family in the temple at the same time.  I guess as time went on I forgot how strong I felt about that event, and then of course had to throw in some self doubt as to whether or not it was just wishful thinking. Weird how that works, isn't it?

I know there are more, but for now this is all I'm able to recall. I will definitely write them down as they come to me. I'm having a stronger desire to blog more often and document the happenings surrounding our family as we prepare to welcome a little brother!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Looks Like We May Need That Shower After All!

This is the most epic of blog posts I think I have ever had to try to get down in writing. This was a day that will go down in Campbell Family history! Today was the day we found out a tender, loving, sweet, like-his-daddy, little prince has been added to our family!

I feel like Nate and I were pretty unsure of what our little babe was going to be, although Nate has had a boy name picked out from even before I got pregnant, which is totally not like him. Me? I had the usually nausea, only it wasn't that usual considering it is still sneaking around on occasion and it caused me to be bed-ridden for nearly two months. Such a small price to pay for the blessing we have received! Am I right, ladies? Let's hear it for "some" throwing up! Woot, woot!

Here's me and my main squeeze totally unaware of what the next few minutes would bring. He's pretty cute, ay? I love a man who can sport a pink bow tie!

As you can see, our gaggle of girls were divided in the gender pole. Piper was the only vote for girl, but then it turned out she just wanted to wear the pink shirt. She's the best! Charly has been super convinced the whole time that it was a boy, she's smart like that. Nate and I were trying to go as "Switzerland" as possible, as to not show a preference. Good plan, right? By the way, we of course were just so excited to get to put a name on our little babe, girl or boy. Also, did you notice Winnie's face?  Go ahead, place your own caption there. Come on, it's fun!
My mom, Kristy, Granny, and best friend Sally came up from San Antonio to share in the excitement, although I am kicking myself for not having any pictures with me and Sally! Seriously, where was my brain? Oh yeah, I'll get to that. You should probably take in all the glory of my mom's beautiful face right now, as she totally has that lovely gift, as do I, to turn into Kim Kardashian when she is doing the happy cry. I love that about you though mom!
Before we even get to the revealing of the gender part of this party, I must give a huge thanks to these lovely ladies with me below. As we have lived here for just over five years, we have made some fantastic friends. Along with friends we have made, I also feel like we have picked up those who just become a part of our family. This is how I feel about Meagan, Adriane(not pictured) and their most beautiful, sweet, and loving mom, Shelley. I find it near impossible to even find the words of gratitude to express how special these gals have made me and my family feel. I adore and love them, and feel so blessed to be included in their family. Are they gorgeous or what? Best part, that beauty radiates from the inside as well!
So, without further ado, here is how the scoop went down. The party decorations were spectacular, seriously, pictures do not do them justice. Shelley paid the most attention to every single detail and it was beautiful! My good friend, Jasmine made cupcakes that were TO DIE FOR!

Nate, the girls, and myself went to see our midwife on Tuesday, which was also the appointment for our one and only sonogram. I purposely made the appointment early in the week just in case our little one's legs were crossed. This was really the first experience we had with the whole "finding out the sex" early. With Winnie and Charly we waited until they were born, and with Piper we found out when I was nearing eight months and it was on a whim. All experiences were special, but this gender reveal is in a league all its own. Nate and I made a card for the sonographer to fill out after the sonogram. We then handed over our secret envelope to Shelley later that evening. I'm pretty proud to say that Nate and I didn't even touch the envelope after I stuck it securely in my purse. We were really looking forward to having genuine surprise and sharing it with our friends.  I must give some major credit to Shelley! She has got the best poker face I have ever seen. There was no sign on her face or her actions today that would lead us to sway either way.

Here it is- the gift. Oh, and what a gift it was! Shelley wrapped the outfit of the gender and this was how we would find out what we were having. The closer the time got to opening it, the more hot flashes I got! I was sooo ready! In my plans I wanted to take as long of a time to unwrap the present as we possibly could. Of course, my plans are not always what really happens. Ha! Because I am choking on my words, here is the link to the actual reveal, just in case you missed it! Also, for your viewing pleasure, I have included the still shots (below) of the raw emotion from the reveal, enjoy!

Did you hear, did you get that? The Campbells are having a BOY!!! Milk-a-WHAAAAT?? I still am pinching myself. This whole day feels like a dream. Not only did our family get to place a name and sex to our baby, but we got to share it in the most amazing of ways- with our friends. It's such a wonderful feeling when you are away from the majority of your family, and yet have family all around you.  Look at all these happy faces full of joy! I have literally felt like we have been in the middle of the warmest hugs all day today. This moment was so special for us, made even more special surrounded by those we love! 

The girls all ran up to Nate and I afterward and were so excited. This little boy is going to be the most nurtured boy on the planet with three mothers in training to help rear him up. He is already dubbed, "our little prince", and I'm not even ashamed to say that. Will someone please grab my mother and give her a squeeze? She was/is so happy!! Did I mention this will be the first grandson for my parents after seven girls! Yes, SEVEN!! It's like we are experiencing the first child all over again. How cool is that?!

Nate and I have the deepest of gratitude for everyone who has shared in our utter joy! This is a day that will be in the Campbell family top ten list for sure! We're having a BOOOYYYY!!!!