Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Merida was due today :-)

Ah, what a wonderful feeling to know that she is already here :-)  I've only had two go past their due date, and not by much either. But boy, if I thought I got enough haggering the couple of weeks before she came, after the due date would have been a nightmare :-)  I got just a couple of pictures of Merida while she was awake.  I will have to find some baby pics of Aubrey (or you can look in the archives in Jan. of 2011) and see that Merida looks just like him!

And, no she is not green, I got the white balance off and not sure how to correct it in Picmonkey!

Monday, January 20, 2014

I am holding our baby!!!!

I am holding our baby...

G I R L !!!!

Can you believe it?!?  I can't!!!  A GIRL!!!  Our pattern was broken...and I wouldn't have it any other way!

The Lord was beyond good to us.  Beyond.  As a matter of fact her middle name reflects that.  Every prayer was answered!  Every. One.

For the men folk I have the *clean* short version:

Her name:  Merida Mercy
Her weight:  7lbs 3oz  (NO weight problems there!!)
Her length:  20 3/4 inches
Date of birth: Jan. 18th
Time of birth:  9:55 PM

The baby is doing great, and so is mommy :-)

Now for anyone who wants all the details.....and men, if you are still reading this don't blame me for any psychological damage that may ensue :-)  Be prepared, this is very long, and I am sure it doesn't always flow well.  But, I was trying to write things down when I had the time, and if something came to me I threw it in there too.  But for the long version:

I've written so far about some of the *somethings* that were going on over the week...all working toward labor, just not labor itself.  Jeremiah was to be out of the house for the day, about 45 minutes away, accessible by phone at all times.  He was gone before any of us woke up.  I woke up cranky, as I have been for the last week (a sign my hormone levels were changing, getting ready for the birth).  I got a few things done, all slowly, taking breaks here and there.  I felt bad that it was really cold out and I didn't have the energy or inclination of dressing up 3 little boys to play outside for 15 minutes.  I really did feel bad about that, but I knew that would put me over the edge.

Around 11:30 AM I started having braxton hicks contractions.  Definitely just the 'regular' ones, but they were coming every 10 to 20 minutes.  They were nothing to take note of, and I never timed any of them.  They stopped around 3:30 PM.  The last two however, were much stronger, and they ***definitely*** moved the baby down!  Oh. My!  But then they all just stopped.  I consoled myself that they at least didn't start at 10 PM like my other ones that kept me awake a few nights this past week.  

Jeremiah called me at 4:30 to check in on me.  I told him what had gone on that day, and that I was not in a happy mood.  It didn't help that he said that they were being served dinner, and that he would probably be home around 9 or 10 PM.  My evil thoughts were....You are being served dinner, while I have to figure out what to feed everyone here?!?  Um, yeah, like I said, I was *cranky*.  I had a feeling something was up, because that was pretty petty!  But thankfully I knew I was being hormonal and I kept those thoughts to myself :-)

An hour later I had finished up with a bunch of dishes and needed to lie down because my lower back was sore...a VERY rare thing, something that happened right before the other 'working' braxton hicks early that week.  The girls made a quick and easy dinner, and as I took the first bite I had a contraction. It was not of the braxton hicks variety, but more like the working ones.  Again, hey, at least they are coming now, and NOT at 10 PM, thankyouverymuch.  I looked at the time, it was almost 5:30 PM.  

About 10 minutes later or so, another one, and then a bit sooner another.  Hmmmm.  Well, it was starting to get dark out, and though I could have sent the girls out to feed the animals, I knew that getting up and walking around would have been one part of the "Is this official labor?" test.  I got up and fed the animals, with a few more contractions along the way.  Hmmmm. Well, the next part of the test is to take a shower, and then to lay back down.  I had a contraction when I went into the bathroom, had one in the shower, and one as I was leaving the bathroom....that all took place in 15 minutes.  Oh. My.  And, for the record, these had a bite to them, they were not pleasant.  I had a very bad, horribly, sinking feeling that this was going to go like my last two births! Those both started off with painful contractions from the first one.  I wanted to cry.  I looked at the time, and thought, well, this could be good or bad, at least labor wasn't starting at 10 PM, like I prayed it wouldn't....BUT if it is like my past two labors that still meant that I could be giving birth early the next morning.  I prayed, "Oh, God, please NO!"  And I thought/prayed/hoped/whispered almost....if only I could be done by 10 PM!!!

I was on my way to lie down, when I decided to call the midwife, since we have a land line phone and I would have to get back up again.  I called her to say I thought things were starting, and that I was giving her the heads up (something she requested).  I called our friend who was coming to sit with the other kiddos to give her the heads up as well.  I told them I would call them back in a while to let them know what was going on.  I decided not to call Jeremiah as I really didn't want him to have to leave where he was if this was all a false call.

I lay down in my bed.  I didn't have a contraction for 10 minutes and when I did, it was seemingly quite long lasting.  But the next one, though closer in time, was shorter.  A few shorter ones followed by a bigger one.  These bigger ones led me to empty my bladder, which always led me back to bed with a bigger one, followed by a couple of smaller ones, and then a longer one.  I decided to time the second 'batch'.  The long ones were 1 min. 15 seconds, the shorter ones, 30 sec.  I really couldn't stand the getting up to potty every two long contractions.  So I got up.  And that brought on contractions every 2 to 4 minutes that lasted only 20 to 30 seconds.  Oy, what was my body trying to do?!?

These clearly were not going away.  I was clearly not handling things well, because my whole thoughts revolved around...labor JUST started, it's already painful, and I might have hours and hours and hours of this left to go!  I wanted to cry.  I think I probably did.  I figured that was my cue to call the midwife back.  I believe it was around 8 PM, or so when I did.  My doula, who works along with my midwife, literally lives less than a mile from me.  So the  midwife said she would send her over, and did I want the doula to assess me first, then call her...or did I just want the midwife to head on out.  I asked her to please head on out as I was totally unsure of myself and a bit freaked out. The funny thing was one of her questions for me was if I had to breathe through any of them.  Nope.  I got off the phone, walked to the living room, started having a contraction....and I needed to breathe through it!  Ha!  I had to breathe through all the ones that followed as well.

The midwife went on to remind me what I told my friend about the herbal uterine toner...that even though these may be hurting, I may have a shorter labor.  Somehow it was easier to give that advice than to receive it!  I hung up and decided to call Jeremiah.  He picked up the phone and I said, "Things are starting, you need to come home."  I was really, really hoping he would not ask for details to see if I was really *sure*.  I didn't think I could handle it. Thankfully all he said was, "I'm on my way right now!"  He did call about a little later from a gas station to tell me he would only speed enough to not get a ticket.  Ha, ha.  I told him things were not that imminent, and that I would rather he not risk things.  

Our friend and our doula made it to my house about the same time.  Huge blessings I tell you!  The kids don't quite get it that mommy needed some quiet :-)  I don't remember hearing a peep from them after my friend arrived.  The doula asked what she could do.  I think by this time, or soon thereafter Jeremiah came home.  He and the doula got to work on setting up the birthing pool.  Which I really should name, labor pool, as I've never given birth in it!  I really, really needed water right then and there, so I jumped in the shower.  Our water heater isn't the best, so I asked the girls to start boiling water on all 4 stove burners.  Jeremiah jumped in the shower as well, as he had been outside all day.  

By this point the pool was set up in my room and in the process of filling.  I had remembered that I planned on leaning forward during contractions this time around as I always have an anterior cervical lip come transition time, and I was hoping to avoid that this time around.  I also remembered to use the 'tummy lift' technique as well, which helps the baby's head to line up properly with the force of the contractions, making each contraction more effective.  I found standing made handling the contractions much easier to deal with.  But again, this was just like Jonah's labor, where I had to stand....all night long!  Not only did I have to stand, but the contractions, though they only lasted about 20 to 30 seconds were very painful at this point and I only had about 10 seconds in between them!  I have never had that happen to me in any of my other labors.  This was scary!  I mean, would they get stronger and longer, with that same 10 second break?  I was freaking out to say the least.  Then during one of the contractions, right in the  middle of it, it was like someone threw a switch and all of a sudden, I had to vocalize to get through them.  They changed from being short and closer together to being longer and a bit spaced out....a bit more.  

Now, although things were painful, it has been much worse in my past labors, and with this labor moving along so fast (note to self, that probably means that labor IS progressing along fast as well!), I just couldn't comprehend things getting much worse.  The midwife was still on her way, she lives over an hour away, and the doula couldn't check me.  Was I only 5 cm's, was I 8 cm's with a bulging bag of water (what has happened to me in most of my labors, that makes transition last 1 to 2 hours!!!)?  By this point I was having Jeremiah push on my lower back, the very first time I've had back labor.  That really helped.  It also really helped that I could finally get in the birth pool.  We didn't have a lot of water in it, but it was enough, and it really helped with the pain.  But after a little while I *HAD* to get out.  I *HAD* to stand.  After a handful more contractions another 'switch' got flipped and mid contraction the intensity skyrocketted!  I have never experienced anything like that before, and it totally caught me off guard....I started screaming.  After that the next contraction left me feeling like I needed to push.

Now that may have been a welcomed thought..its pushing time, but for 7 labors, this time has been met with, "no, you are not ready to push, you are 8-9 cm's with a bulging bag of water."  The midwife was still not here so I tried really hard to get through these excedingly  horribly painful contractions, but at the end of every one I couldn't help but push a little.  Thankfully the midwife arrived with the 2nd or 3rd of those types of contractions, by the 4th she was finally able to check me.  The verdict?  "The baby's head is *right* there, you are all set to push whenever you want."  WHAT??  Did I hear her right?  So asked her, "Are you sure?  Are you sure I don't have a cervical lip?"  The midwife: "No, you are all set, the baby's head is right there."

I had been using my be to lean against, so I just hopped right on it, only inches away from the edge before another one of *those* contractions hit me.  And I pushed.  And no pain!  All but one of my pushing stages have been very painful, and very long (one or more hours).  The second push and I had Jeremiah and doula on each side of me and the midwife all ready.  The third push and I could NOT believe what I was feeling!  As the contraction started to let up I felt the baby's head starting to move past the pubic bone (that is where all my other baby's get stuck and sit there for an hour!).  Jeremiah could tell I started to relax, and told the doula to let my leg down.  But I yelled out, NO I need to keep pushing.  There was no way I was going to let that head slip backwards!  And sure enough her head crowned.  I was in total shock.  Can this really be happening?  For some reason the contraction intensified instead of stopping.  So out popped a head!  The shoulders seemed to take longer than it should have, but I guess she had her cord wrapped around her neck and the midwife was trying to deal with that.  I saw her as she was half way out with the cord over her shoulder, and then it was over, she was out!  I kept repeating, "Oh my God!" over and over and over again.  I think I said that for the first few minutes.  I was truly overwhelmed with the idea that my biggest prayer (besides health and safety) for this labor was answered....a baby in three pushes.  I was almost speechless, except that I was truly calling out to God in complete thanks and worship over what just happened.

In the past Jeremiah has seen the gender of the baby as it slips out, but this time he didn't.  The baby wasn't crying, or really moving much as she came out and the midwife said, "Kerri, talk to him, talk to the baby."  And Jeremiah asks, "It's a boy?"  The midwife replied, "Oh, no, I don't know."  She had said "he" only because I've talked about this baby always with the gender "he" :-)  Jeremiah wanted to see, but I said to get everyone else in the room first, and we would find out as a family.  The girls and Jonah had wanted to watch the baby being born, but everything happened so fast we never called them in!  As we waited for everyone to come from each corner of the house, I looked at the time.  And I cried.  I cried and cried, and the only thoughts that went through my head right then were, "I don't deserve this!"  That thought just kept running through my head over and over.  The time?  Ten o'clock on the dot (the baby was born at 9:55).  That prayer/thought/whisper, my total fear of *starting* labor at 10 PM and going all night it was 10 PM, and I had our baby in my arms.  

Everyone finally made it in, and I looked....A GIRL!  We all just laughed and whooped and hollered.  I looked again just to be sure!  How could this be?  Ha, ha!  I thought, this is our Merida.  My name 'thing' coming to pass for the 8th time?  We were still undecided about names, and Jeremiah had suggested that I re-think some his favorites.  But all the kids kept calling her Merida.  We told them her name was still to be determined.  But, you can see, we kept that name, and after a brief discussion of virtues for the middle name, Mercy was decided on by both of us as the perfect fit.  

The placenta came quickly, about 10 or 15 minutes later (that is quick for me).    I realized that I was still on the edge of the bed, and that I really wanted to lay back and stretch my legs out.  So we set things up for that to happen, and then it was just time to look over the baby, talk to her, smell her....ahhh, that beautiful special time after all is said and done!  

The midwife did the newborn exam as I watched on.  And then it was time to snuggle up again.  The baby slept great that night, me?...not so much.  I was on cloud nine and couldn't fall asleep!  All the kids got to bed really, really, really late!  We had a few cranky kiddos come morning, but that was fine.  Who would want to miss out on such a special time of meeting their new sibling.  

Recovery has been SO MUCH EASIER!!!  Oh. My. Goodness.  When you don't spend hours in transition, and then an hour or more of pushing?  Wow, that really makes a HUGE difference :-)  I'm still taking it easy, in bed most of the day with the baby, getting up for the bathroom only.  I've got my little nest over here, and I'm settled in for the week :-)  

We are all smitten with the new babe.  Aubrey was a bit upset that it was a girl and not a boy!!  Ha, ha!  But he's starting to get over it now.  All the kids, boys included, keep asking for a turn to hold the baby.  Jonah is very insistent about having a long turn holding her.  Jonah spent the most time talking to the baby while she was in the womb. I had told him only a couple of weeks ago that the baby was going to recognize his voice.  All three boys wanted turns holding her and so I had Aubrey take a turn first. He was talking, but the baby just kind of did her looking all over the place thing.  Jed was next, and he really didn't say much of anything, nor did he when I was pregnant (to the baby in utero).  Again, she just looked all around.  Then it was Jonah's turn.  He started talking to her, and immediately she turned to look at him, and kept starring at him!!!  That made his day!  I said, "Jonah, look, she recognizes your voice, she's looking right at you, she knows who you are!"  He looked so amazed and so proud that his baby sister "knew" him.  It was very, very sweet.

Well, this post has taken me forever to write. I've been writing it a paragraph or two at time :-)  That is the long of it!  Right now I only have a couple of pictures of Merida, I'm hoping I'll have more soon.  But here she is:

 This is a bit grainy, but you can see her face the best.  Jeremiah and I first thought she looked like Isabella, but after the first day some of the puffiness went down and she most certainly looks most like Aubrey!

A bit of a close up, I was trying to get a snap of her long hair!!  The girls have her nicknamed, Chipmunk.  Not because of her cheeks, but because her hair is a bit matted down right now on top, but she has long hair all around her lower head, like a monk.  But they said that 'monk' didn't cut it, so they made it chip-monk :-)   

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Baby update

Basically nothing much has been going on.  Ha. ha.  Silly baby :-)  I did have my 39 week appointment on Thursday.  Not sure what to make of it.  As a matter of fact I'm not even sure I've even mentioned the ups and downs of this baby's size yet!  This is only relevant because of Jed's issues and his uterine growth...or lack there of in the later weeks of pregnancy.  So let's go through this baby's growth journey thus far:

For most of my appointments the baby had been transverse, which does not give an accurate measurement.  When the baby did go head down I was measuring 2 cm's behind the week I was in, this is considered normal (anything plus or minus 2 cm's is in the normal range).  The following appointment the baby was measuring 3 cm's behind, BUT I had that happen in Moira's pregnancy, so still no cause for alarm.  Then the midwife fell ill and had to miss my next appointment.  (This is very  reminiscent of what happened with Jed!)  I really started to feel like I hadn't noticed my tummy getting bigger over the almost two week period, so I decided to weigh myself and take my own measurements.  Well, for two weeks I hadn't gained any weight, and the baby was at 33 cm's when I was 37 weeks along, making for a now 4 cm deficit.

My midwife sent her assistant over to measure me, and the assistant got what I did, 33 cm's.  A plan of action to boost my calories was put into action ASAP.  One of our thoughts was that since I've been running around mad taking care of everybody, and taking over their jobs, then succumbing to the illness myself, I may not have been eating enough, but not realizing it.  I start that plan and by the following week when the midwife was able to make it over it appeared I had gained weight (though I figured most of it was water weight because I had eaten a bit of wheat the day before).  Her measurement was 34 cm's, but she felt that the baby was a bit flopped to the side, so decided to take a measurement off to the side, following the baby's back more, and got a reading of 36 cm's.  Although not considered conventional, I've had this done before.  So all was considered normal.

Then I had my 39 week appointment this past Thursday.  Granted I did go to the chiropractors on Monday and after the adjustment could feel the baby move down (though the baby moves up from time to time).  By the end of the week I really can't feel the baby move up and down like I did the first few days, not sure if I need to get another adjustment or what...but by my appointment the midwife said that the baby was not engaged (nor would it probably do so, she said the baby would more likely float....moving down, but popping back up to readjust itself, but not actually engage).  So she felt for where the baby was, and decided to measure up and down, the conventional way.  Hmmm, not a good reading.  She kept measuring at different angles, and the best that she got was 35 cm's!  That was the best of all her measurements.  Now, this could be a case of the baby being down low, but again, this is very much like Jed, BUT not as extreme....yet.  I was convinced that Jed had moved down as well, making for a small reading.  Jed ended up being 6 cm's behind when all was said and done, this baby is now 4 behind, but that is with a non conventional reading.  With only days before the due date, and the baby is kicking strong (something Jed never did!), a great heart rate, etc. it doesn't seem practical to go for an ultrasound or try inducing.

So that has been this baby's growth saga.  The midwife left by saying she really wants this baby to stay put till at least it's due date, she wants to see more growth before it decides to enter the world.  But, if for some reason the baby is not growing inside, I know at some point the baby just needs to be born to grow better on the outside...though that didn't exactly happen for Jed :-(    It is all a 'wait and see' game at this point.  I really just want the baby to come, and not have to worry anymore about size, but I also want the baby to be healthy and strong.  Unfortunately it is hard to say where the baby would be better off, staying inside another week or so, or coming out now.

In the meantime I have someone asking me every 5 minutes or so if I'm having any more contractions :-)  Or, in the case of the boys, they keep asking my "WHYYYYYY, the baby not COOOOOOMMMMING!?!"  Their words :-)  Ahhh, nothing like a life lesson in patience.

I go about my days, getting things done, but making sure to lie down on the couch to rest.  Nothing like going into labor exhausted, so I am doing what I can to find a balance in our days of doing things work and play wise, but keeping my energy stores up.

I am hoping we will see *something* happen soon with this baby, only 4 more days till the due date!!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The 'something' turned out to be nothing...

I spent most of yesterday trying to rest, and nap when I could.  I was so exhausted!  Thankfully by bedtime I felt better :-)  I ate something and went straight to bed, but not without a contraction coming right at 10 PM on the dot!  I had some more contractions every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours, but then???  Nothing, nada, zippo, zero!  That's ok, that meant I got a good stretch of sleep last night.  Maybe, as Kelly pointed out, it will be tonight, with the full moon!  I suppose that means I better rest up today!

I tell you, these babes have minds of their own :-)

In the meantime I try to rest and in between get a few things done.  I have some food things that need taking care of (yogurt, kimchi, and soup).  Other than that maybe another walk as that seems to settle the baby deep down.  If anything else happens I'll report, but until then....carry on :-)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This baby is up to something!

It is 6:30 AM, not my usual computer time :-)  But I was very hungry and needed a quick kefir smoothie!  I do believe we will be looking at a baby sometime in the next day or so.  I went to the chiropractors on Monday.  She said I was way off, and to expect some soreness from the adjustment.  She also said something about everything being able to move down now, and I should be more comfortable.  Huh?  Well yesterday I did notice things moving down, at least my hips felt it.  I went for a wee walk, with Aubrey in the evening. When we started out my left hip was quite painful.  It finally mellowed out.  When I got home it was time to finish dinner preparations and do some dishes.  The whole time my lower back was aching.  I didn't think much of it since the chiropractor told me I might be sore, including my lower back.  Well...imagine my surprise when I found that I lost "The Plug".  Oh. My.  I've only done that twice before being in actual labor, the other times I was in early labor.  So I wrapped up things and went to bed!  I didn't sleep much because I started having some contractions, that were very far 20 minutes or so.  But by golly how does one sleep if they think they may be going into labor!  Things finally petered off around 2:30 AM or so and I got a couple of hours of sleep.

The contractions I was having last night were not just braxton hicks.  Granted there was absolutely no pain with them, but instead of my whole tummy squeezing, this was all down low!  The baby has been doing some sort of jig as well right before each one started.  For now I got my tummy filled up, did some hip rotations on my big red ball, and I plan to jump back into bed to see if I can catch a few more winks.  I dread, dread, dread the idea of things not picking back up until 10 PM tonight. It seems to be the "number" when things happen with this baby.  Only time will tell.

In the meantime you all have a wonderful day. I'll try to get back on and update if anything else starts happening.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A long day

Well, I suppose it was more of a long night actually!  We spent some time outside.  The boys really, really, REALLY needed to run off some energy.  Most of them got sick first, so by the time they were feeling fine, the rest of us were not.  That left 3 little boys running around crazy, stuck inside for a good week!  We had some mild temps so we hit the little wee park up the street from us.

After the park I noticed I was feeling very fatigued, and I had some muscle cramping.  Hmmmm, now what is hitting my magnesium levels?  Well, apparently it was a lack of fluids.  The day before the girls and I were at the baby shower (which was absolutely fun and amazing!!!  I'll have to get a couple of pictures of the day up soon....most of them turned out really dark and will need more than a one button touch up to fix.), and between getting ready for the event and then afterwards trying to scramble to make dinner, I had apparently not taken notice that I wasn't drinking enough fluids.  I found that out the hard way with over 6 hours of braxton hicks contractions that were getting closer and closer together.  Of course this was at *night*, when I should have been sleeping.  Sigh.  I tried to take a nap, and did manage two, almost one hour, slots of napping today.  I am only praying I do not go into labor tonight.  I NEED to sleep!

That made today a hard day.  I felt like a zombie most of the day.  I did manage to make dinner, and get a few dishes done, but that is about it.  I know there will be plenty of other days for chores, today just wasn't one of them!

Below are some of the pictures I took while we were at the park.  The two older girls stayed home, so you don't see them, and Jed was a running machine and I couldn't get a picture of him to save my life!  Ha, ha.

Jonah hit the swings first.  He is just learning how to pump his legs, but has a long ways to go.

Saoirse wanted a picture of her swinging as well.  Flannery got this one!

Flannery hanging out on the play structure.

This one is so funny!  Aubrey had just been looking behind him, as the boys and Jeremiah were playing monster (Jeremiah being the monster), and he turned around to see Daddy's face right there (Jeremiah was roaring like a monster, hence the face).

Almost everyone took turns swinging with Aubrey, though they did have two kiddy swings.

Daddy's turn.

Jonah being a ham.

Saoirse climbed to the top of the rock wall.

I believe that Flannery was carrying Aubrey around as they were playing tag with the rest of the kids.  This made the playing field a bit more even :-)

I tried to get a group shot before we left. Oh, the fun that was!  I had my hand on Jonah to remind him NOT to move.  Saoirse was holding Jed's hands down as he kept trying to wave them around.  Aubrey finally had a decent face for this one.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Naming Baby

Ahhh, naming the baby.  Every family has their way of doing so.  And each way is "right".  Some choose family names, some Biblical names, or some just get creative by picking letters from a hat and arranging them into a name (yes, I've heard of people doing this).  I thought I would tell a little about the way we've done it, and where we are with a name for this baby.

There have been a couple of exceptions to our name picking, but one thing has remained a common thread, and a second comes in close.  The first part of the naming process has always been that the name must be uncommon.  Not weird, or strange, just not a common name.  Granted when we named Isabella it was not a popular name.  Then two years later it hit a boom, until a handful more years passed and it actually reached the number 1 spot for two years in a row!  But, at least at the time, it was an uncommon name.

The second consideration has been the meaning of the name.  We've had a couple of exceptions where we placed more emphasis on meaning with their middle name, as is the case with Flannery and Aubrey.  The odd thing is that their name meanings kind of come through in their personality even still!  Though it could be because I am just 'looking' for it.

For each child so far the name that really 'stuck' with me, the name that I just had to have, happened to be the gender of the baby!  So you can imagine, that by baby number 8, all eyes (or in this case ears) were on me....what name do I like?  And as God would have it, He is really leaving this one a surprise!  We have just over 2 weeks until the due date and we are not settled on a name as of yet.  We have a boy's name that is in the running, and though I really love the meaning of the name, and the middle name options, I'm just not 'crazy' with the actual name.  Nothing bad about it, just not sticking out to me.  And for a girls name?  Well, I really haven't even given much thought to it since we are 'supposed' to be having a boy!  For those who do  not know, we do NOT know the gender of the baby.  It's just ME that thinks it *has* to be a boy.  I mean, if it's not it would ruin our little pattern we have going and that just doesn't seem right :-)

So you can imagine my surprise, when the kids were watching a Disney movie (of ALL things!!!), and I heard this girl's name.  I was in the kitchen making dinner.  And I Could. Not. Get. That. Name. Out. Of. My. Head.  Every time the name was said in the movie I had to repeat it.  Then I said it out loud a few times.  I even asked Jeremiah to look up it's meaning!  But by golly we don't need a girls name I told myself, we need a boys name :-)  That name was tossed out.

Last night we sat around as a family talking about names and their meanings and such.  And one of the girls remembered that girl's name, and brought it back up.  And by golly I am trying to NOT think about that name.  I mean, if we are having a boy we need a boy's name.  Ha, ha!!!  So let's just say the name it still undecided, but I did spend way too many hours in the wee hours of the night thinking about the fact that this baby *could* be a girl....GASP!  What do we do then?  I mean my whole world will be turned upside down!  (I am just jesting to be sure, we would be thrilled either way with a boy or girl!!!!)

So here is the breakdown of the names of our children, and why they were chosen, and what we are looking for in the meaning of this current baby's name options:

Isabella Hope---Jeremiah insisted that our first born (a son preferably) would have the meaning of "Beloved of God".  The closest he could come with a name of that meaning was Elijah.  The female version was Elizabeth, and Isabella is a version of that.  We decided to go with a virtue for the middle name.  After her very hard delivery we thought Hope fit well.  Now that she is older her name has even more meaning as she is our first born and we've made many, many, MANY mistakes in our parenting.  And with that we are indeed holding onto the HOPE of the LORD that she will be His.

Moira Grace--- Moira is a form of Mary, and that means bitter.  However, I really look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, and think of the qualities she must have possessed.  For that reason alone we thought it was a good fit.  And Moira is a picture of responsibility and grace.

Flannery Faith--- Flannery means 'red haired one'.  That is funny because Moira is the red head!  But I just LOVED the sound of her name.  The funny thing is that Flannery kind of has that notorious red haired personality---the fire part of it!  But not overly much, it's just funny how that turned out.

Saoirse Promise--- Her name means 'freedom'.  Definitely given to me by the Lord.  It was very a difficult time for us, and freedom was a constant prayer of mine.  So her name was very fitting for the time we were in.  The Promise part was definitely due to holding onto the promises of God.

Jedidiah John---  I first saw this name on the cover of a parenting magazine!  This was just before we knew we were expecting him, and when I saw this name I HAD to HAVE it!!  But Jeremiah was still stuck on using Elijah.  I never mentioned it to him, but two weeks later, a couple of days before we found out we were expecting Jeremiah came into the room and told me he had done more research on the name he felt led to call our first born son.  He told me it was actually the name, 'Jedidiah'.  People, if I had not been sitting down I would have fallen over!!!  I told him that if we were indeed expecting that that baby was going to be a boy!!  And it was!  And during all of his medical difficulties we had heard many people tell us that he is loved by God, and in His hands.  Totally fitting.

Jonah Timothy---  His name means 'peace'.  Again, this baby was named with a meaning that really meant something to us at the time, the circumstances we were going through.  I had actually wanted his name to be Jonas, and every once in a while (still at the age of 5) I find myself thinking about having used that version instead.  But every time I think that, it doesn't last long.  Jonah, is just SOOOOO Jonah :-)   Jeremiah just brought up a few months ago, that with every person in our family Jonah is the happiest of all.  He's just happy to be alive each day.  He wakes with a smile on his face.  He is indeed a child of peace.  Don't get me wrong....he's still a boy :-)  He can be rough, and he's learning to handle that strength, but over all he totally fit's his name.

Aubrey Shepherd--- Well, for Aubrey, it was his middle name that I got stuck on first.  We were reading a scripture and the word 'shepherd' totally jumped from the page at me.  We had to have it for a middle name (we took a beak in the virtue middle names for our first two boys, and used family names).  Jeremiah was really stuck on the name Aubrey.  But for me it was a girls name, not a boys name!!!  But he was persistent, and believe it or not we came to know an adult *male* named Aubrey during that time! It wasn't that I didn't like the name, it was unusual enough for my tastes :-), but for a boy?  Well, Aubrey is indeed an Aubrey.  How could have I thought otherwise?  The meaning of the name though is 'elf king'.  Hmmmm.  Good thing for his middle name!  ha, ha.  And I can not tell you how many times I have called him my little imp!  Not even thinking of the meaning!!!!!  Yikes.  Thankfully even though he can be a handful at times, he is a very loving little boy.

That brings us to this baby, baby number 8, still to be named.  I have been praying, praying, praying that the Lord would clue us in on the name (like I have with most of our children).  Nothing was coming.  Then in church service a few Sunday's ago the pastor made mention of the scripture in Isaiah about the Word of the Lord going forth and not returning void.  Right then and there I just started crying!  My girls were all asking what was wrong, but there wasn't anything wrong, I just started crying out of the blue!  This scripture was very fitting for our family in our current state.  And I knew that this had to have a part in the name of this baby.  So that has been our mission.  There isn't any name in particular that means this, so we are going for the general meaning of things. So far we have a boys name, with two possible middle names.  We do not have a girl's name decided, but that one from the movie is sticking with me, which has a nice meaning overall, and a couple of middle name options that would work with the meaning above that I mentioned.  But name decided!  Very frustrating.  I am praying that a name will become fitting once we have a baby in our arms :-)

And that has been our journey with naming babies.
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