Saturday, November 17, 2012


This is a bluntly honest post. If you don't like it, tough- it's where I am at right now, and I am choosing to be honest and not hide.

I have to admit, Monday marks 6 weeks since I gave birth, and I am in a bit of a frenzy. I am not sure if I have a touch of the baby blues, or if I am just insanely on edge from being home all day with three kids under 6, only leaving the house to drive Micah to school or to go to church on Sunday, or once a week to the grocery store and the fruit stand.

It's not post-postpartum depression, it's more like post-postpartum rage. Or postpartum disgusted-with-everything. Or postpartum I-need-a-break.

After my first birth, I was frankly too exhausted after a 30+hour labor and having half the blood supply of a normal, healthy adult to have the baby blues. I went back to work after about 4 weeks, and back to nursing school at about 9 weeks. I went back to school originally at 3 weeks, but decided that it was too much to handle and too another 6 off for my sanity.

I didn't have the baby blues much after having Levi. I had a great 9 weeks off of work after delivery, and only went back 1 day a week for 2 months before deciding to stay home permanently. Breastfeeding was a great victory for me after my horrible experience with Micah, and I got to stay at home with my babies.

Fast forward to now. I have a boy turning 6 next month, a boy who is a 21 month bolt of lightening, and a boy who is almost 6 weeks old that wants to be nursing constantly and requires a lot of attention.

But so does the 21 monther. He needs me to be just as attentive (for his own safety and for our house to not be destroyed!), he needs me to be more loving then ever because he is dealing with jealousy and feeling like he has been put on the back burner, and he still wants to nurse for that comfort.

And the 6 year old needs me, too. Not as much as he used to- he is starting to flap his wings and fly a little further from mommy all the time. But he needs to know that he is not forgotten. And he needs to know that he is not mommy's constant helper; he needs to know that it's okay to just be a kid. And not to have to worry about what mommy needs help with, or have his little brother wanting every single thing that he touches. He needs to know that he is important to our family and that he is loved.

Not only do all of them need me, but my husband needs me, too. He has been working like a dog to provide for us. He was blessed with starting a new job last week at a cardiology office. It's a Monday-Friday, office hours kind of job. No weekends, no holidays, one week of being on call a year. But he is still working at the hospital, too. And he is trying to take some of the load off me when he gets home for work by taking the baby or letting me shower. But I know he is anxious to get his wife back. And not just in a sexual way, but to be able to spend time with me and have me be coherent.

So there is the baby stress, the exhaustion stress, one car, throw in a little bill and bank stress...  top it off with spit up in my hair, not showering in 4 days, driving Jose and Micah everywhere, breastfeeding someone every half hour it seems, and opening the fridge and figuring out what to make for dinner or bathing two kids while nursing the baby on a stool next to the tub... it's just a little taxing.

So when the kids start acting up, I have been tending to fly of the handle. It's bringing out the worst in me. Exhaustion has shortened my temper and taken away my grace, my mercy, and my patience. It has made me into a bear! I don't like yelling, much less bellowing, at my kids. I don't want my children to remember me as a person who disciplined out of anger; that's not a way to teach them respect, and I want children who respect who I am and how I raised them. That's not to say I don't discipline- they get spanked, but when they've earned it. It's become far to easy for me lately to lose my cool because of the circumstances around me and treat them unfairly because I am not handling things how I should be.

Jose's mom and dad came by and picked up Micah and Levi yesterday. By 4:00 pm, Levi had still never had a nap, Jordi was madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory, I had only slept about 3 hours, and Micah was asking every 5 minutes to go on the computer, the xbox, or tell me a Ninjago fact. I was at my wits end, so I called Jose at work. I started crying on the phone because he wasn't taking me seriously that I was stressed out, and I hung up on him. He proceeded to, instead of call me back, call his mom and arrange them spending the night to give me a break.

I must have looked like a raging hormonal woman when I answered the door. The kids were all ready to go, but the dog was going bonkers and not listening to me call her when I tried to put her away. I had Jordi in my arms and a bag on the table that I was putting their things into. In my arms was also a zip-up wetbag. That's what we put our dirty diapers in- it's a waterproof cloth bag that you zip up until wash time so there is no smell. Everyone else is chatting and laughing. My father-in-law laughs and says, "these kids can't give you a hard time. What are you, tired?"  My mother-in-law took one look at me, and in all seriousness, said to me with a straight face, "You're not going to put the baby in the bag, are you?"

Right. Like I am going to put your grandson in a plastic bag and zip him up. In front of you. HOW STRESSED DO YOU THINK I AM?! DO I REALLY LOOK THAT BAD?!

I laughed it off and explained I was putting diapers in it for Levi. When they left, I started bawling like a baby. Finally alone, I laid Jordi on our bed, laid on my side next to him so I could nurse, and slept for the next hour.

Jose and I ordered take out for dinner (for the first time in almost 4 weeks- we have been really tight on spending), and watched some of our favorite shows. When we hit the sack early for Jose to go to work the next morning, Jordi slept for 4 1/2 hours before waking again. I have napped off and on all day knowing that the kids are safe and taken care of, and all I have to care for is myself and Jordi.

And I know it's all going to get better. These days don't last forever. I also just got off the phone with my sister's father-in-law; they are gifting us a Suburban that we get to pick up in two weeks. It's such an amazing answer to prayer. Jose's job is changing where he won't be away from the house from before dawn til after bedtime. I am constantly reminded that God has us in the palm of his hand. Today has been one of those Psalm 23 days, where He literally, thanks to my husband and mother-in-law, MAKES me lie down in green pastures to rest. I am going to go take another nap now, eat a piece of chocolate, smell my delicious baby's new baby smell, and just enjoy the quiet for a few more hours til the banshees come home.

And when they get home, I am going to kiss them, because I have so missed them.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

October Tidbits

tid·bit (noun) \ˈtid-ˌbit\
1. a choice morsel of food
2. a choice or pleasing bit (as of information)

Today is Saturday. One of those gorgeous Florida-fall Saturdays, decorated with windows open, 72 degrees of sunshine blowing in, festivals and green markets and picnics galore. Saturday for me usually means the kiddos watching Saturday morning cartoons on the one channel that comes in with them- Micah adores them because it's Sonic the Hedgehog followed by Power Rangers, followed by the classy WWE "wrestling." It means baking, Jose at work, and one more day until seeing my church family. Today, it also means giving you the tidbits of my last few weeks. Life being changed by birth of Jordi means everyone has had to shift and accommodate to accept our newest family member. Here are a few of the tidbits of the last few weeks- enjoy the choice bits!

Micah and Levi participated in Halloween. We are not a huge Halloween family. As a child, my family didn't do a ton with Halloween, but Jose really enjoys it, so we let the kids participate. We have talked to Micah about the origins of Halloween and how it differs from the way people treat it today.  Not that I am going to get into a huge pro- or con- dissertation here, but we do allow our kids to take part. Micah was the red Power Ranger Samurai, which he hinted for months that he wanted to be and Jose and I saved up and the put it up to surprise him. He was so beyond excited! I love little moments like that. Levi was a soccer player for the Spain national squad, and Jordi was the token pumpkin that stayed in my Moby wrap the whole time- gotta love that thing!  We took them to a Trunk-or-Treat event at our old church the Sunday prior, and it was great to catch up with some friends we hadn't seen in a while, as well as show Jordi off. Jordi was circumcised the afternoon of actual Halloween, so their Aunt Tata and Uncle Dru took them trick or treating in a friend's neighborhood for a little while. She sent me this picture that had me tearing up- I love seeing Micah and Levi grow up together. 

On that note, we carved awesome pumpkins... Micah, with the help of Jose, carved a batman pumpkin and I did a Despicable Me rendition. Micah's pumpkin turned out to be a giant gourd that had to be carved with hammers, chisels, Dremmel tools, a saw, and of course, Jose's brut force. We toasted the seeds from 5 pumpkins (cajun, cinnamon spice, and sea salt), and I will be roasting and making pies from the last 2 later this week. 


Micah got his first report card of the first grade- and it was great! He only has actual letter grades in two subjects- spelling and math- and he had a high B and a low A, respectively. The remarks from his teacher were so positive, telling us that Micah "generally does very nice work in all subjects." We were SO proud of our oldest boy!

Levi and Micah are now sharing a room. This has happened over the last 2 weeks, and the first week was total insanity. Now we are down to maybe 3-4 minutes of crying at night by Levi. He absolutely hates the idea of bunk beds, preferring instead to stay in his crib. So Micah sleeps on the top or bottom bunk, depending on the night, and Levi lays in his bed, yelling, "Micah! Miiiiicah! MICAH!," until he gets some sort of response. Levi's pacifier was also taken away two days ago. He thinks it has just disappeared, and I am waiting for the day that he quits asking for it. 

Speaking of quitting asking for it, no, Levi has not weaned yet. I am asked almost daily by a friend, someone from church, or a family member if Levi has given up breastfeeding, if I have weaned him (which to answer that, I am not weaning him, he is weaning himself slowly), or the best one lately, "Have you taken his boob away yet?". The answer, though it's not anyone's business, is no! It's so crazy that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control, and many other organizations recommend breastfeeding until at least two years of age, and then as long as mom and child are mutually okay with the breastfeeding relationship. Please don't think that is Levi's sole source of food or drink (any one around him knows he eats almost anything in sight), or that I just give in to him at his constant beck and call. We have established nursing manners (he has to ask please and say thank you), and he knows he has to wait sometimes for Jordi. It's not like I had a toddler dumped in my lap who strangely wants to nurse out of nowhere; he has been doing it every day of his 21-month life. There is nothing strange about it! The only thing strange, at times, is figuring out positions to tandem nurse in. To answer every one else's questions about if Jose cares: no, he doesn't. If he did, he probably wouldn't have taken this picture while I was nursing! 
Extreme multi-tasking: Breastfeeding two while reading The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar 
Jose and I are laughing almost every day about the "gross" factor that comes with having an all boy household... in the past week, we have witnessed (and this is just the highlights):

  • Levi throwing dog poop at Micah in the backyard
  • Levi licking Jordi's face after he spit up
  • Levi "washed" his hands in the toilet
  • Levi pooped in his potty (yay for potty training early!), and then took his potty to the dog...and, yeah... you can imagine...
Wait, there is a common theme here... LEVI! We joke that one child got all the gross-boy-genes for him and Micah, because Micah hates being dirty. He is such a little booger, my little worm, but he is such a lover, too. 

We had our first cold days of the year, and the boys are loving it. The only hard part about having one car, though, is that it has no heat- so that means bundling up for school in the morning!

Things are moving at warp speed over here in the Moli house. Being a mom of three is certainly crazy most of the time, but I am learning to steal those moments where I can catch a snooze in or throw a load of clothes in, and not get too worked up about the chaos the rest of the time. It's all a balancing act, and I thank God every day for Jose helping me balance it all- he is the only way I am making it through all this sanely! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Redeeming Birth of Jordi David

Eleven days after the birth of Jordi, I am sitting here grinning about how amazing the actual event of having a baby can be. I have had a totally redeeming experience.

 After horribly traumatic experience birthing Levi, I knew that I would not be having our next child in the hospital. The birth story for him was painful for me to write; I was in physical agony for a few weeks after receiving 45 minutes+ and three packets of suturing material to my most tender of areas (which was started without any lidocaine- I had to ask for it, and the physician laughed), but I was also emotionally exhausted. You see, Jose and I had to be on the defense the whole entire time of labor. From the office wanting to admit me hours before I was in real, active labor, to me refusing pitocin multiple times so the MD could "get me delivered" and head home, to the insanely rude nursing staff whom I had to ask multiple times to nurse my baby, it was all a complete nightmare.

We tossed around the idea of a home birth with Levi, and Jose was just not comfortable with it. But after our experience last time, Jose said he would never again question my judgement when it came to where/how/with whom to birth our future kids. So when we found out we were pregnant with Jordi, we made a few phone calls and forged ahead into home birth territory- something neither of us will ever regret!

It's hard for me to pinpoint when actual labor began. With Micah, I woke up at 3 am on a Tuesday morning with contractions every 5 minutes apart, and they never ceased until he was born at 11:30 am on Thursday. That made for more than 2 days of laboring, and close to 32 hours of active, 2 minutes apart contractions. Everything was very definite. Levi was the same deal- woke up at 5 am in labor, had him at 1:58 the next morning. Labor never really stopped, and was about 20 hours total.

Jordi decided to make things very, very different for me. I shouldn't have every questioned that things would be different; after all, Jose and I bathed this whole birth in prayer during the pregnancy. I had contractions off and on a few days before "the day," but they would last around 6 hours and taper off. And they were never the real deal, breathe-and-focus contractions. But on Sunday the 7th, I knew I was done being pregnant and that Monday, October 8th, I would meet my baby. I even joked about it to Jose's mom. She was going to clean a house with my brother-in-law early in the day, and she had asked him if he was "ready for tomorrow"- I laughed and said to her "no, the question is are YOU ready for tomorrow, because I am having a baby!" We all laughed about it, and then she said please don't go into labor until after she finished.

I woke up at 5 am contracting every 7 minutes. They were those giddy, excited, easy contractions- early labor stuff. I finally got out of bed about 6 am and started my day baking and getting things ready for Micah to head to school. I decided to wake Jose up at 6:30 am the best way I knew how- letting him know that I was in labor, and that if he wanted to get frisky, now was the last time he could for the next 4 weeks or so (hah!). Besides, I needed a little help to get labor moving along faster :) We woke Micah up at 7 for school, then made some phone calls and let everyone know that today would be the day, we just didn't know when.

Contractions "piddled" as my midwife Jyl would say until around 10:30 am, when I got a break. They dropped off to every 15-20 minutes, and I decided to get some rest in since I knew they would pick back up later. I lost my plug the night before, but hadn't had my water break or had any other signs that things were speeding up. I had Jose check me because I was getting a little on the discouraged side. I was only 2-3 cm, so I just took the cue to take a nap, and told Jyl I would call her later when things were speeding up. Jose helped me set up the birthing pool and fill it with water, because I knew I wouldn't want to be doing it later when things were rockin' and rollin'. I kept my birth playlist on all day, keeping myself focused on the promises of God and knowing that we had committed this day to prayer for nine months.

Contractions eventually pretty much came to a grinding halt. Jon Foreman's song, House of God Forever, rang through the house. It quotes Psalm 23, and put my heart at ease. I put Levi down for a nap, made 2 loaves of wheat bread and a batch of cran-raisin-oatmeal cookies, and Jose, Micah, and our brother-in-laws Ian and Paul went on a hike after Micah got out of school. They left the house around 2 pm with not a blip on the horizon of labor. I laid down, and about half an hour after they left, contractions started back up again. Of course. While the house was so quiet I decided to pray, clear my head by writing my last pregnant thoughts, and prep for dinner.

The guys got back around 4:30 pm, and I contracted about ever 5-7 minutes, but nothing exciting. I was up making dinner, talking, walking around, folding laundry... still convinces that it was all the prelabor show and that I was probably only 2-3 cm. We ate dinner, bathed the kids, and they were in bed as though nothing was out of the norm by about 8 pm.

My only clue that things were happening was that the contractions were slightly more intense over the last few hours. One of my best friend's mom and Micah's teacher, Pam, called at 8 pm to see how things were going. I told her it was a little early to tell, but that "we'll probably have a baby by morning." I was convinced that this was going to be another days-long process, and because my contractions were so easy, that I wasn't into the real thick of things yet.

At 8:30, I had Jose call his mom and have her come over to spend the night. I didn't want to have to yank anyone out of bed to drive to our house in the wee hours of the night (since I thought it would take that long), and she was designated to be in charge of the kids. I tried to watch 30 Rock with Jose, but I couldn't sit still. I HAD to be standing up, rocking my hips during contractions. No exercise ball, no lying on my side, just had to be standing. She arrived at our house shortly after 9 pm, and we decided to go on a walk. I had still been talking to our midwife, Jyl, off and on during this whole time. I had also been talking to my sisters, Michaela and Christa, all day, as they wanted to be there for the birth as well.

In the time we walked from our house to the end of the block (about 6 houses down), my contractions changed from every 4-5 minutes, to 3 good, solid, moan-your-way-through contractions, then every 2-3 minutes. We turned around because it was insanely humid, and I was getting nauseated. I got in the shower to rinse off, and the contractions stayed every 2-3 minutes apart. I rocked and moaned, Jose either standing in front of me rubbing my head, or behind pressing on my hips and putting counter pressure on my sacrum. He was amazing. I didn't need to tell him what I needed, he just did it. He was my total rock through all of this.

I called Jyl after I got out of the shower and asked if it was alright if I get in the tub. My labor was really kicking in from about 9 pm when we went on the walk, and I was afraid that it would stall if I got in the tub. Only about 45 minutes had passed- it was about 9:45 Jose's mom sat on the couch watching Dancing With The Stars, and doing a word search book. She was completely oblivious to what was going on. I talked to Jyl on the phone, and she told me not to worry about it, to go ahead and get in, and that she would start getting ready to come on over. It was about  Jyl only lives about 10 minutes from our house, and her assistants would be en route, too.

I went to the bathroom, and while sitting on the toilet, got SUPER nauseated. I should have known I was in transition (those last few centimeters)- looking back, I know! I was handling the contractions so well, and I didn't have one tiny bit of bloody show yet, so I had my self convinced that it would be hours yet until we would start seeing any baby progress. Jose was also so supportive that I wasn't questioning anything that was going on, just making it through each contraction and then focusing on what to do next.

I got into the birthing tub about 10 pm, and WOW, was it relaxing. I should have spent more time in there! The warm water felt amazing. I had Jose turn the jets on, but it was just too much stimulus for me. We turned them off, and I knelt in the tub, leaning on the side wall. Coldplay "Fix You" was on. Jose sat directly in front of me on our bed, pouring warm water on my back during contractions and telling me really reaffirming things... "You're beautiful," "you're doing great, baby," "the baby is coming," things like that. He really kept my head in the game. I had Jose call my sisters and tell them to come on. We were going to wait for Jyl to get there and let me know how far I was, but I felt like they should just come.

Fast forward (literally, it was really fast!) fifteen minutes. We had only talked to Jyl about 25 minutes previous. I started getting the urge to push. That uncontrollable, my body won't take no for an answer, "I need to push now" kind of feeling. I told Jose, "call Jyl NOW." He says "what should I tell her?" I could only grunt out, "just call," and he figured it out. Jose goes to the white board outside our room and gets the emergency sheet of what to do in case she can't make it. Jyl picked up and Jose asked where she was in relation to our house. One street over.

I started to push again with the next contraction, and my water broke. He told Jyl I was feeling pushy and my water broke. He hung up and came back to me to keep me focused. I wasn't speaking a whole lot at that point, just doing what I had to do. I was panting between contractions, trying to wait for Jyl to come in the door. I reached back and felt everything bulging. The head was not quite there yet, but coming. After the next push, I had Jose feel if the head was descending or not. I was kneeling, arms grabbing the side of the pool, and I was biting the side of the pool to keep from pushing. He actually felt a little too firmly- the head had descended, and Jose pushed him back up. That was the one time I got a little testy- I yelped and told him not to touch me.

I heard the doorbell ring- Jose had locked the door when we came in from the walk! Jose ran from our bedroom to the front door, let Jyl in, and they both came rushing back into our room. Jose's mom was still on the couch, completely engrossed in the word puzzle book, and NO clue what was going on because I was so quiet. Jyl came to my side, gloved up, and let me know that his head was pretty much crowning; she had me breathe and let his head rotate. Then she basically says to Jose, "well, put your hands back here dad, get in here!" Jose was so excited at the chance to catch his baby. He jumped in the pool with me, and at 10:32 pm, Jordi David Molinuevo was born into Jose and Jyl's hands.

I yelled for Jose's mom to come, and she came running in, saying "what happened?!" I just held up Jordi, and she was in shock that it was over so quickly. She had only been at our house just over an hour! I heard the front door open, and Jyl's assistants, Danielle and Jen, walked in the door. I apologized that they had missed it, but I couldn't wait! Just another minute passed, and Christa and Michaela walked in the door with my brother-in-laws. Ian, Michaela's husband, is a photographer- he walked in with his camera (after getting my permission, of course) and just started snapping. The pictures are beyond words, and you can see them here. My labor playlist had been playing the whole time, and the song that came on was perfect- "para, para, paradise..." Coldplay always comes through.

Micah woke up at the same time as this to use the restroom, and Jose's mom asked if he could come in. We let him, and after the cord stopped pulsating, he got to cut the cord with Jose's help. It was a magical moment. The next song that came through was by Ascend The Hill, their take on "How Great Thou Art"- probably my favorite version ever. What a witness to everything that had happened!

Some more family came in unexpectedly, and after a few minutes, Jyl kicked everyone out and helped me get out of the pool, cleaned up, and settled into bed. Jordi was happy to nurse away. We had a good hour or so of just family time and letting him settle in. Jyl's assistants took my vitals as well as Jordi's, and Christa brought me gatorade and clam chowder to get my strength back up.

Our family members left shortly afterwards, and Micah got put to bed. I took a quick shower under Jose's watch. Then, Jose got to weigh Jordi and Jyl did his newborn exam. Once Jyl was sure both Jordi and I were recovering well, she and her assistants packed up and headed home. By 1 am, we were all alone, tucked into our bed, our first night as a family.

Levi slept through everything. In the morning, Micah and Levi came into our bed with Jose, Jordi, and I, and we introduced him.

As long as I never have a risky pregnancy or anything of concern with baby, I will most likely never deliver in a hospital again. It was so magical delivering at home. Such an atmosphere of love, quiet, peace, and respect. Jordi is so different, and was right from the start- and I believe it's because his birth was so surrounded with love, patience, respect, and reverence. There was no being whisked away, cord cut, scrubbed, blinded from ointments and poked for vaccinations, then given back thoroughly exhausted and discombobulated. Jose says he wishes that we would have had this opportunity to do it with all our kids. But hey- you live, you learn, you make adjustments, and once you know about something so great- you cherish it.

The Birth Album

Photography done by Ian Riley (my brother in law) who just happened to walk in minutes after delivery with his camera in tow. Used with permission. If you ever need a photographer in the Nashville area, please check him out here.

One of my favorite shots of Jose ever.

Micah was wide-eyed at everything going on!

Micah and daddy cut the cord

My sisters, Michaela and Christa, and Micah. He totally photobombed us!

Micah was so excited to stay up!

Jyl charted away after the birth

Mommy nursing the first time while Tia and big brother look on

We had the placenta lesson after. Shiny Schultz- the baby's side

And the dirty Duncan side- mommy's side

Christa hiding during the placenta pics

Jose was so giddy after!

Lots of skin to skin time 

And now to the last few pictures after all the family left. These were taken by us :) 

Jose and Jyl during the newborn assessment, prepping to weigh Jordi

Jose doing the deed!

8 lbs even, 20" long

The team afterwards.

Huge thank you's to Ian Riley for taking pictures, and to Jyl Krentz, CNM, for her excellent care.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The pages are turning

I am sitting here in a nearly empty house. The dog on the floor, the cat on the bed, and Levi in his crib napping.

This may be the last time, for a long time, that I am surrounded by tranquility without a bustling house of children, husband, animals, new baby, homework, laundry, and the works. I have my my worship music cranked. The birthing pool is filled and heated in the corner. The floors are vacuumed. Oatmeal-cranberry-raisin cookies are baked; fresh bread is cooling on the butcher block.

At 4:30 am I awoke to my belly tightening rhythmically. After ignoring the first few attempts of it to wake me, I decided to start timing and start my day. They continued steadily until around 10:30 am, when they decided to peter off and give me a break. Jose picked Micah up from school and let me rest a while, and now they are off hiking in the woods with my two brother-in-laws who are helping Micah have a "manly" day. Levi is sleeping, and I am back to contractions picking up again.

Little one, I have been in anticipation of this day for nearly nine months now. Not necessarily the day you will come into the world, I know, but the day when you start preparing to make your arrival. Your father and I have prayed for the last nine months that your birth would be supernatural, that you would arrive safely, healthily, and peacefully, into the welcome arms of a loving family at home. That my labor with you would be amazing. That your father and I would work as a team, because we both know that the adventure of birth is not one to be had alone. That you would be healthy and strong, that you and I would tolerate labor and birth well, and that you would be accepted by your brothers. Your dad and I want this whole event to glorify God and be a testament to how prayer and preparation work.

Philippians 4:6-7 have been in my head since last night- "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

I feel you hiccuping away between contractions. Your brother is awake from his nap now and eating a cookie, and I am wondering when your dad and oldest brother are making their way home from adventures of swashbuckling, imaginary wild attacking animals, and awesome uncles that are probably helping him have the time of his life.

I can't wait to meet you, to smell your sweet skin, to see your face and figure out who you look like. To become a whole family of five, to add our pumpkin to the patch, and start our next chapter in our crazy Moli-mania life.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Baby Names!

Jose and I finally decided on names for the baby. Well, I should actually say that I left it up to Jose and he made the final call on a boy name; we worked together on a back-up girl name just in case

For some odd reason, I am strangely indifferent this time around when proposing names for our soon-coming child. It's not that I haven' bonded with his baby, or that I don't want to meet him (possibly her);  I just for the life of me haven't been able to nail anything down and say "yes, this is the name for our boy." Thank God Jose feels solid about this, and I am comfortable taking his lead! If we left it up to Micah, the name of the week would be "Hero Molinuevo," because Hero's are important, save people, and get cool suits. He was a little bummed we wouldn't pick Hero as a middle name, either.

Now that all is said and done, here are the names we have picked out!

If the baby is a boy (which we are fairly sure it is), he will be named...

Jordi Davíd Molinuevo

Jordi is pronounced "jor-dee," and his middle name will be the Spanish pronunciation, following suit after his brothers Micah Ari and Levi Mateo.  Jordi is a Spanish variation of Jordan. The name means "descending," and holds great significance in the Bible. It was the place that Jesus was baptized...the place John baptized...the place that feeds the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea...where Joshua crossed to Jericho... and so much more. It is an cherished resource for those living near it. We also thought it was fitting because our midwife Jyl's practice is Descending Dove Midwifery Services. We thought we would honor our first home birth with her, as well as pray for a baby that descends supernaturally, quickly, and with relative ease. Also, Jose would have you know, Jordi Alba was instrumental in Spain's winning the Euro Cup this year. As to his middle name, David traditionally means "beloved" in Hebrew. He would be named with a nod to King David, a man with faults, but still a man after God's own heart. He would also bear the same middle name as one of our dear friends, Jon. We cherish his friendship like a brother, admire his walk with the Lord, and we probably wouldn't be where we are in our marriage had it not been for him and his wife (one of my closest friends in the world, Kerry).

If we have a surprise girl, she will be named...

Nora Providence Molinuevo

Regarding the first name, Nora is a fairly common name is English and Spanish. It's name meaning is a few-fold: in Greek, it is a short form of Elanora,  meaning "light". In Latin, it's a shorter derivative of Honora and Leonora, meaning "woman of honor" or "compassion". We had been tossing the name around for quite a while, wondering if Jose's family had heard of the name, and deciding between a few other girl names. It was at the top of the list, out of maybe 3 or 4 names. We were at Jose's parent's house to watch the Euro Cup this summer, and after they won, the player's kids were running on to the field to congratulate their fathers. Fernando Torres, Spain's striker, had his two little cuties running up to him, and when he scooped up his super adorable daughter, we saw that she was wearing her daddy's number, with her name over the top: Nora. We were enamored, and Jose mom started saying (in Spanish), "Nora! That is so beautiful! I love that name!" We knew Nora was our choice. 

The middle name, Providence, has basically been the whole theme of this pregnancy: God's amazing providence over and over again. As a name, the meaning is "direction from God," and the actual meaning of the word providence is as follows: 
prov·i·dence: noun
1. the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth.
2. God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
3.a manifestation of divine care or direction.
4.provident  or prudent management of resources; prudence.
5.foresight; provident  care.

Our lives over the last nine months have been such a whirlwind, and over and over again we have watched God provide answers to specific prayers- jobs, finances, baby provisions, situations with our children, home birth, and so much more- and we would want that same direction and care over a little girl's life as well.

It's crazy to think that any time now we will be introducing you to our newest pumpkin in the Molinuevo patch, Jordi or Norah!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Any Time Now: In the Final Stretch!

How Far Am I: Tomorrow marks 38 weeks. I am 15 days away from being "due" if you go by my dates( 10/10) . If you go by the ultrasound, it said somewhere closer to the 15th, but we all know babies come when they want to!
Baby's Gender: We are anticipating a boy, based on what we were able to (not very clearly) see...there is still that small chance it could be a girl if God decides to surprise us!
How Much Weight Have I Gained: As of today at the midwife, 21 lbs total for pregnancy. I am guessing a pound of two of that is fluid retention from this weekend of my sister's wedding shower...I am beat, but it was worth it!
Cravings: Chocolate. Currently eating a Lindt chocolate mousse truffle. I think I earned it, hah!
Baby Movement: At this point, baby is getting more and more cramped. I get lots of bumps and wiggles, but for the most part, baby keeps their head down and just lets me know when I am squishing him.
Sleep Habits: Back to getting up every 3-4 hours to empty my bladder or rearrange pillows. God is rewiring my clock to get up every few hours to nurse!
Body Changes: Two things to praise God for this week: first, my labs came back with no signs of anemia, which is great! Also, my GBS culture came back negative, which means no antibiotics/ alternative therapies during labor. Woo hoo! It looks like smooth sailing towards an uneventful, natural birth. Nothing much new to report here aside from a little swelling in my feet by the end of the day.
What Micah (5) /Levi (18 mos) Think of the Baby: Not much new to report here, either. Micah has announced that while he did want to be woken up to see the baby be born, he does not any more, and would rather see the baby after he eats breakfast- LOL! We told him that he and Levi may be spending a night or two at Jose's parents house while in labor and the first days of having the baby, and he is SUPER stoked about that. It all depends on how things go here. Ideally I would love for our whole family (us and our kids, plus someone to be in charge of the kids) to be present for the birth, but I don't think that's going to end up being the reality. Right now, Jose's mom is our designated "kid corral-er," and I don't think she has any interest in being here when the baby is born. She can get really nervous about things like this. Last time I was in labor, she knitted an entire blanket and brought it to the hospital afterwards.
Baby Prep So Far: Most everything that we can control has been prepped for. We are still in need of a few items for the baby coming- namely a few diaper covers, and car seats. We are still unsure about our current vehicle situation. We have one car (a very compact 1998 Ford Escort), and it also has no heat, which will become an issue for that short period when Florida becomes cold and I have to take Jose to work at 6 am with all the kids. Selling our SUV was great for paying for the rest of our home birth and a few outstanding debts, but it has definitely been and adjustment for our family in planning, and carrying sleeping children to the car the days Jose works, and then picking him up at bedtime. With our current vehicle and current car seats, we cannot fit three children in the back seat (49 inches total means 16.3 inches per car seat, which is pretty much unheard of), unless we special order two special seats and get a different booster for Micah. That being said, buying seats will be cheaper than getting a new vehicle. Be praying that we could get a vehicle that could accommodate all of us, that would run good, and be on the lower end of the price range, and that God would provide for us to get the seats for our children to be safe. We are currently saving but it's going to be a few months down the road until we can get a vehicle, unless God decides to bless us otherwise!

All in all, Jose and I are extremely blessed right now that he has a new job, that Micah is doing well in school, that the kids and I are healthy, and that we have a new addition coming. We are so looking forward to cherishing each of these last days until our new little bundle's arrival! Keep us in your prayers. We are seeking God's amazing provision for our family... a quick, easy, safe, and natural delivery... that God would bless our midwife, Jyl, and her team of nurses and assistants... and that God would totally unite us as a family unit of 5 with as minimal stress as possible. Psalm 133:1- Look at how good and pleasing it is when brothers and sisters (families!!) live together as one!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tidbits As Of Late...

So much has gone on the last month or so... I really feel that life is flying by at warp speed. I don't know what comes after warp speed (maybe hyper speed?) but I know it's approaching so quickly! Here's a little peek into our lives the last few weeks, and what has been going on.

As of today, I am basically considered "good to go" for our home birth. It's the 37 week mark. We had our home visit last week with our midwife Jyl and her two assistants to make sure we have every thing in order, and that went well. I still have white-coat syndrome with her- it's ridiculous!- so my BP goes up about 20 points every time I have a visit, but other than that, things are doing fine. Baby is head down, I am taking it easy as I have started to feel uber pregnant, and Jose and I are about as prepared for birth as we can be.

Micah has finished his first two weeks of first grade, and is enjoying every second of it! He has three teachers this year, depending on the subject and day: Mrs. Pam, Mrs. Tara, and Mrs. Tiffany. He adores every one of them. He is also excited because one of his closest friends is going to school with him now, and he gets to see him so often! He did great on his first spelling test, and actually looks forward to more tests because it was so "fun."

My baby sister is getting married the same week I am due, and I am so excited for her!  We are having her wedding shower this weekend, and my other sister, my mom, and I are all working together on an afternoon of surprises for her. It's going to be a blast, and I am so excited to be celebrating her and her fiance Paul's upcoming wedding. He is so good to her, and it's so amazing to see her being treated so well. I got to see her gown last weekend, and it brought all the memories of Jose and my wedding flooding back. I am going to be an emotional wreck if I can make it to the wedding!

We scored a glider for $25 off craigslist. And it was made for a short person like me! I know, it sounds trivial, but my feet are always dangling because I can't reach the ground. It's in the corner in our room, along with a boppy pillow that was handed down from a friend, and the Moses basket made by my grandmother that all our kids have slept in.

I am getting asked by total random strangers about childbirth. Take, for instance, these questions from the medical assistant at my endocrinologist's office:
"So, do you have to ride a scooter when you are pregnant or are you allowed to walk?"
"Are you in pain? Like right now?"
"Oh my gosh, you had your kids NATURAL? Oh, not uhhh...."
"So you just, like, hard cored it, shot them out?"
"Did you look in the mirror down there when their face was all like this?"
She proceeded to put her hands to her face like the picture below, acting like she was a crowning baby. I have never had to keep a laugh in so bad!

God is providing for Jose and I, and it's continually blowing us away. We have had so many answers to prayer over the last few weeks. Friends randomly dropped off groceries to us because they felt led to by God. They just showed up at our house after Jose and I had payed all our bills on payday, and came to $91 left over for the following 2 weeks to cover all our expenses for 4 people (gas, food, etc). We had a friend give us extra sheet sets for our bed, which was a need for our birth. We got a gift card that was just enough for me to get a few diaper covers that we needed for the newbie. Also, someone is going to buy our car seat for us. So while we may not have an abundance, God is meeting our needs for the moment we are in! It really is Psalm 23:1 being lived out- "I lack nothing." Jose also may have an opportunity to pick up some home care patients, which would be a little extra income here and there. We still have needs, but since giving them over to God, our stress has gone way down, and we have gotten to witness God do some cool stuff. Keep praying that God provides enough for a few more baby items, and makes a way for us to obtain a second vehicle.

Jose and I went out on a real, bonafide date for the first time in ages. We went for Thai and sushi (a first for Jose), and he actually enjoyed the sushi! I was so surprised when he ordered a spicy tuna roll (which is raw), and I was completely floored when he ate it and LIKED it. It was even more delicious to just be out and enjoy each others company, uninterrupted, no kiddos to corral, just the sound of rain on the restaurant roof and us in our own private world... er, booth.

That's a nutshell of what has happened these last few weeks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rethinking Birth- and Life's Situations in General- Through Scripture

This weekend, I set out to compile a list of biblical scripture to meditate on in the coming weeks before our newest addition makes his (possibly her) time of arrival known. So much of going through the labor and birth experience is purely staying focused - mental preparation (and for me, meditating on the Bible's principles) is key to keeping your sanity through it all, whether you deliver au naturel or in an emergency cesarean.

One of my favorite quotes from  probably my favorite childbirth book ever by Ina May Gaskin goes like this: 
“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” 
I have been taking that quote quite seriously ever since I read it. And in my quest to change my thinking about my birth and my body, as well as educate others, I thought I would post the words that have been speaking to me as of late. God's people were commanded in Deuteronomy 6 to take God's word in a serious, respectful, reverent manner, to think on it continually, and to have it in plain view. Check it out:
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, NLT
And why? So that they would "be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued [them] from slavery in the land of Egypt" (Deut. 6:12, NLT). 

That glorious tub is going to come in handy!
In preparing to embark on another journey through childbirth, I was looking to relaxation therapy CD's, suggested by others to try hypnobirthing techniques, and searching for what I could settle in and meditate on. The reoccurring thought that I can keep coming back to is that the God has provided for us all along this pregnancy, so why should I have to turn anywhere else but Him for that sustaining power? that peace? that tranquility? that safety and security? In order not to forget the promises of God, I now have all of these scriptures taped to the walls and mirrors in my bathroom and in our room, since that will most likely be my birthing venue of choice.

Here are the words, inspired by God, transcribed by man, that are so influencing me lately. I am not capable of doing this on my own- of doing anything on my own!- but with Him, and the husband He gave me, it will be amazing. Think on these words and they will give you peace- whether you are birthing a baby, or just in one of life's stressful valleys.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Children are a heritage from the Lord,offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14 
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40: 1-3, 5 
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34: 4, 8 
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him.
Psalm 37: 7a 
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pumpkin Update: 35 Weeks and Counting!

I realized this is my 3rd pregnancy, and I have always been too embarrassed of the way I look to ever take a picture of my actual bare belly. Yeah, there is extra skin, and stripes, and flab, but it's still beautiful. I am a real mom. I don't have a trainer. I have never been thin. I have always been jealous of friends that have had 2,3,4,5,6 kids and have beautiful bodies...but my pregnancy is no less cute, no less of a miracle growing in me, nothing to be ashamed of! I have struggled forever with this issue, and in thinking about things today- I have realized that a pregnancy, a life forming- is beautiful, no matter where that pregnancy is being housed. Embracing myself, the victories of two pregnancies, and this new life inside.
How Far Am I: According to my dates, about 35 weeks, 3 days. Winding down! It's more of a due "month", so our newest pumpkin will be arriving some time in the next 3-7 weeks. I am not stressing about the date at all.
Baby's Gender: Anticipating a boy but the ultrasound was a tad iffy...
How Much Weight Have I Gained: Roughly 20lbs. We will see next week at our midwife visit. I was being a real stickler about my weight gain...and then last month, our dog had explosive diarrhea in our bathroom, all over the scale...needless to say, I haven't weighed my self at home since then because the scale  got pitched!
Cravings: None whatsoever as of late. A piece of chocolate would be nice every once in a while, but since I never buy it, it's never here to tempt me!
Baby Movement: Those big swirly flips are a thing of the past at this point. Baby was head down at our appointment for 33 weeks, and hasn't gone anywhere! I get lots of little wiggles and such, and baby their rump up under the right side of my rib cage almost always. All my babies have been right-side-of-the-belly kiddos, probably due to where my placenta has attached.
Look at that belly! Not much room for stretching out!
Body Changes: So many lately! I think the baby is dropping into my pelvis- which has it's pros and cons. I can breathe a little easier and I don't get so much heartburn, but my feet have started swelling up as the day goes on and I have to pee constantly now. My ring has always fit on the snug side, and I usually have to remove it about the time I hit the 3rd trimester...the good news is, I haven't had much swelling in my feet or hands until the last week or so, compared with starting around 28 weeks or sooner. I think it is due to me being at home, not on a nursing floor for 12+ hours at work.
Sleep Habits: I am sleeping less and less. We aim for 8 hours a night, but with getting up to pee every few hours, and rearrange pillows, it amounts to much less :) It's God's way of preparing me to be up every 2 hours after our little one arrives!
What Micah (5) /Levi (18 mos) Think of the Baby: Micah surprised Jose and I last week when we were  asking him if he wanted to be here when the baby came. We were talking about how the baby gets his food (a cord goes from mommy to the baby, so he gets all he needs), and Micah asked if he could cut the cord after the baby came out. I looked at Jose, who looked at me, and we said that would be okay as long as he was there. TOTALLY threw me that he would think about the cord getting cut. We asked if he was sleeping, would he want to wake up for the baby to come, or just meet the baby in the morning, and he wanted to be woken up.
Baby Prep So Far: My mom and dad bought us some new diapering supplies as their new baby gift, as well as some cloth nursing pads. All of those have been washed and prepped. We got the Moses basket set up in our room, along with the playpen where we change diapers and keep supplies. All the teeny tiny clothes have been washed and folded, and are in bins in our room, since that is where baby will be sleeping for the first few months. We are slowly trying to move Levi over to Micah's room, but it hasn't been going well so far, so we aren't pushing it. He absolutely loves his crib, and though he thinks the big boy bed in Micah's room is cool to read on, he wants nothing to do with it come sleepy time. Oh well, we'll get there! This week, I am starting to cook some meals larger, and freeze half so we have some easy meals for after baby comes and Jose is helping out. So far we have sloppy joes, and pulled pork...  I have to be honest, I had a few moments this week where I started letting things get to me. My best friend is throwing me a "shower on the go," for people that want to send us things for the baby, and it's been so hard to just trust that God has every aspect of this baby under control, and to settle in and see what we get. We all know that babies come when they are ready...but I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it's happening so fast! I feel like there is so much to "do", or to "get," or to "take care of," before then... then I remember- does he have a place to sleep? Check. Milk to eat? Check. Clothes to wear? Check. Diapers to dirty? Check. Reminding my self that everything else on my to do/get/finish lists can wait.
Birth Prep: We were able to order our birth kit thanks to my sister Michaela, which has all kinds of supplies that our midwife uses, like gloves, a cord clamp, chux pads, and the like. We also got a mattress bag (basically a king-sized ziplock bag to protect your mattress during birth, if that's where you decide to have your baby), and a friend of ours gave us some hand me down sheets- which is awesome, since I don't want to have to ruin nice pretty sheets.
Part of our birth kit included this awesome prayer (which is taped to my computer screen), and a beautiful footprint card.
Name Ideas: We have some names picked out for a boy and a girl just in case, but I have a really hard time with telling people what they are because I am so afraid that baby will arrive, and we will go, "No, wait, that's not your name!" Micah and Levi were so easy to name, and this time around it's much harder.
Plus Sized, Nursing, and Pregnant: Big mistake last week counting Levi as having weaned. He didn't nurse or ask to for 4 days...then out of the blue, has picked it back up again. I have started making colostrum, and I think him nursing again is the combo that he is finally getting something after the tap being dry for the last few months, combined with 2 teeth coming in right now. I am just taking it all in stride. He is just barely 19 months, and I figured at the beginning of my pregnancy that I would end up tandem nursing because he has always been a boob child. He will give it up on his own. For now, he has learned nursing manners- he asks "please," and knows that he has to wait. I really only let him at bed time or nap time, so he knows not to ask if we are out and about. Last night, after nursing him, I clipped up my nursing top and he said "night night, -urse." He either calls it "nu-nu's" or says nurse without the "n." I am cherishing every last little minute with him and Micah as a mommy of two, as well as my time with Jose, since I know things are going to get very interesting in a few short weeks!