Signs That Labor is Knocking On Your Front Door

There comes a time during pregnancy when I am just DONE. It usually hits me around 35 weeks and from that point on, the days seem to never end. I have arrived.

When I’m this far along, I really start looking for signs that labor is approaching. After being pregnant so many times, I know what is pretty normal/standard for me. During my first pregnancy, I didn’t have a clue what to look for. I mean really look for. If this is your first baby, some of this may be helpful.

Right now, I’m 35 weeks and one of the biggest signs that the baby is coming happened 4 weeks ago….waaaaaaaay early for me. At the beginning of my 31st week, my baby dropped, or became close to fully engaged, into the birth canal. This is also called Lightening, but I never use that term.

During pregnancy, a baby can move, flip, roll…etc…all over the place. Even when things get extremely cramped, the baby can do some pretty surprising stuff. A few weeks before labor begins, however, many babies will get into a head down position and actually drop into the pelvis…so, they are no longer “floating”, as you may hear your doctor say. When this occurs, they are fixed right there for the remainder of their stay. Their head presses on the cervix and causes it to thin out, or efface. Effacement has to occur some before dilation can begin, so this is all a very good thing!

Before a baby engages, the mother will experience a feeling of fullness. Her uterus has grown so much that it’s pushing everything up, crowding the rib cage. She may experience shortness of breath, not being able to finish a meal, intense heartburn/acid reflux, and even pain. Sitting down often hurts as it even lessens the amount of space needed to breathe comfortably.

BUT, when the baby drops, those feelings are instantly replaced with pressure down low. Heartburn may completely disappear, breathing becomes a thing of ease, meals become enjoyable, and sitting is, once again, comfortable for the most part. The down side is the pressure and feeling like the baby may fall out & the fact that you almost always feel like you need to pee.

This has happened quite early for me this time. The earliest a baby has dropped for me was 32 1/2 weeks & she came 5 weeks later. I’m not sure if this baby will hold out for 7 weeks fully engaged, but we’ll see. (I usually go into labor naturally at 38 weeks.)

So, dropping/baby becoming engaged is a big sign, but it may not happen until just before labor starts. Everyone is different.

Another sign has to do with the changing of your bowels. I know…nice. So let’s just say that if you’ve been constipated for a while, you won’t be anymore….and eventually you will be the exact opposite of constipated. Pregnancy hormones will start changing & cleaning out your system will be a top priority to make more room for the baby to pass through the birth canal. This is definitely a sign I pray for.

More intense Braxton Hick’s contractions is another sign. These practice contractions are sometimes even confused with real labor contractions. The difference is that true labor contraction pain usually starts in the back and moves around to the front. If you are just having a little cramping in the front, it’s probably not the real thing, although it could be. I will be bold in stating that if you are truly in labor, though, you will probably know it. And the pain of the contraction will start in your back because true labor contractions involve the whole uterus, not just parts of it. But everyone is different.

Nesting is another big sign, but so is extreme fatigue. For me, nesting starts early, not right before labor. I have lots of packing to do and we live an hour away from the hospital. I already have all the kids’ clothes packed & in the car, along with the baby’s clothes. I have a bag packed for me & Rooster in our bedroom specifically for the hospital just in case I go into labor earlier than I expect. I keep up with laundry like a crazy person & my house stays clean. Rooster loves it when I’m nesting.

Extreme fatigue comes as I get really close. I still have to work to keep it all ready, but it kills me. All I want to do is lay down. Taking breaks is important, but not something I get a whole lot of.

Another sign is losing your mucous plug. As you get close to going into labor, hormones will start to release the mucous plug. Sometimes it comes out in one big chunk (nice), but for me, it comes out gradually. I usually start seeing it around 36 weeks, but it started at 34 this rodeo. It can be yellowish, pinkish, brownish, or bloody (watch out, girl). Last week it was yellowish for me. Now it’s brown, which indicates old blood, or pinkish, which is usually the breakage of tiny blood vessels as you efface & dilate.

Effacement & dilation. Unless you’ve had preterm labor issues, you’ll probably not have your cervix checked until you’re 36 weeks. By this point, many women have started to thin out and some even start to dilate. I have always been 50% thinned or more and dilated 1 cm by my 36th week check up. It starts early for me, but some women don’t have any cervical change until labor begins.

I usually feel sick or just not “right” the day I go into labor. One time I threw up while I was taking my shower before church. One time I left a family function a bit early because of an overall “sick” feeling. Once I couldn’t do anything except for walk around constantly.

These “signs” or “symptoms” are different for every mother, but our bodies do naturally gear up for that big day, though the changes for some might be subtle & completely obvious for others. Paying close attention is important, no matter how many times you’ve been pregnant.

So, labor has already started knocking at my door, though a bit early. When expected company knocks early, or unexpected company suddenly appears, my blood pressure goes up, my face gets red, and steam comes out of my ears.

But labor…….when it’s a sweet baby, arriving a bit early is a welcomed thing of joy…..

……as long as there’s no loud banging. Or ringing the doorbell and then running off right before I get there..

So, expect company at some point, girls. And hopefully you will be able to recognize some of the signs that will tell you that labor is somewhere in the neighborhood.


Am I Having a Boy or a Girl?? 🚙 Take a Wild Guess 🎀

So, one of the most exciting things in life for me is not finding out the sex of my babies when I’m pregnant. Everybody knows that I am super old fashioned when it comes to this subject.

The next best thing in life is wondering and daydreaming about what I’m having for the duration of my entire pregnancy. It’s not as if I don’t wonder and get excited about it every single day that I breathe or anything.

By now, some people might think it a waste of my time to find out anyway because anyone who’s been pregnant as many times as I have should be able to figure it outway before they’re due, right?


I have five girls and one boy and I’ve only been 99.9% sure I knew the gender twice. Those two times were during my first two pregnancies and we found out that they were both girls at their 20 week ultrasounds.

I never ever just “know” that it’s a girl or a boy. I have had more symptoms of girls because of having so many, but even when I was pregnant with Jack, we thought he was a girl the majority of the time & my pregnancy with him was indeed different.

I stay excited my entire pregnancy because of the mere fact that I can not wait to open the most amazing present that’s been growing and kicking inside of me for almost 40 weeks. The feeling is amazing–especially when the 3rd trimester hits. I’ll be 31 weeks in just a few days and knowing that I have just weeks left before I get to meet him or her is the most exciting feeling that only someone who’s not found out the gender of their baby would understand.

I was talking to a friend not too long ago….dear, sweet Cassidy.   She’s pregnant with her 6th baby.  Right now she has one girl & four little boys.  I think she should let this one be a surprise! (Of course I would say that, but only because it’s so worth the excitement and joy.)  If she needs one, I’ll be her her cheerleader–cheering her on and reminding her of how happy she’ll be as she gets closer, but she’s probably not going to be able to do it, though….she said needs to be prepared.

And you know, I get it. There are some surprises in life that people would rather know about ahead of time.

For me, those surprises are like company coming over. Like, please do not show up at my house without warning me, people.  But still some do…and I still love them, but the surprise would be so much more nice if I could be prepared for their arrival.  I mean, I’d just like to be able to straighten up a little bit and make sure that I have some make-up on.  It’s truly like my biggest pet peeve.

It’s not really a surprise that I’m having a baby when I’m pregnant, though. It’s just like a color thing to me. Pink or blue? Either way, the baby will have a name, a crib, diapers, food…even clothes at the hospital because I always come prepared for either…I buy new outfits and everything…I just keep the receipts.  It’s really not that hard to get prepared.  (I have a post on this exact topic~you can read about it here. ) But there is that chance that I may not have my make-up on perfectly before I’m dilated to 10.   However, I know he or she is coming, so there’s really no excuse. Gotta be ready.

I tend to obsess over all the different signs of gender during pregnancy.  It’s not like I’m not curious, y’all.  I’m human just like everyone else…I just don’t obsess over needing to be prepared based on whether it’s a boy or a girl.

So for fun, I thought it would be neat to go through a list of old wives tales & gender prediction signs and see what my pregnancy predicts. I’ll list the ones everyone’s already heard about a million times AND some new signs/tests I recently became aware of and then I’ll tell you my prediction of each sign and my total prediction at the end of this post.

Ok…so these are in no particular order.

Gender Prediction Signs During this Pregnancy & My Prediction

  1. If you have really bad morning sickness, it’s a girl. If you aren’t getting very sick, it’s a boy.  I was sick all the time for the first 20 weeks, but only threw up 3 times. I’m usually sick the entire pregnancy, just not as much during the 3rd trimester.  So, it seemed to lessen a bit earlier this time.  It definitely wasn’t as severe as with my girls.  My prediction…boy.
  2. If you have faster growing hair anywhere, it’s supposed to be a boy.  This was true for me during my 3rd pregnancy and I did indeed have a boy.   The hair on my legs grew like crazy during the beginning, I know, but I honestly can’t remember if it slowed down or not.  (I keep a journal during each pregnancy and only mentioned it once the entire time, which I think is odd.  If it was a huge difference, I think I would have mentioned it or complained about having to shave all the time.)  But during the next 4 pregnancies, the hair on my legs basically stopped growing around midway & they were all girls. This time it grew a good bit during the beginning & I was really thinking that it was a boy, but now it has pretty much stopped.  The hairs are sporadic and grow super slow.  My eyelashes look as if they have grown, though, and I’ve never noticed it before.26239548_10215498747128617_1550805694660257237_n If you read my first post, I mentioned how I had kind-of become obsessed over false eyelashes recently.  I can’t even imagine wearing them now.  They would probably make me look ridiculous.  So, I’m going to predict a boy for this one.
  3. The Baking Soda Gender Test: The test itself is one you can do at home at any time. Put a tablespoon or two of baking soda in a glass. Then add some of your urine to the baking soda.  If it fizzes like when you pour a coke, it’s a boy. On the other hand if there is no reaction at all from the baking soda and urine, you’re having a girl.  Apparently the science behind this idea suggests that the sex of the baby changes some of the hormones in the mother’s body, which may then change some of the acid content of her urine.  I did the test during the first trimester and absolutely nothing happened, which suggests that it’s a girl.  But I’ve not done it since……SO…how about I go take it right now and see if it’s the same not that I’m well into the 3rd….   Annnnnndd the same thing happened.  There were some bubbles, which were not there when I took the test the first time, but it definitely didn’t fizz like coke.  So, either my urine is just not very acidic in general, or maybe it’s a girl.
  4. The Baby’s Skull Theory: This is one I had never heard of before.  The Skull Theory is a technique for predicting gender and I’ve read that it has a 92% accuracy rate. Basically, you compare your baby’s ultrasound profile picture to the diagram below looking for certain ‘male’ or ‘female’ markers in the shape of the skull. Skull Theory6415362I must say that I am just not sure how to measure this, but here is my baby’s ultrasound picture from 20 weeks:img_7795-1The only way I can compare is to look at other ultrasound pictures.      a boy not oursRo9PtnYzJfq2KhZlztGBiLOfN5vhr36H_med.jpgThe top profile is a boy and the bottom profile is a girl, but I must say, I really have no idea how to judge this.  If I had to choose one, I’d probably say that my baby’s skull looks more like the bottom picture, which is a girl, but then the forehead looks a little more flat like the top picture, which is a boy.  So, y’all, I have no idea, but I admit that this is extremely interesting to me.  I’ll probably study it more after this baby is born.  I think it deserves its own post.
  5. The Ramzi Theory: this theory is based on the location of your placenta at a very early ultrasound, I would say between 6-8 weeks.  The Ramzi Theory suggests that if your ultrasound reveals that your future placenta is on the left side of your body, you are likely having a girl; if it reveals that it is on the right side of your body, it is likely a boy.  The Ramzi theoryHere’s my 6 week ultrasound picture.21318931_10214392316788550_5551685151257280872_oHere’s my 6 week ultrasound picture with my last baby, which was a girl.jillianYou have to flip the image when having a vaginal ultrasound, so what appears to be on the left is actually on the right and what is on the right is actually on the left.  So, my two ultrasounds show the baby, and I would think the placenta, to be on the right side.  If it’s on the right, it’s a boy, right?  Well, this proves false with my last baby because I had a girl.  And if you look at the baby I’m carrying now, its definitely on the right side.  The placenta looks like it is not there, in my opinion, which would be accurate because my placenta is actually located right in the front.  I have an anterior placenta and it’s right in the middle–it’s behind my belly button now, as it has moved upward as my uterus has grown.  (Just think about it logically and it makes sense).  So, this theory doesn’t fit the bill in my case.  I don’t think I can make an accurate prediction on this one, but if I had to guess based on where the baby is, then boy.
  6. Chinese Gender Predictor: this is completely ridiculous, in my opinion, but for the record, I’ll look at the chart.  500x1000px-LL-c15960a6_chinese_gender_prediction2My age at conception was 37 and the month I conceived was July, so based off of this chart, I’m having a girl.
  7. Baby’s Heart Rate:  Now, in my opinion, this one may be the most reliable–for me, anyway.  When I was pregnant with my girls–all 5 of them–the heart rate was always in the 150’s or 160’s.  Every ultrasound. Every check with the Doppler.  But this was not the case with Jack.  When I was pregnant with him, I had some preterm labor issues and had to be monitored like all the time.  I was in the hospital for 3 days when I was 30 weeks and so I was hooked up to the monitor the entire time and saw his heart rate constantly.  It was always in the upper 130’s-mid 140’s.  Always.  It only got higher if he got busy in there.  When I was in labor, my L&D nurse said that I was going to have a boy, no doubt.  Her prediction was based on his heart rate.  The earlier you are in your pregnancy, the faster the resting heart rate.  As the baby gets bigger, it slows, so in my opinion, this wouldn’t really be as accurate during the first half of a pregnancy.  My baby’s heart rate was in the 140’s the last two times it was checked.  It was 143 bpm and 142 bpm, so based on those two times, I would predict that I’m having a boy.
  8. Food Cravings:  They say if you crave salty things, you are having a boy and if you crave sweet things, you’re having a girl.  I really don’t have any true cravings this time, except for the fact that I’ve wanted a pickle quite a few times and I never eat pickles.  I do eat salty/savory foods waaaaaaaaay more than sweet foods.  If there’s ice cream around, though, you’d better believe I’m gonna have some of that, but based off my norm, I’m gonna say boy.
  9. Craving Ice:  The intense urge to eat ice cubes during pregnancy is considered to be a form of pica. Pica is characterized by eating non-food items such as clay, chalk, soil, paint chips and plaster.  Nice.  The eating habit is thought to be compulsive, and the consumed items hold little in the way of nutritional value. Some studies have found a link between pica and iron deficiency, indicating that deficiencies may have a role to play in the condition. During my last three pregnancies, I could not stopeating ice.  It was definitely compulsive and I had no iron deficiency.  It started during the 2nd trimester with each pregnancy and got crazy during the 3rd.  I would sit in bed at night with a huge cup of ice and it made me so content and calm.  I remember stopping at Chick-fil-A once just to get a large water so I could have their ice.  This pregnancy, however, has been the exact opposite.  When I think of chomping down on ice, I imagine it just hurting my teeth or something.  This craving is found in more women pregnant with girls, and my last three babies were all girls.  Considering I never eat it and am well into the 3rd trimester, I’m gonna predict that I’m having a boy with this one.
  10. How you carry your baby: So, we hear this one all the time, right?  If it looks like you’re carrying a basketball down low, it’s a boy.  If you look like you swallowed a watermelon, you’re carrying a girl.  You really can’t make this prediction until you are  in your 3rd trimester, girls.  I remember posting a 20 week belly picture on facebook with one of my babies and someone commented that they thought I was going to have a boy because I was carrying so low………well, girls, when your 20 weeks, your uterus is only so big.  It sits at, or slightly below, your belly button.  So, yes.  I looked like I was going to have a boy.  Until the baby grew and I looked like that no longer.  Here’s that 20 week picture and I had a girl.1000727_10201696502601130_663172863_n.jpgHere I am at 31 weeks, same pregnancy.  dscf8921-2.jpgBased off of how I look this time, I don’t know.  This was taken at 28 weeks.Screenshot-2018-1-18 Lisa Beyer ( the broody chick) • Instagram photos and videosIt is more rounded, compared to the picture above it.  Well, how can I tell with that shirt on?  I don’t know, people.  I do know that I should probably get some better pictures, though.  My prediction: either.
  11. How you eat bread: Is this seriously a thing?  I don’t know what to think about it, except that I find my situation interesting.  They say if you want to eat the ends of the loaf, you’re having a boy.  If you prefer the middle, it’s a girl.  This is weird for me.  Recently, I pulled out our bread machine and started making bread again for our family.  (Homemade bread is so good, y’all.)  When that first loaf was finished, I immediately wanted to eat the end piece and I’ve wanted the ends each time after that.  When I made bread a couple of years ago, I would never have eaten the end.  Never.  So, as weird as that is, I must say that this prediction is a boy.
  12. Heartburn:  I didn’t realize this was a gender thing, but okay.  So, if you have heartburn, it’s a girl.  If you don’t, it’s a boy.  I don’t remember if I had it with Jack, but I had it with all the girls for sure.  It started during the end of the 2nd-beginning of the 3rd trimesters with all of them & it was HORRIBLE.  This time, it started at 20 weeks! However, I no longer have it, which has puzzled me.  I was just talking to Rooster yesterday or the day before about the absence of heartburn now and how I don’t understand why I’m not having it because it only lessens during my pregnancies after the baby drops.  I do feel like I can breathe easier now…I’ve been feeling less winded and less crowded with this baby for the past week & 1/2, but it would be early for the baby to engage.  Unless I am carrying the baby lower and just haven’t realized it.  So, for this one, I’m gonna have to say boy.
  13. The Ring Test:  Here’s another one of those crazies.  Tie a string to your wedding ring and hang it over your belly.  If it moves in circles, it’s a girl.  If it swings back and forth, it’s a boy.  So, I did this and it went back and forth every time.  It went that way over Rooster’s belly, too……..  So, it must be a boy.
  14. Not gaining as much weight or not looking pregnant from behind:  So, I have my own theory for this one.  When you’re pregnant with a boy, you will have higher amounts of testosterone because he’s male.  Plain and simple.  This is why hair sometimes grows faster or in crazy places.  It really is true, but it doesn’t affect all women the same.  Hormones from your baby, however, do affect your own hormones in some ways.  High amounts of testosterone can speed up your metabolism, too.  Ever heard of men losing weight easier/faster than women?  As a general rule, they have faster metabolisms than we do.  During pregnancy, your metabolism speeds up no matter what the gender of your baby.  BUT, maybe, just maybe, our metabolism is even faster when we are carrying a boy???  I’ve looked this up, but can’t find any information on it.  I’m just looking at the facts here.  If your metabolism is faster, less weight might be gained.  They say that women who are pregnant with girls gain weight all over and only gain in the belly with boys.  Why would this happen?  Just because you’re having a girl, you’ll gain more weight?  I don’t think so.  I think that it’s all about metabolism.  This should mean that if you had a boy and a girl (different pregnancies) and ate the same diet both times, you’d more than likely gain more weight with the girl.  It’s common sense when you think about it, but it may be completely untrue.  Just my theory on the issue.  For me during this rodeo, I have gained like 12 pounds.  Well, that was when I was 26 weeks, so it’s more now, I’m sure.  Someone told me that I don’t look pregnant from behind, but I can tell that my thighs are bigger.  Gross.  So, we’ll sayboy for this one.

And I think I’m going to stop right there because this post is looooooooong. And there’s no telling what my kids are up to right now.

My results from these gender signs are:  10 for a boy, 2 for a girl, and 2 for either.  This means very little to me, however.   My true prediction this go round is this:

 I would guess that I havea 51% chance of having a boy & a49% chance of having a girl.  

I am completely on the fence about this one, despite all the signs.  The extra 1% goes to a boy because of the baby’s heart rate, but it’s still neck & neck in my opinion.  Oh, and Rooster thinks it’s a girl.  But Rooster always thinks it’s a girl, so that’s no surprise.

So, I’m excited, y’all!  Again!  The closer I get, the more I can hardly stand it….And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, take a wild guess.  Chances that you pick the right gender of my baby, or your baby, are pretty good.  Here’s to surprises and for being super old fashioned!


And, a shout out to Cassidy.  Come on, girl, you can do it!

The Irritable Uterus During Pregnancy

I have an irritable uterus. Not only is it irritable, but it’s irritating.

I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my 7th child and it’s doing its thing once again, just like it did during all my other pregnancies.

I had no idea what an irritable uterus was during my first 4 pregnancies. My doctor didn’t tell me or anything–I had to discover it for myself through research.

An irritable uterus is pretty much just that–a uterus that is irritated during pregnancy. It isn’t happy & calm…it’s just the opposite and pitches its fit by contracting.

You’ve probably heard of the term “Braxton Hicks” contractions. These contractions are just practice contractions that happen every so often. They don’t hurt, however they can be rather uncomfortable at times and many women mistaken them for the real thing.

Contractions from an irritable uterus are not Braxton Hicks contractions and they aren’t labor contractions. They don’t occur just every once in a while, and they can definitely be mistaken for the real thing because of their frequency. I’ve gone to the hospital multiple times each pregnancy because of the fear that I was possibly in real labor. And this, my dear readers, can get very irritating.

During the 25th week of my third pregnancy, I started noticing that my stomach would get very hard like all of the time. I would contract over and over again without ceasing…50+ times every day.

(I kept a pregnancy journal…)

I mentioned it to my doctor during my 28 week check up (3rd pregnancy) & he was concerned. He said I shouldn’t have been having more than 3 or 4 contractions an hour–and not every hour at all–so after some tests and ultrasounds, I was put on bed rest. I could go into detail about the tests & ultrasounds–and I will–but I really need to devote the two to another post, which will be coming very soon.

I was put on bed rest, but contractions really never settled down.

I ended up being put in the hospital at 30 weeks after about a week & 1/2 of non-stop contractions & an effaced cervix (75% thinned) and was given Magnesium Sulfate, “the evil drug”, as my nurses called it. (That post is coming soon, as well.) I was 30 weeks at this point and Magnesium did put an end to my contractions for a few weeks. I was almost 33 weeks when they started up again, however I did not go into labor because of them. I delivered a healthy baby boy at 38 weeks after being induced.

That was 8 years ago. Since 2010, I’ve been pregnant 4 more times and I’ve experienced the same thing during every pregnancy, including this one. I’ve never delivered a premature baby, despite my constant contractions, and I’ve never had any more treatment since my 3rd pregnancy.

This is just my NORMAL. My irritable uterus is my normal. It’s nothing I can prevent. It’s nothing I need to worry about, however I do need to listen to my body & slow down when contractions start to get intense.

There are things that can set off an irritable uterus, so if you are experiencing crazy contractions, you may want to consider these possible situations…

  • Dehydration can cause an irritable uterus to act up. You really need to drink a lot of water during pregnancy. For those with an irritable uterus, they need to drink even more. If you start having symptoms, lay down & drink drink drink.
  • Overworking yourself can irritate your uterus. I notice it most when I am up vacuuming, which I am obsessive about. I am constantly cleaning up with 6 kids, 3 cats, & a dog inside my house. My laundry never ever ceases and I cook almost every meal. We have horses, goats, & chickens. I over-do just about everything and I usually won’t stop until I’m satisfied, which is pretty stupid in my situation. Slow down & don’t be like me. I just keep going cause the irritable uterus thing no longer scares me like it used to.
  • Stress can cause an irritable uterus. Okay, there. Enough said. This may be my main culprit.
  • A full bladder, constipation, standing to quickly, staying on your feet for too long…etc…these are symptoms I’ve read other women talk about, so they may very well be reasons for your uterus to get its panties in a wad, but I’ve been on full bed rest with non-stop contractions, so they are really just situations other pregnant women have found themselves in. This may or may not be you.
  • An irritable uterus is an irritable uterus…sometimes it just is what it is. Most women don’t experience a true irritable uterus. I mean, after being pregnant as many times as I’ve been pregnant, with the internet at my fingertips for the last five, I would have surely read more on the subject during my fears if it were a regular occurrence among most pregnant women.
  • If you are just starting to have symptoms, the first thing I would do is take Naproxen (Aleve), lay down on your left side, and drink two full glasses of water within an hour and 1/2. This may quiet your uterus, however, if it does not, call your doctor or head to the office or emergency room just in case there really is something wrong…and especially if this is your first baby.
  • If this is not your first rodeo, and you experienced all the classic irritable uterus symptoms with your previous pregnancy and delivered full term, it is very likely that you will have an irritable uterus with every pregnancy thereafter. Unless you purchase a new uterus in between pregnancies or something. 🙄 So what I’m saying is this: your uterus is either irritable or not. It probably won’t have multiple personalities throughout its life.
  • Sometimes there is nothing you can do to ease an irritable uterus. There are times that nothing you do will help calm things down. I have had contractions 1-2 minutes apart for hours and hours…it’s just how it is sometimes. They stop when they’re ready to stop & start up again when they wish.

Here is a picture where I timed them during my 2nd pregnancy.So, if you are dealing with the stress of an irritable uterus, I sympathize with you completely. It’s no fun and it can scare you out of your mind. Your doctor will more than likely want to be overly cautious, which is obviously smart, but sometimes nothing can really be done if all you own is a uterus that gets irritated at the drop of a hat.

As irritating as an irritable uterus is, your baby is worth it, so hang in there, mama! The ride will be over soon enough.


The Most Brilliant Way to Naturally Induce Your Labor

I have been pregnant for 1,786 days to date….one-thousand, seven-hundred and eighty-six days…

I’m not complaining. Just merely stating a fact.

However, many many many of those days, were spent wishing that I were not so pregnant anymore. This is a feeling that I’m pretty sure 99.999% of all expectant mothers eventually feel. There just comes a time when we are DONE.

I’m 25 weeks pregnant with my 7th baby right now, so I haven’t reached the point of no return just yet, but I’m getting there a lot quicker this go round. I’m already starting to waddle and swell when I sit for too long. I was walking/waddling up to our barn this afternoon and I couldn’t believe how tough the last few steps had become. It made me a bit nauseous.


Constipation During Pregnancy…I Have the Cure, Girls.

I promise that this is not a joke. I would never joke about constipation. I have suffered way too much to write a blog post on this subject & not give you a solution to the problem.

I do joke a lot about pregnancy symptoms because some are just way over the top in ridiculousness as far as I’m concerned, but this one can straight up put you in the hospital.

Okay…that’s the only joke, I promise.

So, I started having horrible- horrible-HORRIBLE constipation when I was pregnant with my fourth baby. How I managed to bypass it with my first three is quite the mystery, but I do know how it all started when I was pregnant with this little darling.

Those curls are tighter than I ever thought possible and my pregnancy with her was more horrible than I ever imagined.

I was so sick the entire 9 months and I had 3 children that were my full time job. I had no sick days, yet every day I was sick.

I couldn’t get through a day alone, so my doctor prescribed Zofran. The first time I took it was on the way home from my 8 week appointment. Three minutes later, I felt like a completely different person. The nausea vanished entirely. It was crazy.

It was also crazy two days later, after I had taken 4 doses of the medication. I went to the bathroom and three minutes into that situation, I felt like a completely different person. The ability to go vanished entirely…it just wasn’t gonna happen. That was crazier.

Have you ever tried to poop out a softball? I know, I know. How gross. But, y’all. That is how I felt. It was one of the scariest things I have ever experienced. I just knew I was going to have to get that stuff surgically removed.

I did everything I knew to do. I drank tons of water. I ate prunes like they were candy. I ate bowls & bowls of Raisin Bran cereal and when that didn’t work, I moved to plain old nasty Bran. (Makes me gag just thinking about it.) I tried suppositories. Enemas. Stool softeners. Laxatives. I would eventually become able to go, but the process was grueling.

So, why not just stop taking the Zofran you ask? Well, because I’d take being constipated over being nauseated any day.

Anyway, after weeks and weeks of having to go through all the scheduled bathroom rituals, one day I was able to go. Like, naturally. And I was totally confused.

I was in my second trimester by this time and experiencing a UTI. The only thing I had been doing differently was drinking cranberry juice. Tons of it.

I wasn’t sure if the cranberry juice was helping or not, but I kept drinking it.

It totally cleaned me out. Like 100%. It was a miracle, y’all. Like on 34th Street.

If I stopped drinking it for a few days, I would end up right back where I was. It only took a few times to figure all of this out in detail.

And this has been my situation with each pregnancy thereafter. I’ve taken Zofran every time, become constipated days later, and added cranberry juice to the grocery list.

This picture was taken just about an hour ago.

At 24 weeks pregnant, I am once again drinking this on a daily basis. Notice that this is 100% Cranberry Juice. Cranapple juice won’t work. Cranberry juice won’t work unless the label says “100%”. Trust me, I’ve tried.

This particular one works perfectly for me. I’ve tried other natural cranberry juices and they’ve also worked, but this one is easily found in grocery stores, so I always recommend it.

So, if you are needing some serious relief, I would start out drinking 2-3 glasses of juice, consecutively. Then water for the rest of the day. You may need more to start out, you may need less. It is pretty powerful stuff, so don’t go and drink the entire bottle. You might wind up hating me.

You will improve each day and will probably visit the potty more than once a day. This is a good thing, but when you find yourself needing to go more often, taper back.

As each day goes by, it will get easier and easier and then almost effortless. When you reach this point, you may need just one small glass a day or every other day. You just have to see what works for you.

This will work with chronic constipation of you have it, or occasional bouts. It should work whether you’re pregnant or not. If you have a child that is having issues, it may help them. And if you are a man reading this, well, yes. It should work for you, too, bud.

I am not a doctor, so by all means, ask your physician about this first if you are the least bit worried about drinking some fruit juice. If you are extremely sensitive to sugar, ask your doctor. If you have diabetes or gestational diabetes, please talk to your physician, and if you are allergic to cranberries, people, please don’t drink cranberry juice.

Cause that right there could straight up put you in the hospital. No joke.


The 20 Week Ultrasound…My Bump is Over the Half-Way Hump!

Last week marked my 20th week in this pregnancy and you know what that means… time for the big ultrasound had come.

I used to get excited about having ultrasounds, but the more pregnancies I have, the more I sort-of dread them.

Well, I don’t really dread them. That’s probably pushing it a bit, but I definitely get that nervous gut feeling as it approaches.

During my earlier pregnancies, I knew very little. Well, I wasn’t stupid, but let’s just say that I was very naive. I just expected to go in and see the baby’s body parts & hear the heartbeat, you know…that sort of stuff. I didn’t even think about the possibility that something might not be just right, but the older I get, the more I fear that I’m going to find out that something is wrong with the baby.

It’s probably mostly because of my age.

Oh. I should probably not announce that on Sunday, I will turn thirty-eight. 38, people! Go ahead & round that one up. It’s absolutely depressing. I never thought I’d ever get this old. I use to joke about people getting “Over the Hill.” Geez Louise. It’s been bothering me all week…and Rooster started celebrating it last night…five days early. Thanks, buddy.

Please accept my apologies for having a mini blog breakdown.

So, here’s a profile picture of our newest chick. Or rooster. If you read my blog regularly, you know we don’t find out the baby’s gender. Sorry, y’all, that’s just the way it is. Here’s for surprises!

Do you see that big blob at the top? That is my placenta. Well, some of it. The medical term is anterior placenta. It has caused me much stress this go round & here’s why…

The location of an anterior placenta is in the front of the uterus, closest to your skin. As the 20 week mark approaches, we expect to feel some kicks in there. Well, if your placenta is attached in the front, it’s like a big, soft, fluffy pillow for your baby, and karate chopping through that thing just-ain’t-gonna-happen when the baby is that little.

I usually feel my babies kick around 17 weeks & those kicks become much stronger as the 20th week draws near, but it was not so this time. I had an anterior placenta with my last pregnancy as well, so I had a pretty good idea that was the reason for me not feeling much movement.

Anyway, the ultrasound, which I found out is actually called the Anatomy Ultrasound, was quite long. And I go to them alone because, well, someone has to stay with the kids.

And because it gives me some time alone, which I so desperately need these days.

Thankfully, all was well. The baby has all his or her fingers & toes, and the heart, kidneys, brain, spine…etc…are all developing as they should.

The nose and lips are fine, so there’s no cleft lip. I always worry about this because a dear friend of mine had a baby with a cleft lip and cleft palate. She didn’t find out until just weeks before he was born & it was devastating for her. She couldn’t nurse him & had to actually learn how to feed him using a special bottle. Surgeries and speech issues were all things she had to learn about in a short amount of time. I ask them to please check mainly because I know I would need a lot of time to prepare for that situation before delivery.

The baby’s heart rate was 143 bpm, which makes me wonder if it’s a boy. 🤗 Baby was squirming all over the place, so it wasn’t a resting heart rate. My girls all had heart rates of 155 and higher, no matter what, and Jack’s was always much lower. That really is a thing, y’all. It’s not 100%, but it’s really exciting seeing that big of a difference, even if I am carrying another baby girl.

The baby measured right where it he or she was supposed to. My due date stayed exactly the same, and his or her weight was 12 oz, although that’s not always very accurate on ultrasound. I believe one of my books reads that 9 oz. is average for 20 weeks.

My amniotic fluid was good…once I measured 4 weeks ahead & found out that my amniotic fluid was high, which didn’t cause a problem, but had to be checked a few times.

My cervix was thick and closed and my anterior placenta wasn’t low-lying, which is concerning because that situation can cause problems. And that’s another post all together.

And that was pretty much it. Seeing the little miracle growing inside me was nothing short of amazing. No matter how many times I see it, it never loses its luster.

So now that the ultrasound is over and my bump is over the half-way hump, I finally feel like this is all really happening.

Again. ❤️


Having a Miscarriage…Stories and Signs

One of the hardest things about pregnancy, for me, is worrying that I may miscarry.  When I see those two pink lines, I’m elated! but then the fear starts to take over and getting to that “safe” point seems like an eternity.

I worry about having a miscarriage because I’ve had four of them.  I actually miscarried my very first pregnancy, which was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.  If you have been in my shoes, my heart breaks for you.  It is truly devastating.

If you’ve read any of my posts, you may have figured out that I kind-of enjoy having babies.  It’s only, like, my favorite thing to do.  So, becoming pregnant for the first time ever was absolutely the most exciting thing ever.

I remember that day…it was surreal.  I could not WAIT to wear maternity clothes.  I could not wait to feel the baby kick.  I could not WAIT to tell people that Rooster and I were expecting, so I didn’t.  I believe the secret–that was never going to be a secret–was out just days after I had a positive pregnancy test.  I wanted to the whole world to know.



How I Discipline My Children…May They Never Resemble Veruca Salt

So, I’ve had some interest in how I discipline my kids. I have no idea how this post will turn out, so beware.

To start out, I will have to say that my disciplinary skills started to develop when I was very, very young.  I am told that I was super bossy….True.  And super loud…Very True.  I do remember punishing my dolls and making my Barbies argue with one another over who was wearing the best outfit.  I liked the drama of it all.

If any of you reading this are my closest friends from high school or college,  you know that I either caused drama, encouraged the drama…or added to the drama that had nothing to do with me to begin with.  Something was always going on within my inner circle of friends.  Life was never boring, that’s for sure.  They all know it.

I remember being single, but imagining my life as a wife and a mother.  Blissful…I simply could not wait.  And I also remember going to the grocery store or the mall all by myself.  (It seems like forever ago….well, it was forever ago.)  I can recall several, several occasions observing children throwing ridiculous temper tantrums….in the middle of isle 3 at Publix because the mother wouldn’t put a certain box of cereal in her buggy.  The child was sooooooo loud.  I was embarrassed for her.  The mom.  Not the kid.



Broody Chicks Love Pumpkin Pancakes

Have you ever experienced the amazingness of a big stack of maple-syrup-smothered pumpkin pancakes????

If you haven’t, you should. If you don’t like pumpkin, you shouldn’t….but boy are you missing out.

Pumpkin pancakes are a beloved thing of beauty in our family. But only during the fall. They probably wouldn’t taste right if made during the other seasons, but we’ll never know because it’s against my religion to make them at any other time.

So, I made these this morning for Rooster & the kids.  Here’s what someone’s plate looked like…

Looks kind-of yummy, huh.


Breastfeeding…How to Push Yourself Through the Pain.

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you’re having trouble dealing with the pain of breastfeeding. Or maybe you’re pregnant and wanting to nurse your baby after she’s born. Oh, wait. I know. You’ve done it before and you’re dreading the pain and frustration of having to go through it again. Been there, done that.

So, let’s just go ahead and say it. Breastfeeding can hurt. It’s one of those things many women look forward to when they’re pregnant, but after three or four days of nursing every two hours, they begin to question if they can keep going. The pain becomes just too intense and that, combined with pregnancy hormones, can be the means to an end.

I’ve nursed all six of my babies, so it’s a breeze for me now, but in the beginning, I dealt with a lot of the issues you can read about in any book on pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pain. Dry, cracked nipples. Bleeding nipples. Clogged milk ducts. I remember it like it was yesterday.

When I was pregnant with my first child, Maggie, one of my biggest goals was to breastfeed her exclusively until starting solids. I was not going to give her an ounce of formula if she was able to nurse, no matter how much it hurt in the beginning. I was determined to do whatever I had to do to make it work. End of story.

The first few days were fine. She was doing a great job…and I thought I was doing a great job, too, but then things started to change drastically. I started out feeling just somewhat uncomfortable, but that feeling quickly spread to a hurt I had never felt before.

The pain was unreal. Every single time I would get ready to feed her, I would tense up and just hold my breath while she latched on. Sometimes I would do a long little squeal with my eyes tightly shut & I’d try to count to ten. Seemed like it took forever.

In the very beginning, I was taking a narcotic that I was given in the hospital after she was born. It covered up the pain in a magnificent way. But, when I stopped taking it, everything became very real. The honeymoon was over.

I’m not going to tell you how to nurse correctly or how to successfully latch your baby on so that the pain is minimal. You can Google a plethora of information and you may, or may not be prepared enough, but before I go any further…

Not all mothers can nurse. Not all babies can nurse. Sometimes what’s naturally supposed to happen just doesn’t for some reason. If your baby is not gaining weight, or worse, losing weight, something is wrong. If your baby nurses & doesn’t fall asleep, but instead cries after every feeding, something may be wrong. The good signs in the beginning follow a pattern: fuss, eat, sleep, poop…fuss, eat, sleep, poop. And the scale should be going up.

Okay. Now I’m going to tell you what you can do when the discomfort truly begins because getting through the pain is the hardest part physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  • Come to terms with yourself. If this is something you deeply want for your baby, you must mentally be ALL IN.
  • Realize that this is a huge awakening for your poor boobs. They aren’t use to feeding a baby. Even if your baby is the best nurser in the world, there will probably be pain in the beginning. Your boobs have got to toughen up. And they will.
  • Learn the tricks of the trade. I have a favorite: Get your nipples nice & cold with ice packs right before you get ready to feed your baby. This will numb the pain. It was the only thing that made latching on bearable for me. It really does work, girls.
  • Remember that you are going to have a huge hormonal shift. Getting emotional is going to happen. Your going to cry…you’re going to doubt yourself. But you can do this. You can. If you decide to quit during your most vulnerable time, you may regret it.
  • Don’t don’t Don’t give your baby a bottle just because you need a break. Pumping hurts worse, in my opinion, and the nipple on a bottle will cause nipple confusion. Pacifiers won’t. You can try one if your baby keeps sucking, but is clearly dosing off. Your baby won’t get confused when there’s clearly no milk coming out of a pacifier.
  • Get to know your lactation specialist. They are wonderful and will support you in every way. Call them if you feel the need.
  • Take a pain reliever around the clock. It will not hurt your baby, I promise.
  • I don’t buy nipple shields or anything like that because I just feel like it prolongs the goal I’m trying to accomplish, but if you hear that it’s helpful, then by all means..
  • Believe me when I say that one day soon, you’ll feed your baby & realize, Oh my gosh…that wasn’t so bad.

And it gets easier & easier. There is no magical potion. There is no set time frame. All it really takes is love and patience from you…

And a little bit of squeezing and high-pitched squealing from time to time…

And ice. Lots and lots of ice.