About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

19 Weeks Update

How far along? 19 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Christmas! It wasn't "perfect" but it was fun!

Movement: Daily. I remarked yesterday to the girls that the baby was kicking me, and Miss M said, "The baby kicking - it want to come out!"

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Being a regular OB patient. I found out today I'm getting a referral to a high risk specialist. The bp medication was not as effective as she wanted, and I got some scary high readings, so she upped the dose (which so far seems to be working) but because of this I have to go to a specialist.

What I am looking forward to: Maybe getting an ultrasound (finding out gender) a little sooner. I think that's one of the tests the high risk specialist does.

Weekly Wisdom: Proverbs 3:5-6

Milestones: Not happy ones, but the carpel tunnel and intense (sporadic) hip pain has started. Isn't it early for that? Not fun!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chrismtas Memories


Ah, Christmas. This year I made msyelf all stressed out trying to make it perfect for my kids. It really was a beautiful Christmas. We woke to sweet girls waiting patiently in their beds (I told them to wait until we came to get them). We started the morning reading Luke 2, then we allowed them to open their stockings, and Miss N was thrilled to find Bella Sara (horse game) trading cards in it. She's been wanting these very badly for quite a while.

When I was getting Miss M dressed for church, I told her, "It's Christmas!" She got a very worried look on her face. "Aren't you excited?" I asked. "I no want see Santa. I no want sit on his lap." She was very worried she would have to see and sit on Santa since it was finally "Christmas." I assured her we would not make her do that ;)

After cinnamon rolls (frozen, not homemade, I can only do so much), it was off to church. All of their friends kept asking them what they got, and they were very patient to say, "We haven't opened presents yet."

We got home and finished some prep for dinner while waiting for Tim's parents to arrive. The girls were so patient waiting! Finally, we could not make them wait any longer. They started opening. They were every happy with their gifts, except one. I purchased a couple of games that were Toy Story themed, and M's response was, "This a boy toy!" Thankfully they really like them.

Dinner was nice, although my potatoes were lumpy (grrrrrr). After Tim's parents left, we watched Rudolph together. I love having it on DVD - no commercials or worrying about TIVO-ing it!

All in all it was a lovely Christmas. My one mistake was not giving M more "toys." She doesn't have a theme of toys she likes, but plays with everything, so I gave her games and craft stuff and a few toys. She was really into playing with N's new horses and doll, which did not go over well with N, so next year I will need to make sure she has new things of her own too that can be played with right away.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Let the Tears Flow

So, I am a weepy mess with this pregnancy! It's crazy! You can ask my husband, I am not one prone to crying. Sure, I have the emotional outburst occasionally (don't all women?), but it's not a regular thing with me.

Not so anymore.

I mean, just today at church a friend said Merry Christmas and gave me a hug and I was almost in tears. How embarrassing! The other night something fairly minor happened and I was fighting back tears the whole night in a public situation. Caused a few people to worry that something was wrong with the baby and it really was something minor. This week a sweet friend offered to come and help with some stresses I was having, and I found myself in tears again because of her sweetness and my inability to manage it all. That inability led to a huge meltdown later in the week. And don't even get me started on the Target.com fiasco!

What's a girl to do? I do not remember being THIS emotional any of the other times I was expecting. After they were born, yes, then I was a blubbering mess, but during the pregnancy, no!

I guess it's just time to keep the tissue box handy. Wish my husband luck! Are there any old wives' tales about weepy meaning a certain gender?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miss M Funny

At night the girls take turns praying for the meal. We let either one pray if they want, actually. Tonight Miss M prayed,

"Dear Jesus, thank you for this food. Help mommy's baby come out so we hold it. Amen."

So sweet! They have been to two appointments without an ultrasound being done (I got spoiled early on) so they are really missing "seeing" their baby sibling. Three weeks until the "big" ultrasound! Actually, as long as my bp meds do their job, three weeks before I go back again (doc wanted to see me in two but she's out of town and apparently does not want me seen by anyone else).

18 weeks

Kids are on break and my kitchen is a disaster (can anyone keep a clean kitchen while baking?) so this will be short. 18 weeks today!

How far along? 18 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Having a day when I didn't feel the baby kick (which was also the most stressful day of the week so that added stress didn't help) and as I was reading my Bible that night, it gave me some real strong kicks to let me know all was well.

Movement: Daily

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not thinking about my bp every second of every day, not taking it three times per day.

What I am looking forward to: Getting good news on my test results today because it WILL be good, right?

Weekly Wisdom: I definitely am not drinking enough water. Let's just leave it at that and not go into why I have come to know this. Thanks.

Milestones: None I can think of.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Birthday Party Quandary

So, Miss N's sixth birthday is coming up in the beginning of March. I know that is two months away, but since we have a tiny house and need to have the party elsewhere, and venues tend to book quickly and are expensive, I have already been thinking about it. And now I am left with a quandary.

As a child, especially as a teen, I was always the one not invited. I was the excluded one. The "big" parties either invited everyone, and then I was included, or not, and then I was excluded. It hurt.

Now that I am the mom planning the parties, I do not want to inflict that pain on any child. But, this brings up a difficulty.

We have a lot of kid friends. We have school, and her class has 17 kids in it this year I believe. We have a handful of same aged friends at church. We have a group we have been friends with since toddlerhood. We have a smattering of friends here and there as well.

Last year, I invited everyone. I ended up with over 50 people at her party when you counted the parents and siblings that came. It was outdoors at a park so not a big deal, and we did have fun, but man was it stressful! I even had to hire a babysitter for the kids whose parents dropped them off - I didn't trust myself to be able to keep my eyes on that many kids in a big outdoor space.

So, now I am left wondering what to do this year. There are variables we didn't have last year, like additional cost. We won't be doing a park party in May since I will be having a baby then, so the party has to be in March at an indoor venue, making it more pricey. The venue I have chosen requires a minimum of 10 children, so I can't get by saying just two or three. I like the idea of "invite a child for every year of your life," so she could have 6 since she is turning 6, but that doesn't work for the venue she wants.

In Miss N's eyes, we could probably get by with inviting just the girls in her class and these two boys that are good friends, but what about the other boys? I know kids, they will talk. I know one friend whose parents I know was really hurt last year when a child had a party and invited almost everyone, but not her son. They had a 15 child limit at the venue and there were 18 in the class. Ouch. I don't want my child to be responsible for hurting anyone!

Then there are the church friends, the friendships I really want to cultivate, the friendships I want to last a lifetime.

So that is the quandary. How do you keep a birthday party sane and reasonable without hurting someone? I haven't decided what I am going to do yet.

I am definitely ready, I think, for the years of "invite three friends for a sleepover." What an easy birthday party! And no one can be faulted for limiting the party when it's a sleepover, right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

17 weeks

Ok it's Wednesday, and that means time for that weekly update post!

So, blood pressure update. It's been all over the map, but I'm still not sure I am reading or taking it accurately. Friday I go back in for a bp check, so I plan to take the two machines/cuffs I have with me and compare readings. Yesterday I got 140/100 for my evening measurement, then this morning (laying in bed) it was 120/70.

I am very nervous about ending up on bed rest. Sheesh, I have two small kids, a husband who cooks only using the grill (and it's winter), and a thousand responsibilities. How will we eat? How will my kids get bathed, fed healthy food, dressed, lunches packed, out the door on time? How will the laundry get done??? I know others have ended up on bed rest with little kids, but I am praying it does not happen to me. But a b/p reading of 140/100 seems very high. Hopefully I am just not taking it right. Tim is convinced it is stress and worry making my bp high. . .

How far along? 17 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Decent

Best moment this week: Miss N asking almost every day, "Are those your pregnant clothes?" Cracks me up.

Movement: I think so

Gender: Unknown. I thought it looked girl-y on the ultrasound we had last week, but the tech said she could not call it because the umbilical cord was running between the legs.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not thinking about my bp every second of every day, not taking it three times per day.

What I am looking forward to: Hopefully scheduling my ultrasound sometime soon. I want to know the gender! I am tempted to go to Naperville because there is a place there that does the scan for $59. But, $59 is probably best spent elsewhere. I just need to be patient.

Weekly Wisdom: But my God shall supply all your needs. . .

Milestones: Not pregnancy related, but I allowed my girls to skip their naps two days this week (since we had nowhere to go after dinner) and they played so nicely together I was able to get my work done even with them awake! This is a huge thing around here! Gives me hope for the days when they are no longer napping, which are coming very soon.

Friday, December 9, 2011

16-week Appointment

Well today's appointment has come and gone. My weight gain was less than desirable, but with the goodies of the season I am not surprised. The doctor could not find the heartbeat so off to Ultrasound I went (again). Baby was VERY active and HR was 154. I asked it it was too early to see the gender, and she said she would try. Baby was busy playing with the cord and sucking his/her hands. Sadly, the cord was running right between the legs so she couldn't call it. I personally thought it looked pretty girl-ish, but I guess we will have to wait another four weeks to try again.

I opted out of the quad screen. This one tests for genetic abnormalities, but, well, it's not going to change anything for me, and the really bad (aka fatal) abnormalities, like the trisonomies, are detectable, at least in part, on the 20-week ultrasound. It just didn't feel important.

Now for the bad part - my bp was high (138/74) - that is not terrible I guess but it is higher than the doctor wants it and higher than last time (when I was really nervous). So, I have to monitor it at home three times per day and go back in a week for another check. Please pray that it goes down or does not go up. This is exactly how my pregnancy with Miss N started, and I ended up delivering early with pre-eclampsia with her. The doctor said that it is "highly unlikely" to have that problem since I have the same husband, but I personally know at least two women who had pre-eclampsia on their third pregnancies with the same spouse, and they didn't have it with the first (I don't think) so I am at higher risk just because I did. So, I guess for me "highly unlikely" does not seem all that reassuring. I would really rather avoid being put on bed rest at this point. The fact that she wants me back in a week makes me a little nervous.

Christmas Carols According to Miss N

I love listening to my kids sing. Here are a few treasures from my oldest for the season.

Away in a Manger

"Be near me Lord Jesus,
I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray
Bless all thy dear children
In Thy Blender care,
And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there."

Silent Night

"Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round young version
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in Heavenly peace
Sleep in Heavenly peace."

Angels We Have Heard on High (chorus)

"Glooooo-ooooo-ooo-oooo-ria
In and out each day-o
Glooooo-ooooo-ooo-oooo-ria
In and out each day-o."

Gotta love the way they hear things!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

16 weeks

How far along? 16 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Rough week with sick kids and hubby.

Best moment this week: Feeling those flutters

Movement: I think so

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Pants that don't fall down all the time. I am not a fan of maternity pants.

What I am looking forward to: Appointment tomorrow!

Weekly Wisdom: You need to stop and do a craft project every once in a while.

Milestones: Pretty sure I have felt those early flutters.

Monday, December 5, 2011

School Age Children, Accomplishments, and Pride

I have a very smart little girl.

Without getting boastful, let's just say that she does very well in school. From everything I can tell her sister will be doing so as well when she gets to real school age.

I did very well in school, so this is not surprising to me.

What is surprising is the new questions it has raised in my mind as a parent.

As a teacher, I always tried to find ways to praise my students for their accomplishments. I felt it encouraged them to try harder and push themselves next time.

What never occurred to me was the issue of pride.

Now that I am a parent on the other end of the child's life, I am beginning to wonder what role pride plays in school accomplishments.

Here are a few things I know:

  • God hates pride. It is a very despicable sin in His eyes. In Proverbs 6 it is listed with murder as one of the sins considered an abomination. That's serious talk!
  • Pride is easy and natural for sinful humans.
  • Our abilities are gifts from God and are intended to be used by Him.
  • God wants us to do our best. To do less than our best does not please Him. To have a child who did not work to her full ability in school would not please the Lord just as much as having a child who is filled with pride over her abilities.

Ok, so here is a scenario. A child comes home from school and announces that her reading group has finished x number of books, and other reading groups have not.

The child is stating this as a fact, not in a boastful way.

Is this pride? Is this sin? I do not think so. She is just making an observation.

Yet, when the child comes home and says, "Me and so and so counted to 100 today, and no one else could do it." that strikes me as pride.

Yet, is a small child really able to understand the concept of pride? There are definitely spiritual concepts that she does not comprehend. Should she not be taking pleasure in accomplishing a hard task?

Do we not take pleasure in accomplishing hard tasks? I know when I complete a large writing assignment and have worked hard on it, it brings me pleasure. I do not feel this is sinful, so perhaps it is not pride.

So what I am having trouble discerning is this: where does a biblical view of pride fall in applauding children's accomplishments. If my child is standing in front of the crowd saying lines in the school play some day, I am going to feel parental pride. Is this wrong? Is it wrong for the child to also feel a sense of pleasure at this?

Perhaps we have termed "pride" what should be termed something else, like "sense of accomplishment." Perhaps there is more to the biblical definition of pride than just feeling good about something you accomplished.

I know for now, when my daughter is happy about something she accomplished in school, I am going to be happy for her, but I am also going to point out that her good mind came from God and it is something to be thankful for. If she starts to notice others that struggle, I am going to have to come up with a strategy to help her be loving and kind and not boastful. I lost a lot of friends in school because I was book smart and did not carry it well, and I want to protect her from that, while also teaching her about the biblical view of pride.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sensitive Girl

My oldest has always had a sensitive heart. Sometimes, it is difficult as her parent because it is so easy to hurt her even when it is completely unintentional, but other times it is the sweetest thing to watch. On the way home from our Kansas City trip, I heard her say, "Miss M, will you please forgive me for all of the times I was mean to you?" It touched my heart to realize that she has a sensitive spirit to this, even after the fact.

A couple of days ago I raised my voice at nap time. I had to apologize to Miss N because I let stress about my workload impact my attitude toward her. She forgave me, and then the next day when I was laying her down (yes, she's almost six and still naps most days) she prayed, "Please help mommy to get all her work done while we rest." That sure motivated mommy to be diligent that day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

14-15 weeks

So, blogging about pregnancy was the last thing on my mind while in Kansas City this past week. Really, these two weeks are not much different, so I will just make one update.

How far along? 15 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. And I am sad because it appears I will need to buy some. I was really hoping to avoid that.

Sleep: Up once per night usually but not too bad.

Best moment this week: Eating dessert like a normal person and not getting sick!

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not being winded all the time. I wish I knew for a fact this was normal. The baby isn't big enough to be causing this yet. My doctor said "You are just out of shape" but I was pretty well out of shape before I got pregnant and didn't have this problem.

What I am looking forward to: Feeling movement. Should be happening sometime in the next few weeks. Feeling a baby moving inside of me kind of creeps me out, but it's also very reassuring that all is well. Without feeling movement, you have no guarantees that anything is going well until you have those once a month appointments (which I must say are way too far apart!)

Weekly Wisdom: My perspective of how good or bad of a mom I am is always going to be tainted negatively. It is nice to see myself from someone else's view and realize I am doing a fairly decent job at this thing. Not perfect, but decent.

Milestones: Sickness is almost all the way gone!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Refreshing Holiday

What a refreshing Thanksgiving we had! We traveled to KC to be with my family, including my brother and his fiance, my dad's parents, and my mom's mom. There were 11 total people for Thanksgiving dinner! My girls were so well behaved, they adored Jen (Joey's fiance) and I felt like we really got to relax. I took minimal work with me so it was great!

I am thankful we had the chance to get to know Joey's fiance a little better, as we likely will not see them again until the July wedding. The girls are so excited about being flower girls!

(this picture cracks me up - we were playing Mad Gab)

While we were there we went to Crown Center. Miss N saw a sign for Seussical, a musical dedicated to Dr. Seuss. She asked if we could go, and we found out that the Saturday performance would gain us one free ticket. We got the tickets and I am so glad we did (thanks mom and dad)! It was adorable. This play (I think there are more than one) was based on the Horton books (Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches an Egg). Both girls loved it, and I keep hearing Miss N singing, "A person's a person, no matter how small." That has to be my favorite Seuss quote of all time! It was N's favorite part of the whole trip. I grew up on Dr. Seuss and assumed every kid did, but I am finding that is not the case. The older I get, the more thankful I become for my childhood and my parents.

The girls really latched onto Jen, which was wonderful! They had to be near her at all times. I hope she was not overwhelmed by their clinginess! Miss M was a little under the weather but we managed to avoid the ER - Yeah for us!

Now we are home, mostly unpacked, and looking forward to setting up our Christmas tree! I am so excited for Christmas time - it is so much more fun when you have kids to share the magic with!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Family Traditions

When I was five years old we moved completely across the country from California to Massachusetts. All of our family was in California. For the first time ever, it was just us.

Holiday traditions had to be just our little nuclear family. We didn't know other people to invite into our home to share the day with us when we first moved. It was just us.

My mom was amazing at creating traditions. We watched parades, ate certain things, read certain stories, decorated our home with our preschool artwork, set up the tree after Thanksgiving and pulled it down before my birthday in January. She really had a knack for making things special.

Sometimes, I think I have failed my own children in this regard. It's not that I don't want to have traditions, it's just that holidays are spent bouncing back and forth between different family's homes. It is hard to bring traditions with you when you are spending Christmas in Missouri or when Christmas schedules are dictated by your nearby family.

Last year our Thanksgiving plans were thrown off by the loss of the baby and the fact that I was not allowed to leave home until they were sure the procedure had worked. This year is our year to be home for Christmas, but our local family cannot get together.

The past two years i have had the "just us" time I have been craving. And you know what's funny? I had no idea what to do with it! For Thanksgiving I was not up to cooking a big meal my kids would refuse to eat, so we went to a buffet where Tim and I could get turkey and the girls could get what they liked. This year Christmas is on a Sunday so we will spend it worshiping with our beloved church family.

Yet, somehow, I want to carve in some traditions, those things my girls will look back on and say, "Remember how we always did xyz?"

I am starting small. For Christmas, starting December 1, we will unwrap one book from under the tree and read it. They are Christmas themed books. It is a fun tradition to help us count down to Christmas, and it can go on the road the years we travel. I am also trying to start a tradition of making homemade cinnamon rolls Christmas morning. Not something I would spend the time or money on normally, so hopefully it will be special to them.We also try to decorate gingerbread houses at least once in the season, although that didn't happen last year.

What other easy-to-travel, flexible traditions do you have? I know I am not the only mom of little ones who goes to grandma's for Christmas. In fact, I am learning that our isolation of having holidays "just us" is somewhat unusual. Most people have time with extended family this time of the year, and it is a good thing. Yet, I want some fond memories of "just us" for my girls to look back on. And in order to do that, I need to be purposeful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

13 weeks

How far along? 13 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Crazy, crazy dreams. Last night I dreamed that my SIL was adopting a baby, and I found out in her annual Christmas letter. I told Tim and he said, "I know, I've known for five weeks." I was so livid that I started screaming, crying, and hitting him. I was mad that he kept a secret from me.

Best moment this week: Going almost the whole week without needing a nap.

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown. I think I have come to peace with either way, honestly. I just wish people would stop pushing me with "I bet you are hoping for a boy!" Makes it hard to stay focused on being content with a healthy baby, regardless of gender.

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Not having to eat constantly.

What I am looking forward to: Thanksgiving trip to visit family

Weekly Wisdom: Praying in the morning, even just for 5 minutes, focuses my mind and helps me be much more patient with my kids.

Milestones: Depending on where you look, I am in the magical second trimester!

Laughing at the Dinner Table

Last night I was laughing so hard I nearly snorted my roll!

Before I get into the story, here is a little setup. We have one child who is particularly interested in saying the word "poopie." I decided I did not want her saying this word all of the time, so I have tried to be consistent in saying that it is a word to be used in the bathroom.

Last night this child had to use the bathroom during dinner. If you have been to our house then you know that we can see the bathroom from our dinner table. She went in and was sitting on the potty proudly proclaiming "poopie! poopie! poopie!" Daddy told her she needed to finish and come back to the table and stop saying poopie, to which she replied "But I in the bafroom, so it OK say poopie!"

Then, she shut the door. "You can't see me! Poopie! Poopie! Poooooooopeeeeeeeee!"

She continued to say the beloved word and giggle her head off for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, we were all, big sister included, cracking up. Who knew a forbidden word could be so much fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Being Pro-Life

I am pro-life. I believe that opting to kill your baby in the womb is murder. While I do not believe that to be any “worse” of a sin than, say, lying in the eyes of God, it is still wrong.

Yet, I allowed the doctor to kill my baby.

Honestly, I still feel guilt about that. Growing up, all of the pro-life discussions and sermons I heard would ridicule laws that said, “except for cases to save the life of the mother.” I believed with my entire being that God was the only one who had a right to decide whether the mom or the baby should live. I believed, and still do, that moms who choose not to pursue cancer treatment, for instance, in order to save their baby’s life did the right thing.

But what about a situation where God decides the baby cannot live simply by where the baby implants? What about an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy? This is a situation where the ending the pregnancy is necessary to preserve the life and future fertility of the mother. If the situation is caught early, like it was for me, the growth fo the baby can be stopped chemically. If it is caught too late, then nature takes its course and the baby explodes inside the mother, rupturing her tube and potentially killing her while almost certainly killing the baby. Either way, the baby dies.

While I still feel some guilt, I have come to peace with the fact that we did the right thing. Jeopardizing my life would not have given my baby a chance. My baby had no chance. Saving my life was the right and moral thing to do. I appreciated having a pastor who confirmed to us what we felt in our hearts and what our (pro-life) doctor told us. We did nothing wrong.

Yet, in my desperation to find someone who was pro-life and agreeing with me after last November, I spent time on Google. All I found was articles condemning me for having an “abortion” and not leaving my life in God’s hands. For an already heartbroken momma, that was the most painful little bit of “advice.”

This experience has caused me to change ever so slightly in the way I view the pro-life issue. I am still pro-life. After seeing my perfectly formed baby with its tiny hands and feet at just 12 weeks gestation, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is a person. Yet, I also believe that it is not always so cut and dried as preachers and advocates want to make it seem.

Are there other “save the life of the mother” situations where a viable baby would be killed? I am sure there are, although at this point I am not sure what they would be. But for my situation, my baby could not have lived. That part of the discussion is almost always left out on these pro-life issues. Even the recent “personhood” bill in Mississippi did not have it in there, although in later press releases the proponents claimed ectopic pregnancy treatment would be preserved. But, it gave me pause to consider whether I would be able to vote for a similar bill should it come to my state (not that it would happen in Illinois).

Perhaps we can be strongly pro-life without being so dogmatic about the rarest of situations. You cannot know what someone else experiences until you walk in his or her shoes. You cannot know all of the details of any situation until you have been there.

One Year Ago

One year ago . . . .

. . . I sat in the doctor’s office, breathlessly waiting in hopes they would give me an ultrasound to see my unborn child for the first time.

. . . I winced in pain as she did the exam.

. . . I heard the words, “I just don’t see anything.”

. . . I was assured it was probably too early, but I knew better.

. . . The suggestion that maybe I was having twins, one viable one not, was presented.

. . . I left the doctor’s office confused, scared, and unsure of where to turn.

. . . I began a process of waiting, hoping, and praying.

. . . I loved my baby as much as I could as I waited.

A year and three days ago . . .

. . . I received a phone call that shook me to my core.

. . . I sat in a hospital room waiting to sign permission to kill my baby.

. . . I received a dose of chemotherapy.

. . . I desperately asked God “why?” but felt no answer.

. . . I dropped my kids off with friends for a pre-arranged sleepover. SO thankful for that time. Little did we know when we made the plans what the day would be bringing, but God knew.

. . . I completely lost it on the drive home, barely making it home safely.

. . . I curled up on the couch in the fetal position feeling like the worst mother on the planet. I signed permission for them to kill my baby. And I claim to be pro life. I cannot count how many times I was told growing up that you cannot terminate a pregnancy to save the life of the mother, and that is exactly what I had just allowed to happen. The guilt was intense. So thankful for a friend who came to pull me out of that.

. . . I went on a preplanned date with my husband, ate the most horribly calorie packed item on the menu, and simply didn’t care.

. . . We watched MegaMind. I will never watch that movie again.

. . . I went to bed, knowing I had made a decision I would live with for the rest of my life, and still wondering if it was the right thing to do.

Today

. . . I remember the baby I wanted and lost.

. . . I praise God for the friendships that carried me through the past year. I am so blessed to have a few people in my life who truly understand and accept the fact that, regardless of how much time has passed, this event has changed me.

. . . I rejoice in the new life growing inside of me, a life that would not be here had November not occurred as it did one year ago.

. . . I can say even though I still do not understand that my God is good, has never ceased to be good, and has a perfect plan.

. . . I still wonder if I will ever fully understand


If you know someone who has lost a baby, no matter how early they were, the anniversaries are hard. It is especially hard if they had something active to do with the loss. I do not know if it gets easier with time, because this is the first anniversary for me, but the due date, the date of the loss, and even the date they found out they were pregnant are burned into their minds, and it is not easy to forget. One of the best things you can do is remember with them. Today, I remember our baby, and rejoice that I will someday see my child again.

If you are one of the friends who held me while I cried, offered your love and support, and remembered with me, you know who you are. Thank you is not enough. But it’s what I can say. You will forever mean the world to me, and I only hope I can offer similar help to someone else at another time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Watch Your Language!

This is a general service announcement.

If you are the type of person who feels it is OK to use vulgar words in public, including f-bombs and such, you have a responsibility to determine whether or not there are small children standing directly next to you before you do.

If you decide to drop an f-bomb and those children happen to be mine, I will say something.

This momma does not appreciate hearing people curse around my babies.

I do not care if someone dented your car. I do not care if you are angry. I do not care. They are innocent children and you have no business talking like that in front of them.

Thank you,

Upset momma.

(I cannot believe how many people have no qualms about swearing in front of their children. It makes me so sad. However, should you choose to swear in front of mine, I will stand up for them.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

12 Week Appointment

Ok, you all know how scared I was that there would be bad news today. Amazingly, I was very calm when the time came for today. All day I was calm.

At my appointment, my bp was up. Not sure if it was because I was nervous or what, but my doctor seemed a little concerned and said, "We wll have to keep an eye on this." It was 134/78, which isn't that bad, right?

The weight check was great! I only gained half a pound in four weeks! That is a total of 4 pounds the entire pregnancy so far. I am very happy with this. I tend to gain a lot early on. Maybe my inability to eat sweets is helping!

The doctor told me right away that she was going to try to hear the heartbeat, but that it might not be possible yet. She was not able to hear it. Again, I was amazingly calm. I think having the girls there was a good distraction.

So, I had an ultrasound. I don't think I have seen any of my babies at 12 weeks. It was amazing. There were little feet and arms. Miss N thought it was pretty cool. The heartrate was in the 150s. Here is the picture.
The baby was moving a bit too. I loved seeing the baby, and was amazed at how unscared I felt. All in all it was a good appointment. I have a great doctor too - she came to check on me and see how the scan was going during the scan, and totally understood my desire to schedule the c-section so I could be at Miss N's kindergarten graduation. I really like my doctor. Now, I am at the "safe" zone and finally feel like I can relax!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

12 Weeks

Well, I Was going to wait until tomorrow and what WILL be a good doctor's visit, but I had some extra time today so here is my update! I cannot believe I am now 3 months pregnant, and I also cannot believe so many women wait this long to tell their news!

I am taking the girls to my appointment tomorrow. I could drop them somewhere, but it woudl be very inconvenient with a 4:00 appointment, and, well, their presence or lack of presence will not change the outcome of my appointment. I have no reason at all to think anything is wrong, so I am going to embrace faith and take them along.

How far along?
12 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep.

Sleep: Definitely not the best this week.

Best moment this week: Enjoying some time on the old treadmill.

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss: Being able to walk without getting winded. I really think it's too early for this but others have said they experienced it early. I still plan to ask about it. . .

What I am looking forward to: Appointment TOMORROW!

Weekly Wisdom: No amount of worry can change the outcome of this pregnancy.

Milestones: I'm Three months pregnant!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Again?

I was just reading a blog post from a friend who has had two recent miscarriages, and was reading the encouraging comments from her readers. Yet again, I found in one of those comments someone who had seen the heartbeat from their baby at 6 and 8 weeks, then had the baby die at 12 weeks. This makes the third or fourth similar story I have read in the last week. Is God trying to tell me something, or is Satan trying to get in my head? I am not looking for these stories, but they keep finding me! Friday's appointment cannot come soon enough! Please, keep praying for our little baby.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Need to Get on the Computer

So, last night we were cleaning up, and afterwards the girls were wrestling downstairs. Miss N said, "Hang on, I need to get on the computer for a minute. I need to write 10 articles." She sat down at her computer and typed a bit then went back to playing.

At first I smiled. This is what mommy does, and she was mimicking mommy.

Then I worried (surprised?). Do I work too much? Was she saying that mommy is always working?

This balance is so hard. I want to be a good mom - the best mom. But i have to work. I try to work when they are sleeping and do not need me, but as they get older this is not always possible. Sometimes, I have to work while they self entertain. And, to be honest, I don't think that is bad. I don't remember my mom sitting on the floor playing with me constantly. I was playing with the neighbor girl, making mud pies outside, riding my bike, doing art. Since we don't have a neighbor girl to play with, my girls have each other. And that's OK.

But sometimes, the guilt that comes from being a work at home mom is hard to overcome. It's hard to separate the work from the family responsibilities. And I often am left to wonder if I am doing it right.

I am thinking ahead to summer. No school, an infant, and way less work time. Staying up later won't be an option with the lack of sleep. So, do I put them in daycare a few days a week? Bringing a babysitter here and going somewhere else to work won't really work with a nursing infant, and quite frankly I am not going to put a brand new baby in a daycare or babysitter situation. I need to be here to work and care for the baby. Putting them in daycare at their school is an option, but then we would not save any money on tuition through the summer.

So, that is what is on my mind. Guess it is time to think some things through.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today




This is a bit of a hodgepodge post.

Today. . .

My children got up from quite time, watched a short video, then played dollhouse. Dollhouse consisted of of setting up scenes and taking pictures of them using their kid tough camera.

My oldest helped me pick up toys with a happy spirit, willingly asking, "what should I pick up next mom?"

We went outside to get some fresh air. I contemplated how far I want them to be able to go - if they can only ride their bikes in the driveway, how will they learn?

We came inside and they sat and colored and played with stickers while I fixed supper.

Now, they have sheet music out and are singing along with a Sunday School songs CD. They think they are reading music.

These are the things I want to remember on my blog.

Miss N is learning so much in kindergarten and loving every minute of it! Every day she is more than happy to show me what she has learned. I love it! I am not really sure who her "best friends" are going to be. It seems she plays with just about everyone. Where on earth are we going to have her birthday party?

Miss M is also learning a lot. I hear she is very quiet at school, but she comes home singing all sorts of songs about letters and numbers. She has learned how to write "A," "E," and "F." Interestingly, her behavior at home has improved tremendously since she started school. I really struggled with putting her in K3 because I did not with Miss N, but it was the right decision. She loves it and is doing great!

I am so thankful for their teachers. I can tell that both of them love my girls. It makes me so happy to send them to a school where their individual personalities are appreciated and cultivated. I was worried about Miss M because she can be a handful and you have to really appreciate her, but her teacher does. I love it!

Miss N funnies:

The other night we were talking about something and the name of a friend from church came up. This gal has a daughter who is newly in college. Miss M asked who she was, and I said, "She is so and so's mommy." Miss N piped up and said, "No, she's not her mommy anymore because she went to college."

Miss M Funnies:

This morning I was leaving and Miss M wanted to know where I was going. I told her I was going to the chiropractor. She likes going ot the chiropractor because she gets a sticker and an organic lollipop when she is done. She instantly grabbed her lower back and said, "My back huwts so bad!" She didn't fool me, she just got adjusted a few days ago :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11 Weeks

OK, blogfriends, I am going to be honest. I am starting to get worried again. I mean, it's been three weeks since i have seen/heard the baby. And, not at all intentionally, but in my working and surfing lately I have read about at least three women who saw the heartbeat at 6-7 weeks, then had the baby die. I have no reason to think anything is wrong, but I am scared! I wish I had a different personality and could just let whatever will be, well, be. I have an appointment on the 11th. This many weeks between appointments is torture!

So, anyways, here is the 11 week update.

How far along? 11 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. Tim vetoed an outfit tonight because he said it made me look 30 weeks pregnant. Oye.

Sleep: Not too bad.

Best moment this week: Eating a tiny bit of chocolate and not getting sick!

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss : Having a neck that does not ache.

What I am looking forward to: Appointment next week.

Weekly Wisdom:
As worried and scared as I feel, the act of worrying does nothing to change anything. I need to give it over to the One who can control the outcome of this pregnancy. That is not so easy for me!

Milestones: Starting to feel less sick.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Best of Friends


My two girls really are the best of friends, and I love it! We have our moments (don't all siblings?) but if you get right down to it, they love each other deeply.

On Saturday we were playing in the leaves. The first time Tim threw N in, she sunk down past her head. She thought it was hilarious, but M was so upset about losing her sister! I thought it was so sweet how concerned she was.

Sunday night N was not feeling well so we let her stay home. I had nursery duty in the morning service so I took M to church so I could hear some preaching, and Tim stayed home with N so she could rest. When we got home the first thing M did was run to her sister for a big hug!

This morning after everyone got up and got the grumpies from first thing in the morning out of the way, they went skipping down the hall holding hands to help each other pick out fits.

I love moments like this! I remember wishing for boys, with both of my pregnancies, but I am so thrilled to be raising sisters and best friends!

M recently asked me where the baby was going to sleep, and I explained that N and M would be moving into N's room with bunk beds, and the baby would sleep in the nursery. Neither one was excited about this. Normally I would worry, and I am thinking the first few days or weeks of the transition will be tough, but honestly, I think this will be really good for them!

Friday, October 28, 2011

10 weeks

I am at the 10 week mark! I know a lot of women who wait until they are 12 weeks to announce, and I am sure glad we didn't! I am already showing and it would be really hard to hide! I guess the extra "fluff" I was carrying around is getting pushed up and out by the baby! I am taking growth as a good sign and refusing to worry even though I haven't been to the doctor in about two weeks, which feels strange after the frequent visits before.

How far along?
10 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yep. And apparently just wearing them makes me look pregnant because I am getting lots of comments. Not that I mind :)

Sleep: Not too bad.

Best moment this week: Being able to pick up my babies again! It came at a good time too with one feeling pretty puny.

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss : Chocolate. I guess that might be the only thing I miss for a while!

What I am looking forward to: The second trimester!

Weekly Wisdom:
Read this this week: Proverbs 24:3 "Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:" Been thinking on it.

Milestones: Getting off of modified rest and not having any problems as I reintroduced activities.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Meal Planning Help!

Ok fellow moms, I need help!

How do you go about meal planning? I find myself struggling in this. Here is what I have tried.

First, I tried a six-week rotation. It for some reason was really hard to stick with, and most nights I didn't feel like cooking whatever was on that night's list.

Then I tried e-mealz. Great concept, but we really found we were not enjoying the majority of the meals, or they were not the type of food I prefer to feed my family (filled with processed stuff. Now I am no natural food all the way type of person, but we are trying to make small changes and when your menu revolves around cream of xyz and Velveeta cheese, it's hard to stick with your goals). I am probably going to cancel my membership within the next month or two.

So, now I am stuck again! Part of the problem is my tummy is so upset that thinking about cooking and food is just hard. I also struggle to try new dishes because the kids never like them, and it's so hard to psend that time and energy in cooking only to have everyone complain. Hubby doesn't complain, but he's not overly complementary either. But I have a family and they need to eat, even if mommy doesn't feel well. How do you menu plan? Have you found a solution that works?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

9 Weeks

Wednesday is my "flipping" day, or the day I change "weeks" in the pregnancy. Not much has changed but here is my "for me" update.

How far along? 9 weeks

Maternity clothes? Got out the maternity jeans this week. They are adjustable waist so they are working pretty well. Not tops yet. No "basketball" to fill them. I'm definitely in the "is she gaining weight?" stage of pregnancy!

Sleep: Good as long as I don't let my afternoon nap go too long.

Best moment this week: Miss M getting very excited when the doctor called with my preliminary blood work and it was "healthy."

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss : Picking up my kids! Only one more week of restricted lifting if all continues going well.

What I am looking forward to: The second trimester!

Weekly Wisdom:
Being pregnant does not give you a right to be rude to your husband.

Milestones: None I can think of.

Monday, October 17, 2011

First ER Trip

Well, Miss M has had her first ER trip. Here is the story.



We had been having such a lovely day. I let the kids stay up during nap since they were obviously not tired, but they let me get work done, and in the morning while N was at school Miss M played so nicely and allowed me to get my chores done.

By about 2:00 I was tired of working and chores and decided to bake some pumpkin muffins. Miss N was playing computer and needed my help, so I went downstairs to help her. While I was down there, Miss M found the cinnamon that I had left out and poured some in a bowl. She was having a lot of fun measuirng it and pouring it with the utensils I had left out. I was annoyed at the mess but it was already there, so I let her play. She was having so much fun.

After a while she was pretty covered in it. She wanted more but I obviously didn't want to waste all of the cinnamon, so I gave her some flour. She played for probably an hour. When she was done I was cleaning her off. She had been playing in her undies only so her chest and thighs had a lot of cinnamon caked on them. I cleaned her up, then headed downstairs to watch sister play her game. I noticed that all of hte places where the cinnamon was caked on were covered in a hot, red rash. it was not hives, but something else. Then she said, "I don't feel good momma." Usually she will say that her "fever hurts" which is what she generally says when she doesn't feel well. This time she specifically said her "froat" hurt.

I called the pediatrician. Turns out, cinnamon is toxic if inhaled or taken in large doses. She had to go to the ER. I also gave her some benadryl.

I was pretty calm while driving, which is surprising, but I was obviously flustered because I left my purse at home. Kind of funny that I remembered to grab the girls' Leapsters so they would have something to do but left my purse.

When I was checking in and explaining everything, the lady behind the counter said she didn't know cinnamon could be toxic. That made me feel a tad better because I sort of felt like I should have known somehow that I shouldn't let her play with it.

Thankfully they put us on a "fast track" in the ER. Not sure why as her symptoms had totally cleared up by the time we got there thanks to the benadryl. However, she still had a red, irritated throat the doctor said, which required a strep test (negative). She's coughing and a little upset now, but all seems fairly well. I plan to give her some more benadryl at our bedtime just to be on the safe side, and until I talk to her pediatrician we will avoid having her eat any cinnamon. So strange!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thankful at 8 weeks

Today I had my first official OB appointment. Everything went amazingly well. The little bean (size of a kidney bean at 8 weeks) is measuring about two days ahead, so might be another big baby, who knows. My blood pressure was great, I haven't really gained any weight in spite of all I have been eating, and the heart beat was right there beating along (181 ). Also, since my problems of earlier seem to have cleared up, I am only having to be on the modified rest for two more weeks instead of four! Woo hoo!

I am now officially a "normal" OB patient. That means no more weekly trips to the doctor, no more worries (ha!), and no more scans every time I go in. That last part is a little sad, but I am so thankful to be having a healthy pregnancy!

So, I am going to start to blog weekly about my pregnancy. This is mostly for me, so feel free to ignore if you are bored by it :)

How far along? 8 weeks

Maternity clothes? I'm thinking it's time. . . at least for the pants. I can't fill out the shirts by my nausea is considerably worse with regular pants on.

Sleep: Pretty good - lots of trips to the potty during the night.

Best moment this week: Seeing the baby twice as big as it was last week on the ultrasound this week. Being released as a "normal" ob patient.

Movement: Too early

Gender: Unknown

Labor Signs: No way!

What I miss : Chocolate! It's making me ill so I had to give it up. Feeling good in general. I'm not that sick (I have friends who are much sicker) but I would like to be able to not feel ill for a full day.

What I am looking forward to: The second trimester!

Weekly Wisdom:
It's ok to rely on other people when you are not feeling well. This is temporary, but nonetheless real.

Milestones: Tim and my dad are almost done installing our reverse osmosis filter (we received for FREE!) so no more worries about our nasty carcinogen filled tap water! (For those who think I am being over protective, we get a notice every year about the carcinogens in our water!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

What If It's a Girl?

This was too funny not to share. We were out to lunch yesterday with my parents who are visiting, and Miss N was telling my mom all about the baby and how much she wants a baby brother. My mom said, "Well what if it is a girl?"

Miss N: "Well, then we will just give the baby to someone else! We have enough girls in this house!"

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Husband Is the Best

So, my husband is the best. Sorry, ladies, he's taken!

I have a confession to make. I am irritable with this early stage of pregnancy. Part of it is nerves, and part of it is hormones, and part of it is the exhaustion. Also, part of it is sin and I am praying daily to watch my tongue and patience with my kids. But I'm grumpy.

I was telling Tim last night about how I feel about this, and his response, "It's all a part of the process." So accepting and simple. Instead of being highly annoyed with me (as perhaps he had a right to be) he just accepts this as par for the course for growing a baby.

Miss N took the ultrasound pictures to school today (she wanted to, it was not my suggestion, and I cleared it with her teacher first, who of course was out today but what can you do?) She is very excited about the baby. Although, the other night when I was having my issue and we could not go to church, I told her we couldn't go because mommy wasn't feeling well. Her response? "Sheesh, you are always not feeling well. When will you get better? When the baby comes out? That is already taking FOREVER!" She's got a lot to learn if a week is forever!

I am thinking about letting her and maybe Miss M come to the 20 week ultrasound. I think Miss N would think it is really cool. Anyone done that before with an older kid? She will be close to 6 at that time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trusting Continues

Well, we have told, we have told the girls, and now I wonder if we did the right thing. Sure, there was a beating heart, but really, I saw nothing that looked like a baby. Now, I have read about women who had losses after seeing the beating heart.

Remember when I said that trusting God had to be a minute by minute thing? I am starting to have one of those days today. I think because the tiredness is not as intense, so I "feel" less pregnant. Maybe part of it is that it has been nearly a week since I have been to the doctor, heard good or bad news, etc. I cannot see what is going on inside me. I am having to give Him everything.

My biggest fear? Honestly, it's no longer how I will survive another loss should it happen. It's how I will tell my kids. Both of them are excited and are talking about "the news" as Miss N says and "You have a baby in your belly" as Miss M says.

Update:

Last night I had some signs of a possible complication. I called the doctor and at first they wanted me to go to the ER, then they changed their mind and said to come to the office first thing in the morning. I did. They did the ultrasound and the baby was there with it's little heart beating away (151). She did an exam as well and verified my concerns. At this point everything looks fine but because of the symptoms I am having, I have to be on modified rest until I reach 12 weeks. No lifting anything over 10 pounds and no heavy exercise. That's five more weeks! I am so thankful that the baby is looking great at this point, though.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lunch Time Woes

So, it seems every time I have been pregnant the "do and don't eat" list has changed. Lunch time is a huge struggle for me right now!

My go-to meal is usually a nice salad, but right now scares of listeria and lettuce make me nervous. So, my second go-to meal is a turkey sandwich, but lunchmeat is a no-no unless you heat it (not my favorite). So, I also love tuna, and i remembered you were allowed some tuna but not tons when I was pregnant with Miss M. Google says otherwise - apparently that rule has changed as well!

So tell me, what's a girl to eat? I guess it is going to be PB&J or grilled cheese for the next nine months!

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Few Thoughts

Ok, so now that the cat is out of the bag and I can finally confidently say I am pregnant, I have a few thoughts i want to get out there.

It's amazing how different I feel this time around. I wanted my other babies, of course, but this time, I so desperately prayed for this pregnancy and the ability to finally put November behind me, it feels like a true miracle. I was specifically praying to be pregnant before November, and then I specifically prayed to hear the heart beat yesterday, even though it was early, and God graciously answered. He did not have to - He could have chosen to teach me through more waiting, but He answered these prayers in the way I wanted.

As far as pregnancy updates, I am going to try to curb them to the blog and not post them on face book. I know all too well how hard it can be after a loss or when dealing with a period of time in which you cannot get pregnant to read pregnancy update after pregnancy update. I do not think anyone is wrong to put them out there on facebook, but I know I have friends who are struggling with loss and infertility, and I want to protect them. So, if you are curious about my pregnancy news (hi family!) then you can read here. If you prefer not to know about it, then feel free not to read. I feel this is the best way to be able to journal my thoughts, feelings, and news without bringing unnecessary pain to people.

And finally, I want to be pregnant! So, if you catch me complaining, please remind me how badly I wanted this! I know I have a tendency to complain and I am determined not to - that was another painful thing for me, particularly right after November. Logging on to facebook and hearing pregnant women complain about their symptoms was so hard because I wanted to trade places with them so badly. So, no complaining here! And if I slip up, someone give me a nice slap upside the head.

Last night Miss N decided to tell the cashier at pizza hut "My mommy has a baby in her tummy!" I guess she is excited! That makes me happy, although she really wants a baby brother. Hopefully she will be happy either way!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Telling the Girls

Well, I totally intended to wait to tell the girls about the baby a little bit, but the cat got out of the bag fast when they saw the ultrasound picture on the table. (oops) Miss N already knew I was getting pictures taken of my insides this morning, and she wanted to know what the "big hole" on the picture was. I was not able to answer her honestly without telling her the whole truth, so I told them.

Miss N responded with a big smile and a "I hope it's a brother." and Miss M responded with, "I see the hole in your tummy mommy?" and asking me to lift my shirt. Then Miss N said, "Mommy, I love you. I will love you no matter how big you get." Oh my, crazy girl! I am glad she loves me. Then she was very worried about something, "Mommy, my teacher told us to raise our hands if our mommies had a baby in their tummies, and I said no because I didn't know." I think she thought she had lied. . . I assured her she was fine :)

We Have a Heart Beat!

So, this morning I headed off to the doctor, after being totally scared by my doctor's report yesterday. The ultrasound at first showed just an empty sac. I was getting so discouraged! I knew that was not necessarily "bad" for how far along I thought was, but I still wanted further confirmation that all was well. I was praying very specifically for a heart beat to show up.

The ultrasound tech could not get one of the images she wanted using the one type of probe, so at the end she switched over to the other type (that is usually less detailed). She wasn't trying to get a picture of the pregnancy, but she did take another look. Then she started to look closer. I saw something flickering on the screen that was faster than my own heart beat (which I could also see on the screen.)

"Is that?" I couldn't finish the question. I have learned sometimes that the techs are not allowed to say what they are seeing or what stuff means.

She then switched back to the first probe to try to get a better look. It didn't work. So she went back to the less detailed one. Then it was forever before she could get that little flicker back. Finally, there it was, a little blob with a little heart beat. I felt the tears in the corners of my eyes. At first she could not get a reading on it, but then she was able to - 113. Later, the nurse practitioner said that was on the "low end of normal" which was perfect for how far along I was measuring - 6 weeks, 1 day. That measurement lines up with where I think things should be at this point.

I am so thankful for God answering my specific prayer to see a heart beat today. It helps me to relax, gives me permission from Tim to share our news, and also stops the every-other-day trips to the doctor.

Six weeks is still REALLY early, and I know that, but I also know that a heart beat is one of the best indicators of a viable pregnancy. It absolutely amazes me that at just six weeks gestation and measuring a half of a centimeter (stop and think about just how small that is!) the baby has a beating heart. Many women do not even know they are pregnant at this time!

So, we are expecting baby #5, which would be baby #3 to join us here on this earth. The "official" due date is May 23, so Tim got his wish - I will not be pregnant at all through the summer!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mixed News

Well, the nurse called today (Wednesday) with my blood draw results from Monday. Only, she wouldn't tell me what they were. All he said was, "Your numbers went up, and Dr. H wants you to come in today instead of tomorrow for your ultrasound." That was, however, impossible, because I was out in the boondocks on a field trip with Miss M. So, I wait until tomorrow morning.

I am perplexed why she wouldn't tell me what the results were. It makes me think they were bad. On the other hand, with the ectopic, they said, "Get someone to watch the children and come here NOW." so if they were worried about that, I don't think they would have been OK with me not dropping everything and coming in.

I have a decent amount of pain, and I don't think it's just normal "growing" pains. That scares me. But I can usually find a "reason." And it's not doubling over, falling on the floor type pain that I have been told is what will happen with ectopic pain.

Only a few more hours until I will have my question answered. I pray that it's all OK. If it's another ectopic, I don't know what I will do. I don't know how I would survive that, honestly.

I am not freaking out right now. I am fairly calm. I am also feeling like there is less hope than there was two weeks ago. I just have a "something's not right" feeling. But, I'm a pessimist quite often, and a worrier, so maybe that's just coming from me. . . I don't know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

I am not good at waiting. I remember one Christmas when I knew where the gifts were stored, I would sneak in there and peak when my mom was off picking up the babysitter. I wanted to know NOW!

I am waiting this morning on my blood results from yesterday. If I took an honest look inside my heart I would say my gut says this baby is OK. But, I cannot help but wonder if I am being wistfully ignorant. And truthfully, my lack of faith or lack of belief in God's goodness, not sure which, wonders if He doesn't want me to continue learning lessons through trials. That maybe I didn't learn whatever November was supposed to teach me since I am still sad so maybe I have to do it again. Now that my naivity is gone and I know just how many things can go wrong at 6 weeks pregnant, I am scared.

I am analyzing every little ache, pain, and discomfort. I am happy to feel sick to my stomach, panicked when I sneeze and feel intense abdominal pain, albeit fleeting.

This little baby is in God's hands. In my head I know that those are the best possible hands to hold and care for him. Yet, in my heart I wish there were something more I, as his mommy, could do. I have limited caffeine, am trying to eat healthy and avoiding all of the right things, am getting all my blood draws, and am taking my vitamins. There isn't anything else I can do, and yet, it is still hard. I face each day with this breathless sense of anticipation, jump when the phone rings, hold my breath when I see the Dr. on the caller ID. I haven't really had any bad news, except that one scary day when the nurses didn't agree, but I am still jumpy. I hope that soon, I will be able to calm down. Less than 48 hours until my next ultrasound. That's not long at all!

This song has been a tremendous encouragement to me these last few weeks. I cannot post a mp3 of it, so I will post the lyrics. It is on a CD I have from the Wilds.

And this we know in the journey of life. Whether green, rolling hills or the desert bare and dry. In all things God works for our good, for those who love the Lord.

In the lush, verdant valleys where we walk sure and strong, or the rugged terrain unsafe and long. God has promised His help, "Fear not, I will guide you. Take my hand, for my promises are true."

And this we know in the journey of life. Whether green, rolling hills or the desert bare and dry. In all things God works for our good, for those who love the Lord.

In the seasons of life, times of joy or despair, victory and defeat. "I know the plans I have for you," says your God. "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Believe in me, trust in me, for I am your God."

And this we know in the journey of life. Whether green, rolling hills or the desert bare and dry. In all things God works for our good, for those who love the Lord.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peace, Sort Of

I went away this weekend. After hearing from my doctor that she was not at all concerned on Friday, I decided to go.

It's amazing how much peace I felt just hearing she was fine with everything. Yes, I think about the baby/pregnancy constantly, but it's not so much a panic as it is a soft concern. I am beginning to accept that there is nothing I can do about this. If the baby is meant to survive, he will; if it is not, he won't. I am even coming almost to the point where if I lose this baby, I think I would be able to stomach trying again. I think realizing there is such a small chance, maybe even no chance at all at this point, that it is an ectopic helps. People have blighted ovums (traditional miscarriage reason) all of the time and there is nothing they or their bodies have done to cause it, so trying again is not a danger.

I am praying very specifically for two things this week. They are:

1. That my blood work will not do anything funny Monday. I will get that result Tuesday.
2. That we will be able to see something definite, preferably a heart beat, on Thursday at the ultrasound.

Choosing to trust God in this has become a minute by minute ordeal. Google has not been a friend to me. It makes me crazy and I am trying to stay away. But sometimes I cannot.

Finding out this early (probably before 4 weeks even!) has been a mixed blessing. The early testing is great but it is also incredibly maddening. Praying we will soon be released from all of this testing and treated like a normal, healthy pregnancy.

I have known I was pregnant for almost two weeks now. It sure feels like a lot longer than that!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Miss M Funnies

Miss M is certainly the little comedian. Here are a couple from just the last two days!

We were in the locker room at swimming lessons and Miss M was very interested in seeing all of the other ladies. Now, you need to understand that i am by no means a skinny-minnie. In fact, there is very much in that regard I would like to change, and my kids understand what a curvy woman looks like. Anyways, this woman comes out of the adult changing area in her bathing suit. She was very nice and was chatting with the girls. Then she goes over to wash her hands and Miss M says, "mommy, why dat lady got big butt?"

I wanted to crawl in a hole and laugh at the same time. I said, "Miss M, everybody's bodies are different." Then of course after the lady left (quite quietly) I told her, "If you want to ask a question about someone's body, please wait until we are in the car."

Then this morning I was telling her she could not wear her rain boots because yesterday she was packing them full of rocks. Then she said, "I frow rocks at boys heads and I frow rocks at girls heads. That funny!"

"That's not nice, your friends won't like that!"

"It funny mommy!"

"No, it's not funny."

"Miss C (the K4 teacher) like it, She say it funny."

Too much! I love this little girl so much. We are breaking through some of our stubbornness issues and she is becoming so much fun!

Scares, Relief

What a roller coaster the last two weeks have been!

So, here is where things stand. My Dr. is pretty sure it is not an ectopic. Now we just have to give it time to see if it will stick or not. As with any pregnancy there is always that chance of miscarriage.

I had an ultrasound yesterday and it looks like a sac is developing where it is supposed to develop. Nothing in it to be seen yet but that's normal for this stage of the game (probably right at 5 weeks). However, the practitioner I saw (not my Dr.) freaked me out by telling me that I had a 50/50 chance at this point. Then, when I called later to ask a question, the nurse on the phone (not my normal nurse) scared me even further saying that my numbers are not doubling anymore (which is typically bad).

I had to wait until today to hear from my doctor, because she was at the hospital yesterday with surgeries. She called first thing (literally, 8:01 and they open at 8) this morning. She said she is not worried at all yet and we just need to be patient. I asked about the number and she said it does not worry her. I asked about the 50/50 chance and she said that she thinks we are much higher than that at this point. So, positive news. Of course, I don't think I will feel 100 percent positive until I see that beating heart but I will take what I can get.

For now, I pray for my baby to grow, be healthy, and for the ability to trust God. It is an hour by hour process. I cannot just say "I am going to trust God" and boom, it happens. I have to constantly surrender my fear to Him. It is NOT easy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning to Trust

I find myself saddled with fear through the first weeks of this pregnancy. November was very traumatic. I am so scared it will happen again.

Over the weekend i started feeling some pains, the same pains that sent me in for the ultrasound on November and got the ball rolling to finding the ectopic diagnosis. The pains were in the exact same spot. In November the doctor finally did say those pains were not related to the baby, but it was still scary.

So, I called this morning, feeling a little foolish because I figured it was nothing to worry about, but still, I was worried.

They wanted me to come in, so I found someone to watch the girls and in I went.

The visit started with an ultrasound. I knew it was too early to see anything, but I still had hope. They took all of the measurements but there was nothing to see.

Then the doctor called me back. I was very surprised because my bp was only 133/80, which is high-ish but not through the roof. I was VERY nervous, so maybe that means my bp will stay OK this time around.

The first words out of her mouth were, "I don't see anything scary." I felt a similar sense of relief as I felt on Friday when the nurse called to say my numbers were perfect. Like I could breathe again. She did not really give me an explanation for the pain (which is not intense or anything, just nagging) but she did say, "I think we got it this time. I really think this pregnancy is going to be just fine."

I wish I had her confidence. I almost wish I hadn't taken a test so early. It's probably at least another week before we can see anything on ultrasound, and then two more before a heartbeat is possible to be seen. Which means three weeks before we can tell, three weeks before I can feel more peace, and a very, very long wait for this momma. I really, really want to tell Miss N, because she is noticing differences in me - I'm more tired for instance (when was the last time this mommy took a nap?) But, I don't want to tell her until I see that beating heart. So, we wait. and wait. and wait.

I wish I could trust better. I know I serve a great God. I know He has a perfect plan for me and my little family. And I do trust him, but I also know that heartache is sometimes in His plan. Obviously, because we went through November. So, I am trying to cast my anxieties on his capable shoulders when they pop up, but I am not going to be ashamed of them. I think it's normal. I think it's a human response to a horrific circumstance. I think the answer lies in what we do with our fears - do we dwell on them, or do we turn them over to the God who can truly care for them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Love My Kids' School

My kids attend a great little Christian school nearby. I love it. I mean, I really love it. Here are some of the reasons:

1. It is five minutes from my house.
2. The principal really cares. I caught him trying to learn the names of the K3 kids this week. K3 kids can easily slip through the cracks.
3. The teachers really love the kids and it shows.
4. The teachers are great about communicating with parents. The K5 teacher even gave all the parents her cell phone number at the beginning of the year. Now that's trust.
5. It is a Christian school without the over emphasis on rules rules rules.
6. I am FB friends with several teachers. Which is nice because I feel more confident in trusting them with my precious girls. Also, they are willing to chat with me if I have a question or concern.
7. It allows me to send my kindergartener only half days. Big deal to this momma.
8. They plan really fun field trips and let me come along.
9. My kids love going there.
10. They use the curriculum I would use if I homeschooled.

Putting my kids in school was not actually an easy decision. Many moms I highly respect homeschool, and I am certainly qualified to do so. But with Tim’s leadership and a good, hard look at where we stand right now with schedules and such, school is the right decision, and I am so glad I have a great one to turn to! My only complaint is that it stops at 8th grade. I guess my kids will have to be high school dropouts! (Just kidding of course)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pregnancy Post 2

Well, today I went in for blood draw #2. I had a bit of a scare this morning. I had to go to a clinic to get a proof of pregnancy and they said the urine test was negative. So glad i had heard back from the doctor yesterday that I was "early pregnant." They re-read the urine test and it was positive. Not sure what happened there but it left me with fast heartbeat for a while.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I find out if my numbers are doing what they should. Tomorrow I call my mom to tell her what the results were regardless. Oye, my brother is going to kill me.

For the most part I feel peace, a good vibe, whatever you want to call it, but, well, I have these moments. Moments when I wonder if God will let me keep this baby. Moments I doubt my own faith if He says "no." Moments I feel extreme guilt for being this fearful about what could be my third baby when people I care about cannot have any or have just one and cannot have more.

Tomorrow. Twenty-four more hours. Then probably a couple of weeks for an ultrasound to see if there is a heartbeat. Be still, my heart, God is in control.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pregnancy Post 1

Well, it has happened. I have gotten a positive pregnancy test. I have such a hard time saying, "I'm pregnant" because I am nervous, but all in all I feel pretty peaceful. There is that nagging turning over feeling in my stomach, but I do feel pretty positive.

We are waiting to tell people until at least the first round of blood draws. The first one was today (Tuesday, Sept 13). If the blood work seems good, we will have to tell family. We will probably wait until the first ultrasound to tell too many friends, but they will likely do one fairly early to date the pregnancy. Some of my issues will make it impossible to date without a little peek inside.

Just a few days ago I started praying very specifically that God would allow me to be pregnant before November 15, the anniversary date of when I found out something was probably wrong with my baby. While I do not know if I will be able to keep this baby, God has answered that prayer. Now, i pray for safety and for a calm spirit.

The due date, should God allow us to keep this baby, is not at all at a good time. But I trust God's will in this matter. And, of course, I am beyond elated to finally be pregnant. It has been a long two months.

My doctor said in her 20 years of doing OB/GYN work, she has never had two back-to-back ectopic pregnancies in a patient. I pray I am not her first.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rejoicing!

So i have some praises to share!

First, remember this post? About how I was not ready to go through the pastor search? Well, our pastor officially resigned June 30. Here it is the beginning of September, so only two full months, and we already have one! No drama, and he was voted in with just one negative vote. Tim and I really, really like him and his wife. I think they are a perfect fit for our happy loving little church. We are so excited. We will continue to miss our former pastor and his wife but are excited to be moving forward.

Second, remember this post? Well I found a pediatric opthamologist only about an hour away who not only is trained in vision therapy, but also takes the girls' insurance. And we have an appointment Wednesday. God is so good and I am so thankful I bit the bullet and called around. I hate making phone calls but in this case it likely saved us thousands of dollars, or the decision to not pursue something our child needs due to finances.

There is a third praise about something that I cannot share. but let's just say I was dreading something and praying about it and it was not as bad as I thought. God gave grace.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thoughts on Prayer

I have something on my mind and heart that I have been praying about for a while, but I decided last night during my quiet time to start praying much more specifically. While I do not desire to share on this blog the specifics of the request, it left me to think.

Praying specifically is scary for me. It is easy to pray generically, “God, please be with such and such need and work it out in your timing and give grace.” Then, no matter what the answer, it was simply “God’s will.”

So why is praying specifically so scary?

Because God doesn’t always work on our time table, and I know that. I have seen that. A sweet friend who lost her foster child to the system showed me that very, very clearly a few years ago. Other friends who are battling diseases and not yet seeing healing have shown me that.

The bible even says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:9)

Yet, I always hear that we are to pray specifically. In thinking about it, though, I cannot think of a particular verse that says so. I can think of “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” But that does not necessarily say what the “much” is.

So am I wrong to pray very specifically? Am I wrong to ask God for something in, well, my time frame, while readily acknowledging His ways are best? I know He has the power to grant this desire, but I am beginning to wonder if He has the desire to do so.

I guess deep down in my heart, I am afraid of what I will feel if God says “no.”

Yet, I know God wants to know our desires, and we should bring our requests before Him, so for now, I will pray specifically.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sadness


Miss N had her second eye exam today. A year ago I found out she had a severe deficiency in one eye, to the point of having some permanent vision loss. I was a bit floored and did not ask at that appointment why or what that meant.

Today I did.

I am sad because had I caught her problem earlier, we might not have a permanent vision issue.

The doctor explained it like this: If you take a toddler and pin their arm to their chest, the muscles in the arm will atrophy. The eye is a muscle, and it gets exercise by visual stimulation. When the visual stimulation is not coming in accurately, the muscle atrophies. Therapy and glasses can help, but cannot restore the lost vision completely.

I realize this is not a serious issue. She can read, she can color, she can do puzzles, so obviously she can still see. I just wish we had caught it earlier. "Permanent vision loss" sound so, well, permanent and serious. I thought they screened preemies for these types of problems? Somehow she slipped through the cracks until age 4, when I went with my gut and had her checked. When he flashed the letters up on the screen for what I think was 20/40 vision, even with her glasses she could not read them. This made me sad.

He did explain that doctors do not prescribe the full prescription a child needs when they first get glasses. They typically work their way up. So her eyes haven't changed, but he is upping the prescription again. Before it was like 60 percent of what she needs, now it will be more like 90 or 95. That was interesting to me.

Miss N needs therapy for her vision, which will be expensive and cannot be done locally, but what is a parent to do? My kid has to be able to see! I am glad for one thing - she has a lazy eye, but apparently they are steering away from the patches for that problem these days. He said that is like giving an aspirin for a migraine headache. It may help, but it is not enough. So she will not have to wear a patch which I am thankful for.

In two weeks I take M to be checked, because this problem can run in families. I am already dreading this. She is getting calmer every day, but she is not one to sit still in a chair for a long time. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What I Want to Be

What I Want to Be

As a mom, I want to be:

· Cheerful and loving
· Engaging and creative
· Someone they can turn to when they have a problem
· A trusted confidant
· Someone who is fun and fills my home with laughter
· Someone who has a chaos-free, tidy home so I fee less stressed
· Someone who disciplines well but out of love and out of a desire to see them grow into young women who love the Lord and respect others.

But I am:

· Sometimes moody and quick to chasten
· Stuck in a rut
· Someone who at times gets tired of the constant babbling and chatter
· Someone who wants bedtime to be over so I can start working
· Someone who is so serious minded that sometimes laughter eludes me
· Someone who is constantly stressed about the mess – I really need someone to teach me how to keep my home so that it is not so overwhelming.
· Someone who disciplines in frustration far too often.

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, blogs from moms who do things a bit differently than me. Here is what I want to change:

· I want to stop, slow down, and take time daily to enjoy my children
· I want to get my children involved in day-to-day tasks, rather than sending them to do independent things so I can get my home in order.
· I want to stop and listen, rather than immediately sending the crying/whining child to her room to cool off. Sometimes I do believe this is necessary, but sometimes I need to stop and listen.
· I want to spend time in God’s word in the mornings. Nighttime is just not working for me. It is harder in the mornings, because there are interruptions, but I want to try to make this a habit.

School starts in less than a week. I hope that having three dedicated mornings to work will help me free up time in the afternoons and evenings to just be with my kids. But I must get a handle on this house before that will ever happen. All I can see when I sit down to play is the dirt, clutter, and cleaning that needs to be done.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Time Delayed Teaching

One of the principles taught in Parenting with Wisdom (yes, I know I failed in my summaries, but I do so much better with interaction so I kind of gave up. I promise you will love the book if you read it!) is time-delayed teaching. It’s actually a concept I learned first on Michelle’s blog, but basically, the idea is that the teaching we do with our kids often doesn’t fully “sink in” right when we are teaching.

I have seen this first hand recently.

One thing I have been working on is helping my children se all of the things they should be thankful for. For instance, when they are complaining about something I do not do for them that they want, I point out all that I do actually do for them. It usually does not work to stop the complaining.

But apparently it is working after all.

A couple of weeks ago we were coming home from church. Miss M was overly tired for some reason, and she wanted me to open a door for her, but daddy did it. She started to wail as if we had taken away her favorite teddy bear. I overheard Miss N say, “But M, think of all the good things mom does for you!”

A similar issue is complaining about dinner. I am not sure if I did this out of the right heart attitude, but one day I had had enough, and my gentle reminders to not complain were getting nowhere. So, I made it very clear to her that God hates complaining, and then I told her exactly how it made mommy feel. I explained that cooking is hard work and something I do because I love my family and want them to be happy, healthy, and have full tummies. I explained that it is a lot like when she makes a picture for me at school that she works hard on. I asked her how she would feel if I looked at the picture and said, “that’s ugly” and threw it in the trash. I then explained that when she complains about the food without even trying it, it makes me want to cry.

Of course, this was met with more complaining, and I thought it got nowhere. But, I noticed something. Over the next week or so, she stopped complaining. She actually started looking for something on her plate that she liked! For the first time in months, I was hearing “Yum, I like chicken!” instead of complaints!

So these two instances have caused me to take heart. My teaching is not falling on deaf ears the way it seems. They may not respond right away, but they are listening and learning! I can teach them!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Proper View of Beauty in Today's Society

This morning I read this article about a French clothing designer marketing lingerie for young girls. Beyond the disturbing nature of the idea, the images were equally disturbing. It brought to mind something I have been thinking on.

My oldest child is 5, yet already she is becoming consumed with “pretty.” We were driving one day and passed a Hooter’s billboard with one of the Hooter’s girls on it. “Mommy, that lady is pretty, isn’t she?” was the unsolicited comment from the back seat.

I was taken aback. Yes, the lady is pretty, but do I really want to say that to my impressionable child? What is she noticing as “pretty,” the tight, revealing shirt or her pretty face?

I was a bit relieved when a few weeks later we had a pastoral candidate at our church who had a 20-something daughter who played the French horn. She was a lovely young lady, but completely modestly and appropriately dressed. The same child leaned over and said, “Mommy, that lady is very pretty.” Just yesterday we were driving and next to us pulled a young woman who was not, in my definition, pretty, but she was wearing makeup and had her hair fixed nicely and she received the same comment.

So, I am not sure what defines “pretty” in my daughter’s mind.

But, one thing is stuck in my mind. Our society values “beauty” above all else, and that beauty is not at all inward. It is defined as a skinny body, large chest, and perfect hair and makeup.

As the mom of girls, how do I protect them from this image? It is literally everywhere! Even the seemingly innocent “princess” genre is filled with beautiful women with perfect bodies. Yes, they also have good character, but they are nonetheless beautiful.

Proverbs says, “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”

How do I teach my daughters this truth? We could and probably will spend some time on this verse, but I think that the teaching must be deeper than that. We cannot avoid the overly-sexualized images that surround us in this society. We drive past that Hooter’s billboard regularly, and it’s not possible to avoid. I do not feel that eliminating princess stories and videos is necessary.

I often wonder if I add to this problem by emphasizing looking nice for church. We wear our “best” dress, add a necklace, and fix our hair. I do not think this is wrong, because we are going to spend time learning about our Lord and should look our best, yet when I say, “you look so pretty!” am I adding to this focus on outward beauty, or am I instilling proper self confidence to help combat the insecurities that will inevitably come in junior high (she is, after all, my mini-me)? These are questions that are hard to answer!

This is something I plan to think on for a while. Thoughts?