Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jarring...a post about prayer

Baby Girl goes to preschool two mornings a week. At the Roman Catholic preschool. I expected religious lessons and prayer. (Side note--at orientation open house, we received the packet with rules for bringing snack, etc. At one point, it says if you do not wish your child to participate in the religious curriculum, an alternative will be offered. Really? Why would you send your child to a religious institution and NOT expect religious instruction at some point? At the very least, shouldn't that have been given prior to registration? But I digress.)

She regularly brings home little learner leaflets similar to many Sunday School curriculum I've seen over the years. The first week, it came home in a folder that listed all the lessons. I commented that I'd be most interested in the one labeled, "We Love Mary." Don't get me wrong; I have nothing against Mary. But I'm Lutheran; we look at Mary a bit differently. And I'm not worried--Baby Girl is 3, I'm guessing it won't be too in depth even if they get to that lesson!

None of which is the point...the point is prayer.

Tuesday morning, as usual, I took Baby Girl to school. Precious has a bad cold and we had a funny schedule Tuesday, so mom came to my house to watch her instead of us going to mom's. So Precious wasn't with me as she normally is. I signed Baby Girl in to class and went across the hall to the Book Fair. I couldn't resist--I love books. Thankfully my purse was in the car.

But I killed enough time that it was time for morning announcements..."Please stand for prayer." I expected Baby Girl to pray before snack, but I didn't expect whole school prayer. I student taught at a Roman Catholic school and we didn't do that. All of a sudden, I was nervous--was I supposed to pray? Should I keep looking at the books? What should I do? It was jarring, sudden. I wasn't prepared to pray in that moment. I missed the crossing myself during 'the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit' and then it was the Lord's Prayer. I can do this, I thought...except for the jarring end! Remember, I'm Lutheran--we say, "for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory" before we say Amen. I was completely not prepared for the Hail Mary or Glory Be. (Or the Pledge of Allegience which followed prayer...but that's another story)

I can't say why exactly I found it so jarring...

But I find myself thinking that I should go to the Book Fair again on Thursday. It might be a good reminder about how to start each day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Don't Stress About It

Says hubby at noon. So very unhelpful...

Baby Girl won't admit to wanting to nap, but doesn't want to stay alone watching tv.

Precious doesn't want to be put down, period. And screams if we are in bedroom with Baby Girl.

Hubby is working outside because he wants to get further on shed and has help today.

But, I have to write a sermon. The other stuff that should get done -- laundry, bills, filing, watering plants can wait. But I need to write this sermon and have nothing...nothing...

Yesterday sucked--I wanted to scratch the last post and say I'm not even feeling like a good mommy because Baby Girl was pushing every button.

I'm so frustrated with life at the moment...

Maybe it is post-partum depression. I just don't know what to do about it....because medicine won't give me more hours in a day or a family who does more than they do...

posted one-handed holding precious in room next to Baby Girl who hasn't noticed I'm's hoping she went to sleep...might be able to sermonize!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I was originally going to write about my recent chiropractor visit and how the adjusting is helping my back. Some--not fully yet. But if I had the time to do the icing he suggested, it might be better. I go back Monday.

If only other adjustments were so easy. I'm having a really hard time with this parenting two small children thing. I feel like I'm being an okay mommy. But that's about it. Walking into my house sucks the life out of me. I have so much that needs to get done, but I just can't get on top of it. And, because of that, I often don't even try. And when I do, something else comes up. Like now...

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Precious will be five months old next week. It's been about four months since the diagnosis of her cleft palate. It's been about three months since she really nursed at all.

That breaks my heart.

We gave it a valiant effort. But she knows that is where the milk is supposed to come from and got so frustrated when it didn't. And she had to start having bottles without nursing anyhow when I was at work. I admit, I was clinging to trying to nurse even some of the time, hoping that after her surgery, she'd want to try again--even just once a day. Baby Girl nursed until 15 months, the last month or so just once a day.

My letdown is still quick for the pump, but my body is trained for the times I pump and doesn't let down for her as quickly as it did before even when it's close to a time to pump.

Occasionally, though not often, I'll try again. And I swear, if a baby can look up at you like, "Okay, mom...I'm indulging you here," Precious does. But then she gets frustrated and cries--and then I start sobbing and my heart breaks again and again.

And so I've mostly given up trying. Because why should I put both of us through that?

The best I can do (for me, of course) is to pump for her. She is getting only my milk right now--and has been for almost 3 months. Formula's not evil, but I'm good at making milk. Why shouldn't I do this?

This post has been written in my head for sometime, but I could write it now because I could add..."Tempered."

A few things temper my feelings...
I'm pumping more than Precious needs--I've donated nearly 200 ounces to a milk bank plus have nearly twice that much in the freezer for Precious. Hubby doesn't understand why I want to doante some milk. And I can't really explain it, but it makes me feel better about myself, about this not being able to nurse thing. I'm not only attached to the pump for Precious but for some other baby who maybe needs it even more.

And I know this is not the most heartbreaking thing in the world. Close to me, a woman who was so excited to welcome a new granddaughter within the month is full of grief. Her father did this spring, she was looking for some joy in her life. The baby was stillborn last week. To hear that breaks my heart for that family.

And Precious knows me. I know she did before, but it's obvious now. Yesterday afternoon I was at my mom's with the girls. I was trying to get some work done on the computer while Baby Girl napped. Precious was fussy and Mom was walking with her. I finished quickly as she continued to fuss. I walked over toward them, she leaned toward me, gave me a big smile and stopped fussing as soon as I took her. She knew I was there and wanted MY attention.

But I won't lie; my heart still breaks sometimes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Visit(s) with the Specialist

Less than a week after the diagnosis, we headed with Precious to the nearby University Hospital to meet the specialist. We went again a month or so later, so the visits are blurry in my head. But they boil down to the same things!

I really, really like the specialist. She's young, with 3 children, the youngest of whom is only a few weeks older than Precious. She was empathetic to me--especially around the area of breastfeeding. She gets it--from both sides, the mommy desire to nurse but also the difficulty it is for babies with clefts.

She made it clear that she didn't want to discourage breastfeeding, but it is really so hard for babies. A normal feeding should never take longer than a 1/2 hour, otherwise Precious burns more calories than necessary for optimal growth. So, she said, if we want to keep breastfeeding by all means do so. BUT, if it takes, say 20 minutes to take a 4 oz. bottle, nurse for 10 minutes and then do the bottle. AND, when there are times it is clearly for comfort, let Precious nurse as much as she wants--if she's not hungry, she'll do what she needs to do and can control how much she is really working. How that's working out will be its own post....

We thought it was only the soft palate, but she indicated that it also is the edge of the hard. Still, probably one of the least severe type of cleft.

Precious will need surgery for sure--at least one. This will be when she is 12-15 months old. That's the optimal time. Big enough to handle surgery well and young enough that most language isn't developed. Depending on how the surgery goes and how speech develops, she may need speech therapy and/or another surgery later down the line. By the time of the surgery, she will need to be weaned from any 'sucking' things--pacifiers, bottles, straws, etc. (She can still, of course, have breastmilk--just not from anything she needs to suck!) After the surgery, they don't want her sucking because it could rip the stitches out. And, for 3 weeks, we'll have to put her arms in splints at the elbow so they can't bend. No chance to get her hands in her mouth if she can't bend her arms! We think she'd be a pacifier baby if we let her, unlike Baby Girl who never liked one, but we aren't even going to introduce one. Precious does some sucking on her fingers, but often makes sucking sounds even without anything in her mouth. Can't do anything about that I guess!

The big goal was to get her up on the growth chart by the second visit with nutrition coming from formula or breastmilk or both. We did it! We did about 1/2 formula and 1/2 breastmilk for much of that time in order to bulk up calories as we knew how much the formula had. The doctor was pleased with her progress and said we might be able to consider surgery earlier, but we'll decide for sure at our next visit which is in January (unless we have concerns before then).

Precious will be more prone to ear infections and fluid build-up in the ears because they can't/won't drain right. But tubes for kids and ear infections aren't that unusual. I'm hopeful she will be like her sister though and not have many!

The specialist had also told our regular doctor that she was impressed with how little weight Precious had lost in that month pre-diagnosis. Precious had worked hard! And now we just treat her like a baby--do all the 'normal' things at the 'normal' times. She did warn us that solid food will be messy! Precious will have to learn how to use her tongue to force the food down the right way--and until she does, food will come out her nose. When she does spit up now (rare though it is), it comes out her nose. I'm glad she told me--I think I would have freaked out to see peas coming out her nose! And when you look at an image of how the body is made, it makes sense. The cleft opens up her sinuses so instead of food going down, it goes up.

All in all, things are good. It's good to know what's coming, to have time to prepare. And to not have concern about Precious' growth cloud every waking moment.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

By the Numbers

3 towns
3 houses
6 vehicles
8 jobs
2 Master's Degrees
2 babies

10 years!

The numbers don't contain the stories--in fact, I had to really think about some of them. But they point to something--our life together as it changes and as it stays the same. Sometimes it feels like forever and other times just like yesterday that we celebrated and headed out for our corn field honeymoon! Happy Anniversary Hubby!

(Visits to the specialist for Precious will come next time I post!)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


If you haven't read the last three or four posts--you might want to. It'll help explain a lot!

May 31 ~ Baby Girl's third birthday. Precious and I head to her doctor's appointment. The nurse who weighed her last week (and had me change the diaper) weighed her in. 6 lbs 14 oz. She asked what she weighed last week--6 lbs 14 oz to 7 lbs--depends on which weigh-in. Tears began to stream down my cheeks as I carried Precious to the exam room and waited for the doctor. We were trying so hard--how could she not be gaining weight?

The doctor came in and asked all the usual questions, washed her hands, and stuck her finger in Precious' mouth once again. Weak suck--we know. The doctor said, "I'm going to have to make her mad and get her mouth open really wide." And she did--and therein lied the answer.

A cleft palate--the soft palate in the back. Precious physically cannot make the suction she needs to effectively nurse (or even do well with the slow-flow nipples I have which Baby Girl used because that's what breastfed babies should use because they are most like breastfeeding). The doctor looked at me and I was crying--but relieved. She hugged me and apologized (numerous times) for not catching it sooner. Apparently it's really hard to see that far back unless the baby is really mad and she hates to make them mad--and also because the tongue takes up so much of the baby's mouth. The doctor felt so badly that it had been so hard on me and that it had been hard on Precious too. Precious had spent the first month of her life working so hard for every calorie she took in--she spent most of them trying to get the food in.

The doctor referred us to a specialist at nearby university hospital, one of the best in the region. That visit comes later. But now is the beginning of answers. Until we can get to the specialist, the plan is to nurse as we have been and then follow each feeding with an ounce of formula--in a new bottle--anything that Precious doesn't have to work so hard for. The doctor said 'get a bigger nipple.' Do you know how many options there are? I went to the store and looked bewildered in the bottle aisle. And randomly picked one because I had a sample of the bottle it fit at home, a sample I had gotten with Baby Girl and never used. As good a reason as any. The salesperson who tried to help me looked from me to Precious and said, "Are you sure the doctor really means for you to get a fast-flow nipple?" Yes--in fact she does; we don't want her to have to work so hard to eat.

We could look back and say, we should have known--I remember commenting that Precious doesn't have a uvula (that little hangy down thing in your throat). But I didn't say anthing--I thought maybe babies didn't have them at first. Well--that opening that I thought was missing the uvula and was the throat--that is Precious' palate--the uvula is split and that's where the cleft is. Her throat is farther back. But we aren't saying that--because there are too many blessings.

Blessing--I have LOTS of milk--supply is not an issue.
Blessing--I have an easy and quick let-down. Precious starts to cry and there is milk for her; she didn't have to suck and suck to get milk coming (though it was still hard).
Blessing--my mom lives in my town now and could be with Baby Girl when I spent hours and hours nursing Precious.
Blessing--we did have lots of nursing bonding time, even though that is now dwindling.
Blessing--this is not life-threatening (for me/us here and now--it could be in other places and certainly in past times)
Blessing--an excellent university hosptial only an hour away with specialists who deal with this all the time
Blessing--Precious is one tough girl; she's a fighter in a good way.
Blessing--a specialist that I really like upon first visit (for another post)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Short Update

The week was better. Precious was still mellow, but waking up on her own every 3-4 hours to eat. She'd nurse 40 minutes to an hour sometimes; we had gone back to using the nipple shield all the time because it seemed to help. She still 'clucked' but it didn't seem as bad. She looked like she was filling out, growing more hair, and getting longer. She was definitely awake more, more alert when she was awake, and peeing and pooping appropriately.

At the doctor's appointment--7 lbs. No gain--no loss, but no gain. She was hungry so I nursed her and the doctor wanted to weigh her after that again. But she wet her diaper and the nurse had me change it--I tried to argue with her, but wasn't adamant enough. After eating (and the diaper change), her weight was 6 lbs 14 oz. The doctor said, "that can't be right..." And told the nurse we should have left the diaper on wet. The nurse did say I tried to tell her that.

The plan--come back next week. In the meantime, continue the 3 oz of supplementing. Pump after each feeding to empty my breasts and keep up supply.

It was still really tough--I shed plenty of tears. And tried not to feel like a bad mommy.

The next week, we had answers--that's for another post.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kick Me While I'm Down

The weekend was mellow--too mellow. Precious slept a lot--way too much. We'd try to wake her up to eat. Seriously, we'd try everything--getting her naked, holding her, laying her down, trying to force her mouth open on my breast, using a bottle and squeezing milk into it. Eventually she'd wake up, but sometimes after 6 hours, at least 2 of which was spent trying to get her up. I knew she wasn't eating enough, but she wasn't complaining about it. And we certainly tried.

My mom kept saying, "Maybe she'll just be a bottle baby." Not helpful. I don't know if she was trying to make herself feel better or me. I know that she was disappointed that due to her health issues wasn't able to nurse my sister or me. I wasn't ready to hear that--it hurt too much. I love to nurse my, love, love it. I know it's not for everyone--and I'm not anti-formula. But I'm good at breastfeeding. Baby Girl was weaned at 15 months; early on in this pregnancy, when I was still not thrilled about being pregnant, my thoughts were that at least I'd be able to nurse again. I had even decided that I'd try to nurse even longer, not be so quick to wean. (Because Baby Girl's weaning was on my timetable, not hers--though she didn't object at all.) I wanted a breastfed baby; I wanted it for Precious AND for me. I admit it; I wanted it for me. I didn't mind not sharing feeding time with anyone else. That was my special thing--the thing only Mommy can do.

Monday at the doctor, Precious weighed....7 lbs. No weight gain at all, none. Now I realize the doctor hid her worry well, but said she wanted another blood test to check thyroid levels and for signs of infection. In the meantime, though, she said continue supplementing with the formula as we had been.

But then she gives me the paperwork to take to the lab which orders the blood test. Diagnosis -- failure to thrive. I just about lost it. Way to make an already weepy, hormonal, worried, upset post-partum mommy feel like shit. No, no, no...failure to thrive, that's what happens to babies in orphanages in third world countries who have no one to love them or babies in traumatic situations like following earthquakes where everyone has so little. My precious girl has more than enough love shown to her, she's loved and cuddled and snuggled and loved some more. There's plenty of milk (and formula too) here for the taking. There's enough. She needs to thrive--I'm not a bad mama; I'm doing my best--but it's not good enough. If it was, she'd be gaining weight. And I do intellectually know that 'failure to thrive' is a medical diagnosis, not about me--and I know my doctor cares because she didn't SAY those words to me. But it's tough, watching your baby scream as they draw a vial of blood from her heel. And then even better, since this was the same lab where they had last drawn to check bilirubin levels, they did that test not the correct one. We were on the way home when they called me to say they realized it. Thankfully I had made a stop, so we were still in the same town. So they had to draw blood again--3 vials full from her itty-bitty heel.

Test results--no sign of infection, no thyroid problems. Keep up the supplementing. Come back in a week.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Blue Bandit

Precious weighed in at 7 lb 6 oz on Thursday night. We were released from the hospital on Friday. She was looking a bit jaundiced, but not horribly so. This isn't unusual for newborns--Baby Girl was too. The doctor wanted to see her early the next week, so we made an appointment for Monday but said to call sooner if she started to look more yellow, particularly in the whites of her eyes.

Precious seemed to do fairly well over the weekend. She didn't nurse great, though it was clear to me that my milk was in. Even in the hospital she made a 'clucking' sound when she tried to nurse. I could tell that her latch wasn't great; I nursed Baby Girl for 15 months--I knew a good latch. We tried with a nipple shield and without and it didn't seem to make much difference. But she wasn't getting enough--I knew--she wasn't peeing or pooping as much as she should. She was getting some--I could tell by how my breasts felt.

Monday morning we went to the doctor and she was down to 7 lbs. Babies all lose some of birth weight but this amount was on the low edge of normal. Doctor wasn't too concerned about that--but Precious was definitely jaundiced. We had to go to a lab for a blood test to find out the level. (Aside--do you know how they draw blood from babies? They stick their heel and then bend their foot and squeeze numerous times to fill a vial. It's sometimes hard to watch as they scream the whole time--except this time Precious was a trooper and didn't cry at all after the first stick!) We drove our 40 minutes back home. She really was mellow--hardly cried at all--ever.

The lab results indicated a high level and so she needed to use a bilirubin blanket--a special therapy device. Which no one in our town has. Hubby thought he'd have to drive back, but the doctor found a way to get this device to us. A bilrubin blanket has a machine that kind of looks like a slide or LCD projector with a bright light bulb. The light shines into a hose that attaches to a flexible flat thing and projects blue light. This flat thing is to be wrapped around the baby's torso (unclothed). The light therapy helps break down the bilirubin in the blood so that it can be excreted. A baby's liver can't keep up with that level at that age. Also, the doctor said to supplement with formula (1 oz, 3 times daily). I really hated to use the Supplemental Nursing System that I used with Baby Girl because it's a pain, but we did. Sometimes we used bottles too--but that also took forever. Precious just wouldn't latch right--to me or a bottle. And we wrapped her in this blanket which made her glow blue in the night. Hubby started calling her the Blue Bandit.

In theory, when wearing the blanket, you can do everything with the baby except bathe them. In reality, with the hose attached that is nearly impossible. For the most part, we left her laying down except to feed her. That broke my heart, not to be able to hold her and snuggle her--or give her the food she needed to beat the jaundice. I would cry and cry when I did hold her and try to feed her. Once I looked at her laying there all alone wrapped up and her eyes were heavy and she just looked sad to me. Hubby tried to make me feel better, but he couldn't. I was so worried about her.

I just wanted to snuggle with her, to hold her close and protect her, to feed her, to take care of her and love her. But I knew keeping her wrapped in the blanket was best. We were supposed to leave it on and then have her blood tested again on Wednesday afternoon.

We were able to have her blood tested in our town. Those results were fine! She was no longer in the danger area for jaundice. But the doctor still wanted to see her the following Monday.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


It's time to write at least some of the posts that have been written in my head over the last six weeks, so here goes...

I've decided on a blog name for the newest one in my family--Precious. Baby Girl may just have turned 3, but she is my Baby Girl and always will be. Though this little one is also technically my baby girl, it's just not the same. Baby Girl made me a mommy. And it seems a bit wrong to use an adjective for one of them and not the other, but over these six weeks, I've found myself calling this little one "Precious" so many times, just as I found myself calling Baby Girl "Baby Girl" when she was tiny. They are both precious and they are both baby girls. And as far as blog names, this is just how it's going to be.

So, now the story of Precious' birth.

Week 36 ~ Doctor usually does a cervix check at this appointment, but as it was Holy Week and she knew how badly I didn't want Precious born before Easter, she waited so as not to stimulate anything!

Week 37 ~ Dilated 3 cm, I had had a few contractions, but nothing real serious, nothing consistent or time-able.

Week 38, 1 day ~ times are approximate

9 a.m. appointment ~ dilated 3.5 cm, doctor says that my amniotic sac is really really low and that she is pretty sure I was having a contraction while she was checking me. She wants to monitor me for a while before letting me leave. (Reminder--I live 40 minutes from doctor/hospital city--she doesn't want me on the road!)

10 a.m. ~ hear hubby in waiting room as I'm being monitored. This is one of the week days that he works in doctor/hospital city. He was late into town following a meeting and knew my appointment should just be ending so had stopped by to check on me. He wondered why I wasn't out yet. I was having contractions every 4 minutes, feeling some of them. Doctor says to go walk a few hours, have something to eat, and come back.

We do. We go to the mall and walk it. We never have time together like this. We go to one of our favorite lunch places. I have contraband caffeine (I love cherry pepsi!) with lunch, deciding that if I'm in labor, I can have it! I am having regular contractions--I don't feel all of them if they are really 4 minutes apart and they aren't horrible, but I am sure we aren't headed home today!

1:30 p.m. ~ We go back to the doctor. I'm dilated 4 cm and after being monitored, I'm still having contractions every 4 minutes or so. She sends me to the hospital. We take both our vehicles there, knowing that when hubby's parents come to see new baby, one of them will drive his home. He's a bit worried, but it's only a drive of a few minutes.

2 p.m. ~ Check-in at hospital. During registration, we start process and it's moving slowly. They get to the question of why I'm there, I say..."I'm in labor" and they start to panic and try to rush. "Are you okay? Do you need to go right up?" No, I'm okay. I'm certainly feeling contractions, but no big deal. We do get into triage, I change into the gown and we wait....and wait...

3 p.m. ~ Nurse finally comes back. Another woman had come in and hadn't felt baby move and so triage nurse finds baby heartbeat, etc. to comfort the mom before coming back to me. As she checks me, my water breaks all over. And I mean, all over! Triage nurse jumps and manages to avoid most of it. "Well," she said, "you are being admitted for sure now!"

During this time, we get to our labor room. I'm monitored a bit, we walk. Contractions start to be ones that stop me so that I can't walk through them anymore. We call my mom to let her know that Baby Girl will be having a "campover" at her house that night. We tell her we'll call her when baby comes but that they should plan to wait until morning to come see us.

5 p.m. ~ By now I've decided to stay in bed because that really is the most comfortable as I breathe through contractions. Doctor comes to check on me. I'm dilated 8 cm. She asks if I want to push. I say no. Doctor says she isn't leaving, but she'll go and change into her scrubs. Next contraction, I think..."pushing might not be bad idea." Doctor comes back and I tell her.

5:40 p.m. ~ I start pushing. It's very different than with Baby Girl--in a good way. It hurts differently. I don't have pitocin-induced contractions on top of one another; I get a break between contractions. I know I scream when I'm pushing at different times. I have hubby's shirt in my hand twisted and tightened. He's putting cold washcloths on my head and neck. I'm grateful not to have an oxygen mask that made me feel like I couldn't breathe. (I know--that's backwards, but it's how I felt!) No tearing, nothing.

5:55 p.m. ~ Precious is laid on my tummy. I look at her beautiful body and smile. They take her to wash her and I'm pretty sure they said her Apgar's were 9/9. I remember thinking that they were better than Baby Girl's whose were 8/9. Deliver placenta--and actually look at it. It's pretty amazing and much bigger than I pictured. I'm glad I looked even if it was gross. I watch them clean and weigh Precious and check her over. I feel great! Even better after a shower.

I'm making calls shortly after to announce her birth. She's beautiful and I feel amazing. It's a surprise how much easier this was. With no drugs, no IV, no tearing, I feel incredible. I can't believe that I just gave birth. Thank God for that for so many reasons. Because if I had known what the weeks to come would bring, I'm not sure I'd have been able to handle them having to recover from labor too.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

She's Here!

Baby was born today (Wednesday, May 4th) at 5:55 p.m. Baby Girl/Big Sister was right--it's a little girl. 7 lb. 13 oz, 20 in long. We are doing well--will post more later. It's late and I should try to sleep, but I'm still in a bit of adrenaline rush or something as I'm not sleepy. She is beautiful and healthy. Baby Girl will meet her tomorrow as we live 40 minutes from the hospital and thought disrupting sleep patterns would be worse than waiting! Baby Girl is having a 'camp-over' with Grandma so is in excellent hands. I still am kind of in shock that I actually gave birth to another human being--even if I've done this before. It's amazing and incredible. (And as a bonus, we avoided all the landmines of the due date! She's been a very accommodating baby so far.)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

May Babies

Well, now it's pretty clear that I will have two May babies! Baby Girl (May 31) and this yet-to-be-named baby (both in nickname form and in real life). I'm starting to be ready, but not completely. There are still a few things I'd like to get in order at work before the baby comes. And I only have folks scheduled to fill in on Sundays starting May 22. I do have folks on call before then, but the less I have to rearrange Sundays the better! So, if I get through next Sunday too, great. But if not, no big deal. I was so worried about this baby being early that I have everyone anticipating it too. People are surprised to see me every time I see them. But that's okay. Baby's doing what it needs to be doing and that, for now, is growing inside me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Milestone Two ~ Easter Morning

Made it! Baby has definitely dropped. Hubby's prediction is Wednesday, when I go see the doctor next. Now, the only things to avoid are step-daughter's high school graduation (May 22) and her final senior recital stuff (May 17). I'm still pretty sure I'll be early, so these should not be a problem as the 17th is my due date.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Sermon

I'm ready for the next two days (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday), but not yet for Easter. Babies and new life are quite obviously on my brain--at least not in my arms! :)

Aside: I saw my doctor for my 36 week appointment on Tuesday. Usually a cervical check is done at that appointment, but since that can stimulate labor, she suggested waiting a week as she knew I want to get through Easter for sure! There was no real medical reason to do one right then as my blood pressure is good, I'm measuring okay even if big, I haven't had real contractions, etc. So that will come next week.

Anyway, back to the original post...As I look at Matthew's version of this story, I am seeing so many things that I could relate to pregnancy--and this phase of it in particular. And maybe that's a sermon I'll need to write for me...or a blog post or something...or maybe an article for Fidela's Sisters but I just don't think I can write it for this audience. I don't know enough people's stories. I feel like it would have the potential to cause more pain than it should if there are people who are struggling/have struggled with infertility or not having children by choice and later regretting it or people who just can't relate because they don't have children or are men or... And I don't want to get it written and then feel that way.

And my 36 week pregnant self is tired! So I'm copping out...I'm going to re-work an old Easter sermon (not preached here) and call it good. I hope. Now to work on it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Milestone One

Today is the exact gestational age Baby Girl was when she was born. No signs of this baby! HOORAY! It's Holy Week after all; I have lots to do. I keep telling the baby, "just till after Easter, baby--then we can talk." I'm also doing lots of preparing--I figure the more I have ready, the less likely I am to need it. I'm also avoiding all those old wives tales that are to stimulate labor--I'm taking no chances. I see the doctor on Tuesday, so we'll see how things are going then. But I'm just happy to be to this point!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Potty Progress

I'm so proud of Baby Girl. We've been working seriously on using the potty for about two weeks now. She does so well! We've had very few accidents after the first 2 days--she still often wants to use pull-ups, which is okay, but we are working on using big girl underwear. (Except at night and naptime--I'm just not ready for loads of sheets!) She gets a piece of candy for using the potty on her own (if she remembers the candy--which isn't always). I haven't figured out how/when we'll break that, but I'm not worried about that yet! She still fights pooping and won't do that on the potty yet, so that's next on the potty agenda. I'm so very glad she's doing so well. Even if this is as far as we get before baby comes, I'm feeling much better about this aspect of parenting two!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I really am big this time around! Up until this week's appointment, I've measured right on track. Yesterday (one day shy of 32 weeks), I measured at 35 weeks. The doctor said it could just be how the baby is laying. If I continue to grow exponentially at this rate at my next appointment in two weeks, she will order an ultrasound. Last time, it was at my 34 week appointment that I measured big and she ordered one. All was fine and Baby Girl was born 2 days shy of 2 weeks after that appointment.

2. 2 days shy of 36 weeks will be Palm Sunday. NO, NO, NO! I really want to get through Holy Week. I have 'fun' things planned, meaningful worship experiences that I want to lead. I have someone on-call who can do it, but...

3. Baby Girl is so cute now in her interaction with the baby. She 'plays patty-cake' with my tummy, hugs it and tells the baby she loves it. I'm hoping the infatuation continues once the baby is actually here!

4. Baby Girl has also decided to fully descend into the terrible 2s/3s. But really, she's not that bad. We are just having to do more time-outs and deal with more melt-downs. It'll be okay.

5. Baby Girl has also decided to not sleep through the night anymore. It's not quite so bad when she just shows up in our room and we put her in our bed. But between her getting up and waiting until I show up in her room and the amount of times I'm up in a night to use the bathroom--ugh! I'm not ready for the sleep deprivation of newbornhood. I hope Baby Girl decides that Daddy will be good enough in the night from here on out!

6. We, perhaps foolishly, are trying to build a 'big girl' bed for Baby Girl. It's a bunkbed that looks like a house. There's room for a twin mattress up top (which we won't actully get or use until she's old enough to actually sleep up there--we'll just play up there for now) and can be either used with a twin or full below. We'll be using a full below so that one of us can lay with her if need be.

7. This will mean she'll move to a different bedroom and the room she picked out as her room before we even bought the house will be for the baby.

8. The walls are a sort of pink--dark coral. Hubby asked, "if it's a boy, will we paint?" I said, "not at first." We can get some wall decals or something at first. I think if we add blue accents it'd be fine.

9. We are washing all the tiny clothes--I can't believe how tiny Baby Girl was. It's hard to imagine! It is starting to get real--and there is so much to do!

10. Can't just leave it at 9, so here's 10...must get back to tomorrow's sermon. Thanks to Teri at Clever Title Here for her willingness to share with me so I'm not starting from nothing!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Big...belly ~ I feel so much bigger this time around. I also find myself comparing how big I was or how I felt at this time of year 3 years ago, but constantly have to remind myself that's not fair. Baby Girl was born in May (the 31st) but her due date was June 30. So even though this little one is due in May (and hopefully will be born in that month), I'm really 6 weeks farther along. So I should be bigger. And from what I understand, second time mommies get bigger faster. At every doctor's appointment, I'm measuring right on track. (Actually at the last appointment, I was measuring 1/2 week behind.) So I guess I just feel big.

Big...snow ~ 15 inches they said on the news between yesterday afternoon and this morning. Lots of high winds and blowing. Everything closed today and much closed tomorrow as well. I don't mind not getting out all that much, but we all get along better if hubby and Baby Girl get chances to go out.

Big...wuss ~ From what I hear, it's lots of men and I don't know that for sure, but I know it's true for hubby. He's sick--which means he has a cold. His head hurts and he feels like doing nothing. So he doesn't. But I still have work to do and I really need him to play with Baby Girl at least a little bit. If I felt like he looks and sounds, he would still expect me to be doing my normal stuff. I'm frustrated.

Edited on Thursday--okay, he's more sick than yesterday started. He has chills and fever so can't do as much, but that still didn't hit right away. So, now the question as he and she nap--try to get some work done or nap too (between his hacking and her coming into bed with me at 2:45 a.m. and me not sleeping well at all after that, I feel like I barely slept!)?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I don't remember the last day that I had like this. The day started at 5:45 with Baby Girl coming into our room. When she's up before 6, we tell her it's still sleepy time and normally she'll cuddle and relax or go back to sleep. Of course, that works better when it's earlier in the morning. Well, no to that, but she got out of our bed and I wasn't sure where she went. She went back to her bed and started calling for me. Huh? Anyway, I went and laid down on the floor next to her bed. She never went back to sleep but rustled for probably 20 minutes. At which time she wanted to sit on the potty. Again, huh? But we did and had to take jammies off to do so, so she was ready to get dressed. I had clothes picked out for her in our room, so took her back in. We watched a tv show, which got us to 6:45 and then she had had enough and was ready to go.

But by 8, she and hubby left. And I have had the house to myself all day! I was almost crying when they left because I won't see Baby Girl until Tuesday afternoon. She will be spending the days with grandma and grandpa. Hubby will come home tomorrow.

I should have done a lot today, but I have done things today that I needed to do. Here's what I have accomplished (as of almost 4:30 p.m.)--slept, showered, read blogs, watched tv, and ate. I really needed this day. Now, I do need to be sure my sermon is set for tomorrow. After that, I think it's time to unload the dishwasher and make supper. Then it's time to read my book for fun and call it good! No big plans for after church tomorrow, so the other things will just have to happen then. I should be well rested! We'll see--I tend not to be able to sleep at night when hubby is gone, so it's hard to say for sure. But either way, it has been a good day!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Thoughts at Halfway (ish)

The whole numbering of pregnancy weeks simply confuses me--and mostly doesn't matter a whole lot. But according to weeks, I'm just about halfway there. And it's been a long time since I posted, so...

I am becoming more excited about this baby. We had an ultrasound. We decided not to find out gender, sort of. We had the tech write it on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope if we decide later we do want to know and don't have another ultrasound. (I ended up with 3 total for Baby Girl, to check on different things.) This one wasn't as thrilling as any for her; partly because I didn't like the tech. We had my first ultrasound with this baby with her and she forgot to record certain things; I had to go back the next day (60 miles round trip). And she just irked me--can't really explain it.

Anyway, more than seeing the baby is that I can feel it more and more. It's still not consistent movements, but there's a lot more. Just when I start to think, "I haven't felt the baby for a long time, something's wrong" I feel something. And that's good and I'm relieved. I think it was about this time that I began to call Baby Girl "my little swimmer" because it seriously felt like she was swimming laps--touch one side, swim, touch other side, repeat, repeat, repeat. (And she LOVES the water today.)

Haven't come up with a nickname for this one--didn't plan to with Baby Girl, so it still might happen. And as an aside, if intuition is anything, this one is also a girl. With Baby Girl, I felt girl all along, but talked myself into thinking it was a boy because I was so certain I'd be wrong. Hubby thought girl because he kept thinking boy but was certain he'd be wrong. I guess I haven't asked him what he thinks this time.

I loved being pregnant with Baby Girl. I don't hate being pregnant this time--I don't love it the same way. Baby Girl made me a mother, a mommy, the one thing I wanted to be my entire life. And now I am that, no matter what happens. So there's not the same newness that came with my pregnancy with her. And there's not the same preparation--no 'stuff' to buy (well a few things I wish we'd had), but for the most part, no preparation. It's just so different.

And I'm tired of being a mother of a toddler. I love Baby Girl with all that I am, but it's exhausting in such a different way than having a baby. And she's not even really that difficult of a child. She has a few tantrums, but not many. She'll put herself in time-out and calm down quickly when placed there by us. Bedtime takes so long many nights and she only wants me. I'd love to share this with hubby. We've temporarily put potty training on hold as she's been withholding poop and that's a vicious cycle of constipation and pain that we want to break before spending too much time focusing on the potty. And besides, when on earth am I supposed to train her when I'm at work all week. There's not consistency in that! I know--it's a phase, it's part of life. It will get better and it's not awful. It just is.

And in the meantime, I'll grow this baby I'm learning to love and I'll love Baby Girl and put one foot in front of the other. It will be okay.