Monday, March 31, 2008
The Sweet Sound of Chaos Yes, you read the title correctly. I've never been so happy to hear screaming and laughing and the pounding of running feet! After five days of being sick, Kayla is better. She is smiling and laughing and she asked me to chase her around the living room. Normally that whole chasing thing is pretty short lived for me, but I heartily chased her around for as long as we could handle it! Breathlessly she declared, "I feel much better!" Indeed! I never thought I would be looking forward to the week coming up that her and I would spend together with the baby. The sick Kayla was much harder to handle then the well Kayla. I'm sure well Kayla and I will have a great time. Note: I didn't publish this post right away and am happy to report that our week together was great. We had our ups and downs, but overall it was a good. Thanks to everyone that was praying for us. In a way, I'm sort of lonely today without Kayla's sweet face around. Just me and the little boy today.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
If Only There Were Two of Me... I'm sure we have all had that thought - wishing we had a clone or an extra set of hands. I'm especially feeling that pain today - figuring out how to juggle two kids - an infant (by definition - needy) and a little under the weather toddler (temporarily needy). It seems that I'm constantly having to choose, whose needs get met first. Unfortunately, my infant son cries more loudly and is harder to reason with and he usually wins the battle. I'm also struggling with how to work with Kayla's recently behavior issues (presumably more apparent or new due to baby Zachary's recent appearance on the scene). A few days ago, I was reading Corey's post over at Living and Loving Every Minute of It (click here to check it out - a little long, but worth it) and I believe she really hit the nail on the head. When our own needs are not met we are impatient and cranky and stray from our core parenting style and frankly from our own personalities in general. It seems like that is the story of my life lately. I'm thankful to Corey for her timely post and helping me get back on track. I guess in the end I keep coming back to this simple truth. God has put me in this situation and he will see me through. I Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." How often I am tempted to lash out, to yell, to be impatient, to do what I shouldn't do in this new, two child parenting game. I have to remember that I am weak and nothing without God's help. I often think about how blessed I am to be a mother (twice now!) and I have to constantly focus on God's strength and not my own. With this focus, I can do anything!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Sweet Girl As those of you know who have had children, the aftermath or "post partum period" can be a roller coaster of emotions. At times I'm happier than I can imagine and other times the littlest thing can make me cry. (Case in point, I am not a country music fan, but there is a country song on the Gospel Music Channel that had me in tears one day.) One morning before Jerry and Kayla left for the day I was crying and Kayla came up to me with the receiving blanket she uses for her doll and said, "Mommy, don't cry, don't be sad" and she wiped my tears away with her blanket. Of course, this made me cry harder. How can a 2 1/2 year old know what her Momma needed so much? I'm so blessed to have such a sweet girl. She adores her little brother and takes every opportunity to kiss him, touch him, and hold him when she can. It will be great when he can respond more to her. Thinking about this reminds me again of how blessed I am.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Devotion I had a hard time naming this post only because the word devotion seems a bit too cheesy for me, but I can't describe it any other way. I marvel at Jerry's love for me and how he so often anticipates what I need to hear or what needs to be done. It is as if we have found out how to be in sync - in a perfectly, devoted way. Right before we left the hospital with Zachary, we were enjoying a quiet time when he was sleeping. Jerry looked at me and he said, "you should be proud." I knew exactly what he meant. All those months of praying and asking God to give me a natural birth, the work of actually experiencing it and all that pushing! I starting crying. How I needed someone to say that to me, how I longed to shout from the rooftops, "I DID IT!!" But I knew that was not what I was supposed to do. I've tried so hard to be humble and thankful that God would choose me to be a mother again and I knew that was what I should focus on. But to have those words said out loud for me - what a wonderful gift. So I want to be proud, but I won't. Instead, I'm thankful that a faithful, gracious God heard my cry for help and blessed me with the desire of my heart.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Five Weeks and Counting...and Growing! Five weeks - little Zachary is 5 weeks old today. As some friends predicted, he arrived just after the Superbowl - Monday February 4 at 2:44 am. My water broke at 4pm on Sunday February 3rd and I just laughed. For some reason, this whole pregnancy I had a feeling my water would break and I was in a great mood thinking about how in 24 hours or less, Zachary would be in my arms. I was nervous when I called the midwife and excited that she said as long as labor started on it's own in the next 6 hours I was free to stay home. The contractions felt like low abdominal menstrual cramps and I actually had to ask myself at first, "was that a contraction?" They became regular about 6:30pm and were about 5-7 minutes apart when we left for the hospital about 9:30pm. When we got to the hospital they asked me if I wanted a jacuzzi room - I was excited thinking how comfortable that would be. (Turns out I never used it - more on that later.) They told me I was dilated 6 and 90% effaced. I was elated and happy that I was able to be home through so much of the first part of labor. The contractions were intense, but I prayed through each one and held onto Jerry. I found labor to be a very inward, introspective experience. I closed my eyes through every contraction reminding myself that God created my body to do this work and I should not resist or tense up. When I resisted a contraction they hurt more and seemed unbearable. Unfortunately because I had a c-section last time, they made me wear a fetal monitor at all times. It made it hard to move around although they could hook me up to a wireless unit, they kept having to change the position of the monitor to make sure they could still capture his heartbeat. I tried to walk, but felt best when I was lying on my side, but I knew that this slowed things down. I was unbearably hot - that was one of the most surprising things about the whole experience. (No interest in a hot, jacuzzi tub!) Even though it was freezing cold outside, they turned the heat off completely in my room. I can't imagine if it had been on. By about 1:45, the feelings were incredibly intense, I felt the urge to bear down, but didn't recognize at the time what that feeling was. I just remember sitting on the toilet thinking that my pelvis was coming apart - that it was at the widest position it could be. I was right - I was fully dilated and 100% effaced. I remember the midwife saying to me, "It's time to push this baby out!" I remember saying in a fog, "Really, it is?" I kept thinking - the hard part is over, right? WRONG! I never realized how hard it would be to push out a baby - I just had no idea. I pushed for nearly and hour and I just remember thinking after each push - he has to be out soon right? I was so tired and the fact that I had not slept in almost 24 hours was taking its toll. Near the end they lost Zachary's heartbeat and could not get it on a monitor on his head. That was ironic to me because I could feel him kicking me right at that moment. In the chaos I don't remember if I said anything about it out loud. The midwife said to me, "If we do not get this baby out soon, I will have to cut you." That was enough motivation for me and on the next push, his head came out partially and then the next push he came completely out. I'll never forget that immense feeling of relief and the strange sensation of the umbilical cord still attached to my body. In seconds he was on my chest and I remember saying over and over, "Oh my goodness, oh my goodness." He was so big - 9lbs 6oz. They said I could breastfeed him, but I couldn't sit up, so that was challenging, but he sucked for about 10-15 minutes and then they wisked him away over to a bassinet to be weighed and other things. I'm still overwhelmed now 5 weeks later thinking of the experience. I thank God that he gave me the perfect birth - no drugs, a short labor, a beautiful, healthy boy. I just kept looking at him when we were in our room a few hours after he was born and just marveling at how beautiful he was. We were surprised to find that he has two dimples. There is no one else in either my family or Jerry's family that does. I remember during those quiet days in the hospital looking at him and thinking "God must have delighted in making you." Five weeks later I look at him in his swing making growling and cooing noises as he likes to do and being amazed at how big he is already - almost 13 pounds.