Friday, July 10, 2009

Before I Go

my dearest grace,

today, my love, you turn two. i am just in awe of how quickly this time has gone. it seems like i was just holding you as a newborn watching you nurse for the first time. pregnancy with you was so difficult, but so worth it. thank you for waiting until you were big enough and strong enough to do well on your own. you gave us many scares along the way. to say the least. i want to write about your birth/pregnancy so that i don't forget any more of the details than i already have.

right before i got pregnant with you, we were pregnant with a child that God decided would be better off in heaven than here with us on earth. it was very difficult for me to lose that child so early on. i remember going in for that ultrasound and the doctor saying, i am sorry, but the baby has not developed and there isn't a heartbeat. would you like to come in for a D &C? and i remember just crying in your daddy's arms right there on the table, and coming home and giving your brother's such fierce hugs that they probably couldn't breathe. my friend, karen, was there watching the boys, and she put out a call to prayer among my bible study friends, and they surrounded us in prayer and love. it was an amazing display of God's mercies and comfort.

i opted to let things happen naturally, and miscarried in september. i was advised to wait 3 cycles before trying again. i wasn't all too happy to wait. you see, this was the second baby i had to surrender to God without meeting, and it was much harder the second time around. but, God has this amazing plan. He knew i needed YOU.

we found out we were pregnant with you on thanksgiving eve! so much for waiting 3 cycles! i was tentatively excited. i didn't tell anyone but your daddy, and a good friend of mine, your auntie lori. she was with me when i bought the pregnancy test and we were visiting them in california at the time.

after 8 weeks along, i called the ob to set up an appt. i went in at 10 weeks for the first ultrasound, and there you were! perfect in size, shape, measurements, all of it. my favorite thing? seing that butterfly heartbeat on the monitor, going so fast you almost couldn't count it. relief washed over me. as did thanksgiving to God for giving me a baby even though i thought i wasn't ready.

i would like to say that the rest of the pregnancy was smooth as glass, but, no such luck! i had contractions very early on with you. this had happened with your brothers also, so i wasn't too stressed. but my ob wasn't happy with how often they were coming, nor their intensity. at 28 weeks, i was having painful contractions 3 minutes apart and so i went into the hospital and got several shots of terbutaline and then sent home the next day on strict bedrest! this couldn't have come at a worse time. daddy had just gotten a new job, and he was to travel 2 1/2 hours from our home for the first 2 weeks of my bedrest. the next 2 weeks of training were to be a little closer (only a 1 hour commute) so it was a tad easier. that first two weeks we had friends with us around the clock. your brothers were only 4 and 2. i wasn't allowed out of bed except to eat, shower, and go to the bathroom. ugh. this was a true lesson in humility for me. i am not good with invasion of my personal space! your grandma and aunt spent some time painting your room for me since i was bedbound. we had meals delivered and people came to clean house. all in all, it was again an outpouring of God's saints. i was truly amazed at how quickly and completely people surrounded us with support.

at 32 weeks, i was taken off strict bedrest and told to take it easy and lay down when the contractions got bad. they also took me off the medications (thank goodness!) and told me to take them only when the contractions numbered more than 10 in one hour. i loved this newfound freedom. it was awesome being able to go outside with the boys and watch them play. and fold my own underwear! and daddy was done with training, so he was close to home again. all seemed to be going well. until you started to make trouble. not once, but three times we had to go into labor and delivery with painful contractions that got so bad i couldn't walk through them. we would spend the night, then go home in the morning because (1) the contractions slowed and (2) i wasn't progressing. each time i went home with the instructions...come back if the contractions are 5 minutes apart and painful. ummm...they are like that all the time....what is going to be different?

well. not much seemed different on the morning you were born. daddy wanted me to go in, but i had just gotten home yesterday morning from our last overnighter! daddy insisted, so we called our babysitter...again...and headed to the hospital. this time, hallelujah, i was 6 centimeters!!! yippeee!!! they let me walk to labor and delivery and the doctor came over from across the street and broke my water. i told them i wanted an epidural this time (the boys were both natural), but of course, my labor goes way too fast for that! i did manage to talk the anesthesiologist into giving me a local intrathecal injection to take off the edge. you were born soon after! a healthy 8 pounds, 2 ounces and 19 inches long. you were absolutely beautiful! and by far, the easiest delivery i have had to date!

your grandpa (my dad) was actually at the hospital when you were born, and got to see you soon after your arrival. one of my most cherished pictures is of him standing next to me looking down at you with pure joy on his face. you are very special to him, since you are the only girl in the brood of grand kids. also present was your great-uncle B. and of course, your daddy was there, too, grinning from ear to ear!

God's plan for our family included you. down to the very last detail. and i wouldn't change it for anything in the world. He has always known what is best for us, and i am so grateful that you are a part of this family. you are funny, inquisitive, mischievous, adorable, empathetic, and just a joy to be around. i love you, my heart, and i pray that the two of us will have a friendship that is filled with mother-daughter moments to last a lifetime. i pray that i am your best friend. i pray that i will be able to show you the love that Jesus has for you every day of your life.

i love you,


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday's Manna...Learning in Difficult Circumstances

well, it is over.

the visit.

grandma left on saturday, and i have been catching up since then.

cleaning, organizing, catching up on facebook and email.


it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be on some levels.

on other levels, it was worse.

i was not nearly as hospitable as i hoped i would be. i am one of those people who really enjoy my personal space, and i guess i just felt that i couldn't be my self in my home. isn't that what having guests is all about, though?

i also felt like i was performing, and i do not like having to put on an act.


i also learned a lot from my MIL

i watched her interact with my children. not just sit on the couch and watch them play.

ahem. i would never do that. sit on the couch that is. ahem.

she got down on the floor and wrestled them (when mommy wasn't in the room, we have a pretty strict-or so i thought-rule about wrestling with girls...), tickled them, read to them, got totally involved with their imaginative play.

i don't do that nearly as often as i should. instead, i bustle around doing chores, tidying up after the kids, doing laundry, making meals, cleaning the know, 'mommy stuff.'

but i watched my kids very happily playing with grandma. vying for her attention, even jealous for it. grandma was first pick for both the boys when it came to reading stories, playing candyland, or who to sit next to at the table. stinkerbell still chose me...thank goodness!

they love their grandma. and i got to see that my own time with my kids was sorely lacking...i don't dig in nearly enough. i am usually just looking for things to occupy their time so i can do other things.

so. thank you, mother-in-law. even though i was apprehensive about your visit, you taught me something about being a better mom.

and i am glad i took the time to see the lesson you were teaching me.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Before I Go...

i was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. melanoma. on my neck. i had two outpatient surgeries to remove the malignancy, and have been cancer free ever since. but tragedies occur every day. we were in a nasty accident in april of this year. it left me a bit shaken. life is oh, so fragile. i only have to read a newspaper or turn on the news to see numerous deaths occur around us. what would happen to my children if, heaven forbid, i was taken from them? if i never got to see them graduate high school or get married and have children, get their driver's license? what if i never got to impart my motherly wisdom? (ok, that is a stretch. i don't have a lot of wisdom, so to speak). i want to be able to share with my children my words as i watch them grow up. and as i discover things about them that are so precious that i want to preserve them. and to tell them about my own mistakes so that they won't make them, hopefully. to share about love and life, and most importantly, about Jesus. so i am starting this blog theme. i do it in a blog, not to get recognition for the writings, but so that i make sure they are preserved. paper yellows and can get burned or damaged. although i do write things to my children in books, i cannot be sure they will survive my life. i know a lot of moms/dads diagnosed with a terminal illness do videos of themselves talking to their children so that their kids will have something to view after their death. i know that i do not currently suffer from any illnesses, but i do not know when my time to go will be, and i want to make sure that i don't waste any time/breath in the here and now.

maybe it will be a keepsake to them when they are older, and if i am blessed enough to be present for all the milestones, i will be able to share with them my thoughts from their childhood. i hope it will be a legacy.