Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's almost the end of December, Christmas is over, and I haven't been depressed.  I think I may have finally moved past all the crap that has happened in December.

I've been too busy to be depressed.  I've been too busy to think about all those things that always got me depressed around the holidays.  Eight and six years after the fact I guess it's about time!

I didn't get all the decorations put up.  I didn't get half of them out.  My house is disaster.  My family is a mess.  But I'm not depressed.  It's rainy and dreary, but I'm not depressed.

Overwhelmed, yes.  Irritable, yes.  Frustrated, yes.  But not depressed.  And it's wonderful.  Truly wonderful.

And this was going to be more thoughtful but I'm being paged by a screaming 3 month old.  =)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thoughts on More Business of Being Born

Just a few quick thoughts on a mini-documentary that was made by the same people who made The Business of Being Born.  I found that first documentary interesting but biased.  My biggest complaint about the main film was they never showed the joyous bonding happening after a c-section or hospital epidural birth.  They showed the home birth and natural birth moms screaming in joy over their babies, but they never showed a happy mom after a hospital/c-sec birth.  And those births happen; perhaps we're not screaming over our child but there is still much joy in those scenes.

As for this first mini-film, about the Farm here in TN, the interviews with the midwife were thought-provoking, especially given the concerns I've had recently about Ladybug.  She didn't make any conclusions but she posed the question, is there a relation between all the drugs women are given in labor, multiple ultrasounds, and ADD/autism?  I developed a high risk pregnancy with Ladybug so there are multiple factors before you ever add in the genetic issue she has.  But watching the difference between her and Turkey just in these first two months has been very eye-opening as to how delayed she was from the start.  It'll be interesting to continue watching and comparing them as Turkey gets older.  Of course you're not supposed to compare your children, but I simply mean watching when they reach their milestones and how their development progresses.  It does make me wonder if the diabetes, 25+ ultrasounds, and high stress could be part of why she has difficulty.  Of course her poor little skull that is once again looking a little funky probably isn't helping her either.

My other thought is a bit more critical.  When they throw out numbers, it seems to be phrased to support their theory.  For example, it's "only 2%" of births in low risk women turn ugly, so it's okay for low risk women to give birth at home.  But it's "4-5%" of births are breech so it's important that OB's know how to handle those naturally.  Okay... there's not a lot of difference between 2% & 4%.  I'd say it's important to be prepared for the 2% as much as it is to be prepared for the 4%.

I did like the idea of the quilt memorializing mothers who died shortly after childbirth; they are right in that there needs to be follow up with new moms to make sure they're doing okay.  It's a breakdown in our culture that has led to the isolation that new moms end up in.  And I also agreed that it is a problem when that first birth is a c-section and that limits the number of children a woman can have.  I'm glad they pointed out that when you have 6 c-sections, your 6 kids need you and that 7th is dangerous!

Anyways... my loved despite born by c-sec baby is crying so I'm going to attend to her needs!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I held Turkey a little longer tonight while she slept, and spent more time memorizing her features instead of watching Netflix.  And I allowed myself to be in awe that I have been so richly blessed, to have not just one beautiful baby girl, but two.  I had impressed upon me that I am not worthy of my children.  Not that I'm holding them up as perfect; after the breakfast Ladybug and I had, complete with a side of the rod of correction, it is obvious they are not perfect.  But they are blessings, troublesome though they may be, and I am not worthy of even troublesome blessings.

Friends of mine were blessed with a beautiful baby girl yesterday.  A baby that has been prayed and longed for.  And today, that blessing was taken away.  They are left with empty arms.  Yet again.  I don't know which was harder, the loss of a baby growing inside or the loss of a baby that had never been inside you but that you'd held in your arms.  I can't imagine either one.  And for one family to have to experience both... 

I look around at my situation and ask, why?  We never had trouble with infertility; we joke about having the opposite problem!  We never even took a pregnancy test hoping for a (+) only to get a (-).  Financially, we're not well off.  Relationally, we weren't in the greatest of shape before we conceived Ladybug.  We don't even really have room for two babies; they'll eventually share a room but for now Turkey sleeps in the living room!  So why do we have two beautiful baby girls, and they have an empty nursery that is better than mine has ever been?  

I could never imagine giving up a child for adoption.  Carrying a child for months, feeling her move inside me, and then handing her over to someone else to raise?  I couldn't do it.  I don't understand how people do it.  But... I also question the wisdom of allowing a birth mother to change her mind for up to two weeks after the birth of her child.  I just had a child.  I just went through that roller coaster of hormones.  There is no way I'd make a life altering decision during the two weeks after giving birth.  It's all I could do to decide whether to lay Turkey down and let her scream or just give it up and let her sleep on my chest.  It's very probable that many birth mothers want to keep their children after giving birth.  It's hormones that kick in and make you want that baby more than anything.  But over the next few weeks and months, that's when you make the conscious decision to love that child.  It's when you get up for the fifth time of the night, or when you're exhausted and the baby just won't go to sleep, or when she's screamed for 3 hours straight, or when you just want to eat a meal without smelling farts.  

I don't know what the answer is to any of this.  Why I have my two girls, why they don't, whether or not a birth parent should be able to take a child they've already said they were going to give away...  But since my child is refusing to stay asleep in her cradle, I'll satisfy myself that I don't have to know all the answers.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm bouncing Turkey on my legs while she lays on her stomach; she's limp as can be, with her long legs and arms hanging down, but every time I try to lay her on her back in the cradle she cries.  Cry-it-out doesn't seem to work as well for her as it did with Ladybug; she only escalates.

Since I can't sew one-handed, which means I still can't mend the Mechanic's pants, I figured I'd take the chance to get some thoughts out, albeit one-handed.  

It's been a difficult 36 hours.  I gave Ladybug her first peanut butter sandwich yesterday. She liked it, but it didn't go over well with her immune system.  Thank you IgE.  Hives, swelling, itching... she was a miserable kid.  I feel like I handled things about as well as I could have.  Okay, so I called the wrong doctor's office and then wondered why everyone at our doctor's office seemed clueless as to why we were there.  Oops.  But hey, if that's the worst thing I did I think I did pretty good!  We'll see if I got tagged by any of the speed or red light cameras.  I'm thankful for my nursing experience in times like that; it takes over and keeps me from panicking and freezing up.  Yes, I was frightened, but I kept my emotions in check and put the fright to use in speed for getting everyone buckled up and bringing pacifiers.  I did forgot the diaper bag... Thankfully no one pooped.  I'd have even managed without waking the Mechanic up if Turkey hadn't been screaming for food right as Ladybug had her second reaction. 

It was after Ladybug went to bed last night and I had a chance to sit down that things started to sink in.  My mind started whirling... no ChickfilA, no fish fries or deep fried turkeys at the Mechanic's parents', no Reese's cups... (I've since found out ChickfilA and the deep fried stuff will probably be okay) I started reading the labels of things I had lying around and realized the animal crackers "might contain peanuts."  Church dinners... nursery... babysitters... school... All that thinking sent me into a migraine today.  Only the second migraine I've ever had.  Not fun trying to care for two children, both with very high pitched screams, running on 4 hours sleep with a migraine. 

I feel I've been promoted to being a "real mom."  I'm not saying that moms whose kids don't have food allergies aren't real moms.  But having a child with health problems of any sort takes motherhood to another level.  It's another thing to worry about.  It's something to research and educate others about.  It brings out another level of protectiveness, and yet also makes you realize how much of a blessing your child's life is.  Because, you can't protect them enough.  

When Ladybug was diagnosed with craniostenosis, I cried.  But then we picked up and moved on.  We went to the doctors, got the scans, and made follow-up appointments.  And life went on.  Cranio doesn't affect me on a daily basis now.  I think about it when I give Ladybug a bath and see the huge dip she's developed in her skull.  I keep thinking late at night that I need to make her eye doctor appointment.  But, in general, it's not a worry that is in the front of my mind every day.  This peanut allergy is.  Every meal I'm thinking about it, checking labels, wondering if there might still be peanut butter on the high chair straps that she'll react to.  In between meals I keep thinking of foods she won't be able to eat, places that might cause exposure, wondering how long it would take us to get to the hospital from the Mechanic's parents' house.  I'm searching for ways of reminding other caretakers of the allergy, and worried that a simple "no peanut" bracelet or shirt might not prevent them from giving her a cookie or something else that you don't immediately think "this could have peanuts."  I'm wondering how long I should wait before seeing if she reacts to an open jar of peanut butter on the table while she eats.  I worry about what the next reaction is going to be like.  I wonder if there are other things she's allergic to, other nuts.  What if she crawls over and tries to eat a pistachio shell that's dropped from her Grandpa's chair?  What if she plays with a child who had a peanut butter cracker before coming to the park and they touch her or hold her hand, which she then puts in her mouth?  

You get my gist.  I'm in overdrive. See why I had a migraine today?  

I hope that this will be like the cranio, but I know it really can't be.  It's not like you have to change the way you function daily just because your child has cranio.  I guess I can just hope that this becomes routine, our normal... packing her own snacks and meals, reading labels, asking restaurants about cross-contamination... And I can hope and pray she never has a stronger reaction than hives and swollen ears. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Once a month seems to have become routine on this blog... wish I could say I'll write more often but given current circumstances I know better.

I'm currently typing one-handed while cradling the newest addition to our family.  Her name henceforth will be Turkey.  I've been calling her that since day 2; the name just seems to fit.  Eventually she'll fatten up but for now she's definitely a little bird.  Whereas Ladybug came out pudgy and round, Turkey came out skinny and long.  She's cute in her own way, and she shows a sweet side occasionally, but so far she seems to be a more serious child than Ladybug.  She frequently wrinkles her brow and furrows her eyebrows, and I can't help but wonder if she's regretting her decision to arrive early.  I'll write her birth story eventually; hers is a bit more exciting than Ladybug's!

A few thoughts on life as it stands right now.  I was asked by the ladies in the county clerk's office how I did it; my reply was "I don't know, all we do is eat and change diapers, and Mom doesn't sleep much.  I hope to figure it out soon!"  If I get one sink full of dishes done or one load of laundry put away, it's a big deal.  It's rough.  We've reached the point of monotony, where every day blends into the next, with moments of pure chaos helping me stay awake.  Don't get me wrong; I love both my girls dearly and wouldn't trade either of them for anything, but being the mom of two under one who aren't twins is dadgum hard!  I know my hormones have played a part in my reactions, but it has been very hard to not get snippy with those who have said "just be glad it's not..."  Twins would have their easier side; at least I wouldn't have one trying to dive off the couch or eat paper while I try to nurse the other.  Three age three and under is possible, if not likely, for us.  If I had one walking at least it'd be easier to get to the car and store & I wouldn't be carrying both of them.  Every situation has its difficulties; playing the "it could be worse" card really doesn't help.

On a positive note, Be Still and Know just played on Pandora, and one verse really stood out.  Turkey won't sleep at night unless I'm holding her.  Even the swing doesn't work.  But I pick her up and lay her on my chest, and her world is suddenly made right.  Really gives a meaningful picture to the following verse.
Be still and know that He is God.
Be still and know He is our Father.
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come be still.