Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rain On

Wow... we see how well I did at blogging more frequently this year! 

I heard a song today and it was exactly what I needed.  It's an older song and I hadn't heard it more than a couple of times before, but it's one I'll be listening to frequently in the next few weeks. 

"Rain on, I will not drown.  I'm standing firm on higher ground."
Brother's Keeper's "Rain On"

I'm not usually a fan of songs that repeat the same thing over and over.  But sometimes you need the message drilled into your head, and lately that's exactly what I've needed. 

Here's what has been raining on me recently:
  • The Mechanic accepted a job five hours away in an area that is unsafe for a family to live, leaving me to move with the kids.
  • I got sick with a nasty respiratory bug. 
At that point, about 4 days into my stint as essentially a single parent, I said if I can deal with this illness, I can make it through anything, except cancer. 

That was dumb. 

Here's what's happened since then.
  • A deep freeze full of meat went without power, unknown to anyone, for over a week.
  • We found out a car we had just put $600 into has no A/C which will require over $1000 to fix.
  • The Turkey was found to be down to the 2% in weight on the growth charts.  She was originally ~40%.
  • The computer died.
  • The Mechanic was in a wreck which sent him to the ER in an ambulance and totaled our not-fully-covered car that had A/C.
  • The Turkey lost weight when we started our weekly weight checks. 
  • The wreck wasn't as cut & dried as we thought it was... shouldn't go into detail here but we're currently out over $10,000.
  • The Ladybug got her first stomach bug... 2 hours before I needed to start the drive back from our new house to our current house.
  • The Turkey needs an echocardiogram.
Plus the spilled teas, 8-12 poopy diapers from one kid per day on a regular basis now, chicken nuggets substituted for chocolate chip cookies, and the general chaos my house is in right now.  Those are just the routine daily irritants that would be the same whether anything major was going on or not.

It's nuts.

It's overwhelming.

I have multiple offers of help, but I don't know how to utilize that help.  My house is such a wreck that there's not room for more than one adult in here.  And it's hard to get the kids to someone else. 

Now I'm not saying all this to get sympathy.  There's a family in my prayers right now that are watching their 1lb13oz son fight for his life.  There's another family that lost a baby that never got to leave the hospital. My struggles and problems are nothing compared to theirs.  Part of why I did want to type my problems out in a list like that is because when I do that, they really don't look that bad.  

But despite the chaos, the frustrations, the weight of the world that has made knots in my trapezoid muscles the size of brats, this has been such a rich time.  Because I don't have another person to lean on.  In my own strength, I can't deal with all this.  I can't even begin to figure out how to use the help that might be available.  But, my prayers for a deeper relationship with my Savior are being answered.  I've been given a desire to study the Bible and to know God more.  I'm more sensitive to His correction, His hand over my mouth.  And He no longer feels so far away.

The Sunday that the Mechanic was to leave, we of course were driving separate cars to church so that he could leave straight from there.  I had on the local Christian radio station and they played a song that was perfect for what I was about to face, although I didn't know the extent and still don't.

"Scars and struggles on the way, but with joy our hearts can say:
 Never once did we ever walk alone, never once did You leave us on our own.
 You are faithful, God, You are faithful."
Matt Redman's "Never Once"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Milestones

I'd like to post more regularly this year; of course I say that almost every year so we'll see if things are different this time. =)

As a mom, I focus a lot on milestones.  Rolling over, walking, using a sippie cup...  I spend time on babycenter.com, and a frequent topic is what our little ones are able to do.  Frequently, I've felt like I'm reading on the forum for children several months older than Ladybug.

One of the things I'd like to change about myself in the coming year is how I think about my children.  I think of Ladybug as being behind; I describe her as slow and delayed.  And while that is technically true, I want to guard myself against letting that define who she is.  As my pediatrician put it, "She's just Ladybug."  She is where she is, developmentally.  And it's okay.  It doesn't make me a failure as a parent.  It doesn't mean she's dumb.  She just is.

It's so easy to focus on what she can't do.  But this year, I'd like to focus more on what she can do.  Today, for the first time ever, she stood up in the middle of the floor by herself.  Instead of paying so much attention to what other children her age are doing, I'd like to simply enjoy what she's able to do right now, and work with her on the next step.

She'll be going to a Bible study with  me and Turkey this week for the first time, and she'll be in a class of her own.  I'm excited for her; I think it'll be good for her to be around other adults and children, who'll teach her Bible stories and songs.  I've been trying to decide whether or not I need to talk to the children's leader about her developmental status.  I think I'll simply let them decide which class she's best suited for, and let them know that if they need to move her out of her age group it's okay with me.

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.