Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I wanna be a Duggar

Before bed rest I rarely got a moment to sit, let alone create a solid TV viewing schedule outside of Sprout & Disney! But now I get to enjoy all that the land of cable has to offer! And I have to say that one of my biggest inspirations lately have been the Duggar Family whose show "19 Kids & Counting" airs on TLC. I've caught their show before and have admired them and their ability to handle so many children. I believe that God will give you no more than you can bare. God must know- I CANNOT BARE 19 CHILDREN! Three is good for me. But these people are made for the job! And the fact that they home school?!?!?! If I had 19 children I would have a daily countdown calender for each one for their first day of kindergarten! I'd be waiting for the bus an hour before it is scheduled to arrive their first day! But these two parents handle their brood with grace, love, and a patience I find remarkable and admirable!

If you follow the Duggars you may know that in December Michelle delivered their 19th baby at 24 weeks due to pre-eclampsia (a condition the mother endures that raises her blood pressure to unsafe levels and the only way to save mother and baby is delivery). Although I don't have pre-eclampsia, I can relate to the feelings of deciding to deliver early, trying to keep baby alive, and the stresses it puts on every member of the family. To watch this family function during their crisis (which they chose to share with us) should be a lesson to us all. Although the stress was clearly visible as Jim Bob prepared to go into surgery with Michelle for her C-Section, he gave praises the whole way. Through the surgery, months in the NICU, and the relocation of their whole family to be closer to the hospital, this family has displayed the type of faith that many of us struggle to find in tough times.

While I have days and weeks of depression during my journey through bed rest, I question why this is happening and how we will make it through. Meanwhile, the Duggars make it through the months of watching their youngest daughter, Josie, struggle for her life in the NICU with out a course word. They simply offer praise, kind words, and gratitude. The words "precious", "sweet", & "Thankful" are part of their every day vocabulary. They praise God for the gifts as well as the challenges He has given and each day they have with Josie. An amazing thing in light of their situation. And not something all of us could do.

So I wanna be a Duggar. I want the words that come out of my mouth to be full of praise and gratitude even- no, especially on the toughest days. I want to see God's lessons and blessings even when they aren't immediately apparent to me. I once heard on a radio sermon that tough times are like thunder storms. When you are standing in the middle of the storm and lightning and thunder are crashing down all around you, it's a scary place and you can't see a bit of beauty through the fear. But once that storm moves off onto the horizon, you can stand back and appreciate the beauty of that storm. I need to learn to appreciate the storm while it rains. I need to understand the precious gifts God is handing me while the thunder crashes down. the Duggars have figured out how to do this. They are raising some amazing children who, I feel, will be a blessing to the world as they grow and move out on their own. And they are, in ways they don't realize, providing parenting to many of us parents watching their show as they navigate the challenges of life with love, gratitude and faith.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Secret Baby

Sometimes I feel like I'm having a secret baby. For the first tri-mester we only told our absolute closest friends and immediate family. We felt the need to keep it a secret for the most part until we were out of the first tri-mester due to our history of miscarriage. I had only told my employees a week prior to my trip to the ER. When I did a post to our Facebook family the day after the trip to the ER asking for prayer, there was an outpouring of surprise. Of course we keep everyone updated now through this blog and Facebook so our out of state family can keep up with the growing belly. But when you only leave the house for the rare trip to the doctor, it feels like it's a big secret to the people you interact with on a daily basis. I feel like I'm just gonna pop back up at the store, church, etc. one day with a new baby and everyone will wonder where the heck that came from!

It's really rare to be on bedrest so early. From most books I have read and the fabulous, life saving forum I joined (KeepEmCookin.com) most women are placed on bed rest at the end of their pregnancy and there are quite a few that are placed on bedrest (mostly with cerclage) at about 22+ weeks. But I have been on since I was 13 weeks. If I carry to term (God willing!) I will have spent a total of 27 weeks in my house or almost 7 months! Ugh!

I have made it this far by trying to keep busy doing things from bed or the sofa. But there has been a lot of depression through this experience. Depression is something that runs in both my husband's as well as my family. So I have always successfully avoided depression by looking at the glass as half full (whether it be half full of champagne or sour milk!). But I can't avoid it in this situation. I am in constant fear, worry, and anxiety. My joy has left me even when I am happy. Does that make sense? I simply don't know what's going to happen to me and my baby and no matter how many people tell me I am doing the best I can for my baby and to hang in there because it's all for a good cause (which of course I know!) I just can't shake it. And please, please, please don't tell me how lucky I am to be on bedrest! It's hard watching your kids go to their baseball games, the park, movies, etc. without you. I feel like I am missing a piece of their life. It's hard watching my husband run and run to keep things going. The man never gets a moment to sit! It's hard knowing your friends are all going out but they'll be "thinking of you". There's no way to change any of these things as I know life goes on outside my door. But these are the things that keep mommies down.

And now on Wednesday I will find out if the job I have been at for the past 8 years is a thing of the past. We had our 24 week ultrasound that we had been waiting for to see if the blood pooling in the lining of my uterus had resolved itself and thankfully it had. Baby is healthy and growing ahead of schedule. BUT (at this point we expect the buts) the Placenta Previa that had moved 3 cm off my cervix is now an issue again. As the baby grows the placenta grows and as mine grew it grew, in part, back over a part of my cervix. So at my follow up OB appointment this Wednesday we will find out if I will remain on bedrest. With Placenta Previa still being present we pretty know what the answer will be.

It's devastating to be so far out of control of anything that is happening. But in all of this God has been good and provided in amazing ways. There has to be a plan for me and my secret little baby boy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Teen Cusp

Last night I had a dream. It seemed all too real and the emotions that came with it were almost tangible! I had a dream that my 14 year old came home from hanging out with his best friend and he had 2 tattoos! She had given him the tats and he was unapologetic about it. There was a serious discussion that ensued about the decisions he makes as a minor and how they affect who he is as an adult. "How are you going to get a job with those tattoos?!"

When I woke up this dream still kinda haunted me. I have dissected it and what it means. Now, if you know my oldest, he can be a handful at times. But not in a tattoo party kid type of way. He is a sweet, considerate, smart, helpful boy. He doesn't talk back to us. He has stepped up during my bed rest. He is a fantastic big brother to our 3 year old. He has his issues- mostly with teachers (I don't know where he got that from...).

So where did this dream come from? I think that as I get ready for a newborn just as my oldest is entering high school, subconscious me is trying to prepare for the teen years. He is right on the cusp. Now is when he decides if he's gonna follow the rules or rebel against them. And with having 2 small children in the house, I fear the latter. My teen years were a flurry of anger and disrespect to my mom. The teen years of my own kids have always held a certain amount of anxiety for me. Because if Karma is real- I'm screwed! I have worked towards the teen years since day one with Tieren. We talk openly and I try to listen to him and give him a voice. I explain his feelings to him as well as mine. I think this communication has allowed us to have a great relationship so far. He still cuddles up with his mommy and won't leave for school without saying goodbye and "I love you". But no matter what you do, at some point they get their own ideas and start following their own paths- or (eek!) the paths their friends are on.

I hope my husband and I have done it right. I hope Tieren knows how much we love and support him and that we want him to make all the right decisions while maintaining his individuality (i.e. no tattoos until he's 18- or 100!). I hope that as we navigate the teen years for the first time while juggling 2 other small boys, that we all come out triumphant. And that as Tieren heads out into the world, that it gets a true glimpse of what an incredible man he will become. AND I hope Tieren chooses to give the world that glimpse.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bed Wreck

I need a Xanax. But that's not gonna happen. I need to go running- fast. That's not gonna happen either. I need to walk around Target. Nope. Not that either. All day I lay here on bed rest (or as I have deemed it this week- Bed Wreck) and dream of the things I want to do. My head spins in a million different directions as brilliant sparks of worry, anger, love, sadness, gratitude, anxiety, and frustration fly off of me. It seems like every emotion that sweeps over me has an equally paradoxical flip side that's soon to follow.

Example: our friends have been an absolute blessing donating their time and care to us! It's awesome to see their faces as they dote over my family and care for my home. Then on the flip side of that emotion I am jealous that I can't get up and care for my home and children. I feel like people are hovering over me even though I don't want to be alone. Are any of these emotions rational?

I know that I am growing a miracle and that it will all wash away when my beautiful baby boy is in my arms. But on the flip side I feel like I am being robbed of this experience to a certain extent. I should be out showing off my baby belly and having people open doors for me! I don't want to be resentful of the situation. And we all know that as a lady, society tells me that I should just smile and say it's easy because I'd do anything for my children. Doing it and enjoying it are two different stories kiddos!

This experience has left me with up days and down days. I have seen what remarkable people are in our lives and I have seen which are not capable of handling the care and feeding of a friend. I have seen strength in my husband that makes me love him more every day. And I have watched my children adapt beautifully to mommy's condition. But I have also endured more anxiety and fear in regard to our future than I have ever experienced. We are grabbing at straws trying to figure out how to keep our financial ship sailing until I can work again. We have fought with the State to get me pre-natal care and medical coverage for our children. I have questioned who I am without my job and the ability to be a mom to define me. And we still struggle in little ways every day with the loss of my husband's father. Despite sitting in bed every day for the last 10 weeks, everything has been whizzing past us so fast this year that we can't grab at it to make sense of it.

Bed Wreck is a mind fudge (insert expletive here) that I didn't expect. It has challenged my eternal optimism. But like my Pastor says, this is a season in life. And we will get through it. I just need to trust God more. He has been amazing in providing for us thus far! And besides, when my friends are holding agonizing labor stories over their kids' heads ("I was in labor for 24 hours! You don't KNOW pain!") I will trump them all! I thought Kaiden was going to have it rough with me holding 9 days of labor over his head. But that seems like cake comparatively at this point!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In Sickness & Health

I have always appreciated my husband. And to those of you who know him you can clearly see why. There's just no question EVER that I scored a good one! For the past 12 years we have been equal partners in everything. We maintain a balance that has allowed us to appreciate each other's value in our relationship and stave off fights (except that ONE) for 12 years. I cook- he does the dishes. I garden- he mows the lawns. Even when it comes to midnight feedings we share the responsibility (thank you breast pump). We are sure to show love and appreciation everyday. A kiss here, a nuzzle there. We still flirt like teenagers! Much to the dismay of our 14 year old!
So now we find our roles unbalanced for a season while we make our third child. My husband has gone from handling 50% of our life's responsibilities to 120% as he not only has to handle all the day to day that we usually take care of, but now he is the sole breadwinner and has to care for me on top of it! If I need my knitting supplies, my husband gets it. If I need my laundry done, my husband does it. If I want to move from the bed to the couch, my husband moves everything to make me comfortable. And he does so without complaint. He does so out of love and concern. He willingly takes this all on. Just as he promised almost 6 years ago. "In sickness and health". Those words just keep running through my head while I sit and watch him cook in the kitchen, change poopy diapers, vacuum, take care of the dogs (yes we have 3!), run me and the kids to appointments, and cater to my every whim! And for the past 10 weeks he has done this with the burden of his father's unexpected death in January weighing on him. His head and heart are so full but he never wavers.
Yes I always knew I had married an amazing man. But when hard times fall on your family it's incredible to see the love you had for that man- the love you thought couldn't be any greater- grow and grow with each passing day. Each load of laundry. Each breakfast in bed. Each doctor's appointment. Each 15 hour shift to come home to cleaning. Each I love you at bed even when he can barely keep his eyes open. I hope that when and if the tables are ever turned that I can be as good of a wife to him as he has been a husband to me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why we don't take pictures while pregnant- A note to self

I have always loved being pregnant. What miracle compares to creating life! I have always felt beautiful and like I glowed! I parade my belly around like a medal and yes- I am one of those women who LOVE it when you touch her belly! I love pregnant women. I love baby belly. This is the only time in your life when you celebrate having to buy bigger jeans or that XXL shirt! NO OTHER TIME IN LIFE will you rejoice at not fitting your small clothes! No other time will your doctor tell you you aren't gaining ENOUGH weight. It's a beautiful time in a woman's life!

This pregnancy I only gained 1 lb. the first 18 weeks. In the last few weeks I have finally started gaining a bit and I think I am up to 5-6 lbs. For those of you who have not actually given birth, doctors suggest (based upon you starting weight) that a woman gain on average 25-35 lbs. during the course of their pregnancy. So by all standards I am a bit behind in my gain. My doctor isn't too worried as I am on bed rest and should try to avoid gaining too much weight. And the baby is growing ahead of schedule so he's fit as a fiddle. I should be pleased and proud. And I was. Until.......

Yesterday was my birthday. The husband mad a great dinner of Kalbi steak and Caprice salad. We followed up with delish fruit tart for dessert. Before singing and blowing out the candle, I took pics with the kids. And that's when reality hit. Right there on the digital screen was my head perched atop a big blob of woman! It hit me- although I was not gaining weight, I was loosing muscle and any tone I had! UGH! Aside from that my boobs are the side of my head! I've always been "graced" in the cleavage area, but the fact that my boobs swell up tot he size of my head when I'm prego was something I had apparently blacked out! I mean, in comparison to the size of the belly sticking out, when I look down it's not that bad. But there it all was on film. I would give anything to take a walk, do some pregnancy yoga, lift a few weights. But those aren't ideas I can entertain in my fragile state.

So I will suffer for my art. I will let it all hang out for the sake of this baby. I will love my belly and my body- as different as it may be this time around. BUT- I may avoid cameras for a while :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Princess Locked in a Tower

It hit me yesterday as I was watching Shrek with my 3 year old. Being on bed rest is like being a princess locked in a tower just sitting and waiting for the kiss from her one true love to set her free! I am a prisoner of sorts for the next few weeks or months. But once my sweet angel baby is born, I will offer up the first of many, many kisses he will receive in his lifetime- the majority will hopefully come from me! And then in that instant, my days of captivity in my home will be over and I will be free to enjoy my true love!

As the days slowly move by in this journey of motherhood, I am finding ways to see my captivity as a good thing. It's a challenge as any woman who has had to do it will tell you. But I have always claimed myself to be a "glass is half full" type of girl. So it's my duty to myself- the now self proclaimed Princess of Positivity- to find the bright side. To find ways to enjoy the time while I wait for my little prince to offer up that first kiss. THE kiss of all kisses that he won't even remember but is the most precious kiss to any mother. The FIRST kiss. The kiss that will start a lifetime love affair and set his mommy free!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Blog Envy

I've been searching around some other blogs as I am new to the Blog world and I have to say that aside from finding some really great blogs to follow, I also found myself with a case of Blog Envy! There are some good lookin' sites out there! How DO you do that?! Some day I will learn and this site's outside will match it's inside. Sassy and thoughtful and creative! Not sure if I am up to posting pictures of my little darlings. One toe in the water at a time you know. But soon my site will keep your eye long enough for you to hear what I have to say dang it!

That's all I have for now. If anyone has tips to sassing up my site or any how to's please let me know! God bless!

Monday, May 3, 2010


It's been a while since my last post. So much has gone on and on top of it my laptop had to be sent out for service. Baaaaaaaad timing! Bed rest has been a challenge. My diagnosis has changed several times as each time my body corrects something, another issue arises. I keep saying my baby maker doesn't want to make babies any more but we are in the middle of making a baby. The current issue is that I have blood pooling in the lining of my uterus which can cause pre-term labor. Being only 22 weeks (5 months) it's waaaaaay too early for my baby boy to make an appearance so I have remained on bed rest with another 3 weeks until my next ultrasound. We will know after that ultrasound what direction our lives are taking. The appointment is May 20th and my job is only being held until May 26th per FMLA.

We have exhausted our savings as I haven't worked in 2 months. It's been crazy trying to get assistance even to cover pre-natal care as we can't afford the $542 insurance premium through my work. No worky... no money! I tell you that middle class is a tough place to be. Even though my husband only works 2 days a week (he stayed home with the kids while I worked) the state figured we weren't poor enough. There were hoops to jump through and a lot of crying on my part but we finally secured pre-natal care for me and insurance for the kids as well as food assistance. Additionally our church has been a huge help! I started helping with a ministry where volunteers knit scarves for the homeless. Gives me something to do and has been a life saver! The mom's group at our church has also started delivering meals a few times a week to relieve my poor exhausted husband of his around the clock care taker schedule. And we will take as much prayer as we can get! It's been amazing the amount of help we have received from friends. Taking the kids out, cleaning the house, shopping for us, and cooking. Wow. They have been truly amazing. Reaffirms why we chose to have them in our lives in the first place. They are all truly amazing people!

Baby is big and healthy and our other 2 kids have been so great! We're learning to navigate our way through this crazy situation! It's not something we could have ever planned for. It's caused me to think and pray for the hundreds of thousands of people across the country that are in similar situations due to health issues, unemployment, etc. It's your life turned upside down regardless of how many bases you thought you had covered. But we have been blessed in many ways. One of those ways is simply having time to mentally process my potential pending unemployment and to attempt to have a plan in place in that event. We'll get through. Somehow.