Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The kids never cease to keep us laughing!
Here are some recent ones:
King Jo was saying how Ali is so cute that we will have to keep the boys away! Ali replied, "I don't want you to give Jeremiah and Justus away Daddy!"
I was complimenting King Jo on his handy-man skills and then I said to Ali, "Isn't your Daddy a smart and wonderful guy?" She said, "Oh, he's smart because he knows how to put kids in time-out?"
Ali's Sunday School teacher asked me to bring Justus to class to show them what a tiny baby looked like since they were studying Moses. She asked Ali to introduce her special guest. Ali proudly exclaimed, "This is Baby Brother Justus Abraham ______!!!"
After church, Daddy was going to take Ali home in his car since we go at separate times due to kid's napping schedules. She said goodbye and that she'd see me at home for lunch. She left with Daddy but then ran back to me and glanced suspiciously at the lady holding her baby brother. She said, "Bring Baby Justus home Mom!" then ran off to join her Dad.
Ali said, "When Bear-Bear is a Daddy and I'm a Mommy, we're going to get married!"
Here's one that is almost as sad as it is funny. We got an American Girl movie from the library and were watching it together. The mom in the movie gets sick and almost dies. I was explaining to Ali why the girl was sad and explaining that people die when they get very, very sick or are very old. A while later I caught Ali chewing on her dirty flip-flop shoes (ick!) and scolded her not to do that because they are dirty and she was going to get sick from doing that! A few minutes later she came up to me crying and laid her head in my lap. I asked what was wrong and she blubbered, "I'm going to die because I chewed on my flip-flops!" It took lots of talking and reassuring her before she finally stopped crying and realized that she really wasn't going to die. I told her that chewing on her flip-flops might make her tummy sick, but it wouldn't make her really, really sick like the woman in the movie who nearly died!
Ali told her Daddy, "When it's time for me to die, I want Jeremiah and Justus to go with me."
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So, I donned a rubber glove, grabbed a couple of plastic bags, and marched out there with an angry face. Lo, and behold, the neighbors whose little girl had done the dirty deed were out having a card-playing party with several guests at the picnic table. No doubt the mom saw me scooping her daughter's poop but she didn't say anything and I didn't either. I walked past them to throw it in the garbage bins and marched back to my house. Later, I thought about how I should have thrown the sack of poop on the table in the middle of their game, but that wouldn't have been Christ-like, now would it? I will be soooo, sooooo, soooooo glad when these neighbors move in late October!
In other, happier news, our baby boy smiled for the first time tonight at only 11 days old! No, it wasn't gas because I would smile at him and talk sweetly to him and he would grin. He repeated it six times! I'm so glad we didn't have to wait 6 weeks to see his cute little smile!
Capturing a decent shot of the boys together was tough!
Justus is less than thrilled to be held by brother!
Jer attempts to give him kisses to stop his crying
Finally, Jer starts hollering, "Don't want to! Don't want to! No hold Dusthis!"
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Boy, was I about to get hit between the eyes! That evening I went home and just out of the blue my hubby decided to let me know that he would feel more loved and respected if I would make an effort to do something for him. I was immediately defensive and resistant. What!!! How dare he?????? I was angry at such a request. Most women would say, "No problem" or say that it was something they always did for their husband anyway but for me it would mean sacrificing my personal time and my habits and re-arranging my schedule.
Suddenly it hit me hard that it is easy to pass judgement on other women whose hubbies have different requests of them that seem so do-able to us, but it is so difficult to listen to the advice or rebuke of our own husbands because often what our spouse asks of us reveals our selfishness and requires a personal sacrifice! I was faced with the reality that I'm no better than that other gal because my response was exactly like hers, selfish and unsubmissive, even if the scenarios were different.
Ultimately my spouse wants the best for me and isn't trying to ruin my life. He is trying to be a godly leader and do what's best for me and for our marriage and merely expressed how I could bless him more as a wife. I see how the area he mentioned could benefit our marriage and my health and attitude and I admit that I am going to work on it and really pray about it.
As for judging other women; don't do it! Pride goes before a fall!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
We've never owned a vehicle made in this century until now! It's a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country. It has automatic sliding doors and all kinds of fancy gadgets and functions.
Grandpa Joel and King Jo wash and dry the van while Alathia watches.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
However, because things have been going so smoothly and I have felt so amazingly well after this birth, King Jo has worked an hour or two for the last two mornings and I have done the getting up and breakfast routine by myself with all 3 kids. I have found that being alone with the 3 is totally do-able and not at all stressful. Yes, it's busy, and yes, it's a must that you learn to hold a baby and do many tasks one-handed, but it's plenty manageable, especially because you aren't pregnant! (There's no fatigue like pregnancy fatigue!) So, for those of you contemplating having a third someday; go for it! Whatever extra work and energy it may take, it is totally worth it!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Waterbirth is not pain-free and after Ali was born I still described the process as torturous and told my hubby we were going to adopt any future kids! The contractions were very close and very long the whole time and so it's hard to say if the contractions or the crowning was the worst part of it. By the time I was ready to push I was so ready for the pain to be over that I didn't care if I ripped my body to shreds; I had one goal and it was get the baby out with all my might! It was pretty painful to birth the placenta, which I did out of the water.
I was quite sore and my body ached for about a week but after a week I felt great and pretty much back to normal except for lack of sleep.
Overall, I'd say it was really cool to have a waterbirth. It's something unique and since I love swimming and take great comfort in warm water, it was a great thing for us. It was financially right for us at the time too since we didn't have insurance to cover having a baby in the hospital. It takes a lot of research, dedication, and emotional strength and preparation to have a natural water birth but it can be a beautiful experience!!!
Because I had given birth before, when I experienced my natural land birth I found that the contractions were different. I had heard that it gets much easier once you have had a baby and that pushing time is shorter and things supposedly go faster. My land birth was 11 hours total. It probably helped greatly that I didn't go into it after the flu. I remember thinking that it just didn't seem like real labor since my contractions never got closer than 7-10 minutes apart and weren't unbearably long or difficult to breathe through.
Most Painful Part:
The absolute worst part of my land birth was the exit of the baby. They call it a "ring of fire" in pregnancy books but my friend Lesley and I decided it should be called the "blowtorch from Hades" to be more accurate. Perhaps if we had had some warning he was coming and I had pushed for a long time, slowing moving him out, it would have been a bit less painful. Who knows? I never really had the urge to push. One minute I was on my hands and knees on the bed, experiencing the worst and longest contraction ever and the next minute I rolled onto my side and then back and he shot out in about 10 seconds.
Everything afterward was very painful too, from having to be checked "down there" to the placenta coming out, to the catheter they had to insert, etc. They also had to do lots of uterine massages (more like uterus-poundings) to get my uterus to contract down.
Emotions/Reaction to the birth:
I remember screaming at the top of my lungs, but my hubby said he didn't hear anything; perhaps my body's exertion muffled the scream that was inside of me. I remember thinking that no human being on the face of the earth should ever have to feel that much pain! After his exit, I remember seeing him for a minute and yet not really being able to absorb it. By the time they let me try to nurse him minutes later I was so weak and so traumatized by the pain that I couldn't even hold him and had them take him away. I felt like I was dying.
I was very sore and hurting for at least a week. Due to excessive bleeding I was anemic and extra tired and had a bad, bad cold a few days after delivery. I bled for 8 weeks afterward.
Much less with #2. I had one episode of crying uncontrollably for 5 or 10 minutes in the hospital when the nurses were talking with me about Jer's check-up. They thought I was worried about him and in reality, I was just crying because of the hormones and exhaustion. I also had one melting down crying episode a few days later when a sweet gal from church brought a meal over. Because I broke down weeping in front of her (I was feeling overwhelmed with it all and caring for my hubby who had the flu and not having any help since my Mom was working at the time) the whole church ended up finding out we were "having a rough time of it" and volunteered lots of help and support.
Jeremiah was alert and crying right away. Because he had had a rapid exit, he had a little fluid in his lungs so they put him on oxygen a tiny bit during that first day and watched his breathing as he had a little grunting stuff going on. He nursed right away.
Some say natural childbirth is the very best way to deliver for the baby's sake. Some prefer less interventions. It is nice to be able to move around and be in whatever position you want to be in. Natural childbirth is no doubt less expensive if you are having to pay cash for your birth, since you won't have to pay the fees for drugs/anesthesiologist, etc. Emotionally, one benefit of natural childbirth is the feeling that if you have done something that amazing and survived something that painful, then you can conquer the world!
Overall I would have to say that natural land birth is not something I want to ever experience again! I have NO CLUE how our grandmothers did it over and over and over and didn't die. Reading the story of Amy's 5th child's birth at one of my favorite blogs, www.humblemusings.com kind of re-inforced what I already know from experience: It's undergoing barbaric torture! If you are going to undergo it, you had better have a high pain threshold and really be geared up emotionally for it. I think all women should prepare themselves for a natural childbirth since sometimes drugs aren't an option, especially in quick labors. The best way to survive it is to concentrate on relaxation and deep breathing through the pain.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
(Stay tuned for a post on my comparisons of water birth, non-medicated, and medicated birth!)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
……………We arrived at the hospital to find that it was completely tranquil and no other patients except one 6 week old baby in the nursery with some acid reflux problems. This was a welcome find since our other hospital birth had been on one of the busiest days where the unit was strained to the max and nurses were cranky and rushed. We were given the nicest delivery suite and treated like we were in a hotel. I got into my hospital gown and then they checked the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions via the monitors. Not knowing what was going to transpire, I continually wavered between laughter and light-heartedness, even watching a comedy on the TV, and tearing up and thinking I couldn’t make it through. I had no idea what to expect since my body is so unpredictable. Was I at a 9 and too late for drugs or was I having the longest bout ever of “false” labor? I was guessing I was at a 6 or 7. So, I was completely unprepared for the nurses’ announcement that I was about at a 3, only about 50% effaced and a cervix still pretty high up there. She hadn’t been able to get a real accurate measure as I am horrible about relaxing for cervical checks, so she had another nurse come in who had smaller hands and she confirmed the 3cm. I felt cheated and frustrated. After all, I had endured around 25 hours of regular contractions over the last week and just a few days before at my last Doctor’s appt. I had been told I was a 2 or a 3 with a soft cervix. The Doc who had last checked me had predicted when I did hit real labor I would go fast. FAST?
Given my history, they weren’t about to release me just yet and tell me to go home. They said we’d wait a while. I had the neatest, calmest nurse who was unhurried and very peaceful and she put me at ease. The doctor on call was a guy from Jackson, filling in since there is such a shortage in our town right now. I liked him better than any of my town’s doctors. I was frustrated with my body because lying in the hospital bed immobile made my contractions spread even further and there was a big 18 minute gap between a couple. I wished I could make myself pick up the pace or at least fake some on the machine so they wouldn’t send me home. I asked the nurse if there was something she could do to get me going harder. Water breakage? Pitocin? As much as I didn’t want Pit I thought it wouldn’t hurt to have a little if I could “get this pony show on the road!” I really began to feel that I would be in labor forever! She said we’d wait a while and see what was going to happen. A couple of the contractions showed that the baby's heart rate was dropping a lot during some of the bigger contractions so they said they'd definitely want to keep me under observation for a few more hours because of that reason.
She informed me that if I wanted to have an IV started in the waiting that it would be easier to get some fluids going so that I could have an epidural when active labor came. She also informed me that I could have the epidural NOW if I wanted it, as they usually start it around 3 or 4 or after. I felt weird about getting it then since the contractions seemed to be so infrequent and I still had this niggling fear that we would be sent home. I didn’t feel like I was experiencing enough pain to really merit one at that point but I okayed the IV. She got an IV started, which really hurt. I’ve only had one once before, when I was bleeding after Jer’s birth and at that time I was so out of it I never even felt them put it in. She put it in my hand, which made things quite difficult for going potty since I had to manuever, with King Jo’s help of course, two cords from the monitors, an IV pole, my gaping hospital gown, and only one hand!
The doc came in after a couple of hours and did a cervical exam, which ended up being one of the most painful things I’ve ever felt. This is when I thought my mom was going to start crying and lose it too as they were on either side of me holding my hands and trying to get me to concentrate on them. The reason it hurt so bad was he declared me finally in active labor, at a 5 and decided to stretch the cervix a bit and strip the membranes with his hands to try and really get things going. I was crying and shaking and in agony through that. When it was over I said I wanted the epidural right away. I had originally wanted a spinal but they said an epi would be better since we didn’t know how long it would take me to deliver and spinals wear off after a couple of hours.
I guess I was getting to the point that the pain was getting more intense with contractions and the stripping procedure had hurt so much I was done with pain! He also said they would soon get worse now that he had stripped the membranes.
To be continued tomorrow...............
I got slower and slower on the walk home and started feeling really heavy and like I really needed to go potty and eat. But the contractions still weren’t very close. About 2 blocks from our house is a grocery store and as we passed I thought it would be fun for the kids to get free balloons since every Saturday they give them to kids. So we grabbed some bananas and donut holes (my pregnancy weakness) and the kids got balloons. The sun was shining brightly and yet it wasn’t swelteringly hot. I was hungry and so we decided to take a breather and sit at the picnic table in the grocery parking lot and eat our food; like a picnic brunch. I remember thinking that it was a beautiful day and that it had been a really fun family excursion no matter what happened after it. I thought, “If our baby was born today it would be fun to look back and remember the pretty day and the family togetherness we shared on this long walk.”
We made it home and I called my friend to say that we might need her to watch the kids in the afternoon but I wasn’t sure. She told me about an awesome yard sale they had hit that I had missed where there were tons of teaching supplies my mom would like and tons of educational toys and yard toys since it was at a daycare. My mom arrived just when I was on the phone with us as she wanted to stop by and check on whether or not things were happening. So, I got off the phone with my friend and told my mom I thought things were still happening but wasn’t sure but that we should drive to this yard sale together. We headed over to it while Josiah stayed home with the kids and we scored some really, really great deals on stuff. My mom got lots of fun stuff for her classroom next year and the prices were amazing. At the sale, I had a few really long, hard contractions that started scaring me so I was glad to get home and starting to wonder about calling the hospital. I suggested we feed the kids first and mom headed home quickly to eat, grab her stuff for the hospital, and take her stuff from the yard sale home.
When we were feeding the kids lunch, they of course were crying, whining, fighting, and being typical demanding toddlers and I couldn’t handle it. I got very snappy and told King Jo that I couldn’t take it and I needed them out of there FAST. At one point (I’m not proud of this) I even told King Jo to shut up! They were hardly done eating but hubby hustled them out as soon as he could and we threw their bags in the car and we didn’t even call our friends; we knew they were on stand-by and so he rushed over there. I didn’t want my kids thinking Mommy was mad at them and of course I had thoughts of “this could be the last time I ever see them if I die in childbirth” (I know, I’m terribly dramatic) so I tried to be positive as I told them goodbye and told them I loved them and told them they would be getting a new baby brother soon. They were just excited to be going to their friend’s house. I waited tearily in the front yard, hoping my kids would be okay and praying for God to be with me whatever transpired next.
Soon my mom arrived back and King Jo too. He called his folks to let them know we would probably be heading to the hospital soon. We called the hospital and told them to pull my charts. I knew they would probably think I was some crazy mom who thought she was in labor but really wasn’t since the contractions were still so far apart but I was getting nervous. I knew I wanted pain medicine this time, in the worst way, and my contractions stayed 7-10 minutes apart the ENTIRE labor with Jer until about the last 10 minutes before he was born. I had gone into the hospital before after 8 hours of labor at home and been declared an 8 or 9cm. So, since 9 hours of fairly regular labor had transpired I wasn’t sure how dilated I’d be but wanted to make it up there in time for some drugs. Hearing my history, the nurse told me I’d better come up. So, we loaded up and headed up there. I wavered constantly between excitement that this was FINALLY it and saying, “I can’t do this!” to my hubby.
To be continued……..
Monday, August 18, 2008
The nurse was asking protocol questions and said, "Is the husband of the mother the father of the baby?" King Jo teasing turned to me and said, "Well....?" I said, "Where else would he have gotten those ears!" The first thing we noticed when we held Alathia was that she had the little pinched-top, "ironed-on" ears that run in King Jo's family. Jeremiah got Mommy's ears that stick out on top. Justus has Daddy's ears too!
Justus and Ali's Cabbage Patch Doll are the same size!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Time: 7:44 pm
Length: 20 inches
We are so, so blessed to have our little bundle of joy in our arms! Praise the Lord! What an incredible gift!
Ali meets baby Justus just an hour after his birth. She was enthralled, bouncing off the walls, and wouldn't go to sleep at Grammy's until 11 p.m.!
His first picture, just moments after birth. Mama is crying for joy that it was finally over and that our miraculous little gift was finally in my arms!
Daddy loves his boy so much and looks for every opportunity to hold him and cuddle him.
Going home! We had the priviledge of being the only ones in town to have a baby on the 16th so we were treated very, very well and they did everything to make sure I didn't hemhorrage. The hospital food was even good this time around, who would have thought? Because Justus was one of the healthiest babies they said they had ever seen, we got to go home only 18 hours after his delivery!
I just have to say how much I have appreciated your prayers, encouragement and support. I'm praying for those of you yet to go! God truly answered prayer in a big way and even granted some of my specific prayers for a day-time delivery, no hemhorraging, the chance to have drugs for pain relief, and the baby to come in time for my in-laws to see him!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Both skirts are in my size (normal size that is *s*)
A little basket for gift-giving
A brand-new Bible Story Book with stories focused on leading your child to Christ
Taste of Home Magazine (love these so much!)
A BRAND NEW IN THE BOX, NEVER BEEN OPENED electric/battery breast pump
A CD called Scripture Memory Songs for Kids
A washable bib (love these!)
Cute Polo shirt for Jer
A fun toy for baby Justus, a bath toy for the kids (they don't have many bath toys), and some play tools and a turtle bowl for Jer (these are his Big Bro gifts "from Justus" he can open when he meets the baby. Ali is getting swimming goggles for her Big Sis gift). Jer loves turtles!
Not pictured: Birthday gift for a friend and like-new baby doll for the church nursery