Monday, June 29, 2009

34 Weeeeks! Preparing!

I can't believe my next midwife appointment will be the 36 week home visit! Jen is bringing the birthing tub and every thing- eek! Oh I just realized I need to order our birth kit some time in the next week whoa!

The weeks are absolutely flying. There is SO much to do before the baby arrives, the house needs a lot of work and our bedroom especially needs a major over haul and LOTS of cleaning. I'd love to paint our bedroom before we move every thing around- but I am thinking that that is one project that is just going to have to wait. The color isn't bad, it's very cozy - I love it. But it would just be nice to have it all freshly painted and rearranged. I am hoping since this weekend is a 3 day weekend we can devote some time to that project. I know Ryan has a ton of outside work he is aching to get to, but the bedroom really needs to be all set for the home visit!

I am still torn about what to do about our sleeping arrangments. Last Thursday or Friday night I tried to switch sides with Ryan- RJ slept HORRIBLY- and ever since then she's been really anxious and needing to sleep with her hands on me in some way or another. She's also been BEGGING to nurse at night- I pretend I can't feel her signing and looking for a way at me. :0.

I cuddle her close and give her drinks form her sippie- I am sooo not going down the un-night weaning road if we can avoid it!!! I will nurse RJ any time she wants after the baby's arrival, but night weaning needs to stand firm, I honestly don't feel like I can deal with that.

Anyway, I'm really torn about what to do with our sleeping arrangment. The only thing I can think of when the new baby comes is to

1) arrange our bed in such a way that the mini-crib will sidecar up to our bed and... Try for Ryan to sleep in the middle (which he hated) and RJ in her bed while I take care of the baby.

That option doesn't seem like it will pan out at this point in time.

2) Have me in the middle with the baby between Ryan and I and RJ in her bed on the other side of me.

The problem is I don't have enough room to nurse laying down with the co-sleeper in the bed with us (it sits on the mattress) and I'd be hanging off (which isn't really that comfortable into RJ's bed and ...Well It just doesn't sound like a great option to me.

3) kick Ryan out of our bed when the baby arrives- nicely of course! For the first couple of months- he'd take the twin, and I'd sleep with the babies in the queen ...I think every one would have enough room that way. RJ would be next to her Daddy and I'd be next to her but also near new baby on the other side of me on the bed topper co-sleeper thing. We may (depending how we figure out HOW to arrange the beds) still use the crib sidecarred up to our bed so that I have even more room...But then again I might just set up the crib in another part of the room to have a safe place to put the baby when I need to use the bathroom- read: out of RJ's reach! :0)

Still trying to decide all of this- but it needs to happen soon.

Anyway, I had my 34 week appointment today. My fondus is measuring in at 36 weeks- 2 weeks ahead, and Jen said the baby is a "good size" already. When she was feeling around she first said near 6lbs!!!! Then said probably closer to 5.5 but this baby definitley isn't going to be as tiny as RJ was that's for sure (she was 6lbs 15oz). She said she's not concerned that baby will get really big, and I think she mentioned that most second/subsequent babies are larger than the first and you often measure further a long too (or maybe I heard this some where else).

Baby was sleepy at the appointment, coming in at 136bpm- so funny how different the heartones have been for this baby than for RJ. I mean, obviously "different baby" but still fun to see how different!

Riley was actually really into the appointment this time, she was really interested (and not scared) by Jen taking my blood pressure (which was actually really low for me of late 116/66!hehe Jen took it twice to make sure it was correct- I've been 120's/70's since some time in my sencond trimester- I think part of it was that I was sooo relaxed on the ride up, it was the first time I felt like I knew how to get there!) and she gave baby kisses and talked to baby when J was getting the heart beat.

It was a good visit, I can't believe how fast time is flying... I asked Jen if she thought there was a chance I could go sooner- she wisely said "you never know!" - we'll see :0)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Baby Blessing...And Reflection

The church ladies threw me a "Baby Blessing" this morning after our monthly Bible Study. It was really special.

We had cake and hung out and then they all circled around me and laid hands on me and the baby and prayed for us. For the family transition, for this precious new person, for the plans God has for him (or her), for the gifts God has given, for every thing. It was such an encouraging time, so special and beautiful and I feel so blessed.

After the time of prayer we all hung out and all the ladies wrote cards of blessing for our family or scriptures for me to meditate on during labor. I can't wait to read over them.

I've got to say even after all that, or maybe because of all that, I am feeling really overwhelmed and not a little emotional this evening.

It's not that I focus on RJ's intensity all the time, it's not part of our interactions, but the thought of the biggness of the job of being a mother, her mother... Well it wasn't an issue when I was pregnant with her. I went into parenthood with....With I'm not sure, confidence? Excitment? Feelng "ready"? I wasn't worried, plain and simple.

This baby I am going into it full of questions, some self doubts, feeling a bit overwhelmed with the magnitude of the job ahead of me. I think it's harder this time because I see how deeply every thing counts. I see how my sin and choices can greatly impact my kids- how my walk with the Lord can greatly impact my children. I see the little souls that God has entrusted into my hands and I am in awe.

Also going into this birth is all these conflicting feelings. I feel that God has promised to bring healing through this baby's birth. To give me what I felt I lost with RJ's birth. That this will be a new start for me...But the thought of all that is there- well it's just so BIG and ...Well I'm a little scared to meet God in that place. I honestly feel like this baby's birthday is going to be a big appointment between me and God, between me and Ryan, a very emotional and BIG day.

I am not scared of pain, of discomfort, or truely of anything going wrong. I don't feel that there is going to be a lot of pain, my labor with RJ wasn't bad untill the pitocen- then it got to be a bit hell. No, pain won't be the issue, I'm scared of the things I know God is going to set before me in that time, and the days following the birth as I process every thing. I feel like the birth of this baby is going to be a huuge shifts in seasons for me, some thing truely life changing. Not becuase I have a vaginal birth, not because baby was born at home. But because God wants to meet me in that place no one else can, in that time that is so special- He's calling me out. And I can't run. This baby is sitting in my belly, and as I type this rubbing his or her feet across the top of my abdomen. His/her little movements a constant reminder of the clock ticking to the point where I have to surrender it all to the Lord...

Maybe it sounds like I'm making too big a deal out of this. I can't explain it, but it's been 5 years since I got the call about my Dad, 5 years since that one moment shifted every thing about my world... And another shift is coming, and I'm kinda scared to see what and how this is going to play out.

I probably sound like a little loopy. But all that I'm explaining, I think that it's why I have been so emotional this pregnancy. God's about to move.

I hope I feel more clarity and purpose (and my brain just plain CLEARS) when I come out on the other side.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just a Pregnancy Vent

I wish people would stop complaining about how bloated, fat or otherwise gross they feel when I'm around. My Mom ate too much supper and was going on and on last night about her big belly. !!!!!!!!!!!!! I was ready to slap her.
I am so swollen, I am 35+lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight and retaining water like all get out. I feel very very fluffy and awkward. I have already gained all that I wanted to gain and I still have a good well at least 5 lbs to go if baby gains the .5lbs a week s/he's supposed to.

It just sucks this time. I loved my body (sort of) with RJ I was so proud of my belly and just felt pretty (at least some of the time) this time around I've gained a lot faster, I dont' feel pretty at all and I HURT. Oh and I KNOW what my body looks like with out the cute bump. I know it takes 6-12 weeks for the rest of my body to shrink back when the baby is out... 6-12 weeks of feeling big (though tahnkfully and hopefully more comfortable than last time around- no big cut through all my abdominal muscles and gall bladder pain).

Only seven weeks untill the due date- 7. Though I'm definitley not gaining as fast in the 3rd trimester I'm also dealing with the "body is getting ready" gross stuff...

The lovely extra waterfall (definitely NOT water!) in the netherland area. I gotta say, unbelievably gross!!! I forgot about this unpleasant pregnancy thing. I remember the 3rd trimester being like this with dd at the end- but I think it's even worse with the summer heat- I'm sweating profusely AND running down there like a river- all mixing together leaving me feeling very unclean indeed. BAH!

Also the swelling, body just holding onto those extra fluids just beautifully. MUCH worse this time aroud thanks to the weather. I am going to be peeing like a crazy woman when this kid is finally out. I remember when RJ was born I thought I had peed a lot at the very end- the first week she was here I was peeing like crazy getting rid of all the extra fluid- this time around should be fun too. Hopefully I won't have any IV fluids involved making it worse- but it will be a summer baby so I'll have the natural stuff to flush out, fun fun fun!
And the extra blood flow- ugh that is not fun- it's so annoying. I don't know if it's worse some times because the baby is really active and that is challenging me- but some times I jsut feel so very winded- for no reason!

Not to mention my brother said some thing mean the other day...very unnecessary. I was swollen and exhausted after a very busy day and he was in the kitchen with my Mom. He asked my Mom if she'd lost weight recently- Mom said she didn't think so... B said "Oh just wondering, because if you did Hannah found it."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been getting a lot of comments like that this time around- why do people think it's okay to make fun of a preggo woman?? Yes, I've gained weight, yes I've got a big belly...I am uncommonly large and already my belly is bigger than it was at 39 weeks with RJ. It doesn't make me immune to comments on my body okay?!?!? I feel so ugly right now.

Summer babies are waaaaay harder than winter. Next baby I want in April, got it?!?!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Question of Either... Or..

I came across a thread on GCM that got me thinking about all of this, and I have been trying and trying to sort it all out.

The question was around the subject of the Great Commission and either you had a family and raised your family...Or you went out into all the world and preached the gospel to every living creature. They were discussing if it was ever okay to NOT have children in order to fulfill the great commission.

I understand where this is coming from, I know of so so so many missionaries kids whose parents gave their life to their ministry and nothing was left for them. Those kids are some really really sad and wounded people with a lot of issues.

My question is, why does it have to be either or??

Why is it “marriage or ministry”? Or “ministry or a family”? Or “ministry before family” or “God before spouse”? “Spouse before children or your marriage will fail?” and of course “God before all”, right??

WHY? Why is our Christian walk so dictated by checklists??? Shouldn't God be at the center of it all? Every thing else radiates out of a desire to glorify Him. We seek out what HE has called us to, even if it looks different than what the box I am living in or around says it should??

What if it looks like, at times, I'm putting the needs of my children above my spirituality? Or God-forbid my kids come before my husband sometimes. Or MY needs come before my kids at other times? WHY is it all “before, above” why is it levels of care? The Bible says "To every thing there is a season"... Every season is different. Seasons don't fit in boxes.

And another question why is it viewed more spiritual to go into the “mission field”? Why does that give license to bad parenting and neglect? Because you are a “missionary” you aren't held to the same responsibilities and accountability as a parent? Really? How is it really okay to send YOUR child (who God gave to YOU to raise and disciple) away to boarding school to be taken care of by strangers? How is that alright? Just because you are doing it in the name of the Lord. I can't speak for Him, but I highly doubt God appreciates that sort of neglect being associated with his name.

Which leads us back to the original question: Should you become a parent if you are going to fulfill the great commission. And I think the answer has to come from yet another question. What “lenses” are you using to look at the whole thing?

We have this mentality that the Great Commission is best fulfilled by heading over seas and joining an actual and focused ministry, with programs and resources to reach out to people with the gospel. Doing things that way definitely meets our human and cultural love for checklists and seeing things in a neat tidy box. And God DOES call many many into those missions and programs. And those programs do a LOT of good to a LOT of people, they help and reach many. But why is that more Spiritual?? Is that really what the early church did? Paul didn't have any programs or big corporate ministries set up. God told him to go to a certain country and take up a job in the area, he worked along side the people and The Holy Spirit did the rest.

Wouldn't the world be better reached if we started at home? I mean there are hundreds of millions of believers all over the world- all the programs out there wouldn't be necessary if each believer really WALKED with the Lord and reached out where He has placed them. The fact of the matter is that God indeed calls some to marriage. He blesses the marriage with children. And He commands us to raise our children to love Him with all their hearts minds and souls. We do this by first teaching them His character through how we treat them. We put boundaries in place that model to them how His creation works, we discipline and disciple them as the Father disciplines and disciples us- peppered with grace and with knowledge (that means knowing why we do what we do and understanding and studying child development). It means taking time to be with them and meet their needs. Modeling what a life walked out before Him looks like. We are to love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls. We pass this onto our children by sharing life with them, they watch us live out our love for Him "when we walk along the road, when we sit down, and when we get up". HUGE job!!!! But in walking with the Lord we're also touching every one we come into contact with- and every one our children comes in to contact with. Is it focused and organized? Not always, actually rarely. Do we see fruit? It depends on where God has us at the moment, we may never see the fruit our life has spread. When we walk with the Lord we are listening for His voice- we aren't living by checklists but by His Spirit. Bringing glory to God through every little mundane and (seemingly) nonspiritual aspect of our lives and teaching our children to do the same.

Am I there? No where close, far far from it. But this is something that I'm seeing and being convicted of and I have been taking steps towards this.

We as a Christians HAVE to get away from our boxes and checklists. We HAVE to leave legalism behind of how we think a Christian family should look or act. We have to walk in Grace. It's as much legalism to say you are going to raise a rotten spoiled child because you breastfeed on demand... As it is to say you will have a disconnected and depressed child if you don't co-sleep. It's legalism to worry about how your children act instead of looking at the HEART. It's legalism to spank or punish out of fear for the future … Parenting is the biggest discipleship partnership you will ever undertake there is no room for legalism.

God has called some to stay single, he has called some to marriage and families. Does that mean since you are having a family you can't be called to foreign or a focused ministry? Absolutely not. But it does give even a deeper accountability and responsibility to your call to parenthood. The herd mentality really won't work in those unique situations, you've got to be extra vigilant to think outside the box... To find creative ways to involve your family in your ministry. To put Christ as the center, not the bottom line or what YOU think your ministry responsibilities entail, but CHRIST. He is the only one who can insure that no one will fall through the cracks. And some of the things He will ask us to do as parents will make us look “bad” in the light of our culture, whether that means stepping down from a respected responsibility at church because our family is in a season of transition and needs us more. Or leaving full-time ministry because one of our spouse is struggling and needs focused time with their mate.

We shouldn't and can't allow ourselves to look at things in straight lines and boxes- in this one case (though our God is a God of order) we have to look at the big picture and all the beautiful curves and abstracts that God throws into His amazing plan

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I think that God often will send you a core group of friends- people who will always be your friend even if you haven't seen them or spent time with them in years. I have 4 friends who I feel that are my "core"- and maybe I'll make more as time goes on...who knows?

My husband is one of those friends. We met when we were four and have been close ever since There have been many many seasons in our frienship, times when we were inseperable and times when we only talked a few times a year. But in the end we were such "kindred spirits" that we came to a point where we couldn't imagine life with out the other, so we decided (with some "prodding" from God- Ryan describes it more like a sudden jolt of realization "bam!") that we should take the dive and spend the rest of our lives together in a covenant friendship, marriage.

I've been thinking a lot about the circles and seasons of friendship...Seasons are such beautiful things! I've always loved the change of seasons- specifically the change that comes at the start of Autumn. But in friendships... It's amazing to me, how you can go through such a close time with someone. Your times together are amazing, every thing about your conversations "click", and you come away from visits feeling deeply refreshed.

And then there are seasons where things are just THERE. You love the friend, and really enjoy time together but it's not ...the only word that comes to mind is, "electric". Your times together are good, nice, and often very comforting. But you don't walk away shaking your head in wonder. Ya know?

And then there are seasons that you have very little contact with the person. Life is just moving so fast and when you do get a chance to talk there really isn't much to say. You aren't clicking, and you miss the old times, the long conversations about every thing nad nothing... It's a sad time in friendship. But it's a season and if that person is really one of "those" friends you know that eventually - even if it's 15 years down the line- you will always have a special place in your heart for them,and maybe one day God will bring your hearts back to the same place- another season of "clicking" and growing and learning from eachother.

I just had a really refreshing time with an old friend. A friend who was probably my closest friend when I was in late elementary/early middle school. It was a new season of my life Ryan (the future hubby) had left - his family moved away- and I was at loose ends.
A and I had been good buddies since 3rd grade and around 5th or 6th grade we became really close. She was my friend for secrets and laughter. Boy, could we laugh! Things changed as we enterd 7th or 8th grade- We remained good friends, but things were changed. It's just the way it was. In late highschool we had some lovely drama that involved a boy... As A would say "that was so dramatic, but true story...true story." :0)

We weren't close after that, we were busy in other areas of life...Very very different things were happening to us. The "college" years for me were hard...I wasn't going to school but walking through losing a dream, at the precipice of jumping off the deep end, and walking (trudging) through a 2 year battle of brain cancer with my Dad. A was going through college and we weren't really close. We'd run into eachother at things and chat and hug and I loved her...But it was a silent season.

I got married, 8 weeks later my Dad died, I went through a hard hard first couple of years of expieriencing my first grief and trying to learn how to live as a wife. And then we started a family.

A and I recently reconnected, and we have been shocked at how much we have in common...It really doesn't make sesne! From the outside we have absolutely nothing. She broke off a long engagement a year ago, is single and teaching full time. I am married with all the responsabilities that involves, and a busy stay at home Mommy to (soon to be) two little ones.

And yet... And yet we laugh like we used to, so hard and so long that I'm sure that if I was any further a long I would go into labor. We talk and share our hearts... Hearts that are so similar- which seems impossible for two people that are in such different places in life. She edifies and encourages me in ways that I don't think another "Mommy friend" could. Today she said some thing that absolutely blessed me. She was telling me about how she and her other singley friends were hanging out the other night and her one friend (married- but you'll understand what I mean by singly) was sharing about how she never ever wants to have kids. I know this person and I see this comment as her just not being ready for the thought of babies- and who knows some people never do have kids by choice (I can't fathom or imagine this kind of person coming to this decision but that's not my job) ... Anyway her friend was sharing that she doesn't like babies, doesn't want the responsablity and just doesn't think she could handle it. A piped up that she realizes how self centered the single life is. She said "My life involves me, it's all about ME, I don't have to worry about any one BUT me. I see H with her pregnant belly and little girl and how much work is involved in caring for another human being. And I just think 'whoa! How do you give that much of yourself? To be fully and totally responsible for another person- it takes so much!'"

I'm not writing this to toot my own horn, because honestly I don't feel like I do enough as a Mom. I always feel likeI'm falling short, or going to miss some important absolute need and wound my babies. But it was so encouraging to hear A see that about my "job" in life and say it that way. Hanging out with other Mommy's we all sing that same (or think under neath every conversation- or at least this Mommy does), "I am not doing enough" or "I must be doing some thing wrong" tune. It pretty much starts from the time the lines appear on the pregnancy test- Am I eating well enough? Am I being too stressed- is it hurting the baby? Am I? Do I? Will it hurt...?

I have been really struggling in the friendship department. I don't have many SAHM friends, and it's really hard to find a SAHM in my area that has the same values and experiences I have. I feel isolated and alone. Having a challenging high needs toddler (whose needs change from day to day- and rarely seems fully satisfied with my greatest effort) ..Well its' HARD, and it's EASY to be hard on myself. I'm just so thankful for circles in friendships, that God rekindled this unlikely (at least from my view point) friendship to encourage me. To help me see that even what I feel is my worst effort- is really a big deal and important. And seems impossible and crazy committed to some one not in my shoes.

I'm so thankful for this season in our friendship. So thankful for this lesson that I don't have to be in the "same place in life" to learn from and enjoy some one's friendship.

hehe in a side note, when A and I were talking about changes in friendships and how they are like circles... I was sharing about my core friendships and how Ryan has always been in that group- he was the first! I then said - well now that we're married our friendship doesn't really go in the same kind of circle anymore. "It's more of a long line with little squiglies here and there" This cracked us up. A piped up "Yeah, I can see by your belly you two have been going through a VERY distant season." ...Maybe you had to be there.

I'm not sure how I would define marriage- the squigly line isn't quite right but intertwining circles aren't really it either. I mean, there are definite seasons, especially once you are a parent- thigns are just different for you with a newborn in the house... Different with toddlers running around- and I would imagine extremely crazy different when you are parenting teenagers. That for another post I suppose- that little conversation just made me laugh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Non-Parents ergh.

People who don't have kids take sleep so for granted!!!!!!! Can't blame their ignorance but REALLY. This is so silly and I'm not really "angry" just ...well yes I'll say it, jealous. My cousins wife just wrote in her facebook status update, "12 straight hours of sleep and I'm still SOOO tired."

I can't remember the last time I slept 12 straight hours. Probably over 2 years ago, maaaaybe when I was pregnant with Riley but I really can't be sure. Scratch that I can't remember the last time I slept 4 straight hours (probably some time before the start of my 3rd trimester with RJ).

Even though Riley is sleeping through the night fairly regularly, I am still up with in 2 or 3 hours of going down myself to use the bathroom. And many nights I'm up an hour or two after that helping Riley get comfortable again- and an hour or so after that I'm up to pee again.

And some nights I'm up for a LOOONG time because my toddler is cutting a new tooth and decided 30 minutes of heartrwrenching screaming is preferable to sleeping. And then *I* am up wiiiiiiide awake for 3 hours after that because it woke the baby and I now have to go drink and eat some thing and do some stretches to get the foot that is crammed up into my lungs dislodged. And in 3 months when Riley pulls a teething scream fest (no really, I feel bad for her) I will be up for 3 or 4 hours with a newborn who got way over stimulated and is making those grunty (and impossible to ignore) "I'm too awake, change me, hold me, look at me, turn some lights on!" noises and keeping every one else in the room awake.

I have a feeling next fall is going to be a LOOONG season of adjustment.

But yes, people who don't have kids yet really take simple things like sleep for granted. And Becky I'm not aiming this at you ;0) Pregnancy pretty much immediately starts training you for the newborn days- your body is not your own. Pretty much before the pregancy test is positive, you are waking up to pee every couple of hours. As your belly grows you back starts to hurt more which makes it harder to sleep as well... Your baby starts to move like crazy in the middle of the night- shocking litle hands and head beat themselves against your cervix (OOOOW got that going on right this minute oooow!)- hiccuping into your hip bone, rubbing feet along your ribcage... All these strange and some times down right unpleasant (but exciting) sensations to keep you awake.

I've got to say not being a parent has it's drawbacks...I mean I've never gotten so excited over a smile, or so amazed at watching a little human so meticulously and carefully stack blocks one on top of the other (RJ stacked a 6 block high tower today!!! She was cute working sooo carefully).... Or thought a face covered in sweet potatoes was sooo adorable. Yes I wouldn't trade any amount of sleep for the joy of being a Mommy...But it does irk me when I read things like that- especially when I'm tired. And extra especially when I'm tired and can't nap- I tried but the baby is HURTING me right now, I am having a ton of BH (drinking a bunch of water now) and the pressure is unreal- add that to the head butting against my cervix and bladder and the hands that keep rubbing what feels like my rectum- well you get the picture it's not pleasant and I am just not in the mood to sleep.

But 12 straight hours of sleep would be lovely- I wonder how old I'll be when some thing like that happens again? Hmmm...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am so hot

And not in the sexy sense. I am down right miserable, seriously I can't even explain it.

I wonder if I'll ever like being pregnant?

I have to say this time around is a lot nicer in most respects than what Iwent through with RJ. Morning sickness in the early part wasn't fun but nothing compared to the horrible horrible nausea I experienced before. Seriously gall bladder or no, the nausea with her was horrific. I honestly think my getting medication early on this time around, helped me stay out of the "hungry= barfing = more nausea from empty stomach= less ability to eat and drink= worse dehydration = more nausea = more barfing repeat cycle for 12 weeks". As long as I kept food in me this time around and took my nausea medication before things got too bad every thing was managable.

But in other respects I've gotta say that summer babies are waaay harder than winter ones. The amount of water you retain (I barely swelled with RJ...Just the last few weeks as my body prepared for delivery- but even then it wasn't any thing compared to now), the amount you sweat, the heat feels oppressive. It is just about as miserable as I invisioned it might be, just about and I still have several weeks to go.

At this point I feel like crawling into a hole untill the baby arrives.