Wednesday, January 30, 2008

extended nursing and contraception

I was reading over at Jen's about the Catholic church's stance on contraception. I love so many things about the Catholic church, but the contraception thing isn't one of them. Were I to convert to Catholicism, I mean, TRULY, I would throw away the birth control, right? And right now, that scares me.



I suppose you could say that I'm not trusting God, but then God has also given us many choices in life - whether or not to recieve medical care, whether or not to buy or sell our house and move halfway across the country, whether or not to get married. And along with all of those things, I believe, is also the ability to make choices about our family's size.



I don't really see any supporting evidence in the Bible relating to not using birth control. I don't. And the Catholic church's stance, as it stands, is based on what the Pope says. I'm not ready to jump onto that wagon - it seems to be based on one verse in the entire Bible; a verse that can be interpreted 2 or more different ways.



I suppose one of the reasons I have continued nursing Asher (besides the fact that he's still a baby) is that it almost guarantees me that I won't ovulate. And even that may go against the Catholic church's teaching, I don't know. What I DO know is that I need some pretty heavy-duty medication during pregnancy, we're facing some major surgeries for one of our children, and I'm just not ready to do all of that again. Why do I feel selfish saying that? I don't know. Maybe because there's a part of me that believes maybe I AM being selfish about this.



My friend Arwen tells me that within the Catholic church, my reasons would constitute "grave" reasons. But what if I didn't have those reasons and just felt like I couldn't do another baby right now? I don't get to make that choice? This is the problem I have.



I am still digesting Jen's post...more comments later.

what you did

What do you do when someone you love lies repeatedly to you and manipulates the situation constantly to get their own way? What do you do when that person pits you against your own husband? Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

house

I was perusing houses in the city I grew up in when I came across the house I called home for the first 26 years of my life... talk about memories!

Monday, January 28, 2008

rock on, mommybloggers.

The parents as teachers lady was here this morning. She seemed stunned that Lucy had never used scissors; that I didn't realize that "almost 3" was prime scissor time. "If you don't have her using scissors now and getting lots of practice, she might not do that well with them in kindergarten. It's a requirement!" I was handed 4,357 papers on toothbrushing, home safety, underwater basket weaving with your infant, and all sorts of charts and graphs on how much sleep a night my children should be getting. I stared at those papers after she left and wondered: am I doing it right?

Someone made a comment on one of my posts that staying at home with your kids would be the "dream job". I'm going to go ahead and say that they say that because they've never actually done it. This job is hard. When we mothers aren't busy comparing our mothering ways to those of our friends, we're wondering if the laundry is going to be done before dinner is ready, and we're hoping that the kids don't wake each other up AGAIN tonight, starting at 2 am and ending at 6 am, when it's time to pack the hubster's lunch. We're wondering if we'll get to go grocery shopping alone on the weekend, whether or not we'll make it until 5:30, when our reinforcement arrives (you KNOW what I'm talking about!!!) We're wondering how the reinforcement is feeling; if he's doing ok at work. We're wondering if it was bad to say "no" to this Bible study or that volunteering opportunity at church. We're wondering if other moms feed their kids jello and ramen noodles for lunch. We're wondering if we'll look back on all of this and be so so ashamed of how we didn't have a "learning" time every day or we didn't read them a book EVERY single night. We're wondering why it takes 20 minutes to clean the floor and 20 seconds for it to be messy again. We're wondering if we're doing the best we can, and if it's noticed.

Is blogging about mothering and about my children affirmation for me? You better damn well believe it. I can sit down today and write what's on my heart - how mothering my children is dually the most difficult thing and the most tear-jearking-blog-post-inspiring thing I have ever done. And I wonder how other mothers out there are doing with it. I know God gave me my sense of self, and I need to find who I am in Him. Another part of that is networking with other moms who are going through the same thing. I was made a social creature. Logging on and seeing that someone else feels the same way is so incredibly comforting. I love it. I love to be able to write my thoughts and feelings in this forum and get some feedback. I love that through blogging, I can wear my heart on my sleeve and not feel so alone. Hence the mommyblogging movement. Thousands of other moms feel the same way. I've always resisted it, but I am here. I am a mommy blogger. Here me roar. I forgot to wipe their hands after lunch, so I'm going to go and de-stickify my house now.

Rock on.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

notes from the basement

Excited today for a couple of reasons!

1. I was inspired by my friend Jess, who is awesome at cooking with her daughter. They are always doing something creative every time we visit. Yesterday when we were over we made cupcakes - well, she made the cupcakes; we frosted them. She also cut my hair! I will have to post a pic. All this and she's 38 weeks pregnant. Anyway, today I made breakfast muffins with Lucy and Asher - we didn't have butter and Scott is allergic to wheat, so it was a challenge, but I made it work! Jess is also SO good at not being that annoying hovering mom. It's harder for me to do - I want Lucy to do things a certain way. You would have been proud of me, Jess! Ingredients EVERYWHERE. And I DO mean everywhere.

2. Our next disc from Netflix of Friday Night Lights has arrived!

3. Date night tonight! We are going to dinner and a movie, then maybe to Barnes and Noble. A good movie you've seen? I wanted to see American Gangster but I can't find it at the theatre we want to go to.

4. Before date night, my mother in law is taking me to Gymboree.

5. Lucy and Asher make me laugh. Instead of sleeping they now try to scoot their cribs together and play. At least it wears them out for night-time. Ah, night-time. Another post entirely. We need sleep.

6. Lucy walked up to me today and said, "What's your e-mail address?" She was poised to enter it into my cell phone. Yikes.

7. I thought I was good with my budget of $170 a week for EVERYTHING - groceries, diapers and wipes, car care, house care, kids' clothes, eating out, lip balm, birthday gifts, etc., etc. It works well for us. I talked to a friend and she can do $120 a week...can anyone beat that? That is wholly impressive.

I was thinking: I hate the fact that we are so dependent on China for so much, yet I continue to buy things made in China. How do you get around that and still stick with the budget? Ideas?

hold firm

Emily, as she is famously wont to do, has once again famously gotten me thinking.

I read her post "What I know," and I started thinking about what I know.

I have a friend who has just adopted a baby boy, born Thursday. She and her husband now have to wait 30 days until he is fully theirs and the father has relinquished all rights. I know a woman in South Dakota who has lost 3 babies, and the remaining quadruplet now may have Cystic Fibrosis. I know a woman who, in her 31st week of pregnancy, suddenly lost her sweet daughter. I know a woman who is desperate for a new liver for her sweet little son. All of these women press on; believing that something greater is going on here. Believing that it's not all for nothing. Believing that even though they don't see the reason, a greater plan exists.

I am so worried about a recession. I'm worried our house won't sell when we finally do put it on the market. I'm worried about Lucy's surgeries. I'm worried about hurting people's feelings - about being enough. I was worried last night in setting a boundary with someone I love. I was worried that all of the responsibility fell on my shoulders. When the "that hurts my feelings" and manipulation and anger started, and the whole crap-colored mess of emotions was directed at me, and I still held firm, it hurt. I never dreamt this relationship would be this way. I worried about the status of the relationship. I still worry about it. I want to give in. But God has a greater plan, and I must wait to see it in action. Doesn't He know best?

God wants these worries of mine. It's a relatively new concept for me. Bear with me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

which one?

Lucy is going to a father/daughter dance with her dad. She'll be wearing black patent leather shoes and those little corkscrew ribbons in her hair. Which dress is the cutest? She would wear a white long-sleeved shirt under the ones that need it - or would a different color be better? Vote!






Lucy is going to a father/daughter dance with her dad.

Which one is the cutest? Vote, please! Or find me some more cute ones! 3t, I like cheap and ebay. :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

needs no explanation

Lucy burped pretty loudly and obviously felt sick, so we had to do some interrogating during her playdate with Lily. Check out Lucy's face and Lily's reaction after I ask them if it tasted good:


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

me me me

I am tired of feeling guilty for everything. I will get my list of "to dos" completed, and then realize that someone just called me or the baby dumped the Cheerios. More to do. To do, to do, to do. When I put the kids to bed I feel guilty I didn't give them enough playtime with me. When I'm lying on the couch at night I feel guilty I'm not doing laundry. I NEVER used to be this way. If you knew me in college, you knew I was lazy - er- no, somewhat free-spirited and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. Term paper due Monday morning? No worries, let's go drive around the square. Spanish final? Who needs to study! Didn't those male foreign exchange students from London just arrive? Isn't my major elementary education, anyway? What does Spanish have to do with that? I could sleep in until 11 am on Saturdays with nary a care. What has happened to me?

I just told the lady who works with the special needs kids at the church that I can only do one day a month. I was planning a romantic getaway for me and Scott this weekend, totally a surprise to him. I'm 45% sure he got bored with my blog and plays Solitaire instead, so I think my secret's safe. Anyway, she emailed me back and asked me if I could do this Saturday. BAH! Our plans!!!!!!!!

I feel so many things pressing in on me; people's expectations of me. I don't want the grandparents to worry about us; about Lucy's surgery. So I don't tell them everything because I know they would be wrecks too. But why do I feel responsible for their happiness? Why do I not give myself grace/room to grieve over all that has happened and will happen with Lucy? My neighbor was over this afternoon after we swapped kids so we could each get some stuff done. I went to a massage and LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I have realized that if I don't do this stuff for myself I will spontaneously combust, leaving some used-up lip balm and half a slice of canadian bacon pizza in my wake. Dammit, someone's knocking on my door very loudly. I always suspect a serial killer or something and get really nervous. Let's hope he goes away.

I'm supposed to go tonight to meet a friend and her husband and discuss my questions about God. I really don't have the energy. If Kierkegaard and Lewis didn't totally figure it out, will I ever? I want to eat dinner with my family, laugh at the kids' shenanigans, pop them in bed, then watch Netflix episodes of Friday Night Lights with Scott. But I feel like I should go because these people have worked really hard to get us all together and make this work. Why do I feel so much pressure? Why do I put it on myself? My neighbor was telling me today that even though I THINK I'm being charitable doing these things, if I'm not doing it with a pure motive, it's probably best not to do it at all. Just doing something for someone so they will like me doesn't qualify as pure motive. My mom called me the other day and told me she heard a sermon about living like Jesus did; loving like he does. "Oh, my Rachel does that!" she told someone else. I informed her that I do that because I want people to like me. Sure, I suppose the gift of helps is my spiritual gift, but where does that end and the other need begin?

My meeting with the shrink was actually really good - I guess I must have made it sound like it was bad, but it was good. She is Persian and all of 5 feet 2 and adorable. I told her as much and told her I liked her style. She laughed because her patients probably don't often tell her that. She told me I have a complex. (Well, shrinks would be guillotined for using that word, but it was the crux of what she told me.) She told me I don't seem to think that I deserve anything good. I don't seem to have much grace for myself. That seems to be the bastion behind always thinking something bad is coming - or if I'm happy and content and trusting, something bad is bound to be around the bend. And like we've covered before, it's not that I couldn't handle something bad, it's the fear of the unknown.

I'm scared that we are going to have this surgery for Lucy and it's going to turn out to be the wrong decision. You can say it will all work out, but will it? Really? What if after the surgery she is worse off? What if Scott loses his job (loving all the recession talk) and no more insurance? And why can't we have it done here in town, where we know the hospital, we know it's great, and we can go back and forth between home and the hospital, instead of back and forth between the Cincinnati hospital and the Ronald McDonald House for three weeks? What if we get all the way up there and she gets sick again? What if she reacts adversely to the anesthesia? Hey, I just gave myself an idea...get a second opinion at our hospital here...it would be FREE. No bills. No hospital bills to fret over. And the food is good.

Food, ah, food. I punish my body with the food I put in it. I'm not sure I totally like and trust my body. NSL (New Shrink Lady) asked me out of the blue how I felt about my body. I told her I wasn't always satisfied with it, and this is a relatively new thing to me. Then she asked me if I trusted my body, as it related to my pregnancy with Lucy. From out of nowhere I started bawling my eyes out. I HATE HATE HATE crying in front of the shrink. Oh, look at the poor, twenty-something housewife, crying like a little girl. After I composed herself I told her it was painful to talk about, she just sat there looking at me and waiting. She was a kind woman, and I will go back. I wanted to switch meds and she told me, "No, you're anxious and depressed...we're just increasing the dose of this med, because we know it works."

How can she write all of this on her blog? you ask. Well, I don't really know. It's cathartic, really. It really really is. If I told this to my 2-year-old she'd ask if I'd just close my mouth up so we could watch Dora. And Asher might crap his pants while I regaled him with the tales of my sadness. So, all in all, a blog and a shrink are the better combo.

Of course, I could be getting rather caught up in the psycho babble and a good walk would do better. Off to fold some laundry. I just cleaned out all of her closets and got rid of the stuff I put her in just because it's there, even though I actually hate it - hand me downs and Goodwill. This girl's gonna be fashionable. Scott picked these things out for Lucy on our date Saturday (yes, Target is a pre-approved date activity). Surprisingly, my members-only-jacket man has some pretty good taste. Those clothes are so sweet I actually tried to eat them. I was going to post a picture of them but I can't seem to find them on their website. Sorry, Lizzie.

My mom keeps asking me if I'm developing an eating disorder. I am making tuna noodle casserole tonight and eating it WITH my family, instead of thinking about how many calories I am consuming and how quickly I can burn it off.

living is tough, you ever thought of that? peace out.

Monday, January 21, 2008

want

I went to Home Depot with Scott yesterday. I told him that if we weren't moving, I wanted new countertops. I wanted them now. My rationale was that I didn't get anything for Christmas, so a new countertop would suffice. (our original plan was to buy each other a microwave). You know it, when you spend hours in the kitchen, it's fun to feel like you have a nice one! Scott always gives me these "financial sense" speeches. I, meanwhile, am distracted by the pretty, sparkling buy-what's-inside truck driving by outside the window as he talks.

We have decided to stay in this house awhile longer.

I was looking at our kitchen last night and thinking that it's so cute. I was thinking that our whole house is cute, but I still feel like I want a bigger one. I want a better one. I struggle and struggle with this. The paint's not right, it needs different shutters, I want more pictures on our bedroom wall, new closet doors. Our kids have to share a room (horror of horrors!), we don't have alot of space to get away from each other when we need to.

As an aside, we learned of the joy that comes from having children share a bedroom. They stayed up and PLAYED with each other from their cribs for an hour and a half. We were sitting in the living room just looking at each other and laughing over their little antics.

I have been so obsessed (yes, I believe that's the right word) with having control, controlling something, that it has become THIS pathetic. It all came down to standing in the Home Depot aisle with my husband and 2 children, trying to explain to him why I desperately needed a countertop and how it would all be better after that. I wanted it because, "I want it! If you're not going to let us move and we're just going to stay in this house forever, I should get what I want." I didn't say that, but that was the attitude. I was really lame.

I was struck during our date night on Saturday night, and again during the sermon Sunday morning, that my desire to control every aspect of my life has led me to a very precarious place. I'm not going into it here, but that desire has even led to some practices that have harmed my own body (no, I'm not suic*idal).

All of my questioning about the nature of God, if He even exists, is due in part to living in a society where I'm not allowed to find the answer to That Question. If I do, I'm shallow and narrow-minded. Absolute truth? Whatever. If you think it exists, that's right for you. But it's not right for me. I am starting to see that I just can't follow that line of thinking. It doesn't work for me, if you will. You're a fool if you can't see that there is absolute good, and absolute bad in this world. I'm beginning to believe more and more that people (including myself) who want to say there is no absolute truth are more afraid of there actually being an absolute truth than anything else. That's the case for me, at least. That line of no moral relativity that has our culture brainwashed has done its work on me as well.

Our pastor yesterday gave an excellent sermon. He was talking about how if we just come to church and listen and do nothing with the information, he'd rather we find a different church. Action is one of the cornerstones of our faith, and if we won't trust God and just take action even though we're not quite sure what He's doing, He would rather we not feign a relationship at all.

This pervasive fear in my life is due, in part at least, to a chemical balance in my brain. I also wonder, though, if I've given Satan so much power by just trying to control, by feeling like I can't enjoy the smaller moments in my life because something bad might be right around the corner. These feelings are not from God. Peace that passes all understanding is from God. I get frustrated that I don't have it, but how could I when it's hit or miss if I actually get my Bible read and spend time in prayer with Him?

I know this is all so elementary, so if you've read this far and are thinking, "Well, duh, I knew this in 2nd grade," I apologize. It is all fairly new concepts to me.

I was at the Mexican restaurant with Scott on Saturday night; we were talking about the moustachioed Mexican singer sounding like maybe he singlehandedly came up with the soundtrack for Napoleon Dynamite. It was fun. I was dressed up; I felt beautiful. We were eating $7 meals, but we didn't care. We were together and just having a great time.

I had a wonderful dream Saturday afternoon. I dreamt I was about 7 and on my grandparents' farm. My grandfather was teaching me how to ride my mom's old bike. It was heaven. The breeze shifting through the trees, the sound of the old barn door squeaking, cows in distant fields mooing their melodies. I woke up so abruptly and when I realized my grandfather is gone, my heart ached. I called my grandma and talked to her for a few minutes, and relayed this dream and the feelings that went with it to Scott that night.

The conversation shifted to my brothers. We talked about my brothers Nathan and Michael, who last March flew to North Dakota to help my grandfather die. They wiped his face, hugged him and hugged him, sat with him, sobbing, during his final breaths on this earth. My brother wrote me an email about how he was so glad he had been there, how that experience was one of the hardest in his life so far, how the meaning of everything in those single moments seemed to overshadow all else.

I do wonder what gave my grandfather hope those 5 years in that nursing home. We'd visit him and do sing-alongs, and whenever we sang, "When the Roll is called up Yonder," you always heard my grandpa shouting as loudly as he could, "I'LL BE THERE!" He truly believed it. He knew that's where he was going. He believed that life was more than serving self and the here and now, that eternity was at stake. He didn't believe that a pretty coffin and cold ground were his destiny. He held the truth of life in his heart.

I can't help but feel that I am getting soft nudges from the King of the Universe in all areas of my life. And I keep wondering why he cares about me, when there are 6 billion more like me all over the globe. The fact that He cares for me is something that I'm not sure I believe.

I want desperately for it to be true.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

DOOZY

It has been such an interesting, compelling weekend. A friend I know posts placeholders for posts that are coming. This should be a doozy. I can feel the words seeping out of my pores. For now, I must go mall-walking (yes, I'm officially OLD).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

notes from the psychiatrist's waiting room

The guy next to me sounds exactly like my neighbor across the street who turns on everyone's outdoor water faucets and runs away - either him or George Bush.

Why is everyone walking out with free samples of the same drug?

Gog oh God how am I going to stay sane while she's on the operating table for 9 hours?

I need to stop trying to clinically diagnose everyone in this room.

I need to eat more for health's sake and less for weigiht loss's sake.

I'm tired of being afraid.

What's that smell?

I think I need to work on breathing in and breathing out.

I am tired.

Why does the guy next to me seem to be talking on the phone to the law offie that is helping him to sue this practice?

I am tired.

I need to go to B & B works and get a different kind of lotion.

***********

She scribbled and scribbled in her notepad quite furiously. Told me I needed a higher dose of medication, and that, no, thinking about someone close to me's demise like a loop in my head all day is NOT normal.

I walked out of the office with that same drug everyone else had.
Gosh darn drug reps.

I took the medication (listed on the internet as an antipsychotic - nice), at first feeling like I had done some hasheesh, and then having a racing heartbeat and joint pain. No more Abillify (what high guy thinks up the names of these medicines?) for me.

I give you these notes not only in the interest of self-disclosure, but also because I hope someone out there reading this no longer feels like they are alone. I have felt that way for many, many years. Unless you have lived with an anxiety disorder/OCD it's hard to know what it's like.

The end.

Friday, January 18, 2008

turd

I thought it would be all cute to let Asher crawl around naked, since he is fascinated with his pen*is. The idea backfired - I just discovered a turd on the playroom carpet.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

magic number

I was going to write another post about how I feel depressed and yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn... boring, boring. You might wake up with some drool in your keyboard if I keep going that avenue.

so, today I visited a blog where the author has a baby Asher's age and three other kids and stated she wants 2 more.

Here's my question. How many kids do you want? What number is the "perfect" number? If you're older and are done residing in kid-having valley, how many children did you have in mind at the outset of your marraige? Did it change after you had a few? How do you view it all now?

I would be the first to tell you that all of this balances very precariously on something we call "God's Will for our Lives." Being someone who has experienced the devastating loss of a very-much-wanted little twin and also having had a child with some pretty pressing physical issues, I realize that it's not just, "I want to get pregnant and so I will and let's have another baby," as most people experience. I've been friends with too many people who have had problems as well to be that naive.

That said (and totally ignored, for the purposes of this conversation), what is your magic number? No saying, "Whatever God has for us" allowed, unless you really are using no birth control and don't pay attention to that time of the month or anything. I know I have Catholic friends who do that. Which sort of brings me to, "Isn't God really willing the number of children in all of our families? He can get past a birth control pill if He wants to, can't He? Isn't he strong enough? Or no? And didn't He make us smart enough to make some of our own choices in these matters?

So, anyway. That's really another discussion entirely.

I'll start.

My "magic" number was 5. 5 kids. The word "kids" sort of makes me think of a pack of tiny goats, so I'll say "children". I babysat this awesome family with 5 kids, all 2 years apart, ages 8, 6, 4, 2 and newborn when I started babysitting. It was FUN. Always something going on. I would march the kids around the house in January when they were getting restless; we'd find money in the couch and have silent auctions on my old stuff; they'd play and wrestle and get annoyed with each other. I grew up with 3 older brothers and LOVED a big family. My mom said that at the outset, she and my dad had decided they would have 2 children. After 2, it didn't feel "complete". They had another. And then another, me. Yes, completeness ensued. They just felt like they were done. Wouldn't the world have been a sad place if they'd stuck to their original decision????? My mom just said she felt like the family was "complete" after the birth of me.

Now that we've had 2, I could see us having another when Asher is 3 or 4. Or maybe we should just have another so they're all pretty close in age. I just don't feel DONE. But maybe that's because I like the expectation and picking out the names and all that jazz. Maybe I could have 7 kids and still not feel DONE. I go back and forth like a see-saw. Scott just sort of watches me go back and forth and laughs. I'm not so in love with pregnancy. I would love to adopt, even an older child when our bio kids are older and in school. Scott's not so much in love with that idea. I am constantly naming our future children. In the running are Ezra, Moses, Caridee, Daisy, Poppy, Swanson, and Soren. (the last two, sadly, have been vetoed.) Part of me doesn't want to have any more bio kids because 2 out of 3 of them have had very significant birth defects (which explains partly why I was such a nut ball when pregnant with Asher - my odds going into it weren't so good). And what about infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDs, cancer, car accidents, birth defects, birth defects, birth defects? (See how I like to live in the land of fear?)

I have had this conversation with lots of people, and have heard this conversation being had in many circles. What is your magic number? How did you get there?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

need

I really, really need it to be Friday so I can go to the psychiatrist. I really, really need to get a handle on this anxiety. I feel guilty about everything. I feel sad about everything. I am so anxious. What is wrong with me?

funny

Lately Lucy has been singing, "Ring around the Rosie". Well, lots of times I'll be out of the room, but every time I hear "we all fall down" I hear Asher crying. Turns out she sings, "Asher, Asher, you all fall down" and then pushes him over. Because that's what the song says.

what a difference a year makes!

1 year ago today, 9:17 am



1 month




2 months




3 months




4 months




5 months




6 months



7 months


8 months


9 months


10 months


11 months


12 months



We are now off to the store to buy terrible-for-you cupcakes with tons of frosting to have for lunch in celebration. :) Also, can anyone tell me if sippy cups with the numbers 2 and 5 on the bottom are bad, or is it just 1, 3, 6, and 7? Or is it a total marketing ploy? Have you ever seen such enormous lips on a caucasian newborn, and would you agree with me that he got cute around 4 months?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

life at any cost - brain dump

When you have a 1 year old and a 2 year old sometimes all you get to eat for dinner is a handful of chips and some 7-up.

It's interesting to me how the older I get the less "black and white" things seem. Stay with me here. It used to be that I would see a premature baby in an isolette and think, "How could ANYONE ever think that aborting that baby would be an answer? How can the medical establishment work so hard and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars keeping that baby alive, yet it's perfectly legal to kill a 25-week fetus in certain states in our country? How is this possible?"

I am realizing more and more that the lines on such things are more blurred than I would like them to be. I have a very good friend who is pretty adamantly pro-choice, and she just said the other day that she really couldn't say that women shouldn't smoke during their pregnancies because they might hurt the baby, if she believes that abortion is ok. I'm not using her name because I probably got what she said wrong. But anyway, it was about being intellectually honest and not sticking with a point just because you were going to be blind and not see the situation both ways. I admire that.

I read somewhere that the medical cost to keep a micro preemie alive is $850,000.00, and that's just for a month. Many are in the hospital for 3 or 4 months, or even 5.

Pro-lifers view a very very small baby as a sign, a lightning bolt, even, from GOd to the pro-choicers that all life is precious. I could even link you to a blog where I posted such a sentiment, but it sort of embarasses me so I'm not going to.

I can't help but have a nagging thought in the back of my mind that wonders where the line should be drawn. How do we decide? It's impossible. Many preemies end up with years and years of painful surgeries, seizures, eye problems, severe mental retardation, cerebral palsy (I guess that would be considered severe mental retardation).

Scott and I talked before each child was born about what would happen if the baby came early. At what point would we say, "Don't do any medical intervention; just let us hold the baby and let the baby go." Would it be 24 weeks? 26? 28? A lady I worked with said she would say that at 29 weeks. If the baby arrived before 29 weeks she and her husband didn't want any sort of medical intervention put into place.

I think all this is fine and dandy to put into theory, but if we were really sitting there and our tiny tiny baby needed a ventilator, what would we do? What is the RIGHT thing to do? Since the Bible doesn't talk about prematurity and birth defects and and the ins and outs of the medical world, we're pretty much left to our own sad, sad little devices.

Man, my blog is random.

And yes, the Bible is pretty clear that we are to defend life. But what does that mean? Keeping a baby alive on a ventilator for months and months, even if that baby has no chance of being alive on his or her own? Does it mean the government footing the bill for one tiny preemie while elementary-school-age children go without food because there just isn't enough money to go around? What are the right things to do in these cases?

It's easy for me to say that abortion is so wrong because I have a support network and I can't imagine myself in a situation where I wouldn't have people there to help me love and raise a baby, even were Scott not there. Some recent things that have happened in my life make me wonder why I have been so hard-nosed about the plight of other women. I wonder how I can be so cold in being so judgemental over a mom choosing an abortion after being given a diagnosis of a Trisomy or even an omphalocele. I was wondering this morning, after reading several stories of moms who have given birth to babies who have died shortly after birth, what would I do in that situation? I wonder at what point is the line crossed, when compassion in any form is left at the roadside because we believe in LIFE AT ANY COST?

This post isn't eloquent and the grammar is badly parsed. Sorry, I'm covered in chicken juice and need a shower.

I am just wondering these things, that's all.

Monday, January 14, 2008

B

I hadn't heard from you for awhile, which is unusual. You are SUCH a phone talker. It is so funny to me how we are still such good friends; me being not such a fan of the phone. I thought it was odd I had not heard from you in 3 weeks, especially since you were due with your baby on January 12.

I just got off of the phone with you; a 2 hour conversation. Your son was stillborn. You gave birth to him all by yourself. You were alone.

I told you you were strong, you said, "No, I'm resilient. Strong means I go out and do things; resilient means I just survive."

I love you, B. You know I'm always here for you. I know you are hurting so so much.

I've been eating candy and lying around all day. I just wish I were with you, just to sit with you and tell you there is hope. I love you.

I love you.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

1


Dear Asher,

Today we had your first birthday party. It was a small family affair. I enjoyed it so much, son. I enjoyed it so much. While your sister was busy rubbing Shrek play-doh into the carpet or playing with your new toys, you were often situated snugly in someone's lap or stuffing cake into your mouth.

I feel bad that you haven't gotten as much attention as you have deserved these past few months. In part that's due to Lucy needing some more attention, and in part that's just the plight of the second child. I was looking through old photo albums and came across some of Lucy at one year of age. I was thinking how much more I love her now than I did then, if you can quantify such a thing. Then I was thinking that there is no way possible for me to love you more than I do today.

You were so busy all day, doing the happy sigh. You usually reserve the happy sigh for the bathtub or cuddling with Sissa, but I saw the happy sigh make its appearance quite a few times today.

After the party I let you nurse, and you willingly snuggled up to me. At the end of the day, you were happy to come back to my arms. I hope you always know that, son, whether it be your 5th, 16th, or 42nd birthday we are celebrating:

In these arms you will always find home. Always, always, home.

I love you Ashy,

Mom

pssst...for more photos go here, but watch the video first!...

Asher's 1st Birthday Party


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

food

I am 5 feet 11 inches tall and I weigh 168.2 pounds, according to this morning's weigh-in.
I am depressed.
Why am I so obsesed with my weight? Why did I go to a chili cook-off last night and get so annoyed later that I had the equivalent of a big bowl of chili and a piece and a half of carrot cake when I had eaten all of my points for the day before dinner? Why didn't I just enjoy the food?

The other day I weighed in at 164 pounds, but I still wasn't happy. I had attained my goal weight. I should have been jumping for joy, right? But my thought at that point was, "Now what?" Now I've attained my goal. I should have heard bells ringing and seraphim singing. But nothing. I didn't hear anything. I didn't hear anything but a creepy voice in the back of my head saying, "Well, 162 would be really nice, you know."

I am terrified of being 170 pounds again. I am terrified of being back in a size 10. I am terrified of gaining weight.

Why?

I am trying to think this through rationally. I am wondering 2 things. The first is this: Why am I so terrified of gaining a few pounds?

I live with a television that teaches me every day I am not good enough. I am not skinny enough, I'm getting wrinkles, my legs are not toned, my breath is bad. I need a new shirt, new toothbrush heads, my kids need new shoes. The dishwashing detergent I am using won't clean as well as the one my tv recommends; my kids won't succeed unless I put them in preschool. I need a new house loan, credit cards with my picture on them, a dating service that promises me the love of my life. I am bombarded with messages all day long that tell me to be unsatisfied.

Is it any wonder, then, that 164 wasn't enough? That I longed for something more?

Today we have Asher's first birthday party. We're doing a family party. Even that is a big party. I am excited but nervous because there will be DELICIOUS, heavenly cake there. This morning we are going to a party for one of Lucy's friends. You can bet they will have cake there, too. I am so afraid of getting on the scale tomorrow and seeing 169.

This is all related in some way to my desire to be accepted by others. If I weigh more I won't be as desirable as a friend, a wife, a mother.

How screwed up is that?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

warm fuzzies

I was walking by Lucy sitting at the table playing:

"Mama, come sit wif me!"
"Why do you want me to sit with you?"
"Well, cuz I just like you."

Ok, it was really, really sweet when she said it. And if you have a 2 year old or have ever had one you know what I mean.

question

Is anyone else obsessively refreshing while their kids run willy nilly, or is it just me?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

stuff

I discussed this with a friend: it is strange to me that alot of blogs I read are authored by people with perfect lives. I just went through my bloglines and deleted a bunch of blogs that depress me every time I visit. These people never have a bad day or take their 1-year-old to bed with them and pacify him with chocolate so they can finish their book uninterrupted (I'm not saying that I do this). Frankly, that's boring to me. The whole, "My life is so great!" just bores me.

The best thing about blogging for me is that I can see that other people have some of the same struggles I do. Their daughters hate getting their hair combed and wear Diego shoes even though the Stride Rites are SO much cuter and they are afraid of being judged because their kids don't look perfect. Their houses are dirty and they get bored staying at home sometimes. Ah, you feel that? That was me, breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that I'm not the only one. Knowing that you know and I know we LOVE our kids and we love staying home, but sometimes it gets tedious and boring. And that's ok.

On that note, I was thinking the other day that I am so so thankful that Scott has never once pressured me to go and get a job. Not one stinking time. It sure would be helpful, what with new anuses and such being profferred around these parts. Medical bills, yo. But, no. He has not said it ONCE. When I was at the portrait place the other day this couple next to me was chatting. "You know, hon, you really should get some hours in. I'm tired of being the only one who works." "I know, I just enjoy so much being home with the baby. I just don't want to put her in day care." "Well, just so you know, I want you to have more hours by February."

I sat there realizing that not everyone has a husband who is fine with a 2-bedroom house and driving an Oldsmobile 99. Scott sacrifices so much for our family. And I do, too, and he realizes that. That just makes me fall in love with him more.

I went to NY & Co the other day and got some stretchy pants. I got a medium tall; thinking that that size was so small! I took them home and tried them on and they started falling down. I think I was wearing a training bra the last time I wore a small in anything, so I was quite excited to be purchasing a "small" tall. The 3 blueberry muffins from this morning and the chocolate Asher and I just ate I'm sure negates some of that, but it is exciting nonetheless.

My mom is worried that I will lose too much weight; become OCD about weight loss all of a sudden. I suppose that could happen, mainly because it feels good to be so in control of something. I can see how eating disorders are born. However, I'm good at this weight and am just in the maintenance stage. Do you ever think that sometimes we women like to be in the "I need to lose weight" stage, because it gives us a "someday" to dream about? When I had fallen below my goal weight the other day I actually thought to myself, "Ok, NOW what?" Like, what's next? I suppose I could change the crappy diaper I smell, but that wouldn't be as much fun as losing more weight. My son is cute. I need to post some pictures for you.

I find it funny that I used to be horrified at the thought of "extended nursing", and Asher will be 1 year old in one week. He is still nursing. Whenever he nurses around my mother in law she looks like she just might catch the Bubonic plague if she looks at us. It is amusing and actually kind of funny.

Lucy told me the other day that her cd was all "jacked up". We have Scott to thank for that one.

Oh, THIS is funny. I was laughing, hard. The other day (everything happens 'the other day') Scott was telling me that every time I am on the pill I get pregnant. I was on the pill with Lucy, I got pregnant. I was on the pill with Asher, I got pregnant. Here was our conversation, which I would like to entitle "Mars and Venus" (don't worry; I told him it would be blogged.)

I wasn't on the pill when I got pregnant with Asher. We were trying to have a baby.
We were? I didn't know that!
Remember when I was trying to wean her because I wanted to start trying again?
Oh, I thought you were just tired of her biting you.
Remember when I told you, "I'm ovulating! Now's the time!" What did you think I meant by that?
I just thought you meant you were really in the mood!
**************
Our new schedule thing is going really well. My mom claims that we shouldn't have to have a schedule but I realize we NEED one. For my sanity. I've gone to bed at 8:30 the past two nights and it works for me. And it also works for me to put the kids to bed at 7 pm. NICE. I'm really sorry you have nothing better to read than this crap about our schedule.

I don't think I've written anything witty in months.

Sunday morning I wore a dress (size medium!) and made sure to walk around in front of the tv so Scott would notice it. He did, and then I felt like a bit of a tool.

Do you ever feel like you're in a haze? I feel a bit (ok, VERY) withdrawn from social interaction. I don't know if it's the month of January or what. I hope it passes soon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tricia

My friend Emily had this family's story on her blog, and I know they would appreciate all the prayers of you all, too. Tricia was going to have a double lung transplant for her cystic fibrosis until she learned she was pregnant. She had her baby today, a girl, and she's 1 pound, 6 ounces. They had to take her right at 24 weeks - the cusp of viability. Both mom and baby are critical.

Please pray!

nagsheader.blogspot.com

Monday, January 7, 2008

something bad

I went to see SL today. She agrees that I need to up my antidepressant. The unwarranted freaky thoughts are coming more often, so I am working harder at prayer, exercise, good diet. I'm also continuing the cognitive behavior therapy but need an extra boost.



We were discussing how all of my fears center around things that haven't happened but COULD happen. I told her I feel guilty that my kids are healthy and other people's kids aren't. She looked at me for a minute and said, "Um, your kids AREN'T healthy. You just told me about Lucy's 9 hour surgery like someone else would tell me about changing toothpastes! Don't you see? You're handling something with so much grace that other people would just be falling apart over. You decided that no one gave you a choice, so you are doing the best you can. Don't you see? You work very well in crisis. I have no doubt that you could handle anything thrown your way. I don't say that to alot of people."



She was amazed that I'm facing a life of unknowns with Lucy with so much peace. I told her it's odd that I'm afraid of something happening to Lucy, but it's not the fear of something happening to her during surgery, it's more just this abstract fear...that THING that jumps at you from the corner that you weren't expecting. She told me I'm not afraid of something happening to Lucy during the surgery because I know she is in very good hands and it is calculated risk. But I have no control over the "what ifs" that constantly plague me. She was telling me about how we have handled the unexpected bad news in the past very well, and at one point THOSE things were the THING waiting to jump out at us. It's almost like I have more anxiety over something bad happening than if it actually happened. If it actually happened, I would jump into action. But since I am sort of in this state of limbo, I am so fearful of the "something bad" when in reality I am LIVING in "something bad". Is it strange I have never thought of it this way?



We've been told our kid will probably never be able to be continent. Who knows if she can have babies. (Then again, all of that is speculation at this point - and I always say, NO one knows if they can have babies until they try.) Who knows if a pull-through will work. Who knows? Who can know? I don't know and I am fine. I am surprised I'm not a slobbery mess on the floor. But then again I'm not, because I have always known I have a strong spirit. We WILL get through this. WE WILL.



When I was in high school, I told God I could handle a special needs child. I guess he agreed. A friend I met in Cincinnati was telling me how other people felt sorry for her with her son's issues, but how she and her husband felt sorry for other people that they didn't have a baby like Ben! I agree. I feel sorry for you that you don't have a kid like Lucy. She is funny, and smart, and incredibly strong. She's sweet and wears her heart on her sleeve and ohmygosh don't mess with her little brother. She's amazing.



I love you so much, my little bella. When you read this someday I hope you see in yourself the same things I do. I know I say it to you every day, but you are our little gift.



...and you definitely have a mind of your own...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

search

We are just looking around at houses; putting our feelers out. It's a bit daunting when you know you will probably stay in the place 20 years! (We hate to move.) What were your house requirements? Mine so far are:
2-car garage
new windows (10 years old or newer)
hardwood floors
at least 3 bedrooms
at least 2 bathrooms
eat-in kitchen

What were your requirements?

Friday, January 4, 2008

what am I missing?

I was looking around at medical literature for a better drug than I'm currently on for management of OCD. I came across this particular gem of a paragraph:

Luvox, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft are called SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, while Anafranil is an older tricyclic antidepressant or SRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) that has effects on other chemical messengers besides serotonin and is thus not selective for serotonin.. All of these drugs commonly produce se*xual side effects in both se*xes that may range from lowering of se*xual drive to delayed ability to have an o*rgasm to complete inability to have an er*ection or orgas*m. Interestingly, there is an uncommon side effect that has been reported where patients have spontaneous org*asms while yawning. This must be quite uncommon since no patient has ever told me of such a symptom, and when patients yawn in my office, they always look bored, not excited. Occasional patients report increased interest in se*xual activity.

fear

I let fear dictate my decisions.
I let fear peek its face over my happiness, my sunshine in the morning.
I let fear become the reason I live.
In 2008, I am making a conscious decision each day to kick that fear out the door.
Nothing more,
nothing less.
I can do it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

been a while

How funny are these?







Do you notice now I post once a week? This is what happens when the baby decides to crawl the day after Christmas. He has started and into everything. When I tell you Lucy just sat and played I am not exaggerating, for that is precisely what she did. Asher has already figured out how to pull up and is quite delighted with himself. On top of that, he poops his pants 6 times a day (again, not exaggerating.) He is so RAMBUNCTIOUS. For the first time today I bought hard-core baby-proofing stuff. The only thing we used before was outlet covers.

Yesterday Scott and I were in the living room and we noticed suddenly the kids were nowhere in sight. We heard them giggling in the kitchen. "Did you close the door?" he asked me. At the precise moment he said "door" we heard a series of booms and then a ghastly scream. Yes, baby's first fall down the stairs.






My friend Jess has unwittingly created an addict of me. I am addicted to the show "Big Love" about modern day polygamists. I am just itching to get season 2 online (NETFLIX TAKES TOO LONG!) and can't find it anywhere.

I have no time or brain to write eloquently any more. Who are these people who want 3 and more kids? Is there something wrong with me that I can't even think about another baby at this point? And when people ask if we are having more I can't imagine it? My mom claims 4 was a breeze. Huh? Just lately I've been SO looking forward to bedtime each night. These kids take ENERGY. I feel like I have to preface that with, "But you know I love them!" I remember when I was babysitting I would think, "Only 2 hours until their parents get home!" Now sometimes I wonder where their parents are, and just what exactly are they doing out so late?

So, yeah, no time for an eloquent post, I was positively spoiled at Christmas. Here's the haul:
New York and company gift card, Target gift card, Beauty Brands gift card, gift card to my favorite pan asian restaurant here in the area, 2 gift cards to our favorite dinner theatre, a victoria's secret very sexy perfume gift set, a free night of babysitting, an origins ginger rush gift set, "captivating" by john and stasi eldridge (AWESOME BOOK), the new sara groves cd.

What did you get? Do you feel overwhelmed with 2 kids? Am I on some sort of narcotic I dont' know about that makes me unable to handle more than that? What is wrong with me?