Friday, February 25, 2011

tired

The emotions of  two days ago combined with Baby Man up every 2 hours (or more) has me exhausted this morning. I'm going to feed him, then tell the kids it's naptime after Lu gets home from school and have a nap myself.

Baby Man had a visit yesterday and I got to see Dad again. Court is this Monday. I will update. He is lying on the bed by the computer, giggling and smiling. He doesn't have an earthly clue.

Could you please pray for this little guy and his future? Sometimes I get tired of defending my position that we are both really rooting for his dad. People seem to think that we actually have control over the outcome of his case, anyway, and that is amusing to me.

Basically, as foster parents, you show up, tell the judge how the child is doing, leave your emotions out of it, and move on with your day.

It just really sort of blows my mind that a judge can change the course of a child's life with a gavel.

I have more thoughts on the "good" ultrasound, I suppose the biggest one is that I am not willing to allow my fears get the best of me. I've done so well up to this point and I have to continue to sludge through the cobwebs in my brain that like to think of worst case scenario.

I'm realizing that thinking through all those fears is me actually SINNING. Yes, sinning. I said it. In entertaining lies and fears, I am not enjoying a blessing God has given me. Instead I'm focusing on things God never intended for me to focus on.

This is the last time I get to carry life, and I'm going to enjoy EACH day with her that I have. I am NOT going to wish for her due date, etc., because I did that with my pregnancy with Asher and spent so much time worrying that I felt like I missed on a huge section of Lucy's development from 15 months to about 22.

It's also a little weird, being in that "loss" or "losing" place for so long. I definitely feel a sort of detachment to this baby and I don't want to feel that way. I want her to have a name, so I can begin the bonding thing, call her by her name, etc. I used to think that was silly but I think it will help me.

I also think that it's hard to imagine July coming around, our family gathering at the hospital, Lucy and Asher the proud big siblings, smiling at their perfectly healthy, crying, breathing, lovely little sister. It takes quite alot of faith for me to imagine that scenario. I'm going to need alot of help from my dear friends in staying on the straight and narrow and not deviating to the "what ifs". (That'd be you.)

I expected to feel sweet relief after the ultrasound, but instead I feel this strange feeling that now the stakes are higher...now we know that this is not some ambiguous "baby", but a little girl with a little personality and a little nose that looks just like her sister's. Whenever I hear of someone having a perfectly healthy baby with no need for the NICU I think, "Well, that decreases my chances of having the same."

DUMB!

The only names we have agreed on are Violet and Abigail. I have friends with daughters with those names, so it's back to the drawing board. Oddly enough, we have two favorites that are not even on the top 1000 list. I liked my maiden name for a first name but he claimed it's too masculine. It probably is.

My aunt is fighting cancer. Read her new post about EXPECTING God to heal and restore.

Sure convincted me.

Will post more pictures and video soon. And yes, just in case you were wondering, I want to chomp on her little baby arm.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

thank you Lord

I got up at 2:30 this morning, unable to sleep beyond that.

I spent alot of time praying, thinking, wondering.

Met Dawn at the office at 9:15, wanted to vomit when they called me back.

Thought I hadn't felt the baby move, maybe the heart had stopped and we would find out today.

Laid back on that table, asked the sonographer to please keep talking to me the whole time.

I can't stand silent sonograms.

What we saw today may or may not have made me cry in the car.

Beautiful, perfect, lovely...

little sister.
She has Lucy's nose and lack of chin. I remember clearly the doctor telling us during Lucy's scan that the lack of a chin could point to chromosomal problems. :) Guess it is just our genetics. :)

It seemed to take an eternity for them to look at her heart. I kept asking why they were looking so much. They said it looked perfect.

I may or may not have thrown up when I got home, from sheer nerves.

Exhaustion.

Time to take a nap, to let it sink in.

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all of your support, every one of you.

I can't believe this.

Will be back later with the longer version of the story and some video of our funny doctor.

Little sister.

Just can't believe it.

see you on the flip side

In the interest of distracting my mind, check out this photo of Scott's mom. Family resemblance, anyone?
Romans 6:8 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Thank you, Al, for your softspoken encouragement and for that verse.

Thank you to all of you for taking this journey with me.

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

in Christ alone

I start sobbing every time the big black worship leader with the killer voice at our church starts the opening chords to this song. (And yes, it's important that he's black. HIS VOICE IS AMAZING.)

This morning my dad came over to watch Asher and BM (not Bowel Movement, Baby Man) while I went to the school to be the parent helper in Lucy's class.

When I came back, my dad, ever the engineer, told me how he'd cleaned all the sticky spots off of the kitchen floor, and shouldn't I focus on really getting the nitty gritty off of the floors at least once a week?

"Wow," I said. "I was actually feeling good this morning that after spending a night up with a baby and before rushing off to help with Lucy's class that things were picked up, the kitchen counters were clean, and the dishwasher was running."

"Well, I really get the nitty gritty stuff when I clean," he said.

and I said, "yeah, and you aren't gestating with 3 kids under the age of 6," I said.

Then, I made some lame excuse about needing to check something. I went into Scott and my bathroom and I cried, quietly.

No, I sobbed. "Rachel, you're freaking 31 years old. Wipe your freaking eyes and don't let your dad see you cry. It's called constructive criticism," I whispered.

And then I found an expired prescription for pink eye medicine and squirted it in my eyes.

And then I realized that I wasn't crying about the quirky relationship between my dad and I, or the fact that what he sees as helping I see as criticism, and it was that way when I was 6 and it will be that way when I'm 74.

I was crying about that room, that table. The thing that God is asking me to do, again, when I thought we were done with it. When I had made peace in my heart that it was over. When a secret part of me rejoiced that it was. That God had shut that door and we wouldn't be returning there again, even if there was a small part of me that still wanted it.

I felt like a failure of a parent yesterday because I didn't take the kids outside to play and I've spent more time buying them things to play with than actually playing with them. It wasn't the fact that last night I just felt sick...or that everything everyone said yesterday annoyed me.

Those were symptoms, not the problem.

It's been brewing for awhile now.

So many people say to me, "How are you a foster parent? How do you do it?"

And I want to say back, "Fostering is easy."

It's that taking it back, starting over, remembering that pain 6 years ago, and pain again, and again, and again, that is hard for me.

It's having hope, when hope has been shattered so many times I've lost count.

It's not trusting my body, not trusting that my heart will pump and nourish, that my womb will protect and keep a baby safe.

It's not trusting, because my experiences have told me that trust is not safe.

That trust is foolish.

Man, you should see my keyboard. Covered in tears. Snotting all over the place.

I have tried SO hard to be that normal happy pregnant woman. I have tried so hard to focus on "boy or girl" and "how will we tell people?" The jar of applesauce is waiting for dinner tomorrow night, and the kids are excited to see whether Mama colors it pink or blue for our macaroni and cheese dinner.

But when my experience has been multiple catheters a day, surgeries on my child, ene*ma solutions and countless other procedures we've had to put her through, it's not "just an ultrasound". (The people who say that are never the people who've had a bad one.)

I told my aunt a few weeks ago that the MRI machine she was facing the next day would not change anything that was already there. That is to say, if there was more cancer in her body, the MRI machine wasn't making it so. The MRI is just a diagnostic tool that doctors use to diagnose what is already there.

And now, I need that reassurance about that fricking sonogram machine.

Sorry, your baby's dead.
Something's not right.
There's no heartbeat.
How will you explain this to your babies.

In the hallowed halls of time, though dusty and forgotten, there have been human hurts of all kinds. Children lost, untimely deaths, unfair accusations against innocents, tragedies of all types.

And yet, as I visit those halls in my mind, as I sit down on a granite bench and look at the tatters all around me, I see one truth:

No matter what is seen on that screen tomorrow, no matter how my heart is rocked, no matter what diagnosis could possibly be given, one day those possible hurts will be forgotten in those halls of time.

And in their place?

Glory. Peace. Life.

I will have made that choice that Christ asks all of us to make, even if we deny that He is asking. I will have decided, on this day, that HE is more important to me than any earthly circumstance.

And with one breath, with one sweep of His mighty hand, that hall is rubble.

I will stand amongst His people,

Rejoicing.

Weeping.

Forgetting.

Monday, February 21, 2011

that's my boy

I'm always intrigued when I hear those news stories about some crazed gunman in a wife beater walking into a Wal-Mart and then some random, average Joe taking him down. Later, when they interview the guy he says, "Well, what else was I supposed to do? Stand there and watch?"

I always think to myself, "His mom must be so proud!"

I read this article in Parenting magazine (gag) about this woman who said her kids are coddled and that's just part of being a kid in 2011. (more gagging)

Really? That's the point?

On Saturday night Lu and Asher were playing with our little neighbor boy. Lu has been known to get jealous of the fact that Asher and neighbor boy are close. On this special little occasion, Scott turned around and saw Lucy leaning over neighbor boy, pummeling him in the face.

They have been known to annoy each other, but this was something else. They were FIGHTING.

Asher ran over there, and Scott said it was the funniest thing he's ever seen. He grabbed Lucy BY THE PONYTAIL and yanked her off of his best friend, tossing her to the grond like a rag doll.

Then, he bent over neighbor boy and said, "Are you OK?" and helped him up.

Lucy was so stunned she didn't have anything to say.

The story came out that Lu was just pestering neighbor boy and, when he finally got annoyed and told her to go away, she started trying to get him to fight. When he fought to defend himself, she hit him (lovely).

Asher saw what was going on and wouldn't stand for it.

When we asked Asher why he did what he did, he stated, "I can't watch my friends get hurt. He was in trouble."

Asher has the facial bruise to prove it, but I took the opportunity to tell him that he was just like a super hero and a police man, protecting someone who was being beat up.

He kept exclaiming over and over, "I'm a super hero! I got Lucy! I'm a big boy!"

As a reward, Lucy got to go to bed early without dessert (oh, the wailing going on at that wailing wall), and Asher got to go on a ride with me to pick up a Craigslist item from a lady in the country. He kind of looked like a peppy puppy, head out the window, yelling, "I'm a super hero!!!!!!!!!!"

We've always told the kids that you have to protect the little ones, or people who have trouble protecting themselves. We talk alot about caring for Baby Man because he's too little and no one else can care for him right now. When they got gift money for their birthdays I told them how God wants us to donate part of what we receive to others, because everything we have comes from God.

Lucy spent awhile picking out a tear-free baby wash, and Asher picked pirate socks...all for Baby Man.

I was proud.

So, anyway. Just bragging on my kids for a minute.

If you ever hear that Asher ran into a blazing building to rescue some little kids stuck on the 4th floor, you can think it.

Yes, I'm proud.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

60 hours

until our ultrasound.

In the interest of keeping me distracted, what do you think?

Boy or girl?

Of course, that's boy or girl with all the parts intact, etc...

I will be shocked if this baby is a girl. What do you think?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

no

For a variety of reasons, and after 3 hours of prayer, we said "no".

It was a clear answer and I am thankful for it.

Can't say it doesn't hurt my heart a little. :)

least

Prayed, like last time, that if we were supposed to take her, the agency would call back.

Didn't think they would.

They did.

Just a random phone call on a Thursday afternoon...

and this verse keeps running through my head... "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me...."

Just

got a call for a 3 year old girl...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

one week from today

One week from today I will once again enter that quiet ultrasound room.

One week from today we'll know alot more about this baby.

One week from today we hope to see a beautifully formed heart, kidneys, brain, spine, skull, placenta.

One week from today we hope to know if we are expecting a boy or a girl.

One week from today our child will be named (hopefully)! I loved calling Lucy by her name while she was in utero.

One week from today my heart will be pounding quickly and I'll be trying not to vomit.

But, there's alot of living to do in that space, that week, between now and then.

You know what? God's got it. He holds that room, He's got that appointment, He's got our baby in the palm of His hand.

One week from today I face again one of my greatest fears in that sacred room where so many tears have been shed, dreams smashed and then rebuilt.

And I'll be trusting Him with my whole heart,

One week from today.

and then she was 6

We took her out to dinner. She was delighted the whole way through.

"How did they know I wanted a pink candle in my dessert?" she asked, full of that new kind of wonder we all lose when we enter double-digits.

The way home, I look at her dad, stumbling through the words. "Sometimes, it's hard to believe..." I trail off.

"She's sitting in the back seat?" he says.

"Yeah. That. That's exactly it." We lock eyes for a minute, he and I, sharing the communion of two who only know things that we know. Seen what we've seen.

I look in the rearview mirror, see an ordinary little girl with two hair bows on one side of her head, strategically placed, smiling sleepily and clutching her birthday balloon.

Tear, undeterred, makes that familiar sojourn down the side of my face.

Ordinary.
Right.

Monday, February 14, 2011

17 week belly


I personally like the view in the background. I hesitated sharing this because, well, honestly? If I weren't pregnant right now I wouldn't be looking at someone else's belly shots. Too painful.

So, do I continue sharing, or shut up about it? I've always been honest about my hurts on this blog, sometimes painfully so...and I feel like I should be honest about the joys, too.

Will post a full-body pic too. I know you are all on tenterhooks waiting for this. I actually have a belly this time as I've been puking so much I've only gained 4 pounds. With Lucy, at this point, I had gained 24. :) And the gain just went up and up after all of the horrible ultrasounds. 65 pounds later, I was pushing her stroller up a hill and Scott said, "Wow, you've sure got some junk in the trunk!"

Ah...story for another day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"me time"

You know, I'd better post something instead of nothing.

After two days of stomach flu puking and not being able to keep anything down, Scott surprised me by bringing home my favorite, the thing I subsist on:
I can sort get away with buying it myself, too, since I have Baby man now. It's *ahem* for him.

I have had friends tell me that Scott needs to watch the kids more so I can have "me" time. He does watch the kids, once every couple of weeks so I can do something. I remember my mom always saying that my dad always pretty much let her do what she wanted to, make the decisions she wanted to, have however many children she wanted to (a huge one for alot of couples), but she did the majority of the work with the kids.

Maybe we live in a different world today, but I honestly don't feel "cheated" because I have to do most of the work with the kids. I feel like it's a very VERY fair trade for being able to have another baby, be a foster parent with two biological children already, never being pressured by him to get a job outside the home, etc., etc.

If he needs some "decompression time" alone at the house, I'm all for it! You see, to me, it's worth the trade-off.

And, the weird thing is, my evenings at home I LOVE. I don't feel the need to be "away" from what I, we, have right here at home. My favorite times are spent watching tv or talking with him. He's my best friend. I love the family and the life that we've built. Isn't that the way it should be?

I feel like there are so many people looking beyond what they have to externals...maybe it's part of the reason why our society is breaking down. Twitter, facebook, BLOGS, cell phones, errands, LIFE.

It's no longer just watching your kids play at the park...its' being inundated constantly with demands, expectations, what you think you SHOULD be doing with your time.

Sorry, just needed to get that off of my chest. Maybe I'm not liberated enough. Who knows? Each couple's relationship is different. I'm just realizing that our relationship is probably more like my parents' and less like my friends'.

I can go where I want, do what I want, but alot of times I'll have one or two kids with me. I'd always dreamt of a large family and Scott had "dreamt" of 0 - 2 kids. So in my mind, he's sacrificing alot, too.

Jess, you hear me on this?????

**pushes soapbox back underneath sink**

Tomorrow is Lucy's 6th birthday party. She is SO EXCITED and I am, too.

Belle theme.

Just finished ridding the basement of junk, going to Goodwill and then to Target to get party supplies. We're having cheese fondue! Should be fun. I got a fondue fountain at Aldi, of all places. $15!

Will post a belly pic today. Felt the first OFFICIAL movement yesterday.

Sweeeeeeet.

Can't believe it.




Monday, February 7, 2011

still

Apparently baby is still alive. She heard the heartbeat before she even heard mine.

Asher makes his appearance
 via repeat c-section

She said she wouldn't recommend a VBA2C, which is really, really disappointing. In fact, she highly cautioned against it. I know it's more the establishment talking than it is her voice talking; she pretty much said as much.

The midwife I saw a few times ago said I could do a VBA2C. So, I may be on the search for another practitioner, which totally bums me out. I really like her, alot.

To those of you new to the blog, "how" a baby was born never used to matter to me. I just wanted him or her here, alive. Considering my history, that was an OK thing to expect. Knowing, or being 99.99 % sure that this is my last pregnancy, I was looking forward to not being cut open with scalpels and spending the first 2 days of the baby's life laid up in bed, if I could help it. I also know that the more c-sections one has, the more possible complications with adhesions there are, etc.

Of course, there are loads of times where a mother makes her "birth plan" and is sectioned anyway due to factors outside of her control.

I guess, for me, there have been so many things I haven't gotten to make the choice on in previous pregnancies that this was exciting for me to actually be able to take the wheel and prepare for.

So, I guess I'm frustrated. It looks as though I'm going to have to go to a birth center (don't want to do that - in the 1% chance of rupture, I want to be somewhere where there's an OR available.), or just do the c-section.

They're calling me today to schedule the Level II sono with Dr. 7th Heaven Dad sometime today, so I'll update on that.

Just a little bummed. Of course, all that matters is a healthy baby and mom, so maybe she's telling me what I need to hear.

I don't know.

appointment today

Happy Birthday to my mom and dad. Love you guys, and hope you know it.

Last night I dreamt I gave birth (at home) to septuplets. 3 of them were stillborn and the remaining 4 were a girl and 3 boys. We named them Nathan, Daniel, Michael and Margaret. Then, we were all involved in a mudslide in the cabin we were staying in. ?! I was begging Scott to please stop gathering knick knacks and chotchkes so we could leave, 'WE MIGHT DIE'! and he said, "Oh, there's time."

Then I woke up before the mud slide really hit. There was a wave of water coming after it.

I always dream about water when I am anxious.

This photo has nothing to do with anything but pregnancy but man, that guy is hot.



This morning is my 16 week appointment and I know you won't believe me, any of you who have read this blog for any length of time, but it's been awhile since I've checked for a heartbeat. It's one of my worst fears for the doctor not to be able to find it and then confirming it again on the ultrasound that the baby is dead, but

THIS LIFE IS ABOUT TRUSTING GOD AND FACING FEAR SO THAT'S WHAT I'M DOING.

Doesn't mean my palms aren't sweaty just thinking about it, but I know that even if my worst fears do come true (harm to those I love), God is still a big God. He's carried me through in the past and He will again.

I will update afterwards because there's a chance we might do an ultrasound anyway to check on some random bleeding in my uterus, probably due to the baby aspirin. Some have asked what my regimine is since I have been diagnosed with Factor V Leiden and also MTHFR and also general craziness...the baby aspirin helps with the first two but I'm on my own with the third.

Deep breath, God has a sense of humor, when we signed up for fostering I was so sure I was done being pregnant.

No more maternity waiting rooms, etc....

Yes, God has a sense of humor. It is especially funny when I walk into the waiting room, visibly pregnant, with a 6 week old. Guess I could just have a paunch.

Friday, February 4, 2011

tired

I just told some friends that you can "never say never" about "this being your last pregnancy", etc., but dang it if I don't say that about this one.

I thought I was over the nausea and it's back with a vengeance. That on top of getting up every 3 hours with a newborn has me tired. I'll take any anti-nausea remedies you'd like to give me!

Honestly, I know I have a new baby to look forward to, but in the midst of unending nausea it seems SO far away. 5 months. I am having a pity party for one tonight.

Pictures coming of recent events, and an update on baby man.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

pregnancy post

I would post a 15 week picture here, but I'm too lazy to run downstairs, get the camera, connect it to the computer, etc., etc. It's been a snow day to end all snow days and I've been sorting baby clothes for little man and I'm plumb tired.

Getting here has been hard, and yet I will tell you that this is definitely my last pregnancy. I can't do this again. No matter the outcome of this pregnancy, I am done being pregnant.

You'd think that would make me feel pressure upon myself, pressure to make "sure" everything goes well and I end up with a screaming healthy baby at the end of all this. Oddly enough, I don't have that compulsion.

I know that whatever happens God will build/is building our family in a unique way and it's all a part of that story. Maybe I sound like I am expecting something to go wrong; I suppose in the dark recesses of my mind maybe I am.

I think that's called self-protection.

I am living my life in day-tight compartments, as Dale Carnegie talks about in his book, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living". Great book.

I simply can't let my mind go to all the things that *could* happen. I did that with Asher and was nearly incapacitated at the end of my pregnancy with him. So, I choose instead to put it all in God's hands.

That said, I've decided to do the 18 week sono. I was thinking of not doing it, but as someone suggested, that is giving into fear.

I have a girl name I just love, too. It's very Scandinavian as well. Not sure why I'm feeling the Scandinavian kick...maybe because we're both Scandinavian? Who knows.

This post is boring even me!

The doc I am going to see does these anywhere from 15 - 18 weeks. Just need to call tomorrow and get it scheduled. He reminds me of Stephen Collins, calm demeanor included, so that's a plus:


So, here goes...