Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"she will wind up crazy and hating you"

I am laughing so hard I am crying.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

give me a lift

I *really* am wondering how it's going to be once Baby Man comes back on Friday. The plan is that Phoebe and Asher have a combined medical appointment that day, and then I pick up Baby Man after that.

The long labor day weekend may be interesting, considering it wears me out just to take a shower.

They did forcefully rip out my gonads, so I am not sure why I'm surprised I still hurt.

Scott has taken over the cooking responsibilities, which is awesome. I am excited to see how his menus for this week turn out.

Today I'm feeling guilty still, it seems to come along with the OCD somewhat. I just feel like there are a million things I *should* be doing. Oh, if we could all just get rid of the *shoulds* of life!

Scott is still quarantined and sleeping in the guest bedroom. We both enjoy sleeping in our own beds. Phoebe and I can take up the whole queen bed quite nicely, thank you.

How do you lift your spirits when you're feeling worn-out and blah?

Sunday, August 28, 2011


emo mommy
I'm feeling melancholy this afternoon and I'm sure there are a few reasons for it. I'm tired, my incision hurts, and I miss my cousins.

One cousin moved to Seattle about a month ago because her husband switched jobs. She's alot like me. We both tend to worry and overthink things and it was many a time I would meet her at McDonalds with our 7 combined kids in tow. Now she's as far away geographically as she could get from me without being in water.

The other cousin is in Detroit. I miss her lying on my couch, talking about how she hated her job. I miss roving Target for hours with her. I miss drinking wine and watching stupid tv shows. I miss watching her and Scott laugh at silly things I do.

I am just melancholy today.

We get Baby Man back on Friday, after a 7.5 week hiatus. I was supposed to be healing from my surgeries during all of this time but I still feel like there's healing to be had. We'll just have to take it easy. As Scott said, "It's going to be like getting a new placement, for awhile. It'll be crazy."

Yes, I know it will. I'm not looking forward to the guilty feelings that are sure to come when I'm trying to allocate little me to four needy little dudes and dudettes. If we could handle Baby Man and his brother AND our kids AND the nausea of a new pregnancy in December, we can surely handle four now. I'm not pregnant and nauseated any more.

Don't ever get cryptosporidium. I came down with it Sunday night, and there was a day this last week where I finally understood how people with cancer, etc., and who constantly feel nauseated just want to die.

I *know* it's time to go to the store and harangue the clearance rack for earrings when I am raiding my 6 year old daughter's earring collection 10 minutes before church.

My girlie is getting nice and round like a little pork chop. Oh, thank you, God, for this little dudette. She looks like a baby female version of my dad. If you know my dad, you are nodding your head right now and saying, "Yes, yes she does!"

Today at church I started rambling to someone about how she has an enormous head like my dad. It was so weird and I'm not sure why that was the first thing out of my mouth, insults for my baby.

That is neither here nor there. Thank you, God, for this little Dudette:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5 weeks

Phoebe is:

  • Smiling like crazy - this awkward little smile that makes my ovaries ovary hurt...
  • Sleeping right next to me at night - if I get up to throw up or to change my diaper or for a glass of water she instantly starts freaking out...
  • Garnering strange reactions when I tell people her name. It's not that weird, is it? One lady skipped a beat and said, "Oh, Phoebe...interesting!" Ha. I realized while lying in bed the other night that we didn't do so great a job of naming her something that would always be easy to spell. Oh well.
  • In that awkward "fat newborn with pig eyes and no distinguishable features" phase. Hey, I'm OK with it. My kids cute up with time. And, of course, she's impossibly adorable to me.
  • The proud new owner of a personally embroidered towel...THANK YOU Renee! I LOVE it! She had her *ahem* 3rd bath today and we used it.
  • also the owner of impossibly long feet.
  • Crying right now. Must go.
Good bye. Oh, you'd love it if I posted her birth video, right? Because I'm uploading it now. You can hear me sobbing through the entire thing. And, THANK YOU for all of the encouraging comments. I have been reading every one!!!! You guys have some great blogs!


I have the stomach flu. So does Asher. Either that or that nasty bacteria that hangs out in swimming pools - there's been an outbreak in our city. Klyptosporidium? Something like that?

I'm on my 4th pair of underwear today. Bet you don't read THAT on every blog you visit.

Seriously, if you've visited our house within the last week and your kid starts throwing up, you know where it came from.

The upside is that I am forced to lie down because sitting up makes me nauseated and then I throw up.

Nursing + stomach flu = best post-baby diet I've ever been on.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I feel tired. All of the time.

I wake up and feel tired. I feel tired before I go to sleep. I feel tired in the middle of the morning, or the middle of the afternoon.

I feel so much guilt for not being enough of *Rachel* for everyone who needs me. I feel short with the kids, I feel angry at myself for getting annoyed when Phoebe has gas and cries. I feel guilty that Baby Man is not back with us yet. I feel guilty for not getting together with friends more.

Most days I just snuggle the kids and it's been awesome to have meals delivered to us by friends from church. Seriously, how do people without a church family handle life after a new baby?

In a lengthy phone conversation of 72 minutes, I was telling Arwen about Scott and I watching the Anthony Hopkins movie "The Rite" the other night. In it, a seminary student who suffers from "lack of faith" (no pill for that, sorry) goes to visit a Catholic exorcist (Hopkins, of course). During an exorcism the seminary student asks the inhabiting demon, "Why are you lying to me?" and the demon responds, "because that's what we do!"

Arwen had been telling me that Satan LOVES to whisper lies to us about our inadequacies, God not being big enough, etc., etc., etc. "God's already won the battle, so that's all they have!" she said.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Yes. That's what they do.

That's what he does.

Satan. Father of lies.

If you don't believe he exists, read no further.

In another part of the movie one of the demons tells Hopkins that his work is easiest when people believe he doesn't exist. "People like to think I disappear just because they don't believe I am real," the demon says, "that makes my job a whole lot easier."


Of course, whenever I feel good, I hear a voice in my head telling me where I fall short. Not spending enough time with Scott, I should have been able to keep all the craziness that happened on the day of Phoebe's birth from happening, my 1st grader hates me because I haven't been able to spend alot of one-on-one time with her, my son is going to be scarred for life because I am not always there to tuck him in at night,

and on, and on,

and on.

What are the lies that you believe?

Who whispers them in your ear?

I know I won't always feel this sad/hopeless; I know there's probably a tad of postpartum depression/ptsd after all that's happened. I also know that the enemy loves to kick us when we're down.

Thoughts? I'd really like to know...what are some of the lies that you have been believing lately?

part 2 coming...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the day I almost died part 2

You can see part 1 here.

So, where were we. Oh yes, I thought, "I'll either wake up in God's arms or recovery!" and then passed out.

My eyes opened and it was like those shows where things are blurry and they're showing you the scene from the patient's perspective. I had tubes stuck down my throat but the only thing I could think was, "Thank you, God! I am alive!"

I heard one nurse (a man) who was caring for me say to the other, "I'm really good with my tongue." The other nurse laughed, and I said to the first nurse, who had his back to me, "You are SICK."

He turned around, shocked, and said to nurse #2, "Wow, I can't believe this girl! She's just been to the brink of death and she came through with a stellar sense of humor!"

and I said, "Good with your tongue? Really? Is that the line you use with the ladies?"

and he laughed and said, "I meant that I was witty. You sure know how to scare everyone, don't you. Let's not do that again, hmmm?"

I then asked them for their names so I could add them on Facebook. They both said they didn't do Facebook, but they probably just wanted to stay away from me.

My doc came in and had tears in her eyes. She told me it was close, that my abdomen was completely full of blood and there was no choice but to take the uterus. She said I had lost nearly 40% of my blood volume and was a very lucky girl.

I don't remember anything of the next 2 hours, but Scott tells me he came into the room and hugged and hugged me.

I *do* remember that night, waking up at various intervals, hooked up to all manner of machines and looking over at Scott in his bed, wide awake, just grinning at me.

"What are you looking at?"

"I am looking at my very alive wife."


And then he would come over and give me a kiss, and one or the other of us would cry a little bit.

I asked him why he was crying and he said he just had something in his eye.

I will continue the story, part 3, later on...oh, yes, the part where they thought I wasn't out of the woods and had a pulmonary embolism. And, because you've been so good...

Is she absolutely delicious or is it just me???? Maybe the 3 years waiting for her has something to do with it...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ellis Island

(the song in question can be played in a player at the bottom of this post. I will get very angry if you actually watch the guy singing it, because 
1. it's a cover and 
2. he bobs his head around alot.)

Dear Phoebe,

Today you are 16 days old.

It's still hard for me to imagine you are here, or to believe it. But, indeed, you are. Breathing, Crying, Pooping, demanding more of me than your brothers or sister did as newborns COMBINED.

Yeah, you're right.

I don't mind.

Your first name was one we thought we'd pegged about 4 times before you were born, and I finally told your daddy I'd just have to see you.

I took one look at you in the delivery room and said, "She's Phoebe."

I like what Paul says about his dear friend Phoebe, and I figure that's as good a commendation as any, right? I mean, it's the Bible!!!

Romans 16

 1-2Be sure to welcome our friend Phoebe in the way of the Master, with all the generous hospitality we Christians are famous for. I heartily endorse both her and her work. She's a key representative of the church at Cenchrea. Help her out in whatever she asks. She deserves anything you can do for her. She's helped many a person, including me.

Ha. I like that. Your name means "Bright, shining." 

I knew what your middle name was a long time ago. There's a song by Marc Cohn called "Ellis Island" all about the struggles the early American immigrants went through to get here. They wondered what the heck they were doing, if they'd made the right decision in coming to this new land, if they'd even get to see it.

I was driving along minding my own business one day listening to some music when this song came on. The tears were pouring out of my eyes so fast and furiously as I thought about the parallels between that song and our journey to you...

I was driving down Ninth Avenue
As the sky was getting dark
Didn't have nothin' else to do
So I kept on riding to Battery Park
I stepped out in the damp and misty night
As the fog was rolling in
Man said, "Last boat leaving tonight
Is the boat for Ellis Island"

As my feet touched solid ground
I felt a chill run down my spine
I could almost hear the sound
of thousands pushing through the lines
Mothers and bewildered wives
that sailed across the raging sea
Others running for their lives
to the land of opportunity
Down on Ellis Island

"What is this strange paradise?"
They must've wondered through their cries and moans
After all they've sacrificed
Their faith, their families, friends and homes
Then on the Inspection Stairs
They were counted out or counted in
Frozen while the inspectors stared
Down on Ellis Island

Now me I only stumbled in
Just to wander around that empty hall
Where someone else's fate had been
Decided in no time at all
And cases filled with hats and clothes
And the belongings of those who journeyed far
They're strange reminders I suppose
Of where we're from and who we are

But, Phoebes, my favorite lines of all are these, the ones that really made the tears pour down...

But as the boat pulled off the shore
I could see the fog was lifting
And lights I never seen before
Were shining down on Ellis Island
Shining down on Ellis Island

I'm still trying to make sense of the day you were born. I suppose that's the purpose of any of us inhaling breath and letting it out again. Finding purpose, processing, reprocessing. Fixing dinner, cleaning the toilets, letting the dog out, holding hands.

Life isn't the big earth-shattering days, is it now. It's the days in between, the conglomeration of "I did do that" and "I didn't do that" and "Please, God, let me do that"...all those thoughts that make up a life.

I so clearly remember them working on me, watching you in your bassinett and praying to God I could watch you grow.

So, yes, sometimes life is as simple as the "holding hands" part.

Just holding hands.

Love you, little Sis. Welcome to the world.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I was looking for a picture to add of Jesus watching over someone, but the pictures I found were all super cheezalicious and made me want to poke my eyes out.


Today I watched as Lucy and Asher put their school supplies in their back packs, then took them out again.

Counting, recounting, taking stock.

I got all teary-eyed, thinking how close I came to not seeing those moments...and how, even now, Satan loves to whisper in my ears all the fears I keep trying to shake loose.

I just had to turn around and see my children so excited about school...and to see all I have been blessed with.

Last night I dreamt that an old friend and I were lost in the ghetto, and people were shooting at us and we couldn't find our way out. It was so strange, because we were children again, probably 8 years old, and we were texting our parents and they didn't seem to mind we were wandering around in the ghetto with people shooting at us.

My dreams are either of those type, or they involve water.

Speaking of water, I was talking with my mom, taking stock over all the near-misses I've had over the years.

Join me:

newborn: Apgars of 1, 1 and 1. Wouldn't breathe. Just wouldn't breathe. And then, finally, gloriously, a breath. My mother was going out of her mind.

2 months: Sitting in my baby carrier next to the inner wall of a cabin my family and some of their friends were spending the day enjoying. My mom moved my baby carrier on to the table, and a minute later my oldest brother came in, slamming the screen door. An enormous boulder came crashing down from the wall (it was one of those cool rock walls) exactly to the spot where my carrier had been sitting moments before.

2 years: At a family reunion, everyone thought someone else had me. I was lost for 4 hours and had everyone searching for me. My mother began to think I had either drowned or was abducted. Finally found by my uncle, sobbing, standing next to a white picket fence in my Strawberry Shortcake swimming suit next to a big, white barking dog (my earliest memory).

4 years: On vacation in Florida, my dad left me with my older brothers, the oldest of whom was 13, while he went to change his swimming suit. I could touch the bottom of the pool in the shallow end and was pretending I was a ballerina dancing around. I went under and my oldest brother didn't notice me for what the docs estimate was 2 and a half minutes or so. Everyone thought I'd have brain damage. I didn't.

(My parents weren't negligent. I swear they weren't. I also swear that they didn't have my birth date wrong for the first 4 years of my life...or that I really don't remember my mom arguing with the school coordinator on when my birth date was. She was shown the birth certificate and that quieted her right up.)

20 years: Car accident that involved speeds of 70 mph, one I shouldn't have walked away from, but did.

30 years: blown fallopian tube, emergency ectopic surgery. Minutes from bleeding out.

32 years: our latest, emergency hysterectomy, estimated 40% of blood lost. When I went for my appointment yesterday I gave my doctor a hug and thanked her for saving my life. I expected her to maybe deny it or say, "It wasn't that bad," but all she said was, "Yes, you are welcome! I'm not worth much when everything goes well; all I really do is catch the baby. But when there's an emergency like you had, that's what I'm really there for. The leading cause of death in childbirth is postpartum hemmorhage."

She said she's never seen this kind of random bleeding and she's been in practice since 1997. The nurse assisting had seen one case, in 1997 as well, and that patient bled out and died on the table.

So, I guess the ultimate question is, Why do I keep being spared?

What am I supposed to learn from it?

I could just as easily have died any of those times...and I suppose if my story was done, then it would have happened.

Just don't want to miss out on anything glaringly obvious.

My aunt, who is battling cancer and currently experiencing awesome healing, said yesterday on the phone, "Do you ever think that God continually saving you is going to change your outlook?"

Yes, yes, and yes.

I just don't know how, or why.