Monthly Archives: February 2011

On Second Thoughts . . .

Today I had a day of periodic, but fairly intense, contractions.  As I sat on the couch waiting one out this morning, my cheesedoodle chose the apex of contraction strength to head butt me in the stomach.

After I recovered, and had once again regained enough control to be sure I wasn’t going to throw my son across the room, I began to realize that my idealized dreams of laboring at home until mere hours before giving birth hadn’t taken into account the fact that my children should not be expected to understand the intricacies of the needs of a woman in labor.

And if I’m going to be headbutted during a contraction again, I would really like powerful drugs to be involved.


Thoughts On Childbirth

Well, this weekend I moved up in the “pregnancy line-up” in our neighborhood from “in the hole” to “on deck.”  Sharon had a beautiful little girl, and now I’m the next one in line.  This has, understandably, got me thinking about labor and delivery and having a baby – despite being only 32 weeks.

I had a dream on Friday night/ Saturday morning that I went into labor while Jonathan was at work.  I said, in my dream, “Oh. Jonathan’s at work.  I’ll just hold off until he gets home.”  Because labor totally works that way. . . in dreams.

When we were expecting our mackerdoodle, Jonathan’s fear was that I was going to leave things too late and he was going to have to deliver our daughter.  I promised him that I wouldn’t, and it turned out that there really wasn’t any fear of it.  We went in at 3:30 am with contractions 3 minutes apart, and had a baby 13 hours later.  Not exactly cutting it close, were we?  The cheesedoodle was a convenience induction – the OB’s convenience, not mine – but it was still 6 hours from start to finish.  In both cases I was in hospital for more than 48 hours.

I really don’t have any wish to be in a hospital for that long this time.  In fact, my ideal situation would be laboring at home until I just can’t take it any more, going to a medical facility to deliver the baby and coming home as soon as both of us are declared fit and healthy.  I love the idea of bringing an hours old baby home while she’s still in her sleepy recovery hours, and snuggling up in my own pajamas, in my own bed, with my three (3!) children and read them stories until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.  I love the idea of the children meeting their sister in our own home.  I love the idea of getting home as soon as I can.

Unfortunately this is unlikely to happen.  First, most hospitals don’t release women that early, and there are no birth centers in St. Louis.  Second, a plan like that must be done without drugs and I am a big pain chicken. I am also a little cranky when I’m in pain, so while coming home after delivery is appealing, being at home and in labor pain isn’t.  I’m afraid that I would be unfair to my children in those hours during which my body prepared to deliver a living human being into the world. Finally, my husband maintains a fear of delivering his own children, and would be very uncomfortable with the idea of staying at home for hours of contractions just in case things were moving faster than we thought.

I can hear some people hollering at me, “You can have that baby at home you know!”

Um.  No thank you.  I would really like medical professionals to look after the mess of actual childbirth, and frankly, the idea of having strangers traipsing into my home at short notice makes me shudder.  Let’s just say that giving birth at home would be not be a restful experience for me. And let me say that emphatically, in case people feel the need to change my mind.

So, all of that being said, I’ll be going the hospital route.  I’ll be making plans for my doodles and putting together contingency plans for middle of the night, or strange situations over the next month or so.  We’ll make sure Jonathan’s at home for doodle bed times, and I’ll just emphasize to my doctor that I want to be in patient for as short a time as possible.

I mean, it’s not like I’m planning on ever doing this again.  We can make this last time work out just fine.

This Too Shall Pass. . .

I remember this stage in my other two pregnancies.  I remember feeling like a big chunk of the best parts of me had dried up and become shriveled husks of former creativity.  With the mackerdoodle I thought my life had changed forever and I would never again hear the fictional characters in my head or have a desire to do crafts or play my guitar.  At the time it felt like a fair trade after more than a decade of using those things to mask the pain of infertility.  With the cheesedoodle I blamed it on the stress we were going through during that pregnancy – leaving the jobs we’d had for four years, trying to sell our house, thinking we were moving to seminary within months of having a baby.

I also remember a period almost like an emotional and mental springtime coming when each of them were about 4 months old.  I began to write again, I made crafts, I planted herbs and ivy.   With the mackerdoodle I bought curtains and moved furniture and hung paintings in the house in which we’d been living since days before she was born.  With the cheesedoodle I collected acorns and pine cones and put them in jars.

When I sit and stare at my Kissing Frogs file, knowing where it should go, but unable to make it get there; when I look at the blank walls in the play room, or the projects I’ve meant to do since we moved here, I remember that I won’t always feel this way.

This, too, shall pass.

A Touch of Cutsey and Cutie Who Needs Prayer

My friend Becky flew to Atlanta today without packing me in her luggage, despite my repeated requests.  *sigh*  While she’s gone, she’s offering a giveaway on her blog for these adorable bathroom posters which she will even customize to match your bathroom colors. Click the link to enter.

On a much more serious note, our neighbor is in continuous need of prayer.  I blogged about her when we first moved here (click the link for the whole story) and now her parents have found a hospital that specializes in conditions like hers – in Austria!  Click on over to their family blog and read about the treatment, the plan, and how you can pray.

Driving While Pregnant

My daughter’s favorite game is to put on my high heeled shoes (which are only collecting dust anyway) and clump around the house, calling herself Cinderella.  Sometimes she’s Ariel,but for the most part she’s Cinderella.  This afternoon I had to interrupt this game to get the children into the van to pick up Jonathan from preaching class.  As we pulled out of our neighborhood, this song began to play:


Halfway through the song, my mackerdoodle asked, “Mama?  Are you crying?”

I couldn’t answer her.  I couldn’t even speak.

Ear Infections, Entropy and Everything Else

Last week things sort of fell apart around here.  The cheesedoodle had his first ear infection, and spent three days wanting nothing except to be held by his mama.  I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch blogging about the things I loved and reading stories to a sick and cranky little boy.  When I was finally able to put him down on Thursday, my body reminded me that I had effectually been carrying two children for three days, and my muscles were lodging a complaint with their union rep.

Friday and Saturday we were at a new member class at church.

Sunday was the Lord’s Day.

This morning I knew that something had to be done.

It’s not all done, but I was able to accomplish several tasks around the house that had been left undone for far too long.  It’s the life of a stay-at-home Mom that a few days out of routine can push my entire world out of orbit.  I’m still getting used to it, but it is getting easier.  The entropy gets easier to tackle each time. The clutter seems smaller, and less fearsome. The tasks, when approached one by one, seem less daunting.

It’s still a struggle to restore order to a home I have let run down, for whatever reason, but it is no longer a paralyzing, seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Baby steps, I guess.

Things I Love Part Four: My Parents and a Heritage of Faith

This is the last post in my series.  Some would think that I would finish up with a post about my kids, and I do love them.  Anyone who reads my blog knows I love my kids.  They get a lot of attention and will continue to be a focus of the blog, because I blog life, and my kids are my life right now.  Instead I want to focus on some people that I have honored less than my husband in blog posts, but who deserve to be highly praised:  my parents and my parents-in-law.

My parents became Christians the year I was born, because a baby like I was drives a set of parents either to substance abuse or to their knees.  You think I’m kidding.  I’m not.  What began as a trial for my parents was a blessing for me, because I have never known my parents without the power of Christ at work in their lives.  Together my dad and mom laid a foundation of biblical instruction and faithful life example that was one of the key tools the Lord used in drawing me to himself, and has continued to use as I grow in my faith.

Both of my parents have been teachers and leaders within the church for as long as I can remember.  They taught me most of what I know about Christian hospitality by hosting missionaries and visiting preachers and traveling musicians on a regular basis throughout my childhood.  Because of my parents and their commitment to exposing me to the things of the Lord as much as possible, I attended a Christian school for 10 years, and then a Christian college.  When we were traveling anywhere over a weekend, we still found a church to attend together as a family and our family always had a regularly scheduled time in the word on the weekdays.  Every morning before we walked to school, my mother prayed for me and my sister, and I remember innumerable times during the awkward middle school years coming home in tears to have my mother hold me, and pray for me.

Jonathan, too, was raised in a Christian home and was exposed to the church and the gospel from his earliest memories.  Not only his parents, but also both sets of his grandparents were actively involved in the church and passed the importance of that on to him.  It was his parents who suggested that he attend a small Christian college in Langley BC, the same college at which I was enrolled.  I praise the Lord for that daily.

When I speak to my friends and I hear their stories I so often praise the Lord for parents and in-laws who are still married, still in love with one another, and who love the Lord.  What a blessing it is to be able to tell my daughter when she asks that her Grandma and Grandpa and her Nana and Papa love the Lord and want to serve Him.  When we are training our children in the things of the God and the knowledge of His word, we are not doing so in a vacuum.  We are able to point to their heritage and to the covenant promises of God and show them that God is faithful not only to our little family, but to those who have come before us.

Mom and Dad, and Mom and Dad Cowan, thank you for loving us, and showing us the word and training us in righteousness.  Thank you for loving our kids and being standing stones of God’s faithfulness in their lives.  Thank you for laying a foundation of faith we are able to leave to the next generation.  Please forgive me for not saying it earlier, and more often.