Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm Thankful

I know that writing out things I am thankful for is late, as it is now actually closer to Christmas than Thanksgiving, but better late than never right?  Also, just like I believe in telling those I love that I love them on days other than Valentine's, it's very important for me to purposely dwell on things I'm thankful for on days other than that marked by turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce.  You see, I don't really understand why, but I can be a bit of a negative person.  I hate it, but I'm always waiting for the other shoe to fall, the bad thing to happen instead of being thankful for what I have.  It's something that drives B crazy and it's something that I constantly fight.   So, here in this precious window of time while both children are napping (I say napping and not sleeping because Els is in her bed talking to her stuffed animals for a while before she sleeps)*, here are things I'm thankful for, in no particular order.

  • a man who loves me for who I am (and sometimes, despite who I am)
  • a little girl who is so full of life sometimes I think she might burst at the seams
  • a baby boy who loves to be swaddled and cuddled and who looks like his mommy
  • a mom who lays down her life every day for the people around her and is the best "juggler" I know
  • a dad who would do anything for his children and is a wonderful example of Christ
  • an older, younger sister who, besides B, is my best friend and probably knows me best
  • an older, younger brother who is witty and smart and going to be a fabulous doctor 
  • a younger, younger sister who reminds me that miracles do happen in front of our eyes and that sometimes God's answer to prayer is a resounding "YES!"
  • a younger, younger brother who lives life to the fullest every second of every day without exception
  • many other people I don't have time to list because children are waking up
  • children waking up
  • the gift of Christ, the gift of a perfect Son come to live and die so that we can know the Father
What are you thankful for?

(*I started this post one day and had to finish it on another.  Thus my life now.)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Miller's Birth

This little guy grows and changes so much every day, yet, 10 days later I still cannot hardly believe that he's here.  Finally here.  So, for potentially inquiring minds out there as well as my own memory, I thought I'd write his birth story before I forget the details.

It actually starts the week before he was born.  I was miserable.  I'm talking MISERABLE.  The way that Miller was positioned kept me from sleeping for more than an hour or so at the time and I was at the end of my rope physically and emotionally.  On the Thursday night, a whole week before his birth, I started having a pretty high fever that left me shaking and achy all over.  On Friday it got a little better, mainly through sheer will power, but reemerged early Saturday morning.  Also, when I tried to roll onto my right side, pain would shoot through my whole hip and leg, making me want to scream.  We had no idea what was going on, so we did something very uncharacteristic of us-we went to the hospital.  Long story short, what I thought would be a short visit followed by antibiotics turned into a day full of tests, including a CT scan, an overnight stay, and an IV of fluids for about 18 hours.  For a while the doctors thought I had appendicitis and I faced the reality of a possible C-section and appendectomy.  God worked wonders, though, and Sunday morning I felt a lot better, my white counts were up, and they sent me home with orders to rest and come back when I was in labor.

Then it was Thanksgiving week.  My whole family showed up and everyone except me was convinced that Miller would be born at any point during the week.  I was still very tired and in a negative frame of mind, so I went around telling everyone that I was sure that he would not come until the middle of December.  I'm pretty sure they all rolled their eyes at me behind my back, but I was beyond getting my hopes up anymore.  We had a very lovely Thanksgiving out at a beach house that my family had rented, complete with fried turkey, the best turnip greens EVER, and a two hour stroll on the beach.  But still no Miller.

That walk on the beach left me more sore than the marathon and all the half-marathons I've ever run put together.  I could hardly walk that night.  At 3:30 am I woke up crying in misery and pacing around our room.  B calmed me down and I slept fitfully until about 7.  When we got up and started to get ready for the day, I began to notice some mild contractions, but I was determined not to make anything of them.  They were all about 15 minutes apart and didn't stop me from doing anything, so told B, but we both thought that maybe he would be born the next day.  Everyone came over to our house for breakfast, and although the contractions continued, they did not get stronger or closer together, so we continued with our plans for the day.  My mom and I went to get pedicures at this fabulous place I've discovered and that relaxed me so much that the contractions nearly stopped.  "Oh well, " I thought, and we continued to a cute little children's store in downtown Beaufort.  After that, my dad and B had picked up lunch for us, so we headed back to the house.  All of the sudden, during lunch, the contractions picked up and started becoming painful.  I actually had to jump up from the table a couple of times.  After lunch I told my mom that I needed everyone except for her and B to leave.  Els went down for a nap and everyone else headed for Wal-Mart.  Around 2:30, I had the worst contraction yet and I let out a little yell.  Mom looked at B and said, "You have to go to the hospital, NOW."  I was so determined not to make something out of nothing, that it was God's grace to us that she was there to insist that we leave.  I don't know when I would have decided to go on my own.

We arrived at the hospital around 3 pm and Miller was born at 4:16 pm.  I had made the mistake of asking for an epidural when we got there, but was already asking to push when the mean spirited anesthesiologist was trying to put it in.  The nurses kept telling me that I couldn't push, the doctor wasn't there yet.  When she finally arrived, she asked me if I wanted to wait for the epidural to kick in or if I wanted to push and go ahead and have the baby.  That was an easy decision despite the epic pain, I wanted to have the baby of course!  In the end, I got no relief from the epidural.  Miller was born within minutes of it going into my back, so they simply took it out.  He had pooped before delivery, so they had to rush him to the side and suck his airways out before I could hold him.  I think I held my breath until I heard that first little cry.  He was fine.  He was covered in nastiness, but he was fine.  We were a little shocked to see that he had a head full of almost black hair and looked very little like Els, but he is a beautiful boy.  Upon examination of my baby pictures, he actually looks a lot like I did as a newborn.  We're looking forward to seeing what he looks like as he grows.

So, whew!  It's hard to believe that all of that happened over 10 days ago now.  I'm not sure when it's going to sink in that I have two children.  Thank the Lord for wonderful friends and family that are being so supportive right now to this emotional mama.

And thank the Lord for coffee.