Saturday, June 9, 2012

29 weeks

I feel like a new person today.  Honestly, it's totally weirding me out.  I've been trying to figure it out all day and I'm realizing it's because I've really had no contractions today.  I've felt normal.  My body isn't acting like it has a mind of it's own.

I think this whole situation is confusing.  I'm not sick.  I don't have HELLP syndrome again (Praise Jesus) and there isn't anything WRONG.  I'm just in preterm labor.  WAY too preterm.  (I've been dealing with this since 25 weeks)  My body is trying hard to go into labor and this little boy wants out.

I cannot stop thanking the Lord for my proactive doctor who discovered this in time to stop my labor.  And then for her referring me to a high risk doctor who is seriously doing everything to keep me from fully going into labor- and by doing everything in his power to keep me at home.  He has said a few times over the last couple of weeks that he could very well keep me in the hospital but every little change he makes in my treatment has kept this boy growing.

By the way, our boy is Abraham John Martin.  Feel free to pray for Abe by name. :)

The doctor said on Friday that, realistically, we'll be meeting Abe in the next few weeks.  As aggressive as we're being, we can't be much more especially around the 33 week mark.  Pray that Abe grows and develops.  I'm on a round of steroids now, just to prepare.

In the last few days I've had such encouraging conversations with friends and of read a lot of books that have been so challenging. Some include faith, but all have been biographies and autobiographies.  And about people struggling and surviving- at WAY more of a degree than I am.  In no way does this pregnancy compare to the stories I've read.  These people were fighting for their lives in scary circumstances; I am not.  Thank the Lord.

But I'm fascinated by people's stories.  That's why I love being a counselor/therapist.  And I miss being around people.  And, frankly, I've been isolated.  But these stories that I've been reading have also encouraged me to think about my purpose and appreciate my life.  It's so easy for me to isolate even further and give up.  I can throw a hell of a pity party.

Not being able to do anything, relying on people so much, can make you react in a lot of ways.  I've felt like a failure.  I've been mad.  Now I'm just grateful that this kiddo is still growing, I have time to re-appreciate every day life (which is HARD a lot of days with these little people), and I'm DONE with the pity party.  The reality is that this is a season that will be over quickly- too quickly- and the next challenge will be caring for our sweet boy who will most likely spend some time in the hospital once he's born.

So that's life right now.  I don't want to forget even this little bit of chaos.  Or the fact that I'm actually seeing this as a huge blessing and evidence of the Lord's love and care for me and my family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Good moments

At the beginning of this whole bed rest thing, I definitely felt better.  The last week or two, not so much.  My doctor upped one of my medications again today because contractions just wouldn't stop.  I thank the Lord that I have two doctors caring for me that are dedicated to trying EVERYTHING before I have to be admitted into the hospital or before they just go ahead and let me deliver this baby.  Tonight I'm feeling better than I have in a few days. (and a little more loopy)

Here are several pictures, from my phone, that I've taken over the last few weeks because I want to remember the good moments during all of this.  And there really are a LOT of good moments. The feeling crappy, feeling sorry for myself parts just some times overshadow the good.

Gosh, I love these girls.  I can't believe we're adding another- and a BOY at that!

Cuddling together while watching TV.  (We did not pose them this way)

 The girls LOVE this table that I bought from a friend.

 Ahhh... the baby pool.  Their favorite activity.  I think we need an upgrade soon.

Claire reading to MJ.  (Again, I found them this way.)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bed rest

Bed rest.  It sucks.

You would think that it would be awesome to lay around all day.  That it would be great to not have to cook and clean.  To be able to watch endless episodes of Dawson's Creek (now streaming on Netflix) and read.  To sleep whenever you want.  To have babysitters running after your kids.

The reality is that I don't feel well on my medicine, I'm worried about this little boy, I feel a whole range of emotions over this happening, I don't like depending on others for everything, and I don't like not participating in life.

I'm trying so hard to have a positive attitude, but this is HARD.

Things were starting to look up.  A week and half ago my doctor said he thought I had a good chance of going full-term.  A few days ago, that wasn't the case anymore.  We're taking it week by week now and the next step will be to go into the hospital.  I do NOT want that.

In the midst of this I could not be more thankful for my church, my friends, and family who have loved me so well.  It's easy to feel really lonely right now and I haven't really had to ask for much help.  I have a core group of folks who have offered everything I've needed before I've even asked.  SO many people have offered meals and to clean up my house.  I get texts and calls almost every day of someone going to the store and wanting to know if we need anything.  And Greta takes care of the all the rest :)

I'm learning a lot about the practicality of loving and encouraging people well.  That an email, text, or run to the store speaks volumes.  And sneaking chocolate covered pretzels and flowers into a grocery bag (thank you, Annie) can mean a lot.  And pizza being delivered is a blessing because dinner just magically arrives.  That a text asking if I feel any better is a reminder that I'm not forgotten.  And everyone loving my kiddos so well is wonderful.

Sure, we get busy, stuff happens in our own lives.  And we can't be there for EVERYONE.  I won't be able to return these favors for all of my friends like I will want to from now on.  BUT I pray that I won't forget what it is like to need other people.  And I pray that I will take advantage of the little things that can love other people well.

And last, but not least, I surely would have lost my sanity if it weren't for the Husband.  Everything is falling on him now and he's handling it as gracefully as possible.  This hasn't been easy for our family but he is loving all his girls so well.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More Claire-isms

"teeth soap": toothpaste
"alligator": elevator
"the two black cookies with the white in the middle": how she always describes oreos

Randomly said to me tonight, "Mama, I wish you could fly."

Tonight at bedtime: "Mama, tuck in Alice and pray for her." (i.e. imaginary friend)

When she tried on her brand new jellies, "My feet are pink dark pink!!!"

Said to me yesterday, "Will you feel better when the baby comes out of your tummy?"

When asked what to name her brother, her suggestion was, "Boy."

Just in the last week...

In the last week, my sister got married, Claire turned 3, and we found out we're having a BOY.

It was easy to accept and believe that Amy got married. We love Kevin and are happy they got hitched. It seemed like the next step for them, and we were all ready for it.

Claire turning 3 seemed about right, too. Especially since her little attitude and vocabulary are reminiscent of a teenager some days. I kind of love that though. She keeps me on my toes.

But finding out we're having a BOY- yeah, so not believing this still. I was shocked to say the least. And it still feels weird to say, "he" and refer to the girls' little brother. Claire is okay with having a brother and suggested we name him, "Boy." (She's been on a not liking boys kick and has been adamant about wanting another sister. She took it really well!)

I can't wait to start cleaning out the girls' clothes that they've both outgrown and start looking for boy stuff. Our church is having a swap in May and it'll be perfect for this. The nursery has always been gender neutral so I really don't need anything else- I'm grateful for that. Our only big need is a new car. Yes, we're about to enter the world of mini-vans. And my back is so very excited!

Pictures to come of the wedding, Claire's 3rd birthday, and maybe even of baby BOY! (weird)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1st Real Haircut

Claire refuses to wear ANYTHING in her hair. Sometimes I can get her to wear a pony tail when I have one, but that's on a rare occasion. Since Claire is going to be the flower girl in Amy's wedding this weekend, I decided it was time for her first real hair cut to shape it up some.

Claire LOVED it. I mean, that's an understatement. We got there a few minutes early and as we waited, she would randomly yell out, "Haircut!" She was so excited and kept asking if it was her turn. There were only a few people in the room and they thought she was hilarious.

Claire grinned the whole time. She followed Eraka's instructions to look down and turn when she needed. She sat very still and loved watching in the mirror. Everyone commented on how great she was.

Here is the before:

Here is the after:
And MJ waiting:

Claire even let Eraka put a pony tail on top of her head which she refused to take out before bed. She even called me back upstairs around 9pm because she had taken it out and wanted it back in. She is completely enamored with her hair cut experience and has been grinning all night. I may have created a monster. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

English Lesson by Claire

One of my favorite new Claire-isms is "amn't". Her conjunction for "am not."

You or I would (hopefully) say, "I am not," or "I'm not," or "You aren't."

Claire says, "I amn't," and "You amn't."