Saturday, May 9, 2009

In the World, Not Of It

So often, I hear people say they pity the children who are born into this terrible world, or some variation of that. I have heard some say that it's irresponsible or even cruel to bring a child into the world in the condition it's in.

I must disagree.

Yes, the world has its problems, and I'm not trying to minimize them here. There are quite a few things that really need fixing (I do not believe that "over-population" is one of those things, but that is a topic for another post)! We human beings have not been very good stewards of the world God gave us. There is plenty of ugliness and sadness and suffering in the world. But there is still a lot that is wonderful and beautiful and joyful, too. I see this most clearly through children.

Children see the world as a new and wondrous place--and it is! They see the beauty in the everyday; they see the simple miracles that we too often overlook. They ask a million questions, and don't get discouraged if they can't find the answers right away. They don't limit their minds to what is "possible" according to some expert who says it can't be done; they seek ways to make it happen. They are wonderful examples of what we should be.

I look at my children, and I see faith. Faith in themselves, in their father and me, in others, and especially in God. Faith that can't be restrained or limited by silly things like "red tape," or what others may think, or past failures, or the possibility of future failures. They don't limit their thinking; if someone told them, "No one's ever done that," they're more likely than us adults to say, "Really? That means I could be the first to do it!"

I look at my children, and I see hope. Hope for the future, and hope for the world, because each of them has something special to offer. They have such incredible potential! I'm not talking about monetary success or political influence or world domination--I mean that they have the potential to do great things for God's children, if they will only let God lead them. Or they can do little things with great love, and still have a huge impact on others. I know this is true for each and every child, and each and every one of us who used to be a child!

I look at my children, and I see love. They love with everything they have. When my preschooler, S, wants to show his love, he tackles me with hugs and kisses--he puts his whole self into it! Even when he's a little shy of strangers, he smiles with his whole face--from his timid grin to his shining eyes. How often do adults smile at strangers like that--a shining, complete, sincere smile? How often do we hold back a little instead? How often do we adults hold back some of our love from neighbors or friends or even our spouses, for fear of getting hurt?

Children are blessings, not burdens. Is it even possible to have too many blessings?

I'm certainly not saying that every woman of child-bearing age should have as many children as she can--far from it!--but that every person, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth, is not only valuable, but priceless. We adults, with all our knowledge and wisdom and experience, used to be children, too.

We seem to have forgotten that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Journal notes from the week Malachi was born.

Monday: Came home today. The extra day in the hospital gave me a little time to rest, which was nice. Still, during the day I was so bored. I was happy that Amanda came by to visit Sunday—everyone else had shown up right after the birth, and I loved that, too… but once they left, I got bored pretty quickly! Wayne stopped by, too, but didn’t stay long, because he was working on getting the furnace in before we came home so we wouldn’t have to depend on the space heaters. It was a tough job, thanks to a few complications, but he got finished just in time. I’m so grateful! The house is nice and warm—and it’s a good thing, because it’s awfully cold outside!
11 PM: Before we left the hospital today, the on-call doctor had told us that Malachi had a little bit of blood in his urine. He said it wasn’t a big deal, but to just be aware of it, keep an eye on it, and call our doctor if we saw any more. Tonight, there was one small red spot in his wet diaper. Since it was after hours, I called the night nurse at the maternity ward for advice. She seemed to think it could wait, especially since it was such a small amount, and Malachi doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort. She said if we saw any more, or if he gets a fever or seems ill, to bring him in. Otherwise, just wait until our regular check-up at our doctor's office. I’m trying not to freak out.

Tuesday: Yikes, this little boy has a hard suck. Ouch. My milk hasn’t come in yet, still colostrum, but nursing is starting to be really painful. Toe-curling, nipple-pinching, barely tolerable pain… seriously. But as I recall, it should pass in another day or two. I’d forgotten how much the first few days hurt! Still, it’s so darn cute the way he curls up in a little ball against my tummy while he’s eating. He’s so tiny! And when did Sage get so big? He seems HUGE in comparison to Malachi!
9 AM: The nurse at the doctor’s office thinks the blood in the diaper is nothing to worry about, either, but she changed our appointment to tomorrow so we won’t have to wait until Friday to see the doctor. I appreciated that.

Wednesday: 3 AM this morning, another red spot in his diaper. Called the Dr.’s office, left a message. Called the nurse at the hospital again. She says to call the Doctor’s office when it opens and take him in to be seen sooner, “if you’re worried about it.” Of course I’m worried! But I suppose I can wait until our appointment at noon…
Whew! My doctor explained that the red spot in the wet diaper wasn’t blood, just a chemical reaction from the concentrated urine (Malachi was a little dehydrated) with something in the diaper absorbent stuff. Apparently, it’s not uncommon with newborns wearing disposable diapers. Wish the nurses had mentioned that! But maybe they didn’t know. Still, it’s good that we brought him in anyway, because Malachi was looking jaundiced and was dehydrated, so the doc wanted some blood tests done.

That sucked. They had to take the blood from his arm, and that needle seemed so big! He screamed through the whole thing. I felt so awful for him, my poor little baby! His crying makes my mothering instinct kick into overdrive, and I just felt like ripping the nurse’s head off for hurting him. Literally. I had this strong urge to physically attack her, to protect him. In my head, I knew it wasn’t her fault, and she wasn’t really harming him, but it was still tough to keep that “mama cougar” feeling under control and be polite! I don’t think anyone understands that until they become a mother. I’m not even sure Wayne understands how strongly Malachi’s cries affect me! How can any mom use the “cry it out” method?? I’d go crazy!!!
On a side note, my milk came in today. It’s still really painful to nurse, though, so I think I might check the La Leche League website for an idea of when this should pass. I really don’t remember breastfeeding hurting this much with the other 3!

Thursday: Malachi’s bilirubin count was a little high yesterday, so we need to put him under a special blue-spectrum light, called a bili light. We picked it up this morning. It actually turned out to be kind of a wrap-around, fiber-optic blanket thing. We’ll keep it on him as much as possible during the next 24 hours, and then have another blood test to see if his bilirubin count is down enough.
I went to the LLL website after another painful feeding. They say nursing isn’t supposed to hurt, and they give directions for positioning the baby so he can latch on correctly. I’m skeptical that such a minor change will help, but it can’t hurt. I’ll give it a shot at his next feeding.

Friday: Wow. Wow. A slight change in positioning, and suddenly, breastfeeding doesn’t hurt. I mean, at all! I’m wondering if LLL has an apology hotline. Skeptics like me can call up and say, “You were right. I’m sorry for ever doubting you.” And they can say, “We told you so!”
Back to the lab for another blood test this afternoon. They only took a few drops from his heel this time, so no huge needle, thank goodness! His bilirubin count is right down where it should be, and all is well. Whew, I’m so glad that’s over! I’ve been so stressed this week. Thank God for my wonderful, caring husband, and all three of our other wonderful, helpful kids.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What Happened?

Wow. Time has flown. Our baby boy is almost two months old already! He was born on December 13 at 6:06 PM. He weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. and was 19.5 inches long (the nurses actually told us 20.5, but when he was measured at the doctor's office 5 days later, he was 19.5, so we figured someone made a mistake in the delivery room when measuring. I doubt he shrunk, lol).
We named him Malachi... after the priest in the bible, not after the boy in Children of the Corn (lol).
He's a pretty easygoing baby, and he's already sleeping 4-6 hours at night, so I'm very thankful for that! (Now, if I could just get my sleep schedule back on track...)
I'd post more, but I've been keeping a sort of informal journal offline... more like a few notes here and there about how things have been going. It'll be easier if I just type them up and post them next. :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

About 2 weeks (or less) to go!

Wow, just two weeks left until my due date (the doctor is still going with Dec. 18, though all three sonograms have said Dec. 24-25). And only three weeks until Christmas!

My uterus has been measuring large since the end of November, but I have no other signs of a large baby or gestational diabetes; my weight is on track (actually, a little under, which is good), and my last sonogram was normal. I don't have excess fluid, either. Not sure what's going on, but if I am still measuring big like this at my next appointment, the doctor may decide to induce me pretty soon. He doesn't want the baby to be so big that I have to have a C-section, especially because of the vertical scar I already have on my abdomen--another incision might cause it to tear, or it could cause complications later. I have an appointment this Wednesday, so I guess we'll see what he says then.

Meanwhile, I'm finishing up Christmas gifts and sorting through baby clothes! :-)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Purpose of This Blog

1. To have a place to organize, sort, and share my random thoughts.

2. To offer the following:
  • bits of wisdom gleaned from others or learned through experience;
  • opinions and information about various topics that interest me;
  • recipes, tips, tricks, and interesting experiences (and experiments) in the kitchen.
  • entertainment enough to hopefully make someone smile every now and again.
3. To record significant and (seemingly) insignificant events in my life.

4. To satisfy my own need to express my feelings through writing.