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Hava’s Birth: My Planned Cesearan

We were so excited when we found out we were expecting our third child! It was kind of up in the air if we wanted one, but I guess God said we should!  Then the all-day-and-all-night vomiting set in. Caring for two other children while laying on the couch with a puke-bowl is not an easy task. Poor Zane would run to his room covering his ears whenever I had to throw up, Tzeitel would just watch. Thankfully halfway into my 2nd trimester I was doing much better.

Me at 37 weeks pregnant—> IMG_20160429_2045350

We knew this baby would have to be another C-section, because of how they had to perform Tzeitel’s (classical cuts have a higher risk of uterine rupture, which resulted in Hava being delivered early at 37 weeks). Soon the anxiety about having another surgery crept in. Tzeitel’s was really rough, so I anticipated it being a horrifying experience again. The months rolled on, the nervousness growing as they went. Sometimes I would feel so overwhelmed I would almost cry, other times I felt at peace with this being just something I had to do.  I had seven long months to dwell on the fact that my stomach and uterus were going to be cut open and sewn back shut (again!), whereas with Tzeitel’s I only had a few days to process this reality.

The day finally came, we arrived at the hospital about 6am, things moved pretty quickly and I was in the OR about 8am. Hava Suzanne was born at 8:31am on April 30, 2016 weighing 6lb 5oz and measuring 19.5″ long. They popped her over the curtain for me, she was so skinny and blue! She was adorable, but it really startled me. Our other two babies were chunkier, pinker, and cried more than Hava. It was concerning for me, I kept asking Jeremy and the anesthesiologist if everything was okay because I wasn’t hearing her cry as much as I felt she should have been. The actual C-section wasn’t that bad, I’m kind of glad I built it up in my mind for several months making the reality less traumatizing than I remember it being. Being concerned for my baby girl also helped with that.IMG_20160430_0902431

They wheeled us into recovery where I started nursing. I noticed Hava was trying very hard to breathe (retracting), so she was brought to the NICU. Having a baby in the NICU is one of the worst things a parent can go through, I don’t know how parents cope when their IMG_20160430_1346256babies are there for weeks or months on end. You know nothing about the condition of your baby, you’re separated from your baby, you’re running on just a few hours of sleep and some narcotics, all resulting in a sobbing new mommy. After awhile I visited Hava in the NICU, my spirits were raised when I saw how much pinker she was and her retractions were smaller. She spent about a total of 6 hours there before we were finally reunited.

Nursing had it’s ups and downs in the hospital.  With Hava catching on pretty well at first, followed by about 11 hours of refusing to eat hardly anything. You read that right, 11 hours. I finally had to pump, Jeremy had to cup-feed (which I didn’t know was possible), and the nurses helped her *finally* latch on and eat. Again after that she did very well. There were many tears shed during that night, I’m thankful Jeremy was there to see us through.

Going from 2 to 3 children is a huge adjustment. The last few weeks have been pure chaos between nursing, jealousy, lack of sleep, and just trying to keep up with 3 demanding kiddos. We are so very thankful for each one of them, God has truly blessed us.

We are now a family of 5!! My three precious babies.

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Gender Prediction According to the “Old Wives”

Do old wives’ tales really have any merit? Or are they just a bunch of superstition and nonsense? I do believe sometimes they are true, like when babies get fevers and a rash when they are teething. If enough moms over a long enough time period notice a pattern, maybe there’s something to it than just coincidence. When it comes to baby gender prediction, however, there are some really crazy ones! Just for fun though, Jeremy and I have decided to do some of the more fun, less crazy old wives’ tales. We’ll see how smart these old wives really are!

Ring Test: Using a string, hang your wedding ring over your pregnant belly. You are having a girl if the ring swings back and forth and it’s a boy if it swings in a circle. Back and forth= Girl.

Mayan Tale: The Mayan tale adds the mother’s age at conception and the year of conception. If the result is an even number than mom is having a girl. If the result is an odd number then a boy is on the way! 29+2015= 2044 Girl.

Acne: If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl. It’s thought that acne during pregnancy is caused by the extra hormones. Yes= Girl.

Cravings: People believe that if you are craving salty foods while pregnant, you can count on having a boy. If you crave sweets, fruit, and orange juice, you are having a little girl. My cravings are kind of all over the place, but I haven’t been craving many sweet foods= Boy.

Skin under Left Eye: The eye test is when a “V” or “branches” appear when you pull down the skin under your left eye. If you see a “V” or “branches” in the white part, you’re having a girl. I have a V= Girl. (By the way, wouldn’t this be the same for every child, I mean, the veins in my eyes don’t change with pregnancy do they?)

Toddlers: If a toddler boy expresses interest in a pregnant woman, she is having a girl. If he doesn’t show interest, she’s having a boy. I haven’t been around any toddler boys who could tell I am pregnant= N/A

Side You Most Rest On: If a pregnant woman prefers to lay on her left side, she’s having a boy. If she prefers resting on her right side, she’s having a girl. Right= Girl.

What Do You Think?: 71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows what she is having. I’ve gone back and forth on this, but I’ve thought girl more than boy= Girl.

Morning Sickness: If you had a smooth pregnancy with no morning sickness, it’s a boy. If you were sick or felt really nauseous during your pregnancy, count on a girl. I’ve been really sick, similar to how I was with Zane but subsided after the 1st trimester. So, I don’t know about this one!

Heart Rate: If the baby’s heart rate is above 140 bpm, it is said that the baby will be a girl. If it is under 140 bpm, then it will be a boy. The doctor didn’t tell me the heart rate!

Feet: Are your feet colder now that you are pregnant? If so, you just might be having a boy. Not really, but it’s been a warm winter= Girl.

Baking Soda: Mix urine with baking soda. If it bubbles a lot, it is a boy. No bubbles= Girl.

Pencil on a String: Put a needle in the eraser of a sharp pencil, tie a string to the needle, hold it over your wrist (palm up). If the pencil sways from side-to-side means girl, sways up-and-down (hand to elbow) means boy. It mostly did a circle, haha, but moreso side-to-side= Girl.

Age + Month: Add your age to the month you conceived. If it’s an even number it’s a boy, if it’s an odd number it’s a girl. 29+8=37 Girl.

Tummy Standing: If you have another young child, lay down and have someone hold them on your stomach with their feet lightly touching. If they hold their feet still, it’s a boy. If they move their feet, it’s a girl. I know no young children to do this with= N/A.

Chinese Gender Calendar, which predicts a Boy.

Girl: 10

Boy: 2

Can’t wait to find out!!!!

SSM is not about me.

It’s one of their favorite arguments: “Why do you care if same-sex couples can marry? It doesn’t affect you or your marriage.”

Those who say this are correct. It won’t. Besides the slow, but steady, mockery of marriage first through adultery and flippant divorce, then same-sex marriage, next plural marriage and incest marriage. When it comes right down to it, my marriage is not affected. Christians can still have a good, solid, biblical marriage in the midst of this upside-down world. This leads me to my point: It’s not about me. It’s about GOD. SSM is against GOD’s word, who cares about me. Those who say “it won’t affect you” seem to believe I think everything centers around me. I’m flattered you are so very concerned about “affecting my marriage”[can you feel the sarcasm?], but it’s really not about me. It’s about someone way more important than me…GOD. His opinion is the only opinion that matters. Some people seem to never consider GOD and His feelings, and most really don’t want to consider GOD’s judgement and wrath that will come with disobedience. I say we should stop looking in the mirrors, caring only for our own desires, wants, and lusts. And we should start looking into our Bibles, and start caring for His desires, wants, and holiness.

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My Response to the Supreme Court SSM Ruling

After my initial reaction of disgust, sorrow, and fear on Thursday. I quickly realized I am powerless to do anything. My only vengeance on our wicked nation and the wicked decision is my obedience. 2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. You wouldn’t think this is adequate revenge, and sometimes it’s not. However, there’s something about truly striving to be obedient in the midst of a perverse land.

I pray God withholds His judgment until He rescues the just out of the land (Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah anyone?). Ultimately, though, collectively we elected our leaders and will be held accountable for their deeds (like the whole of Egypt paying for Pharaoh’s evil decisions).

In the meantime, my fellow Believers, remain holy and set apart for the Lord. It can be lonely at times, you will be alienated from your friends and family. John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Right now, there is no king (Jesus Christ) in our land. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes. In our personal time of judges, when everyone else, Lost and “Christians” alike, are choosing to serve their made up version of God…be like Joshua. Joshua 24:15b … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Quietly and faithfully wait on God’s will to be fulfilled…Lamentations 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

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Cesarean Birth, to doula or not to doula?

Doulas are most frequently associated with all-natural, birthing-tub, moaning-and-groaning-and-screaming home births. Do they even have a place in the super sterile, hyper-medical cesarean operation room? I believe doulas are useful for all births, even C-sections. Here’s why:

1) To help you prepare for birth. This is a doula’s job regardless of what kind of birth you want. They help you plan, consider options, mentally prepare, etc. The options are fewer with C-sections (laying on a table numb from the chest down), but some are still there. If your C-section is an unwanted surprise (like mine), they can also help you through the emotional side of needed major abdominal surgery you can’t opt out of doing.

2) Another person. The more support, the better. If baby has to go to NICU or your husband just plain passes out (haha!), there is another supporter there for you. You won’t be left all alone staring at the ceiling. My anesthesiologist was very helpful while I was being prepped for surgery, he talked to me and helped me as I threw up, but as kind as he was, there is nothing like having someone you know and love next to you.

3) Nursing. Some moms and babies can nurse right way with no problems. That’s great! I think more often than not though, babies and mamas have no idea what they are doing. If you want to breastfeed, having a doula there is extremely helpful. Nurses try, they really do, but they all have different methods, different advice, and are all in a hurry to do something else (which is understandable, they are busy people!) It made all the difference for me to have someone I trusted, and could feel totally immodest in front of, calmly and patiently helping Tzeitel and I figure it out.

4) They are there as needed, or as not needed. Most doulas truly care about helping mamas and their new babies. You can beckon them as needed in and out of the hospital. You can ask them questions, vent to them, tell them your struggles/successes. Or, if all is going well, they won’t bug you.

5) Post-birth support. After being discharged from the hospital, your doula is still there for you. She can visit you at home and can additionally help with nursing and/or adjusting to home with a new baby.

Birthing is hard work, C-sections are no exceptions. Even though you don’t physically birth your baby, and sometimes you don’t even labor, they are equally hard (if not harder) in their own way. Doula’s can help make your cesarean birth a more successful and a happier one.

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Why being a stay-at-home-wife is enough.

I read a lot of material on stay-at-home-moms, and rightly so, it is a difficult job with little appreciation. We SAHMs need all the encouragement we can get. However, I’ve seen little to no articles, blogs, etc on life for a wife before or after children. Our lives are centered around our children: getting them, raising them, shooing them off into the big world. Then what? What happens to the SAHM once all her children are grown & gone and she is left with an “empty nest”. She still has someone, someone who should have been a huge focus all along: her husband. She is still a wife, being her husband’s wife is still as much her calling as they celebrate their twentieth anniversary as it is when they celebrate their first. It’s true husbands don’t need quite as much attention or effort as babies, elementary children, teens, or young adults do, but they still need it. Whether or not a particular wife chooses to become a stay-at-home-wife after being a stay-at-home-mom is irrelevant, the fact remains that if she chooses to…it is enough.

Being a wife is a high calling, it was the original purpose for women being created in the first place. It wasn’t to bear children (though that’s arguably a very important role woman has), it wasn’t to help other women, it wasn’t to break the glass ceiling. Eve was created because Adam had nobody, he needed a help meet. Genesis 2: 18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. We see here that woman completed man, Eve was created because Adam lacked something. The term wife is also here, she was automatically his wife. Women were created, primarily, to be wives and helpers to their husbands. Being a wife is the original calling of and for women. Everything else is secondary. 1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

All the examples in Scripture of good, godly women include her helping her husband in some form. The first quality mentioned about the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 is about her husband: 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. In Titus 2 aged women are called to teach the young women how to love and obey their own husbands, among other things women should be. It almost seems a given in Scripture that wives should always be wives to their husbands, no matter their age or season in life.

Our husbands matter. Helping our husbands should always be a focus, whether it’s our main focus or a co-focus with raising our children. Wives may feel they can use their free time to pursue full-time volunteer, work, or study. Those are all fine, but if you choose to become a stay at home wife, you are enough. If you are a stay at home wife before you have children, you are enough. If you don’t have children and are ever a stay at home wife, you are enough. Don’t let this world convince you otherwise.

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The healing power of a baby

To be honest, I was worried about having a second child. Even though my pregnancy and birth with my precious boy went perfectly, I had post-partum depression for over a year. I was worried the same thing would happen with my daughter. Only this time it would affect both my children. I thank God I didn’t have any PPD with my girl, I didn’t even really have any “baby blues” (aside from normal hormonal junk).

Having Tzeitel was so healing for me. It showed me I can do this. I can be a good mother, I am capable of loving a skinny little newborn baby who is so dependent on you as the mama. Nursing her was also very healing for me. Sometimes it would bring me to tears. It was almost like my heart had open wounds on them, and when I held Tzeitel unimpaired they started to close up.

Now that I see how wonderful newborns and mothering a newborn can be, I want to do it a million times!  It really is so fun! Every smile and laugh warms my heart. Watching her sleep is precious. Her little rolls of baby fat are adorable, knowing that I made those rolls of baby fat with my milk is empowering.

It’s not without its own struggles and challenges, every baby has those. Nursing, napping, schedule changes, but as my second born nears her first birthday, it hit me how healing Tzeitel has been for me. Mothering her makes me more confident and eases the pain I felt with my boy.

This baby healed my heart…1/18/2013

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First birthday….1/18/2014