Sunday, July 29, 2012

One lovely Sunday

We went to Ludington to pick blueberries and then visited the beach. Kole has wonderful people in her church to grow up with, and Matt and I have great examples of parents in our own, of course, but also in the parents of our youth group kids. we have much to be thankful for!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

3 months

Koleen is 3 months old.

The last three months seem like a blink. I feel like I opened my eyes one morning and this tiny, red, sleepy little baby had transformed into an energetic and interactive personality.

the things the last 3 months have taught me:
Patience. things take time. the most important will get done one way or another.
Flexibility. My way is not always right and sometimes we do things in a different order than I had planned. But that's ok, my way is not perfect.
Purpose. caring for a baby gives me a whole new sense of purpose. since I am responsible for her, it makes me think more than once about all my decisions, from my driving style to our finances, to the way I spend my evenings.
joy. I have learned that joy is an attitude and not a circumstance. I have a lot to be happy about, and realizing that has helped me to see that every new situation is a moment to choose my attitude, and I'd like it to be perpetual joy.
overrated. The following things you actually can live without: sleep. Coffee (ever tried to make a pot with one hand?). Clothes free from baby drool. Making a quick get away.
priceless. the following are things you can never have enough of: hugs. Baby smiles. Watching Matt be a great Dad. Family snuggle time. Taking pictures. Bath time.

I pray as I continue down this path that God continues his work in me.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Chin implants are the fastest-growing form of cosmetic surgery, according to CBS This Morning. I was fascinated when I saw this story come on, but that fascination soon morphed into indignation.
According to this story, since the end of the recession, cosmetic procedure numbers are on the rise. One, when did the recession end? Did someone forget to mention that to Michigan? Two, was that what people had to do without during the recession? If so, why are we complaining? But back to my rant, which I will lovingly refer to as "commentary" for the remainder of this post.
The Dr they interviewed for the story talked about how what he did was important, because by fixing people's "defects" he was giving them confidence. Whoa. Now I'm all about confidence, but this is messed up. Of all the things I don't want for my daughter, someone telling her she has a defect in her face she needs surgery to correct is at the top of my list.
Also, is having a defined chin, pert nose, or full lips where our daughters' confidence should originate? Um, no, Malibu Dr. How about intelligence, kindness, responsibly, and work ethic? How about knowing her parents love and respect her? How about caring for the needs of others and finding purpose outside of herself?
As a mother, my goal is to teach my daughter she is flawlessly created in God's image and to gain her self-worth from the things in life that matter. Defects in her facial structure? I think not!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

And so it begins

My due date of April 7 had come and gone. I'd been dilated to 2cm for weeks. I couldn't eat or roll over, and I thought there was an especially deep circle of hell for the people who made such observations as, "you're still here," "you're still pregnant," and "no baby yet." My doctor offered me the option to induce on April 14 at one week past my due date. My husband (who was one big ball of fried nerves at this point) and I decided against it based on the fact the baby would come when she was good and ready, and my desire for a natural childbirth included as little interference as possible.
 Here I am, about 6 months pregnant

April 14th came as a beautiful Saturday, which Matt and I both had off. We set out to enjoy a relaxing day. We gardened, chased and caught chickens, and went for a sunshine-saturated three-mile walk. After a delicious supper of French dip subs, we sat down to relax.

Once we were settled on the couch for the evening I started having stronger Braxton Hicks, which Matt insisted I time. They were about four minutes apart, but irregular and I was having a hard time charting them. Matt called the hospital at about 10:30 and they told him it wasn't urgent, but since I was past due to come in so they could check me. For weeks women had been telling me I would definitely know when I was in labor, bu I was far from knowing so I didn't want to make the hour-long drive to the hospital. We leisurely packed, and I felt mostly fine, although I did get to the point where I wanted heat for my back.

The drive to the hospital was uneventful, except for me scolding Matt for making me go instead of letting me go to bed, which I had wanted to do. During the last 10 minutes of the drive, I changed my mind. The contractions were getting uncomfortable and I wanted to know what was going on.
We parked at the hospital and had to enter through the ER. My contractions immediately stopped. "Here we go," I thought. "I'm going to be one of those women who comes to hospital in false labor seven times." Then the nurses who came to guide me to the birthing center showed up and I had the strongest contraction yet. I got up and followed them through all the hospital hallways. I found out later they thought there was no way I would stay at the hospital from the way I was walking and talking just fine. They still graciously took me to a room to check me out, while I was getting more serious by the minute, as my body started working harder. I still wasn't prepared for the news that I was dilated to 6cm. I was in labor!

The nurse left to find me a room. While she was gone I started throwing up. Awesome. When nurse Stephanie came back, she very sweetly patted me and said it was what they called "the 7cm pukes." I was willing to take that as confirmation I had made a cm of progress in the past 15 minutes. Stephanie went ahead of me to show me my room and I struggled down there, now more miserable than uncomfortable. Stephanie checked my progress again and I was 9cm and she went out to call Dr Parks.

He appeared in a flash and got me settled back against the bed (I had been on my hands and knees and not very happy.) In this position I was able to actually relax. Within minutes he said I was ready to push. It was about 2am.

Now here is what they don't tell you about childbirth. It gets easier. Seven to 10cm I felt like I was dying, true, but once I got to the point of pushing, the pain was almost entirely over. So push I did, and Matt held my hand, told me I was doing great, and told me what progress I was making. I had turned down the mirror when Dr Parks offered it, which surprised me. In the moment I felt it was the same principal as getting a shot. If you can't see it, it doesn't hurt.That seemed to work out for me. Between pushing contractions, as long as I relaxed and breathed deeply, there wasn't much pain. And during the contractions I was working too hard to notice if there was.

Then it came down to the last push. Matt later told me Dr Parks and Stephanie were instructing me to push gently, but I didn't hear them. I mustered all my energy and attacked that last push, shooting my baby girl into the world like a very small, very red human cannonball at 2:57am.

Dr Parks placed her on my newly-deflated stomach. **Pausing for a side note here: I realized the OB doctors spend all this time with hormonal pregnant women, then have to participate in delivery where the women get even more emotional, then get to hold the new babies for about 10 seconds. What a let down! So think about that the next time you're at your OB or midwife's office and be very nice to him or her. The regularly scheduled blog now resumes** I looked at my beautiful baby and exclaimed "Oh, she's so tiny!" Dr Parks and Stephanie both laughed a bit. My tiny little girl turned out to be an above average 8lbs 2oz. And that was after she peed all over me, which happened at this point in our story. Also going on, Matt slightly hyperventilating and sliding down the wall to the floor. This is the part where he called our parents, from somewhere inside the shaking mass he had become. I'm glad I was lying down, or I probably would have ended up beside him. The emotions of having a perfect, tiny, sweet life to parent proved to be wonderful and exhilarating, but without a doubt overwhelming.
My not-so-tiny baby weighing in

This is the beginning of my motherhood story. Bring on the adventure.