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Friday, August 29, 2014

THE BIRTH OF LUCAS GREGORY: GOD'S PROMISE

This is the story of how I became a mother.

I think sometimes people trivialize the birth story. But truly there is something sacred in it. There is something special and life-changing about it. Not just now I have a baby and I didn't have one before but this is the story of who I am at my core. Something changed when I became a mother. Just as it did for you. Or it will.



To start this story I am going to share God's promise to me. Especially working on the OB unit at the hospital, so often I get to hear stories of God's faithfulness in this area. The man who was promised while touring Jerusalem that he would have a child, holding his first little boy three years later. The woman who prayed that her daughter who struggled with fertility issues would be holding a baby in her arms by the time her sister gave birth, excitedly sharing about her two granddaughters as they finalized one's adoption papers while celebrating the baby that had just arrived. God is so faithful to keep his promises. And he promised me something too.

I have always wanted to be a mother. Somewhere in my school papers, I have a sheet that says I want to be a mom with five kids when I grow up from the first grade. If I ever told you I didn't want to have children I was lying. For a long time I protected myself by saying I never really wanted children anyway while I waited, biding my time for my husband to be ready to have a family. We married at nineteen, two punk kids on a lark of a lifetime. We mutually decided that we would talk babies in a year. James wasn't ready. Two years, three years, then eight years passed. '

Until I met the Lord and even for some time after I was constantly harping on James that I wanted to have a family. I wanted things on my timing. But it was most definitely not God's time yet. If we had a child while we were still Mormons, fear would have kept me in forever. God wanted me to walk in freedom, and so He made sure that two childless Mormons walked away from everything they had ever known in 2009.

I was still very sad that I did not have a baby in my arms though. All I wanted was a family of my own. So we got dogs. But dogs are most assuredly not babies, even though we treat them that way sometimes. One day we were at church during worship. God likes to whisper things to me during times of worship that I would never otherwise hear. This particular day I looked over to see a beautiful pregnant woman raising her hands in worship, totally caught up in the moment. She had long blonde hair and a leopard top and a big pregnant belly. I would say she was about seven months along. And the Holy Spirit said "That's going to be you." I didn't take that to mean that one day I would look like this woman, because blonde and tan I am not. But pregnant and at Life Center? Yes. And I held on to that image and that promise from the Holy Spirit.

And after all our changes and moves and new jobs, I found myself at Life Center last fall in worship. God keeps his promises.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

HERE'S TO THE SEASON

Our days are hot. Long and hot.

One of the things I love most about living in the reaches of Northern Idaho is that our summers are brief. Usually we have about six or eight weeks of very warm weather and then I can start layering on my comfortable sweaters and boots again. 

This year we have had a very hot summer. In the 90s since June with no end in sight. 


Here's to summer. 

Here's to the current season. To new babies and new feelings and a twelve ounce iced special every morning I work. Here's to now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

POST CARDS FROM POST PARTUM: LUCAS GOES TO THE BEACH


I am trying to make my life art. To carve out the sweet moments.

 
 
 
 
 
In this snapshot, I am not a mom who has worked all day and made a huge effort to go to the store after work and find a bathing suit for the first time post partum so our family can go to the beach. I am just a mom photographing her baby and husband together at the beach for the first time -- all three of us paper white Norwegians slathered in the highest possible SPF, even though it's sunset.

This afternoon I was just me. For the first time in a long time.


I have to come clean here. Lately I haven't felt like myself. I have been cranky, hard to deal with, emotional. I have had a lot of ups and downs. It felt like the proverbial month-long PMS. On Thursday I was up in Pediatrics and I noticed an innocuous teaching sheet. We have been busy -- so many moms and babies in and out -- that we had to open up Pediatrics for Mother/Baby overflow.  The words that caught my attention were Feeling Like A Bad Mother. They jumped off the page at me.

Because I feel like a bad mother all the time. I am also easily irritated, I feel hopeless a lot, and I want to eat all  the time. And not just the extra appetite from nursing.

Turns out it was an education sheet about post-partum depression.

On Monday I sat down with my beautiful blonde doctor. I sweated in my scrubs as she told me that what I was feeling was totally normal and that she had been where I was. Have I mentioned I love my doctor? We decided to take things easy and just start out by discontinuing the birth control pill I am on and switching to another method. I am watching myself for the next couple of weeks and if I don't feel better by then we have other options available. In the medical field we always choose the least amount of intervention first. It was comforting to have a doctor who gave me options before giving me anti-depressants.

Three days later and I am already starting to feel better.

Today I had some struggle getting my plan of a family beach day executed. I couldn't find a swimsuit at the store. It was extremely hot. Wal-Mart seemed to be completely out of all but the largest sized swim diapers. I had an awkward conversation at the store with someone I haven't seen in years. I was a disheveled mess. But instead of giving up I was able to keep on with my plan. I didn't have to regroup or melt down.

 
I chose the swimsuit that fit even though it was pink and strapless and I ended up feeling great in it.



Instead of a swim diaper, we used an odds-and-ends pair of plastic pants that I got from a friend when I was pregnant. It worked great. So great in fact that I am going to buy bigger plastic pants for future beach trips.

I was able to just enjoy the moment for the first time in a very long time. It was such a beautiful thing.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

QUICK UPDATE.

Wow...it's been a while!

Things have been just crazy in the last month. I know our culture values "crazy" and "busy" but truly my schedule has been insane and things are just starting to quiet down.

First off, I never like to talk about work here online, but my crazy has been all work related. I don't like to make complaints when I am having a hard time, but coming back from maternity leave I was having a pretty rotten time on my unit since all CNA schedules changed while I was out. I was working 8am-8:30pm, 10am-10:30pm. Swing shift is not my strong suit. I was very tired and childcare was a headache -- I was bouncing Lucas from daycare to friends and it made for some very long and hard days. Plus Lucas was asleep by the time I got home.

Fortunately before I came back from leave I heard of a job opening from an old coworker in the hospital in the Birthing Center. There are only two CNA's in the Birthing Center and it is not easy to get in. But through God's grace and a lot of chocolate, here I am two months later! I take care of moms and babies in Post Partum! It has been such a refreshing change for me and to boot I work 7am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. Childcare is now all through hospital daycare alone and it is so nice to take baby to work with me, feed him during my lunchtime, and take him home. That extra time with little man is so wonderful as are weekends off which is almost unheard of in healthcare.

I am so excited and blessed!

Second in the past few months I have started couponing. Insert groan here. At least for my mom anyway. My mom has women in her congregation who have crazy stockpiles I guess and she thinks they buy things they don't need. However since Mother's Day I have been learning a lot of lessons and saving a lot of money too, not to mention developing a modest stockpile. I have only been buying things I need at a fraction of the price, and I have started to get items for free or very inexpensively. I am no extreme couponer, but I am saving a very significant amount of money and I am working on doing even more.

There's a lot more to cover but that's all the time I have this evening. :-)