Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Placenta Accreta/Increta uh, what?!

So, I went in for my scheduled c-section on April 11 at 5 am. Scarlett was already giving me labor pains 3-4 minutes apart; so this was her day ready or not! The nurses on the OB floor were all whispering about me. Isn't she our lactation counselor? Why is she having a repeat c-section. She would be a perfect candidate for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section)? And, they are right. I would be. And this was the looks I was used to from the last ten months of judgment when I would tell people I was doing a repeat by choice. But I couldn't shake it! Everytime I would pray about it or even think about a VBAC this overwhelming dread would come over me. I shared this with some of my friends and a couple of nurses that I work with - I just felt like I would hemorrhage or maybe even die if I had a vaginal birth. I'd felt that way my whole life. So, when I had to do an emergency c-section on my first one, I felt a little relieved. But, fear is normal, I would tell myself. Everyone is afraid, but this was different. So, in the middle of my repeat, my nurse turns to me and says, "Hey, you were right. If you would have delivered vaginally you would have hemorrhaged and we would have had to do an emergency hysterectomy on you to try and save your life." Excuse me...what was that? And then my doctor preceded to tell me that I had something called placenta increta which google shared with me is a disorder where the placenta embeds too deeply in the uterus and causes major damage when delivered, sometimes into your muscle, sometimes into your organs. And it gets worse with each pregnancy. Thankfully, we had decided not to have any more, so the doc just tied things up and called it a day. A friend of mine heard me share this and told me a lady in her church died last year who had the same thing. They weren't able to get enough blood to her in time...I can't imagine my children being without their mother. I can't imagine what would have happened had I listened to the seemingly sound voices around me. I'm just thankful for that still small voice that guides me sometimes without me even knowing to the right or to the left.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Okay, so it has been 1000 years since I've written. Its amazing how your entire life can change around a little person. Since my last post, I have changed careers. I am now a lactation counselor, so I can be home more and live more flexibly. I quit my masters program because I was resenting anything that took time away from Jax that was not necessary. I have travelled to Australia, Seattle, California, Michigan, Maryland, Nebraska, Florida, and am presently in Chicago. Through all these travels discovered teh importance of the minivan club. We officially joined this week! And, in two short months we will bw adding a new little creature to the world - Baby Scarlett Ashtyn (but I reserve the right to change the name up until the day she is born, so don't monogram anything!). And in all of this hustle and transitioning, it can feel sometimes like you are losing yourself. Who was I before Jax? What did I do with my time? Are my skills and gifts diminishing? Will I ever get my brain back since my first pregnancy? And these questions are difficult because the reality is - I will never be the same. Being a Mommy has fundamentally changed my view of life, values, spirituality, and of myself. There is no going back. Through Jax I am becoming more organized, clean, responsible, and loving though other character traits are being left behind like spontaneity, independence, and ambition. I am losing some of my nursing skills and gaining skills in discipline, time management, and breastfeeding :) Many say my brain will never return, but that is the process of life as mind and body degenerate over time I hope my heart continues to grow and beat wth greater endurance and strength to prevail in whatever comes my way. And spiritually, things are just DIFFERENT. I have no consistent prayer or worship life, but I definitely feel my need of Him more. And while my swirling life is in constant change, God remains the same. He does not shift as I so often do, His love for me is constant and present and available for all of life's transitions.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Teething Pains

Jax has started teething which has turned out to be a very long and painful process for everyone. He has also learned to say his first word - "Mama" (I win!). He mostly uses it when he wants me to pick him up or when his gums are hurting :( It is only 9:40p and he has already woken up 3x when he usually sleeps straight through the night. So, I go in there and pick him up and hold him close to me for awhile. Then, once he is comforted, back to sleep. It occurs to me that this is what my Father does for me. When I'm hurting and I don't understand why, He, who knows infinitely more than I will ever comprehend picks me up, tucks me into His chest, and holds me until I am comforted. All we have to do is cry out to Him, "Abba" Dada...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Worth the Fight?

Today as I was sifting through my mail, Jax grabbed a hold of a particular letter and began to chew on it. Nervous that he might bite a piece off and choke on it I took it away from him. He looked at me, squinted his little face, and began to wail. A little startled, because he had never done this before, I gave him back the paper to see if that's what he was upset about. He immediately stopped crying and resumed chewing on it. "Oh, really," I thought. So, I took it away from him again and he began to cry in protest again. This was the first time he has showed a little will and thrown a fit. I'm sure it will not be the last. Not entirely sure how to handle it, I looked at him and said, "Jax, throwing a fit and crying will never give you what you want from us. Now, if you calm down I will give you something else to chew on because that is not good for you." He stopped crying, looked at me (not knowing entirely what I said, but understanding my tone) and sighed in defeat. I gave him another toy and he chewed in perfect contentedness. This is just the beginning... I used to be a teacher and one of the main reasons I quit is because I hate disciplining other people's kids. Now that I have my own, I'm not sure what it will be like, how we'll do it, or what is best. Any good book recommendations out there? When I think of examples with the Lord I have questions. Sometimes, he stones people and sometimes he shows such grace that he asks "he who has not sinned" to cast the first stone. God's discipline is a mystery to me. It is both painful and relieving. It both chafes and heals. It is my enemy and my friend. In Proverbs it says, "He that loves discipline loves knowledge, and he that hates reproof is a fool." I am both a fool and I love to grow. May I learn to ride the rhythms of wisdom in love and discipline, in firmness and grace, in conflict and restoration. Sometimes discipline is the only means to get to a peaceful end. Love is tough and love will fight for what is best even when its hard. As long as we are on this earth there will be trouble (I've heard this somewhere before ;) and when we stop fighting we surrender to the enemy and acquiesce to mediocrity. If we want our children, ourselves, our world to be better we must be willing to face conflict/fear/doubt and accept discipline with humility of heart and strive for what is best and noble and good. I want what is best for Jax, so we will fight and he will know that he is worth the struggle.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Timone and Jax

We have a beautiful, fat, Siamese cat. He is sassy and loud and lives outside since we've had Jax. Its interesting how pets are no longer your children once you have children. They are now pets. We still love them, but our lives' attention has shifted to our little human child. Today I took Jax outside to sit on the porch for a bit. The weather is perfect, the sun is shining, and there is loud Timone rubbing his fat body up against us. (I'm also allergic to him, btw). At first, Jax isn't sure what to do, but as he realizes this new creature is his friend and not his foe he reaches out and grabs Timone's tail. Timone, the slightly freakish cat that he is, LOVES this kind of attention. He is suddenly all about Jax and rubs his body and head all over Jax's hands. Jax continues to grab Timone pulling out fistfulls of hair while Timone purrs all the more (like I said, he's a little freaky cat). They are now buddies :)
Babies have such a gift for inclusion. Everything that is different is new and exciting. They want to learn from it, touch it, eat it, explore it, and be delighted in it. Somewhere along the way we teach them, through either culture or example or I'm not sure, that difference is an obstacle. We take them to church with people like them, they go to school with people like them, they play with people like them and likeness becomes familiarity and safety and comfort. I want to be like a child that embraces difference and appreciates the beauty of something not like me. I want to learn from dissimilar perspectives and eat of the unknown. I want to delight in diversity and find strength in uniqueness. God made so many different species to be explored and to function in our world in harmony. Sin made the differences fearful and ugly. But God is beautiful with all of His colors and variety. He is the master artist and I want to eat of His tree of life with the "healing of the nations" (Revelation) forever.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Jax has gotten to the age where he is just about to crawl. He lays on his belly and puts all his extremities in the air like he is flying and scoots. He has also tried leaving his shoulders on the ground and pushing against the ground with his feet usually resulting in a face plant. He has attempted the opposite version where he just lifts his chest off the ground and pulls himself forward. Jax has mastered spinning in a circle on his belly, but no crawling yet. Because he is so close, all the experts say it is time to "babyproof" the house. And the list of how to do this - extensive! It is easily a book. You have to get cupboard and drawer doohickeys to keep Jax out, non-slippery mats for inside the tubs, bumpers for around you furniture with sharp corners and edges (that look really good btw), door fences for certain rooms, all cleaning supplies need to be locked up and out of reach, soft cover bathtub spouts, seal oven door with appliance latch, cover all outlets with protectors, latch the refrigerator shut, install a toilet seat lock, any small object that could be choked on needs to be locked up or out of reach (an amazing amount of things actually), no unedible plants, no classy decorating, no fun, and you must all LIVE IN SEPARATE CAGES! Seriously, I want my baby to be safe, but how much is too much? The claim for all of these are because something happened to some baby and now you need to protect him from the 1 millionth chance of it happening to yours. But, I'll be honest, I worked in a pediatric ICU for two years and out of all the babies in eastern Tennessee and northern GA, there was one patient I had that had a tragic outcome from "accidental" things in the home. Definitely the things like put your cleaning supplies out of reach and cover electrical outlets should be done. Those are common injuries. But what happened to watching your kids and teaching them what is safe and what is not? What happened to letting them get some bumps and scratches as they learn about life? As he gets older the same dangers still exist, but they are outside of my control. He will eventually ride a bike. I will not always be there when he does, all I can do is hope he has learned enough to look both ways and watch for cars. Then, he'll drive. He'll go rock climbing and do things I'll never know about and don't want to! I can't protect him from life and experiments. All I can do is pray for him, love him, do the best I can while he's small and hope he makes good decisions. God does the same with us. He gave us His Word and now He hopes that we will heed the lessons given to protect us from harm and to save us from the mistakes we would make on our own. But He is not overprotective and allows us to learn through the bruises and scrapes of life. What a good free God!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Holding Time

I have always been a very impatient person. I will pay extra for something to be done 5 minutes faster. Time is more valuable to me than money. I feel like money is replaceable. I can never get moments back. My husband disagrees with me on this regularly. Money is more valuable than time because it represents the future for him. He lives very much in the future. I live in the present. Some people live in the past. I honestly can't even remember 5 minutes ago. And the future is never certain as evidenced everyday to me in my profession (a nurse). Jax adds a whole new dynamic. As an infant, he only knows the present. He has not learned the value of a dollar or what things cost. He also does not understand time or its relevance. In my job and life, I am always trying to figure out how to make things more efficient so I can do more in my present time. With Jax, there is a new element to life and presence. He takes, no... he holds time. I have to feed him slowly as he is learning and enjoying each and ever bite. He likes to play the same game over and over again and giggle with delight as though it is the first time he has played. He likes us to sit and stare at each other as he explores my face with his hands. He knows how to be present. It's all he knows in fact. With Jax, efficiency is not a goal. Enjoying and discovering are what he is interested in. My present mentality is shifting because of him. I ditch efficiency for a smile or to hold him while he cries. He is who I want to be present for. Patience is being learned as I am discovering the beauty of embracing moments that may get other tasks behind, but that I may never experience again. Or that Jax may never experience again. I am giving him my time and it may be one of the best gifts I can give him. "Come. Let us rest awhile..." Let us be fully present in the moments that matter most. With our friends, families, strangers, coworkers, and most of all God. God has so many moments for us that we rush by and miss. Lord, help us to know when to stop and when to go. Like the game "red light green light." Guide us to what matters most and let the other things fall by the wayside. Make us good stewards of every moment that You have blessed us with. Amen.