I came across an article today that discussed reasons why someone might choose to either stop after one baby, or wait after one baby for at least two years before conceiving again. The article included this quote:
" When you just have one child, you can still preserve a lot of your pre-baby lifestyle... Going out to dinner or on vacation isn't that hard." says Edward Christopherson, PhD. A Psychologist and and professor of pediatrics in Kansas City.
My response to this was utter and complete terror.
"What??? It isn't hard..??? Who does this guy think he is????"
And then it hit me - what if he's right? What if one child is a piece of cake, and I'm just a big whiny baby and having two at a time - especially when the oldest is less than two years older - will be terror?
I'm admittedly afraid.
And here are my main reasons why:
Chaos. I get flustered easily. I can't remember where I put my keys - ever. I still haven't found my camera (see post from last week). I find that the simple task of getting ready to go to work in the morning (just myself, never mind a baby) requires me to repeatedly go over my mental checklist. I'm probably the biggest flake imaginable, and I'm going to be responsible for TWO other people??
Sleep. I like sleeping. My Dad would get up with the sun (or without it, because in winter here the sun is lazy and doesn't show itself until 9am) at 5am. He was a morning person. I would have loved to inherit this particular trait - but I didn't. I can sleep in with the best of them - when the best of them were 13 years old. I haven't grown out of my ability to sleep until 2pm when left to my own devices (which granted, now only happens when I'm at home sick), and as I near 30, I sort of wonder if I will ever grow out of this. When we had Clara, everyone recommended I 'sleep when the baby sleeps'. When the realization hit me that with a toddler running around, I will no longer be able to do this - I pretty much panicked...
What if this baby is the same as Clara was? Going along with that last point about sleeping - Clara was 'colicky' for the first six weeks of her life. She started crying at about 7pm every evening and didn't stop until about 4am. It was awful. Everyone we asked for advice hadn't experienced anything quite so extreme, so no one could really offer any advice or consolation. It was hell.
What if this baby is nothing like Clara? Although Clara's first 6 weeks were hell, she quickly began sleeping straight through the night - up to 10 hours at a time - almost immediately after the 'colick' ended. Despite the insanity of those first six weeks, at least we were then able to finally rest! What if this baby doesn't sleep through the night - like, ever!?!? It crossed my mind sometimes that I was way to selfish a person to be a mom, because some days, when Clara started crying in the night, I tried for a long time to pretend I didn't hear her... Can I do that all over again - especially if this one is worse?
Pictures. This may not seem like a really big deal, but it kind of stresses me out. What if I don't take enough pictures? I find myself not taking enough pictures now (even when I know where my camera is) - what if I'm being driven crazy by two little ones and it just doesn't cross my mind to pull out a camera? This poor little girl will grow up with no baby pictures of herself! Taking pictures is just another thing on my 'to do' list. Another thing I have to remind myself to do. And that list of things seems endless and difficult some days...
I'm sure if I gave myself a week to think about this, I could come up with at least a dozen more reasons why baby #2 is kind of freaking me out... but I can't be alone in this. I ran across a blog post last month that was basically expressing the same fear - so I know I'm not the only one.
What were/are your fears going into the next baby? Were you right, or had you totally overreacted? (Please say there's nothing to be afraid of!!!)
I just read a forum thread that kind of put my mind at ease - one woman commented on how during her third pregnancy, she didn't feel the baby move as soon as she had with her first two. I remember hearing that you would likely start feeling the baby move between 18 and 20 weeks, and with Clara, I started feeling movement around 17 weeks.
It was so reassuring to feel her moving. Up until that point, only doctor's appointments and ultrasounds could convince me that everything was 'ok' with her, and I'm still in that stage with this one.
It's been almost 18 weeks, and I may have felt a few small movements here and there - but nothing that I can be certain of, and not enough to convince me beyond all doubt that this baby is alive and kicking! Why do I have to be plagued with so much worry!??!
Anyway, I was reminded again that when the online pregnancy calculators say 'your baby is now 6 inches long', they mean from 'crown to rump'. Which, if you think about it, is pretty big already!
My eating has gotten somewhat better, although I still have a much smaller appetite at most times of the day than I'd like. Last night I ate almost nothing of our stir-fry supper and then was craving a McDonald's cheeseburger at 9pm, which my wonderful husband willingly went out to get me. I felt a little gross after, but I ate the whole thing...
It was three hours before I reminded myself that I needed to eat this morning. It seems I am finally able to drink coffee again - yay!
I'm looking forward to my next appointment, on June 16th - hopefully that will be the day we find out 'what' this little bugger is!
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything...
Lately I feel as though I'm spinning in a vortex of anxiousness - and much of it isn't my own. In the past few days I have spent upwards of 3 hours each day talking on the phone, and at least another hour a day texting various family members. I'm exhausted.
In many ways we have lost my Dad, but he is still living and breathing among us. He still requires care and companionship and 'stuff'. His brain is almost entirely gone, however, due to massive blood pressure that could be cured by nothing short of a miracle from God. No doctor has suggested a cure, because they know there isn't one. Some members of my family, however, are convinced that there must be a solution - the doctors are simply not looking far enough or trying hard enough. These same family members also seem convinced that we - as immediate family - are therefore not doing enough to push the issue with doctors and medical staff.
This is causing an unbelievable amount of stress on the immediate family - some of whom have spent a great deal of energy trying to make everyone happy - as well as an irrational amount of stress and anxiety on themselves. It's time for me to step back and breathe.
I have a husband, a daughter, a house to keep, friends who's support and love I truly need at this juncture, a job... I also need to be a daughter, and a granddaughter and a niece, but these things must come second to my roles in my immediate family - which includes my husband, daughter and unborn child. My Dad may remain as he is now for many years into the future, and I can not allow my children to suffer for this. My Dad would be completely offended to know that I had allowed this situation to harm my family - and it's time that I make the conscious decision to not let that happen.
I love my Dad. I will always love my Dad. My Dad has been my hero, and for many years of my life I felt as though he was all I had in the world. None of this changes. But when his life ends - and it will, eventually - my life will (God willing) continue.
I believe in a loving God who is in control of this and every other situation. I may not understand His methods, but I understand that it is not my efforts, or doctors, keeping my Dad alive right now. It is only God. And only by the Grace of God will my Dad be healed if God so chooses, and I believe it would be the Grace of God that would eventually take my Dad home. I am not in control.
One particular family member - someone who has always seemed so strong to me, spiritually upright and faithful - has suddenly begun to let bitterness and anger rule in her life. She has become mean and condescending, and is allowing herself to believe that she is the only one who feels pain in this situation. She is letting the enemy into her thoughts and her mind, and allowing it to take control. I have found myself hurt and confused by this. When I so desperately need her help and support, I am feeling the need to take on the role of helping her as well as my Dad.
We all need so much prayer.
I am quitting for tonight. No more phone calling, and no more texting. I will retire to my basement and sit in front of the TV and allow my brain to turn off.
I need a rest.
I feel drained today, and I'm struggling to really put my finger on 'why'.
Brian and I had a beautiful day together - his parents took Celia for a few hours this afternoon while we went out for supper together using a gift card that some friends had given us a couple of weeks back.
It may simply be because of everything that is going on in our lives right now...
We have been dealing with the process of getting my Dad into a care home in my city, which can be a somewhat frustrating process, and we have no idea yet what to expect.
I think I had posted awhile back that my Grandfather was expected to pass away any day - he did - on Friday morning at about 11:30, and I got a call from my Aunt about fifteen minutes later. This is my maternal (by birth) Grandpa, and despite how little I really knew him, I found myself seriously mourning him in the hours that followed this phone call. For those of you who know my story, these Grandparents refused to lose contact with me despite my parents' divorce, and in effect they 'adopted' my Dad as one of their children and when he remarried 8 years later, they treated my step-mom and step-brother as though they were just as much a part of their family as I was. I am so indebted to them for this - they are the reason I was able to remain in contact with my birth family, and I'm so grateful for their graciousness towards my Dad.
I am apprehensive about the funeral, however, because in the past few years my relationship with this family has faltered. My Grandparents moved to a city quite a distance from my own, and with five total sets of Grandparents to 'juggle', we were simply not able to see them very often. I do feel a lot of guilt for this, because I feel as though I have fallen into the ridiculous 'suburban busyness' that drives me crazy. I firmly believe that no one 'doesn't have the time' - they choose not to have time, because their choices make them too busy. This is a more difficult concept to deal with when my finger is pointing back at myself. I HAD time, I just chose to do other things with it.
Anyway, on Monday I will drive nearly 4 hours alone to go to his funeral. My husband isn't able to take the time off work, and considering the long drive and having no one to watch Celia - it doesn't make much sense for me to bring her along. This is difficult for me also, because no one in the family has met her, but I suppose a funeral is not an appropriate place to 'show her off'.
Please read my blog post from a day or two ago about child safety, and toddler helmets... obviously God has a sense of humour.
Not 48 hours after having that opinionated rant-fest, this happens...
Actually, I don't exactly know what happened, but I was sitting at my desk in the living room and my daughter was on the couch, looking out the window, which is one of her favourite activities. If you're thinking I'm completely irresponsible for leaving her alone on the couch - maybe I am - in my defense, she knows how to get off the couch safety. I have hovered over her many times and I have NEVER had to step in and actually stop her from falling - she has never before fallen.
Then I hear this insanely loud BANG!
I look over to see my daughter lying in a heap between the couch and the coffee table (not a big enough space for her to comfortable fit in the way she was oriented), and I realize what has happened, just as she begins to wail.
She has thwacked her head against the coffee table. My memory replays the BANG, and thinks surely that could NOT have been my daughter's head...
I picked her up gently and held her while she cried, watching her for signs of a concussion or something worse. She cried normally, like she always does when she hurts herself. She was wearing a bunnyhug (sorry, 'hoodie', we call them 'bunnyhug's in Saskatchewan...), so her head was all surrounded in her hood and I couldn't see most of her head. I had this terrifying image of peeling back the hood to reveal a head full of blood, but there was nothing.
Gently, I brushed the hair around on her head, trying to find out where she'd hit, and then I find it - a deep, dark purple stripe about 2 inches long above her right ear. No blood, but it looked really deep. Also, I was terrified of a concussion, and absolutely shaking in fear, so I called the local health-line.
As I was looking for the number, (after only about a minute or two of crying, really) Celia became distracted by something and decided she was finished crying. It seemed miraculous to me, that she suddenly seemed COMPLETELY normal, and entirely herself.
I stayed on the line, though, and answered about a million questions asked by a nurse who's job it is to determine if I should be taking her in to a doctor or emergency, or if I have nothing to worry about. She gave me a list of things to watch for in the next 6 hours or so, and told me that if any of these things occurred, to either call back or take Celia in.
Sigh... crisis over. She seemed fine. She still seems fine. I'm still setting my cell phone's alarm for every 15 minutes to go in and look at her, but she's ok.
And, for the record, I will NOT be purchasing a toddler helmet for her to wear around the house, although I will probably watch her a bit closer on the couch for a little while...
Does it ever feel like 'bad' things in life pile up? Sometimes they seem to all gang up on you and hit you at once...
Two nights ago, I received a call from an Aunt about one of my Grandpa's. I knew he was dealing with cancer, but evidently he has become much worse and they are expecting him to die any day now.
Last night, while I was teaching piano, suddenly my husband runs up the stairs and asks 'How long have we not had hot water?'. I said I hadn't been aware we were without hot water. It turns out, he had just been downstairs to see the basement flooding with water from the water heater, and he was wondering how long it had been pouring out. The plumber showed up and said we needed a new water heater, and it would cost him $1400 plus tax to do it. We don't have $1400. We don't even have $400 right now, so we will be without hot water until we can find a cheaper alternative or can come up with $1400.
While we were waiting for the plumber last night, Brian got a call about his Grandpa saying that he had just received news of a potentially life-threatening health concern. Nothing confirmed in this regard, but it's a scary situation for the family nonetheless.
Top all of this off with the fact that my Dad remains in his bed at the hospital, unable to really communicate with us and unable to do really anything, including eat real food. The doctors have advised us that he should have a feeding tube 'installed' directly into his stomach, and that we should discuss our 'wishes' about resuscitation, etc.
Someone told me that bad things always happen in three's, and although the water heater isn't nearly as big a deal as the other three things, it still seems to tip the scales in the 'too many bad things happening' direction.
I have likely mentioned this before at one time or another, but I am petrified of wind. Of all kinds of storms to endure (on the prairies), none scare me more than a wind storm.
It is 12:20 am and as I was lying in bed tonight, hearing the wind moaning outside, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until it was over, so I thought I'd get up and do something... and here I am.
When I was a child, my Dad helped to instill a fear of wind (and, well, just about everything) in me. At the start of any storm, he would instruct me to remain in the basement - preferably in the tub or under the stairs - until the storm was over. I rarely listened, but I grew to have an excessive and unhealthy fear of wind. It has actually only been in the last few years that I've learned that dangerous winds are really not that common in our area of the world... but it scares me still.
Having a child in the house doesn't help. I could run downstairs and cocoon myself in the bathtub, but it would seem a little ridiculous to pack up my children and run downstairs at the first sign of wind... It also would only ensure that they would inherit the same fears.
So, although there is nothing at all I could do if the wind chose to 'blow my house down', I sit here as though on guard, trying to protect my family.
It's humbling, now that I'm thinking about it, to know how little in control I really am when it comes to so many things about my family. I can't stop the giant tree in our yard from falling into our daughter's bedroom. Even if I stood over her crib, I couldn't stop it... And yes, my head 'goes there' - all the time. It is only God who is in control of all things, and I think sometimes He allows storms like this to terrify me to remind me that I am not in control. He is in control.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
I'm a worrier. I even have 'worry' as one of my keywords - on the right side of the blog, you can click on 'worry' and come up with all of the blog posts in which I was expressing some sort of fear.
I remember waiting by the window when an expected guest was due to arrive and imagining their violent deaths when they were late. They MUST be in trouble, if they're not here yet!
When it would storm, I would settle into the bathtub with a blanket, a few pillows, and a good book - although I probably was never able to focus enough to actually READ it.
I remember one night I was certain I heard 'someone' sneak down the stairs and stand just outside my bedroom door. I finally worked up enough panic to scream at the top of my lungs and when no one answered, I assumed it was a killer who had already done in my parents upstairs. I grabbed my 'trusty kickstand' (an old bicycle kickstand that I kept next to my bed in case of an intruder... yes, I did that...), and swung open the door. There was no one there. I also discovered that my parents were safe in their bed upstairs and were quite annoyed when I came barging in yelling at them to see if they were alive.
The intruder had turned out to be my dad who had walked down one section of stairs, and then back up again after checking that my shoes were at the door and I had made it safely home - see, I got it from somewhere.
My husband's family, on the other hand, was much more laid back. And I wish for my children that they don't live in fear like I have. I pray that if they ever choose not to go to travel to a war-ravaged country, or not to climb mountains or live in a desert or jungle that it is not because of fear.
I pray that fear is never what holds them back.
Today we spent about $100 on everything we could think of to make Celia's life a little bit more comfortable while she is sick.
The poor kid spent most of today sleeping, and although she was in much brighter spirits by late afternoon, her cough had worsened by night time and I sent my husband out for supplies.
He came home with nasal spray, a nasal aspirator, infant tylenol and a cool air humidifier for her room.
I remember the hot air humidifier that I had when I was a kid - with the gooey Vicks Vapo-rub or whatever it was called in a little top compartment that was supposed to be disbursed throughout the room while you slept. Now that I think about it, the concept seems kind of gross... anyway, it probably isn't...
Now they say (who are 'they', anyway?) that cool air is the way to go, so we bought one of those. I don't even know if they still make the hot ones...
Anyway, we set it up in her room and it makes a low humming noise - nothing loud or irritating, just the sound of something that is plugged in running. Celia has been very used to having no background noise, so I wasn't really surprised when she didn't like it.
Brian went into her bedroom after about ten minutes when she had started crying, and she was standing in her crib holding onto the side rails with one arm, while the other was pointing accusingly toward the loud scary monster in her room. He held her for a moment and assured her everything was fine, and she got over it and is now sleeping peacefully.
I pray we will not spend any more nights with a baby in the Emergency Room...
We played the over-paranoid first-time-parents last night and took our daughter in to emergency.
She was having trouble breathing (mostly because she refuses to sleep without a soother and her nose was plugged) and started puking up phlegm. The scary part was after she threw up when she started moaning inconsolably and her eyes seemed to be 'fading' - if that makes any sense at all. She was probably just tired from puking, and desperately wanting to go back to sleep, but I had fears of her passing out from pain or something like that...
Anyway, we realized that we were acting out a 'better safe than sorry' scenario by taking her in to Emergency but there were no other clinics open at that time of night so it was really our only option.
She calmed down (and her eyes looked normal again) on the drive to the hospital, so it seemed even more unfounded that we were bringing her in when she started smiling and flirting with the doctors and nurses. We recognized that being upright definitely helped to clear her airways. Everyone was very understanding, though, and I'm glad we took her in - otherwise I would have been up all night watching her, I'm sure.
We had a funny little moment while we were waiting for the ER doctor to come around. She had fallen asleep on the bed in the room we were waiting in (babies seem to get the royal treatment - immediate care, and our own room!), and every time there was a sudden noise like someone coughing in the other room she jumped and all of her limbs spasmed. It occurred to me that because we had trained her so well to sleep alone, I hadn't watched her sleep in a long time... the limb spasming was something she did in utero already, and I felt an odd sort of nostalgia watching her do it now...
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