Friday, December 18, 2015

Motherhood and the Winter of our Discontent

I've been thinking about seasons. A lot.

I've been thinking about growth and life and I've been thinking about dormant periods and death.

I love how each season is preparatory for the next; how Summer depends on Winter and Spring to give it the water it needs. I love how the rich colors of Fall---and the subsequent death and decay of her leaves---lend nutrients to the earth so that Spring can flourish.

I've been thinking about seasons. And about Motherhood.

I'm sure that I could write about Motherhood being an Eternal Spring; giving and cultivating life and brightness and joy (because it is, and it does), but I'm not going to.

Because Motherhood is also equally Fall and Winter.

Right now almost everything I do, everything that I am, is for my children and my husband. In the morning I wake to my sweet Naomi's cries, and my breasts ache to give her the nutrients she needs. The other kids need diaper changes and cereal, and sometimes some extra love because they woke up grumpy. From that point on, my day is for them.

My husband is pursuing his dream of becoming a violin maker. He learns and creates and interacts with other brilliant minds everyday. I love seeing the progress he has made over the last two years. He is incredible. But in order to create that environment of growth, we have both made sacrifices. For me that has meant taking care of the kids by day and working by night. This leaves little room for me to pursue my dreams (outside of the dream of motherhood).

Sometimes, especially after my 12th diaper change of the day, I look at my Facebook or Instagram feed, and I see my friends doing amazing things. They are getting Masters Degrees, publishing books, painting and sculpting, and travelling the world! And for a small moment I long to take their place.

But here is the crux of the matter: This is but a season. And Rob and I are working together in love and understanding to create seasons of growth for one another.

Is it the winter of my discontent? No, it is just my winter. And winter has some pretty amazing things to offer.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pregnancy Update

This time two years ago I was on hospital bedrest, and had already completed 3 weeks of my anticipated 10 week stay. We knew from the beginning of that pregnancy that hospital bed rest was a part of the plan. We were able to prep and pack and Rob and I even took a romantic little "babymoon" the week before I was admitted.

Last pregnancy, bed rest was a saving grace, it was calming and reassuring to have the monitors beeping through the night, letting me know that the girls were safe. Sure, it had its ups and downs. I was homesick and lonely. But I built a family of nurses and friends and supporters.

This time things feel different. We didn't plan for this. Rob was away all of June and July and part of August. There is much more fear and unkown this time around.

For those of you who aren't aware, I started bleeding in the middle of the night on Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. I am only 30 weeks along, so it's not nearly time for baby to be here. The biggest concerns we have right now are keeping baby in until a safe gestation (every day counts!) and keeping me from bleeding too much. I have a condition called Placenta Previa, which means that the placenta is completely covering my cervix, or the baby's exit. This means that I am definitely having a c-section when the time comes. Ideally we will be able to keep the baby in there until 34-36 weeks, however, we have to weigh the safety of a preterm baby against my risk of having "the big bleed", as the doctors call it.

Many of you have asked how you can help, and we are so grateful for all of those offers! Here are a couple of things we learned and appreciated from the last time I was on bedrest:

1. Kind words

-  So many of you have already shared kind and uplifting words with us, and that is monumental! We love to know that you are thinking of us and praying for us, and we feel those prayers and kind thoughts every minute of the day.

2. Visits

- The hospital gets lonely. The staff is amazing, and engaging, but often have other patients to attend to and cannot necessarily spend their time with the needy, emotional mom in room 12. If you have a moment to stop by, that would be much appreciated. I know many people feel that when they visit they need to bring something---flowers, books, food, etc---and while those things are lovely and sweet and thoughtful, just the act of visiting is enough, so please don't feel concerned about coming in "empty handed". It is your full heart that we want to enjoy
- Surprise visits are great and fun, but can also be trying on a patient. With nurses and doctors coming in all through the day and night, and monitors beeping and alarms pinging, the hospital is NOT a place of rest. I try and grab a nap or a moment of introspection here and there, so if possible, please text before coming. But remember, even if you can't text or call, your visit is much appreciated.

3. Take care of my family

-My heart is torn in half. Part of me knows I need to be here for this beautiful little baby, and the other part of me is dying to be with my husband and babies at home. Rob is the most amazing dad and husband in the universe. He is capable and wise and knows what our children need. But he doesn't deserve to have this dumped on him again. He is now shouldering all of the responsibilities of two parents, as well as being my primary support and care giver.
-If you can, arrange for play dates for my children so that Rob can have a moment to go grocery shopping, do the laundry, or work on school work without the stress of three children crawling on him.
-Meals. Rob is great at taking care of himself and the kids, but the added stress of taking care of me in the hospital can be far too much. If you can provide the occasional meal, I'm sure he would appreciate it. Unfortunately, my girls have a Gluten allergy and cannot eat anything containing wheat, barley, or rye. I know this makes it more difficult to help, but give me a call and I can provide you with easy recipes that are safe for them to eat.

4. Act on your instincts

-Sometimes we just don't know what we need. It is wonderful to have general offers of help, but very hard to take people up on it. If you are inspired to think of something specific you are able and willing to do, please act on that inspiration.

I just want to reiterate how very grateful we are to have each of you in our lives. Thank you for your kind words, your prayers, and your support.

I will do my best to keep everyone updated, either through the blog or Facebook or instagram, but please be patient with me!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

We're Alive!


It's been a couple of months. 

Since the last time I wrote we have:

-moved TWICE
-celebrated 5 birthdays (Meisje, Gideon, Annelise, Olivia, and Debbie) as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years
-went camping in Zion National Park and Lake Tahoe
-spent two weeks in Alaska
-I changed jobs
-Rob got braces
-we switched to Gluten free foods

I won't go into all the details of all of our adventures, but I figured that I had to start somewhere if I wanted to blog again. 

I've definitely missed chronicling our adventures, but everything has just been so crazy that it's been hard to keep up! I have a whole list of subjects to write on, but for now I'll just bombard you with pictures of my awesome family
 These girlies love books!

 Gideon has taken to eating like a dinosaur

Annelise really knows how to relax at the park

Gideon and his best friend, Thayne, hold hands in the parking lot

Sorry for the poor quality of this video, but you get the point!