Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I Came Across an Atheist

I think I've mentioned that I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  I think it is awful overall but I do think some good can come of it.  After all, I have made several new friends that are also O moms and love them dearly.  Being as Merritt is 2 years old, I find myself "out of the loop" most of the time in the O support group on FB.  Since we are not actively going through our journey/struggles, I can not relate to most of the women anymore.  I honestly couldn't relate to most of them even when I was pregnant because everyone's situation varies.  I feel like I'm standing there just as an image of hope.  Something for those new moms to hold onto… and perhaps look at what they can have if they choose not to terminate the pregnancy.  When they ask how we survived, I tell them my story.  Easy.

However, today happened. And it struck a nerve as it did with most of the members.  And I am without doubt that my blog post will make it back to the group with many comments.  But being as this is MY blog, I am open to freedom of speech… and my beliefs.  I don't believe God put me in this position to sit back and say nothing.  I think God wants me to use our journey to show His power and His grace.

Abortion is a hot topic in any person's life, but a frequent conversation in the group - since we are ALL confronted with the option at some point in our pregnancies of O babies.  Personally, yes, the thought crossed my mind but it did not linger very long.  I was not offended by the option of choice and was not offended that I considered the doctor to be doing his job.  I simply said "no" and moved on.

Today, a new member voiced her concern that (as an atheist) IF she were to choose termination, would she receive support from the group? And also, IF we were to give her support… would we mind showing respect for her as an atheist and not use words such as pray, God, or heaven?

I assure you…. whatever you are thinking…. I thought it myself.  I fought for hours refraining from commenting or responding while reading the dozens of others who did.  I got in my car and prayed to MY God, "how do I respond to that?  because I don't feel I should sit by and say nothing."  I emailed my preacher because it bothered me to the point of my blood pressure rising.  I honestly have never given much thought to atheism.  I got in my car to pick up the kids from school… radio on KLOVE station… I only caught the end of the song that was playing and I heard the lyrics "cry out His name!"  My support will be the same no matter who you are.  I will pray to my God and love you as He loved me no matter what you are.  I can not keep track of who is Christian, Jewish, Catholic, atheist, etc in a group of hundreds.

So I decided that no matter the backlash… I would do what I believe and cry out His name.  I'm not gifted with the talent of eloquent wording…. I just say what I feel… usually pretty blunt.  My main issue suddenly wasn't religion or even abortion… but Facebook.  Its stupid… and I'll get to my point in just a sec…

Being as what they call "on the other side" now of omphaloceles, I say there WAS a time I felt I had NO support.  There were days that my husband couldn't stop my crying.  There were days that my family couldn't help.  There were days that my friends' questions just irritated me further.  There were days that the doctors and staff did nothing to console me.  There were days that I couldn't find anyone within the support group that had gone through my exact situation although close.  I certainly couldn't depend on myself because I felt totally defeated, depressed, angered, and completely utterly alone.

Who did I look to?  You bet your life I turned to God.  And that is my answer when you ask me for my support and how I got through this situation.

According to her, atheists "believe" that miracles are a combination of medical staff and chance.



Oh how I beg to differ.   I honestly do. not. understand. how someone can give birth to a baby and not believe in God or in miracles.   Seeing as I struggle with proof myself, there are some things that have happened in my life (not even omphalocele or baby related) that ALL the science in the world can not explain.  And multiple times though out my life.  So if they say its chance… then I must be the luckiest girl in the world, right?  Ha!

I will take my chances with MY GOD and my Savior, Jesus Christ. And if by the "chance" that I'm wrong, then what god will tell me that in the afterlife, according to an atheist?

So back to Facebook.  My issue with that is that it is simply Facebook.  Which is open to freedom of speech.  They also have these lovely features called "Delete" and "Hide" or you can simply find the will to ignore someone!  Can you imagine using that???  

My preacher responded with a very good link that I found useful today!  If you know anyone who is struggling with pregnancy of ANY birth defect (this is not O related) or genetic abnormality, please read and share this!

I 100% agree that terminating a pregnancy to "put it out of its misery" --- you are really saying to put YOU out of your misery.   And you aren't willing to go through the struggle to reap the rewards.  Are you stating that these rewards weren't what you were looking for?  These rewards were not what you had in mind?  These rewards aren't good enough???  Tell yourself that all you want… and then look your child in the eye and tell them that.  One of my dear friends and neighbors I met while in the NICU, carried a Trisomy 18 baby to term.  She lived about 4 months and I know that the mom does not regret a single second of it.  Yes its sad and its heartbreaking to the point of unfathomable pain.  I can not even imagine it myself. Her rewards are so different than the ones we have experienced.  Everyone is different...

But give the baby a CHANCE to prove you wrong.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

And Baby Makes 6!

Yes!  We will be a family of 6 next year!  Baby #4 is due at the end of March.  I'll have 2 March babies and 2 July babies!  We are all excited!  I'm even more excited over the fact that I have NOT been very sick with this one.  This one is very nice to me overall, and I'm hoping that personality trait will continue on the outside. ;)  The last 2 weeks have had their share of rough days, but I can't complain overall.  I was really sick with Mattox and Merritt.  The doctor joked that maybe I earned a reprieve now.  For the first time ever, food is my best friend.  I'm 11 weeks and I've gained 4 pounds already = a new record for me!  Believe it or not, I have trouble gaining weight usually when I'm pregnant.  

Baby is looking great and healthy so far!  Heartrate is strong (and very fast = girl maybe?).  Dr. T will do more sonograms because of my "advanced maternal age" and then will send me to my specialist at 20 weeks to take a better/closer look because of Merritt's history (although that was not genetic related it was still considered a birth defect so they will check for any abnormalities with a Level 2 or 3 ultrasound).  

I am predicting another girl -- but I have been wrong two out three times.  After going through Merritt's issues, I will be happy with healthy.  And perhaps a left handed baby.  What is up with that?  We've decided 2 lefties' make a right because all 3 of my kids are right handed.  Matt and I are in the minority now!  

Anyway, here's one of the first pics of the new kid in town:

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Merritt Turns 2!!

I absolutely can not believe Merritt is TWO years old!  That's crazy!  She's doing great overall.  She has a few "minor" things that we need to work on but I try not to stress over that stuff and just enjoy her at her own pace.  

She weighs 21.6 pounds (which was around the 5-8th% I think?).  I can't remember how tall she was, but she was in the 34% for height.  She eats like a champ and almost anything and everything we give her (except fruit).  She wears size 18 month clothes (a few size 24 months and very few size 2).  

Our pediatrician is still worried about possible speech and physical delays although she is not in either therapy.  I have to remind myself that she has only been walking for 6 months and obviously won't be able to keep up with the other kids on the playground (although she is Superwoman in her mind).  To me, she falls a bit more and I think that's a bit balance related.  Not off balance, but doesn't seem to have good balance. I'm thinking ballet might strengthen that - hehe ;)   She is beginning to put 2 words together and attempting all kinds of new words, so I take that as improvement.  yay!

She stays constipated... so Miralax and Prevacid are her best friends still.  

We have pulled her pacifier and we are desperately working on losing the bottle.  She is NOT a friend of a sippy cup and the speech therapist will only allow the straw-type cups.  If you see us around, please don't judge me for having a 2 year old still on the baby bottle.  I'm trying (and my other kids were pulled cold turkey at 1).

Cardiology will see us again in a year, and we are contemplating putting a closure device for her VSD.  The only thing holding us back is the fact that she has NO issues or symptoms regarding this.  Her VSD doesn't really affect her.  It has continually decreased in size and is considered very small now.  Usually if they haven't closed by age 5, they won't.  Right now we still watching it.  

She is going to start Mothers-Day-Out this fall, because I need a break from all her drama! ;)  but hopefully that goes well.  

Overall, she is a happy beautiful girl!  She is very attached to me and demands the attention over the other kids.  She loves to sing and dance!  We are truly blessed and couldn't be more proud of her!
Happy 2nd Birthday, Mitt!


I guess I don't blog in the summer!  wow - sorry about that!
We have taken trips to the beach (Grayton Beach, FL and Amelia Island, FL) and spent almost every weekend at our lake house.  The girls had a small joint birthday party a few weeks ago.  Mati Claire got her ears pierced and lost 2 teeth in the same week.  Its been a bit crazy around here and I'm begging for school to start so I can take a nap. ;)  Will do a separate post for Merritt's birthday and update.

But here are a few of my favorite pics from the summer:

Poppy and Mattox hanging out at Grayton Beach, FL

Catching up with old friends in Amelia Island, FL

My precious big girl posing for the camera while everyone else plays miniature golf.
Happy 7th Birthday, Mati Claire!

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

For the past month

Has it really been over a month since I blogged?  That might be a record for me.

As much as I love May (spring weather, end of school, beginning of summer fun) - I also dread it because it is the absolute busiest month of the year next to October for me.

Beach trip, ballet rehearsals and recital,  Matt's birthday, school programs, school parties, school functions, the house is a disaster because I'm not here enough to clean it, and the terrible 2's have officially begun with Merritt… it's exhausting.  Now we are onto VBS, swim lessons, and plenty of pool time for the rest of the summer.  We celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary this week!  Actually, we already celebrated with our trip to Italy, but its technically official this week.  10 years?  Hard to believe we've been together 12 years!  I guess I'm keeping him ;)

Ballet Recital 2014.  
Mati Claire and her 1st grade teachers!  We will miss Clinton Park but will be back soon!  
Miss Priss.  How in the world is she about to turn TWO??
Grayton Beach, FL May 2014.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

16 missed calls

After rescheduling and postponing a long-awaited and much needed girls lunch with some old friends/co-workers, I finally got to have lunch across town (30 minutes from where I live).  I look down at my phone - and see that I have 16 missed calls from my babysitter, Devin, 4 missed calls from the hubs, 2 missed calls from my mom, 2 missed calls from my sister, and several voicemails and texts.  The "16" is what catches my eye - so I decide to call the sitter back first while we are paying for our meal.  I have absolutely NO idea why I never heard my phone ring (other than the fact that the restaurant was loud).

She wasn't crying, but kept saying there was blood everywhere.  Mattox had fallen and hit his head on our horrible excuse for a coffee table in the living room.  Turns out after 16 missed calls and many phone calls to the ER, she had stopped crying by the time I actually spoke with her!

I am the type of mom that doesn't take my kids to the doctor.  They have to have a finger cut off for me to take them to the doctor.  And not because the hubs is a doctor.  Ok maybe a little.  But the Emergency Room?  Only time I've ever stepped foot there was after my wreck 10 years ago and I had no choice in the ambulance.  I kept telling myself it couldn't be that big of a deal… I was in denial.  Am I mad at the sitter?  NOOOO!  I had to tell her the story of how I once literally blew up the kitchen of a lady I was babysitting for.  Had to call 911.  Or maybe a neighbor called 911 because their apartment was on fire too.  I was in shock so I don't remember the details.  But I told her to think about how I felt when I had to call the mom and tell her everyone was ok - but her house wasn't.  So I understood how bad she felt.

My mother-in-law picked him up to meet me at the hospital (as I was already right down the road from there).  Upon hearing Devin on the phone and seeing this…. I STILL was not that worried about it.  I figured we were all over-reacting and I was going to hate myself for allowing an ER visit when I start getting medical bills in the mail.
Yeah it looks innocent enough.
Had to cover the IV up with a blanket so he would leave it alone.

His hair was matted to the wound and completely covering it up.  When our best friend, Dr. Harrison, pulled his hair back ---- we both cringed.  UUUGGGGHHHH!!!

I've never seen a cut that bad.  I'm sure Dr. Harrison has seen much worse.  But it.was.deep!  and gross.
and oh my goodness my stomach started feeling queasy.  i got light-headed.  i broke out in a sweat.  mattox is fighting the meds and groaning.  and why oh why isn't Matt here working today??? this mommy had to look away for a few minutes.  and sit down before I passed out.

So proud of my big boy who did great.  Even though they brought reinforcements to help hold him down, there wasn't a huge need for it.  sedated, 4 stitches, and his Batman shirt came clean.  Which was his only worry.  The next day he is back to scaling the kitchen cabinets and jumping on furniture!

I am desperately trying to not feel guilty about not being there when it happened, but I do.  I feel even more guilty that Merritt fell down some stairs today and busted her nose.  All I can think is "there was once an old lady who lived in a shoe…she had so many kids she didn't know what to do…."

"I am a total badass."      OR      "I got toe-up by a coffee table."       OR       "spiked hair is not a good look for me"              
and my favorite caption "……plotting his revenge……." 
The next day.  Back to being Batman or Iron Man or Spiderman.

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Easter 2014

Easter service was awesome this morning!  The choir and orchestra did an amazing job!  I didn't grow up in a church that had music like that - and it made me proud to know that Mati Claire was sitting next to us getting to "grow up" with services like that (whether or not she was paying any attention is beside the point).

We went to my in-laws for lunch.  They moved houses shortly after I met Matt (12 years ago) - and I must say my favorite thing about their "new" house is their front porch!  It feels like a picture torn out of a SouthernLiving catalog.  I love my small town.  Mississippi.  Sipping sweet tea swinging on the front porch.  We are raising right.  Family.

We force "Ray" (and whoever wants to help her to hide eggs) to do an egg hunt for the grandkids every year.  I must say Granny got into it this year and made it interesting!  Blessed to have wonderful extended family as well.

Here are a few pics from the day:
The Easter Bunny tries to focus on a few movies and small toys instead of candy.  
That's about as good as it gets with all 5 of us.
be.still.my.heart.  oh my word.  even with bruises and stitches and swollen eyes he is still rocking a suit.

I am in love.

"wonder what its like to go falling down those stairs??"
just a swingin'
Yes, I photoshopped her busted nose in this one.
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