Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Small Prayer

"Train your child in the way he should go;
Even when he is older he will not depart from it."  
Proverbs 22:6

I really debated on writing this.  I want to preface this post by saying that I do not want to come across "holier than thou" or make this a brag about how spiritual my kid is.  As a mother there are a lot of areas I am screwing up and need some growth, but tonight I felt really proud and felt like I not only wanted to document this for myself, but also for Belle.

Tonight I walked Belle up to bed and as I go to tuck her in she says, "Mom, I want to put myself to bed."  My heart sank a little at how much she is growing up, and then I asked her what she wanted to pray for.  She replied, "I can pray by myself."  So, I left the room.

To be quite honest, I didn't think she was going to do any praying, and her plan was to push me out of the room as fast as possible so she could start playing instead of sleeping.  I gave her a kiss, left her room, and walked into my room.  I started to hear her speaking, so I snuck up to her door.  This is what I heard:

"Dear Lord,
Thank you for this day.
Thank you for the snow.
Thank you for the baby in Mom's belly.
Thank you that we have a mother that likes me and Evie more.
Thank you that we got to do crafts tonight.
Thank you for daddy.

And with that, I knew I was doing my job.

I do have to laugh, however, at this prayer :-)  First, she is thankful to God for the snow every night.  I am also not sure whether or not she is thanking God that I love her and Evie more than the baby, OR if I love Evie more than her.  Either way, she is thankful!

Today I was feeling a bit frustrated.  I had fed the kids junk, we watched a lot of movies, Belle was whining a ton this morning, and to top it off she peed her pants and when I asked her to change her clothes she promptly went upstairs and peed on the rug in her room.  Really?!  But with that one prayer I knew that my MOST important job with my children was actually being accomplished.

Regardless of all the mistakes I made today and the set backs in our home with potty training and discipline, my Belle had grasped that prayer was important and she was actually talking to God in her own genuine way.  I was teaching her that a personal relationship with her Creator was important, and it was actually working!

It's so hard not to get caught up in what my kids "should" be doing and if I am doing things right.  I often forget that my most important task is to raise my kids to love the Lord and that knowing Him is more important than peeing on the potty (although, this might give me some sanity), making it to church on time, or trying to get more vegetables in my kids' diet.  At the end of the day, if Belle knows that she is loved by an amazing God and that she can talk to Him about anything, then I feel it was a successful day.

Tonight, amidst all my other failure as a mother, I got it right.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Belle!

Kate Krueger Photography

Dear Belle,

How in the world did you become 4 already?!?!  I feel like I blinked and you went from a baby into this little girl before I could take it all in.

  1. You love to play pretend.  Actually, as I am typing this you are asking me to play house.  You want me to be the big sister, and you are going to be the mom.
  2. You love to dress up!  If it is a dress, an animal costume, or silly shoes you LOVE to wear it.  Many times we have gone out while you are in a princess dress.  I figure you can only get away with it while you are young, so I better let ya enjoy it :-)
  3. You love to mow the lawn with your dad. 
  4. You still love music and you love to sing.  I am amazed how quickly you memorize songs.  My favorite is when you are playing and I catch you making up your own little songs.
  5. Purple is still your favorite color. 
  6. You are a lover of anything princess.  You love all of the Disney Princesses, and love to dress like them.  I guess that is what I get for naming you "Belle." 
  7. Barbies!  You could watch Barbie movies over and over again, and you LOVE playing with them.  It is definitely one of your favorite toys.
  8. You are a girl who loves crafts and art.  Every time we are at Joanns or Hobby Lobby you request a craft.  I always give in, because I love to do the crafts with you while your sister naps.
  9. Speaking of Evie, you handle her SO well.  She often demolishes the blocks you built, the house you set up for Barbies, or any of your art projects but you handle her with grace (usually).   
  10. Nothing melts my heart more than how you HAVE to give Evie hugs and kisses before we put her down for a nap or for bedtime.   
  11. You are definitely a social girl, but you also do very well playing by yourself and coming up with your own things to entertain you.
  12. You still love to help me bake :-)  I am actually quite impressed with your ability to crack an egg!
  13. You are still a lover of animals and often remember loads of fun facts about them.  You get a Rick Jr. Magazine each month and you love to have it read to you so often, that eventually you are able to "read' it back to us.
  14. You have become obsessed with "being the leader" with everything.  I am not sure if you learned this concept in preschool or not, but you have often become extremely angry if I beat you down to the bottom of the steps or if I open a door before you.
  15. You are still a night owl, but you are much better at staying in your room at night and playing until you fall asleep (even if it is on the floor most often)  
  16. Potty training is still a major struggle.  You can do it, but you would rather play than go to the bathroom.  You seem perfectly content running around with wet pants, and have made it very clear you don't really care.  Oh, my stubborn and controlling girl, how much like your mother you are when you don't want to do something :-)
  17. You have finally become a snuggler :-)  You love to snuggle with your dad and I in bed, and you love to give us kisses and hugs before we leave.
  18. Speaking of snuggling in bed, you are a jumping bean!  You are a restless sleeper and hardly ever stop moving!  You often wake up upside down in your bed and I am shocked you haven't fallen out more than you do!
  19. You are still the queen of one-liners. The things you say keep your dad and I, as well as many others, laughing for days.  You have a witty personality and know how to entertain.
  20. You still love to be naked, and would prefer to be nude rather than hanging out at home with clothes on.
  21. You think hotel rooms are pure entertainment. 
  22. You invented the "party hand."  It came out of no where one day, but it has kept your dad and I laughing!   
  23. You are a charmer.  You know you are cute, and you love to chat with strangers. 
  24. Ever since you found out you were having a baby brother you have had to tell EVERYONE you run into.  I am thrilled that you are excited and proud to have a little brother, and I have no doubt you will be an amazing big sister to him.
  25. You thank God every night for snow...even in the middle of summer.  You love it, so it is a good thing we live in Michigan.  
  26. You can turn on and off the waterworks at the drop of a hat.  You might be crying one second, but if I mention cookies or cake the tears quickly stop and you are smiling and laughing. I am CERTAIN you must try out for the school play.
  27. You remember EVERYTHING!  I am amazed at your uncanny ability to remember details and events to things I would have never thought twice about had you not reminded me.    
  28. You love to be a helper.  Whether it is taking care of Mac, getting things for me, or helping me grocery shop, you like to be a part of the action.
  29. I have a feeling you are very similar to me when it comes to cleaning and organization.  I watch you play, and you have things EVERY WHERE!  Messes don't seem to bug you too much.  I am certain it is just part of our creative personalities ;-)
  30. You have already begun to ask me hard questions about God and Jesus.  You make me strive to grow deeper in my faith, so I can be a teacher and role model for you.  Thank you for your inquiring heart and tough questions.  Don't stop asking.
  31. You, Belle, are beautiful inside and out.  Don't ever forget.  

Keep singing, my sweet girl, and keep that sassy attitude that makes me cringe and laugh all at once.  You are one special girl, and I am so thankful that I get to keep watching you grow.  My heart aches when I realize how quickly you are growing up, but I am so thankful I get to be your mama.  Yes, we drive each other crazy often, but I know that is just what mothers and daughters do.

I love you!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VBAC vs. C-Section

My delivery with Belle was amazing.  Water broke at 2am, started pushing at 7, and by 7:50am the girl was out!  I was petrified of labor and delivery, and by the end of it all I realized how much I LOVED it (with an epidural, of course--I don't have any pain tolerance).

With Evie I never expected anything to be much different.  I assumed I'd have an easy breezy labor and delivery again.  To be honest, the labor part was easy!  Water broke at 3am, and by 7am I was ready to push.  Unfortunately, when my doctor came in to check on me he informed me that there would be no pushing.  Evie was breech.  Emergency c-section, here we come.

I really struggled with the c-section, because I knew my body was more than capable of delivering Evie the good ol' fashioned way, and that my recovery would have been much easier.  I assumed I was doomed to more c-sections, since I felt like the risk of VBAC wasn't worth it.  Welp, once faced with the decision, I became really torn.

I think the reason I really decided to seriously think about a VBAC was because I knew how different and easy it could be to have a vaginal delivery.  The recovery was night and day different from a c-section.  Don't get me wrong, c-sections have some pros in comparison to vaginal deliveries in regard to recovery, but none of which make major surgery worth it.

Two weeks after having Evie I had a follow-up appointment for my c-section, and my doctor told me right away that if I were to have more children I would be the "perfect candidate" for a VBAC.  Today, I had an appointment to discuss VBAC vs. c-section, and again I was called the "perfect candidate."  This is why:

  1. I have had a proven pelvic delivery.  Belle was a vaginal delivery, so they KNOW I can get a baby out.
  2. The only reason for the c-section with Evie was because she was breech, not because my labor failed to progress or she wasn't moving anywhere.
  3. My labor is quick.  Labor is hard on the uterus and causes strain on it.  A longer and harder labor means a higher likelihood of uterus rupture.
  4. I have had at least an 18 month gap between births.  Evie and this baby will be 26 months apart, so the time between delivery is perfect.  
For some reason, despite ALL these factors, I still find myself unsure.  I know that a planned c-section has its own set of pros and cons, but I worry about something going wrong and completely regretting my decision.  I don't want to feel like I am being selfish choosing a VBAC, if it risks my life and the baby's life.  However, c-section isn't risk-free either.  

60-80% of women who choose VBAC are actually successful.  There are 5 to 10 women out of 1000 who will have a tear or opening in the uterus.  My doctor told me that in her 20 years she has seen few tears, and of the ones she has seen only 2 of them were so severe that it required a hysterectomy.    All in all, the risk is low.  Paul and I still aren't sure if we are done after 3, so the risk of having a hysterectomy does scare me, but if I have one more c-section I am not able to try for a VBAC in another pregnancy.  

The risks in c-section are different, but still very scary.  There is still a risk of the uterus tearing just from having a c-section, scarring, higher risk of infection, problems with the placenta in subsequent pregnancies, as well as injury to other organs.

All in all, Paul and I have a lot to think about and costs to weigh out.  I want to feel confident in my decision and not freak out on delivery day--whether it be VBAC or c-section.  I know others have had to make this same choice, and I am curious how you made your decision and felt confident that it was the right choice for you and your family.