Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catching Up Again!

Y'all know how it is...Life is as crazy as life can get right about now. We've got a newborn, I am recovering from the c-section AND my first of two kidney surgeries (which, by the way was pretty brutal---Dr. Smith found three stones lodged in my right ureter. I'm on tons of pain med for my stent and the trauma of the type of work done to me), and Friday, my poor James got into a wreck (not his fault) and totaled his beautiful truck! Thank God he's okay! We're up at night~~doing what moms and dads do for their babies, and we're all sort of, well, goofy, off-track right now. Maybe it's the fact that it's a new year! Happy New Year y'all! We've taken so many pictures already, documenting Linc's first this, first that, and we've got a lot on video as well! My folks take pics on both of their cameras, and we've got pics on ours, and I've uploaded batches of pics at different times, so all of this is to say that this post might seem a bit out of whack, and IT IS! Pics not necessarily in order or anything, but I just want to get them up for our family and friends to see, so fa-give my jumpin' 'round. Christmas is a day I don't want to overlook. We had a great one! It was peaceful. Wendy had the greedy gimmes while we all opened presents, but as a 3-year-old with a new brother to tolerate (and luv...), she's doing pretty well. Last Monday was hairy, but she was okay the next day. It was nice to take turns opening gifts, break for lunch and resume at our own leisure. I so loved reclining with Linc in my arms as we sat around the tree and soaked up the spirit of the holy holiday. 'Couldn't help but think of Mary and her baby boy, Jesus, as I held my own brand new son. What she must have felt, knowing her son's destiny, is a wisdom I know I'm spared as I love and nurture Linc. The most innocent of babes was born to save wretches like us, and this young mother held his tiny frame and nursed his dependence, but soon the world would become dependent upon Him. So, I'm going to upload some highlights, and again, forgive the disorganization, and I'll just try to do a decent job here before a certain needy someone wakes! Tee hee.

The Shroeders meeting Linc!
Mimi got this darling top for Wendy at the hospital gift shop!
I'd say she's pretty smitten!
Neighbor and friend, Julie, has really bonded with Lincoln...And he looks quite a bit like one of her sons as an infant!
Wendy approving the cookies and milk left out for Santa's visit...
Christmas morning!
Look what I GOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
A new dress-up...
My mom took this and we love that it was not planned...
Checking him out, a favorite new past-time.
This doll crib was my mom's as a little girl, then mine and now it's Wendy's and Linc sure looks cute in it!
After his very first home bath. A wash cloth bath due to his stump.
After Christmas, it snowed one day, so here is Troy pulling Anna and Wendy. What a ball they had!
Mimi got the stuff for ginger bread men cookies, so she took this photo of Wendy as a domestic diva.
My mom got these bars from the hospital gift shop.

Portraits of Lincoln James

My mom and I have been having a blast snapping pics of little Linc. She picked up some black and white fabric and some blue ribbon, and we went to town!

And one with his girlfriend, Ellie, 2 and a half days his senior!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

More Pics!

Just a few pics I wanted to make sure to post at some point...Here we are at Wendy's preschool concert very soon before Linc came out to join his family. And here is one of Wendy, one of, if not the last photo of her as a single child. The strawberry dress and plaid pearl-snap button shirt, well, my folks wore these items to the hospital for my birth in '78! Finally, just a few more of Linc! Oh, and one of the frightening moment before the KNIFE! YIKES!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Linc's Birth Story!

Hello Loved Ones! If any of you want just the facts, scan this post for the blue words. Pics are at the end!
Linc's birth story = "A Little Bit of Everything" labor and delivery! James, my mom and I (and Linc in utero, of course, tee hee) arrived here at Salmon Creek Hospital at 8 pm Sunday night for the induction---because the kidney stones I've suffered were becoming more painful to pass due to the increasing weight on my bladder. I had been told earlier that I was 2 centimeters and 50 % effaced, so after having my membranes swept and walking the mall, I was HOPING to be further along and not need much to get the ball rolling. In fact, the monitor showed that I was already contracting! Strong and regular! But they weren't producing changes to my cervix, so we started things off with that tiny, magic pill that softens things. The next morning, we started a low dose of Pitocin. At this point, I hoped the Pitocin would jump start real, productive labor and allow me to then get off of it and continue on with natural contractions. I wanted to labor in the tub and deliver without pain management. That was the plan.
Well, I made it quite far! I thought of my dear friend, Lisa's, recent all-natural tub birth and how beautiful it was for them, and I wanted that for us, too. I remembered asking her what the pain was like, and she'd told me, "Laurel, there are no words." But she'd expressed how the body copes and rejoices at its victory in the end! So, as I labored in the tub, still on a very low dose of Pitocin, I concentrated on what, exactly, these contractions felt like. For me, it was like this: a log, the size of a large can of Aqua Net hairspray is the pestle grinding my cervix, the mortar, increasing its aggression steadily, burning, burning. I made it to 7 1/2 centimeters, 75% effacement, and could take no more! I was overwhelmed. Epidural time. I endured it as long as I possibly could though, and reeeeaaaally felt it and soaked it up, so "experience labor in earnest," "CHECK!" Then, it was time to push. With Dr. Rosenblum, the nurse, my mom and James, I pushed for 4 1/2 hours in every position--with the bar, on hands and knees, on side, etc. Dr. R actually told me that I was the strongest pusher she's ever seen (but bragging about THAT is no real pleasure because I was not able to push Linc out. I pushed properly, with everything I had in me, but his head would not descend that last minute space. Finally she said something was preventing his coming and we should go to the OR for a c-section. We agreed. James and I found ourselves in the operating room, awaiting the birth of our son, and when he did come, at 5:09 pm, the mystery of his rut was no more. He was occiput posterior, JUST LIKE WENDY HAD BEEN, AND crooked! AND 8 lbs. 7 ozs! He had a giant bruise on the wide, flat, unyielding side of his head, which had been absolutely stuck behind my pubic bone. His injury was in the same spot on which the vacuum had been affixed to Wendy's head 3 years ago! It was concluded that my internal anatomy forces my babies into this impossible placement. "Future pregnancies would need to be scheduled c-sections, no question." Suddenly a lot of things became clear---the constant pressure on my bladder these last few months could be attributed to this occiput posterior presentation. And, I do believe I might have made it all the way to pushing without the epidural had my contractions 1) been natural as opposed to Pit-induced and 2) had NOT been the back labor I suffered with his presentation! So, I sort of felt a bit better about wussing out at 7 centimeters. The Moment: The c-section meds had me shaking and getting sick, but as soon as I saw his pink body emerge overhead, and heard his sturdy cry, awe and joy flooded out all else, and I wept uncontrollably! Through tears I tried to focus on his tiny hand quivering above the bassinet side, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching James stand proudly beside his son, video taping the nurses' initial assessment. "10 fingers, 10 toes," and "the fattest umbilical cord they'd seen!" A well-nourished boy, he was! Later, I'd get to hold and examine him up close. He has lighter hair than Wendy's and almond eyes like James' and his mom's. He also bears a resemblance to Wendy! He's soft and sounds like an itty bitty house mouse. The past days plus have been a dream come true, and I cannot believe God's love and generosity towards all of us, His children, in the form of new little people! Lincoln, my little man, is here! Now, I cannot wait to see how the days, weeks and months unfold and to find out just who he is, and how his new presence will be such a blessing to his big sister, who, by the way, got to see him finally, this afternoon. One very interesting thing that I've documented in his book is the strict rules re. the H1N1 risk and my being allowed only 2 support adults throughout this process of giving birth and recovering! Wendy was allowed in my room only because she's been vaccinated, twice, and within the right time frame! Good grief, my dad, visiting from Texas, still has not seen Lincoln! We are not allowed to hold him up to a window even! BUT, and this is the ridiculous part, they are tossing out this rule on the 1st. Crazy, huh? Okay, so before I show you some pics, we've managed to accomplish quite a lot today, including my x-ray and cat scan, which revealed, gulp, 5 stones in my left kidney and 9-10 in my right, including some 5 mm ones! Dr. Smith, a urologist here at Salmon Creek, will perform surgery next Wed. on one kidney first. He'll tackle the other kidney a month from now. I'm undergoing a uroscopy due to my "stone burden." It will be painful and a stent will be left in each kidney for a period of days following, which will then have to be removed, painfully of course, so I am not looking forward to....da, ta DA! MORE PAIN! I've already been on the pain train for months and months! But, in life, we cannot avoid things that are unavoidable, so here's hoping it'll feel EXTRA fantastic when my c-section is healed, my kidney work is no longer tender and I'm STONE FREE! At LEAST for a year or two following. I won't take health and well-being for granted! That's for sure! I just want to focus on my my kids now sans ouchies. Some more Linc deets--His head is 14 inches, he's 20.5 inches long, and his head circum., length and weight are each in the 95% percentile, strangely enough! His Apgar was 8/9. He's cute and cuddly. We really love him. Okay, the pics!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Holiday Reflections

It's December 1st, the first day of the most exciting month of the year for most everyone, and the month I am expected to bring another little soul into this world! But as God so ordains that this awaited occasion transpire, I look upon it with happiness and humility because I know that there is so much more to a happy birthday. I believe that this world is fallen, in part, because God does not want any of us to fall too deeply in love with it. We were created in His image to worship and enjoy Him alone, and this is glorious. But sometimes we're on top of our mountain, filled to the brim with glee and we feel, for that briefest of moments, that we've reached that perfect state of being. Then life happens once again. Trials small, and tragedies profound are the tether that keep us grounded either in a spiritual way becoming to the true Christian, or in a rebellious way. For some, the loss of a loved one is enough to harden their hearts, turn their eyes from their Maker and toss them into the broad path of destruction. For others, such a devastating event causes them to cling ever tighter to the Cross, putting their faith in the flawless, all-seeing plan of God. For them, that "peace that passeth all understanding" comes. With the start of the Christmas month, many are abuzz with anticipation. Children expect to get that coveted toy, singles expect that first kiss under the mistletoe~~~I hope for the safe delivery of my baby boy, due the day after Christmas. We long for the sacred desires of our hearts to be met and exceeded beyond our most ambitious imaginations. We hold out for that grand surprise. The hopeless dread the holidays, expecting to be disappointed, or stressed, or broke. The fact of life is that it is an ever-shifting score board of points scored and points lost. We live in a broken world, so it's never going to be Heaven for any of us, as we can see when we read the heartbreaking details of another celebrity's life, falling apart. We simply can't touch that bliss until we return home to our Heavenly Father. I do so look forward to meeting little Lincoln James, beholding the most precious of faces, the tiniest of fingers and toes, to examining the folds in his bowed, froggie legs and cupping his itty bitty bottom in my palm as he rests on my shoulder, but as I grow this baby inside me, I hurt. I have suffered about three kidney infections and have passed 5 stones thus far. The past three days have been rough and have caused me to reflect. I'm not to fall too madly in love with my pregnancy, I realized. Beyond that, I am not to idolize James, or Wendy, or Lincoln, or my mother or father, or myself or pleasure. Yes, there definitely is love to be realized, pleasures to be experienced, and joys that I can't even fathom, but there will always be the anchor that reigns in that enthusiasm, ever and always keeping that zeal in check. For the best is yet to come, and transient life is to eternal life what clay is to the harvest! This Christmas season, I hope that we all can look forward to the ultimate blessing of reunion with our Savior, and I am certain that with that focus in our hearts, all of our disappointments as well as all of our pleasant surprises will further ready us for the grand finale! WHOOP!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Here are some photos documenting some developments, including Linc, and Christmas activities that I have tried very hard to "wrap up" before I get TOO BIG! Living Water Church, where we believe we will stay, is sending out Christmas shoe boxes for children in war-torn countries (Samaritan's Purse), and I have to tell you that I love any excuse to shop for toys. It's the kid in me. Below is Wendy (very obediently) allowing me to pack and seal these boxes of goodies for other kids. Of course, when she saw the purple Barbie, she told me she's going to put "purple Barbie" in her letter to Santa. Note to self---get that purple Barbie before they sell out! Oh! James is taking Wendy with him to WalMart, so I just asked him to sneak that doll in the basket. Yay James!
The other night, I affixed Disney Princess nails to Wendy's fingertips, and she loved them! Until one fell off that is. Then she was all tears!

Behold...her first school portrait. I used sponge curlers that morning...Worked like a charm!
I assembled 17 of these for James' coworkers. Pillar candles with candies in festive tin buckets, tied up with ornaments. James will take them in after Thanksgiving. Again, I love any excuse to shop!
Wendy's picture with Santa from this week! 'Got out them curlers again. Couldn't help myself.

Yup, and I've wrapped all my Christmas gifts already too. HAD to! I'm almost too big to save it for later!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family Update

I love my James. He's such a sweet man. Last night, he was going to go for a jog, but Wendy ran up to him and said, "Daddy, do you want to have a tea party with me?" and of course, in his work clothes, with his work badge still attached to his belt loop, he shuffled into our kitchen, got out the tea pot, the gummy snacks, and crouched down at her teensy IKEA table and chairs, and they partied. Around the two of them were Pooh Bear (of COURSE!), two dolls and other little "friends." James named them all. They took turns and used "please" and "thank you." He always uses their tea parties as a chance to reinforce good manners. Another thing he and Wendy do together is Playdough, and jogs in the jogging stroller, and watching the fishies swim around in their tanks at WalMart. Yup, I am blessed to have married a wonderful man.
Now, back to other news, Wendy news, as if I have any other kind of news--She's been her usual chatty self. She often asks me in public, the moment she spots a victim, "Mommy, Can I talk to strangers because I'm with you?!" I say, "Yes," and she then turns to the unsuspecting man or woman and says, "Hi! What's YOUR name?" It's actually a neat sort of social experiment that I get to observe because you'd be surprised how DIFFERENT folks out there are! Some adults are hesitant to speak to her. Weird. Some are bubbling over with interest in her and sweetness. I like those folks best of course. If she gets sort of blown off, she turns to me and says, "She's busy, right Mama?!" I hope the world is going to be kind to my Wendy. She's so young now, so innocent, and there are meanies out there, so I hope she is blessed to retain her good nature while also developing a strength that will uphold her in the face of rejection or outright cruelty. I wish I could be her shield forever. I hope SHE stays kind as well. I know how important it is for us to pray for our childrens' salvation in the Lord, that they may never know a day apart from the otherworldly comfort, protection and influence of the Holy Spirit within them.
Well, we miss my folks terribly, but they'll be back the 15 for the birth of Linc! Woo HOO! Below are pics of the rest of my folks' time here with us.