Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time As A Mother of One

What with being increadibly overwhealmed and always crying and not healing, my sister was quick to find a solution.

We were sitting in Starbucks and she said:

"Ive been dying to get some me and Matty time. Let me take him for a few days."

She who has 5 precious little people at home was asking to be able to have one more in the pile!

Once logistics were worked out, it was carried out. The next day Aunty Karin came and picked Matty up and brought him out to Aunty Jos. There he stayed for 2 1/2 days romping around with his cousins.

Meanwhile, I was at home taking care of only one little man. A very demanding little man. I only had one nap in that time but I had some much needed sanity time. Only having to think about one little man (the more demanding one of the two for sure). I could sit still when Levi slept and just read or veg. and not worry about having to get up and get a snack or read a story or play a game or clean up a disaster that seems to trail mr. Matthew.

I was able to get to the doctors and get some medications and work in some relief to my life so that when Matty came home (we missed him so much). I had a bit more in the way of hope for my own recovery.

It was so nice to be able to return, just for a short time, to one child. I know very soon I will know how to handle two and not struggle so much with balancing it all. But for now, as one is colicy and loud all the time, and the other one still has so many needs as well, it was very wonderful to have a break for a few days.

Thank you Jo!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


On starting this book I was really worried I would not be able to get through it. Chapters worth of conversations that would normally take a person two seconds to exchange and they just kept going and going. Wordier and wordier...

However, every time I put the book down, i looked forward to picking it up again to see just how close th emovie was to the book. Maybe not the best way to read a book but it worked.

Something that I really enjoyed was escaping into that time period. The formality of it, the language and the ways they enjoyed themselves... I just found I wanted to escape into that historical time and be in their loves instead of mine.

In the end, I have to say I enjoyed this book. It was enjoyable to pick up and put down again. I won't say that it was a "cant put it down" kind of book but I always did want to pick it up again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's Wrong With Me?

Just after Levi was born, I was actually feeling really great. Everything just seemed so much easier and better after his delivery than after Mattys. Now, however, everything seems harder.

Every day I have several crying fits. I just cant seem to stop the tears from flowing. I feel unable to take care of my children. I mean, they are still fed and doing well, I just mean, I have trouble facing the day. I dont want to wake up if I am so lucky to have fallen asleep. I just want to sleep my days away.

I am still not healed yet and that makes me feel nervous. I cant just go back to doing normal things because my body isnt normal. I long to always have my husband beside me just for comforts sake. I dont ever want to be alone with my boys because I feel overwhelmed.

Why is it? I mean I know I am not sleeping well and it is a big transition going from one to two but my attitude... I feel defeated even before the day begins. Its such a negative mindset which is so very unlike me.

I have begged God through my tears to perform a miracle on me. I know He can but so far the answer has been no. I just want the itch to go away. I want weird pains to stop. I want normality back. And I want it NOW! The slightest abnormality makes me want to rush to the doctors to make sure everything is ok. They probably wish I'd stop calling. Peace of mind for me is a big deal. If I can be reassured that everything is ok then somehow the ailment is not as bad.

Anyways, I feel like a wreck these days. I feel like my head is in the clouds and that I am so focused on myself because of my discomfort. I hate it. I am not in a good place. Please, utter many prayers for me. Pray that healing comes really quickly and life can go back to normal.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Saviours

Something I have never been good at is asking for help. Mostly because I havent really needed to much of it up until now. I have always been quick to thank people for offering but them declining their help. Since Levi was born, it is a whole different story.

I want to tell people I dont need their help when they ask but I can't lie. I appoligetically accept their help.

Its all been changing though, and for the better. Some very special people have taught me that being part of a community that can help and love is what we are all about. We accept help and love and we give it back at every opportunity we can. Thats what family does. We should always be willing to give of ourselves and not feel guilty when we need others to give to us.

Here are my lifelines:


My mother had been my biggest lifeline. I have talked to her every day since Levi was born. She calls to check up on me and the babies to see how we are handling everything. And her most frequent sentence is: " I might be out in the morning but you know you can come over and I will be home in the afternoon and I can help you out."

She has kept her Wednesdays open for me. She either comes to my home to help me clean or I go to her place so I can just be still and quiet while she takes on my boys for some time. She has been ready to feed my family at least once, sometimes three times, a week while I dont even lift a finger.

She leads a busy life. She is working at the church, taking care of her home and family, raising her own little man (already 11 years old) and being there for everyone who needs her help... and she still makes time to call me every morning to make sure that if I need her I know she is available. She reasures me that I can always get in touch with her on her cell and that she can always work it out to give me a hand. Just knowing that it is possible to have help sometimes gets me through the day without even needing to ask for it.

Mom, you are an amazing woman. When I see where I am right now, I can hardly imagine that I could ever become a woman like you but I continue to try because I would be doing myself a disfavour if I didnt.

Aunty Jo:

Super Mom! My sister amazes me. She is a mother of 5. Her youngest is 6 months old, is fighting the same cold Levi and Matty have, has had little sleep the last little while and still show up at my house, on her anniversary celebrating weekend, when she heard I got two hours of sleep one night to take my screaming baby out of the house with her so that I can have a nap.

She is always quick to serve you with her amazing cooking and her love. She keeps her days full with raising her busy family and taking care of others little ones as well. I know that no matter what the day, if I give a call she will be quick to tell me to come over and hang out at her place. She would be only too happy to have me there with my boys... even though she has a house full of others who need her attention.

She keeps a beautiful home and provides her family with fantastic dinners and still has time to create beautiful works of art and write amazing things as well as research and organize all he thoughts in such a comprehensible way. I have so much to learn from my big sister.

Tante Ness:

The lady upstairs who is my best friends and sister. Mother of an almost two year old and pregnant with her second which should arrive in the next 6 weeks or so.

Although she has her hands full with her own little ones plus her own health to keep in mind, she has offered to take Matty every morning, if I need her to, so that I can just deal with one little one, get some extra sleep, or have an errand I need to run.

She is always willing to let me come up and "crash her party" when I am feeling lonely or down. I just give a call and say: " Do you mind a couple of visitors?" and the answer is always in my favour. She offers dinner whenever she has extra and is always willing to give a hand in any way that she can. The other night, she came down at 9 pm to hold a screaming Levi so I could get a couple of rooms picked up in my house. She paced and bounced and talked to Levi to try and calm him down just so I could tidy up. It was some sanity time for me. I still heard a screaming baby but I didnt have to hold him and work at calming him down. I knew he was in good hands and I was able to get a few things done.

I hope that I can be just as helpful to you when you little one arrives.

Tante Tara:

Honorary Aunt to my boys, she was here at my place as often as she could be to help Matty with the transition of no longer being the only child. She took his hand whenever he needed someone to get him something, she played with him when he whined and she read him stories gallore.

Her patience for children that are not her own is exceptional and she is always offering babysitting services so Dave and I can go out. Her life is busy as she writes her thesis and T.A.s but she always finds room for her friends.

Thank you for your time and love.

Aunty Karin:

Although she is in pain with her second pregnancy, dealing with a a sick little girl at home and her husband having to work several late nights in a row, she still made time to bless us with a couple of homemade meals.

She is always so quick to give her time and energy in any way she can, thoughtless to how she may be too tired or in too much pain. She knows it will bless someone else and so she is ready for the task.

Thank you for your constant thougtfullness. I hope I can bless your family the way you blessed mine.

God knew that I needed help and He has blessed me with a number of fantastic people that I couldnt live without. I truly dont know what I would do without any of these ladies.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Calm In the Storm

I've mentioned, Im sure, how Levi has been a challenging baby (the whole 4 weeks of his little life). He is always screaming and I find my little bit of patience is very quick to disappear. I never thought I could want to give up on a baby but I find that when there is a constant scream in my ear and nothing in my power can make it stop, I want to just put Levi down, close the door and find a quiet place to sit and cry.
This is what Levi looks like most of the time. So sad eh?

Yesterday, however, was almost a miracle. Levi barely cried at all for the entire day. He fed well and didnt cry afterward, he was able to fill his diapers a few times which kept him happy and he napped like I havent seen him do yet. He continued to struggle with reflux ( I hear it gurgle and him gulp then make a funny face) but it didnt cause him too much pain on this occasion.
Levi at 2 1/2 weeks old

Dave and I just wanted to soak in his happiness. I could hold him and feel relaxed and just look at him looking at me. No pain, no writhing, I didnt have to pace around the house trying to calm him. It was so nice. It was like having a Matthew baby (super easy!)

I thought I should enjoy it while it lasted since my pesimism told me it was likely just a nice break. And it was just a break but one that was greatly needed and appreciated. Its currently 5 am and I have been awake since 4. Levi wasnt screaming but he couldnt breathe. See, the poor kid is either dealing with gas, reflux or (now) a cold. He coughs and sneezes and struggles to breathe unless he is proped right up. So, I am holding him upright on my chest as I type this post. He is sleeping soundly and I am not stressed. The screaming seems to be what brings the panic for me.

I am not fully healed yet. I decided yesterday that every time I was itchy and wanted to scream that I just had to tell myself: "you will be better, this will end. You can get through this." I have to say, it hasnt really been working. I cant breathe away the discomfort that I feel like I could with the pain in labour. I can't just sit in water since when does a mother of two really have time to do something like that? There is no medication that I can use to make it all go away. And so, I am stuck dealing with what every post partum mom experiences for some period of time... the itch.

When I feel it subside, I can sleep again, I can face the rest of my tasks, I can live... but otherwise, I can think of nothing else but how uncomfortable I am. It effects my marriage (I have no patience for anything and always want to complain), it effects my mothering (when I dont feel itch I just dont want to move because I fear it will all just come back again), it effects my sanity (I cant seem to get it off of my mind). Itching is absolutely terrible.

So, right now, I am sitting in front of my computer at 5:15 am and I am in a calm. The storm is still all around me but God has given me a bit of a break. I had almost a complete day scream free and my husband was home the whole time to be a support for me. I have been awake for an hour already but for some reason I am feeling ok. I am sure in another few hours, once Matty is awake and Dave leaves for work, I will not be feeling so hot. I will want to get some sleep that I wont have the time for and I will have two babies needing my constant attention and I will get itchy and need to fight off the desire to scratch myself until I bleed. But for now, I am calm, relaxed and enjoying the little bundle that is breathing so loudly in my arms. Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with this calm.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Baptised at 3 weeks

Last Sunday we had Levi baptised. He was a Valentines Day baptism.

It was nice. We had family and friends join us in celebrating. Lunch was held in the basement and babies were passed around from person to person. I put Levi in the same shirt that Matty wore for his baptism so we could compare what they look like. I personally dont think they look much alike.
This is Matty on the day of his baptism. You will notice he had crossed eyes in the early days of his life but they straightened out after a few weeks.

Here is Levi. Notice the lack of hair and the closed eyes. I truely see little resemblance. Do you?

Rich (our pastor) invited the grandparents and great grandparents to join us in the front. I was so happy about that. He spoke of how we had proof of Gods promise that His blessings would be on multiple generations of those who love Him by seeing believing grandparents present.

Here we are saying our vows to raise Levi in the way that he should go.

Align Center
Here we have the grandparents. Daves parents are right behind us, Daves grandmother is next to them, my parents next to her and Daves grandfather behind them.

What a fantastic sight. All these parents in the front witnessing the baptism of another generation. And not just any parents but mine! We are so blessed!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oh Boy!

One of my biggest fears when meeting my new baby is colic. I know my parents were faced with all four of us children crying all the time in pain and discomfort. After a few days of Matty crying when he was born I thought I was in for it. Then he calmed right down and was the happiest, easiest babies I had ever known.

Unfortunately, Levi doesnt seem to be as fortunate as Matty was. Everyday I am faced with hours of screaming. a little Levi baby looking at me in pain and sufferng and I am helpless. I can bounce him, thump his back, move his legs around... and very little works. The only peace is when he finally poops or when he falls asleep after screaming for so long.

It makes me feel really guilty. Not the pain, but my ability to mother two boys. I feel as though I am neglecting Matthew. I try so hard to have time for him. to snuggle him and read with him and pay attention to him... but I just dont have time. I have to hold a screaming baby and when he isnt screaming he wont let me put him down or he'll scream some more. Once he will stay asleep when I put him down I am so tired, I just lack the energy to get up and play.

Dave is a hero. I cant imagine doing this alone. Dave is always ready to play with Matty and put him to bed, read to him and give him all sorts of attention. It makes me jealous at times to see my firstborn and know I am slipping from a position I used to hold. I could almost always figure out what was bothering him and I could usually always fix it too. Now, everything is such a struggle.

Transitions are hard. I feel bad for my little man. He feels displaced and ignored and I kind of miss being able to give him the attention I feel he deserves. He's never been needy for it so I feel even more like he needs it these days.

It makes me wish I treasured the moments with just Matty a little bit more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Levi's Story

3:30 am I woke up in pain. I thought I must have a very full bladder so I rushed to the washroom. Once my bladder was no longer full the pain continued and it hit me... Im in labour. Levi is on his way.

Now, I was prepared for the labour to stap at around 5 in the morning and to restart again in the evening... the way it went with Matthew. So I paced and paced, I rocked and breathed... and the labour didnt stop. I thought of getting some sleep but everytime I tried to sleep it hurt too much. The pain was intensifying and it wasnt stopping. This was good.

I had a good attitude about it all because I was so determined to have Levi TODAY!

I accepted the pain of the labour as helpful. I actually visuallized a baby head decending into the canal with every contraction. I breathed with the pain and stayed as relaxed as I could.

I didnt wake Dave until 8 am. I was beginning to get a bit paniced because the contractions were very close together... especially if I moved. I was just about ready to say we had to go, right away.

Dave woke up to my forehead on his feet (he was asleep on the couch) in the middle of a contraction.

"are you in labout?" he asked.
"oh ya" i responded.

I didnt communicate well with Dave at that point about just how intense the pain was because he got up, got Matty some breakfast and then decided he would have a shower. In my head Im thinking: "what? a shower? hello there, I need a hospital!"

Anyways, once he got out I had brought bags to the front door and clothes for Matthew out and pretty much told DAve that we had to get going. And we did just that. We rushed Matty upstairs to my sister in laws and they brought him to church and to Oma and Pake. I slowly and painfully headed to the car where Dave had put my bags and we were off.

A brief stop at the coffee shop in the hospital before we went and checked in (Dave needed sustenance) and then we were in a room, wiating to be examed.

Once examed they were excited to see I was 5 1/2 cm dialated and they got me to a delivery room right away. At this point it was 9:30. I met the OB who would be delivering my baby as well as the nurse and a student who would be observing and helping where she could. My docotor also showed up shortly after I got into my room.

I laboured calmly in the tub and in my room and very quickly got to 10 cm. They werent surprised. They were expecting a very quick delivery because of red hair. That silly observation that people with red hair have quick deliveries. Anyways, things had gone quickly so far and now I was ready to push.

After one push they were certain Levi would be born in the next few pushes. I had a strong push and the contractions were good and close. They were wrong. Levi has the same issue as Matty. His head was turned the wrong way and it was stuck. After 45 minutes or pushing they thought they should bring in a specialist to try and turn his head manually. Boy did I pray. I knew it would hirt to have someone go in there and turn his head. Sure enough, when she came and observed my push, Levi turned his head and immediately lowered into the canal. A few more pushes and his hair was showing (his bald little head with just a bit of hair).

In the end, Levi was born after 1 hour and 15 minutes of pushing. Exactly the same as Matthew. What relief when he finally came out. It was so intence. It was an experience without any medication. It was actually quite helpful too... knowing where to feel the pressure and where to focus the push. But I was so wasted.

Levi was born, and I heard his little cry from across the room. I was done pregnancy stage and was now on the end I was so looking forward to. Mothering two boys, not just one.