Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Parenting Perks

So, Mark and I just came up with another really good reason to have kids.

All for the sake of entertaining your children, you can run around the house singing at the top of your lungs and dance like a crazy person. It doesn’t matter whose around, or what circumstances you’re under.

If you feel like being silly, you can do it, and “it’s okay, ‘cause you’ve got kids…”

Follow most any peculiar whim (like singing the veggie tales theme song in strange voices) and your kids love it.
You’re entertaining them.

Make funny faces and put your clothes on backwards.

Almost anything goes.

If you did those things without kids, (In high school, I actually think I did most of these things) you may be thought of as crazy…

But now, we’re just thought of as parents! : )
P.S. That's Joy, my sister. She's an aunt, I guess that's okay too...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gently led

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

I have felt so gently led as of late. There are several directions I’ve thought of to take this post… several very different directions. I’m not sure which one I’ll side with. Perhaps, I’ll just type and let my heart led fingers decide. (this has potential to be one of my classically LONG posts… sorry!)

God has been leading me. Out of the few moments I can gather to catch a glimpse of my Savior, He has taken them and turned them into all out reflections. I glance at the title of a book, and He floods my mind with thoughts. I hear one line in a song and immediately He brings scripture to my mind. One sentence spoken by my husband turns into a reminder of Who God is and what he’s done for me.

The other day while at my parents house, Gideon was napping and Silas was nursing, my mom came and sat with me and said, “I’ll bet you didn’t get a chance to have any quiet time with the Lord today.” She was right, not today, not for over 2 weeks, really. She said, I’ve been reading this book here (I think it was something like “the Practice of Godliness”) She started reading. God started showing me my heart.

I wont attempt to quote for you what she read, it wont make much of a difference. With just the first few sentences I lost track of what she was reading, and began listening to the voice of God ringing gently in my mind.

“I pride myself on being (and not being) a certain kind of girl” is a thought I’ve had so many times. This certain kind of girl that I am not, is a very specific kind, its not a bad kind, just a certain kind. (no, I’m not going to tell you what kind of girl I’m talking about!)
About a week ago I had front row seats to a scene of these 2 specific kind of girls, interacting in the way that these specific kind of girls often interact with one another.

I was not impressed, in fact I was disgusted! In my heart I was rolling my eyes, gagging myself and making fun of them in many ways. Of course outwardly I was just observing. Later that night, I reflected on how I felt about my reaction to the scene I observed. I was unremorseful. I did not feel the need to repent, I was “in the right.”

Days later, as my mom read to me from this book, I had an over whelming need for repentance. As I sat in judgment (the very thing I was complaining about to a friend of mine a day earlier) I was stating unapologetically that I considered myself to be superior to these 2 girls. I was stating a claim on my importance, my worth was more valuable than theirs. I was in that moment, everything that Christ was not. I was behaving in such a way that I know displeased God. In the same way a parent wants and requests their children to love one another, and becomes disappointed with them when they don’t. I was not loving, honoring, supporting, uplifting or submitting to my fellow believers (these 2 girls are Christians) in the way that Christ wants.
I became aware of how not Christ like I was behaving. I was not acting I love, and once more, I became aware at how magnificent the love of Christ is.

1 Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues
of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I am, so very, gently led.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My thursday - and now its saturday...

So, this is a little blurp from thursday... its saturday, and I'm just now posting it. :)

Was to be called "Today, laundry wins"

Nap time - Shower vs. Laundry, laundry wins. Maybe I’ll fit bathing into my night time routine. Looks like I’m going with the ball cap look today.

12:14 - Sitting down to eat. Hummus and crackers. The only other things I’ve had today; 2 pieces of fudge. Easy things to grab and eat… I need to buy some fruit.

Reflecting on - His grace is sufficient for me.

My Dear Lord Jesus, Thanks for my boys. I wouldn’t trade them for a million showers and a perfectly balanced diet ever! Thanks for giving me the life of a mother, I love it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent - take one

So, I’ve been really excited about this Christmas season. Last year (for Christmas time), Gideon was only 10 months old. Even though I talked all about it, I don’t think an infant can grasp the magnificent story of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection?

This year (although we do have an infant) we have a toddler to share the story of Christmas with. A few nights ago we got out the advent book with 25 different mini books inside, one for every day in December up ‘til Christmas, each has a little gold string (for hanging on our non existent Christmas tree.) We started a few days late so we had some catching up to do. Gideon sat on daddy’s lap, snuggled into his chest, holding his favorite stuffed penguin. Mark began to read, but Gideon was so taken by the tiny book that daddy was reading from, Mark couldn’t continue reading. After much struggle, we finished book one, Mark decided to stand to read book 2 (so that Gideon wouldn’t try to take it from him.) As Mark read from book 2 Gideon sat on the floor at daddy’s feet drinking water from his sippy cup. Right before I could even finish the thought “what a nice, quiet, way to spend a few minutes each night reflecting on Christ’s birth.” Gideon began crying and ran to the fridge “Juice! Please! Juice!” (daddy told him after dinner, that he couldn’t have anymore juice.) We dealt with the situation, finally got things calmed down, and Mark went back to reading. But Gideon began crying again. That’s when I realized, Mark kept reading “The Romans made life hard for the Jews. They treated them harshly…”

Jews and Juice sound pretty similar.

Maybe We’ll use the advent book next year. : )

Friday, December 5, 2008

The story of Silas' birth


Okay, if you’re a guy, go ahead and read, just be warned, I didn’t make things specifically un-detailed. I’m the queen of details and though this is not graphic, it may be uncomfortable reading.

For those of you who love details, before reading this, scroll down and read the previous 2 posts.

For the rest of you, enjoy skimming through my second birth story. : )

Early Sunday morning, about 3:00 am - Contractions start, abdominal and back, quite regular, about 8 minutes apart. I was able to sleep off and on most of the morning, got up and showered, contractions were closer now, about every 4 -6 minuets. We timed them for about an hour, then called my Dr. at about 1:30 we arrive at the hospital. We check in, go to triage and my favorite nurse, Beth, comes in, “here you are! We had a room all ready for you this morning at 9:00, we left 2 messages for you, you were supposed to be induced this morning.” (Fist of all, since when has it been okay to leave a voicemail for scheduling a dr.’s appointment, especially one like a labor induction?!? Second, how can they just go ahead and set up a room for me, when I haven’t even consented to induction yet?!?) Ugh, anyway, I’m thinking “well, I’m in labor now, haha!” : ) So, they check me over, they don’t think I’m in labor, they think I’m dehydrated… they can’t get any IV.’s in me, I am REALLY dehydrated (remember, I was VERY sick.) Finally, they had the anesthesiologist come in, he got a vein, and they started a drip of fluids. 2 bags later, I was still having contractions, but they were farther apart and less intense. They decide it’s time to induce. I’m sick of fighting, I feel like my body is gearing up for labor anyway, I give in. At 2:00 pm Sunday Nov 23rd they start inducing with a little pill called me-zo (I’m spelling it phonetically, because I have no idea how it’s actually spelled. Plus, that’s just the nickname.) They use it internally, instead of orally, it’s supposed to “ripen the cervix” I’m given this stuff once every 4 hours, I had 4 doses, not much change, still contracting. I was able to sleep, Mark and my mom were switching back and forth, trying to catch some sleep on the little pull out cot.… at about 4:00 am on Monday morning we call my sister Joy and my mother-in-law and tell them to come in because my contractions were getting closer and more uncomfortable (Mind you, I was in labor for only 6 hours with Gideon and from “active labor” to “transition” to him being born, happened VERY quick, we didn‘t want them to miss anything.) at 7:45 my Dr. broke my water, I was 3 cm dilated. (Then she proceeded to leave the hospital to go into the office, sorry Janice, But you’re not delivering on my time… maybe I’ll get to deliver baby # 3.) There was next to no cervical change all morning. At 11:00 am they asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, I say “8 or 9” which was more then the last time they asked. Then the Dr. has the nerve to ask the nurse, “Is it really getting worse?” hoping that the monitors will tell them better than I can, the nurse says “No, she is the same she’s been all morning” apparently, the stupid machine knows my pain better then I do. They said I was maybe 5 cm, so they were going to start pitocin, “or just give me a ‘whiff of pit’” (ugh, I hate the medical propaganda, seriously, I think there is an underground religion of medical professionals that worship the “wonder drug” that is pitocin.) Anyway, They started a pitocin drip of 2... Which I guess is 2 parts pitocin to 500 parts whatever it is that they were hydrating me with (saline? I don’t know…) Literally, within 5 minutes of them starting the drip I exclaimed in the middle of a contraction “I think I need to push!” I start trembling and crying… Commotion happens… My substitute Dr. comes in “What? We just checked her, I don’t think she has to push.” She checks again, I’m at 5 ½ cm, “she’s fine, we’ll be delivering this baby in a few hours.” 5 minutes and 2 contractions later I say it again “this baby’s coming!” my mother-in-law runs out to get the nurse again. They come in, check and “oh look, the baby’s head is crowning… guess she was in active labor after all.” I pushed for 10 minutes and out came our beautiful baby boy, Silas Noah Leverenz. Then, despite my birth plan, they upped my pitocin for the after birth.

So, it was not an ideal birth, and my plan was not followed as closely as I was hoping it would be. But, in the end we had a healthy mama and a healthy baby, which is what matters most. Next time, I’m having a home birth, even if that means I need to move to Texas for a month so that Hannah can deliver my baby. : ) If I knew that it was going to go this way, I would have tried harder to figure out a way to have a homebirth this time, or at least an out of hospital one.

P.S. I’m going to give Mark public props, he is the BEST labor and delivery coach I could ask for. I love the connection that we have when we’re bringing our children into the world, together. He can read me like a book, and knows exactly what I need. He’s pretty much the best, he’s my favorite!

The Birth Plan

Onset of labor - Spontaneous
Clothing - Preferably my own, flip-flops, NO SOCKS
Empty bladder - Walk to toilet, bed pan if needed, NO CATHETERS
Fetal monitoring - Preferably none, intermittent if needed
Pain Relief - Basic relaxation, narcotics if asked for, please do not offer. NO EPIDURAL
Pushing - Only when I’m ready, then with direction so as to not go too fast (Side laying position?)
Perineal Care - Preferably massage, NO EPISIOTOMY
Cutting cord - Father, wait until pulsing stops
Baby’s warmth - Placed on mothers abdomen, breast feeding asap
Afterbirth - No pitocin
Rooming In - 24 hours with mother
Discharge - Preferably within 24 hours of delivery
No vaccines for baby!

Some of this may sound silly, but almost all of it came from my first birth experience. : )

The crazy week leading up to the birth of Silas

(I started writing this prior to giving birth, then finished it afterward)

This week has been hard! Due to being; terribly uncomfortable, stir crazy from bed rest, worried about induction, and insane as I watch the house that I’ve kept so clean this month, (In hopes of bringing a new baby into a tidy, organized home) simply turn disastrous in a matter of days. (Mark tried really hard, but… lets just say, he’s not a professional home-maker.)

Here is an account of what’s gone on this week, the week that has felt as long as a month.

Thursday Nov. 13th - Regular weekly Dr.’s appointment. Dr. says: “Oh, I’m really surprised you’ve made it past 40 weeks, it should be any day now. I’ll be out of town this weekend, we’ll do a non stress test on Monday… if you haven’t had this baby yet.”

Over the weekend - I’m having regular contractions, several really strong ones. I have a head cold, and feeling kind of tired. Mixed emotions, “I want to have this baby” battling “my Dr.’s out of town, I’d really like her to be here this time.”

Monday morning (17th) - 8:30, My mom picks us up, we drop Gideon off at my mother-in-law’s, we go into the hospital for the nst. 9:00, I’m hooked up to the monitors, baby sounds great, slight contractions, high blood pressure. 9:30, blood pressure still high, but gradually going down to a less dangerous spot. 10:00 I’m thrown into a whirlwind. Mark is trying to get in contact with me, no cell phone reception, I’m hooked up to the monitors in bed so I can’t use another phone, he decides to come. Before I know it I’m told we’re going to go ahead with an induction. I’m admitted, in a hospital gown, hooked up to more monitors. Mark is running back home to pick stuff up. My dad called and prayed for me, I then burst into tears. A nurse comes in to do a random room check, she sees me, inquires a little, then sends in my nurse and Dr. “what’s wrong?” they ask empathetically. “I DON’T WANT TO BE INDUCED!” Was my not so calm response (I’m still working on standing up for my patients rights, rather than letting the medical profession make every decision for me…) They then realized that this was a real concern for me, I whole heartedly did not think it was in my baby’s best interest for us to induce, and it was not just an attempt to have a perfect pie in the sky granola birth. 1:30, They agree to discharge me as long as I adhere to bed rest, and I take every test imaginable to ensure that this baby is healthy, and I can continue waiting for my body to do what it was designed to do. Every test came back negative. I did not have preeclampsia. I was okay, the baby was okay. (that’s what they were afraid of, I had preeclampsia for Gideon’s pregnancy, and they thought I had it again.)
Wednesday - Mark and I go in to office for another nst, we pass with flying colors. Turns out I’m the talk of the office. “Some crazy girl has made it to 41 weeks gestation and she doesn’t want us to induce!!!” Even the receptionists were talking about it. I didn’t get to see my Dr., so I was talking with a different one, who said, “usually this is such an easy call to make, we literally don’t know what to do with you at this point.” (Supposedly most woman are begging for inductions at 38-39 weeks.) I was told that my Dr. would call me that night or the day after.

Thursday - I’m doing well on bed rest… stir crazy, but I don’t want my BP to go up, I was being good. : ) No call from my Dr.

Friday - No call

Saturday Morning - Still no call. At this point I think something is up, but heck, she wants to induce me, and I don’t want her too. I’m not going to call just so I can argue my case AGAIN!
Saturday Evening - Within minutes of each other Mark and I both come down with the flu. It was NOT pretty. Vomiting and everything else you can imagine. We were miserable. Thankfully (for us) we were at my parents house when we got sick, so we had plenty of caretakers for ourselves and Gideon. (This was the FIRST instance where we were both sick at the same time. It‘s harder then being sick back to back) We hardly slept that night.