Monday, October 24, 2011

Mom Guilt (response)


I remember reading a few articles about how to handle things when a new child comes along. One of the pieces of advice I took to heart was to tend to the older child first and then help the younger because for the first year the younger one will not realize they are being “slighted.” So when June was crying because she needed to be fed I would quickly help Catina with something she was asking me for. Catina was receiving the attention she needed and didn’t feel like it was all about the baby. June was able to wait a few more minutes which I believe has taught her to wait patiently even now. Of course, there are exceptions to this every day but I tried to be conscious that baby didn’t always have to come first.

I believe a lot of what you are feeling is false guilt. I can say this only because I know you and how you feel badly for anyone who seems to be alone. It would be one thing if you left one of your kids in a room by themselves all the time but I know that is not the case. Your kids are almost always together and they may get a bit bored or need to be redirected but they are completely fine. A few moments to tend to themselves does teach them a lot.

You are going to hear me talk about counseling a lot but one thing I learned was that you need to tend to yourself as well. When June was born I made it a point that Mommy exercised before we started our day. They learned the habit and did not feel slighted because this is how life was. I was healthier and in turn they were watching Mommy take care of herself. Recently, you posted a Facebook status about how you felt guilty being on the computer when your kids woke up from their nap. There is no reason to feel guilty! You are constantly working and taking a few moments to check your e-mail is not a sin. I will pray that you will stop listening to the lies that are in your head about such things.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mom Guilt


I am amazed by how often I feel overwhelmed with guilt as a parent. And we’re not talking about guilt because I got too angry or too strict, we’re talking about guilt because Hayden has to lay on the floor looking all lonely while I tend to the twins, or guilt because I let them watch Dora 3 times a day so I can nurse the baby or get dinner prepared. I feel badly when they seem lonely or pushed aside, and yet logically I know they’re just fine and these things are normal—probably healthy (well, maybe not Dora)! I’m not sure what I think a mom is supposed to do, but I can tell you I feel pretty certain I’m not doing it. I feel like you have so much more balance than I do in this area. I need a new mantra.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blood Test (response)


I’m for telling people about baby’s possible condition, if for no other reason than to not bear the burden alone. If people are asking you about your pregnancy and baby details, it’s going to feel like a big, heavy secret if they don’t know. No matter what, people are going to seem irritating, so that’s a toss-up.

Praying with you,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blood Test

Dear Jen,

Today we got the blood test results back. My doctor called and told me the test was positive for Down Syndrome. She seemed to linger on the phone and I felt as if I was consoling her. Ugh, this is the kind of reaction I dread! I think this made it more of a real possibility for Greg. He tends to wait for his emotions until he really needs to have them. We are still looking forward to this baby coming regardless but I feel this puts a weirdness on our anticipation. Do we tell people? If we don’t, would they be upset? Should we let them get used the idea just in case? Or wonder if she’s not? I hate to be over dramatic. One of my pet peeves!

Greg told me that at first June’s deafness bothered him and he was full of concern but now he looks at her and wouldn’t want her to be any other way. He knows we will feel the same about Baby #3!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tests & Ultrasounds (response)


This makes me crazy for you. People’s responses can be so frustrating, I totally know. It’s crazy how this theme of prayer and healing and grace keeps coming up for us.

I remember being so scared of people’s responses when we found out our news about Elisabeth that I actually emailed everyone except you and our parents. And in those emails I decided to be super-specific about how I needed them to act when I saw them: Please do not have sad faces, please do not tell me about your pregnancy. Please feel free to ask me how I’m doing, and understand that I may or may not want to talk about the situation, and let me say as much or little as I like, without lots of questions. I write this only as a suggestion to you, since we know people are going to say well-meaning but ignorant things. We both lived through that with infertility.

So complicated. Praying for all of this.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tests & Ultrasounds

Dear Jen,

Today I saw the doctor to follow up with the ultrasound. The baby’s nuchal fold measured 6mm which can be cause for concern for Down Syndrome. I’m really not sure what to think. My doctor was talking to me like my baby was dead or something and it really bothered me, plus the pressure I was getting from her to have an amniocentesis. I’ve always passed on those tests and this does not make it any different for me. I did let her draw blood to check my hormones. Apparently, there is a hormone you can check to screen for Down Syndrome. It’s not 100% accurate so even after getting back the test results we still won’t know so afterwards I started doubting why I even did it. The doctor threw out the word “stillbirth” a few times and I think that’s what convinced me. I called Greg right after the appointment and he immediately told me that whatever the Lord brings we will be able to handle it and we will love her no matter what. I was thinking the same thing but it was nice to hear him say it. I have an ultrasound at the hospital and an appointment with a specialist in two weeks. I’m realizing that although it’s nice to have some follow-up, we still won’t know any more now than we will then.

My biggest dread in this whole thing is telling people. I don’t do well with people’s reactions if they don’t line up with how I want them to respond. It’s all an inner struggle. The hard thing is, I don’t even know how I want them to respond!


Friday, October 7, 2011

20-Week Ultrasound (response)


I was shocked to see your text explaining that you have to go in for a Level 2 ultrasound since your baby has markers for Downs Syndrome. I just stared at it. I have no idea the emotions you must be feeling, and even though we both know this is not a tragedy, it’s certainly hard to imagine a child who isn’t totally healthy. Of course we have a picture in our heads and it usually doesn’t include special needs, so it takes a minute to digest.

Waiting with you for more info….


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Creation

It took me forever to find the pumpkin seeds to make this.  Finally found them at the local gas station!  Who would’ve thought?  JEN!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

20-Week Ultrasound

Dear Jen,

As you know today was our big ultrasound. I was pretty anxious beforehand because I know this is where they can see all the baby parts, like the heart. I really wanted Catina to come with us and that was the plan from the beginning but when it was time to leave she decided to stay home. I’m not positive why, but somehow I do think it has to do with us being at the doctor. The last time this ultrasound was set she said she had a stomachache and couldn’t come. I think this is the first time I really disappointed by her not wanting to do something for me. I envisioned her there and I was really weepy when I found out she wasn’t coming. It was the first time I wanted to pull out that old line “After I’ve done for you….”

Once we were in the ultrasound room I felt much better and was excited to see our little one. The baby was being really stubborn and wasn’t letting the tech see all of the heart and spine. We were having really bad luck with finding out the sex and she couldn’t see the face at all. No cute ultrasound pictures for this kid! The tech kept making comments about how she couldn’t remember the last time she didn’t find out the sex of the baby. Finally, right before she gave up she told us we were having another girl!

A girl! I can’t believe we will have three. Its funny how just the day before I mentioned how funny it was that you have three boys and I have three girls. Its like I knew she was going to be a girl. Greg was happy and felt like the middle name of the baby came to him during the ultrasound. We have a boy name but do not have a girl name so it was special that he thought of something we both liked.

I think this makes it official for our families. Together we make the Brady Bunch!