Monthly Archives: August 2007

I Love My Job

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Well, I’m officially "back on the job" as of yesterday, with five little girls under five (for a couple more weeks).  I am SO thankful to Matt for the nice long baby-moon, and for the fact that he did all my grocery shopping and deep cleaning this week to let me start in slowly.  I am very blessed!  Yesterday after I had taken care of all the girls and house for the afternoon, I went to a couple of stores for odds and ends.  As I was driving it struck me how much I’d genuinely enjoyed my afternoon.  I realized that I truly love my job – I derive such satisfaction out of so many little things: I love how my home "speaks" peace when things are tidy and pretty; I love how my girls seem all the more delightful with their hair in neat, sweet little ponytails and their faces clean; I love that feeling at naptime after the laundry is folded, and at night when all the dishes are clean – when things feel so nicely finished and at rest.  Alyssa, thankfully, is a great little baby, and is settling into a nice feeding routine that flows very well with our days (as long as I get up on time in the morning!) There are plenty of things that are difficult and frustrating about this job of wifehood-motherhood-homekeeping (like the fact that I’m VERY tired with nursing at night), but so much joy to be had in these little things!  I am truly happy and feel so blessed to have this good work,  to care for all these little girls (a fact which I have to remind myself of when I’m feeling easily annoyed!), to live in this home, and particularly this week I’m thankful to live in a time when there are so many little inventions to make our jobs easier.  Here are my current favorite things:

*At the very top of my list is my new peanut shell . I’ve said before how much I love my ergo, but I can’t use it for a newborn.  This peanut shell is so easy to put on and so handy for when Alyssa’s fussing, but I need both of my hands! I’ve never been good with slings, but this one is perfect for newborns! In fact she’s snoozing in it right now.

Yep, there’s a baby in there . . .

*Little moses baskets, so I don’t have to run upstairs every time the baby needs to nap (and to keep her safe from all those adoring sisters).  Ok, this picture is a laundry basket, but it works for now and walmart is shipping me a nice, inexpensive moses basket in a couple of days.

*My new camera – our old one decided to die (completely) two days ago, so my birthday money and the gas money we saved with Matt off work went towards a new one.  It has a learning curve, but it seems to take beautiful pictures already, and I’m sure they will get even better as we get to know the camera more. Here’ s a pic we snapped today:

I suppose this isn’t a recent invention, but I am so thankful for ladies who have the talent and time to knit pretty things for little ones. Here’s a sweet sweater set a friend from church made for Alyssa:

 

Birth Story

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I know some of you were hoping to hear more about Alyssa’s birth, so here goes: 

I had expected to have a shorter labor, as my mom’s labors always cut in half time-wise (her first was 8 hours, then 4, then 2).  Mine seem to be the opposite, after the first one. My first was 12, then 4, then 8, and this one was just about 20 hours. Totally threw me for a loop, I must say – Matt and I were both thinking she wouldn’t ever come out! I went into labor around 9pm on the 14th, and she was born just before 5 the next evening.  My mom, Matt and I stayed up till midnight playing boggle, assuming the labor would progress quickly.  But at midnight I was still 6 minutes apart, so I decided to attempt sleeping.  I "slept" most of the night as if I had a snooze alarm – I’d wake up with each contraction, then fall back asleep.  In the morning, I got up to get some breakfast and get things ready for the girls’ breakfast – that got my contractions to 3 minutes apart and even more painful, so I called my midwife.  She came over and said I was 6 cm dilated.  A moment later, however, she got a phone call from another one of her clients and discovered that  she and I were both in labor!  So she ordered me to bed for a bit to slow things down, and my friend/midwife’s assistant stayed with me.  The other lady was blessed with a quick labor and within an hour or two my midwife was back.  My daughter kept asking me why I hadn’t had the baby yet, since our friend had her’s so quickly. Between painful contractions I tried to tell her that some babies come slowly, some quickly. My wonderful mom watched all four of our older girls all day. We filled up the aquadoula, and I spent most of the day in there.  It was definitely a painful labor, but I felt much more in control of myself this time than with previous labors. I was very quiet and still for most of it (until it was time to push – I think this was the hardest one at that point, even though she was little!).  Being in the water helps me so much – I can’t imagine laboring without a labor pool! I did feel bad that it was taking so long, but what can you do?  My midwife knitted, we put on a movie, and everyone was remarkably patient and so encouraging to me as I labored and we waited for this baby! It got to the point that I was exhausted and discouraged, because it was more and more painful, but I didn’t feel like anything was happening.  But in any case, God was faithful and gave me the strength to make it to the end.   I am so blessed to have a midwife and midwife’s assistant who are good friends from church, so I spent the day with my husband and two good friends – definitely the most supportive labor environment you can get! By the time Alyssa made her appearance, I was too exhausted to think of anything besides two things: "She’s finally out – it is a girl, right?" and "hey, she looks like the others. . . but she has HAIR!" I was SO relieved to have made it safely through this birth, and to finally get to lay down with my new baby girl! She was so healthy –  great apgars, no problems at all. I cried, out of sheer exhaustion, relief, and utter thankfulness that all my fears proved to be totally silly.  Matt was so wonderful through everything – there’s something so sweet about the way he becomes so much more tender towards me after watching me labor – especially this labor that was much longer than the others!   Now it’s been a week, and I’ve spent most of it in bed with Alyssa.  My midwife and Matt like me to stay pretty much in bed for the first two weeks, so I’m happily complying! Sure makes for great baby-bonding time! The girls are doing wonderfully with daddy, and would come and hold Alyssa for hours if they could!  They all adore her – though I think Juliette takes the cake for the most loud and giddy adoration!  Thus far we’ve been quite blessed as Alyssa sleeps very well – I actually have had to wake her up in the night after five hours of sleep to nurse her.  Now I don’t really wake her, but she still only nurses once at night. I’m sure it helps that she’s sleeping in my arms.  It’s funny – we were too nervous to have our first two babies sleep with us.  Neither Matt nor I liked the idea, so they slept by us in a bassinet.  Then Juliette changed all of that – she would occasionally just stop breathing, so my midwife suggested sleeping with her so she’d follow my breathing pattern.  Her’s was the most wonderful newborn time we’d yet had, and we were hooked. She slept with us for a month, then started sleeping through the night on her own. Now Matt and I have realized that we actually feel better having Alyssa sleep with us than in her bassinet – for at least the first few weeks. It’s our snuggly time – and perhaps Alyssa will even follow Juliette’s pattern in sleeping all night at a month old (I can dream, can’t I?) . . . Anyway, I think that’s about it for her little birth story.  We’re just so very happy she’s safely here!

Creative Thinking

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Matt’s doing such a great job taking care of the house and all of the older girls while I rest.  Today he was entertaining me with some stories of their antics.  Here is one he typed out: 

As I was doing the dishes I could hear Naomi and Hannah frolicking with abandon in the living room. I knew that when they played as such the inevitable crisis was looming on the horizon. Within minutes I heard the squeals of glee turn to a pathetic, whimpering cry coming from the mouth of the elder. As Hannah made her way into the kitchen bemoaning her situation I heard her begin to say, "Daddy, Naomi just . . . " I interrupted to ask her, "Are you tattling?" She stopped in her tracks and quickly blurted out "No".  Vexed, confused and no longer crying, she stood with her hands folded and fidgeting at her waist level; she knew that if she were to tattle, discipline would ensue. Thinking creatively on her toes, she began this conversation:

"Um, Daddy?"

"Yes dear, is there something you wanted to say to me?"

"Um…..Something hurt me". 

I then told her to go ask "Something" to apologize for accidentally hurting her and then have "Something" kiss the place where it hurts.

"Ok", she blurted.

Then followed a quick snap of her feet, an about-face and her little fading form exiting the kitchen and yelling . . .

"Naomi, Daddy wants you to apologize for hurting me…."