Monday, April 26, 2010

So, so close...

We almost made it through the rest of the month without any "extras". We all had a cough (besides Ezra's bronchitis a couple weeks ago), but Judah seemed to be avoiding it. *sigh* It just was not meant to be. Yesterday Judah woke up with a cough and some congestion. I started stress dosing him (hydro cortisone) and using his inhaler from the pulmonologist (4x a day until no cough for 24 hr.). Then yesterday he totally surprised me by spiking a fever close to 102! This little boy is just full of surprises. I almost panicked, but then remembered that I have 3 other children who have had multiple fevers over the years, and I really did know how to handle this. It was just so unexpected coming from little "Mr. Can't Run A Fever". A half-hour later the fever disappeared just as quickly & mysteriously as it had appeared; however, I knew I needed to bring him to the pediatrician today. A chest x-ray later, and Judah is now on an antibiotic for bronchitis, as well as his inhaler. I have to admit that I feared bronchitis, because I thought it would be an automatic hospital stay for him. Praise the Lord for His protection of Judah, though, because we're home and it seems to be a somewhat mild case! It's times like these that I'm thankful for the feeding tube. I don't have to worry about waking him up to eat when he's trying to get extra sleep; and I don't have to be concerned about him not getting enough fluids if he doesn't feel like eating.

On that thankful note, I actually realized that I could be thankful for one reason that I wasn't able to breastfeed. Had I been breastfeeding Judah for the 8 months up to the time that they realized he was aspirating, I would have had to quit...like right then...and it would have been so hard to give up at that point. So hard. I'm thankful that I was able to avoid that painful circumstance!

He's On The Move!!!

This first video is of Judah's very first time in the booster seat. He doesn't like sitting up when we first put him in there, but after I distract him for a couple minutes he gets used to it and does pretty well in there for awhile. It's hard work for him, but I'm excited that he's made this much progress and has been able to make this big step forward!

video

This second video is of my big boy rolling over - ALL THE WAY!! What a treat it was to be able to share this with Uncle Reuben, Aunt Heidi, and the Cousins! To God be the glory:)

video

Friday, April 23, 2010

Little Update

This month has been a pretty quiet one for Judah - praise the Lord! - so there hasn't been too much to tell:) No unforeseen doctor appointments because of sickness, no procedures, no major follow-ups - aahhh! Overall Judah is doing well and staying healthy. He's responding well to his testerone injections. He's doing well on the tube feedings, and is now 14 lb. 11 oz. He's progressing in his therapy. He's so close to totally rolling over by himself; his head control and neck strength is getting better and better; he's showing improved trunk strength; he's able to lift his head off the floor when he's on his tummy; and he's now able to sit in a booster seat (with a back and a tray) at the table with us and explore different toys and mushy foods on his tray:) He's not eating solids yet, but he sure likes to play with them! He's as happy and content as ever! I did, however, finally discover 2 things that Judah officially strooongly dislikes: water and grass. It's almost humorous how mad he gets when either of those things touch his feet!

*Wait, I just realized we did have one extra dr. appointment this month. Oh, so close. It was minor though. Just a bacterial infection on his scalp that needed a topical antibiotic. *

Anyway, I'm so thankful for this break we've had this month! May and June are going to be much busier. And today I'm so thankful that Jared's sister and her family are coming for a visit! They've never been to Omaha, so we can't wait to show them where we live, where we worship; our new hometown we love!! Major bummer that the weather probably won't cooperate, but we'll still have a blast:)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Over

Yesterday morning I pumped for the last time.

I'm really not sure how I feel about it yet. I have such a wide range of thoughts and emotions swirling through my head and heart...I'm not quite sure how to process it all. Well, actually, I do. My heart has led me here...where I most easily find my way through the difficult, confusing, and conflicting thoughts and emotions to the Lover of my Soul.

So... I realized yesterday afternoon that I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for the last 9 years. I have physically nurtured and nourished my children, 1-2 at a time, for almost a decade! There have been extremely hard moments. Nursing throughout a pregnancy definitely the hardest. But I can't really even begin to describe the beauty, the privilege that has been mine these last 9 years as I have met my childrens' needs in ways that only I am uniquely capable (gifted by God) of doing! The last 9 years that I have shared with my babies & toddlers has been deeply personal; profoundly intimate and beautiful. I have loved the relationship that God has granted me with each one of my children. And now it's over. It's just...over.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that God would give me a child I couldn't breastfeed. I could take that personally I guess, since God knows full well how passionate I am about that relationship. But I choose to believe that His ways are above me, and His plans are perfect. I can't understand it, but I know that even in having to let go of the dream of nursing Judah and having to embrace pumping for him, is His good. Maybe God will use this experience to encourage someone else someday. Or maybe God just wanted to teach me more about commitment, sacrifice, selfless love. I still grieve over this loss. I still struggle to let it go...and now to let go of pumping. Even though I hated it. It's a dichotomy. A love/hate relationship with a double electric breast pump...that made me feel like Ol' Bessie. But still provided a way for me to give Judah nourishment that only I could.

Ok. So now the pump is behind me. That's good for the rest of my family. No more telling my kids, "I can't right now, but after I pump..." or "Mommy needs to pump first, but then..." or even "Jared, I'm sorry, but I have to pump one more time before bed." No more pumping on the way to church, or in the car in the middle of a date; no more not doing things because I would have to pump. I sacrificed so much to pump. And as I sit here and write this, I realize that I would sacrifice more if I could. But there's really nothing more for me to do. Except go to the zoo, and play games with my kids or read stories right when they ask, and go down to the river for an afternoon, and spend the day at the beach... It's a relief, definitely. But it's also another loss.

Honestly, I feel like Judah is more vulnerable now. Now that he's not receiving any antibodies or any other kind of "protection" from me. I know that my flesh is trying to get the upper hand. My head - even my heart and soul deep down - knows that it has been God all along that has been responsible for Judah's health, care, protection. All of it. My heart - not so deep down - however, is arguing. Like I said, there is a wide range of thoughts and emotions.

I guess what it boils down to is what I believe about God. He is good. Sovereign. Giver of all that is good. Lover of my soul. Faithful. Merciful. Gracious. He knows my hurt, captures my tears, and gives healing. He gave me the gift of 4 children, and the privilege of physically nurturing and nourishing them. And now He has given me the gift of a new chapter. As I tearfully turn the final page on this one, I eagerly anticipate the new things that God will write for me and my kids in this next one. And I feel freedom.

GOD. IS. GOOD.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter

We had a wonderful Easter! We were able to spend it with my family and some good friends in WI. It was a full day, but I so enjoyed watching my kids have fun with their cousins, and watching Lydia play with other little girls! It was good to catch up with family and friends, be outside, do some special things with our kids later in the day, and rest. But my favorite part of Easter is always the worship. There is something about Easter morning worship...it's more powerful, more uplifting, more exciting, more...wonderful! Maybe it's just me, but spending the morning with the Body of Christ in worship, on the day that we celebrate Christ's victory over sin and death, and our victory as well, is just...exhilirating! We win! And the very same power that raised Christ from the dead is in me, available to me through Christ! I mean, how could that not be exhilirating?! Of course, the trick is to know how to appropriate that power into my daily life and walk with the Lord...but the reminder of that on Easter morning is awesome:)



Our entire visit in WI was a good one! Jared was gone to NC for a couple of those days, but we had a great time doing some special things with Grandma & Grandpa, and the kids were very well behaved for their mama:) Thanks to my mother who shows her love to me through service, I actually had time to relax as well! Mom, you're such a gift to me & I love you and appreciate you dearly!


At the park

Lydia's 1st time mini golfing


Meeting Avery

Cousins


Bowling

Easter morning

*Sigh* It's good to be back! I miss this space when I can't be here. However, I was much too busy vacationing with my cousin in Oklahoma to sit down and try to blog about it! Wow, that trip was so much better than I anticipated, and I needed it more than I thought! I've never spent that much time away from my kids before, and I thought I would really miss them. I thought I would get a little homesick and miss Jared more. But truth be told, the day before it was time to come home I couldn't believe my visit was coming to a close, and I really didn't feel ready to go. I was having way too much fun! Movies and pie in the middle of the day, coffee, making cards, talking and laughing, church, running errands around Enid (I never did see those high rises my cousin claims they have *wink wink*), playing with the kids, and sleeping better than I have in months - it all made for the most refreshing, relaxing, and all around good time I've had in a very long time!! I would even say that some soul healing took place. (Thankfully, though, by the time I stepped on the plane in OK City to come home, I was looking forward to loving on my kids and being home with Jared!) It was also so good for me to see my cousin interacting with her kids and husband, being a mom and a wife. She is one of the very few women in my life that I have always respected, admired, and aspired to be like. She's amazing, and I'm praying that some of her rubbed off on me while I was there:)

Thanks for everything, Aim! You'll never know the extent of the "good" that happened for me and in me while I was with you. And by the way, Jared thinks that we should make this an annual thing. Can you believe that?! So, I guess next time it's your turn to get away:) Love you!