October for the Tubies and 9 ways to beat the blues

Special needs parenting: 9 ways to beat the blues

This month was a big month. The Mini turned eighteen months, as in, a year and a half old. Which is wildly hard to believe, except for when she throws a genuine big girl tantrum, and then it’s totally believable. Her latest accomplishments include rolling to her left side, smiling at people, and grinding her freshly sprouted teeth for hours on end (words cannot express my horror of the sound). She also has discovered my phone, when you touch the screen the lights move, which is almost too much temptation to resist…even for her “please burn all the toys and never make me touch them again” self. Little Jed man turned four months old. He celebrated the month by very nearly coming home, then not coming home and having three surgeries instead. He’s also on a personal mission to demonstrate that pulmonary hypoplasia means absolutely nothing to him, and he will scream the … Continue reading

To my unborn baby (with a potentially fatal diagnosis)

A Letter to my Unborn Son

Dear baby Jed, First off, I should begin by explaining that your full name is Jedidiah, we just call you “Jed” for short. It’s a great name, well for one, because that was the wisest man who ever lived, so it gives you something to live up to. But really, I just always thought it perfect for a little boy with freckles on his nose running barefoot through the back yard swinging a stick pretending to be a pirate. It sounds like lincoln log towers, fishing rods, toy trucks, grass stained jeans, dirty feet, tousled hair and t-ball practice. You should know, I love your name. Here’s something else you should know. You are the youngest of my four children. You have three big sisters. The first one is pretty bossy, but she’s your best bet if you need help tying your shoe or need some sympathy. She will mother you half … Continue reading

Lessons on gratitude from a preemie

Lessons on Gratitude from a Preemie

Today my mini girl turns seven months old. I can hardly believe it’s been over a half a year since I first met her tiny little self. In a few weeks she will be coming home. Home!! As in, I can see her anytime I want, home! As in, this really is my kid to keep, home! As in, yes your sister does exist, home! After seven months of daily hospital trips…seven months of starting every day with a phone call to the hospital to see how she did last night…seven months of praying with the big girls for baby sister to “feel better”…seven months of life revolving around the happenings in the tall building on East Cheves Street…it all will change to a whole new normal that is on the one hand excessively exciting, and on the other, completely terrifying. Terrifying because I’m the mom who can barely stomach … Continue reading

God is still good, even when you have problems

Hospital Life Continues

I was feeling good that morning, the sun was shining, I was humming a tune, and my new orange tote bag was just the exact right shade to nod a cheery greeting to the crisp feeling of Fall in the air. We had just got our little mini girl back to our home town hospital from her six week stay at a different hospital an hour and a half away, and I was fairly skipping across the parking lot with happiness to be back “home”. I twirled into the elevator and bounced down the hall looking forward to a few hours of rocking my girl and chatting with the new nurses. One step into the room, one glance at the IV sticking out of the fuzzy little head that hadn’t been there when I left, one glance at the machine with it’s taunting numbers, and my happy feeling slowly drained away and wafted … Continue reading

NICU day 70

nicu day 70 from a parent's perspective

This is the highlight of my day, this is also the dread of my day. This place holds happiness and tears, hopes and fears. I can do this part with my eyes closed. This is the easy part. Park my truck, smile at the door greeters, punch the elevator button for the third floor, walk past the giraffe painting on the left, round the corner to the wash room, scrub my hands and arms with soap that makes my palms itch, grab a clean yellow hospital gown from the cabinet. Sigh. The arms are inside out. Again. I wonder if I’m the only one who finds this annoying. Mash the button outside the windowless double doors labeled Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It’s a new girl at the desk today, she doesn’t recognize me in the camera. I identify myself. It never feels right, this routine of asking permission to see my baby. The doors … Continue reading

3 Ways to Avoid Spiritual Drift

canoe

Canoeing is right at the tippy top of my list of favorite things to do. Nothing beats sliding through the water on a hot summer day to the tune of splashing paddles and the lap of water. I’ve canoed on lakes, bays and rivers and I can tell you this much. I would heaps rather paddle down a river than up a river. The peaceful outdoor adventure of a leisurely downstream float takes on more of the look of a focused effort not to have a stroke on the return trip upstream. Forget looking at the birds and feeling the breeze, you won’t even feel your arms much less a breeze! Paddling upstream in a stiff current is no joke, and takes a ton of focus and energy. Seasons in life ebb and flow a lot like currents. Sometimes we find ourselves in an upstream situation so absorbed in nothing more than the effort to move forward, … Continue reading

Facing Fears

cockroach

The big girl is out of school for the summer, which means there are sprinklers to play in, bubbles to blow, little sisters to fight, art projects to smear on the floor, Frozen reenactments to perform, and cockroaches to face. Oh yes. Cockroaches. One cockroach to be exact. One disgusting little beast, the unlucky casualty of the latest bug man visit, breathing it’s last on the bathroom floor. Here it was discovered, and I, knowing that it was mostly dead, assured the concerned party that I would sweep it up momentarily. Being the practical mommy I am, I ordered she ignore the bug, and use the bathroom immediately before making a puddle on the floor. But then. The evil cockroach did the unthinkable. It waved an antenna. This was too much. The panicked child fled with shrieks as lusty as a five year old can possibly produce, and refused under any circumstances … Continue reading

What a micro preemie taught me about Mother’s Day

My Micro Preemie

I’d never seen the short brown haired lady who appeared at my bedside before. A kind face with intelligent eyes looked intently at me while she spoke slowly and clearly so I would understand. She was a representative from the land of sick babies, here to explain words I’d never even heard before.  Neonatologist. Five hours previously I couldn’t have told you what that word meant. Even now I just knew that it was code for “smart person who knows a lot about tiny babies”. Please just go away. You are a busy person, and our baby is fine. I’m only here for observation, don’t you know that? Even as the thoughts swirled through my brain her voice droned on and on…statistics of survival, probable and possible problems micro-preemies face, typical treatment plans…not the sort of information any mom ever plans on hearing, let alone having to understand. And then she was gone, and … Continue reading

God’s got a plan – Happy Easter and my unintended vacation

baby moniter

Having a set plan, schedule, or list is my recipe for sanity in life. I love a plan. I’m about as happy as the cat who fell into the pool when my plans get changed…so when I plan for, oh, say having a baby, I expect nine months before that baby gets here. That’s the schedule for a baby. Everyone knows that. Babies should know that. Well, apparently my little miss hasn’t gotten the memo. So, I’m taking a very un-planned vacation in my local hospital trying my best to get the little dear educated on such matters…or maybe God’s just trying to get me educated on a few things, come to think of it. Apparently things like patience, trust, faith, and prayer all need as much practice as I give to all my schedule writing. Who knew? I won’t go into a ton of detail, but it turns out my little … Continue reading

The squeaky wheel gets the oil

oil

Some people just have certain particular and unique talents. One of my many unfortunate talents is to pick the absolute noisiest, shakiest, most obnoxious sounding shopping cart available every single time I go into a store. I mean, every time. It doesn’t matter if I wiggle it first, do a test run, or pick it because it’s the cleanest…I’m guaranteed to go trotting down aisle five browsing for bagels squeaking shrilly every step of the way. Add to that my two little sidekicks who chatter like magpies, strike up conversations with any random person who might look their way, and insist on singing as loudly as possible, and I can pretty much throw shopping with any sort of dignity out the window. There’s nothing to do but just smile and be thankful I’m not prone to shop lift, there is no way under the sun I would ever escape notice if … Continue reading