Feeble Knees

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Stork Watch at Redneck's Wife

I'm watching and waiting to see if there's any more word from Samia over at Redneck's Wife. Her baby is now full term, Samia is has started to dilate, and it could be any day now.

Samia first posted about her pregnancy not too long after I announced mine, so it's been fun following her blog and sharing bits and pieces about our pregnancies. Samia's been on my mind the last few days (I vaguely remember praying for her sometime in the wee hours of this morning while feeding Bug; I'm glad I had enough mental capacity to remember to check her blog today to see if there was any word.)

Please remember Samia in your prayers, or even stop by and offer her a word of encouragement!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Stream of Consciousness

A ten minute random stream of consciousness from the mind of Feeble. (Forgive the typos! I'll try to fix them later...)

  • Breastfeedng is a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I'm (sadly) not enjoying it very much. Feeling disappointed in myself, because I'd taken all the classes, read all the books, etc. but still feel like I'm failing. Learning new things usually comes easy to me, but it hasn't been the case with this.
  • At his two week checkup today, Bug was still 3 oz short of regaining his birth weight and I'm really down about it. Trying to maintain perspective and tell myself we'll get there, but perspective can be hard to come by when you're working on a sleep deficit. Thank God for Mr. F, he's doing everything he can to lift my spirits and encourage me.
  • Some people can be really discouraging/aggravating without even knowing it. I've been finding out who those people are in the last two weeks. From the relative who tries to (helpfully?) suggest that perhaps I have an insufficient milk supply to the person who keeps trying to persuade me that we should let Bug sleep in our bed.
  • When you have a baby everyone and their cousin has an opinion and by gum they are going to let you hear it, whether you like it or not.
  • I'm getting somewhat better at deflecting unwanted advice.
  • I'm still very bashful about feeding Bug anywhere outside our home, particularly around family or friends. Need to get over that...
  • It is helpful to know ahead of time that every nurse and doctor one encounters in the hospital and at every pediatric appointment thereafter also has different opinions. One nurse, when she saw I was having trouble getting started with breastfeeding, brought me a nipple shield to use. The nurse who came on during the next shift was appalled and said that I shouldn't use it, and that if I had to use it, then I needed to pump. One nurse said "let him feed as long as he wants on each side". The pediatrician says switch sides after twenty minutes. It can be overwhelming trying to parse all the different information.
  • Mr. F is still home with us, again, thank God, and taking very good care of us. Cooking dinner, making lunch, even breakfast. He's running errands, doing laundry, tidying up, doing dishes, changing diapers, watching Bug while I take a shower - and he's doing it all with a smile. Countless times a day I am reminded of why I fell in love with and married him. And I am so not ready for him to go back to work...
  • Senior Kitty is ever so slightly jealous of all the attention Bug is getting, but is being a pretty good sport about it. Whenever he gets the chance, he snuggles right up with us and Bug. He doesn't seem to mind Bug at all, even when he cries. Though sometimes if Bug starts crying in his crib, and we're not in the room, Senior Kitty starts crying too as if to say "somebody come quick and do something!"
  • The best gift anyone gave us was a whole freezer full of pre-cooked meals. We've had lasagne and roast chicken and vegetable soup and a variety of other dishes on hand that can be thawed and reheated relatively quickly. I'd wanted to do this myself - cook and freeze extra meals - but I never quite mustered the energy to do it in the last few months of my pregnancy. Thankfully someone else did it for us and we've had almost three weeks now of not having to figure out what to do about dinner. Definitely my most favorite gift of all.
  • The day after I caved in and finally gave Bug a pacifier, the American Acadamy of Pediatricians (or Pediatrics?) published new recommendations advocating pacifier use at bedtime to help prevent SIDS. Talk about timing. I was feeling like I'd already failed Motherhood 101 by popping the plug into Bug's mouth to quiet him. Then I read the article the following day and didn't feel quite so bad about it.
  • Today we showed up for our pediatrician appointment promptly at 11, only to find that we were early - very early. The appointment was actually for 2:30. (thankfully they took us anyway).
  • All in all, some things have been easier than I could have imagined (dealing with sleep deprivation), other things are much harder (remembering what day it is, or remembering to mail out a greeting card in time).
  • Lying in my hospital bed about 24 hours after Bug's birth, I found myself thinking about Christ's birth and how the events of the past 36 hours really caused me to reexamine everything I believed about it. Having given birth, I now found myself thinking about Mary, about what it must have been like for her. Was she distressed to be stuck in a dirty old animal stable when her time arrived? I would have been beside myself! Did she labor very long? Was Joseph freaking out, or did he know just how to soothe and calm her? Who cut the cord? It would seem that in most cases back then, a woman would be surrounded by other women, or women in her family would attend to her during her labor and delivery. And yet we have no indication that was the case for her. From the biblical account we are told that it was she and Joseph in the stable. How lonely was she for the company of other women who'd been through birth themselves? Or did God just provide massive amounts of grace?

    Just thinking about it all overwhelmed me, and the whole concept of Jesus' birth resonated deeper in my heart than ever before. Maybe it was the hormones, the sleep deprivation, the newness of the situation, but I just couldn't keep the tears from streaming down my face as I lay there pondering it all in the dark, just before sunrise.

The timer I set to remind me when it was time for Bug's next feeding is going off. He's snoozing away in his crib, and I hate to wake him but I must. We've got another 3 ounces plus to get on him before Friday...

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I'm running out of things to say regarding the disasters that seem to be happening with increasing frequency around the world. Is this the beginning of sorrows that we've been warned about?

It would seem so.

I don't even know anymore what eschatology I espouse, but I do believe that human suffering and tragedy appears to be intensifying around the world. Some would argue that it's always been like this, the only difference today being the increased communications that make the news available to all of us instantaneously. We know about more disasters as they happen, making it seem like there are more disasters going on in the world.

Maybe. But my gut says the earth and all creation is groaning. And my heart wonders how long it and humanity itself can endure?

The death toll numbers coming out of Pakistan, Kashmir and India, like the Asian Tsunami, are mind numbing. The town I grew up in had about 36,000 people in it. Current estimates put the death toll in Pakistan over 40,000. It is unthinkable, and I cannot imagine the horrors the remaining survivors and rescuers are facing.

It feels trite and hollow to say "My prayers are with them..." It seems I keep having to say that over and over again this year - about the Tsunami victims, the Hurricane Katrina victims, the London bombing victims, the Bali bombing victims... the list just keeps going on and my heart aches.

It is times like these that I marvel that my faith in God's goodness does NOT fail altogether. It should be too easy to say "God where are you, why must these things be? What purpose is there in it? How can you allow this?" I don't know the answer to these questions. I don't know how to explain to you (or even myself) how I know that these things don't reflect God's character or feelings toward us. It doesn't even make sense to me, in light of all that is happening.

When faced with several possiblities, the truth is almost always the thing you wouldn't have believed. In the face of so much death and destruction, it is hard to imagine that the omnipotent God who set the world into being is NOT capricious and unmoved by our suffering. But I do believe He is touched by our suffering, that His grief, greater than that of any parent, is both incomprehensible and unfathomable. Somehow I think if we could know the degree of pain suffered by the Creator, we'd never accuse him again of being at fault, or being aloof, or being indifferent to His children - and so add to His pain.

Those who have lost loved ones, who are struggling to find answers, who hear only silence in response to their anguised cries, "Why God, Why?" are not wrong to question, and never should I or anyone else fault them for that. There seems no appropriate or sensitive way right now to suggest to such a person that God does still care, that He grieves too. So I'm just praying that in time the heart of God will be revealed to the widow, the widower, the orphan, the grieving parent. Praying that the spirit of God Himself will enfold them quietly, wordlessly, and carry, cradle them in deep in His Father's heart.

Friday, October 07, 2005

One week ago...

Has it been a week already?

A week ago at this time I had already spent a night in the hospital on bed rest hoping that the application of Cervidil would speed things along and possibly get labor started. At 7:30 in the morning last Friday they started me on an IV drip with Pitocin, a labor-inducing hormone. It wasn't so bad then. The worst part was being hooked up to both the IV and fetal monitors. It was a bit of an inconvenience, having to get unhooked from the monitors every time I needed to visit the loo, etc. And I couldn't walk around very much, which I must say was rather tedious and at times it really tried my patience.

By 12:30 nothing really had happened, even though I'd been on the highest dose of Pitocin they can give for several hours. Any contractions I was having were very, very minor. I still felt fine - no pain or need for any pain medication. The OB decided to break my water. That's what finally got things rolling.

After that it's all a bit of a blur. Contractions came on top of contractions and eventually I did get a shot for the pain. I never did get an epidural, which surprised even me, because for some reason at that point (that I can't quite explain) I just didn't want it - at all. Not that I probably didn't need it, but something in me resisted the idea. Given that I'd always insisted that I'd take an epidural as soon as they offered it to me, it came as a bit of a surprise.

Long, long story short (and leaving out a lot of the gory details) my son was born at 12:30 Saturday morning and weighed in at 7lbs 10oz. I am woefully incapable of describing to you the utter joy and triumph of that moment for Mr. F and I, so I won't even try. You can just imagine for yourself. :)

As I had suspected he would be, Baby F is the spitting image of his dad. He does seem to have my hair color, but at the moment, that's were the resemblance to me begins and ends. But I knew months ago it would be that way, why I'm not sure, but I just did. He is a very cuddly guy. The nurses in the hospital seemed to be very taken with him. Sunday morning as she brought him back to my room, one nursery nurse - her eyes wide with wonder exclaimed: "He is SUCH a CUDDLE BUG! Oh my does this little boy love to cuddle!" Late in the evening another nurse brought him in to my room. As I struggled to wake and sit up, I could see her in the dim light just holding him and gaze at him lovingly. He stared back at her intently and she began to melt. "Hey Bug," she said softly. Something about the tenderness of her tone made my heart overflow and melt everywhere. Long after she left the two of us alone to nurse I was still wiping tears from my eyes just thinking about it. (Yeah, I know, hormones are wacky things. :)

So though it seems a strange nickname for a little baby, (and I grant that it is), I've decided his blog name will be Bug. It sounds a bit quirky, even as I type it, but trust me there's a lot of sentimental significance to it, so much so that it just sticks. We'll change it later if we need to, or if something more appropriate reveals itself. But for now he's Mr. A. Cuddle Bug, or Bug for short, if you please.

There's no way I could relay to you all that's been going on in my heart and mind since they first placed him on my tummy, or since I first beheld Mr. F cradling Bug in his arms, his face aglow with wonder and amazement. It's strange to tell you how normal and utterly natural it feels to have a baby living here in our house.

No one or thing could have ever prepared me for how incredible this would all be, or what it has done to our hearts and minds. It's just too good to be believed.

* * *

Haven't had much time (or inclination, to be honest) to blog or read blogs, and I'm sorry it took me so long to post this update - especially to those who have been waiting for news. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting! We didn't come home from the hospital until Monday, and it's been an adjustment. I will try to start posting again with some regularity.

I'm also considering starting a separate mommy blog. What say you? I realize that I will probably have that new mother's overwhelming need to gush about how wonderful his toenails are, and some people may or may not find that fascinating. :) So it might be best to journal about that in a separate space. We'll see, and I'll let you know if I go that route.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us. Your prayers were very much needed, as it turned out. We are so grateful for your care and concern and well wishes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul...