Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

He Gives and he takes away July 1, 2011

Filed under: Family Life,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 8:33 am
Tags: ,

*This post contains discussion of miscarriage; if this is an issue you are sensitive to, you may not want to read on.*

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

June 29th. Eleven weeks pregnant and bleeding on Jonas’ birthday. The doctor confirms by ultrasound: the baby is gone. This is not new for us – miscarriage number five, in fact. But the shock and the grief don’t seem to change, no matter the number. I really wasn’t expecting this, though it seems I should, and I don’t think it has really sunk in despite the red and the machine showing no heartbeat. Yet this is the reality God has planned for us, by no mistake.

June 30th. Too much bleeding and frequent clots, some the size of my palm. Eventually I am weak and dizzy. We end up back at the clinic by noon where I am dilated so the doctor can try to get the clots and tissue moving out. I pass the baby as he works. He needs to monitor the bleeding for a while, so I lay, knees up, covered with a white sheet in a sterile room. They give me Pitocin and Methergine to encourage my uterus to contract and the bleeding to slow. Time passes and there’s still a lot of blood. I may need a D&C, and I really don’t want that. I squeeze eyes shut. The doctor pushes hard on my stomach and we give it some more time. And I pray repeatedly that the bleeding would slow because I want nothing more right now than to avoid a D&C and go home with my family.  I breathe a jagged breath and exhale, and the sadness swells, but I am okay. I am held. I feel safe, despite the circumstances, even here, staring up at ceiling tiles while resting on a hard table  – and I am surprised by this calm. You see, I am the one who too often chooses fear and distrust, instead of just resting in the One who has never broken a promise.  Now I sigh a thank you for His peace that truly is beyond our understanding. And I am thankful, even today – maybe especially today. Thankful in the midst of grief. I know that even my gratitude is not by my own strength, but a gift from the God who works all things for good. I feel a deep peace in the midst of sorrow. A strange joy even. Joy? It’s inexplicable, but as I lie there, I have a sense of joy as I recognize God’s working in my heart, there in that lonely room. Joy as I think about my two children sitting in the waiting room, and how this cycle of miscarriages could be my only fate were it not for God reaching down and protecting two of my little ones who grew in my womb. And I realize once again how very precious they are.

I am sorrowful over the baby that will not be in my arms come January. If I had my way, none of this would have happened. But I know it isn’t my way, but His, and though I don’t understand, somehow it is the better way. I would never let that baby go. I would hold on with all my strength. But it was not my child to keep, and God’s purposes are greater than my own, and his strength is greater too. And somehow, only by his grace, he has made this okay in my heart, and I can feel free to cry and grieve, free of fear and anger and confusion and guilt and all those things that rob a person. And I give thanks for pure grief. And I give thanks that it is often in the hard things that we feel most alive. That there is something worthwhile at the heart of pain. That we can see God more clearly, even when we can’t see the why. That we can feel His love for us and be reminded of its truth in a way that surpasses our everyday existence. And I give thanks to an answer of ‘yes’ to my prayer. Another hard push on the stomach, one more clot with some tissue, and my body’s work is done and the bleeding can slow.

I don’t know why this happened, and I don’t feel compelled to ask the question. And that is a very good feeling. I look back over my life, and I see God’s hand, and I know I can trust Him. And I tell myself to remember this truth when I’m back in the midst of the everyday where frustration and anxiety are too often my companions. I am still such a child, and despite God’s faithfulness, too often I choose not to rest in that. Too often I try to do it by my own strength. And today is a good reminder to me that God is all-sufficient and I don’t need to struggle, but can relax into his arms that do not fail. Today, by His mercy, I can say despite my circumstances, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 

Letting Go June 6, 2009

Filed under: Family Life,Parenting,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 11:18 pm
Tags: ,

During my pregnancy, I acknowledged that the addition of a new baby would mean big changes for Jonas. I realized that there would be a period of adjustment where he was likely to act out a bit as he got used to our new normal, and I was ready for that. I was totally unprepared however, for how I would feel about the shift in our relationship that would occur.

Today, I was overcome by emotions over the loss of a special period in my relationship with Jonas. I had sensed it since Bridget’s birth, but it had not been put into words until now. Never again will it be just me and him. This little person with whom I’ve spent every day of the last three years will never again have my full attention. This boy has made my heart so full and taught me so much about myself and life. I feel like I never fully appreciated the special bond we’ve shared until I realized that it is altered forever. That bond is not severed, of course; it’s not damaged. I will still continue to love him more deeply each day, just as I had before Bridget’s birth. It’s just different now, and I am feeling that so acutely today, though I’m having trouble expressing it in words.

My feelings of loss are in no way a reflection of my feelings toward Bridget. I adore her, and I can’t imagine my life without her. It’s not that I feel that she has intruded on my relationship with Jonas. It’s just an inevitable stage in the growth of our family, I suppose.

My feelings of loss have nothing to do with fearing that Jonas is not receiving enough care and attention. Ben is still home for another week, and they’ve spent a lot of time palling around together, and I have tried to maintain some of our one on one routines, especially reading stories and cuddling before bedtime. While he has been acting out occasionally, overall he is doing really well with this major life change. I have no concerns over his relationship with Bridget. He’s been amazing with her. She receives countless Jonas kisses. He strokes her head and talks about what she’s doing. He always shows concern when she cries, and he’s eager to help at every diaper change. Perhaps, though, I do worry a bit about how he perceives our relationship now. Does he think I love him less? Does he worry that I won’t be there to love and take care of him like I did before? I find that I often don’t give him enough credit, and I hope that he does feel as secure now as he did two weeks ago.

There is certainly enough love in this house to go around, and I know that we will find our new way of being a family. I am so grateful for the way God has blessed us with these children, and I look forward to watching how we grow together. Though things will never be the same, they will be new and different in the best possible way. I know these two will fill my heart in an amazing way, in a way that surpasses the joy that I’ve already known. I know these things. Sometimes it’s just hard to let go.

 

Bridget Elaine’s Birth Story May 29, 2009

Filed under: Family Life,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 4:48 pm
Tags: , ,

On Wednesday, I went for my last appointment with Jan, my midwife. I was a week overdue, so we decided to have her strip my membranes and release a syringe full of evening primrose oil in hopes of encouraging labor. By the time I was driving home at around 2:00, I was feeling rather crampy. Jonas fell asleep in the car on the way home, and after I carried him up to his bed, I sat down at the computer with my afternoon cup of cold coffee and milk. By then, the cramps had become very regular at about five minutes apart, but only 20 seconds long and not very strong. After a while, I called Ben, my mom and Jan, just to let them know what was going on, though I didn’t want them to come yet. Contractions lengthened to about 30 seconds and stronger, but nothing that caused me to stop during them. I did ask Ben to come home early because I was sure at this point that things were going to continue. Brand New

I got an early supper going so I’d make sure to eat before I was past the point of being able. Scrambled eggs and banana sourdough pancakes were on the menu. By the time I was flipping the pancakes, I had to stop during the contractions to breath, and I realized that they were coming a little closer and longer too. Fortunately, I still had an appetite when we sat down to eat, though if much more time had gone by, I probably would have missed the opportunity for a meal. After dinner, I went right upstairs for a shower and then I tried to lay down. I was starting to have to work with these contractions and couldn’t get rest, so I called Jan back at about 6:45, at which time contractions were a regular 3 minutes apart and 45 seconds long. My parents were on the way too.

While Ben took care of Jonas until my parents arrived, I headed back upstairs and sat on the birth ball at the end of the bed. Sitting felt so much better than laying in the bed! I was really surprised by the strength of these contractions now. I had to moan through them and rest in between, trying to fully relax my muscles. Ben came up periodically to check on me and my parents arrived shortly after. While I was proud of how I was managing on my own, I was grateful that Ben was now able to stay with me. I didn’t have the horrible, never subsiding, back labor that I had with Jonas, but the contractions were wrapping around to my back, and the strong pressure Ben applied on my lower back gave me some relief. I remember telling Ben, that if I’m not in transition, I don’t know what I’m going to do because this was hard. My body began shaking after some contractions, and at one point, I was sure I was going to throw up, but I managed to avoid that. All the signs were telling me that this had to be transition, yet I couldn’t believe it because it came so fast; just a couple hours earlier, I was eating dinner and managing fine!

Jan arrived a little after 8:00. She took one look at me and said, “maybe I should check you before I take the time to set up the birthing pool.” I was at nine centimeters! What a relief! That knowledge gave me renewed determination. Fortunately, we have a nice, deep tub in our bathroom, so we decided to use that instead. I desperately wanted the relief of the water on my heavy body. I remember a great exhale as I sunk into the bath, and I was able to let my muscles go a bit more than before. Upon hearing that I was almost fully dilated, I expected I’d be through transition in a few more contractions, especially once I was in the tub. But labor continued and got harder. I remember thinking, I don’t want to do this anymore, as the contractions came closer together, and I prayed for just a little break – just one contraction that didn’t come with such intensity, but they kept coming. It was very different from my labor with Jonas though, where I could barely even feel the contractions in my stomach because the pain of the back labor was so great. With Bridget, I could clearly feel each contraction coming on and building and then subsiding. I had a little more warning, a little more time to prepare, and that was helpful. After being in the bath for maybe 45 minutes, I started to feel a little pushy at the height of the contractions, and while I didn’t exactly bear down, it did feel good to just give a short little push without holding my breath as the contraction hit its peak. My water had not broken yet, which was holding things back a bit. Perhaps I was holding things back too. Jonas ended up having to be pulled out by vacuum extraction due to distress, and I couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive about moving from first to second stage this time, since I never Just Bornhad the satisfaction and success of getting to push Jonas out on my own. What if I couldn’t do it? I tried to acknowledge this fear between the last couple contractions before I got out of the tub.  I did not want to stay here in transition, I reasoned with myself. Pushing contractions would be welcome.

I got out of the tub to use the bathroom after a couple of these slightly pushy contractions and stayed there through two or three more of the same type. Jan was sitting in front of me holding my arms while Ben sat  next to me on a stool and Tehmina, Jan’s assistant sat outside the door and continued to time the contractions. I remember holding onto Ben’s knee and pushing down on it during the contractions. Then came another contraction that was totally different, and almost instantaneously, before I even had a chance to breath, I felt a huge bulging and the head burning at the exit of the birth canal. I had not even given a push. I think I said “the head,” but I’m not really certain, and Jan said “Stand up!” As I did, my water broke all over the floor and the baby came flying out into Jan’s arms, crying loudly. There was no holding her back since I wasn’t pushing in the first place, and I just knew that the sudden force of this birth was going to cause a tear, something I was really hoping to avoid. I was in such shock, trying to comprehend what happened so quickly, I didn’t even reach for the baby until Jan said, maybe 15 seconds after she caught her, “here.” I sat back down and held her and talked to her and stroked her. Finally after a minute or two, I checked for the gender. Funny, when I held her, I wasn’t even interested in knowing, but then I thought, “oh yeah, I should find out if it’s a girl or boy,” almost out of obligation or something. I was a little surprised to find that we had a daughter, and I said, “Grandma Cindy got her girl.” A minute or two later the placenta slid out into the toilet on its own.

I asked Tehmina if she’d let my parents and Jonas know they could come up. Jonas took one look at the state of the bathroom and the strange creature in my arms and decided he wanted In The Morningnothing to do with the situation. It was not until the next day that he really started showing interest in her, and now he seems to think being a big brother is pretty cool.

Bridget was born at 9:47 PM on May 27th after a total of seven hours of labor, from start to finish. She came out very healthy and alert, and started rooting after just a couple minutes. She latched right on and nursed for at least an hour on and off. She proved to be a good nurser throughout the night. As Jan and Tehmina cleaned up the bathroom, Bridget, Ben and I laid in bed, and then Jan came to suture me – the least pleasant aspect of the evening. But I thought, besides the tear, this birth was just about perfect, so I cannot complain. This time, we got to stay home for the whole birth, next time we can work on avoiding a tear.

Jan told my mom that she had never experienced a birth quite like this one.

 

Around The Sewing Room May 11, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy and Childbirth,Sewing and Crafts — katieosborne @ 5:16 pm

The countdown has begun. Baby is due to arrive in ten days – so anytime this month, really. In between the unpacking and cleaning, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the sewing room over the past couple weeks, crafting for baby.

My big project has been diapers. I have six done, three more cut, and if I have time, I’ll make three more for an even dozen, bringing our diaper total to two dozen – enough to get through a solid two days. I will be borrowing a friend’s snap press, so at this point they’re not complete, but the sewing is done on these. Can I say, I haven’t been enjoying working with knits so much. I’m used to wovens, and knits are tricky, but I’m getting better.

P5090004

 

I made a couple sheets backed with PUL (a waterproof fabric), for laying Baby on in bed. Something fast and simple to whip up in between diapers.

 

P5090001 

I also made a couple new slings – one ring sling and one pouch. I have fabric cut for a couple more, but I doubt I’ll get to them before Baby’s arrival.

 

P5090007

 

 P5090008

 

Here’s a diaper bag I started a couple months ago. I have to undo something, which often means I lose interest. I know – where is my perseverance? I suppose if I was more excited to finish it, I would have by now, but as it is coming together, I am feeling like it is going to be too big for my everyday bag, though I’m sure it will be perfect for day-long trips. It is the Everything Bag, from Amy Butler’s Little Stitches book. I will get it finished at some point, but I’ve also cut fabric for Anna Maria Horner’s Multi-Tasker Tote, which is not a diaper bag, but I think it will work well as one. It is pretty good size, and I don’t tend to haul tons of stuff, so we’ll see how it turns out.

 

P5090009

And a little knitting….I’ve been teaching myself, and these are my first projects: a wool sleep sack and matching hat, and a wool diaper cover that is about half done. They’re not perfect, but they’ll do, and I’m getting better.  I have a few skeins of beautiful yarn I bought with some birthday money, and I’m really looking forward to using it once I’m a little more accomplished.

 

P5090005

 

Everything Looks Good January 20, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 4:38 pm

We had our ultrasound yesterday at almost 23 weeks. Baby’s development looks good and s/he is measuring within two days of what I estimated my due date to be based on when I ovulated.  We took Jonas with and he was well behaved the whole time, but didn’t get that interested in seeing the baby on the screen.

 

Thankfulness November 14, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 2:55 am

This pregnancy has been rough on me so far. After days on end of just being so sick, I start to feel frustrated and almost despairing, like there is no hope of an end. I know of course that I can’t have more than a few weeks left of this – unless I’m one of the few unfortunates who is sick all nine months – but I can’t think about that and don’t believe that will be my fate. I feel like I should be more grateful, despite my troubles. After all, we’ve been through a lot, and this baby is a huge gift. And it’s not like I have a terminal illness or something! So, I think I need to take a few moments, stop feeling sorry for myself, and think about all the blessings God has given to me with this pregnancy.

  • This baby is a priceless gift from God, whom we will love indescribably.
  • These pains are all normal and healthy.
  • I have a patient and compassionate husband who has been so selfless in taking care of everything I can’t right now.
  • I have an awesome mom, willing to drive all the way up here every other week from Kenosha and take me to Madison for my acupuncture. I would not have made it through some of those hour long car rides without her.
  • Jonas has been taking it pretty easy on me – even sleeping through the night pretty often.
  • I have loving and concerned friends and family who have been diligently praying for us and doing thoughtful little acts of kindness here and there.
  • I’ve had a manageable babysitting schedule this fall, and a friend who is very gracious to help me out with Ella, when I’m really in the pits.
  • I should be feeling well in time to enjoy all the festivities of the Christmas season. That’s very important – especially with a two year old!
  • God is faithful and gives us more than we can desire for ourselves. I have been so tremendously blessed by this entire road he has led us down in our quest for a family.
  • I have comforts beyond what most women in this world and throughout history have had.  I have food to eat whenever I need to ward off the really bad ickiness. I have a soft and warm bed at night, and a comfy couch to lie on during the day. I do not have to do any strenuous work, and I’m able to rest when I need to. I have a modern toilet to puke in. LOL
  • I will soon get to experience the joys of all those little fluttery kicks…..and then of course those big rib assaulting kicks.
  • I have a competent and caring midwife who takes really good care of me.
  • Once I’m feeling better, I can get to work on making lots of little baby goodies….snuggly blankets, tiny shoes, appliquéd onesies, maybe a soft toy or two, and a few new carriers, of course. If only I’d get around to teaching myself how to knit….then I’d really go crazy with little hats and sweaters and booties. Not sure where I’d find the time, but it would be fun.

Yeah, I have it pretty good.

 

This Week’s Excitement October 30, 2008

Filed under: Family Life,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 2:38 pm

1. We spent Sunday afternoon at the ER.

A common and seemingly minor occurrence sent us to the ER for nearly four hours. Ben was holding Jonas’ hand, talking to friends at church, and Jonas let all of his weight go while still holding onto Ben. He does this kind of thing, and it’s never caused a problem, but this time he ended up with nursemaid’s elbow. He refused to move his arm and cried out anytime it was touched.

Of course at the ER, it was not as simple as a doctor examining his arm, diagnosing it, and then fixing it. No. After sitting in the waiting room for a half hour or so, a nurse examined him and decided it looked like a problem with his shoulder. So, we went for an x-ray. Then back to the waiting room for a very long time. Finally, they called us. The shoulder looked fine. A different nurse looked at him, and said it’s definitely his elbow. At this point, we had our own room in the “fast track” of the ER. An x-ray guy came to us, took a couple x-rays of his elbow, and this time, we only had to wait about 15 minutes for the results. The elbow looked okay, so she determined it was nursemaid’s elbow, and she attempted to do the maneuver that pops it back into place. That was really painful for Jonas, and she couldn’t fix it. So, we waited some more, and we finally saw a doctor. He maneuvered the arm more forcefully than the nurse, and it was fixed within 10 seconds. He was moving his arm freely within just a couple minutes. And Jonas said of the doctor, “he healed me.” It was cute.

How much simpler it would have been if this had happened during the week. We probably wouldn’t have spent more than a total of 20 minutes at Dr. Kamsler’s office. Oh well.

 

2.I had my first appointment with Jan, my midwife, yesterday, and we got a heartbeat on the doppler.

Jan was searching for it for a good two minutes, at least, and we weren’t getting anything. I knew there was a chance we wouldn’t find it this early since the baby is so little, it can easily move away from the doppler’s noise. So, Jan turned it off for a moment, and said to the baby, “look little one, please just let us hear you for a few moments. We need to hear you.” And she found it within ten seconds. It was very good to hear. Jonas was there too, and I explained to him that we were hearing the baby. He didn’t seem all that impressed.

 

3. Jonas slept through the night last night.

Okay, so for the majority of moms, it would probably come as a shock that my two year old doesn’t sleep all night, but we’ve had sleep issues since Jonas was born. The first year was severe because he was in a lot of pain from his reflux. It got a little better once that subsided, but it was still common for him to wake every 2-3 hours. A few months ago, my acupuncturist recommended I put him on a mineral supplement, as toddlers who have waking issues often have a mineral deficiency.  That seemed to do the trick. He’s been sleeping much better the last couple months, more commonly waking twice, and occasionally only once, a night. Last night, for the first time, he slept all night long! What a gift considering how sick I have been. I can’t imagine how simply awful the last couple months would have been had he still been waking as frequently as he used to.

 

As for me, I am SICK. I tend to have a few decent days right after a treatment, and then it’s back to puking two to four times a day. Constant nausea. I am so thankful for a compassionate, patient, thoughtful husband who is completely picking up the slack. He takes care of Jonas all evening. He cleans the kitchen and does laundry, and he never complains or makes me feel like a slacker, even though he’s had to work tons of overtime, including lots of weekends, over the last couple months. He’s the best.