Sunday, October 30, 2011

... but I can't say that I like it #2

You may recall when Hurricane Irene ravaged NJ pulling leaves out of our summer trees prematurely. I wrote about my love for falling leaves in autumn but unlove for them falling in summer in   Now, in October, NJ has been prematurely dumped with snow. Again, I love falling snow, but "I can't say that I like it" happening in autumn! What a quirky year. Earth, get your seasons straight. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 4 of

being a stay-at-home mom.  I'm struggling to find time to do the dishes much less write.  Who ever thought that such a little person could require so much work?  No wonder nanny's are so well paid.  I'm loving this new job so far!  I told Chris yesterday- well, I wasn't talking to Chris, I was talking to the baby in earshot of Chris- "I'm so glad Daddy supports me staying home with you.  (in that voice that people talk to babies in) If he didn't, I would have to get up every morning and drop you off with a stranger then go to work all day and I would just cry and cry.  I would just cry all day just like you do until I got to come pick you up." 
 We think he has Chris' brow and nose and my jaw/chin.  This is the pursed lips face.  He makes also the grumpy furrowed brow face and the Disney's baby Tarzan face from 1:16 of this video.  Of course, there is the starting to cry face and the REALLY crying face (which makes me afraid he is going to pass out from lack of air) and the "I'm calming myself down O O O O" face, which is really cute.  I will try to catch it on video. 
Here are the parents, the maternal grandparents, an auntie and the uncle.  Ah!  I'm a parent!  This is crazy.  We just needs some pictures with his paternal grandparents and aunt now.  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



20 minutes old
Week 1
At 6lbs 12.8 oz, he did not even fit into newborn sized clothes.
Week 2

Week 3. 
When he was born, his legs did  not even extend beyond my torso when I nursed him.  Now his little legs dangle over my elbow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birth Story

I don't know if it was the raspberry tea, pineapple, spicy meat pizza, evening primrose oil, walking or just nature that did it, but I am glad to report that our little guy vacated the womb on his due date.  Well, technically he was born the day after, but I did go into labor at 6:00pm last Saturday in Staples. 

Aisle 12: "Chris, I feel icky.  Find me in the office chair deptartment."
The cushiest chair in the office chair dept: "I think I'm having contractions, but we can still stop by the grocery store."
Produce section: "Flip over th grocery list and start recording contraction times."
Yoplait yogurt shelf: "Oh you're 35 wks pregnant? Today is my due date...  Ya, I think I'm in labor... Well,  I'm here because we needed groceries."
Frozen foods aisle: "Okay Chris, I'm having trouble standing through this one.  Can you hold me up?"
Parking lot: "There's Suzy! Suzy, I'm 10 minutes apart!" 
Chris observed how odd it was that a woman in labor can be so giddy and energetic in one moment and silent, grimacing and doubled over in the next.

Chris and I went home with the intention of leaving for the hospital (45 min drive) once contractions were 6 to 7 minutes apart.  We ate dinner (rice and a popsicle for me), finished packing, and cleaned the apt then I bounced on a birthing ball and took a hot shower. At 11:30, contractions stopped completely.  I was so afraid it had been false labor, so I prayed, "God, please make them start again.  This is the only time in my life I could say 'I want nothing more than to be in excruciating pain right now.'"  They came back 4 minutes apart!  "God, that wasn't what I meant!"  haha.

Chris loaded up while I bounced and breathed.  The ride to the hospital never seemed so short... we were pulled over twice on the way there.  :)  One cop told us to turn on our flashers; the other tried to make small talk.  I didn't want to make small talk!  My contractions were 3 mins apart!  Chris let me squeeze his hand as hard as I wanted while he drove with the other.  "Breathe.  Breathe.  In through your nose; out through your mouth. You can do this.  You're doing good, honey."  He was so wonderfully supportive and encouraging the whole night.  Man I got a good man!

When we arrived at the hospital, I was measuring 6cm.  Thank God for giving man the brain power and resources to invent epidurals.  We waited until I was 7cm before administering it (I don't advocate them earlier than that).  Later, Chris and I laughed as we watched my monitor draw contractions peaking twice as high and lasting twice as long as those I came in with.  Wow.  As much as I don't like that dolphin hide pants feeling on my legs, I am glad I was numb.  Since I was done writhing and yelling, we hung the Texas flag on the wall then took a little nap. 

Momma Maz (our second mom) arrived at 4.  What a blessing it was to have her there!  A blessing for me to have the support of a loving friend who had been through 4 labors and a blessing for Chris to see a familiar face while his wife was wild-eyed and pushing.  I think it blessed her heart too.  At 7:30, our midwife (love midwives!) said to Chris and Momma Maz, "You two go eat breakfast .  When you get back, we'll start pushing." Ah! 

At about that time, the epidural started to wear off.  Perfect timing.  I could feel muted contractions, so I knew when to push, but wasn't in pain.  Then again, I could not feel much other than that, so I did not know which muscles to use.  After 30 more minutes of epidural attenuation, I could definitely feel the pressure.  "Ooooh.  Those muscles!"  I'll spare you gooey details and skip to

Our son came out 6 lbs 12.8 oz, 20 in long and adorable.  While I was being stitched up, I watched Chris, who had previously insisted that "all babies are ugly and come out looking like Winston Churchill," stand by the warmer with his index finger in his baby's hand telling him how beautiful he was and how much he loved him.  :)   Soon after, I held him and nursed him with Chris by my shoulder.  Hands down the happiest moment of my life.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Questions on hope, disappointment and the power of prayer

What do the "Lead Me to the Cross" lyrics that we sang on Sunday and the "Carry your cross" verses mean?  They do not mean hope for self-fulfillment.  They do not mean "I feel subconsciously entitled to have my American dream met."  Or even "I desire a husband and expect to have a healthy family w/ as many children as I want, all of whom will outlive me."  So should we not pray for such things?  Is it wrong to hope for them?  Is it wrong to be disappointed when we don't receive them?  Is it wrong to be angry at God when we are disappointed by the loss or lack of them?

If we hope for anything, we risk disappointment.  If it is wrong to be disappointed, then it is wrong to hope.  Well, I don't think it is wrong to feel disappointment.  So I cannot deduce that it is wrong to hope, but I do think we should think twice before we expect anything from the Lord.  Job said, "Should we accept good from the Lord and not trouble?"  No doubt he felt disappointment and even anger, but neither caused his faith to falter.  More over, Paul says, "We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials... for [it] strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment."  My great hope is in the grace that Jesus' sacrifice gives me for free (even though I do not deserve it.)  But can I rightly hope also for peace, companionship and safety?  I do hope that my son is born healthy with a strong heart, vision, hearing, mental capacity and no allergies. In Scripture, God does not rebuke Abraham for hoping for a son; He answers Hannah's prayer when she pleads for a son: He listens but does not grant David's prayer to save from death his first born son to Bathsheba.  Habakuk is disappointed but at the same time, finds contentment despite his hopes not being met.  Paul calls us to contentment regardless of circumstances.  I suppose contentment does not equal the absence of hope for more.  I suppose that whether or not our hopes are disappointed depends on our deep-rooted perspective.  Do we view life as for us or for God?  If we view it as being for ourselves, when our hopes are not realized, we will be heart-broken and think that we have been wronged by God.  If we view life as being for God, when our hopes are not realized, we will be less tempted to be cynical and will not think God wronged us.

So I have answered myself these questions: Yes, I can hope; Yes, I can pray for what I hope for; Yes, I can be disappointed when I do not receive it; No, I should not let disappointment rule my faith in God.  My friend, Laura, wrote about the root of cynicism (cynicism springs from disappointment) as being "1) pride from thinking we can judge situations as we see them, rather than trusting in the unseen and 2) pride from thinking "the world is just bad" and not remembering that we are bad too, only saved by grace."  Do we presume to understand the mind of God?  Humbling, is it not?  We often pray for what we hope for.  I have observed that we do not always receive what we pray for.  So where is the power of prayer?   Absolutely, there is no power in selfish prayer, but not all unanswered prayers were selfish ones.  I understand that there is God's will and there is free will.  Raw free will seldom aligns with God's will.  I know that God is in control.  He can take full control but only chooses to control to an extent because He has given us free will.  We are all wicked, unfortunately.  Wickedness + free will = a very imperfect world that could plant in us disappointment if we let it. So when I am disappointed, I am hit with the question of "Did God, in his power, choose to do (or not do) this?  Or did God's choice to let free will be exercised by myself and others do this?"  I'd like to explore this more, but I am not ready and this post is too long, so that will be a question for another time.  Feel free to comment. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Day at the Orchard


Re: Email to Mrs. Masalin

Momma Maz,

Thank you!  Things are going well. I was saying to ppl at church on Sunday, "Good morning, I hope I don't see you next week!"  This is one of the only times in life it's okay to say that to someone.  haha. 
Last night, Chris and I both slept like rocks, which was good bc the night before that was terrible.  We only slept 2 hrs or so, I think.  I was thinking gosh body just go into labor already then around 2am I thought "No wait.  I haven't slept since 8am.  Body, please don't go into labor until after I have rested."
I keep hoping he'll come early, but my dad said, "Heather, you haven't been early for anything in your life.  What makes you think you'll start now?"  Neither has Chris for that matter, so our offspring will be the worst I am sure...

The hopefully soon-to-not-be-pregnant lady

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pregnancy Diaries

You know you are 9 months pregnant when you count to yourself "1-2-3" before sliding out of a restaurant booth.  Oh yes.  Counting to get up out of a low car was not strange at month 8, but now- sliding out of a booth!

You know you are 9 months pregnant when you try to time coming home with the groceries with your husbands ETA from work.  And you KNOW you are 9 months pregnant when you call your neighbor and her boyfriend to come help you carry the groceries in bc you underestimated his TA.   Thank you Whitney and Kevin. 

You know you are 9 months pregnant when your husband tries to dance with you but you turn him down.  I absolutely cannot pivot anymore.  The muscles at my leg joints are loose and sore.  Heather has never turned down being spun around.