Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Nitty Gritty

Ok, so after attempting several posts, writing, adding to, undoing, writing again, I’m finally committed to putting an update together. Here’s what’s going on- for all of you who are interested.
Ever since the 20th of January I have been on bed rest. Or couch rest to be more precise. In the morning I get up, get dressed (sort of) and meander down to the couch where I spend the majority of my day sitting or lying on my side and telling other people what to do.
I have a plethora of entertainment possibilities while I sit. I have a Bible Study I’m leading each Wednesday for the Bible School Women. So I get plenty of time to prepare. I have my daily Bible reading, some videos to watch, and some craft things I’m working on to keep my fingers busy.

There’s always the laptop to keep me distracted with things like blog posts or Facebook and most of my time is taken up with telling the children what to do. We have done some school almost every day and I am grateful for the forced focus that required down time lends to school.
Thanks to a special someone, I have money with which to bribe pay my kids and others to do extra chores. I’m not paying them to get dressed and clean their room. Nor am I paying for the regular work they are supposed to help with- cleaning up toys, emptying the dishwasher, and wiping the bathroom. But I have been paying for the times when I need one child to do an extra job or something. Jonathon has been taking advantage of this new business opportunity and has earned several dollars making dinner, cleaning up from meals, and doing the younger kids jobs when they are outside playing. James has gotten in on the action as well and Rachel just a tiny bit. It’s been nice to be able to give them some reward for the extra effort they are putting out. They really have been cheerful workers overall and I have been blessed by their diligence and initiative numerous times. One thing we have going is a deal to pay half of what they earn to them to spend and the other half to put into a jar we keep on top of the fridge for some family fun. Right now we are saving up to build some sort of tree house in the spring or summer and hope to have a little left over for something else fun like a day trip to the ocean or out for ice cream. Since it’s such a family effort to keep things going around here, I thought that everyone should benefit in some way of the team work they are exhibiting. Overall they seem to like this arrangement, especially since I have been fairly generous in the payment for certain jobs. This plan is working and I’m thrilled. So, a big thank you to my “fairy godmother” for meeting a need in a creative way!

Now for what’s actually going on. (PHYSICAL DETAILS- BEWARE) For the last four weeks I’ve been spotting- just barely bleeding. Some days it’s so barely there that I have to be in good light to see it. Other days it’s been obvious, but never bright red- just a little pink. There are a lot of things that can cause this to happen in later pregnancy, but unfortunately we’ve managed to rule out all the normal excuses. I have no detectable infections, no sores or abrasions, no kidney problems or other problems relating to elimination. Through a number of observations and testing we’ve managed to rule out all the easy answers that would make it possible to just ignore it and move on. This leaves me with the risk of placental abruption. For those of you not up on your pregnancy risk vocabulary, this is when there is a slight to large detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall, causing bleeding between the placenta and the uterine lining. With a small abruption a woman can easily go through pregnancy and labor and everything be fine, however if the abruption increases and the placenta decides it’s time to separate completely or becomes more fully separated then the baby looses oxygen and it can mean a premature delivery. We don’t know for sure if this is the problem or not, but it’s the next thing to suspect and with the minimal bleeding it seems that it is probably on the minimal side of abruption. If I make it to 37 weeks, the delivery would not be premature at that point but the risk will still exist for the baby’s stability during labor to be compromised. Bed rest helps keep things from moving around and becoming dislodged further- if that is in fact the problem. So, here I am- at least until Feb 21st, when I’m close enough to my due date that I can safely go into labor. I might end up on bed rest until March 10th however, just because that’s when our help (Jane the Wonderful) arrives. If at all possible we want to avoid having the baby and trying to supervise all the kids at the same time. So, we’ll do what we can to help things out that way and be trusting God to meet our needs both the practical ones and the timing of things.
We are also considering having this child at the hospital. It sounds crazy to most of you probably, but I’m a little nervous. I know the risk factors would be greatly reduced if we had this baby at the hospital, but I haven’t had a child outside of my own bedroom for 10 years! Jonathon has been the only hospital birth and since then we’ve been blessed to be able to have all the others naturally and at home with the help of a wonderful midwife. I’ve come to love the peacefulness of being at home, the comfort of laboring in my own house around my family, with all my own comforts. And when the baby is here, I lay down in my own bed and there are no monitors to be hooked to, no noises from a nurse’s station, no two hour checks for 24 hours after the baby is born. No one tells me I can’t let the baby sleep on my chest, no one takes him out for tests and such without my consent, noone gets paranoid and feeds him formula without asking me first. It’s just me and him and my wonderful family all around. AND I can have all the company I want as soon as I want it- which is one of the biggest things I’ll miss about a hospital delivery. After the baby is born and things are cleaned up, I’m usually ready to have everyone in the nearby vicinity come and ogle over the baby. Don’t believe me? Some of you know. Some of you have been here an hour after the birth. I eat it up- it’s one of the best things about the whole process! How many people can I get to come and see me and the baby as soon as possible? Hold him! Rejoice with me! It’s a new life! Let’s celebrate! And I don’t want to do it alone. The hospital is almost two hours away- the good one, that is. And regardless of efforts made, it just won’t be the same. I’ll miss having the entire Bible School in my room two hours after the delivery.
The safety and help from the doctors and being in a place where we will have help is worth it. I know that. I’ll trade all of the people time for the knowledge that if something goes wrong I’m in the best place I could be.
So, that’s where I am, what I’m doing and why. I’ve been tremendously blessed by supportive family and friends. I’ve got wonderful people helping keep up with laundry and child care and have loads of freezer meals- some people have brought and some I made with a friend just before I went on bed rest. Others have brought over hot meals- which are a welcome change up. I have gotten cards, videos, a Netflix subscription, money to pay the kids and others, and visitors (one of my favorites!) have come to chat and let me know they care. While, I’m still occasionally an emotional wreck, all the support has left me confident that others love me and my family and are there for us. When both my parents and Brandon’s parents live so far away, that is a treasure I don’t take for granted.
If you find yourself praying for our family, I’d appreciate all the help I can get for emotional stability and clear communication with Brandon. You can pray for the physical needs too, but also for my self control to stay put and eat correctly. I have to be even more cautious about my diet while I’m sitting around doing nothing.
God is good- all the time. He is meeting our needs and leading us each and every day. I find myself asking him for help sometimes in the silliest ways it seems, and yet I continue to find him faithful in answering my childish cries for attention and help. He hears my, “Daddy, I can’t do this” and seems to smile and say, “Yes, you can but I will help you anyway.” I’m so thankful for his mercy.

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