Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mommy Idols

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"  - A question that is asked of children throughout their lives.  My answer was always the same, "A mommy!"  There was never any doubt as to what my life's purpose was.  I have always known that I would be a mother and that has always been my ultimate goal.  Little did I know what a challenge it would be to get to that point and then what a challenge it would be once I was there.  
We tried for two years to conceive and it was a painful road.  We did all the fertility testing and everything came back "normal" - unexplained infertility they told us.  We waited and prayed that the Lord would bless us with a baby.  This was my first of many lessons in patience and trust.  I was forced to lay it all in the Lord's hands and trust Him.  We tried everything (naturally) that we could to become parents and it just wasn't happening.  I was forced to give up my trying and let the Lord do what He wished. 

After finding out we were PREGNANT I knew right away that I was having a girl.  I don't know why, but I just knew.  I had always wanted a boy first (again, I don't really know why, I just did).  But the day of our gender ultrasound I was not surprised at all to find out we were having a girl.  However, I was disappointed.  We had tried so long for this - why couldn't I at least have the boy that I had always wanted?  The Lord taught me to trust Him more.  He had a plan and a little girl was part of that plan.  Again, I was forced to trust His plan, not my own. 

Throughout my pregnancy I knew I wanted to have a natural (un-medicated) delivery.  I did a lot of research about the possible side effects of an epidural and other drugs used during labor.  I didn't like the idea of using medication, so I prepared as best I could for a natural labor.  We prayed for Hannah to come a few days early or at least on her due date so that I wouldn't need to be induced.  Her due date came and went.  Come on Lord, can't I at least have this baby the way I have planned and prepared?  Once again, my heart was tested.  Do you trust me Sabrina?  Do you truly believe that I have the perfect plan for you and Hannah?  There was nothing I could do to make Hannah come according to my plan.  Again, I was forced to trust that the Lord was in complete control.

While preparing for the arrival of our sweet little baby, I read every book available about caring for a newborn.  I spent hours (thousands of hours) making lists, taking notes and planning out what to do and when.  I had a plan and a back-up plan for my plan!  I knew what I was doing.  Well......AGAIN, I was forced to give up MY plan and realize that the Lord was in control, not me.  My baby didn't follow any of my plans.  She didn't do anything by the book and all those hours were wasted.  Lord, why couldn't I at least get something I wanted?  She doesn't sleep like the books say she should, she doesn't eat like she should, we have tried to let her cry it out for 4 months straight and it's still not working!  Why Lord?  What are you trying to teach me?  And again, the Lord was showing me that my plan is not His plan - He is in control, not me!

I could go on and on giving illustrations of what my plans were for Hannah and how they crumbled (didn't want her to use a pacifier and now she is addicted, wanted her to follow the Dr. Denmark schedule but she wouldn't, etc.)  Motherhood has always been my ultimate goal and hope for my life.  I had placed motherhood on such a pedestal my entire life.  Now that I had reached that goal and it had become my reality, things just weren't what I had expected.  Motherhood was my idol and when it started crumbling around me, I began to see my desperate need for Jesus.  I couldn't live up to my own expectations any longer.  I was failing as a mother, in my eyes.  So now what?

It has taken several years to realize what an idol I have made of motherhood.  I never saw it as a bad thing (and it's not, in and of itself).  But I had placed such value on being a "good" mom and having the "perfect" family.  I wanted everyone to think that I had it all together.  I wanted other moms to say, "Wow, Sabrina is such a great mom."  How selfish and ugly that desire was and is.  It's not about me.  What good does it profit me to hear the praises of others?  And to appear to have it all together.  It may feel good for a moment, but it has no eternal value.

Have I conquered this idol?  Absolutely not!  It is a struggle I deal with on a daily basis.  And the Lord will continue to shatter my "plans" in order to teach me that He is enough and that He is in control.  While the road has been painful at times and extremely frustrating, I can truly say how grateful I am for each trial - they have brought me to the end of myself and into a deeper relationship with the Lord.  I am so thankful that I don't have to live up to my standards as a mom, but that I can rest it all on His shoulders and trust that He will guide me down the right path.  What freedom there is in that! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Better!

Hannah is finally back to her old self, although she does have some snot still, but I think that is just a part of life with a baby.  After going to the doctor last week and being diagnosed with croup, I started her on prednisone (an oral steroid).  Things went down hill fast!  Hannah was completely out of sorts, wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, didn't want to be held, didn't want to play....she just wanted to fuss.  I felt so bad for her because I had no idea what was wrong or how to help her.  It was very frustrating for both of us and I felt like a horrible mom!  How could I not know how to help my own baby?  After two days of constant fussing, I finally started searching online for answers.  I stumbled upon some parent comments on prednisone and its side effects.  Oh my goodness - it makes kids CRAZY!  I had no idea.  I briefly read over the side effects on the medicine label before giving Hannah her first dose, but nothing stood out.  I gave her the medication for the two days, as prescribed, and thought nothing of it.  It sure would have been nice if the doctor would have warned me that it was going to turn my happy baby into a nightmare child!  UGH!  I was beyond frustrated with the doctor and wanted to call them up and yell at them for making my child miserable and for making me think I was an awful mom.  After spending almost an hour researching this oral steroid, I was frustrated but also relieved to know what was causing my child to be so off.  We just had to wait for the medicine to get out of her system.  Thankfully it only took a couple more days before she was back to her smiling self.  I was sure to make a note of her reaction to this drug so we can avoid these side effects in the future.  The other frustrating part is that I am not even sure if she actually had croup.  She did have some wheezing when she breathed in deeply, but she never developed the croup cough (or any cough).  I could kick myself for giving her a medication when she really didn't need it.  Live and learn!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Croup

Hannah is sick.  Yuck!  She started with a runny nose on Sunday and it has progressed into an all out snot-fest!  I have never seen so much snot.  Her poor little nose is so red and dry from all the wiping (which really isn't a lot since she won't let me near her face).  Yesterday she woke up crying and when she would breath in it sounded like a seal barking.  I knew that wasn't good, so we headed to the doctor to have her checked out.  Of course she didn't make the barking/wheezing sound while we were there, but the doctor listened to my description and diagnosed her with croup.  She is now taking a steroid medicaton - prednisone - and is also getting a round of medicated eye drops for her goopy eye.  Poor thing.  Thankfully she is looking and sounding a lot better today and I haven't heard that telltale croup cough since yesterday morning, so maybe she never really had it....who knows?!  Just praying that she is on the mend and will back to normal soon!  But I will say that she has really handled this sickness like a champ!  Despite all the congestion, she is still her happy self and crawling all over the place!  I will post a new video of her crawling soon.  She is really a pro now.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

We Have a Crawler!

Hannah officially started crawling this afternoon!  She has been so close for a few weeks now, but today she finally did it!  She's still learning, but she is already getting into everything.  Oh boy!  This is the first video we have of her crawling...more to come.  Don't mind our crazy voices and over-excitement.

video


Monday, October 11, 2010

Hannah: 7 Months

 

Dear Hannah,

You are seven months old today.  You are no longer a tiny little baby who I can cradle in my arms.  You are a playful, active, bundle of energy.  You love to move and are trying so hard to crawl these days!  You want nothing more than to dart accross the room and to chase the dog around the house. 

Here's what you are up to these days:
  • You weigh 19 pounds 2 oz and are 27 inches long
  • You are still toothless...which I am happy about.  I don't look forward to teeth - biting while nursing is a bit of a fear for me
  • You finally started saying consonant sounds - gagaga, googoogoo - and I swear I heard you say mama the other morning, but you won't repeat it, of course.
  • You are getting really good with your hands.  You just got a new toy - a bubblegum machine - and you are so good at pushing the lever and grabbing the balls that come out.  I am amazed at how grown up you are!
  • You love to suck on your toes.  I wondered for months if you even knew you had toes, but then one day recently, you really discovered them.  You had known about them for a few months, but you hadn't realized how fun they were until now.  You prefer your left foot over your right....must be extra tasty. ;-)
  • You still love people!  Strangers are no problem for you....you love everyone!
  • You have tasted all kinds of new foods - chicken, beef, potatoes, pastina (tiny pasta), chicken broth, peaches, peas, plums, green beans, and prunes.  You have also chewed on a few pieces of bread and love it!  There really isn't a food you don't like.  But we do still have to watch carefully for constipation, as that is still a problem for you.
  • Your schedule is still the same - nursing 4 times per day (8am, 12pm, 4pm, 7:30pm) and eating solids after the first 3 nursings.
  • You still wear size 3 diapers and are wearing 9 month (6-9 months) clothing, although you can still fit into some 6 month (3-6 months) stuff too.
  • Your sleeping is getting better, although still not perfect.  However, this month I finally let go!  I finally realized that it is okay if you don't sleep exactly when I want you to.  I have stopped obsessing, which has been such a weight off my shoulders.  You will sleep when you need to!  Your schedule is still the same as it was at 6 months.
  • You have started to get up onto your knees and rock.  You are getting really close to crawling, but not yet.  I really think it will be any day now!
As I say every month, I can't believe how big you are getting.  In the grand scheme of life, I realize you are still so small, so I try to enjoy you just as you are every single day!  I squeeze your chubby little thighs and smell your sweet baby hair and kiss your soft, pudgy cheeks every day.  I just can't get enough of you!

I love you little peanut!