July 21, 2011

Wanted to share

I came across this today on another blog, Birth without Fear, and although almost 2 years have passed since my miscarriage, I found this very comforting. Thought I'd share it with you. I believe it is an excerpt from the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo.

Mommy, I have two sisters,” Colton said.

I put down my pen. Sonja didn’t. She kept on working.

Colton repeated himself. “Mommy, I have two sisters.”

Sonja looked up from her paperwork and shook her head slightly. “No, you have a sister, Cassie, and…do you mean your cousin, Traci?”

“No.” Colton clipped off the word adamantly. “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy, didn’t you?”

At that moment, time stopped in the Burpo household, and Sonja’s eyes grew wide. Just a few seconds before, Colton had been trying unsuccessfully to get his mom to listen to him. Now, even from the kitchen table, I could see that he had her undivided attention.

“Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” Sonja said, her tone serious.

“She did, Mommy. She said she died in your tummy.”

I knew what my wife had to be feeling. Losing that baby was the most painful event of her life. We had explained it to Cassie; she was older. But we hadn’t told Colton, judging the topic a bit beyond a four-year-old’s capacity to understand. From the table, I watched quietly as emotions rioted across Sonja’s face.

“It’s okay, Mommy,” he said. “She’s okay. God adopted her.”

Sonja slid off the couch and knelt down in front of Colton so that she could look him in the eyes. “Don’t you mean Jesus adopted her?” she said.

“No, Mommy. His Dad did!”

Sonja turned and looked at me. In that moment, she later told me, she was trying to stay calm, but she was overwhelmed. Our baby….was–is!–a girl, she thought.

Sonja focused on Colton, and I could hear the effort it took to steady her voice. “So what did she look like?”

“She looked a lot like Cassie,” Colton said. “She is just a little bit smaller, and she has dark hair.”

Sonja’s dark hair.

As I watched, a blend of pain and joy played across my wife’s face. Cassie and Colton have my blond hair. She had even jokingly complained to me before, “I carry these kids for nine months, and they both come out looking like you!” Now there was a child who looked like her. A daughter. I saw the first hint of a moisture glint in my wife’s eyes.

Now Colton went on without prompting. “In heaven, this little girl ran up to me, and she wouldn’t stop hugging me, ” he said in a tone that clearly indicated he didn’t enjoy all this hugging form a girl.

“Maybe she was just happy that someone from her family was there,” Sonja offered. “Girls hug. When we’re happy, we hug.”

Colton didn’t seem convinced.

Sonja’s eyes lit up and she asked, “What was her name? What was the little girl’s name?”

Colton seemed to forget about all the yucky girl hugs for a moment. “She doesn’t have a name. You guys didn’t name her.”

How did he know that?

“You’re right, Colton,” Sonja said. “We didn’t even know she was a she.”

Then Cotlon said something that still rings in my ears: “Yeah, she said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”

“Our baby is okay,” she whispered. “Our baby is okay.”

From that moment on, the wound from one of the most painful episodes in our lives, losing a child we had wanted very much, began to heal.

But now that we know our little girl doesn’t have a name yet, we constantly tell each other, “I’m going to beat you to heaven and name her first!”

July 20, 2011

One month

One month from today, I'll be running my first half marathon! It's a little scary that I only have 1 more month to prepare myself physically and mentally for this challenge. I know I'll be able to finish it, I just want to be able to do it without being last or completely miserable. I've been slowly increasing my distance and I'm up to almost 11 miles, which takes me about 2 hours to run. After I finish those long runs of 10 miles, I am pretty sore and tired. The first time I ran 10 miles, my body just ached all day and all night. I couldn't sleep because of it. It wasn't pain. It's hard to explain exactly what it was, but my muscles were definitely screaming at me that first time. Since then, it's been easier each time with less aching afterward. I only do one long run a week, and the day after is a rest day, so my body can rest and recover. This next month, I will be really focusing on my endurance for about 2 weeks. Two weeks before the race, I will do the only 13 mile run of my training. One week before I'm running a 10K and the week leading up to the half marathon is an easy week of one 2 mile run, two 20 minute runs and then resting up for the big day. I'm excited and nervous already, but I can do this!

July 12, 2011

Random tidbits

Tomorrow, my first "baby" is going to be 8 years old. I can still remember like it was yesterday watching him being born in the mirror, being in awe that Husband and I had created a life and that I was a mother. I can still remember looking into his little face just moments after he was born and knowing what it means to totally and instantly fall in love with someone. He's come a long way from that 7lb 7oz newborn! He's a typical skinny 8 year old boy who loves baseball and football, is able to assemble those massive lego kits (which I STILL can't figure out) and he can navigate the computer as well (if not better) than I can!

Caleb is almost 10 months! He's becoming a chunky little boy and I just love it. He is still nursing, although most of his calories come from formula and table foods. And I'm ok with that. Every once in awhile when a mom on post-partum comes up with multiple bottles of milk she pumped and I'm barely able to eke out 3 oz when I pump, I do get a little bit of milk envy, but then I remember that I was once a milk machine too, just not with Caleb. He's crawling everywhere, and he likes to pull himself up to stand. The other night, he started cruising the length of the coach. Before long, he'll be running! I'm not quite ready for that!

In less than 6 weeks, I run my first half-marathon! Eek!! It's been so hot and humid lately that I haven't been able to get out and run. The heat isn't so much the problem - it's the humidity. But I've gotten in a couple 10 mile runs and if I can get a few more of those in, like one once a week, I think I'll be ok. The week before the half, I'm doing a 10K, which I realized is less than half of a half marathon, but it's a sort of warm up to the "big" one. I did get new running shoes and they feel great on my feet...can't wait to be able to get out and run in them, hopefully tonight.

July 8, 2011

Behind the nurses station on the night shift

What do L&D nurses do when the unit is (dare I even utter the word) slow? Well, we come up with ways to entertain ourselves, like fashioning stylish outfits from hospital supplies. For holding the monitors on pregnant bellies, we either use belts or these beige girdle things that come in a huge roll. It's elastic fabric that they step into and pull up over their stomach. The scrub techs measure them and cut out appropriate sized girdles from the massive roll. Most people actually like them better than the belts, as do the nurses because they tend to hold the monitors in place better for when a patient is shifting around in bed, they can be held at a tilt with a wash rag over it, and some moms just like the support. Others hate them. One night, I decided that these girdles would make a beautiful mini skirt and tube top. So I donned them over my scrubs. It was a good look. The next night I came in, I found a long "evening gown" in my mailbox. So, like any good model, I tried it on, and then we accessorized it. A pair of white mesh underwear became a lace belt around my waist. In order for me to walk, we had to cut a slit up the side, up to the mid-thigh, which was very sexy given the blue scrubs I was wearing underneath. We thought the orange peripads would look great around the bottom, but decided against wasting too much in the way of supplies. So we used a few of the gold hearts that hold the temp probes on the babies - it added a bit of bling. A necklace could be fashioned out of IV tubing with blood tubes taped to it. And for the perfect shoes? Why those brown hospital socks with the treads on the bottom, of course! If we were going to go all out, we thought we could stain some areas with betadine for a patterned dress. The perfect purse, no doubt, would be that high-style foley bag. Most of the "details" we didn't actually add...we didn't want to waste much in the way of hospital supplies, but 2 pairs of underwear and about 6 gold hearts were used. Our style show lasted all of 15 minutes before we had to get back to work. Here's a picture of just the "gown", before we put a slit in the side and added our flare to it. It's lovely. I'm sure you're all jealous.

July 6, 2011

Half Marathon

Over the last several weeks, I've been training for a half marathon. It's a life goal of mine and I'm happy to say that I think I might actually just be able to run one! It's been hard though, I won't lie. I've had to work to make time to get out and run and to build up my endurance. The morning of the 4th, I ran a 5 mile race right after getting off of work. It was hot and my time wasn't the greatest, but I am telling myself I'm slower than I was 2 years ago because I'm training for a half marathon, not 5K's or 5 mile races. My pace is slower. The last 2 weeks, I've managed to do a 10mile long run once a week. It takes me about 2 hours, and I'm a bit sore when I'm done. The first time I ran, I ran right after working my 3rd night shift. It was the only time I could do a morning run and have the kids already at the sitter. It went pretty well, but my muscles were quivering when I got done. Seriously, I looked at my quads and they were twitching. I did stretch for quite awhile, and then went to bed for a few hours before getting the kids. I didn't actually sleep because my body wouldn't let me. I'm not sure how to describe it because I wasn't in pain or anything...I can't really describe it. I must have slept for a little bit because when I got up around 3pm, my legs hurt. Last night I did the 10mile course again and it was much better, but I still didn't sleep as great as I normally do. The half marathon I'm signed up for is August 20th. The weekend before I'm running a 10K in Husband's hometown, and I took the whole weekend off for the half marathon. I've got a lot of work to do to get myself physically prepared for running a 13.1 mile race in August. I'm also mentally trying to prepare myself, too. I know I can do it, and I WILL do it. And even though I'm sure in the middle of the race, I'll be wondering "WTH did I get myself into?", it will be worth it. It's something I'm doing purely for me, to know that even after 4 kids I can still run 13.1 miles. I also think it will be healing for me, too. I'm at peace (for the most part) with my pregnancy/delivery experience with Caleb, but there's still part of me that feels like my body failed me and him: by delivering early, and by not producing enough breastmilk for him, even though I made a ton with my other kids and I've done just about everything I can to increase the supply. But we have to supplement with formula, something I never did before. I'm pretty sure it was due to him not have as strong of a suck since he was 34 weeks. Anyway, I'm looking forward to it, which I realize sounds a bit crazy, kind of like a woman looking forward to labor. I'm up for the challenge and the reward after it's done will be worth it!

July 2, 2011

You know you've got work on the brain when...

...when you are dreaming that a couple of your friends are pregnant and came over to your house because they think they are in labor. They didn't come because they want you to time their contractions, help them decide if they are in labor or anything like that...they came because they want you to help them have a out-of-hospital water birth. At your house, in your tub. Amazing the things the mind comes up with when you are sleeping!