A Little Scare

May 3, 2011

So I’ve mentioned like 100 times that this pregnancy is totally different!  It’s been great and easy and has just flown by… until a couple days ago. On Thursday I started feeling “off”- sometimes I’d have weird pain, sometimes I’d get clammy and dizzy, and sometimes I’d just feel like I was going to throw up.  I’ve had no appetite and really really bad heartburn, too.  And I’ve been having lots and lots of Braxton Hicks contractions.  Some of them have been really strong too– not painful, but enough to catch my breath or stop me in my tracks.

So the side story, is that at my 28 week appointment, when I was telling my midwife how great I was, etc… she told me that technically it was time for me to start coming every 2 weeks– but since this was #2 and since I was doing so well, that I could stretch the next appointment to 3 or 4 weeks.  And when I went to set the appointment, I was set on getting one with her because she is my FAVORITE, so it actually ended up being 5 weeks later– at 33 weeks…. which is/was scheduled for tomorrow….

So back to being “off”– I finally called the office and spoke with a nurse and told them what was going on, and they had me come in today.  And then all morning I basically had non-stop contractions.  It was the most intense that it had been- but still wasn’t painful or actual labor.

So by now, it’s probably obvious that I’m a worrier.  Apparently, I get this from my great grandmother Lucille– my Dad calls me Lucille anytime I start to get worked up or nervous or anxious.  It’s his way of telling me to calm down.  For instance, the other night, when there were storms across the south, as soon as our sirens started going off, me and the boys went to sleep in the garage (where our house is underground) while Chad went outside to watch!  If someone says they’ll be here at a certain time and then they are late and not answering the phone, I assume it’s a car wreck, etc etc etc…. WORRIER!

So anyway, by the time I was getting close to the doctor, I had myself so worked up that I was sure that I was going to have to have a c-section today, birth a 4 lb baby, stay in the NICU for weeks, and barely be able to hold myself together– all while Chad was working and unable to make it to the hospital– because that’s realistic, right??

Anyway, I have started to dilate slightly, and I am having a lot of contractions, but the baby is under no stress, his heart rate is wonderful, and I show no signs of real labor.  So I have to 1) eat more protein 2) drink more water 3) cut my activity in half.

Did you read number 3?  Um…. I have a 20 month old– how exactly should I go about explaining that to him?  And what about the laundry?  And dinner?  Do you think my family will be ok with no dinner or clean clothes for the next 7 weeks?  I kid, because obviously, it just needs to be a temporary life style change and Chad and Gabe are already helping tremendously– but the thought of cutting my “activity level” in half, with my personality, just makes me chuckle.  And makes me crazy.

But the bottom line, as my doctor said, is that my body is telling me something, and I can either react to it now, or be put on bed rest– my choice.  Um……… I choose to take it easier. She also thinks I’ll easily make it full term if I just adjust a bit– so really– this is not a big deal, and maybe even a blessing in disguise that I’m required to chill out, but I did pull a Chicken Little today as I drove and convinced myself that surely the sky was falling.



March 18, 2011

Sometimes, it’s the little things that reminds me of the HUGE-ness of being a mom.  The other night, during Max’s bath, him and Gabe managed to soak the ENTIRE bathroom.  Honestly, this is normal, and they always have so much fun playing in there, that we really don’t discourage it.  Gabe isn’t in the bath with Max, but he might as well be!  By the time the water is draining, Gabe’s clothes are soaked and his glasses are dripping.

That night while Chad was getting Max out of the tub, I was helping Gabe mop up the floor with his bath towel.  Then I had him put both his and Max’s towel in the laundry.  We then shuffled both of them into pj’s, got their teeth brushed and sent them off to bed.  Before I headed downstairs, I stopped by the bathroom for a potty break (thanks pregnancy for making this my #1 pass time). I looked over and noticed both of the empty hooks so I got out fresh towels for the boys.  And it hit me.  If I didn’t get a towel out for Max, he would  never get one.  If I didn’t bathe him, he would never be clean.  If I didn’t change his diaper, he would never get a new, fresh diaper.  Max’s depth of dependence on me overtook me in that moment.  Although this wasn’t the first time I had realized this truth, I was paralyzed by the bigness of this yet again.

Gabe is a slightly different story.  I honestly think that if he were left to fend for himself, he would take showers and brush his teeth.  Chad and I were just noticing the other night how Gabe has NEVER slept through his 6:30am alarm- he doesn’t even lay there for a few minutes… it goes off, he hits it, and jumps out of bed, making his way straight to the shower.  This eight year old could take care of himself.  But he is dependent on us for meals, a roof over his head, and safety… for some reason, he can’t remember to look both ways before he crosses a street without a reminder!  He is also dependent on us emotionally.  He needs to talk and he needs someone to listen and respond- Gabe doesn’t do alone time for more than an hour- and that’s only when I “make” him go read for an hour.

God blessed us with these boys- and really there are times when I just think my skin is going to pop open because of all the love in my chest.  But He also made them dependent on me- needing me- learning from me- growing because of me. How humbling.  How huge.  The magnitude of the parenting role is so much that these words I’m fumbling and bumbling around for- I have the power to make or break these kids.  What a responsibility.  Thank goodness there is a big God leading the way.  I pray I’m attentive to His leading- I pray for Christ in me.

The other day, while praying in a small group, my friend Courtney prayed “God, despite all these blessings, we are desperate for you”.  That statement has wrecked me- in a good way- this week.  Despite all these blessings, despite me being wired to be a mom, despite the joy I find in mothering, despite the gratitude and gratefulness Chad and I have for these boys– we need God.  We are nothing, and can do nothing, a part from him.

And Baby Makes Four

March 17, 2011

A friend from church passed on this article to me, and it’s a must-read for mommies!  I’m attaching it here- but I can’t find a link for it- they’re all protected.  But it’s from Mothering.com and the author is Natalia Swenson Parker– check it out below!  Anyway, it’s all about adding baby #2 to your brode, and luckily I read it after Jack was already growing or else I may have decided that Max was enough.  I read the article one morning, over my coffee, and then promptly walked into the kitchen, BAWLING like a baby, and tried to tell Chad why we couldn’t have Jack.  Being the wise one that he is, he gently explained that it was too late and could I please stop blubbering long enough to explain what was going on.

To summarize, the article is GREAT!  But it is realistic too, and the fact of the matter is that when you go from one baby to two, then hello, baby number one doesn’t really get the attention they got before.  It talks about greiving that “loss” but also you’re so excited that you have a new baby that you  just love and adore, and so then enters guilt.  (This is on top of the lovely hormones and irrational behaviors that accompany a new baby).  Oh my goodness, I just wasn’t ready for all of this.  And what about Max?

Needless to say, women have been having more then one child forEVER and as a child with two brothers, it was NOT a big deal- it was actually great- and not just was, it is.  And my mom had enough love, and time, that we all made it out alive.  Add that in to the fact that Gabe was 6 when we had Max- so for 6 years was THE center of the universe in MANY different houses, and although he has less attention since Max, they have so much darn stinkin love for each other, that he was over it in about .05 seconds.  (Gabe is smart enough to TRY and play the “I feel left out” card, but we remind him of the 3894574389 people that love him and stop their lives for him every time he has a boo boo, or a performance at school, or a soccer game, and he quickly hides that card back in his pocket, waiting for the next time that it might work….) So I’m sure the same is true of the budding Bowman clan, we’ll be fine, we’ll survive, there will be love and cuddles and bonding, despite the chaos, but could you really expect me to be reasonable and rational at a time like this?

So all you seasoned moms, who have grown multiple children in your womb, what do I need to know?  What are some tricks of the trade?  Will I ever sleep again?  How do I nurse with a 22 month old running around?  How do I make sure Max still gets attention?  And that he loves his brother?  And that he knows that I love him something crazy?  And will Jack feel left out?  Or will it just be how it is for him?  Anything you got, I want to hear it!

Thanks for suffering through that emotional breakdown with me… and I’m sure this is just one of those Parenting Builds Character things!

A Heavy Heart

October 13, 2010

Do you ever just get overwhelmed with sadness?  I’m just heavy right now.  And none of the stories are mine- and none of them are touching me directly- but somehow, they all seem to affect my soul.

Leslie Evans:  A young lady my age, married a man with 3 children, 2 years after his wife/ their mother had died from Breast cancer.  Shortly after getting married, they discovered they were pregnant, WITH twins.  They were elated.  But then she went into labor early, and the twins were born at about 21 weeks, and did not live.  Shortly after giving birth, Leslie went into cardiac arrest.  She was down for 17 minutes before they could revive.  Leslie passed away October 7, 2010.

I have been following her blog, reading her story, watching videos of her life, and I cannot put into words the hurt in my chest.  I’ve been praying for this family I don’t know, and asking God to bring them peace.  I don’t understand why He allowed this man to lose 2 wives, and these children to lose 2 mom’s.  I don’t understand why her body couldn’t carry the babies full term, and why the water had to break early.  I don’t understand why these parents lost their daughter, and a brother lost his sister.  And that’s not even touching on the friends that lost, too.  Honestly, I just can’t make any sense of it.  And I don’t know her.

(A blog about her:  http://lesliejoyevans.blogspot.com/)  (Very worth starting at the beginning)

Lila:  My co-worker, Cherie, has a 3 year old niece who went to the doctor on Monday for a cough, and was sent straight to Children’s Healthcare for Leukemia.  This little girl will start chemo tomorrow that will last for the next 2 years.  And Lila’s mom, who lost her own mother to cancer, has to watch her baby, lay in a bed, while chemicals fill her body in order to fight this nasty disease.  Meanwhile, Lila’s father also has a type of inoperable brain cancer, that will eventually take his life, although he doesn’t have any effects/ problems with it now.

I’ve got to say, I just don’t understand this either.  As a mom, my insides scream upon hearing this story.  When Cherie told me about this yesterday, I cried, and as I type about it today, I still cry.  When it comes to Leukemia, she has the “good kind” but parents take their kids to the doctor for strep- not leukemia.  And I can not imagine how powerless and helpless it must feel, to be a parent, watching something like this.  Again, I don’t understand.

Kate McRae:  I have been following this little girl’s story for over a year.  Right before she was supposed to start kindergarden, Kate was diagnosed with brain cancer. They were able to remove a portion of the tumor, but due to location, couldn’t get all of it.  This little girl has been going through new treatments to try to beat this malignant cancer.  Her parent’s faith and prayers are edifying and real.  You can hear hurt in her mother’s typing, yet total reliance on God.  Again, parents with no control, nothing they can do to change the situation, and at this point, they just wait to see if the treatment worked.  They go back periodically for MRI’s and other tests hoping to hear that the tumor hasn’t grown, but expecting/ dreading the worst.  All they can do is wait.

Her prayer blog:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate

** These are by no means all the stories about stuff like this, I totally understand that– these are just the ones on my heart and mind right now.

Stuff like this makes me just want to put my people in a bubble to protect them.  It makes me want to use my time to write them love notes, and kiss them all over.  I mean what if?

But chances are, this won’t happen to us.  And I’m pretty sure that trying to explain to God that I was too crippled by what might’ve happened to actually discipline my kids or train them, or too worried about what could’ve happened to love my neighbors and serve my husband, and too consumed with fear to spread the Good News, wouldn’t be a good conversation to have with the Creator of the Universe, and a God that willingly gave his perfect son’s life for my sin, so that I could spend eternity with Him.

I am not one to question God, and this is not to say that understand everything.  I do NOT.  But that is because He is God and I am not- and I don’t have to understand everything- I just have to trust him.  But if I’m honest, that’s not always easy.  I know He’s BIG and I know He’s LOVE and I know He’s FORGIVING.  So tonight, I just pray that have the courage to be the wife, mom, friend, co-worker, daughter, sister, etc that God has called me to be, and that I’ll surrender control to the only ONE who deserves, God. Tonight I am casting other people’s burdens on Him- to God be the glory, forever, amen!

A Pick Me Up

July 29, 2010

I’ve listened to this song a MILLION times today and I just thought I’d share:

I’m A Cheater

February 18, 2010

I have many great things going for me—all of them are God things, not Lauren things.  Check it out:
1.     Chad- I have an incredible husband that is laid back, easy to get along with, very funny, quite nice to look at, and an incredible partner in crime.
2.     I have my Max- a wonderful little bald bundle of blue eyes and giggles.  He’s so much fun and he’s also so much work!
3.     Gabe, my stepson, who brings his own perks and challenges.  He’s filled with life, and ideas, and excitement.
4.     I have a great job and an awesome boss that offers a place for me to do the things I’m good at, in an environment that I love, while allowing me the flexibility needed to be a wife and a mom.
5.     We have an incredible small group that meets weekly to press God issues and marriage issues into our hearts and lives, so that we are constantly learning daily to reflect and glorify Him.
6.     I have a boatload of wonderful, amazing friends, and a great (BIG) family that is very entertaining, encouraging, and loving.
7.     I have a great little house that offers us comfort and warmth and shelter, and requires daily upkeep.
8.     We go to a very well rounded church that allows many many different avenues to get plugged in and volunteer, and I get to hang out with 3rd graders weekly.
9.     I have several different free lance writing opportunities that allow me to use my gifts and my creativity to teach children the word of God and ideally, make people laugh.
10. And I have a sweet, sweet Jesus who craves my time and who is so worthy of my praise, adoration, thoughts, and attention.
And without rubbing my blessed-ness in your face, I’ve got to tell you that this is just a very brief list of what I have going for me right now. 
I grew up going to North Point church and heard a sermon series when I was younger by Andy Stanley called “Choosing to Cheat”.  I have since read the book, and loved both of them.  The idea is that someone/ something is always being cheated.  For instance, if work is getting the majority of your time, your family isn’t, and vice versa.  And this is where the guilt and my guilt comes into play.
My list is incredible- just writing it all out makes me heart swell.  But it also makes me sweat and my blood pressure rise a bit too.  I constantly feel guilty.  Whichever aspect of my life I’m concentrating on at any given moment is full of joy and stress simultaneously. This is because I’m cheating. When I’m at work, I feel guilty that I’m not with Max.  When I’m with Max, I feel guilty that I’m not working.  When I’m spending a few quiet minutes alone in my car, I’m also feeling guilty for not using that time to catch up with friends and family.  When I go to bed early to rest of for the next day’s adventures, I feel bad that I’m not hanging out in the living room with Chad.  When my list of things to do is getting checked off early in the morning, I feel guilt for not spending that time with my Jesus. I could keep going on and on with such scenarios, but I’ll spare you.
So what gives?
I don’t know the answer.  If you do, please feel free to comment.
But I have found a couple aspects of Truth that I can hang my hat on.
God gives me strength according to Psalms 41:10.
God  promises that His spirit is upon me, all the time, in Isaiah 61:1-4.
God promises to answer my prayers in John 16:24.
God assures me deliverance in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
God promises me forgiveness in 1 John 1:9.
God offers me guidance in Proverbs 3:5-6
And thankfully, God promises me rest in Matthew 11:28-30.
I think the guilt comes with being a perfectionist, with being a mom, with being a control freak, and with living in my flesh.  But I am a new creation, and have been washed in the blood of Jesus and saved by grace.  So it is my prayer, and my goal, to put off the guilt and live in peace, founded on The Savior of the Universe.