Paranoia and Baby Therapy

I slept through the night last night, and woke up around 7:00. The kids were still asleep, so Brady and I turned to some Netflix. The big kids slept in longer than usual, and Solly kept sleeping even when we got them up for breakfast. I’ve been reading that people are finding the recent eclipse of have affected their family’s sleep similar to a full moon, so thats what I assumed was keeping the kids so sleepy.

While the big kids were eating and Solly was sleeping, I was momentarily hit with the gumption to make one of the phone calls I’ve been avoiding, where I have to relay the story of our recent loss to someone. In my brief moment of courage, I went upstairs and made the call. I left a weepy, horrendous message on my physiotherapists phone, asking if we need to keep our upcoming appointment now that I’m not pregnant anymore. Just saying it all out loud again to someone who doesn’t know broke me down, and I sat upstairs and cried on my bed for longer than I care to admit. I finally resurfaced, and cuddled into our recliner in the living room, to at least make the effort to be with my family.

I’m sad to say that I’m experiencing the tiniest bit of paranoia these days. I think its justified, but I don’t care for it. This morning, my nerves for Solly grew and grew as he slept and slept. I checked the monitor and he was still completely quiet. I tried to leave him, and let him sleep. But I couldn’t shake the swirling fears in my head and heart. What if he died too, and I didn’t know? After a little while, Brady went to listen at Solly’s door, and heard him half crying/fussing, and went in to check on him. He was laying on his face, still mostly asleep, but fussing. I couldn’t stay in my chair to wait for them, and I made my way to Solly’s room to make sure all was well.

Turns out, Solly was fevering, and was feeling suuuper crappy. You know those low grade, unexciting fevers that leave you feeling like you can barely lift your head? Well, he and I both feel that way, just in different capacities. Brady tried to feed him a bit of breakfast but he wasn’t having it. I offered to snuggle him on the recliner, and that is where we stayed for a good two hours.

He lay unmoving on me the entire time. The last time he did that was when he was so much littler and fresher. It felt good to hold my baby like a baby and embrace the quiet, needed snuggle. I’m probably not making very much sense, but it was familiar and safe and comforting, even though he was sick and hot and twitchy with every single sound. He skipped lunch and went right to bed, no problem.

My phone call earlier took a lot out of me, and then those cuddles with my son put a little bit back into me. Only a little, though. If we’re being honest, I’m tucked away in bed right now, completely wiped, and sad, and griefy, and finished.

Hopefully I’ll gain a bit of motivation back soon and be able to be together with my family again. I just don’t know how hard to push myself right now.

Expecting the Best: Wrapping it Up

I always figured I’d follow this series at least one post into postpartum. I never expected it to be this soon, but here we are, four days postpartum, and I’m feeling the need to get it over with. Time to wrap up the series I truly loved putting together every week. It helped me remember to celebrate every moment of my pregnancy, and to be thankful each and every day I was able to carry my baby. Again, I never thought it would end so soon. But I figure most of the questions are still relevant, and some of them are things that I imagine some people do want to know but are maybe afraid to ask. So I hope this is ok for all of you. I don’t want people to tip toe around me. You can ask anything. I want to talk about it. Its just time to close the series up.

Deep breaths. And go.

Size/Comparison: Well I can tell you definitively that my baby was the size of the palm of my hand. He fit in there just perfectly. I will only compare him to a tiny little baby, because that is exactly what he looked like. He had a full face and a full torso, with skinny little legs and arms. Not too skinny to get footprints off of his little feet, though.

How am I feeling mentally: This is really the big question. Though I should’ve went with “emotionally” over “mentally” when I started this whole thing. Anyway, how am I feeling. I’m grieving, very very hard. The waters are deep. I don’t know how to convey my level of mourning so you’re just going to have to trust me on that. I feel fear, also. I’m scared to think maybe we can never do this again. I’m scared to think of trying to do this again. I’m scared of pain. I’m scared of being numb. That is the last thing I want. On a few levels, I feel pretty level headed. But mostly I feel foggy, and like opening my eyes is a chore. I’m not being dramatic. I’ve never felt this way before. I hope to never feel this way again.

How am I feeling physically: Do you guys want to know this stuff? Feel free to skip around if you don’t. Physically, I feel almost normal. Its a relief, and also awful. I have had almost no physical pain. Maybe a couple brief cramps each day. Doesn’t even touch a basic menstrual cramp. Literally no pain. I’m hardly bleeding anymore. I have no baby bump left. Its all over. Its all gone. Part of me is truly upset that so quickly, my pregnancy just disappeared. But the other part of me is going through so much emotional pain that I will not intentionally wish more pain on myself. If that makes any sense. Beyond that, I’m sleeping decently, maybe 5-7 hours per night. And my temperature is super unstable. I go back and forth between sweating and freezing all day long. I wonder if I’m still in some level of shock.

Appointments: Well, I’ve had a lot of doctor/hospital/ultrasound time that I want to share here, and I’d like to do it soon, but its a lot of stories and needs it own post. But it will be shared eventually, because I want to remember how beautifully and sensitively we were taken care of. Its important. Instead of that, I’ll tell you about a phone call I had with my doctor yesterday. I didn’t know when I’d hear from her or see her next, since my follow up will all be done through an OB, but I happened to glance down at my phone during Dekker’s birthday party last night and saw my Dr. Guselle was calling. It was a 20 minute phone call, and it was actually really wonderful. You all know how much I love my doctor. A chunk of her phone call was to tell me that everything they had gotten back from my blood work so far looked normal, which is good and bad. I so badly want an answer but I also don’t want there to be a problem. You get it. But the bulk of the phone call was just seeing how I am. She inquired about everything. My physical and mental health were at the top of her list. My sleep. Brady’s health. How the kids were handling it. She let me gush about how beautiful my baby was, and seemed fascinated by the fact that we were given the chance to hold him, name him, care for him, and get some closure that way. When I told her we got footprints, she was SO surprised, and I told her I’d show her the picture next time I saw her 🙂 It was nice. She let me talk through a lot of things, and was patient when I broke and cried and had to take a breather. We talked about what the next few weeks will look like, where we’ll go from here, etc. I have an appointment booked in a few weeks with my new OB, and will have yet another whole blood workup a few weeks after that. Dr. Guselle was happy that I’ve already booked that appointment and made sure I’m comfortable and in the know about what the next steps are. She even made sure to tell me that, if I came out of an OB appointment feeling a little fuzzy on the details, that I should feel free to call her and she’ll go through all of the reports with me, so I don’t have to ever feel in the dark. I love her.

Baby Buys/Wish List: Ha. No. Nothing. I’m still waiting on one baby purchase that is on its way in the mail. I’m so sad I won’t get to use it. Maybe next time. As for a wish list, I wish for a lot of things. None of which I can have, but I sure want a lot of things.

How are the kids feeling: The kids. They are SO in tune with everything thats going on. And they are so peaceful and accepting. Sure, part of it might be because they are young and don’t understand the gravity of losing a sibling, or the timeline in which he was lost. More so, I like to believe that they know more about Heaven than I do, and that in that, they have found some peace and understanding. My kids definitely have a stronger faith than I do, which is amazing, and I’m so happy to see that. With this, the kids still actively pray for their little papoose, and I have no plans to stop them.

The BEST thing about being pregnant this week: Oh boy. I almost want to skip this one, but I do actually have an answer. The best thing about being pregnant in the last week was getting to deliver my baby myself, and to hold him and meet him. He wasn’t a figment of my imagination. He wasn’t hidden away in a blood clot. I don’t mean to be gross or rude, but seriously, he was born like a baby is born. My water broke, and his body rushed out. He was a whole little dude, and I am SO fortunate and grateful to have met him. While his birth was also a big low, it was also miraculous, and I’m happy I was given the opportunity to meet him. There was a touch more closure this way.

Anything else: I’m pretty much tapped out. I guess if I can be so bold, I’d like to say not to worry about us. We are coping. We are not letting ourselves slip into anything too deep or dark. We are grieving deeply, but we will be honest. If we are approaching a dangerously low place, we will reach out. So do not worry. Pray, or drop us a text. Check in. Ask about our baby! We are SO in love with him. Don’t be afraid of us if we cry, or when we cry. Its ok.

Pictures: Here are his little footprints 👣

Yes, thats white out. I’m sad to say his name was spelled wrong on his little memory card, but I wasn’t about to nitpick and lose those precious footprints. A simple typo. No issue with me.

I feel like this is such a sad, crappy way to wrap up my series 🙁 I really really loved doing a blog series. On one hand, I loved being so open so early in my pregnancy. It made me feel like I could just be honest and raw and I could have more information on record, as well. I loved being able to talk about it so early in the game. It brought healing. Now, however, the wound is bashed open once again, even worse than before, and I have no idea what comes next. Another pregnancy? Or is this it for us? Do I share early, or wait until we have movement and reassurance? But when are you ever in the safe zone? Something can always happen, and I can’t live like that, waiting for the worst. I named this series “Expecting the Best” for a reason. Thank goodness I don’t have to decide any of this anytime soon.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who followed my series, and who have followed our family and our life so closely and so lovingly. I cannot imagine going through something like this in private, with no one reaching out and sorrowing with us. If you said to me that you cried, I believe you. If you said to me that you’ll pray, I’m trusting that you did, at least once. This has been an unbelievable time, and really, we’re only just a few days into it. Please don’t forget about us. And don’t forget about our baby. Heaven is brighter with him in it, but the world is sure missing out.

Dekker’s Happy Birthday

I wanted to try and post before the day got too real. I’m going to do everything I can to put on a happy dace today, because while I know I don’t have to fake how I’m feeling, or make excuses for my grief, it is my beautiful Dekker Thomas’s sixth birthday!

Sigh. My son. Isn’t he amazing? I feel like I find myself bragging him up most days. He has grown this year in such a beautiful way.

Being five was big for Dekker. He started school, and gained the confidence there that I’ve been eagerly anticipating for so long. He is a leader, which I always knew was in there, but its been so exciting watching that part of him come forward as he made friends and learned new things.

At the age of five, Dekker also accepted Jesus into his life. Jesus is very much part of our life, but he has only further understood the concept of salvation and what it means to follow Jesus. I am SO thankful he wants to follow the Lord in his life. It has gone far beyond praying “the prayer” and has moved into his regular daily life. I’m sad that so much talk of Heaven has likely been one of his biggest learning resources, but beautiful things can come from awful experiences, and this is one of those things.

Five was great, wasn’t it, Dekker? I hope six is even better! Hopefully the very best one yet! I love watching you grow and change and learn, and I pray for you every single day. Thank you for your constant reminders of your love for me, and your encouragement for the future. I hope I make you feel even more loved and encouraged!!

I love you, Dekker. Thank you for being exactly who you are!! 💙

Deep Breaths

I just want to hide out. I want to quit blogging, among other things. But I fear that, if I take a break, I’ll never be back. So bear with me through this time of sorrowing out in public, putting all the ugly out there.

Thank you all for your beautiful support and love on yesterday’s post. The amount of comments, texts, private messages, etc. was overwhelming. While it doesn’t take very much to overwhelm us these days, it was so loving. We know that we could call on any one of you at any moment and you could come running. We are so fortunate to have such an army of supportive friends. Thank you, all, for reaching out and loving on us.

There is so much I want to write and record. I want to tell you about all of the amazing people who cared for us as we learned about and processed and struggled through the death of our baby boy. I want to share details, both beautiful and brutal details. I want to share more pictures of my son who so few people ever got to meet in person. There is a lot that I want to do. Some I won’t ever do, and some I will when my head is clearer. Not today. Today, we continue to hide.

Tomorrow is Dekker’s birthday. He will be six! I can hardly believe he is aging. When in the world did I get a six year old?? I hate that his birthday that he has SO anticipated is being overshadowed. Luckily, we have a very quiet, low key plan for tomorrow evening that he will be very happy with, and that our hearts can handle. Because this boy is a gem that needs to be celebrated.

Yesterday, Dekker offered to pray for lunch. We all held hands, and instead of actually praying for lunch, his prayer went like this.

“Dear Jesus, thank you for baby Jamin. Please be with mommy, and help her have another baby. Amen.”

Later that day, as I was walking out of the room he was in, I heard him say to me that he was sorry the baby died. I told him I was sorry, too. We agreed that we both wished he could be home here with us. But then he said to me “But God is even better than here. Even better than our house!”

Isn’t he amazing??

I hate going through this. I hate it. And I don’t say “hate” unless I truly hate something. And I do. With all of that, though, I am so amazed at my kids, who are clearly thinking and processing and have this beautiful innocence and faith that I pray to share with them. A child-like faith. That’s what I want.

Please be patient with me, and with our family, as we navigate these deep deep waters. The metaphor is so real, as I am a terrible swimmer in both literal and metaphoric aspects. Grief is so heavy.

Which Way is Up?

I don’t even know how to begin today’s post. I can’t even think. I’m sure you’ve noticed that my amazing brother, Simon, took my blog over for a couple of days. I couldn’t be more grateful for that. By default, you may have noticed that I sort of dropped off the map.

I can hardly bear to even write it. Our little papoose went to be with the Lord. He’s already been there for a while, but once again, I had no indication whatsoever. When we couldn’t find his heartbeat in my routine 16 week appointment on Thursday, I managed to get an ultrasound that afternoon, and sure enough, his beautiful little body was tucked away in my womb, ever so safely. No movement, no heartbeat, no life. He had been gone for two weeks, measuring him to be around 14 weeks and 3 days. We all wept, hard. Even our poor ultrasound tech. She has seen us through two losses now, and wanted a positive scan just as badly as we did. By “we,” I mean my mom and I. Of all days, Brady was holed up at home, vomiting and the like, and there was just no way for us to be together. I am SO thankful I had my mom at my side. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through the day alone.

It didn’t end there. I had to go back to my doctor, who said I was too far along to safely deliver at home, and asked if I would consent to a D&C. I agreed, and she went off to make the call. I just wanted it done.

My mom and I headed right to the hospital from there, and waited to meet an OB. When we did, we were told the baby was too big to pass safely in a D&C. So I was admitted and induced. Slowly, in the middle of the night. My mom stayed with me the whole time.

I don’t know how gory to get, so I’ll be safe.

I delivered my baby at 6:38am, on August 18th. The baby that everyone thought was a girl turned out to be a BOY! What an amazing surprise! He weighed 60 grams and was 13.5 cms long. Just a little guy. I wish Brady had been there but I was SO grateful to have my mom. If it couldn’t be Brady, it was perfect that it was my mom. I called Brady once the panic had died down, and he right away called Jerilee, who came running to watch the kids so Brady could come be with us.

It was a long, long day. SO many tears were shed. SO many ugly decisions were made that no one should ever have to make. But SO much love was shared. We spent hours with our tiny little son, holding him, kissing him, praying for him, grieving him. It went from brutal to peaceful and back again so many times. We were given all the time we needed. We were NEVER rushed. After a while, we could tell it was time for him to go. His little body just wasn’t ready for life on earth.

We made our choices, said our goodbyes, and gave our baby away to our nurse. And then we wept until we couldn’t anymore.

We named our baby Jamin. It means “at the right hand of favour,” which is exactly where we believe he is, and what a beautiful place that is. Not only is he with his brother up there, but He is with Jesus. He is perfect. And he never had to be imperfect, which is amazing. Amazing for him, but so so hard for us.

Give us peace, Lord. Please.

Round 2 From Simon: Building Traditions

Due to the the amount of fun I had last night, Hailey has graciously agreed to extend my visit by
a day. She’ll be back soon, I assure you.

As you are well aware from the graphic that headlines the blog, Hailey and Brady have 4
gorgeous children. And they’re really beautiful kids; inside and out. You know the way they look
in that photo? They pretty much always look that way! Hailey and Brady run a tight ship; their
home is an organized, happy place where the kids are content and safe and secure in the love
of their parents and siblings.

If you are ever in Costco and see a family with four children walking sedately down the aisles,
well-dressed and clean, talking quietly and shopping efficiently, that’s Hailey’s family (The family
in the next aisle, composed of two pyjama-clad boys engaged in a running dance/fight, and a
chocolate chip cookie-covered little girl in a shopping cart yelling “GET DOWN! GET DOWN!”…
that’s my family).

It’s possible Hailey gets her parenting skills from our mom, who also ran a tight ship that we
were happy to be a part of. Christmas comes to mind, partly because it was a time of
organization and tradition in our childhood home, and partly because in our house, we start
checking the Christmas countdown app on December 26.

When we were growing up, we did all our Christmas shopping for each other in one fell swoop,
in one mall, on one day. This was before Walmart reared its head in Saskatoon – the age of
Zellers, when it still smelled a little like cigarettes inside the store. In early December, Mom and
Dad would choose a Saturday and we would head in, usually to Lawson Heights Mall in
Saskatoon. We would split up into groups, each kid carrying $20: enough for a $5 present for
each family member. By the time mid afternoon rolled around we were usually finished, and the
challenge of the $5 limit made for some interesting finds. As we became teenagers, we pushed
for higher cash limits; I think it was $10 per gift by the time I moved out. We also moved on to a
bigger mall; The Centre at Circle and 8th. I assure you, it is as mystical and romantic as it
sounds. There was a New York Fries at the Centre, so to our annual tradition was added the
ritual of sharing fries in the busy food court. With age also came the typical teenaged feelings of
embarrassment over the tiny things our parents did. I remember one year – it must not have
been going very well, because we were grumpy and tired, and not even the New York Fries had
helped. We were all squished on one bench at the edge of the food court, right next to an
extremely busy causeway, a see-and-be-seen spot, Saskatoon-style, to be sure. Traffic was
heavy, and we had settled on the bench, perhaps to regroup, perhaps to arrange new shopping
groups, perhaps to try to figure out what the heck to get Dad, when, out of nowhere, our
diminutive mother sprang to her feet, brandished her camera, and backed into the flow of
humanity to take a portrait of her family. Why she had her camera I’ll never know. Why she had
suddenly usurped Dad’s role as the embarrassing parent is an even deeper mystery. But I can
see the photo in my mind – it’s in an album somewhere; I wish I had it to post here. Dad is
grinning obediently, and us kids are either gaping in mortified, open-mouthed horror, or
clutching our embarrassed heads in our hands. Despite this tragedy, Christmas still took place that year, and I’m sure mom still got her yearly quota of candles and candle holders from me.
And thankfully, the photo opp in the mall was not made into a Christmas tradition.

When I watch Hailey and Brady’s family as they build traditions and lead their brood through the
excitement of life together, and read along with you about their adventures in growing up, it
warms my heart to see how our childhood, good parts and bad, has helped mold Hailey into the
loving, intentional mother she is today. Hailey and Brady take traditions seriously. They find
ways to make little things special, planning outings, meals, trips, in a unique, creative fashion
that is perfect for them, and so fun to observe. They pack and plan, and then strike out in their
road yacht in search of high adventure. It doesn’t always go as planned, but there is always a
silver lining, at the very least, and a story to share right here that encourages the rest of us to
take risks, start traditions, and treasure our loved ones with everything we’ve got.

A Guest Post By A Loving Brother

Good evening, devoted fans of The Daily Hailey. My name is Simon and I am sincerely honoured to be a guest of this fine, digital establishment. If you come here often, you read a little each day about Hailey’s life. Today, you’ll read something a little bit different; not about Hailey’s day today, not about my day, but about a day we spent together 20-odd years ago.

I am Hailey’s older brother; I have been since we were kids. We are six and a half years apart, so when I was 13, Hailey was barely 7 years old. At that time of my life I considered it my solemn calling to help Hailey overcome her aversion to teasing (I remember telling my mom this, in all adolescent seriousness), and my strategy was to tease her. Lots and lots, all the time. And I was good at it. And Hailey was very good at hating it.

One winter morning I was busy working at helping Hailey to learn to appreciate teasing, and she was busy thwarting my efforts, with many tears and lots of yelling. I don’t remember the specifics of my approach that morning, but mom had had enough. Our mother is tender-hearted and patient, but on that day enough was enough. In a particularly creative parental move, she sentenced Hailey and me to an afternoon spent at home together, while she and our sister Caitlin went to see the second 101 Dalmatians movie (102 Dalmatians?). In the theatre. Just the two of them. It doesn’t even matter if they had popcorn; the knife had sunk as deep as it could possibly sink. Mom started the ancient snowmobile for us, and she and Caitlin headed into the city.

These were the days before helmets were worn on snowmobiles (Although I do remember other riders wearing helmets… Hmmmm). These were the days when parents let feuding 13 and 7 year old siblings loose in the snowy fields of Saskatchewan, with only the unmarked county grid roads for a guide. It was a great challenge, and a great deal of fun. I drove, and Hailey held onto my back and bumped along as the decrepit snow-beast squeaked and groaned across fields and through roadside ditches. After an hour or two, we were following one such ditch when the snowmachine, without warning, slid to a silent stop. Hailey and I looked at each other, and reacted as oppositely as possible: she burst into tears, and I laughed out loud. It was clear we were out of gas, and at least two miles from our empty house, which, that day, might as well have been two hundred miles way.

Somehow I was cool and calm. We were out of gas, but I knew where we were, and I knew two families we went to church with that lived within a mile. What I didn’t know was that my parents knew the people whose yard we were stalled right next to, so I joined hands with the little girl I was usually so busy tormenting, and we mounted the gravel road for a long winter’s walk.

I think Hailey calmed down pretty quickly, and I think we had a good walk. I took a break from my quest to teach her the joys of being teased, and I believe we were quite civil, as often happens in time of crisis.

When we arrived at the yard of the first family, I remembered their dogs, who were much less threatening from the back seat of our car. Hailey was not a fan of dogs at this age (although I remember her devoting several years of her life to imitating that faithful species), so I scooped her tiny self onto my shoulders and we moved cautiously up the long driveway. I’m still not a big fan of strange dogs, and back then I was about as scared as my little sister, but I talked to them as reassuringly as I could, and they replied with angry barks and growls, increasing in volume and proximity, until Hailey and I burst into the garage and slammed the door behind us.

If someone had been home, it would all have been worth it, but then we would never have had the adventure of walking back up the driveway amidst the angry and now confused dogs, and then a half mile west to our second and final hope. We never would have enjoyed the welcoming warmth of Mrs Lepp’s kitchen and the cozy ride home to our waiting mom and sister. For that matter, if we had know that the Benson’s house was thirty feet from our stalled steed, we would have missed out on the adventure altogether.

At the end of the day, our “punishment” ended up being one of the more memorable, pleasant stories Hailey and I share from our childhood. And while we were never really “not friends”, today we are great friends – I think she’d agree; I know I’m a major fan of hers.

Today, Hailey is the courageous one. Sure, she rode my shoulders as a little one, and today she leads her little ones on adventures of their own. Hailey is courageous in pursuing her dreams, in investigating life, and conquering the world with her fine husband at her side. And you already know that, because you read about that courageous life, here, every day – and today you’ve read a little bit of the back-story.

So, Hailey, when you read this: blessings be all over you! Adventure on, and thanks for bringing us along! 

Feeling Good and Normal

Yesterday, Jerilee came over and we watched the Bachelorette finale together. I know, we’re behind. I was in Waskesiu when it aired, so we got to it a little late. Our initial plan was to splurge and go pick up Pizza Hut and gorge ourselves on some pizza and treats. However, with my special illness so recent, we opted to keep things on the safer side of things. We ended up eating appetizers, which is sometimes just as risky as large amounts of greasy pizza, but we had a few appies from a previous appy night where we ate half of each and saved the other, and we remembered they were all yummy and not at all questionable, too spicy, icky, etc.

And guess what! It was all delicious, and sat just fine in my weird nervous tummy!! Win for me! And for everyone, really. Except a win for the Bachelorette, but thats another story…

This morning, I’m feeling totally like myself. I think, anyway. I slept pretty well (though I do remember having wildly unsettling dreams, as per usual) and didn’t have any weird tummy attacks in the night. Its wonderful that I slept as good as I did, because I woke up with a start with Dekker having informed me that Laela had an accident. So of course, I was up in a flash. Everything with Laela was actually pretty under control, so all I did was hand her a fresh pair of underwear and life went on. Waking with a start is never ideal, but I felt decently rested and prepared for the day. Brady was off to work so I was on my own, and thank goodness, I felt nice and strong. I was NOT making it up on Monday. I physically couldn’t have cared for my kids. I couldn’t even care for myself. Hear me say this: I ordered some Colourpop makeup for my birthday, it arrived, and I was too sick to open it. THAT is saying something. So I’m VERY thankful to already be over whatever that was, and to be able to care for my family today.

Brady came home from his warranty work this morning and got lunch with the kids and I, put the little boys down for their naps, and is now off to my parents to work on their deck. Its coming along, and while its taken longer than we’ve expected, plans have just continually changed along the way and my parents have rolled with it very smoothly and not at all begrudgingly, so we’re able to make and change plans without guilt. For instance, Brady was going to work most of Monday, but that had to change, and thats fine. Now, today, no one is home at my parents, but he’s still working away back there. And thats fine too 🙂

With the little boys down, our normal quiet afternoon of Lego, blogging, organizing a few things, and resting begins. I love this part of the day. But I especially love that I don’t NEED this part of today, because if I had to be up and around, I could be. That counts for something for me today. Mental and physical health are both SO important, and today, I feel like I have a handle on both!!

An Update on Rowan and Solly

Before I begin todays post, two things. Thing one is that yesterday was bananas. Seriously, it was so crazy. I napped most of the day and was completely cashed out for the night by 9:00pm. Thankfully, I feel worlds apart better today. I ate breakfast and lunch without issue, and the single remaining memory of yesterday is a bit of a dull headache, which I can handle. I’m SO thankful thats all thats left! Thing two is a belly picture, since I didn’t put one on yesterdays post. I’m going to say “belly” loosely, because it is clear that I dropped some weight yesterday…

Not much of a belly to see at all, but considering just how much exited my body yesterday, I’m not too surprised. I’m sure it’ll be back soon enough.

Onto what todays post is actually about! I wrote a post a while ago that kind of just centred on Dekker and Laela, and how they’re developing and growing and maturing and changing. I’ve been wanting to write one on Rowan and Solomon for a while now, and today is the day! I’ll start with Rowan. Oldest to youngest 🙂

Rowan has been figuring some important stuff out recently, which is really awesome! He’s 2.5 years old, so he’s right in the middle of that stage where his communication is taking a turn for the better, and some challenges come along with that, for sure. But its getting better! He is comprehending more also, which makes communicating even easier, as he’s absorbing more from lessons and daily life. He wants to help alongside his siblings, and he is actually able to be helpful! In the recent past, he’s finally learned to drink from a cup instead of a sippy cup!! I know, some of you may think he’s behind in that area, but for us, its really really wonderful, and I don’t care how long its taken. The sippy cup has left him low maintenance at meals, because the reality is that he’s little still, and not the most coordinated. With that come more spilling and more messes, but we’ve trusted him a little bit more recently, and he’s quickly picked up on drinking from a cup, and feeding himself even the really messy things. Seems like a small victory, but not to me 🙂 I’m super proud of him. The last thing I want to touch on with Ro is his mouth!!! Its been a long road, and poor Ro still doesn’t have ANYTHING in his bed beyond his mattress and sheet, but its paid off! His mouth is EXACTLY as it should be!! We used to laugh at his cartoonish, large mouth, but now that he doesn’t stuff his mouth full of anything (beyond stuffing his cheeks full of food) his mouth is beautifully proportionate to his face!!

He’s so handsome in that picture 🙂 I know its not a close up of how his teeth meet or anything, but even just this is SO much different than it used to be! I’m so happy about the progress he’s made. My only sadness is over how much he wants a blanket. He’s actually gone as far as to steal Dekker’s quilt off of him in the middle of the night. He reaches it through his crib bars and hauls it into his bed, lays it out all nicely, and sleeps like a log. He would LOVE a blanket. But I think we have to wait a little bit longer, so we know the habit is kicked. I would hate to have to take it away again 🙁 I’m so so proud of Rowan. Its such a pleasure watching him grow and change and develop. He is an incredible, content, loving, snuggly little boy. I love him so much.

Solly is also making some big changes recently! While Rowan wasn’t doing so hot drinking from a cup, Solly could NOT figure out a sippy cup!! He hated both the straw and the traditional sippy cup, and it got to the point where we’d bring one out at a meal and he would just cry and bat it away. He did NOT want it. With that, though, he was also SUPER over his bottle. Turns out all he needed was the beach to heat him up really good, to make him really want a drink of water, and he managed to drink from a water bottle. Rowan happily shared his water with him at the beach, and cheered him on as he would draw out water, drool it all out, and do it again. Over and over, he did this, learning the process. It was pretty cute. By the end of that day, he knew how to use the water bottle. No sweat, no issue. When we brought him home, it took about half a day for him to go from that to a sippy cup with a slimmer straw, and since that day, he hasn’t had a bottle. Hasn’t missed it or asked for it once. Nope. That stage is OVER! Which is pretty awesome 🙂 Another new thing he does is say “ni-night.” He says the occasional “hi” or calls us “mama” and “dada” but this one is consistent, and he knows exactly what he’s saying! I’m so psyched that the very beginning of language is upon us! Lastly, when we got home from the lake, we finally installed a baby gate. Solly has had a lot of room to move around, but he’s mostly been confined to the living room, and its been driving him crazy not to be able to follow his siblings around. Now that the gate is up and he can roam the whole house, his mobility has gone nuts! He’s standing constantly, and I don’t think walking is too far away. He also has begun practicing stairs, and after the first day of going up and down them, he knew to turn around at the top and go down safely! Its not foolproof yet, obviously, and we’re always with him while he’s on them, but he’s picking it up so quickly!! Its been fun to see him so excited and adventurous!

His pose, though! Hahaha! He’s so pleased with life now that he can branch out and be free, and I feel like he’s blossomed since the lake! He understands SO MUCH, and is so social and hilarious and brave. I love him to pieces, and I can’t wait for what the next few months of development will bring. Brady and I talked recently about how our other kids would learn to walk and would easily walk underneath countertops or tables, but Solly is already too tall for that kind of thing, and has been cranking his head on everything! Help! Our kids keep getting taller!! He was 23″ at birth! Do they come taller than that?! Because I was pretty maxed out space-wise when I carried him! Once again, say what you will about induction, but I’m SO thankful I was able to have him a week early!! Really, all things considered though, I am SO thankful I got to have him at all, and that I still do get to have him! I’m thankful for every single day I have my kids. Aren’t they amazing??

Ok, little boy brag post over 🙂 I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it out.

Expecting the Best: 16 Weeks

Ok guys, I’m going to do my very best with todays post. Though I’ll tell you right off the bat there are no belly pictures. That would involve standing, which is not on the books for me today. Complete and utter TMI, I was unbelievably sick last night, puking and pooping and up constantly. I literally slept maybe a half hour. I admit that I did venture out for a physio appointment this morning because rebooking would have left me waiting so long, but I’ve been in bed ever since, minus a bath. I can hardly stand, and I’m dizzy and disoriented. So basically, this might not be the very best series post yet. If it going downhill fast, I’ll ask Brady to type it out for me, but hopefully it won’t come to that. Let’s just begin.

Size/Comparison: This weeks size comparison is pretty vague, I’m not sure what to tell you. The particular chart I like to follow compares the baby to an action figure. That’s a pretty wide range of sizes, so I found another one that suggested the size of a bell pepper. I don’t know man, but the kid is getting big in there!

How am I feeling mentally: In all honesty, I’ve had a very anxious week. Or maybe even just an anxious last few days. The lake was amazing, and healing, and I felt a definite improvement in lots of things. I felt like my mind and heart took a deep breath as Theo’s due date came and went, which was strangely peaceful and relieving, but I’m so nervous about my body aching and seemingly giving up on me so early in the game. I’m nervous to be useless and unmoving. There is so much to worry about, but I’m very much looking forward to my appointment with Dr. Guselle this week. She values mental health so strongly, and I know I’ll be able to talk to her and she’ll provide me with literally any and all resources that I might need. Its not been the best week for my mental health, and if you’ve read the posts over the last couple of days, you probably picked up on that. I’m trying, though. Trying so hard. I want so badly to be positive.

How am I feeling physically: Haha! Today, I feel like absolute garbage. Its been interesting. But over this last week of pregnancy as a whole, I feel like my physical health is improving in some ways. I feel like my nausea is maybe on the way out, and while my pelvis is starting to slip out of place and hurt me when I walk, its still early in the game, and I’m hopeful that my physiotherapist will be able to help me manage at least some of the pain I’m having.

Appointments: I had physio this morning, though I probably shouldn’t have gone. She picked up on my sickness right away and let me lie down through my appointment, though. Guys, I have to say, my physiotherapist is the absolute best. She is SO understanding, and SO positive, and SOOO knowledgable. She validated my anxieties and fears about my body, and took her time in giving me a few tips to start out with. She worked on my body a little bit and said she can already tell that I’m walking defensively, in preparation for my body to hurt, BUT she doesn’t speak in an accusing way. I don’t know how she does it, but she says things like “I know exactly why you’re walking like that, and you’re clearly not even doing it intentionally” and I never am made to feel like I’ve done the wrong thing. She wrapped up our appointment today by saying that if only one thing gets through to me today (because I was SO out of it) she wanted me to be reassured that the pain I had in my last pregnancy isn’t just the inevitable. We CAN manage it, and we WILL manage it. There is hope. I really really needed to hear that today. She reminded me that perfect is not something she is asking for, and that I should just try my best. It felt great, and hopeful. I’m glad I went.

Baby Buys/Wish List: I bought two pairs of denim capris for fall, since Thyme was having a beautiful sale! They fit SO nicely, and I haven’t been able to find capris for a couple of years now. But seriously, they have a soft belly panel, and I paid about $13 each. I’m trying not to shop too much at all this summer, but seriously, this couldn’t be passed up. I’ll wear them all through fall.

How are the kids feeling: At the lake, I braved up and wore two piece bathing suits, and Rowan would ever so gently put his finger in my belly button and say he could see the baby in there. Which was pretty great, and hilarious, and made me feel like it was worth it to have my soft wrinkly tummy out in the sun, even if I was self conscience. Also, I posted on Facebook and Instagram the other day, but in case you somehow missed it, I’ll just share the picture again.

Ro found the one stuffed toy that belonged to Theo, poached it off my dresser, and whispered “I love you, Theo” to it over and over again. I don’t claim to know how much kids know about Heaven, or what insight they have that we as adults don’t, but that both broke and warmed my heart. Even though it really hurts, I’m so glad the kids talk about their baby brother so normally, even though they never got to meet him. They mention him every time we talk about Jesus and Heaven, and how a BIG pro of going to Heaven will be meeting Theo. I love that. Our kids are awesome. Forgive the tangent, please. Ro is going to be a wonderful big brother to our little papoose.

The BEST thing about being pregnant this week: I don’t know. I feel SO gnarly right now, its hard to think of positives. But I think whats exciting about being pregnant this week is the realization that time is actually passing, and our pregnancy is moving forward. Guys, I’m 16 weeks!! Fully into my second trimester, not too far from finding out the gender of our baby. I’m starting to feel better with my nausea (minus last night, obviously) and I feel like soon we’ll be in the stage of things where I can feel a bit more normal and well. While I’ve been having some worry and anxiety this week, I do feel hope, and I think thats a really important thing this week.

Anything else: In the last few days, my baby has been LOVING candy. Like far too much. Thankfully, since we have kids, it seems we are so often given candy, and while our kids can definitely have some candy, they NEVER eat all of it. So we usually have candy stashed away in our pantry, and this week, it was just perfect 🙂 Nerds and Skittles were huge winners! Yum yum yum.

Pictures: Nope. Not today. I can’t stand up, and I don’t look nice. Maybe I’ll try and get one tomorrow but nope, not today.

Sorry its been such a strange post. Had I written this yesterday, it might have been totally different. I don’t feel miserable in my pregnancy, just in my general weakness and soreness today, thats all. We had so many fun plans for today and they all got foiled. We didn’t get to make pickles with my mom, Brady didn’t get to work on their deck, the kids didn’t get to hang out with Grandma and Grandpa, etc. Hopefully I’m in better shape tomorrow! A night of sleep should help. Wish me luck!