18 May 2008

Out of the frying pan and into the hospital

Again, this will be short, since I'm typing with one hand from a recumbent position. On Tuesday afternoon, after more than a week of kidney-stone-induced bed rest, I found myself in the very scary position of needing to go to the hospital again. This time, it had nothing to do with kidney stones. I will spare you the gory details because they would probably gross you right out, but suffice it to say that when I arrived at the hospital, we were pretty sure that an emergency C section would be in order. At the time, I was 32 weeks along--I'm now 33--and we were briefed by all sorts of medical personnel on what to expect with a per-term baby. They started me on magnesium sulfate to try to stop the labor, and eventually, it worked. It also made me nauseated, churned up all sorts of acid, made me extremely lethargic, and took away any sort of muscle control. My time on that drug was not good. They started me on steroids to try to speed up baby's development, and we waited. Things seemed to have stabilized until Thursday night, when we again believed we'd be celebrating a birthday. We didn't, thankfully. I am now home, but on complete bedrest for the foreseeable future. Please pray that the baby will stay put for many weeks, and pray that my family will survive this time of adjustment. That's all the gusto I have in me for now. If I come by more, I will post again later.

11 May 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to a Relaxing Weekend

I had my first epidural--and did not deliver a baby.

I have to give you the short version because I can't really sit up for very long, which makes things like parenting and housework really hard. But I had--still have--a kidney stone. It's a super lot of fun when you are 32 weeks pregnant and have a large baby resting on your bladder.

I went to the emergency room this past weekend while I was visiting my parents with the kids. Abe was still at home, finishing up drywall, so he wasn't there for the drama. After my dad and I arrived at the ER, they did an ultrasound to confirm their suspicion of a stone and began a regimen of painkillers to help ease the pain. Let me be clear: kidney stones are a million times worse than childbirth in terms of pain. But they couldn't give me any "good stuff" for pain or nausea because of the baby, so they admitted me to the hospital, and then the next day, with the use of a very strong "C-section-type" epidural (which I hated), surgically implanted a stent to relieve the pain of the stone. I was released from the hospital soon thereafter, but my recovery has been particularly slow and uncomfortable, and pretty much all I am able to do is lay on my side all day. It was days before I felt I could travel, so Abe, who arrived on the scene shortly after the surgery, took the kids home while I stayed at my parents' home to recover. I am home now, but I can't do a bloomin' thing except lay on the couch. I am so sick of TV.

I feel very vulnerable saying all of this right now! Sorry if it's too much information. But I wanted to let you know that this has taken me forever to type, and so I will be stepping away from the blog for a few weeks, until either a) I've had the baby, or b) I've had some sort of miraculous recovery. Pray for my husband! He's now got a whole lot on his shoulders.

And pray for me--it's really challenging feeling as useless as I do. While I do want this baby to go to full term so it's healthy, I cannot fathom another 6 weeks of living like this. Pray that my body will figure out how to function so we can get back to life as normal! Thanks so much.

01 May 2008


This past weekend, while Abe and I were enjoying a day away, we farmed the kids out. We sent Charis to her friends Katie and Travis (Charis and Travis apparently think they will be wed someday), and Judah went to Aunt Beth's house to have a sleepover with Gideon and Elise. We've left the kids before, but only with Abe's mom, so this was a new one--and the first time Charis and Judah have been apart for a night.

Uncle Tim and Aunt Beth were over helping work on our house on Friday night, so they just took Judah away with them when they left. Then Abe and I strapped Charis in the van and drove her to our church, where we were dropping her off to be driven to Katie's house by her mom, Tanya. The departures of both children seemed to go smoothly--no tears, no longing looks, no clinging (and the kids did okay, too).

But when we returned home from dropping off Charis (and stopping for ice cream, of course), the phone rang. It was Beth.

"Uh, oh." I said. "What happened?"

"I just need some guidance about what to do. Judah really misses you. A lot. He's in the crib, and he's really, really sad, and I just don't know what to do. Sould I let him cry it out? How long should I wait?"

Poor Judah! I felt terrible that he was so sad. But a part of me was secretly pleased--my little boy misses me. And he asked for me by name. I told Beth to let him cry for a few minutes, as I was sure he was absolutely worn out and would fall asleep soon. We found out the next day that he didn't fall asleep soon--in fact, Beth had removed him from the crib and cuddled with him on the couch, where they both had fallen asleep at about midnight. The next night started out similarly, but Judah ended up falling asleep in the midst of his sadness. Needless to say, he was happy to see us the next day. (And I'm working hard to overcome my jealousy that, even though he asked for me at night, when we walked in to collect him on Sunday, his first words were "Daddy! Daddy!!")

On Sunday, we picked Charis up from church. She seemed to vaguely recognize us ("Hey. You're my mom.") but didn't seem compelled to stop playing and come home with us. I was standing with Tanya, who had hosted Charis for the weekend, as I said to my beloved firstborn, "Charis, I missed you SO MUCH!!!!" Tanya hesitated only slightly before she said, "I wish I could tell you she felt the same." Of course, this is the Charis that never once cried when being left at the church nursery, never scoffed at being left with a babysitter, never seemed sad about our absence--ever. She is the most independent child I have ever known. And while it breaks my heart just a little bit to know that she's perfectly fine with our being gone, I guess I'm glad to know she knows who we are when we return. It's a start...