30 June 2008

Peanut, Bubba, and Jelly

A long, long time ago, when Judah came to live with us, I took to calling Charis and Judah Peanut Butter (Charis' nickname) and Judah.

Then I thought it would be cute if Judah's nickname was Jelly, because then they'd be Peanut Butter and Jelly. And besides, there's the matter of all the matching J's. C'mon. That's cute. Well, Judah as Jelly didn't really work, but we did take to calling Judah Bubba on occasion, so, as much as any nickname did, Bubba stuck. So at that point, in my mind, they were Peanut and Bubba. Still cute. (I realize that right now, many of you think I'm completely cheesy. I have no defense for that.)

Well, when we found out we were going to have a third, my mind started really working. How could we incorporate the new one into the PB&J theme? Simple, I reasoned: Charis is Peanut, Judah is Bubba, and the new child would be Jelly. Easy peasy. And when Ruby turned out to be a girl, I was elated--because really, Jelly is a much better nickname for a girl than a boy. I love it when a plan comes together.

One problem.

Charis decided she wanted to be Jelly. She reminds me regularly, too: "No, Mom. I'm JELLY." Apparently Jelly fits her four-year-old sensibilities better than Peanut.

Well, I'm trying to make the switch. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "Hey, Peanut. I mean, Jelly." But I'm committed to making this work, even if it means that this particular amount of cheesiness will transform me into one of those denim jumper-wearing kindergarten teacher-types. It's just a risk I'm willing to take.

So, because I'm committed to making it work, and because I can't continue to call this blog "Charis and Judah" on account of Ruby's existence, I've decided to rename this thing "Peanut, Bubba, and Jelly." The url will be the same, but we'll go by this new and (I think) improved title.

Just thought you should know.

Oh, and by the way, if you should see Charis, call her Jelly. It just might help it to adhere.

Day One

Well, I survived it: Day One of Mother-to-Three-land. My parents left yesterday, and Abe worked today (of course), so I was on my own for the very first time in almost two months. I was pretty anxious about it, but it wasn't all that bad. The only glitch was that Ruby's right eye has been goopy, and since Judah had a plugged tear duct as an infant, I was concerned Ruby had one, too, so I took her (and her older siblings) to the doctor to get it checked out. Nothing like starting out Day One with a solo doctor's office visit with all three kiddos. It wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't had to wait to see the doctor for so long--their patience (and mine) was definitely tried. Turns out it probably isn't a plugged duct, just a run of the mill infection, probably acquired from a young visitor we had who, as it so happens, also saw the doctor today for an eye infection. Neat. I will say, though, that unfortunate as it was to have had to go in, I did find out that Ruby is gaining weight like some sort of mini-sumo. Considering I was convinced that she wasn't eating enough for even a small mouse like herself to thrive on, this was a huge load off my mind.

I also took Ruby (but not the other two) with me to the store to snap up a few 4th of July cookout bargains and to get her prescription filled. It was a difficult trip because of the stent, but it was refreshing to be out by myself doing something for my family, rather than having others wait on me hand and foot. It was nice to feel productive. Along the same line, I served my kids breakfast AND lunch, and with the help of a rotisserie chicken, I served them dinner, too! And I did a load and a half of laundry! And that's it, because MAN. I've got to work my way back in SLOWLY. Thankfully, we've got nice friends from church bringing us meals, starting tomorrow, and another beautiful friend from church gave us a gift certificate for maid service. So to a certain extent, I can just pretend at productivity without having to commit myself fully, and my family will still be well taken care of. I love helpful friends.

If tomorrow goes as well as today did, I will upload and post some more recent pictures of the kids, specifically our newest little miss. See you tomorrow! (Hopefully)

28 June 2008


the three of us--just before taking ruby belle home for the first time.
the kids meet their new sister for the first time--judah can't believe how "tiny! tiny!" her toes and "finners" are.
miss charis just wants to be sweet to her new baby.
you wouldn't believe how excited judah was to see "wooby."
hallelujah! we're so glad ruby is here!

21 June 2008

And Baby Makes 5!

Just a brief post to announce the arrival of our newest gem, Ruby!

She was born on Friday morning, weighing in at 6 lbs., 12 oz., and measuring 19 inches in length. We're JUST home from the hospital, so I haven't uploaded pictures from our camera yet, but I will soon. She's a beauty, and we're thrilled. Charis and Judah are also very excited, and come home tonight--let the new family begin!

16 June 2008

Bed Rest Update

Well, as of last Friday, I'm officially not on strict bed rest. I'm still on "take it easy," but since I'm now 37 weeks along (what a miracle!), my midwife wanted me to be up getting some sort of stamina back and helping my body progress towards labor now. Funny--a couple of weeks ago, I was on a slew of medicine to keep labor at bay, and now we're actually inviting labor to the party. I cannot tell you how ready I am to meet this little lady. No, really--I could try, but I'm not certain it would end up being emphatic enough.

The one glitch is this: because I still have the dadgum stent in, I am unable to be up for very long at a stretch. On my first day of non-bed rest freedom, I may have overdone it a wee bit--and paid the price. So now, I'm just up as much as possible, and the rest of the time I'm laying down. I've tried the whole sitting thing, but my body was not a big fan. I did, however, get a chance to get a haircut and make a trip to Meijer for some post-baby necessities. I thought I'd be able to walk around the store and stretch my legs a little bit, but I was obviously fooling myself; here in the land of the stent, walking more than thirty feet is like taking the long route to Mount Olympus. Instead, I opted for one of those scooter carts. I got some pretty funny looks from people who probably thought I was just being lazy.

In other news, today is Charis' 4th Birthday! I am planning the official Happy Birthday Post, but I want to give it the effort and attention it deserves, which I am at present unable to do. So stay tuned! After Baby Girl arrives and Mr. Stent leaves us, I plan a doozy of a post to celebrate my precious firstborn. I imagine there will also be a celebratory post about our precious Third Born, so stay tuned!

Happy Birthday, Charis! You will always be my Baby Girl.

07 June 2008

Since I've Been Gone

Well, it's probably high time for a post. I'm still laying on my side in bed, typing with one hand, so this will probably be brief.

To recap:
I went to the hospital ER in Ohio with severe left flank pain, and was diagnosed with a kidney stone. I was admitted, and the next day they inserted a stent. I do not recommend the stent. It is no fun at all, and is in fact one of the more miserable things I have ever experienced in my life. At the time, I had just entered y 31st week of pregnancy.

Four days later, I endured the longest car ride ever (thanks to the stent) to return home to my family. There, I embarked on a course of bed rest, owing to the fact that I was really incapable of doing much else. My mom stayed with us for a few days to help out and prepare enough food to last us until the next millennium.

I had been home for about five days when I started bleeding and began premature labor. Earlier in my pregnancy, I had been diagnosed with placenta previa, but that condition had been upgraded to "low-lying placenta," which is less serious, but still creates the potential for a C-section. As far as we knew, the bleeding meant that placenta had abbrupted, and we were about to have an emergency C. We rushed to the hospital, where I spent the next five days on some pretty powerful drugs to stop labor. They also gave me a few doses of steroids to "jump start" the baby's development in case SHE came early. Yep, it's a girl! We found out premature girls generally fare better than boys, so we decided to find out the gender of our baby, an unprecedented event in our lives. We met with neonatologists to learn about what would likely take place if our baby was born then, at 32 weeks. Twice during my stay, we seemed to be moments away from having that C section. Obviously, things did not end up that way. When things had stabilized, they sent us home, and prescribed strict bed rest for me. Thankfully, my dad was able to come up and stay with me, and the kids were able to go to Abe's parents' house (during the week) so I could rest as prescribed.

About 3 days later, I spiked a fever and was again admitted to the hospital, this time for a kidney infection (thanks a lot, stent). I was there for three days this time, and they sent me home with some Keflex for the infection, and also Procardia to stave off the contractions that were beginning again.

Three days after that, I went back to the hospital in incredible pain. They basically did nothing for me but tell me to take baths for my "discomfort," and sent me home right away. Two days later, I was still in intense pain, so my midwife advised me to head to the ER. They diagnosed a UTI (thanks again, stent) and gave me Macrobin for the infection and Vicodin for the pain. The nurse told me to take the Vicodin sparingly, so I did. Bad idea.

Two days later, I was back at the hospital, again in intense pain and with contractions five minutes apart. The midwife, after determining that I was not dilated or effaced, gave me more Procardia and told me I could take the Vicodin every 4 hours as I needed for pain. This helped a lot. She then sent me home. At this visit, I had just crossed over into my 35th week of pregnancy. 36 is considered carrying to term, so we were really hoping I'd make it that far. We scheduled an appointment with the midwife for the next Friday for a checkup.

The next Thursday (two days ago), my dad took me to the midwife's office, but not because anything was wrong; I had just completely lost track of the days and thought it was Friday already.

Yesterday, I went to the real appointment, and discovered that I am 75 percent effaced and 1 cm dilated. This really means nothing in terms of delivery time line, but it was encouraging that I was obviously progressing and not having any more bleeding, which means that there is still a chance for a non-C section delivery. She took me off of the Procardia, but I am still (somewhat groggily, most of the time) taking the Vicodin to manage the pain from the stupid stent and kidney stone issues. The stent will not come out until after the baby's arrival, but as of today, I am at 36 weeks, so it could happen any time. Charis was born at 37 weeks, so it could be soon. Judah was born at 39 weeks, so it may not be very soon. At any rate, I continue to be on bed rest in case of other bleeding issues.

Well, this is a very unceremonious ending, but my laptop is about to run out of power, so I will go ahread and post this. Likely, next time you hear fro me, I will be the mother of three!