Friday, September 24, 2010


One of my desires is to use my experiences as a mom to encourage and help other moms. There are some experiences I have never had, though. I've never had to put my desire for children on hold waiting for the right situation. I've never struggled to conceive. I've never struggled to carry a child to term. I've never lost a child.
I was telling Stephen the other day that so many of my closest friends are experiencing these things. All I want to do is help them, but I have no words, no advice to bring. But maybe that's best. Maybe what they need is a friend who has nothing to say and just listens. Shutting up isn't one of my strong suits, but I'm working on it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why a midwife?

It's been almost a month since Miss Margaret was born and in that month I've had the opportunity to tell my birth story to many people. As I've retold the story, I've reflected on my choice to again hire a midwife and birth at home. When I found out I was pregnant with Maggie, I debated going to a hospital where an epidural would be available to me. Looking back now, knowing the details of my pregnancy and delivery, I'm confident that I made the right choice and I'm finally able to concisely verbalize my reason.
In the last four weeks of my first pregnancy, I left each doctor's appointment in tears. With each visit, I became more discouraged and hopeless. Partly because my body wasn't showing any signs of moving towards labor, but mostly because my doctor didn't seem to have any confidence in my bodies ability to deliver a healthy baby. He even verbalized this once when he said that it was likely that my body might never go into labor on its own.
With my subsequent pregnancies when I was under the care of a midwife, I came to each of those last appointments discouraged. My midwife was ready and willing to listen to my concerns and see my tears. Then when my tears were shed, she would remind me that the baby still appeared to be healthy and strong, that being pregnant at 41 (or almost 42) weeks was still within normal parameters, and that she had every confidence that my body would go into labor.
With my doctor, I left in tears. With my midwife, I left with red eyes and a tentative smile. For me (I can't stress enough that I'm not trying to speak for anyone else), the hope inspired by my midwife's confidence was much sweeter than the relief of an epidural.
A friend of mine teasingly asked if the midwife was going to refund some of my money since she didn't make it for the birth. In my case, it would certainly be nice if she charged by the hour! But seriously, the confidence she reinforced in me (props to my first midwife, Holly, for beginning the process) was worth every penny. That confidence life changing.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Remember I mentioned D'arcy's long list of goals. Well, here she is practicing cartwheels. Once I told her she needed to get a running or skipping start (picture me 41 weeks pregnant displaying a skipping start for her), she has greatly improved.

Yes, Julian is still alive!

Julian kept insisting that he would die when Maggie was born. Not sure where he got that idea. Maybe it was from my blog since I haven't posted a picture of him on here for a while. He's still here, though...going to preschool one day a week, playing with Legos, and counting down the days till his 4th birthday (22). Here's the proof that he is still a big ball of silly!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Trivial stress

I should have anticipated the tears. Maggie Lu will be two weeks old tomorrow. I've been feeling "back to normal" for over a week. Then trivial stress happens. You know, Schroeder puts two trains down the toilet. Drano doesn't dissolve trains, folks. My phone disappears. I tried to blame that one on Schroeder, too, but no one bought it. I did finally discover it in the depths of the couch, but, unfortunately, my long lost iPod was not with it. Then, Dianne comes home and says she thinks she has shingles. So I pack up my family of six and move them to my parent's house in order to prevent my infant from coming down with chicken pox, and all the while, I'm crying. My two week old getting chicken pox is scary, but, really, are all these tears necessary? It finally occurs to me that these tears should not be a surprise. When Schroeder was two weeks old, I broke down at dinner for no apparent reason. D'arcy asked me what was wrong, and Stephen had to explain to her that mommy just had a baby and that can put mommy's emotions into overdrive.
So week two of having four children has been a little hectic. I neglected to mention the 12 hour blackout we had at our house, my attempt to take both babies (big and little) to the doctor's office by myself sans stroller, or the fact that Stephen worked from 9am till 2am on Thursday, etc, etc, etc. However, I'll say it again, just to remind myself, that all these problems are trivial. Tomorrow is another day, and someday soon, I'll get the hang of parenting four children at one time.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

D'arcy is 6!

D'arcy's birthday has been a month long event this year. It began with a joint family party with her cousin, Gabriel, on August 9th. Then we had a dinner party with Stephen's family and my parents on her actual birthday, August 25th. She was then treated to a spa evening and ear piercing on September 1st. Tomorrow, to finish off her birthday month, she'll have a special birthday message on the Pizza Spot sign down in Whiteland.
I was concerned that her birthday might get overlooked in light of Maggie's entrance into the world. Maggie was due on the 14th, was expected on the 21st, but decided not to come until the 28th. D'arcy thought it might be nice to share her birthday with her little sis, but instead they'll have to settle with having birthdays three days apart. My concerns, though, ended up being silly since she's had more birthday than most little girls no what to do with!
At 6, D'arcy is a sweet, serious, very driven little girl with loads of personal goals. Some of her main accomplishments this past year were learning to ride a bike without training wheels and to read. She has a desire to learn to cook, speak Spanish, play the piano, and do a cartwheel. She told me she wanted me to select two recipes a day so that she could practice her cooking skills. That plan won't work for me so I'm just letting her help me as needed, but she has graduated to helping me cook on the stove which she's thrilled about.
She's independent and loves the opportunity to try things on her own. She paints her own nails, and is trying to convince me to let her cut her own hair. The job she secretly did on her bangs isn't helping matters, though. Despite her independence, she thrives on spending time with people. Quality time is important to her and she will constantly ask for us to make special plans together. She has little to no need for personal space. If you are sitting by her, she's quick to snuggle up to you. She doesn't particularly care to sleep or shower on her own. She always wants some company.
She loves her accessories. She dresses herself every morning and never fails to add a jacket, socks, scarf, necklace, watch, or several hair bows to her outfit. I've actually had to limit the hair items to three per day. She's recently added earrings to her list of accessories. She has her own shelf on my hanging jewelry organizer full of new earrings she received for her birthday. She's counting down the days when she'll be able to change her studs out for something dangly.
D'arcy is a great big sister. She is a huge help to me. She'll make her brothers breakfast, help them brush their teeth, and help them buckle their seatbelts. With Maggie, she is already changing diapers and dressing her. The first thing out of her mouth in the morning is "Can I hold Maggie before I leave?" Julian, Schroeder, and Maggie Lu are all very lucky to have such a caring older sister and they know it, most of the time.
She is still keeping us on our toes with her many requests and quick reasoning, but we we've decided to keep our little lawyer.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A face to go with the story.

These photos came from my attempt to do a more "organic", low-key photo session with my baby girl this morning. I love that I'm the photographer and the mother so I can do what I want!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

D'arcy the Brave

When D'arcy was born, Stephen and I discussed when she would be allowed to get her ears pierced. Neither of us were real intent on her getting them done as an infant, but we didn't have any inclination to make it a right of passage into womanhood in her teenage years. We just agreed that whenever she asked for them, we would let her have them. At some point this last year, she decided that she was ready to brave some pain for the beauty of earrings. Perfect timing, I thought, since I had my ears pierced on my sixth birthday. So for the last six months or so, she has been waiting patiently for her birthday to come and this day to arrive.
Her Grammy works at a salon and spa which also offers ear piercing. She hooked D'arcy up with not only new earrings, but a hair styling and manicure. This morning as D'arcy was walking out the door she thanked me for "the gift". "What gift?", I asked. Then she tapped her ears. She was cool as a cucumber about the pain. This is the same girl who had to be literally held down to the table when she got her shots before kindergarten. I thought maybe she would at least start to cry when they pulled out the guns. Nope. Her eyes may have gotten a little big, but for the most part she was calm and excited.
I actually brought my camera for this occasion, and can't express to you how much these pictures mean to me. They show her looking very old and brave but then the tender little girl shows up a few seconds after the earrings are in...a little chin wobble, a few crocodile tears, and then a tentative smile emerges.