Thursday, November 18, 2010

Change of Plan

This post has been rambling around in my head for a few days and I'm still not sure my thoughts are polished enough to post, but I keep coming back to it, so I'm going to give it a try.

For those of you that know me or have read this blog for any length of time, you know {are glaringly aware} that I like a plan. I'm a planner. I want to know the plan. Let's make a plan. More importantly, let's STICK TO THE PLAN. I'm no good when Dwayne says, "Get in the car. Let's go." Let's go where? What are we doing? Why? Where? When???

I don't know why I'm this way. God just wired me to get caught up in the details and the need to know. Sometimes this serves me well and sometimes...well, sometimes it doesn't at all.

Right now I'm on the roller coaster called "Change of Plan." And it is the wildest roller coaster I've ever riden! Have you ever felt that way?

I had everything all planned out.

Birth plan. Check.

It went something like this: Luke's birth will be easier than Meryt's birth was. (Which was a breeze, by the way). I will go natural. The lights will be low. We'll whisper. It will be a beautiful, National Geographic moment in my life.

*cue audience laughter*

Enter Change of Plan.

Luke's birth was tremendously harder than Meryt's. It was longer. It was harder. His heart rate would plummet. My blood pressure wasn't stable at the beginning. There was an epidural. There was medication for my blood pressure. The lights were bright. It was most certainly not the beautiful, National Geographic moment I'd envisioned.

The Lord used that to teach me a lesson.

Nursing Plan. Check.

Nursing Luke will be a natural, easy thing. It's natural. It's the right thing to do. All mother's do it. I can do it, too. Hellllloooo...National Geographic!!

*cue audience laughter*

Enter Change of Plan.

Not so much. Nursing is HARD WORK. I feel terrible for Dwayne. With Meryt, he gots lots of snuggles because she was on a bottle and he could feed her. She also didn't need ME Little Luke, on the other hand, never leaves my arms. Whenever poor Dwayne tries to hold him, he screams and cries because, honestly, he just wants me and he just wants to nurse...all...the...time. ALL.THE.TIME.

The Lord used that to teach me a lesson.

Schedule. Check.

We'll work on our schedule as soon as we get home. I'll feed Luke every third hour, he'll sleep and rest in between and I'll nap when I can.

*cue hysterial laughter from the audience*

Sad, huh? I'm not even a first time mom. But that's how easy it was with Meryt! She was so schedule oriented that it literally required no work from me at all. She scheduled herself and rarely got off the schedule. She was the easiest baby ever. Luke is by no means difficult. Not at all. But he most certainly does not understand or care one bit about my schedule. He cries when he wants to eat, regardless of the last time he ate. He sleeps when he wants to sleep and only cuddled in my arms or in the swing. Some nights, we're up for hours. Other nights, he sleeps awesome for 2 hours and nurses for an hour. I never can predict how he's going to do.

The Lord is teaching me a lesson here.

I can't help but continue to go back to Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. (it goes on) See, I'm not really in charge. Despite all the time and energy I spend "planning," it's not up to me. I can't make Luke follow my schedule. He's hungry when he's hungry. He can't provide for himself. I get frustrated, sure. Makes me wonder how God feels when I refuse to follow his plan. I can't provide for myself. All my needs are supplied by the Lord. Why in the world do I spend so much energy planning and working out every single detail WHEN THE LORD ALREADY KNOWS THE PLANS HE HAS FOR ME? Why do I constantly struggle to take control from the One who is in absolute control and only wants good for me? These past 10 days have been a lesson on control and changing plans. I know I can't (won't) easily relinquish control. I haven't in the past. But I want to journey to a place where I can and will let the Lord make the decisions in my life without constantly trying to pull the strings out of his hands. Ultimately, it boils down to a trust issue for me. If I do it, I know it will be done the way I want. (ha) If I let go of the control and trust in the Lord, I don't have the security (false as it is) of knowing that things will work out the way I thought they would.

So, I'm on the roller coaster. God is in charge of the controls. I'll ride "Change of Plan" until I've learned my lesson that it's not about me. It's about Him. He who knows the plans he has for me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Due Date: 4 Day Update

Today is Luke's actual due date.

But he's here.

In fact, he's four days old.

Here's a quck update on how everyone is doing:

Luke: Super sweet. Wants to be held all the time. Snuggles, snuggles, snuggles. Would nurse all day if I let him. Sleeps all day, up for several hours at night. Losing weight (down to 6 lbs 14 oz today). Bilirubin is borderline for jaundice (daily visits to the ped's office). Cutest baby ever--looks just like Meryt did.

Taken in the hospital when he was 1 day old.

Meryt: Gets the Big Sister of the Year award. You could not find a big sister who loves her baby more. She wants to introduce him to everyone who glances in our direction. If Luke cries, she rushes to comfort him. We have truly been blessed.

Taken when Meryt first met Luke. Sweetness!

Dwayne: He's on daddy-high-heaven. He's getting the most sleep. He can sleep through Luke's crying. He's completely on call during the day. Doing great.

Me: I'm healing pretty well. I can get around fairly well, but lose energy during the day and need to rest. My milk hasn't come in, so I'm feeling a tad bit of stress (LOTS) about that. (Will gladly take advice, if it's kind and helpful!) I want to nurse to badly this's frustrating that we're struggling with this again. I love holding my sweet boy and watching Meryt get to do the big sister things.

We're doing great, overall. Sometimes I just stare at Luke and ponder the miracle that he is. He's ours. He was just a dream and now he's our reality. We are praising God for him every moment!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Miracle

Our little miracle is here. And he truly is a miracle. I just can't believe that three years ago we had our first miscarriage and now we've got this new little guy around...and he's OURS!

This is the birth story. I just don't want to forget anything.

When I went to the doctor on 11/4, I was 2-3 cm dilated. I knew I could stay that way for a while, so I wasn't expecting much to happen. I was hopeful that I'd progressed a little bit when I went for my next appt on 11/9. I was contracting a little when I got there at noon on 11/9, but had been at school all morning and wasn't sure anything was really going on. I was tired of being pregnant, so I asked to be induced. Jeri, the midwife, said no way. I wanted to go natural and she didn't really think I wanted to be induced. She stripped my membranes and sent me home to rest.

HA. There was no rest. The contractions started around 2:00 and increased during the afternoon. Dwayne and I were texting back and forth. I finally called the dr's office and told them the contractions weren't steady, but they were intensifying and I was going to wait for Dwayne to get home from work and then head to the hospital. Jeri's nurse agreed that was a good plan.

By 5:30, we had dropped M off with Dwayne's family and we were on our way to the hospital. The pain was pretty intense and I told him FORGET NATURAL. I was a fool for thinking I could do that. He agreed to whatever I needed.

We were admitted by 6:30 and in a labor and delivery room by 7:00. I had my epidural not long after that--that pain was incredible and I was feeling pretty sick. My sweet friends, H and P2, showed up between 7:15 and 7:30 to help me labor. We visited and relaxed a little, the epidural helped a lot.

Around 9:00, the pain intensified tremendously. Even with the medication, I was still feeling every contraction. The girls helped me labor through them, encouraging me in all the right ways. I honestly do not think I could have done it without their help. Dwayne was incredible and their help to me enabled him to focus on helping the midwife.

I had some blood pressure issues and Luke's heartrate would not stabilize, so there were some rather intense moments. His labor and delivery were FAR MORE DIFFICULT than M's. There is absolutely no way I could have done it naturally.

He was delivered at 11:09 on 11/09/10. He was sunny-side up with his head looking up instead of down. Getting his sweet little head out was the hardest part, but definitely rewarding. As soon as his head was out, he was turned. When I delivered his shoulders, my body felt a tremendous amount of relief.

Delivering him was much harder on my body...there was a lot more damage with him than when I delivered M. Despite that, I've felt better since he was born. I'm more mobile, I have a tad bit more energy. I haven't felt sick once! That's huge! :)

M is an AWESOME big sister. I'll give her her own post tomorrow so I don't forget anything about these first few days.

Last night was really rough for us. Luke was having some choking issues and had to have his tummy drained. He quit nursing most of the night and screamed for hours. This morning, he had to have more yucky stuff drained from his tummy. He's been a champ since around lunch time. He's napping right now as I look at him.

I just can't tell you how blessed we feel. I'll post some pictures later tonight. The laptop isn't plugged in and I'm running out of juice. Thank you for all your love and prayers!! Praise God for all his blessings!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He's on his way

We're on our way to the hospital. It seems that little Luke is on his way! We'll update when he arrives.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Need Some Mama Help

M and I had our first embarrasing moment together where I wanted to throttle her into the southern hemisphere and let her roast all by herself.

It started out rather innocently. We stopped by a new cupcake store (AMAZING!) and bought a few cupcakes for a treat.

Then we went to pick up some stationery I bought for the kids. When the lady showed M her cards, she (the lady) said, "Yum! These look delicious! I love them. Don't you?"

And M replied, "No. I don't like them at all."

UM! EXCUSE ME?!?! Was that my sweet girl that is normally NOT a brat? The little girl that just picked out a cupcake at the store as a fun afternoon treat? What in THE WORLD were you thinking, M?

So, she's not allowed to have her cupcake. She's not allowed to have her princess music. She's upstairs in her room thinking about her actions right now. She's not going to watch her favorite show this afternoon.

Too harsh? Not harsh enough? I just can't believe she was that unkind and is that unappreciative. I don't want a bratty little girl. I know cards aren't really that exciting, but she should still be kind to the store lady and thankful for a gift.

What would you do?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A School Story

Perhaps you don't know where I teach or what kind of children and parents I deal with. I LOVE my school and I LOVE my kids. I teach in a Title 1 school, which means over 70% of our school population lives below poverty and qualifies for free or reduced lunch. I definitely don't teach at an "inner city" school, but I have children from all types of families. A.L.L. types of families.

This morning I happened to run into one of my moms (do you remember THIS story?) who is clearly expecting another baby...this one is number 6. Five daddies. Six kids. A.L.L. types of families.

I happen to really like this mom and I adore her little boy. We'll call him Daniel.

Me to Mama: Hey! Did Daniel tell you he was on our TV for having such good character? He represented our class for friendship!

Mama: Nah...he don't tell me that.

Me: We're so proud of him. He's always so kind to his friends and gets along with everyone. If he notices someone on the playground is alone, he joins them. He's just precious.

Mama: (smiling) Yeah...he a good kid. But, I noticed he kinda dumb.

Me: (trying not to choke) He's not dumb! I have noticed that he's struggling some. He's so cute that he thinks he can get away with not giving me much effort.

Mama: M'Benson, my other kids be bad, but they be SMART! Daniel...he so different. He be so good all the time, but he be dumb! (This is COMPLETELY true. My school is a magnet school and two of her children have been kicked out because of their behavior! But they are smart. Really smart.)

Me: Please don't say he's dumb! And certainly don't tell him that! We might want to think about letting him repeat kindergarten. It certainly would help him, but I think he knows more than he's showing me. He just grins at me when I ask him something. When I correct his behavior, he just gives me that sweet grin.

Mama: I put him at the table wit his big sister. Now, M'Benson, she can teach those other children (she's in 4th grade, by the way...and the little mama in the home) anything they need to know. When she work with Daniel, he just sit there. He don't care nothing about learnin' from her. He just don't care. I'm telling you...he dumb. I know he cute and I'm glad he be good at school, but he dumb. We even do dat ting you said about givin' him some shavin' cream and lettin' him spell his words. M'Benson, he don't even know he letters! How he gonna ever learn anyting if he don't know he letters??

Me: (flabbergasted...I don't think I've ever heard a mama telling me that her child is dumb!) Ms. Dumb-Mama, let's get together and work on this. Let's have a conference and make a plan for Daniel. I just don't think he's dumb. I think he can learn everything we need him to know. I'm thankful that his sister can work with him. I'll give you some other ideas to help him.

Mama: Oh, thank you, M'Benson. I know you can help dat boy. He sho' do love you and he sho' do love comin' to school. I don't want him to be dumb. I don't want him to be bad and smart either.

At this point, I literally had to walk away. When I got to my room, I laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. As much as it broke my heart to hear her calling her own child dumb, I know that mostly that's a cultural difference. It's her way of recognizing that he's struggling in school and that she needs some help for him.

Disclaimer: After I typed this and was ready to post, I realize this might ruffle some of your feathers. Please don't let it. Take it as a funny story that was shared.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All About Luke

Maybe I need to change the name of this blog to "All about Luke" instead of The Benson Family! Poor H and M aren't getting much face time around here lately.

That'll all change in about 12 days.

Just a funny: someone asked if I was a scheduled c-section or induction. The answer is no. Luke will arrive whenever God is ready for him to arrive. I'm just counting down to November 13 for just gives me a little something to focus on. I'm a detail oriented procrastinator. I don't really do much until the pressure is on, which is quickly approaching.

My goal this week was to clean one room really good each evening. That goal was shot all the pieces when I realized that something I thought was planned for next week is actually tomorrow evening. SOOOOO...instead of continuing on with the plan, I crawled around on the floor picking up pieces of trash that our lab had strewn about. On the other hand, when H got home, we did some good work in the kids' room. That felt really good.

In 12 short days (or sometime close to it!), our baby boy will be here. Fear and trepidation are replaced with absolute excitement. My only fear is the actual delivery. The closer it gets, the more anxious I get about that. M's was quick and easy...what if his is long and drawn out? I've allowed myself to get a bit psyched out. Last time, I had no idea what to expect. This time, I've got the memory of before. The good thing is that labors come to an end...and I'll hold him.

His clothes are so tiny! His little snuggles are so soft! His diapers are minuscule! And in 12 days, it will all be so real.

Stay tuned....we'll be back to our regularly scheduled "The Benson Family" in a few days!