Thursday, October 22, 2009

two good answers

So, while Brent was out at the grocery store with Jillian last night, I asked the boys,

"Does my belly look smaller yet?"

Avery: "Yeah! It looks a lot smaller."
Miles: "No...(long pause) wasn't that big to begin with."

Monday, October 19, 2009

and she has a name

We've been known to change our kids' names (even after coming home from the hospital!), but we're pretty certain that we can confidently introduce...

Phoebe Joy Scheetz

Phoebe means "radiant" or "bright". The meaning of Joy is obvious, but it means more to us because it's the name of one of the dearest souls you could ever meet.

Psalm 34:5 "Those who look to Him are radiant, and there faces shall never be ashamed."

That's our hope for Phoebe Joy, that she would look to God her whole life.

She has dark hair and blonde eyebrows. Is this normal?
She's very sweet. Seems calm. We'll see if that holds.

And she's totally punk rock.

Oh, and I can say with all confidence that I would have lost my mind without those three standing behind me. In fact, I DID lose my mind about 10 times and they brought me back to reality!!! note. I'm sorry if I'm not making calls. I've slept all of two hours since yesterday morning. It's easier to type than talk. For those of you who I'd normally call, please know we'll catch up soon.

fast and furious, the baby arrives!!!!

So, dear friends! Thanks so much for standing by! And THANKS FOR PRAYING!!!! Turns out those contractions were the real deal!

Can't upload pictures yet, but this is what I can tell you.

Contractions started while I was grilling chicken around 5:30 p.m.
They continued as I wrote emails and posted on the blog.
Around 10:00, it seemed necessary to get to the hospital.
Got to the hospital around 10:30.

Our baby was born 1:25 a.m. on October 19. I'm still in shock that it's real.

We have a baby girl.
9 lbs 12.6 oz
21 3/4 inches (or so, Brent thinks...I don't even know!)
Lots of hair.
Very sweet.

I had the best labor and delivery team, including our doula Karen and my stellar husband, Brent.

Oh, and the baby came too fast for an epidural. More later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

my little stumbling block

Okay, so, confession: I haven't been paying attention as much during dinner prayer times. I peek through my fingers and watch Jillian. But, how can I not???

Hope you're as entertained as I am as we wait...and wait...and wait! I think I'm feeling a few contractions...hope this means something!

Friday, October 16, 2009

friends don't let friends...

So, I never thought I'd let Jillian have a femullet (female mullet). But, sometimes, love is truly blind.

How could I not see it?? I mean, this isn't the best picture, but you can see, right? Actually, Jillian's hair was growing to a point like Joan Jett or something...maybe even--dare I admit it--it was rat tail-like...

Just replace this pacifier with a cigarette and the hair works. But, that's not the look we're going for....

I convinced myself that the once every two months I managed to keep her hair up like this made it all worth it. But, I was kidding myself. She pulls these things out quicker than you can say "sit still".

So, Molly, thanks for the little subtle hints, which lovingly told me I had fallen back on my NO-FEMULLET pledge. You'll be happy to know, I snipped off the rat tail and she is now sporting a bob.

I'd show a picture, but my camera is in the (still unnecessary) hospital bag in the car...argh!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

this "due" date feels more like a "do" date

Well, folks. This is the first time that I've ever been pregnant ON my due date. It's kinda strange.

But, I must say that even though there is a measure of disappointment, I'm grateful, because I'm still pregnant with what I'm hoping is a healthy baby.

The boys are home from school today and tomorrow. I was dreading this, because they can be quite a burden with their arguing and constant nagging. I mean, they're kids. That's their natural bent. But, Brent gave them VERY clear instructions to help me out today. And,

Avery has...
dusted a bookcase
unloaded half the dishwasher
straightened up the basement
made his bed
changed his pillow case
straightened up his room
taken out the recycling
written a thank you note

Miles has...
unloaded the other half of the dishwasher
read countless books to Jillian
played games and entertained Jillian
vacuumed the family room
made his bed
changed his pillow case
and also written a thank you note

Jillian has...
skipped her nap
put her hand in her poopy diaper for the first time
received a long, soapy bath
put glue stick on like chapstick

Unborn baby has...
squirmed around

I have...
had a resurgence of energy and cleaned maniacally most of the day. I don't think this means I'm going into labor since I've been like this most of the last month. Just saying it feels more like a "do" date than a "due" date.

I appreciate any prayers for a safe delivery.

Monday, October 12, 2009

being self-absorbed led to this belated birthday wish!

Okay. So, ALL day yesterday, I thought, "I want to have the baby today, because it's Aunt Carol's birthday!"

The day came and went with no labor or delivery.

The day came and went without even a BIRTHDAY CALL TO AUNT CAROL!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. Could I have been more self-absorbed????

Dearest Aunt Carol,

You are the coolest! You remember all of our birthdays AND faithfully remember our anniversary!!! You send care packages. We always feel so loved by you!!! The boys consistently mention how, even though you are their GREAT aunt, you are SO YOUNG! (It's true.) You are so tender and sweet and we love your constant smile.

I am SO SORRY that we didn't even CALL yesterday. Honestly, I promise, we were thinking of you all day!

Thanks for putting up with us!

We love you to pieces!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

okay. i'm ready. c'mon baby!

So, the hospital bag is mostly packed.

The baby bed is set up.

The nursing cover is made.

The windows are washed, the floor is scrubbed, the laundry is caught up.

The wardrobe is truly dwindling.

The--I'm not kidding--shopping lists for double coupon Wednesday are set.

I've run out of things to keep me busy.

Wait...I see a smudge on the mirror and some lint on the wood floors--see ya! Gotta keep cleaning....

And, don't worry, Mom! I'll call you when I go into labor. And, you blogger buddies, you'll get an update as soon as I'm able. You ARE my BFFs (bloggie friends forever!).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

thoughts at 39 weeks pregz

1. Do you know why I love Avery the most? (Okay, I don't really have a favorite, but I did for about five minutes this morning.) On the way to school today, he said, "You don't look pregnant enough to have the baby."

2. I am still in shock and denial that I'm pregnant.

3. The last thought is somewhat surprising because, wow, I have gained a lot of weight, I can hardly breathe, and I have one outfit that I like to wear.

4. I don't like blogging about pregnancy, because it feels insensitive to those who would really, really like to be pregnant right now. At the same time, it's a major reality for me. I'm torn.

5. If I should go another 24 hours pregnant, this will be the longest pregnancy I have experienced. That's right. I've never had to go the full 40 weeks before.

6. I thought that I'd get an epidural this time, because I've had back labor (read: hell-on-earth-kind-of-pain) during the last two deliveries. But, I'm truly freaked out by the needle going into my back. We'll see.

7. I've had three children before. I can't imagine having a newborn. Figure that one out.

8. I have not set up the baby bed or fully packed a hospital bag. denial, denial, denial...

9. I am most tired between 4 and 6:30 p.m. I can make dinner, but I feel like I'm in a waking coma at the table.

10. Did you know I make nursing covers?? (of course.) Yeah, I haven't made one for myself. Maybe I should do that.

11. Most common question: Have you named the baby? Honest Answer: Not really. In fact, we've never named a baby officially before they were born.

12. This is the coldest weather that I've had to endure during a third trimester. Miles was born in October. But that was in St. Louis. Generally, there aren't forecasts for flurries in St. Louis in October. I don't have a maternity coat. It's cold.

13. It's really hard to have a positive tone when you're this pregnant. That's another reason I haven't blogged much. I kinda just feel grumpy and don't want to subject you (too often, anyway) to this negativity.

14. I think we can attribute #13 to LACK OF SLEEP.

15. Please don't say, "That prepares you for baby." It doesn't. There is NOTHING that can prepare ANYONE for a newborn...except for previous experience. It is generally easier every time, depending on the health of baby and mom.

16. Did I mention that Jillian doesn't nap anymore. It sucks. It really, really sucks. I am also in denial about this. I still put her in her crib and say, "night night," and just let her deal for awhile. Eventually, her chit-chat turns into, "MOM!!! MOM!!! I mot a cacker! MOMMMMM! I'm ah done. Come hAre!!!" oh brother. Lord, help me. It's more mind-numbing to hear fussiness through a monitor than in person. Amen??

17. If I give birth this weekend, Jenny W. or Jenny R. better bring me some Sunday papers. I still want to clip coupons!!! ;-)

18. I decided about a month ago, that I'll deliver the baby October 9. That's tomorrow. The doctor and baby are not aware of this decision. And God didn't necessarily agree to this plan either. hm.

19. I started a sewing project for someone a LONG time ago. I'm convinced that God loves this person so much that he won't let me go into labor until it's done. I'm gonna try to get it done tonight.

20. Jillian is yelling "MAMA!!! I am AH! DONE!" Better go. Good news is that Brent called earlier to say, "Don't make dinner. I'll take care of it." THANK YOU, BRENT!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Before Felicity, there was Paige

There are people you meet who change you. And then there are those who haven't met--who have never even had a first breath or cry--who change you. Today, I'd like to honor the life of Paige, who was born on October 6, 2000, by sharing how her life and death changed me deeply. I am so grateful to God for her and look forward to meeting her when I get to heaven.

Nine years ago, one of my dearest friends in the world, Joy, called me at 6:30 in the morning crying. I arrived at her house shortly after to care for her son. She left for the hospital unsure of whether the little one she'd been carrying for 17 weeks was going to make it. Other than a huge supply of tears, I felt empty as I dreaded what seemed imminent.

I have never known a darker day than this one.

It was so dark. And I was so inexperienced with grief.

I had no idea what to say...what to not to communicate my deep grief. There were so many questions that day and the days that followed I hadn't ever dealt with before. Was I allowed to grieve deeply as I felt like grieving??? Should I bring up Paige? Should I just wait to see if Joy wants to talk about it?? Should I ask to see Paige's pictures? What do I write in a card? Should I give flowers? If the flowers die, will that make her more sad?

It felt like every option of entering into Joy and Craig's grief was risky. It felt like I could fail at loving them by saying or doing the wrong thing.

I praise God for Joy, because it wasn't long before she called to check in. She didn't wonder what she should say. She shared the story of Paige's birth...about getting to the Emergency Room, the horrible bedside manner of the first doctor, the comfort they took in trusting God even after learning of Paige's death, the painful labor and delivery, the beautiful little baby that they were at first afraid to meet, and how they loved her so deeply, about the true presence of God they both felt in the hospital room. I wanted to know every detail, but would have felt invasive asking. I wanted to know as much about Paige's life as I could. I wanted to hold on to the details of her short earthly life.

In the days that followed, Joy would share with me how people at work wouldn't say anything. They didn't ask how she was, or share their sadness with her over the death of her baby. They just awkwardly entered her office to ask a question, and then took off. (Not all, but many.)

I felt convicted, knowing that I might have acted the same way. And so, I determined to not be that person.

I learned from Joy, through the life and death of Paige, that it is good and right to enter into grief with those who are grieving. It is good and right to take risks that express love, even if I doubt my eloquence. I learned that I don't have to have a close relationship with someone to express my own grief over their loss. I learned that it's better to say something, than to remain silent because I'm afraid it might make them more sad.

I still wish that Paige had lived her first 80 years, or so, of life here on earth.

But, I am grateful to God that He used her life to teach me how to love others better.