Monday, April 29, 2013

For the love of a 3rd.

When I had Micah I was pretty sure I was the first person to birth a child and have such love and such crazy experiences all at once. Ok, so I KNEW mother's who had gone before me might have experienced something similar. But as always when it happens to "you" it's a whole different ballgame. Well, for the love, the 3rd baby is seriously a breed all its own and I actually am the first one in most of my circles of friends with more than 2 children. In fact, with my best friends I am THE only one, and a lot of them are done. So it would definitely feed my tendency to think that I am the first person to go through all of the 3rd baby transitions. Ha. No I KNOW I'm not. Its just that any of my friends with over 2 children don't have time to call me back so we just aren't as close. Hee hee.
I know, I know, transition is hard and each baby brings about its own set of challenges and blessings. Whether you have one, two or five; whether you have merely babysat a child and aren't even married (I find it hard to believe anyone without children would enjoy my of her kids, silly words, blah blah what I am sure they are reading...if they are reading at all;)) Whether you are trying hard to conceive or get knocked up at the drop of a hat I know that each person's story of their lives is just that "their story". So this is mine. That is what my blog is for, right? So don't think I'm thinking myself better, more spiritual, or woe is me. I am just letting you know how it has worked in the Harper head case that I am.
This transition to the 3rd has been the smoothest of all of my babies. But it has come with all sorts of realizations. I in fact, love these realizations. Some are hard to deal with, but I just truly love where God has me and when I begin to doubt where "we-the Harper 5" are in this season I am reminded that God made it oh so clear that we were to have this sweet baby. So why would He not entrust her to us with great purpose. All babies have purpose which is why I could go off on a tangent about abortion, etc. but that is for another post entirely. It's just that my Jesus knew that Stephanie would need it audible and loud and clear to get all of the lessosn He wanted to teach me! So, what am I learning, realizing and noticing. Phew, a whole lot. Here it is in a jot it down, get it out there form.
For some reason there were ALOT of babies born around this time of year. How do I know this? Well, we have 2 of our children born in the spring and- we've attended 5 birthday parties in 2 weeks!! SelahBelle has really made her rounds. I have to keep reminding myself that we are building her immunity and that the judgement coming from well-meaning mother's of two...just teasing, don't know how hard it is to be a mother both to the children she has done everything with for years as well as be a momma to a newborn who wants to nurse at every stop sign. The only logical choice to be a good mother to both (for me) is to take them all everywhere. We are family, and I just can't send the other two packin' just because we have a third. Nevermind if a predominant amount of my presence is hidden by either a hooter hider or a sling. I am present nonetheless.
Some of the things I am learning though is a Momma with a lot (3 appears to be a lot from my point of reference...I know...notsomuch for the Duggars or Kate-Jon, but still a lot.) of babies tends to not have a place at social functions. Or at least not when they are each dependent upon you in some shape or fashion. While friends love you and want to be helpful there is only so much they can do.
Your husband too, assumes that if you've done this 2 times already, why in the world would you even need his help...and if he does offer by golly have worked things down to a science and his help only interferes with your plan. I've learned that being alone is ok. Sitting and eating at a birthday party with your actual children instead of friends can actually be enjoyable. It can be lonely, but in a ok kind of way.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

3 Weeks of Baby Bliss...BAA...ha...ha...ha

Look at that sweet face. I mean peaceful, content, perfect? Ha, not so much. SelahBelle has been such a blessing to our family and she has done so well. I have gotten sleep and she has really been a great baby. We wont mention any names but I know some newborns who really gave us a run for our money. Fortunately I forgot those days shortly thereafter and they only recently came back as I am rocking SelahBelle during a crying jag. She has been great. BUT, newborns are not for the faint of heart. I ended up getting strep throat at the 10 day old mark and had a few other uncomfortable things going on in the girl department. Life got a little hard. Nevermind the two other little people watching too much television and trying to get my attention. Bottom line, being a Momma is not alllll bliss. Granted there have already been many moments where I am moved to happy tears by simply staring at our little miracle, or hearing my older two miracles love on me, each other or their new baby. But those moments sometimes get drowned out by the Unhappy tears and screams. (Sometimes those are SelahBelle's...other times they are mine!)
The point of all this banter is because recently I was reading something about how our "social media" tends to only show the "blissful" side of our lives. It does appear true that most of what we ...put out there...portrays the good in our lives. I mean who wants to share their failures, especially in sepia tone on instagram. But I have had a day and I just thought I'd share it. As usual, for therapy and also just to be sure (as if you didn't already know) that our family and I am no where near perfect. This post will serve as a reminder to myself when I go thinking I've got control of things.
This morning was my first official day of NO help at all. I have been managing things mostly on my own but thankfully someone has been helping in big and small ways for the last 3 weeks. Thank you Jesus. But today, I was on. my. own. There was no one to call if I needed help getting Micahbird and SayJ to school and I was also in charge of feeding these people! Ha. I get up and get a shower, feed the baby, put on makeup, feed the baby some more, feed Micah (ie, throw him some muffins and milk), fix my hair (toot toot:)), get dressed and then get ready to head out the door...ON TIME! When Micah realizes he can't find his shoes. Most of you might remember his sensory disorder and it also applies to shoes. If they don't feel just right, he can't take it. But we are on time, and I will not be slowed down. I order him to get other shoes on and get in the car. Now, it is his fault that he doesn't have his shoes because it is his responsibility to put them in the basket each day. SelahBelle starts screaming the moment I put her in her carseat and shockingly SadieJane obediently goes and buckles in the car!! The girls are all in and ready to go and Micah is supposed to be getting on shoes. I scream out the car window because he is ruining our "blissful" get in the car NOWWWW.  He goes to pieces. I finally give him the shoe choices left and like a pitiful puppy being harshly disciplined he climbs in the car. SadieJane then starts crying because "your words are sooo mean to my Bubba, Momma!" I continue in my pride to  get on to Bubba. We then go on to try to say our prayers, over SelahBelle's incessant screams. Micah insists I pray for Mick and SelahBelle, but he'd prefer not to pray for me. Nice. Real nice. I pray through gritted teeth then send them out the door with a smile at car pool. When I ask Micah for a kiss, he says "Gotta go Mom..." No kiss. Break. My. Heart. Into many pieces. Then I pull over to feed the one child who I at least know still needs me.
As I am nursing SelahBelle I am hit with the magnitude of my words and actions. My sin of inpatience and quick to anger came to mind and convicted me before the Lord. I confessed it all to Him but had a heavy burden on my heart to make things right with my 5 year old and my 3 year old. In light of recent events as well as my need to truly live out my faith for my kiddos I knew I needed to make things right as soon as possible. So I lugged my lump of love in to the preschool and headed to talk it out with Micah. He was nervous as to what my intentions were, but greeted me with love and forgiveness. Thankfully someone in our house keeps short accounts...even if that might not be a "lived out" example part. I apologized to feisty SadieJane too and thanked her for being her brother's defender. Then SelahBelle and I headed home. It was only 9:30....and there is still a whole day left of other failures and realness to share...but I'll leave that transparency for another day and go on and post my picture perfect instagram picture and move on.

Monday, April 1, 2013

SelahBelle Ruth's Birth Day

Well, we haven't had time to upload any pictures from the big ole camera but I have a few instagram ones, my newest quickest instaobsession and a supplement for my blog. Fewer words, less time, but memory captured quick like.
Just thought I'd blog about the whole Birth Day/week before I forget all about it. Well, everyone knows I've always wanted to experience childbirth and majorly regret not insisting my doctor letting me try to birth Micah...but now I can say I've experienced a very small slice of it. Scheduled C-section for Wednesday morning but starting Monday, contractions began to come on. By Tuesday night just about 5 hours before I needed to be at the hospital (and much needed sleep) they got so intense and 8 minutes apart that I got nervous. Never having been in labor, or even talked about what it was truly like kind of put me at a disadvantage:) So we get to the hospital and while I was in early labor my cervix was closed and locked. So I just had a little extra lounging time in a hospital room. Ugh. Felt so silly. But if I'd stayed home I'd probably have given birth in the car;) Actually I am pretty sure now that this body doesn't get how it works the natural way. So in a round about way it made me even more thankful for the big C.
I also had major anxiety about the csection but had decided to trust God to allow me to enjoy the birth of a child. With Micah and even worse with SayJ I was so nauseas I just struggled through the first few days of their lives. God was so gracious and He granted me a stress free and puke free 24 hours. I was actually able to conversate with those that came to visit and enjoy them. I couldn't believe it!! Neither could a few that had been there for all 3 births. Since I usually send them packing. SelahBelle was healthy at birth although a bit smaller than the other Harper babies. A tiny (to me) 7 pounds and 6 ounce bundle of joy. She is petite and long with long fingers and toes. She has had the best disposition and took to nursing well too. Just a testament to answered prayers and God's faithfulness when we remember He is the one we seek. No doubt, His will and purpose are perfect whether your baby latches on or not, but I am just giving my take on things. All of the health complications we were concerned about continue to be a nonissue. But will continue to check vigilantly just as we would with any child. The one drawback to sweet SelahBelle's birth was her bilirubin levels were of concern so we got to experience the awful tanning bed for babies. It was awful and I came close to loosing all composure. But thankfully one of my dear friends offered to come spend the night with me and help me stay sane. Mick had come home to stay with our big babies. It was awesome to see the hands and feet of Jesus through my friends and family this go round as I was ever aware of their prayers and actions. God just simply allowed me to see His control in all of this, whereas in the past births I couldn't relinquish control, even to Him, of my tiny miracles. But thankfully the more babies you have the more you learn and grow.
So far we've been home 3 days and while things are surely challenging I am so enjoying being a Momma to a newborn again. And while I feel pulled in 3 (ok, 5) different directions I am super aware of my continued need to be present with each baby and make more of an effort to do so. My healing is going well and I am praying that I can continue to trust Jesus to fight the battles of after birth emotions and that He indeed will win over satans silly attacks. For now I am taking in each moment and thanking Him from whom all blessings are flowing.