Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thoughts for the day

This is Oceana when we visited the ship with the youth group (back in November). She looks so little sometimes.... like here. Other times, she seems so grown up. That's Matt in the background, doing some project...looks like laundry or cleaning.

Thoughts for today include:

Heartburn. I can't escape it today. Not sure why. I haven't had very bad heartburn with this pregnancy, so it seems strange to me that it shows up now after 38 weeks. But it's BURNIN' today. Jeez. And my mom's bringing chili home for dinner. I don't see heartburn going away soon.

Summer. A book by Karen Kingsbury. It was given to me yesterday - transported by friend from another friend. She said it was a situation similar to mine. It was - a neural tube defect called anencephaly. Anencephaly is a more common NTD - but it's from the same issues that encephaloceles are from. Anencephalic babies don't have skull or brain above their eyebrows (more or less) and encephaloceles are a failure of the skull plates to fuse completely, causing a herniation of brain through the hole. It was really good to read a book that told the true story. The expectant momma went through all the phases of "I don't believe it", "They must be wrong", "Why me?", "God will definitely heal this baby!", "What if God doesn't heal this baby the way I *want*", and the realization and understanding that she was going to lose her child, but still overjoyed with her birth. A very good book. Very helpful to if anyone wants to understand what parents of neural tube defect/syndromes are going through.

Preparing for childbirth. I decided before I got pregnant with Joshua that I'd have my next child naturally, and hopefully at home. I was planning that until his diagnosis at 21 weeks. From 21 weeks to 37 I had CSECTION etched in my brain and hardly even thought about natural birth. Suddenly at 37 weeks I was presented with the option of either - and we chose natural just before 38 weeks. So now here I am, 2-3 weeks out and trying to wrap my head around having a natural birth again (in hospital, not at home - because it's an unusual situation, I should be near an obstetrics ward if I need an emergency c-section). Natural birth is enough to get your head wrapped around in 9 months - and entirely another with 3 weeks notice. Ak!
I was told today that I need to deal with any fears associated with birth (and specifically in our situation) so that I can put aside tension while I'm in labor. It's a circle - Fear leads to tension, tension to pain, pain to fear, etc. Basically I'm afraid of all the possible problems, then I tense up during contractions, then the contractions hurt worse than they could, then I'm afraid the next contraction will hurt worse!
If there's any other (USEFUL) advice for a natural (Defined: no pain medication, no unnecessary/convenience-related interventions, no induction methods, freedom to move and labor as I wish, freedom to make noise as I wish) birth, please feel free to comment. This is not a male-frequented sight, so feel free to leave details. MEN BEWARE THE COMMENTS!

Strong & Courageous. Someone connected through to this blog and mentioned how we are standing on Joshua 1:9 - which says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." (NIV). There's a lot more behind this than just a "nice, encouraging verse". In 2005, the Lord started speaking to Matt through the book and life of Joshua. God contined to speak to him through the book in 2006 and 2007. Our home group leader pointed out to Matt, "What do you think the Lord's trying to say to you, if he won't 'let you out of Joshua'?" And Matt said, "To be strong and courageous". Little did we know that this situation would come up! So the Lord spoke to Matt the day we went to our first ultrasound (several hours before) and said that we should name baby Joshua (to be strong and courageous) Matthew (God's gift). I knew it was the word of the Lord because Matt was VERY CLEAR that he did NOT want to name a baby after himself.
While we were at our YWAM discipleship training school (12 weeks of lectures on the Bible, 8 weeks of outreach) we were supposed to do a study on a person in the Bible. I chose Joshua, because I wanted an excuse to study him, since I was naming my son after him.

Joshua means Jehovah's Salvation. But that wasn't his name - it was Hoshea. Moses (Joshua's boss, he was his apprentice for years) renamed him Joshua because Hoshea means just Salvation. I guess he needed reminding that it was his Lord who was his savior, not himself. And the Lord spoke to Joshua ***5!*** times to be "strong and courageous". Obviously Joshua didn't find himself adequite for his job. He had been an apprentice (a PA basically) to Moses for years, and then Moses dies and hands over leadership of a country to him. And he just get really nervous... doubts his ability... and the Lord continues to remind him "Be strong and courageous". Finally, halfway through the book of Joshua, Joshua speaks out to the people of the nation, "Be strong and courageous!" He gets it.... took a while... but he gets it.

I'm trying to get it. Jehovah is our salvation, so we CAN be strong in this situation. We CAN be courageous. We have the GOD of the universe backing us up. And ****it is NOT God's fault my son has a defect****.
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  1. Hi Susie,
    Thank you for sharing "Summer"~I plan to get that book. Thank you again for sharing your story. You have helped me so much.

  2. The water is what helps me the most with labor - will they allow you to do that? I also read the Bradley book when I was pregnant with Eve and that helped immensely. I was pretty clueless as to what was going to go on. They do teach you some coping mechanisms in that book as well.
    Unfortunately I don't have any real tricks - every labor is so different. Looking back on both labors I do see that I was totally in a different world - I don't know how to describe it but it's like I was disengaged from myself- unfortunately not the pain though.
    I really like being on my hands and knees - that seems to work well for me. I hate the birthing ball - I think it makes the pain so much worse!! Don't even get me started on the birthing stool... of course these are all personal opinions.

    Oh, I wanted to tell you my sure fire way to get rid of heartburn - which I have as well. Raw sunflower seeds. I just eat a handful or two and boom... within a few minutes it is gone. Completely amazing!

    I want you to know that I read your blog faithfully, but I almost never know what to say. I feel it is better if I say nothing than try and say the wrong thing and hurt you somehow. But, I am praying for you and your husband. My heart aches....


  3. Doula. Doula. Doula.
    Get a doula.
    Meet the doula.
    Cry with the doula.
    Let her help you, let her do what she does best... support you.

    This is coming from a doula who had a client with a 22 week gestation delivery this past summer.
    This is coming from the same doula who has a friend who had two stillborn babes.
    This is coming from a doula waaaayyyy out in the cold winter climes of Canada, who still cries when she visits with these mamas.
    And is drawn to read your journey, thanks to Navelgazing midwife.
    Please get a doula. Perhaps your midwives have some suggestions?
    I'm not saying it will be easy for her... I needed a LOT of time to process, and some other doulas with whom I could decompress (without breaking confidentiality).
    Ummmmm it is midnight here... am I rambling? =)

  4. Hi, I ran across your site recently at random, and was blown away by your story and strength. Just wanted to come out of hiding and let you know I'm here and I'm going to continue reading!

  5. I read Summer a couple of months ago. I had no idea at the time what it was about. I was shocked at the story plot and was very interested in how everyone reacted. I agree it was very true to life. I just love Karen Kingsbury and I emailed her after I read the book. They are praying for Joshua and our family too!