Sunday, September 13, 2015

The treasures of having a micropreemie

I have shared the raw emotion I have dealt with for the past year. Let me share with you what is fascinating about a micropreemie. The joys. The upside. The breaks.
These items are in no particular order, except as they came into my mind. 

#1) By the time you bring your micropreemie home, you are completely recovered from the C-section and all that you dealth with, physically, after the birth.
#2) You are used to sleep deprivation, from pumping every 2 hours around the clock.
#3) Once your milk supply is built up, you have nights to be good to yourself,  to get 5 hours of sleep at a time. Katie was 2 months old when I felt confident and freedom to power pump at 10pm and get up at 4AM to power pump. Getting one's sleep is NOT overrated, as any mommy knows.
#4) A micropreemie is still tiny and stays small, longer. Lots may find this a troubling fact - but I find that it is wonderful. Clothes last longer! When my boys were Katie's age they were 18 and 20lbs. Everything is going to last longer: her swing, her floor toys, her exersaucer, carseat. Katie is now moving into 6-9 month clothes and she is almost 10 months old. I was so tired with my boys at her size, and they grew so fast. I remember wishing they would slow down so I could savor their baby-ness. With Katie, I still don't want her to grow too fast, after all, she is my last baby - but I am loving that she is a peanut. She is healthy and happy and she has rolls. Her tinyness is part because she is a micropreemie. I like to believe, her petite and tiny frame is favoring me, as a baby and child. I was teeny tiny for a long time. I wore a size 6X from first grade through 3rd grade.
#5) You can buy a big box of diapers and they last longer because at size 2's, which she will be in a while longer (probably another 3 months), we get more bang for our buck because the smaller the diaper, the more fit in the box!
#6) You get the honor of watching your baby develop outside of the womb. They are miraculous. All the beeps and alarms and tubes and lines that baby is covered by, in the beginning, all go away. One by one signaling, your baby is getting ready to go home because your baby's systems are developing everything she needs. Your baby is producing all fluids, enzymes, hormones she needs to survive.
#7) You get to see a tiny baby, with eyes wide open and interact. A month after we came home with Katie, we had friends come to meet our Warrior Princess. The common sentiment? Shock that a baby so young was so interactive and attentive. I think it really demonstrates what a Warrior Princess looks like - Surreal yet....real! She is magical.
#8) Coming out on the other side of PPROM, having a micropreemie, being separated from your 2 other babies at home and the man that means more than other human being to you, is strength! Faith! Honor! Authenticity! Self-worth! Resilience! Priorities! All of that has taken several months to surface after coming home - or it did me. I know now, that while it was traumatic and hard and it sucked........I would do it all over again because of the weekends and evenings I have with my beautiful family of 5, sitting in one room, laughing, wrestling, dancing, snuggling.
#9) Having a micropreemie is a call to LIVE. You watch this tiny human being struggle to breathe  and fight to live. Suddenly, you realize this tiny human being is so damn excited to be here and chooses to be here. Do I look at my life that way? What do I want in life? What is inside of me that has been lying dormant? What have I been afraid of and want to overcome? What I have settled for and am sick of putting up with? What is the lesson I need to learn to stop cycles?
#10) My favorite think about having my micropreemie is she is 10 months old tomorrow. She is still all about snuggling during my favorite season - Fall. She's not about crawling and getting into everything yet. ;)

xoxo ~ Beth

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

It's a freaking Honor!

It's been a weekend of grounding, revelation, passion, cleaning out my temple as well as our home- a VERY productive weekend. My home is still a bit of a mess - but it is making sense.

As I worshipped God this morning, a picture of the scariest, most vulnerable moments all came flooding in, from the past 5 years. Yes, it will be 5 years since Levi went to Heaven. If you go back to the beginning of this blog, the experience of losing and loving our little boy in Heaven is what started Hallelujah Mama. This picture flashed just like a Year in Review on social media. Levi, Bennett's birth and his NICU stay, to the past year and a half with our move and pregnancy of Katie and ending with her birth and NICU stay.

When I saw these pictures, in my mind, I held my arms up to say, "Stop! I can't take it anymore!" Just as I did that, a new thought entered my mind. This thought had a window no wider than a crack to eek through before I had the window slammed shut. Ready for it? .......................

"Look at that! Look at all you overcame!" As soon as I allowed this to occur, a new flood of images washed on the shore of mind, in Year In Review mode. Only, these images were of my entire life before Levi. I cannot go over all those in my blog because some of them are also incredibly intense and would hurt those I love. I haven't stopped those actions from loving those I love so dearly. We all have those actions taken against us that are not justified...but also can't be controlled or erased. They also should not be denied by one's self. They shape us. This morning, they came in a flood back and again, it was a collage of every ugly, destructive thing that has either happened at the hands of others, or as product of an imperfect world. I don't believe God "allows" these troubles. However, I know He knows that I'd have to face them.

You know what? A sense of honor and strength rose up inside of me! I keep having these triggers - signaling a form of PTSD. The smells of the seasons changing, the stupid Facebook memories that I have stopped looking at, when the pump on my Cetaphil bottle broke, when someone asked me a question about PPROM, songs, things Bennett says to me, hearing the roar of the Hawkeye football crowd at Kinnick on the TV.....there are many more to come. We are a little less than 2 months away from when my water broke. I have cried in HyVee when I saw a 9 month old that was a giant compared to my Katie who is the same age. I fought back tears at Jacob's school ice cream social last week because  there was a 3 month old baby the same size as my Katie. The triggers and reminders of what we've been through can no longer be masked by hiding in our home. You know what they are instead? They are a reminder that the pain is a freaking honor! God knew I would never meet or hold a son, in my arms. He waits for me. God knew I would deliver Bennett 5 weeks early and deal with a horrible birth. God knew I had a daughter coming when I thought we were done. God knew the pregnancy was hard when family members were clueless and insensitive about how much I struggled with her pregnancy. God knew the day after we had a gorgeous day with amazing friends in Independence that Steve and I would have a heavy conversation, lying in bed, We talked about death and how neither of us would allow the other "off the hook" by checking out early. That we were and are in it for the long haul, sickness and in health - that we'd get done kissing and as I moved to get out of bed for a bedtime snack - my water would break at 24 weeks. He knew when I thought she'd be 3 lbs. that she would be born 1 lb. 11 oz.

I could go on and on about what He knew that I had no idea was coming. But He also knew that He was bringing to life, amazing human beings through Steve and I. He gave us these babies - and they are amazing and I have come to a conclusion this morning  that because He knew how I would handle the hardships, that I would come out giving Him glory! For I am fearfully and wonderfully made! After all of this, Through all of this - there is nothing I can't do because He is on my side. He made me a rock star....He made me this way. He's been waiting for me to embrace it. It is not arrogant to say so! That is a lie! That is what we are trained to believe...that false humility is best. False humility is just.....fake! The Maker of the Heavens and Earth resides in me! The Maker of worlds unseen and trillions of light years away, called me worthy to live through it all! It's a freaking honor!!!!

He is waiting for you to do that too! You each have a story that is so intricate and gut-wrenching and beautiful. It is easy to get caught up in feeling sorry and wishing for others to show they are trying to understand and love you through it.................we all have our hurts, pains and areas we long for validation, for comfort, for acceptance and you know what? If you believe in a Good, good Father - we already have it! We have all of that and more!

I am going to stop stifling the cries. The groans of my soul when I see something that reminds me of any pain from the course of this life- it is a freaking honor to feel, to experience what I have experienced. Some of these things are so deep that this shell I reside in, cannot express but in groans. My brain cannot grasp because all of "this" resides in a domain far beyond my brain. I am loved. If I had no person on this earth to love me, I am still loved by the great I AM.

I want to live out loud! This is just the beginning! All of this to lead me......HERE!

Abba, thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!