Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blessings’

My, my have I been M.I.A! Where does the time go? I started to write this post at the beginning January (you know, back when writing a post about a new year seemed a bit more relevant). But then life happened and blogging didn’t and here we are seven weeks later. It’s been on my mind ever since, though, so here we go.

I realized some time between the last week of December and the first week of January that I really only needed to make one resolution for the new year. I realized, with an astonishing amount of clarity, that if I would just do this one thing for the entire year, my life would see great improvement.

So resolve I did, that 2012 would be my year of letting go.

Letting go of fear.

Letting go of regret.

Letting go of perfectionism and judgmentalism and materialism (a lot of isms).

Letting go of the 20 pounds I was still carrying around from my pregnancy with Canyon.

Letting go of possessions, so many possessions (including our house, Lord willing!).

Letting go of the obsessive compulsive behaviors that take too much of my time and too much of my brain power and too much of my energy and really hold no value whatsoever.

Letting go of the cultural brainwashing I have allowed myself to fall victim to about beauty and convenience and what is truly valuable in this short life.

Letting go of hurt feelings and misunderstandings…and a grudge or two.

Letting go of impatience and anger and stinginess and pride.

Letting go of expectations.

Letting go of control.

For seven weeks I have been letting go, uttering that phrase to myself a dozen times a day or more. And you know what I am finding?

I am finding that the more I let go, the more room I have for grace in my life. Grace. And peace. And joy. And freedom.

Read Full Post »

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

Ok, we’ll go with the good.

We had our follow-up visit with Jane last Thursday. Good news is Canyon is continuing to gain at a normal rate now (up to 10 lbs 4oz as of Thursday! woohoo!), I am continuing to produce more and more milk (and Jane says it is high calorie, high fat milk, so that’s amazing), and my sweet boy is happy to take a bottle when I offer him one.

Bad news is- my baby boy¬†can’t¬†nurse. Or more specifically can’t nurse productively. Which means that as of right now it looks like we will be pumping and bottle feeding for the long haul.

We spent an hour and a half with Jane this time. And though Canyon’s suck had improved slightly from the first time she observed him, it has not improved nearly as much as she was hoping/expecting. Still he cannot create a strong enough suction to ingest the volume that he needs.

So at 4:30 on Thursday afternoon Jane gave us our final instructions and sent us on our way.

Instruction #1) Keep pumping. Pump 8 times a day until you are producing at least 24oz in 24 hours. At that point you’d be safe dropping to 6-7 times.

#2) Nurse. Nurse as long and as often as you like. Nurse for comfort. Nurse for connection. But follow with a bottle for nutrition.

#3) Continue his suck strengthening exercises at least 3 times a day and any time he nurses or takes a bottle.

#4) Consult with his pediatrician about seeing an Ear Nose and Throat specialist at Vanderbilt. (Unfortunately, Jane suspects that there may be a bigger issue than what she is able to diagnose and treat, that may be preventing him from sucking properly- an issue that could continue to affect him beyond just his nursing abilities.)

So I have been experiencing a gamut of emotions since Thursday’s conclusion.

On the one hand, I have so much to be thankful for. My boy is happy as a clam, sleeping like a champ (well, for a seven week old. don’t get too jealous), and he is growing and healthy and full of huge smiles for his mama. My body is able to produce the milk that he needs and he is happy to take that from a bottle. We have the means and the resources needed to diagnose our problem and search for/find our solution. And we¬†are surrounded by an incredible support group of friends and family who have blessed us immeasurably since Canyon was born, making this crazy journey so much more manageable than it would be otherwise. And there is still hope that continuing to follow Jane’s advice as well as consulting with an ENT doctor could have my boy nursing properly at some point in the future.

But I am also so disappointed. Disappointed that Canyon and I are not able to share the sweet simplicity of a successful nursing relationship.

And overwhelmed. Overwhelmed because how do I keep doing all that I need to do on such precious little sleep and while hurting, still, every single day?

And jealous. Jealous of the women who’s pregnancy/birth/infancy stories sound so much easier and less complicated than mine.

And ashamed. Ashamed of feeling all of this in the first place. Ashamed of how much I am struggling when I am so very blessed. Ashamed at how much I suck at the whole pregnancy/birth/infancy phase of life.

And then I remember my friend Jennifer who lost her baby girl just 3 weeks after I got to bring my baby home. And I think that I really don’t have anything to complain about at all.

Read Full Post »

So, long story short: Two weeks ago I visited A Mother’s Place with my youngest because he still (as of a 4 week old check-up) had not regained to his birth weight. While we were there we discovered that he has mouth issues that were causing milk supply issues, that were in turn causing weight gaining issues. My poor boy was hungry and I didn’t even know it! ūüė¶

We spent 3 hours with Jane and came home overwhelmed (well I was, he probably wasn’t) but with a plan. This has become our routine since then:

5ish: nurse, both of us back to sleep

8ish: nurse, give 2oz bottle of my pumped milk, change diaper, “play”, nap (him, not me), take herbs and vitamins (me, not him), eat breakfast with older two, drink 20oz water, pump

11ish: nurse, give 2oz bottle, change diaper, “play”, nap (again him, not me), take herbs and vitamins, eat lunch with older two, drink 20oz water, pump

2ish: nurse, give 2oz bottle, change diaper, “play”, nap (him, and if I’m lucky, me)

5ish: nurse, give 2oz bottle, change diaper, “play”, nap (just him this time), take herbs and vitamins, eat dinner with older two and hubby, drink 20oz water, pump

8ish: nurse, give 2oz bottle, change diaper, “play”, in bed (just him, not me yet), take herbs, eat snack, drink 20oz water, pump

11ish: give 2-3oz bottle, in bed (us both this time. yay!)

Some days it seems to take all day just to do the things on this list. Other days I might fit in about 10 % of what’s on my other “to do” list like laundry, dishes, school with Meadow, making dinner, reminding Granite not to whine, errands, baths (or hygiene in general for that matter), answering the phone, replying to texts, etc., etc., etc……

Yes, I am overwhelmed. Yes, I am doing my best to extend grace to myself every day, sometimes many, many times a day. Yes, I am ready for a good night’s sleep, a day without physical pain/discomfort, enough strength and healing to be able to run and hike and workout and wrestle with my kids and make love with my husband. Yes, I am ready for “normal”.

But I am also savoring this short time I have to cuddle my youngest before he is too busy to be cuddled, to kiss his bald head before it is covered with hair, to enjoy his huge smiles while that is his only means of communicating how much he loves his mama, and to nurse my sweet baby while that is still his favorite way to be comforted.

Every day is a challenge for me right now. But it is also a miracle. And for that I am so very, very grateful.

His and Yours,

~Echo~

P.S. Canyon gained 1/2 a pound after one week of our new plan. His pediatrician said that is perfect, that was what she was hoping for. Thank you, Lord! And thank you friends and family for your prayers.

Read Full Post »

Canyon and mamaHe is here, he is home, he is healthy. Thank you, God! And he is already one month old today. How can that be?? It has been a month of change and adjustment and emotion but my baby is here and I am grateful for his life every single day.

Our second son, Canyon Boaz Vetter, entered this world 5 days past his due date and after 15 hours of labor at 2:37pm on September 21st, weighing 9lbs 9oz and measuring 21 1/2 inches long. He joined 6 1/2 year old big sister Meadow Grace and 3 1/2 year old big brother Granite Isaiah and so far both have shown nothing but complete adoration for their baby brother. My mom told me that it is with baby #3 that you learn to really stop and savor the sweetness of those early moments. And she was right.

I have many stories I would like to tell (as much because I don’t want to forget them as anything) including a few from my pregnancy (still need to finish my 300 series, among others…), Canyon’s birth story, what I experienced while he was in the NICU and some of my thoughts and emotions and experiences from this past month of being a new mama of 3. But seeing as I have barely figured out how to even get all 4 of us dressed each day…well, you get the picture. ūüėČ

Stay tuned, my friends. I do hope you will hear from me again soon!

His and Yours, ~Echo~

Read Full Post »

Since January 1st I have been reading. Since January 1st I have been on this fascinating journey of discovery. I have given up on the idea that I will make it to the end by December 31st. But for the first time in my 28 years, I am confident that I will make it. And what at one point in my life felt like a chore or a check on a to-do list, has this time around felt as I believe it should and as it was intended to- like a privilege. I have learned a lot. Pondered a lot. Been encouraged and inspired. And copied entire passages into my journal to remember and reread and reread again. It has been my intention to share these passages with you all along. But hey, better 9 months late than never, ay?

Psalm 128:1-6

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. 

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.

Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 

and may you live to see your children’s children.¬†Peace be upon Israel.

Read Full Post »

I breathe in the crisp, night air. It is snowing. The neighbors’ yards are glistening with what snow has already fallen. The road is wet and intermittently icy. There are Christmas tree lights in many windows. Lamp light warms the living rooms of the houses that I pass by. I can see into my parent’s front window. My entire family is inside. All the children are in bed, the adults gathered in the living room/dining room.¬†Soon I will join them. But not now. Not yet.

A sudden and intense longing to move my legs and breathe some fresh, winter air has landed me in the middle of the street. And in my haste I have only taken the time to don a pair of tennis shoes and a light jacket over the pajama pants and t-shirt I was already wearing. The wind cuts through the thin fabric of my attire. Ice cold water climbs my pants as each blue cuff drags the ground. The moisture quickly seeps into my shoes as well, and my wet socks begin to cling to my frozen toes. I stick my hands into my jacket pockets to spare them from the frigid air. Instinctively, my shoulders hunch and my core muscles contract in their effort to protect me from the cold, and for several moments I allow them to.

I walk in silence, filling my lungs with the cold,¬†winter air, then slowly letting it all back out again. But my hunched shoulders and contracted core are counteracting my deep breaths and preventing the relaxation that usually accompanies them. When I realize this, I make the decision to let go and to be fully present in my cold surroundings instead of trying to hide from them. The difference this makes is remarkable. Almost instantly all of the tension I am holding begins to melt, like that last thin layer of snow¬†that still covers the ground¬†on a¬†sunny winter day. Somehow, in the moments following, the cold doesn’t seem to bother me so much.

“I don’t know what to pray for, God.” I finally blurt out quietly, without really meaning to, shaking my head. This confession breaks the night’s silence as well as the¬†disconnect I have felt for several days now. “I know that I need You. I know that I need…something. Please help me.”

What happens after I utter my plea, “please help me”, I can only describe as a direct response from my Father in Heaven and a¬†truly incredible experience- like He is¬†praying the prayer for me and answering it all at the same time, telling me what I should ask for, then granting the request the moment it is asked.

The words in bold are the words that came to my mind, that I offered to Him. The words in italics were the words He gave  back to me.

my childrenpatience. a fresh perspective.

future childrenpeace. hope. that I will not live in fear. that my hope will be in God, not in my own plan.

my husbandto be Jesus to him. compassion. keeping the fire burning.

my family appreciation.

our small groupinspiration.

the lostwisdom for how to serve and love them.

my purposeclarity. a vision.

my passiondirection.

A calmness and a sense of clarity fill my heart and my mind as I meditate on each word He gives me.

When I am almost back to the house, I feel I should end my prayer as I often do- by counting my blessings. Immediately when this thought comes to mind, He reminds me to be thankful for my health, my home, my family, and hope. And oh, how right He is! My heart feels as though it will burst with gratitude for the blessings He has given me.

As I walk back up the driveway, the scripture, “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves.” Romans 8:26-27, plays through my head and makes me wonder- was tonight an example of this?

I think I will always remember, how on this Christmas night, if only for a few minutes, the world around me was silent and white. And how when I stepped outside in pursuit of a walk and a deep breath, the ensuing stillness led me back to my Creator.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: