What’s in a name?

Just musing on the uniqueness and the power of names…

Jesus is the Logos – the Word or the Voice. His very name holds power.

And when we name our children, whether we’re just picking a name because of the way it sounds, or we’re using a family name, or we’re picking a name that means something to us, there is a creative force that goes into it. And in my case, I see my children grow into their names. I couldn’t see any of my kids as anything other than what their names are. I know that naming someone based on what it means has gone out of favor, but we always sought to name our children after a virtue we wanted them to possess. For our boys, we wanted their names to reflect our beliefs in God (and hopefully theirs in the future), so in Hebrew our boys have names that mean in effect “The Lord is God.” For the girls, we have a name for Joy, Grace, and one for “pretty” (because, you know, that’s important). Actually, for that child her name means Pretty Rose, which we thought would mean she would be gentle and beautiful. Instead, she is like a wild rose, all thorns and spunk. Alas, words have power; be sure to be specific!

There’s also a lot of power in the name Mom or Dad. Never did I feel as powerful in my own body as when I became a mom, with everything the full weight of that word imparts.

Anyway, here’s a funny video on baby names. Enjoy, and watch your words!

Another Amazing Miracle

Psalm 127:3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.Like  arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man    whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

We welcomed baby #6, LL (Littlest Little), into our arms on February 21, 2013. He is a beautiful boy, and his birth will always be memorable. But lest I forget any little details, it’s time to write it all down.

Being as this was #6, I thought he’d come early. That’s what babies are supposed to do – after the first one, they come early. My history has been mostly 4-5 days early. LD was the only one who was 4 days late. But LL did not get the memo. In fact, I had his birth all planned out. He would be born on February 15th or earlier. That way he’d be several weeks old by the time CC started for the last 6 sessions. Ha!

My mother-in-law has been going to Indiana one week every month. We were deciding which week would be best for her to be gone, and we picked 2/20-2/27, believing that the baby would be at least a few days old by then.

Well, LL decided to stay in the nice, comfy, warm womb. My mother-in-law flew hundreds of miles away. And all my kids got the stomach flu. I went to see my doctor, and he stripped my membranes and I started taking black & blue cohosh. That was February 18th. (My doctor had told me that if the membrane stripping didn’t work, we could schedule to have the baby induced or I could wait it out. I opted for induction. We set it up for February 21.) On February 19th, 3 of the Littles started puking. I left poor MM to do all the cleaning up, while I stayed securely locked in my bedroom.

On February 20th, my father-in-law called to say he had the stomach flu and wouldn’t be able to watch the Littles in the morning as planned (while MM and I went to the hospital). They were still puking off and on, and I was just praying I didn’t catch it. But now we had no one to watch the kids in the morning, and no one that we could ask. A good friend of mine that would have done it for sure was in Colorado on vacation. My sisters both work. Any friends we could think of had little kids and wouldn’t want to come watch a house full of sick kids.

As we sat around dinner on the 20th, MM mentioned that maybe I should go in for the induction and birth by myself. I ate the rest of my dinner in tears, saddened by the thought of being alone at the hospital.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law had called a mutual friend and let her know that we might need help. We called Michelle and asked her if she’d come watch the kids for us on the morning of the 21st. She agreed! (And she did end up with the stomach flu 2 days after watching our kids. But what a blessing to have a friend who would knowingly walk into a sick house to help us. Thanks again, Michelle!!) We finally had a plan in place to have this baby!

Wednesday night (the 20th), we thoroughly cleaned the house with bleach – every surface, every floor, every piece of furniture. We washed all the sheets and towels. Then we did devotions with the kids and reminded them that they would have a new little brother in the morning. We told LB, “We’re going to go get Baby LL tomorrow.” She was so excited, but kept asking us to “go get him tonight.”Let's get this party started

Thursday morning we woke up early. The Littles all woke up early, too. Everyone was excited. Michelle got there early, we left for the hospital, and arrived there around 7 a.m. The nurses were very nice, and we went right into the very tiny delivery room. I immediately stated I wanted an epidural (hey, if this one was going to be in the hospital, I was going to take advantage of modern medicine). They hooked me up to the monitors, and then we waited. Unfortunately, knowing that I wouldn’t be given anything to eat or drink once there, I had consumed a cup of coffee and a large water bottle. It is no exaggeration to say that I had to pee every 10 minutes, which was a big ordeal (unhook monitors, go potty, come back, get situated, re-hook monitors).Just born

My doctor arrived at 8 a.m. and checked me. I was still only 3 1/2 cm. He broke my water, and there was meconium in it (first baby to poop in the womb!!). I don’t remember why it took so long, but the pitocin finally started at 9 a.m. I was still mentioning that I wanted my epidural. (I had been induced way back in 2001 with LW and I knew that pitocin-induced labors were hard and painful. I didn’t want to experience that again.) The nurse let me know I was next on the list, but it’d be about an hour.Skin to Skin

I was dreading that hour, but honestly, the contractions were not bad. The nurse had kept her word and only a small amount of pitocin was dripping into the IV. The anesthesiologist came up about 10 a.m. and I got my epidural and the pitocin drip was turned up. From that point on, I had no labor pain. The only blip with the epidural came about 10:30 when my heart rate jumped into the 130’s. We called the nurse and the anesthesiologist came in to check, but I was assured that was normal and not to worry. It never went up like that again.Extreme Close-Up

While I didn’t have any labor pain, I still had a lot of pain and discomfort where LL’s head was descending. Wherever his head was at, I had a strong sensation of pain. I let the nurse know, but she said that sometimes the epidural didn’t reach that low. But that was a “good thing” because then I wouldn’t have any problem pushing.Proud Daddy

Well, about 11 a.m. the nurse checked me and told me it was time to call my doctor. He got there around 11:20, and I was 9 1/2 cm dilated. The respiratory doctor came into the room as well as the baby nurse. The OB told me to push (I didn’t need to be told as I could feel the pain and pressure of LL’s head). One push and I was 10 cm and the head was crowning. One more push and LL’s head was out. I had to wait as the doctor was suctioning out LL’s nose and throat. One more push and LL was born – all 8 pounds, 9 ounces, and 21 inches of him. He started screaming, so we knew his lungs were healthy. The respiratory doctor left, MM cut the cord, and the baby nurse took over.Time to nurse

I missed my midwife Connie so much during this pregnancy and birth. And as soon as the baby was born, all I wanted to do was go home (which I did after about 36 hours in the hospital). But I just felt that after my year of health issues,I wanted to be in the hospital for the birth. I knew in my heart that everything would be okay, but I also knew that I would have anxiety and that just being in the hospital would ease my anxiety. And after the stomach flu hit the house, I was happier than ever that I would be away and not in the middle of it while giving birth. I’m glad we chose the induction as he was obviously big enough and obviously done cooking (as evidenced by the meconium). So even though I truly believe natural homebirth is the right thing for moms and babies, now that everything turned out well and we were both fine, in this case I am glad I chose the more medical route. And in the end, Baby LL is still a perfect reward from the Lord!      Baby LL

Ahhhh… Sleep!

First of all, an apology to my friends who have just had or are just getting ready to have babies. Perhaps you shouldn’t read any further…

Because I want to talk about the joys of sleep! LB just got the boot from our bedroom into the girls’ room. And, oh, what bliss! To have the whole bed to ourselves again. To sleep without being awakened by a whining or rolling baby. To get up in the middle of the night to go potty and be able to get back into bed without a baby having rolled over into your spot. These are blessings that I had forgotten about.

I love cosleeping. I love the family bed. But right now, I love that it is over!

(Look for a post in the near future where I bemoan the fact that my baby is growing up. But for right now, I just want to enjoy my sleep!)

The Pirate Luncho

One of my favoritist all-time things about being a mom is the silly, crazy stuff that comes out of my Littles’ mouths. And LD seems to have an absolute knack for saying the silliest, craziest things. I need to write them down as he says them because later on I remember laughing until it hurt, but I can’t remember exactly what he said.

One night we were watching Scooby-Doo Camp Scare (I can’t help it, I love Scooby-Doo) and the three villains were the Woodsman, the Fish-Man, and the Banshee. MM, LW & LV were out and the littlest Littles and I decided on a movie night. When MM got home, LD wanted to tell him all about the movie he just saw. “Daddy, there was a wood-guy, a sea monster, and a pirate luncho!!” What a night of laughter we had! (And we’re still not sure what he meant but I laugh just thinking about it.)

Then just yesterday on the way to the playground (and I should preface this by saying just as I’m doing right here, I tend to speak in fragments, answering one person’s question on top of another without really differentiating the two) we were in the car:

HW: “The battery’s dead”

LV: “Then how are we going to get there?”

HW: “…on the phone.”

LW, LV, LM: “On the phone?”

HW: laughing so hard I can’t explain what I meant.

When I finally did explain, we all had a good laugh. I just love having a brood of Littles. For all the hard work, it is just so much fun!

All I Really Need to Know I Learned as a Mom

I got frustrated with LW the other day because she was being impatient with her siblings. No… I got frustrated because she was being just. like. me. And I realized that all her shortcomings, and really all the littles’ shortcomings, are just me seen through a microscope. How scary is that?

But I also realized that their childish behavior (which is normal for them because they’re, well, children) is my childish behavior. Only I choose to behave childishly to my husband, to my God, to my friends.

Whiny? Check. Selfish? Check. Easily frustrated? Check. Lazy? Check.

1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known..” I feel like the reflection I see in my mirror is my children, and sometimes it’s not a very pretty reflection.

Before motherhood, I didn’t see as clearly all my shortcomings… all my sins. My reflection pleased me back then. But now I’ve learned and I’ve grown and I see the not-so-nice parts of my reflection, and it no longer pleases me. How I wish I could’ve seen myself more fully before I had children because I had so much more time to work on it. But now I see it and now I have 6 reflections to work on.

I think maybe that’s why God blessed me with 5 beautiful Littles. He knew I would need a lot of mirrors reflecting my true self before I would really begin to see it. Thankfully, I don’t really have to fix my reflection myself. In fact, I can’t. It seems the more I work on it, the uglier I get. But when I let Him work on it, in ways that don’t seem like they’d really add beauty (a season of poor health anyone?), my reflection becomes a little lighter, a little prettier. The tools he uses are not the beautician’s tools, but they work better than any blowdryer, any make-up, any botox could ever do.

So I’m thankful that my Littles misbehave and I’m thankful that they’re selfish and whiny and downright miserable sometimes. Because it teaches me a good lesson and lets me get a fresh view at my reflection, wrinkles and all.

Timing Out

LD bit LV today. It’s always hard for me to discipline disagreements between my littles because invariably there is always wrong on BOTH sides. But I have made it an adamant rule that there is to be no biting (and no verbal attacks either, for that matter). So I spanked LD and set him down sitting against the wall in time out. “You are NOT allowed to bite. No matter what LV did or was trying to do, you can NOT bite.”

There. Discipline done.

But then I look over, and LB has sauntered over to her big brother and sat down right beside him. It was so touching and so adorable that I just wanted to take a picture. But thinking I probably shouldn’t take pictures when I’m supposed to be disciplining, I didn’t. It did warm my heart, though, and took any of the sting out of parenting that I might have been feeling.