Monday, November 25, 2013

"Look at it as a Blessing"

I was having a great day, 22 almost 23 weeks pregnant (or around there), my house was getting cleaned up and quickly.  I had a family friend over who was gracious enough to help with the cleaning.  Things were perfect.  Chris, the kids and I were planning on heading to my parents' house in Buffalo that evening after he finished work.  There we would celebrate Bradley's fifth birthday, go to family day and watch the Buffalo Bills play (this was our kids first NFL game, even if it was pre-season) and my kids, husband and dad would be going to participate in the Color Run with me!  I was very excited about the weekend.  It was going to be perfect.

When Chris came home, it was the normal time, around 4:30.  I remember exactly what side of the kitchen he was on, by the vegetable sink, where our family friend was standing and approximately where I sat.

"I have some good news," Chris announced.

Our friend turned around and asked what it was.

I said, "This isn't good news."

Chris responded, "I got laid off today!"

"How is this good news?" Was all that could come out.  I started crying and thinking what to do next.  My doctor's appointments will start going to every two weeks followed by every week.

My "Atheist" husband tried to console me.  He sat next to me, after giving me and little break, and asked if I was ok.  Of course I wasn't ok.  What were we going to do?

He looked at me and said, "Look at this as a blessing."

How dare he say those words to me!  A blessing?  If he had been a church going man I may have not felt so hostile with his comfort.  I was furious he even said those words to me.

The economy is bad, people have been without jobs for months.  I had to leave.

I ran out the door to pick up dinner (we already planned on eating a $5 pizza that night).  I felt guilty for buying one.  I called my dad in tears and he just listened to me.  I had also sat in front of my best friend's house in tears, crying in her driveway.

Chris and I later talked about it in the car on the drive to my parents house.  I told him how he angered me saying those things.  I asked a ton of questions like, "Have you looked for another job yet?"  and "What do you plan on doing?"  "I don't want to have to move.  I loved our house and our friends."  Chris didn't want to move either.

Chris mentioned earlier in the evening I could get a job and I said who would hire a six month pregnant lady for a couple of months just to have her leave?  Plus I was selling as an independent consultant for Pampered Chef.  I could try and book more shows, but with a bad economy it is hard.

The first thing I did the next morning was call to set up an appointment for New York State Insurance for my kids, husband and myself.  I was able to leave a message with someone to make an appointment.  I also called our local WIC office and set up and appointment for myself and Amelia.  Bradley was already five so he didn't qualify.  Chris searched for jobs and worked on his resume.  We carried out our plans for the weekend as planned.  Friday night we went to Family Night with the Buffalo Bills and Saturday we ran/walked in the Color Run in Buffalo.  I felt a bit better after the weekend.

Within three weeks Chris got a new job.  It didn't start for another two weeks after that.  We didn't have to move, the company sent him away for a few days of training and he is doing his "normal" job as a software engineer.  He started at the end of September.  It was nice having him home to tell you the truth.  We took turns napping during the day, he finished my anniversary present (a farmhouse table), he worked on our house we own in Oswego, when he was home we swapped taking care of kids and bringing them to school.

It was still a struggle when we had to pay bills.  The struggle was not knowing if we would have enough to get by.  When we got his severance package it was a struggle to pay tithing.  I do and always have a testimony of tithing, but this was one of the first times (not the first but one of them) where the thought crossed my mind, maybe not this time.  The same thought happened when I had to pay it for selling Pampered Chef.

In the Old Testament it talks about paying your tithing.  It says "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).  How true that is.  Chris had a school bill that followed me paying tithing.  I was hesitant to open it.  I did and couldn't believe my eyes, I cried.  The balance due that month was $0.  We didn't owe one red penny that month.  We always had enough food for our bellies and blessing after blessing started pouring in.

After he started work we waited and waited for our first check.  Turns out Chris only gets paid once a month, at the end.  We struggled but thankfully listened to the admonitions of the prophets and had enough in our savings as an emergency fund.  Just about three months worth which got us through.  Now we are adjusting to one pay check a month.  I kind of like it because we are able to pay all our bills up front.

As we went over the healthcare plans, which started on his first day of work, and two days before my next doctor's appointment I started seeing more blessings that were happening.  We were covered.  I canceled our appointment for New York State Health insurance, because our new plan would be effective prior to when they would have us covered and now Chris had a job.  I also had called WIC and told them about the job and they allowed us to keep our WIC checks for milk and other things, I just wouldn't be able to renew them.  I was extremely grateful and humbled.

There are several parts to this where Chris was right, and I told him he was right, I needed to look at this as a blessing.  I was covered, he was covered and our kids were covered.  I was able to keep my doctors whom I love and my kids had to get a new pediatrician, which I was thinking about anyway.  Turns out we were able to FINALLY get into the office I had wanted to for three years!  They finally were accepting patients again.  And then there's more on the baby issue.  Chris is able to take ten days off once I have the baby and it's paid leave!  We aren't just talking about it being all at once either, we are talking about ten days, anytime he wants over the next twelve months after the baby is born.  Amelia's nursery school is covered under the new job and turns out insurance cost is going up in his old company by $200 a month for a family, we don't have to worry about that, and I'm hoping we don't need to.  When it's time to purchase a new vehicle we get it discounted, there's so much to be grateful for.  There truly are  many blessings and miracles that have come through all of this.  I am so grateful my  husband is so optimistic when I don't see it and humbled at the humility he can carry when the spirit it with him.  My biggest fear at the time was insurance and having the baby and all the appointments we would have prior to the baby being born and afterward because of his faith and motivation it helped me and it turns out....

My husband was right, "Look at it as a blessing."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby 3.0 and Random Thoughts

I am 36 weeks and 4 I go in for my 36 week ultrasound to make sure the baby is not breach (I'm pretty sure the baby is because I have felt the baby having hiccups last night in my pelvis).  Regardless it will be exciting to see the baby again.  If you are thinking I can find out what the baby is there's a slight chance, but by now the baby is so big it will be hard to see and we are only a couple weeks away from the live show.  So why not wait?

We still don't have a boy name yet so any suggestions are welcome.  In preparation for the baby I tried to buy gender neutral clothes but clearly that is not what's in right now because they are hard to come by.  It's alright though, it's a small sacrifice for a big reveal.  I know some of my friends have wanted to do a gender reveal party for us, but I really don't want them to know first.  Maybe if we ever have a fourth, I'm thinking no fourth by the way.  When I went into labor with Bradley and Amelia after the head was out the doctors let Chris deliver the rest.  How amazing will it be when he discovers first what we created together and tells me.  I think I may cry with this one.  I didn't cry when the others were born, afterward I did when we had our alone time, just me and the baby.

There's something comforting in knowing Chris delivered our first two.  Rumor has it between your first and second baby labor is cut in half.  After my water broke with Bradley (and it broke at home, unexpectedly with no contractions beforehand), it was eight and a half hours before I saw his sweet face.  With Amelia my water was broken for me at the hospital and three to three and a half hours later, we held her.  I was advised this time, if it breaks at home and we don't think we will make the hour drive, call 911 or call a local hospital.  

I choose to deliver in Syracuse (about an hour away from our house) because the doctor's are amazing! I had Bradley in Syracuse (at Saint Joseph's) and had a great experience.  My provider had changed for Amelia so we had her in Syracuse (at Crouse) and I absolutely loved that experience as well.  My doctor's office is amazing.  When I take my kids with me, if I have to have a more personal exam they will take the kids out of the room and a nurse will entertain them.  Since Bradley is now in school, it's normally just me and Amelia.  She loves the doctor's office.  She even brings her Doc McStuffins doctor's kit or plays around with their equipment.  What I mean by that is they allow her to "take my blood pressure," when I get blood drawn they give her the bandaid to help with, last time they allowed her to find the baby's heartbeat and she had to tell me it sounded good and she measured my belly and told me the measurements.  I do have to say she is very darling too.  She will not be moved by needles and is right up there watching what happens, which is good because I don't wince or cry so she knows it doesn't hurt.  Over my summer appointments she would show up in a princess dress and her dress up princess shoes.  The doctor's office is only 45 minutes from my house which is only 15 more minutes from any reputable office around here.  

What else gives me comfort is after my last miscarriage they were right on top of things with what to take at the beginning of this pregnancy to prevent possible blood clots and progesterone to help keep the baby "sticky in my uterus."  I think the greatest comfort of all is my doctor, whom I was originally referred to.  I can see one of five doctor's in this practice but the one who delivered Amelia is the one I was referred to and she is LDS like me.  It gives me the greatest comfort knowing she will follow the spirit in her practice.  She even said when she knows a patient is having a difficult time she puts their name in the temple and she constantly prays for her patients.  I know without a shadow of doubt she felt the spirit when Amelia was born.  I was going to be sent home from the hospital (to the point they didn't even admit yet) and she said no.  Within the next half hour I was in a ton of pain, she was breaking my water and they were scrambling to do the paperwork to get me officially admitted.  

I had difficulty right to the end with Amelia.  This makes me nervous for this baby.  My heart rate and blood pressure had dropped significantly after the epidural and oxygen wasn't helping, I had to be injected with something that began with a z or x to get my blood pressure back up.  All of this made Chris very nervous and for me I just wanted to close my eyes and go to sleep.  Apparently it was low enough that if it went a little bit lower I would have been in a coma.  It was 62/30 or 60/32 something extremely low, I would have to check the post I wrote after Amelia was born to see what it was exactly.    They said I didn't have enough fluid or water in my system.  Before I get an epidural this next time to make sure I have two bags beforehand.  In the meantime I am drinking water as we speak.  With Bradley I never had a problem, but I also had more time.  And honestly after that hiccup I was fine.  Because of that though, I'm worried about getting an epidural so I'm contemplating doing it without one but the pain is very difficult.  I don't know what to do.  Pray, pray, pray.  

I want this baby to be born soon so I have a November baby.  Amelia is December 10th, this one is due the 15th, Chris is the 22nd and then it's Christmas.  November would be a great month, but whenever the baby is ready then that's when it will happen.  I'm comfortable waiting too.  Those are my thoughts and feelings.  I am so grateful for this baby already and the pregnancy is very easy compared to Amelia.  I already couldn't imagine life any different.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lots to Say

It's been quite some time since my last post, in fact almost a year.  There has been a lot that has happened in that time.  I'm not sure where to begin.  My last post was called "A Righteous Desire" in which I spoke about my recent miscarriage.  I'm pleased to say I am officially nine months pregnant with baby 3!  Because Chris and I already have a boy and a girl we did not find out what we are having so delivery day is going to be fun.  We have agreed on a girls name but have nothing for a boys name.  At this point, because I adore the girls name we picked, I am hoping for a girl.

I love being pregnant this time.  It is going by easy.  Sure there have been some things that are less desirable like throwing up for weeks on end, but for the most part things are great.  The baby is moving well and likes to climb up my ribs.  I'm hoping the baby drops a little more so they can have a break.

I love feeling this little spirit move inside my belly and I adore that a couple nights ago Bradley was able to actually feel the baby.  He put his head to my belly and the baby kicked his ear.  He giggled and laughed and was just so excited about it all.  He said he has felt the baby before but I always questioned it and after his reaction the other night I know it happened.  Bradley wants a little brother and Amelia wants a little sister.  Bradley wants to name him Eno.....not really sure how to spell it, but it's cute regardless and we are definitely not naming the baby Eno.  If it's a boy Bradley made it very clear he wants him to sleep in his room.  If it's a girl, Amelia can have her.

I know both of my kids will be great siblings and big helpers.  Bradley is already asking, almost on a daily basis when the baby is going to come.  Amelia is obsessed with babies to begin with.  I'm a little worried she may smother the baby too much.

As for everything else, the quick update is.....Amelia is in pre-school.  She fights me on getting ready for it and insisting she doesn't want to go, but as soon as we are there, she could care less if I stuck around.  She is very excited when I pick her up and can't wait long enough to get in the car to show me her artwork or tell me about her day.  I love our one on one time and seeing how much she has changed and is changing.  She is very much a girlie girl.  Amelia loves to dress up in princess costumes EVERYDAY, she will change her outfit several times a day, she loves jewelry and makeup and of course getting her nails painted.  I have taken her with me to the salon a couple times when I get a pedicure and she will sit very still and let them paint her toes and fingers and clip and file her nails.  And she's a very cheap date.

Bradley is in kindergarten and it makes me sad how quickly he is growing.  He is the most polite and good little boy I know.  Don't get me wrong he has his moments but he is just a doll.  He is so very helpful and willing to serve, plus he is very in tune with the Spirit, which in turn helps me.  Bradley started a learn to skate hockey program which he loves.  Skating definitely came natural for him.  He's very active.  In school Bradley learned about filling and emptying buckets.  Everyone has an invisible bucket and when we do good things we fill buckets when we do mean things or ignore people that's called being a bucket dipper and it empties buckets, including your own.  This works well for us and we are able to serve each other more as a family and speak kinder words.  I cannot get over how much he has grown (or Amelia for that matter) and just what a sweet boy he is.  I'm so grateful Heavenly Father has entrusted us with him and and Amelia.

Chris started with a new company, Booz Allen Hamilton.  I'll post about that experience another time, that's my intent anyway.  I LOVE them.  He started in September and it's been working out well so far. Chris seems happier with this company and that's important to me.  He coached football for pop warner this year and is already bragging (as any dad should) that next year he will be coaching Bradley's flag football team.  He and Bradley need a countdown chain I think.  They are both excited.  It's fun having Chris home more.  After football season I always feel like I have to get to know him again, because he's gone all the time.  One of my favorite things is in the middle of the night, I feel him roll over and put his hand on my belly to feel the baby move.  And some nights this baby will MOVE when he does that.  I feel like our communication with each other is so much better then before and we are both much more "relaxed" in our relationship and supporting each other.  I am a lucky woman.  Don't get me wrong there are times I'm really upset with him, but that is normal and we try not to let whatever is bothering us cause a rift in our relationship and honestly I feel like it is so much better because of it.  There are times I will be upset and he will sit down and tell me to vent and let it all out, so I do.  What makes it that much more difficult for me is as he's listening I'm realizing the things I'm upset about (most of the time, not all) are trivial and what I really needed was for him to actively listen to me and show he cared, even if it's that I have to do seven loads of laundry in one day.  To top it all off Chris then comes at me with one of his hugs.  UGHHHH.....hugging it out but something about his masculine shoulders and arms which attracted me to him in the first place (and he is pretty buff - yes Chris if you are reading this, this is your plug to how buff you really are), there's something about when he gives me a good hug, a genuine hug, that takes away the rest of that anger and makes me feel safe and secure.  For me that's what I need at that moment and other moments.

Finally there's me.  I'm in my 9th month of pregnancy and loving it.  I have been through so many struggles this year from physically to spiritually and everything in between.  More on those struggles on a later post....if I remember.  I started selling Pampered Chef, so if you like cooking/baking and want some products I'm your girl!  I LOVE being an Independent Consultant for them.  I just hope after the baby comes I still have that desire.  I have a calling in the Young Women's Program at church and anytime I start doubting it (me being in the calling I am), I receive a confirmation (normally from one of the girls or their parents) why I am there.  This calling has been a struggle for me in some aspects (I don't feel crafty or creative enough - heck in high school for a regents exam I literally got caught up in tape and couldn't get out of it, which was humorous for the teacher watching).  Other then that I'm just being me.  I love our house and I love being a mom.  Honestly being a mom has been so wonderful, especially this past year.  I have two great kids and one on the way.  I love my husband and family.  There's really not much to say about me other then I am very blessed, fortunate and loved.  I wouldn't want life any other way and I am so grateful for what I have.  There are times when there are struggles but I wouldn't want it any other way.  I love my life.