This blog is small glimpses into my heart and soul - attempts to be transparent with friends, and sometimes, to myself. This is my safe place, where I can come and be purely Ness.

Family: If you found your way here, please do me a favor and don't poke through my closets, ok?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Up and Way Down

One moment I'm feeling hopeful, even a touch excited, the next I'm fearful, skeptical, afraid to let the hope rise. I can't believe I'm here. I can't believe that this isn't just like every other time. But so far, it's not.
I'm pregnant, you guys. Pregnant with a possible future. This one isn't going to end at five weeks like so many of them have, or at least it really doesn't look like it. We did the first hpt last Monday, eleven dpo (days past ovulation), and there it was - so very, very faint. Like so many times before, I wasn't expecting it to go anywhere, so when we tested the next day and the line had barely darkened, I wasn't surprised. I called my RE's office to let them know, and they, of course, told me to come in for blood work.
Wednesday morning, we got up and did another hpt before I went in, and this time, the line had noticeably darkened. It wasn't what you'd actually call "dark" though, and I was still pretty hesitant to think that this would be any different from the times before.
Home and anxiously waiting for the results, I tried to keep myself busy and distracted, but of course, also looked up average hcg levels, and what the range was for 13dpo. It seemed like even 40 or 50 would be good, but I knew that I would still be very on edge and hesitant if that's what it came back. I decided that if it was at least 80, I would feel hope that this time might be different.
My phone finally rang, and I'm sure my heart was in my throat. The perky little voice on the other end said, "It's good. It was positive - you're pregnant! Come again Friday and we'll do the repeat!" Um... that's it? I know I'm pregnant!! That's why I called you! I didn't actually say that part, but was I was certainly surprised that it seemed that was all she was going to tell me. "Do you have numbers for me?"
"Oh! Sure I can give those to you. Just give me a minute to get them."
Oh my word. Yes! I need the numbers! lol
When she came back on the phone, she let me know that my hcg was 81.6. Just into my safe zone. I'm pretty sure, I just about started bawling. I didn't have betas done with most of my pregnancies, but I think it's a safe guess to say that I only hit that level twice before, and one of those was of course, my Bug.
That number and the continually darker hpt's gave me hope that the repeat on Friday (15dpo) would be decent. It was. 237 - almost tripling.
11-15 & 17 dpo

This is hard. The positive signs carry me for a while before I slide down again into fear. I had to do another hpt this morning and see the line be darker again, to help my mind move away from thinking that when I do this one more time tomorrow that the numbers will have failed to rise appropriately. Although, that's slowly leaking away from me, too. Apparently, my RE usually only does two betas if they're both good - I had to request this third one. What am I going to do after that? I have three more weeks before getting an ultrasound. Three weeks of trying not to analyze symptoms, three weeks of wondering if there will be pink when I wipe, three weeks of fearing that the ultrasound won't be able to show a heartbeat.
I'm laughing at myself a little bit as I go over this post. It started out as a "hey, I'm pregnant! It's scary, but a little bit exciting," and has now dropped into, "oh my gosh, I'm so incredibly terrified! I can't handle this! I'm sobbing."
Welcome to the next two months or more of my life. Hopefully.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Walking Away From Spanking

When Bug was little, we started having a few situations where we needed to start teaching him discipline and set some boundaries. On the advice of someone I respect, we decided to "nip it in the bud" and started giving his hand a little smack when he would get into things he wasn't supposed to. As a time passed and he didn't seem to be changing his behavior at all, I became frustrated. The hand smacks were occasionally harder and more frequent. And it didn't take very long at all before Bug started hitting himself when he was frustrated.
This was the point when I said, "There has to be a better way."

I don't want to write a post full of facts, figures, and research, expect to say - there's tons of it out there. Do a quick google search and I'm sure you'll come across plenty of studies showing why it's harmful, papers on why it doesn't actually work, research on why it's not actually "biblical," and perhaps even the rarer information on how it can affect your child's sexuality. If you want to know, it's not hard to find.
Instead, this is just my story, sharing with you the reasons why we choose not to spank.

We started out on that journey, but as you can see, it didn't seem to go anywhere good. I didn't see it actually having any kind of positive effect on our son's behavior. It wasn't in any way guiding him to learn self-discipline. Now, yes, he was very young, but if you could teach impulse control at that age, why wasn't it working, and if you can't teach it, there certainly isn't any point to trying through physical punishment, is there?
On top of not seeing any positive effects, we saw two negative effects. Bug began hitting himself. As I looked into it, I learned that it wasn't unusual behavior in toddlers. But my mother heart knew that my hitting him was connected to this new act of hitting himself when he got frustrated, and it hurt my heart.
The second effect we saw was in me. Since it was now acceptable to hit my child for unwanted behavior, the whole "never spank when angry" line began to blur. I found myself more likely to smack his hand than choose a different tact when discipline was called for, and more likely to do it out of the frustration I felt in the moment. It's not hard to justify it then either, because when your child is two, you can't come back fifteen minutes later and try to explain why you are now smacking their hand for something they might not even remember doing.
I knew that my own self-discipline required me to say, "no smacking/spanking ever." It had to never be ok for me to hit my child, or the sometimes ok would become often ok. I am very ashamed to admit that even now there are rare moments when the end of my temper is reached, and in reaction to being hit repeatedly by him, I hit back. I don't like to share that, but I want you to know that I'm not perfect, and definitely don't think myself to be. I feel like a failure when I fall down that slope, but so far, Bug has always been forgiving when I tell him it was wrong of me and offer my apology.

Since that time, there has been a lot I've learned and considered about child development, relationships, and my view of God that sent me down a path of non-punitive, grace based parenting and that continues to keep me on this path. Now, there are a lot of reasons why we choose not to spank, but these were the first ones, and I'm grateful we learned them so early on.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Grace for the Mom of Many

So, I understand being pissed off at moms who don't seem to care about their kids, angry rants about mothers who always complain, annoyance at new pregnancy announcements, frustration about those who seem to just keep having babies no trouble whatsoever, and utter rage at those who mistreat, harm, or even kill the children they've been given. I get that.
I get how unfair it is to be going through the heartache of infertility and loss and to look around to see so many others having babies as though it's a walk in the park. I know it's difficult to strive so hard for something that others just seem to take for granted, or even don't have any appreciation for at all. I know this and I understand all related rants that I hear.
What I don't understand is the occasional hatred, venom, or insult directed at moms for just having multiple children. I know it can be hard to see when you wish you could just have one, but does it really make them worthy of insult? I don't think so. They are just women, moms, building their families with the freedom we all wish we had. Their ability to have children easily is not related to our inability to have children. The number of children they have does not decrease the number we can have. Their small, medium, large, extra large family is a freedom that has been taken away from us, but not by anything they've done.
We love babies. We think think babies are wonderful, and everyone who wants one and will love one should be able to have one. Don't we? Or is it just the women who don't already have babies who should be able to have one?
Most of these women are just moms, like we want to be. Loving their family, trying to be the best mom they can for them. They are women with emotions and feelings just like us. They are women who want and love all of their children. They are women of whom many have also experienced the loss of a child they were waiting to hold.
I know many mothers of large families and I can imagine how they would feel if they heard some of the comments I read about them, sometimes comments that I know they have heard in person. How do I know? Because I remember my mom, a mother of five, telling me about the "joking" words that were sent her way from people at out church when our family was growing larger, comments about "rabbits" and "do you know how that happens?" And I can still remember the pain on her face even though those comments were well over a decade old.
So rant about how it's unfair that they can and we can't, how it hurts to see others do it so easily, how you wish you could just have one and how much you would appreciate that one, but maybe we can skip the name calling and mean comments, eh?