Monthly Archives: December 2010
Introducing Miss Margaret Gianna Babbs born on December 28th at 5:39 p.m.
She weighed 7 pounds .04 ounces and is 19 inches long.
Labor story to follow. Mom, Dad, and baby are resting in hospital. Thank you for all your prayers!
is the night the world begins again.
Praise God for the gift of His Son!
Merry Christmas everyone; hopefully the next time you hear from me we’ll have a Christmas miracle of our own!
Anyone else remember that song? It’s classic. But of course I’m referring to my own “final countdown” – that is, until Baby Girl makes her appearance.
One week from today is induction day. Today was my last pre-natal appointment, and I have some good news to report.
1. I will officially have gone the entire pregnancy with no insulin! Hooray! This drastically increases the odds that baby girl will not have to be taken to NICU and her monitoring could be done in the room. It depends on the preference of the doctor on duty when she is born.
2. I had a cervical exam. They don’t normally do them, so I wouldn’t have one until I arrived at the hospital next week to start induction. But I said I was sort of curious as to the ah, situation, and the doctor offered to give me one. I know some people wouldn’t want to know, because it might bum them out if they’re not far enough along, but I wanted to know how much work I have cut out for me between now and next week.😉
She did the exam, and it turns out that I am 50% effaced and about 2.5 cm dialated! I was pretty surprised because I am only 38 weeks, but hey, I’ll take it! She also said she could feel the baby’s head, which was pretty awesome.
Even if I don’t go into labor before next Monday, since I’m already over 2 cm dialated, they will be able to start me on Pitocin right away, which should shorten the whole process, vis a vis if I was not effaced or dialated at all when I went in.
This is good news. If I had control over the situation, I’d like to go into labor on next Sunday. This way I do not spend Christmas in the hospital, and I also get to miss pitocin. Maybe you lovely ladies could be so kind as to throw this very specific prayer Our Lord’s way? There’s strength in numbers, right?
PS. Sorry for nothing but baby talk these days, but I’m a little absorbed right now. Please forgive.
*** 1 ***
I am sick. Not seriously though, dear readers, lest you get alarmed. I seem to have contracted that most disastrous of all foes, which can bring a person to their knees, crying “Why God? Why can’t I breathe?” That’s right friends, the cold.
Having a cold while 9 months pregnant is pretty rotten though. I’ve decided to persevere by spending the day on the couch.
*** 2 ***
10 days from now is baby-time. Unless, of course, she decides to come early. When the nurse saw how many contractions I was having, she teased me “Maybe this baby will come early!”. From your lips to God’s ear nurse.
*** 3 ***
I have three free magazine subscriptions. I got a postcard in the mail from one of our credit card companies saying I had like 120,000 miles. I thought, woo-h00, maybe we can get a free hotel room or something. So I logged onto the website to redeem my miles.
And it turns out that in order to get a free hotel room, you have to have like a million miles. So I got three free magazine subscriptions: Time, Glamour, and Health. The pickings were somewhat slim. But hey, they were free and now I’ll have some reading material for 3 am nursing.
*** 4 ***
This weekend is our last big date before the baby comes. We’re going to dinner at an Italian restaurant; the kind that serves the courses in the style of Italian cuisine. I hope they have fresh pasta. I haven’t had fresh pasta since Rome.
Then we’re going to see Handel’s Messiah performed by the Indianapolis Symphony. It’s sort of a tradition with us; we went last year, and we went to one in Chicago two years ago. It’s sort of a Christmas thing we do.
*** 5 ***
We are getting rid of our cable! We bought one of those blu-ray players that can stream NetFlix, and YouTube, and music from Pandora. We can save a good bit of money each month (cable is way more expensive than NetFlix) and get to watch more of what we like, rather than just “what’s on”. The onl thing I think we might miss will be the sports channels.
Has anyone else done this? Did you find it hard to not have cable?
*** 6 ***
I am going to be a bridesmaid for my dear friend’s wedding in February, and I need to find a dress. I’ll be six weeks-ish post-partum, and she told all of us that we can wear any type of dress we like as long as its navy blue.
Have any of you ladies needed/found a good nursing dress? If so, where might I locate one? Any ideas?
*** 7 ***
That’s all from here; have a great weekend!
Well friends, today is a big day. Baby girl is officially full term at 37 weeks! I have made it to full term with this wonderful baby. If she was born today, she wouldn’t be considered premature, and all of her organs are ready for “life on the outside”.
Now, the question is, am I ready for “life on the outside”? Of course, the answer is no. We have the car seat. We have the crib, the stroller, the diapers, the blankets, the clothing. We have the Pack n’ Play set up next to our bed, a changing station next to that.
I have a nursing bra. The labor bag is about 85% packed. We have a bag with snacks packed for Atticus. The postpartum survival kit has been assembled.
But am I ready? Can you ever be ready for your life to completely change in an instant? Of course not. But I’m ready to be blown away. And I’ve read enough blogs of women who have had babies, and talked to new friends who have babies to know that I will be blown away. I will be shocked, amazed, awed, and challenged like nothing before.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m ready. It just means I know that I can’t possibly know or be ready for what’s ahead. I have to just jump into it and figure it out as we go. Becoming a parent seems to be one of those things that you can’t really do or truly imagine, until you do it. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Two weeks from today I am scheduled for induction at 10:00 am. My prayer these days is that I may go into labor a little early and get to miss out on the Pitocin (I would be so very sad, I’m sure. ;P) But of course, if Baby girl is not ready before the 27th, then she won’t come before then. This is her show.
I’ve actually been more focused on/worried about after she’s born than I have been about the labor/delivery. I’m being induced (more than likely). I’ll have Pitocin (unless I’m not induced). Whatever happens after that is what’s going to happen. I am not wholeheartedly invested in any particular way of birthing this child. I’d love to not have a c-section, because I’d always prefer not to have major surgery, but if it comes to that, then it comes to that. Spending a lot of time and energy worrying about this is not really helpful, because I don’t ultimately have much control over it. Again, this is her show.
She is head down, and as of the last u/s (last week) her head was way down in my pelvis. When she hiccups, I can feel it in my lower back.
I have to pee way more now than I did before, and the pressure of her head is giving me burning nerve pain in my lower abdomen. At least it’s not constant. I’ve gained just over 20 pounds, and I feel roughly the size of a walrus. When I stand up straight, I can’t see my feet. Atticus helps me with my shoes.
I’m not complaining, not really anyway.
I’ve had a pretty low-stress pregnancy, I’ve felt pretty good for most of it, and I’m not surprised that the last few weeks are miserable. I know I’m not alone in that!
Our doctor told us that we are now clear to begin the “natural means” of labor induction. Understood.
Nurse asked me today during non-stress test: “What kind of birth control are you planning to use after she’s born?” I did not skip a beat, but answered, Fertility Awareness Method (I use this name with secular folk because there’s a chance they’ve at least heard of it!) and she just said, “Oh ok. Sounds good.” Well then. Excellent, I don’t have to explain myself or put up with your eye rolling.
That’s the big news from here. Just trying to survive the cold and snow, and enjoy these last two weeks (or maybe less?) until she arrives. I cannot wait to meet this little person who’s been so close to me for the last 8.5 months.
Anyone planning to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader this weekend? I think we probably will. I am about half-way through reading it again right now. In fact, today I just read the chapter which details the “baptism” of one of the characters. I’m wondering how it’s going to be shown in the film. I’m also wondering how a book which was written expressly as a Christian allegory will be portrayed in a movie culture which is not too friendly to Christianity (for the most part).
Do any of you have a Shark steam mop? I am making my household/SAHM wish list, and the steam mop is pretty close to the top of it (along with a dishwasher — which, with an infant, may become more of a necessity than a “wish” pretty soon!).
I have a swiffer now, and while I think it does ok, I’m rapidly becoming a little more of a germ-o-phobe, especially with a baby coming in a few weeks. I love the idea of using steam to kill the germs in your floor, while cleaning it at the same time.
If you have one or you’ve used something similar, I’d love to know what you think of it!
I’m very excited to make Christmas cookies this weekend! I am planning to mail some cookies to friends and family, and to give some as gifts to people around here too. The first batch will be made on Sunday to be mailed out on Monday.
Since I’m (1) almost 37 weeks pregnant and (2) losing energy by the day, I’m only going to make two of the four varieties from scratch. I’m making:
Chocolate Chip (from nestle toll house dough)
Sugar cookies with sprinkles (from pillsbury dough)
Gingerbread cut outs (from scratch)
Chocolate-Peppermint cookies (from scratch)
My wonderful, amazing husband has volunteered to be my sous-chef and help out with the process. Yay cookies! Yay husband!
I am reading Sense and Sensibility again. I just love Jane Austen.
What’s your favorite Christmas movie? We’re trying to decide which one to watch tonight, and thought perhaps I’d ask my lovely readers to expand my horizons.
Of course I cannot pick one favorite Christmas movie, because I can’t pick just one favorite anything.
My favorites are:
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Nativity Story
Miracle on 34th Street
Muppets Christmas Carol
I know there are a million Christmas movies out there; maybe I should watch one of those instead of just these four. Tell me which one(s) are your favorite; if you say Fred Claus I will mock you, just so you know.🙂
*** 6 ***
I forgot to tell you that I had a prenatal massage last weekend; it was great! Very relaxing, and she did some kind of trickery that made me forget about my horrible back pain for like three hours.
Then my amazing husband (who surprised me with the massage!) made me a dinner of sausage and three cheese lasagna. It was so good. I love this man. I’d love him even if he couldn’t cook; but since he can, watch out! I’ll have my hooks in him forever.😉
*** 7 ***
Just in case you need a Friday pick-me-up:
“To my big brother George, the richest man in town.” <— gets me every time.
Happy Weekend! Check out more quick takes at Conversion Diary!
Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which refers to Mary being conceived in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, without the stain of original sin which taints all of us. This aspect of her creation is honored, because to be created without original sin makes her the only sinless human creature to have lived. I’m sure just about everyone reading already knows this. It’s one of the most important feasts of the Church.
Atticus and I went to Mass last night for the vigil of the celebration. I love the Marian feasts. When they play hymns like “Hail, Holy Queen” I sort of feel like doing a fist pump and going “yeah!” when it’s over. Anyone else?
During the preparation of the gifts last night, I was reading the reflection for today’s feast in my Magnificat (which I love!) and this passage of Blessed John Henry Newman’s reflection made me stop dead in my tracks:
…She is deserving to be preached abroad because she never committed any sin, even the least; because sin had no part in her; because, through the fullness of God’s grace, she never thought a thought, or spoke a word, or did an action, which was displeasing, which was not most pleasing to Almighty God; because in her was displayed the greatest triumph over the enemy of souls…
This passage stopped me because it occurred to me that I could not conceive of this. I tried to imagine what it would be like to (a) be in the presence of someone who had never thought a thought, spoke a word, or did an action which was displeasing to God or (b) be that someone.
Incomprehensible on both counts. Much like the moments when I try to contemplate the trinity or what eternity might be like, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
All I could come up with was this: “She must have been fearsome to behold.”
Fearsome in the way that thunderstorms are fearsome; they inspire awe. Here is someone who is made of the same “stuff” as me; she is a creature, not sharing in God’s nature they way her Son did. Here is a woman who was fully human, yet who never committed even the most venial of venial sins.
Her entire life, she never did anything which in any way was not pleasing to God. How could it be anything other than awe-inspiring to be in her presence? We always imagine Mary’s gentleness, and her tender loving motherhood, which we should. She is mother of us all.
But, as Christ shows us in the temple turning over tables, sometimes doing the will of God is not all gentleness and tenderness. Christ is the Lion of Judah; surely his mother could be the lioness, for God uses women as warriors too.
What really hammered it home for me was trying to imagine someone being able to describe me in that way. And how utterly laughable and shameful it would be. How so many times each and every day I think, say, or do things which, if not outright displeasing to God, are certainly not outright pleasing either.
I imagine it even could hurt to be in the presence of Mary, to witness her sanctification and sinless-ness, her charity in all things. It would have burned the way that purification always does. It hurts to be pruned and perfected. But how could being in the presence of the “highest of our race” result in anything but wanting to be perfected, and purified for the sake of God’s glory? And how could becoming more and more like Mary do anything but draw us closer to Christ?
Fearsome to behold.
In honor of mama Mary’s feast day, here is one of my favorite poems inspired by her, written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ.
‘The Rose is a mystery’ – where is it found?
Is it anything true? Does it grow on the ground?
It was made of the earth’s mould, but it went from men’s eyes,
And its place is a secret, and shut in the skies.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Find me a place by thee, Mother of mine.
But where was it formerly? Which is the spot
That was blest in it once, though now it is not?
It is Galilee’s growth; it grew at God’s will
and broke into bloom upon Nazareth Hill.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall look on thy loveliness, Mother of mine.
What was its season, then? How long ago?
When was the summer that saw the Bud blow?
Two thousands of years are near upon past
Since its birth, and its bloom, and its breathing its last.
I shall keep time with thee, Mother of mine.
Tell me the name now, tell me its name:
The heart guesses easily, is it the same?
Mary, the Virgin, well the heart knows,
She is the Mystery, she is that Rose.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall come home to thee, Mother of mine.
Is Mary that Rose then? Mary, the tree?
But the Blossom, the Blossom there, who can it be?
Who can her Rose be? It could be but One:
Christ Jesus, our Lord – her God and her Son.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Shew me thy son, Mother, Mother of mine.
What was the color of that Blossom bright?
White to begin with, immaculate white.
But what a wild flush on the flakes of it stood,
When the Rose ran in crimsoning down the Cross wood.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
I shall worship the Wounds with thee, Mother of mine.
How many leaves had it? Five they were then,
Five like the senses, and members of men;
Five is the number by nature, but now
They multiply, multiply, who can tell how.
In the Gardens of God, in the daylight divine
Make me a leaf in thee, Mother of mine.
Does it smell sweet, too, in that holy place?
Sweet unto God, and the sweetness is grace;
The breath of it bathes the great heaven above,
In grace that is charity, grace that is love.
To thy breast, to thy rest, to thy glory divine
Draw me by charity, Mother of mine.
I stole this from Calah at Barefoot and Pregnant. She is hilarious, and serious, and I love reading her blog. Go check her out if you haven’t yet!
And now, the absurdly long book meme that I am going to answer, rather than washing the dishes. Virtue in action my friends.
I had several. Little Women. The American Girls (but only Samantha and Molly). I had brown hair and glasses, so obviously I only wanted to read the stories about girls with brown hair and/or glasses. A Little Princess.
I usually have two going at once.
Not really. Except I read a lot more blogs than I did before I had one!
Sometimes. I try to read some science type things every once in a while. The last ones were The Female Brain and The Language of God. LoG is written by the director of the human genome project who is also a Christian.
Sometimes. If I’m hot, then no, I get sick.
In bed. On my couch or porch.
I lend books to friends and often forget. I hope they’ll make it back to me someday, but I don’t get too worried about it.
Yes. Even library books. I am bad.
Yes. Not fiction. But theology especially.
English is my default.
When I’m sad that its over. When I connect with at least one character. When it makes me think.
If I finished it and liked it.
I like mystery, historical fiction, and stories that are related to a theme. I also have come to appreciate fantasy (LOTR and harry potter) as I’ve gotten older.
Science Fiction. It makes me nervous.
Simply in Season. It breaks down all the recipes based on the seasons and focuses on the produce that is in season for each. It’s yummy.
My Life with the Saints by James Martin SJ. I have a little quote book of Dorothy Day’s. She inspires me.
Grapes and cheese. Or tea and cookies.
I only trust my inner critic.
Eh. I always try to find something positive to say about a book. Unless it’s written by Christopher Hitchens.
Italian. I would love to read Dante in Italian.
Uh, anything by Faulkner. I only got about half way through Sound and Fury.
Ulysses. Brothers Karamazov.
TS Eliot. Gerard Manley Hopkins. I actually really love poetry a lot. It’s hard to pick. I really like Anne Sexton and ee Cummings.
Jo March. Lucy Pevensie. Elizabeth Bennett.
Lady Catherine (from Pride and Prejudice).
Something I’ve read before. A Mystery.
Maybe a few months?
Emma. She is so annoying. I wanted to punch her. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult.
I’ll give it away if it wasn’t a favorite. Unless I lend it out.
Brideshead Revisisted. I’m not sure why I don’t want to read this book. Dickens. Believe it or not, I have made it through my life without ever reading Dickens. Sick. I know.
One time when I worked at the library I picked up one of Glenn Beck’s books…and that was it. He makes me mad. Unexpected Grief: Healing the Hidden Pain of Abortion by Teresa Burke. That book, which details the physical, emotional, and psychological suffering that women who choose abortion often experience made me so angry.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I don’t usually like war fiction, but this book was great.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Cookbooks. No seriously. I love to read about food. Jodi Picoult. Agatha Christie. I also love magazines like InStyle.
Now aren’t you all glad you learned that about me? Happy Sunday night!
I am about to get up on it. Here we go.
While none of the comments on her original post were negative or nasty (though the whole reason she wrote the post in the first place WAS because of a negative comment on another blog), I am really annoyed about the whole situation.
In today’s post, Rebecca says, “Do I think that The Man and I have given much more thought/prayer to having children than the average couple? Yes (with those who struggle with infertility as a major exception). I know it as I speak to friends who do have children.”
If she and her husband are talking about this every month, then I know for sure she’s given it more thought than I have.
When Atticus and I got married, we talked about postponing for six months or so (until I finished school and we moved from our crappy apartment), but our NFP knowledge was shaky and I got pregnant during the first (extremely long cycle) after we were married. Oops. Then we lost the baby. It changed everything. We were no longer “child-free”; we were “child-less” because we had had a child and lost him.
And the most we ever talked about it again was to agree, “As soon as we’re clear to start trying again, we will.” And we did. But I can tell you with full honesty that I never once asked God during that 13 months we waited for this pregnancy, whether or not we should be trying. For at least the first 9 months after we lost Michael, I would have ignored God if He did tell us to postpone. After all, He took our child away, who is He to tell us not to try for another? (Just the Author of all life, that’s all, says rational Sarah).
I saw it as my right to try for a baby, rather than a gift and blessing to be able to do so. I had, unconsciously, adopted a contraceptive mentality about the whole thing. Thank God I didn’t get pregnant during a time when I would have seen any pregnancy as “my right” and anything other than a pure, undeserved gift from God!
The point of telling all this is that, during that time, no one questioned my motives. Since we were trying to conceive, no one questioned our use of NFP. They could have. I (and here I can only speak to my own view, because I never shared this with Atticus until much later) was using NFP to try and get what I wanted, what I thought I deserved, without asking God for his input. Just because a couple is using NFP to try and achieve a pregnancy does not mean they have thought or prayed about it more than a couple that is using NFP to avoid a pregnancy.
It annoys me that because Rebecca and her husband have, for now, discerned that God is not calling them to be parents, that she should somehow have to justify herself to the NFP police. The only one who she and her husband have to justify themselves to is God.
I honestly think that some people in this little orthodox Catholic bubble have gone off the deep end. 95% of Catholics use contraception. 95%. Of Catholics. Of people whose Church actually still tells them that it’s morally wrong to do so. So if most of the (practicing) Catholics you know don’t use contraception, you’re in the bubble. I am in the bubble. I like it here. I love that I know my friends have the same respect for their marriages, and for God’s role as supreme author of life that Atticus and I strive to have.
But we are the exception! We are the exception! People who think with the Church on this are the huge, glaring exception to the rubrics for the culture of death. So what we really need to do is stop picking on each other. If a couple you know is using NFP – period – then we need to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Do you know how easy it is to get condoms, barriers, and the Pill? Of course you do, because if you are a woman who uses NFP and don’t go to one of the 12 NFP only doctors in the US, then you’re having birth control shoved down your throat every time you go in for an exam. You’re having to explain to your doctor, someone who is supposed to know more about bodies than you do, that you may not in fact ovulate on CD 14, and that NFP is NOT *for the love of GOD* the rhythm method. Can I get an Amen, sisters?
If you are a person who lived chastely throughout all of your unmarried years, have always believed the Church’s teaching on contraception and went into your marriage living it, that is beautiful and amazing, and thanks be to God for that gift! However, you are the exception.
And if a couple who has not always believed the Church’s teaching on contraception comes to believe it, and in the midst of this moral hell in which we live makes the beautiful, life-affirming step to throw away the Pill, the patch, the condoms, etc., and live their sexuality the way it was meant to be lived — then we need to shut up and give them the benefit of the doubt that they are using their conscience and it is well-formed. Stay in your own lane.
Soapbox rant over.
Since it’s snowing today. I’m going to watch Miracle on 34th Street.
This post has no real rhyme or reason to it. I just have things to share. So here they are.
1. I am scheduled for induction! I heard the nurse on the phone yesterday talking to labor and delivery. I go in to the hospital to begin “the process” 10 am on December 27th.
2. As in, 27 days from today. As in, 27-28 days from today I’ll have a baby in my arms. This is overwhelming (in a mostly good way).
3. I am in the home stretch here. Dr. put me on an additional medication, gly.buride, in hopes of staving off insulin. My sugars are starting to creep up a bit, but are only slightly off the goal. She thinks this medication, which works with the other to have my body make just a little more insulin, will hopefully work for the next four weeks. I hope this too; I’m not keen to inject three times a day. Also, baby must be monitored for four hours after birth (to check her blood sugars) and if I haven’t been on insulin, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to do the monitoring in-room, rather than in NICU.
4. Dr. doesn’t think I will need a c-section. At least, not based on the baby’s size right now. Woo-hoo! If there isn’t a section, then I’ll get to nurse within the first hour, either in-room or at NICU. I feel really relieved about that.
5. Starting this week I have a weekly Dr. appointment, and have to go in twice a week for them to monitor the baby. Yes, the joys of high-risk pregnancy are never ending. Yesterday was my first day. I have to sit in this recliner and they strap a doppler to my stomach that monitors the baby’s heartbeat. They also strap this little box with a button on it to my stomach that registers uterine activity (aka contractions). I have to push this other little button whenever I feel the baby move.
It’s quite the set-up. They have to monitor me for about 30 minutes, two days a week.
6. In completely un-baby related news, I’m reading Hail, Holy Queen by Scott Hahn for our ladies book club, which meets tomorrow. It’s very good. I’d like to try and get a post in about it soon, but I don’t know if I will. But being nearly done with it, I highly recommend it if you’re looking to learn more about Mary, especially as she is foreshadowed in Scripture.
7. While I was waiting yesterday at the doctor’s, there was a poster on the wall from the world health organization about breastfeeding. It had the following fact on it:
If a woman spends 6-7 years of her lifetime breastfeeding (which would be feeding 4 babies for 1.5 years or so) her risk of breast cancer by the time she reaches menopause is less than 1%.
hmm. I don’t think I need to add commentary to this fact. It pretty much speaks for itself.
That’s all I have right now. Yes, I realize I just did a quick takes, and it’s Wednesday. I just wanted to share this stuff today.