Posts in September 2011

Scar Tissue

This week alone, I’ve learned that four of my friends are pregnant. Some second pregnancies, other first. I’ve also learned of a rare neurological diagnosis that another friend is trying to process and understand for her little 3-week-old.

In the last year, my thoughts and opinions about family-raising have shifted up and down and around again. Steven said to me after hearing the news of one of the pregnancies and beaming from ear-to-ear, “this time last year you would’ve been sad.” He’s right.  I used to think that welcoming a child into the world either meant saying goodbye to the new baby’s parents (I call them hermits.) or learning of another very sick mother or child struggling through each day. And each new baby would remind me of my other friends who are unable to have children for whatever reason, and my heart would continue to ache.

The day my sister had the gender ultrasound with my nephew, I couldn’t wait for the phone call to celebrate the life of a new boy or girl. I called her a million times that day, but she didn’t pick up. I knew something was off. Calling Dad, he said, “Well, it’s a little boy.” No real excitement in his voice. “But he has some issues.”

Finally my sister called me while I was at Bible study. She told me our nephew had spina bifida and was unable to bend his legs. He would likely have mobility and other difficulties. That week was one of the hardest to accept. I knew God had a plan, but it was a confusing one.

Months later, we went to Cincinatti to celebrate our niece’s birthday. When she opened the door, I immediately noticed her shirt, saying, “Big Sister!” We were thrilled to find out another niece was on the way. After a few weeks, our sister-in-law became very sick and found out both of her kidneys had failed. The baby was fine, but Kelly would need to be on dialysis immediately for several days a week until a transplant was available.

Thankfully, through prayers and God’s grace, both our nephew, Jeremiah, and niece, Anna, are healthy, beautiful children. Jeremiah is a charming, sweet kid who is not defined by his diagnosis. At 18 months, he’s learned to pull himself to a standing position without much feeling below his waist. Anna was born prematurely at 31 weeks and 3 lbs, but you would never know it now. We just celebrated her first birthday. And just this week, Kelly was given a new kidney by a gracious donor and friend!

I cannot say I don’t have scar tissue built up from watching my loved ones worry, pray frantically and wonder about the unknown future. Perhaps this is why I’ve been so hesitant to be fully happy for my friends becoming new parents. Of course, it’s wonderful for new life to be brought into this world, but I hate to see so much pain involved. I don’t understand much of the Lord’s will, but I do know this: Children are a positively wonderful gift – even when you watch them make temporary homes in specialized hospitals, your love for them soars.

This year is different. I won’t be half-praying for these ladies and their growing bellies. I’ll be thinking, celebrating and praying for each of them in sickness and in health.  And remembering that God is gracious, perfect and never gives us more than we can’t handle.

Posted: September 18th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Confessions

I’m still a rookie mom, but noticed a few new developments about myself. Some things I may be a little silly to admit.

1. I’ve grown to enjoy the sweet smell of baby poop. (I’m sure this will change once he’s eating solid foods!)

2. Peeling off dry baby skin and cleaning baby ears are therapeutic.

3. I get excited when using the fun little nose vacuum is successful – measured by the amount and length of snot goop.

4. Everyone, not just me, gives a little praise when a loud & boisterous burp surfaces.

5. It’s much easier to bite off overgrown baby nails than use a trimmer.

Now that it’s out in the open, I’m off to see what other gross facts this little boy can make me add to the list. Being a mother is entertainingly nasty work.

Posted: September 14th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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The Curse and Blessing of Mr. Fussypants

First Indianapolis Indians game

Since I’m now working from home 2 days a week, I get to spend some time with Wes during the day. We’re only in the second week of doing this, so I’m sure we’ll have our share of roller coasters until we both get into a set pattern – if that ever happens!

THE CURSE (or should I say, difficulties)

Wes has been in the middle of a week-long fuss. According to the book, The Wonder Weeks, he’s right on schedule for a growth spurt, and I’m sure he’s just as confused with his body as I am with his cries. While I absolutely love the fact that I can be with him for 16 hours out of my work week and many mothers would crave this chance, I think I will have to get creative on WHEN those 16 hours will be used. I can say with confidence that it probably will not be during the typical 9-5 schedule because there’s a hungry and or crying baby on my lap, fighting sleep until I stop and nuzzle him. These moments are fleeting, so of course, I savor them! It is not easy to design a newsletter or write copy one-handed. Perhaps I’ll one day master this skill, but for now I’m using that hand to stroke a baby cheek, tickle little toes and fix the umpteenth bottle of the day.

THE BLESSING

So much can be written here. I am blessed with a sweet, sweet little boy who has outgrown clothes and diapers meant for his age. Today’s weigh-in confirms a chunky 14 lbs on a tiny frame, which puts him closer to the 90th percentile! He is easily wearing 3-6 month clothes. Perhaps we’ll get to those cloth diapers sooner than I thought.

Wes doesn’t want to miss a beat. During the day he snoozes for 20-30 minutes at a time, but he rarely takes a full nap. He is quite alert, loves to hear himself practice vowel sounds and is in awe of his hands and feet. Such a serious baby – always studying and taking in the vast world around him. And if we’re lucky, he’ll flash us a wide grin and occasional loud blast of a laugh. Here’s hoping we get to experience this more often in the next few months!

Motherhood has not been nearly as scary or difficult as I always thought. I may rant about his Week 7 Fuss, but I know that I am equipped to handle it. Not that I can judge well, but I believe Wes is an extremely good baby – as long as his stomach is full and his diaper clean. And that you provide something or someone to amuse him. Thankfully we haven’t had to struggle with illness, postpartum depression, sleeplessness or colic at this point. I know this is all because we have been faithfully prayed for and kept well taken care of from loads of caring people. We are extremely grateful and wonderfully blessed.

Now to nuzzle with GrumpFace for a while longer…

Posted: September 7th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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