Friday, February 26, 2010

Caleb's Story Part 2

When we last met, I was still pregnant and we had decided on having a c-section after agonizing over the idea.

Everything was scheduled and I was placed on the schedule for a c-section on my 38 week mark on March 28th. However, Caleb had other plans in mind.

Early on the 26th, around 4, a huge thunderstorm rolled through town. I should also mention that it was a full moon out, two factors that, based on the old wives tales, were prime baby having time. Thunderstorms and I don't particularly get along, I'm always awake when it gets really loud, but this time I just didn't feel well either, so I got up. I remember sitting on the couch feeling weird, like I had eaten something really bad, running back and forth to the bathroom. I'll spare you the gory details, but I'm sure that y'all can figure out what was going on during those trips. I would later find out that this, in fact, was early labor.

Jes got up around 7:30 and we decided that we would get on with our day. My parents had been at our house the whole day before helping me get everything ready for Caleb's birth, but there was still so much to do, so we got ourselves together and headed out the door. By this point, other than feeling like a beached whale on stilts, I felt pretty good, just tired from my early morning escapades.

We spent our day running (well, I waddled through) lots of errands, culminating at lunch at my pick of the day, Olive Garden. Something about my pregnancy with Caleb made me crave tomatoes to the depth of my being and I couldn't get enough of them. OG has lots of tomato based products, so needless to say we spent lots of time and money there.

At the time of my pregnancy with Caleb I was teaching chemistry at a private school about 20 miles south of our house, but less than a mile from the hospital that I was set to deliver at. After lunch we went up to the school so I could complete a test and get all my things in order for my long term sub to come in and take over that following Tuesday (Monday was the Easter holiday).
The first thing that I did was visit the ladies room because I knew that I didn't want to be running up and down the hallway a million times once I got my work started. I just wanted to get in and get done and get home. Jes was sitting with me while I worked and all at once I felt a gush. I looked at him and said the following, "Either I just peed on myself or my water just broke." To this day he tells me that that was when I started to look "different" (ie Caleb dropped) and that something just wasn't right. I immediately called my mom and asked her what to do and if she knew what that felt like, but seeing as she had delivered her one and only child nearly 27 years earlier she could not shed any light on my situation. I really hesitated calling my doctor because I certainly didn't want to bother him on his Saturday off, but after 30 minutes (yes, 30. What? I'm stubborn.) I called him and he instructed us to go directly to the hospital.

On the way to the hospital, Jes called my parents again and told them to get to the hospital because I was going in. The sweetest thing was in the background, you could hear my dad scurrying around trying to gather up all his stuff and find shoes for himself and my mom so that they could get there as quick as possible. It was just a small moment, but sweet nonetheless.

If you have ever had a spontaneous bag rupture, then you know that they have to test you to make sure that the fluid that you are leaking is amniotic (not urine, like I previously thought) and that was exactly the test I had performed after getting into a hospital gown and into the bed. Of course it was positive. And I was terrified. I just kept telling Jes over and over that this wasn't supposed to happen this way. And he just kept telling me that I wasn't in control of it.

As I was surrounded by my family and their prayers, a peace washed over me and I knew that God's hand was directly on me and my growing family, but nothing would prepare Jes and I for what would transpire in the next hours and days.

We got to the operating room around 5 and shortly before 6 we heard our doctor saying, "well, oh! That's not supposed to happen."

Caleb's Story Part 1

Today is the 26th of February, which means in just a few short weeks it will be the 26th of March, Caleb's 5th birthday. For some reason I've been so nostalgic about this particular birthday, more so than all the others before it, and I just don't know why.
While I was thinking about his day I realized that I have recorded many events in his life since I started this blog waaay back in 06, but not his birth and the events that occurred just after it.
I am here to remedy that.
It will take a few different posts to cover all that happened, but I'm willing to tackle the task for the sake of posterity. I want Caleb, and Piper for that matter, to be able to look back over the events of late March 2005 and marvel at God's love for us and how His hand was on our family, Caleb in particular. So, commence the telling of Caleb's story (part 1):

I can't tell Caleb's story without telling some of the events before it, so I'll just start at the beginning.
Jes and I hadn't been married too awfully long before we started talking about having kids. Truth be known, I was a born mother and always longed for children of my own. The only debate was how many, Jes wanted 3 and I wanted 2 (oh how quickly the tides turned...).
When we got married, we lived in Tyler, Texas but moved back to Dallas after our first year, following jobs and family. The move back to Dallas was really when we started considering having kids and I was REALLY hearing that tick of my clock, but Jes was so hesitant.
One day we went to a friend's house who had just had a baby and something about me assisting the father change a particularly bad diaper triggered something in Jes's head and he told me that night that he was ready. Even though we were both on the same page we had some pretty big tasks that we wanted to complete before we would even begin trying, having a house and stable jobs (laugh!) being the two at the top of the list.
We began looking for houses and quickly decided to and signed on to build a house in McKinney, a smallish, at the time, town just north of all the Dallas action. Around this time I started visiting a new ob/gyn who did some testing and determined that I had a pretty good case of endometriosis. This, combined with a heart condition that I have, was something that would hinder greatly the ability to conceive and carry a child to term, so said the doctors.
Here's where we really started to see God working mightily in our lives.
We signed the papers for our house the last week of June, moved in the 3rd of July and I was pregnant on the 4th. Not only was I dealing with these diagnosed medical issues, but I had been on the pill for years and was, how do I put this delicately, not in the physiological state in which to get pregnant.
But I did.
With all those factors working against us.
The only explanation I have is that God had his hand on us and wanted Caleb to be with us. This is a sentiment that was expressed by many of the doctors and practitioners that we came across throughout our journey.
Needless to say, when I showed up at my doctor's office he was more than surprised. It was at that 9 week appointment when we saw Caleb's little heart beating that he was dubbed "miracle baby" by our doctor.
My pregnancy was fairly normal with me experiencing all the normal side effects of pregnancy. Around the 30 week mark, however, I started measuring very ahead of schedule. When I was 33 weeks, I measured 40, so I was tested for diabetes multiple times and had many, many sonograms to measure Caleb's size and fluid levels. For the most part, all these tests were normal with all the diabetes tests coming back normal each time and Caleb just showing on the sonograms to just be a big boy.
At an appointment around 32 weeks I had yet another sonogram and that is when they noticed that the fluid levels were trending towards too high. They weren't abnormally high, just at the high end of normal but if I had had one more mL of fluid measured then it would have been abnormal. I distinctly remember, after that visit, coming home and pouring over my books to determine why the fluid levels would be high. And I was terrified.
The next week, when I returned to the doctor, my fluid was still high and Caleb was getting so big that they could hardly fit him on the sonogram screen. It was at my 33 week appointment that my doctor projected that Caleb would weigh 11 pounds or more if I went to term. We decided that I would deliver slightly early, right on my 38 week mark. We also discussed c-section versus normal birth.
It took me some time, lots of prayer, and discussion with my family but we decided on c-section, a decision that would ultimately save both my son's and my life.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

School Update

I'm not sure if I've talked about what we were planning on doing for school here or not and, frankly, I'm too lazy to go back and look, so let me just start from the beginning.
When Caleb was a baby I was certain that I would homeschool. However, as time went on I came to the realization that one doesn't really know their child when they are babies because, really, babies don't have the same personality as say a 5 year old. With that said, I did want to retain some of the principles of homeschooling so I started researching University Model schools in our area.
A few mommy friends of mine had had their kids in one that was near us and I checked it out, even going as far as sending Jes to one of the informational meetings to get his take on it. We were both impressed at the school and what it had to offer us and our family, so we decided to pursue entrance for Caleb. Last year, we got into the application process and had to take a good look at our finances and decided that we just couldn't swing it. Last year would have been preschool for Caleb, so we didn't really feel like it was super important, and besides, we had just pulled him out of one where he was well advanced beyond what preschools taught.
This year, however, we wanted to see about getting him into this school for Kindergarten so that he could follow that track all the way that was possible. We filled out the paperwork, gathered up the 8 references (8, people! for Kindergarten.), and sent it all off with baited breath. Soon enough we were scheduled for our family interview (yes you read that right) to meet the principal and head master.

That appointment was yesterday.

And it was an utter disaster.

Now, let me preface this by telling you that they scheduled it for 4:30 in the afternoon. Remember guys, that we had to take both kids with us, so picture Jes, myself, a 4 year old and a 19 month old in a small office with 2 other adults who had little to no affect and you will get a small view of what went on. Both kids were tired and bored and just ill behaved in general. Caleb just could not sit still, would not answer questions or even speak to the people and just was obviously uncomfortable with the whole situation. We answered all the questions that they had honestly and openly, but there was no reading these people.
When Jes and I walked out of the meeting, I looked at him and said, "well, I guess I'll be homeschooling next year" and he said, "yep, I think you will". So we both had the same negative impression of how the whole thing went.
Now we just wait. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Surprisingly, though, I feel relieved that it's over and out of my hands. Commence the waiting.

Monday, February 08, 2010


I live in the South, always have and (God willing) always will.
Here in the South, we tend to stay close to our family and hold tight to our values. However, the attitude and practice of excluding people because they don't happen to hold the same beliefs and or values has always bothered me.
In the past few months, I have noticed that I have been put into situations where I have been forced to spend large amounts of time with others who would fall into the category as holding a different view on life that I do.
To say that this is easy is such a backwards thought, it happens to be one of the more difficult things that I've had to deal with. It's hard to sit and hear someone bash what you believe and not get emotional.
I have, instead, tried to learn from these men and women that have been put in my path. Instead of ignoring them and blowing them off, I am trying to see where they may be coming from, what led them there and why they believe what they believe.
It's hard and many times I don't want to do it, but I think that this is supposed to be a learning experience for me.
Will I still be a Conservative, pro-life, vaccinating, circumcising, God fearing, church going, family loving Southern woman? Most certainly, but maybe I'll also be a more inclusive, loving, patient, kind, hard working, persistent, consistent, passionate person as well. And really, the world could use more of those.