The Exceptionals

 

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Did you know that less than 5% of babies born actually come on their due date? At least that is what we were told when Charli Gray came on her due date, January 9th @ 2:08pm. This baby is EXCEPTIONAL!

You know who else is exceptional? Dads.

You see, I played dad a lot during this pregnancy, delivery, and during the healing period afterwards. I got to be a birth-coach and primary support person and while it was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything, it was hard work.

I always hear mommas talk about wanting more babies and dads always seem reluctant. I always thought that was so selfish…

Mommas go through morning sickness, doctor’s exams, cravings, aches & pains in every part of the body, contractions, pushing, delivering not only a baby but afterbirth too, breast-feeding every two hours, cracked nipples….what is dad’s problem???

I’ll tell ya….dads catch the blunt of mood swings, hold hair back during bouts of sickness, carry bags, open doors, push wheelchairs, fetch pillows and blankets and cold compresses and puke bags and house slippers. They warm bottles and empty diaper pails, heat up dinner and refill water cups. They drive to doctors appointments, take pictures of poop for pediatricians to examine, and pick up the fallen off umbilical cord when it freaks mommy out.

I don’t say any of this to take away from a mom’s hardship to bring forth life, but as a way to say, if ‘dad’ thinks twice before saying ‘yes’ to having more babies, maybe he is just considering all the responsibilities and making sure he will be all in.

Hooray for exceptional dads!!!!

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And then there was Charli….

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January 9, 2017 at 3 o’clock in the morning, I wake to find Alana doubled over at my bedside.

“I think I might be in labor.”

“WHAT??? Are you sure???”

She then proceeded to tell me that her contractions were 4-5 minutes apart which instantly threw me into panic mode.

Every moment from then until 2:08pm, when Charli decided to make her grand appearance, was an emotional roller coaster. It would be HOURS before Alana would receiver her epidural and it is very hard to watch your baby hurting without attacking like a ticked off momma bear. There was dizziness, nausea, crying, pleading, screaming, and puke…but that was just me. Alana did great. She pushed through like a champ and did what had to be done. I’ve never been more proud. Proud of the girl who has made me smile for 18 years and who has now given me the most precious gift of all, a sweet grandbaby.

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In the Hands of Fortune Cookies

With due date fast approaching, we started placing bets a few weeks ago about the exact day and time of Charli’s arrival. My guess? January 4th at 2:24p. That’s today! That means she has a lot of work to do over the next few hours. Problem is, Charli is being a very stubborn girl and is not cooperating with my plan.

I started the morning with a text to Alana that said “It’s baby day!” I then proceeded to start work while munching on some fortune cookies that I hid from the kids last week when we order Japanese carry-out. My first fortune…..

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That HAS to mean a baby, right? I have spent the last 17 years raising children, cleaning house, reading bedtime stories, attending sporting events….and now the time has come for me to receive my “prestigious prize” which I am sure is my grandbaby!

 

Cookie #2….

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Coincidence? I think not! Those cookie makers are smart cookies! Even my breakfast knows how much I have baby on the brain! And not just baby, I am also worried about Alana who is fed up with pregnancy and ready to be done with it all. I can’t handle another night watching her spend hours on the treadmill in hopes of walking Charli right out of there.

So, with all the new-found confidence in these magic cookies, I open up #3….

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……nobody believes in fortune cookies anyway……

 

I Prayed For You Today….

I prayed for you today. You aren’t even here yet but we are all anxiously awaiting your arrival. I keep wondering what you’ll be like…. What you’ll look like…. What your likes and dislikes will be.

And I wonder what it will be like to be a grandmother. All I have to compare it to is my grandmother and those are big shoes to fill.

But I hope when it’s all said and done, I have helped to show you just how amazing and how perfect you are in the eyes of your Savior. And I hope that when you think of me, you will always have happy memories of a person who loved you more than all the numbers before you were even born.

 

What’s In A Name?

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Grandma, Granny, Gammy, Nana, Nanny, Noni, Gigi…..

I’ve gone through hundreds of grandma names looking for just the right one. This is a huge deal. You get to pick one name to be called for the remainder of your years by any number of grandchildren that pop into your life. And you better believe that eventually it will catch on and your children will start calling you by your grandma name too. It is goodbye momma, hello old lady grandma. Goodbye nighttime snuggles, hello rocking chair knitting. Goodbye to kissing boo-boos on scraped knees, hello to gray hair and hip replacements.

Tough transition, right? Tell me about it! I am in major crisis-identity mode right now. I have always been ‘just a mommy.’ If you asked me a few months ago what made me-me, I wouldn’t have mentioned being a Mi-Mi. 🙂 I would have said my entire world was wrapped up in being a momma- and a young one at that! Now here I am. I have instantly aged. My back hurts, my skin is wrinkled, and I can’t see to drive at night. And on top of all of that- I have to choose one single grandma name that I will live with for the next 40-50 years. SO MUCH PRESSURE!

Dramatic, right? Maybe a little, but it is a break-down awaiting many of us as we seek self-establishment based on temporal circumstances. Things change. We lose our jobs, we change churches, our friends move away, our children grow up. This doesn’t change who we are or who God called us to be. We just learned to flaunt the beautiful person God created in new circumstances. And somehow things always work out, regardless of the grandma name we give ourselves.

So, all that to say that I have narrowed it down to two grandma names that I think I might could live with. MiMi and Lolli.

What about you? What’s your grandma name and how did you come up with it? I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Still Chugging Along….

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I’m still alive! I appreciate all of the emails and messages of concern from those of you missing my posts. I am definitely slacking lately. This isn’t because I have lost interest or have become too busy, this is simply because I am stuck in a state somewhere between numb and anesthetized. My blog page says we have 66 days to go but my heart hasn’t realized what’s coming yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to raise a pregnant child, I am certainly not ready to raise a mommy. The dynamics in our home is not just a little off, there has been a total train-wreck and I feel as though I have been left to pick up the pieces and try to hot-glue said train back together.

(If any of you happen to know of any books on the subject or maybe even the name of a good therapist, I could greatly benefit from either.)

So, what’s been going on in our world? Well, not much. We have a much bigger belly now. We have felt kicks and jabs and the push of a toe or two up under the ribs. Charli had her first case of the hiccups the other night. Alana is still working hard, overtime most weeks, in hopes of saving up enough to take 6 weeks off after the birth. I still spend time in my pity pit. I still worry about the future. I still spend time thinking of what might have been. But, most of all……I’m still a proud momma.

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Who’s In Charge??

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I made up my mind a couple of years ago to take each of my kids on their own weekend trip with mom before they moved out. I knew with a grand-baby on the way, this was the last opportunity for a sunshine vacation without a stroller in tow so I asked Alana where she’d like to go. We spent a nice, long weekend walking the beaches of Jekyll Island. We both love nature so this was a perfect trip for us to take. We spent our days visiting the turtle hospital, bird watching, and trying our best to save the hundreds of sand dollars that washed ashore. We had an amazing time…. except for that one brief moment of terror….

We were on day 3 of our trip and had decided to spend the day on Driftwood Beach. It is an absolute gorgeous place with so many fallen trees that provide excellent photo backdrops. So, we grabbed our phones to take pics and headed down the beach. I knew from research before the trip that the tide rises quickly and it is easy to get yourself so far down that it is impossible to get back. I kept this information in the back of my mind. We walked and walked in awe of the gorgeous driftwood. After taking several pictures and accessing the tide, we dropped our shoes and continued on our way. At some point during our journey, we found a wallet washed ashore and was distracted by our Good Samaritan ways as we plundered through the wet-sand-filled leather looking for identification. After some time with no avail, we gave up and decided to move on. This is when we realized that we had overstayed our welcome. The tide had risen far enough that we were almost trapped between ocean, trees, and the tall sand dunes. We knew we had little time to make it back.

We picked up pace and headed back towards the entrance to the beach. About half way down, we came to the spot where I had left my shoes…. the only pair of shoes I had with me. They weren’t there. The water had covered the tree that I had place them under and the waves had carried them away. No problem, right? I could buy new shoes! We needed to keep moving.

Now, I know I promised terror and losing a pair of flip-flops is hardly terror…. true. The terror came with the question Alana asked next.

“Where are the car keys?”

I stopped, looking over at her as her eyes displayed more faith in me than I deserved.

“I laid them on my shoes.”

Alana turned towards the ocean as calm as could be and I watched her lips form the word, “uh-oh.”

I could not hear this word though. All I heard was a loud buzzing in my ears and the crashing of the waves which sounded like laughter from the ocean gods.

I turned toward the direction of the car, away from the direction of the keys, mind you, and I ran… and ran…. and ran….

I was in full fledged panic mode- hyperventilating, running down the deserted beach, crying. I ran for what seemed like forever, away from my pregnant daughter, who had started sweeping her feet along the ocean floor, watching with confusion as I disappeared out of site running full-speed.

Lack of oxygen stopped me in my tracks as I bent over, dry heaving, trying to catch a breath, and considering the fact that we only had one set of keys somewhere in the ocean, no money as it was locked away in the car, and two cell phones that didn’t work on the island. And I knew that I only had seconds before I passed out from no air.

I stood up and looked out at the ocean that had caused my demise. Less than 50 yards out I saw dolphins. Not one or two- more like ten or twelve. They were jumping and diving together, playing like children. I watched as they did back-flips and crashed playfully into one another. They went on for the next couple of minutes and I stood and watched- absolutely mesmerized. As I snapped back into reality, I realized that God gave me those dolphins that day. Why, you might ask? The most pertinent reason was to distract me from my own crazy long enough to get me breathing. However, I think God needed me to understand just how much control He has over His creation. I began walking back to Alana- praying…

God, you are in charge of the ocean. You are in charge of the sand. You are in charge of the waves. And God, you know where my keys are. And He did know- He knew that they were in Alana’s hands, right where He put them only moments after I bailed on her and ran half way to my own death.

Funny how things work out…. I am the momma- I am supposed to be the calm, rational, responsible one. But now- she’s a momma too.