Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer 2009

What an eventful summer, to say the least.
I have not given up on blogging, although it appears that way right now. I am an avid journal writer...you know, old school...with a pen and a book. So, blogging has taken the back burner since our life has changed this summer. I hit the old journal before I get to the computer. By the time I get here, I"m usually out of energy and desire to blog. But tonight I wanted to pay tribute to what has been a remarkable, and quite memorable summer. A summer of learning.
Be Forewarned: This is long, and possibly boring.

June was gloriously filled with usual summer events and activities: camping, swimming, sprinkler-playing, popcicle-eating, and eating fresh garden veggies. Girls Camp was in the mix for June and despite the fear of going into early labor, I managed to actually stay the night with my Young Women at the camp site. I learned a lot about them there. It was great!
July was full, every day, of baby-arrival-anticipation. I just KNEW this little one was going to be early. So, I did my best to get my ducks in a row, as they say, to prepare for Baby to come along. I even missed out on some fun summer events, in fear that I'd be too far from the Dr. in case I went into early labor. ( Next year I'll get up on the surf board at the Youth Beach trip). I didn't , however, miss out on a fabulous baby shower, hosted and presented by Ali DeGraff. Thanks Ali for the yummy, and adorable baby shower. (wish I had some pics.). Nearing the end of July, Baby had turned breech and we planned a C-section for July 28th. Bummer. It seemed that all my efforts to have a VBAC were foiled. I learned that I can't plan everything, no matter what measures I take, or how far I drive for every single OB appointment. Come July 28th, Baby had moved back down! Yea! No C-section on the 28th. I was given one more week to go into labor on my own. So, we scheduled a second C-section on Aug. 4th, just in case no labor set in. ( I just KNEW the baby would come before then ). I learned to be patient. More patient than I thought I already was.
August came.
I was having an AUGUST baby. Who would have thought? August 1st was full of prayers, walking, and hoping that Baby would come. Same with August 2nd. By August 3rd, I was just bummed and had a feeling it wasn't going to happen. And, I felt like I was going to be pregnant forever. Really. On August 4th, even as we drove to the hospital at 7:00 a.m., an hour away, I was praying and hoping (and actually thought) I would go into labor before I got to the hospital. Nope. As I was getting my I.V. for my C-section, I asked the Dr. to check me to see if I could still go into labor on my own ( my surgery was in 10 minutes). Hey, I had to try until the last possible minute. No luck. I learned that some prayers are not answered (at least not the way we want them to be.) Actually, I already knew this...I was just reminded.
This is where the REAL learning came in for me. It was all out of my hands. I had to trust in the Lord (and in the Dr.s) that all was going to be well. As they finished prepping me for the dreaded surgery I fought so hard not to have, they whisked me away on my hospital bed and Ryan went the opposite direction to the waiting room. I was so sad. I was nervous. I won't lie, I was scared. I didn't want Ryan to be in the other room. I didn't want to be delivering my baby in a cold, unfriendly, unwelcoming Operating Room. I didn't want to have my arms bound down, or a blue sheet hanging in front of my face during delivery. I wanted to see my baby. I especially didn't want them to take him away after he was born. I just wanted to see my baby. I wanted to hold him, feed him, kiss him and tell him I was so happy he was finally here! Once again, I had to be patient. More patient than I EVER wanted to be. 2 1/2 hours later, I got to be with my sweet Baby William. I learned patience pays off. (just in case you missed it, check this out).
I will admit, I am still bitter about having had a c-section and not the birth I invisioned. I worked so hard to avoid having a repeat c-section. I figured since I was working and planning so desperately, everything would work out the way I wanted it to. So, yes, it was tough to swallow. And the recovery...a whole other story I won't get into. However, I KNOW that our prayer was answered. Our prayer to have a healthy baby and a safe delivery was answered. We didn't pray that I would have a VBAC...we prayed for a safe delivery. That is where the Lord takes over. For reasons I don't know, and will probably never know, I had a c-section, and it was a safe and healthy delivery. I am so glad we have modern medicine and technology to make it possible to have safe, healthy babies and mommies, even when nature doesn't take it's own course. I learned, once again, to trust in the Lord, with ALL my heart. (it's so much harder than it sounds).
I experienced something new. Baby Blues. I felt good the week immediately following delivery. When reality set in of my responsibilities on top of caring for my new precious baby, I was overwhelmed. I tried SO hard to avoid the dark clouds of fear that hung over me. I wanted to be strong. Every time I cried...darn hormones and pain killers...I would get more frustrated with myself that I wasn't handling things the way I thought I would . I didn't want to be weak. Between exhaustion and feeling down, everything bad seemed to be magnified x10! I was used to "bouncing back" after about a week or two. Going on week 4 was just too much! I prayed and pleaded to feel like myself again. I learned to accept help. Friends were offering to serve and help out however they could. Normally, I am ok doing things on my own. I don't really take the help. But I learned. I needed it. I was so grateful for it! Every meal, phone call, play-date for the kids, and meeting my councilors attended in my place was such a burden lifted. I learned it's a blessing to accept the service of others, and it makes them feel good too!
In just the nick of time, 2 days before my family came, something snapped. The clouds lifted and the sun was shining again! I was happy...really, truly happy! I felt strong, energized and confident. I was so grateful for that prayer being answered.
The rest of the summer, well, it just kept getting better and better. For the first time I had my ENTIRE family plus a few others (32 people) here at our house! It was such a crazy, chaotic, FUN and wonderful time. I've never felt that sense of joy...to have everyone here together. It was awesome. Ryan blessed little Will at church with my bothers, his brother Jared, and both of our fathers (William's name sakes). What a day!
From here we went to the Beach House, which is always a great time. Games, food, sun, water, more food, costumes, thrifting, treats and family. What more could we ask for?
And so, here we are. The first day of Fall. (Never mind that I took my 2 youngest to the pool for 2 hours). I am welcoming fall with open arms. I look forward to continuing to adjust to our new life with Little Will. I am anxious to get back to 100 % capacity and have full energy again. This summer will go down in Southwell history as a glorious one.

I've learned so much about who I am . I still have so much to learn .


merideth said...

totally not too long... love hearing about your life. i am glad that you are feeling better. patience is so hard.
can't wait to see you... seriously one of these days i am coming down there.

ali said...

i'm so glad the clouds are lifted. i hate seeing my friends struggle.

ps...i will send you the pics of the shower! wink.

Anonymous said...

Right from your heart. A chapter in your life's novel. It makes for good reading and remembering. We love you all--Mom & Dad xoxx

Marie said...

I am so glad something snapped for you! I wanted to call in my state of depression the other day....and now I realize it was just my stinkin' hormones a-raging. How did you do 32 people? How??? I miss you terribly. Wish we were neighbors. Lots of love to you Kelly Belly.

Natalie said...

Great post, Kelly!

Loved the honesty in your words. How easy would it have been to simply say.."it was an easy birth and recovery and all is well!" I appreciate your story and insight.

Happy to hear the clouds lifted in time to enjoy your wonderful family and then the beach house!

You're awesome! Enjoy Baby Will. :)

DebLawson said...

Um, that was Deb Lawson, not my daughter, Natalie! ;)

The Steenhoek Clan said...

I'm glad to see and hear that you are on the up and up. Even though you are almost two months post baby, we still need to bring you dinner. Are there days that are absolute crazy days, that dinner already prepared would be heaven sent??? We need to talk and lock in a day. We're thinking of you guys!