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Dear Grasshopper

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Today, you have completed one revolution around the sun breathing the air of this earth. Most people would just say “Hey, happy birthday!” But, maybe you’ve noticed, you weren’t born into a “most people” family.

September 19, 2020

I fail to have appropriate words for how incredible this past 365 days have been. You have challenged me–to be a better person because I know you’re watching; to control my reactions because I know you’re watching; to love with intention and abandonment because I know you’re watching.

September 9, 2021; picture by Donna Allen Photography

Watching your personality emerge has been such an amazing gift. You are stubborn. You have a temper–it blows in quickly and is, just as quickly, spent. You are quick to smile and laugh. You find pleasure in simple things. You are inquisitive. You are intrinsically motivated to try things and work them out. You are a problem solver. You are content to entertain yourself, but you also enjoy the company of others. You like having some down time alone after a busy day. You get jealous if I snuggle your stuffed animals.

Your capacity for learning is astounding to me. How quickly you make connections. How you practice something when you get it how you like. How you know to push mine and your da-da’s boundaries–but not too far (yet). How you pick your favorite books and turn the pages for us. How you evaluate the texture and flavor of food when you try something new.

In a very strange year, you have inspired smiles and laughter and hope.

It is a great privilege of my life to be able to say I am your mama.

Grasshopper is a. . .

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That head has been hanging out under my right ribs for months now!

BOY!

Peter Ebenezer joined us via c-section on September 19 at 10:39am. He weighed in at 11 pounds 1.6 ounces! (I usually round up to 2 ounces. . .) He was 21.5 inches long with a 16 cm head. His first order of business was to pee.

We are over the moon for our little (BIG) Grasshopper. He was very popular in the hospital. Our doctor declared it was the biggest head any of the surgical team had ever seen. He also stated that it just help confirm that a c-section was the right way to go even if Peter had turned.

It was decided to deliver at 37 weeks 5 days because I had developed gestational hypertension. The morning of the delivery my blood pressure was astronomical. . .at least for me. But once Peter was out my BP wasn’t the only reason every one, especially my doctor, felt better about the early delivery.

We had a bit of an extended stay in the hospital, but now we’re home settling into a new way of life.

Let the adventures begin!

Just needs to be buckled in for the ride home. His going home outfit was a gift from his Nana.

Morning Musings

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Hang on. . .I don’t really know what’s going to hit the page.  I logged into my account with no real intentions.  But I feel an itch to write a few words.  So, let’s see what happens.

Grasshopper continues to grow.  At our last ultrasound (I get extras because of my age) s/he was in the 99th percentile for size.  This kid is going to be big.  I’m not overly surprised by this as I was 12 pounds 9 ounces and my husband was no teeny tiny thing either.  Plus, we’re both tall. I’ve known since I was like 12 that were I ever blessed with a baby it would be large.  Only seems fair.  At any rate, Grasshopper is doing well and has been quite active the last several days.  Makes me wonder if s/he is turning around (it was breach at the last ultrasound). Our doctor is pleased with everything, as are we.  I can’t stay out of the baby’s room. . .I just walk in there and look around.  I don’t actually do anything.  Just look and then leave.

Grasshopper july 10

Grasshopper at 27 weeks 4 days. Look at those chubby cheeks!

We’ve decided that our dog, Daisy, who has taken to following me around the house is not really following me.  She’s following Grasshopper.  I find animal behavior interesting.  I don’t understand it, but it’s interesting to speculate their intentions.  We have now been pregnant five times.  The only one that Daisy barked at was Nugget, the first one.  Nugget is the one that was ectopic. Steven says it isn’t beyond imagination that Daisy knew something was horribly wrong; dogs can sense seizures before they happen.  At any rate, she has been quite attached to me in the last four or so months, similar to how she reacted when I came home from the hospital after breaking my leg.

I’ve been re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia.  I’m at The Last Battle now.  It is my LastBattlesecond favorite following The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Though, I must say I thoroughly enjoyed The Magician’s Nephew this time around as well.  I remember as a kid that once I got past Dawn Treader I lost interest in these books.  They didn’t have enough of the Pevensies in them for me.  Now I appreciate them on a whole different level.  There’s a great debate about CS Lewis writing the series as an allegory for Christianity.  He, himself, actually denied this claim.  Allegory has some relatively strict rules about it–everything has to stand for something else.  It’s difficult to make absolutely everything in the series match to something from Christianity.  However, it is not difficult to see the influence that Christianity has on the series.  It’s my personal belief that Lewis’s faith was so strong and so entwined in his living and breathing that it permeated everything he did.  Therefore, it had no choice but to influence Narnia.

Many people don’t believe that re-reading books makes sense.  A short thought on that. . .there’s a maxim that states we never step into the same river twice.  Well, we never step into the same book twice.  We come to a book a second time being different people. . .we have had new experiences that have shaped our thoughts.  We notice new things.  Perhaps we read more slowly and thoughtfully.  I don’t propose that we re-read every book we’ve ever read, but I find the practice refreshing and renewing quite often.

Six weeks ago I had a life coach session.  The coach pointed out that I talk about words a lot.  And that when I was a child, words and creating with words was important to me.  He encouraged me to continue to explore ways that my words could help give me purpose.  I can’t say that I’ve focused as I should on the goals we set up six weeks ago, but I have ruminated on it in quiet times.  I’m thinking about how to fashion this little corner of the internet into something that is more regular and structured.  We’ll see. It was an exciting session that helped me feel alive. Stay tuned.

Ok. . .I have an errand this morning, so my time has expired for sitting here musing.  Thanks for joining me.

Growing Grasshopper

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My last post, about a month ago, focused on the emotions associated with pregnancy after loss.  I was struggling with the juxtaposition of excitement and fear.  I was envious of women who do not have that conflict in their pregnancies.  I think what I was trying to get across in that post that women who are “PALs” (pregnancy after loss) have some struggles to which those around them should be sensitive.  We’re happy and excited.  But we’re also keenly aware of the fragility of pregnancy at any stage. I don’t know if I conveyed that or not.

I would like to let any of my faithful readers know that even as I wrote that, I was working with my health care team to address my anxieties and issues in a healthy and beneficial way.  To that end, I’m doing much better now.  That is not to say that anxiety is eradicated, but I’m managing it well.

And Grasshopper is growing (as am I)! We had our anatomy scan this past Friday.  Steven is still not allowed in the appointments with me (we’re hoping that will change by July) and I was slightly apprehensive.  However, the first thing the technician did was confirm Grasshopper’s strong heartbeat and then we moved from his (I’m just picking a pronoun. . .) head to his toes.

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Grasshopper gets ready to hide his face.

All of the anatomy was accounted for and located in the appropriate places.  The tiny little kidneys were both getting blood.  The belly didn’t look so tiny, though I’m sure it’s perspective.  My favorite was a little video of the arm coming up to the face.  It’s as if he’s waving and saying, “Hi, Mama!” I was also amused that every time she turned on the 3D scanner, he would waste little time getting his hands and arms up around his face.  My doctor has declared everything “beautiful” and predicted a big baby in our future. . .Grasshopper measured 2 weeks further along than I actually am.  No, the due date isn’t wrong. Both sides of the family just grow ’em big.  (I was a whopping 12lbs 9oz. . .but that’s a story for later). When Steven saw the pictures (he was waiting in the parking lot) he said, “I think he has your nose.” But he also says that Grasshopper looks like Gollum, so I’m not entirely sure how to take that.

It is at this point that I feel true excitement.  I felt a lot of weight lift after this appointment.  This is not to say that I think I’m free and clear now.  Because I’m not…reality is all to real to me.  But I have noticed the difference in the way I share information. . .my own tone and excitement.  I spent the day with my best friend after that appointment, and I got sick of me talking about it.  I can’t imagine what she was feeling.  But she is full of grace, so she just let me gush.

Our lives have been so completely changed by each pregnancy and this one is no different. How blessed we are.