Awaiting the ABR… Again

Elle is now 5 weeks old. She had her one month check up this week and is now 10 pounds 22 inches. The Doctor has been extremely impressed by her growth. Here is a side by side from her first check up and her last which were taken exactly 4 weeks apart. Elle looks completely different.

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She is really filling out. No more newborn diapers or clothes for her. She has outgrown them!

There aren’t a lot of updates. She smiles now, but it’s not often.

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She still sleeps about 18 hours a day.

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I did a little impromptu photo shoot of her on her 1 month birthday.

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I love that she was born close to the holidays. I think about how our birth story was so unconventional and I wonder how Mary must have felt and what her birth story would be like (of course we know the story, but not from the perspective of Mary).

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We have an important appointment coming up and I would love it if you would be in prayer for us during this time. I previously mentioned that Elle failed the newborn hearing screening. The first time they came in with the equipment to test her the tech lady had a unique personality and was rowdy. I think she was trying to be nice. For most people this is just a routine test. No reason to get too serious, but all kinds of faculty were coming in and out and joking around and making a racket so Elle woke up and was fussy for the second half of the test (the left side). So she failed on the left, but the boisterous tech assured us it was because she woke up and that’s all it was.

The next day a younger new tech came in while it was still dark and quiet in our hospital room. I asked if she could shut the door and maybe hang a do not disturb note or something. She looked at my like I was crazy, but at least it was a much more subdued and calmer atmosphere. She even let me nurse Elle during the test. Again Elle passed on the right, but she couldn’t even get a reading on the left. It was like it wasn’t hooked up right so the tech tried to adjust it. She never was able to figure out what was wrong so she said that she failed and she would refer us to an audiologist. I was hormonal, and tired, and obviously stressed so I sternly proclaimed “We have an audiologist. This is a big concern for us and I’d like to know what is going on” Then J and I asked more questions about the test. None of which she could answer. She looked really intimidated. She had never even heard of Connexin 26 which is the genetic hearing loss that we have in our family. It is the NUMBER ONE CAUSE of sensorineural deafness so you would think someone that tests for hearing loss would have some familiarity with it. I then asked to speak with a supervisor and  did, but she mostly just had some paperwork for me.

I immediately called SJ’s school and talked to our audiologist. She made me feel much better about the whole thing and gave me advice on how to proceed.


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I know a lot about hearing loss and I think Elle can hear. I feel very confident in that. I guess you could say we know she can because the test confirmed it on the right side. With Connexin 26 it is highly unlikely that it would be unilateral (only on one side) so chances are she is fine.

However, this whole thing brings up a lot of tender memories for me. We have to go through all the same testing that we did with SJ and we have to keep her asleep for 90 minutes which should be easy considering what I said about her sleep, but it’s still completely unpredictable and out of our control so that stresses me out.

I cried when I called and scheduled the appointment. I have openly expressed to people how I know that she is fine and it’s just a machine error which happens all the time. And hearing children do fail this test A LOT.

However, lately there have been other thoughts popping into my head that make me wonder why it was the left ear BOTH times. Maybe just a coincidence? I mean if something is going to go wrong with the test you have a 50/50 chance that it will be on the left side. Still part of me wonders if she has another problem on that side that doesn’t even have to do with Connexin 26. Or what if her hearing gets progressively worse, which can happen. What if she is one of those rare cases?

Luckily, most of these frantic thoughts didn’t really come into my mind until this week so at least I haven’t spent the past 4 weeks panicking.

Please pray that we get some answers with this test. I do have a peace about it, and all in all I think everything is going to be okay, but I hate the idea that if she doesn’t sleep we have to drag this out for another month or so. That would be terrible. I just want this to be over with.

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The reason I titled this “Awaiting the ABR… Again” is because I wrote another post about 3 1/2 years ago when I was waiting for this same test for SJ. You can read “Awaiting the ABR” to find out what the test is and what the waiting period was like for me in that time when I didn’t know for sure whether or not SJ was deaf. It feels like a world away.

Thanks for all the prayers and support. Of course I will keep you posted.

By | December 16th, 2015|Babies, Hearing Loss, My Life, Pregnancy & Birth|4 Comments

The Smallest Person. The Most Laundry.

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In the past three weeks my mom, my husband, and I have all collaboratively worked toward keeping the piles of dirty laundry from taking over house. It’s like some kind of horror movie. I could just picture the clothes eventually coming to life and forming a mutiny. Instead of The Walking Dead it’s The Walking Threads.

I am grateful for the help I have had with these excess loads of laundry, but since when did washing clothes become such a massive effort?  It feels like it is endless! All because of a sweet little baby? How could one tiny new family member triple our laundry?

Her socks could fit on my thumbs. An entire new born baby outfit is smaller than one of my three year old’s pant legs. It’s not like she is a fashionista. She’s three weeks old! WHERE IS ALL THIS LAUNDRY COMING FROM?

When I really stop and think about it, it does make sense though.

Sure she’s cute and small, but don’t let that fool you. She’s a mess.

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Every time I change her diaper she pees. I try to be really fast and wipe her while the dirty diaper is underneath and then get a clean one on her bottom immediately, but somehow in that brief moment with no diaper she always pees and it’s often accompanied by poop. I have learned to put a changing pad under her, but then that means her outfit and the changing pad are now soiled and need to go into the hamper.

For her first Doctor’s appointment she peed on their exam table and then I picked her up so that they could change the paper out and she pooped ALL OVER ME. She wasn’t even 8 pounds at the time so it’s pretty amazing that she could even hold that much bright mustardy yellow poo and yet there it was, all over my shirt.

Ohhh and the spit up! Projectile spit up. Spit up everywhere.

Maybe you are familiar with the Moby Wrap? It’s cool. My sister in law is letting me borrow hers. How it works is that you wrap yourself and the baby with 5 yards of fabric. Then you get enough spit up or a blow out diaper on that thing and that’s a half a load of laundry right there.


Plus all the burp cloths, sheets and blankets that get pee, poop, or spit up on them.

I can’t really blame her for my leaky breasts, but I kind of can, so I will. I usually wear pajamas several times before washing them because I generally don’t have a reason to. Well, that used to be the case. Now I am lucky if I don’t have to change shirts in the middle of the night. YIKES!

Blankets + sheets + wraps + shirts + pants + changing pads + baby = a BUNCH of laundry.

It’s all good though. Before you know it I’ll be hauling her prom dress off to the dry cleaner. I look forward to those days too, but for now I’m cherishing all the burp cloths…

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and teeny tiny jeggings. 

By | December 7th, 2015|Babies, Laughter|3 Comments

Her First 3 Weeks (with photos)

I recently shared how difficult the first three weeks postpartum have been for me, but the good news is Elle would never know it. Her life has been comfy and sheltered.

12195876_10153760323994700_2412055774264314316_nI feel like being born two weeks early really did make a difference for her. My sister in law said she has friends who had preemies and noticed that on their original 40 week due date it was like they suddenly had an alert fully developed baby. Elle wasn’t a born premature (she was 8 pounds!) but she did practically sleep through her first two weeks of life and I wonder if that’s why.

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I know my mom was slightly concerned, but the Doctors said as long as she’s eating, pooping, and gaining weight then she’s good. She definitely was doing all of those things so I’ll take it as a blessing that she was so easy going.

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Sure enough on her due date she started acting like she was “out of the womb”

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From then on she was so much more alert. Her eyes were really wide open and she would express herself a little more. She had several “firsts” at two weeks.

She went to church for the first time.

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She visited SJ’s school. On a side note, I could be a millionaire and it wouldn’t matter. There is nothing in the world that I could buy or do for SJ that would amount to the kind happiness that she gets from her little sister and the joy of having a baby to help take care of.

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She and all of her classmates have been anticipating the arrival of baby Elle for a LONG time and I told her she would be able to have her visit her school before Thanksgiving break, but then I got sick. I was so worried about canceling the plans I made with the teacher and with SJ because I knew it would devastate her.

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So I took a Motrin and rode over to the school, but my mom was the one that actually went in and introduced the baby (I wasn’t contagious or anything, but I was just feeling too fatigued and achey thanks to my bladder infection). I was sad that I missed it, but I got to see pictures and it sounds like the introduction went really well.

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The other two week milestone was that Elle had her first bath. She liked the water, but she didn’t like being cold afterwards!

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She also had her first Thanksgiving, although that was pretty uneventful since she didn’t eat anything and slept the whole time.

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She is three weeks old now. I don’t have the latest photos uploaded yet. She is getting control of that neck though and  trying to lift her head up. She seems to like to sit upright more (with support of course) rather than being completely in the cradle position.

I have been blessed that all 4 of my children breastfed really easily. Elle has had no problems latching on and she loves to eat.

The biggest obstacle we’ve faced with her so far is thrush, but my friend gave me some Colloidal Silver and I just put a drop on my finger and rubbed it around in her mouth once a day and it cleared right up. Her diaper rash is gone too, but it was really inflamed so we used nystatin cream for that.

I’ll admit I am hormonal and emotional these days. It’s been bitter sweet to watch how quickly they change from being a tiny precious infant. I used to not care for the newborn stage so much. I wanted to skip to the part where they were walking and interacting. Now I LOVE this stage of innocence and simplicity. I absolutely adore it.

And her dad and siblings are just obsessed as I am.

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Next up, baby’s first Christmas!

By | December 3rd, 2015|Babies|5 Comments

Elle’s Birth Story

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When I planned to have my baby at a birthing center that was an hour from our house I got a lot of different reactions from concerned people thinking that would be too far of a drive. However, this was my 4th baby and all three of my other pregnancies and deliveries were pretty consistent. So I felt like I knew my body well enough to get there with time to spare.

Monday (November 9th) gave me NO indication that I was anywhere close to being in labor. It was nothing like my other births where I had mild contractions that built all day long. Nothing was happening. Not even braxton hicks. Plus I was only 37 weeks along.

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That night I fell asleep earlier than usually, but I woke up at 10:30 pm and that’s when things got weird.

I was confused by the signs. I had lower back pain and some pressure, but I hadn’t had any contractions. I told J (my husband) that I didn’t feel good and then I felt the first contraction at 10:41 pm.

I called my parents to come stay with the kids who were asleep in bed. I had only had one measly contraction at this point, but my parents live an hour and a half away and I just knew something was up! I tried to relax in a bath which is supposed to slow things down if it’s false labor, but instead I just started freaking out. Not because of contractions, but because I felt pressure. I felt nauseous. I was trembling and it looked an awful lot like transition!

I told J that I was scared and I wanted to go to a closer hospital. I had no idea where or what that would be. I felt so confused and panic set in. J said we just needed to get in the car and go, but I was insistent that we couldn’t go because I didn’t want to bring the kids.

At about 11:40 pm we loaded up the van with our partially packed bags and three groggy kids who were all in footie pajamas. My parents would have to meet us at the birth center. The contractions were strong, but they were still only 10 minutes apart and I was relieved because I assumed that meant we would have plenty of time.

About 11:50 things started getting intense. I was praying out loud. I would sing worship songs through contractions and really tried to stay focused.

Moments later the contractions were coming one on top of the other. As soon as one would stop another would begin and I vocalized this to J. Then we began to pray. I started praying with authority

“Lord, you are in control. I trust in you! I will not have this baby in the car. We are going to make it to the hospital in JESUS NAME. Labor has to stop until we get to safety!”

I was declaring very specific things and I can look back and laugh at it now, but I was serious about it. I have never wanted an unassisted birth. I was not comfortable with the idea of having the baby in the car.

Then when we were about 15 miles away I knew God wasn’t answering my prayer in the way I was hoping. The baby was coming. There is no fighting it. I had done this before and when the baby is ready to be born you can not stop it. So I gave in, and let me tell you the grace and peace of God was all over that van. My mindset changed to being very assertive. It’s weird. I became my own midwife and I narrated everything that was happening out loud. I can’t tell you why I did this, but hey, it worked out.

Here is the dialogue that transpired. J and I were both completely calm. It had to have been the Holy Spirit because even the kids were calm (one was asleep).

Me: Okay. I feel the urge to push. I am taking off my seat belt. I am going to have to take off my pants now. 

I had on a long T-shirt and a sweatshirt, and I quickly removed my cotton sweat pants. I was in the front passenger seat with my body slightly tilted and right leg lifted up and apart from my left. Luckily I had brought a towel and had it under me.

J: Do you want me to pull over?

Me: No, by the time the paramedics get here we would have already been to the hospital. Just keep driving.

Plus it was a dangerous freeway and dark and rainy. We both felt this was a safer option given our proximity to the hospital.

J: Do you need any light?

Me: No.

Then I reach down to see if I am imagining it, but I do feel the top of the baby’s head crowning.

Me: Okay I feel the head.

After another contraction her head was out and I had my hands gently cupping her head.

Me: The head is out. Alright. We need the body to come out now. Come on baby girl with the next contraction I am going to push the body out.

Another contraction and a slight push from me. I felt the shoulders and the body being pushed out. I kept my right hand under her head and my left hand scooped her up under her armpit and behind her back.

Me: I am going to wrap her in my pants and put her on my chest now.

And I did

J: She is crying. Good. Does it look like she’s okay?

Me: Yes, she’s fine.

I looked over at my husband as I held my now calm daughter who was so peaceful and perfect. Everything was quiet as we rode along in the dark .

Me: Is this real? Did that really happen… or am I in a dream?

J: Yes. It’s real.

 

After that we called the birth center (which is inside of a hospital by the way). This was at 12:27 am. There was a team of nurses with a wheel chair waiting for us at the entrance. I felt like a million bucks as we rolled up and they congratulated me and helped me get my shoes back on. I was fully prepared to hop out of the car when it hit me. The adrenaline drained from my body. I was light headed. I felt pain. My “super powers” were gone and I was bleeding. I know that sounds so dramatic, but it really did happen like that.

Since I couldn’t get out of the car they had to put me on a stretcher and roll me into the hospital where a Doctor would check on me and the baby. That’s when I delivered the placenta.

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They reminded me to breath and as I did I felt relief. It was over and we were both doing fine, but I knew it would be a while before it all really sunk in.

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My parents showed up shortly after that. We all chatted in the hospital room and watched in awe as they washed, weighed, and measured the miraculous little package that had turned our world upside down.

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I didn’t expect her to be 2 weeks early. I didn’t expect the labor to be so fast. I wasn’t prepared for any of it. Still, God is Faithful and in the end I am really glad our entire family was together in the brand new mini van that no one is allowed to even eat or drink in! It was really special.

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So that’s my fourth birth story.

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There’s the one at the birth center, the one in the bathtub at home, the one at the hospital, and now the one in a moving vehicle. Yes there are more options for birth locations, but I think that’s enough adventures for me, at least of this nature.

 

The End.

Or in Ellis’s case the beginning.

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By | November 15th, 2015|My Life, Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|52 Comments

She’s Here

The review I posted Wednesday was already written and scheduled, other than that I haven’t blogged at all since Monday November 9th when I announced baby Elle’s name. The reason for this is because I had baby Elle on Monday night. Technically it was Tuesday morning because it was about 12:25 am when she arrived. There is so much more to the story. SOOOOO MUCH. But for now I just wanted to a quick blog announcement and I will be back next week with lots of photos and updates. Love you all. Have a great weekend!

 

Messy Mom announcement edit

By | November 13th, 2015|Babies, My Life, Pregnancy & Birth|6 Comments

The Final weeks of Pregnancy

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Whoa… it’s almost baby time! This week is all about preparation because next week I am gong to be full term. Actually that’s not true. I used to think that, but turns out that is “outdated” information. Things have already changed since my last baby!

As USA Today reports (2 years ago)

“Generations of mothers-to-be have heard that babies born any time between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy were “at term” — neither too early nor too late. But that is now officially outdated wisdom.

A pregnancy is “full term” only in the narrower two-week window that starts at 39 weeks, under new definitions published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology and endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.”

Here is the new rundown

• Early term: Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks, six days

• Full term: Between 39 weeks and 40 weeks, six days

• Late term: Between 41 weeks and 41 weeks, six days

• Post term: 42 weeks and beyond

I found this to be interesting. 37 weeks is still significant though because if I went into labor this week it would be considered “preterm” and therefor high risk. So I would be admitted to the hospital. If I went into labor next week it would be “early term”, but low risk, normal, and healthy. I would have the green light to give birth at the birthing center as planned.

So this week is all about getting stuff done in preparation for baby girl (whose name I am still anxious to announce. I might cave!)

  • Sunday- Clean out freezer and refrigerator. Stock freezer. 
  • Monday- Look at mini van options
  • Tuesday- Research Study (this is not pregnancy related, but it’s an appointment I was already committed to)
  • Wednesday- Appointment with Midwife, GBS test, scope out hospital and hotel routes with mom
  • Thursday- WIC appointment (I am getting Ezie, the baby, and I signed up for the women, infants, children nutrition program)
  • Friday- Appointment at birth center to finalize preregistration paperwork and discuss birth plan!
  • Saturday- Dad watches kids so J and I can have our “baby moon”

So I have something scheduled everyday and most of it is all baby related. Next week I’ll be packing my bags getting the house ready!!! Hopefully we will have a van by then because that is the last major necessity that has to be taken care of ahead of time. We have a major prospect lined up, but we still have some praying to do before we pull the trigger on it.

Chances are I won’t have the baby until 39 weeks, but I would rather be prepared ahead of time. At least to the best of my abilities, nothing ever works out exactly like I plan. It’s just like when I throw birthday parties. My mind is reeling with to do lists and I think I am covering all the details, but it never fails that I am frantically trying to pull it together at the last minute! It always works out though. This is just another birthday. It’s the birth day and I can’t wait to find out when and how it will all take place.

By | October 27th, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth|3 Comments

When to Introduce Video Games

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When my son Z was four we were given a Wii. It was a hand-me-down. No exchange of money was involved. The consoles have since been discontinued anyway, so it really shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

It was a very thoughtful gift and we still enjoy using it so I don’t want to come across as ungrateful in anyway. I just want to share my story for any moms on the fence about when and if they should introduce video games into their children’s lives. It seems like there is a big divide between the electronic game lovers and haters. I have met parents (and read many reports online) that exhibit both extremes.

I personally have never had reason to be anti video games. We got a Nintendo when I was 5 years old. I played it, but I certainly never had any addiction issues or negative impact so that was probably what has shaped my opinion. However, Z loved the Wii on a level beyond my expectations! He also loved games on the phone or the computer. From ages 4 to 6 I would say he was obsessed with Mario and Sonic.

He is a smart kid, which I honestly think contributed to his obsession. He would eventually conquer the games he played. Although it wasn’t without cost. There were many times he lashed out in anger when he lost. He would be grounded for treating family members aggressively while playing. He would have break downs and cry huge tears over games. It was painful for me to watch. He had a video game addiction and it was scary.

One day I asked a mom friend who has kids several years ahead of mine how she handles it. I knew she would be knowledgable because not only is she a homeschooling mother of 4 boys, but even her husband who is a successful business man has nights dedicated to playing video games with his friends (I know this because sometimes my husband joined in). My question to this wise woman is how she balances the gaming. I expressed my concern and explained that I didn’t want to pull the plug completely, but I didn’t know what else to do. She paused and thought out loud saying that I could consider setting some strict boundaries and rules with a timer and then she said something that kind of made me mad. She said

I don’t know. I can’t really give you advice because we don’t deal with that. The boys are so busy with school work, swim team, and church. They are outside a lot and yeah they play video games, but we just don’t have much time for it. We have a lot going on. 

Ohhhhhh, well. Us too I thought sarcastically. Except I was really burnt up by her non-answer answer. I guess if my family were just as studious, athletic and dedicated to more important things then I wouldn’t be having this problem.

I can see why 4 years ago I would feel that way, but now I get it. I mean I really get it. Z is in school all day. We get an hour of screen time a day, if that. He has a lot of other commitments and things that he puts his energy into. So even though Minecraft and all that is fun, it’s not the obsession that it was. He’s matured more emotionally since then too. Don’t get me wrong, he still gets overly competitive in his gaming at times and I’ve caught him being rude and ignoring people while playing, which of course is unacceptable. Also, I have had to be really careful of any games online because I have learned that some of them include interacting with other players and I am completely 100% against that! He knows he is NOT allowed to communicate online under any circumstances whatsoever and I keep a close eye on it, but that’s another topic.

I have seen how there are good things that can come from video games. Z and his dad have really bonded over electronics.

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Z got to join a programing course for his birthday this year and this was his showcase.

He has learned a lot of problem solving skills. He’s pretty much already a techie mastermind in my opinion. I wouldn’t be the surprised at all if programing or computer engineering is in his future (like his dad).

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The day Z got to get out of school to go see the robot his dad programed.

So I am still not anti-video games. However, as I look back I can see how maybe we would have been better off waiting until last year when he was 7 to introduce gaming.

Keep in mind this just a personal testimony, all children are different. It’s not like I am one of those parenting experts or something.


Next up I have to worry about when he is going to care about having the latest and greatest (i.e. super expensive) game device. Or when the violent games become an issue. Yikes.

Sometimes I feel like I am in my own live action parenting video game having to get through unforeseen obstacles. I guess I’ll worry about conquering the next level when I get to it.

By | October 23rd, 2015|Family, Parenting Tips|14 Comments

Birth Photography

 

 

I know birth photography isn’t for everyone, but for some of us it is such a wonderfully significant milestone it’s worth documenting. I am currently working on doing multiple guest post about my natural birth experiences. I had to dig the digital photos out of the archives to get to my pictures for these blogs, but after looking through all of them and reminiscing I knew I just had to share some of them on Messy Mom.

For how different each one was (birth center, Texas, home birth, water birth, hospital birth, Kentucky…) All of my pregnancies and deliveries have been quite predictable, which is a blessing. Without further ado here are some black and white photos of each stage of my last three pregnancies and deliveries.

 

The belly

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Ah, yes the retro iPod. This was at about 37 weeks with Z. 

 

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Full term with SJ

 

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Days before Ezie’s birth.

I tend to carry all of my babies the same I guess. I always gain 25 pounds and I usually don’t get stretch marks… until the end. Ha, you thought I was one of those lucky women, but no.

 

Labor

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My first baby. Laying on the bed at the birth center. J said I was mean. I don’t remember that! 

 

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I have almost NO photos of labor with SJ because the photographer and the midwife got there right when it was time to push, but here is one strategically cropped photo of me in the bathtub in our home. I was literally crowning and that’s my midwifes head in the foreground. Sorry if that’s TMI for anybody. 

 

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Here is a shot of me swaying with my husband during Ezie’s labor. I did eventually get in the water though after I progressed a little more. 

 

Delivery

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I’ll spare your the graphic photos of when Z was born, but J was the catcher and here he is with my midwife the very moment Z was delivered.

 

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Seconds after SJ was delivered. 

 

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I don’t even have my arms around Ezie yet in this photo. It’s the very moment he was born. 

 

Meeting the Family 

 

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The grandmas meeting our first born.

 

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Big brother and the grandmas meeting SJ at our home birth. 

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Z and SJ meeting their little brother for the first time. 

 

The First Look

Here are the first close up shots ever taken of my three little angels.

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Stay tuned for the 4th installment, which will be about a month from now!

By | October 22nd, 2015|Babies, Pregnancy & Birth|8 Comments

3 Year Gap

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Tomorrow I am 35 weeks along in this pregnancy! Let’s just say that if history repeats itself (as it has consistently done with all of my other pregnancies) then a month from now I will NOT be pregnant. I might still be in the hospital, but more than likely I’ll have my baby! So, I am getting so very excited, but also nervous.

Even though, yes, I have done this 3 times before it was over three years ago. For some reasons I have forgotten so much since then. All three of my children are 2.5 years apart, like clock work. This will be the first time the youngest is over three years old. It’s not that big of a difference, but somehow it is. I haven’t breastfed in over a year. I haven’t changed a diaper in 8 months. We rarely use a stroller and it’s been a long time since our home has seen a pacifier, crib, or highchair.  We have one child proof doorknob, other than we just don’t do baby proof these days.

It wasn’t like that with my other pregnancies. When each child turned two I already knew I was pregnant so we never fully vacated the baby zone.

Obviously a three year gap is NOTHING compared to the many friends and family I know that had surprise pregnancies after 8, 9, or even 10 + years! I could tell you some stories (and you probably have some for me). So I’m not implying it’s a big gap I’m just admitting that I feel slightly more rusty this go round. It’s like I have to loosen those muscles again and make more of a conscious effort to remember what post partum stuff I need or did my belly really stretch this much before!?

I told the midwife that I had a growth spurt. I was convinced this baby was bigger and would come sooner than my other three. As far as we can tell from her exam that is not the case, but I just don’t remember stretching this much!

On the other end of the spectrum I feel like enough of a veteran that I don’t worry too much about what to expect. In fact I feel old when I am on Facebook reading about all these new moms touting what the latest and greatest must-have baby products are.

First I feel old just for being so out of the trend loop and then I feel really, really old because my reaction is usually

Eh, you don’t need any of that overpriced mumbo jumbo. You got some diapers, boobs, and a carseat? Then yer all set. 

Yeah, the voice in my head is a hillbilly apparently.

Anyway, I will definitely keep everyone posted. This is the last week that I have no prenatal appointments. After this I’m full term and I’ll be seeing the midwife once a week. At that point it will be all hands on deck as far as nesting, planning, and preparing. You can expect some tunnel vision. I apologize in advance for the lack of diverse content on the blog. It’s baby or bust!

By | October 19th, 2015|Pregnancy & Birth|8 Comments

Mirrored Writing

Have you ever seen the servers write their name upside down at Macaroni Grill? I waited tables there for years and really had the backwards cursive signature down pat. It took practice though. It wasn’t like I just automatically write in reverse although sometimes it looks like my daughter SJ does.

 

left handed mirrored writing

She hasn’t been writing for long, but in the past couple years I have noticed a trend where she not only writes from right to left, but the letters are often backwards as well.

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Above is a drawing of her dad teaching her to ride her bike. The names are Daddy, Ezra, Sedona, and Mommy. Not all spelled correctly, but clearly written starting on the right. Writing her family’s names is one of her favorite things to do and it always looks something like this.

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Of course I freaked out a little bit when I saw this repeatedly because she has been a detail oriented perfectionists since she was two. I could tell story after story of how visual and focused she is. I think some of it comes from her delayed access to sound. So I knew it must be something that was a mix up going on inside her mind and not just her being silly or sloppy.

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It sounds like I am the perfectionist, but I am not! Not at all. Thanks to her speech delay I have never expected her to be able to write at age four. I was just worried because I hated the idea of her as a special needs child to have another hurdle to face.

I do realize dyslexia is more than just backwards letters, but at the same time I didn’t like how consistent she was with this mirrored writing. All kids mix up letters and left and right from time to time, but this was so thorough!

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The above is her copy of the “EAT MOR CHIKIN” sign from Chic-fil-A. So in this case she was looking directly at the message she was copying. The words below were completely from memory and those are some of her sight words. I, am, the, little.

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Here is the beginning of the alphabet (she did this in the car recently)

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And here is the same image MIRRORED. There are a few backwards letters like J, N, and P, but she’s still learning. I think if she knew the “right” way to write them then she probably would have written all of them backwards!

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I could give other examples about reading or journaling from back to front, but I have been asking about this for years and the experts didn’t seem concerned. She goes to a special private school where they give frequent assessments and go through everything with a fine tooth comb. They told me not to worry. When she is at school with the lined paper and direct instruction she seems to be doing everything the correct way from left to right. Most importantly she really enjoys reading and writing. And she absolutely loves homework!

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Still, at the last parent teacher conference I brought it up AGAIN and they looked through some samples I brought and explained why the order and precision of her work does not show signs of dyslexia at all. Not that I think dyslexia is the worst thing in the world. Like I said though, she has enough extra obstacles due to her hearing loss without adding any other disabilities.

The more people I talk to and the more I research online it looks like her mirrored writing can probably be attributed to her being left handed. Just one of the many resources I have found to support this is from the Better Health Channel and it says

  • Left-handed children learning to write often write back to front (‘mirror’ writing). This is a natural inclination, not a sign of dyslexia, and will resolve given time, practice and encouragement.

She just has to be the minority in every aspect doesn’t she? That little stinker! I am just joking. I am serious though about being grateful that this whole mystery is pretty much solved.

Have you seen or known any mirror writers? This was a first for me.

By | October 16th, 2015|Schooling, Special Needs|8 Comments