Thursday, October 15, 2009

SOS

In which I reminisce about my baby and ruminate about life as it is right now. And try not to cry.

Has anyone ever told you that having twins is easy, blissful and no harder than dealing with a singleton? No? I didn't think so. Because they would be lying. Conditions certainly improve as multiples get older, but I don't know that it's ever easy. The whole will always be greater, harder, more intense, scarier than the sum of its parts.

My twins are good boys -- they are bright, and happy, and fun, and, had they been born singly, I would probably have considered them each to be a relatively easy baby. But when there are two, there is little time for a break in between taking care of everyone's needs. My sister, who also has twins, once referred to herself as a dairy bar. She's right -- early on, when you're nursing and haven't quite figured out the whole tandem thing, by the time you've gotten number two fed, burped and changed, number one is hungry again, and before you know it, it's time to go to bed, and you haven't even had a shower because one baby or the other has been nursing all the livelong day.

When my twins were barely a year old (still nursing), I found out I was pregnant again -- miraculously, since conception occurred the good old-fashioned way instead of in a fertility clinic lab.

Total honesty here: I cried. For days. Just ask MommyJ. I was already a basket case because I did not feel well-equipped enough to handle the children I already had. I was afraid throwing one more into the mix might push me over the edge.

I prayed mightily to the Lord that he would carry me through, that he would send me, first, only one baby at a time, and second, that the baby would be one with an easy disposition. I sent my white banner up the flag pole and dialed in my SOS. And he sent me MayDay.


This past Saturday, we celebrated MayDay's 3rd birthday. From the first day, he has been a balm of a child. He was the answer to my fervent prayers for mercy.


MayDay is the greatest sleeper I have ever encountered. He loves his bed and usually has his eyes closed before I've even turned out the light. He snuggles in to his pillow and "Grandma blankets" with a contented sigh and drifts off without a struggle, every single night.

Today.

MayDay is a very talented mess-maker. He can't eat anything without getting it all over him -- peanut butter from ear to ear, fingers full of Cheeto dust, yogurt on his eyebrows. But the same kid can't stand to be messy. As soon as he's done with that PB&J, he's off to the bathroom to wash his hands with smelly soap, which he also loves.

First day of school:
GDog (standing one step down), MayDay (in his backpack even though he doesn't yet go to preschool), ConMan


He laughs at his own jokes -- which, especially for a three-year-old, are quite funny. He loves his daddy. He camps and hikes with enthusiasm. He sometimes loses his blanket, and blames it on me. He talks a blue streak. Sometimes he talks with his thumb in his mouth. He loves new clothes (because most of his have been handed down from his brothers). His cheerful disposition is reflected in his big, sparkly blue eyes. MayDay is the first to come running to offer assistance when I ask for it. He sucks his right thumb, and I cannot look at his teeth without seeing dollar signs, because trips to the orthodontist will most certainly be in his future. He is a giant, and his big brothers had better watch out, because one day soon, he will be bigger than they are. They are, after all, only 20 months apart. This also means the big boys do not remember when he was not around: he is the essential third member of their cohort, and their inclusion of him in their play has spurred him to accelerated development in many areas. He has to keep up!

MayDay shares his blanket with any snuggle-partner he can find.

As I have contemplated the joy this child has brought to our home since his birth three years ago, I have come to see that the Lord has answered my prayers in ways I was not necessarily able to see when I received them. My SOS is always heard, and this is an immense comfort to me, especially now that we seem to be sending up an inordinately high concentration of distress signals into the heavens.

As I write this, CPod's mama is in recovery from the kidney and pancreatic transplant surgery she underwent through the night. She has been diabetic for 40 years. This stressed her internal organs enough to put her in end-stage renal failure, requiring both dialysis and an eventual kidney transplant. She also received a new pancreas, which, if it revascularizes the way we hope, will begin producing the insulin her own pancreas has failed to manufacture for the past 4 decades. In other words, she will no longer be diabetic.

As I write this, I am stressing out about cash flow in our business. We are not the only ones, I know. Our industry is rather elastic, and while I hate to blame it on the economy, I'm grateful for that excuse because otherwise, I might actually have to do some serious analysis of our business practices -- but I know they are sound and I know we are doing our best. My poor husband, who is excellent at what he does and has an outstanding reputation amongst his peers in the field, is beginning to take it personally.

As I write this, I'm doing a mental inventory of our obligations. Our personal finances are in good order. We have felt, over the past year, a near compulsion to get completely out of debt. We have paid off a car, and all of our student loan debt, save a paltry $700 that I am just about to finish off with some of our savings. Now that we are weathering this economic storm, I know that compulsion was more of a prompting -- and that we will survive this lean time primarily because our personal cash flow needs are so minimal.

As I write this, I am steeling myself for the next step, in which I may possibly lose the luxury of a husband who is home a lot. Something has to happen to supplement the cash flow of the business -- it needs a big shot in the arm until we get a handle on things. This might mean less CPod at home around the same time it means one more child in our family. It will be temporary, but it will be hard.

As I write this, I am counting the blessings I have in my life. They are innumerable. They are ever-increasing. And I am praying mightily, as I did when I was pregnant with MayDay, that the Lord will be merciful and help us get through this -- that we will come out smiling on the other side and be more faithful as a result of the trials we have endured.

Pray with me?

19 comments:

  1. I have been feeling the very same way. Adam has had some job issues recently, but I feel very blessed and know that we are in a good situation.

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  2. I don't think there's any family out there who hasn't had this concern, may be it was a pay cut, less costumers at our business, enforced weeks off, etc. We have all felt it and we keep feeling and unfortunately it doesn't look great ahead but we do have something bigger than any economy, global warming, stupidity of men, etc. We have the one and only creator of it all who is with us and who will get us through this and many other rough moments in life. Don't we? YES I'LL GLADLY PRAY WITH YOU!!

    Love all the pictures posted in here and yes your darling boy was a very well behaved baby, I happened to be at a friend's house once - years ago - when he was still rolling on the floor - while she kept him and he was a adorable!!!! We took turns playing with him ... I remember :)

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  3. You can add our prayers to yours! This was a wonderfully, heartfelt post.

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  4. Every Mama needs a Mayday!!!

    You already know that God will help you through all of this. I hope you also know that you are tougher, more resilient, and more creative than you think you are. All of which will serve you well.

    Your family is in my prayers.

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  5. You know I'm praying. And you know how much I love Mayday. He's your mercy baby, just like Henry was mine.

    I loce you dear sister. And I can't wait to see you tomorrow night. :)

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  6. I don't know if it helps to hear that so many are struggling in the same way, but they are, and there is great love and empathy all around you, I guarantee.

    Your tribute to your little guy was so sweet. And my husband also found himself much busier and less accessible just as I had another baby, in this case my third.

    It's survivable, but you find yourself shedding a lot of unnecessary obligations and just hunkering down in your cave to do the mom & kid thing. It was during this time that I really learned the beautiful ring the word "NO" has to it!

    Wouldn't it be cool if that baby girl had both you and your husband's hair? Like, dark auburn or something? Yummy!!

    One day at a time, InkMom dear! You can do this...

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  7. Every mother deserves one MayDay. (Mine is The Princess.) And I love that you sent out an S.O.S. and it was answered so powerfully, unquestionably.

    Yes, friend, I'll pray with you -- any time.

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  8. p.s. My sister-in-law has twins. And I am convinced it was the twins that made her the most competent, confident, amazing mother of all of us! Hang in there!

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  9. Of course I will pray with you. If anyone can do this, you and Cpod can! I think we're all different uncomfortable situations right now...financial or otherwise. It's nice to have a network that prayers for each other outside of immediate family. I love this post :-)

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  10. I think the Lord heard my SOS when he chose which children to send to me as triplets. If my first three children had been born together I probably would not have survived. My triplets, individually, were such easy babies. It was the group experience that nearly did me in.

    I'm sorry to hear that CPod's business is struggling. I will say a prayer for you & yours!

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  11. Absolutely you've got my prayer. The great thing about the Lord is that he gave you one experience and answered prayer to help prepare you for this experience. And I respect you for making such good decisions with your money. I hope this whole economic mess helps move us a country toward making those better choices as a part of our financial culture.

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  12. What a gift...not just to have received such a powerful answer to prayer, but to be blessed with the perspicacity to truly see and appreciate it. Not just in the moment it happened, but continually throughout your life, drawing sweet comfort from the knowledge of it. This post was such a beautiful expression of gratitude, and inspires me to take the time for some of my own. Thank you.

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  13. I will pray with you.
    Hoping that you will make it through this trial and all will be well.
    Sounds like you are doing what you can.
    Prayers are answered.
    I just wish I was a bizzilionaire and could share the wealth with you.
    Take care.

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  14. What a touching, poignant post. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.

    Adorable pics of the munchkins!

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  15. Of course I'll pray with you.

    This reminds me of when I got pregnant with our third son. I cried for MONTHS.

    And he's my angel boy, who blesses my life in countless ways every day.

    Isn't it amazing that sometimes the Lord answers prayers that we haven't even offered yet, with blessings that seem like trials at first?

    Your SOS is coming. Probably from an unlikely - yet inspired - source.

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  16. You are a wise and faithful woman, you!! Loved this post, as I do all of your posts when life allows me time to stop in. I have no doubt that your blessing are innumerable and that your perspective and growth through them all is amazing ... always has been ;) Love you much and can't wait for news of that sweet baby girl's arrival!!!

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  17. I loved reading this. My best friend has twins, for her they are #2 and #3, and she was terrified to have any babies for a long time after she had them. Because she was afraid she'd have twins again and because she didn't know if she could have the twins and even one baby. I watched her agonize over adding to her family and learned a lot from that. (She eventually had three more.)

    And when I had my third, my husband went from being around all the time to us seeing him for maybe an hour a day, and sometimes the kids didn't see him at all. It was tough, but we made it through and the Lord definitely blessed us. Good for you for getting your finances in order (I am so jealous of the student loan payoff!), and I know that God will continue to bless you just how you need Him to.

    Because He always does.

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  18. My prayers are with you.

    My mom started, like you, with twin boys. I admire everyone who weathers that storm.

    And I'm sitting here thinking, maybe I don't appreciate the MayDay's I have. . .

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  19. aha! It's you who looked at my blog from North Carolina the other day. I was very curious.

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Sock it to me!