Little Snippets of Gracie’s First 24

Once I had rested a bit after delivering Gracie, it was time to nurse her. My hormones kind of went crazy and I had been so chilled/shaky that both Gracie and I had been covered with blankets. I pulled some of the blankets back only to discover that Gracie had pooped all over me!

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On the way to my postpartum room I asked my nurse if there was any way I could get something to drink and asked if there was gatorade. She said no, but there was juice. She also told me there would be a cheese and cracker tray sent up to me. She got me situated in bed and the cheese and crackers arrived. I was so hungry that I dove right in. There were also grapes and two Reeses peanut butter cups. About halfway through I looked down at my hands only to discover that there were remnants of Gracie’s earlier “christening” under my fingernails. At that point getting up was not an option and I had already eaten half of the food…

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Gracie was kept under the lamps for a little bit after she was born to help bring her body temp up. I had been moved to my room and was resting. Seth stayed with Gracie for awhile and then came to check on me. About 2 am Gracie came down to our room. We decided to see if Gracie would be more interested in nursing and the nurse assisted me with trying to get Gracie latched on but it was proving to be somewhat frustrating for both of us. The nurse left and said for me to call her if we were still having trouble in a few minutes. Seth had gone to get me some water (I was still super thirsty!) so it was just Gracie and I left to our own devices.  Thankfully she got latched on within a couple minutes. It wasn’t a great latch but I didn’t care. I smiled down at my baby, celebrating a small victory.

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From early on I was determined for breastfeeding to be successful. After she fed the first time I set an alarm on my phone so that hopefully I could wake her up before she woke up absolutely starving. Before the nurse had left she had told me that she needed to do some kind of check before Gracie ate next, so I just needed to call her before I fed her again. Easy peasy. Well, Gracie woke up screaming far before that alarm went off. She had pooped again and it was everywhere. I was so tired and could hardly stand, but I did stand and attempted to change her diaper while she wriggled around. Seth was trying to help me but we were both so tired that Gracie clearly had the upper hand.

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Gracie continued to struggle with keeping her body temp up. When our nurse came to do whatever check it was before she ate Gracie’s temp was down again. The nurse insisted that I do skin to skin with Gracie before feeding her. Gracie was so comfy laying on my chest that the both of us fell asleep until the nurse came back almost an hour later. Mama loved having her baby so close and cuddly.

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Babies are supposed to have one wet and one dirty diaper in their first 24 hours. Well, Gracie certainly was pooping a lot but hadn’t a wet diaper when the nurse came to whisk her away for her 24 hour check up. Of course, I was nervous and hoping that everything was ok. When the nurse brought her back to us I asked how she had done and if she had a wet diaper yet. The nurse laughed and said that as soon as the doctor got her diaper off she peed all over and just kept peeing. That’s my girl, waiting until the last minute.

23 Weeks

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Baby girl’s kicks keep getting stronger and stronger.  Probably because of all the children who have attempted to hit my stomach…what the heck?! I had one little girl tell me she was going to hit me and if it hurt it would mean I was having a boy. I almost threatened to hit her… My mama bear instincts have already kicked in though, and I have blocked all attempts. I have noticed one perk of pregnancy with my job is that certain clients with very obnoxious pets now put the pets away so they aren’t bothering me/trying to jump on me. It’s the little things that count.

Blog Fodder

I still have hope that maybe eventually I can get this blogging thing down and blog more than once every 2 months. We’ve been in our new (to us) house for just over two months and I am hoping that actually having blog fodder besides my job will help out with more frequent posts. And I finally have a computer that has a battery life again, so I don’t have to stay chained to an outlet. Hello, blogging from bed.

Speaking of work and blog fodder, I have been on call this week. Most of the time when I am on call the phone barely rings. Apparently my luck is running out. On tuesday I was at the hospital for almost 3 hours with a psychiatrically challenged child. Last night I got a call that was SO not an emergency. This lady didn’t fill out her daycare paperwork and get it turned in on time and was desperately begging me to have her case manager call her. Sorry, but we aren’t miracle workers and we don’t have a time machine. If you didn’t turn the paperwork in on time, it’s not my problem and I can’t help you.

Stretch

Remember a couple months ago when everyone was all “one word for 2013”? Yeah, me too. And at the time I thought my word would be balance and I had these grand dreams of working my butt off to get caught up at work so going forward I could actually plan and work ahead and stop the panic attacks I kept having from cutting too many projects close to the wire.

Isn’t there a verse in the Psalms or Proverbs that says man makes plans and God laughs? I am pretty sure there is and I am pretty sure God must have laughed at my plan. Truth be told, I had every intention of writing all about my word for 2013 but then on New Year’s Eve I had the stomach flu and two days later I had a head cold. Yep, I am pretty sure God must have been chuckling.

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On Instagram I joked that my one word for 2013 could be sick. Two months later, I have to confess I have often thought “2013 might just beat the life out of me.”

Ironically, at church we started out the year with a sermon series entitled: Stretch. The only sermon I can remember out of that series is the one entitled “Stretched by suffering.” I don’t want to go overboard and say that every stressful thing in 2013 has been about suffering for the gospel. I think sometimes we just have a lot of stress in our life and it doesn’t mean God caused it or willed it to happen. Basically all I am saying is that I am uncomfortable right now and sometimes that can be a form of suffering. I get that there are many Christians in the world who suffer far more than I and I have no intention to minimize their suffering.

In a nutshell, this year at work I have had once crisis after another. I have crisis overlapping crisis. I have huge work projects in the midst of these crises. On one occasion my supervisor said to me, “I’ll come in tomorrow if you’ll come in tomorrow.” When you start making contingencies like this with your supervisor it’s never a good sign. I can’t go into specifics about what happens at work (confidentiality or something…) but all I can say is I feel like I have PTSD from some of the things I have witnessed.

So, here I am two months into this year and I am ready for 2014. The stress just keeps coming at work and I don’t think there is an end in sight. I will continue to press on and remind myself that somehow, by the grace of God, this too shall pass.

Fortunately 2013 is also stretching me in positive ways. If all goes well, a month from today I will be a homeowner. Now, that is some positive stress. I am looking forward to being able to decorate a home. I think it is just the thing I need to give me something to focus on besides work. Also, it has been the kick in the pants I need to get back on track with staying on a budget. It also means that there will probably be a puppy in the not so distant future and I am a firm believer that puppies make everything better.

After all, happiness is a warm puppy.

This Week

I’ve been feeling really stressed…

And yet really thankful.

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I’ve been enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas, although with temps in the 60s this weekend it doesn’t much feel like Christmas.

I’ve felt true anger towards foster parents who give up on kids, all the while wanting to maintain control over their lives.

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I’ve been learning that just doing whatever it is I am putting off can actually relieve stress. Whether it’s unloading the dishwasher, or going to see that client I am dreading. If I just do it I instantly feel better.

I’ve learned i just need to let go of things I can’t control. Like clients who don’t return my calls. I have realized I can’t take it personally.

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I’ve learned paying extra on a student loan can lift a burden and create one all at the same time.

I’ve learned a Christmas candle combined with Christmas music can go a long way in making me relax. I’ve also discovered I don’t understand Spotify at all, but I am thankful for creative people who make Christmas playlists I love.

A Fall Brain Dump

There are so many things going on in my brain right now, but not a one of them is substantial enough for its own post.

1. I closed my first case last week. This was obviously a joyous occasion, but it doesn’t really equate to less work. By the time cases get to a point we are recommending they close I probably spend 1-2 hours each month, depending on the number of kiddos involved. Despite the fact that my workload isn’t really decreasing any, I was ecstatic that the case closed. I did a lot of work up to that point to keep the kids stable in their home. Not to mention, the report I wrote that convinced even the toughest critics that this father can adequately parent. Yes, I am pretty proud of myself, but even more I am proud of this family and the strength and perseverance they showed me.

2. I downloaded iOS 6 and I’ve noticed it really drains my battery. I am hoping since I turned off location services my battery life will improve. Or it could be that there is almost always an app update loading. Either way, not cool. #firstworldproblems

3. I’ve worked more overtime in the last two weeks than I ever have. If I worked in any other industry I would be making mad money, but instead I am a social worker and I get paid in hugs. My job is great in that I can usually flex my hours and just come in late if I know I will be working late. Unfortunately I have had so much going on I can’t “just come in later” because I would probably have a panic attack just thinking about the work I should be doing. So instead I continue to go in at 9 (or earlier) and work until 6 (or later). One day this week I worked 12 hours. Not cool. I still came in at 9 the next day.

4. Every time I try to type “worked,” I end up typing “worker.” I use the word “worker” about a gagillion times per case note.

5. The weather transition to fall was NOT a transition. It’s like I woke up this week and BAM! It’s fall! What the heck? I am enjoying the cooler temperatures and enjoying getting to wear sweaters and jackets. It’s like I have a new wardrobe again. Also, I enjoy giving the air conditioner a break.

6. I worked from Starbucks on wednesday and I felt like everyone in the place was judging me on my ancient Dell laptop. I really wanted to tell them “I have a macbook at home.” But I think if I had been there with my 4 year old macbook, they would have been judging me anyway. A 4 yr old laptop is ancient no matter what brand. At least with my mac I would have felt more hip and trendy. Ha!

Fodder

I have determined that children are excellent blogging fodder. See below please :)

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Two year old boy, playing near the fridge: “Mom! Mom! Mom! It’s trying to get me!”

Mom: “What is?”

Child: “The ‘fridgerator!”

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Two boys, age four, playing together. They have a disagreement. One says to the other, “don’t be a wet noodle!”

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I just love my kiddos. The funny things they say and the hugs they give make the long days and late nights worth it.