Tuesday, January 31, 2012

About Death and Dying

So, I am sure from the title of this post you are just dying (no pun intended) read this blog post today!! It is a deep and not-so-fun subject which is part of what I am going to talk about. This may be a different perspective on death than what most have but I hope it will make you think.

I work with and around death a lot. I work at a hospital where people are supposed to get well but, unfortunately, that is not always the case and people do sometimes die there. Since I am a social worker, I work very closely with the families of the deceased during their initial grief period. I can tell you that people ALL react differently to death. Most of the time the reactions can be pinpointed to cultural differences but you never really know how the death of a loved one will affect someone, whether expected or not. I have worked deaths of children, elderly cancer patients, those on hospice, and with young men and women who have just lost their babies to stillbirth and neonatal death.

I have heard the phrase before "good death." I never knew what that meant until I started working in the healthcare industry. Some deaths are "good" and is basically referring to those deaths that after suffering or long awaited times of anticipated death. Although death is never easy, when it is expected, the families seem more accepting. But let me say that I have seen some not-so-good deaths.

Recently I lost a friend in a tragic car accident. She was 37 years old and left behind a 6 year old and a loving husband. She was so full of life and loved the Lord and was not ashamed to tell everyone she knew. In my short lifetime I have lost treasured grandparents, friends in high school, and just last year a girl that was like a sister to me. What I will say is that for believers death should never be a tragedy. It should be a time of rejoicing. I honestly believe the feelings that we have after someone dies is selfish. I am not saying that I have not mourned and grieved the death of loved ones. I have and it is healthy to do so. Yes, the circumstances surrounding some deaths are tragic but the death itself is not. I think of my friend who died recently. It is terribly sad that she left behind a little girl who only now has memories of her mommy. It breaks my heart to know what it has and will do emotionally to those that love and care for her. Then I think of the fact that there is absolutely NOTHING better than entering the presence of Christ. She is walking on streets of gold and looking at the face of Jesus. AHH!!! How perfect for her! She is singing with God's angels and just knowing what we long to know and see.

I get very emotional and weepy when I start thinking about my girls being left behind if something were to happen to me while they are little. It hurts my heart to know that they would eventually move on without me. Then I think, how incredibly selfish of me! Would I want them to be depressed and not able to move on? Absolutely not. I would want the best for them...whatever that meant.

I don't want the wrong message to come across in this post. Death is sad. It is...there is no way around that and I ABSOLUTELY think that a healthy mourning period is necessary but I believe that healthy is the operative word. Remembering the ones that have passed is important and thinking about them, talking about them is totally appropriate but there are several things that I have seen others do that I personally think are unhealthy. It is true that people grieve differently but when it is interfering with living life, it becomes a problem.

I certainly do not claim to know everything there is to know about how someone should grieve but I have had a great deal of training in the area and as believers I just think that we should grieve healthily and continue loving and missing the people that have gone before us but also rejoice that one day we will see them again. They are whole, healthy and in the presence of Jesus! There is no greater blessing!


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Friday, January 27, 2012

A Week to...FORGET!

**Let me start off by saying that I am a child of God. I am forgiven for ALL my sins-past and present. I am aware that Satan will use his people to discourage me and bring me back to a place of guilt, shame, and secrecy but I have a God that is bigger than all of that! I am using my past failures to bring honor and glory to God by helping other women surrender their secrets and find freedom in Christ. If you have something ugly to say to me or about my blog please at least give me a chance to thank you for commenting -
tell me who you are! Anonymous comments are for cowards!

"If God is for us then who can be against us?"
Romans 8:31

Okay, got that off my chest...ahem...

This week started off poorly and never really got better! Monday I decided that Hannah was sicker than she was on Saturday when I took her to the doctor for her stuffy nose and then cough. I called the pedi's office and they didn't have any morning openings so they instructed me to go to the ER since she was having trouble breathing. We did. We went to the hospital where I work because I knew I could get in quickly and they could transfer us to the children's hospital if need be. She was diagnosed with RSV (again) and got breathing treatments. Her heart rate was 175-180 and her respirations were around 40-45. She was retracting trying to get a breath and was just pitiful!! They decided to transfer us to the children's hospital by ambulance.

We spent all day at the hospital and the sent us home basically with instructions to do what we had already been doing. She was a very sick baby though. Tuesday we saw our pedi again and she put us on breathing treatments. They have worked wonders!!

She was so sick!!  Pitiful itty bitty!!

Tuesday I stayed home with Hannah and it stormed all day. Lightning struck right outside our house and our tv, Internet, and phone went out.

Late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning it stormed again and this time knocked out our electricity!! I had gotten up at 3:00 am to feed Hannah and the electricity went out about 4:39. Both of my older kids were up and scared so they got in bed with us. I woke up at 5:30 to get ready for work. Hannah seemed a little better so I took her to daycare where she was pretty miserable all day! :( we did not make it to church that night! My kids went to bed early! :)

Thursday was on okay day except for the lovely blog comment I received and Hannah threw up on my twice!!!

Friday morning Hannah woke up with a fever and was just yucky! My aunt stayed with her but I was almost an hour late from work! It was an incredibly busy day at work and I found out that my case manager will likely not be my case manager anymore! Boo!!!

Got home Friday evening and Hannah had a great day!!!! She is doing much better and ate well all day and took great naps!! :) My husband made cheeseburgers for dinner!!!! Yum-o!! My girls played great together and my evening was filled with love, food, and my beautiful babies!!!!

So, while I will record this week as one that I never ever want to relive I have to say that I am blessed beyond measure and I have so much Reason to Rejoice!!!!


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Back to the Grind

So, I am not doing great on my goals for 2012 but I have 11 months to get on track, right?! :)

Let's see, I have not blogged 3 times a week and I have not even begun reading anything! :( BOO! I will get better! I am actually in the process of getting a blog makeover so it will look all pretty soon! :)

I started back to work and I am so glad to be back! Hannah is doing...okay. She has ceased sleeping through the night...lucky me. I am actually at a loss as to what to do. I get frustrated and anxious even thinking about it. She was doing so well and now I am not sure if it is because she is at the point where she wants to stop being swaddled, because she has a stuffy nose, or because she is going through a growth spurt...or perhaps...all three?! I don't want to let her cry because I am not sure if she still feels bad because of her little stuffy nose. If things are better by the weekend I am going to go with toughing it out...I don't know what else to do. I have to get some sleep and she would be so much happier if she slept as well.

She is doing well at daycare. She sleeps better some days than others but she has been so much happier during the day. She is just playing and laughing out loud (melt my heart)! She really is a sweet little roly poly! :) She weighed 13 lbs, 10 oz at the doctor this past week! :)

Everyone is adjusting to the new schedule. There are so many changes going on at work and I think they will be good although change is always hard.

Hoping to see you again...sooner rather than later!!! :)


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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless (Almost) Wednesday

I am 11 weeks old today!!!!  And took a GOOD nap in my bed! :)



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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How Do I Feel?

How do I feel right now? Let's see...I have a sassy 5 year old that thinks she is 12, an almost 3 year old that is a sweet sweet mommy's girl, and a newborn 2 month old that is by far my most difficult baby to date! I am exhausted, thrilled, humbled daily, frustrated, and above all, honored that God would entrust these little ones to me! There have been so many times when I have made the comment that I do not deserve these little blessings and I am SO glad that God does not give us what we deserve because frankly, we deserve nothing. I love my kids beyond anything I could have ever imagined. But...being a parent is hard. It is hard to know what the "right" thing is for them. I get so worked up sometimes trying to figure out how to be the perfect mommy. Truth is I never will be and I just pray that I don't mess them up too much! ;)

Next week, I return to work. I was able to work right up until the day I delivered which I never thought was possible!!! Since I was on bed rest for a good portion of my last two pregnancies, I just assumed it would be that way this time as well. Instead, I landed in the hospital for a "hurry up" delivery at 37 weeks, 1 day. I worked all day and then was in labor all that night. That means that I was able to take my entire 12 weeks of maternity leave. Next Wednesday, January 11 is my first day back to work after Hannah was born. She will be 12 weeks old on Wednesday. I CANNOT tell you how fast these 12 weeks have gone by. It has just been a crazy time with all three of my kiddos, the holidays, and everything. But I would not trade it for anything in the world!!!

I am excited about going back to work. There. I said it. I love my job and I have put so much into my career. Being a social worker is hard and it is very emotionally draining but it is so incredibly rewarding. Do I love it everyday? No. But, for the most part, I love my job. I love helping people and that's what my job is all about. I like the relationships with adults that I have. My work environment is way different than any other part of my job but I feel like it is a piece of the puzzle that just makes everything work.

With all of the things that I love about work...there is a negative...I will leave my baby girl all day! :( She is so little and fragile (not really, she is pretty tough) and young. Gosh, the thought of someone else seeing her first smile or feeling her first tooth just rips my heart right out of my body but somehow there is such a peace within me about going back to work. I have never been a huge worrier and that includes my children. I mean, I worry about them like normal moms do but I am just not one to sit and wonder about "what ifs." God has only given me these little kiddos for a short period of time and I am confident that He will take care of them. I know that it is easy for me to say because my kids have all been very healthy. I know that if anything were to happen, God would give me the grace to deal with whatever He puts in my path.

My kids will be fine, including little Hannah Banana. I am taking her on Monday and Tuesday for a "trial run." I know they won't call me if she starts crying but I will be able to see what it's like taking all three kids and getting myself ready. I think the things I am most concerned about are whether or not she will sleep during the day because I know how hard she is to get to sleep. Then I am afraid she will be overstimulated and not sleep at night. Then I am worried about her eating. I don't know how much to leave her or whether I will be able to keep up with the milk needs. I have decided to not stress about it too much. I will continue pumping and I will keep breastfeeding as long as I can and then when I can't anymore, we will switch to formula. I'm cool with that! :)

So, for the most part I have mixed emotions about going back to work. Yes, I have 3 kids in daycare and it is very expensive but they do well with structure and I enjoy my job. I know that the fact that I don't "have" to work and choose to is a topic of criticism but we seriously are doing what is best for our family at this time. Will that change? Perhaps. Perhaps not. For right now, this is where God has brought us so we will go along for the ride.




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Reason to Rejoice
 
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