Friday, February 27

on the edge of your seat

I got my eyes checked today. They are getting better. And I found out the reason for phantom glasses. It is as you all hypothesized. The brain gets used to glasses, and it takes awhile for the nerves to stop sending signals. The doctor used wearing a watch or a new ring as an example - it takes a couple days to get used to wearing it, and then if you don't, you can feel the absence. Honestly, it wasn't a good enough answer for me. I want to know what happens to the nerves and the science behind it. I had the sneaking suspicion that the doctor was shooting from the hip on that answer. I guess I'll just have to go to medical school to get the answer to that one.

In other eye-related news, Michael got some new glasses from Zenni Optical. Two pairs, shipped, for around $26. If you've got a metric tape measure, and your prescription, you are pretty much set.

And now for a request. My sweet mommy had to go to the hospital this morning. She is having strange heart-related symptoms. So they've put her on a monitor, sent her home, and scheduled some tests. Please pray for my mom. And for us, that we would not worry. God is in control and I know he loves my mommy much more than I do.

Hope you're all going to have a great weekend. Don't forget to come back Monday and tell of all the things God has done!!

Wednesday, February 25

soap box, part two.

First, I have to get something out of the way. YOU are responsible for your healthcare. YOU have to do your research, ask your questions, and trust God to lead you to the right doctor. Doctors are NOT God. The good ones rely on God. Doctors do not know everything. Most of the time they know a lot more than I do. But they can be wrong, and they can definitely be misled. They can unknowingly mislead you. And they can have a much, much different philosphy of care than you. This may or may not be important to you. But the bottom line is, doctors and nurses work FOR YOU. They are YOUR employee. And you can say no. You have the final say.

Okay, here we go...

Here are some of the reasons we felt drawn to home birth. I haven't shared most of this before, so bear with me. It's gong to be a long post today.

It took me 4 months to find an OB that answered my questions in a way that I felt a kinship with. And I loved my OB. His practice has the highest rate of VBAC in our area (about 85%) but the hospital's policies put me on edge.

1. I was considered high risk simply because of my previous C-section
2. Mandatory IV's (because I was high risk).
3. Mandatory, continuous fetal monitoring (you know, since I was high risk).
4. Mandatory blood testing (and you might know my history with that).
5. Atmosphere was not conducive to my wishes for freedom of movement, access to a tub, etc.

And then there were the things about hospitals that just put me on edge in general, such as the normal hospital ew factors - other people's germs, sicknesses, and bodily fluids. The fact that certain nasty viruses can live on surfaces for days at a time. And the fact that hospitals are for sick people, so I immediately feel sick when I go there.

And then there are the things that make me and our family unique - I don't think a protocol, designed for the masses, is always the best choice for my kids. And yes, there is a birth plan, but it's not always followed. Nurses don't always read charts.

What kinds of protocols am I talking about?

Well, things like antibiotic ointment in my child's eyes (which FYI, is only put there to protect your baby from going blind from STD's transferred by the mother. If you don't have any STD's, you don't need it, and your baby will actually be able to SEE you clearly in the hours following delivery. Your doctor will not tell you this - and the hospital staff might not even know why they do it, but this is the truth.)

And I don't think my babies need Hep B shots within 24 hours as I don't have Hep B and they aren't going to be engaging in the types of behavior that would expose them to Hep B in their immediate future.

And there are a few other things, but if you want to know these, you can ask.

When Aaron was born, it was a horrible day. Please don't misunderstand - Aaron himself was a wondrous miracle, and I was and am happy and blessed to be a mommy. I am grateful that God gave us our firstborn and blessed us this way. However, (and I have never shared this before) during the surgery, I was treated with distain and disrespect.

It was as if the hospital staff forgot I was a person. While having contractions, I was told to crawl up on a cold stainless steel table, no clothing, with 6 or 8 total strangers in the room to be "prepped" for surgery.

When I told the anesthesiologist that I felt like I was going to be sick, he held a basin for me. When it took longer than he wanted for me to start vomiting, he snarled, "well, are you going to throw up or aren't you?" And the on call OB who did the surgery was very, very scary. She got done with the section and one of the nurses said, "Are you trying to set a new record? That was fast!" How reassuring - someone I never met cut me open and reassembled me in record time.

I am still deeply sorrowful (and embarrassed) when I think about that day, which I expected to be an overall happy and joyful experience. So you can see how it was a top priority for me to have an entirely different experience, should the Lord allow.

Was God still in charge during my traumatic surgery? Absolutely. Did He forget about me when I was mistreated? Not at all. If it wasn't for His grace, I would have absolutely collapsed. He protected, He watched the doctors, and yes, He saw fit for all of it to happen. I am still trusting Him, trusting that I needed to experience what I did for a reason. Maybe that reason is to share this experience with someone else in order to prevent it from happening to them. Maybe Aaron really wouldn't have been okay. Or maybe I just needed to grow.

This time around, I saw an OB and a midwife. My OB is a believer, he is wonderful, and should I have felt led to go with a hospital birth, he would have been quite capable and on my side one hundred percent. In fact, I will probably go back to him for any future pregnancies God should choose to bless us with. The dual care was a great situation, and because I was able to have ultrasounds, my mind was set at ease about the health of our baby. I was one of hundreds of women in the practice, however, and had no illusions that the doctor would remember each minute detail. And I'd never met the nurses at the hospital. I dug out my birth plan to polish it up.

My midwife, also a believer who even attends our church, was seeing maybe three total pregnant women during the end of my pregnancy. She had my birth wishes in her head, memorized. No strangers were present at my birth. (unless of course you count the yard sale customers, but they were outside!) I felt free to lie down or kneel on my own floor, as I knew exactly whose germs had been there before. I used my own tub and shower. I knew exactly how clean it was. No one stuck me with any needles, or put me on a fetal monitor. I was relaxed. I truly feel that the relaxation sped up the labor considerably.

Here are some reasons I was hesitant about home birth:
1. Risk of complications
2. Pain management
3. Aaron - would he stay home, go to grandmas, what?
4. Aaron - in the days following the birth, would having him around be inconvenient or would I be able to sleep?
5. What if I really, really needed sleep? No nurses to watch baby!
6. Pain management
7. infant screening, not available at home.
8. if something goes wrong, what will people say?
9. everyone will think I am a nut job.
10. cleanup. and seeing blood.

Here is what I did about those things.
1. I saw an OB, we had ultrasounds, we prayed. There were no major defects with baby. We live 6 minutes from the hospital.
2. Yeah, about that. I did a bit of research, and decided no pain meds was actually better for me, for baby. That was before it started hurting.
3. I didn't really know about this. It all worked out for him to be home - he was napping when Evan was born, and it just seemed natural for him to stay.
4. He was fine, and we had family to help.
5. I really, really needed sleep. Evan slept a lot the first couple days. Then we had the same first six weeks every new mom and baby have. It was fine. Not fun, but it never is those first few weeks, is it? Actually, if you think it is, don't tell me. Just enjoy it.
6. It hurt, a lot, but it was fine. Really - it was! And I am not a super hero.
7. Turns out you can have your infant screened up to 2 weeks after birth. At the hospital.
8. I had to put this out of my head. It was hard. But believing that God is in charge at home and at the hospital helped. Honestly, this was my biggest fear - that the baby would be sick or that I would die and Michael would be here with the assaulting thoughts and words of others saying "if you had gone to the hospital..." which really would have helped him grieve. We had to come to the place where we allowed God to lead us, and rested in Him for the outcome. Moms and babies die when and where God decides for that to happen. And thankfully, God decided I was staying put.
9. Everyone already thinks I am a nut job. It's okay. Most of the time.
10. It turns out, it's not all that messy. And I just asked the midwife to not let me see blood. She did a great job. And I decided not to check out the placenta.

Your list may look different. You may think you can't do it without drugs, and that is fine. You don't have to. (but it is great) Home birth is NOT for everyone. But I have to say, PLEASE don't dismiss the idea of home birth. Read the articles, do your research, and keep an open mind. And pray; pray lots. BTW, if you haven't already, you can read both kids' birth stories by checking out my sidebar links.

Please forgive me if you didn't want to read this today. I know it's long, but I think it's like any great experience - you want to share it with everyone possible. You want others to be joyful like you are/were joyful.

I'm just sharing the love, people. Just sharing the love.

Tuesday, February 24

up on my soap box, once again

My friend Sarah sent me these links today - one to an article, and another to a video. In the article, I found a link to ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). When I visited the site, I found this statement, which pretty much sums up the facts:

“The choice between VBAC and elective repeat cesareans isn’t between risk versus no risk. It’s a choice between which set of risks you want to take on.”

The video is a photo slide show with written commentary of a woman who had a successful VBA3C at home. I am so excited for her.

I know VBAC is not for every person (especially if you haven't had a c-section to begin with) but it IS a wonderful option. And home birth after cesarean is not a stupid or uninformed choice. It is not a crazy choice. It IS a great way to avoid medical interventions that are standard protocol at the hospital. And any decision made about birth should be a decision based in prayer.

If you're thinking about VBAC, you should be informed. This article is one I've linked before, but it is a wonderful, fabulous, fantastic read. I love it. ICAN is another great resource, at least, from what I've seen today.

Tomorrow, I will post some of the reasons we felt drawn to home birth, and some of the reasons it freaked me out. I haven't shared most of this before, so bear with me. It was going to be today, but it was long, too long to share in one day. Plus, I need to warn the men - it might be a little too much info. You might want to skip tomorrow.

BTW, I would love to talk to you if you are facing a pregnancy after a c-section and have questions.

Monday, February 23

Works of God Monday

Last week was great! God allowed me to have increased energy and begin to get our family and house back into our routine. It feels good when the dishes and laundry can be in a semi-caught-up place. God also saw fit to allow us to pay off ALL of our non-house debt last week, thanks to our tax refund. I know I mentioned it before, but I am SO grateful for this. It has been a desire of ours for a long time to be debt free, and it is thrilling to be in this place now. We are humbled that God has chosen to provide for us this way.

I also have to thank the Lord for the wonderful husband he has given me. Sunday I woke with a horrible headache, one of the ones that you almost need a crane to get your head off the pillow, and he immediately made arrangements for our Sunday School class and stayed home with me, taking care of our (still congested) boys and making sure I got all the sleep I could. I am so blessed.

So, how has God provided for you? What has God been teaching you? What are you thankful for? How did you watch Him work this week? Take a little time to praise the Lord with your blog or leave a comment!

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up..." 1 Thess. 5:11

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Friday, February 20

for your free time

Carrie linked the Birth Survey today and I would encourage you to go ahead and fill it out if you've given birth in the past 3 years. It took me about 15 minutes, but it could take longer depending on your experiences and your internet connection.

I'd encourage you to fill it out because of the goal of the project - to provide women with transparent information so that they can find a provider that aligns most with their personal philosophy. Seeing that it took me 4 months to find an OB that I felt was on the same page, well, I definitely value a project like this that may help others find a great doc like mine. Too bad no one will be able to find my midwife. She's not listed. I guess I'll have to keep recommending Kelly the old fashioned way - word of mouth!

Thursday, February 19

a new era

Last night we decided to let Aaron help make the pizza. It was a huge success. It was really, really fun for all of us - a great memory! He was so cute as he talked about how he was making "somethin' so, so, yummy"

And then let's talk about Evan. Yesterday he was an immobile infant. Today, he scooted himself around the living room floor like a pro. Here's a video - see for yourself. My tiny boys will soon be asserting their independence in more overt ways, such as taking themselves off to college. AHH! Where does the time go?

the case of the phantom glasses

As a voracious reader - well, at least until I had kids - I have learned that when someone has an amputation, there are times when pain will occur in the missing appendage. This symptom has been dubbed "phantom pain."

Starting last Saturday, I had been wearing my glasses instead of my contacts due to the semi-severity of my congestion and the fact that my eyes were affected. I never wear my glasses. I have the fabulous extended wear contacts and I can wear them for 30 days straight. I love them. I forget I'm wearing them 90% of the time. And yes, I wear them longer. I know, I know. So, yesterday morning I was feeling that it was time for a switch back to contacts. I opened the last new pair of contacts and happily put my glasses in their resting place to wait for the next time I'd need them.

All day long, I was having phantom glasses. Has this ever happened to you? I could FEEL those things sliding down my nose; I would actually reach to push them up!!! I could feel the weight on my nose and the light pressure of the arms behind my ears. It was the strangest thing. I wonder why this happens.

No, SERIOUSLY, I wonder. I've been up for a half an hour trying to type in different ways to ask the search engines, to no avail. I have to make an eye appointment to renew my prescription so I can get another round of lenses. I guess this is something to ask my eye doctor. She will probably laugh at me.

Like you are laughing at me now.

Wednesday, February 18

early childhood education

I know it's blurry, but I wanted to show you what I found yesterday when I came back into the living room after putting Evan down for a nap.

Aaron was saying, "LOOK! I FIT! I not too big!!!" with the best look of jubilation.

Have you ever tried to explain the concept of body mass to a 2 year old? It is quite interesting.

Monday, February 16

Works of God Monday

This weekend, God showed me an area of sin that I'd been needing to realize and deal with for quite some time. I praise HIM for being patient and loving with me!!

I never used to be a sick person. I think it started with my first pregnancy, but it could have been before that. My immune system just isn't what it used to be (I'm working on boosting it, trust me!). I have been SO frustrated about this - it seemed like I'd get healthy and I'd just get ahead with the housework and then I'd get sick again, and suddenly there would be a huge mountain of laundry and I'd be flat on the couch just trying to keep up with taking care of the kids. I was frustrated about this, and about everything else I was unable to do because of this sickness - I had no energy to work out, which means no progress is made on my "getting in shape" goal, I couldn't go to church and I couldn't have play dates for Aaron. I was feeling sorry for myself, too, which always makes you feel more healthy. Ha.

I was MORE than frustrated with this situation, and more than self-pitying. I was angry, and when I followed my line of reasoning to it's origin, I realized that I was angry with GOD because I felt like I deserved to be healthy and be able to take care of my family, and go to church, and have fun.

That is NOT a good place to be. (ALL I really deserve is punishment for my sin!) So this weekend God allowed me to repent of my sin of anger and I know He has forgiven me! This is going to be a battle that I will continue to fight, but I am sure that when I ask for help from God, HE will give it to me!! Praise the Lord for His conviction.

So, what has God been teaching you? How has He provided? How did you watch Him work this week? I would LOVE to hear more of the Works of God!!

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Saturday, February 14

and the winnah is...

Remember when I had y'all send in your tuna recipes? I purposely did not remind you a third time because I got SO many recipes to try, and well, we can only handle so much tuna. Alicia sent me this one, and in our book, it's the best. Seriously, I've made it TWICE and it is fabuloso! Even Aaron scarfed them down. I feel that I must tell you that I did leave out the relish, and I found we liked it even better with sharp cheddar. Alicia will receive some handmade soap (what a fitting prize for one who fixes tuna) and possibly some other surprise goodies!

Thanks to all who participated, and maybe we will have to do it again some time. Maybe I should offer a prize to the person who makes and sends me the most delicious brownies. I would love that. But I would get fat. Er, fatter.

And speaking of things that (without moderation) make you fat, Karen and Carrie both get coupons for Peanut Butter Girardelli squares, so if you could email me your addresses, that would make life so easy for me.

Happy day of Hallmark Love! Hug your sweetie twice today (at least)

Friday, February 13

hi uncle gary.

Grandma told me you're reading, so I'm on to you!

Here are some pictures for you (and the rest of the family) of the adventures of late at the Muth house.

Most kids like to eat icing, but the spoon that Aaron's licking came from the sour cream bowl. The tower there was built this morning, and the teeth marks in the soap are Aaron's. He really likes to play in the sink with cups, so I let him and will check on him every 2 minutes or so. I walked in one day to see this lying on the sink. Aaron was hilarious when he was trying to get rid of the soap taste. He grabbed his toothbrush and was brushing away when I went to check on him.

We are SICK here. I'm congested, the boys are about over it, and Michael came home early today from work. Happy Friday!! Hope you are healthier at your house than we are at ours!

Thursday, February 12


So, my igo*gle page says it's Darwin's 200th birthday. And just like that, I thought to myself, WOW it's only been 200 years since he was born, how long has it been since he dreamed up "a workable theory" of evolution?

So a few minutes' of research later, I found out today that Darwin was 29 when he came up with his theory of natural selection, and 50 when his Origins of Species book was published. So, in the 149 years since his book was published, the world has really done some "progressive" thinking. I say this with tongue in cheek. (just in case you don't know)

Growing up in a Christian school, I was NOT taught the history of evolution*, at least not in a way that impacted my long term memory, and I thought some of my readers might be in the same boat. I found this timeline of pre-darwinian thought, and did a little reading on Darwin elsewhere.

All I have to say is "huh." I guess if you do not have faith in the Bible's account of Creation and the power of God you have to have faith to believe something else happened. I for one choose to believe that a loving God created me for his glory.

*I do believe students in Christian schools SHOULD be taught evolutionary theories, for a variety of reasons, chiefly so that we can be educated about common thoughts in our culture and so that we can have intelligent conversations on this topic.

Monday, February 9

Works of God Monday

Today is the Thankfulness Edition!

It has been great to have my brother Nate and his wife Lissa visiting from Oregon for the past week and a half. I'm thankful that they are vital & growing Christians and that they have a strong marriage. I'm also thankful that they are a lot of fun! :-) It was great to have them here.

The funeral for the young man in our youth group went very well, and it was evident that God was giving grace and strength to the family. They have more to face than just the death of their son & brother, so we are still praying, waiting to see how God will continue to show Himself strong.

Being at a funeral always causes one to contemplate more on the topic of death, and Michael and I were both saying how blessed we are to still have so many family members as a part of our lives. God is gracious to us.

So do you have just "little" works of God that you have been aware of this week? Do you think "oh, it's not worth an entire post!" Let's praise God together this week - all week long! Please post the things you are thankful to God for, or the things you've been watching Him do this week. We can have an online concert of praise!

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.

Wednesday, February 4


Michael took the two middle pics of Evan in front of our curtained french doors. I like the effect. These are my latest favorite photos of my boys. I am so blessed.


Tuesday, February 3

Every child is "unique"

My two and a half year old child is DEFINITELY unique! I told you how he's potty training himself, but what I need to tell you next is one of those stories that is NOT FUNNY at all when it's happening, but it really does get funnier the further away you get from the situation.

Monday, Aaron woke up early. And he'd stayed up until 10 the night before because of the Super Bowl and the visiting family members. So he was g.r.u.m.p.y. And the first thing he wanted to do was "poop and pee in potty!" so off we went.

And he went. And went. And went.

(I try to tell myself that this is all going to be worth it in the long run, but the child takes at LEAST 30 minutes in the bathroom for each session. I'm not complaining. I know I'm a lucky, lucky mom. But that is a long time to sit perched on the side of a very cold bathtub while singing our bathroom standards - Aaron Went Pee in the Potty and Old MacDonald Had a Potty. I'm just saying.) Yeah, that would be the one that goes "...a flush flush here and a flush flush there..." You got it.

So, back to the story. Aaron was grumpy, tired, and going potty. And when he ran out of both things that are typically deposited in the potty, he started to cry. "I not have more peeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Poop is all gooooooooooooneeeeeeeee! Want mooooooreeee!!" And he was inconsolable. He cried for another 15 minutes while I rocked him, saying things I never thought I'd ever say, like, "more poop will come later, sweetie, it's okay."

Seriously. I have a very strange, or should I say, UNIQUE child.

Works of God Monday

We've had a hard weekend. Andrea posted a little of that today, so I will refer you to her blog for the details. We cling to God and rest in His grace at times like this. Please join us in prayer.

Also, my brother Nate and his wife Lissa are visiting from Oregon this week. I'm going to be using my larger chunks of blogging time to do my housework so that my free time can be used spending time with the family. I do have several hilarious stories to tell, so I will try to get around to those this week if I have a chance.

What is God doing in you?

In the Mister Linky widget below, simply type your name in the top box, or a short description of the work that God has done, and then in the second box, paste the link from your specific "Works of God Monday" post. Feel free to use the image from the top of this post if you like.