Tag Archives: baby

A Battle for Life.

My baby boy turns 3 years old today.  After having 3 older siblings, you’d think the 4th would be a no-brainer, easy breezy.  But our little August, who we lovingly refer to as Gus, had a difficult time entering this world.  My husband wrote this blog post two days after Gus’ arrival.  It still brings me to tears.  I hope you enjoy it, maybe cry with me, and realize the huge love I have for my little Gussy!

A Battle for Life.

By Duane Montague

It has been a whirlwind weekend. What was supposed to be an easy delivery turned into a night of fear and worry and a battle between life and death. Sounds melodramatic, but it’s not, because life is what we are always fighting for against the Evil One. He hates life and will do anything he can to snuff it out.

Some may call it just a delivery with complications, but I will truly forever remember the birth of my son August as a day when God confirmed for me that my children are a gift of life, precious beyond words, and each to be cherished and protected against the powers of the enemy.

We went in at 1:00 pm on Thursday, September 11, to be induced. The doctor was worried that August was going to be too big. That Robyn would have a difficult time delivering him if he went all the way to term.

We made arrangements for the older kids. Got to the hospital and were placed in a room with a great view of the outside–lush green trees and beautifully, unseasonably blue, Seattle skies. The process began, and within hours, the contractions were strong and things looked good.

But an alarming pattern started as well–with every strong contraction, August’s heart rate dropped. At first, it only dropped a few degrees, from a baseline of 145 to 120. But as the evening wore on, and the contractions got stronger, the more his heart rate fell. 90. 80. It would always go back up after, but the consistency was beginning to worry our doctor and nurse.

They decided to slow down the process. Austen had a drop in heart rate during birth, but it had rectified itself. Perhaps the umbilical cord was in the wrong place, being squeezed too tightly? I went out to the family members who had been waiting and gave them an update. It wasn’t going to happen tonight. Go home, we’ll call you.

We said goodnight. It was around 10 pm.

Our doctor came to the room and would not leave. She stayed as Robyn received her epidural, holding her hand through the process. Now the pain was less–but the contractions, and August’s reactions–were getting worse. We signed a consent for a Cesarean, just in case.

Moving from past to present tense:

At 12:23 am, August’s heart rate drops to 60, fights its way back, and drops again. In an instant, what was routine becomes a battle for the life of my son.

Robyn is moved to a gurney. There is a rush of activity, nurses coming from nowhere, the rushed conversation of “there’s someone else scheduled–no, I’ve called it–we’re going first.” Robyn is being readied to leave the delivery room and head to the OR. I have time for three thoughts, all of them involve prayer.

I call my mother, who is watching Audrey and Austen. I quickly tell her that Robyn is on the way to the OR–please pray. I call my mother-in-law and tell her the same–and to come quickly, Robyn wants her there. I quickly compose a text message and send it to a random selection of friends and family. I ask them again to pray.

By 12:34 we are in the OR, I am putting on scrubs, a mask. I am terrified. Thoughts of loss and death overwhelm me. I am going to lose either my child or my wife. Life will lose tonight.

I enter the room and see my wife on a table. She is being covered, prepped. There are three doctors, several nurses, and the team from the Infant Intensive Care Unit awaits in case they need to revive my boy. I cannot hold back the tears. I weep.

Robyn sees me. “Don’t cry. I need you to be strong.” I tell her I am not crying and I manage to stop the tears–but I am still terrified. I can’t see straight–tubes, scrubs, machines, a sterile clang of instruments. The doctors begin working in hushed tones–I focus on Robyn and try to distract her from what is going on. She is awake, only slightly uncomfortable, and getting very tired.

The noises stop. The doctors do not move.

Robyn and I fear the worst. Then suddenly, a cry. I see my boy. He is screaming, angry, scared. But alive.

He is quickly wiped off and taken to the nurses who examine him and determine that whatever happened in the womb did not hurt him. He is beautiful, loud, and pink. A little dried blood is on his nose, but he stops crying when they hand him to me. I take him to Robyn and we both cry. Life has won.

Turns out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around one shoulder, through his legs, and over the other shoulder–almost like a harness. There was no way he was going to come out the natural way. But he is here, alive, and sleeping loudly in the room next door.

Life wins. The prayers of the faithful are answered, and a little boy whose name means “Revered and Exalted,” helps me do both to the very giver of Life. I revere Him for His power, His glory, and the fact that He reveals Himself to me. I exalt Him for His life, for His nature, and for His providence.

This is August just hours after he was born. Super cute then, but his personality now is amazing!

Sleep well, August. The battle for your life has just begun.


The SAHM’s eternal question: Now what?

Maybe I should rephrase this into, my eternal question.  But from what I’ve learned from friends and social media, most moms feel this way.

This was my favorite book as a little girl and what helped me know that I wanted to be a mommy.

When I was a little girl, I vividly remember day dreaming about being a mommy.  Doing laundry and hanging it to dry on the clothes line outside.  Walking to the grocery store with my baby in a buggy, the sun beating down on us.  Quietly knitting in my rocking chair while my little ones played together in the living room.  Even as I got older and held a full-time job, I dreamed about what my kids would look like, what their names would be, how many would I have, and how far apart would they be in age.  If life was really like this, who wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home-mom?

And then I had a baby!  Life was pure bliss!  We did take long walks in the sun.  I became crafty.  I was mommy machine.  Yes, this is what I always dreamed of!  But life wasn’t quite complete.  Duane and I decided to build our family.  Just a little.  19 moths after Audrey, we had baby #2.  My long relaxing visits with the sun and stroller became fewer and far between.  My craft skills got packed away in my craft trunk.  The mommy machine became tired.  What happened to the memories and dreams of my childhood?

Slowly but surely, I came out of my mommy-coma and started taking care of myself again.  It seemed like a long process.  In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t, but at the time, it felt like a forever.  Our little family of 4 bought a house, added two more kids plus a dog and a cat.  We were big and busy.  I learned how to grow a garden, can my goods and cook like a gourmet.  Yes, life was good again!  But still something felt like it was missing.  Just a little piece of myself.  Even though I had what I had ALWAYS dreamed of,  I felt deprived.  I couldn’t figure out why.

Thank God for God!  I put all of my hopes, dreams, and desires into what HE wanted for me.  I learned to be happy.  Take pride in everything I did.  After all, He created me.  I needed to be the best me I could be.  Even though I couldn’t quite understand why I felt like something was missing.  I had it all.

After I learned to actually trust God the way that I knew I should, He began to fill me up with what I needed to feel complete.  He revealed to me what was missing.  It felt so good to trust God and to know that I was doing what he wanted me to do.

I still feel a little envious of the “do-it-all-mommy’s.”  You know the kind that get up at the crack of dawn to make eggs and pancakes for breakfast, iron everyone’s clothes before school, have a spot-less house, car, and yard, plus crafts for the kids after school activities, 4 course dinner, and games before bed. That was the mom I thought I was supposed to be.

But I’m glad that’s not me.  Because just the thought of all of that sounds exhausting.  Yes, I still love to garden and can and craft and cook.  But my life doesn’t revolve around my kids.  It revolves with them. And everyone seems to like things this way!

Now, pass me my gym membership and glass of wine and I’m a happy mommy!

I don’t like debates, but this baby has me fired up!

In fact, I really hate debating.  Political, family, whatever.  I will probably end up deleting this post after a while because I’m sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with me.  But something came up today that has really put a fire under me.  It’s the new to America Breastfeeding Baby.

Bebe Gloton, meaning "gluttonous baby," makes sucking noises as it feeds.

The point of this doll is to show little girls that breastfeeding is natural.  I’m totally OK with breastfeeding, by the way.  Breastfeeding is natural.  It’s why we women are made the way we are.  I breastfed all 4 of my children, each a little longer than the previous.  I have nothing against breastfeeding or letting kids realize that there is nothing wrong with it if that’s the road they choose to go down.

Here’s one of my problems:  what if a little boy wants a doll like this for himself?  I don’t have a problem with boys playing with dolls.  When we had our third child, we gave dolls to both of our older kids, and he still has it.  But a doll like this creates huge issues for boys.  Why?

Because there is nothing natural about a boy wanting to breastfeed.  Boys don’t have breasts.  Boys don’t have milk ducts.  They were not created to breastfeed babies.  By letting little boy plays with a doll like this and think that it is totally “natural,” parents can create huge gender confusion issues and mess up their sons.  It’s just wrong.

Doll play is fun.  When I was a little girl I used to love dolls that went potty or burped or chewed their food.  Those are all things that real babies do.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t have such issue with this doll if it came with a bottle.  Because not all babies are breastfed.  And that’s something the doll makers seem to forget.

It can be traumatizing on a new mom when she knows that’s how she wants to take care of her newborn but can’t.  Someone very close to me went through severe depression because she wasn’t able to breastfeed.  A doll like this can easily have negative effects on a mommy-to-be if she learns early on that this is the only way to raise a baby–and then is unable to herself.

In my opinion, this toy takes the fun out of role-playing and brings up adult issues.  For boys and girls.  Breastfeeding is a choice.  I have met many moms that have chosen not to breastfeed.  Some by choice.  Some by physical limitations.  But a doll like this gives the idea that you must–are required–to breastfeed.

Let’s not make our daughter’s (or sons) future choices for them.  Let’s just agree that dolls are for fun and not bring our adult issues into the mix.

Quinley Jean

One of my best friends just had her baby!  I’m so excited that I could just scream!  Of course I won’t do that because that would be really scary to a newborn.  But it has brought up so many emotions that I felt when my kiddos were newborns.

For example, the smell.  I wish someone could come up with a way to bottle that newborn baby smell.  I’m not sure what it is, but it is like a drug to me.  And what about those sounds?  Lip smacking and grunting sounds so cute when it comes out of a precious little one day old.

But it also makes me think of the days when my babies were more than the world to me.  When I thought they could do no wrong.  When just looking at them made me cry with joy.  And why does time make those things fade?

Well, it doesn’t fade.  It just changes.  Looking back at how I treated my kids when they were newborns makes me appreciate them more now.  I used to imagine who they would be in 1, 5, 10 years down the road.  Now I love them more for who they have become.  For the young adults that they will be.  I used to think that I couldn’t love them more than the first time I saw them.  Now I know that I love them more as each day passes.

Liz, I know you do and will feel the same love for Quin!  You were born to be a mommy and I’m so thankful that Quinley Jean is in our lives!  I can’t wait to see the girl that she becomes and the mom that you have been for a long time.  Love you both!

Me and Liz on a girl's weekend to LA in 2008. August was in my tummy. So glad my friends can share in a mommy's love!