Monday, January 18, 2010


Levi is one month old today!!! Happy Birthday Bugaboo!!!

Yes, this blog is about my life, but as I'm quickly learning, when you become a Momma, it all quickly becomes about the baby. Which I don't mind, always.

So Levi being a month old is a little surreal feeling to me. It's amazing how fast time flies and yet how slowly it goes. I can't believe Levi's already a month old. I'm trying to cherish these days and yet as seems to be normal in the newborn stage, I feel dazed and just getting through the next feeding. I'm a little sleepy at all times and especially with Levi's prematurity we don't get out much. So therefore my days kind of run into each other. I was trying to explain to Andrew how I know this is just a phase, but I feel a little cutoff from the world and a little forgotten about. Which is ridiculous...but still, it's a little surreal.

Speaking of Levi being a month would think by now we'd have a diaper bag for the bugaboo, but we don't. Well, I have the free one we got in childbirth classes that holds the bare minimum things. We just can't decided what we like!! I have an awful time buying a purse because I want it to be "perfect", hold everything I want, have the right amount of pockets, be cute and stylish, etc... so a diaper bag fits into the same category, only much worse, because Andy's got to be able to carry it to and not be embaressed, and Levi's a boy, so it has to be boyish too. UGH!! This is the drama of my life, feedings and diaper bags.
I know in the light of the tragedy in Haiti this week, it could be sooo much worse!!

I realize something else now too. When I was pregnant I noticed I was starting to get more sensitive to sad commercials, people in distress, sob stories, etc...
Now that I'm a "real live Momma" it's awful. I have an awful time watching the news especially with the Haiti stories, because I just imagine that being my child. And I cry, a lot. I got connected to a family's CaringBridge site through a former co-worker and the story of their daughter's heart defect and eventual passing away tore at my heart, and I cried a lot, and prayed a lot, because I couldn't imagine losing Levi. Even with his prematurity I never feared his death, the Lord just gave me peace. But I still know with all the issues we had how easily we could have lost him, even before birth, and so I pray with thanksgiving every day for my son and his every breath.

Speaking of praying, my next big jump back into the real world is seeking to reestablish my daily times with the Lord. I've let them slide for the simple "Help us Lord" "Thank You Father" prayers that got us through the NICU experience. It was a time of simple meditation and hanging on. God simply sustained us through that time. It was a time of growth, in faith and trust and humility and evidence of His Love for us through His people. But now it's time for some real "meaty" growth. Back to the Word and Listening to where God's leading!! I will say this, these verses became my lifeline in the NICU, and I'll leave you with them today:

Isaiah 40:28-31
28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ambiguous Grief

We're Home.

We came home last Monday night, the 4th of January. I had been away from home for a month. It was weird to come home. Especially with a baby in tow. But a good weird. Thankfully Andrew's been off work this week otherwise I think I would have really lost it...I needed the help. Just to stay awake in the middle of the night to feed Levi sometimes I needed someone to talk to.

While Levi was in the NICU we were able to take part in a lot of activities thanks to The March of Dimes. Which I'm now a huge supporter of. Because really, without them, I would have gone crazy and not made the one good friend I did. One of the activities was a discussion group and chance to make a name bracelet with Levi's name on it. The discussion in the group was about Ambiguous Grief.

AMBIGUOUS GRIEF - Occurs when loss is psychologically felt but not physically confirmed (or when the individual is "there" but not there as with Alzheimer's Disease).

Most parents of premature babies feel a sense of ambiguous grief but don't know that's what it is or even how to deal with it if they do.

I feel this grief, because we can't be sad that Levi's here, because he's alive and healthy and just early. Yet I feel grief over the fact that I didn't get to experience certain things in my pregnancy. I'm still "supposed" to be pregnant for 3 more weeks. I didn't even get to wear all my maternity clothes. I have no idea how big Levi would have been full term, or how big I would have been. I didn't have a baby shower before he was born. I missed basically a month of my present life here in Alex. We didn't have a "normal" childbirth experience. There's a lot that was unexpected and different.

But yet, there's things we experienced that we wouldn't have without this premature experience. Such as the incredible love of so many people in our lives, especially our church family. They are too many to number, but we had tons of visitors or calls, lots of snack food brought to the hospital, the dog was totally cared for, our car which had broken down pre-hospitalization was paid to be fixed, we were loaned a car to get to St. Cloud, lots of chocolate, a place to stay in St. Cloud, lots of gifts for Levi, More prayers than I can imagine, Levi's incredible baby room being painted/decorated, our house being cleaned up, our car being delivered to St. Cloud, more food and gifts, money to help with all the expenses and lack of work on our parts, and I could go on. We experienced the intense love of the body of Christ in a way I could never have imagined. I wouldn't trade that for the world.

So, bare with me, there are times I'm sad, like today when I take down the "Baby Countdown" calendar I had on this blog. I can't bear to see where "I should have been". It's a little sad somehow. And yet, as I hurry to finish typing and go feed my perfectly formed son, I can't help but cry tears of joy.

So I'll be crying for many reasons now. Just remember to keep praying for us, because we are "grieving" and rejoicing all at once.

Friday, January 01, 2010

So this is the life of being Momma

If you haven't yet read our CaringBridge website, it's

Levi Nathaniel Preston was born at 2:06pm, Friday, December 18, 2009.
He weighed 4 pounds 10 ounces and was 17 3/4 inches long.

The whole story is on our CaringBridge site.

But as of today, he weighs 5 pounds 8 ounces...he's growing sooo much!!

I can't wait to get my son home...I'm so homesick and sick of the hospital...this has kind of just hit me today, how anxious I am to just be home with my husband, son, and, we haven't forgotten about Dexter, we just have to reintroduce him into our lives slowly...mainly making sure he doesn't freak out about Levi.

I've been trying to decide if I would keep up this blog and Levi's site both, or what would happen, and I've decided I need to keep this blog up for my own sanity. Levi's CaringBridge site will be all about him and us, but this blog, will be my thoughts on life and motherhood and my honesty about our they'll be different I think. So if you want updates on Levi, read his site, for thoughts on my sanity, or lack thereof, read this! :-)

I can't believe how overwhelming it is to be Momma. I thought these first 2 weeks have been hard, now I'm looking at what it'll be like to be home and responsible for every feeding and how little sleep I thought I was getting now and how bad it'll be then. And yet I can't wait to be's kind of a conundrum...

I am so thankful and amazed to be Momma...I can't believe the love and overwhelming emotions I have for Levi...everyone told me it would be like this, and yet, you don't know until you experience it.

Levi's middle name is Nathaniel, which means "gift of God" which is why we gave him that middle name. His conception, birth, and life are just a miracle, and given his week before Christmas birth, he really is our gift from God.

I would go through all this again just to have my precious Levi, but I am soooo ready to be home sleeping in my own bed without monitors dinging every time I pick my son up.

One more note, my husband is amazing. He makes no demands on me and fully respects and expects me to be here with our son. I love Andrew so much and am so thankful I don't have pressure from him to do this differently. God has given me more than I deserve. An amazing husband and getting healthier son.

Thank you Lord for these amazing blessings in this New Year.