Four Birth Stories, Part 2

This post is a continuation of an earlier post. If you haven’t already, you should read Part 1 first. Even if you have seen Part 1 already, you might want to take another look at it. There’s an updated photo, and the pictures now have captions.


Nothing is as precious as a newborn; this was our third-born (photo credit: Oksana Dyachenko)

To me, nothing is as precious as a newborn; this was our third-born
(photo credit: Oksana Dyachenko)

These contractions were stronger than the practice contractions I’d been experiencing for months, but they didn’t establish the textbook pattern of getting stronger and closer together. I was in frequent contact with my medical-school friend, and we decided that it must be false labor. But false labor or not, it seemed to be accomplishing something, and I was reminded of my first labor, when I had experienced weak, irregular contractions for 48 hours before finally going to the hospital and finding out that I was already 7 centimeters dilated, almost ready to have the baby!

The anxiety I had been experiencing turned into a strangling sense of dread. This oppressive feeling blanketed every waking moment, like the foreboding that a prisoner on death row must feel as his execution date nears. Frantic from the suspense, I was almost ready to check into the hospital and brave the medical system, but my husband, ever calm and logical, convinced me that was a bad idea.

Continue reading

Writing Again

After a year and a half of finding my stride as a mother of four littles, I'm finally writing again! It feels wonderful to have this creative outlet back in my life. I haven't yet finished anything new for this blog, but I'm working on something. Today I just wanted to let you know that I became a featured columnist for the Assist News Service website, and my first piece is up. You can read it here. It gives some insight into what it's like to live in Ukraine in the midst of the current uncertainties and difficulties. Please check it out, and pray for Ukraine!

Compliments from my 2-Year-Old

Becoming a mother does something to your self-esteem. I don't know how many times I've thought (or heard) some variation of the following:

"You should have seen me before I had kids. I used to be __(fill in the blank)__!"

Skinny.

Groomed.

Fashionable.

Punctual.

Calm.

Focused.

Sane.

I have heard my mother-in-law, who has nine children, fill in the blank with "intelligent." 

I most frequently fill it in with "organized." 

Of course, all mommies know that the children who enter our lives and change us forever are worth infinitely more than all the attributes and freedoms we had to relinquish with their coming. Who cares about stretch marks, bags under the eyes, perpetual fatigue, and appearing like a hopeless scatterbrain? When we're surrounded by the people we love most in the worldthe ones for whom we have poured out our lives and for whom we gladly continue to do sothese sacrifices seem small. The choice was good and right, and given the chance, we'd do it again in a heartbeat. Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hi. Remember me? I used to write on this blog. I still plan to again, but tonight won't be the night that I begin to write in earnest. Tonight I just wanted to check in to say that I've been busy, overwhelmed, strung-out, exhausted, and, well, you get the idea. And I have a picture to prove it.

Today is Valentine's Day. And this evening I took this picture in our living room. In case you can't tell, that's a disassembled fake Christmas tree on the floor and boxes of Christmas decorations on the table in the background.

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Yes, I finally took down our tree and decorations today, on Valentine's Day. So in case you were feeling guilty for being disorganized or scatterbrained or un-punctual or anything like that, you can just look at this picture for an instant ego boost, because at least you got your tree down before mid February!

Consider it my little Valentine's Day gift to you.

You're welcome.

Sharon

P.S. And if you still have your tree up, at least you can know that you're not the only person to keep one around until winter is practically over!


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Wanting Results

Tonight I posted this status update on Facebook:

"Few things these days make me feel as productive as sewing. Maybe that's because it's one of my only activities with a concrete result that lasts for more than 20 minutes or so?"

The first comment was from a friend whose kids have grown up and left home. She said, "I hear you!!" 

I have to admit that I was taken aback, because I was hoping that by the time I reach her stage of life, the frustration and discouragement of having most of my work quickly undone by small children on a perpetual seek-and-destroy mission would be far behind me. Continue reading

Hereditary Colorblindness?

Unlike the United States, Ukraine does not have many dark-skinned people, or Asians, for that matter. It's a fairly homogenous white society, which means that anyone of non-European descent stands out and might be exposed to ridicule, or worse. However, although I'm half Japanese, I've been fortunate.

I have not  experienced any racism here. Until recently. Continue reading

Wacky Things My Kids Have Said: #6

Samuel, age 5, about our apartment mate's departure to attend classes at the medical university:

"Mommy, she's going to the universe!"


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I would be honored to have the privilege of encouraging you on a regular basis!

Other wacky things my kids have said.

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net