Saturday, October 25, 2008

Remembering Our Baby LeOra

Today marks a day in time that I will never forget. My LeOra Lynn passed away two years ago today. As I sit and reflect the events of that day I am filled with mixed emotions. Mostly, I just run through the memories...
I had been laying in a hospital bed for 5 weeks up to this point in my pregnancy with the twins. My time in the bed was only interrupted by one daily outing allowance in a wheel chair. The majority of those trips were spent on trips to different procedures. On this particular day I had a stress test exam for the babies. This is where the ultrasound nurses watch the babies for over an hour at a time marking down different stages of development or signs of stress that they note while watching the babies.

After doing this daily for over a month, Leif and I got pretty good at deciphering the images on the sonogram machine. In this particular day the images were not unlike all of the others except the twins were a bit more calm. They were practicing their breathing though, and everything seemed to be going fine. However, about a half hour into the test I noticed (and heard) something that sent me into a shocked panic. LeOra's little heart started to beat at a steadily slower pace. When the nurse and I realized what was happening they rushed me into Labor and Delivery to prep for an emergency delivery.

On the way I remember trying to reach Leif on his phone. For some reason he wasn't answering (a Very Rare occurrence.) I don't think I really thought that we would lose our baby. At that point I was so focused on keeping them alive like I had been for the last five weeks. Losing them was not an option. We had of course discussed the possibility many times. But in my mind, my will was to keep them alive.

I had gotten a hold of a neighbor who went and told Leif he needed to get to the hospital. In a matter of 5 minutes I was in the Labor and Delivery room, hooked up to another ultrasound machine. This is when it became apparent that LeOra had passed away. My nurses and I cried together. My doctor soon came into my room. I immediately asked him to give me a blessing.

The mantel of peace and sustaining strength given to Leif and I through that blessing stayed with us throughout the weeks and months that followed the loss of our daughters. I ponder the strength that came to us and I am in awe from the love that our Father in Heaven has for us...

LeOra was delivered with her sister five days later. She of course was stillborn and her sister Rhea was born alive. Leif brought LeOra to me soon after they delivered her. As I looked at her I saw my little girl. I thought I would be nervous to see her. But I wasn't... I felt her spirit close by for many days. This was a comfort to me as I held her in my arms for the first time. She was dressed in cute fluffy soft clothes with a little hat on. She was so small... So precious.

Someday I will raise my LeOra Lynn. LeOra's middle name is Talithiacumi. This is what Christ said to a little girl as he was raising her from the dead. It means "Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise!" Someday our little girls will be resurrected and we will have the opportunity to raise them in a world of peace and harmony.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Second Essay Complete

Some posts are just for the record.

This is my second essay for my English class. It came at a busy time and I never really caught the vision of it. I wrote one essay for my rough draft and a completely new essay as my final. I don't think the professor appreciated that!

Type of Essay: Short expository using "Development by example." Written in third person
Subject Given: "Failure to keep my mouth shut (or some other bad habit) leads me into trouble."
Grade Given: B
What I Learned From This Essay: In college, you write the same paper for both your rough draft and your final draft.

Mama Must Keep Up

It is 4:30 in the afternoon. The dishes from breakfast and lunch are still on the table, the laundry is still in mountainous piles on the bed, the preschooler has set up battle scenes between cars and dinosaurs throughout the living room, and Papa just walked through the door. What has Mama been doing while all of this mess has been growing within the walls of her domain? Mama is sitting at her computer writing and researching... again. This has become far too common in her daily routine. Failure for Mama to keep up on the house chores leads to a lack of harmony in the home.
For example, when Mama does not keep up on the dishes, a distinct unpleasant odor floats through the little cottage that she is supposed to keep clean. Because the kitchen sink is also the place where Mama baths the baby, if the dishes are not cleared from the sink then the baby does not get the bath that he needs. Another example is, when Mama lets the clean clothes sit in piles upon the bed without folding them before bedtime. When this happens, those piles then become mountains upon the floor at the foot of the bed. These piles are then stepped on throughout the night as Mama and Papa are getting in and out of bed to comfort the children who inevitably wake up throughout the night.
The little cottage that Mama and Papa live in with their children is centered by a living space called the living room. This is where the family gathers at night to read stories, play games, and have family prayer before bedtime. If Mama allows the living room to fall into complete disarray, and the kitchen to be scattered with dishes that emanate a foul smell, then the joy and contentment that should be felt during these special family times is greatly limited and dampened.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Blog Will Be A Book Someday

I have been asked many times what I will do with my blog several years down the road. I pondered that question, and I decided that I would want them to be books. So I googled "turn my blog into a book" Come to find out there are many people who want their blogs turned into books. Since I'm not ready to bind my blog into a book yet, I haven't selected the best company. But I did put the Google link up there for you.

I figure I will continue these blogs for the next couple of years until Leif is done with school. We will then start a new chapter in our life and I will either continue this blog and make a series of volumes, or I will start a completely new blog... We'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Bump In The Road

I was starting to wonder if things were just a little too content and stable. My questions proved true yesterday afternoon. Leif called to inform me that he received a notice from Arizona State University (the school that he was going to earn his BS from.)

They told him that they would not consider him a resident of Arizona. Their reasons: We paid taxes in multiple states last year. Leif has not worked full time consistently in Arizona for the last 12 months. We haven't lived in Arizona consecutively for the last 12 months....

This is a major bump in the road! We did find a Distance Learning BS program at Northern Arizona University. However, we're nervous that they might have the same residency policies. If they do, we are in big trouble!

Our goal was to stay here in the barn (our home) for two more years, stay at the same employment for the next two years, and have Leif earn his Bachelors Degree online in those two years. If Leif isn't able to do his schooling online.... I don't even want to speculate what that might mean right now.

He applied to NAU last night. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Calories Burned While Feeding The Baby

Last night I had to find something positive about the situation I am in. Caleb nurses every two hours All Day and ALL NIGHT! Last night I saw 11:00PM, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, and 7AM. It seems completely insane that I put up with it. Trust me, I know! However, my kid's are unusual nursers. They only nurse for up to 10 minutes tops. That means it's possible that they are only getting one to three ounces per feeding. That burns up pretty quickly. Which means that they are hungry again. I can understand the feeling. Making the milk makes me just as hungry, just as often.

So I was sitting there at 3:AM wondering what possibly could be good about this. I had tried to let him cry it out, but it takes less time to just get up and nurse him then to let him cry. I came up with this conclusion: I sleep better (when I sleep) because of the hormones that are released while nursing. But the best benefit is the calories that I burn throughout the night! I started wondering just how many calories I burn... It looks like it's a lot!

I found a woman who has done her research and she's come up with this; "it is generally said that breastfeeding burns 200-500 calories per day. I think you can convert breastfeeding to a calorie burning on AVERAGE, and you can convert it to an hourly scale, as in 1 hour of breastfeeding=x calories burned. Usually a newborn baby will consume 2 ounces of milk every 2 hours or so if the milk is breast milk. That is 1 ounce every hour, 24 ounces every 24 hours (while the baby is a newborn). Breast milk burns very quickly once the baby drinks it, thus the reason for the constant eating...the baby is always hungry! 1 ounce of breast milk burns approximately 20 calories i believe... so that is 20 calories burned for every hour of breastfeeding, which averages to 280 calories per day in the beginning. I suppose that is about average between 200 and 500 more or less (the actual average is 350 but for estimation purposes of a baby consuming 24 ounces of breast milk per day 280 is enough). So that is breastfeeding 1 ounce of milk per hour burns 20 calories per hour. Breastfeeding 2 ounces of milk per hour burns 40 calories per hour. Breastfeeding 3 ounces of milk per hour burns 60 calories per hour, and so forth and so on. 1 ounce of breast milk=20 calories burned. If your baby drank 4 ounces of breast milk per hour, you burn 80 calories making breast milk per hour."

My guess is that I burn around 80-160 calories throughout the night. That's a low calorie meal or a dessert. It's possible to think that I am burning an average of 800 calories throughout a 24 hour day. Motivation enough for me! That is MY kind of exercise! Stop, Sit, Feed and Loose Weight!
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