Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yoked in blessing and wanting

2 Corinthians 1 (The Message)

 6-7When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you're just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you're going to make it, no doubt about it.

This is a thank you. I have many people in my life who have wanted or currently want children, and for various reasons, each unique to the individual, have found themselves left wanting, with prayers seemingly unanswered. Some have made their peace, but are still scarred. For others the wound is ever-present and bleeding.

Thank you for sharing in the joy of my child, despite your hurt or pain. Know that although I can never know that hurt or pain, I am "suffering" with you through our tie in Christ. I petition God on your behalf for healing and peace in your lives. I pray for hope and miracles too. I will not take my blessing for cup runneth over!

I thank God that we all are His children and can receive blessing in His child. Also that we are yoked together in this life and that He can use us, each with our own unique blessings and sufferings, to help others.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You know you're a mom when...

Here are some of the rights of passage that have made me a mom.

I am a mom because I have...

Constantly second-guessed myself. (Is she really hungry? She just ate!)

Breastfed in the back of my car so I can continue errands.

Woke up not sure where I am, what time it is, and when I fell asleep with a baby in my arms.

Felt incompetent after 5 hours of crying. (It must be me).

Way better biceps and triceps than I used to.

Put track pants on and felt like million bucks because I got "dressed" for the day.

Felt like I don't have enough love to love my baby girl like she deserves (I think I understand the word unconditional more).

Ended a blog mid-way through in exchange for snuggles! To be continued....I am sure there will be many more "rights" to share.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chaos Theory

Chaos theory refers to, among other things, the discovery of unsuspected patterns of harmony (even beauty) in apparently chaotic systems (

My new analogy for being a mom is being a mom is like being a scientist that specializes in Chaos Theory.

Chaos Theory holds that there is order in is one of those theories that supports evolution and is controversial because it counters some other scientific lines of thought that are tried and tested. For example, if order can be found in disorder or chaos, then life could spontaneously be created on its own. Other schools of thought, including Christianity, refute such theories with other laws of physics (Newton's Second Law of Thermodynamics) saying that systems if left on their own will move from order to disorder (or chaos). Such thinking has always fascinated me. Chaos Theory for me is merely discovering God's intricate patterns in our world's complex systems...He is the reason those patterns exist. He is the only way order can exist in disorder...otherwise, I believe, Newton's discovery would prevail.

So a baby is a complex system of chaos and the parents are trying to discover order or patterns in God's tapestry! Moreover, my life has become more random and chaotic since the arrival of Rylyn. In this case, both Chaos Theory and the Second Law of Thermodynamics work together. Holy oxymoron. Which leads me to the question: does that mean I need divine intervention?

Here is an example of what I am talking about. Mommy is confidently ready to find order in disorder with her sleep patterns chart. She keeps track of baby's sleeping, eating, eliminations and activities for two weeks. Enough of that. Baby is healthy and a few generalized patterns have emerged. Mommy decides to simplify things by switching to using her nursing bracelet.

See image at:

A gift from Daddy in her stocking! Bracelet works well, helping Mommy to know when she last fed baby and to read baby's cues to make sure baby is really hungry. And now for total disorder...when tired Mommy turns into a zombie from midnight to 8 am and has no clue how many times she has feed baby or been up in the night. Good-bye hope of order, welcome chaos. I would say having no clue what is going on would be the definition of being in the state of chaos. Thanks for your service bracelet, a lot of help you were.

Funnily enough, I am still wearing such bracelet, because I like to think that there is some order to my life right now even if there isn't. So even if this bracelet serves no other purpose to lie to me and give me a false sense of control, then I guess it was worth the $6.99. Perhaps I can use the bracelet as a visual reminder that God is in control so I need not worry about "figuring things out" because I am going to be doing that for the rest of my life. Perhaps I need to look at this baby as less of a puzzle to solve and more of a rose to stop and smell.

I can tell you the one thing I have figured out. Rylyn won't eat when she is not hungry and won't be consoled by anything other when she is. Oh yes, and I am loving the chaos.

Bible Reflections

Psalm 46 (New King James Version)

Psalm 46

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.
 1 God is our refuge and strength,
         A very present help in trouble.
 2 Therefore we will not fear,
         Even though the earth be removed,
         And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled,
         Though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Selah 
 4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
         The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
 5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
         God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
 6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
         He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
 7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah 
 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
         Who has made desolations in the earth.
 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
         He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
         He burns the chariot in the fire.
 10 Be still, and know that I am God;
         I will be exalted among the nations,
         I will be exalted in the earth!
 11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah 

-God is there amidst our chaos. The chaos, like us, is His creation. For the chaos we give thanks. For refuge from it, we give thanks.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Groundhog Day

Ever seen that movie? If you haven't, then watch for it on your regular cable. It is one of those movies that plays on television almost biweekly. The premise of the movie is a TV weatherman, played by Bill Murray, must relive "Groundhog Day" over and over again until he gets his priorities straight.

My point? Taking care of a newborn is like being Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Your days are the same. The difference, however, is that instead of being forced to live the same day over and over until you get your priorities straight, your days are the same because your priorities are straight...feed, diaper change, play, sing and sleep. This is neither a complaint nor a compliment it is merely a fact.

The conclusion? As a mom of a newborn it is important for me to make my own fun and make my days different. Being able to distinguish a Wednesday from a Saturday is an important reality check for me. Here are some things I have been enjoying to savor everyday as a unique gift from God, rather than feeling like I am  living in an alternate reality where each day is no different from the one before:
-video taping and taking pictures of Rylyn (this way I can revel in her growth and how different she is from the day before)
-keeping a blog/social networking (keeps me connected to the rest of the world and allows me to share the daily changes I observe in our lives)
-doing errands (it takes us 2 hours between feeds to go to the store and this definitely adds excitement to the day)
-Daddy time (Daddy time each night allows mommy to do something for herself like a hot shower or scrapbooking and asking him for help reminds me I am not alone)
-visiting with family and friends (do I really need a comment for this one?)

Bible Reflections

Isaiah 43:18-20 (New King James Version)

18 “ Do not remember the former things,
      Nor consider the things of old.
       19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
      Now it shall spring forth;
      Shall you not know it?
      I will even make a road in the wilderness
      And rivers in the desert.
       20 The beast of the field will honor Me,
      The jackals and the ostriches,
      Because I give waters in the wilderness
      And rivers in the desert,
      To give drink to My people, My chosen.

-Even when you feel like you are going nowhere fast...even when you feel like you are spinning your tires...even when you feel like your priorities are mixed up and like you don't have purpose...remember God's priorities are straight and He has a purpose for you. Look to Him. Examine your life for the new things He is doing, they are there and so is He.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What time is it?

Just when you think you have some sort of pattern figured out it changes. I think this is not only true for babies, but also with life. My mom recently told me with babies it is 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Good to know...helps with discouragement!

We are trying to establish some routines, flexible ones of course, depending on Rylyn's needs. She seems to wake up around 8:30 am each morning. We are putting her to bed between 11 pm and 12 am...and she is up to feed around  1:30 am and 4:30 am (when she is sticking to her patterns that is). We also appear to have a morning, afternoon and evening nap, however times vary from day to day depending on our activities. For e.g. a huge spit up seems to set us back as it empties her stomach and she will be hungry again. She is still eating every 2-3 hours, but will cluster feed and go for longer stretches too.

Now let's talk about the "1 step back" and "flexible" parts. Yesterday was the "All You Can Eat Buffet." I swear she was hungry on the hour...and not "I want to suckle or be comforted"..."I AM HUNGRY." We attempted our avail. Rylyn was up and awake nearly all day. It was nice when Daddy came home and took her for 1 hour so I could make some cards and feel like myself rather than a breastraunt.

The amazing thing though? I swear Rylyn started looking bigger yesterday...especially in her head. Then, this morning, Chris said the exact same thing! I guess there really is a 2-3 week growth spurt where babies need to feed more frequently. God packaged us so precisely, that as babies, we know exactly what we need.

Bible Reflections

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything
 1 There is a time for everything, 
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

 9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

-Right now it is my time to watch and enjoy Rylyn as baby and me as a mom. She is only going to stay this small for a short period of time. I must captivate this experience and let other things go (which is a challenge for a busybody like me). I like the phrase, what do workers gain from their toil? It makes me think, what would I gain from a load of laundry...clean clothes. Then when I ask, what would I gain from post-poning that load...a chance to savor a smile or a cuddle, it is clear what time it is...not time for laundry.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

With Challenge also comes Reward

Yesterday I took an online survey for new parents...How much sleep are you getting? I included only night time hours and was pleased to see that the majority of the the thousands who took the survey fell in the 4-5 hour range that I had clicked off as my vote. About 25% were getting more or less than that. It was comforting to know we fell into the normal range. I felt even better knowing I did not include naps and that we were closer to the 5 hour end than the 4. Discovering a new normal is certainly where we are at.

We appear to have some routines during the day...anticipated nap times and feeding times. The night is a whole other beast. I can't complain...for the most part Rylyn only cries when hungry or uncomfortable (i.e. I want a snuggle! Do you really need to change my diaper...the air is cold!?!) And, for the most part she sleeps at night when she is not feeding. We have, however, had a few twilight challenges...wide awake baby who if put down will cry and won't settle. For now, we are just snuggling and loving her until she falls asleep, because that is more enjoyable for both parties than listening to her cry! We have tried letting her "cry-it-out" but more than 10 minutes of that just seems cruel...and she is still awake and wanting love. So I guess we can call our present strategy "love-it-out."

Thank God for daddies. Last night, after nursing her, the awake spell with cries hit. After about an resolve was to put her in the nursery and pray in the room next door, "Lord, I don't know what she wants, I don't know what to do. I am tired and need to sleep." She fell asleep after about 10 minutes of crying, only to wake 5 minutes later, because it was time to feed again. More cries after the feed. Chris promptly took her, snuggled her to sleep and that was the end of it. Rylyn and parents then slept for a good 4 hour stretch...our longest yet! It is amazing how just when you think you are at the end of your rope God pulls through (in this case through my husband).

We are still trying to figure the night out...trying to be led by Rylyn's cues and need to nurse...but also our own need for rest. We are open to suggestions, please feel free to respond with your own experience. For now, the 1.5 hours of crying was worth the 4 hour block of sleep. Our twilight challenges in the future will probably involve puke or worrying about date Rylyn is on, so for now we'll cherish the cries, because the greatest reward is knowing she just wants our love.

Bible Reflections from John Chapter 14

14 If you ask[c] anything in My name, I will do it. - A promise that will keep new parents going when they feel at the end of their rope.

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. - Our home is with the Father. Just as Rylyn needed to snuggle and feel at home with her Daddy, so too must we remember to  come to our Father in heaven with our needs. That is where our security lay.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Rylyn (Written December 24th, 2010 - A Birth Story)

'Twas the night before Rylyn
and all through 57 Swayze Court
not a creature was stirring
not even Quincy and Charlie were out of sorts.

It was quarter past twelve
when the fun began and changed our lives.
Mom's water broke.
Six hours to "sleep," then call the midwives.

At West Lincoln we arrived
It was Inge to our aid.
Three centimeters dilated - 7 to go!
Poor Dad was starting to fade.

Auntie Laura was his relief
as oxytocin built contractions.
Mom rocked out the birthing ball.
No time for distractions.

After lunch with Grandpa D,
Dad made his return,
Laura stayed to help,
you would arrive soon we all learned.

Auntie Laura massaged my back
while Dad gave me a cool compress
and both encouraging words
to help Mom in her distress.

When Mom thought she couldn't go
on any longer
It was time to push, (and drink ice water)
the need to meet you, growing stronger.

Rachel arrived to help Inge
and then out you came
after 30 minutes of pushing - at 2:30 pm!
Our little Rylyn to be named.

What joy, what love,
what blessing to be found
in God's Christmas gift on December 23, 2010,
you arrived with great sound.

You cried for over an hour
while Mom cuddled you close.
You soon would have many visitors,
but first Dad got his dose.

We stayed at the hospital that night.
You missed Dad who had to go.
From 1-4 am, more crying
but by then you seemed to know...

You are loved and will be doted on
whenever there is need
so you slept until the morning
a Merry Christmas Eve.

Reflections up to 16 weeks of pregnancy

The following was written at 16 weeks of pregnancy...July 2010

I don't think I ever glorified pregnancy, but I certain had no idea it would be like this. I am not saying I do not want to be pregnant (I do), nor I am saying it is walk in the park, but I am saying it is different than I ever could have anticipated. Like many things in life, pregnancy has proven to be something you can only understand until you experience it for yourself. And, as hindsight is 20/20, pregnancy gives you new insight into the many reasons why your parents wanted you to stay celibate until you were married.

Almost 16 weeks. It is hard to believe that it has already been 4 months since I peed on a stick and saw the positive result. I am keen to answer the question many think, but only those without filters ask: “So…was it planned or unplannned?” My answer is always the same. Both. Our New Year’s resolution was to stop using birth control. We knew we wanted children, but by what means or when, we decided to leave up to “The Big Man.”

Pregnancy is like Narnia. A strange, foreign, and yet oddly familiar world. A place some people long to go back to, others don’t and still others, sadly, can’t. The first 6 weeks were no different than normal, and then I thought I caught a nasal drip that was making my stomach queasy. A little bit of Googling straighten out that misconception. Hello, morning sickness. Some lemon and lots of chocolate popsicles seem to be keeping it at bay, but I am still waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel or any sign of the end of sea legs that don’t fare so well.

I’ve never been a skinny girl either. I always thought I should lose weight before I get fat or in this case, pregnant. Losing 10 pounds one of the best parts of pregnancy so far. It doesn’t compare to the excitement of knowing a life is growing inside you, but since it is only a matter of time before I get fat, I count it a major perk. I should also clarify that when I say fat, I am not speaking of obesity. I am speaking of the bowling ball I will be sporting in my stomach region, which I might add, has yet to even bulge.

Raging hormones. I don’t think that I am particularly moody.  I may not be the best judge of that as I hid my husband’s X-Box when he did not attend to my calls for help during a violent flu-like moment. I’ll let you guess what he was doing while I was crying for assistance. He has since made up for it by making many meals and frequently reading bedtime stories to where my baby bump should be.

Back to the hormones. Teenage acne has resurfaced. Bacne to be more specific. Another area my husband, Chris, has been very dedicated. He cleans my back daily. On the brighter side, my body knows exactly what it wants to eat, which is contrary to my previously fickle appetite. I don’t have cravings per se. I just know what I want and don’t want. I can’t wait to crave Taco Bell though. Presently, grease is not on the menu and my body only seems to want raw foods. This is great for the health, not so great for my Mexican loving mind, if you can even call Taco Bell Mexican.

Being new to the pregnancy process, Chris and I are trying to be open to information and experiences, while still critically making the choices that best suit our needs. Fed up with an impersonal medical system we have chosen the midwifery route. Midwifery, in combination with a hospital birth, seems to be the best of both worlds for us: personalized approach, antenatal care and drugs still available on the back burner. I have never felt a contraction, so who knows, I could be screaming for an epidural. The hospital we are attending allows midwives to continue their care, even with an epidural.

Being new to this whole process also makes us informational consumers. Books, early prenatal classes, soliciting friends for advice and constant Googling are keeping us informed and at times confused. The latest is my research on umbilical cord blood donation. A worthy cause, but not regulated yet in Canada. The process appears lengthy and is work for parents-to-be. I think regulation would help to make it more accessible and better educate parents-to-be. We plan to try to donate (who knows, we may save a life), but with the lengthy process it may not work out.

One could say we are trying to savor the good, the bad and even the ugly of this God-ordained experience. As of the present, we are looking forward to our 20-week ultrasound and actually seeing baby. The sound of the heartbeat at our first prenatal visit was a joy, mostly because with weight loss rather than gain we knew a heartbeat meant a baby and not a tapeworm. To actually see baby will be more exciting and not just because it further confirms a baby with my lack of bump.

An ultrasound will be like a close encounter of the third kind. It will be evidence of all the strange and wonderful experiences thus far. We are hoping baby keeps its privates private. We would rather be surprised. As for names, we have recently discussed and selected a few from which to choose. We are not settled on names, however, and want to wait to meet baby face-to-face the first time before writing anything in stone and sharing. For now, we anticipate our screen-to-face interaction where we will ask if the baby comes in peace because most 20-week ultrasound pictures I have seen look like the mother is carrying an alien rather than a baby.

p.s. (January 5, 2011) The light came after 17 weeks, no more morning sickness. I felt great the rest of the pregnancy, including NO heartburn to accompany my cravings of spicy foods in the third trimester. My bump did eventually show, although I stayed rather small. Rylyn's gender remained a surprise until the end...even after a second ultrasound at 30 weeks to make sure the placenta was not in the way of birthing (it wasn't and moved from the first ultrasound). Although we misplaced the first set of ultrasound pictures, neither set were alien-like in mother's eyes. After a natural birth (I never screamed for meds, although I did reach the end of my rope, fortunately it was time to push), we donated Rylyn's cord blood to Victoria Angel's Registry of Hope.

Welcome to the World...

...Rylyn Gloria Michael Dalgleish! Our perfect baby girl, born 2 weeks early on December 23, 2010...just in time for Christmas! What a wonderful gift from God weighing in at 6 lbs 7 oz and measuring 20 inches. Good things come in small packages. That, my friends, is the inspiration for this blog.

Today is Rylyn's due date! The past two weeks have been both demanding and miraculous. I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything. Thus begins our journey.

Rylyn comes from our mother's names CheRYL (Beloved) and LYNn (From the Lake). It started as a middle name and then became our first choice for a girl. Gloria (Glory) is after Rylyn's maternal great-grandma (perfect for a Christmas baby) and Michael (Who is like God) after her paternal great-grandma who died this past summer. Michael was one of Grandma D's middle names that was slipped onto the birth registration when her brother Michael, registered her birth.

Psalm 139:13 (New International Version, ©2010)

 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will work on photos and media to make this more interesting...just not today. For now, enjoy two posts...a memoir from pregnancy and a poem written the day after Rylyn was born.