Monday, September 21, 2009

Needles and fire

from wikipedia:

(Chinese: ; pinyin: jiǔ) is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using moxa, or mugwort herb. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia. Suppliers usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff; practitioners burn the fluff or process it further into a stick that resembles a (non-smokable) cigar. They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or sometimes burn it on a patient's skin.

This is a picture of my feet and Kathy, an acupunturist with WCA - Working Class Acupuncture. Three days last week, I visited their new Westside office, paid a total of $45 (without insurance), chose one of the comfy recliners, kicked up my feet, and said a prayer. From what I undersand, this moxabustion technique reports a 50-70% success rate in turning breech babies. Apparently, the moxa, which is burned on a pressure point on the pinky toes, causes an increase in estrogen levels which can encourage fetal motility (baby movement, hopefully in the head-down direction). After burning the moxa cones - about 20 small cones - down low enough that I felt the heat, and then they'd be flicked off. Kathy then applied about 2 dozen needles to random places on my hands, feet, legs, arms, scalp and to finish it off - one right between the eyes! I have NO IDEA how they know where to put them.

double click on the picture to better see some of the needles on my hands and between the eyes!
Then I would push back the recliner and close my eyes and sleep for about an hour. It is really hard to say how successful my experience was until we get to see for certain at the ultrasound tomorrow. After the first treatment, I was out for dinner with my friend Julie, and a very decident coffee at Moonstruck

... and I felt a movement that was something like someone taking my gut and ringing it out like a wet towel. I can't say for certain that Nathan flipped, but since then, his movements have definetly been deeper and lower. Micah continues to float near the top of my belly, I wouldn't be surprised if he has moved to a transverse position (horizontal). This would be OK, as it would mean that he would be allowing for more room for Nathan to prepare for birth and we can worry about moving him, manually if necessary, after Nathan is born.

If Nathan is still breech after this next ultrasound, I can get moxa sticks from the acupunturist and still continue the treatments at home. Thanks for your prayers, I know God has this whole pregnancy in his hands. Keep praying for the right positions.

**For anyone who wonders, I do not buy into any of the mystical implications of Chinese Medicine, as much of it implies more power in "self", and really, the only power comes from God. I do believe that God created our bodies with so many amazing intricacies. Using pressure point in our bodies to find healing, gives glory to God as it acknowledges His amazing creation.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Experienced Mom in Nesting

As much as I have those nagging compulsive urges to clean and organize, physically, I am finding myself unable. Maybe I am just more aware of my body and it's limitations. Maybe I have been taking it easy and have no stamina.

Regardless of why, I am not nesting quite like I have in other pregnancies. For example:

When my in-laws were visiting and keeping the kids occupied, I decided to discard topless and dried out markers....which then let into disposing of broken and non-functional crayons, which then morphed into sharpening all the colored pencils; sorting out the twistable crayons; and before I knew it, I had a coloring book in front of me, completing a master piece. How do you think I did? I think I managed to stay in all the lines!

Despite my lack of energy to devote to household chores, there are certain things that don't need to be neglected.

Many wonder how I could manage, needing to keep my feet up for the health of the pregnancy and still care for the 4 other kids. Here's a secret.... it's actually easier with the other kids. I have someone to fetch things for me. They not only keep each other occupied, but also report on each other's poor behavior in need of parental correction. Tonight I even watched Hannah helping Maggy scoop up the last few bites of her dinner, get her plate to the kitchen, and getting her out of the high chair.

I don't want to assume that having twins would be easy, but no doubt, the Lord has provided for us every thing we'd need, including the extra hands. Thanks be to God!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not Lucky - just really blessed

Shane's Mom and Step Dad came into town to see yesterday's ultrasound. They stuck around for lunch and some play time.

These kids LOVE their Grandma and Grandpa!

It was a fantastic day. After getting to see the twins, I got to sit back and just watch the beautiful and joy-filled relationships.

There was wrestling and tossing with Grandpa, building with legos, coloring, board games, reading books and LOTS of smiles.

A great day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

32 week babies update

Up to this point, the boys have been showing signs of healthy growth. The only area of concern is the position of baby A - Nathan. He has been in a breech position - head up, since the 20 week ultrasound. General policy for most OB/GYNs and hospitals is to schedule moms with a breech baby for a c-section. With singleton babies, doctors will attempt a physical inversion, basically pushing the mom's belly, really hard, to try to get the baby to flip. There is much too much risk involved in attempting this with twins.

So going into today's ultrasound, I had hoped that I had felt a change in position. I can feel a hard 'something' near the left side of my belly button... I was sure it could only be his bottom... he HAD to have flipped....

well... a baby sure did flip - just the wrong one! Micah - baby B is now in a breech position - head up, bottom down. That hard part I felt was actually Micah's head. That little stinker! Look at the bottom picture, he's smiling!

On a good note, they continue to grow well. Nathan is the smaller of the two for now, weighing 3 pounds and 11 ounces. Micah is at 4 pounds and 5 ounces. I will see my doctor on Friday and see what all of this will mean. I still anticipate at least another 4-6 weeks before seeing these boys face to face.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And so it is decided

My husband shared the following with me and his parents today. I am so in love with this man. I can't imagine anyone who could be a better father to our children. And so, it is....

Having six kids to me is not so much about the work to raise them, and it will be work. But more about the legacy we will leave behind. The lives impacted by our children being servants of God doing his will and how powerful that will be. So this song speaks to me and confirms for me the names I’ve had in mind for a while now. I see God doing some things in me and using these little guys as a conduit for something bigger. Anyway read the Lyrics for “Beautiful Ending”

Oh, tragedy
Has taken so many
Love lost cause they all
Forgot who You were
And it scares me to think
That I would choose
My life over You
Oh, my selfish heart
Divides me from You
It tears us apart

So tell me
What is our ending?
Will it be beautiful
So beautiful?

Oh, why do I
Let myself let go
Of Hands that painted the stars
And holds tears that fall?
And the pride of my heart
Makes me forget
It's not me but You
Who makes the heart beat
I'm lost without You
And dying from me

So tell me
What is our ending?
Will it be beautiful
So beautiful?

Will my life
Find me by Your side?
Your love is beautiful
So beautiful

At the end of it all
I wanna be in Your arms
At the end of it all
I wanna be in Your arms
At the end of it all
I wanna be in Your arms
At the end of it all
I wanna be in Your arms

So tell me
What is our ending?
Will it be beautiful
So beautiful?
Will my life
Find me by Your side?
'Cause Your love is beautiful
So beautiful

This speaks to me, on a level of “I’ve failed so many times, but God is so gracious”. It also speaks of my desire to be walking with him and with you until the end. It speaks to my fears of not knowing how in the world we are going to manage this. It reassures me that it’s not all in my hands to accomplish. It asks the question, to which I know the answer is “yes”. I cant help but cry when I listen to this and look at a picture of the kids here at work. We’ve got to think about the ending, not just what’s going on now. God’s just pressing on me that he is going to do amazing things through our kids.

So here is what I’m thinking

Nathaniel – Gift of God

Nathan – Gift , El – God

So direct translation of Nathan is just “Gift”

Micah - who resembles God? Who Is Like The Lord?

Both are Prophets, both brought truth, and correction to God’s people.

Micah 7:18-20:
18 Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
19 Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love
as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.

The story of Nathan and David in 2nd Samuel 12. Again he brings correction, but as a friend and in a loving way. Nathan was sent from God to David for David. It reminds me that even in correction God knows how best to teach us, and reminds me I need to be better with my own correction of the kids.

I’m feeling these are the names. The longer we look the more these seem to settle. I’m keeping an open mind/ear to God, but these names are feeling much like when we named Zak. They are not so much for us to like, but for them and what they will do in their life time. I’m feeling they are going to be some outspoken boys who will hold to his word, and hold those around them accountable to God’s plan. So how do you feel about

Nathan David Vertner

Micah Robert Vertner

Mom, Dad, I’ve included you on this email so you can see how and why we’ve named our kids. As I’ve said it’s not always a biblical thing, but a God thing. Do listen to the song when you can. Pull up the lyrics, they are real. I don’t say it enough but thank you guys (mom/dad) for all you’ve done for me. As a parent now I realize what it takes out of you and while you guys are not perfect, I’m blessed to have you both.

I have the utmost peace that Shane has heard this from God, which makes me love these names all the more. And I can't wait to meet them!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New School Year

I wish I had my act together enough to have taken some pictures this morning of our first day of the new school year. There were some very cute scenes around our house today. I love the buzz of everyone wanting to "do" school. It is one of my greatest desires as a mother and a teacher that my children will always have a love to learn.

My goals this year are somewhat more ambitious than past years, but I also planned for flexibility around my own physical limitations with the end of the pregnancy and the birth and introduction of two new baby brothers. A very wise women once told me "Flexibility is great, but you need to have something to flex from."

So I set about planning for this year. I even got a set of 6 weeks worth of detailed lesson plans written out. Just enough to see how the plan works and hopefully keep us on track until the babies arrive. I am also hopeful that there will be enough self driven work to keep Noah and Hannah on task for the few weeks that we'll need to take off.

At the end of day one, I am not disappointed or surprised. It basically went as expected. A few challenges that slowed us along the way. And we didn't quite get through the whole reading lesson and never got to History, as hoped. But I am consoled... a sweet friend of mine at church, who is also a homeschooling mama with 4 kids, who are a bit older than mine told me that she was starting school this week with 1/2 days for the first 3 days as trial runs.... and now I know why! She's so wise!

So maybe the remainder of the week will be short of History, Science and Typing until we can get into a swing and we'll pick them up next week. But as I said on the school blog, we'd always appreciate your prayers for our school year. I anticipate our best year yet!