No pain no gain?

There is some truth to the saying: "No pain, no gain." However, now that I have no choice but to schedule my c-section for baby boy three, taking much of the expected labor pains away, does that mean I'm gaining less in my delivery experience? Of course not. There is plenty of pain during the preliminary nine months, as well as the c-section recovery as I learned with baby boy two. Pain also doesn't always have to be physical. Baby boy number one has recently decided on a new way of expressing his frustration at my discipline and superior authority as he hopes to inflict emotional pain on me. When he has no choice but to submit of suffer, he likes to say, "I do not love you mommy" and now he's adding, "And I do not care about you mommy! Does that make you sad!"
The first time it came out of his mouth, I immediately felt a little sad at the quick switch to adolescence, but I quickly recognized and told him that I'd rather he hate me and deal with my punishment than hate God in the future when the punishment is much worse.
Too often, we mothers can't help but swoop in to be hero guardians for our children. We want to be loved, appreciated, and the ultimate protectors of our offspring, yet sometimes the best thing we can do is let our children suffer. Sometimes we must stand by and do nothing.  Sometimes we must feel the pain of their anger and frustration. And sometimes we must be the ones inflicting a little pain in order to gain the fruits of God-fearing adults.

I cannot believe we will meet our third son in two weeks! It's an amazing blessing to have been able to carry this little one full term! What an answer to many many prayers.

Big brother Si had a nasty cold the last week, and again, God somehow covered little Levi so that we haven't had any additional vomiting to clean up this week! I was recently reminded by our favorite NICU nurse what a gift it is that Levi can build up his immune system through common viruses without having any lung issues, pneumonia, or ER visits. Wow. I was so focused on his eating and subsequent weight-gain, that I'd forgotten how common breathing issues are the first couple of years for little ones who were on oxygen for so long. What a beautiful perspective reminder! Thank you God for Levi's strong lungs!

That said, Levi's weight has plateaued again, so his nutritionist wants to try and change out his tubal formula feeds with heavier, more caloric, Pediasure. We haven't tried it since he was little, so hopefully this time it will be easier. So far, we've traded one of the seven syringes with Pediasure, and he can handle it fine! We'll keep moving forward, praying that Levi continues to eat better, get stronger, and tell the world about the miracle God has already done in his life!

Love these new double swings!

We had a great trip to the lake and getaway time for mommy and daddy before baby three arrives!

Even though it was cold, we had a great time. Thanks Dee Dee and T-Pop

Levi figured out how to get up stairs the other day!

I hope you boys love your next brother as much as you do each other!
~Gaining Buster