Nursemaid’s Elbow

A few weeks ago, it was my turn to teach in Relief Society. Church is at 11, and on Sunday morning my lesson was an amalgamation of thoughts and notes that only needed to be organized into a thoughtful lesson outline. It was all there, just not in order.

As I sat down to put the lesson in order, I heard Kyle scolding Ruby for doing something naughty, then a thump. It sounded like she had thrown herself on the floor. Then the waterworks started.

And continued.

And continued.

Normally when Ruby bumps her head or is scolded, she cries for a minute, gets a hug, and goes on her way happy and tearless. This time, Kyle brought her out to me and told me she wouldn’t stop crying. So I held her. I nursed her. I offered her apple juice. She refused to calm down, so I asked Kyle for specifics on what had happened.

It seems that Ruby had been trying to run away from a diaper change, so Kyle grabbed her arm to lead her back. Unhappy with this solution, Ruby flung herself onto the floor–her hand still in Kyle’s–and Kyle heard a pop. At first Kyle hadn’t really thought anything of it, but her unceasing tears seemed to indicate that something was wrong. Upon closer inspection, she was holding one of her arms very, very straight and refusing to move it.

I called my resident medical adviser (my mom), and we decided that it was time to go to urgent care. We arrived, there was very little wait, and went in to see the doctor. It turns out Ruby had what he called Nursemaid’s Elbow. Apparently it’s pretty common for children ages 2-6. It usually happens when an adult is holding a child’s hand and the child throws a tantrum and flings their body in an unexpected way. Because the ligaments in their elbows aren’t fully formed, it can partly dislocate their elbow, which is very painful. Evidently some children are more prone to it than others. The doctor held her arm, popped her elbow back in, and in an instant it was as though nothing had happened. The doctor assured us that it wasn’t uncommon, and that it didn’t mean that we were bad parents.

I ended up preparing my lesson during the second hour of church and it all seemed to work out pretty well, despite the stressful morning.


I found myself roped into doing the choir at church. It kind of became a “couldn’t find the gumption to say no” to the choir director, so I dragged my sorry bum to choir one day a few months ago and to the chagrin of my pride, I realized just how much I had missed participating in music.

I did music a lot in high school. Like, a lot a lot. It was basically my life. But when I got to college, I essentially quit. I still play the piano occasionally, but I didn’t sing in any choirs and I abandoned the trumpet with a gleeful fervor. I was hopelessly out-performed in every sphere at BYU in regards to music, so I just didn’t try.

But we were singing a Handel song for Christmas in our ward choir this year. And I love singing Handel. The bouncing, moving, intertwining lines, provide the right amount of challenge and satisfaction for me, and as I learned the piece and sang I found myself filled. Filled with the Spirit, but also filled with satisfaction that while I might not be a high caliber musician, I am at least proficient. And with my proficiency and a challenge appropriate to my skill, I can enjoy music for what I can do with it instead of worrying about what I can’t.

Music can be peaceful and beautiful. It can be many other things as well, but I’ve found that as I sing in the ward choir I am filled with peace and entranced by the beauty of the pieces we sing.

It’s a nice reminder that I can love music, and that it can be fulfilling to me even though I may never excel at it. That what I can do is enough if it brings me joy and fills my heart.

Ruby at Church

Kyle had a cold today, so Ruby and I braved church all alone. Our church only has a nursery for the last two hours; the first hour everybody meets for Sacrament Meeting, or the worship service. So Ruby and I are sitting in Sacrament Meeting, and then she looks at me, says, “Bye bye!” and attempts to walk out of the pew.

I grabbed her shoulders and turned her right back around.

This didn’t stop her from trying to do it about 15 more times before the service was over.

We sang a hymn, and after the hymn was over, in the silence, I distinctly heard Ruby singing the “Ooo oo oo ooh” from Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Fortunately, while she’s got the rhythm ok, she doesn’t really do pitch. It’s more, ah, monotone. So I was the only one who knew that we were getting a little bit of Taylor Swift in with our God today.

She also tried to color on the pew in front of us, so I had to take her crayons away.

Then, in Relief Society, one of the nursery leaders brought her to me because she needed a new diaper. They got to the open door, and Ruby cries out loud enough to be heard over the teacher who has a microphone, “MOMMY!”

I’m so loved.

(Also, nursery is a real blessing.)

Physical Realities of Pregnancy

Because apparently pregnancy is all I can write about on this blog anymore. Don’t worry fair readers, in about two months I will no longer be pregnant, and we will ALL rejoice! (But then I’ll write about newborns. Look, I’m not forcing anybody to read this stuff.)

Many many moons ago I had a roommate who has a pretty severe form of Celiac Disease. She was awesome a great, but had all of these bizarre side effects from her illness. She would routinely come home and tell us things like “Guys, today I pooped whole broccoli.” (Incidentally, broccoli is one of those words I will never ever ever spell correctly the first time.) I once witnessed her become dyslexic for an evening after she ate a piece of cake (the last piece of cake she has ever eaten, last I heard). It was one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me. When you live with someone who is that up front about the physical ramifications of her disease, well, it kind of breaks your “this is a thing about my body that is commonly considered socially acceptable to talk about” filter. I’m usually about half way through a “TMI” story before I realize that this person might not want to know this many details about my body, and at that point my foot is already lodged in my mouth.

Which is all a preface to say that if you feel weird about physical realities of things like pregnancy and diseases, this is not the post for you. It’s also a way to blame my friend for breaking a social filter–like I needed one fewer of those! I’m already at below minimum on my number of social filters!

My extended disclaimer is now over.

So. Pregnancy stats, as it were.

Starting weight: 130 lbs
Present weight, 32 weeks: 172 lbs

I anticipate gaining 5-10 more pounds before this is all done because, hey, there are like 8-10 weeks left for me. This has fascinated me, because when I was full term with Ruby, I weighed 165 pounds. I had started at 130, so there was a net gain of 35 pounds. But I also lost 10 lbs before I started putting weight on (thanks over-active pregnancy sickness) which put me at 120. So the gross gain was 45 pounds, which is much more similar to what I’m looking at this time around. I didn’t lose weight this time (thanks to not being as violently ill), so maybe the weight is just coming on differently. Or maybe this is just a different pregnancy, and I’m gaining a different amount of weight because of that. Maybe the baby’s bigger? Who knows.

Incidentally, I would much rather put on 50 pounds and only have terrible nausea and fatigue than put on 35 pounds and be vomitously ill for four months. I will take those 15 pounds with gladness if it means less misery. I also remain interested in whether this will make it harder for me to lose my baby weight this time around. My baby weight last time kind of melted off, which was fortunate for me because I didn’t do anything to help it. Unless you count breastfeeding; apparently you can burn like 300 calories a day breastfeeding, even when you’re sitting on the couch nursing and watching Hunt for Red October at 3 am because baby won’t sleep. It’s about the only thing I did to burn calories.

Heartburn: Yes. The past few weeks the heartburn has been slowly approaching. Fortunately, Tums still help.

Stretch marks: Yesser. In addition to the ones I got with my pregnancy with Ruby, I am now getting even more on my belly, breasts, thighs, hips, and belly button (weird, right?). Because, seriously? Those anticipated 50 pounds have to go somewhere. And my thighs are where my weight likes to come on.

So there’s this TV show called Bones that features an forensic anthropologist who can tell you things about a person’s life just by looking at her bones. Like, she can tell you that this victim broke her arm when she was around 8, probably falling off her bike, based on the age of the victim (also identifiable by her bones), how much the bone has healed, and the type of fracture it was. This character likes to note that our lives are literally etched on our bones. The reality is that our lives are also etched on our bodies, and this is something that I find really cool about stretch marks, scars, and other aspects of our bodies. I still have scars on my knees from when I got peer pressured into taking the training wheels off my bike and scraped up my knees trying to learn to ride without them. Even when I’m no longer carrying these babies, the fact that they were once a part of my body, of what I gave them physically, will forever be sketched into my skin, muscles, and organs. I will forever carry these stretch marks on my belly and breasts. After you have a baby, your uterus will never be the same shape, and I’m pretty sure that even your pelvic bones and vagina are somewhat altered by the experience. You can look at the new contours of your body and tell pieces of your life story from it. I think it’s fascinating that my life experiences can not only shape me emotionally, but they can also be physically written on who I am.

Vomitously ill? No!

For the most part. I’m still nauseous, and it’s actually been getting worse the past couple of weeks (hand in hand with heartburn, baby), but I’ve only thrown up a couple of days this time around as opposed to daily for months on end. I count this as a success.

Fatigue? Uber.

So, so tired. All day, every day. Ruby’s sleeping problems have exacerbated this. I am not yet at a point where I can write an entry about this while also feeling like my dignity is in tact.

Depression? Yeah. Kind of.

Between the fatigue (lack of sleep is a major trigger for depression for me) and the loneliness of Kyle basically working 11 hour days (between the commute and work), well, let’s just say that you can often gauge how good I’m feeling emotionally and physically by the state of my house. My house is a wreck right now. I basically call my mom every day, hang out with Amy as much as possible, and get Kyle snuggles to combat it; these things help.

Wow, this list make pregnancy look awful. I guess you can’t change the truth. I’m not one of those happy, healthy, joyous pregnant ladies. I’m a grumpy, feel-my-pain, curmudgeonly pregnant lady.

Why, then, you might ask, do you have these babies, Eliza? Why didn’t you wait longer before getting pregnant with this one?

Because. BABIES. I need all the babies.

There is no other reason.