Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Change is in the Wind

One week.
In one week, I will be delivering my baby girl.
The baby girl that I have known in my heart was coming for a long time.
Each time that I started to lose hope, when all the odds seemed against it, she has left me little signs in the universe.
That is comforting, but also a bit frightening.
This is a strong soul we will be welcoming.

Like all children, I know that she will teach me many lessons and provide more insight into my relationship with God. I also know that there could be real pain in there. Not because I believe in a cruel God, but because I know that he puts challenges in our lives to help us grow and refine our spirit.

When I was first pregnant with Sydney, I thought that our challenge may be Down's Syndrome. Over ten years ago, when I was driving over a short bridge in Northern Kentucky on the way to work, I felt a sudden truth fall upon me:

"You will have a child with Down's Syndrome, because you will have the ability to love and be loved more than you have ever imagined."

I won't say that I heard voices, per se, but rather just a sudden flash of something outside of myself. Since I was bopping along listening to pop music and prepping for work, it was rather unexpected, to say the least.

Of course I thought of it when pregnant with Little Man. And since Sydney has seemed so destined,and I am now of "advanced maternal age," I have thought it might be her. Testing has seemed to indicate not, and that is a relief simply from the standpoint that I worry how we would care for her while so stressed economically. It's not something I hope for. But at the same time, I have a certain peace about it. After all, it's not often that I get such interesting messages. I think, perhaps, that it may be a choice someday, brought about through fostering, mentoring, or adoption.

When pregnant with LM, everything was so focused on him. Classes and prepping and dreaming of him. Trying to do everything just right. This time, life has been very topsy-turvy. It's been hard to take a moment and simply imagine what will be. It continues to amaze all of us that our lives will be completely changed in just one week. I've never been in natural labor before. With LM, I was finally induced a week after his due date. After two days on pitocin, it was clear he was staying put. We often joke that he might still be in there if not for the c-section. We haven't been through classes this time. We have a scheduled c-section, but I wonder often about going into labor before then. Will I even recognize the signs?

I've repressed and romanticized much of what it was like to give birth and to have a new baby. And infant. And toddler. And preschooler. LM was a rather easy child. While I'd like to think that our parenting had a whole lot to do with that, I have read and seen enough to know that second children are when you learn all over that parenting is a contact sport.

And I want to prep my LM. While he used to ask for a sibling, he's also had seven years to settle into being the center of our universe. I know how it feels to be the much older sibling who welcomes a new being into the world. In my case, there was an almost instant competition set up for "Who will win the deathmatch of love and attention??" I don't want that for either of my children, and I've been trying to be so careful to set up good dynamics. Nevertheless, some of it is there and I have to just try to manage it as much as possible. A few nights ago, LM and I were hanging out in the nursery and talking about the changes to come and he said, "Can't she just stay in there a little longer? That way I can get to know you and Daddy better?"

I even worry about our kittens, who are very much babies. One of them demands to be held and rocked multiple times per day, and then wants to be cuddled at night. Poor little fur-children have no idea what's coming...

Do any of us?

Likely not.

Despite this, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to finally meet this little soul who has been waiting for our family for quite some time.

Monday, November 5, 2012


On Friday, the doorbell rang and I heard a delivery truck roll away.
I'll admit- my first hopeful thought was that a mysterious benefactor had decided to send some of the much needed baby items that we still haven't purchased.
Alas, instead it was a striking black and gold box from FTD and inside were beautiful pink roses and gerber daisies, along with a very sweet note from my husband.

Now, given out financial situation, he probably shouldn't have sent me flowers.
And I'm a practical sort of girl.

But still, I was really glad he did. And I made sure he was too.

He came home early and we spent the afternoon together, talking and bonding and crashing through some of the horrid tension that we have been living under.

And things are better. Not perfectly mended, but better. And the fog of tension and anger lifted so that I could remember some of the good things, like how much he helps with the housework and is an involved father. I've also felt more of a sense of peace and excitement about meeting my little girl.

Beautiful weather and a low key weekend kept the good times rolling for the last few days, even in the face of other challenges.

We found out on Saturday that hubby's brother P had a heart attack, and that has me worried on many fronts and struggling to find ways to be supportive. Hubby was originally the youngest (by far) of five siblings. Sadly, they all have pretty unstable and depressing lives. We have always been closest to his brother P, who is about about a dozen years older. P is the next most stable in the sibling line-up, staying mostly employed and in a long-term domestic partnership. He is free of addiction and has his wits about him. He doesn't live in opulence, but he and his partner have a very nice double-wide that is brimming with antiques and personality.

In terms of siblings, the closest one in age to my husband died a few years ago in a very tragic and depressing way, and hubby and his brother P were left to fly out to Austin and pick up the last vestiges of life and the remains of that brother. We had to help pay for his cremation, or he would have ended up in a "pauper's grave." While brother P is overweight and often sick, 49 is much too young to have a heart attack. Right now he remains in ICU in a hospital 14 hours away from us as doctors try to figure out what has made his heart stop twice.

There's not much we can do from here. Of course, I'm not sure how much we could do even in we were back in Cincy. I can pray for P and for his partner.

Beyond wanting a good result for him, I admit that I selfishly don't want my husband to go through the pain of losing another sibling, especially one he is so close to.
As my baby stirs inside of me, I know she is coming very soon. Perhaps she'll wait for nine days for her "scheduled time," but perhaps not... I want this time to be one of joy for my family, especially for a husband who has lost so many over the years.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Numbers Don't Lie

300 * 17= 5100.

It's a little epiphany that I had last night and I'm putting it here to remember.

I am okay. I am not drowning. I may not have good form, but I have a sense of the shore.

This is my song today...