So....check up today was quite uneventful. I am a one. A one. But "head is down so very nicely" Dr. M is always so optimistic. He helped me up and asked me if I needed anything. I grunted. "Guess not"
What have I decided to do? Tomorrow I will go to Bible Study with a group of my fav ladies. We will be discussing the woman at the well. Then Wednesday we are going camping until Sunday. That should liven things up a bit. My goal is to make it a nice low key trip. I know. Who am I kidding? I am sure I will return with all kind of great stories. Really we live only a couple miles from the camp ground. Just to be outside and busy will be nice. I also have a baby shower on Saturday and a wedding on Sunday. See..time is just flying. So I keep telling myself.
I am now 2 weeks from my due date. 2 weeks...14 days. I am 38 weeks. SIGH....
If you have ever been pregnant and if you have every been a runner, you can easily see the comparison. The beginning of the run so exciting and refreshing, pushing through the middle, and then approaching the end. The end. You know when your legs are burning, you want to puke, and you just want to crawl into your house and be done? Yep...exactly like that.
I flip between being impatient to full on panic mode. I laughed and told my sister, you know IT (the pain) is coming. Like waiting for a hammer to drop...a few hundred times. But of course I can almost picture my little boy and of course it makes it ALL worth it in an instant.
What to do the 2 weeks before you have a baby?
1. Sneak lots of chocolate into your hospital bag. I remember after I had Bella I wanted chocolate so bad. And cranberry juice. I actually drank all the cranberry juice they had in the nurses station. But I had no chocolate. Will not be a problem this time.
2. Spend a crazy amount of time on picking out YOUR coming home outfit. Let's face it. I could bring Nicholas home in a potato sack cloth and he will be adorable. Me? I need something I can pull over me (unlike William's birth...shudder). Something I will put on and not want to run crying into the bathroom. I have three different choices in my bag.
3. Answering your 2 year old 100 times a day if baby Nick came out. "Does it look like he came out?" "No." "Do you see baby Nick?" "No." "Then I guess he is still not here." Like answering the age old annoying question...Are you still pregnant? Actually, I love being huge, swollen, uncomfortable, and sick so much, I have decided to stay pregnant forever.
4. Pray that every twinge in your back is dilating something, somewhere.
5. Switching between praying that every twinge is the start of labor...and then hoping it is not. OK- at this point, mostly hoping it is
6. Driving your husband crazy with every ouch you mutter. No it is not labor. Trust me, dear, you will be the first to know
7. Find ways to distract yourself. Like plan a camping trip. Yes when you are one and a half weeks until your due date you should buy a camper and go camping. Hey, what could go wrong?
I have thought about what I have and how to just stop. Another lesson I learned from Eve? The blame game will get you nowhere.
My daughter was throwing herself on her bed, flailing her arms about, and crying uncontrollable. I stood in her doorway. Arms crossed and made no move to help. "She sat up and swept her curly locks out of her tear streaked face. "Can't you see what they have done to me?" she cried. "Who?" I asked her. "Them! Luke and Bella. They play with my stuff that I set up and ruin my whole game." "Well, I don't think it is their fault that you are choosing to act like this." "I am having a bad day. I didn't get much sleep last night, I don't feel good, they ruin everything, and I just..(sob)...want...(sob)....to be left alone." ::blink, blink::
First I was taken a back at this mini teenage argument with my 6 year old. Oh my. She was really acting like this was the end of the world. But also, I was not liking how she was really to blame the whole world for her situation. I sat and waited until she had calmed down. Then we talked about blame. Whose fault was what. How we need to take responsibility for our actions, even if our little brother did "deserve" to get a doll thrown at him...sigh.
I thought of this when I was finishing my Eve bible study. In Genesis Chapter 3, God asks Adam what is going on? (my paraphrase) Adams answer "The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Ahhhh... Good one. Blame God. Basically, Adam is saying this is not my fault. If anything God it is your fault. You put this woman here. Or if you don't want to go there, then it is this woman. After all, SHE picked it and SHE handed it to me. What was I to do?
Then God turns to Eve, "What is this you have done?" How does she answer. "The serpent deceived me and so I ate." Not my fault. The devil made me do it.
One of the very concerning things I am noticing in our culture, in adults and children alike, is the lack of responsibility and the abundance of excuses. Why is your room a mess? You let me stay up to late. Why is your homework not done? My mom didn't remind me. Of course there should be more of this in children. They are learning about taking responsibility. But in adults? Surly there comes a time when we are grown and take responsibility for our actions, for our choices.
I saw a quote on facebook the other day that made me chuckle.
Don't tell my kids it says stupid. But seriously, sometimes it is your fault. It is my fault. I acted like a jerk. I could give you a host of reasons as to why it should be ok. I am very pregnant. My husband promised and her forgot. My kids won't listen. The list could go on and on. But when it comes right down to it I am responsible for me. Especially when I make the choice to go outside of God's will and sin. No one made me do it. I had a choice. I made it.
Thankfully the Bible told me that this is not the end. My bad choice, my sin, is not the end. Admitting that yes I was wrong is not where my story ends.
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8,9 In short, I admit it, he forgives me. If I continue to play the blame game, I find no peace. It will always be someone or something else. I lose control of my choices and my life. I have handed over the reins to another. I don't want anyone having that kind of power over me. I make my choices. When they are wrong, I admit it. I blame no one but myself. I go to God to say "I am sorry" and we begin again.
I wonder how things may have turned out had Adam and Eve gone to God looking for mercy instead of presenting excuses. But then we know the end of that story don't we. That is where this old and new combine. God would send His one and only son. That those who are looking for forgiveness will receive it. That his blood would cover anyone who knelt and asked. That means placing the blame where it belongs. On me.
Yesterday, I told you a little bit about my friend Eve.
Lesson 2- Just stop
My darling husband works-a lot. He also works very hard and long hours. His shifts are 12 hours long and he drives over an hour one way to work. At times, especially on certain shifts, my husband can come home in not a pleasant mood. In these times, I warn the children. Daddy is very tired and you should be extra nice. You would think I would take my own advice.
For example, Scott comes home from day shift around 7 o cock at night. He has woke up at 3:30 and left the house by 4 a.m. He drives over an hour and gets to work around 5ish. Works, showers, and then drives home. Then he has to eat and go to bed to be up again at 3:30 a.m. Honestly, I would die if I kept his schedule. But when he gets home, I have not seen him all day. I have things to nag him ask him about. I have to talk to him.
me- "Did you call to get the dumpster removed?"
Scott- "I forgot I will call tomorrow."
me- " We are going to get charged extra."
Scott-"No we won't. I was busy today at work and I will call tomorrow." Just stop
me- "Yes, we will get charged. I have the bill on the fridge. It has been a week."
Scott- "I know when we got it. I will take care of it tomorrow. There is nothing I can do now." JUST STOP
Me- "I wish you would have told me you were going to be busy. I could have called."
Scott- now mad "I don't want you to call,. I said I would take care of it and I will."
You would think I would know when to stop. Sometimes I do. I said my peace, I hear a little voice telling me "enough already" and I stop. Life goes on and tragedy averted. But many times I don't stop. I just keep going. Yes, I heard the little voice. Yes I know better...but I just keep going anyway.
The moment when Eve is looking at the fruit, we are shouting "For the love of everything, don't do it! Walk away! Run away! Just get away!" We in our self righteousness ask how hard would it have been to just put down the fruit and turn away. Hard indeed.
Because sin has a way of tempting us where we need it the most..or the least. It hits fast and hard and looks so darn good. She had it all...but this. This would bring wisdom. Wisdom she wanted and that she thought she needed. JUST STOP.
But she didn't and we don't. When we hear that little voice saying "walk away" and instead we walk into it. One of my bible study questions asked me what is one practical thing I can do to apply what I have learned. I wrote "just stop." Instead of rationalizing why I should or how I could, I should just stop. Instead of trying to get my point across and walking into a trap, I should just stop. Much easier said than done.
But I will try. The next time I hear it, I will just stop. Before it is too late. Because stopping before a tragedy has begun is much easier than picking up the pieces to put them back together.
I don't like her. Not one little bit. Every time I heard her name, I kind of rose up. What was her problem? She had everything. And I mean everything. She gave it all up. How selfish, stupid (don't tell my kids I used that word), and naive. Unfortunately, due to her, we all with a double X chromosome have to suffer. As a matter of fact, I will be suffering any day now thanks to her. I just didn't get her. One of my friends asked me if I would be interested in doing a summer Bible study with her and some friends. Of course! We are doing "Bad Girls of the Bible." The first woman we look to...EVE. I must admit I sighed a little. Her. As I read her story, I begged her to stop. Of course we all see the train wreak coming. It is like one of our favorite movies we watch over and over. If we can just scream into the screen loud enough she will look at the snake, the apple, and then walk away. But she never does. She bites, offers it to her husband (don't get me started on him), and then comes the fall of humanity. We are all naked. Awe, Eve. Sometimes when I read things in the Bible that I have read a hundred times, I tend to gloss over them. What can I lean from this that I have not heard before. But this is the beauty of Bible Study. I learned a lot. Three main ideas that I learned from my friend now- Eve. Lesson 1- Look to what you have Over four years ago, I stood in a place that I never intended to be. I was standing on my front porch watching the snow fall softly. I thought how odd that something so beautiful was on a day so ugly. I was attending my dad's funeral that day. He left us so suddenly. Massive heart attack. No warning, no goodbye. All I wanted to do was go back. Nothing in life causes you to wish you could go back like death. What bills was I worried about a week ago? What dreams was I frustrated because they were on hold? What was I complaining, thinking, or worrying about? My yesterdays suddenly looked so full of hope and promise. What was I looking at? My first lesson that Eve has taught me is to look at what you have today. It is our human fleshly nature to always want more I suppose. You get the promotion- you want another. You kids actually master the skill you have been so dutifully drilling- you need another. You bake cookies- you eat them all---wait...off track. Sometimes I am so busy looking to what I think my future should look like, that I miss seeing all that I have today.
Like Eve. She had a Father who hand crafted her and her world. She had a husband who adored her. She had every good thing. But it wasn't enough. The snake, the deceiver, came. He told her to look at all she didn't possess. In her reality, it was the fruit. And she wanted it. She knew that God had said no, but she looked at the fruit. She was drawn away from what she was given to what she now wanted. What she now saw as the answer, her new purpose. Her future now with in her grasp.
I see her look at the fruit, turn it in her hand, and perhaps see her reflection glistening in it. She wanted this new thing that was promised. Think of how it will change her life! And change her life indeed.
But can I really blame her. How many times have I looked to something that looks to much better that my plain, ordinary life. Too many.
Today I have a relationship with a loving, merciful, and compassionate God. Today I have a husband who thinks I hung the moon. This of course not being the case. Anyone will tell you he is my better half by far. Today I have four beautiful, healthy, wonderful children who I get to hug, kiss, and treasure. Today I am pregnant with a miracle that will bring such life to us all. Today we have great jobs that we both love and enjoy. Today I have a roof over my head, food in my refrigerator, the love and company of my mom, brothers, sisters, and in laws. Today I have friends who I love and could call on in an instant. Today I am blessed!
Today Eve helped me see that what I have is good. Really good.
Me- "Bella, please, please don't make a mess."
Bella- "Mommy, please please don't tell me not to make a mess. I have to."
Me- I sound like a broken record player today. stop fighting..stop fighting....stop fighting
Luke- What is a record player?
Will- You just wouldn't get that movie Luke.
Me- Why is that?
Will- Because you have to understand awesomeness and he is not old enough yet.
I am now 37 weeks and a couple days. My ticker tells me this is 19 days from my due date. Hooray. I had my appointment today. Good news- I lost a pound. More good news Dr said his head is down and ready to go. Good boy. I figure my not so good news? "very, very soft, but no dilation yet." Then he smiled. He smiled...AGH....
I have never had an appointment this late when I wasn't dilating yet. I know this little guy may hold out until his due date. Heck, I am sure many many of you can tell me stories about how you went WEEKS...months even past yours. Please...don't. I also know how beyond blessed I am to be carrying this little guy to term. I get it all. But I will say I was a little disappointed. With my stomach issues coming full circle again, no sleep, and all that I would like to meet my little one sooner than later.
Speaking of no sleep, the night before my kids were up late. The kitten woke me up crying no less than 6 times before 2:30. I finally had to put her in the locked living room. Then Noah woke me up barking at 3:30. Had to take care of him. Scott calls at 5:30 to say he is on his way home. I can't sleep until he is home. Then it is time to get up for appointment.
I spent the day tired. Which is probably why dinner was not so fun. I asked all four kids to make dinner but I had no takers. Looks like it is up to me. I decided to make spaghetti. Why yes I did just tell you my stomach was not doing so good. But I press on. Why was dinner not so fun? Why yes I did get sick. And yes Bella made a mess. But the real reason was because after I left the room my wonderful darling children decided to have a spaghetti noodle fight. Yes-let me repeat. A FOOD FIGHT with SPAGHETTI in my kitchen. I walked into it. Then when I told them they would be cleaning it up, my little 4 year old had the nerve to pout and say "why do we have to clean?"
It has been a long day. I write this because someday I will be looking back through my archives and say remember when and laugh about finding spaghetti even on the cat's scratching post in the hall. Even IN my bread box. On the side of the trash can. Someday. Not today. Today we all have an early bedtime.
Last week I stopped in the post office from the town I grew up in (where my mom still lives) and saw a sign for VBS at the church where I used to attend VBS so many moons ago. For one week of the summer, my brothers and I would jump out of bed, and with quarters in hand, attend the local united Methodist church's Vacation Bible School. We loved it! I still have such awesome memories of the songs we sang, crafts we did, and the lessons that were taught. It was pretty crazy tonight going in for the program and seeing the same little church with the same faded red carpet. They did the same pledges and sang some of the same songs. The closing song being "Jesus loves me" of course. My own kids sitting in the same pews we sat in so long ago. The same man who taught my class now runs the VBS program at the church. It is a very very small church in a very very small town, but this man presses on telling these kids about Jesus. I went in the basement to use the bathroom during the annual VBS hot dog roast. John, the man who patiently dealt with our antics so long ago and still was telling kids about the Bible was pulling out a bag of trash. I stopped before leaving and called his name. He looked up and smiled. I told him I remembered him teaching my class over 20 more years ago. He nodded and said he remembered. I told him that I just wanted to thank him for what he did. I really think our faith is the combined efforts of so many angels on earth. A seeded panted by one and then watered by another. And even more so I wanted to thank him for what he did this week. My kids loved it and heard and grew a little more. He told me thank you so much. "You don't do it for pats on the back, but that means a lot. Because sometimes it gets hard." I nodded and got what he was saying. In any ministry, we sometimes step back and ask if we are really making a difference. I told him thanks again for everything and went back to burn marshmallows and chasing my kids through the grave yard. Again, Bakerton VBS traditions. So to all of you angels in children or youth ministry- Thank-you. From a former child/youth where your effort made a difference. Now from a mom trying to raise children to always look to Jesus. I thank-you.
Waiting for VBS program to start
My three superheros. This week they learned about heroes of the Bible
Luke said "Do you know that Jesus is the biggest superhero?"
I went into my appointment a little nervous. I sat in the waiting room and an older woman smiled at me. She spoke broken engish and asked "your first baby?" I smiled and said "no fifth." She put her head back and laughed. "You look so young." "Well, thank-you very much." I guess you could say it certainly began on the upward swing. The tech was awesome. She asked if I was having any problems and I told her no. Then said "well we are looking for his positioning I guess. So that may be a problem. She began quickly and said "he is head down." Very confused I asked her again. She said his head is down and his butt is here (up by ribs) His hands are here (left side). I asked her what had happened. She asked if I had felt him move. No I didn't. He must have moved. His head though is not engaged or low yet. And he is measuring small. Although she asked me if I have small babies and I said usually high 6 pounds. She smiled and told me not to worry. This little guy was just going to be small like his brothers and sisters. Now, I am waiting for my appointment on Monday to talk with my doctor. See what is going on. I guess I am now at the waiting and nervous point. Way ready to have the baby. Nervous that it is time and all that means. And overwhelmed with to-do lists.
What was that you say about control? Yesterday I went to my week 36 check-up. As much as I can't wait to meet our little guy, I can't help but feel a little nervous about the big day getting so close. I lay back on the table and Dr. chuckled as a knee or elbow or something kicked back at him. I thought I may have noticed that he was spending a lot of time poking at my belly. After the exam he sat me up. He told me no dilation yet but very soft. And he is sideways.
Just like my mom had said. She had noticed I was carrying differently. The plan is to get an ultra sound on Wednesday (tomorrow) and then see what that shows. How much he is sideways. Then I have an appointment on Monday (week 37) to talk about "things." He told me that if I feel contractions then get to the hospital. I have been known to have a couple short labors. He said their is a machine right there that will tell him where the baby is and if he is not engaged that he will "go in and take him." C-section
What was that I was saying about control? Truly there is not much I can do. I will hope and pray that he turns. That he is a late bloomer. But as I told Dr., obviously whatever gets him here safely I am ok with. Of course this adds to my what if list.
Today when I woke up I had a little 2 1/2 year old head in my back. She has been getting up in the middle of the night and "sleep in your bed mommy." I turned and peeled her out of my back and wrapped my arms around her. Although the "baby" smell has left long ago, I still love to smell her hair. As I stroked her hair and cheek, I told myself not to worry. Too soon this all shall pass. No matter what recovery will look like, before I know it, it will be a collection of memories in my heart. My little guy will be discovering the world, jumping and playing, and I will be playing the remember when game.
So onto tomorrow. On the plus side of all this, it will be exciting to see him again. Get some more pics for his scrapbook. ;)
I was up since 4:00. I told husband that when he called heading home from work. "why are you up?" "I don't know. Just can't sleep" "Ya just miss me." "maybe" When he finally arrives he brings me breakfast in bed. A custard coconut creme donut from Sheetz. Scot- "I am going to invent something." me- "Oh yeah?" Scott- "A machine that evenly distributes the jelly inside a donut. This doesn't happen with cream or custard. Just jelly." me- "Maybe it is the jelly consistency? Cream lends itself to spreading more easily." Scott- Well, it is unfair to all of us Jelly eaters of the world. Either find a way to squirt in the jelly to have it evenly spaced or cut it and spread and put it back together." me- "Why do they call a donut breakfast? It is basically eating cake." Scott- "A donut is not cake. It is a breakfast pastry." me- "Which is cake. Look at it. It has icing and sprinkles for crying out loud." Scott- "Not cake." me- "And how is this acceptable to us. Do we have dessert and call it a meal any other time of the day? Nope. I tell my kids food first but for breakfast we eat cake?" Scott- "You need to sleep."
And after that very thought provoking discussion, I did. A very nice sleep. I guess I did miss him.
Today I brought the bassinet down from the attic and changed all the pink ribbons on it (from Bella) to blue. Tossed the bedding in the washer. Since my blog runner is letting me know that I have 31 days until my due date, I thought I should maybe have some clean clothes and a place to sleep for the newest man in my life. When my back started to bother me I laid down, then I got up and asked my son to go get the cleaning wipes. The ceiling fan in my room needed cleaned. This is where my husband found me. "What are you doing?" he asked. "Cleaning." "Does that have to be done now." "Yes, did you look at it. Right now." "You are crazy," as he leaves the room. Some may call this "nesting" as see the above 31 day reference. I have a theory on this "nesting." I have heard some people say that it is your body having all this energy building up to have the baby. Or it has been said that it is your body unconsciously or even consciously preparing a clean place for the newborn. But I think it all comes down to control. I have been through 4 labor and deliveries now. Every one different and unique. From my water breaking with Will, to getting my first epidural with Rachel, Luke coming 3 weeks early, and Bella coming so quickly- I know nothing goes as planned. That being said I feel like cleaning can bring some sort of order to my last minute, chaotic world. I have no idea when Nicholas Paul will bless us with his presence. Honestly I am not sure where I will be, how long it will take, or what I will need. It is out of my hands and I hate that feeling. Control is something I am very familiar with. I am a planner and a double checker. I plan for the unexpected and think ahead on everything. This stage of the game makes me nervous. Very nervous. What do I do? I clean ceiling fans, make lists, and try to keep busy. Soon and very soon, I will have a brand new story to tell and a new little boy to hold....and a clean ceiling fan.