/> Raising Angels: November 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Unrest of Resting

I have often thought how wonderful it sounded when people were on bed rest for a bit. An excuse to sit and watch movies all day sounded like a little piece of heaven. Ah, the grass is always greener.

Today was a typically busy Saturday with both the boys having football games - neither of which I was allowed to attend. My family, bless their hearts, were bound and determined to keep me still. I hate not watching my kids, especially when I know that after the baby comes, I won't make it to many, if any of the remaining games. That being said, I know that the health and life of our newest member is much more important than a flag football game.

Consequently, I had the house...and the TV to myself. I chose 2 movies that were neither uplifting nor encouraging, so I cried some more. Seriously, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas? What was I thinking?

I added to my baby registry online. Isn't modern technology the best? I registered sitting on the couch not moving at all. This activity helped me feel like I was being productive, which I sorely needed.

In the midst of all my sitting, I started itching. Not a mosquito bite kind of itch, but an all over allergic reaction with no rash kind of itch. Believe me when I say that sitting in one place does NOT take the mind off of the itching! I called the doctor and it seems I have something called cholestasis. What else can possibly go wrong? I've found that constant, all over body itching tends to make one a bit edgy...and perhaps a bit over dramatic.

Other than missing some events and making poor movie choices and wanting to claw my skin off, the whole bed rest weekend hasn't been so bad.

Come on sweet baby. I can't take much more of this.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hurry Up and Wait

Today was a hard day for me.

I was up off and on last night with contractions.  I had a feeling, a very strong feeling, that today would be the day. Surely I wasn't up for no reason. The contractions were strong enough to wake me so that had to mean something. Right?

I'd get up and walk out to the kitchen to watch the clock and wait for the next one. Then I paced, got some water and when no consistency developed, I went back to bed. I figured I was going to need my rest because I was certain that when I saw the doctor later in the day, he'd send me right over to the hospital to have this baby. Never mind that I was 4 weeks early and it wasn't really time.

When it was finally time to get up with the kids, I felt shocky and nervous...like I do before I have a baby. I was still contracting and becoming more and more sure THIS would be the day. I prepared the kids (who were ecstatic) and finished packing my bag. I let them know of the plans. I had everyone on red alert. When it's time for me to have a baby, I don't mess around. My labors are fast and furious. I've learned to focus on the signs.

I knew it was time because not only did I feel it, but Nelson had already planned to come to the doctor with me since I was having a sonogram. It was in the stars. I was ready...more than ready to no longer to be pregnant.

We met later that morning at the doctor's office.  The sonographer said everything looked great and the baby was already looking like he or she was 7 lbs. 10 oz. or so. Yikes! If this baby waits until due date, he or she will be huge! I had no idea how that would happen because I already felt as if every single inch of real estate in me was taken.

When we finally saw the doctor and he checked me, he gave the death blow. This baby was not coming today. In fact, all those contractions had changed nothing. Not only that, but he gave me strict instructions to do nothing. "I'd like to get you to 37 weeks," he said, "then I'd feel better.  Be good!"

I stayed very composed but what I wanted to do was sob. I know babies need time in the womb. I know how very important that is. However, between having to check my glucose four times a day, watching my feet morph into unrecognizable orbs, and the constant nausea, I was DONE.

I went home and was a good mama. I sat on the couch and stayed there. I sat still, forgot about all the things on my to do list, and concentrated on gestating this baby. Well, that, and I cried.

Being a mama is hard work...even when you're sitting still.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Some Fun and Food on a Half Day of School

Today the kids had a half day of school. Normally I'm not very excited about these days. Half days don't leave time to do much before they come right back home. In a strange turn of events, nesting has kicked in just when my doctor told me to take it easy, as I'm already showing signs this baby will soon be on the way.

Today, I put all plans aside and decided to enjoy the time I had. The kids came home, changed clothes and I decided to take them to lunch because we had the time (and three free kids' meals). It's strange how you just somehow know when the end is getting near and I suddenly wanted one last hurrah with my big kids before they look even bigger.

There was nothing exceptionally special except it was just us, with no time limit, and no other plans.

That made it very special to me.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today I met a friend for lunch - a friend I graduated from high school with, had in my wedding, live in the same town as, and yet, haven't spent one on one time with in....years! I'm sad to say, it happens. You get married, start having kids and suddenly people seem to fall off the face of the earth.

I realize, of course that this is my own fault. Time passes and then I fear that awkwardness that comes from spending time with an old friend who suddenly has nothing to say to me. Weird, I know.

My friend got married later than me and before she knew it, had three precious girls in a matter of, oh say three or so years. When she found out I was pregnant at 42, she knew exactly what I felt like so we suddenly reconnected over this bond of having babies later in life - and well, having babies at all. Children, I've found, are the great equalizers.

She has been a constant encouragement to me during these trying months. When I found out I failed my three hour glucose test, she was the first to call. She's been there, done that. When I wondered how to make heads or tails out of the hundreds of travel systems to choose from, I called her. She had the most recent experience with all this.

Today when I saw her with her baby in that restaurant, it was like no time had passed. We fell easily into conversation about how having kids close together is a blessing...and it's really, really hard. She and her husband are building a house. I had lots of input on that. We chatted so much, we hardly ate.

I loved seeing her with her daughter because I remember a time when she thought she might never marry or have kids. I loved how after all this time, we still think the same. I love that she is still my friend and always will be even though we don't see each other much.

We vowed not to let much time pass before we get together again. I sense a play date in our future!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

File Under I Wonder if He'll Feel the Same Twenty Years from Now

As we were in the car on our way to the second football game of the day today, the topic of the baby's name came up.

"Do you have a boy and a girl's name picked?" asked one of the kids.

"We haven't quite decided on either yet," I said, thinking this is a topic Nelson and I should hop on soon and very soon.

"Why?" Dawson wanted to know.

"Well we have talked about it, but we haven't settled on either," I explained.

"Mama, why don't you just tell him that you're the one with the baby inside of you, so you should be the one to make the decision?"

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Things to Be Grateful for When You're Not Pregnant (My Gift to You Today)

There are plenty of things you non-pregnant peeps take for granted.  My gift to you today is to remind you of a few of them so you can be thankful in this month of gratitude.

Take for instance the ability to let out a bodacious belch. Granted, this is not something I celebrated much myself prior to this pregnancy. You're going to have to trust me on this one. Be thankful for that burp. One big burp that actually bellows is so much better than eight tiny ones in a row that irritate rather than relieve anything.

Another thing I want you to be thankful for is the ability to open a public restroom door without having to back into the wall behind the toilet so as to not open the door directly into your protruding stomach. In case you're wondering, yes, I have done this on many, many occasions. Amazingly, not so much this time. Guess the fifth one is a charm.

And how about the ability to reach the ringing phone before a) it stops ringing and b) you sound as if you've just finished the NYC Marathon? Without fail, the times I actually reach the phone before the machine picks up (which these days is about 30% of the time - not kidding), the person on the other end asks, "Did I catch you in the middle of your workout?", to which I'd love to respond, "Yes. I had to put the leg rest down, roll off the chair, get back upright AND THEN move towards the phone." I don't say that of course, but sometimes...it's the honest truth.

I'm sure I don't need to remind you how wonderful it is to be able to bend down to pick something up off the floor, but I'll mention it anyway...just in case. I kid you not that my husband's suitcase has been at the foot of our bed for two weeks today simply because it hurts too much to bend down, pick that thing up, empty it and then haul it up to the attic. Apparently, Nelson is pregnant too. (Just kidding. Love you hon! Mean it.)

Which brings me to the impetus of this list - putting on a pair of boots. I have been very, very excited to have a bit of cooler weather lately. It helps. Yesterday morning, I decided to pull on my long boots over the cords I was wearing. I felt this was a good idea because they are so much cuter than tennis shoes (yes, fashion still matters when you're pregnant) and they do a much better job hiding my recently swelling ankles than the sandals I've been wearing every day for the last five months.

Turns out, this was not the case. If you have never been pregnant try strapping an eight pound medicine ball to you midsection. It should be about the size of a large beach ball for the total effect. Now that you've got that in place, find somewhere to sit down and put your socks and boots within reach - NOT ON THE FLOOR. Now put your socks on. Failed to mention that this part adds to the difficulty level.

Now that you've got the socks on and you're wondering what was so hard about that, try boot number one. Remember that pulling your knee into your chest is no longer an option. So you struggle for a solid minute trying to find a position where you can actually reach your foot while still holding your boot. I recommend sitting on your bed for this part of the activity because it provides a much softer surface to fall back on.

Once you manage to get your foot into the boot, then you have to start with the whole issue of pulling on the boot while pulling down your pant leg inside the boot. This means that you still have to be able to reach down near your foot with your whole big belly in the way. You tug the boot up and pull the pant leg down and then tug and pull and tug and pull and pant because this is more exercise than you intended to do first thing in the morning.

And IF, you don't give up, AND you manage to do a sufficient enough job to merit actually continuing with the grand plan of wearing the cute boots that you're trying not to curse, THEN you have to zip the boot up. Remember those swollen ankles? Well now you're trying desperately to encase them in tight leather that does not like to give way to a few extra inches (okay, maybe centimeters but centimeters that feel like yards).

But let's say you conquer all that and get the boot on, the pant leg down and the zipper up. You feel like jumping up to do a celebratory dance but that whole jumping up is totally out of the question because by this time you've worked up a sweat and do not have the energy or the breath left to exert any more motion. Instead you catch your breath, see that several minutes have passed performing an activity that used to take seconds and then you have to fight back tears.

These are not happy, celebratory tears but tears of exhaustion because when you sighed and caught your breath and turned to wipe your sweaty brow, you saw that the second boot was still sitting on the bed next to you and you have to do the whole thing over again.

For the record I'd like to report that I got both boots on yesterday. When I ran into a friend and complained about the 45 degree weather that had risen to 75 by the afternoon, she suggested I take my boots off to be cooler. Even though I knew she was right, there was NO WAY I was taking those things off. Seriously, NO WAY.

Today I'm wearing tennis shoes. Be grateful.

Monday, November 04, 2013

35 Weeks Down...

Here I am in all my pregnant glory. Last pregnancy I was much better at keeping a record of my growing belly but this time around it's been so different that I haven't wanted to remember much other than eventually I'm going to be holding a tiny human in my arms and he or she is going to be mine (along with God's, Nelson's and the rest of the family's).

It's the very thought of this sweet baby that puts that smile on my face in the midst of the nausea, reflux, varicose veins, breathlessness, and now finger pricking and glucose testing four times every day. It has not been easy. However, I know that in a few short weeks all this suffering will be a quickly fading memory that will pale in comparison to the joy a child brings. 

This is what I heard the Lord say to me a few weeks ago as I sat in the chair waiting for the nurse to draw my blood and absolutely dreading the fasting and sugary drink that I was about to have to chug. I was intent on trying not to start the process feeling sick when the nurse plopped some paper work down on the counter next to me.

That's when I saw it. Permission for delivery - simple and sweet - right there shouting out at me. "Don't forget, you're about to have a baby!" And yet, I had. I had forgotten that glaring piece of information that makes it all worthwhile. The realization of that had me fighting back tears.

We tend to get so caught up in the here and now, the present suffering, that we forget that this is not the point. The here and now is just to prepare us for the glories ahead. This is not the end, but rather the means to THE END. We forget we're working towards Heaven, not living there. 

God didn't promise any of us a rose garden. He doesn't exempt us from suffering. In fact, He sent Jesus to explain that if we want to get to Heaven, we have to take up our cross and follow Him. But, He also promises us that if we do, what waits for us is so much better than we can wrap our minds around. It will be so good that we will forget this life, its trials and suffering.

I'll leave you with this photo which is kind of like the lesson I learned. Baby, please know that the suffering I endure is nothing compared to the love I have for you. It is a small price to pay to take part in the act of creation. Look at the picture above if you ever doubt how much you are wanted and loved before we've even seen your face or discovered your gender. Your brothers and sister are anxiously awaiting your arrival. They have been for what they feel has been forever. They love you. You can see it on their faces. You became one of us the moment you were conceived and nothing will ever take that away.

We all love you little baby and we always will.