How I Really Feel About This Pregnancy

????????????Ever since I started blogging I have dreamed of blogging about one of my pregnancies. Taking you unsuspecting readers along for the ride. After all for the last 8 or so years pregnancy and birth have been such a pivotal part of my life. These experiences have shaped and molded me both emotionally and spiritually (and to be quite frank, there have been a few physical changes as well – ahem.) Still my dream of chronicling it all has eluded me as each time I realized all too quickly that I am just not that kind of pregnant lady.

You know the one. She who can do morning sickness and still count it all joy.
She who sails into her second trimester in victory and awe of the miracle within her.
The girl who eagerly anticipates the arrival of her sweet bundle of joy and does all the preparation and nesting while still finding time to exercise and write.

Oh, how I admire that girl.

But, like I said, I have realized that I am just not that girl. And slowly I am coming to grips with it. At first feeling really sad that I just couldn’t live up to my own “ideal pregnant lady” standard. Truly, I am no perfectionist. I hope I never put on that kind of air. I know God has made me to be me. Long ago I set the goal to be real before being good at anything. If I ever share anything, I want it to be honest. Good…or bad.
But, for some reason I just couldn’t seem to let go of the idea that I had to have this perfect grace during pregnancy.

The fact of the matter is… When I’m pregnant, I’m sick. Like, been-on-the-boat-too-long,  puke-your-brains-out-sick for the whole first trimester. During that time, I loathe the child within me. I mean, I love him/her, but mostly I loath what is happening to my body.

As I crawl back to land… er, get into my second trimester, I fret. I worry about everything. How the baby is growing, how the kids will handle yet another sibling. How I am going to cope. How I am going to have the strength to push another living thing out of my body… You get the idea.

And as I round the corner into my third trimester I cry. Hysterically apparently. Just the other night I started laughing for no real reason…and then collapsed into a heap of tears that brought raised eyebrows from my poor helpless husband and fear from my daughter. Yes, I really was that crazy pregnant lady. Oh, and at my last Midwife appointment my dear sweet midwife who congratulated me on making it 2/3’s of the way, then had to console me as I sobbed… about nothing.

So, why share all this now? Because despite all the misery and the tears, I know. I mean I really do know (this 4th time around) that it will all work out how it is supposed to. I know I cannot guarantee there won’t be complications. But I also know it is not worth it to dwell on them. I know I have done my homework. I know this birth will be as different as can be from the others.

In the next few weeks I will write a birth plan, because I know it pays to be prepared. But, I will also  once again include under the section for ‘Complications’ my typical request, “In the case of complications, please just keep us in the loop. We’ll get through it together.”

And, I’ll continue to pray, and seek Gods strength to get through this wonderful/horrible time. I will trust Him to work it out. One day I will have no doubt that it was all worth it. It always is.

Oh! I have learned one thing that I think has a direct correlation to my emotional state this time around:
When having a December 25th due date, one can expect to have slight anxiety at the thought of a new baby and needing to finish Christmas shopping all on the same count down. :)

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Some times I feel as though I have lived twice my years and at other times I wonder where the time has gone. Truthfully I enjoy having birthdays. I’m not afraid to be “in my thirties.”
Honestly, I feel like to be thirty-something means that I am in the prime of my life.

I personally was quite  relieved to leave my 20’s behind. Though I will also admit the thought of 40 seems a bit daunting (thankfully I have a few more years to adjust to the idea.)

Yes, thirty-three feels pretty good to me. And for posterity just in case I ever want to remember, or the kids ever wonder, this is what I think of this birthday:

1. I’m thankful to have made it this far. I truly feel it is an accomplishment to be this age.

2. I love that in my thirties I feel pretty comfortable with myself. I feel neither old nor young. Kind of that just right phase of life.

3. I’m a little surprised that life is still hard. For some reason, I thought my 30’s would include having everything figured out. I guess that just goes to show that life always has its surprises.

4. I’m happy that today at thirty-three I can say this is my natural hair color. I even like the few gray’s that are starting to peek out.

5. I never thought I would be pregnant at 33. But, again God’s plans are often different from our own. Though no less a blessing.

6. I still prefer a cherry pie to a traditional birthday cake. And at 33 I didn’t even mind that I had to make it myself. A treat is a treat after all.
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7. I’m thankful for a husband who knows that while I don’t mind making my birthday pie I was not overly crazy about making my own birthday dinner. He wisely agreed to take us all out.

8. He really is the handiest guy, as my last wish of the evening was to write for a bit. He is wrangling the kids.

9. Only on my birthday do I realize how much this whole social media thing is really a blessing. One day a year I can see the well wishes from all of my friends and family. It really does warm my heart. So, thank you.

10. And the very best reason to be happy about turning 33.

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Really they are the ones who have helped shape me the most. They love me exactly as I am. They offer me living grace on good days and bad days. I cannot think of a more wonderful crew to live through these prime years with.

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Little People

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Every day I want to create something. Though I admit that it is far too rare that I sit down and do it. Too often letting the chores of life and the reality of all it takes to make home and school and food for this wonderful group of people I live with get in the way.
And yet, as the season turns and the color comes to the trees, I can no longer ignore the pull to make something. But what?

Supplies are limited at the moment, and though I see many things that inspire I have found few that would fit in my limited time frame each day.

I do notice that lately there is a busy little girl, who loves all things little. In the book case, or in a box. There are little houses being made. Little nests being formed and assortments of little people are everywhere.

This little house making brought flash backs to my own childhood. Where I remember my Grandma had two little dolls nestled in her book shelf. I adored these little dolls and played with them often. They were simple but pretty, and they evoked my imagination.
As I watch the little girl play, I keep remembering these little dolls with their cute cotton dresses and yarn hair. I wonder if this little girl would like them too?

I figured I could actually muster the materials. Some old-fashioned clothes pins, fabric scraps, and maybe some wool roving for hair instead of yarn. So on a quiet evening I set to work, and soon I had two little helpers to design a family of little people.

There is something that is so wonderful about creating with your children. I forget the preciousness of that time. I forget how much they just want to be part of the process. I must remember this and make more of an effort to create with them. Perhaps I can let go of the idea that it is time I need to carve out for myself. Instead embracing the idea that time to create is a time of togetherness, a time to share.
What does it matter if in the moment the little girl fell in love with the jar of buttons more than the little dolls they were meant for? So what if it was a little more hectic and messy than than I am used to (or like.) It all cleaned up, and the realization that the memory and the request “to make something everyday!” is far more valuable. Even more precious is the joy of finding a little girl making little beds and little houses for her beloved little people.

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This Moment

{this moment} ~ Joining Soulemama in a Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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A little Room Makeover

Toy Room Before Pic

Toy Room Before Pic

I was talking to my mother-in-law this weekend, and feeling slightly baffled by my urges to paint rooms and rearrange furniture. Thinking I never really had the whole “nesting” bug with any of my other pregnancies. But, then it dawned on me today that maybe I did. The symptoms could have been masked by the fact that with all but my first pregnancy I was moving cross country in my second and third trimesters. Each time a whole house to set up! And yes, there was cleaning to do too! What pregnant woman with such urges would not be thrilled?

But, I digress.

So, here I am admitting that I feel a little prickle to pack and clean and paint. And that’s just what I’ve been doing each weekend. From sorting, purging and categorizing totes full of children’s clothes from newborn to size 8. To combing through toys, and the cleaning the loft. There was also the honey-do list I bestowed upon my poor unsuspecting hubby. Good sport that he is, he got it all done. There is also the perpetual urge to sweep floors (though that really just needs to be done a lot around here anyway.)

The climax thus far has been a complete clean out of the toy room –which you should know, I think was our worst mistake ever put into existence.

Again, I digress.

So with a head full  of Pinterest pins and Country Living Magizne images to work from. I began my quest to re-do the toy room.

Only one problem… We don’t have that kind of cash floating around. I cant redo floors or even buy paint right now. We are on a very. tight. budget here! You know the war that perpetuates in the mind; so much to do, and so little money.

But of course this nesting bug would give me no rest, so onward I pressed. What could I do to improve this space? This space which I must keep in mind will hopefully (sooner-than-later) be a little girls bedroom?

After much thought and a few blessings I found myself in our Michigan basement staring at cans remnant paint. Nearly a gallon of primer and two unused gallons of white semi-gloss paint. Yes, that ought to be enough. And it was!

And despite my fear of white walls… in a toy room / future little girl space, this little corner of our home got a little face lift. Ceiling, walls and even the wood floor got a coat of paint.

AND by great blessing from Kyle’s grandma, we covered most of the wood floor with some beautiful berber carpet. So, thank you Grandma Meme, the carpet is just the right touch to warm up this space.

And now….

Like a fresh canvas…

9-22-14 008 (748x1024)Of course this is not where it ends. Something must go on those walls. And I have a few inspired yet thrifty ideas for covering the window. But for now, I am pleased. At least I feel we have taken a step in the right direction.

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Reclaiming the Day

9-4-14 013 (756x1024)Perhaps it has something to do with the weather. Last I recall it wasn’t supposed to be a gloomy rainy day. Or perhaps it has more to do with my own lack of sleep. Or the three sick kids, or maybe even a few minuscule pregnancy hormones run amok.
Or, maybe it has to do with his job stress or our finances. Or the sheer business of the last few weeks. Maybe its the looming business of the weeks ahead?

Most likely it has something to do with all of it.

You know the feeling:

Not one more snotty nose to wipe.

Not one more meal to prepare with complaining voices and bodies wrapped around your legs.

Not one more quarrel to quell.

Not one more thought to invade my already crowded mind.

Not. one. more. thing!

I feel empty. Empty of energy, empty of compassion, empty of patience.

…. and its not even nine o’clock!

And so the morning starts. On the day I gave up drinking coffee…. hmm, maybe…?

So much to do. We’ll just steam roll through it.

I’m in no mood to cuddle, to talk them through the squabbles. I need to get breakfast on the table before all anarchy breaks loose… don’t I?

As we sit around the table, with each begrudgingly accepted and yet custom made meal, I open our devotional book. I glance around the table. None of us (myself leading the pack) are into it. But we soldier on. This is our routine. Its supposed to be beautitful… often it is.

Just not today.

I read, and the words strike my heart like little beads of hail. Reminding, exhorting,  convicting. Isn’t this for the kids?!

Still we push through. My attitude as stormy as the weather outside. And now the kids are picking up on it. The more I push them forward into our day, the more they dig in and refuse to be moved. The more they cling to me the more I push them away.

Our day is going down the tubes fast.  Something has to change. Did I mention I feel empty?

The moment comes and all is quiet… not the good quiet. My thoughtful one has retreated. The other two…. are somewhere…

But, I find him, sullen lying in bed. My heart cannot resist this one. He is far too in tune to his mothers moods and affected to deeply. I have to change this. I cannot let my DRA (Dirty Rotten Attitude) ruin his day too.

We chat, I confess I’m having a hard day too. I tell him I’m sorry. He says he’s sorry for his attitude too. Then I dig deeper.

“You know, sometimes I can’t change my attitude on my own.” I say.

He looks at me surprised. “You can’t?”

“No, I have been trying all morning. I need help. I need God’s help.”

We decide to pray. We both pray and begin to feel that slow pouring of renewal.

Prayer and confession always leads the way to restoration. But, the real secret to reclaiming the day was found in what we did next.

We hugged.

For a long time.

Just sitting there in quiet company.

Letting go of our frustration, letting go of our anger. Remembering we love each other.

Accepting HIS forgiveness.

Realizing we have the gift to start again.

When we looked up. The little ones had found us, and joined in.

And the next secret to recovering out day. We all squished together on the couch and cuddled. We read book after book. We giggled, we relaxed, we restarted our day.

I’m not sharing this because I want brag about a touching moment. Nor am I here to say I have found the secret to saving your morning that may be going a little rougher than you would like.

I’m writing this to remind us all.

The day can be recovered. It can be saved.

The only secret we need know is found in the relationships we carry so close to our hearts.

Relationship with God, with each other. Yes, the day can be reclaimed when we remember the relationships.

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On this First Day of School

9-2-14 001 (768x1024)Today marks (at least for our little part of the country) the first day most kids head back to school. It is usually an exciting day with lots of pictures of kids who grew too much over the summer, new outfits, book bags and binders popping up all day along my Face Book feed. And of course there is the ever emotion filled post from a mom who is both relieved to have lived through the summer, excited for the next chapter in her families life and yet is heart broken that she and her brood will be separated again for hours upon hours each day.

If the truth be told this day is also a bit bitter sweet for me. We home school and while we certainly have a “first day” of the school year, I seem to let it pass with far less pageantry than I see others do. In fact we have actually been cracking open the books for nearly a month already. Easing into the year with as much gentleness and grace as possible.
And yet, despite my failing at the social media worthy first day picture, I wouldn’t trade this life for the world.

I am glad that on the morning of this “first day” my kids are still all in their p.j.’s allowed to greet the day as the sun rises and the mists lift. We will slowly get around and do our chores and begin our school day. And though some would argue that I am not preparing them for life properly. I figure at this stage in the game that preparation (as in getting up at the crack of dawn and hurried to get ready) will have its chance, why rush now? Why rush when we don’t need to? Time may be the only gift we have today, so I will choose to embrace it.

I get a lot of questions about what our home school day entails. I never really quite know how to answer these questions, because every day can look a bit different. Yes, we do have subjects that we try to cover each day, and yes we have kind of routine. Though as each year passes I see our home school style ever changing and shifting to meet the needs of my children’s learning style and the further incorporation of other little minds and hands.  This too is a gift.

There is one thing that I think other parents and I do have in common on this “First day.” It is that feeling that today above all days we are reminded that we are required to let go a little more. Sure my kids are still very young, and I’m not even close to saying a final goodbye to diapers and sippy-cups. But, the fact remains that each year that passes means I am one year closer to letting go.  And therefore I must embrace the days and throw myself fully into the preparation of these precious souls for the life they are meant to lead.

Therefore on this day of first for many, I wish you blessing, and unhurried enjoyment. Learning is precious however you approach it. For the mothers (and fathers) letting go is harder each year, I get that. I hope you all enjoy your day as well. Get that cup of coffee or other reward of choice for making it through another summer. Remember to breath. No doubt we will face many new challenges this school year, and be offered less time to go slow and relish the days. I pray that you will gain strength  and joy at looking at the blank page this school year has to offer.  With all the hopes and ideals you dream of. I know we all are aware they won’t last. But, for this moment we are at a begining. Fresh and new.

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