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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


In a proper perspective, Gabriel being one week over due is really not such a big deal, or even that out of the ordinary. However, on this day 7, awakened by pain and discomfort at 4 a.m. and unable to return to sleep, it feels like the very opposite. I feel annoyed, almost angry. But mostly sad and even a little hopeless. I know it sounds silly, especially if you haven't been there before. I will look back on this time and most likely laugh at myself and my dramatic nature, but right now I am rather lost in it. This last month has been one of the longest. Filled with many blessing, yes, but I have been in so much pain and had so many false alarms, even my midwife was convinced it was unlikely for me to make it to my due date. I've had a fear this entire pregnancy that I would not carry my child full-term. Alas here I am! Making it to the day of my 41 week check up! This should be a good thing. Things could be worse. Things could be much, much worse. I am thankful they are not. But if you have been in this situation before, you know where I am coming from. Everything in you aches to be free from the bondage of pregnancy. To simply hold your child in your arms. I can't even think much further than that.  And so that's pretty much always on my mind. Sitting at home is miserable. Going out in public is worse. I have been keeping myself as busy as I can and yet still find moments to just sit. And wait. What a painful wait.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. - Psalm 37:5,7

Lord, help me to live these words.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yes. Still Pregnant.

Yet another day with little to no sign that labor is anywhere in my future. Sunday night I began noticing my braxton hicks contractions were getting stronger and closer together. Excited and hopeful, I made the mistake of believing it was indeed the night. Aaron and I went to the store and got snacks for the hospital and picked up some food for the house so that the brunt of shopping wouldn't be completely on Serenity. After an hour of consistent, lengthy, and strong contractions, I was beyond convinced. Obviously, since I am sitting here blogging, things died down after that and labor has yet to commit itself to me. Needless to say, Monday was a long and bleak day. Tuesday I had my midwife appointment. Three centimeters dilated, about 50% effaced. Apparently this means little with your second child-- I could be pregnant for two more weeks for all they know.
Pleeeeeaaaase! I beg God, my body, Gabriel, anyone who could possible do anything about it. Please! I just need some relief. Funny how I am begging for something that will cause me much more pain in hopes of relieving myself of my current pain. Honestly, as desperate as I am to be out of pain, I am pretty much to the point where I don't care if my back pain goes away right after birth or not. I am so anxious to meet Gabriel. Of course if the pain doesn't go away, I will be pretty disappointed and probably pretty upset, but my focus these days (although it is the pain that reminds me) is mostly on bringing my baby boy into this world. I am so excited to bring him into our family! I can't wait to see what he will look like, how he will smell, how different or alike he and Aiden will be, and how Aiden will respond to his baby brother. To see how we all learn and grow.
Discomfort is good in it's own way. It encourages us to move. It pushes us to desire change, no matter how frightening it may be at times. It challenges us to look forward with hope. It teaches us truth about God's grace we would otherwise fail to grasp. I do not appreciate discomfort itself, I do not look at it positively. In fact, I hate it. But I trust in the truth that good comes from it, and trust that God gives us the strength to deal, despite the whining and stomping of feet. God is a patient father. With his guidance I will learn to trust, and hopefully out grow my temper tantrums.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Early Morning Conviction....

"Pain in the process and glory in the promise of you were dancing in her, and we felt the conflict." -Gloria Gaither (Quote written of a woman with child)

"It's a dreadful thing to live your life in your own strength instead of God's, and to ignore the living water He offers in favor of building your own cisterns...The key for experiencing the flow of God's living water in your life is... Obedience." - Brother Yun

I woke up around 1:30 this morning sick to my stomach. I cautiously made my way from bed, only realizing once I made it to the bathroom how little pain my back and hip were in. Despite my nausea (among other things), I couldn't help but thank God that my back and hip weren't bothering me. In fact, once I could leave the toilet, I walked around the house a few times just to see if it was for real. I still had to walk with a limp, but there was no sharp pain. This was especially unusual as the pain is usually much worse after laying on my side for long periods. Unfortunately this story doesn't end with a miraculous healing. Once I laid back in bed, I felt something move in my hip and my pain immediately returned. On a positive note, perspective was gained.

I don't know if I really know how to explain what I am learning. One thing is for sure, this blog is proof of the highs and lows my heart experiences each day, and when I am relying on my own strength it is very apparent. Just a couple verses God has given me yesterday and today that have comforted me:

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." - Psalm 62:5-6

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." - John 14:1-3

If I know myself at all, I think I would have been pretty discouraged by the thought of Jesus leaving me in flesh. My conversation would go much like the one he had with his disciples (perhaps with a few more tears and whining). Reminds me of daily conversations I have with Aiden when I try to encourage him to see the bigger picture of a situation when he can not seem to get past the disappointment of not receiving immediate results.

It is so easy to believe that I have the right to be upset with my situation. Every right to be miserable, to complain, to think of myself first. And yet I pray for those living in grief and destruction to find their strength in God, to focus on His faithfulness instead of the despair around them. I am a hypocrite. Thank you God for not giving up on me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Pathetic Plea

"MOOOOOMY!" I awoke at 3:00 a.m. this morning to hysterical screams from my toddler's room, yelling to me in a voice of pain, fear, and confusion. My first instinct was to jump from bed and run to him. However, shooting pain in my back stopped me short, and instead I shook Aaron awake while I slowly moved to my side and slowly pushed myself up to a sitting position before I braced myself for the intense pain I knew would follow standing. Despite Aiden's desperate and deafening screams, my request for Aaron to run ahead to check on him while I caught up, and my slow, painful struggle simply to turn over in bed, I was up before Aaron even seemed to know what was going on. My instincts come from years of breastfeeding and knowing that if I don't go, no one will. Aaron on the other hand, sleeps much harder, wakes much slower, and often comes across as angry or annoyed when first woken up. I realize that this is not because he is genuinely upset or that he doesn't care, that he has a physically strenuous job, works too many hours, and can't help his exhaustion, but sometimes it really makes me want to slap him. "Aaron! Go check on Aiden!!" I hissed, without even trying to hide the aggravation from my voice. Realizing that I would pee my pants before making it to Aiden's room, I hesitantly made my way to the bathroom first. Whimpering and gasping in pain with each step, I tried my hardest not to cry or wet my pants. It was easy to feel sorry for myself in that moment.
Two years and nine months and Aiden is teething again. The last two nights he has woken up screaming in pain and hungry because he doesn't want to eat much in the day and is constantly drooling a fountain. I thought he had all his teeth in, but apparently even after cutting his two year molars months ago, they're still working their way up, slowly and painfully. I feel so bad for him, and at the same time can't help but think to myself- what timing! Do you ever find yourself- even while knowing things could be so much worse- wondering, why can't life just be easy for once?
I feel a little silly because I haven't even reached my due date yet, and I feel like I am even more desperate to get this baby out than my friends who were 7 days over due. It's not that I'm literally moping around just waiting to go into labor, but it's hard to not wish so desperately for some relief when every step you take sends an electric shock of pain into your back, or when you find yourself stuck in bed unable to move, crying like a child because you don't know how to make it stop. I am so done with this! I want to be able to hold my son and think more about how to help him feel better than how badly I wish I weren't in pain. I want to be able to rejoice with my husband about his successful tree job and massage his sore back, instead of whining about my own. I also want to stop thinking and talking about it! Maybe I should choose to do those things despite my pain. I really do try. But I am tired. Maybe it's not fair to ask this, but can I just have my baby now? Before I run out of the little energy I have left?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Learning Always

It's been a long weekend. My sister and I threw a birthday party for our husbands. Family and friends came from out of town, and it was a lot of fun. But exhausting. Even though I got to sit and order other people around for most of it, I thought it might send me right into labor. But alas, I am still pregnant. This is ok. For now. Thanks to my mom, sister, and some friends, I have made huge strides in completing my list of things to get done before Gabriel arrives, and now I guess I probably have time to finish it. I'll try to focus on that.

I've gone to the chiropractor twice, and so far it goes like this:
I hobble into the office, trying my best not to do the pregnant waddle (failing miserably). Dr. Mike greets me with a smile, asks how I am doing, and tries to convince me I will feel better soon. I smile back, thinking, I know you'll try... but not really believing him despite his reassuring tones. After he adjusts my hips and cracks my back, I awkwardly lift myself from the bench, give a weak smile, and try my hardest to walk as though I feel at least a little better. For some reason I feel like I am going to hurt his feelings if he knows that I am actually in more pain. I have always been told how awesome it feels to be adjusted at a chiropractor and how loose and limber people feel after. I have yet to experience this. I go in pain and leave with more. Not to say that it isn't working at all. I've noticed I'll feel slightly better later that day or the next, but it just doesn't last for long. I figure I'll try it for one more week and see. I am tired of being in pain, of having other people do things for me, and I miss playing with my son. But I am thankful I have the help. I'd be hopeless without my sister here!

I could not sleep again the last two nights. I fall asleep no problem, but then wake either from pain or to pee and then remain awake for 3-4 hours. Ironically, the messages I've been reading are speaking of discomfort. I cursed God a lot when I was pregnant with Aiden, and even through the first year of his life. I was sick a lot, depressed, and almost always in some kind of pain or discomfort. I didn't understand why everything had to be so hard, and I was angry. I've been in a different place this time around- I'd like to think I've matured. But this last week I've found myself getting a little tiffed at my situation and feeling the anger rise. Dragging my feet (literally and figuratively) and complaining about anything I possibly can. Here I am at the end of my pregnancy, more motivated than ever to get things done I've been meaning to do for years, only to have a pinched nerve throw me off my game! My first instinct is to think I have the right to be angry, or annoyed at the very least. Well who wouldn't be, right? But then, in the quiet, miserable, wee hours of the night, I lay awake and I feel God calling me to choose. Not to be angry or bitter, but to praise Him regardless. Regardless of comfort, discomfort, or anything in between. Seems silly, but I had to sit and chew on this idea for some time. Anger has rarely been a choice for me. I jump on that wagon like it's the only option I've got and I ride it till it dies. But when I found myself complaining for the umpteenth time today, I suddenly realized something. Despite my pain and discomfort, God's love has been evident to me in more ways than I can count, just in this last week. Despite my constant complaining, He has showered me with one blessing after another. When I haven't made time for him, he has forced me from bed to make sure to spend time with me. And perhaps to refocus my vision. I have done nothing to deserve it and yet I am blessed. Why do I waste my thoughts on anything else? If it were up to me and my strength, I would not choose to praise. But God is faithful even in that. And he has given me a song to sing. Just for him. Hopefully I'll be singing it even if I'm still pregnant a week from now!