Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Take me to church

     I hadn't been to church since sometime, maybe, at the start of this year. I'm not confident in that.  It could very well have been at the end of last year.   It was after I finished up my night shift and before I had slept.  The only thing I remember is using every ounce of energy I had to keep my eyes open because I'd already lost the battle to keep my head off the back of the chair.  I don't remember the drive home at all but I know well enough that it was dangerously done (it may surprise you to learn that lack of sleep does not make me a good, alert, cautious driver).   I decided, then, to not ever do that again.  

     I've been on bedrest for 4 weeks now and it only recently occurred to me that I'm in a place to be able to go to church again. So it was - with great excitement you should know - that I decided to go to church this past Sunday.  I got up early, chugged my allotted one cup of coffee, devoured my breakfast, and dressed myself in jeans because it was FINALLY a little chilly around here.  A woman, a friend, that I've met not even a handful of times went out of her way to pick me up and get me there.

     As I'm not really allowed to stand or walk..."minimal" is the word my doctor likes to tell me...I sat during the entire service.  I've sat before during worship because sometimes it makes me feel closer to God to sit and be surrounded by people yet encased in my own small area of worship.   This time, though, it struck me that the choice to sit was not entirely mine and it wasn't entirely mine because of a very specific reason. There I sat because of a baby that I never thought would happen.  

     Many times had I lugged my burdened soul into church; many times had I stood in worship with a heart so shattered that I struggled to breathe; many times had I offered my mess of a life to the healing hands of Christ while words of praise sprang from my lips. But only once, in that very moment,  had I sat with a child living inside of me.   

My God. Thank You. 

Friday, October 16, 2015


Trigger warning for all you strong, beautiful one's that can't stomach another damn pregnant lady baby post.  Time to look away. I love you.

Well, well, well.   Guess who got showered with love and baby gifts this past weekend.  Put another tally in the "things I never thought would happen" column.  That column is getting quite full and if I think about it for too long I get overwhelmed with gratitude and cry like an idiot.

Saturday Shower - oh, folks, it was perfect...almost too good to be true.  The decor was literally picturesque, worthy of gracing the pages of Martha Stewart Living.  There were tons of flowers adorning a long, rectangular table upon which sprang up pops of gentle color in greenish blues, pinks, and wines. The refreshment table was decorated in white linen and displayed the classiest (and tastiest) array of tea sandwiches, fruity desserts, cheese, and crackers.  A floral smell permeated everything and, courtesy of some neighbor perhaps, mixed with the faintest smell of burning wood so that I would have paid serious money to have the scent in candle form.
      Better still, however, was the company.  I don't know how I got so lucky to be surrounded by such a mix of gentle, creative, hilarious, heart-on-their-sleeves souls but I'm very glad it's happened.  They mingled, ate, laughed, and probably fell into an awkward silence a time or two.  They sat around in a huge circle and watched me open baby gifts, seeming not to mind that I'm terrible at thank you's and being the center of attention.    I think I said very little during this time - a mixture of exhaustion and gratitude - willing myself to not cry in thankfulness.   I can't wait for my daughter to meet and know these women that have prayed for her existence even when it seemed fruitless, that love her now even before they have seen her.      

Sunday Shower - this one was nearly the exact opposite of the shower the day before.  Where Saturday's shower was gentle, quiet, and elegant, this one was boisterous and classic.  Everything was pink - from the booties on the cake to the sherbet punch.  A huge balloon in the shape of a bird, surrounded by a bouquet of smaller pink balloons, declared "IT'S A GIRL".  Split between two connecting rooms, there were 3 tables packed with chairs and still people had to stand for lack of space when it was time to eat.  The food was simple but wonderful - a mix of veggies, fruit, chips, and cold-cut meat sandwiches that hit the spot.
      My mom hosted and it was filled with her friends (all of whom I knew, of course) and more of my family.  I hadn't seen any of the women in years upon years, save for my grandmother and step-mother-in-law.  K's mom was there and she stuck by my side the entire time, sitting next to me no matter which room I ended up in (side note: except for a brief meeting in May at K's graduation we hadn't seen her since our wedding nearly 7 years ago). Aside from my mom, I've never seen a woman so excited to become a grandma and I'm glad she wants and is getting to share in these moments with us.
     Shower games were played, prizes were handed out, and I opened so many gifts I actually got sweaty and had to take a break.  At the end, everyone gathered around me and prayed for my daughter, thanking the Lord for the miracle of life that they had all been trusting in Him for over the last 3 years. It was not lost on me that these women had stood with my mom many Sunday mornings, praying on my behalf, and now they were here celebrating that answer to their prayers.

There will never be enough thank-you cards in the world to properly express what this past weekend meant to me.  It would better serve to crack open my metaphorical heart and lay it out for everyone to see.   As that's not possible, the best and only word the English language offers for how I feel is simple, and as always...love.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Getting Paid

Starting November 2nd, I will officially be employed as a telehealth nurse.  I'm glad to be part of a career that offers so many diverse options.  I'm excited to get to continue to pursue my passion even from the confines of bedrest.  Mostly, I'm relieved to be able to ease the burden that is that loss of my previous salary.  

They sent me a packet to give me an idea of what a day looks like for a 'Nurse Advice Line' employee...and they made the hilarious and unfortunate decision to make the headline in all caps while also abbreviating things:


Oh. Um. Well, we need the money.

Seriously, though, I'm so pleased to have this new position and I'm looking forward to expanding my scope of practice by learning a new facet to caring for my community.  By the time it's all said and done, I'll be licensed in each of the 50 states and able to help patients on a national level!  That prospect is extremely appealing to me and I'm beyond blessed to get the opportunity to use my skills to the benefit of such a large group.

There is one small catch which remains entirely out of my control. The training is 6 weeks long and requires 100% attendance or will result in loss of the position.  That puts me training almost right up to my daughter's due date. Only time will tell how that turns out.  Here's to the unknown future. Cheers.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Permission Granted

A sweet friend told me last night that she thinks bedrest is sending me into a deep 'down' place and that I should talk to my OB about possible depression.  It means a lot to me that she was willing to speak up and tell me that what I'm feeling and saying doesn't altogether seem like normal pregnancy, hormonal emotions.  I admit that I've been feeling increasingly unlike the healthy self that I was so proud of several months ago.

K told me last night that it was okay to be sad because we did just have an unexpected, burdensome upheaval.  He asked if I noticed myself feeling this way before the bedrest news. It's hard to say...my memory is so foggy.  Even still, I'm historically bad at coping with hardships (re: my life crisis over being infertile) and I know I'm not handling this well.  I'm mad at my body. I feel guilty that K got stuck with dumb ol' me without knowing how hard it would be to have a family with me.  It's nice to hear that it's okay to be sad, though. I get frustrated with myself for crying, which usually just makes it worse.

I cleaned our box fan today.  I started to get proud of myself for accomplishing that task and immediately gave myself a stern admonishment.  "All I did was clean a stupid fan", I told myself, "big deal. I've done nothing else lately". And I almost accepted that; except a spark of 'hold the fuck up' washed over me and I realized that just as much as it's okay to be sad, it's okay to be happy. I'm allowed to be proud of myself that I cleaned this fan.  It needed it and I did it.  I have a clean fan now because I took the time to unscrew some things and wipe them down.  It might be minute but it's something.

Maybe I can pull myself out of this funk. Maybe not.  Maybe I'm a normal amount of sad and anxious and frustrated. Maybe not. All I know is that I'm thankful for the three gifts of realizations that I got over the last 12 hours: it's okay to be happy, it's okay to be sad, it's okay to ask for help.  I already feel a little less overwhelmed.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I completed my first week of bedrest with so much grace and class that I should teach a workshop on it.  Psych.    I'm almost ashamed at how poorly I handled being confined to home-couch-bed.   I whined, I cried, I got angry and irritable.  At one point, K had to load me up and drive me down the highway to keep me from losing it (and probably to shut me up. I've been more than a little annoying, I have a feeling).

If an enemy ever wants to effectively torture me for information, they can skip right over the more gruesome ways and go straight to locking me in a room with nothing to do.  I'll tell you anything...just please let me out of here.

Honestly, I was a little convinced that all it would take was one week and my cervix would miraculously get with the program so much that I would be allowed to get off bedrest and return to work.  No such luck.  I'm down for the count.  The bright side is that my cervix is unchanged - nothing is worse...and not worse is good.  Also, isn't it sort of beautiful that sometimes 'not worse' is worth celebrating? Just me? Eh, I'm sentimental and more than a little emotional.

I've been a nurse for 5 years. I like to work hard and fast, draining myself in all possible ways in service of someone that needs my help.  I'm very good at what I do. I find fulfillment in it. I couldn't really imagine doing anything else. It's odd to find myself without it, especially so suddenly and without any choice.

Now there will be those of you that say, "oh enjoy it. I would love to spend hours watching a show/playing a game/reading a book/being required to accomplish nothing". To you I say, please shush.  Perhaps, maybe, there is a possibility that I would enjoy this except that we just lost 75% of our household income and it's literally all my fault.  I have just shouldered K with so much undeserved stress. I have put our family in financial jeopardy.  I feel very guilty about it and I have nothing but unlimited time to dwell on it.

K appears to be unperturbed (thank God - because I'm perturbing it up more than enough for the both of us).  He's taken on the extra responsibility of the household without so much as a single complaint. He's patiently tried to talk me down from my self-loathing shouldering of the blame.  He tells me that we just take it one day at a time, we'll figure it out, and that in the end it'll all be okay.  He reminds me that there is no fault here, that my body is good, that nothing is going wrong.  I've repaid his kindness and steadfast patience by crying a lot. Lucky guy.