Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thoughts from the not-so-home stretch

Greetings from your intrepid blogger.  I'm loving the fact that my local weather still hovers in the 70s, meaning I can wear my beloved FitFlops without worry of cold weather.  As luck would have it, I'm attempting to get some advanced planning and schoolwork done before D-Day only to find blogging a more desirable alternative.  Obviously, the baby hasn't arrived yet.  She hasn't even caused a contraction, so I'm beginning to think she has inherited my tendency towards procrastination.

We had a scare last week at my weekly appointment.  The ultrasound revealed low (but not dangerously) amniotic fluid.  The doctor ordered me to cease all intense activity and drink about 80 oz of water a day.  So last week became more low-key than originally planned.  It nearly drove me crazy, but the possibility of total bedrest (not my favorite option) loomed as the next step.  Thankfully, this past Monday's ultrasound revealed that the fluid had increased to a safer level.  Deo Gratias!

One of the major struggles I've had during this pregnancy is accepting the normal fears and anxieties as normal.  Instead, the effects of IF chastise me constantly: "Come on, this is what you always wanted... There are many other people that want this more than you..."  Many of pregnancy's crosses (heartburn, loss of sleep, achiness, etc.) have been harder to endure, as if there is something inside preventing these normal feelings of anxiety.  And don't get me started on the thoughts of "Am I really ready to become a mother?  How in the world will I care for a newborn?  What if my baby hates me?"  Again, according to the preggo books, such thoughts are normal.  Yet for an IF survivor, it's hard to give yourself permission to acknowledge their normalcy.  Does that make sense?  I say this often and will say it again: when the various pregnancy unpleasantries do occur, I pray for my IF sisters who are still waiting.  That will never change. 

This past Sunday our dear pastor gave me the Anointing of the Sick to help me prepare for the upcoming labor and childbirth.  All I can say is WOW!!  What an incredible sacrament.  The burdens that weighed so heavily became lighter.  Truly, I felt the strength to endure the days ahead.  I'm so glad that the Church allows people to receive the sacrament before surgery, etc. instead of only just before death as in years past.

In my next post, I will ask for any prayer petitions that you would like me to intercede for during labor & delivery.  So get those lists ready!!

p.s.  I hope to wear flip flops in November!! Ha.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That looks like a medieval device...

The more he compassionately witnesses my bouts with AF, various OB procedures, and the like, my husband has always asserted how glad he is to be a man.  On Monday while at the OB/GYN office for the now weekly exams, the nurse assistant pulled a out of the drawer.  "Honey, that is the evil device known as the speculu.m," I pointed out to my husband.  He's never seen one until now.

His eyes widened in horror and he replied, "That looks like medieval tor.ture device!"  The nurse and midwife chuckled, and agreed with him. Chock one more reason why he's happy to be a guy on the list.  As for me, I felt satisfaction in him learning about yet another aspect of womanhood that is invasive and painful.   A small victory! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quick (Photo) Takes Friday!

Since my posting has been rather spotty lately, I thought it would be fun to post pictures for the 7 Quick Takes Friday...

1.  Last month, some dear friends threw a wonderful baby shower for me.  Among my many favorite memories, I was most touched by the fact that several friends from the IF support group came to celebrate.  Talk about true friends!!  Baby showers were always hard for me while enduring IF, so my IF friends' presence meant so much.

My friend and fellow local blogger Kerri!

The lovely hostesses!

2.  A huge event took place in my home state, the World Equestrian Games.  My Irish Dance group was invited to perform along one of the walkways leading towards the event areas.  To my pleasant surprise, I was still able to dance some of our routines by toning things down a bit and wearing sneakers.  I even turned a maternity dress into an impromptu costume!

3.  As I mentioned in my previous post, we finally FINALLY found & purchased our first "family" car.  My hubby and I both have driven sedans for a long time, but needed a car with more space for baby gear.  We were pleasantly surprised to find this model; it's big enough to haul baby stuff but not too large for me to maneuver around town.  I'm still trying to figure out how to get the blue tooth to make phone calls through the radio....  A huge bonus/nice providence was that the car salesman didn't give us any B.S.  He had previously lived in Southern California, so he and I reminisced about InNOut Burger, L.A. traffic, and the like.

 3.  I've been washing all of the blankets, linens, tiny outfits, etc. for the baby.  Finally, we can put all of those things in the nursery.  I should mention that this room has always been our guest room.  The previous owners painted it pink.  When we found out our baby was a girl, we decided to keep the color.  Yea for (slightly) less work!

 Our new glider/recliner.  I've slept in it one night already.

4.  Last weekend, my hubby and I went on a "babymoon."  It's a trip that a couple takes as their last hurrah before a child arrives.  We've had more than 4 years by ourselves, so we enjoyed savoring these last moments of togetherness while our child is quiet and portable. :)  Also, I was rather emotional about missing my brother's wedding and stressed about completing baby tasks; this getaway really helped me relax.  We had a very laid back, low cost trip to Cincinnati.

It may look like a tropical getaway, but this waterfall graces the tropical room at a local conservatory.

5.  I saw this ridiculous sign in our hotel bathroom.  Would you pay $15 for one of those bath towels? 

6.  I LOVE cats.  I actually invited  my friend's cat, Willow, to the baby shower.  She is the friendliest cat in the world.  At this point, our house is pet-free, so Willow is my "vicarious" cat.  My husband loves this because she lives at someone else's house.

7.  Finally, besides the coffee shower favors that I gave out, I also gave each guest one of these.  I'll never forget my IF journey, and I hope these little flowers will remind others to pray for those affected by IF.

Have a blessed weekend!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blogger MIA returns AND a Cool Gospel Passage

Remember me?  Suddenly 2 weeks have passed without so much of a blog post.  Sure, a few ideas floated around in my head, but no words made that critical journey from the mind to the fingers to the keyboard.  Before going further, I want to clarify that (1) The baby hasn't come yet, (2) We've had a lot of baby stuff to get done, (3) We are so relieved to have bought our family car, despite the fact it took 6 HOURS on a Monday to complete everything, (4) Pregnancy has brought on severe sleep apnea and I can't sleep, and (5) I'm starting to view labor, delivery and the care of a newborn with anxiety (aack!) and guilt ("you always wanted this, why are you freaking out?").  More about that in a later post.

In other news, my brother got married in Oregon this past weekend.  Since I'm 35 weeks pregnant, I didn't want to take the chance of something happening while there.  Not to mention a 5-hour cross country plane flight would be the ultimate discomfort.  Still, myriads of mixed feelings remained at having to miss his wedding.  We got pregnant after my brother announced his engagement.  At that point, my husband and I thought adoption was our path and figured that our attempts would never amount to a pregnancy.  Of course, my brother and the rest of my family were very happy and understanding of the circumstances, but I still felt guilty.  The day felt rather emotional, although my wonderful husband took me to Cincinnati for our "babymoon," which help assuage the sadness.  It occurred to me that missing of the wedding is one of many, MANY sacrifices on behalf of our child that will come in the future. 

Two weeks ago my parish celebrated its patronal feast, Our Lady of the Rosary.  That meant special readings proclaimed at Mass, including a Gospel that one normally hears around Christmastime or the Annunciation.  I couldn't help but get teary-eyed as the words were read about my patron saint, Elizabeth:

"And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." (Luke 1: 36, 37) 

In the last 3 years, I had the same reaction upon hearing the Gospel, except with tears of sadness.  This past Christmas, however, something in my heart stirred.  One day I'll hear this passage while holding a baby in my arms, whether from my body or from adoption.  One day.  All those previous years of wishing and waiting were made so very sweet in the reading of that part of the passage.  My husband smiled too, knowing that as Kati.e Bet.h kicked me in the womb, we echoed the same words: Nothing will be impossible for God. Nothing.  Even something like this happening to someone like me...