Friday, September 26, 2014

A Bumpy Road

I have been thinking about this post for a long time. 26 weeks to be specific. At first I did not want to write it. I feel that, at first at least, this was private. Then I was too tired to do it. And then it just felt like I had left it too long and did not know how to start but here I am jumping in.

We are pregnant! Due at Christmas time.

I am very excited about this. Actually we all are. But it has been a very different pregnancy for us. Being pregnant after loosing a baby is not easy. At first I did not trust my body to carry this baby. I was worried a lot of the time. This is not normal for me. I am a very relaxed, carefree sort of gal. I don't stress a lot. But I was very stressed for the first half of this pregnancy. I put all my trust in tests. In pregnancies of the past I would turn down most tests, and for tests that I did do I did not worry about them much. But this time I asked for a early ultrasound just to see the baby. I was sure that it would help me feel more confident. And it did, for a few days. Then I was sure that hearing the heart beat would make things easier. But it was the same story. It helped a little bit for a few days and then I was back to worrying.

Peoples words of encouragement also did not help. It felt like they were complete platitudes. I know better now then to think that every thing will be fine. My innocence is gone. No longer can I say "Oh I am sure it will all be fine." Because I know that some times it is not.

But at the same time I almost when insane living every day thinking that this might be the day that I lose this baby too. So I prayed a lot, tried to change my thought patterns, and tried to remember the my emotions are like waves. They come and go but they don't need to take me away with them.

It has gotten a lot easier now that I am past the twenty week mark, as this was when we lost Hilary. It also helps that I can feel this baby moving like crazy. I still have moments of worry, but more and more I am starting to think about birthing this baby not just staying pregnant with him.

But now I have a new set of worries. I find it hard to know what to say when asked which number this baby is. How do I answer that? Is this baby 5 or 6? So far I usually say 5, especially to nice old ladies at the grocery store who I will never see again. But other times, if I know the person, or we have the time to have a bigger conversation tell them my story. When I do this good usually comes of it. I have heard lots of other peoples stories of loss, their own, their sister, mother, friend. People have asked me how to talk to their loved one, what kind of resources are out there or just been comforted to know that they are not alone. I am glad to be that for them. There are so many untold stories of babies never forgotten but held in secret and I love helping others to open up.

And so I ask for your prayers. Prayers for a save delivery and a healthy baby. Prayers for less worry and more trust. Prayers for all families expecting again after loss. That they will walk this bumpy road knowing they are not alone.

Monday, September 15, 2014

How to throw a Minion Party on the Cheap

Step One: Have an amazing husband who is willing to run the party.

Step One and a Half: Pour husband a Scotch before the gaggle of 9 year old girls show up. (I forgot this step but will never forget again.)

Step two: Start the girls off with "Anti -Gravity Serum Training" on the trampoline.

Step Three: Then on to "Minion Rush". (Died yellow Egg and spoon race combined with an obstacle course)

Step Four: Then "Three Lagged Minion" (Three Legged Race)

Step Five: Off to "Bobbing for Bapples".
And to make it really fun have some melted caramel standing by. Super easy to make caramel apples. And who does not love that! See the results.

Step Six: Balloon Battle with Easy to make Minions.

Step Seven: "Freeze-Ray Dance".

Step Eight: Add a Cake. (I wimped out and bough this but a crafty person could do this on their own)

Step Nine: Presents, And Good byes. Pour more Scotch, Drink it in the middle of the mess and have a well deserved rest.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Strengh though the generations

One of the greatest things about living here is building deeper connections to Ryan's family. This spring and summer we were blessed to host Ryan's grandparents several times. At 83 and 82 years old they still live in their own home in a small town about two hours away. On occasion they need to come into the city for various appointments. In someways this can be stressful. For one thing I need to keep the house clean. As you know this is not easy for me.

Having them stay also means that a lot of my attention is focused on them instead of on the kids. But these small hardships can never out weight
the vast blessing of having them. This was made clear to me in two beautiful ways recently.

Grandpa has been cleaning out his office and found a collection of pennies dating back to the 1910's. Unsure what to do with it, he brought it to us thinking if we did not want to keep it at least we could sell them. Our oldest was enthralled. So, for hours Grandpa and Great-grandson sat with piles of coins and a magnifying glass. They talked and listened, shared stories and organized the coins. My son now has a coin collection but more than that he has a deepening relationship with a man that has lived through the depression, WW2, who started teaching in a one room school house, and who has stayed active and generous through a retirement that has lasted longer than his teaching career.

During another visit, Great-grandma and Great-grandpa and our littlest sat finishing lunch. I was cleaning up, and putting away the left overs. Just like every three year old, she wanted to help so I gave her a small piece of crumpled plastic wrap to wrap up her half eaten cookie. She sat patiently straightening out the plastic wrap while Grandpa looked on. I thought nothing of it but later that week Grandma told me over the phone that Grandpa was inspired. Apparently, before their visit, every time the plastic wrap got stuck together Grandpa gave up, threw it out and got a new piece. But now, he says "If your great-granddaughter can do it, then so can I"

I have often thought how much we have to learn from these amazing people. How to grow a garden to feed you for the whole winter, how to knit, sew and make cool things out of wood. How to be married for 62 years, how to stay strong and committed through the loss of children, professional insecurity, and failing health. But I am learning that we have a lot to give to them too. The energy of youth, the simple joy of a child's smile. On their last visit, Grandma said that we here a force of healing for her. And I see it. I see how sitting and reading to the kids, seeing them run around with laughter, and sharing their stories to eager ears gives life to these venerable people.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to School

Well today was the first real day of school. It was nice to be returning to the same school. Of course, there was some new things, new class rooms, new teachers, but at least we know the drill now. I even get the indoor/outdoor shoe thing. If you are not from the prairies you might also find this confusing, but as soon as EVERYONE comes into the school they take off their shoes. Yes everyone, even the staff and parents. But after seeing first hand the mud, dirt, and slush that comes inside, I totally get this now.

It was of course totally crazy in the school today. 450 parents helping 450 students find their classroom, each with four bags of school supplies. But it was nice to see a few familiar friendly faces, have a few chats and a play on the playground after dropping off the big kids. All in all a very nice morning.

And we are all hopeful for a great second year!