January 31, 2011

Any day now/ It's been peachy

holy cow.
40 weeks. He's due on wednesday.
this is it, don't get scared now.

My midwife estimated his size at 8 lbs. 12 oz as of today.
He's going to be a 9-pounder when he actually comes.

my mom has been here for a week. It's been peachy.
I haven't cooked a single meal or done the dishes once.
Fabulous. I am really glad she's here. REALLY glad.
My dad and two younger siblings are leaving florida on wednesday and should be here saturday. I am going to pray EXTRA hard for the baby to come before then. feb 3rd would be perfect. 
It gives me 2 days to nest. yeah.
did you hear that pax? you have 2 days to say goodbye to your comfy spot inside my belly, ok?

The power of positive thinking!

January 20, 2011

This shall be framed and hung

I got the SWEETEST gift from my supervisor today. It was a photocopy of a poetic article written on boys. It goes like this:

My favorite part- the part that will be painted or vinyl lettered on the wall of this little man's bedroom will be 
"A boy is truth with dirt on it's face, beauty with a cut on it's finger, wisdom with bubble gum in it's hair, and the hope of the future with a frog in it's pocket."

I'm in love. And it's not even friday! who'da thunk?

January 17, 2011

Let's lighten up, shall we?

It seems as though i have been completely consumed by morbid realities and sadness- my last three posts have been overwhelmingly depressing. I've been a bit pensive and thinking about a lot of heavy stuff, and it shows.

let's get the happy posts going again. (sorry it took me so long)

I'm excited.

my last day of work is on thursday.
My mommy flies in on saturday.
I turn 21 (yes, 21)next wednesday.
Sunday is my last sunday in primary for a while.
Today is my last birthing class.
I am one week closer to being a Mom.
And I get to hang up or burn several hats that I have worn for a long time.
no more teacher hat. no more primary hat for a while.
no more student hat. no mom hat yet.
i get to focus on wearing only two. wife and daughter.

ahhhhhhhhh. Calgon couldn't make me feel this good.

on another note: i love this little dog.

Acquainted with grief

Grief is the only human behavior that has multiple emotions.

Rage. Sadness. sorrow. guilt. anger. hopelessness. doubt. fear.
Empathy. selfishness. revenge. hate.

We grieve everyday without knowing it. we don't have to experience a major loss or tragedy to do it. We grieve for other people, too. 

Today, I grieve for my neighbor. 

She and her husband have known many tragedies and hardships this past year. one after the other.Last January their baby girl was born with a spinal dystrophy condition, and was given a life expectancy of two years. this little girl has lived half her life inside the hospital, and the other half at home with a full time nurse.

His parents came from Tonga to visit.
his dad fell inside their home and hit his head very hard. it caused a severe brain injury, and he had a very long and complicated surgery. he made it through the surgery.

he died a week later.  

My neighbor was once again, pregnant, and due on her baby girl's first birthday. 3 weeks before I am due.
She went in the day before Her due date for a prenatal check up, and they could not find a heartbeat. Their little baby had died.

that was last monday. 

I have not yet stopped grieving for this family.
if it had been a year ago and I had heard all this, I probably would have said something similar to "why would god inflict so much pain on one family?" or " what did they do to deserve this?"

but last night as I received this news, my first thought -to my total surprise, was "they have known one tragedy after the other.Heavenly Father must have something HUGE in store for them."

And he does.

January 13, 2011

A rock and a hard place.

this morning, I stayed home from work.
I woke up pretty easy, and didn't feel very tired.
I Decided to forgo shampooing my hair so I would have time to make a good breakfast for John and I. I got myself dressed, and tied my greasy hair into a ponytail, and proceeded to do my makeup. 
I didn't get very far before I started crying, and un-doing the foundation job I had just finished. I thought to myself "I don't know how much longer of this I can take." 

I have been blessed with a wonderful pregnancy.I would not trade this for any other woman's pregnancy. I vowed to never complain about the symptoms I DO get, and to NEVER use my pregnancy as a crutch and milk it for what it's worth. I have heard Women who might have trouble getting pregnant say "oh, i would GLADLY throw up every day all day and gain 100 pounds if only that meant i was actually going to have a baby." Ladies, you'll have your limits, too. your body is not perfect. I'ts unfair to think that we have no reason to "whine" just because we can GET pregnant without medical help. We love our babies, too. And I for one, don't take this ability to create another life for granted. Being pregnant is being pregnant. our bodies don't make any exception or notice any difference in how long it took us to get ourselves pregnant.

I have pushed myself harder and harder to not become that person. I've widened the boundaries of my own already lofty expectations over and over again. Lately this behavior makes others treat me like I'm not in any discomfort at all. Do I really have to cry wolf to get a little bit of compassion and sensitivity?  

no more.
 let me inform you all.
I have heartburn from hell. The kind that makes flame throwers want to vomit. It is debilitating enough to where I cannot eat ANYTHING, including a full bottle of tums, to get it to go away.
I was admitted to the hospital with a kidney infection. the pain in my left side was so severe that I actually VOMITED because I couldn't take it anymore. I have a condition called pubis symphisis diastis which makes everyday things like bending over, putting on clothes, rolling over in bed, and using the bathroom- excruciating. I have to see my chiropractor every 20 days to get to a point where I no longer gasp for breath every time I pull my pants down to pee. It will also affect me physically as I try to give birth. My right hand falls asleep, and burns with pain every night, affecting my sleep. Most mornings, it's swollen to where i can't even butter my own toast, and it takes me half an hour just to put on my makeup. 

The emotional upset and sensitivity from these baby-making hormones are the MAJORITY of the discomfort. The comments I get from everyone including TOTAL strangers about my size, makes me want to be a gunman in my own little massacre. Who the hell made them the expert on how big I should be? for all they know, I could have a rare disorder that causes tumor growth in my abdomen( i actually work with someone who had this condition while pregnant), or I could be carrying triplets. Don't try to be subtle and ask me when i'm due, cause I know you're thinking I look like I am about to squeeze this baby out right onto your freshly cleaned carpets! GET SOME MANNERS, and stop telling me that I look like I'm about ready to pop, cause it's none of your damn business anyway!  

at this point, my midwives and husband seem to be the ONLY ones I hear positive comments from regarding my appearance.
my own father called me "shamu."
it sucks that hearing, "you look fantastic" or " you have such a beautiful pregnant glow" or " look at your cute pregnant belly!" has become so rare, that I actually get embarrassed when such a comment is made.

I guess the worst part for me is, I hear that all this frustration and discomfort is all worth it. But what do you say to a woman who realizes how uncertain life is? It makes me sad to admit it, but I'm terrified that this really won't happen. In my mind, moments of pure joy and happiness are whisked away in seconds before they are actually experienced, and are replaced by consuming despair.

what if the crib remains empty? what if I have to do this all over again to get the outcome I was supposed to get the first time?
or worse yet, what if it does happen, and I give birth, but never get to see or meet my son- or worst of all, I look into this child's eyes, and feel just as emotionless as I did the night my sisters died? 
Nothing can hurt me if I have nothing that can be hurt.- an incorrect coping mechanism I learned a LONG time ago.

I have invested so much time in trying to do this right, and yet I can't shirk the feeling of denial that it will actually happen for me. I've wanted to be a mom my entire life. I have prayed this baby into existence. I want this. REALLY, really bad- so it wouldn't surprise me if it was taken away. It makes me want to keep him in my belly and deal with these momentary discomforts for forever if I have to.

how's that for being overwhelmed with uncertainty?
it's why I have trouble flying on airplanes. we have our research, and our statistics to educate us, but really, ANYTHING can happen.

there is ONE thing that I know is certain. 
God lives. he loves us. And i don't need to protect myself from ANYTHING if I had more trust in him. Getting to that place from where my mind currently resides is the hard part.

And I will probably start LOVING to fly if this boy makes it here like I want him to.

January 4, 2011

Death is hard

It was the first sunday in January, 2002. Fast sunday. I remember waking up that morning and thinking I had so much I had to be grateful for because my sister, Amber, would be moving in with us that afternoon. Mickey Mouse decided he loved her as much as I did, and gave her a REAL job, starting in February. Our family would no longer feel broken anymore. Or so I had hoped, anyway. 

The morning routine ensued, finding the missing sets of scriptures and the mate to the only pair of sunday shoes that fit my little brother's rapidly growing feet. All four girls fought for use of the only bathroom in the house. I got my baby sister dressed for church. I Fed her the rice cereal my mom had already mixed, while she did her hair.Emily was moving a little slower this morning. We were threatening to leave without her. And so expediting the process of getting dressed, she asked ME to pick out the shoes she should wear.ME? of all people, she asked me.I must have chose the right pair, because she actually WORE them to church that morning. 

I shamefully admit that I don't remember much else about that morning.Not even the day at church. But I have a pretty good guess of what happened. I sat and listened to the old farts in the ward tell their life story over the pulpit. I went to sunday school, and then off to primary. I sat next to the cutest boy in class. My whole body filled with excitement at every hour that passed, getting closer to having Amber's things packed safely and neatly in our car. 

The next thing I CLEARLY remember is feeling the sting of disappointment when my dad elected me and my sister Rebekah to  stay home and fabricate the Welcome home dinner.Emily was once again, the last one out of the house. And after we waved goodbye to the Astro van rolling backwards down the driveway, the meal preparations commenced. We had rolls, a turkey roast(proudly donated by the church storehouse) and a chocolate boston cream pie from publix with the words "welcome home" fancifully written in baby pink frosting. The Dessert that Amber never got to eat. We made last minute touches to the smallest of three rooms in our house. The room she got to be in all by herself, with the bed that she never would sleep in. My parents made it home in good time. They were gone most of the afternoon, helping Amber pack.Emily stayed behind to help her tie up the loose ends she needed to take care of. Turning in her uniform and badge, her apartment keys... all that icky grown-up stuff you have to deal with when your life is about to make a change.

And then I only remember waiting, and starving because we wanted to eat with our WHOLE family. 5:00pm came and went. then 6. A phone call was made to Amber's phone. "we're almost there" she said. "we should be home a little after 7."

 7 came and went. then 8. More phone calls and no answer this time. At 9 my dad put me and Rebekah in the car this time. Not knowing where we were going to find them, he brought his car jack just in case they had a flat. We got on the interstate, and drove for about 5 minutes. Traffic was really bad. And then we saw why. there was a horrific accident that had happened on the southbound lanes of the highway. A semi-truck dangled over one side of the overpass, kissing the embankment underneath it. So many lights and sirens. I remember feeling sick to my stomach. Rebekah Freaked out. She had a glimpse of what looked like Amber's car, completely piggy-backed by the front end of a second semi. After getting threatened by my father, Rebekah got a grip, and calmed down. But not by choice. We got off at the nearest exit and found a pay phone at ekcard drug store (now CVS pharmacy)and my dad called home. 

"there's been an accident." he told my mother. "we are going to see if we can find some more information around there, but we will be home soon." he promised. he got back in the car, and we took the back roads to the overpass on the opposite side. Rebekah was chosen to climb up the embankment and talk to the state trooper on scene that was giving information to other passers by. My Dad couldn't climb because of his knee. "we are looking for two women. they have been missing for two hours." She said. "don't worry, ma'am there was nobody local involved in this accident" said the trooper. My sister Cleverly remembered " they had alabama plates on their car."  

We were instructed to drive up the off ramp on the opposite side of the freeway. We had no idea we would get the news we would get.
"I'm sorry Mr. Chambers" the state trooper at the drivers' side window said. "both of your daughters were killed in this accident." I didn't believe him. Beka did. right away. She fell apart in hysterics. my dad's crest fell. his shoulders and head dropped. his eyes closed, but there were no tears. 

I was quiet the whole drive home. it was the longest it had EVER taken us to get from apollo beach to ruskin on the freeway.the southbound lanes driving home were completely deserted. kind of symbolic in a way. I wasn't sure what to think at that point... or how to feel.This seemed very strange, and I was not sure what I was supposed to do with all this untimely information.i remember coming home and going straight into my room with Beka at my heels, still crying. I remember getting teary because I knew what my mom was about to hear. I looked out my bedroom window and watched my dad tell my mom outside on the sidewalk. That was probably the hardest thing he's ever had to do. He then took my mom in his arms as she wailed at the news of her firstborn's death, was all I could remember for a long time. I can still hear the ungodly sound of her pain ringing in my ears right now.

We had a flurry of phone calls and visitors, long into the night, and still being in denial, I tried acting as normally as I could. I know my behavior really disturbed my mother. There was nothing to be done to comfort me then. I do remember needing to be outside. I spent a lot of time outside that night. There were just too many people. I remember when Wes and Katina Zmullins pulled up to our house. She got out of the car and walked quickly over to me and wrapped her arms around me so tight that I have a scar from where my earring dug into my neck. Something about that hug really grounded me with the situation. It's the most empathy I have ever felt from any person. No priesthood blessing or prayers could bring me to the realization that my sisters were gone, and the next time I would see Emily again would be at the private viewing. I never did see amber again. Instead of going to her funeral in Alabama, we were left with members of the ward, and we chose to be separated from each other. We all grieved in private. I rarely cried. I still didn't feel safe enough to share how I was feeling- and rightly so. I was mocked for not crying enough. 

Death. it's hard. the pain never goes away. in some ways, it gets worse with time. I've outlived my sister Emily by 3 years now. It doesn't feel right that I am the first one to give birth to my children, when it could have been her that blazed this trail. i've never been first for anything. it's probably why i have had a hard time preparing for motherhood, mentally.

I miss her. A lot.

some goings-on (post 2 in a chain of 3 or 4)

how I like my salmon

How john likes his salmon

 can anyone tell what i've been doing lately?

I'd say it was time to do the laundry again.

Christmas sweets and doggie treats (post 1 in a chain of three or four)

For christmas this year, it was quiet.
it was simple.
it was beautiful.

After a breakfast of waffles topped with strawberries and whipped cream, and a side of delicious bacon- we opened the few but precious gifts that were nestled underneath the tree.

 We went and saw harry potter and spent the rest of the day devouring the sugar cookies we had made the day before.

we played a quiet card game and passed the time before we were able to video chat with my family in florida. technology is a wonderful thing! 

I made Dalton some doggie treats for his Christmas present! it was actually REALLY easy.

And lucky for us, he's happy eating just about everything.