|Claudette may not be able to catch my baby this time around,|
but she is still a great support and her hands can tell just which way a baby is turned! (on this day you can see she was holding baby's head in her hand)
Update at bottom of post
I am a list maker.
I always have lists going. Shopping lists, To-Do lists, To-Call lists.
I had started a "To-Do before baby comes" list back in January, before Cleo the Clot came to stay
It had very practical things on it, like "Paint bathroom door", "Organize linen cupboard", "Clean garage".
Clearly things that MUST take place before a baby can be born.
I have a few new lists now;
- Questions for the doctors
- Hospital birth supplies
(because they worry about the medical side, I need to focus on the comfort part)
- Baby bag
(weird, that one. I have only ever had to walk into
the other room to get a baby outfit, not pack a bag.)
But here is my favorite list:
The "Thank you list"
I would never be able to list here all the kindnesses to our family, but I wanted to highlight a few to flesh out a picture of what has been sacrificed by others to keep our family going. I know that in doing so I run the risk of forgetting someone. Sometimes I was asleep when something was done for us, or in the hospital, or so out of it that I didn't write it down. I know there are some folks who have done things anonymously for us, so this is my prayerful thanks to them as well. For the ones I may not mention here, please know that it is just my cloudy brain and not my heart that didn't hold on to that moment of generous service. Thank you each, one and all.
Dawn comes smiling of Fridays to take the girls to gymnastics, and if Dawn can't make it, Sandi or Bonnie comes. Sandi has also been the brain behind all the planning, and calls often to check in on me, among her many other visits and kindnesses. Sheila has kept up with all our needs as well. Sheila G. took the difficult journey to visit with flowers, and Mabel, Sandi, Madelaine, Steph and Dave, and Kathy and Bishop all ventured out to the hospital while I was there.
Every Wednesday someone has come to bring us dinner so that Guy can spend the hour that he is home between work and scouts/boxing/Activity-Day-Girls getting other things taken care of. Tonight it was Blythe, with thought and care taken to make a dairy free gluten free dinner and even treats.
Chantal takes me to almost all of my local doctor appointments, twice or even three times a week. She takes me for blood tests and to pick up medicine, and often stays to talk, help with laundry, clean, and direct the kids with their chores. She has been one of my lifelines.
When she hasn't been able to drive me, Heather, Stacey and Julean have stepped in.
Speaking of Julean, my sweet sister-by-choice, former mission companion and great sis-in-law, has called me often. When one day she heard how sad and overwhelmed I was, she dropped everything and drove 5 hours each way to come stay for just 24, and from the minute she hit the door she was a tornado that cleaned, cooked, and directed kids. It felt amazing to hear another mom use that "mom voice" on my kids, and for them to respond by kicking into gear and not arguing with her. We all needed some of that! I hope she felt as good after her hard work as she left me feeling.
Madelaine and Krista have taken my kids a dozen times to get out to homeschool events that I can't manage. They often stay later and do dishes or fold laundry, and help the kids tidy up, and are always checking in on me. Kathy J. does the same, and sometimes just comes to tend to my heart. Amanda has brought dinner and taken kids for overnights. So has Joanna, adding to that, Joanna brought a box of freezer meals and paper goods (in cahoots with her co-worker Omera!) and made sure Adam got to go to his camp-out with her hubby and son so Guy could stay close to home. Madelaine has brought food and cleaned, so has Julie, Dawn, Chantal, Dale, Tara, and Danielle. And Masae. And Willy, and Wanda, and Gail, and Marion and Dan, and Helen, and Sandi, and Jeni, and Angelina...
Rebekah, Eric, Roy and his nephew, Gail, Dennis, Sam, Wilson and Reily all came and fixed up the very neglected yard. Gail took laundry home for two days. Amazing.
Bishop's mom, Joanne, has been a dear. She has taken me to the dentist, and brought an amazing dinner provided by her and her dear friend Patty. Patty is legally blind, almost completely blind, actually, but it didn't stop her from preparing an amazing meal for our family, and it was enough to feed us for two nights.
Ruth has been so here for me. She lives far away, but visits and calls often, always listening. Tiyama, in a risky pregnancy herself, came all the way to visit and makes time by phone. Robin has descended the way only Robin can, a flurry of help and child tending. Rides or food are usually involved, and she has thought of little details that really matter. Dear Kathy F., who knows trials so intimately, has been such a comfort. Denise pops over to sweep and chat and fold and clean often, and keeps me smiling.
Ellen has held me, massaged my sore body, and listened without judgement. I can really sort out my soul when I talk to her and Chantal. My Aunt June calls and sends cards, and Dad is in touch every few days. Francine, though she is not near by, is always there to listen and reflect, despite trials of her own.
And who does not, has not, had trials of their own? Every one of these people has experienced loss, anguish, disappointment, illness, heartache and sorrow, to degrees that I cannot comprehend. In just the women I have mentioned I can think of 13 lost pregnancies and children that I even know about. But they come, one at a time, here and there, and make a difference that they will never comprehend. So often they say, "Oh, I didn't do anything at all" but their 'nothing' is more than I have been able to do in three months, and to me it is immense. The small impact of one visit or card or call may seem to them minute, but when taken together, can you see the collective impact on our lives? The wave of service, the tsunami of tending and care, is more than can be illustrated here in simple statements of fact. What I can't begin to mention is the tears shed, the love and prayers offered, and the Christlike dedication that has been the reason our family has been doing so well.
I am grateful for what this trial has become in our lives. I am a changed person, and cannot wait to be on my feet and returning a tiny portion of the love we have received. For now I continue to pray, each day, for each person who has served and prayed for our family. May God bless them as they have blessed us.
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs."
("The Abundant Life," Tambuli, Jun 1979)
Now... the update!
First off, Tessa's ultrasound showed no worsening of her growth in the gal bladder. Although it is perplexing that at 7 she has one, and that it is somehow fixed in place and not floating, the doctor was not worried after today's very thorough scan.
Next, baby had the LAST of it's many brain scans yesterday. All results were fabulously normal, heart tones, fluid levels, body and organ growth, and very best of all (since I wasn't too worried about baby given the past great tests),
baby is finally head down, and even anterior
(for those of you who don't speak fetus, that is a very good thing. Ever heard of back labor? That is caused by POSTERIOR babies. Good baby. Now STAY THERE!)
We are getting the launch date set up for two weeks from now, on the 28th.
We will be at Kaiser South with the midwife we were hoping for.
We will get to have a labor tub.
We will be meeting this little one soon.
I am actually getting very excited.
It is a strange shift to allow myself the luxury after all that has happened, to become excited and hopeful, but look at all that has gone right! Yes, things have been hard, and scary, and disappointing, and there have been choices along the way we wish we could have been spared, like the radiation to the baby, and all the medications,
but look at all that could have gone wrong that didn't!
I don't have a preemie.
I am here to raise my kids.
My baby is still here, so far, and I believe it will continue to be.
There has been no rupture, no abruption, no cesarean, no major surgery, no additional radiation, no embolism, no funeral.
We don't know what the future holds, and if more grief and pain are to be a part of it, through the examples of dear friends and with the help of a loving Father in Heaven, I know we will get through it, but I am celebrating all that is right with the world today.