Thursday, June 16, 2011

eighteen weeks

We've made it eighteen weeks. I'm still just as nervous as I was the day we found out, and I'm starting to think that's not really going to improve. I'm also still sick at least 50% of the time, and while that's obviously a huge improvement over 100% of the time, it's by no means fun. I think all the nausea is really hampering my ability to appreciate each moment I'm given...

Despite the undercurrent of anxiety, worry hasn't really been my focus this week. I'm sure that (along with the three straight months of sickness) contributes to the awful mood I'm in, but I'm going to attribute the mood mostly to the fact that I'm back in my normal place of feeling alone. I don't see why we have to constantly fixate on life stage as the basis for relationships, but inevitably, someone wants to go that way. And it sucks to lose people I care about because of something that should be good. Yes, I'm married, and we're going to have a baby. No, that doesn't mean I can no longer be your friend.

It's particularly frustrating to me that it always seems to be my Christian friends who want to take that route. I get the temptation. I hate change as much as anyone, but being on the other side, it hurts when your friends abandon you. It's also really hard to explain to my non-Christian friends why they would want to consider Christ when they see how much pain these "church" relationships end up causing me. They don't get why I keep coming back, and it's a fair question. We've been friends for years, and they would never dream of cutting someone out just for getting married or divorced or having or not having kids. Why would they want to subject themselves to this?

So today I'm sad and just want this week to be over. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The day I thought would never come is here: I'm pregnant!

And now I don't really know what to say.

I know all the "right" things, but for some reason those just don't seem to fit right now. As we've gradually told people over the past couple of weeks, the question I've been asked more than any other is, "Are you excited?!?" It's a totally "right" question, and for my own sake and the sake of the happy askers, I usually just say yes. But, if I'm honest, I'm not excited. While I appreciate the huge blessing we've been given, this doesn't feel real. I want to feel the hopeful happiness I see others feeling, but I can't stop thinking that something this good can't actually be happening, not to me. So it's not exactly exciting... it's surreal.

We found out a little over two months ago, and since then I've spent most of my time certain that I'd have a miscarriage. When I reached the point where that became less likely, I moved on to other fears. I can think of a million ways this could turn out badly, but after years of thinking it could never happen for us and watching so many people go through heartbreak after heartbreak, I just can't let myself believe that we might have an actual, precious little baby to hold in November. The risk feels too big.

So for today, I'm cautiously optimistic (so cautiously that I'm a little afraid to admit there's even a glimmer of hope), not excited. We'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

conversations with five year olds

The scene: Table covered with bottles of paint, paintbrushes, and paper.

Kid: What are you doing?

Me (clearly stirring paint): Mixing the paint so you can start on your picture of Little Blue and Little Yellow.

Kid: Why is it taking so long?

Me: Well, the paint in your picture is sort of yellowish green, but this green is too blue. I have to make it match.

As I continue to stir a small drop of paint splashes from the container onto my finger.

Kid (highly concerned): There's PAINT on your finger.

Me: I know. It's ok. I'll clean it off when I'm done, but thanks for letting me know.

Kid continues watching my hand very intently as though it might explode.

Kid (after obvious consideration): Well, don't lick it, ok?

I stop stirring and look to see if he's actually serious and determine that he does, in fact, think there is a chance I might lick tempera paint off my finger.

Me (quite seriously): Ok. I definitely won't.

Kid smiles, obviously relieved, and walks away.

Just another day in kindergarten...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

always the same

Last night we saw Jill Phillips in concert.

For you to understand the rest of the post, you'll need to know something almost no one knows about me: I absolutely adore Jill Phillips. I think she might be my favorite singer, and considering how much I love music, that says a lot. One album in particular lived in the CD player in my car for at least two years, and had it not been scratched, it might have never left. Her music is honest and humble, and many of the ideas she sings about are things that I wrestle with constantly... I LOVE Jill.

So, needless to say, I've been super excited about this concert, and it lived up to every one of my expectations. But, from the moment she hit the first note, I had to fight back tears. I'm pretty good at ignoring God when I'm hurting, but the familiarity of her voice and the intimacy of her lyrics pulled me back to the present. The music was too embedded in my soul to be ignored.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been dealing with lots of drama... primarily in the form of CPS reports. As a teacher, I've reported more families than I can remember over the past eight years. It's always sad, but it comes with the territory, particularly when teaching younger kids because they have no filter. If something weird is going on at home, they talk about it. Most often, everything turns out to be ok. Unfortunately, this situation has completely blown up, and once again I've been faced with difficult questions about the character of God.

I don't understand why God chooses to put children in that sort of situation, particularly when there are so many perfectly fit couples who desperately want children that he doesn't allow them to have. There are plenty of other hard questions about God that I'll never have an answer to, but working with children and dealing with infertility, that one seems to come up a lot for me. Why them? Why not us? My response tends to be distance... to pull away from this God I don't understand, this God who would rather let children be beaten than allow us to parent... and then I start to doubt the sovereignty and goodness of his plan.

That's where I've been lately. Distant. But last night, sitting in a very nondescript chair in a tiny, strip mall church, I felt God's presence in a way I haven't in quite awhile. The hope I asked for on Thursday night was there, and though I tried to push it away, by the time Jill started singing her last song, tears were rolling down my cheeks. It was an old song, my very favorite: I Am... all about the character of God.

I don't understand God's plan for us, and I certainly don't understand God's plan for the child I've anguished over for the past few weeks, but as he reminded me last night, I know he hasn't changed. He's still here with me, knows all my deepest doubts and fears, and still loves me just the same as he always has. He's still wise, and he's still in control, even when the situation seems completely abysmal.

I'm not sure I'm ready to totally let go of my doubt and allow him to comfort me in my pain. I can't reconcile the idea that the comfort would come from the one who's allowing the heartache, but at least I remember that he'll be there when I finally can.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

ice, Isaiah, and hope

So the ice week was INCREDIBLY boring! Having four days off school sounds fun, but it wasn't that great. I had to sit at home because our driveway and street were insanely slippery, and after four days without seeing anyone except my husband I was mostly ready to scream... nothing remotely interesting happened.

This week has been just slightly more eventful. We've only been out of school for a day, but I've still spent most of the evenings at home. One positive side effect of the new, stricter diet has been that we rarely eat out or even go anywhere after my husband comes home from work... great for a budget but not so exciting to write about! Life has been calm, and that's been fabulous. It just doesn't make for an interesting blog.

Tonight I finally made it out into the real world for the first week of the spring women's Bible study. I've been excited to see my old friends, but I've been even more interested to start our study of Isaiah. As I walked out of the stairwell into the crowd of people around the registration table I saw the books we would be using stacked up next to the rosters, and I was at once thrilled and taken aback by the title of the commentary, Be Comforted. I know there's so much more in Isaiah than just hope, but I'm not sure there could be a better title to describe what I most want from God right now: to feel his presence and love... to be comforted.

So I'm hopeful. It's going to be a great study. I even talked with a new girl in my group who lives in my neighborhood. ME. I talked to someone new and actually connected. On the first night. Amazing.

The semester (of Bible study, anyway) is off to a good start!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

good stuff!

Ok, so I had high hopes of writing a positive, cheerful post this week, and I'm going to. My week was, um... interesting, I guess. Lots of extremes, both high and low, but I'm in the mood to forget the awful and focus on the good. So here you go! A list of the good stuff...

1. Eating organic strawberries... as it turns out, fruit tastes SO much yummier now that I'm not constantly stuffing my face with processed sugar.

2. Winning the lunch room award for the 2nd week in a row! We got to have extra recess Friday in the gorgeous sun. Amazing.

3. Co-workers who took up the slack when I was dealing with crisis and helped my kids make the puppets that rocked the rest of our day... infinitely thankful.

4. Getting to go to dinner with my husband before he left for the weekend

5. Wearing short sleeves and capris yesterday... totally needed the spring-like sun!

6. Playing Clue with some great friends... can't remember the last time I played Clue, but it was my favorite as a kid. Luckily we caught the dastardly Mr. Green in the kitchen with the lead pipe before he made his escape.

7. Receiving a beautiful calendar with photos taken by a friend and scriptures that will encourage me all year... the gift that will keep on giving even when things are hard. :)

It seems like a sort of short list, but I think seven will do for this post. Perhaps I'll have more next week.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the new diet

For the past four years or so I've had an ongoing war with my dietitian over the fact that I eat far too many carbohydrates and not enough protein. At first I tried to appease her by following her plan, but as time passed I sort of gave up. I never got all the protein in, and I was still relatively healthy. I'd go through phases of compliance and attempted to eat protein at every meal even on the bad days, but the issue never really went away.

Fast forward to last Friday. I'm sitting in my doctor's office listening to her debate possible diagnoses when it comes up that a possible treatment for one of the conditions is a low-carb diet. Now, I went into this appointment knowing that I could hear all sorts of bad news, but my immediate thought when she said that was, "You've got to be kidding me. This is the WORST!" I know. It sounds so absolutely self-centered and immature, but in that moment it felt like I was being told that not only do I have to deal with infertility and all that goes with that, I now have to give up everything I like to eat, possibly for the rest of my life... and that sounded like one too many things to deal with right now.

It took a bit, but I calmed down and accepted that miserable as it might be, I had to change my diet. At first it was every bit as awful as I expected. I walked out of the grocery store early in the week with an entire basket of foods that were completely unappealing to me, and I wanted to cry. In fact, that was how I felt with every bite of food for the first 4 or 5 days. However, once I got past the initial shock, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I'm finding foods that I like that have more protein, and I don't miss sugar as much as I did in the beginning. I'm even excited about the food I bought at the grocery store this afternoon. Who knows if it will work the way we're hoping, but at least for the time being I'm in a much better mood.

Maybe this will be great... can't hurt to hope, right?