100 Days, Round 2: 49-40

If you are new and don't know what this is about, just go to the very end of the post (or search for " What's This About? ", less the quotes) and check 'er out!


We're past the halfway point! Celebrate, good times, c'mon!

Day 40 - Monday, August 20, 2012

Hello, tomorrow's the 30s. Nuts! Today was a good day. LONG day because we had a picnic with Daddy's work and we took Rog and, well, Rog isn't a kid that lets you get a much rest :) But he LOVES the water and had a grand time playing in Lake Washington (we were at a park on Mercer Island). He enjoyed trying to eat rocks until I taught him the, "Ew, yucky, throw it on the ground!" game. Then he enjoyed picking up rocks, making the yucky face, and throwing them on the ground--to the glory of God and joy of all people! I kid, but really, what a silly boy your big brother is! He also decided multiple times to eat sand...and to dump the bucket of sand on his head...and then to shovel up and eat more sand...

Here's a lovely picture of your awesome brother eating sand.
Overall, it was a lovely day. I enjoyed meeting some of Daddy's coworkers and Daddy and I realized we probably ought to try and do things like get your brother to the beach more. We tend to be homebodies and while Rog loves wrestling around on our living room floor, at some point we should consider how much he LOVES the water and try to get out of the house more :) I hope we'll do that with you, too. Me not being super pregnant and in pain (Lord willing!) will really help, since just getting down to the car to go somewhere pretty much wipes out my energy reserves!

And thus we usher out the 40s. I do often wonder when you're coming. Logic tells me to expect after September 29. Something in my gut says don't assume and to not be shocked if you come early. I still hope you stay in until October...but I am confident that Jesus knows your birthday and no matter when it is I'll simply think it's perfect! I was pretty bummed out that your brother took almost 40 hours WITH an induction at a week late to come...but now I think that 3.11.11 is pretty much the coolest birthday ever. So though I told Daddy just now that 10.10.12 or, sweet Jesus, let it be so, 10.11.12 would be the most incredible birthday for you I'm pretty sure that no matter what I'll be pretty darn thrilled no matter what!

Love you, my wigglesome girl. You really hate my right kidney and I gotta stop typing and sit a different way because you are doing some damage to said kidney in this position!

Days 45-41 - Wednesday, August 15 - Sunday, August 19, 2012

This was a long week, darling girl. I'll be honest--a couple of days I simply forgot. Since I nap almost every day during Roger's (and the EEs' when they're here) nap time now I can't write then. I can certainly not nap when Roger is up because he's way too into the laptop and I can't get anything done. That leaves night time after Roger goes to bed and most nights the thought of getting my laptop out and trying to find the energy to focus and write...it's just too much. I want to cry every time I have to get up and pee (which is quite frequently), that's how exhausted I am. My body is just in rough shape everywhere--I feel like everything aches, everything is tender to the touch, and moving anything just sucks. Not to mention the dizziness is back in full force. Simple cooking tasks wipe me out and if I don't sit for a few minutes every few minutes (that is...A LOT) I get so dizzy I feel like I'm going to pass out. Good times!

But I do want you to know that even though I wasn't writing you every night I talk to you every single day. I'm pretty sure I pray for you every single day, too, though I don't have a set time. Just throughout the day I talk to Jesus and listen to him and you come up often because, well, I'm completely enthralled with you. There's a certain wonder and sweet mystery that comes with having a daughter that I didn't experience with your brother. It's hard to explain, but I just feel like having a son is a little more straightforward. With the Podge especially--what you see is what you get. He's boy through and through. He's incredible and I tell him every day that he's perfect just how Jesus created him, because he is. A sinner to be sure, but I wouldn't change a hair on his head, a curve of his lips, or a single aspect of his personality. He's incredibly stubborn yet it's tempered with a joy that is unmatched in any other toddler I've ever spent much time with. And that stubborn streak? I know for a fact that Jesus can redeem it into something beautiful, a steadfastness that unabashedly clings to the truth of the Gospel and refuses to be moved for anything. I know because both your daddy and I have the same one :)

One thing I need to share with you: I don't know Jesus' plan for your life, but I do pray that if his will includes the gift of motherhood that, by the grace of God, I would be a source of wise counsel, encouragement, and much grace. Some people make motherhood their entire identity, and I never want you to think you will only be "whole" when you have your own babies. Only Jesus makes you whole. That said, other women eschew motherhood as this ugly limitation they must avoid at all costs, or this small piece of the pie that is "them" that they constantly shove aside, as though it's a burden to embrace the nearly all-consuming role that motherhood, when embraced, can bring.

Truthfully, it's not always easy. I don't say that lightly. There are moments I see my selfishness contrasted to Roger's selfishness and--I know how ridiculous this sounds--it doesn't feel fair that I have to be the one to repent and point him to Jesus. Nevermind that I'm 29.5 years older than he is and have experienced much grace and goodness in Jesus that has taught me the beauty in putting others above myself--especially those who, like your brother and you when you get here, really truly cannot choose to do the right thing. It's not something you'll magically summon up. You need grace and since you'll be with me 95% of your waking hours--or more--the first place you'll learn how to receive grace and repent and give grace is from me.

That said, something amazing happened tonight. Daddy and Rog were playing and having a wonderful time and I gratefully took the opportunity to lie on the couch and try not to move much while a major wave of dizziness consumed me for about a half hour. Rog LOVES the game of having a blanket put over his head while we gush, "Where's Roger?" and he giggles uproariously. Unfortunately, tonight he fell, bit his tongue, and was gushing blood all over. It was the first time we've had a gushing blood injury. Other than a scratch here and there, I'm trying to remember if I've ever even seen his blood--I don't think I have. Not even at shots or the like.

So, Daddy tried to hand him to me because Rog was crying something fierce--our first sign that he really hurt himself, as he's pretty rough and tumble and rarely cries--but there was enough blood that it got all over my hand. We didn't know where the blood was coming from at this point, so your daddy took Rog to his changing table--it's high and well lit and we'd have our best chance of cleaning up enough blood to find the source and assess if it warranted a doctor call or ER trip. But there was a long moment--maybe 5 seconds, but felt like 15 minutes--where I stared at the blood on my hand and wanted to curl up and cry and be present again when my baby was all better. I didn't want to see Roger's blood and I certainly didn't want to see the hole in his body where the blood was coming from. I just wanted to escape and pretend my beloved baby, that little dude who has captured my whole heart and whose smile makes my day and whose little body--just like yours--used to wiggle and writhe and somersault and hiccup away inside of me, making us forever bonded, was fine, just fine, until he actually was again.

But something miraculous happened. It's truly the grace of God, one of those moments that makes me understand how adrenaline pumps through a mother's veins to lift some ridiculously heavy object off her trapped child or fearlessly weave her way through oncoming traffic to save her reckless, oblivious toddler. I had been so dizzy I couldn't lift my head and my various back/hip/groin pain so bad I literally could not move my lower body an inch without gasping out in said pain. No sooner did I register the blood covering my hand, feel the fear and desire to escape, than did the instinct to jump off the couch (well, as "jump" as my very largely 34 week pregnant body could) and help your Daddy care for Roger propel me forward. Almost as quickly as my sin said, "HIDE!" the grace to refuse my sin and go with whatever Jesus said snuffed my sin right out.

I know it's the grace of God because a calm peace came over me, an instinct as to how to get Roger calm and in a mode where we could explore the part of him he NEVER lets us touch, apart from a few moments per day to brush his teeth--his  mouth. He was already not crying--tough dude only cried for about 20 seconds--but we couldn't figure out where the blood was coming from; eventually I distracted him enough and got him to think it was a funny game to stick our tongues out at one another that Daddy cleaned up the blood and we could see a pretty nasty bite mark on his tongue.

But it wasn't just that I was able to be present and clear to care for Roger--instinct could have sent me into interrogation mode with Daddy, essentially blaming Daddy for not somehow preventing this from happening. Instead, I felt a compassion for your daddy. I could see him wrestling with guilt, feeling like somehow this accident was a sign of bad fatherhood on his part, something he should have stopped from happening somehow. I felt the equally strong urge and instinct to encourage your daddy, because him and Roger playing delightfully is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and even if I didn't get into blame mode I could do just as much damage by missing this great opportunity to encourage Daddy that it wasn't his fault and it's really, truly an unfortunate accident that in the grand scheme of things isn't a huge deal. Based on Roger's ferocious ways I have a feeling a LOT worse than bloody tongue bites are in our future.

The thing is, sweet daughter, there was a grace and beauty to being both mother and wife that swept over me. I did surrender to that grace, but how could I not? Hiding on the couch in fear was no longer an option. And it wasn't some glorious thing that came from deep within me, either. I felt what came from deep within me--terror and a selfish desire for that blood to disappear and time to rewind 30 seconds and Roger to have never tripped and fallen. But the grace of God, which saved me ultimately from my sin, also saved me in that moment. I didn't have to be paralyzed and panicked, nor did I have to get into performance, drill sergeant mode that made saving Roger my project and your daddy the collateral damage in my quest.

Nope. By the grace of Jesus, I got to surrender and receive from him the ability to get over myself and focus on the needs of your big brother and your daddy. And now we're just as "fine" as the selfish, paralyzed me hoped for, but praise Jesus, I don't have regret that I left Daddy to fend for himself while writhing in guilt, nor did I teach Roger that when he's scared and shocked and hurting I will abandon him. After the drama I was getting a pre-bed snack for Rog and making Daddy's dinner and I realized that I love this. What a beautiful joy it is to be a wife and mama. I don't feel constrained or limited at all. I mean, I knew that I love these roles taking the preponderance of my time and energy, but a night like tonight just solidifies it.

I love that my role as mother is expanding with every day that I get closer to your arrival, Juliet. And goodness, how I love you! How I love feeling you move and talking to you and telling your big brother all about his baby sister in my belly (though I think he just thinks mama's tum is named Juliet for same reason) and I love it when your daddy talks to you and feels you move and gets that same look of wonder in his eyes that has consumed my heart...you are very much a beloved part of this family, despite us never having met you face to face.

Phew. That was long. Guess it's a good thing I was 5 days behind :) Love you, darling girl. We're almost to the 30s because we're closerthanthis to being one month out from your due date and pretty much just ridiculously close to finally meeting you. How I long for that day, no matter how you arrive--I continue to pray for the sweet grace of a gloriously wigglesome baby girl out of my belly and in my arms and that your days on this earth will be long and healthy and filled with growing in the intimate knowledge of your loving Father and his sweet grace.

Day 46- Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today I just want to share some things on my heart. I'm not freaking out or particularly nervous, but I consistently pray that Jesus will bless us with the good gift of you being healthy and a size that is safe for both of us for a vaginal delivery. It's interesting...I don't feel scared. Just a sweet, gentle reminder that Jesus says it's good to ask our Father for good gifts, and a healthy you is a good gift. A healthy me is a good gift, too. I'm also going to be doing some physical therapy to help (hopefully) relieve some of the back and hip pain and, if possible, prepare my adductor (or whatever got shredded when I gave birth to Roger; pretty sure it's an adductor, or more than one, just not sure which yet) for childbirth this time around.

After Roger was born I couldn't move without extreme pain and it was very slow. A terrifying moment was when he was choking on some fluid left in his lungs and I couldn't get to him...it didn't help that the nurse was a jerk to me about it, but he wasn't breathing and he wasn't instinctively turning his head like she said he would and the fluid only came out when I was able to wake up your exhausted daddy who picked Rog up and helped the fluids come out. Oof...just the memory reminds me that life truly is in Jesus' hands.

Point being, I can do my best to prepare, things like pray for labor to happen on it's own and no induction and possibly no epidural this time, or be careful to not overly numb my lower body this time so if they are damaging my adductor (the pulling of my legs way far apart is what did it, but I couldn't feel anything) I can feel it and we can adjust. I also could barely walk after Roger was born for a solid 4 days, and didn't feel back to normal in my adductors for being able to do things like stand, sit, roll over, any sort of leg movement, for about a full month. Not fun.

So, I'm both preparing physically and praying for the issues with my leg, especially since my adductor already hurts horribly quite frequently, and praying for your size. I mentioned it before but I can simply tell that you are bigger than Rog was, and since he was 3 oz shy of 9 pounds I'm praying that Jesus, who knows exactly what size can and can't fit through my body, would give the good gift of keeping you a size that will come out without a Caesarean. But I'm also asking for peace to trust that which is already written, that if you are meant to enter this world through a C-section that I would rest in Jesus' good will (and the fact that it means I'll need to be quite a bit more willing to let people serve me, something I tend to avoid when I can).

The truth is, sweet daughter, I just care that you are in my arms and alive and wonderfully demanding and needing daddy and I to take care of you for a long, long time. In many ways I have a better idea what to expect than with your big brother, but in others I'm reminded that nothing is in my control and to hold it all with an open hand. The major caveat is this: it's easy to say, "Oh, I'm just trusting Jesus," when actually all that's happening is things are being squashed down and cleaned up and made to sound all pretty. Right now I'm not terribly worried about your size. But maybe tomorrow or next week I will be.

And that's ok--when people say things like, "Oh, I'm not scared. I'm just sure that whatever Jesus does is his will for me and if he wants it to happen he'll get me through it," about things like, oh, their baby's possible DEATH I simply don't believe them that they really feel what the possibility could mean. I'm not saying everyone should fret and worry and such, but the fact is someone did recently have their baby get stuck and be stillborn and I should neither assume that won't happen with you nor should I just emptily chant mantras about God's goodness. It's ok to feel the fear--Jesus' sweat in Gethsemane as he prayed facing his death was drops of blood. He cried out that the Father would remove the cup--to be tortured and killed and separated from the Father--from him if it would be the Father's good will to do so. Anyone who insists they are never afraid and always just think they'll be fine, just fine with whatever God does is, to me, more like a Pharisee who says the right things and less like Jesus who felt everything we feel.

Well that was a tangent! Needless to say, I pray I'll always be honest with you about these things. Truthfully, as much as I can see, I'm not afraid. I simply feel the urge to keep talking to Jesus and pray he'll not only give good gifts like a healthy you, healthy me, vaginal delivery, etc, but also that he'll keep revealing my heart and keep me close and talking to him like a friend. I pray I'll listen to him, receive comfort and counsel and wisdom and love from him, too. I pray that more than anything you'll see this as a real part of my life that you desire to emulate, daughter, and I pray religion would be far from both of our hearts and quick to be repented of when we sinfully embrace it. We don't need to perform or do anything right--we get to, in our wretched estate, rest in Jesus' perfection. Our flesh is weak but his Spirit is willing to keep lovingly pursuing us and I cling to this truth!

Day 47- Monday, August 13, 2012

I tried to make today a "nothing" day where I just rested and relaxed and tried to let my body have some healing time. Then I made some amazing, from scratch enchiladas (the only processed items were the corn tortillas and the green chiles were canned because I couldn't find fresh ones to roast myself. Well, ok, and I didn't make the cheese myself or grow the chicken, but you get it!) and while they were completely worth it...the 45 minute prep time was just a dirty, dirty lie. I was on my feet for 3.5 hours! And that was WITH pre-cutting the onions and jalapeno last night. Oof!

Needless to say, my back is killing me and I'm super exhausted. But I'd like to tell you one fun fact: you, like your darling brother, are a hiccuping machine! You get them at least twice a day (though usually four to five is more normal) and they last for a solid ten minutes and they're fierce. Rog was born with good strong lungs so I'm thinking perhaps you will be, too :)

And we're one day closer to meeting face to face, Juliet. Your mama loves you very much.

Day 48- Sunday, August 12, 2012

Today was awesome, and I shall tell you why in a photo:

Daddy, big brother, and I went to Lunchbox Laboratory after church. It was everything I have dreamed it would be. I get full mega easily, especially with you up so very high!, so I only had enough room for two bites of my burger. Ridiculous, I know! But it sure made it worth it to eat half of the leftovers about two hours ago and, the way we roll these days, I'm pretty hungry and will likely eat the other half soon!

One other thing in this lighthearted post: the Olympics are awesome. I don't think the USA as a country is necessarily just better than all others (it is better than some, let's just be honest. I would never pretend I don't think we're better than North Korea, faults and all!) and most certainly no single American is more created in God's image, more loved by Jesus, or more died for by Jesus (awkward wording, but just go with me) than any other human from any other country. That said, these Olympics have been a reminder that I sure do love being an American. I do feel blessed to live here and feel that sense of, "That's us winning!" when Americans would win gold medals--and we won a TON. We won 104 overall medals--46 gold, 29 silver, and 29 bronze. What's so amazing about that is that we won more golds than any other countries won total with the exceptions of China, Great Britain, and Russia. That's insane. But anyway, the Olympics are just amazing, seeing how God gifted humans with such incredible talent. And a lot of that talent is from our very own country which is pretty cool. And thus we close out day 48 :)

Day 49- Saturday, August 11, 2012

What a day, darling! Daddy is in the last minute push for school--which, Lord willing, is something you will not experience in your lifetime (unless he does Re:Train eventually, which if Jesus keeps us on the trajectory we seem to be on then he likely will, but that's still better than this second bachelor's degree which feels like it's been sucking up our entire life! Our entire weekends, at least!). Anyway, it made today basically like another work day--he was gone when Rog and I woke up and then he didn't get home until almost 5:30.

Since your mama has all of the pregnancy related maladies and a nearly 3 week old upper respiratory infection (read: nasty, hacking cough) and day 4 of a nasty new cold on top of it...well, not getting a day of rest made it a rough day. But it simply is what it is and I'm praying that Jesus would help me worship and not feel entitled to grouchiness or self pity. Baby girl, it is HARD. I have had to repent to your daddy multiple times for simply having zero grace or patience but expecting it to come my way in droves. Not cool. Praise Jesus for his Holy Spirit which has never let me go for more than a few moments without crushing me under the weight of grace that reminds me my grouchiness is slavery and repentance, though humbling, brings freedom. Plus, I really love your daddy and I hate being a groucho who pushes him away and hurts him.

So, then, though I was super tired, we needed to grab a few groceries for the week and we filled a backpack to donate and help out the kids in the Renton schools. I tell you about this because I'm really excited for when you and Roger are old enough to help us pick out the items. Rog was pretty impatient today, so methinks we're a solid year or two from him being anywhere near ready for that sort of thing. But I am excited to do things like that with you guys, especially encouraging you to save some of your own money to help pay for items. I want you to learn the joy of stewarding the money Jesus gives you to include generosity to those in need above and beyond regular giving. It's truly a joy when you see "your" money as God's money that you get to ask him how to steward, whether that's something you buy for yourself that he gives you the freedom to enjoy, something you own but share with others, or something you buy to give to others.

Anyway, this is much longer than intended and I need to eat second dinner--I eat a small dinner at actual dinner and then a second small amount closer to bed, lest I wake up mega hungry at 3 am :) Much love to you, darling girl! Getting SO excited at the thought of snuggling you and just getting to know your personality and looks and everything about you! And, truth be told, tonight was the first Seahawks preseason game which got me MEGA-excited for fall! I LOVE FALL! You being a fall baby makes fall even more incredible. So happy day :)

What's This About?

If you weren't around for it, when I was pregnant with Roger I did a blog series when I reached 100 days remaining until his due date; I knew then and know that September 29, 2012 is really just a placeholder that means very little, but it was fun to count down with Roger. I decided that I'ma try to do it again with Juliet. Now that I have a lovely 15 month old keeping me on my toes I might not be able to hit every single day the way I did with Roger but I still plan to give it my best!

So here we go! The lowdown: I'll keep one post per "decade" of days, updating with the current day at the top each day. Day 10 plus any bonus days will get their own posts until the day our beloved Juliet Elise arrives! And, as with Roger, they'll be addressed to her personally.

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