100 Days, Round 2: 19-10

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Days 11&10 - Tuesday, September 18 & Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tuesday was pretty uneventful--Rog was in a delightfully happy mood and we just had a great day. I tried to work on thank you cards from your shower but the little dude crawled all over me constantly and made them just verging on hardly legible. But community group went well, my pain was as manageable as it ever is these days, and I went to bed excited for our 18 month appointment for Roger and your 38 week appointment today.

The appointment was very, very hard. For one, Roger just freaked out the second he saw the nurse. Unfortunately, I was in the room next door giving the good ol' urine sample and it totally wrecked me that I wasn't there to comfort him. I was really looking forward to finding out his height and weight, but unfortunately things were harried because he got REALLY upset when the sweet nurse took my blood pressure...and it was pretty downhill from there.

My blood pressure was really high. Like, really high. So high that she wouldn't tell me the first two times she took it (the second being after relaxing for a bit) because she knows I know what the numbers mean and she didn't want me to get more stressed out. So I had to go down the hall to rest in the non-stress test room while Roger had to go in another room and get a shot and I had to hear him crying--this time really crying, not out of frustration but pain--and once again I couldn't comfort him. It just ripped my heart out, especially because that came on the tails of being told I really shouldn't be picking him up. He's about 30 inches and 30 pounds and he's a compact, heavy little dude, plus I shouldn't be lifting more than 10 pounds in general.

Whoops. Sure didn't know that. And completely not feasible--gotta lift Rog in and out of his crib, off and on the changing table, in and out of his high chair. I couldn't even deal with that, yet, though.

That's when the did my third blood pressure; the only they would tell me--133/88. That was after it came way, way down, I do know that much. But I had a horrible headache apparently just in the wrong spot, so I had to get labs, go down and sit on monitors in a labor & delivery triage room while Daddy had to leave with Roger. It all just was really hard. The reality that they might admit me and induce labor because I had serious signs of preeclampsia (a very dangerous condition that threatens the life of both you and me) loomed and I was crying out to Jesus to help me rest in his will and not freak out. But I wanted to go home, to come back to the hospital later with packed bags and a plan and not with the possibility of your death staring me in the face.

A lot of people were praying and the tests came back perfect--perfect liver and kidney function. Maybe it was just the stress of everything my body has been feeling with the addition of Roger crying and me feeling hot and harried; maybe it was preeclampsia and Jesus answered people's prayers with, "Yes," and he ended it. I don't know, but I was so grateful to come home.

Now another chapter of difficult begins--I'm on doctor's orders to do as little as possible. She doesn't even want me writing thank you cards. Just resting, reaching out to people to come during the day and help me and let me rest, rest, rest. Have meals delivered. Let people clean. The hardest one--let people take care of Roger, even take him out of the house for (her recommendation) 4 hours in the afternoon and I basically just lay around.

This is so hard. I have cried too many tears to count. I want to worship Jesus, but he's asking me to worship him by doing nothing and letting other people worship him by serving me. I want to listen to the lies and accusations--that I'm being lazy. I'm not trying hard enough. It's my duty to care for Roger and I'm failing him as a mother. That I need to cook and clean and honor your daddy as his wife by not being lame and making other people do it. And when I admit those thoughts I know they are wrong and I hear Jesus beckoning me to come to him, because I am so weary, and rest in him. To let him give me joy in being served.

The verse about counting it all joy when I encounter trials of various kinds is being whispered in my ear on repeat by the Holy Spirit--to ask Jesus for joy in letting others serve me. But I won't lie and pretend I feel that because I just hate it. And since I know that's what Jesus is calling me to then I am hating him...and I am asking him to break my heart because I love him and I want to hate my sin, my pride, my fear of man that people will think I am lazy or this is because I'm fat or didn't try hard enough. I have eaten a lot of Pringles lately and I joked about it on Facebook and even though what I'm going through has nothing to do with it I'm scared that people will think I ate too many Pringles and now I'm reaping what I sowed. And it all just bears down on me and I know I'm going in, in, in and Jesus is beckoning me to cry out, out, out to him.

Tonight really put things in perspective--I remembered from my discharge papers (I actually was temporarily admitted to the hospital, lovely wristlet and all) that if I didn't feel you moving for more than two hours to immediately go into the hospital. Long story short, I realized you hadn't moved in at least two hours, probably three, and though I was sure you must just be sleeping I tried to get you to move. Normally just a poke or two and you let me know that you aren't fond of it...but tonight I could not for the life of me get you to wake up. I poked and prodded. I tried lying on my back. I had a couple of sugar filled Oreos and cold milk to rev you up. Daddy tried talking to you (the quickest way, normally, to get you moving around). We prayed. We poked a whole bunch more.

And suddenly I wanted more than anything to feel you stretching and trying to break my ribs...and I had a very real moment, after about 10 minutes of trying to wake you up, of facing the possibility that you might not be alive inside of me, that the heartbeat that soothed my aching soul this afternoon with 20 minutes of steady beats in the upper 140s (earning comments from both nurses and Dr. Spence that you appear to be continually, wonderfully thriving and perfect) might be stopped and I might not get to meet you alive, ever, or know you and raise you.

I cried out to Jesus, begged him to make you move, even the slightest sign that you were just stubbornly sleeping. And nothing. For a long time, nothing. Finally, after more than 15 minutes that felt like 50 lifetimes you gave one, solid, "Seriously, leave me alone," kick. And baby girl, I lost it. I just lost it. I cried into your sweet daddy's arms for another 15 minutes. The thought of losing you...it just put everything in perspective. It's not that letting people serve me will entitle me to a healthy you, but the truth is that if I don't let people serve me I am actually putting your life in danger. I've been flirting with that line for a few months, being warned but not flat out told to stop; today that all changed and I have a very real choice between loving Jesus and honoring you or loving my sin and literally risking your (and my) health and life.

So, sweet girl, I can't promise I'll have the best attitude. I'll probably cry a lot more about it. But I do promise that I will cleave to Jesus, that I'll keep asking him to help me surrender and worship him. I'll listen to your daddy and the doctor and everyone else telling me that I have nothing to prove to anyone. And I'll continue to ask Jesus for your healthy, long, life, that one day you will worship Jesus at my funeral and not the other way around, and I'll pray for the soft, repentant heart to do my part right now to keep you as healthy and safe as possible. I do praise Jesus that we're only three days away from 39 weeks and by all accounts even if Friday morning my blood pressure's through the roof and all sides agree it's induction time then we're well within a healthy scope for it. But regardless, I love you Juliet. I share with you these words that I sing and pray almost every day:

If thou should call me to resign
What most I prize
Never was mine
I only yield thee what is thine

Thy will be done.

Tomorrow marks day 9--for days 9-whatever until you're born I plan to, as with Roger, try and write a separate post each day. But I also promise that if it's at all a stress or strain on my body then I will let it go and trust that one day you won't feel ripped off by me missing some days. No matter what, you are on my heart and mind and in my prayers constantly every day, sweet darling, and no abundance or lack of blog posts can ever entirely portray that.

Days 15-12 - Friday, September 14 - Monday, September 17, 2012
Sweetie, I am so sorry for not posting for so long! But I have a really good reason--your daddy and I spent the entire weekend getting ready for you to get here! Well, except Friday. Friday was a really, really hard day on my body and so your daddy came home from work a wee bit early, grabbed a coupla Redbox movies en route, and we simply watched them. But then Saturday we got up and got to work as much as we could with Roger up, busted out tons of hard work during his nap, took him to a park to play and grabbed a couple of things from Target, and then worked all. night. long. Saturday until like 3am. We did even more stuff Sunday during Roger's nap and after church and then some more tonight (though tonight was basically just getting the pre-packable stuff for our hospital bags ready). So, without further adieu, what we did this weekend, boiled down to simple as opposed to every detail (or, at least, I'll try!):

Master Suite
-Get all storage items out into the attic space
-Completely organize our extra closet
-Completely organize Daddy's office space (for working from home) upstairs
-Slight furniture rearrangement upstairs to make room for where you'll sleep in a bassinet :)
-CLEAN upstairs, especially our big ol' bathroom and all the floors, plus just clean sheets and all that
-Organize all of our closets (there are 4 upstairs) plus the coat closet downstairs for fall/winter
-Daddy did some stuff with electronics, too, like start preparing a laptop and server that we'll sell, etc.

Roger's Room
(some of this was finishing up earlier, unfinished projects)

-Sort out all too-small clothes to swap with church couple who gave us similarly sized clothes for you
-Complete that exchange
-Sort too big clothes into a "next" (aka 24 months/2T) box and then a "everything else for later" (3T and up) box
-Sort a big ol' WONDERFUL box of hand me downs of clothes that we just got for him
-Wash and put away what fits now, organize too big into aforementioned boxes
-Generally make sure his room is clean and organized

Your Room

(some of this was also finishing up earlier, unfinished projects)

-All the clothes sorting: get all clothes to try and sell in Craigslist lots or to consign (to raise money for future needs, like your big girl carseat, the Ikea Kura bunk bed Rog will sleep in that you'll eventually share, etc) washed, photographed, sorted and stored into appropriate sizes (0-3, 3-6, & 6-9 months) to list later once you outgrow your newborn clothes.
-With this, COMPLETELY organize your closet, including a bunch of stuff that went to our attic storage
-Organize the "stuff" in your room, such as the racks we're using in your armoire for your clothes (I'll have to take pics eventually, when your nursery is actually done, or at least as done as it will be--way too pregnant to paint big furniture like I had wanted to!)
-Wash and put away newborn sized clothes
-Have 0-3 month clothes ready to swap out with newborn size in case you are a 9 pound (or more) baby who can't wear them, like your brother was :)
-Organize furniture
-Sort out all items to give away, donate, sell, etc.
-Hang new light fixture and use wire hiders to keep you safe
-Get monitor camera in place over the pack & play that will be your daytime bed until you sleep there 24/7 and start using the crib (and Rog goes into the toddler bed)
-Get stroller ready for infant carrier and attach doubles kit for Rog (we have a Phil & Teds Explorer--yay!)
-Get the Chicco (infant carrier carseat) all ready for you
-Start sorting and putting away your various shower gifts and the stuff we bought for you, including washing things like Boppy covers and changing pad covers and sheets and the like.

Oof. I also created the hospital / Roger bag lists for if I go into labor and other various tasks. Oh, and we sold our car so there were all of those details of meeting the guy and gathering paperwork and being ready :) It was a LOT in one weekend! But it's done and that's why I was way too tired to update. I am sure I am forgetting stuff, too, and it was way more complex than that ridiculous list even sounds--oy! Today a sweet friend majorly cleaned downstairs so now we only have to do light maintenance plus a good vacuum of the downstairs carpets. Phew!

For now, need to try and sleep :) Too bad my brain is racing in a nesting mode that my body can't deliver! Either way, we're so blessed to be preparing a place for you, Juliet. It really does keep reminding me of Jesus' truth, that he's preparing a place for us and he's excited for that day when he beholds us face to face, brings us home, shows us around, introduces us to all of the siblings in heaven we've yet to meet. What a beautiful heart our Father has, and what joy to be able to image his character to you in this way.

Adore you, sweet love. Even when you're trying to break my ribs so you'll have room to stretch out :)

Day 16 - Thursday, September 13, 2012
Hello, 16! Mama's favorite number! Though I sure don't feel ready for you to get here this weekend, September 16 would be a puh-retty stinking awesome birthday. Just so ya know :)

Here's a sweet moment that happened today: I had the joy of taking a meal to a darling family from church. Their sweet little girl, Sparrow, is a few months older than your big brother. They just had another baby girl about 2 weeks ago and I got to hold her and, hello, my heart! She was so tiny and perfect and it suddenly became so much more real that you, my darling girl, are on your way.

Tonight we have all of your 0-3 month clothes clean and ready to be carefully set in a box in the event that we're ready for them right away. I keep promising myself I'll pack the hospital bag / make the list of what to pack last minute and then prep a suitcase for Rog with a last minute list in the event that I go into labor (he gets to hang with his pal Caleb and the Hinkles again) so hopefully I'll have that done...by Saturday?

Last night I primed a little magazine rack that I got for you. I'm rather too tired to finish it tonight but I keep going back and forth about whether to paint it fuchsia or teal. I'd love the pink for your room, but I plan to have you and Roger share a room when you get around 18 months old or so and I wonder if the pink would go? I dunno. But instead of cards at your shower people brought books with sweet notes to you inside so I'm excited to get that thing painted and get those books in! Yay!

Enough for now. I love and adore you, am excited to meet you, and, really, think about you almost constantly :) I cannot WAIT to see what you look like and get to know you and see you and Roger together and really just enjoy the beautiful gift of becoming a family of four. Love you, sweet darling!

Day 17 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This wasn't a super eventful day, but we did have an OB appointment and I got to hear that precious heartbeat of yours that I love so much. You continue to, by all measurable accounts, seem very healthy. Such a sweet gift! Tonight your daddy and I folded the newborn girl clothes that I washed (it occurs to me now that I sure do need to go put them away! The laundry basket is just sitting in your room--oops!) and, while I don't expect you to fit in them for terribly long because I fully expect you to be around 9 pounds, it was fun to imagine putting them on your sweet, tiny little body.

So, simple day. Good day. I treasure and love you, Juliet!

Day 18 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Today is a sad day and a happy day--the sadness is that today marks 11 years since a horrible, evil event when men who listened to the evil in their hearts and the evil lies of Satan chose to commit ugly acts that killed nearly 3,000 people. The murderers believe a religion of lies that tells them it's good to decide what is evil and then to kill people for that evil. This is sad because Jesus loves all people even though we are horrible sinners who have done ugly things to him--he is the only one with the right to decide who gets to live and die, and if Jesus looked at people and decided they should die for evil then not a single person would be alive. But I do pray that even 11 years later Jesus would bring good from this tragedy, that people would meet Jesus and learn about true freedom.

Today is also a happy day, because your big brother Roger turned 18 months, or one and a half years, old! We're halfway from 1 year old to 2 years old. I can hardly believe that my tiny little boy, that little 8 pound 13 ounce creature that entered my arms on March 11, 2011, is now a big toddler who climbs and laughs and jumps and chats my ear off with (for me) unintelligible babble. It's simply wonderful to see him growing and even starting to slowly make the transition from toddler to little boy. This is crazy to me because it feels like just a few weeks ago we were transitioning from infant to toddler.

You're next! You'll enter this world tiny, maybe around 10 pounds, but I'm sure that in a blink of an eye I'll be writing to you that you're now a big girl, 18 months old and amazing me every day. Lord, make it so, but help me enjoy every moment between now and then.

I love you, Juliet.

Day 19 - Monday, September 10, 2012
Today was so lovely and sweet! I had the best normal, low key day with your big brother. It was so sweet, because I am very excited for you to come but I am also very much enjoying this time with just Rog before we transition to life with newborn you :)

Tonight was beautiful, because dear friends threw a shower in your honor and to love on me. The very, very best part is that there is a book of letters written to you/me. It has so much wisdom for you about what it means to be a wise, godly, fearless, ferociously in love with Jesus woman. There are also super sweet, encouraging words about how women have seen Jesus work in my life and what you can learn from me. Talk about humbling!

But darling girl, that is my greatest hope for you--that you would have such confidence and peace that you are a beloved daughter of Jesus, that you lack nothing for having been made a woman, and that not only are you incredibly beautiful, created and sculpted with such intentionality to look exactly the way you do, but that you have infinite worth because Jesus makes you worthy.

Love you, Juliet. So excited that we are so much closer to meeting you than we were yesterday!

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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