Trying to keep things in perspective

I’ve been joking a lot lately, about being considered a geriatric OB patient. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me; but I am realizing that age is taking a toll on the ease of my pregnancy. It hasn’t been a physically difficult pregnancy – I’ve been lucky that all of my pregnancies have been problem free. But I do feel older this time around. And it has been difficult on me, mentally.

Given the fact that we just couldn’t afford a fifth child, and that mentally, I’d probably lose my mind, I know that this baby is the last baby that I will carry in my womb. I’m okay with that… I know that the joy of being a parent takes place outside of the womb. But I would be lying if I said that I am taking this pregnancy and all of it’s ups and down for granted. As each day draws closer to this sweet babes arrival I am finding it difficult to balance my desire to hold on to each kick and hiccup with my anxiety over the impending labor. I don’t want to waste my last days of carrying my last child, inside of me, dwelling in fear and anxiety over a brief time of pain. (Ironically, I also know that it is a time that I will romanticize once it is over.)

But that is what I find I am doing. I am anxious… I am having to watch my breathing… And it makes me sad that so much of my energy is currently going towards counteracting the stupidity of this anxiety. I haven’t had a full-blown panic attack during this pregnancy, but I’ve come too close, and I feel like right now I am constantly riding on the edge of one. And, given the fact that this is my fourth child, I feel like a big huge baby fretting over this…

So I ask — will you all please pray for me? Specifically, for calm and peace during the last days of this pregnancy and through my labor and delivery. I know that my baby is healthy and that he is growing well. But I have control issues, and never have I felt so out of control as I did during my last delivery. And I really really need to keep things in a realistic perspective.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
~Psalms 94:19

Thank you so much, in advance, for all of your prayers.

The best laid plans of pregnant ladies and men

In my “100 things about me post, I mentioned that I have a propensity to deliver my babies fast. Very fast.

Each one goes faster than the previous delivery – from 6 hours (from first contraction to birth) for my first child (would have been faster, but I was an awful “pusher”), to “no warning – 3 minute apart contractions from the get go – doctor not even there – Sean had to deliver – no, catch the baby – all within an hour” – for the last baby.

So, it makes sense to assume that I need to be camped out at the hospital from the end of August until this baby makes his appearance.

Obviously, that is not practical (nor is it probably legal). So Sean and I began making plans the other night.

I’ve also mentioned, on several occasions, my tendency to experience panic attacks. Don’t think for a moment, that this impending delivery and it’s likelihood for the dramatics and theatrics seen only on t.v., hasn’t caused me some anxiety. On several occasions it has kept me up at night with worry and created a bit of anxiety for me.

I know my body knows what to do.
I know I can handle it and survive the excitement.
I know it will all work out.

But the idea of delivering on the side of the road, on the way to the hospital, just doesn’t sound comfortable, let alone sterile.

Our hospital is 20 minutes away. Without traffic. On top of that, there is the logistics of getting the kids taken care of. So add at least an extra 15 minutes to the drive, and you have the makings of a bad Lifetime Channel sunday afternoon movie.

(On top of it, we no longer have a car with heated seats. Believe you me, that makes the contractions on the drive to the hospital a lot more tolerable. But realistically, I doubt I will be thinking about that too much this time…)

So, back to our plans.

In all seriousness, we have needed to think this through. My mom plans on coming down several weeks before my due date to help out and be with the kids when I go into the hospital. So that alleviates that issue.

But just in case, we are preparing for the possibility – no matter how remote it might seem or end up being – of delivering at home.

Sean works in an operating room, so he knows all about sterile environments and has delivered many babies by c-section, not to mention, delivering our last baby.

A reason I am trying not to dwell on the “what-ifs” too much is knowing that none of this may play out at all like I have worried. I may have my longest labor yet, or go 2 weeks overdue and have to be induced!!!

But it’s nice to feel prepared and have a plan and pretend I have some sort of control over it all.

I’m sure God is getting a good laugh out of the last bit of that last statement. He is in control, after all, and I know He has us in His hands, no matter when or where this baby arrives.

I’m just hoping it’s not along side of the road in a patch of grass.

The Lord knows the thoughts of man…

One night, last year, during my women’s bible study, we got to talking about Satan’s powers, or lack of…

Part of the discussion was capturing our thoughts and watching what we speak outloud. It went something like this:

Satan is powerful, but his power is limited. He is not able to read our thoughts. Therefore, what he learns about us and how to work on us, comes from watching and observing our actions or listening to our conversations.

I was pondering this last night, as I was trying to fall asleep. Last night, I was suffering from some severe anxiety (though not a panic attack) and was thinking about God’s spirit. It is not of fear. So obviously, what was driving my anxiety was not coming from Him. I found myself praying these admissions of fear silently, not wanting to give out any more ammunition.

But then I think of the Lord’s hedge of protection.

Does it extend to deafening the ears and shielding the eyes of the supernatural trying to harm us? I know the Lord is the God of all things and has performed greater miracles than that. But the supernatural is such a mystery.

These are just some thoughts I was pondering.

What are your thoughts?

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11-12

 

*Updated to add: I had a good question posed on this: “How do we know that Satan and the angels can’t read our thoughts?”
I posted two REALLY good links for an answer in the comments**

Wearing masks

I don’t usually talk about the depression that I’ve suffered from long before I started having panic attacks. In fact, the reason I had medicine for my panic attacks was because I was already on medicine for my depression.

It’s not an easy thing to talk about because it’s not an easy thing to understand. I think that there is more compassion from society as more people admit to struggling with depression… But it is still a hard thing to admit.

Back when I was realizing that I was dealing with something bigger than I could handle on my own, I went to a Women of Faith conference. It was the one that my 90 year old grandmother had her wallet stolen from her purse as we walked over to the arena from the hotel. It was the one that I had looked so forward to because I attended with my mom, sister-in-law and grandmother, but didn’t get to sit with my mom because they had to sit W.A.Y. up where they could wheel my grandmother’s wheel chair. It was the one that Bug attended because he was 5 months old and I was still nursing him.

But it was also the one where the Lord spoke so clearly to me.

I knew, from attending other WoF conferences, that Shelia Walsh suffered from depression. But she spoke something at that conference, in 2003, that cut right to my heart. I still didn’t want to admit what I knew was true: that I was in the midst of depression and had been for years. I wanted God to heal me from it. I wanted it to just go away. I didn’t want to take medicine for something that would stop if I just prayed hard enough.

What I didn’t count on was God’s answer.

Sheila was discussing her depression and how she wanted to be free of her medicines. She felt that she had to have been healed from her depression and that if she stopped taking her medicines, everyone would be amazed by the amazing changes.

By dinner, her husband asked her if she had forgotten to take her medicine that day.

Distraught, she went to her bedroom and sobbed and cried out to the Lord. Why hadn’t He healed her? Why hadn’t He taken away her thorn?

As she quieted herself, she heard God’s answer. “I did heal you, through your medicine.”

I knew then and there, that God could certainly completely remove my depression in an instant. But I also realized, that sometimes God chooses to keep things there and walk with us through them.

And that is what He has done with me. My depression keeps me closer to Him, because it makes me aware of the fact that I am broken and need Him. It reminds me that He is there at all times. Some people might think that by taking medicine I don’t have enough faith that the Lord can heal me. And that the meds are my crutch. But I have no crutch other than the Lord.

I don’t always understand the Lord’s ways. But I DO trust Him.

Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.
Psalm 119:49-50

“I discovered that our brokenness is a far greater bridge to other people than our pretend wholeness ever is. I still take medication for depression. I probably will all my life. I know God could heal me like that, but so far He hasn’t. But I remember that the Good News is not me. The Good News is Jesus.”
~ Shelia Walsh

(for more information on depression, please check out Shelia’s book: The Heartache No One Sees)

Still weathering the storm

As those of you who regularly read my blog know, we have been sick sick sick for the past 14 months. (and you are probably super-tired of hearing about it too!)

This month has already been a doozy and it is only the 11th…

As you may know, it started last Wednesday night around 9:00 pm. Both Abbie and Quinn ended up vomiting. When I blogged about it, it was only 1:30 in the morning.

Turns out, it continued until 4:30 am, with poor Abbie being the last to stop.

Thursday, I thought I was in the clear.

Once again, I was wrong.

5:00 Friday morning I awoke knowing it wouldn’t be long before I was running for the pan. Sean was feeling the same way. The kids were wonderful, thank the Lord, so we were able to rest without having to be after them too. All it took was for them to see the pot by my bed for them to know what was going on. Having just experienced it themselves, I think they were more sympathetic…

They immediately got to work on some get well cards.

This was Abbie’s card to me: (with her spellings)

Dear Mom,
I hope you feel better.
I sind this note to you becus I love you.
So much & you are buthefull.
I love you more thin anayone.
Your just like a shoowting star.
Your a daisy. A sweet one to.
Your a butterfly that’s looking at a flower.
Your a dog (*my note: this may not sound so good, but coming from Abbie, who LOVES and ADORES animals, I take it as a huge compliment.)
A swam.
A butufull bird.
Someone who is sweet.
Your a toolip.
A dafadill.
A rose.
A hissing cat. (*my note: not sure I understand this one, though I certainly come across as one at times!!)
A butfull marmade.
A raindeer.
A dog ear (*my note: ????)
And a sweet sonding birdsong.

Oh, how I love cards from the heart!

But wait! The story doesn’t end there!

Easter sunday I had to stay home with Seamus, who had not thrown up, but from his diaper changes it is OBVIOUS that something is not right inside of him…

Then Sunday night, around 9:00 again, Abbie threw up again.

(I was supposed to have my doctor’s appt. and ultrasound Monday, but had to reschedule for next monday… didn’t think it would be wise to take a child with a stomach virus to an office of pregnant women…)

Still more!

Today, Quinn was not himself – not hungry, laying around… A couple of times he said he wasn’t feeling quite right, but then later would say he was fine.

I got home from work tonight to find a pot in the kid’s bathroom. Sean told me Quinn had finally “blown” around 9:00 (What is with that time!!??)

Once again, I am sitting up, listening to every moan and noise that comes from their rooms, ready to run straight in there to help wipe foreheads and mouths.

I have been drinking DanActive (an immunity strenghtening drink from Dannon), since Sunday. I am praying that it had gone into effect. I also saw that Purity Dairies has Sweet Acidophilus Milk, (acidophilus cultures are an immune strenghtening culture). I plan on picking that up too. TODAY!

I have to say that one of the amazing “side effects” to all of this, is that it seems as if the Lord may be using all of this vomit to get me through some of my anxiety (panic attacks) about throwing up. Sort of like taking a person who is afraid of heights to the top of the highest building… I am surrounded by people throwing up. I, myself, have been in the midst of it. I feel twinges of anxiety about it all, but I haven’t gone into a full-blown attack. Praise the Lord for that!

Please continue to pray for our family’s health.

Hopefully I won’t have too many more “vomit posts”…