I have written at least ten blogs in my head. Life is just moving so fast that they have not made it to the actual blog, and there are new events everyday to think about, write about, learn from. I am going to take the easy way and just compile a quick list because I am starting to lose track of the last couple of weeks.
Loss of another former student from my school, this time a student I actually had in class: Just about the time I was ready to blog my heart out about all the fabulous events of my existence, a student who was in my class two years ago committed suicide. It didn’t feel exactly right to share all my great news after that, and I didn’t feel like sharing much after that anyway. I’m now navigating through the waters of having students in my class who were friends with this student, spent time with him before his death, and are trying very courageously for their age to make sense of this. Some of them have chosen suicide as their research topic for my class this six weeks, and for better or worse I let them because it was already on the list of approved topics. Plus, they seem to find solace in the tangibility of note cards and research databases, putting their hands on information that might eventually answer the whys they can’t seem to figure out right now. Though there is part of me that would like to warn them that no amount of information is going to offer closure, I can’t. Maybe they will find something in the plethora of articles and academic journals that I didn’t after a high school friend took her life. Maybe they will get an answer. Maybe just doing something is enough of a distraction right now.
Clothe-A-Child: I still cannot get over how spending a few hours two Saturdays this month with families who needed a little help purchasing school clothes for their kids has affected me. I must confess I tend to be a “holiday volunteer”, as if people aren’t hungry, poor, or sick anytime except October-December. But this experience has me rethinking why consistent volunteerism isn’t a part of my routine. I want it to be a part of my children’s lives, God obviously calls us to do it, and I took more away from those two Saturdays than I offered. Imagine families standing outside of Kohl’s for hours, sometimes overnight, to receive $100 a child to buy winter clothes because they qualify for this program. Add to that the pride issues that probably come with not being able to do this without help. Would you and your kids be tired and maybe a little cranky when you finally got in the store anywhere between 5:30 am and 10:00 am? Well, not one person I ran into was. These families were funny, energetic, some of the most awesome bargain shoppers I have ever seen, and every one of them hugged us as they left the store. All we did was carry their bags and add up their totals on calculators, but they made that small contribution feel valuable. Some people might say why complain when it’s not your money you’re spending? I came to the realization that none of the money we spend is really ours. We’re provided it by a gracious God, so all the Black Friday crazies willing to hit people and run over small children because of some misplaced sense of entitlement might want a reality check before they hit the stores this season, including me, though I’ve never injured anyone for a sale item. It’s all a gift, not a guarantee or something we earned.
Our first fellowship at our house: I would love to pretend that without any thought or planning this whole event came together because I am a combination of Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker in a desirable 31 year old body. However, not one part of that statement would be true. After waking up at 4:30 am to help with Clothe-a-Child, we had our small group from church coming to our house that night for fellowship. Being that we are just now emerging from Hermitville and including people besides our immediate family in our downtime, this was kind of huge. Plus, we volunteered to cook for all of them. House cleaning was partially complete, so when we came back home from Clothe-a-Child, we finished most of the rest of it. Then, we napped. I’m not proud of it. It wasn’t part of the plan. But 4:30 am came very early and I didn’t want to fall asleep half way through entertaining guests. When we woke up at 3:00, I realized we had no drinks except water and coconut milk, no napkins, and I had to actually start cooking. I ran to the store and came back and started dinner while Dennis bathed our child. Around 4:15 I realized I needed a bath. At 4:45 after the quickest shower and throwing myself together possible, I caught a glimpse of my naked daughter running full speed down the hall daring one of us to try to get her into clothes. If you catch her right out of the tub, it’s not too bad. If she gets away, it’s like wrestling a kitten into water. I let my husband do it because I was still toasting appetizers and reorganizing the plates, cups, and silverware to make sure I chose the most logical order. Right at 5 the door bell rang and our first guest entered the chaos, except by then it didn’t look chaotic. Everything came together and we enjoyed an amazing night. My Martha Stewart/Betty Crocker skills aren’t what made it great; the people we were surrounded by would have made that a great night even if my child had still been naked, dinner had burned, and everyone had been forced to drink coconut milk.
I finally saw MY doctor and fell in love with her all over again: That’s right, I love my doctor. I look forward to the appointments where I have face time with her. I shave my legs if I think there might be a below the waist exam, something my husband might appreciate me doing for him more often. I write down questions and discuss my life with this woman. Seeing her makes me smile. Plus, all of my questions about this pregnancy were answered. For instance, why am I having BPPs and NSTs every week? Because the recommendations changed for pregnant women with thyroid issues sometime between when I had Wren and now. No biggie. There’s nothing more to it than that. Whew! When is my due date? December 7th. Do all of the doctors in her practice work with women who are trying to VBAC in the unlikely case she can’t be there when I deliver? Yes, and she wouldn’t work with them if they didn’t. That’s another thing I love about this woman. While a huge portion of women will complain about their freedom and choices being violated because the right to abort their child is occasionally and not very seriously threatened, I hear almost no one complaining because our right to deliver our children the way we see safest and best for our family is disappearing and has been marred by tons of legal requirements. There is over a 99% chance that I will NOT have my uterus rupture during a VBAC. However, according to my hospital’s by-laws(and I’m not griping because I’m delivering at one of the few hospitals that actually allows VBACs) I have to be hooked up to a fetal heart rate monitor and an IV the whole labor just in case. Though doctors and hospitals make decisions that put women and babies at risk everyday without much, if any, scientific evidence to support their choices-think unnecessary C-sections and unnecessary inductions-the risk of these procedures are not emphasized or even addressed most of the time. It would be easier for me to go in and demand a scheduled major abdominal surgery than it is to find a doctor willing to perform a procedure that has less than a 1% chance of leading to serious problems. Something is so very wrong with this picture. But that’s just another reason I love my doctor, and I told her that yesterday as she hugged me on the way out of the office. Oh, and I love my little son too. He’s super cute and kicks me all the time and I can’t wait to meet him whenever he does decide to arrive.