Saturday, February 7, 2015

2nd Pregnancy: Week 23

The weekend before last I went to IF Local, which is a women's Christian conference streamed in from the live IF Gathering in Austin. The concept starts off by asking the question, "if God is real, then what?" It builds from there with each speaker equipping women to step in to what God is calling them in to next. The last question presented at the end of the conference asked women to take a rock, something solid that will last, and write down what the next step is that God is calling us towards. I prayed for about half an hour turning the stone in my hand and pulling the sharpie lid off and on. I kept asking, "what is my next step?"

I kept hearing "stay at home mom, stay at home mom, stay at home mom (SAHM)" over and over. This was confusing to me, because Josh and I had already decided I was going to stay home with this baby and Shepherd after I give birth. Finally, it clicked. I wasn't staying home to be a SAHM for just financial reasons or because it just makes sense with Josh having a year left in seminary. I am called to be SAHM by God for this time in my life. Staying at home all day with a baby and a toddler can be just plain hard work. I think it could be harder than going to work every day. Many times SAHMs can look back on their day sometimes and think they accomplished nothing, "failed" because they didn't stick to their structured routine or didn't pick up the 1000 cheerios all over the floor, because there just isn't enough energy to do one more thing. The bigger picture of a child's upbringing looks like a mosaic of each day or moment of their childhood from the person wiping their nose, endlessly changing their diaper, giving them baths, playing peak a boo, reading them a story, finding the right food that they will actually eat, and holding them when they bump their head and want that one person that watches them day after day to hold them. There is no "mommy, I understand how tired you are. Why don't you take a nap?" No. This is a freaking calling! It takes absolute selfless service to care for tiny human beings that have zero ability to be self-efficient. This is where I get in to my 40 hour stint of what it would look like on a bad as a SAHM. 

Let's just talk about what every American stereotypes as the dirtiest thing a family could experience and shudders at the thought of knowing anyone in their inner circle of having it. Lice.

We were warned the Friday afternoon before all of this went down that my cousin and her daughter had lice. We spent the previous weekend with them as we were in Texas for my step-grandma's funeral, but we weren't too worried about it. I went ahead and checked Shepherd's and Josh's head just in case, and Josh checked my head for any indication of lice. We didn't see any on our heads, so I assumed we were in the clear. Ha! The next day I spent 9 hours at the conference I referenced earlier. As soon as I stepped in my home around 6:30pm, I played with Shepherd for about 30 minutes before taking him upstairs for his bath to get ready for bed. After playing endlessly in the water, I finally got him in pajamas and almost ready for bed. We went back to the bathroom to brush his hair, and I saw tiny specks of what looked like dirt...for a second. I wasn't panicking yet as Josh and Shepherd had taken a hike earlier and it could have been dirt that I just didn't get out during his bath. I yelled at Josh to "come upstairs right now!" He held him so that I could get a closer look, and sure enough, there was friggin' lice all up in that beautiful head of blonde hair. I immediately sprayed hair spray all over my head to avoid any transfer of lice. 

It just so happens we had 2 guests in our house at the time. They had been hiking and hanging out with Josh and Shep all day, but they left within 5 minutes of the not-so-American-friendly news. I don't blame them. I probably would have done the same thing. I rushed off to Kroger in the mean time to get whatever it is you get for lice control. I promptly burst in to tears in the Kroger parking lot when receiving advice that shaving Shepherd's head was the quickest way to get rid of the lice. This may be because I am partial to his feathery board-straight sunshine hair and I have so many emotions right now that they tend to spill out everywhere if I get too happy, sad, or freaked out. The thought of cutting off all of his hair was like me ridding him or his baby-hood officially. 

Back at home Josh sat on the tiled bathroom floor as I shaved a strip of his hair before shaving a strip of Shep's. We went back and forth like this, and as Shep kept spinning around, the strips weren't beside each other. He honestly looked like a patient going through chemo and radiation. I was bawling like a cartoon squeezing lemon sized tears out my eyeballs while happily exclaiming, "yay!!!! Sheppy! You are doing so good! Weeeeee! Isn't this fun?!" so Shepherd wouldn't be scared. Josh just laughed at me and held Shep so I could put the finishing touches on his very short buzz cut. Then the drill happened very orderly after that. I proceeded to pick out the lice individually, re-bathe Shep, spray melaleuca on his head, take all things fabric out of every room Shep previously touched, put Shep to bed, etc...

The next day we quarantined ourselves inside our house to make sure everything was contained. Josh did have to leave for several hours to go in town for ultimate frisbee practice, but other than that it was an inside day for us. We began the day with our usual breakfast routine followed by bath time. Then we played for 40 minutes in Shep's room reading books and playing with legos. Then I put Shepherd down for a nap. I was beginning to think, "pshh this mom thing is such a breeze." But then he wakes up from that nap and there are still 9 more hours in the day before he goes down at night! 9 MORE HOURS! It was only 11:30am. I was already starting to lose my mind. I mean.. how many times can we put the ball in the goal? How many times can I put the puzzle back together for him to tear it apart? What the heck do you do all day long if you can't go outside and you would like to keep TV to a minimum? Around 2pm, I started to laugh thinking about the day before when I had written on my rock to "become a SAHM." 

I am positive that being a stay at home mom is not natural for everyone. I believe for me it has to be a direct calling from God in order for me to stay sane once I transition out of my working job and in to staying at home. I will ask for patience, creativity, and grace on a daily basis. I commend those mamas out there that think it is a breeze to take on this gig, but I have a feeling that most, if not all, moms agree that raising babies is no easy task. I still have around 17 more weeks for God to prepare me for this new role as I am obviously absolutely terrified. 

23 weeks and 3 days

You can see his or her hand up by the mouth

How far along? 23 weeks
Baby weighs the same as: 5 small peaches
Total weight gain: 18 pounds!!! I gained 4 in one
Waist Measurement: 37 inches
Maternity clothes? yes, but this week has been full of wearing scrubs and sweatpants.
Stretch marks? None yet.
Sleep: Sleep has been wonderful.
Best moment this week: Seeing baby 2.0 at our anatomy check-up ultrasound. There were zero complications, and the subchorionic hematomas weren't even mentioned! I was very tempted to just cave and let the tech tell us the gender, but instead we turned away when she scanned over that area. She told us she knows the gender, but we just laughed and didn't inquire any further. My guess is that this babe is a boy even though my symptoms were completely different from Shep in the beginning. Now the pregnancy is going exactly like the first minus the cravings. 
Movement: Movement is regular! Josh feels the baby all the time. I do exercises regularly to get the baby off of my bladder, but he or she just keeps moving on down there. 
Food cravings: Definitely sweets and junk food this week. A good calorie filled chicken sandwich from Chic-fil-a or Wendy's sounds amazing. Also, I cannot get enough sour patch straws. No I didn't say sour skittles or sour patch kids. This is a very specific craving. Lord...I am not surprised I have gained so much weight. 
Gender: Despite our temptations at the ultrasound, we don't know the gender, BUT our ultrasound tech does!

Symptoms: I haven't had ANY symptoms this week with the exception of junky cravings. 
Belly Button in or out? OUTIE! 
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?: Great!

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