Thursday, October 29, 2009

More randomosity...

I have so many little thoughts bouncing around in my head...undoubtedly the result of many, many days spent inside. I've cleaned my house so thoroughly I'm practically chasing the dog now with a vacuum cleaner and microcloth! Anyway, rather than try to remember all of these so I can write several posts, I'll just summarize them all at once.

On getting what I want...

I started last Tuesday with a fever and that cement-slowly-being-poured-into-my-neck feeling. It was kind of downhill from there. My fever resolved three days later, and ushered in a persistent cough and an AWOL voice. So over the weekend I was silenced (I'm sure Matt enjoyed the reprieve), and went from that to honking, to squeaking, to croaking, and now I prefer to think of it as...."sultry."

But I don't like it. I don't think I've ever had an illness linger like this before, and frankly, I'm quite over it. My back hurts from sitting on the couch, I'm tired of the radio, I miss my friends, I can't talk to my mom on the phone as much as I want to, I'm just a big baby.

Yet when I ask Matt to pray for my voice to come back, he asks God to help me be content no matter what my circumstance is. Oh. That's probably a more appropriate request. Kind of takes the wind out of my complaining sails.

More on getting what I want...

I heard a series of messages recently on dealing with unanswered prayer. I know God answers our prayers all the time; it's just a matter of if we dig the answer or not. That could be a whole separate topic, but that's not my point. The point of one particular message was, perhaps instead of praying for what I want all the time, maybe it would behoove me to ask in what way will God be glorified the most?

Not gonna lie: we'd love to have a child in the next year. We haven't exactly been working very long on this, um, undertaking, but my cocky mind I thought the first try would be easy cheese. Not so much. Second? Uh, no. Okay...rats.

I'm not saying I have a fertility specialist on speed dial - hardly! It's been a couple of months, that would be laughable! But what if two months turns into four? And then six or eight? A year or two? Would I then have a fertility specialist on speed dial? I don't know. I'd prefer not to. My mind tends to take the commuter lane straight to the worst case scenario, something I'm working at trying to curtail.

So I'm trying to exercise the discipline of praying, Lord, how would You most be glorified in this area of our life? Would you be most glorified by gifting us with a child biologically? Would you be most glorified by gifting us with a child through adoption? Or would you be most glorified by having us go through a period of having to wait for either one? It's not so much about me having what I want when I think I should have it. I'd LOVE for it to work out that way. But God's not a celestial vending machine. He's more concerned with shaping my heart into one that brings Him the most glory.

On adoption...

You know how when a bride is coming down the aisle at a wedding, everyone is craning their necks to see her dress, her face, her flowers, HER? Not me, man. I'm looking at the groom. The look on that groom's face is always just priceless. Similarly, I love going to deliveries, because I love to watch the dad (provided there IS one, but that's a different post altogether). Seeing a baby be delivered is just awesome.

But you know what's more awesome? Adoptions. That is hands-down one of my favorite parts of my job. (Not the paperwork, especially for the moms who hid their pregnancy and called the adoption agency the hour prior to delivery, but I still like the result.) Imagine waiting and praying for a child, your heart's been broken a million times over after finding out you couldn't conceive, or whatever, and then you go through all this red tape, hoping, hoping, hoping that someone would pick you. And then, one day, you're writing down your grocery list, living your ordinary life...and the phone rings. You're a parent!! That's just amazing to me!!! These people show up, and they love this child as soon as they set eyes on it. It's all they've ever dreamed about. Amazing.

I can't wait to adopt someday. Domestically, internationally, intergalactically, I don't care. It's a scary thought, though. How on earth will we pay for such a thing? There are so many weird variables. It's not as easy as one would think. It's a long and arduous process for most. You have to flesh out some huge old of a child would we be willing to take? What about special needs? What if the mom received no prenatal care and we have no clue if she did drugs? There are so many kids who need homes. If you go on an agency website and read the stories of kids who are awaiting homes I guarantee you won't make it through the first paragraph without a bucket full of tears.

Adoption is God's idea. Truly, I think more Christians need to consider the thought of growing their families through adoption. After all, weren't we first adopted into God's family through the saving work of Christ's death on the cross?

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction...

James 1:27

On mediocrity...

One of the pastors who came to our church last month posed this question:

Are we vaccinated with a mild case of Christianity so as to protect us from the real disease?

Think about it. We go to church. We might even be in a Bible study. We pray least when we remember to or when it's necessary. We have a little "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" plaque hanging on the wall. Just Christian enough to let people know, yep, you've got your Jesus. Now keep Him to yourself. Don't get too weird. Don't pray out loud. Turn down the praise music. Don't be too Jesus-y. You don't want to be one of "them."

So you've got enough Jesus to slip you through the pearly gates, but you don't want so much of Him that you appear fully infested, right? Because that wouldn't be cool. It wouldn't make you politically correct, "tolerant," or popular. Don't go too overboard with that religion of yours. You don't want to stick out too much...

Think about it. Are you sold-out, signing your name on the dotted line, ready to stake your life on Him? Because you can't just have a little Jesus. You gotta take him all, blood, wounds, the whole package. He's not an accessory or a paltry shot in your arm to ensure that you're "okay." He intends to fill up, overtake, overhaul, and clean up your heart and ooze out of your pores. Overwhelm your system. Shut you down and bring you back to life. Real life!

I for one have been acting like I've only gotten a little Christ vaccine. I need to step it up, too.

Think about it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It's 4:24pm and I have one day under my belt of being a big baby being sick. I don't like to be sick. Of course, on my busiest of days, I long to have *nothing* to do but drown myself in a great book. But tell me that's what I HAVE to do...suddenly I want to jump off the pier and swim to Wisconsin, learn how to snowboard down a sand dune, anything but doing nothing and waiting for my immune system to do what it does best.

Don't know what form of the flu I have...


I interrupt this musing to clunk up on my soapbox. When I say "the flu," I mean seasonal inFLUenza. As in, fever, body aches, headache, general grossness. "The flu" is NOT typically characterized by throwing up and poop soup. Sometimes symptoms of a more projectile nature are thrown in the mix, but typically throwing up and poop soup in and of themselves are evidences of a gastrointestinal upset, NOT the flu virus. It just drives me barking nuts when people equate this with influenza, because they are totally different. Sorry to be kind of fussy about it. It kind of falls under the category of people thinking that newborn babies whose hands are clenched in a fist are "gonna be greedy." No, that's a neurologically appropriate thing for a baby to do, not an evidence of a character flaw. Seriously.

Wow. No idea where THAT soap box came from!! Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, it's been a while since I last posted, and I have a few random thoughts in my head. Sorry if they're boring!

#1. Do you ever wonder what Heaven will actually be like?

Cuz I do. Like, will there be amazing musicians everywhere? Symphonies, praise bands, hymns, voices? You know how when you're at church and the next song comes up on the screen and you're like, "YES!! I LOVE this song!"? Will it be like that ALL THE TIME??

And what if we get to pick where we live? I mean, Jesus said that He's preparing a place for us, and His Father's house has many rooms. Do we get to dream about what that'll look like? If you could pick out your house in heaven, what would it look like? A log cabin surrounded by trees next to a shimmering lake? A grand Victorian with hidden staircases and a huge front porch with rocking chairs? A simple cottage by the beach?

Here's my "heaven house..."

Can you imagine eating breakfast and reading every day in that cupola thing up on top?? This house is spitting distance from the beach, right next to the channel, and would be only more perfect if it were right ON the beach.

And when we're in heaven, you know what I think would be SO COOL? Imagine if we could all pile in this huge heavenly amphitheater (with unlimited amounts of movie-theater popcorn, of course), and there would be this eNORmous screen, and then this eNORmous voice would say, "Okay, THIS is how it all REALLY happened..." and we'd get to watch how Creation unfolded from the very beginning. How exactly He made the sun and moon and stars and all the animals and us, how history unfolded, how the landscape changed, every storm, every disaster, every detail. All the weird things we STILL don't know exist at the very bottom of the ocean. I mean, would that not be THE coolest thing?? We wouldn't even need those head-pinching 3D glasses, because it would all be SO THERE.

#2. I think I scared the bejeebers out of some Hope freshmen yesterday.

So I'm at work yesterday tending to a very edible little 35-week small-for-gestational age baby. One of the nurses I work with comes and tells me that some Hope student just called and asked if she could come to the unit for a tour and to interview an OB nurse. Well, the OB nurses were quite swamped out on the floor, so she asked if I could do it (and I'm sure she knows that my veins DO course with blue and orange Flying Dutchman blood). Well, around 6:15 these two kids show up who look like they're easily about 15 years old. Turns out one of them needs to write a paper for her Freshman English class about something she's interested in, and she wanted to interview an OB-GYN, but it was a little more feasible to tour the unit and interview an OB nurse. I'm not technically an OB nurse per se, but I guess I would have to do.

The other 15-year-old/college freshman was there for moral support, as the interviewer was way too afraid to come to the hospital alone.

So Freshman has her little half-sheet of paper with some questions that she had typed up. I was about rolling at her questions, they were just so cute. Like, "What's the difference between a normal delivery and a c-section?" (Me: " one, the baby comes out of _______. In the other, they cut a hole in mom and pull it out of THERE." *crickets* Seriously? You didn't know this??) Her other questions involved things such as 'Why do people get induced?' and 'What are the reasons people get a c-section?' and stuff like that. Then she asked one of the million-dollar questions: "What are the risks of having a normal (ie, vaginal) delivery?"

This is where the buck kind of stops. Childbirth is amazing. Absolutely amazing. I LOVE going to deliveries. LOVE them! But there's a reason that for EVERY delivery I attend, no matter how easy that pregnancy was and no matter how beautifully labor progressed, I have to have a full regalia of resuscitation equipment at the ready (yes, it's there, tucked away in a homey cupboard). Because you NEVER KNOW. I've been to "those" deliveries. Everything was cool, and suddenly it wasn't. It happens. Not very often, but it happens. And people don't like that. Why would they? People don't like to know that working with "BAY-beez" isn't always, well, a walk in the park. Childbirth is a miracle for a reason. It's hard work. There are a LOT of variables. Do you REALLY want to know, sweet freshman?

But she did, and so while she and Moral Support fiddled with their expensive phones to figure out how to record me, I jotted down a quick list of the first things that came to mind.

Shoulder dystocia.
Failure to progress.
Placental abruption.
Meconium aspiration.

To name a few. Exceptions rather than the norm, but risks nonetheless.

Freshman and Moral Support had eyes the size of saucers. I'm quite convinced that they will never, EVER bear children. And they thought they were going to talk to someone who fluffs pillows and gives backrubs for 12 hours!!

Then she asked an even better question: "What is the most memorable delivery you've ever been to?"

Ummmmm....should I tell her about the c-section for 26-week triplets that only I showed up to, until the very last second, when Baby A was pulled out, only then did the doors burst open and the rest of the NICU team showed up?

Or....the mom whose epidural paralyzed her diaphragm and she stopped breathing and they almost sectioned the baby IN the L&D room?

Or.....never mind.

"Do you want a good story or a not-so-good story?," I ask.

Freshman: "How about one of each!"

So I told her a really sweet story, and then I told her a not-very-sweet story.

Freshman and Moral Support are speechless. I'm pretty sure I saw Freshman mentally changing her major to art history. You could hear a pin drop. She says, "Well, I think that's all the questions I had! Thanks!" and after taking a quick look at my edible 35-weeker, scrams.

Oh my word, that was probably the best form of birth control those girls are going to have for a LONG TIME. They didn't even realize that some people deliver babies WITHOUT pain medicine. Moral Support about fell off her chair.

So that's my story about the end of my shift yesterday. I mean, OB is totally cool. 99% of deliveries are amazing and go beautifully. But if you're gonna probe about the other 1%, you gotta be prepared for the answers.

#3. I'm missing out on burrito night with my friends.

Bezoar (that's my best friend, Kristin, in case you didn't know who "Bezoar" is!) makes a mean burrito. Weeks ago, she invited us accountability girls over for a burrito night, pajamas and fuzzy slippers required. So that's tonight, and I'm missing it, and it's NO FAIR!

I guess that's about it. Hope you enjoyed my randomosities!! I have some new recipes I need to post soon, so stay tuned!

Friday, October 2, 2009


So I'm annoyed. And I don't like to write the things that annoy me on this blog because, once again, there are enough rant-forums in the world, we don't really need one more. But I like to share things on this blog that are going on in our life. And I really prayerfully filter through a lot of things because not everything absolutely has to be said. I have a feeling, however, that on some level everyone can relate to these things - whether you've been through it yourself, you will go through it someday, or you know someone going through it, or you can even try to imagine going through it.

And I have to say this as a disclaimer right off the bat: It is the honest-to-goodness truth that I am not referring to any of my dear family members (Matt's or mine) or any of my friends. So if you're a friend or family member reading this, please don't introspectively say, "Oh NO!! Am I who she's referring to?" because you're totally not. What I DO want you to do is punch the air and go "YEAH!!! Whatever SHE said! So THERE!" I really am just ranting here and if I needed to "rant" to any of my nearest and dearest, I certainly wouldn't do it on a blog!! :) here I go......I'm talking about pregnancy here. No, I'm not pregnant. (Sorry!! That would be a really FUN thing to talk about!) I'm simply not. Yes, we've been married three years. Yes, "it's time." Yes, we'd love to have a family and have no doubt that someday, rather through biological or adoptive means or both, God will give us one. Yes, we're hoping that it's sooner rather than later. But that journey has only begun for us, and will undoubtedly take some time - whether months or years. We make plans, the Lord directs our steps.

I am stunned - flummoxed, I say - at the lack of tact that I have seen people exhibit in this area of my life. I am horrified at how brazenly people have approached me and others around me to ask if and when I'll be pregnant. A few weeks ago I was at work...a good friend of mine had recently found out she was pregnant and told me and few others who are close to her, but was not planning to fully announce it to everyone for at least a couple more weeks. Well, when you work with all women, and a handful of us are of childbearing age, "the eyes" are going to start watching and "the ears" are going to start listening. I don't know if someone accidentally leaked about my friend, but the rumor mill was in full churn about "someone on day shift being pregnant." And in came the swarm. One morning, within the first three hours of my shift, about three people came up and asked me if I was pregnant, or is it my friend. And I'm like, oh my word. For one thing, if it were me, maybe I'm not ready to share that. And if it's my friend, that's HERS to share, not mine.

Later that day, I walked out to the desk to check the schedule. A gaggle of people were sitting at the desk yakking about how I might be pregnant. Again, oh my word. What if I HAD been trying for quite some time and it hadn't happened yet? Or what if I just miscarried last week? What if I found out two days ago that we can't have children biologically? Walking in on something like that would be crushing.

Some people, in this frenzy (I need to point out that there are about six or seven people at work right now who are pregnant, so it really has been a frenzy), have actually verbalized that they were considering calling one of us at home to ask if we were pregnant. Seriously? I've actually been at work a number of times and while they think they're kidding and being humorous, I've had people remark, "You know, maybe you shouldn't eat wouldn't be good for the baby" and things like that. Seriously? What kind of daggers does that send into the heart of someone who has been struggling in this area?

AND THEN - *THEN* - I work with a nurse who went through a twelve-year struggle with infertility. She is the most dear, precious person. Her transparency is mind-blowing when it comes to her faith and her struggles. She and her husband have two daughters now - one via traditional adoption, and the other they adopted as an embryo that was implanted in her (so cool!). I can't even pretend to comprehend the struggle that they faced together as they continually laid this desire for a family at the Lord's feet. But people have been coming up to HER and asking HER if I am pregnant and/or planning on starting a family. WHAT? She approached me yesterday to tell her that she's gotten this question from a number of people, and she just wanted to let me know that she told them that that was an inappropriate question to ask her or me or anyone else, and the best thing that they could do was pray that these things will happen in God's timing.

Oh my word. This is just so strange to me. Since when? Seriously? Since when? Since when are such intimate and delicate and fragile decisions something that others are privy to ask about? What if this is an area of struggle for us right now, and each time you ask I need to choke back a sob for the baby I just lost? What if my heart has been shattered with the unexpected news that this may never be for me and my husband? Or what if I am delighted with knowing that a life is blossoming in me, but for right now it's a delicious secret for me and my husband to treasure? When did we become a people who so revel in voyeurism that we've lost sight of exactly how inappropriate it is when it comes to day-to-day life?

Please don't get me wrong: I am very open about these things with my friends and family. Even people I don't know very closely who respectfully and tactfully ask, "Do you guys hope to have a family soon?" are refreshing. I tell them yes, and please pray for us as we hope to have that chapter in our life open soon.

It just comes down to tact. I guess that's what my beef really is. Please have some tact. I really do enjoy my coworkers. There's a handful of them who I consider falling into my "good friend" category, whether they're my age or they're my "mom-away-from-mom" figures. But it's so apparent to me - and maybe they don't mean this, but it's how it comes across - that the rest would rather have something else to gossip about, rather than caring about what's really going on in someone's life. And that's so not cool. I mean, no one in either of our families even sort of behaves this way. Heck, here I am, an only child, my parents' only opportunity to ever have grandkids, and even THEY don't trample on my feelings and heart and privacy in this manner!

I guess I would hope that a pile of people working on an OB unit would, of all people, demonstrate a little more graciousness in this area. Here we see and work alongside people all the time who have struggled to have a baby. We've all held the second- or third-trimester demise in our hands and wept with the devastated parents. We've seen the fun and happy side of OB, and the very tragic side of it as well. Can we develop a better sense of sensitivity, then???

Okay, I'm wrapping this up. I really hope that the burden of infertility is not a cross that Matt and I are meant to bear, but if it is, my prayer is that we will continue to thank and glorify God. For who are we to gladly receive blessing that comes from His hand, yet not also receive the difficulties that we are handed? He is the Lord of the universe whether or not I get what I want in this life.

So yes, we'd love a child someday. We've only begun to start venturing down that road and would love your prayers and encouragement. I know most people are well-intentioned and don't mean to hurt, but we so badly need to remember that so many people are hurting. Remember that when you want to tease someone about dating or getting married or having a baby. Remember that when you're about to make a knock on people with mental illness. Remember that before you make a flippant remark. I'm talking to myself here, too, so I'm learning just as much about adjustments I need to make in my thinking and behavior.

Thanks for reading my rant. I tried not to make it over rant-y. And when/if I have good news to share...I'll share it at just the right time. :DBold