Okay, this has been a hard post to build up to. I'm been putting off writing anything until I felt ready to write this post and honestly, I'm still not ready to write it. But, I think I need to quit being a coward and just get this done.
We're still in June, okay?
Got released from a calling at church, cried like a baby.
Got a new calling that rocks, but the scheduling was messy.
Was given an opportunity to serve on a new board of directors that I didn't expect.
Had a huge trip all by myself planned, that was followed by 2 more weeks of travel that I haven't told you about yet, but I will in good time.
There was also a nerve wracking visit with Sam's fam that ended in disaster for Buddy (remember? I blogged it) and then there was one more little tiny thing I have failed to mention.
Sam and I made a decision about our family. It was hard to make and we took a lot of different things into account and it took us months to make it, but we did. We decided that is was time to evolve as a family into a new kind of family. A family of big kids. I think I alluded to this a bit already. It was time to hang up the baby carriers and move to books and bikes and stuff for kids who don't use diapers.
We felt good about this. I think the kicker for me was having walking pneumonia this year and remembering how sick I was when I was pregnant with Ozzy and realizing I didn't feel capable of going through that again. Ozzy was worth every second of it, but it was ROUGH. I think Sam thought of how much money he doesn't make and how much he hates when I'm sick and that was the nail in that coffin for him.
So, it was decided.
And then I did something dumb. I decided to pray again about it (that isn't the dumb part) and as I have this one on one I mentioned all the reasons we felt the way we did and how ready we were to move forward to the new phase of our lives. Then (here comes the dumb part) because I felt like I needed to say it (hold on, we're almost there) I said, if we were off the mark and there was another kiddo who needed to hang in Towerland we would be fine with that, however (I know you can feel it coming) I was about to leave on a trip across the country and a few more trips and my summer was going to be crazy and NOW would be a really bad time to toss any surprises our way so if that idea had crossed the Lord's mind I was asking him nicely to not do that to me (and there it is).
And then, I swear to you, as I ended that prayer, I heard God laugh.
What feels like 10 minutes later, we found out Tower baby #5 would indeed be joining our family.
To say I wigged out would be putting it mildly. I think I've mentioned before that my uterus dropped its tranny about, oh, 9 years ago and it hasn't been very happy about passengers ever since. This makes for a stressful first couple of months. I've done a lot of research and learned I have a luteal phase defect (people, I am not writing a research paper here, look it up yourselves) and that causes a lot of my miscarriages, so I knew I had to jump on things and get on my medication pretty quick to keep Number 5 from getting booted. I also have a tentative grasp on basic math so I knew that I would be dealing with this stress AND if things turned out okay, morning sickness while I traveled.
The cherry on that stress sundae was that I was waffling between excited and frustrated. New babies are great and if our family should have another one then hooray! But... I gave away all my baby girl clothes and most of my baby gear and the baby boy clothes have been beaten to death! It will be like starting over in a lot of ways. I'll have to spend money... boo!
Also, I love my kids and I feel like I'm a decent mom to 4, but you know how there is always that dude who is a very competent assistant manager and then he becomes the manager and it is instantly obvious that he has been promoted beyond his abilities? I was (am) afraid of that situation with five kids. I think the fact that I'd just been through a roller coaster of changes and I was about to go on a roller coaster of travel in about... oh a few days was making my fear override any excitement I may have had.
Before I could get too much more freaked out, I jumped on a plane and went to DC. Of course, before I left I started having problems and so I was contending with a threatening miscarriage right then. Funsies. Once again, I just kept moving forward because I couldn't really see any other option. Things got better in DC on that front. Then I got sick. Now, I've been morning sick before and it is lame. This was more of a being hit by a mack truck kind of morning sick. When I blogged this trip I didn't mention that part, but whenever I say "homesick" just know I mean "homesick and crazy morning sick". It was awful.
I don't even want to try to sugarcoat this. I've never felt this rotten in my life. On top of being morning (really ALL DAY) sick, I've had the interesting new experience of motion sickness for months now. If I turn my head too fast I nearly pass out. I have headaches every day that make me wish I could just die. About every 3 days I have a good half day and I spend it frantically cooking and cleaning because I know I won't be up for it for the next few days and I have to take advantage. I've become a less than fun person to be around if only because most days I can't actually walk and talk at the same time without seeing birdies so I choose to mostly keep my head down, focus on keeping food down too and just surviving the day. In past pregnancies I felt much better by now, but I don't this time. This is a brand new experience because apparently we don't do anything without a little bit of flair.
Does that sound too complainy? It should. I cannot tell you how many times this summer I've wanted to just shout every complaint, every fear, every second of frustration to the entire world. I want to make sure you know how low I have felt because then I hope you'll understand the other side of this surprise coin.
God must have a lot of confidence in me. I cannot tell you how many times this summer I've been in tears and just prayed, saying, "I'm too tired right now. I can't possibly do this AND that at the same time," and each time I've had this quiet reassurance that I am capable of everything God has tossed onto my lap and not only will I get through it, but I'll be better for it.
I've also realized I was being set up for months for this summer's surprises. I had to plan my schedule a year in advance or I would have crumbled under the pressure and just quit a few hundred things. Of course, on the other side, remember how I have said in the past God was telling me to stop running faster than I had strength? Since that time I've been pulling out a lot of things in our lives and eliminating every extra I could. I didn't understand why I felt so strongly about doing that, but I do now. There is no way I could have done it all with a newborn.
Then, I've learned about sacrificing my wants over and over again this summer. I wanted to run my first 5k this summer. The hour we found out we were having another baby I very defiantly said, "this baby will not change anything I'm doing. I'm going to still run that 5k and I'm going to rock at it." People, running when you have constant motion sickness simply doesn't work unless you want to run into trees every few feet. I have had several moments like that this summer where I've realized my WANTS do not line up correctly with what our family NEEDS at this time and while those wants are good things, this isn't the season of my life to do them. God keeps telling me over and over again that I am living by HIS grace, on HIS timeline and I can choose to fight it, or I can trust that He has a plan for me that is far better than I could craft myself and just keep walking the road he puts me on.
Walk by faith, not by fear.
I don't know if I was inspired to choose that theme this year, if I was foolish or if I just gave God a fun challenge, but I can tell you that I'm learning this every hour of every day right now.
Now, for the nitty gritty that I don't want to keep answering over and over again. I have no idea when this kiddo will show up because they rarely give us a contract with a set day and time. The general guideline tells me we'll see this kid certainly before St. Patrick's Day, and most likely weeks before that. I'm not going to pretend I wouldn't love to dress this kid in pink, but my boys are pretty hilarious so one more boy wouldn't suck and really, I just want a healthy baby. Yep, we have the names picked and we're not ready to tell yet. I know too many pregnant people and someone nearly stole one of my names last time I foolishly divulged them so back off, bub. (I got that from the talking toy Wolverine doll Ozzy likes to shove in my face.) We don't really need any help right now, but if you want to toss a prayer out there that I'll start feeling less like the walking dead I'd be grateful.
Here we go, from the Tower Six to the Magnificent Seven. We can do this.
(Oh and guess what? I'm STILL not quite done with the summer! Nothing as big as this really, but still, the adventures didn't end here.)