Hard to Swallow (Originally Posted 4/12/12:)
Although an answer to years of prayer for me, pregnancy was not always the joy I thought it would be. For one of my four pregnancies, every morning began with morning sickness, which never seemed to understand when noon had come and gone.
Once, while at lunch with my two-year old, the “morning” sickness hit immediately after I had eaten lunch. I quickly headed for the bathroom, throwing my purse and 2-year-old on the floor, urgently as I grabbed the receptacle. When I was done, I turned to my 2-year-old, to apologize.
He looked up at me and said, “Mom, is that baby in your belly still making you sick?”
“Yes…, I guess it is…” I said, wiping the sweat from my brow.
“Well, then why did you swallow it?!”
Message from the Massage (originally posted 4/15/12)
While pregnant with my third child, I had “Barbie doll leg syndrome” – the term I used to describe the feeling that my leg had disengaged from my body and was only being held together by a rubber band stretchedthrough the socket. It was painful – almost to the point that labor sounded like a picnic. Daily life of a mother of two active boys, ages 3 and 6, became especially difficult as I dragged my leg, a foot behind (pun intended), trying not to show my limp.
Whether motivated to get me to stop whining or just being thoughtful, my loving husband suggested I get a massage. The thought of an hour of supine silence sounded too good to be true.
It was. My massage therapist must have had too much coffee, or just a genuine interest in me, because she was far from silent. “When are you due?” “Is it twins or triplets?”
That question usually began for me shortly after the 2nd stripe showed on the pregnancy test – when people couldn’t believe my large size for just one baby. I felt like someone had changed my name to “Dang, girl!” because that was clearly how everyone greeted me. “Dang, girl! I thought you weren’t due for months!” “Dang, girl! What are you eating?” “Dang, girl! How many are in there?! Are you sure they didn’t make a mistake?”
A flight attendant once stopped me from getting onto a plane when I was barely halfway through my pregnancy. She was obviously nervous by my size, as if I were about to give birth. She asked, “Can you fly?”
Insulted, and without slowing my walk into the jet-way, I replied, “in a plane!”
“Wow, you look pregnant from behind now,” a male co-worker shared.
“The only thing she’s splitting these days is her pants!” someone humorously (yes, I thought it funny! – better to laugh than cry) answered a waitress when she asked if I would be splitting my fajitas for dinner.
My kneecaps had disappeared in a pudge of fluid, not to appear again until after birth. When I bent to tie my shoe, I would think, “What else can I do while I’m down here?”
My massage therapist continued the questions, and my dream of a silent hour vanished.
“Are you having twins?” (no. And yes I AM SURE.)
“When are you due?” (4 weeks)
“Are you nervous about labor?”
This was really a trick question, because I was nervous about one part of labor. See, you might remember that I had no labor with my 2nd boy. He arrived after 4 contractions, before the ambulance arrived, actually before I had even gone down to the first floor of our house. My mother and Chris delivered Nate, although I like to say he delivered himself (9.5 lbs!) and they caught him.
Earlier during this pregnancy, my doctor had asked a similar question, “Are you nervous about delivering at home again?”
I said, “No. I’m nervous about delivering in the grocery store!”
But, in a continuous attempt to get this massage all the way to silence, I answered shortly, “No, I’m not nervous. I am actually excited to find out if it is a boy or a girl.”
“You don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl?! Are you kidding?! Aren’t you going to find out?!”
“Well I hope so; I’ll have to dress it,” my normal comeback to that normal question.
This caused controversy for the rest of the hour, as she questioned why I didn’t find out and how I could possibly wait, knowing I already had two boys – wasn’t I dying to know if it was a girl?
The hour was over; my dream of silent relaxation was crushed. I got off of the massage table, putting pressure back onto my leg joint, and my leg was still disconnected. After I paid the receptionist, my therapist popped her head into the lobby for a final goodbye. As I limped away, she yelled from behind: “Good luck with that sex!”
Though the tough girl in me “doesn’t care what people think,” I quickly felt the need to interpret the statement for every stranger now watching me hobble unevenly in the waiting room, “She means gender! Gender…of the baby! I am having ONE baby in FOUR WEEKS and I don’t know the GENDER, so she is telling me ‘good luck with that GENDER!’”
My daughter was born one week later…in the hospital.
Cat Aversion (originally posted 2/22/12)
Some time near my son’s first birthday, he had a deadly allergic reaction to his first taste of milk. Welts decorated the quickly swelling skin, changing the proportions of his facialfeatures to an unrecognizable state. The pitch of his cry ascended higher and higher, as assumably, the windpipe narrowed. Fortunately, Benedryl relieved the scary situation during my debate of calling 911.
Within the next year, the specialists confirmed Nathaniel was indeed allergic to not only milk, but also eggs, soy and beef. The doctors were puzzled since this normally hereditary condition had no previously cited experiences in our family.
The new diagnosis made it difficult to visit restaurants without causing a scene. In the church nursery, I attached a sign to his back which read, “Please do not feed,” as I walked away in prayer that he wouldn’t accidentally pick up someone else’s sippy cup. When we traveled, some establishments became off-limits while others jumped through hoops trying to get the cute little guy something to eat. A decade later, food allergies still shape the social event of eating, often making him feel like an outcast everywhere but in our home.
At age five, Nathaniel went to visit his cousins who had a new cat. After returning from their house, he begged for a cat. “Please! I love their cat! Their neighbor has kittens! Our cat could have kittens and we could sell them! I will take care of it all by myself!”
I then realized that due to the severity of his allergies, I had never mentioned my own less-than-dangerous ones. I thought telling him might make him feel better. “Hey bud, I may have never told you this, but actually, I am allergic to cats. We will never have a cat in our home.”
He raised is eyebrows and the left side of his upper lip in that unbelieving way and scolded me, “Well you don’t have to EAT it!”
I hope this brought your God-given smile to your face!
Fire Fire! Pants on FIre! (originally posted 1/9/12:)
A decade ago, we were excited to have moved into our new home in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Moving from a 40-year-old house to this 2-yr-old Parade of Homes champion was a blessing indeed. The realtor had pointed out the beautiful cathedral ceiling entryway, adorned by a chandelier of “real crystals and 14-karat-gold plating” which matched the sconces on the sidewalls. I had never owned something so “fancy.” A balcony bridge on the second floor was visible just beyond, so upstairs onlookers could see people at the front door, or look down to thegreat room on the other side. I often joked how I wished it were a drawbridge so I could put children to bed, and then lift their walkway, preventing their return downstairs till I deemed permission.
Not long after moving in, we had a houseful of business partners, some of which were close friends, and some friends-to-be, linked by the commonality of business. I proudly took them on their requested tour of our home, pointing out the features so fresh in my mind, as taught by the realtor who had made the sale.
As we walked across the bridge, I made my usual drawbridge joke, and proceeded on to the guest suite on the other side. Suddenly, one of the guests from the back of the group said, “Uh…I think your chandelier is on fire.”
I looked back to see smoke coming from the front-door side of the bridge. I quickly approached and yelled for someone on the lower level to turn off the chandelier.
The twenty people from the tour stared from the balcony; the rest of the party gathered below because of my panicked cry. The entire party stared as the dimmed light revealed a pair of 4T underwear sparking and smoldering on one of the “real crystals” of the now unlit light fixture.
Later, when I called my 4-yr-old son to the scene, to ask the how’s and why’s, he only said, “I was wondering where that went!”
I still enjoy a laugh! - Terri