Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Now that I'm well into my second trimester I'm tolerating--maybe even enjoying--showers again. One of the sensitivities I had for the first several weeks of being pregnant was soap, lotion and perfume smells. They made me nauseous like nothing else!! Before becoming pregnant I bought a large Aveda shampoo and conditioner set...I can't bear to use the stuff anymore. In fact, I wanted to just throw it out! But Matthew likes it, unfortunately, so--even now--when he gets out of the shower I need to steer clear. The negative association I developed from that time frame has stayed with me--and even though I'm not quite so sensative anymore I had to buy new shower products. Alas. But I do finally almost enjoy showers again--as long as no Aveda bottles are opened!

One aspect of pregnancy that I fully enjoy, on the other hand, is the different kind of showering I get to experience. I consistently get showered with care and concern and gifts! I have been overwhelmed--mostly in a good way--with the attention of pregnancy :-) As some of you may know, I often don't do well with a lot of attention...but I'm trying to get used to this and just soak it up! It's such a special time I've got to enjoy every minute of it (maybe minus the trials and tribulations of the first trimester...) Recently on a trip to Arizona we were given a surprise baby shower by some very thoughtful family members. Bringing a new life into the world brings out such wonder, affection, and generosity in people! Our baby will certainly feel so loved when it finally arrives. Thank you all for your care and concern--and gifts!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Lately I have been thinking about birth a lot. It scares me. I am not the one that has to do the seemingly impossible feat of birthing our child, but it still scares me. I know that this happens literally all the time, but it just seems so unusual to our life. Will everything happen as we hope? Will we be able to withstand the pains and discomforts? How long will it take? What is the order of events? Will there be time to appreciate what is happening, or will there even be energy to care very much at the time? Will everyone be safe? Will I faint? Do they offer pain medicine for fathers?

Perhaps the only thing that is on my mind more than birth is the reality of what comes after birth. Fatherhood is at least as scary as birth. For one thing, I will have a central role to play in the parenting, whereas during the birth I will only have a supplementary role (at least that is my idea about birth, but I have never done that before...) What if I mess up? Will I be able to balance working to earn money (and more immediately, a degree) with spending time with our child? (Will I even be able to earn money or a degree for that matter?) Will I be able to discipline our child, or will I be a spineless parent? How do I get a passport for our baby so that our family can see, visit, and know our baby? What will I do when the child begins to question everything that I am, say, do, and ask? What should I try to teach this child?

As all of this swims around in my overloaded head, I am struck by a deep sea change that I have noticed taking place in me for several weeks now. I am feeling unusually responsible lately. I do not know where all this felt responsibility is coming from. I have had responsibilities for years now, but most of these have made little or no impact on me by themselves. Perhaps in their totality, they have slowly eroded some of my natural revulsion to responsibility.

Still, until very recently, I have viewed my various responsibilities as something like unattractive second-hand furniture in my life. I never really asked for any of it specifically, but, recognizing some kind of deeper necessity, I have made due with this stuff in my life. All the while I have secretly (it probably isn't as hard to discern as I might imagine) dreamed of a day when, weightless and free, I would never need furniture again. And if I should fail to make it to that zero gravity point, at least I could manage to purchase new furniture that I actually like. I have always felt that if I couldn't eventually escape responsibility altogether, I could at least try to arrange my life so that I at least liked the responsibilities I had.

Now it seems that I am faced with something completely new. I can't say that my attitude towards all of my various responsibilities has completely changed, but something has changed. There is a new responsibility that I love. (In fact, all of that I have written so far may give the impression that I am seeing our baby as a responsibility, but that doesn't seem quite true to me.)

I think that what I am experiencing is the realization that I am going to share my life with someone that is initially completely irresponsible. I feel like I am preparing my little space for a house guest. No matter where this old couch came from, its the only one here for guests to sit on, so I better straighten out the cushions. This might not be my first choice of tables, but if the guest is hungry, they will have to sit at it, so I want it to be clean.

The arrival of baby has rather changed the way I think about the things I have to do. I kind of feel like I am undergoing a conversion experience of sorts. I know that in Christian thinking it is common to imagine "conversion" as a singular experience that happens once and changes everything to follow. But I have to question this understanding. I find in my own experience that, more than any singular defining "conversion," I have undergone a series of transforming processes.

Jesus uses the image of being born as an analogy for this transformation (John 3). It is true that in one sense, a person is born once and that is a singular experience. However, lately I have been noticing that being born is a long process. In fact, in our language, the word 'born' actually alludes to this long process of physically 'bearing' the child in anticipation of the time when the child is born. And the bearing does not stop then. I was born about 27 years ago but I am pretty sure that that was not the last time my parents bore me or my burdens. Even if we are cautious to take Jesus' words exactly as they are recorded in John (the Greek word used for 'born' does not carry the same double meaning as far as I know), the implication is still of a transformation over time.

One is born over a nine month period. And after all that time of gradual process after gradual process, comes a period of great pain and finally, a new person. The product is someone who is utterly confused, completely irresponsible, entirely dependent on the hospitality of their parents, and just getting started.

Now I have the chance to offer hospitality to one of these. I may still be confused, and I may still struggle with being irresponsibe, but I am beginning to understand something of my dependence on my Father. Pray that we would welcome this baby into a home that is clean enough, orderly to a point, but most of all conscious of God's good hospitality.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taking Care

I am getting bigger--we'll get another photo on here soon (you have to understand we do not have internet access at home so we're a little slower you might want!) But trust me--I'm getting bigger. My closet is continuing to provide me with fewer and fewer options, and I can't wait to get some maternity clothes!
It's hard to remember to take extra care with so many things now that I'm pregnant. I have to get up more slowly, or else sometimes I get this terrible pain in my left side that's either caused by my intestines having less space to move that gas around or by my ovaries getting squished around. Don't worry, the doctor said it was normal--it seems many things that are usually NOT NORMAL are normal when pregnant. I do so much getting up and down at my work--and bending over to pick things up--this is going to get increasingly more cumbersome I am sure. And to think it's tough at this point! Also, I decided I need to take my socks off at work from now on. They have hardwood floors all around the house and yesterday I slipped and fell down a couple of the stairs! Yikes! That was startling and scary for me--but I landed on my ample side-rump area which cushioned much of the fall. However today I am quite sore. Oh--and it's hard to take care not to drink a beer! Despite what some books have said about pregnant women naturally NOT wanting alcohol--I want beer!
But enough complaining. That's something else I have to "take care" about. Especially when I think of bringing another person into this world! To pay attention to the great things--and not dwell so much on hindrances. I am enjoying being pregnant more and more every day. I have a little friend with me at all times :-) Matthew and I like to talk to the little baby--the little baby needs to get used to Matthew's teasing already so when it comes out it knows what to expect!

More to come and more pictures too--
To all of you reading this: We miss you!!