So one more day and the baby is due. That’s what I’m doing.
Waiting to be able to get out of bed without having to roll.
Waiting to have a night of not being woken up by 1 of 3 sick coughing kids, or acid burning my throat, or just plain restlessness.
Waiting to be able to fit into half the stuff in my suitcase again without always tugging it down over my belly.
Waiting to have something more to do than eat, sleep, shop, and wait.
Waiting till I can end my day some other way than by the light of of my computer screen in a dark room full of sleeping children.
Waiting to answer some questions: Who are you? what do you look like? are you healthy? what will your name be? when will you come?
Waiting to be woken in the middle of the night with a strong message from baby that it’s ready to meet us.
We just completed our first year here. A year full of so many firsts.
And they continue.
First time delivering a baby in India.
First time not knowing what were having.
First time being pregnant with hot flashes.
First time having a doula.
First time anticipating a water birth.
First time not intentionaly choosing to have an intimate birth with few in the room, and boundaries on visiting so our family can have space. First time having LOTS of space.
First time bringing a baby home to no one.
First time feeling so lonely at a time like this.
First time not having an email in my inbox with a schedule full of all the friends and family that will show us love through bringing meals for the next month or two.
First time wondering if anyone I love is even aware that our life is changing in a HUGE way, because I am on the other side of their world, the world they don’t see.
First time having to collect a babies wardrobe from scratch cause there are no hand me downs from best friends to enjoy.
First time having to thinknot just about birth certificates, and social security cards, but passports, visas, and births abroad. Right way.
First time having to constantly push the the thought away that my mom and dad won’t even get to meet my child till it’s one year old.
This waiting can be so unbearably irritating. Experiencing firsts can be so lonely. My heart has to temper the two with gratitude.
Grateful that I live in a place that has all I need to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Grateful that I have Jesus to share with when my heart gets heavy with questions, anxieties, loneliness.
Grateful that I am almost 40 weeks and can still feel baby moving/tumbling/hiccuping around inside me.
Grateful that I get this chance again to experience the miracle of carrying a life inside me.
Grateful that in 12 days I get to greet the first “family” from Sacramento in my new home and share my child with them.
Grateful that we have 2 friends here joining us that can watch our kids and share in our knowledge of how waiting, and firsts changes you.
Grateful, in a weird way, for all these difficult things, some of the most difficult in my life, that are changing me, refining me.
Grateful to feel Him carry me in these lonely, heavy, uncertain moments.
OK, so I am a rebel. Whenever there is an expectation on me I fight to meet it. Whenever there are rules or structure, something in me rebels against it. You might wonder what it is I am talking about. Gratitude Monday, the day in which I write down all the things I have been grateful for in the previous week. I started it on a Saturday, go figure and am doing my next entry on a Tuesday. It just didn’t work out yesterday…. (I tell myself). And yes, I put the expectation on myself that I am pushing against. I know, I am crazy.
But my saving grace is that for most of the people in the world that I know that read this, it’s still Monday. It’s Tuesday morning here in India but Monday night to you. I was just reading a precious book of mine Keep Breathing, written by J’s Aunt. The chapter was on Gratitude. Interestingly enough it was after the chapter on Grief. God has been teaching me about the relationship between grief, brokeness, and gratitude this last week in my QT. I have been really enjoying it. And this morning after my reading I am compelled to contemplate all those things that I am so grateful for.
First off, I was thinking about my friend who I got this idea from. A few years ago she had a baby boy that didn’t make it past two days old. Today she has had another little bundle of joy and is pregnant with her first little girl. It’s amazing to me that she has not only “survived” such a horrible thing but is thriving and being used by God in great ways. I started thinking of my two little ones I lost, how old they would be, what they would be like. Longing comes into my heart for that beautiful day I will meet them. Then gratitude comes next. I have Vange to hold and cuddle and enjoy. I appreciate her to a depth that I didn’t even know about when A and M were babies. I appreciate them too. I hold them, say I love you, say I am sorry, play games, read, look in on them while they are sleeping, ask them what they are thinking and feeling, rub there back at nightime, all a little more.
I am grateful for how this move is going to change me. I know because of this it will be painful to return home, as a favorite song says “the places that used to fit me cannot hold the things I have learned, those roads were closed off to me while my back was turned.” But painful as it may be, I am already thankful for the way in which I get to depend on God more deeply than I did in my comfortable California life. I am learning more about him, and getting so many opportunities to “die to myself”.
Speaking of “dying to myself”, I came across this quote that was a little smack in the face that I am grateful for.
I keep it on my desktop to remind me several times a day. Cause I do get a little self absorbed several times a day, ok most of it.
I am thankful for my husband that holds the “breakfast screaming child” and feeds her so that I can eat a warm breakfast. It is such a great way to start off a mother’s day. He does this every morning at the expense of a warm breakfast for himself. He sets such a great example for me of being selfless, and consistantly so.
I am grateful for my 4 year old ( whose age we are reminded of daily) son’s desire to hug me and come asking for a back rub to get his Mama’s touch. I am tempted to complain about this one. He no longer accepts my kisses because my “germs” grose him out intensly. We are still working on his hypocracy, he will pick ANYTHING up off the ground to inspect it.
I am so grateful for A’s desire to hang out with me. This may not always be the case, but she comes up to me at least a few times a day and says ” do somthing with me mom, lets play a game or color together.” She even likes to match me in dress. How long will I have this pleasure?
And even though it sends a little “ping” to J’s heart, I am grateful that whenever Vange is not with me she reaches out for me and says “Mama?”
I am thankful for the invention of mosquito repellent. Or we would all be covered from head to toe in something resembling chicken pox. And trying desperately not to itch ourselves into Malaria or Denge Fever.
I am thankful for our new friend that is finding us a place to live and his son who is helping J get hooked up with cell phones. Who knew that God had such an important and busy person in mind for our first friend here, the Grand Mufti.
I am so thankful that the traffic here is not as crazy as other Indian cities, because most likely My hubby will be getting a motorcycle to get around town. And I won’t fear him getting crunched my a rickshaw or bus.
And lastly I am so thankful for God’s word that is alive and powerful in the lives of it’s readers and followers. What a blessing to have a resource to get direction and encouragement and fresh stimulation from! And God’s spirit that helps show us scripture in fresh ways.
Endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith. – Piper
This was at the beginning of a letter Josiah wrote recently right after we left America. That was how we both felt. Then. Now, we are in India.
There is dust everywhere, I can’t communicate with anyone. I have no friends here. I couldn’t get around even if I tried. No, now I feel the losses more. I ache for the coast. The fresh air. To communicate, to anyone really. In my own language. To see the smile of a friend. The little things that made Sacramento my home. Especially at this time of year. When all my friends are blogging about Fall. The leaves turning bright auburn and orange, and floating down to the ground. The crisp clean air. The trips to apple hill. Sipping a “London Fog” at Prince St. with Marlene. Going to Bishops Pumpkin farm with Grandma and Grandpa to pick out our perfect pumpkins. Apple butter and home made jam. I am mourning the loss of Fall. I am feeling like Endings are for loss, not for gratitude.
And even more, I am mourning the loss of my home. Someday this will be my home. But now I am a foreigner in a strange land. I am feeling the loss in my life and seeing how totally weak I am. I am completely dependant on Him. This morning while bringing my heart to Him I saw clearly that this chapter, however long it will be is me being refined in the fire. But as my favorite song says “You walk with me through fire, and heal all my disease.” And God’s Spirit, in his loving kindness, brought me to my friend Jessica’s blog this evening and then to this quote.”Calvin claimed that prayer is ‘a discipline by which our weakness is exercised and stimulated.’If that is the case, cannot our lives become a prayer? If we are continually weak, may we not become prayers unceasing?”
I am continually weak and in the fire. I am finding that unending prayer is my only hope. My only hope that my heart will not become bitter from the losses. My only hope that I will not be lost in the fire, but found. And in my prayers to find a place for gratitude. To turn from dwelling on what I have lost to what I have gained. To look for His beauty in my surroundings, circumstances and see that He is lavishly loving me. Even now. Even here.
“Somehow, in the midst of our mourning, the first steps of the dance take place. Somehow, the cries that well up from our losses belong to our songs of gratitude.” – Henri Nouwen
And this gratitude needs to be a practice, a habit. A choice that surpasses my feelings and emotions. It’s not Monday, it’s Saturday. But I will begin this journey of gratitude now and count the multitude of blessings that I have and am grateful for. And come Monday, I am sure to have more:
little hands that pull on my kurta, feet that crawl into my lap, little lips that say “book?”
peanut butter and Nutella “sandwich” on Nan for dinner
the gentle breeze that met me this morning, officially becoming my first day in India that I did not sweat
for the fire that produces a faith “of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire”
So for me, Endings are for loss and gratitude, beginnings are for continued gratitude and faith.
Tiff and I have been friends since 6th grade! Crazy to think we have been through weddings and births of babies over the past 17 years. I think she knows me the best and I can be “me” completley, more than any other friend, and whatever “me” is that day is totally fine with her. One way that she has challenged me is how teachable she is. When I was retraining myself to not feel like a complete failure when I would get any kind of criticism, I would think of Tiffany and how well she listened and humbly accepted feedback without it shaking her identity completely. I also look up to her ability to overcome discouragement. When she puts her mind to something, nothing will stop her. Even if she faces alot of obstacles. I give up too easy, but I have turned a new leaf in this area and I think of Tiffany when I need inspiration. But the thing I love most about her is how compassionate and giving she is. She will go extra miles apon miles for her friends and she doesn’t keep score about it. She is an extravagant, unconditional giver. I want to be more like this!
We had our Ultrasound today and we found out today that the baby died. At first the nurse only saw the yolk sac and the uterus was even smaller than last week. So based on that she thought the egg never fertilized and there never was an actual baby. But she called the doctor in , which happened to be my doctor and she said that there would not be a yolk sac without an embryo, the baby died at 6 weeks. So because it could take my body up to 3 or 4 weeks to miscary i am going to take medication to make me misacrry within 48 hours. But i am not going to take it til prob monday.
Josiah hasn’t been able to communicate his feelings much to me other than sadness and shock. I am actaully handling it much differently than before. I really dont feel like I have the emotional energy at this point to grieve as deeply as i did with Jasmine. Although I dont know what will come as this process moves forward. And from last wednesday when we found out that there might be a problem again, I was very angry, but the next day God asked me to hope instead of prepare for the worst, and ever since I have had peace, regardless of what happened. That peace even carried over into today when we got our news. I know God is still in control, and even though I am surprised that he thinks we can handle this on top of every thing else, He has got to have some purpose, and therefore I have no other choice to walk thru this to accomplish his purposes.
After the preganacy is officially over and my hormones are back to normal they will start a flurry of blood tests to determine what is wrong with my body, it could be something that is very common such as a blood disorder that clots and treats the baby like a clot, and kills it off. If that is the case then while trying to get pregnant again I would have to take baby tylonel every day to thin my blood, then once I am pregant give myself shots in the stomach every day till the birth. But if all the blood testing doesn’t show anything, they will do genetic testing in me, then Josiah.
Telling Arwyn was really difficult, she doesnt understand death, and heaven, and why. But she understood that I was sad and that the baby “brother” she was so excited for was not coming after all. It broke our hearts to have that conversation.
Anyways wanted to let you know what was going on. Thank you for your prayers for us as we continue to walk thru this time of uncertainty and trials. Don’t be afriad to call or talk with us about any of this if you want to, and we certainly want to know what’s going on in your lives so we can rejoice or whatever with you, regardless of what ours looks like. With Jasmine I needed space and privacy and i just recently started emerging from that. I dont feel like I need this time, I feel like I am swimming in Gods grace. So dont fear talking and asking and being involved in our lives any more than normal. Love you all,
Heidi for Josiah too