Well, we seem to be in a holding pattern, thanks be to God. While some things remain a bit tedious (contractions and bed rest combined with the intense urge to NEST, for Pete's sake!!), my hypoglycemia issue has apparently been assuaged by small, frequent infusions of high protein. Meatloaf, eggs, nuts, cheese...everything helps. Oh, and yogurt, too...but I only tolerate the taste of yogurt when it's mixed into a smoothie. Mmmmm!!
Saturday brought a crew of helping hands to the house, and boy did they get a lot done! Thanks be to God for good friends, decent weather, and a fruitful day.
Missing Mass yesterday was hard. Aside from the intense longing just to be at Mass, our dear friends were having their precious baby boy baptized (thank goodness the Frog took her camera and captured some beautiful images for me...), and there was a prayer service following Mass to support our wonderful priests (yesterday was Priesthood Sunday).
When my family returned home, My Darling removed his sweater and handed it to me, knowing exactly what I would do with it: I covered my face with it and deeply inhaled the sweet, holy fragrance of incense. I still have it near my pillow so that I can grab it from time to time and smell one of my favorite scents in the entire earthly world...
And, of course, My Darling brought me Communion in our pyx. It is so comforting to know that I can read and reflect on the readings in my Magnificat, watch Mass on EWTN or one of our local stations (one of them broadcasts Mass every Sunday for those unable to attend), and then My Darling can bring me Jesus. It's so not even close to being there and experiencing the Mass, but it'll do for the next couple of weeks. I can do this for two more weeks. Really. I can. Philippians Four-Thirteen, for Pete's sake!!
I have been finding it a little easier to keep in mind that whatever sacrifices He asks of me, God intends for either the betterment of my own soul, or for someone else. Two weeks really is not so long.
Some ladies are coming tomorrow night for what our home school group has dubbed "Maternity Moms' Night Out." There is a regular "Moms' Night Out," which always involves going out to eat as a group and recently has included karaoke. But one of the moms decided that with all of the pregnant Mamas in our group, we needed to do something specifically for the expecting Mamas.
Most of us are having our fourth, fifth, sixth--even seventh babies. Sadly, so many of our family and friends outside our home school group or parish families just don't seem to recognize the miracle that each life is! I remember having a shower for the Pickle, but nothing for Reepicheep or Monkey. And with Monkey, we really could have used one! We had given all of our baby items away, after four years of secondary infertility and having been told that we would likely never conceive again. We ended up having to buy everything all over again, from the car seat to the crib and high chair. A few of the special clothes had been set aside, so that each of our children could have something from their babyhood down the road, but most of them had been given away long ago.
More than a shower, though, it was the support that we really found hurtfully lacking. There were a very few of our family members who came to visit after the Monkey was born (some of them never even called or acknowledged his birth at all!), and only a fraction of them were in attendance at his baptism. And forget the notion of bringing a meal or tossing in a load of laundry, or giving a hand with household chores. I think there were perhaps two people who filled that role, and the rest of it fell to My Darling. Do people think that if it's your fourth or fifth baby, you bounce back faster physically??
And the announcement that we were pregnant *again* was met with just plain eye-rolling disdain on some parts--not just with this Little Pumpkin, but even with the Monkey. Hey, we happen to have planned this baby, and by the grace of God, we were blessed! And we happen to realize that every single baby conceived and brought into a family is a miracle, whether they are the first, the third, the fifth or the tenth!! Every soul is new, every new life ordained by God Himself. It saddens me that so many fail to recognize this.
Well, this happens to be an issue faced by many of the families with whom we are friends. So rather than having a shower for each baby, we Mamas gather together with the expectant Mum and treat her at her favorite restaurant. We talk and share our pregnancy and birth experience stories over good food. Some people bring small token gifts--a crib medal, perhaps, or a baby Rosary--but most just come for the fellowship.
Since I am on bed rest, the Mamas are coming here and bringing potluck. We shall play board games and laugh and visit, and most of all, they will bring love and support for this sweet Little Pumpkin! I am so looking forward to the company of my dear friends; it almost makes the next two weeks seem even more bearable!
If my prayers come to fruition, the birth of this baby will be celebrated with joyful thanksgiving, prayer, and love from all sides. I pray for everyone who knows us to welcome this child as heartily and enthusiastically as they did our first and second and third. And I pray for hearts to be softened to know that children are such precious gifts, that families can have more than two or three, and that no matter what number in the mix they are, each dear child is cherished and loved.
And hey, a helping hand wouldn't hurt, either. :)
The Forty Days for Life campaign is coming to a close on November 2nd. Please continue to keep in your prayers all those whose lives are adversely affected by this tragedy; may God have mercy on them and on all of us.