Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are we excited? YES!

As one of three girls, my sisters and I have always made comments to each other about having babies. Girls dream early on about being mamas. And, of course, being sisters, we know each other’s true personalities and quirks. Sarah and Lisa always told me I’d be that mom who wears around head phones on her belly to stimulate the baby’s senses in the womb. Although it was a joke, it didn’t seem like a bad idea. I knew I’d be thrilled and fascinated by pregnancy. I knew I’d want “the best” for my baby. And I do. But I haven’t worn headphones. I haven’t read to baby. I haven’t kept track of my weight or size or taken weekly photos of my growth. I don’t avoid a good, cold sub sandwich (GASP!) I can sum it up this way; my personality hasn’t changed a bit with pregnancy. Daniel and I have remained the easy going people many know us for. This is not in any way to say I’m not excited about our child. Daniel and I are also academic achievers, so our “excitement” has manifested itself in studying. I’ve made it a point to research how to best take care of myself so I am in turn taking care of baby. That’s also been a trial and error process. (Did you know that dehydration leads to pre term cramping and too many cupcakes before bedtime means puking all over myself in bed?) I’ve made a notebook of good magazine/internet articles for reference. I’ve read the “Baby Bargains” book inside and out to research “the best” and “must have” products. I enjoy meeting up with other moms and getting as much on-the-job advice as possible. Our calendar is scheduled with prenatal classes and pediatrician interviews. This was no small feat, given football season consumes each Saturday.

Daniel also shows his excitement in the best way he knows how--taking care of me! He loves greeting his girls after work. He frequently mentions how he can’t wait for some future event to happen (reading to baby, singing with baby, watching how she learns and interacts with others, etc). Baby Rodda has grown to be part of our every day vocabulary. He eagerly reads the weekly prayer for baby out of a very good book we have. He’s not bothered by my collection of books and articles that remain strewn around the family room or frequent trips to Babies r Us. He was satisfied with the “cool lavender” color for the nursery walls and the inflow of many gifts of pink outfits. He even questions me when I buy neutral clothing for our daughter. I’m thinking the economics of reusing with our next child while he’s thrilled about the upcoming little girl! Daniel knows he won’t be able to attend every Bama home game this year and seems OK with that. He loved attending the Breastfeeding for Couples class. OK, you got me there. But he didn’t put up a fight.

What we enjoy the most is her kicking and moving. I love feeling her little legs up at the top of my belly or her fingers wiggling down lower. Crazy to think she’s head down, ready to make her appearance in several weeks. Daniel gets to feel her move and kick most nights. Those tangible signs make us realize how blessed we are and how tangible parenthood is!

Our Beginnings

Our first year of marriage was spent in Los Angeles. I worked from home while Daniel finished his second and last year of his MBA at UCLA. We moved back to Atlanta our second year of marriage, and Daniel began his career. Our third year of marriage, I followed the Lord’s leading in my life and embarked on a two year long journey to get my certified teaching degree while teaching 8th grade math. We also bought a family-sized home that third year. After those first two years of teaching, it seemed like the perfect time to begin to plan for a family. I wanted to do what every other thinking teacher did: get pregnant late summer so that I could deliver in the spring and have a maternity leave that would nicely lead into summer break. Before long, we were shocked to hear the news that we were expecting two babies in May! Not one, but two naturally occurring babies! The plan had worked; I could now spend my third year teaching pregnant with twins (uh…yeah…doesn’t even sound like a brilliant idea). Being the reserved people you love us for, Daniel and I only told our immediate families the news. We heeded the words of wisdom from the Lord (Prov 4:23), doctors, and baby books to wait until the 2nd trimester to really begin planning for baby. We bought no baby items and picked out no names. Around week ten, I had a strong maternal instinct that something wasn’t right. That’s actually when I did my grieving. At 11 weeks, an ultrasound confirmed that neither baby was forming and a miscarriage was inevitable. I was actually into my second trimester before the babies began miscarrying, and I had a D&C. That was the week of Thanksgiving.

The day after the procedure, any grief was replaced by hope. It was a peace that surpassed my understanding. God speaks most audibly to me through his peace. It didn’t take long to realize that the above plan was my plan. My plan, not His. (Prov 3: 5-6) Many times our plans don’t coincide with the Lord’s plan for our lives. Plus, to be honest, twins kinda freaked me out. (Daniel thought if his brother could do triplets, we surely could do two at a time). Three months later, God surprised us with His timing and blessed us with the good news of a pregnancy. On a teacher workday in March, I went for blood work confirming the pregnancy and then to meet Daniel for lunch at one of our favorite lunch spots in Buckhead. It was raining on my trip home from lunch. I lost control of my car on GA 400 right at point where I-285 intersects. I careened back and forth across 5 lanes of interstate without a single car hitting me. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. I hit the guard rail and sat for a few moments while traffic hurried around me to get on 285. No one stopped. I was unscathed, and my car received minor damage considering the magnitude of the situation. Driving home, I realized this dear child was ours to keep. God had protected me and the baby in an amazing way. Still when I navigate that intersection I am reminded of the Lord’s goodness and provision in my life (while wondering if I contributed to the mangled guard rail that hangs on the side). That was all the reassurance I needed to put the fear of another miscarriage behind me.

The Blogging Begins

Ninety-eight percent of women I know with young children have a blog. I’ve always enjoyed reading about their adventures in motherhood, knowing I could glean some good information for my own future experiences. In fact, before we were even pregnant, I came up with the semi-clever name for this blog. I saw maintaining a record of the thoughts and events of motherhood almost an obligation. Daniel’s been asking me when the blogging hormone would kick in. Well, eight months into the pregnancy, here it is.

Truly though, I am not starting this blog under maternal duress. As I’ve always been a better written than oral communicator, this is a great way of allowing glimpses into my life you might not otherwise know. It serves three main purposes: 1) A lovely keepsake for our daughter, 2) The best way to keep family and friends in the loop, and the most important 3) My number one role on this Earth is to serve and glorify the Lord in all my thoughts and actions. In striving for this, I will undeniably be the best wife and mom possible. If even one person can be encouraged in their faith through my musings, then my time is well-spent.