Jan 13, 2011

survival mode

Life has shifted gears around here. We are cruising around at 3 m.p.h, windows rolled down, avoiding speed bumps, barf bag at the ready, and hoping to make it to the finish line intact. In this house, pregnancy never drives down Easy Street, but instead of focusing on the seven-plus remaining months as a whole, I choose to adopt the one-day-at-a-time mindset. Even that is a little daunting.

On Tuesday night, I listened to Elder Christofferson's CES Fireside address while I cleaned the kitchen in my pajamas. It was amazing, and exactly what I needed to hear. His message of hope and encouragement and taking life a tiny bit at a time lifted my spirits, and I am sure I will draw on his wisdom many times over the coming months.

For now, here a few glimpses of daily life in the slow lane.

First, I throw up often (well, 2 or 3 times a day seems often) and dry heave every few hours. I am constantly nauseated and the world spins when I lift my head off the pillow. I'm not as tired as I was at Christmastime (we found out about Baby on Christmas Day), but I would still be perfectly content to spend the entire day resting in bed.

Second, my smeller is very sensitive. Opening the fridge (or even the freezer, much to my surprise) makes my stomach roll. Dealing with two sets of toddler bodily fluids unpleasant. And then there are stinky things that I never noticed before: nine-year-old feet, the kitchen wash cloth, bananas, mayonnaise, and yogurt, which my bloodhound nose can pick up from 10 feet away.

Third, my standards for household cleanliness are a thing of the past. Gavin and Lexi graze most of the day, because filling their bellies keeps them content and I don't have to get off the couch as much. We ingest a steady stream of channel 169. In just a few days I have nearly memorized the morning cartoon line-up. The hour of Umi Zoomi (from 10-11) is the best hour of the day.

Fourth, the older boys are glad to be clued in to the fact that I am not dying. I think they suspected a mortal calamity was upon me. Finding out I'm just growing a baby seemed like a relief. I hope that as we adjust to our new normal, they will be willing to step up with household responsibilities like dishes, laundry, and general tidying every night.

Fifth, I have already been the recipient of some service. Some lovely ladies came over on Monday and helped me make some meals to stockpile in my freezer. In just over three hours, the five of us put away 25 meals! It was a wonder to behold. That will be a blessing for our family for several weeks.

Tonight my visiting teachers stopped by to vacuum and help with laundry. I have had other offers to babysit and to clean, but as I am engaged in a marathon and not a sprint, I am hoping to delay assistance until it is more necessary.

With all of this said, I am very grateful to be pregnant. So many people have expressed their utter disbelief that another baby is joining our family. Several have asked outright if this pregnancy was planned or a surprise. Perhaps that's because our life is busy and full with four kids. Perhaps that's because Gavin is one of them. Perhaps that's because because pregnancy is not a picnic for me. I will just say that despite the difficulties ahead, it is a joy and a privilege to bring another of God's children to the earth. There is great peace in knowing I am doing what is right for our family. I derive strength from sacrificing my own comforts to fulfill God's purpose for me on this earth. I am very, very happy about this little baby!
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