Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Story of Kindness to Relate...

It's amazing to me how a pregnant belly can change the atmosphere of a conversation, a room, or even a meeting of two strangers.  I'm convinced that it's not so much my friendly demeanor or charisma... it is in fact my fat, round belly.  Here's what happened yesterday:

I've needed to get my hair trimmed for the past few weeks.  The combination of pregnancy hormones and prenatal vitamins has made my hair and nails grow like mad.  If you know me at all, you know that the appearance of my hair is not a huge priority to me.  In fact, when I do wear my hair down or even remotely "fixed", my girlfriends say, "What's the special occasion?!"  It's now been aptly dubbed my Special Occasion Hair.  

So in order to maintain my coveted Special Occasion Hair, I went to my local posh and upscale salon, Great Clips.  It was mid-morning and I was the only one there besides two stylists.  One was loudly hacking a very attractive chest-cough while sniffing back some lovely sinus... something.... and I quickly breathed a prayer that I'd have the other stylist - a sweet-faced pudgy lady, easily a foot shorter than me.  The latter approached the counter and I sighed relief as she pulled up my information.  

As we walked to the shampooing sink, she paused and said hesitantly, "You're having a baby aren't you, honey?"  I smiled and said, "Yes!  It's our first and we're so excited!"  From that point on it was as if I had opened some secret social door to a different level of intimacy between strangers.  She felt perfectly comfortable to rub my belly, sometimes for a little longer than I would have felt comfortable with... but she was nonetheless an adorable and sweet lady.  Of course she asked me ALL about the pregnancy so far and, "did I KNOW how cute I looked?" and, "oooh, just wait till you hold that little angel..." -- all coupled with belly rubs and baby talk coos directed at my protruding abdomen.  

The best part, though, came when she was finished trimming my hair and it was time to blow dry.  She said, "Now, sweetie, you need to relax while you can, so just close your eyes and I'll tell you when I'm finished."  She proceeded to blow dry my hair, inch by inch, ever so slowly.  I was probably a good 20-minute job before she turned off the dryer and gave me one of the best neck rubs and scalp massage I've ever had!  At Great Clips of all places!  

She didn't even charge me for the shampoo, plus I had a coupon for the cut.  I definitely left her a hefty tip and told her how precious she had been... I hope she knows how sweet of a gift that was to me.  

It's a wonderful thing how babies and new life bring hope and excitement.  Yes, responsibility and care, but also such immeasurable joy and pleasure.  And James isn't even here yet!                

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

23 Weeks

23 weeks and 1 day.  162 days.  3,888 hours.  233,280 minutes, give or take a few.  A human is growing inside of me.  Millions of chemical reactions, hundreds of thousands of events, all dependent on other actions and cellular functions.  It's nothing short of a miracle.  

I have nothing to do with it, really.  I don't wake up and say, "Okay, James, today we're going to work on your eyelids.  Tomorrow is liver function and Wednesday is going to be the homeostasis of your stomach chemicals."  What in the world?!  I don't even think about it.  I eat, I sleep, I try to do exercises and breathe deeply.  I eat some more.  

Yes, okay, if given billions and trillions of years, maybe, MAYBE all of the pieces would fit together randomly in order for a simple skin cell to form (much less the complex reactions that need to happen before a brain synapse can shoot off).  That small, miniscule chance is enough for some people... and I suppose they are entitled to that.  But I'm not comfortable with those odds.  It just makes sense to me that there is something bigger and a whole lot more powerful than me or random chance that orchestrates these incredible millisecond miracles.  

What really frightens me is that it's not just an "it" that's growing in there.  It's a "he" with a soul and a personality and a wit.  He will think thoughts and make decisions.  He will disobey and laugh.  He will have desires and aversions.  What really frightens me is that I'm going to fail as his mother.  Jim, as wonderful as he is, will fail as his father.  It's a sure thing - we will mess up.  

My hope rests in the truth that James' life is not in vain.  God does not mess up.  He does not fail.  He's a sure thing in all the right and true ways.  I give my son to Him.  I give him now, and I pray that I will have the strength to give him back every day of his life.  I know that when I see his little face and hold his tiny, soft, wiggly body every shred of motherly instinct will want to make him completely mine and control how his little heart feels and reacts.  But I can't.  My mind knows that is not the best way.  Dear God, make my heart know it, too.

23 weeks.  118 days to go.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Words

BELLY BUTTON:  Mine hurts a little.  Jim is kind enough to keep me frequently updated on how "funny it's lookin' ".  Poor little button has no where to go but out!

COLD:  I'm ready for spring.  Not only because it will not snow here, but the process of putting on socks is becoming a lack-of-oxygen-to-my-brain issue.

QUICKENING:  I will never get tired of feeling little James move inside my belly.  I realize it will eventually wake me up at night or be extremely uncomfortable when he decides to snuggle/do the rhumba with my bladder, but it's such a treasure.

HEBREWS:  Did you know that it's Biblical for the husband to make coffee in the morning?  It's in the book of Hebrews...  Sorry, I love cheesy jokes.  But really, it's one of my favorite things about Jim.  In the morning he gets up, puts clean dishes away, starts the coffee, and then helps me get up.  I don't know how in the world I snagged a man like him :)

TOPICS:  I obviously am in a dry spell for blog topics, hence these weird, disconnected, list thingys... 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yes, It's a Family Name, But It's Also So I Can Sing This To Him...

Good night you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby James...

If this song is really about something weird like drugs or something.... just let me be naive, okay? It's such a beautiful song...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

21 Weeks and Some Change

Can I just say that maternity pants are my very best friend??  

The first time Jim saw full-panel maternity pants, we were at Goodwill.  He held them up and said, "Sweetie!!  Look at the butt on these!!"  

I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard.  :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Words

SICK:  Jim has been feeling icky yesterday and today... he went to school anyway as he felt a little better this morning.  Shoot off a prayer if you think of it.  Dear Flu, You are unwelcome in our home.

NOSE:  Mine is perpetually congested.  Since about gestational week 13, I've been breathing through my nose at about 73%.  One of my biggest pet peeves.  I've heard it's a symptom of pregnancy...

PROVIDE:  God does.  Good gravy, does He EVER!!  A group of my girlfriends and I went out for dessert last night to celebrate James being, well, a boy.  Then they whipped out surprise gift cards for me to use for all things baby and maternity!  So humbled and grateful.

BUTTONS:  Mine won't close.  None of them.  This makes me even more grateful for the above gift!   :)

CHINESE FOOD:  My current craving.  Specifically egg rolls... yes, plural.

MAMA:  I miss mine.

BIRMINGHAM:  I'm going there this weekend to see my brother and his wife!!

WORK:  Need to get back to it...  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baby Of Mine Needs STUFF

Now that we know the gender of our little Razz, some awesome, generous people want to throw us a baby shower in the coming months.  It's time for us to start thinking about registering for soft, squishy baby things!!  This thrills me to no end as just the size of tiny baby shoes puts my brain into absolute orbit.

We have already been blessed like crazy with people giving us baby stuff, so we probably won't have to register for everything under the sun.  We have a crib, a bassinet, a Boppy pillow, and some various boy clothes.  A friend of mine is actually bringing me a carload of things tomorrow, so the list will most likely go further.
However, I've still been trying to compile a list of must-haves... except that I have no clue what I MUST HAVE!  I mean, I know the obvious - crib, car seat, diapers, etc. - but is there anything that you have found to be indispensable for any baby that you have or know?

Please let me know!  James appreciates it.  :)  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

James Walker Thompson V!!

I dreamed last night that Raspberry turned out to be twins, that I was a lot farther along than expected, AND that they realized that my stomach wasn't going to get any bigger and they were going to have to induce extremely early labor... none of that happened today.  Here is our handsome boy!!  

My mom pointed out his foot posture.  It's a Longenecker trait to stand with our feet in a V-shape like this.  Haha!!

Poor James, being subject to such public indecency as this.  He was very modest at first and kept squirming out of the way but finally yielded to the prodding of the ultrasound wand.
My yearnings for an obviously pregnant belly have been suddenly replaced with yearnings to skip all of that so I can hold this angel in my arms as quickly as humanly possible.  Which apparently is another 5 months or so... sigh...  

As far as my response when we found out it was a boy:  Complete surprise!  I really hadn't thought either way.  But without realizing it, I think I was swept away with so many people being absolutely convinced it was a girl.  So when I saw that little vienna sausage, proudly waving at Mommy and Daddy, I could hardly believe it!  Jim grinned from ear to ear and said "There's our James!  There's our James!"

The doctor said everything looked good.  We watched his heart pumping blood in and out with all 4 chambers, saw his bladder, kidneys, even his eyeballs!  It really was incredible.  I also couldn't believe how much he was wiggling around and yet how little I could feel.  I had a bottle of OJ before we went in because he seems to dance more when I drink it.  The technician was so nice and let us just watch him flipping and turning and rolling... so amazing.  

It really was one of the most incredible things I ever seen.  I can't imagine what it will be like to hold him.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm Usually Not This Brainy...

Couldn't help it, though.  This quote from C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man was too good.

You cannot go on "explaining away" forever:  you will find that you have explained explanation itself away.  You cannot go on "seeing through" things forever.  The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.  It is good that the window is transparent, because the street or garden beyond is opaque.  How if you saw through the garden too?  ... a wholly transparent world is an invisible world.  To "see through" all things is the same as not to see.  

This helps me take a deep breath when I feel as if I'm slipping beneath the waters of unanswered questions.  There is substance to Truth.  Truth is opaque.  Not only is it opaque, but we can know Him and be known by Him.         


Monday, February 2, 2009

Curls and Twirls or Flames and Games?

The day that Jim "was allowed" to tell his students that I was pregnant, he wrote a song for our baby.  I was 8 weeks along and the little embryo was about the size of a raspberry.  Hence, the name of the song, Raspberry You.  You can go here to listen, but have some tissues handy.  It's so cute/beautiful/exciting/I-love-my-husband-so-much-I-can't-stand-it-sometimes!!  This is also how we came to call our baby Raspberry - and probably will continue until the poor kid is in college.  Don't worry, if it's a boy, we'll call him Razz :) 

There is a line in the chorus that asks, "... will it be curls and twirls..." and then later, "... will it be flames and games...?" referring to the unknown gender, obviously.  FINALLY, on Thursday, we'll know what it is!!  It will be so good to be able to say him or her at last!  

If I'm being perfectly honest, I would say that I hope it's a boy.  (I can't believe I'm putting this in writing to one day scar my child forever, if it happens to be a girl).  I hope that's not terrible of me to say.  Of course I will love this baby to death, no matter the gender... but I've been spoiled with two of the greatest Big Brothers on the planet and I would love that for our future *Lord willing* daughter.  


See?  Aren't they wonderful??  (Matt's on the left, Mikey on the right).

About 98% of people we ask think it's a girl.  Some more sure than others - like my Mama and my friend Beka.  Beka confidently, and with pride, uses the pronouns "she" and "her" all the time... and corrects me when I don't.  :)  I will be thrilled to have a little girl... don't get me wrong.  She will be surrounded with God-exalting "aunties" and will have the best Daddy ever.  And that is worth mountains of gold... I should know.  

I can't wait to see our little Raspberry on the screen and know that he/she is REALLY in there! Please pray that Raspberry is healthy and happy.  Jim and I haven't really been praying against certain "differences" because I don't believe that God makes mistakes.  We have been praying, however, that He will make us prepared, patient, and trusting for whatever may come.  I wonder sometimes if that is the wrong way to pray, but at the same time I see so many instances where children that are born with certain obstacles become beacons of Light to so many around them.  So, not mine, but Thy will be done.    

Look for ultrasound pictures and another big, fat post to come!!

By the way, what do you think it will be?