"It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desires which he creates." ~Amy Carmichael

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby, kittens, fleas, car accidents, ministry...life.

*sigh* If it's not one thing, then it's another. Trying to have a good attitude and just take things as they come...but, goodness, life can be tiring.

For the skim readers:

Our life of late has involved: Kittens (8 of them, actually). Open House. Bed rest. Baby Adalynn Grace. Emotional rollercoasters. Life adjustments. Major ministry/life decisions. Fleas. Car accident. Insurance hassles. Spiritual stretching and growing. An awesome husband, adorable baby, and a good God.

And for the long-winded readers who actually want some detail:

Early August, we rescued 6 young kittens and bottle fed them around the clock for a few weeks before they were old enough for wet/dry cat food. Oh, and that was after bottle feeding a couple of my parents' kittens for a day or two. Unfortunately, for various reasons, in the end only one survived. Trouble is a tiny, curious little thing, who fully lives up to his name. Thinking he's been lonely, we adopted a recently weaned kitten from my parents' cat to keep him company. So far their interaction consists of Trouble curiously trying to play and Lucy (twice his size) hissing threateningly and batting him away. Best friends in the making, I'm sure.

Mid-August we held an open house. About 75 people showed up for chili, children's games, visiting, and Contra Dancing. It was a fun day and we were thankful for their encouragement and support for the ministry.

But I guess transforming a monstrous house from a construction zone to being company ready - between work days - making nine crockpots of chili, preparing prizes & paperwork and hosting 75 people in our home must have been a little much. Two days later, at 35 weeks pregnant, I was having a lot of contractions and beginning to dilate, so I ended up on partial bed rest for the last few weeks of the pregnancy...

The following week, after two days of regular, time-able contractions, no progress had been made and we decided the baby *probably* wasn't coming quite yet. So I spent a weekend at my parents' house while Nathan flew up to Canada to attend his sister's wedding. I stayed down as much as possible that weekend, just to make sure baby waited until daddy came home! Thankfully, she did wait...

Until the day after daddy returned home - sick. Nathan got home late Sunday and promptly went to bed with either a flu or food poisoning of some sort. I was then 37 weeks and 2 days and Nathan was home, so the idea of bed rest flew out the window and I was able to take care of him that day. By the end of that first day of being up and around, my waters started leaking, which meant that we needed to get labor going for real (contractions had never really stopped for about two weeks by that point)...

So that is how we spent the next day. And the day after that. The amniotic sac seemed to have resealed itself by that point so we no longer felt that we HAD to make labor happen. So the midwife stayed one more night and we went to bed figuring whatever was happening might settle down while I slept. The sleep idea lasted about an hour and a half. Labor was finally progressing...

And about 12 hours of intense-no-break-contractions later, a 7lb, 12oz Adalynn Grace was born. When she was born, the midwives told her to cry (to clear out her lungs) and, being the obedient child she is, she proceeded to cry for about the next 24 hours. Perhaps next time they should be more specific.

Then followed the usual weeks of recovery and getting to know this baby. I'm happy to say, I have been enjoying this time with Addy and bonding more easily than I expected. I'm less happy to say that recovery wasn't so great, especially with weeks of daily headaches and stomachaches thrown into the mix. But, we were/are both generally healthy so I can hardly complain.

Since she's been born...
Life has been about as routine as Missouri weather and has felt about as solid as a water bed. Like I said, I *have* been enjoying getting to know my little girl. However, otherwise, it's been tough. Between not feeling well physically, exhaustion, post-pregnancy hormones, and struggling to get on some sort of schedule...it's been a little tougher than usual to take life in stride.

Yes, I have been around babies my entire life. Yes, I know how to change and bathe a newborn, how to calm a fussy baby, and how to use a car seat (they seriously have instruction manuals for those things). I've even done dishes, cooked dinner, paid bills and folded laundry one-handed while holding a baby. Yet, somehow, it feels like I am having to relearn everything I know in life right now.

I've always had the option of giving a crying baby back to its mother. I've always had the option of waiting to do something until someone else could hold the baby. I've never had my (very) limited hours of energy/productivity interrupted to feed a baby.

And I am only just now realizing that the functionality of virtually ALL of my relationships has changed to some extent. Add to the relationship adjustments the fact that I just quit working regularly after working the same job for nearly 7 1/2  years, and I was on bedrest for several weeks (before/after birth), and we recently moved just far enough away that it's no longer convenient for people to drop by anymore...I admit that feeling lonely/isolated has probably been the hardest thing for me by far. I'm definitely not used to being at home all the time. I love my baby girl, but sometimes it feels like she is about the only person I have much of a connection with anymore. And she's not much of a conversationalist so far ;)

Right around when Addy was born, the kitten had picked up a serious amount of fleas. Oddly enough, they didn't spread anywhere else, so I quit being paranoid about them. I figured it was probably because we let him in the house less frequently and he was only ever allowed on the hard floors. Until we made the mistake of getting a flea collar. The kitty feels better I'm sure, but the fleas suddenly spread like crazy. Even after banishing him to the outdoors (the poor thing felt so neglected), thorough vacuuming, being careful about clothing that's been in contact with him, washing bedding repeatedly...we still haven't managed to completely get rid of them. But apparently fleas are picky about who they pester. They have hardly touched Nathan, Bria or Addy. I am the lone, unfortunate person who has been perpetually attacked. Let me tell you, being COVERED in bug bites while recovering from pregnancy/birth = NOT fun. But at least I didn't have to worry about the baby; she has not had a single bite.

Oh yes, speaking of Bria. She moved in with us in early September. It has worked out very nicely for both her and us. She needed a good place to live where she could get away from life stresses, and we have appreciated her helpfulness. It's nice having someone else to hang out with occasionally too!

This last week I was just beginning to think that life could start finding some semblance of normalcy. Until a dump truck side swiped us on the highway this weekend. We had planned on picking up my eldest niece and nephew and taking them with us to see a show, then having a dinner date later. What actually happened was we spent most of the afternoon dealing with insurance claims and police reports. Which, as Nathan pointed out, was better than spending it at the hospital. Other than being a bit shaken up, we were all fine. Both Nathan and I saw it coming, but there was nothing we could do as we were caught between a big, old dump truck that was changing lanes without looking and a concrete barrier wall. It messed up the whole left side of our car, but it could have easily been worse. Not even any broken glass. Thankful for God's protection.

Unfortunately, cleaning up the mess isn't going to be as easy as we'd hoped. Turns out that the other driver's insurance policy was inactive. Which means we have to come up with a fairly large deductible amount and hope that our insurance company can get it reimbursed someday in the future. This morning was spent trying to figure out what to do about his lack of insurance, how to get our car fixed, and what to do about our lack of a vehicle until it is fixed. Fun, fun.

But on the bright side, we are all generally healthy, I have an awesome husband (who is also a pretty awesome daddy), an absolutely adorable (albeit stubborn and feisty) little girl, and a good God. The rest are pretty much all just details anyway!

And now I'm going to try for a shower, if I can, then get on to other Monday stuff.

Farewell until next time. (Hopefully sooner than two months from now!)