Saturday, March 30

A Holy Saturday Post

On Dec 1, before I was pregnant, I wrote this: Lamenting in the Barren Land. I was not looking forward to Christmas - for the first time ever. Having gone through a year of failed infertility treatments and struggling with my sister's spontaneous pregnancy, presuming I would hear all kinds of "So why aren't you starting a family" kind of comments from friends and extended family.  Believing I would walk through all of it raw and vulnerable. It made me want to hide.

As I wrote "Lamenting", I assumed that the road ahead would lead toward healing, but in the form of contentedness years in the making. 

At the time, I believed I would write a bookend to "Lamenting." I didn't know when, but I thought it would go something like this:  "God didn't abandon me, and this is how I know, etc, etc." I also thought it would be something along the lines of "look at all he has done, though he never gave us children."

Which brings me to this Post: We are not Forsaken. I think it is a better bookend to "Lamenting" than something I could write. 

What I didn't think about during my own post was the effect on God as he watched his only son suffer and die.  Which is why the post is so fantastic. I, myself, couldn't wrap my brain around any other perspective but mine (and Jesus from the cross).

I forgot that parents suffer as their beloved child suffers.

My mom and sister (who has now had her baby) have both made comments recently about how painful it is to love someone as much as a parent loves their child. I cognitively believe it, but I don't understand it - yet. I know I will when our own little peanut comes I'll know experientially.

Saturday, March 23


I like to steal ideas from my blogging friends. So, today, I present the theft of an topic my friend Deanna Davis regularly blogs about: Healthy Marriage Practices.

(You'll hear a - shorter - version of this post at my brother's rehearsal dinner in two weeks, if you are attending. For all of you others, these are the thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind during the past few months.)

Our marriage began as every marriage does: with about 3-5 months of bliss (with some little blips) and then BAM: The Argument. The fight. If you are married, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's the one where at the end of it you feel both bewilderment that this got out of hand so fast, mixed with a significant amount of "I DO NOT want to be married to you anymore. This is NOT what I thought it would be. Screw this."

Simultaneously, I was finishing my graduate degree in Counseling, and was required by my Internship Supervisor (and Professor) to read a number of different books, and write response papers applying them to a) me or b) my practice.

I clearly remember what my professor wrote on one response paper ( I don't remember what I wrote, but it had to do with words of affirmation in a marriage).  He wrote, "John Gottman states that the Magic Ratio for a healthy relationship is 5 positive comments for every 1 negative comment." 

This blew my mind.

I remember thinking about our short marriage (about 8 months old at that point) and saying to myself,  "How can I ever POSSIBLY remember to say 5 positive things to my husband before I bring up something difficult or critical?"

So, I got into a habit.  I realized that when my husband does chores (the items of life that he said he'd take care of - laundry, the dishes, etc), he is doing a favor for me. If he were not here, I would have to do those things. By myself.

So I began to thank him.

For everything. For The smallest things.

Now, he also would thank me for doing certain things in our marriage, so it was a fairly easy habit for me to get into. But now, nearly 5 years into our marriage, we show gratitude for one another all the time. For miniscule things. The last time I thanked him, it was for filling up the gas tank. I hate doing that. It's so nice when he does it, so I texted him at 9 am when I got to work: Thanks for filling up the gas. I was so appreciative of it this morning! 

I'm sure other couples may find it almost too saccharine to bear, but the consistent, little moments of gratitude make the marriage connection much more stable when the difficult conversations are addressed. You have something to draw upon.

Does everyone have to implement this particular habit into their relationship? No, of course not. I see many relationships that are healthy and thriving and they don't do exactly this.

But in one manner or another, they specifically encourage their spouse with positive, affirming actions and words. Because it is the lifeblood of a marriage together.

Thursday, March 7

Stubborn or Mysterious. You choose.

Well, my friends, I'm sorry to say that there is no news on whether we have a Santiago or a Santiaga (as our RA Grace calls her...since she's sure baby is a "her.")

The ultrasound was from the top of the head down...sometimes we got a shot of the body, but it was not the traditional perfect "laying on a chaise lounge sofa" profile shot other babies are keen to give.

Adam said baby was Stubborn. My sister said both our babies were frustratingly mysterious.

Dr. Harnsberger pointed out baby's two kidneys, stomach and the heart was beating strong at 140 bpm. We could also see the baby's hands very clearly, and it likes to have its hands next to its face (twice in the last two months  - hands near face). We were also able to see a partial profile (mouth, eyes, nose), but baby moved right as he was taking the picture. So the photo's not that clear.

I learned something new, too: Apparently the sound of a sonogram is audible to the baby, which is why he/she moves around so much during the sonogram. It's not super pleasant, being the loudness of a subway train, with the tonality of the highest keys on a piano. 

Listen, baby. Show us the goods, and we'll stop bothering you with that subway train sound! ;)

Monday, March 4

All over the place

I have been trying to think up something very interesting to write about, and I really haven't come up with a whole lot that is coherent. So, in scattershot fashion:

  • Things apparently are going well with the pregnancy. The doctor is fine with me coming in every month, as opposed to the every two weeks I was accustomed to, so there's not a lot to share. I could update about how "big" the little one is, but I don't want to simply regurgitate app information on my blog without additional info.
  • I'm 14 weeks. I look pregnant after I eat, I don't look preggo when I wear my normal clothes and sit up straight. So I have no idea. Maybe in a few weeks we'll go: "THAT'S a baby bump."
  • I pray every day for my friends who have yet to conceive.
  • We aren't updating Facebook with updates, because we don't know how painful it might be for those around us, those who might not have shared with us their struggles. Our child will rarely get posts on FB when he/she does arrive. I'll probably keep updates here or at Santiago Chronicle.
  • We (hopefully!) will find out the gender this Thursday. I may or may not post it immediately, since the RA staff is on Spring Break, and we want to tell them all together when they return. (I have no idea how many of them know about my blog). 
  • I think we're keeping the baby name a secret, but we've secretly flown it by some people to see their reaction (nestled in among 5 other names so they couldn't figure out which one we're really interested in.) Adam's set on one particular name and I'm fine with it as long as it's paired with a family name from my side.
  • My brother is engaged! The wedding is in 4 weeks, Adam is going to be a groomsmen. They were thoughtful enough to consider when I wouldn't be able to fly and significantly moved up their wedding plans. 
  • My sister is due in 3 weeks - I'm praying baby comes early so she'll have weeks to recover,  but also for the  baby to be full term, making it easier for her to be able to attend my brother's wedding (she lives in the same town, as opposed to us, who live 1700 miles away).
  • I'm pretty moody lately - I was irritable all day for little reason. Came home kinda pissy, and am still trying to snap myself out of it. I'll just blame it on the pregnancy and eat one of the 5 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies I bought.
  • Yes, I used the excuse "I'm pregnant" when I bought the 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
With octaves of a mystic depth and height