As if my last post didn't start out with a negative enough vibe, this one could be far worse. But it won't, don't worry. I'll give a very brief overview, and I plan to emphasize the happy ending. The happy ending: I can walk, sit, stand, lift children, and hold babies. The not happy beginning: My periodic back troubles surged to an all time high on Thursday, causing me to call Eric home from work at 9:30 am. Thankfully, he came quickly enough to care for the girls and schlep me around the house as needed. I had been having some lower back pain throughout the week, but rather suddenly that morning I couldn't do anything. I was stuck on the floor in the office, hardly able to crawl. Sweet Hope thought I was playing a silly game with her, which encouraged me to the stairs, up to the kitchen and into the bathroom- all the while crawling or walking on all fours. Eva has a much better understanding of the way things should be, and watched with wide, uncertain eyes. I slipped myself into a hot bath, crying all the way, but Eric had to get me out and into bed. I felt like I was having back labor... the whole day.
Later that day, he practically carried me to the car and into the chiropractor. My dear friend Bethany watched Hope and practically cleaned the whole house while we were away. I am so blessed! Eric and I were both so relieved when the chiropractor told me that there was nothing really wrong with me. Her treatment was very helpful, and I left with the pain greatly minimized. Through the weekend, I have slowly felt almost totally better. I still am slow though. No quick motions, and don't expect me to stand holding any small children for more than a minute or two. The chiropractor's assessment of the situation: stress. Her prescription: find a way to deal with or eliminate your stressors... easier said than done. But that recommendation has opened up a dialogue in our home about what really stresses me, how to deal with, when to ask for help, etc. Around here we have fairly rigid expectations for gender roles and responsibilities, but I feel like those might be loosening up a bit in the future which will be a good thing. I think this was probably a timely wake up call, as I definitely don't want to experience that pain or immobilization again!
The back labor sensation was very troubling to the chiropractor since I am pregnant. She thought I should see my midwife right away, and thankfully I had my first appointment scheduled the next day. This whole pregnancy, I've had a sort of gray cloud over me. I sort of expect something to go wrong... not sure why. I don't actually think that something will go wrong, but it wouldn't be a surprise to me. Since this was my first appointment, I struggled with fear that perhaps they wouldn't be able to hear the heartbeat or something else would be a problem. I believe that God is using this pregnancy and my recent lack of well-being to test my anxieties. Where do I put my hope? What do I allow my mind to dwell on? Will I live in fear, or will I trust and obey?
Anyway, as predicted, the midwife (actually a mid-husband, in this case), had a hard time finding the heartbeat. I lay there praying and thinking random thoughts: "I knew it!".... "Oh no!".... "what now?" But then all of a sudden, there it was! Sure and fast, a little drum pounding inside me. Heartbeat was normal, I'm measuring normal, I've gained less weight at this point that I had with the girls, all is well. The mid(husband) left me saying, "Congratulations, everything looks good!"
And so one small doubt and stressor departed my heart, and I swear I walked smoother and felt my lower back loosen just a bit.
So, that's the happy ending: The baby is fine. I am fine. Eric and I are having good conversations about supporting each other and handling this busy life. We've bid farewell to head colds and fevers and coughs for now. A new week starts tomorrow, and I feel energized for the first time in months. Easter is coming soon, and I am looking forward to celebrating my Savior who daily bears our burdens.
A little fun fact- baby is presently about the size of a lime!