Sunday, September 22, 2013

introducing JANE (introduction)

Hello blogger (and future me who will read this when I am old and totally grey),

It's been a long, long time since we've met.  Blogging about our life has taken a back seat to, well, LIFE.  Life is good and busy.  Not unusual, not extraordinary, but blessed and busy for sure.  Now, I've been haunted by guilt over these last many months about the total blog absence of our youngest child.  If this blog is to serve as a journal for our family, we've got to introduce all of the characters.

So, "character" she is... Jane Amaya Patenaude came into the world around 5:00 AM on May 24th, 2012.  Jane is now almost 16 months and a real handful.  She is a busy walker, inquisitive, demanding, and not very flexible.  She is adorable and playful (loves hiding and playing some variation of chase).  She eats lots of things, but really adores grilled zucchini, bananas, roasted chicken, apples, cheddar cheese, and scrambled eggs.  She has recently discovered crackers and cookies of all varieties and of course loves them too!

So, back to the very beginning.  The pregnancy with Jane started out with a lot of excitement.  We had tried to get pregnant, and were really excited when it quickly "worked".  We were really enjoying our little family with three sweet sisters, and we felt like there could never be too much of a good thing.  Although we sort of hoped for some variety with our fourth child, we were totally pleased when we found out we were having a girl.

The pregnancy was a little rough.  There were no serious complications, but within a few weeks of being pregnant, I was experiencing significant back pain and morning sickness.  The back pain was manageable with chiropractic care (love Dr. Wilson!), and the nausea did subside by the second trimester.  To add to the exhaustion of pregnancy, we jumped into a flurry of house buying.  I spent months and months looking at houses and wishing for a sense of certainty about any of them, but to no avail.  Finally, after about 6 months of looking we ended up feeling God's leading to the new house in Bloomington.  So, at 18 weeks pregnant, the week before Christmas, we made the move.  Now, we didn't move far and we didn't leave friends, school, church, work or anything else important.  BUT, moving was still hard!  It takes a good while for a house to feel like home, and there were lots of wonderful new neighbors to meet.  It stressed me, though it was mostly a good stress.

The not so good stress came in the form of Pubic Symphosis Disorder.  With all the hauling, moving, lifting, and lugging, I ended up separating my public bone and giving myself some rather serious chronic pain for the rest of the pregnancy.  During the day, my pain levels were around level 5, but at night (when I wished to be soundly sleeping), my pain levels were really high.  So, the pregnancy progressed with me in constant pain, growing gigantic, and trying to settle into a new home.  We did things like replace all the floors, and paint many rooms.  I unpacked lots of boxes and moved lots of furniture.  We also did our best to raise three girls (potty training Esther), and lead a brand new small group.  As all of these stresses started to press me, my excitement over this pregnancy waned.  I still wanted this baby, of course, but in my spirit, the default setting was subtly shifting from faith and excitement to fear and doubt.

My body had failed throughout the pregnancy by giving me more pain than I had ever endured before.  I had also had a near-fail of the test for gestational diabetes, so I was doubting my hormones.  Contractions were more frequent and I felt weak.  I was even carrying much further out, which I attribute to my poor core strength after carrying three other babies.  Believe it or not, eating small amounts of raw liver was a necessary daily boost, and I napped a lot too.  By the time May rolled around, I was even dreading labor, which had been a breeze (comparatively speaking) with the last two girls.

more to come....

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