I am 30 weeks pregnant already!
Physically I am feeling pretty good. I'm tired, have varicose veins that bulge and ache, heartburn, and hips that are starting to fall apart, but I also have a wiggly baby inside of me that sort of makes it all worth it. Emotionally though, I've been much more a mess this pregnancy than I ever have been before. I don't think I'm depressed or anxious, but I am very easily overwhelmed and my emotions are right at the surface. My family has been really patient with me.
It has also been hard because I've had a hard time deciding on a care provider and where we are going to have the baby. Jon and I have been praying and debating about it for a few months but we finally decided that we are going to go back to Utah for Christmas and then just stay and have the baby there. Mostly it is because it is the path that just feels the best, but it is also because there just aren't very many great birth choices where we live. The law in Iowa will only allow Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) to deliver babies at home, as opposed to most other states where Certified Midwives, can also do home births. There are three CNMs in Des Moines who do home births, but only one who will travel to where I live. I had her for Tabitha's birth and have been seeing her again this time. She is a good midwife but she lives about 2 hours away from me. My labors are usually quick (about 3 hours) and this baby will be born in December, which means that if there is bad weather it is very likely she won't make it in time for the birth.
Realizing this I seriously considered doing a hospital birth this time and interviewed the midwives at the hospital near us. One of the midwives in the group was a home birth midwife before she moved to Iowa and so I set up an appointment with her, knowing she'd understand where I was coming from. I was ready to jump into a hospital birth, but she was really honest with me. "I know what type of maternity care you've had in the past," she told me, "and I know what type of care you want, and I know you won't get that quality or type of care here." I was a bit discouraged after that, but was grateful that she'd been so straight forward with me. She was actually the one who suggested I think about traveling somewhere else for the birth, because there really just aren't many choices in our area.
So, I've been weighing my options for the last few months and even though going to Utah doesn't make the most logical or financial sense, all my other options make me feel uneasy inside whereas this path feels right. So I think I'll follow it. The midwife who attended Asher, Rose, and Abe's births has agreed to take me as a transfer and my in-laws are thrilled about us coming for a whole month (or a bit more). They even said we could have the baby at their house, though I'm thinking that we might go to our midwives's birthing center as their house might be full for Christmas... but I guess we'll just see.
My husband got permission from his company to work remotely and since we home school there is no rush to get back at a certain time. The only problem will be if this baby decides to come two weeks early or two weeks late. If he comes too much after Christmas I think I'll be dying and if he comes two weeks early we might have a baby somewhere along 1-80, which would be less than ideal. Yet, I'm optimistic that everything will work out how it is suppose to. Now the trick is to just hang in there the next two months!
Home school this year has been rough... really rough. A few weeks ago someone asked Asher how school was going and he replied, "Oh, fine... but my mom just cries alot."
Which is pretty much the truth.
The amount of teasing, fighting, and bad attitude is at an all time high in our house and nothing I do seems to make a difference. In years past home school has always been fun but this year it is miserable, for everyone. I'm sure that me being pregnant and tired all the time doesn't help, and the fact that my emotional coping ability is at a 1/4th of what it normally is probably explains a lot. I also think my older kids are both at kind of hard ages (almost 8 year-old boy and 6 year-old girl) and I feel like my day is one long reminder to not scream, not tease, not hit, not lie, not complain, not whine, and to do other basic human skills. I am usually emotionally exhausted by about 12 in the afternoon and don't have a whole lot left over for being a happy, fun, or nice mom the rest of the day. It is a vicious cycle.
It has been so miserable that I've thought about just sticking them in school, but if I do that then our trip to Utah to have the baby doesn't work out so well. Also, as much as I want to some days, putting them in school doesn't feel right at all. Even though I don't understand it, I know that they are where they need to be, and we are doing what Heavenly Father wants us to right now. It has just been hard.
I'm hopeful that things will be better after the baby comes and I start feeling better, but then again there is a part of me that worries it might just get worse. New babies are wonderful but they always throw a wrench in things for the first little bit. I'm trying to stay optimistic about it, but I get easily discouraged lately. So, if you have any advice or encouragement for what to do when you are pregnant (or have a new baby) and homeschooling is completely miserable, I'd be much obliged!
After hearing my story you might understand why Jon told me a few weeks ago that I really needed a break.
I totally agreed with him.
I've been involved with Big Ocean Women since they organized last year and have been watching for the last few months as they have been preparing to attend the World Congress of Families that is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah next week. It crossed my mind several times that I should go to the conference, but I kept pushing it aside because I was going to be big and pregnant and it seemed like a lot of money to spend to just go to Salt Lake. Then out of the blue Carolina Allen, the director of Big Ocean Women, emailed me and asked if I was going and said that they had gotten some free tickets and hotel rooms. It sort of seemed like a sign that I should go.
I've tried to talk myself out of going about 10 times but Jon keeps insisting that I go... so I'm going! This weekend my in-laws are flying out from SLC to watch my kids and I am flying to SLC to have a week at the Grand America (sharing a room with a good friend from college!) and attending the world's largest conference on families. This is the first time this conference has been held in the United States and so it is really an incredible opportunity. There are some amazing people speaking and I'm excited to go, listen, and learn.... and to have a break from my kids.
Is that awful to say?
Thank you to everyone who has commented or emailed me about my series on "Cultivating a Heart Open to Life." It has been so good to get these posts out of my draft box (where they have been sitting for years) and out into the light. I've really appreciated the conversations and ideas that people have shared and hope that it has given you something to think about, for good or bad.
I still have two more posts left in the series but one of them is just not coming together like I want. I'm hoping that after a week at the World Congress of Families that I will learn or hear something that will help my thoughts and ideas come together better. So you might just have to wait for the last two posts. One thing I have learned through writing this blog is that God has His own time schedule and that if I try to rush things or do them when I want, they usually don't work out as well. I'm willing to be patient to get it right... so thanks for waiting.
Also, thank you for listening to me vent a bit in this post. Sometimes it feels much better to be honest than to pretend that everything is perfect. I know that many of you could WAY out do me in the "lets see who has bigger challenges" contest, so I know I can't complain too much. Life has been challenging for me lately, but it has also been really good. I think that sometimes it is when thing are hard that I am able to feel God's love for me the clearest. In fact, several months ago Jon gave me a blessing and the one thing that stood out to me was that he promised God would send me ministering angels.
And you know what, I've felt them.
In so many little ways I've felt divine strength and help, lifting my heart or lightening my burdens at just the right moment. I don't know who they are, but I can feel their influence in my life, and I'm so grateful for them.
A few weeks ago I splurged and went out and got this painting framed. It is by Brian Kershisnik and is called "She will Find What is Lost". My Dad gave me the print for Christmas last year and I knew that I couldn't wait any longer to get it up on my wall. I hung in our home school room (which also happens to be the dining room) just to remind me of my ministering angels; to remind me that I don't have to do this by myself, that I have power beyond my own, and that I will find what is lost.
But if in the meantime you want to say a little prayer for me, I wouldn't mind that either.
Have a wonderful weekend and if you want to stay better abreast of my life I'd love to have you follow me on Instagram. Just send me a request and I'll mostly likely approve it, unless your profile is creepy.