Technically it isn't Friday anymore but I'm having trouble sleeping. I figured I might as well use my time well instead of laying in bed staring at the wall. I've never had pregnancy insomnia but the last few nights I've found it hard to stay asleep. Part of it might be that I am 38 weeks pregnant and there just aren't any comfortable sleeping positions when you are that big. The other part of it might be that I have been nervous all week that this baby would choose to come today, on Saturday, the only day that I don't want him to come.
My oldest, Asher, is getting baptized this afternoon and we have family traveling down for it. I'd hate to have this baby right when they were all here to celebrate for Asher. I've stayed awake worrying about it and wondering if every little contraction is "real" or not. I think I've sort of made myself paranoid, especially because I've had some strong contractions this morning. I know babies don't usually come when you want them to, but I'm all for positive thinking right now.
In other news, we arrived in Utah safe and sound, and with no baby, about a week ago. It feels good to be here and I am feeling much better than I was a month ago. It turns out that my iron levels were super low and that I was severely anemic (my hemoglobin was at an 8.6). It was actually a big relief to find out that I was anemic. For awhile I really thought I was just going crazy, I was so tired and depressed. It was a relief to know that there was something wrong with me and that it could be fixed.
I've been taking mega-doses of iron the last month (about 160 mg a day) along with vitamin C and folic acid, to help it absorb. It took a few weeks to really kick in but now I am feeling much better. I'm still tired, but I at least now I have energy and things don't seem so overwhelming. I've been laughing more, doing activities with my kids, and actually feel excited about having a baby. It has been amazing to see that as my iron levels have risen (they went up to 10.3 in two weeks!) that my moral has risen as well. I feel more like myself and less like a walking zombie .
A week or so ago I was watching a beautiful birth video (which Tabitha loved) and I realized that I am kind of excited to give birth again. Giving birth is an extreme sport. It is the most physically challenging thing I have ever done, and even though I know I won't enjoy it when I am going through it, I am looking forward to it like I would a race or another type of challenge. There is something amazing in watching my body do the impossible. Not to mention that there is NO better feeling in the world than to feel a baby flow out of you and into your arms. It is the ultimate trophy.
Also, I remembered that I LOVE the newborn stage, sleep deprivation and everything. I love how new and tiny they are, how relativity simple their needs are to meet and take care of, the new baby smell, the way they stay curled up when you hold them, soaking in a spirit fresh from heaven, and getting to meet a new unique, person.
I am really excited for that.
We've already had an addition to our family this last month.
So, a few weeks ago Clover the mini-lop bunny joined our family, and it has been a good addition. She is such a sweet rabbit and lets the kids carry her around like a baby, walk her on a leash, push her in the wagon, and be loved and snuggled for a good portion of the day. Part of the deal was that Rose would have to take care of her. We made it clear that Mom and Dad were not going to feed her or tromp out to the barn in the snow to check on her. I have been happily surprised at how responsible she has been and how she has really done a good job taking care of her. It is actually really cute to watch my little crew of four march out the barn each morning to "help" Rose feed Clover. It usually takes them at least a 1/2 hour to complete that chore!
I didn't think that I would love having a rabbit, but I am hooked. I've even found myself sneaking out the backdoor some afternoons to sit in the barn with her, petting her and snuggling her. Maybe I'm just practicing for a new baby, but she is very therapeutic.
I guess we've also gotten another type of addition to our family as well this month.
While I was gone at the World Congress of Families in October Jon's car caught on fire while he was driving home from work. I got a text from him while I was at the airport with this video.
The fire melted the entire engine compartment, the tires, and the cab.
It was rather impressive.
This happened several weeks ago, right before it began to get cold and snowy. For a few days Jon rode his bike to work, which took him about an hour both ways. He loves to cycle and so the distance wasn't an issue. If it had been spring or summer he probably would have kept on doing that, but riding in the dark, in the snow is another matter all together.
Luckily a man in our Ward had an old Honda Accord that had been sitting in his shop for several years gathering dust. It was missing a hood and the interior wasn't very pretty but the engine was good. Jon was able to find a hood for it, even matched the same color, and fix it up enough to drive it. So far, it has worked pretty good for him! Though, the first time I drove it I had problems getting the driver's side door open, which resulted in me having to climb over the other seats to get out of the car. Which, with me being big and pregnant was quite the feat and a tad bit hilarious.
The other best part about the "new" car is the name Rose gave it. She can't quite remember that it is a "Honda" and an "Accord" so she calls it the "Anaconda". A name that has officially stuck.
If you haven't seen the new Joan of Arc documentary done by BYUtv I'd highly recommend it. I've read and studied about Joan's life before but I learned so much about her that I'd never known.
The thing that impressed me most about her story was how obedient she was to the promptings and messages sent to her. I was so impressed with how long she struggled against the instructions that God had given her, but that in the end her faith compelled her to follow them, no matter how impossible or crazy they seemed. Her story is such a powerful example of how to receive and act on revelation and how God can use even the simplest of people to do great things.
There is a part in the video where she is asked, "Why?" Why her? Why did it have to be her that saved France? Her response (which is a direct quote from her) was that it "Pleases God to use a simple maid." I loved that! I think we too often we underestimate our own potential and the power that can come to us when we are obedient and willing to do what God commands. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that is too hard for God.
The video was directed by someone from Jon's home ward and so his parents were telling us that the request for the video came from Elder Holland. Apparently, Elder Holland has studied Joan's life extensively and felt that her story was an important one for Latter-day Saints to know and understand. According to the man in Jon's ward Elder Holland told them that if there hadn't been a Joan of Arc, then there wouldn't have been a France, and if there hadn't been a France there wouldn't have been an United States (due to the help they received from them during the Revolutionary War) and if there hadn't been an United States the restoration of the gospel would not have been possible.
I thought that was a pretty incredible statement and just goes to show how we never know how our life and our actions are paving the way for God's work to move forward. Can I also add that I loved it that she said that it was two female messengers who were sent to her to give her specific instructions on how to save France and lead an army. That just makes it even more awesome.
If you have seen the video I'd love to hear what you thought of Joan of Arc's story and what impressed you the most!
Just in case you missed my last post I want to share with you my latest creation.
I've put together a study guide for all the women in The Book of Mormon. There are 53 women, and groups of women, in the study guide with journaling space and prompts to help you study their lives more in-depth.
In Sunday School next year we will be studying The Book of Mormon and I am hoping that if people are studying the women in The Book of Mormon then their stories will get shared in lessons and discussions. We skip over their stories way too often just because they don't have names and because we aren't accustomed to talking about women in The Book of Mormon. In fact, I think that most people think there aren't very many! I hope that this study guide will help you discover them and learn to love their stories.
Have a wonderful weekend and wish me the best of luck with this baby. I'm sure ready to have it on the outside of me rather than the inside... that is after the baptism this afternoon and not before!