Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hospital...Then Home

We've been home for four days now.  It seems like a much shorter time.  The days pass by so quickly and, of course, mostly centre around feeding and sleeping (for Rory anyway).

It is such a relief to be home.  I was quite content in hospital at first.  Who wouldn't be when you get all your meals served and have help on hand 24/7?  But towards the end of our stay, things soured a little.  We began to get hints from a couple of midwives that we had outstayed our welcome.  This was despite the obstetrician and the paediatrician being happy for us to stay longer.  The hospital information sheets we'd received months earlier also said that despite the usual stay for women who've had c-sections being six days, you would not be forced to leave if you weren't confident you could cope in the outside world.  In the end we felt a bit uncomfortable and I was desperate to get home.  It was a bit of a dampener on what was otherwise a great hospital experience.  I wrote on the feedback form that communication between staff and patients could be improved.  Normally I can't stand people who whinge consistently on Facebook about some horrid experience they had at a cafe or shop, but never mention any GOOD experiences of customer service.  In this case, I felt like something had to be said.

Here's how I've been coping (or not) with various aspects of our new life:

I have felt this tension.

I never thought my post-baby body would bother me, but it much so that I burst into tears the first time I saw myself in the mirror after the birth.  Parts of me were like bits of meat in a butcher's shop, I still looked about 25 weeks pregnant, and the lower half of my body was just horribly swollen.  Despite trying to convince myself that I should be proud of my body for what it has done, I grieved what I had lost.  It was a friend who came to visit us who helped give me some perspective.  She said that it had taken nine months to grow my belly so it was normal that it would take months to decrease again.  She is a mum and said it does shrink back, maybe not quite to how it was before, but it will get better.  And it has.  There has been significant improvement in the swelling department since I have been home (probably because I have been more active, but, don't worry, I'm not doing silly things like spring cleaning).  The c-section scar looks really good; I'm very impressed with the obstetrician's sewing skills.  I'm glad I don't have a scar like that on my face though.

I'm really not enjoying feeding.  There...I've said it.  Having said that, the last couple of days have been better as I've enjoyed slightly more sleep.  Everything seems better after I've had a nap.  I've heard plenty of people say they enjoy bonding with their baby through breastfeeding, but I'd rather just give Rory a bottle and still have lots of cuddles anyway.  Still, I'm persevering.  The child health nurse is supposed to visit us soon and she can't come soon enough.  My milk took five days to come in and Rory was pretty frustrated.  I find breastfeeding painful and have to use a shield.  It's hard to be discreet when you're learning (it's uncomfortable when men are visiting and I need to feed).  Rory either falls asleep while feeding and I have to keep tickling him, or he gets very aggressive and fidgety and is like a turtle snapping at me.  Feeding takes SO LONG and there's very little time for me to have a sleep before it's time for the next feed.  I've learnt that every hour of uninterrupted sleep is like a gold nugget.

I got the 'third day blues' and since then it has been hard to fight back the tears.  Sometimes it's due to the lack of sleep, other times I don't even know why I'm crying.  It may be grief over the loss of our previous way of life, or the fact that these few weeks are so draining...I don't know.  Sometimes I just need to cry which is hard when there are other people around who can't understand why I'm not always happy.

I've never known that it is possible to love someone so much and yet still get so frustrated at him and want to throw him sometimes.

Often it feels like one step forward, two steps back.  For every victory, there are numerous defeats.  But I've heard it said that no-one ever masters parenting; it is a continual learning process.  Each little achievement is celebrated.  Yesterday we had our first trip into town as a family of three.  Rory seemed alright in his pram so Duncan and I got to have a coffee together.  We went to the bank, the post office, my old workplace to say hello, then to the supermarket.  Just as we were going through the checkout, Rory started crying.  At least he settled down again when we were back in the car.  Still, I'd judge the trip a success (I'm dreading going without Duncan though).

One thing every parent has told me is that this time of demanding feeding will end.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  They didn't say, "Just enjoy it," because they remember how hard it is and that not every moment is full of warm fuzziness.  I think my new motto is, This too will pass.  Knowing that helps me deal with the present and focus on the positives with Rory at this time.  Despite the sleep deprivation, he will never be this small again.  I could blink and he'll be a 25-year-old man who won't fit in his mother's arms and won't want cuddles.  I don't want to wake up and realise I have a two-year-old.  I want him to stay as a baby.  He has forced me to slow down and do less.  I don't want to waste the moments of gazing at him sleeping peacefully and marvel at the gift God has given us.

I have to say that I would be lost without Duncan.  He is the BEST husband and daddy.

Despite my prayerlessness and lack of Bible reading over the past couple of weeks, I'm aware that I'm surviving in God's strength and not my own.  Yesterday's verse is a great comfort to me.  I know it's one of those verses that appears on a lot of cheesy Christian tea towels and Bible covers, and that many Christians interpret it as meaning we need to use God as a crutch during hard times, while relying on ourselves when things are going well.  But we need to rely on God's power ALL the time.  We are not just weak in adversity; we are always weak.  It is only in God's strength that I can keep plodding on, whether I think I'm doing well or not.

I'd better go...the bubba will be waking for another feed very soon.

Drunk bubba.  This is my favourite photo of him so far.

It's rather unnerving feeding your baby while he's giving you the bird haha. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bible Verse of the Day

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rory's Birth Story

Well, we're still in hospital!  I thought today would be the day when we went home but, alas, it wasn't to be.  Rory is under the lights being treated for jaundice.

So, I thought I'd use the time to blog his birth story instead.

At first I thought I'd never blog this.  It seems with this kind of information you alienate the blokes with all the gory details, yet the women can't get enough.  I wasn't the type to have a firm plan in how I wanted to give birth.  I had several options in mind (NOT natural - I respect people who choose that option, but I can't stand pain and I often wonder if medieval women would think modern day women are nuts - "What! You've got pain relief available and you're choosing not to use it?")  I thought I'd try a few different things such as a TENS machine, gas, sitting in a bath (which has helped me with arthritis pain), and then an epidural.  There was only one 'plan' avoid a c-section if at all possible.  Having a c-section was my birthing worst nightmare.  The thought of being cut open while awake freaks me out, and the recovery would be horrible being out in woop woop with no grocery delivery or takeaway available and not being able to drive.

It didn't happen at all the way I thought it would.

Last Friday (the 18th which was our due date) Duncan and I went to our 40 week appointment with our obstetrician and he was concerned when I mentioned that I'd been 'leaking' for the past few days.  I just thought I was incontinent (which I read can happen in late pregnancy) but it turned out my hindwaters had broken and were leaking slowly and I would need to be induced that day.  When the obstetrician tried to examine me to see if the cervix had dilated, it hurt so much he suggested I have an epidural earlier than I had expected.  This was fine by me...the more pain I could avoid the better!  But it was a very surreal feeling to know that we would be having the baby that day!  All week we had been watching and waiting.  The midwife said I must be so excited, but, in reality, I was more dazed than anything.  Duncan rushed back to where we were staying to get all of our stuff.  I got changed into my gown and waited for the anaesthetist to arrive.  He was a very pleasant chap, the epidural was a very straightforward process, and I was put on a drip for Strep B (which I knew was going to happen).  I was told I would still be able to move my legs.  But when the obstetrician came back and tried to examine me again, it still hurt something terrible.  The same thing happened when the midwife tried to insert a catheter.  So they decided to up my dose.  Pretty soon I couldn't feel my legs at all.  They were like two big logs just lying there.  I didn't have the upper body strength to move myself so it took several people to rearrange me in the bed.  It made me experience just a little bit of what it must be like to be paralysed.  Once I was numb I was examined again and the catheter was put in.  I was only 2cm dilated.  It was 2:30pm when I was first induced.  I began to wonder if the baby would arrive before midnight or on the 19th which would have been my Nan's 100th birthday.

From then on the labour proceeded relatively easily although the cervix was dilating very slowly.  I was told that there was a possibility that I would need a c-section (which I prayed wouldn't happen), but then things improved a bit, the baby's heart rate picked up, and I wasn't in any discomfort.  I had a great midwife to chat to.  She was from Ireland and had been in Australia for three years (most of the midwives at this hospital seem to be from the UK or Ireland).  Duncan and I really liked her and she made me feel at ease.

It was by 9pm that things started to go pear-shaped.  The epidural wasn't working; I had shocking nerve pain in my left hamstring.  They called the anaesthetist back and he had to fix the line which had gone in 3cm.  I was given more and more drugs but they didn't make a difference.  I was shaking violently and my teeth started chattering so badly I was afraid I'd bite my tongue off.  It felt like I was being given every drug available and they kept turning me over, trying to get the epidural to work and make me comfortable.  But nothing worked.  Dilation was still very, very slow.

Eventually I started pushing by about 2:30am.  By that stage I was 9cm dilated and I pushed for over an hour, resulting in utter physical exhaustion for no success.  There was just no way the baby was going to fit through;  the cervix would just not dilate any further.  I begged the obstetrician not to give me a c-section, and he said he would try everything, but there was only a 30% chance of avoiding it.  I tried not to cry, but at that stage it was all too much.  I was terrified of going to theatre, but I was wheeled away and they tried to vacuum the baby out which was excruciating.  By then I knew I had to face the inevitable, but in God's mercy, I became so out of it, I don't remember much.  I remember shaking uncontrollably so that I had to be held still while they were doing the spinal block.  Duncan said I blacked out at one stage and I do recall being so sleepy I no longer cared whether I was awake to meet the baby straight away or not.  I woke when an oxygen mask was put on my face and then I heard the obstetrician say, "It's a little boy."  I saw him being lifted out over the curtain, he was checked out (Duncan said he saw him do a wee), and then was wrapped up and placed in my arms while I was stitched up.  I couldn't believe how lovely he was.  He was so alert, just staring at me with his blue eyes.  I thought he'd look like an alien, but he was so incredibly handsome.  He didn't make a sound.  We just stared at each other.

I was awake enough to mumble thanks to the staff as I was wheeled to my room.  He tried to have a feed and I was surprised that I didn't hurt which I'd been warned it would.  But then I remembered that I couldn't feel anything (it hurt when I tried the second time).  I had a high temperature so the epidural line was removed, but I was still on a cocktail of painkillers so it was all good!

Duncan and I tried to decide which out of the two boys' names we liked best suited our little man.  Although either would have worked, we eventually settled on Rory.

I thought a c-section would be beyond horrible, but I have survived!  It shows that if I can do it, anyone can.  I'm not a fan of sharing birth stories with the purpose of scaring women who don't have kids yet, or to make out that I'm a martyr.  This is just my story.  I think it was worse for Duncan because he said he felt helpless watching me in pain.  I never believed people who said they forgot about the pain the moment they held their baby, but it's true.  God willing, I will go back and do it all again (although I'm in no hurry for number two).

Of course then came the adventure of getting to know our cute little fella who unfortunately didn't come with a manual (not that I'm great at reading manuals anyway).

But that's another story.

Welcome to the world, Rory.

Enjoying cuddles the day he was born.

Cuddles with Dad.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013



Our son was born at 4:45am on Saturday 19th January, weighing 7lb 14oz and was 54cm long.  I blogged here that I hoped he might be born on what would have been his Great Nan's 100th birthday....and he was!  I ended up having a c-section unfortunately.  I was induced the day before, but the labour didn't quite go to plan.  I'll blog Rory's birth story when I feel a bit more up to it.  We are still in hospital and don't know when we'll be going home yet.  I'm in no hurry.  It's nice here.  The midwives are great and very supportive (not a single dragon among them) which I'm thankful to God for.  Duncan is a very proud and helpful daddy.

Rory has two middle names which I won't put on here due to privacy.  One is a name we liked, but it didn't go well enough with our surname to be considered for a first name.  The other is after Duncan's late brother who passed away in 1999.

The past few days have been joyful, bewildering, stressful, tiring, and filled with lots of cuddles and love.  The little man is a bit cute.  I love him!

He had low blood sugar levels at first due to the stress of the labour


Friday, January 18, 2013

Get On Your Soapbox #23

Hmmm, how do I put this delicately?

Over two years ago, I wrote a post called Kiss the Cheek, Stab the Back about how, despite being a woman, I really don't understand women sometimes.

I still don't...yet I sort of do.

Believe me, I know about the pressure women face to conform to a certain image, to get in line and plod along in trying to be like other women (I live in the country after all).  I wrote the post, I'm George...They're Annes about this very issue.  I'm just not your typical country woman.

I do strongly believe in 'keeping it real'.  There is nothing more off-putting and discouraging than someone who makes out they have the perfect life....even though we know, in reality, that nobody has it good all of the time.

But often women cross the line.  Instead of just honestly admitting their faults or lack of skills in an area, they make it into a kind of 'suffering competition'.  I often feel the temptation to exaggerate my faults, or make my life out to be worse than it actually is just so I can't be accused of boasting or trying to make another woman jealous.

Let me be honest for a second...

I'm not great at baking.  If a cake rises, for me that's a magnificent achievement.  The thought of using fondant gives me cold sweats.  That's one reason why I generally steer clear of attempting novelty cakes, and why I don't intend to give our baby a big first birthday party.  I remember as a kid that I enjoyed parties far more when my mum wasn't stressed trying to be fancy.

I do keep a relatively clean house.  This is made easier by the fact that there's no-one except Duncan and I to mess it up on a daily basis.  I hate cleaning (I used to work as a cleaner while in high school), but I hate dirt and clutter more.  So I drag my unmotivated self off my bum to do some cleaning (music does help with motivation levels).  After living with feral pigs in student housing for three years and tiny houses (bar the big rambling farm house we live in now), I like to have minimum stuff, and I'm constantly selling stuff on ebay or giving it to opshops.

I'm not particularly crafty, and I'm not really looking forward to doing craft with kids (probably because of the mess involved).  Occasionally I do get into the craft groove (like when there is a competition at the local show, for instance), but otherwise I don't have a lot of inspiration.  I'm kinda dreading the homemade Advent Calendar stage.

I can't sew beyond sewing on a button or mending a slight tear.  I have no desire to make clothes for my children.  By the time I finish something, they'd have grown out of it.  I'm all for opshopping when it comes to kids' clothes.

That's me!  Part of me wishes I could make elaborate cakes, clothes and craft...but then I'm also quite content not being good at those things.  I might get better with practice, but the stress I'd feel wouldn't be worth it.  It's better for me to keep it simple.  I understand the pressure some women put on their friends to be like them.  I mean, they're doing all of this stuff, so why aren't their friends?  I've already been asked if I'm going to give our child a big first birthday party and sew clothes for them.  When I say no, I get these incredulous looks and the reply, "But you must!"  Why must I?

Due to this kind of pressure, I can understand why likeminded women group together to defend themselves against expectations.  But the line is crossed when rather than simply explaining their decisions, women gang up and bitch about women who are gifted in the areas they find difficult.  I know how tempting it is to do this.  Let's have a go at women who have talents we secretly covet.  Let's make them out to be competitive perfectionists who don't trust God.  I particularly hate it when women have a go at other women with houses cleaner than their own.  There's a sign I've seen in gift shops that says, Dull women have immaculate houses.  Honestly, that makes my blood boil.  Just because someone likes cleaning or does it regularly doesn't mean they are a boring person.  It also DOESN'T mean they never practice hospitality because they're afraid of guests messing up their house.  It really grates on me when overweight women pick on those who are thin.  I once had someone tell me that guys prefer women with big breasts and meat on their bones - not skinny minis.  Honestly!  Some women are just thin!  They're not on Hollywood fad diets...they're just thin.  Get over it!

What I have to say to myself and all women is: Give it a rest!

So when I find myself slagging off another woman, it's usually because I'm jealous.  I'm coveting that women's gifts and circumstances for myself (particularly when it comes to evangelism - I struggle to share the gospel and invite people to church so it's tempting to just have a go at those who find it easy).  I might not understand why women go to the effort they do in some areas, but hey, if they enjoy it and are not doing it because of pressure, good on them!

What I've come to realise is that some women are not putting up photos of magnificent cakes and crafty achievements to make other women jealous; they are just sharing their lives and gifts and genuinely enjoy doing these activities.  If I have a problem with that, then that's just problem!

So ladies everywhere, let's all celebrate the diversity among us and how God has wired and gifted each of us differently for His glory.  Next time we see a woman with a gift we want for ourselves, let's give thanks for her rather than tearing her down.

Over two years ago, I wrote, Let's look at another woman and instead of seeing a potential rival, see a potential friend.  I still stand by that.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quote of the Day

Comparison is the thief of joy.
- Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cara's 1st Birthday

Some more photos I've neglected to share....which also tie in well with my current thought processes (stay tuned).

Duncan's workmate's daughter turned one at the end of September, and had her first birthday celebrations at the start of October.  It was one of those kids' birthday parties which blew my mind.  The theme was 'Nursery Rhymes' and each plate of food was tied in with the theme - everything from Hickory Dickory Dock biscuits to Miss Muffet cupcakes.  The cake was a work of art.  All the guests were asked to dress up as a nursery rhyme character.

It was beautiful and elaborate, but I won't be making nearly as much effort for our child's first birthday.  He/she can have the grandparents and uncles over for a round chocolate cake with Smarties on it (which is far as my cake decorating ability extends).  I don't see much point when they won't remember it.

But Duncan and I really enjoyed ourselves and we hope Cara did, too.

What a shame we had to eat it.

Birthday girl about to blow out her candle.

Cara's dad Cam came as the cow who jumped over the moon.

Duncan was reluctant to dress up (as usual), but when I suggested he wear
his pjs, dressing gown and beanie and come as Wee Willie Winkie, he was quick to agree.
I was the Queen of Hearts (and yes I did bring a plate of tarts).

Monday, January 14, 2013

Diary of an Incubator: Into the Fold (Sort Of)

One thing I have noticed during this pregnancy is that I have found it easier to talk to other women, and I think they have found it easier to talk to me.  Whereas before I didn't have much in common with some women and the conversation dried up pretty quickly, now we seem to have a bond.  I did try to make an effort with conversations before, but it was hard sometimes.  Now we just talk about the baby.

This is both annoying and a blessing.  Annoying because I would like to be able to talk about different topics with women - not just kids.  I don't want to ever slip into being that woman that just talks about kids non-stop around people who aren't parents.  I like to discuss theology and how to live out the Bible in day-to-day life (not just in parenting).  I like to talk about writing and books and sport...and many other things.  But it's a blessing because at least it feels like the ice has been broken.  Maybe talking about my baby will open doors to other conversation topics down the track.  I really do want to deepen my relationships with other women (particularly at church) and this is a start.  I'm trying to make a conscious effort to remember to steer the conversation away from babies and ask them about their lives as well (and really listen to what they're saying).

In some ways I do really feel like I've been welcomed into the 'motherhood fold'.  I'm no longer just a helpless spectator on the sidelines.  I can participate in conversations.

Sort of.  Only sort of.  I haven't actually done any parenting yet.  My baby is still in utero.  I will always be lagging behind some women I see regularly who are several steps ahead.  While they are discussing schooling, my child will still be learning to speak.  While their kids are at uni, mine will still be choosing high school subjects.  There will always be parts of their conversations where I DO feel like a spectator....and sometimes they like to let me know it.  I was at a friend's baby shower when everyone started discussing birth stories.  Of course I can't participate in them yet, but then someone just HAD to draw attention to the fact that I was the only woman in the room who hadn't given birth.  Some women are just so discouraging!  They always have to focus on the negatives and make motherhood into some kind of scary initiation ceremony.

So that's how I've felt over the past nine months.  Deeply loved, supported and encouraged by some women who never make me feel like a little kid who doesn't know what I'm doing.  Others seem to get their jollies out of trying to make me squirm.  I know which group I'll be leaning towards once the baby arrives.

Friday, January 11, 2013

5 Best Posts From Other Bloggers in 2012

Another year of great posts at the blogs I regularly read.

1.  Lonely in a Crowd - Practical Theology For Women
2.  A Theology of Drink - In Other Words
3.  Evangelism Uncomplicated - Women Bible Life
4.  Gospel Speech at our School - In All Honesty
5.  Charges - Life on the Other Side

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Diary of an Incubator: How Are You?

This is probably the question I have been asked the most since I have been pregnant.  However, like the standard, How are you? that people ask, I always feel like I have to answer with, "Ok" or, "Fine". 

Here's my summary of the vast array of feelings I've had over the past nine months:

Excited that we are going to meet our baby soon.  That there is a real person in there.  That we get to give them a name.

Curious about what our baby will be like.  Will he/she be placid or outgoing?  Who will he/she look like?  What areas will he/she take after Duncan or me in?

Daunted.  Looking after a small, helpless human being will be a huge challenge.  I worry that I won't have what it takes, that I might get angry and impatient and resent my baby (postnatal depression is in the back of my mind).

Worried that our baby might be the next serial killer (I know that's irrational though, but, hey, Mr and Mrs Hitler might have brushed that thought aside as well).

Annoyed that people feel they have the right to tell us (particularly me) what to do.  I know myself better than they do.  I'm sick of people suggesting we stay in Perth for a while after we leave the hospital.  Being new parents and staying in someone else's house would be AWFUL.  What if the baby was screaming and disturbing them?  We don't have any close family (i.e. parents, grandparents or siblings) in Perth that we could stay with.  Most people have pokey spare rooms where it's a struggle to fit a suitcase in there let alone a baby.  Plus it would be feel like we had to move twice.  We are in the private system and will be staying in hospital for at least five days.  After that, I just want to go HOME where it is peaceful and there is no-one scrutinising me as a new mum.  I vented to a friend the other day and she totally understood (I'm glad there are some understanding people around).

Offended by the STUPID things some people say (especially strangers or people I don't know that well).  For some reason, people have always felt they have the right to come up to me and just say what they think about my appearance.  Grrr no, why don't you Take 5 or just SHUT UP (especially the mums who keep telling me I'm going to have a permanent beer gut/muffin top/spare tyre).

Peaceful, particularly regarding the birth.  I'm tired of people asking me what I'm feeling about the birth.  When I tell them I'm just trusting God and the medical staff they give me this crazed look like I SHOULD be worried.  I don't have a high pain threshold, but I'm glad there are SOME pain relief options available.  I don't see the point in worrying about the birth.  Yes, I'm facing the unknown, but God is with me and that is enough.

Confused.  This flows on from my previous point.  Other people seem to WANT me to worry.  They ask me if I have a plan.  If I say yes, they laugh and say, "Wait until the baby comes along."  If I say no, that we are just going to 'wing it' and trust God, they tell me I need a plan.  Far out.  I thought Christians were supposed to encourage each other to trust God's sovereignty and not worry.

Patronised.  I'm nearly 30 years old, but some people still feel they have the right to treat me like a child (and some of them don't even have kids themselves.  Good grief!).

Self Conscious.  Sometimes my body shape bothers me.  It's hard not to covet the bodies of other women who aren't pregnant.  I didn't think this would bother me (I have to keep telling myself that I'm pregnant, not fat).

Well.  Many days it didn't even feel like I was pregnant.  Sometimes I would even forget momentarily.

Organised.  Well, as best as we can be anyway.  The baby's room is ready, there are meals in the freezer (no takeaway out here and it's a long way to drop a meal off), the house should be clean when we get back (my parents are petsitting and housesitting for us and my mum is the Queen of Clean).

.  I guess it comes with the territory.

Tired.  As above.

Swollen.  My poor feet look like balloons with little piggy toes.

Breathless.  Sometimes it feels like I'm having panic attacks.

Depressed.  Sometimes everything got too much.

Clucky.  Particularly when I started going through the 'nesting' phase and people started giving us cute little clothes for the baby.

Frustrated that I have to rest and can't do as much as I'd like to.

Shocked that people stare so much at me when I go out (particularly young men).  I thought pregnant women were dime a dozen.

Grateful that we are having a baby, and for a caring husband who will be such a good dad.  He has been so gracious, even when I wake him up in the night with my tossing and turning and leg cramps.  Poor Duncan!  He has to deal with me shouting, "My leg, my leg," then he gets out of bed and flexes it for me.

Amazed.  I can see how God uses the discomforts and sleeplessness of pregnancy to help prepare us for when the baby comes.  I've already had to learn to deal with less sleep and broken sleep.  It will be staying awake to feed that will be the next challenge.

Humbled.  I will never look at a pregnant woman and think, It doesn't look so hard ever again!  Pregnancy is an enormous strain on the body.

Defensive against the barrage of 'advice', unhelpful and discouraging people, people who want us to visit them and take the baby to see them.  I'm getting ready to use the word, "No," often.  If people want to see the baby, they can come to us, and I will let them know if it's a bad time.

Eager to introduce the baby to the pets.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Ebony thinks of the strange creature coming to live in her house.

Sad that a chapter of our lives is coming to a close.  It has been an incredible chapter, not always easy, but very enjoyable.  It has been so good being just the two of us.  The night before Duncan took me to Perth, he said, "This is the last night of just the two of us in our house."  I think I will mourn the loss of this stage of life.

Happy that there are only nine days to go, but enjoying making the most of the time I have left to rest, edit my book, read books, and catch up with friends.

Glad to have the opportunity to relive my childhood in some ways.  I'm looking forward to introducing my son or daughter to the books, toys and movies I enjoyed as a child.

Privileged that we get to teach someone about Jesus.

Thankful that no matter what happens, God is there and He is in control.  That doesn't mean that all will go smoothly.  It just means that Duncan and I won't be alone.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Day I Pause To Remember...

My Nan.

It was two years ago today that she passed away.

I'm kind of hoping the baby arrives today so that there will be some happy memories associated with the 8th January.

But I'm also kind of hoping that the baby arrives a day late on the 19th January which would have been her 100th birthday.

Monday, January 07, 2013

5 Hopes For 2013

I thought that with a new baby and all, my hopes should be a bit more low-key this year.

1.  SURVIVE.  My aim is to get home from hospital and be in 'survival mode' (like I am when I'm sick or recovering from being sick - just do the bare essentials).  A shower is an achievement.  Preparing a meal is an achievement.  This will be hard for me.  I like to DO things other than day-to-day tasks, but I also know my limitations.  I'm aiming just to rest, recover, enjoy getting to know the baby, and being a family of three.

2.  Continue editing my book and then search for a literary agent.  I'm doing some editing at the moment, I will stop (obviously) when baby is born, then try to do little bits here and there when I'm feeling a bit more robust.

3.  Join our church's women's Bible study group or meet one-to-one with another Christian woman.  Again, this can wait until things have settled down a bit.

4.  Go on a holiday to Sydney to celebrate my 30th birthday instead of having a party.  My birthday is in May, but if we do go, it won't be until July or August.  Duncan thinks an interstate trip with a baby will be hard for us.  We'll see.

5.  Keep on with the mission convenors role at our church in partnership with Duncan.  Last year I hoped to get the congregation (including myself) to take more of an interest in missions.  This year I want to actively encourage the missionaries we support through emails, letters etc.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Diary of an Incubator: 38 Weeks

This will be the last of the whale photos.

I head to Perth today for my two week 'countdown'.  Duncan is driving me up there, coming with me to our obstetrician appointment today, then heading back on Sunday afternoon for work.  He will join me back in Perth on the 11th and stay with me until the baby arrives.  That's the plan anyway...unless baby has other ideas.

I'm definitely in the achy/uncomfortable/swollen/exhausted/breathless/feeling sick stage now.  The heat is not helping.

I plan to keep blogging while I wait as I SHOULD have internet access, so stick around. :)

A sudden, unexplained absence from the blogosphere could be mean one of two things:

a) I don't have internet access after all.
b) I'm in labour.  Aaaaaagh! ;)

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

My Prayer For All Christians

It can be hard watching friends and family struggle with hopes deferred.

I know single people who would love to be married.
I know sick people who would love to be well.
I know unemployed people who would love a job.
I know farmers who would love a better season.

I try to remember to bring the desires of my brothers and sisters in Christ before our Heavenly Father.

But, above all, I want to remember to pray Colossians 1:9-12 for my fellow believers.  I want them (and myself) to value God above all things.  I want us all to keep being Christian whether the desires of our hearts are granted, deferred, or God, in His wisdom and love, decides it is in our best interest not to have those things.

It is devastating to watch a fellow Christian gain what they wanted, yet wander away from God.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)

Whatever their circumstances, I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ will keep being Christian until that last day.  That their love for God and desire to live His way will grow and grow.  That they will persevere in the race, and persevere with joy. 

This post has been entered in the January edition of the Christian Blog Carnival. If you're a Christian blogger and would like to enter one of your recent posts, submit it here today.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Bible Verse of the Day

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:9-12