October 28, 2008

Weekend with Women

I spent this last weekend with this amazing group of women at a beautiful house in Caledonia. Most of them go to Mars Hill, but some don't even live in Michigan. I was the youngest of the group, which I am used to and was in some ways really nice. It was like having a bunch of moms for the weekend.

Most of our time was spent getting to know each other and learning each others stories, each of which are full of pain and disappointment. The experience stretched me. I am not one to go on womens retreats, but one of the leaders of the retreat encouraged me to go so I went.

It was a beautiful weekend, but I was very happy to get home. I missed Tony more than I thought I would and I missed the comforts of being in my own space.

All in all, I am glad I went and I hope that some lifelong friendships were made.

October 23, 2008

Baby Petty

We had our first appointment on Wednesday and everything went well. Our midwife tried to find the heartbeat using a hand held Doppler, but wasn't able to hear it. So she scheduled an ultrasound for today.

So we went in for the ultrasound today and they were able to find the heartbeat right away and it sounded great. So many of my fears were put to rest when we saw our baby and heard his/her strong heart. It was amazing.

Our baby is real. I am really growing a life. Our life has changed forever. I am going to be a mom. And I couldn't be more happy or excited.

October 16, 2008


Our life seems to be transitioning in many areas.

Relationships are taking on new dimensions.

New opportunities are presenting themselves at key moments.

Spirituality is appearing in fresh ways that offers renewal.

The harvest season is ending, which will have an impact on our lives like never before.

Family dynamics are shifting.

I am used to change. I was raised expecting change. But constantly moving made me want stability and predictability. And now more than ever I want to feel a sense of certainty about our future. I want to know that we will be able to provide a safe and stable home to raise our child.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that life will look the way I want. In fact, it almost always turns out in ways I never would have expected.

A part of me wants to dig in my heels and resist any more change, demand that things happen in ways I can predict and understand. But I know this really is not what I want. This would not allow for the best possible life.

I try to remember the beautiful story that is unfolding in our life. I try to remember where we have been and doing so almost always fills me with a sense of great joy and hope about where we are going.

October 11, 2008

Mom Makes the Day

We went to Muskegon yesterday to try to be supportive and encouraging to Tony's family. His sister Nicole had outpatient surgery. She had numerous cavities and because of her CP had to be out for them to put in the fillings. And Tony's brother is moving to Tennessee so we helped him pack some stuff. The details of the move make it quite concerning, but there is hope this will be really good for him.

After a few hours at the hospital and helping Joe for a while, we went to my mom's. She made us a chicken and noodle dinner, with homemade noodles. The meal is one that she rarely makes, but for some reason I have been craving it lately.

When we arrived, she gave us a gift that she had bought for the baby, a pack of three onesies. She said that she will have a little gift for the baby every time we come over. Those onesies are the first gift we have received for the baby.

I can't even begin to describe how happy that made me. Mom is celebrating life with us. She is happy for us. She is supporting and encouraging us. She is excited to be a grandma, to be a part of her daughter's life as it transitions to motherhood.

And for that I am extremely grateful.

October 09, 2008


Many of you reading this know that I used to have serious issues with my mom. Relational issues that I never thought would be resolved. And now, we get along very well. Our relationship has hit a few spots that have tested it in the last couple months, but we are still able to get along and have healthy dialogue.

Which is great.

But now, my dad and I and his wife are at odds. The last four years of our marriage have been primarily spent trying to find healthy ways of relating to and dealing with our extremely hurting and hurtful family. We never realized how hurtful my dad and Ellen had the potential to be.

We have limited a lot of contact with our extended families, which has been difficult, but after many stressful and unhealthy family gatherings, we knew it was right to cut back.

And we have had to deal with each one of our parents in their own way. It seems like after all we have done and tried, we would be in a better place with our immediate families than we are now, I guess I should say my immediate family.

My brother and I are not on speaking terms. My dad and I talk but he has no idea how much he has hurt me. His wife and I aren't speaking, after a huge fight we had in July that has never resolved itself.

I don't see any solution in sight. I guess I shouldn't give up hope; things with my mom were much more volitile and they worked out. It just feels different. Like I'm the only one that realized how messed up things are and they are fine with how it is.

I just want my baby to have a family that won't disappoint or hurt her/him. And that is out of my control.

October 08, 2008

Eight Weeks

Today I am eight weeks pregnant. According to what I have read, my baby is about the size of a grape and the heart would show up in an ultrasound.

We had our first appointment on Monday, it was a pre-natal interview that was exactly what it sounds like. We met with our nurse and she asked us tons of questions, we had a chance to ask some, and she sent us away with tons of literature to read and a lab slip for blood work.

Unfortunately, our first real appointment isn't for another two weeks. We should hear the heart beat then, and we will be meeting with our midwife for the first time since conception. I am very excited and anxious to hear the heart beat.

I have still been struggling with nausea and stomach aches. Fortunately, I still have not vomited. But now barely any food sounds good. Even foods I normally love, like a tomato sandwich, and pizza, sound disgusting.

I don't feel like eating, but I know I need to, and when I let myself get hungry, the stomach aches get really bad. Tony has been really great at keeping me feeling as best I can. He makes sure I am eating and has been making meals when I don't feel up to it.

Eight weeks down, 32 to go. I have been told that time goes by really quickly, and I believe it, but the past four weeks seems to have been a very long time. I am trying to enjoy every moment and not look forward too much to the next step, instead savor the moment I am in.

October 03, 2008

Hot and Cold

I have been extremely cold lately. Wednesday night we stood outside for a few hours while helping with the CSA pick up and were ready to find our way back to our warm apartment.

As we opened the door we were welcomed by a tropical atmosphere. We checked the thermostat and it read that the temperature was well over 80 degrees. Apparently our thermostat does not work so we have to turn the heater on and off to regulate the temperature.

I was warm for a few minutes, but then cold. With our apartment still very warm, I was freezing and wrapped up in two thick blankets. I did not have a fever or any other concerning symptoms.

Yesterday standing outside for hours again made me extremely chilled and again we came home to a very hot apartment. We took a brief nap and when I woke up I felt like crap. I was freezing and Tony was nearly sweating. I called my doctor to see if this was normal. I have never heard of being cold during pregnancy.

I have also been on the phone trying to resolve the heat issue. The woman I keep talking to isn't listening to me so she thought that we said the heat wasn't working. She also said that our thermostat controls the heat in two other apartments and the person in 2 complained she had no heat, so we need to turn the heat back on. They won't say when someone is supposed to fix the issue. I'm trying to not let this bug me, but it does.

The good news is that we don't pay the heating bill, but we still want to be responsible with heat and be able to live in an apartment that has a livable level of warmth.

As far as my crazy coldness, the nurse I talked to said that it is probably related to my thyroid and not to worry. They will test it Monday when they do the other pre-natal blood tests. She said it is common for women to have thyroid issues when they are pregnant, and since I already am on thyroid medication it is very likely that is what is going on.

That was a big relief. I'm still concerned that the levels could have a negative effect on the pregnancy, but after talking with her it sounded like there is no need to worry.

So, hopefully soon all of our heating issues will be fixed and I will not be experiencing these extremes as often.

October 02, 2008


Today is our anniversary and also Barack Obama is in town. We decided to get up at 5am so we could ride our bikes to Calder Plaza and stand in line for hours to see him. I mean really, can you think of a better way to spend your anniversary?

This is the only proof we have that we were here. (we left our camera at home) You can't really see much, but that is Obama surrounded by a crowd of thousands.

And we were right there in the middle of it, one angry person away from a mob scene.

It was exciting to see him in person, although, mostly all I could see was the top of his head.

I'm not one for long lines and large crowds, so today didn't really do it for me, but I am very grateful that we were able to go.