Recuperating

Friday my nose began running.  My thought was surely this was allergy related.  Saturday, after only five hours sleep (thanks to working an evening shift and returning for a morning shift), I began to run a fever.  Sunday was the worst.  I was scheduled for a twelve hour shift, and I hadn’t felt so ill in a very long time.  I haven’t missed a day of work, because I haven’t exactly had a choice in the matter.  My coworkers all pitched in a bit more than usual to lighten my burden, however.  They made me feel cared about and important.

I have been coughing and coughing, especially at night.  I haven’t taken anything other than Benadryl and Tylenol for fever for fear that something will harm my little, growing baby.  I am 9 weeks and 3 days pregnant today, and all this coughing has made my abdominal muscles so sore.  It makes me nervous.  I felt my lower abdominal muscles cramping last night.  I immediately sat down, and then laid down and just rested.  The least cramp or discomfort in my lower abdomen definitely grabs my immediate attention.

I am in the process of recuperating still, and now Eva has it as well.  I’m hoping life returns to normal soon.

Those of you that are waiting for the Liebster Award post–it is coming, soon.  Thank you each for your patience.

8 Weeks, 3 Days

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I went back to the doctor today to check on my little soybean.  She (no, I don’t have gender confirmation) is right on track with a healthy heart rate at 170 beats.  Everything looks perfect right now.

I also spoke with my obstetrician about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and natural birth.  Both are very important to me this time around.  She was very open and honest about her practices.  She made it clear there are no hard and fast rules for labor anymore.  It is all about how the baby is handling labor.  She even gave me an example of a recent patient that labored for a full 48 hours before it cesarean became a topic of discussion.  Everything she had to say was very encouraging.

Four weeks before I go back for another check up.

For All The Piano People Out There

There is an excellent 130-page piano lessons book available tomorrow only for free on Amazon in ebook format.  It covers technique and music theory.  It isn’t a song book, though.  It is meant to replace about 3 years worth of piano lessons.  It is made by Steeplechase Arts, and written by a music professor.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for pretty much every smart phone, computer, laptop, or tablet.  Once you download it, it will remain in your Amazon cloud so you can look at it from any device that has the Kindle app.  The Amazon link will take you straight to the book.  There are 30 free videos stored on YouTube to go with the book to get a better handle on technique.  The YouTube videos are pretty helpful.

Can’t beat free.

Pregnancy Literature

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This book has become my new favorite.  I want every pregnant woman in the world to read this book!  I highly recommend it to anyone even thinking about having a child.

In other news, today is week 8 of pregnancy.  I’m already showing.  I didn’t show with my daughter until I was about 20 weeks.  I was not prepared to show this soon.  Clothes shopping here I come!

Anxiety–A Guest Post

This week I participated in a blog swap!  Jordan Fortenboher has written something very personal to share on my blog, and I am excited to introduce her.  She is a worship leader, speaker, and wife.  She lives in the greater Cincinnati area where she also blogs about faith and bravery.  You can read more from Jordan here, and my guest post on her site can be found on the same site.  You can follow her on Twitter here!

Thank you, Jordan, for a wonderful experience!

Mindy Minix

 

 

I felt it flutter in my heart and bubble in my stomach as I prepared to leave–more like procrastinated from leaving.  I felt it shorten my breath and tighten my grip on the steering wheel.  That agoraphobia aggravating my plans and good intentions.  It’s not even that bad.  Nobody even really knows about it.  And I almost let it decide how I was (or wasn’t) going to use my day.  (Wouldn’t be the first time.)

And, in all vulnerability, I looked down at my hands, covered in white dry cracks, about to bleed again.  I made another, duplicate mental note that I need to stop washing my hands so much, that I need to try to change the rules in my head (within reason) so that my hands can heal.  But there are so many germs…everywhere.  I breathed a sigh of giving up again.  Whatever.  My knuckles weren’t bleeding yet.

The whole day seemed normal, until I stopped to think about why I forced myself to drive to Starbucks to edit my book instead of staying in my cozy comfortable familiar chair.  At home.  That wouldn’t have caused so much stress.  But I needed a change of scenery.  Staying home wasn’t helping me get work done.  But as I parked my car and turned off the ignition, I started thinking that maybe I should have tried to pick something…safer.  Something less anxiety-filling.  Something easier.

And Starbucks is really fine.  Probably one of the safest places my fearful heart could go to work on my writing.  I walked through the glass door and I felt a wave of relief.  My favorite table was open.  No one else was there (besides the workers).  The music was soothing.  Perfect.

That doesn’t always happen.  I recalled the time a few days before when I packed everything up to go work there and arrived only to find that they were out of dairy-free options.  And almost every table was taken.  And the noise was swelling, threatening to burst my ear drums.  So, did I suck it up and get to work anyway?  No.  I ordered plain coffee to go, turned around, walked out the door, and went back home.

Is that what I was afraid of, then?  Too many people?  Or things not being what I expected them to be?  Imperfection?  Change?

I quickly threw my bag down on a chair to claim my favorite table, even though there was no one there to beat me to it.  I ordered, awkwardly.  Waited for the coffee, awkwardly.  Kept my eye on my stuff at the table in case invisible people were going to appear out of nowhere to steal it.

Finally I got my coffee and I sat down to write.  I took a sip of my vanilla latte–still too hot–and winced when it burned my tongue.  When will my desperation for safety and perfection go away?   I thought.  Must I be miserable forever?  I swore to myself (again) that I would find a way to overcome this.  Somehow, I would figure out how to fix it myself.

As if in mockery, I got out my manuscript.  Daring to Be Brave, the title laughed.  Right.  That’s me.  Daring to be brave as I take my little scaredy-cat self the whole 4.7 miles to…Starbucks.  That’s brave, alright.

As if in answer, I thought:  No…sometimes living a normal day takes more bravery than people realize.  I’m not the only one.  I need this book.  And I think maybe someone else might need it, too. 

So I edited and wrote and edited some more.  And I’m still working.  But I think someone needs to hear this:  You’re not the only one going through whatever it is you’re going through.

Maybe people make you think that something is wrong with you if it takes all the strength you have just to make it through each day.  I am so, so sorry if that is the case, because it’s not true.  And we might not be going through the same thing.  Maybe your struggle isn’t anxiety or perfectionism or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  But whatever it is, it’s valid.  And it’s OK to be struggling.

You are enough, right where you are, just as you are.

As I keep writing my book, I’m realizing that I am so far from having all the answers.  But the good news?  I know the One who does.  And He has me on this amazing journey of transformation.

I am slowly (VERY SLOWLY) learning to trust in Jesus instead of letting myself be a slave to fear.  It’s not a quick fix (let’s face it: nothing ever is), but you know what?  Maybe it’s not about the destination.  Maybe the journey is the point.

Maybe all we need is just enough bravery to take the next right step.

 

His Happiness

My poor husband is going through something.  He is having buyer’s remorse before we have even bought the house.  We have a large sum in the bank in anticipation of showing we are ready to pay the down payment at a moment’s notice, and it is about to eat him alive.

We have been sticking to our budget pretty carefully.  This weekend, I think it has hit home for him that even though we have lots of money at the moment, it is all about to disappear and none of it will be used for anything fun.

We also have started buying diapers, one pack a week, in anticipation of (hopefully) the arrival of our baby in about eight months.  I purchased diapers every paycheck when I was pregnant with Eva, and it worked out really well because I didn’t have to buy a single diaper for at least the first six months of her life.  He seemed to enjoy this purchasing of the first baby items.  He even threw in a package of wipes.

I think maybe, just maybe, he is starting to realize this is the end of his childhood.  Even though he is a great step-dad to Eva, he could still conceivably walk away and become a carefree bachelor.  Now, I’m pregnant, and we’re buying a house.  If that doesn’t scream adulthood, I don’t know what does.

He is surviving, though, and talking to me about it at least.  I’m sure it will be my turn later, around the 8 month mark, to have my moment of panic that I will, again, be responsible for another little life.  Right now, I’m still just so happy to finally be pregnant again.

These are good problems to have.

Soybeans

We have finally found a house. What is even better is the house is in the area I wanted and in the price range we need. It won’t break us every month to pay the mortgage, and it should suit our needs for at least the next five years.

We went to the bank last night to get our pre-approval so we can put an offer on the house. The loan lady was chatting with Eva, and she asked how big is our family. Eva replied that it was just the three of us, but then she perked up and changed her answer.

“We’re going to have a soybean someday soon,” she had said excitedly. The loan lady smiled, but it was obvious she wasn’t quite sure what this meant. Eva picked up on her confusion as well because she clarified a bit by pointing at me.

“She’s going to have a soybean soon,” she then said.

“Oh,” the loan lady had replied. “Were you a soybean once a long time ago?”

Eva enthusiastically nodded in response. She looked relieved the lady had finally understood her cryptic news.

I love Eva’s enthusiasm.

More Fun Times in The Car

Eva and I always have very entertaining conversations in the car.  Today did not disappoint, either.  I can’t imagine the philosophical debates that would arise if we drove across country.

We were discussing dinner, and whether we should eat somewhere special to celebrate that she is home and our little soybean has a heart beat.  Eva agreed we should eat somewhere special, but she didn’t know where. 

She said, “We should eat somewhere that sounds good to you, and maybe the baby will like it, too.”

I agreed that it was possible.  Then she took it a step further.

“If what you eat makes your belly hurt, then you probably shouldn’t eat it again,” she said.  “If you eat it again, it might make the baby cry in your belly, and we couldn’t make her feel better because she’s in your belly.”

How could anyone argue with that logic?  Well, as cute as it was, I explained anyway.  I started with the fact that babies can’t cry because they don’t breathe while they are in the mom’s belly and ended with how babies get oxygen.

In turn, our conversation drifted a bit.  Eva made a brilliant statement (not that I’m biased or anything) after I explained vocal cords.

She said, “So all sound from our voices is really just air moving.”

She’s only six, and we can have conversations about how our voices are produced, and she gets it.  She amazes me daily.

6 Weeks, 3 Days

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There she is, my adorable little blob!  There clearly was a flickering heartbeat beating out a rhythm of 114 beats per minute.  The beginning of my last period was 8 weeks ago, so I most definitely ovulated very late in this cycle.

Eva asked if she could have her very own picture (ultrasound blob) of the baby.  This made me smile. 

I feel relieved to know there is a heartbeat.  Now I just have to make it two more weeks before I get a second look.