Archive for September, 2010

September 20, 2010

Induction Duction, What’s Your Function?

It seems our “little” one has taken its recently bestowed nickname—Big, Fat Baby—to heart.  When last measured on Thursday, Peanut was estimated to be 8 lb, 8 oz., putting him/her in the 88th percentile for weight in babies of the same gestational age.  Or in John’s dad’s terms, that’s not a peanut; that’s a coconut!

Today we had another sonogram and visit with the doctor, and while the baby is just fine, it’s kind of big.  After a conversation with the doctor, a conversation with one another, and some time praying together, we’ve decided to induce labor.

For those not familiar with the process, here’s the game plan.  We’ll go to the hospital this evening and I’ll get some medicine that helps prepare my body to deliver the baby (I’ll spare the use of biological terms here).  Tomorrow morning, I’ll get other medicine to start or intensify contractions.  If by two or three o’clock tomorrow afternoon, my water hasn’t broken, the doctor will do that.  Then contractions will get more intense, I can get an epidural, and by tomorrow evening, should all go according to plan, we’ll have a little baby Schlegel in our arms.

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers for our family thus far, and please keep praying for us tonight and tomorrow.  We’ll be in touch again when we have more news on the Peanut.

As for right now, I’m on my way to the hospital with my best friend, so that we can bring home the newest member of our family.

September 20, 2010

Present-Tense Baby

Just before Father’s Day, my mom and I were shopping for cards for John and my dad. Knowing that my mom and I share views on a baby being a human life even before birth, I commented on how most of the cards were addressed in variations on the term “Daddy-to-be.”  The cards all had very sweet sentiments inside, and for the most part, the rest of the language respected and honored the new role a first-time father takes on.  But that one word, one I know I’d used before as well, struck us both.

Daddy-tobe?  If there’s a baby—and we’re not in a futuristic sci-fi in which a fetus has been cloned—then, biologically, there must be a mother and there must be a father.  Pregnancy and the preparations a mother and father make before birth are not the same as parenting after a child is born, and of course there’s debate on when a new life begins.  But the greeting card industry  having an opinion on the matter was a surprise to me.

It has been fascinating to realize over the past few months how unflinchingly most people, regardless of their beliefs, use terms like “mommy-to-be,” “daddy-to-be,” and the very worst in my mind, “baby-to-be.”   Somehow, the idea that the baby is not “here,” that parents are not real “parents” until the baby is born has found its way into our vernacular.

Over the past week, I’ve even found myself saying “no baby yet” and “we’ll let you know when the baby gets here.”  One look at my belly—or from my perspective, one teeny foot to the rib cage—and it’s clear that the baby is here for sure.

So John and I are working on changing the way we speak about the impending birth of our baby.  “When the baby is born,” not “when the baby gets here.”  “I think our baby has hair,” not “I think our baby will have hair” (and I do think it has hair, for the record, dark hair).   It’s a tricky thing to remind ourselves of, because of how entrenched this future tense is in the way we speak.  But I’m determined, from this point forward, our baby is a present-tense baby.

September 18, 2010

Be Prepared!

As much as I love The Lion King, the scene in which Scar sings “Be Prepared” always kind of freaked me out.  All that fire, those bones, the creepy song—eek.

I was thinking about this scene early last week, during my last two days at work before maternity leave. I’m not a workaholic, but I love my job.  In the early months of my pregnancy, as crazy as it sounds, I wasn’t sure how I would handle taking time off, at least initially.  But as the time came closer, I felt more and more at peace with the transition ahead—to the point where I started to hope that the baby would come before its due date so that I could start to care for and get to know this little person that’s been living inside of me.

Okay, so that’s about 90% of the truth.

The other part of the story is that I wanted the baby to come early so that I could avoid, or at least put off, preparations to check out of the office for a couple of months.  As prepared as I felt for labor, delivery, recovery, caring for a newborn, the whole nine yards, the idea of answering every email in my inbox, organizing the piles on my desk, and leaving instructions for the projects under my care seemed almost insurmountable.  I felt like I could be prepared for either baby things or work things, but both? Unlikely.

I started to worry over the weekend, waking up Saturday with the idea that I would spend the morning working on email and other things I had taken home.  A quick word from John happily changed my mind, and we ended up spending most of Saturday with friends and most of Sunday watching football.  I ended up feeling much more peaceful and much more prepared for work Monday than I would have been, had I spent time on the computer over the weekend.  Amen!

Monday was a productive day, but Tuesday morning, I found myself faced with the same fears again.  How would I get everything done?  I knew I couldn’t stay late—I had a doctor’s appointment early in the evening—and I was starting to freak out.  Before I left our apartment, I surveyed myself for signs of labor, and was disappointed to find none.

On the subway, I reconsidered my surprisingly satisfying Monday for what had made the difference.  Should I have been surprised?  Of course not, but of course I was!  The difference was prayer.  I’d been focused and thoughtful in my prayer in both the morning and evening on Monday, and had even taken a moment to notice God’s grace in the middle of my day.  That grace had helped me to be grateful for my work, for what I’d accomplished and what still needed to e done, and for the baby in my belly—all at once.

That morning I tried to give myself to God in prayer in the same way, and, praise to God, I left the office at the end of the day feeling good about where I’d left things and about what was coming next.  Thank God for His grace through this patient little baby, who was helping to hold me accountable to the things for which I am responsible.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the Epiphany, when the three magi come to see baby Jesus.  When they’re on their way home, they are warned by God in a dream to go another way to avoid Herod.  They had to change their plans and take another route.  This is so often what I need to do, too—to take God’s route instead of my own.  His will be done, not mine. I expect this will be more important to keep in mind in the next few weeks than ever before.  Thank goodness for an early reminder, and thank goodness for fruitful prayer.

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