We had our “big” ultrasound yesterday. Mike pointed out that it doesn’t feel quite so “big” as it might have if we hadn’t been having ultrasounds all along with this pregnancy. Still, it was fun to hear that all is looking great with this little boy – and fun to hear that he indeed is still clearly a boy. Also, on a side note, with Penny I recall them finding some type of choroid plexus cyst during the ultrasound. Since it can be cause for alarm, we were slightly panicked and had to have some further more in depth ultrasound done. I suppose that is warranted since the cysts can indicate a serious trisomy condition, but I asked our ultrasonographer about them yesterday (even though there were none present in this particular ultrasound). She told me she sees them in probably nine out of ten ultrasounds. I just thought that was interesting – and that it would have been a reassuring thing to have heard back during Penny’s ultrasound worries.
Anyway, I am currently 23 weeks along, but nearly everything she measured measured closer to 25 weeks – which gave me a due date of something closer to Sept. 18th than Sept. 29th. But do you know what I say to that, “BAH!” Baby after baby I get so excited those last three weeks – thinking I might be like you lucky girls out there who have your babies a few days early, but each and every time, my babies hold on fast ‘til my first official due date has come and gone. So. I’m not going to try for one second to start throwing out any of that, “Oooh! I might actually be farther along than we thought!” business. All that would make me do is think I am three weeks rather than several days past due when baby does actually come.
Though, I’m not actually needing baby to come any earlier than he is supposed to. I feel so . . . scared for this new baby. I know I should be an old pro at this, but life feels so . . . I don’t know . . . steady? Calm? right now. Everything isn’t easy. Mike still is gone often for work; Jesse still breaks things, asks to eat bugs, and dumps out garbage cans; things still don’t get done that need getting done. But, life feels pretty good. I feel pretty in control and pretty content in our routines and the current freedoms I seem to have – freedom to get up early and run if I want (because kids all sleep through the night), freedom to accomplish tasks I want or need to (because I know pretty well what I have to work with in any given day between kids needs and routines, etc.); and freedom to do things more frequently with Mike:
This is us at The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert in December. Last week, we got to go see Les Mis (tickets were compliments of Mike’s mom). Yesterday, after the ultrasound, Mike had a little more time before having to be back to work, so we went to Costco and got lunch and wandered around together.Thinking of these things reminded me that we’ve enjoyed more trips and dates and freedom together this past year than at nearly any other time in our marriage (except for maybe the one married year before kids). I’m not sure how exactly. It seems an unlikely time for things to be easier what with us now having five little kids, maybe things have just fallen together by chance, or maybe it goes back to what I’ve said earlier about numbers of kids not necessarily correlating logically with hardness levels.
Anyway, I just feel a little (or more a lot) scared to be tossed back out of my comfort zone for a bit. I’ll settle back into one of course, but I feel like I have my leaves all nicely raked up – with only the few stray ones blowing out here and there and needing to be collected, and a new baby feels kind of like some trickster is going to set a small bomb off in my nicely raked pile of leaves . . . and . . . well . . . THAT will make for a tougher re-raking of everything than the occasional breeze coming by. I am really quite nervous.
Only, right as I typed that, I felt a definite kick in my lower left side, and it made me get a little sniffly. I have no idea or feeling about who this little boy is. I have no name. I pictured another girl and can’t even begin to imagine who this sudden little boy will be, but that kick reminded me that whoever he is, he is someone I will love. Maybe someone I already know and love. Someone my kids will be closest friends with. Someone who might have been waiting ever since Abe left -- then Daisy, Goldie, Penny and Jesse -- to finally get his chance to come be with them again. He is someone important and he will be FAMILY. My family.
I’m still scared.
But, man. Family? Seriously, I feel like I have almost been unfairly blessed by way of family in my life. No. I certainly have been unfairly blessed. I almost feel guilty mentioning it.
I grew up assuming my in-laws would be second fiddle – there would be MY family, and then, my husband’s family who we’d politely visit now and then. It wasn’t strange for me to think such a thing because I quite literally couldn’t imagine anything that could compare to the wonderfulness and friendships and connections that existed in my own family.
Then I married Mike and gained another HUGE family of people to rely on and love and want to be with. Truly. That isn’t just a polite thing you might type in a letter to a mother-in-law. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but I am every bit as excited about and content being with my in-laws as I am with my own family and never mind at all which family we happen to be with on holidays, etc. They have become MY family rather than just my husband’s family.
Then, even the continuing relationships that, I guess, will never stop forming even amongst my own family. I’m sure my parents prayed their children would be close, and they are, but did they have any idea of the ever expanding and growing relationships and love and connectedness that would come further down the line?
A few weeks ago found me spending an evening making cupcakes, playing Pictionary, and all around laughing with two of my nieces over at my mom’s. They are both in their early twenties and just thought we ought to have a little fun girls’ night together.
Only a week or two later found me sitting around the same kitchen table with my oldest brother. He could nearly be my father (his oldest son is only a few years my junior), but we were laughing and teasing and having a great time. My younger sister had been mocking his artistic skills and was testing them by giving him things to draw for me to see if I could guess them. He flatly refused to do “liger” and it was left to me to demonstrate how it was done by drawing a creature with an obvious lion’s mane but tiger stripes.
Driving home near midnight that night, I thought how incredible that I could be placed where I am in my family – in a spot that allows me to share such close bonds with siblings old enough to be parents as well as nieces old enough to be siblings.
And, I guess, that is what I am getting a chance to do here now with Mike – create a whole new family. Well, new isn’t right, but another branch. All our own – but still connected to both of these families that I love so much. What an amazing thing for us, and for our kids with each other and who knows, maybe their kids as well and on and on.
When I think of it that way – that I am in the middle of creating something lasting and important, I feel (well, kind of I feel like the spider in Charlotte’s web talking about her magnum opus – her great work – the finest thing she has ever created) but also I feel like it is OK if it means leaves will be scattered and life will be tricky again for a time. It doesn’t mean I’m not scared about it. It just means, you know, if this family is going to be my magnum opus and all then maybe a little sacrifice isn’t too much to ask.