It’s saturday night and I’m cozied up on the couch with a bag of peas soothing my back, watching the US figure skating championships. The announcers are offering thoughtful comments like “Ashley just loves to skate!” and “She needs to land this with at least one foot on the ice,” while talented women spin and flip and fly across the arena. It seems almost absurd to watch a sport that celebrates the substance we’ve been cursing and sliding across for the last frozen week but these women make it beautiful.
Next to the TV, our halfway de-ornamented christmas tree is looking a little sad and droopy. The nativity scene waits to be packed up in one of the rubbermaid bins scattered around the living room and the christmas linens still sit in a pile by the bookshelf, unused. Half-finished christmas knitting projects wait on their needles and my pandora app continues to default to Bing Crosby Christmas, crooning out phrases that try to cheer the ugly slush back to soft snowflakes.
We’re two weeks into the new year and I’m not quite ready. 2014. The year our children will be born. The year we become parents. The year everything changes.
I’m having a hard time embracing the spirit of newness and ambition. Advent felt like a blur and I’m still waiting for our babes and so I might continue Christmastide right up until Easter. This expectant hope of a child (children!) coming is tender and beautiful and teaches me of the beauty of the in-between. It’s a good lesson because we’re waiting too for word about school and job prospects for Drew and I need the reminder about the goodness of living in curiosity and hope for whatever may come.
For now I’ll stay nestled on the couch and watch Drew assemble two cribs and try to imagine bending over them to kiss two sweet sleeping newborns. And when I have to heft myself up to use the bathroom for the third time this hour, I’ll pause for another look at the growing pile of gifted and thrifted baby items, all waiting to be used. These are the Saturday nights I’ve dreamed of, all that’s missing is a little mister and miss to be cuddled!
Drew started a course this week to learn how to teach online classes, a skill that will hopefully come in handy not only in his professorial career but also perhaps in his ongoing projects with ICS. He’s been busy dreaming up podcasts and new programs to help the school reach a larger audience and I’m so proud of his hard work. It’s truly amazing to watch him thrive in two jobs that, while challenging, allow him to dive into the work and communities he loves best. What a gift!
We are also celebrating healthy babies this week after lots of good news from the OB and Midwives. My belly is measuring at the size of a 34 week singleton pregnancy and both babies are right around the 60% mark for growth, clocking in now right around 2 lbs each. I was under the mistaken impression that twins would be below-average in growth at this point and for the rest of the pregnancy but our little over-achievers seem intent upon living up to their father’s 10-lb birth weight. My hips shudder as I type that horrible thought.
I passed my gestational diabetes test (which I’ve been celebrating with all manner of carb-y goodness all week) and all blood-work has come back clear. Hurray! It is a beautiful gift to know that they are safe and healthy, especially as the days get more challenging for my very pregnant self and I wonder how my pain or exhaustion might be affecting their little bodies.
At the suggestion of my doctor, I’m officially on leave from work, a sort of mild bed-rest as a way of coping with the extreme dizziness and nerve pain that have become the norm over the last month. I’m grateful for the opportunity to let my body rest and let these babies grow, but also still adjusting to the change of pace and missing my students at Elim. I had been planning on working until perhaps a week or two before I’d be full term and now I have nearly 8 weeks between now and then. Thankfully, I’m armed with lots of good books, shows and project ideas to be enjoyed from our couch and I am committed to relishing this luxury of time.
We continue to be so well cared for by friends and family, especially our new church family. They have checked in on us, brought us meals and offered every kind of help. It is a humbling and beautiful living out of the gospel, this gracious folding us in at our most needy. I am so full of gratitude!