Monday, September 17, 2007


I guess I learned this weekend a little bit of a humbling lesson: I'm not a doctor. :)

When I was pregnant with Charlie, I read as many books on pregnancy as I drank gallons of chocolate milk. Once I got to the actual delivery, I learned that no matter of knowledge can truly prepare you. Decisions had to be made where there wasn't enough information to know which way was best, and honestly, I learned that relying on God's peace was way more important than being informed.

My sister has done the same thing with her first pregnancy. It's fun to watch! So last Friday she tells me she's having contractions about 5 minutes apart for over 12 hours, and I'm amazed at how calm she is. Were they real contractions, or just the practice kind? She said she would try to walk to find out but usually had to stop and hold on to things for support. Had her water broken? No, but anytime she laid down, a little fluid would leak out when she sat up. Ok, my diagnosis is: get your pregnant self up to that hospital pronto! I'm 100 miles away, freaking out, ready to load up my kids and go get her myself. I won't lie, Chuck gets off work, and he even takes over driving from me because I'm scaring him in my hysteric state! ;) So we rush into Austin just as she's getting checked in at the hospital. They put her in a room, and the nurse checks her: no change. She's still 1 cm dilated. She's also talking and laughing, so I'm that's not active labor. But what about the leaking fluid...that has to be a rupture higher up in the womb. Let that go too long, and the baby could get an infection. He needs his amniotic fluid!! So, the nurse tests her with a liquid that would change colors if her water is broken...and it doesn't change. Also, her doctor is on his way out of town, and informs the nurse to tell her to go home. I announce in my superior state that I disagree with this decision...I think her water has officially broken!

Anyhow, we're already in Austin so we hang out for the weekend and her symptoms continue to be the same. But we head back Sunday night knowing I could be returning Monday if her doctor sees her and decides to induce. But the doctor sees her this morning, and tells her that SHE has an infection, but she's not really leaking fluid, so there's no need to induce. At this point, as Chuck so gently reminds me, I'm not the doctor. I know they can make mistakes but it's probably more likely that my diagnosis is wrong. So if you think you might be in labor...I guess it'd be better to consult someone who delivers babies every day than a woman who thinks 2 deliveries is enough experience to be able to tell you what to do... ;)

Also, while on the subject of how I've been humbled lately, let's not forget my interior decorating skills. Just like photography, interior decorating is way harder when you throw two little tornadoes (Charlie & Chance) into the mix. As I mentioned in a prior post, Chuck's parents gave us a rug for our dining room. The amount of joy and satisfaction it has given me anytime I look at it, is probably more than what's healthy! :) It's not made of carpet, but a weave of some sort (kinda like a wicker basket). So I'm thinking, this is good, it'll be easy to keep clean...WRONG. I completely underestimate my kids! Lately they've been wanting normal open cups instead of sippy cups (and I grieve, for sippy cups are so much cleaner!). This morning Chance spills his water, but that's ok, that's why all he gets is water in his cup! By the way, Chance can now open the dishwasher, get a clean cup out, go over to the fridge and get his cup full of water, and drink it. He's mastered it from watching his brother, and my life just got that much easier. But back to the spillage... Chance spills water, so Charlie has to compete, and decides awhile later to spill Cran-Grape juice. That's right, I let my kid have two of the most permanent dying agents in one drink! So, on it goes to the new rug...we've barely had it two weeks! And reality sets in: My decorating skills could use some honing. It's like I forget sometimes that I have 2 kids (and one on the way!). Add it to the list of the little sacrifices you make in life once you become a parent. So the rug is rolled up and ready to go into our (imaginary) garage, err, um, attic and I'm humbled again...

It's amazing how motherhood doesn't just happen to you, you have to grow into it. While I had always wanted to stay home with my kids, housework and diaper changes were not my life's ambition. I thought I had some intelligence that could be put to good use somewhere...I went to college, after all! I see so many of my friends become moms and suddenly they realize what all that entails...way more than most of us expected! And I don't just mean the sleepless nights. I mean a paradigm shift in what you think gives you value. I may not win a Nobel Peace Prize, or be the CEO of some big company, but somehow becoming a better cook (an ambitious task for sure!), better decorator, better cleaner (I'm still not good at getting laundry stains out!), and especially a better teacher and nurturer are now my great and lofty goals. I may not be making any money, but hopefully I'm molding 2 (soon to be 3) precious lives...

Which leads me to my latest thought (I'm rambling, I know...thanks for humoring me by reading along!)... If my boys are looking to me to know what kind of woman to marry someday, they may be in trouble! I've thought today about how Charlie's future wife will have to be very active. And she may have to accept that Charlie's not very affectionate...although that makes the few times he is very special! Charlie will, however, be a great flirt. He loves to play games, especially hard-to-get. He'll be a great leader in the relationship...which also means she'll have to be a good follower!

However, Chance's wife will be very pleased with all the sweetness this boy possesses. And oh how he loves sympathy! I remember one time as I surveyed my friend Steve's mangled thumb from an accident at his work, I told him that must have hurt so bad! He kinda laughed and said, "Oh but it's so worth it." "How's that?" I inquired. "Because when I get home from work my wife just oohs and ahhs over it and says 'Oh honey, you work so hard for us!'" The attention it brought was worth the pain. Chance's wife will definitely need to be good at dishing out the sympathy...

While I hope they find women who can cook better, accept their roles as wife, support, helper, and mother more easily than I have (and all the sacrifice and lack of freedom that brings...), I have a feeling it's all a process. And maybe twenty some years from now, I can take her under my wing and give her some wisdom that I'm learning each day. Maybe by then I'll be a better doctor and decorator!

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