Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Pregnancy Can Also Take a Village....

As our friend Jason put it so eloquently the other day, it's a D---------n pregnancy.  No, he wasn't swearing, just insert our last name in there.  This type of pregnancy gets progressively worse with each child and over time has developed into a full-on group effort because my body seems to disagree with gestation.  The second one was so rough towards the end that even my own mother, the one that LIVES for grandchildren said, "Maybe you should consider adoption for your third child." And yet, here we are.

Baby girl and me before we left Morocco.
Basically, I have been a totally useless human being since the end of June.  And whereas in previous pregnancies Joe and our Moms have shouldered most of the burden here and there, this one has turned into a full court press requiring the support of extended family and friends.

Baby girl,  I love you but I will not let you soon forget this difficult time.  (J, you're still not off the hook either).

The good and bad of it is that since the end of June we have been with family and/or Joe has been off work.  I mention "bad" because while we had a fun summer, it could have been all the better if I could have, you know, played with the boys, gone on adventures, nay, even WALKED.

At the end of June the boys and I left Morocco, endured a transatlantic flight from h*ll (you may insert a swear word there), and began our home leave in Texas.  Joe joined us soon after for a month.  We went to the beach for several days where Ami D (Joe's Mom), his aunts, and my sister-in-law/saint Wendy helped Joe feed/wrangle the boys.  Then, Joe took the boys to Ami D's ranch for a few days while I rested at home.  Shortly thereafter we made the journey to Big Spring to visit Grandpa Bert and Nanna where they stepped in to help.

Mid-August we returned to Northern Virginia for Joe to begin work again.  Thus far, while I had been in a lot of pain (for reasons I won't get into here) I was at least able to get around some and hadn't had any preterm labor.

Well, that all changed the day Joe went back to work.  Staying in an extended stay hotel, we had carefully planned my day with the boys so that I could sit down as much as possible while keeping them busy.  We got through the day fine, but laying in bed that night I had some contractions, and by mid-morning they were STRONG contractions and quite painful.  Between tears (because I knew that bed rest was coming) I called Emily to watch the boys and probably scared the secretary at Joe's work before going to the doctor and hospital.  At the doctor's office the contractions were so painful that I was having trouble breathing.  Good grief.  Joe wheeled me over to the hospital and long story short, the contractions were stopped pretty quickly and I was put on complete bed rest for a few days.  I was really discouraged, knowing that not only could I not take care of my boys, but we were about to ask A LOT of all our family and friends.

We figured out a 2.5 month line-up and after 5 more days I was let up from complete bed rest to modified.  Since the beginning of September ALL of our parents have taken shifts separately to care for us, which has been amazing. But the real prize goes to our Moms:

Ami D spent TWO WEEKS taking care of us while we finished our stay in the hotel and moved into the house.  It was rough being in a small space and she was so gracious to us all.

But then the real fun got started.  It was time to MOVE BACK INTO OUR HOUSE.  Because who doesn't want to move and set up housekeeping when the wife/mommy is on bed rest?

Oh dear me.

To prepare for the move, we hired painters for the first time in our lives and I made list upon list to try and organize.  We had planned for our Moms to both be here when all of our stuff came to try and unpack as it came/manage the little boys.  Emily came that day and Joe was off work.  I sat and barked orders.  Then we sent Ami D home to recover and Gran (my Mom) stayed for her shift and to pick up the pieces of unpacking/organizing.  That woman worked HARD.

Meanwhile, our local friends (Gazulis, Greens, Wiles, Byrds, Dunnebackes, and Beaches) have helped carry the burden by having us for dinner, play dates and babysitting.

The government shutdown has so far worked out in our favor (I'll probably change my mind if we don't get back pay) as Joe has finished putting the house together and been a great support to the boys, me and our parents.  "Non-essential" is where it's at.

As for baby girl and me, we have been on our best behavior.  I am 34 weeks and as long as I don't stand too long/lift stuff/etc I don't have contractions and can take the occasional outing to a restaurant (dropped off at the door) or church.  I have been keeping myself busy by doing CRAFTING projects for baby in bed or a chair.  Like making a quilt of all things.  An easy one at that, but still, I'm a little concerned that the world is coming to an end.

We are so, so thankful that baby (and I) are healthy and keep reminding ourselves that this is only a season.  The Lord has shown us His love through our selfless friends and family.

Hoping to hang on for another 3-4 weeks.  Joe is in a wedding November 9th in Florida, so I would put my money on that being her birthday.

Will update soon!


  1. Poor you!!! I pray she comes later rather than sooner, that she is healthy, that you are healthy, that she doesn't come Nov. 9th, and that you get some rest! I am done having kids because my body also doesn't agree. You know what though? After 9 months of hell, I have the sweetest little baby who slept through the night right away. Hopefully that will be your case too. :)

  2. Oh Ashleigh...hang in there. I cannot imagine, but the blessing of friends during times like this is so encouraging!

  3. I'm so sorry things are rough! If there's anything I can do, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail!!! I'll even go pick up fabric for you and help you out with finishing the quilt if you need it!