Sunday, May 30, 2010

Part I: Pastor's Wife ... Who me?

When I was 8, I told God that I wanted to marry a business man. Not a pastor. I was very specific in my statement. Notice I was telling God--not requesting, not asking, not simply expressing a desire. I was informing Him of how my life would be. (FYI--this became a pattern ... )

I revised this statement in high school when I was dating a guy who probably wasn't going into business. So, I modified my submission to include a man who might be a teacher or a sports broadcaster. I reaffirmed the "not a pastor" piece, and felt quite content with my future. 

Then in college, I suffered a number of crushes on a variety of guys, so my "Life Partner Qualifications" became even more broad, to include social work, vague careers in the field of communications, and higher education. While I did "crush" on guys who wanted to go into ministry, I knew that their desire to pastor people was an indication that I would not spend my life with them. So the "not a pastor" requirement held strong. 

I started dating Erik. Luckily, he wanted to be a rock star. So I was safe. 

Then I realized, he actually already worked at a church. *Gasp* No worries though--he was the Youth Worship Guy. Translation? Rock Star. So, still safe.

We got engaged. (Yippee!) He job searched. (Not so yippee ... ) He got a job--at a church. As a Youth Pastor. (It's okay. This I can deal with.) See, Youth Pastor's Wife is not so scary. Youth Pastor's Wife is actually kinda cool. You get to stay young by hanging out with the Next Gen kiddos. You get to be cool by knowing their lingo etc. etc. It's not like being a *gulp* real Pastor's Wife. Yikes. 

Then my wonderful husband decided to job search again (yippee because it was time, but not yippee because it's no fun.) He was really debating between going the Worship Guy route (i.e. Rock Star) or the Youth Pastor route (i.e. I'd kinda be a PW, but it'd be okay cuz I'd be cool. As explained above.)

Because God is who/how He is/likes to be, Erik ended up with a job where he is not only the Worship Guy (i.e. Rock Star), but is also the Youth Guy (i.e. sorta deemed a pastor, depending on who you ask) and also kinda falls into the "Number 2" position (i.e. he's one of only two full time staff, so, well, you do the math.)

So what does this make me? After all this suggesting, telling, stating and submitting to the Lord? 


How did this happen? I specifically told God my requirements, and yet here I am: a PW. 

What is God up to?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear Joshua

Dear Joshua, 

You sure are cute. I just can't get over how cute you are! What did I do to deserve such a handsome little man? 

I love the noises you make, even when they keep me up at night. 
I love the wiggles you do, even when it's hard to keep a hold of you.
I love the smiles you give, even if they actually come from gas. :) 
I love the feel of you in my arms, even when I'm sweaty and hot from holding you all night.
I love when you look up at my while nursing, even though nursing gets kinda old, really fast. 
I love how you suck so crazy hard on your nuk, even though you cry every time you drop it. 

I love how little you look in Erik's arms, I love how loud you burp, I love watching you squirm and turn red--even though I know you're making a big mess for me to clean up. 
I love bathing you and watching you calm down under my touch. 
I love your newborn little cry, even though it's getting louder and more demanding every day. 
Dear Joshua, I have prayed for you, and cried for you, and yelled in hope for you ... and here you are. Turning my life upside down. Making me question my sanity for choosing to be a mom ...

And confirming for me the glorious miracle that is motherhood. I love you little man, and can't wait to watch you grow.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day is great ... for Mothers

It's weird to be here.

Where is here? Mothers Day. I'm a mother--on Mothers Day. 

Last year, I was not a mother on Mothers Day, and that made me quite sad. And angry. And bitter.

It was not a good day, Mothers Day last year. 

In fact, I had attempted to plan a trip to San Francisco for Mothers Day weekend just so I wouldn't have to attend church on the dreaded day. I planned the whole trip, booked tickets, told a bunch of people that we were getting away from Mothers Day ... and then I realized I'd booked the wrong weekend. Our trip was the weekend before Mothers Day weekend.

I still ended up at church on Mothers Day. 
It was a rough day. See blog here.

This year I was at church on Mothers Day. 
It was a great day. 

It's amazing how much can change in a year.

Last Mothers Day, I was upset--very. Like I said, it was a rough day.

This Mothers Day, I am on the other side. I have my miracle boy; he's here, he's nursing, he's depriving me of sleep. It's beautiful, it's amazing, and I still pinch myself daily--I just can't believe how much has happened in a year. 

Today, on yet another Mothers Day at church, I witnessed a couple leave church early, with somber faces, and silent tears. My heart wrenched, because I have been there. I know exactly what it's like to think I'm strong enough to make it through the service, to smile through the tears ... but I wasn't.

Mothers Day is a wonderful day. It's important to remember our mothers, and grandmothers. It's good to honor them for all they do.

But I will always hurt for the women who long for motherhood every day of the year, but especially on Mothers Day. It's just a sucky day if you want to be a mother, but aren't. 

So to all the women out there who wish, hope, and pray for motherhood--you are not invisible. You are not alone. I know my remembering the pain I had a year ago doesn't take away your current pain, but I hope somehow, in someway, our journey can bring you hope. 

I'm so blessed to be a mother to a precious little boy named Joshua. One year ago, I never would have guessed that today I would finally attend church on Mothers Day as a mother.
Thank you Lord!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Walgreens Revelation

I finished nursing and told Erik that I needed to run to Walgreens. I was out the door before the poor little guy (Josh, not Erik) had even been burped properly. Think I need some time alone? I think so. :)

It was at Walgreens that I had this revelation: I am not the only new mom out there

I know--shocking right? Well, obviously it's very easy to think I'm the only one journeying through this right now. That I'm the only one not sleeping, continuously worrying, always nursing and needing encouragement. 

I was checking out and paying for my newborn diapers, BreatheRight strips, Dove soap and gas drops when another customer got in line behind me. I glanced up and smiled, and then looked again--ah! A new mom like me! 

She had all the markings--
bags under her make-up-less eyes; 
partially combed, probably not washed hair; 
a baggy shirt that didn't hide her recently pregnant bulge; 
over-sized sweats; 
Lansinoh products and Pampers wipes in her basket.

I considered saying hello and making the new mom connection, but couldn't quite figure out how to do that without seeming somewhat creepy. 

It turned out she was parked right next to me too, and I'm pretty sure I heard her heave the same big sigh that I found myself heaving as we got into our cars . 

New mommyhood--I'm not the only going through it, and I'm not the last. We should just all wear shirts that say,  
"Yes, I have a newborn at home. I love him, but he's draining my every reserve. 
I might fall asleep while I'm talking to you. 
Please don't be offended." 

Or perhaps, the markings are quite clear--we probably don't need the shirts. It's hard to miss a partially sleep walking woman purchasing diapers and breast pads while wearing clothes covered in spit up!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Week 38: Surprise!!

He arrived! 38 weeks and 2ish days into my pregnancy, my water broke!

I was home all morning working. I spoke with my doula by phone, and even asked her how I would know if my water was leaking. She suggested trying some exercises to see if I could nudge the baby a little to get the water flowing, if it was actually leaking. So, I made myself a late lunch at 3:30pm and went to watch some TV. I thought, "Oh--I'll do that one exercise real quick." So I got down on my hands and knees and arched and curved my back a few times. I stood up, sat down, leaned forward, picked up my sandwhich, and POP! My water broke. I barely made it to the bathroom! And then, I realized I'd left my cell on the table! So I waddled back out, grabbed my cell, waddled back to the bathroom and called Erik.

"I think--I THINK--my water broke."

I don't remember exactly what he said, but I do remember sensing his "soon-to-be-a-daddy" tension in his voice. He was already on his way home, so that worked out well. :)

True to my nature, I spent the next 2 hours cleaning up emails, straightening the house, and checking Facebook. Priorities, right? I wasn't contracting--just leaking. 

Around 6pm my Mom came, and we decided to head to the hospital, as I really didn't want to have bad contractions start in the car or something. So we arrived at the hospital at 6:30--3 hours after my broken water. They checked me and declared my water had broken (duh) and that I was dilated to 4. The contraction monitor indicated only "irritations" in the uterus. No contractions really yet. 

By 7:30 the contractions had picked up. I had a great birth team--my doula, Terri (, Erik, my Mom, and Kelly Little. Each one contributed immeasurably to my soundness of mind, determination and comfort! I went drug-free, and cursed my decision consistently during the later contractions.

I started really wanting to push around 10:30, I think, but I was only dilated to maybe an 8. By 11:30 I was at 9 and 3/4 cm. They let me push. :) And I pushed and pushed and pushed--until little Joshua Nelson Lindeen was born at 1:39am on April 22nd! 

One funny moment: I was pushing, and my Mom was holding one leg while Erik held the other. Kelly and Terri (my doula) were chatting on the couch, because there wasn't anything for them to do! My Mom jokingly said, "Hey, you two--some of us are working hard over here!" I finished my push and clearly said, "Don't you even TALK to me about working ...." I love that, somehow, in the midst of pushing out a child, I still had my sense of humor.

It's so hard being the mommy and hearing him, and knowing he's there but having to sit on the stupid bed and deliver the placenta! What cruelty! At least I knew Erik was with him and bonding in a way that is so necessary for the Daddy, who didn't get 9 months of closeness with the little guy.

We knew immediately that this was the end of the nickname "Bubba"--this baby is no Bubba! Instead we've settled into a few nicknames--I tend to call him Bugger while Erik calls him Little Dude and Pal. :)

What an incredible experience ... when my water broke, I just remember thinking, "Wow--there's no turning back. He's coming, and I have no idea what to expect ..." and yet my body knew exactly what to do. And I did it naturally! Whoohoo!!!

Meeting that little guy, holding him in my arms for the first time ... what a magical experience. This little person who I already knew so well ... there he was on my chest! Breathing, blinking, whimpering ... and of course hiccuping. :) Just like he had in the womb.
I LOVED the hospital. Didn't want to leave. In fact, I cried about leaving. I just relished the support, the nursery I could send him to, the sleep I got, the food I ate ...but, we had to come home sometime! 

My parents and sisters created a wonderful environment for us to come home to. My house was clean, candles were lit, food was prepared--it was wonderful! What a blessing!

Our friend Kelly was a great support--to not only me, but Erik too! We are so glad Joshua came before she left for Arizona the next day!!!

Joshua and Grandma! My Mom is a Grandma--Weird! I'm so glad she was there for the birth. She did great!!

Tara and Molly flew in to meet little Josh! I'm so glad they could come! It was great!

So that's the story! He's here ... I still can't believe it. I'm a mommy! Joshua's mommy! I'm tired and exhausted and overwhelmed and emotional ... but my prayers were answered. I have my little miracle--and he sure is cute!!