Saturday, July 28, 2012

Green Bean update #1

We made it to the 2nd trimester! Yay! It seems like I'm fibbin' when I say I'm 4 months pregnant, but according to the baby books, it's true (of course, it's just the first week of month 4, but it counts!)

We had our first ultrasound around 11 weeks and the doctor measured the baby and put us around 10 weeks, 1 day. He gave us the due date of January 30th. Based on LMP, we're due January 25. According to me, this has been the hardest one to pinpoint. I guessed Madeleine's, was off by one day with Gracen, but this bean has me stumped. I'm just hoping for a January baby. We already have 8 birthdays to celebrate in February! 1/31/13 would be a fun date to be born on!

10 weeks:

13 weeks:

See any difference yet? We have our 20 week ultrasound set for September 13th and I cannot tell you how much I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. We will be more than joyful with whatever the Lord determines for our family, but it's no surprise most everyone is hoping for baby to be a boy.

I'm trying to work every angle with Kaiser to have a water delivery, but I am not having much success. We have our first meeting with Kaiser's Certified Nurse Midwife who will supervise my development and hopefully that conversation will merit some headway into my preferred method of pain relief. And while I'm trying to avoid being that girl, I am ending up being THAT girl. I refused my labs at the intake appointment because they wanted my blood to test for anemia and sickle cell and Rh positivity and other things that I don't have. They wanted my urine to test for gonorrhea and chlamydia and syphilis which is almost an insult should it come to a legal battle (if I really wanted to be THAT girl).

I want Kaiser to tell me that it would be cruel not to offer pain relief during labor and delivery and then explain why they can't allow me access to personal pain relief. I want them to tell me why they are willing to pay for the drugs and the anaesthesiologist to skewer me, but they absolutely refuse to fill a big tub of warm water for me. I'm not so sure why my preferred treatment for pain relief is unavailable under their plan anywhere but Roseville, CA. We'll see what we yield as we get farther along.

My favorite part of our intake appointment is when the nurse was listening to me explain my philosophy of birth and how I wanted a water birth and what info she could give me to help me figure it all out...she started telling me that Kaiser uses the best research to facilitate care in their hospitals and how those other alternative practices are not deemed safe by Kaiser. That Kaiser wants me in a "controlled environment, that way...if the baby's heart drops, we just c-section them out and they are safe." Honestly, it wasn't the place to start a dogmatic discussion on the medical model versus the homeopathic one, so I just tried to focus on the necessary information and requirements at hand. As I started to kindly counter her with reasons I didn't want to do the glucose test and other future labs, she looked straight at Tim, whirled our paperwork from in front of us and re-checked some information saying, "You're a firefighter/paramedic right?" as she checked over his employment history. "Yes, you're a paramedic...and you agree with all this, all her opinions about this?" she asked pointing her finger back and forth between us with an aghast look on her face.

"Yeah, I do" the devastatingly gorgeous and overwhelmingly manly firefighter/ paramedic replied.

Between the appointments, just enjoying dreaming of that sweet little babe coming soon.

Love, Lauren

Friday, July 20, 2012

When You're At War

Tim and I were finally able to go see The Avengers yesterday. Yes, the day Dark Knight Rising opens and tons of little twenty-somethings have nothing better to do than stand in line for 5 hours to see a midnight premier. Ah, youth. We were gifted this date by Tim's mom and our nephew, Daniel, who took our little chicks to play after naps. Sitting in the theater and criticizing dissecting the plot or the script is something fun Tim and I like to do. We're pretty hard to impress when it comes to all things Hollywood. One line that really struck me to the core was just about 8 minutes into the movie. The agency director, Nick Fury, and his right-hand man, Agent Phil Coulson, are in a secret hangar working on the perfect sustainable energy source, the Teserract. Unfortunately, Loki (Norse god of mischief) arrives to steal the energy cube and basically blow the secret steel compound to smitherings. In the wake of catastrophic agent death, and loss of the most powerful potential weapon on Earth with the capability to destroy the planet, Fury tells his people, "This is a level seven. As of right now, we are at war." To which agent Coulson responds, "What do we do?"


Now, I don't know about you, but if I were the commanding officer of an army, and my right-hand agent turned to me --after a Congressionally declared war, of course-- and said, "What do we do?" I would be very, very scared.

What do we do? What do we do!?! Are you flip out of your mind!? You do what you were trained to do. You go to war!

And as I sat there in the theater, asking Tim, "What do you mean 'What do we do?'" with just a smidge of smugness, it instantly hit me that I am just as unprepared as Agent Coulson.

I'm in a battle--every day-- and I'm undone.

It's no novel idea that our world is getting darker. As Christians, we might continue to be surprised, but we shouldn't be. Much like parents who forget their children are sinners. One kid kicks their sister in the throat, or they suddenly turn into a banshee at bedtime, we get angry and ask, "How could you do that?" We have forgotten that they are sinners at heart. And I just have to wonder at Christians who look at the world with the same eyes as a forgetful parent asking, "How could they do that?"

How could a person arm themselves and walk into a theater and shoot 14 other people point blank? How could you do that? What were you thinking? 

And as Christians, we forget that we live in the sinful world. We forget that given enough anger or isolation or drugs or alcohol or depression or selfishness, we could kill others too. We could drown our children. We could desecrate our marriage bed. Because we're sinners too, and it's only different for us because overwhelming Grace has rescued us.

So, what do you do when you realize that you live at war with the world around you. And that maybe you haven't been training because when sin comes knocking, you turn and ask "What do I do?"

As I pondered this through the rest of the night, I considered why I might not have a plan when war is upon me. Maybe it's because I've always been at war, but it's never been real. Born in 1980, was there ever a time when my country hasn't been at war? A little search under military operations 1980-2012 offers a resounding "no". There was the Cold War, The Gulf War, The War on Terrorism, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Syria, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan. I've not known a day without war. And when you're able to live a "normal" life amidst a "war", you're not nearly as prepared as when a bomb drops right in your hometown.

"What do we do?"

True war--hard battle--will come. It is a guarantee. Now, while it's a great blessing to prepare physically with food stores, water, ammo, provisions and precious's more important that we prepare spiritually. Biblically, we're told to prepare.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

When we forget we're in a battle, we need to allow the Spirit to remind us that there is an enemy out there. Praise the Lord that our enemy is bound by space- he's not ever present. But, we have our own flesh to battle in the meantime and when we start to think that life is normal, that we're "safe" because we live in Temecula, or we have money in the bank or our kids are's time to ask God to show us what we might do to trust in Him alone. Of course, we must learn to praise Him for His many blessings; but we are in a war of souls- ours and others and the Lord has left us some instructions on being a dutiful soldier for His army.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints  Ephesians 6:11-18 

So, when a battle, spiritual or physical comes my way...I'm going to train in such a way that I'm prepared. I may not win battles, or my wars, but I am forever under the leadership of the God who will rule eternally. I will do all I can to be ready and then rest in knowing that God will win, and He knows what to do. 

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD. Proverbs 21:31

Love, Lauren