Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Day

Dear Soybean,

It's been a week since my last entry.  You and I did indeed go out and buy some yellow rose bushes last Sunday.  It took a lot of looking (seems red and pink are MUCH more popular) and moving around buckets and getting scratches, but we found 'em!  I found one kind of yellow rose but then spotted a bucket of New Day yellow roses and seized upon it.  I made it my mission to find two more since I needed three bushes in all and sure enough we came away victorious.  How much more inspiring of a name can you get than New Day?  Since being planted, they've all taken beautifully to their new home here and are starting to bloom.

In spite of my efforts to work out in the yard, this past week has been pretty dark psychologically.  Try as I would, I haven't been able to shake off the depression.  The job situation just seems to get gloomier and gloomier.  Everyone that came over with me, plus people who had already been working with this new company for years, are job-hunting.  One already has a job lined up and another has two interviews in place.  I feel like the only one with few options.  What I wouldn't give to be able to be a stay-at-home mom.  If you are a boy, I am definitely going to stress education.  I want you to be in the position where you can afford to have your wife stay at home and raise your young'uns if that's what she wants (I know some people that would die if they had to stay at home with their kids and that's fine for them).  Call me old-fashioned, but I think there's something very wholesome and rootifying (is that a word?) about someone holding down the homefront.  Besides, laundry, cleaning, and cooking is a full-time job in itself... add in some volunteering and I call it a very fulfilling, honorable lifestyle.  It's not that I am (always) lazy and don't want to work.  I just know there are some things more important than a career and that family and sanity are a few of them. 

The one bright spot of this past week was the OB appt Wednesday.  I got to see pics of you and you are definitely looking more human!  You have graduated far beyond being the little round ball of tissue I first saw.  Your dad was so proud and happy.  Afterwards, he took me to Chipotle's for supper and said he enjoyed going with me to the OB appt.  He said it was like telling everyone, "Yes, this is MY baby."  I was like, duh!  Who else's would you be?  But he is so cute. 

Yesterday we went to the birthday party for my cousin Elissa's baby Karson.  He celebrated his first birthday; it was crazy to think that just four years before we had all been at that same park for his brother Kaden's first birthday party and had met Uncle John's sweetie Debbie.  The party was a huge success; the weather was great too, but I just couldn't get in the right frame of mind and kept thinking about Adam.  That, and the fact that your dad was home sick with allergies and congestion, I decided to leave after the party and come home.  Oh, Elissa volunteered her and Crystal's servcies to host a baby shower for you.  I told her I'll take her up on that since I need one for the Scheffler clan since that will be a huge group in itself.  Schefflers covered, church covered, New Braunfels covered--now I just need a hostess for the Nall/Matney party and one to host a party for friends not covered in previous categories.   Regardless, I know you are going to be one pampered little child.   :-) 

Oh, and just for kicks, I did one of those things that merge mom and dad pics to create a pic of what baby will look like.  Here's what they came up with using your dad and my photos....  you have no upper lip!!!  lol

The last few days I haven't been as nauseated all the time as I was before and my outlook feels improved today.  Today we were able to give that ancient king-size bed away to a neighbor and I posted pictures of the canvasses that are just taking up room--slowly, we're making room for your stuff.  Tomorrow I'll be taking the final exam on my English lit course (I'll be so glad to be done with that class at last!). And I plan on buying the exam prep materials to take the AE-C.  With that certification, maybe I'll have more options to work closer to home with daytime hours and with a company that actually cares about people, not just profit.  If you thought I have been exaggerating about the evils of my new employer, I was told that one of the warehouse ladies asked the manager last winter if they could get heaters of some sort since it was bitterly cold.  The manager's response?  "You applied for a warehouse job, and that's what you got--a warehouse job." 

Hopefully I can keep a positive outlook even when the reality of Monday morning slaps me in the face tomorrow.  One way or another though, kiddo, we'll get through this... together.  :-)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Things Lost and Gained

Dear Soybean,

It's been awhile since I last wrote to you, and I'm sorry.  You and I have been through quite a lot the last two weeks.  They say that you feel everything I feel-- I say God forbid!  But if you do, you deserve an explanation for the flood of grief and distress you've been put through.  It is so scary to think that even before you're born you're experiencing heartache.  Life isn't fair sometimes and I'm glad you have decided to stick around to see the good life has to offer since you've already felt the depths of pain it serves up as well.  It can only get better from here.

I never thought I'd have to tell you this, but we lost your Uncle Adam.   It's still a bit too painful to dwell on so I'll just give you the bare facts--he died at the age of 22 in a car accident on March 6 (two weeks ago today).  It's a comfort though that he knew about you and that he was absolutely elated to be an uncle.  His girlfriend Holly (aka, "Peaches") was with him at the time when he heard the news and I'm hoping I can get her on video recounting how he reacted so that you will have something to treasure when you get older. 

Everyone was telling me to take the loss as easy as possible for your sake, and I tried, really I have.  Still, I think you will grant that the loss of someone close can only be taken with a fair measure of anger, sadness, and grief.   I hope you turn out to be a happy child, not molded in the womb into a crying, morose person on my account--I don't know that I could forgive myself.  Everything the last two weeks turned into a blur... I'll admit that even you seemed to take on an "unreal" feeling.  Stepping into the room that will be yours though and seeing the gifts Kristi bought for you brought you "home" again.  Not that the ever-present nausea could ever let me completely forget that you're coming.

We may have even found a name for you yesterday!  I recently found out that our last name Nall is Irish, so I looked up Irish baby names and found Aven, meaning "fair radiance."  Your dad and I both love it because it's uncommon but not completely outlandish like naming you Moonlight or Crimefighter (I found those both on celebrity baby names lists today, can you believe it??!) and with your parents' complexion, you will definitely be "fair"--nothing dark about you at all, haha.  Your dad told me today that he has a gut-feeling you may be a girl  :-)

Your dad was so cute... yesterday he verbalized his worry that God may come before you are born and he may miss out on being a dad.  I assured him that as far as we know, God will let us raise you in Heaven should He come first and I asked Chris what better place is there to raise a kid?  That seemed to make him feel much better.  Because indeed there's no telling when Christ will come again.  I'm looking forward to that day when I'll be reunited with loved ones like Adam to say goodbye no more.  Your dad and I had such good times with your Uncle Adam and Uncle Stephen, that I can't wait to see what adventures we can get ourselves into in eternity. 

Your dad has been a real bulwark of comfort and compassion for me the last two weeks; I tried to verbalize how thankful for his support I've been last  night at dinner but got all choked up.  He's a real gem of a man; this morning he made you and I breakfast in bed.  He made his first attempt at an omelette--it was a vegetarian omelette and it was good.  I'm not even an omelette fan but this was less egg-y than most. 

Last night I had a bit of a scare... this pregnancy adventure is stressful at times, especially since I haven't been through this before.  I took a tiny little jump getting out of the truck since it's high off the ground and felt like I pulled a little muscle in my lower abdomen.  Afterwards, I had occasional, small, tickle-like feelings flicker across my stomach.  Everything is fine today and I'm still feeling great (except for the nausea) so I'm sure I just temporarily pulled something, but from now I'll keep the 3-point contact rule of getting out of vehicles.  It's just a ton of little things like that keep one wondering if everything's okay and all.  I think I'll feel better once we're through the first trimester.  We get to "see" you again this Wednesday and your dad is coming to the appointment.  He's so excited.

In addition to you, I'm a bit worried about myself too.  I can feel myself falling into a depression and I'm trying to shake it off.  When your dad asks me what's wrong, I can't pinpoint any single cause. I think it's a combination of a whole lot of factors.  I want to be able to stay home and raise you but it looks as though I may have to stick with my job in order to pay the bills.  It makes me a little angry that money has a lot in determining what one can and cannot do.  My dissatisfaction with my job and the loss of Adam have me feeling very unsettled and I keep getting the urge to run away and find/experience something completely new.  If your dad were okay with it, we'd probably run away to New York City and get jobs making just enough to scrape by but yet feel rich because we'd be able to take you to Central Park every weekend. I absolutely loved New York City and I hope to be able to take you when you get older.

I just don't know, little Soybean.  But sitting in my dark room all day can't be good for either of us so I'm thinking of going out and buying some roses to plant in the yard.  Probably yellow roses because those were your great-grandmother Scheffler's favorite. 

Just hang in there, okay? relax and just grow.  You've already stolen the hearts of several and we can't wait until we can hold you at last.

Love you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baby Bump and Not-so-"lovely-lady-lump" Pics

Dear Soybean,

Mercy, yesterday was a bit rough.  A lot of stressors going on with trying to coordinate family plans on getting to your Uncle Kivini's graduation, figuring out what the buy-out of Praxair to Apria (which was finalized yesterday) will mean to me, trying to keep the ever-present nausea at bay, etc.   I know that at least in the last weeks of pregnancy, if the mother is stressed, it speeds up the baby's development.  I jokingly thought to myself that if I keep up all this stress you'll be born full-grown, haha.  

Another big disappointment was that I am eating too much.  In part, I think I eat in desperate attempts to find the silver bullet to the nausea.  The other is that your dad has been gone a lot taking care of your grandpa's animals and visiting him in the hospital.  That, and my having to work late several nights this past week, meant there hasn't been any groceries in the house, leaving me to pick up fast-food on the way home.  That, and when I'm stressed (like
 with this job change) I crave comfort foods, which are all too often handy (for example, the two donuts I ate from a Shipley's box a coworker brought yesterday).  Anyway, I know I've been getting fat (and I'm not just talking baby weight.. I mean, good grief, you're only an inch long!  But I guess it makes more sense if you're made of pure gold, which you are!!).  I read that I'm only supposed to gain 1-3 pounds in the first trimester.  Well yesterday I figured it was a good time to get honest with myself and see how much I had gained in excess of the guidelines.  Well, I have gained 6 pounds and I still have almost a month left of my first trimester!  And taking in account that I still weighed my 121.5 when I had my first OB appt, that means I gained that 5 pounds in one month!  I felt disgusted with myself.   Kadi called last night and gave us some pointers on how she has lost her weight just by eating well.  It was some motivation to start trying to eat better again.  Your dad said he will go to the store tomorrow and hook us up with some good groceries. 

Today has been a much needed break though... got to spend somequality time with your dad and we had some time to take our first "baby bump" pics.  Together, we visited your Grandpa Nall in the hospital and helped him write out checks for his bills, stopped by his house to feed and play with his dogs, and then we stopped by CC's Cafe for dinner.  Dinner was chicken fried steak, fried okra, and, for dessert--banana pudding.  Yeah, as you can tell the healthy eating has not yet began, but I swear the fried okra was the best I have ever had.  My eyes were rolling around in my head, they were so good.   I'll say it again, your dad is the best man to me and he is super excited about you.  He talks often about how he can't wait to take you to NASCAR races and hunting/fishing trips, whether you are a boy or girl. 

We're not any closer to names, though we talk about possibilities all the time.  So for now, and until we find out your gender, you will remain my little soybean.   Love, ~A.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Little Man Parts

Dear Soybean,

Blahhhhh, I am not feeling so hot.  In fact, I haven't been feeling great all this past week, so no working out.  Sorry Soybean, I will try to get back on track soon.  It's just all this nausea....  and yet I get hungry... AND tired AND grumpy  ALL at the same time.  Yuck!   Nothing sounds good to my queasy stomach except a loaf of french bread.  I believe your daddy is going to come to my rescue.  I asked him to stop by Kroger's on his way home from visiting your grandpappy Nall in the hospital.  OH, he just called and he's going to grab some ginger tea as well.  Oooooo, I so hope I can start feeling better.  It's not like I'm hugging a toilet or anything, but just the nagging nausea that just hangs on....and on... and goes away... and then sneaks back up on me.

Anyway, I was reading about your development this week and it says if you end up being a boy, that your little man parts are just starting to develop this week.    Brings up the whole question of whether to clip or not.  Circumcision, I mean.  It's not like you hear men verbalizing how they feel about being circumcised or not so it's one of those things I wish I had your input on.  But should you want to be circumcised, I would imagine you'd thank us for doing it shortly after birth when you won't remember anything about the pain. 

Biblically, the New Testament makes it very clear that spiritual circumcision--the act of having a sensitive heart to God's leading-- is the only thing that matters and that physical circumcision is no longer required or even preferred over non-circumcision.  I don't know, just the idea of cutting something that God makes whole and perfect to begin with makes me a tad uneasy.  I mean, I didn't get any of my dogs's ears or tails clipped--I thought it a bit cruel and unnatural to do so.  And you don't see anyone in the Western Hemisphere circumcising girls--it is thought to be a crime--a disfiguring act.    And yet, if we go back to the whole pet-reasoning, I did get them spaded-- so where do you draw the line?   If we had been an Old-Testament Jewish family, I would probably think it a beautifully symbolic ritual, but we're not.  Some people will bring up that circumcision cleanliness issue; anti-circumcision people say circumcision cuts down on "sensation"... (oh, i hope your 40 before you have any idea of what I'm talking about, haha) but online there seems to be proof and surveys that seem to debunk arguments on both sides.  So I don't know...

Being honest with myself, you probably will get circumcised, just because of tradition's sake and family expectations.   And since most of your friends will probably be circumcised too (thanks to our nation's Judeo-Christian background), I don't think you'll hold it against us really.  Just want you to know I have thought about it (you may never give it a second thought), had some misgivings, and simply wanted the best for you. 

Ha!  but maybe you're a girl and this whole little back-and-forth was for nothing  :-)   *Heaves sigh of relief*

And, no, your room is not ready yet.... not even close.  Not even touched yet.   EEEeek!  But it will be ready by the time you get here, promise!

Goodnight my little one.