This week has been intense. Lots of going and doing and planning and un-planning. More on that to come. But for now, I will work on summing up this week with three simple words: bees, babies, and Bloom.
Let's start with the bees, shall we?
This adorable picture came from here; unfortunately, the bees I'm talking about weren't nearly this cute.
Let's just say that the bees have been the bane of my existence since last Sunday when they showed up at our house....ready to party....and brought all of their friends......for an extended stay. Now don't get me wrong here, and heaven forbid don't call PETA, but the idea of having hundreds of bees swarming outside of our bedroom window and crawling in through the fan connection has made me a little squeamish and screamish. I like bees; I do NOT like bees in large groups hanging out in my backyard. And today we forked out some serious dinero to the tune of $240 to HOPEFULLY send the bees on their way. However, we still have to deal with removing the hive they've created from our roof, or attic, or wherever it remains hidden from sight. I certainly won't be crawling into the attic to find the bee hive. Volunteers for this job, however, are gladly accepted. I will pay you in cake balls. Please come quickly.
On a another note, if you read my last post, you saw where I was thankful for my oldest friend (Heather) and her second pregnancy, which lasted significantly older than her first, which came to an abrupt halt at 24.5 weeks.
Well, little did I know that while she was on my mind and I was writing about her, she was at the hospital having an EMERGENCY c-section that thankfully resulted in the birth of this adorable baby boy.
Seriously, if I didn't have plans this weekend I'd be making a road trip to squeeze on him. And while I am SO THANKFUL for him and his health (even though he had a very scary welcome to this world), this has been a hard week. (You can read his birth story here. Warning: bring Kleenex and DO NOT READ it if you are currently pregnant. You and your hubby can thank me for that little tip later.) This may come across as selfish for me to say that I have had a hard week, as I have no way physically suffered from this and certainly am no where close to Heather and her family in terms of all they've endured this week. However, selfishly, I am so very sad for my friend. If you know me personally, you know that I am the kind of friend who truly carries the burdens of those I care about; it's not that I'm a worrier but rather a protector of those I love. If a friend has a problem, I have a problem too; I've always been that way and will probably always BE that way. And I'm a-okay with that. I love completely and fiercely and strongly, and I've come to realize that this is a good thing. But sometimes in loving so thoroughly, it sets me up for heartache,
aka Heather's story this week.
I literally remember the moment she first told me she was having triplets. I cried. She laughed. I sat staring at the computer screen for a long, long time. And then I remember talking to her when she knew they were coming soon...very, very soon. I sat at the kitchen table and cried and cried and cried for my friend. For you see, Heather is Mother Earth, and I'm Mother Not So Much. She is the greatest Mom I know and is truly the mom I most admire. And I so desperately wanted her babies to be alright and for her to have a good experience. Well, when that didn't happen, my heart literally broke for my friend. I promise if you could wish something away for someone you love, I would have had that problem kicked in the first twenty-four hours.
Well, when she told me she was pregnant with baby #4, I was equally overjoyed and terrified. It's not at all that I thought he (or she at the time) wouldn't be okay, it's just that I was desperate for her to have a good birthing experience. By GOOD, I simply meant non-traumatizing. I wanted her to have her baby in the most uneventful, classic, 'normal' (if there is such a thing) way possible and then to spend the next three days clutching her beautiful, fully developed baby and eating up every second spent with him or her. Instead, she had what is hands down the most traumatizing birth story I've ever heard. Her new son is going to be alright, but not after some time spent in the NICU. And I honestly hadn't slept well since his birth until I talked to Heather yesterday. She assured me that she was going to be fine, even though right now she's tired (Heather, I can tell you're tired even when you politely say, "No, I'm fine.") and very sore from all her body has been through in the past few days. Everett is doing better each passing minute, and her other two kiddos were thrilled to meet their baby brother yesterday, and for this I could not be more thankful.
And yet, I'm sad for my friend; my wishes for her to have a happy birth experience are gone. And this is one of those times when I just have to have faith that God is control because to me, this seems so unfair. After all Heather went through with her first birthing experience, after the amazing care she takes of her body, after her having the most healthy eating habits of anyone I know, she still fell victim to the 1% chance she faced of having a uterine rupture. 1%. How is that even possible? We hear 1% and we don't even hesitate; we don't even blink. Hearing 1% gives us confidence and courage, but that Heather-- she takes the odds and apparently they laugh in her face. And it hurts. It hurts me FOR her, so so so much. I have cried a bucketful of tears for my friend this week and have literally ached in wanting to trade places with her. She can have one of my birthing experiences, which all though Hollyn's was a dream, Libby's seemed bad at the time, but I promise it's nothing compared to this, and I'd gladly give it to her if I could. Accepting the fact that reality doesn't care about our hopes and wishes and dreams is really, really hard sometimes. If only we could wish and plead and will ourselves into getting exactly what we think is best. But, then I think about all the unexpectedness God has brought my way. All the times I THOUGHT I knew exactly what I wanted and what was best, when really He had something exponentially better waiting just around the corner. And although I can't see the sunshine through the clouds right now, I have faith that God will use Heather's experiences and strength to encourage someone else and help them believe in Him, because Heather and her babies are truly walking (or in Everett's case 'will be walking before we know it') miracles.
Whew, okay now that I interrupt this cry fest to tell you that you need to invest some time this weekend indulging in this.
I've been waiting for it to be in my hands since the moment I read between the lines on Kelle's blog that she was in fact writing a book. I started it Wednesday and finished it today. I literally had to force myself to take a break before the last chapter simply because I wasn't ready for it to be over yet. I wanted more. I didn't want to stop reading. It's so beautiful-- literally. It's outwardly the prettiest book I've ever seen and is packed full of her pictures. Her beautiful, story-telling pictures. But the beauty doesn't stop there; the story is raw and real and breath-taking. Yes, it's about her special needs daughter, but really, to me, it's just about being a mom and trying to keep your chin up and do the very best you possibly can no matter what your situation and circumstances may be. I literally felt like I was drinking in her words and crying right along with her. It's one of the most honest, heart-felt stories of motherhood I've ever heard. And I absolutely loved every stinkin' word on every stinkin' page.
And it literally hurts me to hear so many people out there bashing here and her story, saying that she's not honest enough or living in a fairy-tale as opposed to reality. To those people, I really just want to know if you've ever spent any time with someone with that beautiful extra chromosome. If you've been around me a while, you know that at one point in my life I loved a little girl with that blessed extra chromosome like a sister. And I was friends with a lot of others with beautiful almond-shaped eyes and the biggest hearts I've ever known. And let me just tell you that they are some of the most amazing, kind, caring, WONDERFUL people. And if Kelle wants to focus on all that good that comes from loving a little girl with a little something special, then please get out of her way and let her do her thing. I think she is amazing and does a wonderful job of embracing the blessing she has been given. I personally believe the world has a lot to learn from her about unconditional love and honesty and embracing motherhood like it's the greatest gift ever. Because, if you want to be totally honest here, sometimes when I'm buried in laundry and cooking dinner and feeling guilty because I sent Libby to church with chipped toenail polish (thanks again for pointing that out, Mom), and have had all the whining I can take for one day, I need someone to remind to that motherhood is a gift. And Kelle Hampton does that for me. So please back up off of my encouragement and peddle negativity elsewhere; we're all stocked up here, thanks.
And now that I've officially stepped away from the soapbox, I hope that you have a fan-tas-tic weekend. Mine will be filled with a reunion with some of my very favorite people. Here's hoping the bees don't migrate to your house and that your local bookstore has a copy of Bloom waiting for you.
Today I'm linking here. And if you made it through this novella of a blog post, you most be a loyal fan, and for that I am over-the-moon thankful.