Standing Tall, Waving Boldly…

Apparently 3 is my lucky number this week. I am 33 weeks pregnant, measuring in at 33 cm, and will have my baby 3 weeks from tomorrow. Today when I got home from my OB appointment, my odometer read 30,303.  :0) Anyhow, it was another very busy one for the Henshall clan. And I think it’s safe to say that nesting is in full-swing for all of us. I’ve been keeping myself busying checking things off of my to do lists (more than one, of course) and I know that Taylor has been as well. He works hard all day long so that I can now stay home and take care of Clara and our soon-to-be-baby-daugther-#2 and still manages to find the time to care for and play with Clara at night while completing other projects around the house. This week’s biggie was a bittersweet one,

Before

though, as we finally bit the bullet and had the large, beautiful oak tree in our front yard taken down. This project has been one in the making since we moved into the house over two years ago and yesterday saw its sad completion. Although we are both mourning the loss of the beautiful woody plant that once stood guard in front of our house for the better part of the last 40 years (ring count to determine the age of tree at a later date), it was positioned a little too closely to the house for comfort (mere feet, in fact), snaked its roots through our brick walkway and may be the cause of a mysterious leak in our basement. Even though our relationship with the tree was rather brief, I will miss the way its lush green leaves sheltered us from the warm summer sun and the scads of beautiful orange and gold leaves that it scattered on our front lawn in the fall (Taylor freely admitted that he won’t, in the least, miss the thousands of pounds of strewn about leaves or buckets full of acorns pelting the roof from late summer until early fall).

Looking out the front window of our bedroom this morning was a very different experience for me, as I wasn’t greeted by the familiar sight of our tree. Instead, I was met with a new view of the neighbor’s front yard, no longer distorted by the tree’s massive trunk. It was in this moment that I couldn’t help but think of the tree’s sad demise as a metaphor for my state of mind as of late. Ever

After

since I found out I was expecting my second NAIT child, I’ve been living in a state of semi-denial, perhaps even one of distortion. Believe me, if one tries hard enough, you can ignore the fact that you are carrying a four-plus pound child in your belly. Granted, it’s getting harder and harder to dismiss the swift kicks to my rib cage and the pitter-patter of little feet on my bladder, but it is still possible not to be fully committed to your child even at 33 weeks gestation. I know that I am carrying a living and thriving human being right now, but I haven’t been able allow myself to completely bond with her. But, I’m getting there. Until I hear her first cries, see her face and learn her platelet count, I will have my guard up. I think this is why I have been slightly reluctant to commit to a name. We have a few ideas in mind (sorry, folks, we’re not sharing until she’s born), but each time the subject comes up, it is usually swiftly dismissed. I know that I’m not 100% committed to naming the baby just yet and am thinking that my hesitation is also shared by my husband.

Clara and the largest part of the tree's trunk

So, what does all of this have to do with a tree? Well, I’m getting to that. :0) Although, our front yard has a new look and the view from my bedroom window has changed, things at the Henshall house still remain the same. It may take some time to get used to the new changes, but underneath it all, the house is same house that we bought two years ago — it is still our home. Now that I’m seeing things a little more clearly (thank you, weekly yoga class), I am finding myself viewing this pregnancy from a similar vantage point — as less of a risk and calculated medical endeavor and more of what it really is — another child in the making. Sure, when I was pregnant with Clara I didn’t have to have IVIG infusions twice a week, take a steroid for the last month of my pregnancy, deliver via c-section, worry every day and hope that my decision to carry another baby wasn’t going to be the worst one I’ve ever made, but this little girl is still my child. I’m going to love her as much as I love Clara, care for her as I’ve cared for Clara over the past 27 months and do my best to give her the life that she deserves. It’s time that I take down my own towering inner oak tree and reevaluate my perspective of this situation.

So, after another successful OB appointment this afternoon, I’m standing tall and waving boldly in memory of our former tree. I’m proud to show off my baby bump (watch out, world!), as I’m now seeing it as another chance to raise a wonderful little girl, not wallow in my own self-pity as a high-risk expectant mother. I’m looking forward to the other changes that are ready to invade our household — another addition to our family to love, watching my two girls grow up together, witnessing Taylor fall in love with another little Henshall lady, and finally focusing on my newborn rather than myself for a change. I’ve found that carrying this pregnancy has made me focus too much on myself — the effects of the IVIG on ME, how the prednisone is going to affect ME, ME, ME, ME. I’m ready to let go of all of this and feel more like my ol’ self again — one that is not so consumed with platelet counts, infusions and oftentimes needless worry. As I get closer and closer to the end of this life-altering experience, I’m enjoying the fact that it’s really forced me to shift my perspective and challenged me to look at myself from a different point of view.

Bump at 33 weeks!

Before we went to bed last night, Taylor told me of an idea that he learned from his sister, Crystal. She suggested that we keep a cross-section of the large oak tree to display in our home. So, bright and early this morning when the crew came back to our house to finish up the tree job (we actually had seven trees in total taken down), I asked the foreman if he would be so kind as to cut off the cross-section for us. He politely obliged. After letting the piece of wood dry out for several months, we are going to make it into a table — a table that will one day serve as a reminder of how we overcame this tumultuous time in our lives and, hopefully, will become a favorite play spot for our two little girls.

The cross-section we are going to use for the table looks exactly like the stump that was left behind.

Until next week, faithful readers…

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One thought on “Standing Tall, Waving Boldly…

  1. Jennifer, I finally had a chance to read your blog from last week, and I know exactly how you feel! Except I’m only 22 weeks pregnant, and I was hoping as the baby got bigger, I would be able to connect and bond better….but it seems as though I still have my guard up. I’m so afraid it is all going to be taken away from me! When I was pregnant with Mikey, we didn’t know his gender until he was born, and that was a lot of fun guessing as the pregnancy progressed. This time, I felt like I had to know the gender because it didn’t seem like I could bond at all. I felt like if I found out the gender, I could visualize the baby and feel more connected somehow. Even knowing that we are having another little boy, I still get nervous that something could go wrong. I try not to focus on it and do everything healthy that I can, but I think this is the life of a NAIT mom. I feel like I know exactly how you feel. I also feel like right now I am narotic about learning as much as I can about this condition and researching constantly….it is starting to take over all of my free time. I wish I could relax, but my trust in the doctor and faith in god that everything is going to be okay….but again, I feel so much better prepared when I study everyone’s situation and try to understand everything about it! You are in the “home stretch”!!!!! It won’t be long before you have your little girl safely in your arms. At this point, you have to trust god and let your body get the rest it needs before you have a healthy newborn depleting all your energy! Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us!

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