Midpoint Musings

Midpoint Musings

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Baby's Having a Baby     

     My daughter, our "baby" is expecting her first child, a little girl, grandchild number eight and granddaughter number six. This is a brand new experience for me in that my other precious grandchildren came by the way of my three sons. My daughter was born six years after our youngest son, and, it has been six years since we had a little baby grandchild around.       

     I am SO excited and I am proud of  the way she has handled an extremely difficult pregnancy. She apparently was the 1/100 women who suffer from a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition, according to the American Pregnancy Association "characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance . . . severe cases often require a stay in the hospital . . . (to) receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line." Her experience resulted in several hospital emergency room visits and two overnight stays. She had managed for several weeks without intervention, then two kinds of anti-nausea medications, then weekly IV ports inserted by a visiting nurse, and finally, a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) was inserted in her arm. Thankfully, about a month ago, the PICC line was removed and she is finally enjoying a normal life and pregnancy.      

    I have to admit that I was extremely grateful that the part-time status of my job this past school year permitted me to be available to help her get through it. But, I am keenly aware that whatever help I gave, I was not able to take the sickness from her. Most days it felt like emptying puke buckets and begging her to eat and drink was of little consequence. The level of worry accompanying her weight loss and weakening body was something I could not understand, and I still do not understand why she had to suffer like this. She had, after all, lost one baby the year previous and was still in many ways grieving for that little one when the sickness began. I asked myself why she had all of this to contend with. I felt guilty that I had had four "normal" pregnancies, very little sickness, no sonograms, and four normal births. It was not fair and it was all I could do to remain positive and encouraging for my daughter.      

     But, happily, she has reached week 31 and the family is very much anticipating the birth of this little girl, especially the other grandchildren.      

     But there is more to this experience for me than helping to nurse her through the sickness: our relationship is stronger and sweeter than it was before, if that were possible. She is experiencing what I have experienced. She is creating life. She is participating in the unbroken circle of all the generations before her. She has fought for this child while letting go of another. She does not cease to educate herself and sacrifice for the life of this little girl. It truly is a miracle and she and I know it. In the past month I have had the privilege of helping with the nursery, with the baby shower, and with her questions and concerns. Now we wait for the little one's arrival and count our blessings one by one. I am truly thankful.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Writing My Future

     In the spring of 2000, when our sons were 24, 22, and 20, and our daughter, 14, I contemplated all a new century could bring including marriages and the prospect of grandchildren. Little did I know that within two years, all three of our sons would be married, and within one year, our first grandchild would be born! That child, Rebecca Grace, turns eleven years old today, the oldest of seven grandchildren; eight, if we count the one in utero. 
     That first decade of the 21st century brought many, many changes to us. Among them was that we left our lifelong work of establishing and building a viable Christian primary and secondary school where my husband served as principal and I as music teacher. That exit eventually led both my husband and I back to universities to earn master's degrees. 
     He now works as a counseling therapist, and I am pretty sure I am wrapping up my work as a public school music teacher. I say wrapping up because I believe with the depressed economy and our less-than-esteemed governor here in Pennsylvania, cuts to education will again be brutal this year, and as I am already working one-quarter time, I hold out very little hope for the coming school year. 
     So with all of this in mind, I sit here today contemplating what for my intents and purposes, is another new decade and the last quarter of a century of my life, if I am lucky enough to live so long. What do I want to do in these coming years? What type of work will suit an experiened music educator, musician, performer, mother, grandmother, and homemaker? From those with whom I've shared my thoughts, I have received a little advice and some suggestions. But if I could choose I would take care of grandchildren, bask in the art of homemaking, serve in my church and community, and just maybe . . . write. 
     Yes, I think I'll write . . . care for grandchildren, make my home, serve, and did I say, "write?" Yes, I will have to give that a try. More to come.