Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Saint's Day

Today we shared the following as part of a special and very meaningful service at Shalom honoring persons whom we love whose physical presence is no longer with us:


We will be sharing reflections today about our second child. Yesterday would have been Nora’s third birthday, but she only lived for 7 short months. During her life and since her death, this group accepted her as a part of our congregational life, even though most of you never had a chance to meet her. As time passes, we are grateful for opportunities to continue reflecting on Nora’s contributions to our understanding of what it means to be human.


At the time of committing to this sharing, I was feeling positive. Life was full and the lessons of Nora’s life were not only apparent to me, I even felt I was embodying some of them. We were in our first trimester with our third child and I felt grateful, excited and amazed at how my emotions were much steadier than I might have expected.

That was several weeks ago. Recently, when I sat down to prepare these thoughts I felt like a hypocrite and was not sure I had anything much to say. As we approach the halfway point in this pregnancy, my emotions have begun to overwhelm me. It was that day that a daily quote I receive said the following: “Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” And that same challenge also came to me from a friend who encouraged me to be present to all of my emotions, even those that I normally label as negative or bad. So I’m modifying the quote for myself to encourage me to risk being honest with both myself and my community and in doing so I will be able to be more fully present to all that is unfolding in our lives.

And maybe that is one of the most important lessons that I did learn from Nora’s life. While we have always benefited from being part of community, we never felt that as keenly as we did in the weeks leading up to Nora’s birth, during her life and in the weeks following her death. She needed us to help her live as fully as possible for the time she had with us, and we desperately needed others to help us to keep living fully, creating memories, and facing the challenges with courage and as much grace as we could muster.

So, in short, my honest confession: Sometimes I’m scared! I’ve had anxious dreams about our 20 week ultrasound when we will know if this little one is on the right trajectory with growth. I have trouble finding the courage, strength and hope that have been so real to me at times over the past 3 years. And, if this baby comes to us with needs beyond our own ability to provide, I wonder if I can really do it again.

Admittedly, I’m a perfectionist through and through. And so these times are often perceived by me as lapses in strength or a failure to honor Nora’s life and her memory. I tend to think that somehow I’m backsliding, losing all the ground I had gained. Jason has reminded me multiple times since Nora’s death that he sees the journey as being much more fluid than that. That we rise and fall, have moments of vulnerability in which we need others to help us see our way, and that it is all part of the journey.

One of the things Nora did so well was accepting life for what it gave to her. Not that she didn’t protest at times the perceived “unfairness,” particularly towards the end of her life when she resisted both her feeding tube and oxygen being delivered through an uncomfortable devise in her nose. But she didn’t let those impediments stop her from soaking in her surroundings and being fully present to life’s experiences. We are so grateful that among our memories are those times when her face lit up to be in her big sister’s arms, craning her neck to get a good look at her face; when she turned and twisted and strained to roll her little 6 pound body over, and then was surprised at her accomplishment; her fascination with every aspect and angle of her pacifier, though she was quite indignant if anyone tried to convince her that an appropriate use for such a contraption was to suck it; her determination to hold and turn the pages of her little books all by herself despite them almost being too heavy for her; and of course her coos and smiles. She did not approach the world, as many of us hate to admit that we do, as if it owed her anything. Those beautiful moments that came were gifts, and they could be found in the darkest of times, even at death’s door.

I know deep down after having Nora grace me with her presence, trust and love that I do believe, even when I falter, that loving is worth the risk. I still remember holding Nora and crying as I listened to the words of a song (by “Over the Rhine”), “I was born to laugh, I learned to laugh through my tears. I was born to love, I’m gonna learn to love without fear.” I’m still aspiring to that.

Several weeks back, as I was taking out the compost, I was thinking about Nora and how, as much as I don’t profess to understand a lot about how those of us still living communicate with or relate to those we love and loved who are no longer physically with us, I really wanted her to talk to me. I wanted to have her tell me that I was okay, that her little brother or sister was going to be okay, that she was okay with us having another baby. I had this odd realization that here I was wanting Nora to relate to me in a way that she had never related to me in her time with us; verbal communication, outside of coos, was not part of our life together. And in that moment what I realized was all the things that Nora’s little spirit was – she was a presence in my life that was unassuming, nonjudgmental, accepting, always giving and receiving, needy and yet rich, beautifully imperfect, and fully present to the moment. It will always be a gift to have had someone in my life who so innocently and without effort lived these qualities for me to get a glimpse of.


One evening a year and a half ago some of you came with divisions of perennials from your own yards and helped us fill the planting bed of Nora’s memorial garden. I wrote the following poem around that time, but I find many of the thoughts and sentiments expressed in it to be what I would want to say today, and so I offer it now:


A father’s love ignores the border death presents. I worked for you in every way I knew, now
what to do with this: my aimless drive to help, my hoeing the abyss? There’s nothing you could need from me; I’ll turn my hoe toward earth and let the rocks and soil absorb my effort, and I'll wait for birth among the blooming celebrations. I can work on these reiterations.

And so we put together what we can: we scrape the weeds aside and mark a place where, when it needs to huddle with the memories, a heart may hide. We’ve caught a hold on changes
in the calendar and seasons, have made spaces full of time: ad hoc creations. We’ve established these reiterations.

I think it helps a little. Do I need to see reflections of my baby girl out there exposed to wild, swirling air to keep me from forgetting? Maybe not, but there is satisfaction in the knowledge that in moments when I need to whittle down into the quick of loss, or glory in parental, proud elation, I can turn to these reiterations.

Thank you, child! You never read the clock to know the shame of dallying too long. Your fingers never curled around a cent. When it was time for you to go, you didn’t worry, you just went. Your heart and mind and palms were full of room; your presence was a balm for wounds we couldn’t feel. How many repetitions of your memory will be required for me to heal? What is my hurry? If I sit awhile in a place, perhaps an insect sipping from a bloom will show the way to freedom from the hectic expectations. I’ll depend on these reiterations.

I didn’t know I feared a fading of your presence, but I found that when I cleared the soil space I knew relief, anticipating sprouting seeds. Your memory’s alive, and here is how I know: I’ve seen it grow! How can this be: while thinking of the years ahead, a smile? I’m eager to be watching all you were to us becoming what it is, what it will be, and relishing your place within our family. Our love is strong, so time will find us living out a leafy incarnation, still repeating these reiterations.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy birthday, Nora!

We thought of her often today: from picking and freezing broccoli to spending time in her garden and cutting down a tree to make way for a seating area to decorating a cake in her honor (Mom, thanks for the banana cake you left with me some time back - little did you know that you made Nora's cake for today!), to going for a hike as a family together and sharing memories as well as the beautiful outdoors, to spending an evening with wonderful friends and Nora's most frequent visitors - visiting, making owl cookies, and ending the day by watching the few videos we have of Nora.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grit happens

As you, dear reader, are almost certainly aware, Janelle's parents are building "in-law quarters" onto the Northwest corner of our home in rustic Keezletown. In general, the project has gone very well, and we are more than satisfied with the quality of the structure.

Our more construction-savvy readers will readily assume that integrating an existing structure with a new one involves some tricky maneuvers, some unknowns, some risks, some surprises, some disappointments, some headaches, some serendipity.

That is to say, occasionally things happen or are discovered which cause me to smack my forehead or inspire a wish to slump in a corner and weep. Other times, things happen or are discovered which cause me to grin with satisfaction or inspire me to walk around a corner and whoop!

The discovery of an expanse of rock-free soil to the north of the stairwell between the old and new parts of the home was the kind that inspired whooping, as it allowed for the formation of a root cellar in that very handy location. The discovery of a four-foot slug of tar (which had oozed out of a half-full tar bucket discarded against the foundation during the backfilling stage of construction in 1981 or so) in the foundation drain was the other kind.

This week has been well-stocked with grins as usual, but it's also been a little heavy on the forehead-smacking.

I think the root of the problem is that our house is a little odd. This has suited me more or less o.k., since I am also a little odd. But oddness is hard on contractors. Contractors generally do their most dependable and efficient work in an environment of consistent circumstances. This house, bless its heart, is a bit of a scalp-scratching chin-stroker.

In this case, the contractor was attempting to:

1) Remove from the 1000 square-foot rear portion of our house three (three!) layers of worn-out asphalt-type roofing, the moisture-degraded plywood sheathing below it, and the critter-infested insulation below that.

2) Replace the insulation with a superior type, and re-sheath and pre-roof it with a plastic temporary roofing paper.

3) In one day.

The day before the big day, the crew started making their preparations. We were out for the afternoon, and Kali and I had left the house around noon. We had company for supper that evening, and we arrived home around 5:30...just enough time to throw together some food. Upon pulling in the lane, I was surprised to see some fiberglass insulation sticking out from the top of the trash trailer. "I guess they went ahead and got started!", I said. This turned out to be an understatement. They had apparently seen the clear weather predictions and the cloudless sky and had (reasonably enough) decided to hedge their bets and do the entire demolition portion of the work that afternoon.

Enter the structural oddness of our house.

Most ceilings are made of plaster or drywall. Those that are not are usually made from tongue-in-groove boards. There is a reason for this. Contiguous ceiling coverings form a relatively flat surface that is easy to clean and paint, and which forms a barrier between the ceiling and the attic space, framing space, or insulation cavity that is above it.

Most of our ceilings are drywalled. Two of them are made of planed boards with rough edges screwed onto the bottom edges of the roof rafters. Predictably, there are gaps. Ahem.

Remember those three layers of roofing? Remember the critters in the insulation? Remember that we had just enough time to throw dinner together?

We didn't have the luxury of time for finding a corner (preferably one free of roofing grit and mouse turds) to weep in, so Janelle got lentils and rice on the stove (fortunately the new kitchen has a drywalled ceiling) and I grabbed a broom. They had, reasonably enough, decided to remove the old roofing and sheathing by cutting through the whole mess with old blades in hand-held circular saws, then prying the chunks of plywood loose as whole units rather than stripping things apart layer by layer. This was by far the smartest way to go about the job, and building smarts is why we hired them. It did, however, loosen a whole darn lot of roof grit. In the afternoon's glare, I guess they couldn't see down through the cracks of the ceiling wood well enough to realize that that's all that was there between the roof cavities and the floor below! So when they conscientiously swept all that crud out of the cavities, VOILA! Grit happens.

We had a nice supper, and the next day's construction activities went very well. The roof cavities got crammed full of fluffy cellulose insulation, and new OSB sheathing was installed. Grins all around, with the satisfaction of knowing the job was done right by people who know their business.

Don't get too comfortable yet.

There is another odd thing about our house. The pitch of the rear roof is really very low. Something like a 3 inch rise per 12 inch run. This makes it prone to leaks. This roofing paper stuff is pretty new, and its uses and limits are still being debated and tried. In real time. Right here.

A day or two after the roof project, it rained about a tenth of an inch one day. Everything seemed fine, except that due to the temporary arrangement of materials, a puddle formed which threatened to replicate an earlier water problem we'd had that had done some minor damage to the cork flooring in our guest room. We went on our church's retreat this past weekend without much worry. But this past Tuesday night, everything was not fine.

I went to sleep around 10:30, but awakened at 12:30 to the sound of torrents of rain on the new roof (which is going to be much louder in the rain than the old one...a welcome development for weather enthusiasts like myself). I wanted to enjoy the thirsty soil's relief, but couldn't escape nagging thoughts about that puddle upstairs that I knew was growing every minute. When I couldn't stand it anymore, I trudged up in my bare feet and boxers with a flashlight. Sure enough, puddles. But not imminently threatening infiltration, so I came back down, wiped the wet sawdust off my feet and climbed back in bed. Sleep did not come, however, as the intensity of the rain only increased. I laid and listened, checking the puddles (growing, becoming worrisome) once or twice before deciding at around 2:30 to break out the trusty squeegee to put my mind at ease. When I returned, I found Janelle in Kali's bedroom. She had gotten up to come check on my whereabouts and was detoured by the sound of water dripping in Kali's bedroom. Kali's nearly brand new cork floor had a sizable puddle right in the middle of it, which was spreading rapidly across the floor.

The rain continued unabated for a while longer. Neither Janelle nor I slept much or well the rest of the night: two other small leaks showed up and periodic squeegee work upstairs was necessary. Finally at around 4:30 the worst of the storm seemed to have passed, and we got a little rest in before the alarm, though Janelle was able to sleep more than I (and in that time was able to squeeze in a dream of the drywall ceilings starting to show water stains). My mind was busy with problem-solving wheel-spinning and some cold sweats regarding what we were going to do if the new insulation was ruined by water.

In the morning, there were two and a half inches of rain in the gauge. The newly-planted strawberry beds looked so chipper, and the developing heads of broccoli so crisp and clean, I almost couldn't stay grumpy.

During that long night both Janelle and I experienced feelings that reminded us of some of the many long nights we spent caring for Nora. At some point in the night I remember Janelle mentioning that she was keeping perspective by thinking about the many, many Indonesians who had lost their lives or homes by way of simultaneous tsunami damage and volcanic eruption. Those thoughts and memories helped me to keep from getting too caught up in frustration.

All the same, I did not wish to repeat that performance, and when the rain continued in the morning and I felt the need to take time out of my work day to check on the house and squeegee the puddles, I decided to write a fairly direct, perhaps somewhat sleep-deprived email to the builder indicating my unwillingness to be on the hook for more emergency hydrology. He is a healthy communicator, so he took my concern seriously and there is now a giant tarp in place to tide us over until the metal roofing can be installed on Monday.

My thanks go out this afternoon to Janelle's dad, who has spent a lot of time this week sweeping roof grit and mouse turds out of various crevices (including the many created by my disorganized stacks of paper on this desk I'm writing at), to A.M. Yoder Construction for being a generally excellent outfit with a healthy, non-defensive sympathy for the plight of the homeowner, and to Janelle for making me go to bed early last night. I feel much better now.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Today was one of those days that truly felt like a sabbath! We did not step foot in our car all day - that's one step towards a day of rest for me. We did step foot off our property for about 4 hours taking a long hike to the lake, enjoying the leaves, climbing trees, exploring rocks, eating a picnic lunch, and just being together! Upon returning home, Kali provided background chuckles while reading Calvin and Hobbes while Jason and I took a nap to re-energize us! Then we headed out to harvest all the produce left in our garden that is not frost hardy, as we had our first light frost this morning. Then after having pancakes together for breakfast, a picnic together for lunch, we finished off the day with a third "p" - delicious homemade pizza. A weekly sabbath of this kind is definitely something I could get into!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Snippets from Fruit Farm Lane

Is life ever not full and overflowing!? I keep typing a sentence and erasing it, typing and then erasing. It is a symptom of too much bubbling up to say and not knowing where to start. I said to Jason last evening that sometimes it is hard for me to grasp all the big changes coming up in our lives in the next six months. I'll share a few snippets at least of life as it is currently:

The changing landscape of our home: As I type I hear stomping overhead, the sound of many unfamiliar voices, the banging and clunking around that has become a familiar background noise of late. I wake up many morning to the sky lightening and the sound of work vehicles pulling in. Many, many visible changes to our property as Mom and Dad's home is nearing the end of the framing stage. I can finally visualize it, now that the shell is here. The process has been positive for the most part, despite some unexpected surprises along the way, which I would assume are more or less part of the journey. I feel my excitement rise as I think of what a cozy, welcoming and homey place this will be for my folks. And looking out my kitchen window, I look up at their dining room and living room windows. I've said a few times that somehow it seems fitting that I'll still be looking up to them!

Kali's keeps growing up: Sometimes it is hard to keep up with her (not only in shoe size but her mind too!). The other day she asked Jason, "What is 60 x 60?" After he told her that it was 3600 she thought for a minute and said, "Wow, so a second is 1/3600 of an hour." She leaves us speechless sometimes!! Jason also had a hard time stumping her the other day in a "reading/spelling lesson" that she requested. We are all getting in the groove of the Fall schedule, with Kali at SVCS two days a week for school and with Jason there volunteering an additional half day. She is enjoying the various optional classes she can take part in and we are starting to feel a bit more like "normal parents" of school age children with sorting through the crafts coming home, the field trip notes and participating in providing supplies for one of Kali's favorite classes - cooking class. Jason particularly felt this keenly the other week when Kali and I were walking down the driveway to catch a ride. All of a sudden she said something to the effect of "oops, I don't have the blueberries." I was clueless as to what she was talking about, but after some investigating learned that she had volunteered to bring blueberries for the cooking class that day. A quick phone call up to the house to Jason had him sprinting down the lane with a container of berries, reaching us just as our ride pulled up, and then catching his breath (and I imagine chuckling!).

Tadpole is growing too: We had our second Centering Pregnancy group this past week and are still thrilled with the model. There will be no easy fix for the rising emotions I feel in me as we approach the halfway point in this pregnancy. But it was good to meet again with other mothers, to hear Tadpole's heartbeat going strong and clear, and to know that at least for now from all we can tell from the outside, things are progressing as we would want them to be. No doubt as the next month goes by and the halfway point, along with the standard ultrasound, approaches I will need to find sources of strength within myself and outside of myself to help me continue to keep anxiety at bay and some semblance of emotional stability. I love my expanding mid-section and I stop short at every twinge/twang/bubble/stirring within me. Our home is ready (okay, so we have a few things to do) to welcome this new little one and one of my mantra's continues to be "it is what it is." Somehow this helps me to not always be yearning for, wondering about, reaching towards something other than what we are experiencing in the here and now. It was good and felt right to take some of our most recent pictures of my "bulge" in Nora's garden near some blooming flowers! The reminders of her presence are always close to us in October, as we anticipate the anniversary of her birth.

Jason's new obsession: So most people know that Jason is quite fond of chickens. What you may not know yet is that he is also becoming quite a fan of colored popcorn. And I get a kick out of it!! He has been found more than once in deep admiration of the bowl of colored kernels, and at times scooping out handfuls to watch them cascade down from his outstretched hands. I also got a kick out of his attempts to stack a family meeting recently. It was one of those impromptu ones where he was ready to decide which of the many colored ears of popcorn we grew this year would be kept for seed next year. It just so happened that he and Kali had some strongly differing opinions about which were eligible for keeping out for seed. While it is always nice to be included in the decision-making process, I had to be completely honest that I was having a hard time mustering up an opinion. I thought they were all beautiful, and the popcorn was absolutely delicious, but I really didn't feel the need to give suggestions - particularly with two persons who clearly did not need help having an opinion. What became quite clear as time went by was that what Jason really wanted was an ally, and some additional persuasive powers to convince our daughter that the brown themed ears were in fact worthy of seed-saving. As it turned out, they both were given the opportunity to choose a few for seed that the other did not approve of.

Friendships blossoming: We continue to enjoy watching Kali make friends and deepen existing friendships. She seems comfortable and content in her school setting and continues to enjoy playdates with friends outside of school, and has even graduated to sleepovers (which we are not too disappointed about!). She just returned home before lunch today from her first sleepover with two Keezletown friends. I took it as a good sign when her first words upon seeing me today were, "do I really have to go?" She is now absorbed in a Calvin & Hobbes book and if she allowed herself to do such a thing, I imagine she would be napping before too long. It just so happens that these little friends normally go to bed at about 6:30-7pm and wake up about the same in the morning. Kali is more a 10-11pm to 8:30-10am kind of girl. What was reported to me was she kept her traditional going to sleep time but her friends were not interested in watching a sleeping guest this morning. :)

Jason and I thoroughly enjoyed our waking hours together - getting two walks in during that time, cooking a delicious dinner together with garden veggies (that we knew Kali would not miss but that we would savor), and chipped away at the list of things to talk about, those best done with no little ears close at hand or a mind full of questions! We also started reading (okay, so we just got through the introduction before we both were dozing off on the futon) a book we hope to work through together this Fall (Your Money or Your Life).

Tonight Kali AND Jason will both experience something new. Jason's mentee plays in the marching band at a local high school and he invited us to the homecoming game tonight to hear him play. What I didn't realize until we were talking about this possibility was that Jason has NEVER been to a high school football game. As one of the main social hangout spots in my high school experience, it was a bit difficult for me to conceptualize this! So I, having not been to a game in my adult life, will be taking in this cultural experience with my family members for whom there will be no previous memories to mix with the experience! It should be a fun family adventure.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Celebrating Life!

At the close of this week, I feel full (and not because we just finished a delicious dinner of fresh green beans from the garden, sauce made from some of the last garden produce, the last of the ground venison from our freezer and green homemade pasta made with lamb's quarter and the precious few eggs we are getting from our hens these days).

It has been a week unlike any other I have experienced to this point in my now 32 years! On the eve of my birthday I received the awaited call that a close friend, who I was going to have the privilege of accompanying through labor and delivery of their first baby, was beginning labor. With excitement, anticipation and some nervousness (did I have what it takes to be a good labor support person??), I headed to the hospital shortly after 7pm, where I stayed until I left sleepy but completely wired a little before 3am. What a way to bring in a birthday and how special that this little girl now shares my own! And I was so grateful to her for waiting that extra day needed for us to return from Jason's sister's wedding in Pennsylvania (which really deserves a posting all to itself - a wonderful weekend of celebrating love and life - a great precursor to this week).

Having only experienced birth from the vantage point of the person giving birth, this was a completely new and incredible experience. I keep being reminded of something Jason wrote to friends and family after Nora's birth: "For me, the labor and delivery were an awe-inspiring experience. To be so closely involved in such a monumental process with someone who did it so well was truly beautiful, and a memory I will always cherish." I couldn't say it better.

What was also beautiful and unexpected, was how much the experience brought back bodily memories of birthing our daughters, especially Kali. And thankfully it did not conjure up feelings of "I never want to do this again" since it is a little too late for that! No doubt, there is no task I will likely ever do more difficult than birthing one of our children, but I feel re-inspired and amazed by the strength of a woman's body (and of course in this instance my friend's!!). I don't feel like I did much other than comment verbally on a job being well done and be a participant, observer and a recipient of the gift of watching a healthy, vibrant new life enter our world. I have no doubts our world (which is already more beautiful) will be a better place with her in it!

I found myself going through complete withdrawal in the hours/days after the birth. To be part of something so amazing, to see this little one breath her first breaths on the outside world, and then go home and climb into bed felt very odd (even with knowing she was in excellent hands). It reminded me, on a much smaller and less emotion-laden scale, the odd feelings I had in the hours after Nora's birth to go back to my "recovery room" without her with me. It was wonderful to head back to the hospital with Kali later on my birthday to hold the new little one and give her a more official welcome! So a wonderful, wonderful birthday and one I'll remember for a long time, even if I spent it feeling sleepier than most birthdays.

Now as we turn over a new leaf on a week, I am happy to be solidly in my 16th week of Tadpole's "incubation" inside me: grateful for renewed energy, a steady tummy when accepting food into it, and enjoying very much my little pouch out front. I'd be fine to have my daily (subtle but annoying) headaches subside at any point. I continue to stop short when I think I might feel movement, but it seems like my sitting still and concentrating on possible movement makes Tadpole uninterested in performing!

(Picture taken in PA at wedding) Kali continues to overwhelm me with her sweetness towards Tadpole (and me as the holder of this little brother or sister that she so eagerly anticipates). There have been so many moments of pure sweetness poured out towards my abdomen, like last evening when she came up to me and leaned over at my belly and said, "I love you Tadpole."

We look forward to our second Centering Pregnancy group appointment next Tuesday. I don't believe I've commented much on our choice to go with group prenatal care rather than individual appointments (if interested an overview of Centering can be found online at In the course of the first session I went from feeling fairly skeptical that this model was "for us" with this third pregnancy, to being a complete advocate and hearty supporter of the model.

A few things that I believe will be very empowering and helpful about this model of care for us in the coming months:

Initially it was disappointing to think about Kali not being able to come to all the appointments. But in some ways it will end up being a gift for Jason and I to have these 2 hour blocks of time with other expectant parents to focus on Tadpole's pending arrival into our family and feel a freedom to speak without filtering our words through the "Kali test." And she is happily at school during the time so will not sense that she is missing anything.

There is still some anxiety for me surrounding prenatal appointments. I found that the Centering gathering carried none of that - no exam room to contend with! Just a circle of mothers, spouses/partners, a nurse and midwife - together sharing information, experiences, wisdom, ideas, etc... To have prenatal care become less clinical and like a group of normal pregnant women gathering to prepare as best they can for these new family members was a wonderful breath of fresh air!

As one of only two women in the group that has ever given birth before, it has already been fun to share from our experience of birth (particularly because we can share positive experiences of hospital births - both at RMH and at UVA). And I imagine that sharing will become even more in depth in future gatherings. Clearly some of the women in the group have a lot of anxiety around birth and parenting, and have not had the most encouraging or helpful sources of information. I am excited to be part of a model of health care that I fully expect will be empowering and help all of us be more prepared for this upcoming transition.

I think ultimately one of the best things about us choosing Centering Pregnancy is how it sets this third pregnancy apart from the previous two, helping it to feel unique and special. So we journey on with eagerness and anticipation - it seems that most of my anxiety thus far has chosen to come out at night through dreams and seems to be centered around the upcoming routine 20 week ultrasound. I'll hopefully be practicing some deep breathing and relaxation between now and then!!