I enjoy listening to audio books in my car on my way to and from school; it is a way to sneak literature into my day when I don’t have time to read on my own. There is some irony here, as I am an English teacher, but I do love audio books, and it makes the commutes go so much faster.
Just this morning I finished The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. We have a class set in our book room at school, and I’ve always meant to read it. It’s a neat book; it reminded me a bit of The Help in that it takes place in the 1960s south and explores the relationship between black and white Americans through the narration of a sweet but rather naive white girl (and is always found on book club lists). The narrator, fourteen-year-old Lily Owens, runs away from home in an attempt to get away from her abusive father and find answers to the death of her mother. She winds up living with a trio of black sisters, working in their beekeeping operation. She eventually gets the answers she’s looking for, but is extremely sorry when she finds out the truth. By the end, Lily discovers the love she seeks in the women she stumbled upon, and is thankful she made the journey. It’s not a particularly life-changing novel, but I enjoyed it a lot. I finished it at the end of a long week working in my classroom, when I was feeling extremely tired but pleased with all the things I accomplished and blessed at the opportunity. I’ve been writing a lot of thank you notes lately, what with baby presents and baptismal cards, and I thought I’d take some time to write a few lengthy acknowledgements here while our newest blessing, baby Spartacus, takes a much-needed nap.
Thank you to…
A friend of mine recently wrote a post about her wonderful birth experience in army medicine, and I feel like the wonderful people in it don’t get praised enough. This afternoon I had my post-delivery follow-up with my midwife. I came straight from school so Spartacus was with me, and she was thrilled to meet him. My check-up was stellar, and as we wrapped up, she took a few minutes to thank me for being a compassionate and pleasant patient; even when things got stressful, I was always a joy and an inspiration to work with, and she was incredibly sorry to see me go. I felt a little teary at this goodbye; I felt the same way about her.
|I swear he was smiling the entire rest of the appointment!|
One of the reasons I was so devastated to learn I had gestational hypertension – besides the obvious health risks and ultimate early delivery – was that it meant I needed to see a physician and couldn’t continue on with her. She is the sweetest lady; a stalwart Catholic, when she brought up the birth control discussion early in my pregnancy she said she only counseled natural family planning; if we wanted something else we’d have to see another provider for it. Conveniently we practice NFP (more on that too-much-information later) – not because we’re Catholic, but because it’s awesome – but it is so rare to see someone stick to their religious convictions in such an non-religious environment like an army hospital. Perhaps this isn’t so rare, but my experience is limited. At my numerous appointments, she always made me feel as if I was the only patient she had that day; I could get all my questions answered and never felt like she was rushing me out to see more patients. She also laughs at all of my jokes, which is extremely gratifying. If we were to stay where we are and have all our future babies here, I’d want them to be with her. After she paid me her sweet compliment, she gave me a big hug and walked Spartacus and I out. I told her I’d pass along her compliments to…
Because she has always been a role model of being polite and pleasant to everyone, and I know I’d never act the way I do if I hadn’t seen her do it first.
|Spartacus is super lucky to have so many awesome role models.|
It seems unfortunate, that my behavior as a patient was so unique as to be complimented, but our nurse in labor and delivery said the same thing. When we came in for induction back in July, she remembered me as having called the night before inquiring about a time to come in. She told me I was so polite on the phone; the woman who she had called previously to tell there were no beds cussed her out and hung up. She promised that if a bed had come available right then, she would have called me – even though that woman might have been higher up on the list than I was – just because I was nicer. She escorted us all the way down to the Mother-Baby Unit after delivery, and our Mother-Baby nurse escorted us all the way down to our car when we were discharged. Maybe that is hospital policy, but everyone there had a way of making us feel very appreciated. If they were only so nice because we were such good customers, then I have my mother to thank for it. Also, people should be nicer to their doctors; I know having a baby is excruciatingly painful, but that’s no reason to take it out on those around you! Especially not…
Everyone asks, “So how’s dad doing?” And the answer is, “Awesome.” Hubster is such an awesome daddy. He comes home and takes the boy and changes him and talks to him and genuinely enjoys hanging out with him. Daddy’s the one who reads to Spartacus (in his own admission last night, my voice “is too soothing” to read aloud – it puts him to sleep). Few things are sexier than a daddy reading to his child – even if the book isn’t exactly age-appropriate (last night it was a chapter of Bernard Cornwall’s The Winter King and Adam Mansbach’s famous children’s book Go the F**k to Sleep).
My best friend’s college roommate and bridesmaid.
Our godson and his parents.
|Caleb was a good practice baby for us.|
Now, I don’t say this to be trite. Obviously, all our blessings are God-given, but Spartacus’ entry into this world seems to be under a set of circumstances that had to be God-ordained, because the timing literally couldn’t have been any better. Numerous times in my life things have happened that were completely different than we had planned but worked out way better than I could have imagined. That’s how my father ended up at seminary as a second career pastor after getting laid off from his job; that’s how I ended up at Harvard; that’s how I ended up a teacher. Hubster and I had planned on not trying to start a family until we had paid off all our debt and preferably not before he made captain (the salary increase from lieutenant to captain combined with no debt would mean I could comfortably stay home if I wanted). In any case, I wanted a summer baby so I wouldn’t have to worry about going into labor in the middle of a lecture on Shakespeare. We had tentatively planned to start trying this coming fall and have a baby sometime in 2015.