Friday, February 29, 2008

35 and 5

Today marks the beginning of the 35th week of pregnancy, which means I have 5 more weeks until my baby's due date. When I first learned I was pregnant, I was 5 weeks along and had 35 weeks to go! To say time has gone pretty quickly would be an understatement.

The most common thing I have heard while pregnant is "You have no idea how much your life will change." I know that change will encompass all aspects of our life, from schedule to emotions. Before I became pregnant, I knew to anticipate these changes but I thought they primarily came after the baby is born. I had no idea how our lives would change the minute we learned that we would have a baby though. We immediately became Daddy and Mama to our growing child.

Today is a fun milestone to think about how our lives have been transformed already and makes me even more excited for the life to come.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Creation vs. Chance

I was sitting in a room in my doctor’s office last week and was bored as I waited for my OB check up. I don’t know how many times I have read every poster in that room and every cartoon on the bulletin board over the last few months. One poster in particular caught my attention that day. It illustrates the changes in a baby from conception to when he is ready for delivery. It is not anything I have not looked at before, or read about, but that day I was again struck by the amazing thing that is the development of human life.

I cannot fathom what has happened inside of me for the last 7 ½ months. My son has gone from being the size of a cell that could not be seen without a microscope, to the size of a poppy seed when I first learned that he existed and is now supposed to be about 19 inches long and weighs about 4 ½ pounds. Not only has he grown that much, but in that time his brain, heart, eyes, fingers have been formed along with every other necessary organ and body part. He has developed all of his senses and the ability to think and even if he was born now, he could fully breathe on his own. He already has a personality and temperament. He has gone from a tiny cell to a fully developed human being. How absolutely amazing is that?

During my pregnancy I have continued to be in awe of God as the perfect creator. Random chance cannot possibly explain the development of human life. It is too intricate, too perfect and too unique to each person for it to be done by anything other than a loving Creator. God has formed my son to be a unique individual with an appearance, a personality, a DNA and fingertips that are like no other person that has ever been created. That is nothing less than incredible.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things- Pregnancy Edition

In reading one of the many pregnancy websites, I came across a question asking “What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?” I am in the home stretch of pregnancy and getting more uncomfortable so I think it is a good time for me to stop and think about that right now. Now, I have had a really easy pregnancy so I really have little to ever complain about compared to stories I have heard. But, it is still a good thing to think about.

Here are some of the things I like about being pregnant:

  1. I love feeling him move- it is like his one way to regularly communicate with me. Each kick lets me know that he is growing stronger and is active. I thought I would eventually get used to his movement but it is still miraculous.
  2. I love how my husband responds to him. He already loves our son so much and talks to him often. He is already a great daddy and it is fun to see the start of their relationship.
  3. My husband has been so encouraging to me. When I am feeling extra big, my husband reminds me that it is a good thing because it means our son is growing. That makes it easier to think of it as the baby getting larger, not me! He has never been inconsiderate but on the contrary, he has been incredibly supportive and has spoiled me.
  4. I love that my baby is with me all of the time. I really cannot ever ignore the fact that I am pregnant but it causes me to think of my son often, rather than being annoyed at the changes to my body. I feel like this has been such a special time for me to get to be with him.
  5. It is an absolute miracle that I get to be the one to carry my son as he grows and develops. I have always heard women complain that men don’t have to go through pregnancy. I view it as an incredible and blessed responsibility though that only I get to experience. As involved as my husband is, he still misses out on the miracle of pregnancy.
  6. People are really kind to me and often ask about my wellbeing. This one took some time for me to get used to and appreciate! I have never in my life been asked "how are you feeling" as many times as I am asked in a week! What I eat has never been commented on so much and certainly my size has never been talked about like it is now! At first it bothered me to have so much attention but I have learned to understand that people are just being thoughtful.
  7. I became a mama as soon as I was pregnant. There is really no way to know what it is like to be a mother unless you are one and I have now begun to understand that.
  8. I have been spoiled since August! Sometimes it is frustrating to not be able to things but for the most part, it is really nice to have an excuse! My husband has not let me lift a finger!
  9. I have a new understanding and appreciation for God- as Creator, Savior and Father.
  10. I get to have a little boy when all of this is over!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

To Vote or Not to Vote

I heard something on the radio this afternoon that bothered me and I want to share my opinion. Now, I know better than to start a discussion on politics but I am making an exception. I won't get into who I plan to vote for, just why I plan to vote.

If you know me well, you know I am patriotic. I was raised to be proud to be an American and to appreciate and respect the privilege of voting. My mom says that I watched my first inauguration at age 2 when I was sick and she was home with me. I enjoy watching the State of the Union and the election returns. The option of voting really is not an option, it is something you do as a citizen of the United States. Too many people fought for the right to vote for me to take it lightly. I try to be an informed voter and stay informed of the candidates' positions. I am also a social conservative though and ultimately my voting reflects that.

This afternoon I was disappointed to learn of a conservative, evangelical leader saying that he will choose to stay at home and not vote if he does not like the candidate for his party. James Dobson (whose work I usually respect) has said that if John McCain receives the Republican nomination, he cannot vote for him and keep a good conscience. Dobson disagrees with some of his beliefs about family values. But, he says he cannot vote for the Democratic nominee of Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama due to their liberal views so he just will not vote for anyone. It may just be me, but that seems like the cheap way out.

My question is, would you not rather vote for the less of two evils (at least the evils defined by Dobson)? To rephrase it, instead of looking at it as a vote for one candidate, look at it as a vote against another. Here is where my political views will seap in. There are some conservative issues that I do not agree with McCain on (though I do not think Dobson is correct in his reporting of all of McCain's stances) but there is a lot more that I disagree with Obama and Clinton on. I would rather have a president that I pretty much agree with, than one I really don't agree with at all. That just seems like the logical choice. I find it strange that Dobson has not said he would not vote for Mitt Romney, someone with a complete different theological belief, because he thinks "we're facing such a point of crisis in our country, that we're going to have to have the strongest leadership we can. And I think I could deal with that in the polling booth." What he could "deal with in the polling booth" is a referral to Romney's understanding of the foundational Scriptures of evangelical faith. Now, again trying to use logic, how is that different than his disagreements with McCain? In my opinion (and remember I am very conservative about social issues), there comes a time where you have to choose a person who would be best overall, even if you struggle with one or two issues.

In my opinion, it is irresponsible of Dobson to say that he will choose not to vote. If conservatives don't vote because of McCain being the nominee, they are guaranteeing that a much more liberal person than McCain will be the president of the US. Dobson was clear to say this was his personal choice but he must know that he is very influential on many voters who will not take the time to look at the issues on their own. Even if there was not a tough fight in store for a conservative to win the presidency, it is still irresponsible of Dobson to choose not to vote. There is already too much voter apathy in the country and someone who is as vocal about political issues as Dobson should never discourage voting.

Dobson is reflecting a common belief of conservative evangelicals, that who our president is will determine if the US is a Christian nation or not. Yes, the president is influential of the issues of the time, but they are no guarantee of the result. The president is not the moral compass of the country, the citizens are. For example, same sex marriage has been an issue in government decisions for the last few years. The concern should not be who the president is because of a bill that might be passed, rather, the concern should be why our citizens allowed this to become an issue in the first place. The president does not determine family values, the family determines family values. Do not get me wrong, I want a leader who reflects my views but I am also realistic about the state of the country.

Well, I stepped on more soap boxes than I thought I would!