Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Ross!


You turned 30 today and you've been so mellow about it. So mellow, in fact, that you planned a surprise party for my birthday when I thought we were going to dinner for your birthday! Stinker. But I still got to hang out with you, so I consider that a good night. You beat me to this milestone birthday, so I can't give you advice-- but these ten tidbits seem pretty solid. To celebrate you, here are 30 things I love about you (in no particular order).

30 Things I Love About You at 30 Years Old

I love that you're pursuing God.

I love that you're a kid at heart.

I love that you are really settling into the role of provider and protector in our family.

I love that you already call our son "handsome" and that you can't wait to meet him.

I love that you came back to fight for our marriage.

I love that you're taking risks and being a more adventurous eater, even though it's out of your comfort zone.

I love traveling with you and seeing different parts of the world through your eyes.

I also love sitting on the couch with you eating takeout. I'm so thankful you're my best friend after all.

I love that you're finishing your Master's degree even though it's been a long ride.

I love that you find irony in the fact that you're doing medical architecture for a career... the one branch you thought you'd never go into!

I love that you can laugh at yourself.

I love that you can make me laugh.

I love that you can just hug me tight when I'm crying, without trying to make it better.

I love that you don't mind driving everywhere.

I love that you quote Friends with me from time to time.

I love the gusto with which you're attacking this home renovation, and I'm endlessly thankful that it's fun for you.

I love that you can put up with my emotional rants (pregnant or not).

I love that you're so enthusiastic about my gluten-free baked goods.

I love that you're supportive of my own creative endeavors, even though they're different from yours.

I love that you're so excited about getting white t-shirts for your birthday.

I love that you're adjusting to the large family you've become a part of.

I love that you're an optimist, even though you're learning that rose-colored glasses don't actually fix things.

I love that you do love to fix things and help others.

I love that you think dogs are great fun... but you're okay with not owning one!

I love that you love country music, even thought the radio stations here are slim pickings.

I love your smile. And your eyelashes. Okay, I think you're pretty good looking overall!

I love your spontaneity.

I love hearing what's on your heart.

I love getting to know you more as we learn how to communicate better.

I love that you're you! I wouldn't change a thing.

I'm honored, humbled, and excited to be by your side as you enter your next decade. Happy birthday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beauty Instead of Ashes

Today I have an unexpected day off of work and I'm simultaneously feeling grateful, guilty, and lazy in response. I really need to start packing, but I'm avoiding it. Straight up in denial about the fact that we need to be out of this apartment in 11 short days.

We bought a house a few weeks ago. I'm so NOT invested in it. This is actually a good thing! Because if I were involved in the nitty gritty I'm just not sure how I would handle the cascade of problems we've experienced in our short time as home owners. I have to give MAJOR kudos to Ross, who has totally stepped up to own every single thing about this house, from the mortgage paperwork to the physical renovations. Again, I feel bad that avoidance is my coping mechanism right now. But man, this guy is really in his element.

In the meantime, I started reading a book on grief that my friend recommended. So far, it's really good. The book is about the ways people respond to catastrophic loss, and it's taking me a while to read through it. But in the first chapter, the author also acknowledges those smaller losses that are a part of every life, and he really put into words a lot of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head and heart recently.

All people suffer loss. Being alive means suffering loss. Sometimes the loss is natural, predictable, and even reversible. It occurs at regular intervals, like the seasons. We experience the loss, but after days or months of discomfort we recover and resume life as usual, the life that we wanted and expected. The winter's loss leads to the spring of recovery. Such losses characterize what it means to live as normal human beings. Living means changing, and change requires that we lose one thing before we gain something else.

Thus we lose our youth but gain adulthood. We lost the security of home but gain the independence of being on our own. We lose the freedom of singleness but gain the intimacy of marriage. We lose a daughter but gain a son-in-law. Life is a constant succession of losses and gains. There is continuity and even security in this process. We remember the losses that lie behind us, and we look forward to the gains that lie ahead. We live suspended between the familiar past and the expected future. The scenery we enjoy today gradually faces into the background, finally receding from sight. But what looms ahead comes nearer and gets clearer, until it becomes the scenery of the present moment that fills our vision.

Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited for this next phase. The idea of saying hello to a house and a baby in the next two months is completely crazy, and almost too good to be true! But the nature of life is that saying hello to this stage means saying goodby to the last one, and I've always had trouble saying goodbye.

Last night, Ross got home from working on the house for a few hours and he showed me the latest progress pictures of the kitchen. Our grand plans for an addition fell through when we found out our home inspector totally gypped us and we had to spend thousands of dollars replacing basically every major thing inside the house in the first 2 weeks. So we figured redoing the kitchen was still better than nothing.

I do feel a little spoiled, but the old kitchen just wasn't great given the amount of time I spend in there. Besides being ugly, the cabinets were filthy, the kitchen layout was awkward (have you ever seen a house with the furnace in the kitchen, just taking up room next to the fridge?), and while there was a dishwasher, it didn't really fit anywhere in particular, and it had to be hooked up to the sink faucet with a hose when you wanted to run it. Truly, none of these are life-threatening issues and I'm not complaining. But I am very grateful that we are able to redo the kitchen before the baby comes.

Ross the architect has tackled the project with gusto. I really had no idea what to expect, except that every day when he comes home and says, "we got so much done!" my non-architect mind hopes to see walls and a ceiling in place because it always seems like surely that's the next step! But that just hasn't been the case. Stripping away whats ugly, what's old, and what's rotten takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of work. It's a little painful. The dust is so thick it's hard to see clearly sometimes. And this morning it struck me, as maybe it's struck anyone who has ever seen a home renovation: redoing an old house is a great metaphor for life.

How often are we content or even complacent with where we are, reluctant to change? When it's your life, and you can only see things from inside the thick of it, it's sometimes painful when change starts to take place. Even if you know it's supposed to be a change for the better! The old roots are ripped out. The reasonably shiny facade that you've pieced together falls apart to reveal mold and decay. You think, how can this possibly be good for me? I thought things were supposed to get better, but they're worse than ever! You say the finish line is closer, but things look even more desolate! It struck me this morning that often in our own life, we just can't see the other side and we chose to cling to what we know, even if it's not what's better. We lose faith in the dark before the dawn.

With a home renovation, it's easier to keep the faith because you can envision the end product. Okay it's taking longer than I thought, but it WILL be worth it! (I'm aware I'm saying all these things as an observer, totally not the one putting the work in. Again, infinite thanks to Ross. I'm baffled that this has been FUN for him!) What would it look like if I placed my faith back in God during this time of transition in my life? Instead of feeling like I'm leaving the known and entering the unknown which, no matter how wonderful I'm hoping it will be, is still the murky unknown? Because it's known to God. These moments existed before I ever set foot on this earth. And walking forward with God will always lead to beauty, even amidst chaos and dust.

Yet lately these thoughts scare me a little more than they comfort me. After all, God knew how my Grandma Ginny would die before she was even born, and it's not the ending I would've written. At all. While I'm not mad at God, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I know better than He does, I'm a little confused. I know in my head that he calls his own back to him, and he does it in a way that can only glorify him, but I feel like we haven't seen the end of my grandma's story yet. Something in this has yet to come to fruition, though I do love the glimpses I've had so far. God has been gracious.

Hows this for a jumbled post? Basically, sometimes in the thick of it, when the past is known and the future is scary, it's good to know that God's promises are still true. When he says he will "provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor," he WILL do it (Isaiah 61:3).

Friday, April 4, 2014

28 weeks, 29 weeks, and 30 weeks

I'm not really sure how to gracefully transition from the abruptness of everything that happened with my Grandma Ginny in such a short amount of time-- on this blog and in real life. It's reassuring but also a little disheartening to realize that life goes on even in loss. You go to work, you make your meals, and then when you have a day off and you can't get out of bed, you realize you're maybe a little overwhelmed emotionally and not coping with it very well.

That's kind of where I am. I want to crawl in a hole and pause everything for a while. Add in the emotional and financial mess that our first house has become, and the fact that I only have ten weeks left until my due date, and I understand why the bubbles of panic are rising in my chest each day.

My Grandma Ginny loved babies, and as truly sad as I am that I can't ask her questions about her own pregnancy, or childbirth, or parenting experiences, I can still celebrate this baby boy whom she would've loved to meet.

Here are the highlights from the last few weeks:

28 weeks
(and 28 years old)

This week, I got my first baby shower invite in the mail! A baby shower for me. So weird. And the invite was our first real mail at our new address. It's surreal and scary and exciting that life is changing in so many big ways.

The baby's movements get bigger by the day, but he was kind of mellow for a few days when stress and exhaustion were high this week, and I had a few days with an alarming number of Braxton Hicks contractions.

I thankfully passed my 2 hour GTT this Wednesday (74, 117, 105) proving that I don't have gestational diabetes! And my H/H has gone up a bit, meaning that I'm not as anemic as I was.

We had our follow-up ultrasound on a very long, bittersweet Thursday this week. Baby boy was so sweet and we got to see him sucking his thumb! And this was the first ultrasound where his movement actually corresponded with me feeling it. I probably normally would've been frustrated we had a new sonographer who was kind of terrible and who didn't manage get one good picture for us to take home, but honestly all of that got forgotten as we raced to Omaha that afternoon. The takeaway good news is that the placental abnormality they thought they saw last time is gone! Like, totally gone, which is really bizarre and they couldn't quite explain it. Anyway, baby's estimated weight is already 3 pounds. How is that even possible?!

Finally, this is the week people out and about started asking me when I was due, and not just if I was pregnant. SO weird to spent the first 2/3 of your pregnancy not really looking pregnant. I'm happy to finally have a belly! Yet since I don't see myself all day long, it's still somehow hard to believe it's happening to me!

29 weeks

I snuggled with some 3 pound babies at work this week and at times this baby business is getting very real. One of those babies is all folded up inside of me! I love it when he makes a big movement and I can really get a good idea of where he is in there. Otherwise it's still really hard to wrap my head around.

This week, I started feeling pretty huge. Overnight, it became a lot harder to breathe. Uterus, meet diaphragm. Baby started to move more again this week and I'm struggling to focus more on this than on the fact that my legs seem to have grown thicker overnight and nothing looks smooth over my back fat. (I'm not trying to be harsh, and I love the belly! It's just hard to adjust to the rest of my body changing overnight, too. I want to be more grateful and blissful. I do. I'm just struggling right now.)

30 weeks

Alas, given the last few weeks I think I could've told you when the third trimester started even without a calendar. Drastic weight gain, crazy hunger, even crazier emotions, and hit-by-a-train fatigue remind me of the first trimester all over again. I can. not. believe. that we have ten weeks 'til due day. I remember being so excited when I was ten weeks pregnant! And now suddenly it's 20 weeks later!

This week has been mostly a repeat of last week-- lots of growth, lots of movement, and LOTS of emotions. I don't know why, but it's weird to me that this pregnancy thing that I've envied from afar for years... this monumental-life changing thing... is still life. Day-to-day living life. It's hard to grasp the changes that are happening until I catch myself in the mirror, and then it's hard to believe that's my body I'm seeing. I find myself frustrated that I don't know how to soak it all in and enjoy it more. It's so fleeting!

I find myself having run out of time to take Bradley Method classes, having run out of money to take maternity pictures, and having run out of emotional energy to read all those childbirth books I thought I'd be obsessed with. The fact of the matter is, we're having a baby whether I decide I'm "prepared" or not. I'm still trying to figure out why I'm not as gung-ho about childbirth prep as I thought I'd be. Maybe I'm in denial? Overwhelmed? Or just tired. Who knows.

Still excited to meet the little guy, though! (Although I am not ready to be done with pregnancy by any means-- emotions, discomforts and all). I finally transferred my care to a midwife this week, since my last ultrasound showed that everything is normal after all. My mom went to the appointment with me, and I'm soooo glad I switched! I loved my OB, but she traveled a lot and had a huge patient load. The odds of her being at my delivery were pretty slim.

The midwife I saw is so wonderful and she even took the time to help my mom and I figure out what baby body parts were where, which was crazy! At the appointment, he was head down, hanging out on the right side of my abdomen, facing the left side of my body. His hands are punching the left side of my uterus and his feet are somehow kicking behind him on the right side!

Overall, I feel good aside from the extreme emotions. Some back pain is to be expected, I have started getting nauseated again if I go too long without eating, and I don't sleep super well (although  that's not pregnancy-specific), but I can't complain! No real cravings or aversions to report right now, thankfully. It's been a rough few weeks mentally and emotionally. Lots of driving and lots of not sleeping in our own bed or eating our own food. I finally got back into my exercise routine this week, and I'm looking forward to meal planning and eating more balanced meals next week!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


The Gospel Coalition has an awesome Lenten devotional that Ross and I are trying to do this year. I say trying, because Lent has been a time of turmoil, per usual, and we're a bit behind. BUT I read this excerpt a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it. Funny how so much of the ugliness of my heart is exposed at this time of the year.

Pride is thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think (Romans 12:4). However, humility is not thinking less of ourselves than we ought to think, but simply thinking of ourselves less...

All of us want to be part of a community where pride and ego are put to death and selflessness and service are brought to life. This is just the kind of community that the Bible calls us to... (but) notice that the key to this kind of community is humility. In other words, our lack of concern for others and service to others is primarily because we lack humility. All forms of self-concern manifest themselves in a lack of love for others. We become consumer instead of servants...

Our consumerism is rooted in a lack of faith. We are worried about what others think because we are not convinced that God delights in us (Psalm 149:4). We are anxious because we do not believe God will meet our needs (Matthew 6:32). We vie for attention because we do not think God rewards what is done in secret (Matthew 6:6). We compare ourselves to others because we forget that Jesus is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). A consumer is self-seeking because he is preoccupied with building his own kingdom in order to meet his own needs. During Lent, Jesus especially calls us to re-right our lives, to "seek first the kingdom of God..." (Matthew 6:33).

The simple practice of self-denial in Lent teaches us tat those who trust God to meet their needs are free to consider the needs of others. They discover this gospel paradox: As long as I'm looking to get my needs met, I will never get my needs met. But when I begin to meet the needs of others-- when I begin to live for them instead of for myself-- I find that God graciously takes care of my needs in the process. The grace of God turns us into servants. Instead of demanding that we be served, we joyfully lay down our rights and seek to serve God and others.

God's grace toward us in Christ needs to get down deep into our hearts in order to change us. We need to acknowledge our resistance to grace, which manifests itself in our desire to establish our righteousness and meet our needs apart from God. Jesus came to serve-- to heal, to feed, to make more wine, to wash feet, and to die. When we humbly receive the fullness and sufficiency of his love, then we will find ourselves increasingly joyful and selfless as we delight in serving others.

I've been in a funk the last few weeks, and I feel the old panic rising inside of me. I need some of this to get deep down into my own heart today.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Squirrels and Sadness

My other grandma sent me this article on Grandma Ginny today. At first I was worried by the headline. I thought it would insinuate that her entire legacy had to do with squirrels. It was certainly a funny part of her later decades, but not the story of her life by any means. Thankfully, the article was more well-rounded and it made me tear up. I'm more sad than ever that Grandma Ginny won't be here in June to "scoop up" her fifth great-grandchild. She did love babies, and I would've loved to know more about her parenting philosophies!

Since this blog is my own version of a scrapbook, I wanted to copy the article here. It appeared in the Omaha World Herald today and was written by Kevin Cole:

Squirrels were the bane of Virginia Muelleman and her beloved vegetable garden, but she could not bring herself to harm the little critters.
“My mom would trap them and take them two miles away to be released,” said her son Robert Muelleman of Omaha. “She always released them in the same place, near water, so they would have something to drink. She also wanted to release them in the same area in case she had already trapped their relatives.”

Bushy-tailed reunions were likely because she trapped and released more than 500 squirrels, her son said. When she reached the 400 mark, Virginia Muelleman's children gave her a squirrel piƱata for her birthday.

The soft-hearted Muelleman, 85, died March 20 at the Nebraska Medical Center with her family around her. She had been critically injured March 17 in a fire at her home.

A Fire Department spokesman said Wednesday that the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Monday at Holy Name Catholic Church. The parish is where the Muelleman children attended school and Muelleman had worked as a secretary and bookkeeper.

Virginia Fromm grew up the youngest of seven children in Defiance, Iowa. She met her husband, Joseph Muelleman, in Omaha, where she had found a job with Union Pacific Railroad.

The couple were married for 54 years until his death in 2006. The Muellemans raised five children and had 16 grandchildren and four great grandchildren, with another one on the way.

Robert Muelleman, chairman of the department of emergency medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said his mother “scooped up” the grandchildren and watched over them with great tenderness.

He called his mother “one of the smartest people I ever knew,” even though she never got the chance to go to college.

“She was constantly reading, and if she didn't know something, she got on the computer and looked it up,” he said. “She had a very curious mind.”

Following her husband's death, she traveled extensively. She especially enjoyed a trip to Europe to see several religious shrines with her son Peter Muelleman.

Other survivors include daughters Carol George, Janet Cox and Joan Green, all of Omaha.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grandma Ginny

A world without grandmothers would be a terrible place indeed.

I'm so thankful that I spent the first 28 years of my life with two wonderful grandmas. However, this past Thursday we said our final goodbyes to my Grandma Ginny. I'm not really at peace with the circumstances that landed her in the burn unit on Monday (there are so many "if onlys" haunting us), but I'm very at peace with her departure on Thursday. The palliative care doctor said that Thursday was the final chapter in the book of her life, and she would write it. She left the world peacefully and surrounded with love. As the priest said at her final blessing, God makes us for himself and he calls us back to him. For some reason, even though we can't understand it right now, her trial by fire will glorifies him.

Grandma Ginny was a hard worker, a faithful wife, a loving mother, and a devoted Christ-follower. She offered up her many sufferings and when it was time for her to leave this world, I had to be happy that she would finally be relieved of her pain. Thursday was such a sad day for us, but such a happy day for her.

Once her prognosis became clear on Wednesday night, palliative care doctors were able to meet with her children to discuss her care. Per her living will, they decided to remove life support on Thursday. She breathed on her own for a few more minutes, surrounded by family. We read Psalm 34 out loud and held her hands and shared a few final words as she left. It was so perfect and even though there wasn't a dry eye in the room, I think we all couldn't help but be happy for her deep deep down.

I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together. 
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them. 
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it. 
...The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken. 
..The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. {Psalm 34}

From our whirlwind trip to and from Omaha last Monday, to our rushed drive back to Omaha Thursday, to her upcoming funeral this Monday, it's hard to believe everything that's happened in a week. From pain and devastation, to critical but stable with some hope, to having to say goodbye. It's been such a crazy week that I don't think I've digested the finality of it. It'll be hard to gather with the whole family again and not see her chuckling at something nearby.

I know death causes a lot of people to maybe find meaning and comfort in silly coincidental things, but I think it also offers a glimpse of heaven to those of us left in death's wake. Driving home from the hospital at sunset on Thursday, I saw a fraction of a rainbow in the sky and for some reason, it made me so happy. I felt like my grandma was reassuring us that she was in heaven at last and that she was full of joy!

I will always remember her as a down-to-earth woman who enjoyed life. She was funny, strong, pragmatic, and devoted. She loved God. She loved babies. But she had a personal vendetta against any squirrel that happened to wander into her amazing backyard garden-- she trapped over 500 of them! She always drove the trapped squirrels two miles away (across the interstate so they couldn't come back) and released them all in the same spot, "in case they were family."

Whenever she met a new friend of mine, she'd ask who their parents and grandparents were. The amazing thing is, she always seemed to know half of them from back in the day!

In the way that women who can't get pregnant seem to see babies and pregnant women everywhere, I feel like since loosing my Grandma Ginny on Thursday, I've seen little old ladies everywhere. I actually mean that in the nicest way possible, since my grandma called her group of friends the "little old ladies." In fact, well into her 70s, she was working with a home healthcare agency, taking care of "old people." She was always young at heart, always up for an adventure, always practical and loving at the same time. She didn't waste time complaining, but she was certainly opinionated.

She remained faithful to my grandpa through an early diagnosis and long battle with Alzheimer's. She cared for him at home so much longer than most people would've, and when he finally had to be put into a nursing home, she visited daily. Even on the days he didn't remember her. Even when his personality had changed.

Even when it was hard. She was there. For all of us.

We miss you already, Grandma Ginny!

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. {2 Timothy 4:6-8}

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Links I'm Loving

You know when you have so many browser windows open that you can't shut your computer down at night because you want to "save" or "re-read" or "make" whatever's pulled up in one of a dozen tabs? No? Just me?

Well, I've accumulated quite a list of noteworthy reads lately so I thought I'd share. Some relate to parenting, some relate to life, and some are just funny. Here's what I've been reading online lately:

Why Stretch Marks Aren't as Bad as You Think {Lindsay's List}
A welcome reminder that yeah, my body isn't going to be the same after these 40 weeks. But that's a good thing!

It Won't Be Long Now {Raechel Myers}
On losing babies and remembering that God's idea of time is so very different from ours.

Who is Coming Behind You {Naptime Diaries}
I LOVED this post. I'm struggling with feeling compelled to encourage newlyweds to have a realistic view of 'happily ever after' while simultaneously being excited/terrified of becoming a mom and finding that only the positive comments are helpful right now. Jessi hit the nail on the head with this one.

It Doesn't Have to Have a Point {Naptime Diaries}
I'm still struggling to learn what real rest looks like. This post gives me a glimpse of it: "There doesn't have to be a point, but there can be a purpose."

Kid President's Letter to a Person on their First Day Here {You Tube}
Seriously, if you don't visit any of these other links, visit this one. It'll brighten your day!

Life Lately {Yes I Want Cake}
Posts like this make me so excited to be a mom.

But Why Does She Get Babies? {Natasha Metzler}
Because when you work with all women, many of them will be struggling to get pregnant. And when you all take care of sick babies, some of whom are born unplanned, unwanted, and uncared for, someone is bound to ask this question. Also a good reminder of what all of us are called to do, babies or not.

The Problem With "Just Adopt" {Lauren Casper}
Because adoption and infertility are sometimes mutually exclusive. The end is the same (you have a kid!) but sometimes the calling behind them is quite different. Something to think about next time you're talking to a friend who can't get pregnant and desperately wants to be a mom.

Let Them Come Home {John and Abraham Piper}
A wonderful "prodigal son" story reminding me that how you raise someone isn't always the way in which they go. Love them anyway.

The New Church Lady {Pearls and Grace}
Are you as a Christian more known for what you stand for, or what you stand against?

The One Thing Christians Should Stop Saying {The Accidental Missionary}
I've mentioned before that the word "blessing" doesn't always sit quite right with me. This is a good little post discussing it a bit more in depth.

Turn it Around {The Fitnessista}
This post actually discusses post-partum wellness in light of the "What's Your Excuse?" guilt trip that's been going around the internet. Pregnancy has been a bit of an equalizer for me, and quite a lesson in humility. I've never been so out of control of my body-- but that's a good thing! I certainly don't know the millions of details that go into growing a baby! I'm very thankful my body seems to be doing that on its own without my conscious help. Anyway, it's also made me realize that all of those "I won't be like that" ideals I had about pregnancy and parenthood (and who knows what else) aren't always in your power to control, and it's really not fair to judge someone unless you're willing to walk in their shoes.