6 Quick Takes and 1 Not-So-Quick Take

— 1 —

I’m 33-weeks pregnant now. All is actually really good! I haven’t had the swelling like the other pregnancies, and so far I’m avoiding the pinched sciatic nerve pain I had while pregnant with Jude. But I’m struggling with one thing and just need to get it off my chest. Long story here, and I’ll try to make it short given these are meant to be QUICK takes.

Our family’s primary healthcare facility is the new pro-life clinic in town. My doctor there has delivery privileges at the hospital where I’ll labor. However he can’t be my lead physician because he doesn’t have privileges for patients who’ve had c-sections. That would be me. A few weeks ago I transferred care to the team of doctors who performed my cesarean with Jude, and now I’m experiencing the ironic anti-life stuff that plagues the OBGYN world.

While under care at the pro-life clinic, I had a couple of ultrasounds that provided us as much information as necessary. I did not have a “typical” thorough 20-week ultrasound meticulously checking for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities. The new OBGYN practice is now insisting I have an ultrasound to check for those abnormalities given “my older age.” A few thoughts.

  1. I’m 37. Still young. Why some doctors rest solely on one study completed back in the 70s linking maternal age to chromosomal abnormalities yet ignore several other studies since that time rebuking those results is beyond me. But baby docs who advocate for increased abortion rights doesn’t make sense to me, either.
  2. The results of this ultrasound will not offer any necessary information to the doctors in terms of my impending delivery options. The results will simply indicate if our baby MAY have genetic abnormalities. And those results are NEVER wrong, are they?!
  3. To assess the viability of a VBAC delivery, another ultrasound must be performed at 38-weeks to check baby’s size and position in the womb. So why not just wait for that one, which has to be done anyway?

So again, I ask, why do I need an ultrasound now? All other signs of my pregnancy and baby’s growth suggest a healthy one. Let me repeat that. Aside from the bogus high-risk age issue, there are no other risk factors. And bottom line, we’ll love the child we receive as a precious gift from God regardless.

It’s just so maddening. Oh, and of course, the “are-you-done” sterilization question was one of the first questions this doctor asked. She also got plenty of digs in on my pro-life doc. Now I don’t want to walk into that clinic next week with my militant Catholic guns blazing, but I often wonder: What’s my price going to be for not standing up for the truth when among unbelievers or critics? 

Joel’s going with me to my appointment this coming week. Four guns blazing just might get our point across. We hope. We pray.

— 2 —

With that off my chest, let’s get on to #2 – #7!

On a happier note, I started seeing a prenatal chiropractor a couple of weeks ago who’s helping me mentally and physically prepare for a VBAC. She’s a Believer who loves babies. Pretty sure she’s the best thing since Great Plains pizza. I can’t say she’s solely responsible for this, but when I started seeing her, baby’s head was all up in my ribs. Baby’s head is now down, down, down. Yes sir, that’s my baby! Just stay there, please. And Baby, feel free to come out once those lungs are healthy. Then maybe we won’t even have to deal with the aforementioned 38-week ultrasound business.

— 3 —

So yeah, what a week it’s been here at Das Schmidt Haus. Along with all the doctor appointments, homeschooling is now in full force. One week in, I’m becoming aware of how critical organization is to our overall homeschooling plan and management of our household. I look back at the summer and fear I missed out on three-months of preparation time, but really, there was no way I could have planned for it. I just needed to jump in and begin sorting out what works and what doesn’t for our family, which curricula does and doesn’t work, how to manage the toddler while giving instruction to the kindergartener, which extracurriculars I took on that I shouldn’t have, etc. Certainly this will be a year of ongoing assessment and reflection. I thought about sharing the resources I’m using this year, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be changing about 75% in, oh, about two weeks. Stay tuned until May 2014 for a recap.

— 4 —

All summer I’ve been sorting through some emotions of lack of purpose. Crazy, I know. My constant prayer has been for the Lord to help settle my restless heart, to realize being a mother is more important than doing anything else. But I have to admit, this week’s “to-dos” have been good for me. We had a schedule and with that came a little more household structure and tangible accomplishments achieved each day — all very purposeful and good. I’m learning I can’t underestimate the importance and meaningfulness of work to my overall psyche.

Reminds me of spiritual direction I received from a Benedictine monk and priest about a year ago. He encouraged me to adapt a model of St. Benedict’s Rule for my household — to schedule times for prayer, work, rest, and play as best I can throughout the day. He reminded me that the domestic can indeed take on a monastic feel. With our homeschooling schedule, I think I’m finally understanding his point.

— 5 —

Brings me to this thought: Ora et labora. Pray and work. This is the simple yet powerful motto of the Benedictines. When I hear that phrase, this oil painting called The Angelus by French painter Jean-François Millet comes to mind. I would like to get a reproduction of it for our classroom space.

The Angelus by Millet

— 6 —

Five years ago on Labor Day weekend, I actually labored our daughter Lucy Ann. Leave it to me to labor on Labor Day. We’re gearing up for a nice weekend with friends and family (Joel’s barbecuing ribs!) and thankfully it looks like we’ll get a break from these uncharacteristically hot late summer temps we’re “enjoying” here in Iowa.

Happy fifth birthday, Goose! We are grateful for your never-ending joy, generosity, friendliness, initiative, enthusiasm, sociability, and optimism.


— 7 —

Finally, on this Labor Day weekend, let us give thanks for employment and pray for those who need work.

Prayer for Those in Need of Employment

Gracious and loving God, you know our need for meaningful work. Send your Holy Spirit to guide those who are searching for employment. Help them to recognize the gifts and talents you have given them.

Deepen their desire to follow your will. Inspire them as they contact potential employers. Give them patience as they wait for responses. Shelter them from feelings of rejection. Protect them from discouragement. Give them courage to overcome fear.

Shower on them the graces they need to persevere. Let this time of searching become an opportunity to grow in faith, to cultivate the virtue of hope, and to experience your healing love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Have a great weekend! For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.

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  1. says

    I love you and what you share so much. I never find the time to comment enough!! I will be praying for your successful VBAC!! You can do it!! Unfortunately most of modern medicine is scare tactics! My last 2 pregnancies were after the age of 35. I will be 39 in a few weeks. I didn’t even have an ultra sound with the last 2 pregnancies! 2 perfectly healthy normal babies. Pregnancy and labor is not a condition that needs to be managed and controlled by doctors. Patients have rights what can be done or not done to their bodies. It is called informed consent! Doctors have to suggest tests and let you know they are there. You have the right to refuse!! Yes that is right, you can refuse. It is kind of silly in my opinion to have any more ultrasounds. Trust me, labor will either end of in a C-section or vaginal birth. You might as well go in to the process optimistic about the vaginal birth. My gut says they will “find” something to “scare” you out of the vaginal birth. You are in control. Another thing, is there a hospital a little farther away that your doctor has full privileges at? I hate long drives in labor, but it might be worth having fewer headaches and a supportive labor environment.
    I have a labor day baby too!! My oldest will be 12!! Happy birthday to your little girl!!
    Also, as I began to prepare for homeschool your post about a domestic monastery has been resonating in my head! Over the summer I started to bring an ebb and flow to our day and it has made ALL difference. I’ve been meaning to write a post about it, but I have been so focused on our routine that I forgot to add in time for blogging!
    Have a wonderful weekend!! Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy! Enjoy the miracle growing inside and spend lots of precious time with your family! God Bless

  2. says

    Wow…just wow! That is my thoughts on your VBAC hassles. When I had mine, I did two things: provide a release for my c-section records & express my desire to attempt a VBAC. Done…no ultrasound no hassle. Praying this goes smoothly for you!

    Side note: Did Lucy receive our birthday package? Have fun celebrating your beautiful girl´s special day!

  3. says

    Lisa, I completely understand your frustration re: the ultrasound. I only speak from experience when I say that the 20-week ultrasound allowed for some important findings we would’ve never known otherwise. And, it allowed us to make some important medical decisions that saved Luke’s life. I pray, pray, pray you breeze through it and that your witness to life, in whatever form it takes, will be a positive one for a staff that doesn’t often see it. God bless you as you hit the home stretch!

  4. says

    God Bless This Soul, Lucy Ann, God Guide You In Truth and Always Always Protect You and Give you Wisdom to Live Out His Will<3 Happy happy bIRTHDAY, sWEET lOVE.yOU HAVE wONDERFUL!! PARENTS.TRUST THEY ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BEST INTEREST AT HEART!

  5. says

    We didn’t do the early ultrasound & bloodwork until after Julianna came around; then we needed to have a bit of reassurance just so we didn’t worry the whole time. It’s so hard to know when to come in with guns blazing and when to be the gentle candle flame.

  6. says

    Amen! My Grandmother had this print on her kitchen wall, I love this picture! I´ve rememberred this pic often, since I became a farmer´s wife myself and I know, what hard work means – even on a modern farm. It´s very important, not to forget praying, even though the days are busy and very long. It´s important to find those little moments and dedicate them to prayer.

  7. says

    We pray each day for blessings from our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ was taught to love, to care, and to share his life as he taught us about God. Jesus labored Greatly, all through his life, and finally gave his life for our sins so we shall be saved. ” He that believes in me, shall not parish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

  8. says

    I love Kathleen’s comment about a gentle candle flame. I think that’s your best approach. After all, I know you and Joel have big guns you can pull out if you need to.

    Luckily, I haven’t experience any negativity in the OB/GYN world. My OB was thrilled to see me check in for baby #6, just making the comment, “I hope you let me catch this baby!”

    We always opt out of the blood draws like the quad screen and all, but I usually opt in for the Level II U/S. I didn’t have a good experience with Maeve, as the tech mentioned some soft markers for Down Syndrome, while the OB that repeated the test mentioned nothing. ARGH!

    I’ll make my mind up as it gets closer. You can always refuse, or are they refusing to see you if you don’t get the US?

    I’m offended for you — simply because this kind of contraceptive mentality breaks my heart. You just keep on doing what you’re doing — be a living witness, and pray that her heart is softened. Love you.

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