The Waiting Room

Yesterday I had my 30 week pre-natal OB appointment. As I sat in the waiting room, I watched a couple walk back in from the Ultrasound room. They had the fresh pictures of their little baby folded up and gripped tightly. They both sat down and didn’t say a word to each other. They didn’t look at the pictures. They didn’t move a fraction of an inch for the entire 15 minutes I was there. They looked like they had seen a ghost. Judging by the expression on their faces, something was wrong.

I don’t know anything about this couple. I don’t know what their situation was and I want to be careful not to make assumptions. But watching them, I felt my heart drop. It wasn’t too long ago that I remember sitting in that same waiting room, completely devastated. I remember having to walk back through that waiting room full of happy, pregnant women after our ultrasound on that awful day, and trying to walk as fast as I could, eyes averted. I remember trying (and failing) to hold back the tears, and completely falling apart once we got into the car.

And here I was yesterday only several months later, sitting in the same room with a growing little boy kicking my ribs at 30 weeks into my pregnancy.

It seems like a bit of a cruel irony that the room that women have to sit and wait in for their quick healthy pre-natal visits is the same exact room that others have to wait in after hearing the worst news they could imagine.

As I held my swollen stomach to feel my son’s little feet dancing, I was acutely aware of the fact that I am now the woman that I couldn’t look at before. The woman that is too painful to see, because of the stark visual reminder of what you lost. I am now the woman I once tried to avoid in this very waiting room.

The room that holds both immense joy and deep pain, simultaneously.

I looked around the room and let this sink in. Some come here rejoicing. Some mourning. Some completely unaware of how great the gift is that they have; others painfully aware of the gift they have lost. I felt tears threatening to fall for those in the room that may be a part of the later group. My heart ached for them and I wanted to reach out and hold them. I wanted to tell them that their baby mattered. That it was a sweet life lost too soon. I wanted to cry with them and validate their loss and their pain.

I also felt a deep sense of gratitude, as I held my stomach a little tighter. There is nothing I have done to deserve this little boy. There is no reason that I should be here for a healthy visit. We are guaranteed nothing. I’m not even guaranteed that this pregnancy will end with a healthy baby in my arms, even though I’ve made it to 30 weeks.

Remembering our loss and reflecting on our pain isn’t exactly fun. It hurts. But it makes me alive again. It makes my heart beat for humanity. It makes me love and pray for others. It reminds me of the Kingdom of God and how desperately we need it, and it makes me cry out to our Savior for it to come! Because this world is hard to live in. There are so many people who need to be held. So I prayed to the One who created us all, from the day of conception. I prayed that He would see their hurt, hear their cries, and wipe their tears. I thanked Him for Salem. For the chance to be his mom, if only for a couple of short months of gestation. I have a son waiting for me with Jesus, and that is a gift I can look forward to for the rest of my life. And I prayed that God would not let me lose the soft heart that He had been forming inside of me, because of my loss. It made me more real, more raw, more human and more compassionate. I don’t want to forget that. I don’t want to forget those who are newly hurting. I want to ache with them as we call on Jesus and praise Him that one day every tear will be wiped away.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
-Psalm 139:13-16

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
-Revelation 21:1-4

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KM.

Lately

I made a goal for myself to blog at least once in the month of October, since I haven’t been very active in the blogging world lately (I used to blog about once a week!). Truth be told, third trimester of pregnancy just isn’t the time for great thought provoking… thoughts. From me (<– see what I mean? Point proven.). It was, after all, in third trimester of my pregnancy with Riley that I forgot to wear pants one day. So let’s just count it a huge success that I have left the house fully clothed every day so far, K? 🙂

Since “thought provoking thoughts” (or complete sentences) aren’t exactly my forte lately, I thought I’d aim for a basic “lately” post about what’s been going on in our lives, well… lately! Creative, I know ;).

For one thing, we recently got a gym membership. For a long time we were really opposed to this idea because we didn’t want to take on a monthly payment. But then a couple of our friends told us about how helpful it was for their family to have a gym membership once they had two kids, and we were sold! Besides, if we really want to make working out a part of both of our lives, this is what we need to do. We both hate running (not that I’m attempting that during pregnancy), and doing workout videos with a 3 year old running around just isn’t really working out (no pun intended)! So anyway, gym membership. Did I mention they have CHILD CARE?! That’s what sold me. And Riley loves it. Every day she asks to “go play kids at school while mama exercise!”

The more pregnant I get, the more I hate working out. BUT the more I love childcare. So, at least there is a motivator. Although I fully predict that some days in the near future (and by near future, I mean this afternoon) I will just go there to simply stretch a little bit, and then plant myself on one of the leather couches and catch up on some magazine reading ;). Hey, I washed my hair last night.  Which only happens twice a week, so I can’t go getting all sweaty! Priorities people. (And just to clarify: I do shower more than twice a week, I just don’t wash my hair.  Hello, dry shampoo.).

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Another thing we’ve been doing a lot of lately is eating out. You know, to balance out all of that working out! We have recently switched over to a cash budgeting system and are trying to keep things tight to reach some financial goals, but God in His sweet mercy during this time when I am not too fond of cooking, has heard my cry! We have been getting all sorts of coupons for free food in the mail – since we “just moved to the area” (meaning, we moved 10 minutes away from our last place in Chapel Hill but hey- if they think they’re welcoming us here by offering us free food at their restaurant, so be it). So far we have scored a free $20 family meal from Whole Foods, a free meal from Cafe Carolina, free breakfast from Burger King (oops, I mean um kale from Whole Foods… I don’t eat that fast food garbage… eh hem.), and half off at Med Deli, just to name a few. Oh and then a new coffee shop opened up across the street and offered FREE coffee drinks (read: lattes, mochas, the whole deal) for a WEEK! We are doing some major restaurant scoring over here at the Maroon household.

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Last weekend, Riley had her first little friend sleepover. Zoe is a friend from church that she absolutely adores. It has been fun to watch them actually become friends, playing and laughing together every week after church. So on a whim, I threw out the idea to Jordan and then to Zoe’s mom of having Zoe sleepover. It was actually Riley’s idea. She had asked me after seeing Zoe at church one Sunday if Zoe could sleepover Riley’s house, and if I could call Zoe on the phone and ask her :). Anyway, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and honestly expected it to be complete chaos. Surprisingly, I was wrong! It was so easy, I’m still kind of in shock about it. The girls giggled for hours and wore each other out, falling fast asleep almost immediately. Then they both slept until 7:30 the next morning! Zoe was such a joy to have around our home. And she kept Riley nice and busy, which actually freed us up to do other things.

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Last weekend my mother – along with her friend Cheryl, my grandmother, and my sister – threw me a fabulous baby shower for Little Guy! It was actually my favorite shower I’ve ever had. I think that is because (a) I wasn’t as overwhelmed as I was at my shower for Riley (“What is ALL of this stuff they say I need for a baby?! Ahh, what am I doing?!”), this time it was just a lot more fun because it was mostly clothes and I’ve done this baby thing before, so it didn’t feel so foreign. And (b) it was a smaller shower, which just suits my introverted nature well ;). I felt like I was actually able to talk to everyone there and it was really fun to connect different people that I love to each other. It was such a sweet day and I felt SO loved! Also: baby boy stuff is SUPER cute. I always thought girl stuff was more fun, but I was mistaken. I cannot wait to see my little baby son in these adorable little things!

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And finally, I just want to say: I know that social media sometimes gets a bad rap. We talk about how it forms false ideas of relationships and all of the ways that it negatively affects us in our experience of community blah, blah, blah. I’m not saying that is not true, it often is. However, I have developed sweet friendships with a few women who I met – you guessed it – over social media! One of them was a sorority sister in college who I didn’t really know well then. But when we both were pregnant at the same time, we started talking and connecting over Facebook and Instagram. It was so helpful to have someone who was experiencing the same thing to talk to. Over the years we got closer, especially once she moved to the area and we started to get together with our kiddos somewhat regularly. Now these kiddos are becoming sweet friends too and it has been so fun to watch. So hooray for the good of Social Media!

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So, that’s us lately!

Until next time,

KM.