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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ever Growing

Well, I have gotten to the point in my pregnancy where people have begun to ask me how many babies I am carrying. It happened last pregnancy, but it's still depressing. It's fine to hear about how freakishly huge I am the first 200 times, but it gets old after that and is starting to chip away at my self esteem. Also, my belly button never popped back in after the birth of Helaman so now it sticks out so far that you can still see it even when I am wearing four layers--I guess that tricks people because they always think that means I'm about to give birth. Here is a picture of me this last week at 27 weeks...
While I have been ever growing so has Almaya...she has gotten so much more active these last couple of weeks. Her eyes have opened this last week or so and her ears have finished developing. I have definitely noticed a change in her behavior since these two things have happened. She is much more consistent to how she reacts to things happening both inside and outside her little utero world. She seems to be experimenting a lot more with her body and new-found control over it. I know this is happening at a usually pace, but it still seems really late because Helaman was developing these skills much much earlier.

One new joy that Maya has found is bouncing. A few days ago she discovered that when I lay down to go to sleep on my side she can turn sideways, put her feet against my belly so she can touch the surface of the bed, and kick off the bed as hard as she can with both feet. This will make her bounce which will in turn make her head hit the other side of my uterus. I am not sure why she enjoys this sensation, but she absolutely loves it. She will do it over and over and over for hours. Needless to say, I haven't slept in almost a week. It's cute, and funny to see from the outside because you can see the bed bounce as she kicks off it then her head hit the other side of my belly, but it's not very comfortable for me. : )

As for me...I am doing ok. I am getting very tired of being pregnant, although I still have quite a ways to go. I don't have as many charlie-horses in my legs as I did with Helaman but I have more in my back. The number of daily contractions has stayed about the same so I am grateful that they haven't worsened, but my legs and feet get swollen so fast that it's hard for me to be out of bed for very long. Jose, bless his heart, is being so incredible. I have been so emotional these last few weeks, between the physical pain and discomfort to the daily stress of life and the strong bitter-sweet memories of last Holiday Season ever looming near, it's been hard to handle all at once. But he has been so patient and always making me laugh even when all I want to do is cry.

That's pretty much it on the updates. I am still not sure on the exact due date. The doctor says we will have to wait and see how Almaya continues to develop. So we will both just keep growing and waiting...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Almaya's Daddy

This year has been a particularly difficult one for Jose and me. We have had to face losing a child, raising Jose's family--with the particular strain of 3 teenage girls--trying to buy two houses and building a life for our own family as well as Jose's family, losing our source of income, and dealing with the strains of a new marriage. Though I know there are many others in the world that deal with many more difficulties than these, it has been particularly challenging for me. However, among all the trials the Lord has blessed us and taught us to find refuge in our temple marriage. I can honestly say that as I have learned this I have never been more content in my life. Every time I just want to break down and give up, Jose is always there for me and always loving me, no matter what. I have been thinking a lot about him and our marriage over the last few months and I thought I'd post a quick thought about him and how grateful I am for him in my life...

I never really realized how truly lucky I was to find him when we first started dating. He has made my life happier and fuller than I had ever imagined. I honestly can never think of a single time when he has yelled at me or refused to do something for me--in fact, most of the time he does everything before I even have to ask him. I am not sure why he stays with me because I definitely don't treat him as good as he treats me [I think the Lord has blessed him with a blind love for me : ) ]

His life has never been easy, nor is it an easy burden now to provide emotionally and economically for 24 people, but he never complains--ever. Whether it's buying back-to-school supplies or a dress for a party, struggling with eating disorders or other health issues, or disciplining someone for ditching school or staying out too late; he is always there for his family as a father, a son, and a best friend. I have seen how much his family looks up to him, although they would never admit their gratitude to him. Many of them have never really known any other father than him and I know they love and respect him even though they don't voice it.

With having his hands so full of juggling work and the emotional and financial needs of so many I know it is incredibly hard for him to make time for his own little family--but he always manages to give me and the baby his undivided attention. He is so in love with Maya and talks to her and plays with her constantly. He is already completely wrapped around her finger. She is "Daddy's Little Girl" and has completely stolen his heart (hence the Tim McGraw song dedication on this blog). I know he worries about being the best father possible to her while still being the father of so many others in his family, but I have no doubt he will find a way to take care of everyone, as he always has. He has such a pure love for all those around him, not just in word but in deed as well. His life is more than discouraging as he tries to teach his family about the blessings of the gospel and prudent living--which almost always seems to be a failed attempt, but he keeps trucking on with an undying faith that the Lord with provide.

I know I don't make his trials any easier either. There are so many times when I just break down and want to get away from the responsibility of so many people. In those moments I can see the pain in his eyes as he is torn between wanting to give me and his children the best life possible and still having the responsibility of his family weighing on his conscious. I wish I could be as strong as him. So many times I hear husbands talk about their wives as their strength and rock--I wish I could be that for him, but he is definitely the one who plays that role in our marriage and I am so grateful for his perfect faith in Christ, his quiet patience in life, and his never failing kindness towards me.

I appreciate Jose in my life and look to him as an example of how I want to be someday. I am grateful for the love he has for "his little girl," his precious son Helaman, me, and the rest of his family. He strengthens me each and every day and I will always love and admire him for that.