When we look back, Neil & i remember 'the Mollen years' as being particularly trying. Neil was rarely home... & when i say rarely, i mean he often went to work at 4am & came home at 2am... i mean when i had my babies, he was at the hospital as they were delivered at 6am, but at work by 9, i mean that Sundays, holidays, birthdays, summer days, freezing winter days... all seem to be in my memory - missing Neil.
i was still delighted to find out in 2003 that i was expecting another sweet addition to our family. i remember that moment, seeing that faint blue line & knowing for sure that i was falling in love again - closing my eyes & whispering, 'thank-you'.
Yeah, i was nauseous... tired... my oldest turned 7 in my first trimester & my other ones were 5, 3 & 1. i was homeschooling & just barely treading water... & i missed Neil horribly.
An excerpt from my journal 12 weeks into my pregnancy:
"at every stage, i look back at the last one & i can't believe how easy i had it & how HARD things are now... & then comes the next stage & it's even HARDER - then HARDER - & now... o-my, it's about to get HARDER.
altho, i can't help but hope things are a little easier once i get over morning sickness... Baby, are you ok? Are you comfortable & growing? Are you a Mollen or a Seamus? Will you come in the night or the day? i can't wait to see you. Will you be big like Peyts & Charter? Or teeny like Sloanie & Cai?"
& later, around 19 weeks...
"Lord God, i'm starting to doubt everything i do.... homeschooling, having babies - being alone - God, it's all so hard. i look in the future & i look away 'cause i'm so tired. Is this what you want for me? God, i cannot do this alone. You've taken me from my family, (at this point, 7 years into our marriage, we had moved 6 times) from my husband, from friends time & again & is this for your purposes?
i *will* lean on YOU. i will draw near to you... and you will draw near to me. You will be my mother, father, sister, husband, friend. You are all."
My mom told me, "loneliness is God's invitation" ~ i decided to accept that invitation.
So, my pregnancy progressed... and things continued to happen...
*My 3yo hurt her foot & couldn't walk on it for over a week. i ended up carrying her and Charter a lot.
*My ultrasound came back saying that there were pockets of fluid in my baby's brain. They wanted to do another ultrasound just to make sure they weren't there - or that they were at least shrinking. After a second ultrasound confirmed what the first one said, my doctor told me that my baby was also measuring 4-6 weeks small and he didn't think we should have my oldest daughter attend the birth like we had planned... just in case... They planned on doing an u/s on her brain once she was born.
*In December we all got the stomach flu.
*In January, we got a cold snap. It was -40 not including the windchill & the icefog. All 4 of the children got the chicken pox. None worse than my 19month old son who got them in his lungs & subsequently got chicken pox pneumonia & ended up in the hospital.
i read my bible a lot....
"He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in his bosom & shall gently lead those that are with young." ~ isaiah 40:11
At 6:06am on April 19th, Mollen Israel Solace was born.
It seemed to be a miracle that all was well & the ultrasound on her brain later showed no fluid. She was also a beautiful size ~ We never felt surprised... just pleased :)
"Mom got here on Sunday at supper time & i started getting some contractions around 11pm. By midnight, i had suspicions it was the real thing & by 2, i was still unsure, but i woke up Cai & Neil to go to the hospital. i laboured 99% of the time in the shower with the handheld head & a towel over the labour ball... worked very well. Mollen was turned in the birth canal by 45' - it was *work* & hard & painful to get her turned around, but once she was, it was quick. She was 20" & 8lbs 9oz. Beautiful almost black hair (hardly wants to open her eyes...) & lots of rolls & soft sweet smelling skin. "Mis B" is like a teeny kitten when she cries. i did alright - no heroics, but Cai wasn't scared. & i was 'in control' for labour, transition & delivery. Dr. Molnar was a grump - but whatever - the nurses were awesome - & we did get in for her u/s. No results yet. i better go tidy up supper & help mom with the other kittens...."
A few days later my mom (& dad who had come later) left... & as my mom hugged me goodbye, i just felt something *sad* creep in... something bleak... It's the only time i remember my mom leaving after i had a baby & me crying. i just held my teeny baby & cried.
Neil was working his crazy hours still... School was not yet done for the year... & as the days & weeks wore on, i found out that even though i had already had 4 other children, i was about to learn a whole 'nother side of motherhood.