Already but not yet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Howdy, fella. May I introduce to you-- and me-- my little boy's face, courtesy of an unexpected ultrasound yesterday.

Is he not beautiful? Just look at those fat little cheeks.

Mysteriously, those healthy, fat little cheeks have a left kidney that's "dilated"-- meaning that it's-- in my opinion-- enormous, at least four times the size of the right one. Along with that (probably because of that), I'm swollen with lots of extra amniotic fluid-- not a good thing. So now we've been launched from "absolutely uneventful, perfectly normal pregnancy" into "let's get you an appointment with a perinatologist asap. How about Friday morning? And we'll probably be needing to do stress tests, and see you more often, and" et cetera et cetera. Including the fact that my primary care provider, a midwife nurse, may have to turn over my care to the ob/gyn, a perfectly competent man (I'm sure) who I inherently distrust because he makes part of his living doing boob jobs and other plastic surgery. (Sigh. I took this risk when I chose this clinic, I suppose.)

And I'm trying not to google too much, worry too much, or say too much until after Friday. But oh, I am so afraid.

Not so much that he may be born with a bad kidney-- I've never been one to use the phrase "as long as it's healthy" as if health were a prerequisite for a parent's love or approval or thankfulness for the gift of a child. If he has a problem, we will learn and love and deal with it.

But I have a sick spot in my gut that simmers all day long over this thought: I am deeply afraid of not ever getting to touch those little cheeks or hold these little hands and feet that are drumming away at my insides these days.

Please, God, let it be something that can be helped or fixed or healed or managed, by you or doctors or me or anyone or anything else. Just let there be something we can do.

I was holding my anxiety in check pretty well until about thirty minutes ago, when I discovered that my washer was on strike. My "new" 15-year-old bare basics washer, which was donated by my parents to replace my 5-year-old energy-efficient fancy washer that needs a $400 keypad repair and, according to reviews and Consumer Reports and etc, is likely to have further motor, drain, and other repair issues. We've decided that paying for the pricey repair would be akin to pouring money into a lemon of a vehicle, so the fancy washer is getting the boot. Dad came and hooked the freebie up for us last weekend because my husband's back is injured. (Dad entering our basement and seeing the state of our workbench/tools/etc is never a good thing, particularly for our husband, but it couldn't be avoided-- we needed the washer, needed the help, and weren't able to prepare the basement before he showed up.) I did one load of clothes successfully tonight before it decided not to drain the water out of the tub for load #2.

Now I have a load to wring out and haul to my mom's (to use her fancy new washer that finally replaced this one). That is a stupid thing to sit in the dining room and cry about, I admit. But it was really just a final straw on a long list of stresses this week.

I also have tenants-- ex-tenants-- who cannot seem to get all their belongings (or their butts) out of my house in Florida, six days after their move-out date. This is deeply difficult to manage from eight hundred miles away or so. Painters, carpeters, realtors are all standing at the ready to begin fixing it up and taking it off our financial back. But they can do nothing until the place is empty and clean. I had a smooth, quick transition to On The Market planned, and now it's all shot to hell.

I also have a nice mixer with a burnt-out motor. A bathroom window that's been covered with a paper tablecloth for the last eight months-- which a certain toddler just shredded in her enthusiasm to see "owside!" (So now anyone peeking in can see us, facing them, setting on the pot.) There's a beautiful dishwasher out in the garage that I'd love to be using, but we need to hire a plumber to install it into 90-year-old iron pipes, and the money's not there. And I'm enjoying (ha) a steadily shrinking wardrobe as my belly gets bigger and bigger. I'm at 31 weeks pregnancywise, and 38 weeks sizewise. How big can I get in the next nine weeks-- assuming that I have the immense privilege of having a full-term baby? Will I have any clothes at all, or will I be buying used Mumus from the thrift stores and refusing to leave the house in a month or so?

I have the vintage gas stove of my dreams-- some parts of it are in my house, having been given $250 worth of reporcelaining. The rest is in a guy's garage in Tulsa, waiting for him to have time and inclination to restore it for me. It's been there since April.

I have a house that I adore-- that badly needs a $3500 paint job that I can't give it. It has beautiful horizontal board wooden interior walls-- covered with wallpaper, paint, and ugly wallboard that I'm not yet allowed to remove. And in four months, my rent-to-own lease expires, and the grumpy half of the two sisters that own it is likely to demand that we purchase. And without the Orlando house sold, no bank will give us the loan to do so. (We have the option of appealing to my father-- but oh, how sick I am of appealing to my father for help, be it washer installation or financial loans.)

I feel like I'm a living example of one of my husband's favorite spiritual illustrations-- living "in the already, but not yet."

I already have:
A husband
A beautiful sweet mischevious brilliant toddler gal
...thank God those things are present, settled, and being enjoyed here and now. We also have:

A house I love that we have resources to buy
A fabulous stove
A kitchenaid mixer
A washer
A dishwasher
A tidy house/garage/workbench
... and most of all a beautiful, beautiful little baby boy about to enter our lives. And it's possible that all this will come to fruition in a relatively quick time span.

...But the full experience of so many of those things hinge on other (known or unknown) factors. It's such an occasion for uncertainty, doubt, fear, faith. I have them already, but I cannot relax and enjoy them just yet.

These are hard days for me, I think. Even without the addition of a high-risk pregnancy-- which makes everything else on that "not yet" list seem suddenly trivial.

Please, God, make him okay. Or okayable.


Susie Says:

5:05 AM

Hi, Kim. Just want you to know I read, and I'm praying for you. Stay in the right now this minute, as much as you can. God's already in tomorrow, He's got that covered. Your boy is beautiful.

joelle Says:

5:49 PM

your son looks awesome. y'all are in my prayers!

Susie Says:

2:18 PM

Just thinking of you and praying for you. I hope you'll update when you can. Or you're welcome to email:, if you take a notion.

mysticalfeet Says:

10:43 PM

I love that sweet, sweet face. Look at his gorgeous dark hair! What a miracle. You are in my heart and prayers for the safe delivery of this one. Be well, dear, and breathe...

Angie Says:

12:34 AM

Praying that everything will turn out in the end.

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