Thursday, May 3, 2012

Not My Will But Yours Be Done

I can't say that the reason I haven't been blogging is because there isn't anything to tell you guys... I can say that for the first time in my life, I have just sat back and watched the hand of God at work. I mean, I know God is in charge and I need to just stay out of the way, but the past few months have really reinforced that.

So you remember that my father-in-law passed away from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) back in early December. Just a few days after he died, we had just about the only cold snap and snow storm that we had all winter. There was a "kitten incident" with a litter of very late fall kittens. Unfortunately, it didn't end well for them. It was a reminder that, while it was sad (and came at a really lousy time), cats are not what life is about.

Not my will, but Yours be done.

Even though the kittens didn't make it, I set up a heating pad with a water bowl in the barn to keep water in there for the cats. (something that I have done several times in the barn and my father-in-law did in his shop.) The heating pad is one of several left over from when hubs's family had pigs, they were used for the sows and piglets.

About six weeks later (January 17 at 4:30 PM, to be exact), Goose and I went to the barn to feed cats like we do every single day. There was a yucky smell of hot hay in the air, and upon taking a closer look, it appeared that some of the cats had been fighting because the hay was kind of churned up, and there was a fair amount on the heating pad. I cleaned it off, and Goose and I went to visit my mother-in-law for about an hour.

When we left, I thought I smelled something kind of smokey, but figured it was just lingering on my coat. I tend toward the dramatic in my head, and it's something I've been trying to reign in. Goose and I headed home, and somewhere around 20 minutes later, my MIL called and said that there was a fire at the farm.

Not my will, but Yours be done.

It was the barn. It started in the plug of the 50 year old heating pad plugged into 60 year old wiring. Although our wonderful volunteer fire department responded quickly and did everything they could, there isn't much that can be done for an old wooden barn full of old hay except to protect the surrounding pens and cattle working area. They ended up cutting an enormous hole in the side of the barn and pulling out the burning hay with a loader, which they spread out in an empty pen so it could burn itself out. Thankfully Radar, our miniature donkey, had wandered down to hubs's uncle's farm to visit the horses there - not only would he have been pretty freaked out, but they went through his pen to get the hay out. By morning, there was only the shell of a barn and a smoky haze.

Not my will, but Yours be done.

At that point, I had twelve cats in the barn. The next day, nine came back. One of the missing three was my beloved Socks, our favorite cat. He has not returned. My heart is broken. With all the commotion tearing down the barn, another three cats have taken off for parts unknown.

Not. My. Will. But. Yours. Be. Done.

Since then, I have had countless dreams that I've gone to the farm and there Socks is, waiting for me. I've even dreamed that I had that dream, and then realized in the dream that it was a dream. (I wake up every bit as confused as you all just were reading that.) I have a one-eyed cat that has taken off in the spring and returned in the fall for the past few years. I'm hoping to see her again in a couple of months.

ANYway, my fellow NFP-ers will understand what I mean when I say that the morning after the barn fire, I had a well-timed temperature spike. My first thought was "really, God? Am I seeing Your hand in this already?" Maybe His will isn't so bad after all...

A couple of weeks later, I was thrilled but not entirely surprised to see a + sign on a pregnancy test!

Oh, how I wish that we didn't have to give up Socks for this baby - I've just barely stopped looking for him each time we go to the farm. But it has been a continued reminder of the truly, truly important things in life.

Because of my history of adrenal problems, the very day I found out I was pregnant, I contacted a not-local midwife that I know has experience with mamas and adrenals. She tweaked some of my supplements and suggested I do a saliva test to check my cortisol levels. It took a bit to get the stuff to me and for me to get the test in to a lab on the west coast. About three weeks later, on Ash Wednesday to be exact, my midwife called with the results.

Turns out my cortisol levels weren't too far off, but the area that showed a problem was gluten intolerance. What? I was actually rendered speechless for a bit, I was so surprised. I mean, I've known for a while that I probably should cut down on wheat stuff. But come ON! My hubs grows the stuff, and I like to grind it up and make delicious things! Not to mention I was IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER. But I knew I needed to get healthier for this baby, especially since I wasn't too far off from the weight I was when I was full term pregnant with Goose. So I took a deep breath and as Lent began, I began a three month trial off gluten.

Not my will, but Yours be done. Guess God really did want me to cut down on wheat stuff.

I'm not gonna lie, my attitude has been pretty lousy. It has been a struggle. I don't have the typical digestive problems that go with gluten intolerance, so I haven't had the boost of all of a sudden feeling a whole bunch better. My insomnia has improved a teeny tiny bit (oh, yes, I forgot to mention that I had to give up a supplement when I got pregnant, and it just happened to be the one that really helped me sleep. Whoof.), and I lost a few pounds at first and have more or less held steady since then. I figure that's pretty good for being 17 weeks pregnant!

I let my frustration get the best of me several weeks ago and had two days of delicious gluten indulgence. I could tell my sleep suffered a bit (and I hadn't even realized it had improved much until it tanked again) and at my midwife's encouragement, I took a deep breath and went back to gluten free. I have three weeks of the three months left to go, and I will be meeting with my midwife tonight to re-test my saliva and see where things are. I fear that I'll need to keep up the gluten free diet, which I DO NOT LOVE, but I'm at least starting to accept the possibility. Not my will, but Yours be done, after all.

So. What's new with you guys? :>)