I even had a book to read which Kathryn had recommended. I didn't get very far, but in the introduction and single chapter I got through, it is worth the read! I shared it with my nurse who seemed genuinely interested- maybe this is part of the reason why I didn't come with kids in tow today.
Next up, the scale: Baby is growing! A lot! On second thoughts, maybe I should start exercising! A lot! ;)
I get seated in my room and await the dr's arrival. This doctor is new to me. Yes, Baby #9 has a new doctor. Yes, we have been in the same town for the last 4 babies. Different stories for each, and I only ran one doc out of town j/k. (This dr. did leave town, but I was sad at the departure-I think it went both ways.)
Dr arrives, and starts off with the question, "So when are you going to have the TV crews in your home? Oh, I guess you're only half way to 18. chuckle."
I respond, "I really don't want a TV crew in my house - or maybe I should - I could put them to real work, chuckle."
The dr. went on to say how some people are cut out to deal with children, and he didn't think he was one of them. He went on to say how he really struggled being a parent to his 3 children, and wondered how I do it, parenting almost 9. I felt bad for him, I was trying to figure out if he was showing remorse for not being the best he could, or if he gave his best and felt like it wasn't good enough. I waited a moment, and chimed in with my experience, "Well, if it means anything to you, I struggled with 1, 2, 3 and I'm sure I'll still struggle with 9. Whether you have 1 or 9 kiddos running around, you're always going to have good days and bad days. That is a constant!" He continued to thank me for that comment.
We completed the appointment, and I ventured out to set up the next appointment. My nurse stopped me again to ask about and glance at the book. The dr. followed up with a comment about getting the book finished in all my free time. Then, he said I should write my own book - I joked back, "Yes, in all my free time. It may never get done."
Overall, a good appointment. I like this Doc. Something about him challenges me. I was driving home in my silent van thinking about our conversations. They were good, but could I have said anything different?
What I wanted to say was these kids are beautiful. I wouldn't trade them for anything. They are worth every ounce of struggle. Each struggle is a step in love. Yes, they teach me to love - more than I would ever love on my own. They keep me humble, and make me realize how much I need mercy. Together, our family learns about love and mercy: "love covers a multitude of sins" 1 Peter 4:8. And with each addition to our family, Love grows!
I always get the comment, "I don't know how you do it." Usually I follow up with, "Neither do I!" But I do know. It is by the grace of God, in cooperation with prayer. Surrendering my weaknesses. Remembering that I can't do anything on my own, and asking God to take over: to Love when I don't feel like loving; to Guide when I don't know what to do; to sustain me when I feel like giving up. As St. Paul tells us, "when we are weak, it is truly then that we are strong." Power reaches perfection as we surrender our weaknesses, because we no longer are living, but Christ is living in us. His Perfect Love pours out if we open the canal!
Isn't that what we are called to do? Love! We learn from Mark 12: 30-31 about the greatest commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself." And all over in John, but specifically chapters 13 and 15, "Love one another as I have loved you." If you do a keyword search on bible gateway, you will find a multitude of references under the keywords 'command love'.
I thank God for teaching me how to love. Love is sacrificial. Love is obedient. Love is a choice. Love can not be done alone - it comes from uniting ourselves to Jesus.
I pray that I may love more, and leave you with what I am working on:
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
In other words: Love bears all things, believes in all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.