Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grace in the gong show

My friend Melanie, who guest posted here a few months back, uses an expression that I think is really fun. She says, "It was a total gong show," or "What a gong show, right?!"

Melanie's Canadian, so I'm assuming gong show is a Canada-based expression. When I looked up the definition, to make sure I was using the phrase correctly, I got a lot of explanations, most involving hockey and most involving some sort of chaos and madness.

Gong show perfectly describes my trip to the midwife the other day.

Let me set the scene.

I had both Charlotte and Miles (the six month old I watch three days a week) that morning. Joel arranged for a sub to cover a few of his class periods; my appointment was at eleven and he had about two hours free. Miles was exhausted, but didn't fall deeply asleep in the car, so he was awake when we arrived at our appointment. I hadn't given Charlotte a snack at home, because I packed a veggie pouch, some hummus, and a few cucumbers and carrots for us to nibble while we waited. Joel played with Charlotte and kept her happy, but I was consumed by the fact that Miles was awake and fussy in his car seat. I knew he would fall asleep instantly if I wore him in the Ergo, but I didn't want to be just settling him in to nap when I got called back for my appointment. In hind sight, I should have just gotten the Ergo and given him at least a short nap. Hind sight is 20-20.

Things were running behind in the office (one midwife wasn't there that day), so we waited for an hour before being seen. By that point, Charlotte was antsy and clingy, Miles was completely over-tired, and Joel needed to leave in ten minutes in order to get back to school on time.

I tried AGAIN to rock Miles to sleep in his car seat, to no avail. He screamed and screamed. Charlotte got really upset by the Doppler machine and cried when the midwife listened to our baby's heartbeat. My blood pressure (somehow) was normal, as opposed to through the roof, which would have been understandable considering the stress I was feeling. 

When we finally left, two hours after our arrival, I got into the car and cried. I drove through McDonald's for "lunch" while Charlotte whined and Miles (finally!!) slept silently. We came home and ate lunch and Charlotte happily rode her bike around the house.

As I gazed upon her smiling face, I thanked the Lord for showing me grace, in the midst of chaos and stress and crying and frustration. 

Joel worked extra hard to take off for a few hours to support me at the appointment, without even being rewarded by the little drum of his baby's heartbeat. A little girl in the waiting room patiently played with Charlotte and shared her favorite stuffed animal (C. was in heaven!!). The nurse carried Charlotte downstairs to "help" her get something. The same nurse held Miles for the last thirty minutes we were there, so I could talk to the midwife in peace and give Charlotte some snuggles.

The whole morning was an absolute gong show, but what grace I received.

Showered upon me- undeserved, unrecognized (at first), and un-returned. 

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