This pregnancy has been quite the challenge so far. Each of the previously 3 have been different, but none have knocked me off my feet and onto the couch for a month, nor required a mix of 3 different prescriptions and en ER visit in the battle against morning sickness. At 18 weeks, things have definitely improved, and I'm now feeling like I did in the first trimesters of the other pregnancies. Add to this that I have now had laryngitis for nearly a week ("it's a virus, drink more fluids") and I have had plenty of opportunities to accept help from and be blessed by others.
We have been blessed by wonderful friends who have dropped off meals when I was too ill to cook. I even called and asked for one of the freezer meals I just knew my super-organized friend had waiting in her freezer. What a blessing to be able to ask for help, as well as to be blessed by unexpected help from others. We've also had friends watch some or all of the kids at a minute's notice when JA got the flu and again when I was sent to the ER.
Papi's sisters each sent us home from visits with food that was easy for us to prepare, whether it be me throwing something from the freezer to the oven, or Papi making dinner quickly (not his forte) when he came home from work.
The biggest blessing of all, however, has been my own family. JA really stepped up and basically took over making lunches for a few weeks. She began dressing JMC when he would let her, and even was in charge of diaper duty for one very icky day. She never complained, usually offering her help before I needed to ask, and was continually thanking me for giving her another sibling.
JT became in charge of breakfast duty. He would set the table as soon as he woke up (he's always the first one awake) and then choose which cereals he would serve that day. He even perfected pouring milk without spilling. A couple of times he tried to branch out from cereal, like the time he attempted to toast bread in the microwave. It was so thoughtful of him, though as hard as a rock and completely inedible.
Even JMC got in on the act, and became an expert at bringing me Kleenex or my bucket. Whenever I got sick, he'd follow me to the bathroom and ask a million times if I was ok. It was sweet, sometimes annoyingly so, but sweet nonetheless.
Papi has be awesome. He took over laundry, dishes, and cooking. For about a month, I wasn't able to get up without getting sick, even with the medications, and Papi was completely in charge of running the house. It was surely exhausting for him after working all day, to come home and have to take care of us as well, but he did it and did it well.
I feel blessed by all of this because it is so easy to see the negative. I see my kids fighting with each other, giving me attitude about doing their chores, etc. nearly everyday. But for the past few months, God has brought to my attention so many positives in my family and especially my children, that it has been impossible to ignore.