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I am a routine-based person. This has really only become clear to me over the past few weeks. I operate best when I am a routine. I have patterns and habits in life and, within these, I function quite well. When these patterns are disrupted, I tend to struggle. I would not have believed this about myself had it not been made obvious to me in the last few days and weeks.

Case in point: my side of the bed. With our daughter set to be born in only a few weeks, Aileen and I have begun planning how we will restructure certain parts of our lives to accomodate an entirely helpless infant. As we did with our first two children, and to the great chagrin of all the Ezzo followers out there, we intend to have the baby sleeping in our room for the first few weeks (or months, depending on how soon we get tired of having a baby in such close proximity). Because the master bedroom in our new house is oriented differently than in our old house, we realized that, for sake of convenience, it might be easiest if Aileen and I change sides of the bed. That way, when she needs to nurse the baby at night, she will not have to climb over or around me. So on Friday night we changed sides. I didn’t sleep. On Saturday night we tried again. I didn’t sleep. Finally, in the middle of the night, when my tossing and turning had woken her up, we switched back. I slept like a baby.

Today is one of those days where my routine has been utterly destroyed. I woke up at the usual time, but my son woke up soon afterwards and intruded upon my quiet time with protestations that he was hungry and badly needed a breakfast of Special K and french toast, followed by a generous serving of chocolate easter eggs. My wife’s midwife showed up for a home visit just after 9 o’clock and I sat down in the living room to watch Aileen get poked, prodded and measured. My laptop, which suffered a catastrophic hard drive meltdown over the weekend had to be taken to a nearby service department so it can (hopefully!) be fixed with sufficient time for me to take it to Louisville next week for the Together for the Gospel Conference. So I bundled my daughter into the car with me and we set off. I took her along for two reasons: the first was just to spend some time with her, and, as I expected, she talked non-stop from the time we left the house until the time we returned. We talked a lot about God (her favorite subject at the moment) and whether or not she will be able to visit us once she grows up and moves out of the house. She also talked a lot about donuts, especially donuts with “sparkles” on top. The second reason was to be able to take advantage of the carpool lanes, the importance of which any Toronto driver will appreciate. When it comes to carpool lanes, I subscribe to the letter of the law, not the spirit! The laptop has been dropped off and the kind and helpful technician says he thinks I will be able to get it back later this week. That is a relief.

It seems that my routine will suffer further disruption in the days to come. Aileen’s blood pressure, the bane of all three of her pregnancies to this point, has begun to creep up. The midwife thinks it will be okay for another week or ten days, but after that it may get to the point that she needs to consult an obstetrician. In the meantime, Aileen needs to try to stay off her feet, clearly something that is easier said than done with young children in the house. And, of course, it means that I will have to assume a few more responsibilities than I am accustomed to. Needless to say, this is something I am glad to do and in no way resent, but it is something that will continue to disrupt the routine.

Provided that the blood pressure concerns continue to be minimal (there is a certain threshold, above which the midwives begin to reclassify the situation) I will go to the conference next week. It is, after all, only two nights and is only a few hours away. My sister will be coming to stay with us, both to visit the family and to look after Aileen as much as is necessary. Should the blood pressure increase too much, I’ll cancel my plans and stay right here with my wife!

Surpisingly, I think this would be harder on Aileen than it would be on me. She has been looking forward to this conference on my behalf and truly wants me to attend. She’ll feel very guilty if she is a direct or indirect cause of keeping me from going to it.

So I guess this is a long and somewhat convoluted prayer request. I would be honored if you would consider praying for us over the coming days and weeks. While blood pressure concerns certainly can be harmful, in the past two pregnancies they have been really just an annoyance. Still, when blood pressure rises, certain proceeses are put into place by the doctors and midwives and these can cause a great deal of stress. High blood pressure can almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy in that stress about high blood pressure causes blood pressure to rise higher still! So please pray that Aileen will be calm over the coming days and weeks and that she won’t worry unneccesarily (and she does love to worry!). Pray that her blood pressure will stabilize as she rests. Above all, pray that God will keep mom and baby safe and that we will have peace and joy as a family even in a time of stress.

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