Matt took a half-day, and came with Little Bear and me to my first prenatal appointment for Squirrel. Nothing says "celebrating Easter" like being hopeful and excited about new life! Little Bear was good, Matt was able to get a feel for the practice I'm working with this time, and we got to tour their new birth center! It a beautiful, comfortable, state-of-the-art facility, and as long as this remains a low-risk pregnancy, I'd love to seriously consider having Squirrel there instead of in the hospital. Not something we have to decide for quite a while, obviously, but I'm really happy to know that it's an option.
Squirrel isn't quite big enough yet for the midwife to find a heartbeat with the Doppler, which was disappointing, but I kind of already knew that going in. Since my cycle dates were very irregular--a normal thing for nursing, but not super helpful for setting an estimated due date--I'm going back on Thursday for an ultrasound to confirm just how far along I am. I'm looking forward to seeing Squirrel moving around! Getting blood drawn wasn't exactly the highlight of my day, but everyone at the practice is so nice; I don't think I've ever had such a pleasant, cheerful phlebotomist! And having five vials of blood drawn was the perfect excuse to go have a high-protein breakfast afterward.
Celebrating Easter--and making up for my bloodwork--and taking advantage of Matt's time off, we had a delicious late breakfast on the way home: omelets with reindeer sausage and hash browns for both of us, Matt's with sourdough toast, mine with sourdough pancakes. Little Bear happily put away a slice of buttered toast and quite a bit of my omelet!
Yesterday we were talking about finding ways to try to keep celebrating this Easter season all the way up through Pentecost. We are so conditioned, culturally, to "put away" one holiday as soon as the day ends and start looking forward to and preparing for another; it feels so strange to consider leaving a basket of pysanki or the Resurrection icon on the kitchen table into June! I heard someone suggest having dessert every night all through the Easter season, which sounds delicious, but probably is not the best idea for my pregnancy sugar levels. And we really need to get Little Bear to stop running around asking for (jelly) beans every five minutes. He's not getting them anywhere near that frequently! But he becomes very unhappy every time I try to redirect him, and it's getting old fast.
Praying the Regina Coeli is a simple, obvious way to celebrate Easter: from Holy Saturday through the Saturday after Pentecost, the Regina Coeli is said in place of the Angelus. I don't manage to say the Angelus every single day, but I do whenever I happen to notice that it's roughly noon; I'm going to try to say the Regina Coeli as many days as I can! If you, like me, forget how it goes over the course of the year, here are the words in English or Latin:
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia,
For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia,
Has risen as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia,
For The Lord is truly risen, alleluia!
Let us pray: O God, who through the resurrection of Your Son Jesus Christ gave joy to the world, grant we pray, that through His mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joy of everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Regina Coeli laetare, alleluia,
Quia quem mueristi portare, alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia,
Quis surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!
Oremus: Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Jesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es, praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Gentricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
Ha! God just makes things work out perfectly sometimes: I was just reading over my draft, getting ready to post, and my eyes happened to drift to the clock right as I reached the first words of the Regina Coeli... And of course, it was exactly noon!
How do you plan to carry the joy of Easter through the next 50 days?