It was very important to me that I do everything I could to participate in the local march. This morning I woke with so many reasons it would have made more sense to stay home: We had thought Chris could come with me, but then he couldn't, so I'd be managing the stroller and children by myself. I woke with a piercing headache and dizziness, and I vomited profusely (from pregnancy, not contagious illness). Then I randomly bonked my head really hard and cried for ten minutes (which is so unusual for me!).
Then once on the walk, I discovered a few more reasons I would have felt a whole lot more comfortable in my nest of a home: The temperature was about 35 degrees. I had assumed that the sidewalks downtown would be free of snow and ice, but I was very wrong and I had worn entirely inappropriate shoes. I wondered, how bad would it be if I slipped and fell at six months pregnant? Pushing 100+ pounds of stroller and children on icy sidewalks for three hours was really hard, so I was having uncomfortably strong Braxton-Hicks (read: harmless) contractions the whole time.
I find it incredibly hard to ask for help and show weakness, but I made myself ask for and accept help on several occasions today because I really wanted to show my support for the pro-life cause, even though I'm not at my peak of vim and vigor right now. So many people are pro-life, but still don't get out there and allow themselves to be visible! Thank you to everyone who helped me be there today, including my husband in helping us get out of the house this morning.
After stopping downtown to listen to speeches (as led by Fr. Frank Pavone), we marched a few more blocks to the federal courthouse where we prayed the rosary. I was praying only with my rosary when Mary demanded, "Where is my rosie?!" So I passed out rosaries for the children too.
When the march disbanded at the courthouse, I got swept into a big crowd heading back by a different route. Suddenly I discovered that the crowd were the high-school students who were boarding buses parked a couple of blocks away, so they boarded the buses and left me standing all alone, no idea where I was! I was so grateful that Chris had printed out a map of downtown for me, so I used the map to make my way back to our parking lot, but I felt creeped out the whole time because I was walking along deserted back roads of downtown and I was all alone with my little ones. Thank you, Guardian Angels, for keeping us safe!
Also, thanks go to to the very appropriate patron saint chosen by the organizers for today's march: St. James Intercius, who was martyred by being cut into 28 pieces, which he survived until the end.
On a side note: Mary is doing great with potty training. The last couple of days she has stayed dry overnight. After several days of pottying every 20 minutes, yesterday she stretched herself to every 60-90 minutes, including staying dry on a shopping outing. She's been having one to two accidents per day. Then today (Day 6 of training) I put her in a diaper for the March for Life (because the consequence of her wetting herself on the march was having to change her wet clothing in 35-degree weather!), but when we got back to the car three hours later, she was still dry! My big girl!
Now we are home and I am collapsed on the couch, resting, drinking water, and hoping my legs aren't too swollen (as those oh-so fashionable medical grade support hose hadn't arrived in time for me to wear them today!).
EDIT: You can see a picture of me marching along looking rather fatigued in our Jan. 21, 2011, diocesan newspaper here on page 6--me wearing a red skirt and hat. And click on "Interactive" for a slide show or video.