This could have been me.

I so love Michelle’s hardy pioneer woman spirit that I’ve chronicled before right here.

But sometimes…it drives me batshit crazy. Especially this week during our Snowmageddon event that dumped about three feet of snow in our Bucks County backyard.

So here’s the story. It was day two of this epic snow event, and our regular snow plow guy had failed to show up to take care of our driveway. To folks who have seen our place, you know this isn’t the kind of driveway that can be cleared in an hour or two of hard shoveling. It’s wraps around our house in a U shape, angling down from the main road at an incline of about 15 percent. All told about 150 yards long from end to end.

We called a CraigsList ad to find another guy who could push the snow off, and while we waited for him to show up,  I went outside to start digging our way out of the house. I had implored Michelle to stay inside and take it easy. She assured me that she was fine, and she’d just do a little bit to picking away at the snow near our mailbox. I just shook my head and shrugged.

Michelle being Michelle. After 18 years of marriage, I knew there was no hope of stopping her.

As I learned later, Michelle was chipping away at the snow when a snowplow crew in a big rig drove by slowly. “You need some help?”, they shouted to her. Michelle gave them the thumbs up and they turned into the drive. As she negotiated a price, she just happened to mention she was seven months pregnant and couldn’t do all the driveway.

I can imagine the shock on their faces at hearing this news, and the team quickly put their rig into gear and attacked the snow, roaring down the driveway with their blade smashing the mountain of icy stuff into submission.

Meanwhile….at the bottom of the driveway, I was sitting down and taking a short rest, tired out from spending a half hour trying to dig out our cars from the avalanche.

As the snow plow gang came barreling around the corner they spotted me sitting on the car bumper. And they let me have it:

“Dude, why are you letting your pregnant wife shovel snow!”

“Man I would NEVER let my 7 month pregnant wife lift a shovel!”

And a few more even more rude statements.

I manage to sputter a few words to my defense but it was no use. My protests fell on deaf ears as they plowed and scowled at me.

Plowed and scowled.

So while I may be a supportive husband, loving father and all around decent guy to most folks…I am the worst person in the world to three mouthy snow plow guys.

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Or does it?

Now that we’re almost 1/3 of the way down the road, how have our lives changed? 

Well, for one thing I’ve allowed Michelle to cut down her sewing workroom hours from 10 hours a day all the way down to 9.

And because she’s a little fatigued these days, I’m OK if she doesn’t jump out of bed at 5 a.m. to have my coffee made, breakfast on the griddle, fire roaring in the fireplace and my shirts ironed before I wake up. 5:45 is fine.

In all seriousness, you’d think that being 3 months pregnant might make for a lot of changes. Especially if it’s been 10+ years since her last pregnancy. And…how do I put this delicately… if she’s closer to her 30 year high school reunion than her 10 year. 

If that’s the case, you don’t know my wife. Because the real answer is: it’s pretty much business as usual. And that doesn’t surprise me one bit. 

Because you see I’m fairly confident that in a past life Michelle was one of those hardy pioneer women. She’d be traversing the Oregon trail in 1848, carrying one child on her back, another in front, leading the team of oxen pulling the wagon, all the while wearing that heavy woolen garb that was the fashion of the day. Oh, and singing a country song out loud.

Beneath the sweet, friendly, empathetic persona she shows to the world, there’s a thin veneer of steel that is a part of her heart and soul. She’s one tough lady — mentally and physically. That’s meant as a compliment and  she knows it’s one of the many qualities I admire about her.

This strength carries over into the way shes goes about her life. She’s always prided herself on staying busy — sometimes insane multitasking busy — juggling the needs of the kids, home, her thriving business and me. You think that a growing little baby bump is going to slow her down?   

It didn’t happen during pregnancy No. 1 or No. 2. In fact she was still doing rigorous step aerobics classes until about her 8th month the last time around. Never had morning sickness, swelling or any medical issues that sometimes mar a pregnancy. It’s probably the main reason she was likely accepted so easily into the Surrogacy program — they recognized good hardy pioneer stalk when they found her!

But she isn’t Superwoman, so I have noticed a few changes.

She is pretty fatigued — a lot now. Around the time we finish dinner….she’s about finished herself.  As I work on my GuestWomb entries late into the night, she’s working on her full ten hours a night of rest.

Her appetite and eating routine is all over the place. It’s not so much a question of weird cravings that are the ‘ol pregnancy cliché. She describes it as walking a tightrope, veering between intense hunger…followed by nausea.

And lots of heartburn. Almost everyday. For that reason she thinks she’s carrying a boy. More on that with her next entry.

You know, she IS hard at work, providing the miracle of life that only few in this world have ever — or would ever — sign on for. Even while she’s sleeping her body is nourishing and growing a new soul.

Maybe I’ll let her scale back to just 8 hours of work a day. And heck — she can take the weekends off too. That’ll be like my early Christmas present to her! 

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