Tag Archives: Personal Change

On Being NOT Pregnant

18 Nov

I would like to preface this with saying that no, we have never had fertility struggles and I would never dream of assuming to understand the pain that couples go through. This is simply where I am and what I have been experiencing.

Someone expressed surprise that I wasn’t pregnant (yet) again. I simply shook my head and said, “It isn’t time”.

Inside, I wanted to cry.

I desperately want more children. More than the two we have. More than three. Maybe even more than four. I have day dreams of family Thanksgiving dinners, noisy, filled with laughter and inside family jokes. Adult children with their significant others and their own children, all surrounding a dining room table extended by card tables and spilling into the living room.

There are so many other reasons why we want more than the status quo of 2.5 children, but that has been the mental picture most prevalent in my mind of late. Possibly because of the upcoming holidays.

If I had my way, I’d be nauseated, nibbling saltine crackers, and thinking that whoever entitled it “morning sickness” must have been a childless man who was the youngest of his siblings. I’d be looking forward to the first flutterings of movement, unpacking maternity clothes, planning freezer meals… the list goes on and on.

But instead, I wait.

It isn’t time.

Aaron and I have prayed about it, talked about it to death, and prayed some more. The answer remains the same. Wait. While we have a time to start trying, waiting is so painful. I feel a bit of grief every time my period comes, as if that is one less eternal soul I will have the possibility of meeting, knowing, and loving. One less possible little person I have to hold, kiss, love, and bring into the world.

I kept on telling myself, “At least the answer isn’t no” but that brings only a small bit of comfort and isn’t very soothing.

After a few months of dealing with these emotions, I shared with someone how I was feeling. She expressed some beautiful sentiments to me that really spoke to my heart. It came down to the idea that suffering (grief, sadness, longing, delay) is beautiful. My desires, my wishes are being put aside in favor of what we see as God asking us to do. This obedience, as painful as it is, will ultimately lead to exactly what my heart is desiring.

I truly believe that waiting, that working through this voluntary suffering, will make the end result even sweeter than I can imagine.

 

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Lonely

15 Nov

I have found nothing more isolating than motherhood.

The long, all night hours leave me so exhausted the next day that I only have enough energy to exert to parenting my young children through the hours until nap and then bedtime. If night time goes well, I make up for the less than stellar days before and pour myself into activities and housework. To reconnect. To nourish the bond between mother and child.

On top of all that, I have the life long relationship with my husband to maintain, cultivate and encourage.

Even when I’m out with other friends who have children, my mind and heart are never 100% on my conversation. One ear  is always tuned into the play going on next to me or in the other room. More often than not, I’m redirecting than finishing a thought. These interruptions make it difficult to develop relationships in a timely (aka less than a year) manner. I have many many acquaintances and friends. Not so many I can call an intimate friend.

For a long time, this weighed heavily on my heart. I’ve been pondering this train of thought for weeks now and have finally come to this conclusion:

It is okay.

This is the time I need to be pouring myself into my children. I only get them for so long in life and am the only sole influence (or highest ranking influence?) for an even shorter amount of time. This is the time for casual, kindhearted relationships with other mothers in similar places of life to gain encouragement “that this too shall pass” or cheer in joined happiness over an accomplishment or breakthrough. But my most important interpersonal relationships, aside from that with my spouse, needs to be with my children. There will come a time when they are less dependent upon me and I will be free to be more of my own person. When that time comes, I will have these good acquaintances and kind friendships to develop into something more.

Being lonely now will only sweeten the deeper relationships I will gain later in life.

 

This post was written as part of The Sunday Creative prompt.

Contentment

10 Oct

I often struggle with being discontent. Anxious to move on to the next phase in life, looking forward to the changes just around the next bend, ready to move forward. But there’s a lot of stock to be put into the moment. Where I am right now. Where my family is as a collective whole and where the individual members are in their personal lives. Enriching our lives now instead of plotting how things will be better next month or next year.

I’ve been thinking about the mental and emotional change, trying to put it into play in my life. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been less than successful. I really struggle at finding the balance between the moment or current day and semi long distance planning. With practice, I’m sure this balancing act will get better and eventually become second nature to me.

Until then, I’ll be focusing on this great list of ways to maintain contentment. Here’s to hoping it becomes second nature sooner rather than later.

But there I go again. Focusing on what I want instead of developing what I need right now. Like I said, a long way to go. 🙂

1. Take everything to prayer and meditation. The more time I spend connecting with my Beloved Creator, the more I realize that I am His Beloved, the more smoothly things go. The more I take my worries and anxieties and questions about life, about my children, about where I am going, to prayer, the more peaceful I can be.

2. Before you speak, before you act, think in LOVE first. If you can think in love toward your partner, your children, your relatives, the better things will be. And if you don’t act in love, love yourself and forgive yourself for BEING HUMAN. It is okay to be human, and it is okay to not be perfect. Sometimes perfection is in the striving.

3. Attribute positive intent. If someone is doing something that is challenging you, can you see it from their viewpoint? Can you see it differently? And if not, can you set a boundary on it?

4. Discern the essential. What is your family’s Mission Statement? What kind of adults do you hope your children to be? What would contribute to that? If it is not contributing to that, can you set a boundary on it?

5. Can you pare down? Can you pare down “stuff”? All “stuff” has maintenance, all stuff needs to be taken care of. Can you find the beauty in simplicity? Can you pare down activities?

6. Where is your warmth? If you are thinking in love, you can show emotional warmth toward your family. You can laugh, you can find joy, and you can be content with where you are. It is good enough for right now.

7. Surround yourself with content and positive people. This will really help lift your spirits and keep you on track.

8. Spend time in nature. Nature has a way of making problems seem smaller.

9. Strengthen the ties you have with your partner/spouse. If you can face things together, it is easier to be content with what you have, and easier to be content with what you have.

10. Take care of yourself….your body deserves your attention and time. If you are suffering from poor health or things that will eventually lead to poor health, then you know how hard it is to be peaceful. You have only one body, and there is only one you! You are worthy of your own time and energy!

Found at The Parenting Passageway

A Birth Experience

21 Aug

Let me begin by saying this isn’t about spreading a fear of birth, this is about talking about experiences. That everything isn’t always what it seems. Wonderful outward appearances don’t always mirror what the actual reality is for the participant. I had no idea that my experience was so common. It happens in home births, unassisted births, and hospital births.

No one talks about it, though. It’s like there’s a stigma attached to having negative emotions in regards to an ideal birth.

I chose to give birth in a hospital. That’s the only place my beloved midwife can legally attend births. She hand picked the nurses who were in the room with me. Everyone was respectful, nothing was done against my wishes, and I wasn’t talked into anything. My husband was my rock, my doula was my strength, my midwife was my faith. Lights were kept dim, talk was at a low murmur. Words were always encouraging, conversation light. I was respected and supported in every way a birthing woman could want.

This is what was seen in the birth photography, what was read in my birth story, what others expressed to me when I asked them about their perspective of the birth.

But I felt nothing but betrayal. Anger, pain, distress, and bitterness. I couldn’t talk about the whole thing without crying for weeks. It took me longer to be able to think about it without wanting to cry.

I felt betrayed by my body. The enormous, ferocious pain I experienced during the pushing stage was beyond my wildest imagination. It blew me away because it was not what I had been expecting. Ella’s birth was an almost euphoric experience. Pushing gave me relief from pain and was something I looked forward to. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed her birth experience. I was not prepared, in any way, for the vicious, bone shattering pain that ripped through my body and actually intensified as I pushed.

It really messed with my mind and emotions to choose to inflict such incredible pain upon myself. There’s more to it than that, but I can’t find the words to delve into it. I’ve been angry, sad, overwhelmed, hurt, gasping, and a myriad of other emotions off and on for the past year.

I had no idea that such emotions could be tied into a normal, natural birth. I had always assigned those reactions to unwanted medicalized births. Never, ever to a “perfect” hospital birth.

I’ve nit picked my birth over and over again. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to alleviate the pain. I did nothing wrong. For those of you who are knowledgeable about birth, perhaps not pushing on my back would have relieved pain, perhaps not. Unfortunately, pushing on my back is how I was able to progress with Miles. I have some physical deformities that caused him to get stuck no matter what position I tried, until I reluctantly tried sit ups while pushing. That is what got him out without forceps, a vacuum or an episiotomy.

I’ve been healing, bit by bit. I can’t lay my finger on any one specific event, but rather it’s been a compiling of small happenings here and there. I cried with my doula a week after Miles’ birth. I wrote and wrote and wrote for myself, expressing my emotions and treating them as valid. I talked about what I experienced with friends and was shocked to discover I wasn’t a ungrateful freak, but rather one of many who was working through a similar flood of emotions.

Most recently, I emailed a small circle of friends and asked them to come over the night of Miles’ birthday. To talk to me and listen to me while I verbally talked through Miles’ birth. To cry with and receive validation from women who had been at my birth and who had also worked through similar emotions.

Sending the email and hearing back from them all saying that they would come was exactly what I needed to work through the last lump of pain. Healing and soothing emotions have replaced senses of betrayal and anger. So much so, that I emailed them all back 10 days later saying that I was all right. I didn’t need to cry and I was healing well. I’m sure that more emotions will surface and need to be sifted through when I am pregnant again, but that is in the future. It is not now.

Right now? I am okay. No, I am more than okay. I am at peace.

Intention

20 Jul

I’ve been learning a lot about intention lately. Expectations. Positive vs. negative energy or thoughts. If I’m expecting something to be hard, difficult, and just generally bad news, the likelihood of that becoming a self fulfilling prophecy is pretty high.

I’m not saying you should live with your head in the sand, fingers in your ears, while singing “Everything is going to be okay”. Not in the slightest. But instead of stopping at the acknowledgment that things are going to be hard,  I insist to my inner pessimist that we’ll make it through and make the best of it.

Finding something to laugh about is less stressful than crying. When I was blocked from going to the farmer’s market because of a local 5k race, turned down a one way the wrong way to try and get home, then had Miles explode out of his diaper in the carseat all while battling a migraine before 9am, I could have broken down into tears. Instead, I laughed. A good contagious laugh that had Ella going in a few moments. Later that evening, after Aaron got home from work, I did take a long shower and cry out my stress, but in the middle of it all, laughing was much easier than crying.

The only way I was able to laugh instead of breaking down into hysterical sobs was because I started my day out with positive intention. When Ella woke up for the day at 4am and introduced me to my migraine, I really wanted to crawl back under the covers with the Wiggles entertaining the kids for a couple hours. Instead, I took a deep breath and said, “Today will be a good day”. That was my mantra and along with constant prayer, I had it on replay the entire morning.

If I hope to have grace in trying times, I need to practice now with the little things. Without practice in the small things, Life Changing Events will be unmanageable. So for now, I will practice with migraines, lack of sleep, and one way streets.

The Days And Years

13 Jun

Some days seem they will never, ever end. Days like yesterday.

Flower Girl

And then I realize that a day is just a day. A 24 hour period that will pass. They always do. It’s the years that fly by and bright moments need to be found in every day. Regret is not something I want to live with after the years have flown.

Parktime fun

Finally.

4 Mar

I made it through February. Thank God. Even though it is the shortest month of the year, it just dragged on and on. The dreary cold weather was being to weigh heavily on me and all the old yucky snow in piles along the road made me want to cry.

Then March arrived.

The snow is almost gone from our yard. The sun is shining. I took the kids to the zoo today without a coat! We all had such a wonderful time, I just might take us out again tomorrow. It feels like life is starting to run through my veins again. I never realized how much the lack of agreeable weather was affecting me. Being overcast doesn’t bother me — it’s the bitter cold and slush that prohibits me from getting outside.

I’m beginning to feel more like myself. A smile plays at my lips all day now and I laugh often. Patience is easier to find. Joy is everywhere. Grapefruit tastes like sunshine instead of making me dream of vacation. I’m shedding layers of clothes and reaching for cheerful colors to wear.

Spring is coming.

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