Trying to get it right in family, work and life
I started this blog with the intention of reflecting on “doing it right” in pregnancy and parenting. Perhaps the blog would include notes on products that worked for me, anecdotes about the journey, and maybe some humor on the side.
But I couldn’t write. For the same reasons the blue scrapbook and beautiful pens, papers and cutouts sit on the desk in the nursery. Part creative block, part overwhelm with work, part laziness. But mostly fear.
I used to think miscarriage was one of those tragic events that happen to other people, usually people with other health issues or people from Victorian novels. So the loss of my first pregnancy early in the first trimester was a tremendous shock to my physical and emotional self. The exuberance of expectation had taken over me in a way I normally wouldn’t allow. I basked in it, totally free of the fear I normally harbor of the drop of the proverbial other shoe.
My life froze. The physical part was thankfully relatively easy, no surgery or medication needed. But the emotional part left a wound that will always be just a little bit tender. And it left the knowledge that the other shoe may just be hanging right above my head.
It was over a year before we became pregnant again. This time, along with the tiny miracle flowering inside, a persistent doubt took up residence. An early scare at 6 weeks when we were hundreds of miles from home didn’t help — we spent a week staring at the ocean, me afraid to venture anywhere, as we held in our minds the words of the ultrasound tech (” looks like it might be triplets!” and later “you have some hemorrhages — don’t Google that”) and the words of the radiologist (“you’re probably having a miscarriage”), the hospital discharge papers (diagnosis: threatened miscarriage), and the image of the little egg sac that may or may not contain the bearing heart of our little baby.
I prayed so much. Standing on the balcony at night, pleading to God over the waves and under the moon. Please, let this be our baby. Please, let him or her be okay.
The fear lingered even as we heard the heartbeat when we visited my doctor back in Michigan, as we saw the 12 week and 20 week ultrasound images and found out I was carrying a boy. I looked forward to every doctor visit, held my breath through every test result, so aware that something could go wrong at any time. The well-wishes, the home and work preparations, the baby shower were all inside a fog of uncertainty. Of worry that I was slowly building a stage for a play that would end only in tragedy.
So I didn’t write. Not here, not in my journal. I prayed but not as often as I should have to bring me feeling as close to God as I would have liked.
But now I’m writing. Our beautiful boy is here and doubts still linger, but it’s a time finally for celebration. For abundant love and ceaseless joy.
I’m still trying to do it right. The pediatrician called me “super mom” this week for nursing around the clock as we tried to increase the baby’s weight, which had fallen after birth just slightly lower than they like to see. That felt reassuring, although I don’t want to strive for that title. I’ll take loving mom, loving and loved wife.
So soon I’ll talk about some stuff that was helpful to me during pregnancy and stuff that’s happening now. Probably not always as personal as all this, but to feel authentic I had to put this out there.
God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind – 2 Timothy 1:7