Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Goals...and Pregnancy





I'm really the worst goal-setter. New Year's comes and goes and goals always seem foreign to me. I think I can blame it on the good fractional part of me that both hates change and doesn't like to plan for the future. Or maybe there's also a part of me that's too overwhelmed enough with the present to think of looking for more trouble in the future. Or maybe its just me and all my issues. But, needless to say, crazy-long psychological story short, I'm not great at goals.

This New Year's I thought of my goals for this year and they're just this: 1) survive pregnancy, 2) survive giving birth, 3) survive first few months of newborn-babiness. 

Everything in addition to that is cake.

I can't decide if this is good or bad.

In my craze of thinking about these supposed "goals" I can't quite figure out if I've got a bad attitude towards childbearing in general, if I'm just tired of the whole she-bang (what with the five pregnancies in six years thing), or if maybe I just think having a baby is a really, really, REALLY big deal. 

The thing with my attitude is that although I think motherhood, pregnancy, birth, babies -pretty much everything about motherhood and babies- is awesome, my life experience of the last couple years has proven that its also really hard. Now don't get me completely wrong, I don't walk around in an Eeyore haze of depression all day because I'm pregnant, but I also don't have the same giddiness that so many other pregnant moms enjoy. Again, I think this comes more from my individual experience in how I have dealt with the circumstances of my pregnancies. They've all been to varying degrees unexpected, and usually coming in the midst of just having a baby, not exactly the perfect mental state to surprise someone by the way God! Although He's heard this plenty from me!

I should rephrase the questioning part of me wondering if I'm tired of being pregnant. Because theres no need to question, its official, I'm really tired of being pregnant-and I have great pregnancies! Its just the normal, pregnancy disruption, inconveniences, and uncomfortable-nesses. I know its a miracle, I love my baby right now, but I'm tired of it. I do wholeheartedly know though from all this that pregnancy has a whole lot less to do with the mother than it does about the child. Thank God my personal whims and fancies and feelings don't last for eternity, but this beautiful, innocent child does. My nine months of petulance equals the incomprehensible reward of a child. Really, when you put it into perspective its ridiculous God creates us this way and allows us to be such a huge part of it.

All this complaining being said, I do, even though everyone assumes the opposite it seems, think pregnancy and childbirth and raising an infant to be an extremely BIG DEAL. I have come to view a pregnant woman's mental state something to be treated preciously. Don't throw extra stresses in the way of a pregnant woman! Please! Don't assume because a woman has had a baby before that all the accompanying stress, anxiety, fear, and helplessness that can be felt when facing childbirth and all the unknowns that go along with it aren't felt by a woman because they sure as hell are. You only have to have one child to know how impactful the smallest thing can be in pregnancy, childbirth, and life with a infant. I still think of childbirth with something not far from fear and trembling. I'm most definitely not someone who thinks of it as just another doctors appointment. I never plan on waiting around calmly while in labour. I definitely can't blog from bed minutes after delivery. I turn into a complete crazy person as soon as labour starts. And for some reason I'm still completely devoted to natural childbirth, even though I hate pain and the nitty-gritty of pushing out a baby! So is it a good thing that I am so attached to thinking this baby stuff is such a big deal?? Is it not just proving that I'm getting closer to diagnosable insanity, or is it good motherly instinct??

But even though I have this nagging sensation that my feelings don't match up with my ideals I'm going to try and not force it. My untiring spiritual director keeps trying to get me to accept my actual feelings in hopes of leaning more on God instead of my own prideful determination to make everything go according to my own gosh-darn plans! Maybe I need to grow in more trust, more reliance on God this year through this big and trying baby business. Maybe, its a calling to, dare I say, actual growth in faith?! I also know that I've done so much better than simply survive the chaos that comes from having a baby. We've made it through four already, and each time find ourselves in a bigger, more beautiful, more loving family. Maybe these three singular goals for the year will turn out to be a whole lot more. 

4 comments:

  1. I think those are great goals! I really appreciate your honesty in this post. The call to be open to life is sometimes a very difficult one to answer with an open and happy heart but like you said at the end of your post, in the end you have a bigger, more loving family! For me, personally, I know that's more important than my desire to lose more weight or just have one more summer not pregnant... God knows best, I suppose ;)

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  2. I can't think of an eloquent response to this post, but I am really touched by it. My best effort is this:
    I think you are pretty damn courageous.

    Wishing right now you lived nearby so I could drop by with a Starbucks or something to brighten your day.

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  3. I remember having to tell people "I love my pregnancy, but I hate being pregnant" - the life I was carrying and the state of being pregnant were such different things in my mind. I loved one and hated the other and had absolutely none of the "giddy, shiny pregnant lady" vibe about me (and here I am trying to "prepare" to possibly going thru the exact same thing, feeling and all, a second time... yikes!)

    I can't put into words anything better than - I understand. I hope that's alright for now =)

    p.s. I think you've got some great goals for the year =)

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  4. I will be honest, I really don't like being pregnant...and the whole nursing thing...and the perpetual lack of sleep...
    But I guess these are the things that do make me see it all as a big deal, and value every time it all goes healthy and well. I have grown spiritually with each child, because with each, its giving up a part of yourself (usually the ugly non virtuous parts) and gaining a better part of yourself;)

    Hats off to you for 5 in 5. I think God knows that would put me into a state of dazed and confused. I admire your dedication to your children. Its beautiful!

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