Friday, July 13, 2012

Always Learning

I have not written much lately, largely because the last several months have been in turmoil, and I didn't know how to say what I felt. I also didn't want to share the emotions and feelings I had been experiencing, because I felt guilty for what I felt. I didn't want people to think I was heartless or somehow a bad person. Even with the anonymity of the internet, I was worried about what you all out in inter-space would think of me. But I realized that that didn't matter anymore. What I felt was real, and to a degree, continues to be real to me. And so, I share it, albeit with hesitation, because maybe someone out there needs to read it, and realize, hey, you know what, it's okay to feel. It's okay to experience the dark feeling. And if she could get through it, then maybe I can too. And maybe it will inspire that other person to try again, and to keep going. Now I also realize that not everybody can relate to what I have been feeling. And I realize too that there may be some people who are angry with what I have to say, and may feel hurt too. Please know, that these are just my feelings with my situation. I realize the pain and struggle your own experiences may be, and I wish you all the success in your journey. At the same time, I ask for understanding on my end too. Our experiences in life are not at all the same, what may be a trial or a difficulty for one, may be a blessing to another. Just as we are not the same, neither are our trials, blessings and experiences. The following recounts my experiences with a difficulty in my own life. One that began about 5 months ago. One that slapped me upside the face with shock.

You cannot imagine the surprise and shock I felt at this news. I was pregnant. And for the first few days I was completely numb with the knowledge. And then I got mad. This was not what I wanted right now. That is not to say that we never wanted anymore children, because we did, just not right now. I was thinking maybe late fall/winter of 2013 or so. This just did not fit in with my plans. I was in the process of losing weight and getting healthy. My husband's future employment was in question, our finances are/were completely strapped. Our house is too small, our car is too small. We were not ready to do this again. And on top of that, I had what I would consider a traumatic birth with my 4th baby, and had not fully healed from the injuries I suffered. I wasn't ready to even consider birth again so soon. But here I was. After I was angry for awhile, I started to worry. I worried about finances. I worried about my husband's job. I worried about how I was going to handle 5 kids. I worried about where I was going to put another baby. I worried about how I was going to be able to afford clothing, supplies, and other things for the baby. I had given away almost all of my baby stuff to other people who needed it, thinking that it didn't make sense to keep all this stuff that I didn't need and wouldn't need for awhile. We had our ultrasound and that just make things more real, this was actually happening to me. I hadn't just imagined it.

I thought seeing my 'jelly bean' would help me feel more secure, but I actually felt more anxious about things. And I was really worried about the future birth too. And then I got to 15 weeks, and I started trying to feel baby movement. Every other baby I have felt by 15 weeks. But this one, nothing. I waited and waited and waited. And finally, just short of 20 weeks, I felt a little wiggle. And then a thump. Relief flooded through me, and I thought, maybe I can do this again.

I still worried though, and I stressed myself out with anxiety and all of the what-ifs and how-tos. Right at 20 weeks, my husband felt the baby kick. And I smiled, as I remembered how much fun this feeling could be, and how much I have loved it every time before. Yesterday, we had our fetal anatomy scan, and I was amazed, again, at the beauty of the unborn child. I marveled at our baby's perfect little nose, their adorable, dented upper-lip. I stared in wonder at their tiny hands, perfect feet, and sweet, little ears. And in that moment, I realized how much I loved our precious child. Yes, they were coming to us in a time that we weren't planning, yes, things were not perfect here. And yes, I still don't know how we are going to make everything work, but this I know: I love my baby. I would do anything for my child, and somehow, I know it's all going to turn out okay. Somehow, we will make it work. These last couple weeks, at different times, my husband has worried or stressed over something, and I have found myself repeating to him "Just do your best, and let God deal with the rest." And I find that I actually do believe that myself. I am grateful for this new baby, and for everything I have learned so far. I am grateful for the trial of this surprise, because I have learned so much. I don't think I could have learned so much if not for the surprise, the unknown, and at times, the struggle. What will be, will be, and even though I still get scared and worry about the how-tos and the what-ifs, I know, somewhere in my soul, that it's going to be okay. All I have to do is try my best, take each day one at a time, and focus on what I can do and not what I can't.  And so, today, I focus on how much I love my children, and how blessed my baby will be to come to a family that loves them so much. Our needs will be met, and maybe we won't get as many of our wants as we'd like, but we have each other, we have what we need, we have friends and family, we have our faith, and we have a whole lot of love to give and share. And with ALL of that, do we really want for much else?

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