So, this is a picture of my baby belly. I am 35 weeks pregnant with a little girl. Thirty-five weeks along in a pregnancy where 40 weeks equals the end. I'm so close to done, 5 weeks until 40 weeks, and only 32 days until my scheduled C-section. Time is drawing to a close and in many ways, I am mortified. I know what you are saying, I can hear it... "What do you mean, mortified?! Isn't this a beautiful, happy place to be?! What's wrong with you?!?" (Cue facial expressions of horror and disgust.) Okay, okay, let me explain.
I am mortified. Scared. Petrified even. I am frightened about the future and all it holds in this moment. Surely, I am excited to meet our little girl, curious about what she looks like, and longing to hold her in my arms. These things are true, but it's also true that this new step in our lives brings with it a lot of fear and trepidation. So many things will change for us. We will be going from one child to two children, and this may not seem like such a large leap. But a child will change your life, period. No more late nights hanging out with friends until 3:00 am. No more doing whatever you want whenever you want just cause you feel like it. No more blowing your money on new electronics, unnecessary clothing and shoe binges, and random fun toys that you feel like having. Your life is now subject to the needs of a tiny, helpless little being. And more than one tiny helpless little being, well, I can't even go there yet! And maybe more of this applies just to mommies, which can be another sore subject when you are the momma. But for new parents, a child will change your life.
With one child who is now nearly 2 years old, the initial shock of the change from zero to one child has given way to a routine. And we are quite comfortable with that routine, but it has taken a few years to arrive here. When Isaiah was born, the first few months were very tough. Very, very tough. He cried and cried, and I cried and cried, and he and I both cried some more. Poor John. I'm not sure whether Isaiah had colic or not, but he was a month early, had trouble feeding, and cried a lot. His crying and my inability to console him made me a miserable mommy, and I began to understand the desperation and frustration that leads to shaken baby syndrome. I never shook my child, and I would rather die than ever, ever hurt a beautiful little baby, but I could now understand why it happens. The experience also filled me with a deep compassion for single moms, and I wondered how they did what they did. I needed John so much, and needed help so much, I wasn't sure how anyone could do this mothering thing, or do this mothering thing alone. I wondered if I could do this mothering thing, if I was really cut out for it. Maybe I'd have been better off being a career woman and a wife, but a mom?? I wondered.
Fast forward two years. I made it through the first few months, and even began to feel like I could do a good job being mom to Isaiah. We have our routine, and we are doing alright. But now that we are going to be disrupting that comfortable routine with another baby, I'm mortified and filled with fears and doubts all over again. What if I can't handle two? What if she cries a lot? What if I'm just not good at this mothering thing with more than one? What if I mess up? What if I fail? Beyond the self doubt and numerous questions about my own abilities or lack thereof, come other changes and questions. What will I do from here? Am I going to be a stay at home mom (SAHM)? Or am I going back to work in a few months? Can I even succeed at being a SAHM?? Will I go crazy being home alone with two kids all day, every day? Or will my mind dissolve from lack of adult interaction into a puddle of melted popsicles and lukewarm breastmilk? Oh, the questions?!? And then beyond the capability to stay home comes the question of necessity. Can we even make it on one salary? Do we need my income to supplement and make ends meet? My mind wants to escape at this point, and there is no delaying the inevitable. My baby girl, Annika Ruth, will arrive no later than October 25, 2011. End of story. She may even come before that, as my husband and some of my friends postulate. Any which way you look at it, I will have to deal with the questions, fears, and doubts and deal with them soon. They will not go away, they will not disappear, they will not hide. What is a woman to do?
I know what I NEED to do. Do you ever know what you need to do, and not do it for fear of what you may hear? Or not do it because you aren't even sure what you want to hear? I know I need to go to God. I know I need to seek His face. I know that He alone knows the answers. I know that He alone can calm my fears. I know. The Lord says many, many times in the Bible not to fear, so surely, He is speaking to the heart of humanity. He knows we fear the unknown, but He promises to be with us through it. So what am I waiting for? Why haven't I been on my knees praying and in my Bible reading and seeking? I'm really not sure, maybe I'm just trying to do it on my own or figure it out apart from Him. Not the best solution, but likely the most human. Time to set my humanity aside, and seek the One who knows the answers to all of the fears and questions that I have. It sounds like I have some seeking and praying to do. God speak, cause I'll be trying to listen...
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