Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Having one of those weeks

somebody do something
anything soon
i know i can't be the only
whatever i am in the room
so why am i so lonely?
why am i so tired?
i need backup
i need company
i need to be inspired
-- "Face up and Sing", Ani De Franco

Sometimes I wish I knew just one other woman my age, in my town, who is doing what I'm doing and believes what I believe -- all of it, from the Catholic to the feminist.

I'm just having a tiring week, I think. I'm into week two of a seven-week separation from Hubby (he's on a course in Halifax). Baby gave me a scare last night -- turned out to be nothing, but it meant a trip to the hospital. And I have a pounding headache tonight.

OK, time to stop complaining and feeling homesick for Yellowknife, and just put the kids to bed.

By the way, some good news. The baby is a boy. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Joy conquers fear

When The Hubby and I decided the time was right to be open to a new baby joining our family, I had a few worries and concerns. The first was medical, of course: after my last pregnancy, expecting a baby became a medical condition more than a natural state of being, courtesy of hyperemesis gravidarum. We did a lot of planning and preparing. I wrote a treatment protocol, gained some safety pounds, and searched out a doctor who knew HG, knew it well and was up on the latest treatments and research. Through God, I had conquered my fear. I was ready to try again.

With all that in place, I was both elated and a little overwhelmed when we conceived the very first month we stopped avoiding conception (for information on the scientific form of natural family planning we use, go check out http://www.woomb.org/ . You do not have to take chemicals or use artificial barriers or devices to control the timing or size of your family. Stepping off soapbox now.) "Wow, that was fast!" was my first reaction when I started getting sick in the mornings, followed by a pink plus sign on the test a week later.

My biggest worry was the reaction of well-meaning family and friends when we told them about the new arrival.

There were a few negative reactions when we announced Toddler N.'s conception. Most were very well-meaning, of course, and were simply the mouth moving faster than the brain's editing button. A lot of people think two children are more than enough, and do not understand why Hubby and I would want more. Even so, pregnant women are not the most rational creatures on the planet, and I was a little hurt by some of it.

Little did I know that was just the beginning. You see, people started to really worry when I got so very sick carrying N. Worry breeds fear, and fear can make well-meaning and loving people say some pretty stupid things. And some of the things people said crushed me.

I had good, dear and loyal friends who were worried sick about me and sometimes said things that stung -- but looking back on that, I understand why. They thought I was going to die. They were terrified, and fear is always a bad motivator. I know these people love me so very much, and it was easy to forgive them.
Funny thing was, the people who loved me most and helped me the most during that experience -- who took on the greatest burdens, whether helping me at home or being available to listen to me complain (thanks, Mom) or just worrying themselves into a frenzy -- were the people least likely to say the really, really stupid things. In fact, it was acquantances rather than good friends, and extended family rather than immediate family, who said the real doozies. The worst, the very worst, was when people ordered me to not have any more kids, as if these people who did not love me and did nothing to help me were somehow burdened by my ill health. They acted as if it was their decision to make.
So, going into this pregnancy, I was reluctant to share the news. I didn't want to worry those I love and who love me, and I didn't want to listen to everyone else.

Then two miracles happened.

The first is that I did not develop HG, but managed to avoid it through early, aggressive treatment with anti-vomiting drugs at high doses, and a dash of pure luck (read Providence). I prayed so very hard for this to happen, but I don't think I truly believed it would. I knew the Lord could spare me, certainly; I also knew the tremendous good work He did for my soul by allowing me to suffer HG last time, so after preparing as best I could, I just left the illness to His will. (Praise Jesus, and thank you St. Gianna Molla for favours received.)

The second is no one has said a single stupid thing about this baby to me. No one! Instead, there has been such an amazing outpouring of good will, congratulations, prayers and love. It seems almost everyone has reacted to the news with real joy.

What a stupendous gift to my family! I had prayed about this too, but also had decided that, besides my own parents, I didn't give a hoot what other people thought.

So, to all my wonderful friends and family, my co-workers and former colleagues -- thank you. Thank you for respecting my family's faith and our decisions. Thank you for loving me through hard times and good ones. And thank you, from the bottom of the two beating hearts in my body right now, for biting your tongue out of love even when you think I am insane.

I love you all. Come on over and snuggle the baby anytime (once he or she has arrived, of course!) And while you're here, do you mind washing some dishes and throwing the burp rags in the washer? Thanks.