Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Congratulations, Chris!

I just wanted to make a quick post to say how very proud I am of my foxy husband for completing a half-marathon this past Saturday (in great time, too). Way to go, love!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Painful Joy

A dear friend recently forwarded an e-mail to me about a woman talking with a friend pondering the possibility of becoming a mother. It was all very touching, but one line in particular struck me:
I want her to taste the joy that is so real that it hurts.
What a great way to describe it! Many times have I said of Eliana, "I love her so much it hurts!"

Eliana will be turning two on Sunday, which is also Mother's Day this year. For all the effort I took to cherish every part of these last two years and never rush her growth and development she has still managed to grow up too quickly and is continuing to do so! I remember the exhausting nights when I was up every two hours to nurse my little newborn. I would tell myself, "Do not become cranky. Thank God for this special time and enjoy it because it will be gone before you know it, and the day will come, all too soon, that you would make great sacrifices for the chance to be woken up from a deep sleep so that you could hold her like this just once more."

Maybe I thought that if I could just appreciate it enough, that time would move a little more slowly.

I still say similar things to myself. When Eliana is being demanding or I have to get up in my awkward, uncomfortable state to help her with something for the upteenth time that morning I think, "Do not feel troubled. Thank God that she still needs you, still loves and desires no one more than you, and that she looks to you for guidance. What a joy it is to feel needed and loved! What a privilege it is to be a servant! One day she will be more easy to reason with and will rely upon me less, but on that day, part of me will miss the little girl who looked to me for everything and needed her mommy to kiss all the "hurts" away. A toddler can be taxing, but what can compare with those sweet little kisses and bear hugs from tiny arms? What can compare with the wonder found in every little thing through a toddler's eyes? O, how I will miss my precious little, little girl!"

I may have more children, but I will never get back these special times with Eliana. Once passed, they are gone forever. How valuable and cherished are these times! I wish I could so tightly hold onto the memories that none of them would ever leave me. But how do you perfectly capture forever that small, helpless cry of a newborn or the contagious laugh of a toddler? What about a touch or a smell?

O the privilege it is to be a witness to and participant of such beautiful experiences! What a great and awesome blessing it is to be a mother! Words just cannot adequately express how grateful I am that The Most High has entrusted this little one to me, even if for just a short time! The joy is so great that it hurts.

How can you adequately explain to a woman without children how such immense pain can give such immeasurable joy? How do you adequately express to her what a great privilege and honor it is to be a mother? How do you get her to understand that no matter how she thinks motherhood will change her, that, in reality, it will be so much more than what she imagines and probably not in the way she thinks? How do you get a woman who fears losing "her life as she knows it" to really wrap her mind around the truth that though her life as a mother will, indeed, be different, that it will also be so much more enriched and sweet?

To my Heavenly Father -
Thank You for so graciously bestowing such blessings upon me.

To all mothers everywhere -
I wish you such a joyful Mother's Day that it hurts.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pregnancy Dreams

Pregnancy can do some really crazy things to your brain. I really feel like the bigger my belly gets the smaller my brain becomes! I feel like I'm doing well to remember my name these days. I would normally consider myself to be mentally organized and "on top" of things, but when I'm pregnant, particularly toward the end, I become forgetful and so many things begin to slip through my fingers. I'm looking forward not only to having my body back (or at least some resemblance of it) again but also my mind!

Another interesting thing about pregnancy's effects on the mind is the impact on your dreams. I seem to have many more vivid dreams while pregnant. I could recount interesting dreams all day, but I'll just keep it to this week's recurring dream.

Over the past week alone, I've had about three dreams with the same theme. I have a baby (a girl) and then quickly go back to living my life, seemingly incapable of consistently remembering that I have a newborn who is relying on me. I suddenly remember and feel tremendous guilt over having not nursed the baby in many hours. In the last of such dreams I went to the baby (a very tiny, frail thing) and tried to nurse her, but my milk had already pretty much dried up due to the fact that I wasn't nursing much at all. I vowed to nurse her at least every two hours like clockwork until my milk returned. I was so mad at myself and felt like such a terrible mother. I even remembered in my dream that I had had those other dreams about neglecting my baby and had woken up feeling bad about it and saying, "I would never do that!" and then feeling even more guilt that I had, in fact, done that very thing. How silly, huh?

This is all coming from someone who never left her firstborn for so much as a quick trip to the grocery store until she was four months old.

I've thought about many reasons why I might dream such things. Most likely, I figure I must have some anxiety about establishing a good nursing relationship, as it was a struggle with Eliana (due to true medical cause). We overcame the difficulties, however, and I thanked God for every day He so graciously enabled me to provide for my daughter in that way.

One more interesting dream tidbit is that whenever any of my baby-related dreams involve having a girl, she's always deformed in some way or another. Sometimes she's insanely tiny (I'm talking hold-in-the-palm-of-your-hand tiny) or has a terribly misshapen head or distorted face, etc. I can't recall any of my "boy" dreams involving any problems or abnormalities. I have no idea what that means, but I find it interesting that I dream that so consistently.

Any dream analysts out there? :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Just a Little Update

This past week has been very draining, both physically and emotionally, but it has also been very uplifting spiritually, as I acknowledge my own weaknesses and look to God for strength. He has been gracious to give it, and I am very thankful.

I am happy to report that Eliana has been doing really well sleeping in her toddler bed. We encountered quite a few bumps that first week, but she really seems to have gotten the hang of it now, and we are all adjusting nicely. It is so wonderful to see her learning new things, particularly learning to obey more and more. It brings us great encouragement.

The estimated date of delivery for this new little one is now 2 months away. I go back and forth between thinking that to be a short time and thinking it to be a long time. When I think of everything I want/need to accomplish before the baby comes it doesn't seem like much time, but as I gasp for air and struggle in pain to get myself to a standing position it seems like an eternity. Just 2 months/8 weeks 5 days/61 days more... :)