Sunday, December 03, 2006

Feeling Joy

Something strange happens to me the moment I become pregnant. I didn't know it would happen with my first child, was in serious denial when it happened with my second child, but there was no doubt I knew what was coming by the time I became pregnant with J.

When I become pregnant, I become unhappy.

I wanted children so badly I could hardly stand to hold our close friends' babies during church. I obsessed over getting pregnant, being pregnant and how I was going to get un-pregnant. I really, really, really, wanted to have kids. What I didn't count on, was the case of the orneries I got each time I got the chance to add to our family.

With B, I was sick. sick. I was the only person allowed to use the upstairs bathroom. My softball team kept a large trash can in the dugout, which I visited several times each game. I modified my diet to consume only foods that came up as easily as they went down. Watching my body swell up like a cartoon character did not delight me as it seems to some other members of the female race. The baby moving around was cool for about a month. After that, it just felt like a prolonged case of a wierd stomach virus.

After the baby came, I was thrilled to be a mom, and with barely any chance to breath, I became pregnant with K. I was tired. Overwhelmingly, bone-achingly, w.e.a.r.y. Once she got here, I was sad and emotional. My body wouldn't respond to excersize, I felt dumpy and raving and emotionally crippled. When K turned two, I recognized a shift in my outlook. I became less over-reactive, more patient, and happier with life overall.

When I became pregnant with J, I cried for three days. Along with the discomfort of being pregnant, I also figured out that my life would be seriously tampered with and upset for the next three years. I was right. Along with all the temporal trials we underwent during that time, my own during and after baby slump was added to the mix.

I am happy to report that the slump is coming to a close. I caught myself on SEVERAL occasions this week, slowing down to relish time spent with my children. I stopped working in the yard to watch the girls push each other on the swing. I sat next to B and watched him read and helped him with his homework. I caught myself playing their games with them, watching their shows with them and doing things for them without sighing and feeling pressured to add one more thing to my already full plate. I wish I could take away every harsh word, every impatient remark and every time I raised my voice or brushed them off. I wish I could have those moments back now, when I can fully appreciate the aching lovliness of their skin, the sweet smell of their heads and the charming twinkle in their eyes. I wish I would have written down every cute word, new discovery and recorded every silly dance they ever danced. But I know I can't. I can only move forward and drink in every precious moment from here on out. Unencumbered by my funk, I can try to be the mommy they deserve and be the person they can count on.

I think I'll take extra care with J. She'll probably be the one that picks out my retirement home. (But then again, B has already promised he will build me a house next to his so I can live there and make him spaghetti. K is going to live there with me. She's getting married when she's 35 and needs a place to stay until then. Good to have a plan, isn't it?)

1 comment:

Brandi said...

So it might get better huh?

I'm tired.