Friday, September 11, 2015

How I’m Doing

When I opened the computer a few mornings ago, the start of an unfinished (and long since forgotten) blog post was sitting on my screen. I don't know how it got there, but it seemed to be saying, “Hey, remember me? Remember how you were writing me and saying things about labor like: “never”. And all the while your little baby was planning on coming the very next day? And now, she's been here four weeks. Funny. Huh?”

Here it was:

Tonight I made two shakes. Raspberry. Thick (like I like them). I brought them into our room to share with Mike. Alas, he had fallen fast asleep on our bed. I was a bit surprised. Not so much because our bed was still awaiting freshly-washed bedding to be spread; and not even so much because Jesse had left Magna-Tiles all over our mattress (some of which were likely under Mike); but because, if Mike accidentally falls asleep before it's “officially” bedtime (you know: teeth brushed, prayers said, etc.), it almost always happens on the couch.

Yet, here he was: accidentally asleep in the spot meant for . . . really going to sleep.

I couldn't blame him though. After all, he would be turning 39 the next morning. It must be difficult at his age, I reasoned, to stay up (or fall asleep) quite as intentionally as he could back when he was his youthful 37 or even 38 year-old self.

So, I found myself a little spot near him on our unmade bed (preferring his sleeping company to not having his company at all) and ate . . . both . . . of our shakes while I googled things like: “Signs of Labor” and “False verses True Labor”.

Of course I know enough by now to know that nothing I read or think or feel even will ever actually give me any concrete idea of when I'll go into labor. And I should know enough by now to know that I will never go into labor two weeks before my due date. Still. It's one of those things that are difficult not to read and speculate about at this point – particularly because it is so uniquely strange to me to wrap my my around the fact that . . . I actually WILL be going into labor one of these days. Everything about this pregnancy has felt so . . . not quite real, that it's difficult to remain convinced this is actually going to happen.

And that was it. The post was never finished.

But life just . . . moves right along, doesn't it? Things happen whether it ever seemed they might or not. That little baby who I wasn't fully convinced actually existed? She did. She does. She's here – if not yet in a way that feels fully routine, then at least in a way that feels unmistakably real.

Photo Aug 28, 7 48 39 PMPhoto Aug 28, 11 08 55 AMPhoto Aug 31, 10 46 49 PMPhoto Sep 01, 12 02 16 PM

And . . . things are good. They are hard. I can see that when I step outside of myself and just – look in. But circumstance doesn't always dictate . . . what? What doesn't it always dictate? I don't know . . . how overwhelming hard feels? How hard . . . hard is?

Photo Aug 27, 3 45 11 PMPhoto Aug 27, 3 59 33 PMPhoto Sep 02, 4 45 34 PM

My sister recently told me about a time at the start of her mission when she was momentarily hit with utter panic. “Wait!” she thought in slight terror. “When do I ever just have time for myself?”

She then heard a calm but matter-of-fact voice answer, “You don't.”

It was as if it gently said, “Don't get all worked up. Right now you are doing this. And so you won't really be doing anything else. And that's OK.”

And, oddly enough, that soothed her panic. It allowed her to let go of all of her notions about everything she was accustomed to doing and just give in to what she currently had in front of her to do.

Photo Aug 29, 10 41 01 AMPhoto Aug 29, 11 21 31 AMPhoto Sep 03, 5 13 50 PMPhoto Sep 04, 5 12 04 PM

I think I'm in a similar place right now.

“When do I just get time for myself?!”

“You don't. And that's OK.”

“Oh. Well. That wasn’t quite the answer I expected, but . . . I suppose it is OK. I'll just . . . settle with myself that I'm . . . doing this for now.”

Photo Aug 30, 7 00 54 PMPhoto Aug 31, 1 46 28 PMPhoto Sep 09, 7 09 29 PM - CopyPhoto Sep 09, 7 09 41 PM (1) - Copy

I remember another friend telling me a similar thing about her experience having twins. She had to just sort of . . . surrender to motherhood more completely than she had before. And, surprisingly, in doing so, the panic and struggle seemed to lessen. It's the difference between clinging frantically – strength exhausted and arms shaking – to the reeds and branches at the side of the rushing river you are currently in and . . . just letting go and flowing along with it (wild current, unexpected rocks, and all).

Photo Aug 31, 2 05 02 PMPhoto Aug 31, 2 05 11 PM (1)Photo Sep 04, 7 10 57 PMPhoto Sep 08, 4 05 50 PM

So it's hard. It's wild. My days are pretty consumed with house needs and baby needs and other kid needs. But . . . that feels, for the most part, . . . OK. Not easy. But something I'm just going to be all right with doing right now.

Photo Aug 30, 7 21 38 PM (1)Photo Aug 31, 12 05 58 PMPhoto Sep 01, 11 49 39 AMPhoto Sep 04, 8 45 49 AMPhoto Sep 08, 11 23 01 AMPhoto Sep 09, 8 25 53 AMPhoto Sep 09, 2 03 19 PM (1)Photo Sep 02, 4 46 05 PM (1)Photo Sep 11, 11 58 38 AM (1)


Shannon said...

Those photos of you, Penny and Mette are the cutest things ever. I just saved the second one to add for you as my contact on my phone because that's how I always want to think of you. I'm so proud of you for embracing and not kicking against the pricks. Just had a conversation with a girl in my ward who is going through fertility treatments again and was getting tear but promise it was just because of the shots... And how expensive they are. Anyway... Just reminded me again that it's all about our perspective and the Spirit we feel because as long as the Spirit is whispering peace to us and by our side then we can do what ever our tasks are... Whatever our family is and needs. Anywho... You know what I mean. I love you madly!

Linn said...

I adore you. Thank you.

Kara said...

Yep. I'm finally getting this after a few kids. Once again you say it much better than I can. Lol. Love the pictures.

Gayle Harris said...

I love your blogs, I love your pictures, and I love you!

Marilyn said...

1. I'm very glad you ate both raspberry shakes that night. It was the right thing to do.
2. So many adorable baby pictures, and not a cabbage or a basket or an oversized gnome cap among them. (Not that I am trying to disparage those whimsical baby pictures…but I just like these more natural pictures better.)
3. I need to know where those R2D2 jackets came from!!
4. You are lovely. Carry on.

Nancy said...

Marilyn -- The Disney store! I'm sure horribly overpriced, but those two go around playing Star Wars all the time. We couldn't resist. (Also -- these happen to be our last purchase before Mette! Bought as we wandered around SL on Mike's birthday!)

Beautify Pacify said...

Funny, I just feel exactly the same right now: accepting whatever happens in the middle of a fast river, instead of frantically clinging to the branches on the edge. And it does feel...just ok. This must be a magical word, 'ok'. It is ok, it's gonna be ok...Your fast river is so damn cute and heavenly beautiful, there is so much beauty to admire, both material and spiritual. My river is beautiful too, it is, like yours, deeply rooted in motherhood. Going with the flow really does help. Carry on, lovely mama :)

Nancy said...

Thanks Val! I always love to hear from you! I love how you always "get" whatever I'm trying to say. Wish I had a visual in my mind of your own world of motherhood and beautiful! I hope it is giving you so much happiness -- rushing river and all! Of course, I know you well enough by now to know that you'll find bits of good and happiness even when life is hard or messy!

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