25 January 2016

Emotionally Over Due

I'm 37 weeks pregnant and I'm fighting to stay present. This is my third time round this rodeo and though it is possible for this little boy to make his arrival at anytime, the odds of an earlier arrival are not in my favor. Braxton hicks plague me with no rhyme or reason and bouts of "spurious" labor keep me up at odd hours of the night. All of me knows better than to hope for labor this soon, but I can't help it. I'm so tired and this pregnancy has felt so long. 

My mind screams for a break from the constant pressure of waiting. The actual labor itself, if anything like the first two, will be a speeding blur from first true contraction to holding baby all taking place in an about an hour. Every trip I take outside the house, every minute of the day, I'm constantly assessing the plan and options available should I go into labor. The fear of an accidental home birth, or worse, a freeway delivery is ever present. And I am emotionally exhausted. 

Social media sings its clarion call of mindless scrolling and numbness - an enticing trip away from my ragged thoughts. Or there's mindless movies on end or even emotional binge eating beckoning. But the problem is that you can't selectively chose to dull yourself from pain or impatience or fear. Life is an all-or-nothing game in the feeling category. As tempting as emotional withdrawal is, I realize everything I'll be missing and what I will rob myself of. 

I want to be present for my older two children, for one's stories and the other's emerging words. I want to be present to soak up the selflessness of my husband as he willingly sacrifices sleep and innumerable personal comforts to shoulder more of our family burden at this time. I want to be present so that when this boy is born I actually feel that rush of joy and pure awe looking into a scrunched face and eyes come straight from heaven. 

So despite my emotional exhaustion, frayed nerves, and sinking morale, I'm here, in every sense of the word. And here I'll stay, uttering fervent prayers, pleading for the strength to carry on for another hour, another day, or even, heaven help me, another 3 weeks.
Postscript: Everything looks better in the morning, even 3 more weeks. So here's to cheering up and eating cake and letting God take the wheel. I've done all I can, why stress? It's in His hands. And I know better than to think I can start labor merely by wishing it so...

16 January 2016

Finding God at the Park

We took a family trip to the park this evening. Worn out from a recent bout of insomnia and nightmares, combined with the physical stress of 35 weeks of pregnancy, I sat on a bench and watched until I got too cold, when I went and sat in the car. While I sat on the bench, I was next to this mother of a lovely little family of 4 girls. I made some efforts at small talk but it was clear that she was uncomfortable with speaking to me in English and I haven't the vaguest idea what language she naturally spoke. So we said a just few words, I expressed my admiration at her little clan and then we sat in a comfortable silence. 

Back in the car a little while later, I opened up my scriptures. I've learned that, these days, I have to seize the passing moments to put in my time with the word of God. I never regret finding Him in any time or space. I looked up after a few minutes to watch my little ones delight in their play with their daddy and, as I did, I saw that the mother I had sat next to was quietly saying her evening prayers. While her husband manned the playground duties, she alternately stood and knelt on the damp grass communing with God. It wasn't showy, or this big deal, or anything of the sort. It was a mother, putting in her time with God.

She may be Muslim and I am Christian. She may not speak much English and I don't speak anything else. But my heart felt so close to her. There we were. Two mothers of our little clans, finding God at the park. There is no space too small or insignificant for Him. There is no moment He is not eager to feel our hearts turn to Him. There is no greater gift we can give our children than to let them watch their mothers find Him in their lives, even at the park.