I started this blog because I really enjoy writing as an outlet for creativity and storytelling. My highest goal is to share my story in order to create a community of women who may need to hear that someone else’s toddler picks up dead worms on the sidewalk in an effort to clean, kisses fish straight outta the pond, and throws fits at all the most opportune times. That although I don’t sprinkle when I tinkle, I’ve lost bladder control far more than I’d like to admit during this pregnancy. That most days I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing in motherhood, but I’m doing the best I can.
Aaaaaaand, I’ve only written about sprinkling whilst tinkling in the past month because we’ve just been going through it! And what I actually feel and have thought that I should write about is a little scary… and not what you would expect from someone almost ready to pop out a kid. But here goes…
- I’m pretty terrified to have this baby: They say women forget the pain of childbirth because of the sheer joy of having brought a child into this world. It’s even in the Bible somewhere. It is False. I remember every pain, every moment of chaos, every second of losing my mind to the point of spitting and yelling and ripping off my clothes (another post for another time, my friends). So to know that at any moment this can and will happen to me again…you can see why I’m a little anxious. (Million Dollar Idea: epidurals delivered to your house so your first bad contraction can be the last one you feel!)
- I hate the baby stage: To be clear, I already love my baby. And hate may be too strong of a word, but the baby stage is my least favorite. Babies don’t do anything. They aren’t interactive, aside from their smiles that come to save the day at 6-8 weeks old. They can’t give you any indication of what’s wrong with them. And the worst part is that you’re living with this tiny helpless human while you’re losing your mind with hormone shifts, night sweats, and no sleep. Ummm, no thanks. I’m not looking forward to this.
- Josie’s longest phase yet about killed me: She’s just over 2 ½ and discovered that she has fears. Specifically, wind and ants. Seriously?! And those fears have led to this stupid separation anxiety or something that made her scream as soon as we left her room at bedtime. It was heartbreaking. And although I can tell myself that THIS TOO SHALL PASS, not knowing when it would pass or how best to help her had me all worked up. Seriously beside myself. All day anticipating the screaming that would happen that night. Sobbing as she was crying in her bed. Mess. And every night closer to bringing home a little baby. (Update: as of writing time, we are 4 nights into peaceful bedtimes. Thank you, Jesus!)
The combo of these three things, in addition to regular old life (full-time job, part-time job, wife, home remodel, a teeny tiny social life)…I was feeling really overwhelmed. Emotional control has not been my companion during these last several months of pregnancy and change. And while that’s fun for my This Week in Lisa’s Pregnancy segments on Radio Theology, it doesn’t make me feel “ready” in any way to have a baby.
How to Balance the New and Exciting with the Holy Crap and the Anxiety:
- Tell someone: This week, as I felt like I was emerging from the (emotional) woods (mostly thanks to Josie’s tear-free bedtimes), I did an experiment. I told a guy I just met that I didn’t like the baby stage. And you know what happened? I got a high five and an “I can’t wait to go home and tell my wife.” And we chatted about how the fun we have with our slightly older kiddies feels like the sweet spot.
- Make peace: I’m about to pop. I can’t even change positions on the couch without sweating. And there is a day coming in my near future where I’ll face all of the unknowns, probably at the same time. This too shall pass, and be it painful or smooth-sailing, I will welcome it into my story. And I’ll have a beautiful baby boy who we’ll raise into a wonderful man, and a big sister who will take this world by storm.
- Take care: Through the roller coaster of emotions the past few weeks, I’ve practiced self-care by giving myself lots of grace in moments of chaos. I’ve gotten extra hours of much-needed sleep. I’ve spent great time with friends and family while enjoying the break that extra helping hands provide. I’ve pretended to nest (because the real pregnancy nesting thing must’ve skipped me). And I’ve found a song that I sing out loud when I can believe the words and listen to when I can’t.
So friend, here I go, off into my last 4 ½ weeks of pregnancy (or less). And I already feel better than I did when I sat down to write. Sharing your story is a powerful way to fend off isolation. So if you can see yourself in any part of my story, I hope you feel encouraged and loved and inspired to hold your own confession time with a friend. And if you can’t, share it with someone who may need some hope!