Greetings, mes amies! It has been forever since I've done a "life update," so I thought I should check in, having a rare bit of free time (that is, time that I really ought to be doing something useful but will allot to blogging).
So, what's been going on around here?
Seriously, motherhood has messed with my mind. I am busy 24/7, around the clock, always-always-always busy. And yet I can never come up with anything when someone says "So, what have you been up to lately?"
I usually have to respond with a blank stare while my mind does an (unsuccessful) review of the recent past... coming up with nothing other than meals, childcare, housework, dishes, laundry, etc. etc. etc.
But life is full! Life is good! Life is a constant challenge, a constant stretch, as I continually pursue this new and foreign career of motherhood. Every day is a challenge in a way that I never could have dreamed pre-kidlets.
But in terms of specifics, you've got me there.
We have spent a lot of our time lately being sick. Our eldest missed his last two weeks of preschool being sick, and the two adults of the family had a cold earlier this week, the vestiges of which are still on their way out.
The most important and grievous event of the month was, as I posted earlier, the death of our dear friend Kay, whose terminal cancer prognosis of "eight months" became something like "six weeks," and who left us early last week. We miss her so much.
Kay's memorial service was today, and it was absolutely beautiful. It was definitely the largest I've ever seen - somewhere in between three and four hundred people. A reflection of the beautiful woman whose life was celebrated!
Being that we still had the leftovers of a cold, we sat in the back by ourselves and left right after the service, skipping the reception, but I was so glad that we got to attend.
In the car afterwards, DH and I both spontaneously started talking about how memorial services like these (those done for people who have lived their lives excellently) are so convicting and inspiring. They make us want to focus our lives more clearly on Christ, to live for the Gospel, to reach out to those who need love and care - rather than focusing on selfish pursuits, hobbies, self-interest, etc. It really helps to refocus and rethink the spiritual direction of one's own life when you see the end-result of the life of someone who has really "run the race and finished the fight" in such an excellent way.
After this big weekend, the coming week will focus on our upcoming trip to California... assuming that neither of the children comes down with our cold, in which case our trip would probably be moved or scrapped. Not that I would regret that at the moment - I'm so tired!!! But I know we'll have fun when - and if! - we get there.
Speaking of being tired!
One of my main yowls about motherhood is simply that one does not get downtime while sick! Can I get an amen?? Regardless of how sick one is, the amount of dishes, meals, discipline, playtime, baths, needs-needs-needs-needs stays 100% the same. And saying "Mummy is sick right now and can't play with you" is a sermon that falls on deaf and uncomprehending ears. I know it will get better with older children, but with the younger kidlets, it is exhausting.
Which actually, though unintentionally, brings me to a topic which I wished to discuss! (If anyone has made it thus far through this long and monotonous monologue.)
I have been wanting to write on the topic/theory/philosophy/etc. of.... (dum dum da da dum)..... TTC.
That's right. Fertility aficionados who are in-the-know recognize what I'm talking about.
For everyone else - TTC means "trying to conceive," also known as "being open to children." (In case I didn't make the topical connection well enough, it is that TTC = HG = being very, very sick.)
The question being, of course - Should we? Should we not? Do we even want to? (The answer to that one depends on the day.) Would we be idiots to even consider such a thing? (Yes, probably.)
(And I should say now that we are not really considering this for the immediate future - this is really for future reference.)
Over the past six months, as I've written, I have had four "life questions" in my heart which I have done my best to turn over to God (since He knows the answers!) and to stop thinking about, since I can run myself in circles tormenting myself with unanswered questions that I can't peacefully resolve. Those questions were (1) which church should we attend?, (2) should we school or homeschool?, (3) should we ever consider having any more children?, and (4) what eventual role should I play in the birth community?
Believe it or not, I believe that God has given us answers on #1 and #2.... peaceful answers, with agreement and harmony between DH and myself, and answers that we did not have to hack out with blood and sweat and tears (my usual method) but which were really "given" peacefully over a period of time.
(Aren't you dying of curiosity to know our answers? No? Ah, well. But I shall write on them anyway - another day.)
Question #4 is just as enigmatic and elusive as ever, but I believe that it will stay that way for some time, as it's probably years down the road.
But question #3.... Ah, question #3.
Here are three truths I have written out regarding question #3:
(1) I would love to have one or more additional children. (In fact, were it not for HG, I would probably be a Quiverfull mother and on baby #4 or so by now).
(2) Humanly speaking, it would probably be foolish for us to have any additional children, being that I am unable to cook, clean, discipline, or otherwise care for home and children during a large part of my pregnancy.
(3) As to what God would have us do, I am completely clueless.
I do know that God works in ways that are completely foreign to human wisdom, and that acting with human wisdom can be completely wrong. For example, someone told me once that a special needs child should be aborted so that he wouldn't be a burden on the rest of the family and cause "adverse effects" on their welfare. That is human wisdom at its worst. God can work through so many ways that are foreign to us, so I don't want to write that off. And I can say quite truly that having a second baby (surprise!!!) was a wonderful thing for our family, even though I was doubtful about that fact while I was nauseated and vomiting over and over and over.
Would a third baby be the same?
Or would it be wisest to stop here?
I really don't know. The thought of never having another child grieves me terribly, while the though of having another child scares me to death.
I think most HG mothers know the feeling.
Here's something (sort of) funny that happened a few months ago.
Sometime before Christmas, we had our first real postpartum pregnancy scare. Or rather, I had a pregnancy scare. DH was clueless! (He always is until I show him the positive pregnancy test.)
And here's how it went:
One moment, I would convince myself that I probably was pregnant. My thoughts would run:
Oh God, please, no. I can't do this. I just can't do this. Please don't let me be pregnant. How can I care for a high-energy four-year-old and a special-needs two-year-old when I'm so nauseated that I can't eat, can't move, can't do anything? Please, oh please, don't let me be pregnant. Oh God, I don't know what to do. Please, God, don't let this be true.
Then, the next moment, I would convince myself that I really wasn't pregnant. Then my thoughts would switch to:
Oh, okay. I'm not pregnant, I guess. Gosh, that's too bad. I really would have liked to be pregnant. I miss being pregnant. I'm sure we could have worked it out somehow. It wouldn't have been so bad. We could have pulled it off. I wish I had been pregnant.
Then I would switch back and forth between the two. Constantly. Twenty-four hours a day. Considering that I can go back and forth several times during a three-minute period, it was the quick way to self-tormenting insanity. And it stayed like that all week until the arrival of my cycle proved that I really had been fussing over nothing.
Sometimes I think that finding out that one is pregnant is easier than the waiting.... One now has to face the enemy square-on and fight him, rather than waiting to hear his knock at the door. "Is this it? Is it now?"
My goodness, I wish that I didn't have HG. I wish this problem would go away, or never have happened. I would happily have had ten children with nary a care, and I'd be on at least #4 by now.
Though I will say that HG has brought some incredible blessings into my life, and some lessons that I badly needed to learn. I've posted a bit on that in the past, and I'm going to post more on it when I have time. I needed the life lessons that HG had to teach me. (This isn't to say I'd like to learn them again! Nor is it to say that all HG women have the same life lessons to learn.... God uses individual circumstances to minister to individuals, and the purposes of HG in each woman's life can be incredibly diverse.)
But all that to say, that we do not have an answer to our question. Should we be trying to conceive, be open to children when we feel the Lord's leading, or just be completely done?
I don't know. But I am praying for a peaceful decision on this matter, with perfect agreement between myself and DH, so that we can move into the future and out of this "are we done? are we not?" limbo.
HG mothers of the world, how have you solved this dilemma?
I should add that I am completely in sympathy both with HG mothers who choose to end their ability to conceive permanently, and with those mothers who choose to continue having babies. I am on-board with both of you! So please do not read this post as a judgment on either side, because it is not.
As always, comments and questions are welcome, but only those which are civil, kind, and friendly. Unkind or rude comments are, as always, deleted without reply.
Have an awesome Sabbath, everyone! I am on Day 4 of my "no sugar for Lent" commitment, and have only cheated once! (And I was sick at the time.... I plead temporary insanity.)