Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Rare Post on Feelings - Let's Get Real!

Ok friends, I'm sorry about my bummer of a post yesterday. My spirits were pretty low after what happened on Sunday. I'm doing better today and am not such a grumpipotimus thanks to lots of sweet friends who came to visit me last night. I've still got some thoughts though, and I don't know why but I feel like sharing. You know it's not normal for me to get all deep about feeeeelings and stuff, but there's a time and place for everything. I'm stuck in a hospital bed by myself, so the time is right, and my personal blog is definitely a good place for this sort of thing.

If you're going to read this, I do ask one thing: read it not with a whiney tone. I'm not complaining, just sharing feelings.

The only thing I'm going to be allowed to wear for the remainder of my pregnancy is a hospital gown with ugly stars and moons on it. I think the pregnant figure is cute, and I like maternity clothes. I was actually excited about being able to wear fun preggo outfits even when I'd get to be as big as a house, but now I can't. I thought I'd try to cheer myself up yesterday with a little retail therapy and buying some nursing shirts from Old Navy's website. Not only were their nursing tops not cute, but they had some very cute new maternity styles. Since there was no point whatsoever to buy new pregnancy clothes, it ended up being more of a bummer instead of something to cheer me up.

I really wanted to get belly pictures done. I'm a photographer, and I really enjoy documenting experiences and stages of life. While of course I'm a bit self-conscious and not a huge fan of pictures of myself, my first pregnancy was an opportunity that I wanted to capture to have fond memories of down the road. I was debating whether to pay someone else to do them, but I decided that even though it'd be way more difficult, I was going to do them myself. Good thing I didn't schedule anything and pay a deposit to another photographer, I guess....

My baby shower that had been planned for this upcoming Saturday was officially canceled yesterday. It will be rescheduled for about two weeks after Lily Mae is born. I know these things happen, but really, I don't think anyone is really prepared to have their first and only baby shower for their first pregnancy after the baby is born. It's just one of those exciting events during the anticipation of the baby. Granted, it's not horrible to have a baby shower afterwards, after all, when I threw a shower for my friend Kelly I planned for it to be after she had her baby on purpose. But then again, it was her third baby and the party was a surprise. Anyway, whatever....I'm sad about it. It's not about the gifts, it's about being able to celebrate the coming of my baby girl with my friends before she arrives. Oh well.

I don't get to really experience the rest of my pregnancy. I don't get to find out how big I'd get by the end or what I'd look like. And as silly as it sounds, I'm a little sad that I don't get to feel what it's like - aches and pains and everything else that comes along with later pregnancy. I feel.....jipped. Like...."Hey, wait! I want to have my whole pregnancy! Don't cut off my fun!"

I serve in several different areas in a church that I absolutely love. I have various responsibilities there and I take them all very seriously. When Clark and I started discussing having children, we agreed fully that in doing so we would remain committed to serving God's kingdom, his church, and his people. Our lives weren't going to stop even though adjustments would need to be made. We weren't planning on taking more than a month off from our responsibilities with the children, the youth, the band, and the other teams we're on. That's still not too far from what will happen...a month after Lily Mae's born, at least one of us will start picking up our commitments again. But now we're not only having to take time off afterward, but also before she comes. Things happen which result in a shift in priorities, so writing all this seems silly and I'm sorry. But I just love serving in the areas that I do, and I feel a strong conviction to stay involved as best I can. It causes me a lot of anxiety to not be able to follow through with my commitments - I feel a bit like a failure and a good-for-nothing just laying here like a lump in the hospital.

Something that surprised me: I won't ever be able to play my guitar while I'm pregnant with Lily Mae again. I don't love playing guitar, but I do it quite often out of need - I lead children's worship at church, and since I do it alone, I have no choice but to both play and sing. I'm not great at playing, but I get the job done and the kids seem to enjoy it enough. My belly has been growing and the past few times that I was able to lead, it kind of made it awkward to play - I'd have to position my guitar on the side of my belly and jam out rock-star style. I wasn't sure how much longer I'd physically be able to do it, but I wasn't prepared to stop just yet. Lily Mae could hear me play, and something about that was very special to me. My guitar pressed up against her ear....I was playing totally for God, but there was something sweet about her being so close and hearing my music. But now I won't be able to play again while she's in my belly, and that makes me WAY more upset than I ever thought it would. **I know if I don't say something, one of you wonderful local friends will offer to bring my guitar to me here in the hospital, to which I say thank you, I appreciate the thought, but I wouldn't feel comfortable playing or singing here in the room.**

I won't be able to hold my baby or even see her when she's born. She will be taken by the NICU team immediately and will get evaluated and setup with what she needs. She'll get finished up right about the time the birthing process is over (you moms know what that means) and they will try to wheel her incubator into my room so I can see her for a minute or two before she's taken away. Clark may be able to follow her depending on how well she's doing, but I will obviously need to stay in bed at least for a while. This is one reason I'm determined to not have an epidural - it will be much sooner that I'll be able to get up and go to where she'll be. Granted, the longer I stay pregnant here the better this situation could be, but for now that's the plan. And based on that, I don't think I need to go into much detail about my feelings on the subject.

But just for good measure, let me mention some positive things:
- The nurses and doctors are really great, they're all friendly, and they've been taking great care of me.
- The food is really good - I have an elaborate menu from which I can order whatever I want at any time during the day.
- I have my laptop and free wireless, so I can stay a little bit connected during my stay here.
- In this antepartum department, I'm allowed 30 minutes total of "up" time every day which is to include trips to the bathroom and showers. This is an awesome thing, because I'm not afforded those luxuries whenever I'm in the labor & delivery department.
- Antepartum rooms have very comfortable beds and I'm getting good sleep.
- I have a window through which, from a certain angle, I can see trees and the sky. And I've been told that it's sweltering hot outside, so I'm probably more comfortable being inside.
- I've had lots of amazing visitors to keep me company and cheer me up. I am so grateful for the people in my life...God has truly blessed us with genuine friends who give very real encouragement.
- I am in a hospital with one of the best neonatal units in the entire country. Whenever Lily Mae is born, there is nowhere safer she could possibly be.
- I have an amazing husband who loves me, supports me, leads me effectively, and sacrifices greatly for his family. He has been a pillar of strength during this trial and there's no person I'd rather have by my side. Clark is such a huge blessing to me.
- Even though I've written about all these sad feelings, all things considered, I'm a pretty happy gal who's excited to meet her little one.
- God is always good, and he's got Lily Mae's life in his hands. I have total joy in that, and though I'm sad about some things, this is the way God wants to bring our baby into the world. It's hard to be discontent with a perfect plan :)


Hillary Pennington said...

Jess, You're doing great. All of these emotions are completely normal. As a mom of 3, let me say that the shower after the baby comes is magical. People get to see the baby and you, as well as shower you with all kinds of magnificent gifts. And really, all you need for the first two weeks is some onesies and your boob. I think you're being such a great sport, a mom already in how your caring for little Lily. Know that we're praying from afar.

Bryan and Elise said...

Jess, it is hard to understand God's plan in all of this but know that you ARE shining Christ's love through your blog! Your blog is a breath of fresh air because of your honesty. Of course you are struggling, as you should be! But you seem to be handling everything that is thrown at you miraculously well. We serve a BIG God, which is something I have had to tell myself multiple times this year. He never forsakes us and always loves us. I will be praying that His hand of mercy be shown to both you and Lily Mae in this time and that you continue to grow closer to Him and your husband during this trial.

amy said...

It's great to hear how you're feeling about all of this. Honesty is awesome and when you share your real thoughts you get to hear about how you're not alone. True, all your mom friends haven't been in exactly the same situation but we've all experienced abrupt changes in our plans while pregnant and with children and can empathize with your frustration.

Hang in there chica. You CAN do it! You're going to be a GREAT mom and Lily Mae is lucky to have you.

We're still praying.