31.3.09

Things never turn out quite as expected

Last week I announced that I would be abstaining from the internet in order to better notice the transitions in our home and reset some routines. Monday went really well, I realized that the key times for us are during the mornings before and during school, and after dinner during the bed time routines. Those times need close attention, others, not so much. Also, if I shut down Firefox before I go to bed, I'm likely to not come back to do just one more thing, and it's easier to wait until after lunch to check my email.

Then the rest of the week happened. We had guests for dinner every single night, except Friday when we went to a big family dinner. I had a project that had to be done, and I ended up staying up until 3am several nights in a row in order to finish it.

Friday night I brought the kids home late and put them to bed so the GH could hang out with his brothers, ALL of whom were together for the first time in years. He stayed at his parent's house.

By Saturday morning I was at the end of my ability to cope. I called him in tears because Little would not stop getting off of the toilet before she was finished and dragging me to "See mama, see!" The Boy was wandering away from unloading the dishwasher every 30 seconds, and the girl had managed to find a mud puddle outside and get her hands and feet filthy. This is the kind of thing that happens every day, and it's normally not that big a deal, but on Saturday, I really needed a break.

The GH obliged. And after a trip to the fabric store, a nap, and the knowledge that he would be making dinner for the now 8 rather than 2 dinner guests, I felt better. We chalked it all up to exhaustion and hormones, and I quietly prepared for the imminent arrival of my monthly visitor. Monday she still hadn't arrived and I was grouchy at everyone all morning during the final excursion with my dad to the beach on his last day with us.

I decided to bake a cake since his birthday is next week and I thought it would be fun to surprise him with an early celebration and then the kids could celebrate with him as well. On my sneak run to Target while picking up icing sugar and such, I grabbed the cheapest store brand pregnancy test I could find, and threw it into the basket as well. I was probably remembering the days wrong anyway, it hasn't really been that long since last time. And we are rigorously NOT GETTING PREGNANT RIGHT NOW. After all, it's a fairly unwise thing to try and transition to a completely different country and culture, finish up the mountain of work to do here, and help our children with those same transitions all while puking my guts out, completely absentminded, and virtually useless. Right? Right!

So I went to the bathroom in Target, tore it open the package, peed on the stick and prepared to throw it all in the trash once I had achieved peace of mind. But there was this weird plus sign thingy that immediately appeared. So instead I started perusing the instructions because I realized I didn't even know what the result was supposed to look like. Sure enough, there in my hand were matching stick and illustration of a positive pregnancy test.

The first thing I felt like doing was to apologize to all of my friends who have been trying for so long to get pregnant again, have had recent miscarriages, and still don't have that baby that they long for. They have been the sweetest supporters, the most excited, have hugged me the longest, and offered whatever help I need. I want to cry just thinking about them and their joyful celebration with me, even as their bodies go on every month bleeding out their childless state once again.

I want this baby. I have wanted this baby every day since the day I gave birth to Little. I have known that our family was not yet complete. I didn't know if the next child would come through adoption or conception, but I knew there were more of us to add. I just didn't think this year would be the best time to add that person. It seems that God thought different, because here is a child and we can't even figure out how it was conceived.

I had just, in the last few weeks come to peace with the waiting. I experience tiny little griefs as each month my fertile period would pass by yet again, without producing a child. And yet, I finally realized that the reasons we had for waiting are serious, and very valid. They aren't ill considered selfish or flippant. I wanted to be able to give my very best to my family during this time, and my very best to The Charis Project during this time. My past three pregnancies have involved a lot more sitting and staring aimlessly while clutching my stomach than anything else.

So I am thankful for this child, deeply grateful. At the same time I am afraid that I will be depressed again. I don't want to be haunted by thoughts of death and toy with the outcomes if I were to just let go of the wheel while driving as I did last time. I don't like the way my pregnant chemicals mess with my emotions like that. I am also afraid that I will become a shrew, as I so often have before, especially to my husband, children, and closest family who don't deserve it. They are very compassionate about it, but I still don't like the way I have behaved in the past. These are the things that I am most afraid of.

It's telling I suppose that I am not at all worried about adding another child to our family, or how we will cope with another newborn. I'm not concerned about giving birth in Thailand. I'm pretty good at that part now. I feel confident in my body's ability in labor, and there are competent caregivers to be found.

No, what fills me with the most trepidation is the next 8 months. I pray I can be graceful during this time, as I have never been before. Perhaps this pregnancy is my chance for one big giant do over Maybe this time I can get through it with peace and perhaps even joy. Maybe this time will be healing for us. I can always hope right?

17 comments:

  1. Wow, congratulations, I am so happy for you, a total stranger whose life I peek into almost daily, I wish you well on this journey, you may want to print out the bit about the shrew and stick it in your Gh's sock drawer ? and then forget about it and enjoy your growing family and the challenges ahead. Chemicals in the brain are a strange thing, they seem to argue with us when we need them to behave their very best.
    xc

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  2. Congrats, I really enjoy your blog and look forward to experiencing your pregnancy with you along the way. My youngest is now 10 and I miss having a little one around but I can live vicariously!

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  3. Happy for you, Carrien. Praying peace and much joy during this pregnancy.

    Hugs

    Mary

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  4. "...here is a child and we can't even figure out how it was conceived."

    Well, Carrien...

    (Come on, somebody had to make the joke).

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  5. Well, some big congratulations are in order! :)
    I've had some difficult pregnancies emotionally - maybe not to the extent you have, but I can at least relate a little. So will be praying!

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  6. Congratulations! I've been following your blog for a few weeks now, and though you are pretty much a complete stranger, I am SO HAPPY for you!

    Know that we are all praying for a peaceful, healthy, and stress-free pregnancy for you and the little one.

    Congrats again!

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  7. Congratulations, sweetie. I will be praying for you...that it will be an easy, joyful pregnancy, that your mind and emotions will be at ease, and that this beautiful #4 will be all the heart's delight your whole family could wish for.
    Keep us posted throughout, and know we are all rooting for you, especially those of us who can relate to the depression.
    Debbie

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  8. I'm adding you to list of pregnant people that I know. So, so many! And I'm hoping for you this one is easier and you are calmer. Congratulations!

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  9. God has the best timing right when WE dont think it is good! Congrats!!! Im so excited for you!! We have spring break coming up and we have him this weekend if we want to schedule some playdates!! Miss you friend!

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  10. Congratulations!! Grace and peace to you in abundance as you emotionally and physically prepare for a pregnancy and moving and everything that will follow....
    Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Yay babies, yuck depression! Keep your friends close and have help over at your house often. Other adults in your space will help keep you honest with yourself. We're due in early October - congrats!

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  12. Rachel1:30 PM

    Our surprise child was born six weeks ago. I had been to the dr two weeks before we found out I was pregnant to get on birth control. I thought it was horrible timing. My husband was going to be traveling a lot and would not be around much. But it ended up being the perfect time for us. It was hard at times with him being gone and me having to care for two other kids. But I'm so happy it happened. I hope you have a heathy pregnancy. Congratulations!!!!

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  13. Oh, you buried the lead!!! How fun was that to uncover! Very, very warmest congratulations to you! So glad I checked in today!

    You know more now than you did before -- use to to help yourself feel better but also to know when to cut yourself a break, right?

    I know you are big into food info and etc., but there's a book called "Potatoes Not Prozac" and a whole thing the author has going, her contention is that modern depression is in part a result of some folks' reaction to processed carbs. Her ideas have helped me with anxiety and depression that seems brain-chemical related, if that helps at all.

    Best to you!

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  14. Carrien, I honestly don't know how it happened that when I went to your home page I instead went to this older post. Please forgive me if I've drawn your attention to the past.
    Marie

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  15. Marie-No worries. Thanks for caring. :)

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  16. Marie7:20 PM

    Carrien, I honestly don't know how it happened that when I went to your home page I instead went to this older post. Please forgive me if I've drawn your attention to the past.
    Marie

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  17. Yay babies, yuck depression! Keep your friends close and have help over at your house often. Other adults in your space will help keep you honest with yourself. We're due in early October - congrats!

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