This post was originally written in November of 2017, and probably never finished because Eldore was born just a few days later. The emotional upheaval did recede with his birth, like I thought it would, and we have enjoyed a lovely nearly-nine-months of having him in our family.
Our life moves in seasons.
Here we are watching the passing of the last month of spring: the arrival of summer; the deepening of the greens; the growth of the fruit in our infant orchard; the lengthening of the days and the prolonged singing of songbirds as a result. The robins begin with the sun, at around 5:30 in the morning, sitting in the trees outside our bedroom window. I have seen much out of that window over the past month.
this post is sponsored by pinkblush maternity. all opinions are mine
A couple of weeks ago, during a hospital visit for unwanted contractions, the nurse in L&D triage called me back as gravita six, para three. That means I have six pregnancies and three births under my belt, and at the very least (I’d like to think) it gives me an air of credibility when I walk into the Labor and Delivery ward saying I’m having contractions. Probably because none of them remember the two or three false alarms I had with Anselm, but you know, that was back when I was a gravita four, para two. Things have changed since then.
Well anyway, if being gravita six para three doesn’t exactly make me an expert on when to head to the hospital, I’ll take that as an excuse to have been in the dark about PinkBlush Maternity for the majority of this pregnancy. This is my fourth go-round with maternity wear, but where have I been? Because I’m really kicking myself that I haven’t heard about them before.
I was already thirty-something weeks pregnant when PinkBlush Maternity contacted me to collaborate, so it was a priority for me to find something that would work not only for these very large-bellied last few weeks of pregnancy, but something that I could easily use for postpartum, too. I was taken with this button-up tunic the moment I saw it! I thought the length would make it super versatile, the button-up style would make it great for breastfeeding after baby came, and it has pockets.
Over the next few weeks, I want to go back and take a look at each of the times we added to our family. Each of the boys have been so different, and my response and growth through the process was different too. These experiences shaped my motherhood. I have learned a lot in the past few years–and I want to record the process for myself. You, of course, are welcome to come along for the ride!
In the later part of 2006, I sat motionless in a doctor’s exam room as I was told I had a hormonal imbalance that would impede conception. I was advised to come and see my doctor when we planned on starting our family. It was far from the news I was hoping for–I was twenty-one when we married, and I had hoped we’d have children right away. We even already had a list of names that we wanted to use.
In the later part of 2007, we were shocked with a surprise pregnancy, then devastated a few weeks later when it ended in a missed miscarriage. Over the next few years I find myself slipping farther into despair when I thought about the possibility–or lack thereof–of children. The first obstacle was could I get pregnant? And once that bridge was crossed, there was the horrible possibility of can I stay pregnant once I get that way?
Then, in the summer of 2010, we were surprised with another accidental pregnancy. The day we found out, we both cried, and Jeremy anointed me and the room we would use as a nursery with oil and prayed for protection.
I have to start the story of Ephraim with the losses that preceded him, because they changed everything. I would spend the first few weeks of the pregnancy in mixture of sickness and terror. I had never felt so miserable in my life, but I was so afraid of losing another baby. I took every day of sickness as a sign that everything was ok. I refused to be upset over any of the trials and struggles and pains that accompanied the life growing in my womb. There were many moments when I found myself crouched by the toilet with Jeremy hovering by the door saying, “Praise Jesus…Praise Jesus!” I was in my second trimester before we were able to go to the doctor for an ultrasound, and we wept openly again when we saw the tiny wiggly baby with his strong heartbeat.
Alternate title: Coming to Terms with CDCS (that’s “compulsive decor changing syndrome”, which I’ve just made up but most certainly have.)
Yesterday I sat at my kitchen table and railed against myself.
On Sunday, we came home from spending the afternoon at a friend’s house and had barely pulled into the driveway before I was already getting snappish. Jeremy rebuked me gently (he’s good at that) and I sighed and confessed that I was just not happy to be home. I had already been struggling–see this embarrassing rambling on my Failure Friday–something about being home was pressing on my last nerve.
So I sat at the table after I had finished my coffee and my reading and I asked myself what was wrong with me, why I was ruining my day before it started, why the house was wearing on me so much. I googled things like “my house is making me miserable” and “help, erin, me” and “its me erin help help” and read about Highly Sensitive People (which was like reading a treatise on Clive) before deciding that what I really needed was some sort of project to complete.