Wednesday, September 26

My Miraculous 40 Weeks; or Where I Go All Spiritual On Y'all

     Disclaimer: this post will be all spiritual. No excuses, but just a warning to those who may experience trauma or tremors at the mention of the supernatural. :)
    On Friday I will be exactly 40 weeks pregnant. And it can only be described as a miracle. Not the reaching 40 weeks thing. I'm really good at that. I'm really good at reaching that goal and racing past. My body's main weakness is not knowing when to stop being pregnant. It's like it doesn't get the memo. So yeah, I've been 40 weeks before. Two times.
    So the miracle is not the number of weeks. It's how I am at 40 weeks this time. It's WHO I am at 40 weeks. And it's also a lot about who and what I'm not at 40 weeks.
    Now the aim of this blog, my aim anyway, and well, it's my blog, is to journal about my life but in a user-friendly way, about crafting, children, mental-health, and even politics when my ire is sufficiently up. It's not to isolate people groups, and it's not about preaching. It's just about being. But I have got to the point with this pregnancy where I cannot, will not, continue harping on about being pregnant and all the pros/cons, without claiming that I believe there is a far greater power than me involved in this pregnancy. This baby is a Miracle. This pregnancy is a Miracle. This, this... sense of calm, peace and joy that seems to be my default mode, this can only be pure 100% bottled Miracle.

     Four and a half years ago I was also 40 weeks pregnant(and yes, I went overdue). I was an insomniac, roaming the house at night, wild with grief for - what? I didn't know. I spent my days confused and blurry, as if in a bad dream. I hated my pregnancy, I hated my body, I hated my life. I hated myself for sometimes hating my rather-needy toddler. I hated myself for sometimes hating my husband, and for constantly fighting this disturbing feeling of running, of escaping, of leaving. I cut myself, it helped to relieve the internal pain. I smoked the occasional cigarette. I was desperate to give birth, begging my midwife and doctors to induce me, or perform a c-section. I wanted to be separated from this child as quickly as possible, so that I could run. Scarper. Take off. When Lewis was born, I had a brief time of respite. Oh, he was so so beautiful. It was all worth it. I felt healed. What I was, in fact, was numbed. As the weeks passed, and the breastfeeding failed, and then the breast-pumping failed, as the nights of sleeplessness stacked on each other, I began to feel breathless again. The air around me was thin. I struggled to open my eyes in the morning. I dreaded each day, yearning for a moments quiet to myself, and I dreaded each awful dark sleepless night, when I would have that much-longed for quiet, and find it deeply, awfully, desperately disturbing and lonely. And I loved my children so very very much, and I saw my husband as the truly amazing father he was, and I heard my cracking voice screaming at my daughter, and hissing quietly to my baby, and I decided they really would be better off without me.

      I genuinely believed that I needed to leave them, to let them be, that it would be best for them, and my extended family, if I could quietly disappear...

     We got through it. I am alive today, and stronger than ever. And we knew we could not go back, that we could not have another baby, that we could never again risk our family like that. And ALL the doctors said, do NOT have another baby. All of them. They all reiterated, over and over and over again, the dangers of me having babies. I could not cope. Not only would I fall again, but the next time would be even WORSE! The next time, I was told categorically, I would not get up again.

     Anyway, to cut a long story short, we realised after a couple of years, that we did, in fact, really really want another baby. We had never imagined being a 4 person family, never imagined stopping at 2. And we decided, in a rare leap of faith, to believe for a miracle. We're not, on the whole, miracle-believers. We're Christian, but we're cynical. And I have a very pessimistic bent. I really do believe in miracles for other people, but never for myself. Go figure. And Josh and I, we talked and talked and we decided that if we did not try for another baby, we were putting God in a box. We were insulting him, we were belittling him, if we did not at least take this step, and BELIEVE that He wanted us to be happy. That was hard. It was hard for me to believe that He did not send things like depression, to test people, to see what they were really made of. I had to go through a process of relearning what I believed about God. And what I thought He thought about and wanted for me.

    To cut another long story short, we got pregnant, and we miscarried. We lost our baby. It was really hard. It was really hard to keep believing that God wanted good things for us. But He did. And here I am, two days short of a depression-free 40 weeks. I've had rough patches. I've cried on the phone to friends. And each time I've fallen down, something other than my own willpower, has lifted me up again. And yes, I have to remind myself sometimes daily, that there is no room for fear in my life.  And it's freaking awesome. Whatever happens, from here on out, I have had a miracle in my life. And that means that I can continue to believe for miracles. It gives me a point of reference for my future, it gives me something concrete to stand on, when I question whether God really does care about the details of my life.
   And I cannot WAIT for the rest of my life to begin.
     He deserves all the credit.



Unknown said...

You are a beautiful woman Rachel - My heart is so happy reading this. You are courageous in your honesty and you are a powerful Mother. Enjoy each blessed minute. Love you. Janelle

kimberlee said...

awesome, thanks for sharing this rachel. I am so uplifted!