Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Contracts and Contractions in Motherhood

I don't think there's a more intense psychology session than motherhood. There's something about the process of having a child that digs deep down into you being and makes you think and feel deeper than before. During that process you find yourself seeing the effects of guilt,unfulfilled needs, just plain weaknesses. On the other hand there is the power of forgiveness, the willingness to change and most of all, love that can make changes as big as tidal waves or are the gentle ripples that peacefully carry you through life.

All these thoughts are not only the result of pregnancy hormones, but a more difficult pregnancy than I have experienced so far. The latest news from the doctor was a little disheartening. Despite slowing down ( no more carrying Keila, chores, cooking, mostly sitting or laying) I have begun dilating. The little guy has dropped some more and there are just too many contractions and they hold for far too long. After our OB Triage visit one night, Dr. DeSalvo put me on nifedipine to calm the uterus down. The drug itself is actually a blood pressure medication which has been shown to be the most helpful with preterm contractions. Unfortunately I already have very low blood pressure so it leaves me rather woozy headed but it works enough that I can actually sit upright with relatively few contractions.

The other night I was overwhelmed with guilt. The guilt that comes as you watch your husband finish a 10 hr day rush home to heat a sad meal, feed the kids, bath them and proceed to clean the house. There's the weight of watching my other little ones beg and plead to be held or for Mama to come and play. Inevitably there are fits and tantrums, expression of boredom, lack of understanding and the hurt that comes with it. It's hard to lay there and feel like you're really taking care of something when there are needs physically and literally crying out for you. The worst part is that I find myself battling the effects of depression that begins to weigh down as I am truly helpless to do anything about the situation.

I was so grateful for the encouragement offered from a friend who went through this her entire pregnancy. She reminded me that children are much more resilient than we think and are ever so forgiving. My house, my work do not define me and that this is for a very definitive amount of time. In the end, we'll have a wonderful being to add to our home.

So to better help me keep perspective for the next few weeks I'm hoping to list some blessings I receive each week because of this contract I've signed on to have bring another little one into this world.

1. Angels come in the most common forms and are everything. I'm grateful to those who have simply called and said, "Hey, I'm bringing by a meal" or "I can take your kids for a few hours". Whether they knew it or not, they were inspired.

2. I'm grateful for a husband who understands my neurotic behavior with order and cleanliness. Despite long days of work, he tries hard to keep the house up and running with no complaint.

3. My children are loving the opportunity to be Mama's little helpers. I can ask Isaac to fetch anything for me and his instant reply, "Gladly Mama!" Keila's little feet patter after him as she yells, "I help too!" They're also learning more skills than I would have had them do before. While attempting to fix some baked cheese sandwiches I had to sit mid-contraction and watched as Isaac proudly buttered the bread. Keila's constantly yelling "Messy!" with the toys strewed all over the floor and picking it up to dump it into the appropriate room. They have a sense of pride in their accomplishments and truly feel needed by me.

I've been glad that I've kept my camera nearby along with a stack of books and my water bottle. This is a very focused boy spreading butter on his grilled cheese sandwich. Intense isn't it?

At lunch Keila insisted on being a big girl and shelling her own pistachios. She spent a great deal of time chasing ones that flipped all over the room but she was so proud of herself!

4. I have more snuggle and playtime than ever before. We play card games, puzzles, read books, watch movies and sometimes we just talk.

I've been a rather independent soul these last 10 years but being forced into dependency has brought it's own share of blessings. I'm grateful and humbled by that.

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