Big fat tears, and they were not tears of joy people. I was sitting at work watching that pure white window form a plus sign signally that, yes indeed, my biggest and worst fear was being revealed. I was pregnant. I couldn’t think of anything worse… I know lots of people in this world want nothing more then what they refer to as a “little pink buddies of joy”, but for all you women out there that find yourself peeing on a stick (and possibly very badly as it actually isn’t that easy to pee on a pregnancy stick and not get it EVERYWHERE) and instead feel rushes of panic, dread, sadness and grief, you get where I am coming from.
I’d spent all of my childhood hearing how horrible it would be if I ended up pregnant. Thank God I was married, or as my very Christian up bringing taught me, my life would have been a complete waste… which only in my adulthood have I come to realise is a complete load of WANK! Not Christianity, but the message of horror/failure for unplanned and out of wedlock pregnancy…. sometimes those pregnancies are the best kind!. However, I digress. Following this childhood stage of life was the bi-polar stage of young adulthood. Which resulted in a dramatic switch of messages soon after I turned 20. Now everyone (especially my mother) expected my young and ticking womb to be gasping for a baby. This was and SHOULD be completely normal (according to some). Every time someone brought a baby into the room they automatically assumed, because I was female, a Christian, of responsible childbearing age and (later in my twenties) married, that I would fall desperately in love with their baby and probably want to take it to every baby group in a 50 miles radius. Uhh Thank you very much, but NO!
See, the out-come of brining up this young woman to be head-strong and want the best the world has to offer is that I believed I could actually achieve my world-changing dreams by traveling, education myself, focusing on my career and taking any and every adventure that came my way. Babies don’t fit into that type of life mission statement. I wanted to make something of myself. Sticking a bun in my oven and then having to pour all of my best years in an animal like halfing was not the way I was going to change the world.
I was going to build something. I was going to make something of myself. I was going to change this broken world for the better. Besides, who in their right mind would bring a baby into such a messed up world… there is way to much crime, poverty, hunger, violence, debauchery and disease in this world to make it fit for a baby.
Then the guilt set in. I remember thinking if I ever did get pregnant then it would have to be in a season when I was excited, happy, prepared and ready for IT (I could even say baby). Now I was ruining what was meant to be one of the most special season in my life. All the crying and “how could I let this happen to me” moments were making me more nauseas then the morning sickness. I was already setting my kid up for therapy because when I told him/her about the reaction I had when I found out I was pregnant, that big fat crocodile tears streamed down my face, not just for one day, but for 3 solid months, they were sure to hate me and label me the worst mom in the universe.
In my heart of hearts I knew one day I wanted kids, but NOT THIS DAY. What I would have done to have a pause button on that pregnancy stick! Just a few more years and I am sure I would have been all sorts of ready (right right right!?!?).
I quickly started shoving down my emotions and feeling because sadness, anger, regret and grief… these are not good emotions to be having as a young(ish) pregnant woman. I was suppose to be “blooming”. I was suppose to be spilling over with joy, excitement and anticipation. Why wasn’t I feeling these things? Was I a bad mom? A bad wife? A overall failure at being a woman!?!?!
Forty weeks later I welcomed into the world a slimy, blurry-eyed, bundle of scary. My daughter. Six months later and she is still alive! #selfiehighfive We finally are getting to a little season where I can think about something besides her poo, eating and sleeping habits and I started wondering back to those early days of my pregnancy.
The guilt started to flood back all anew. Not only because I still sympathised with my old self, but because there was still bits of me that longed so deeply for some of those early world changing dreams.
I’ve been to a number of different baby/toddler groups over the last 6 months (God help me) and one of the scariest things I heard moms or dads do is talk about their lives like all the good days are gone. That all the potential they had in the world is over and if any good happens now it is down to their kids to live out their dreams for them because they spent all their dream fulfilling days up. This made my heart really sad. If this is true was this why I cried for 3 months when I found out I was pregnant?
It got me to pondering. I started reading lots of self help books and my bible (ok probably not as much of my bible as I should, but it was there!). I started HONESTLY question who I am, what I stand for and why my reaction and behaviour is the way it is. I prayed a lot (if by pray you mean I question everything about God and why life is the way it is while looking upwards).
Ahh prayer is a funny thing… it didn’t so much change what was happening to me, but it has this magical way of changing how I respond and think about what is going on to and around me. And I learned a few things along the way.
One thing I came to learn is that we can take the things that happen and be bitter and negative and look at them from a half glass empty, or (as cheesy as this sounds) we can try and see the good in what is happening to us, our emotions and behaviour. It’s our choice, but the outcome and quality of life is completely different depending on which you chose. I decided to choose the later… and it opened up a whole new world of realisation.
I did cry for the first three months of being pregnant and honestly it was because I was sad and heart-broken. But was that sadness and heartbrokenness about my baby or something else? In all my reflecting I remembered being told once that when we say good-bye and we find ourself crying, sad and heart-broken we should be proud. Because it showed that in that season of life or place or relationship we gave our everything, we gave fully with our hearts. There is nothing wrong to being sad about that kind of good-bye.
I also realised that having a heart fuelled by passion meant that I was going to have big dreams for changing this world for the better and that my heart would ALWAYS yearn for that until the job was done. That’s what tenacity is; a very unique human response and something also I should be proud of. Feelings of frustration, sadness, regret and anger were signs of my tenacity, my secret super power. If I was careful to keep in control of my emotions and not let them control I could use my secret super power to make me a better person, to keep the passion of my heart kindled and burning during a season of testing, change and strength building. God created all emotion and deemed them all good… it’s how we react to emotions or how they can twist the truth around us that makes them bad.
See the reality is that in that in that season of life before I had kids, I was OWNING IT! I have no regrets, I ran with everything I had. Life was good because I wasn’t living by halves I was living in the fullness and greatness of adventure that God had promised. This is good, but that season in my life was coming to an end… and its ok to be sad and to grieve the good-bye because it was good. But God has something even better planned for this next season and it BUILDS on what I learned, accomplished and strived for in the season before I had children. Woah… I better read that again!
The last revelation I have to share is one that is just starting to reveal itself. Every day since I read that pregnancy stick I have been trying harder to be a better person. Some people don’t have to have kids to do this, but for me… being honest and looking back on it now… it was the only way I was going to actually learn some of the lessons I needed to learn and softening my proud heart.
My daughter, Savanna Pixie Lawton, is the best thing that has every happened to me because she challenges me to be a better person. She challenges me to think deeper, to try harder, to want good change more deeply than ever before. She teaches me every day how to be more… more patient, more kind, more friendly more caring…. She is hand wrapping skills and qualities for me that are actually going to HELP ME ACCOMPLISH ALL THE THINGS MY HEART SO DESPERATELY YEARNS FOR.
So yes, I cried hard when I found out I was pregnant… and I will be proud to tell her that… because I realise now they were tears of celebration for what I had lived and survived through and they were tear of joy yet to be found and life yet to be lived.
My life by NO MEANS IS OVER! And there is no way I am going to lob that expectation onto my daughter or any other future children we have, that it is “now up to them” to accomplish all the dream that I had to “throw away”. NO WAY… it is because of my child(ren) that I am finally going to be able to do the things I always dreamed of. I will have to do it differently, I will have to be more creative, I will have to work harder, I will have to be more… But with Savanna and Her Dad by my side and God in my heart, all that I ever wanted and dreamed is now more possible then ever!
So whatever stage of change you find yourself in now; whether you’re about to be a new mom or dad or are leaving a job or moving to a new place or ending a long relationship or life is just change at a crazy fast rate and your not sure for the better…
Give yourself space to reflect honestly
Be proud of sad good-byes
Remember all feelings are good and find out how to celebrate what you are feeling
Challenge yourself to be better at being you in what you are going through
Find the joy in where life is taking you
Take responsibility for staying true to yourself and making your dreams come true. No one else is going to do that for you!
Then and only then will you be comfortable and proud of yourself enough to take on each day. And even when your days aren’t crazy exciting or changing the world in exactly the way you planned you can with confidence say you are building something, making a difference and changing the world… start first with yourself, and the change you want to see in the world will follow.
Tears people… now we have tears of pure joy!
P.S. I’m still not crazy about baby/toddler groups or your baby so don’t ask!
This entry was posted on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at Saturday, May 16, 2015 and is filed under baby, challenge, crying, daughter, dreams, family, feelings, good-bye, joy, leaning, lesson, Life, mom, parable, pregnant, refection, responsibility, revelation, tears . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .