“Growing Into Motherhood”–The Story of Sarah S

 

I have just three very special stories of the journey into motherhood left for you.  This one is important to my heart as it details the extra joys and challenges of growing into motherhood when one’s child is born prematurely (and any of you who have been reading this blog for some time know the heart I have for families who have premature babies and why!).  Without further ado, here is the story of Sarah S for your inspiration in parenting and life:

 

I have always been a planner. When my husband and I wanted to start a family I hoped that we would be able to coincide our little one’s arrival with my summer vacation (as I worked with the Head Start program which follows our school district schedule). This would enable me to spend the summer plus an additional 3 months) at home. I felt good about being able to spend hopefully 5-6 months with our child before returning to work. I hoped that at some point I would be able to stay home (perhaps after the birth of another child in the future).

 

Getting pregnant was the easy part. The rest of the pregnancy could be described as eventful, nerve wracking and lastly, horrible. It pains me in a way to describe it as such, but it is the honest, if brutal truth. At first there were a few common issues that often do not interfere with a healthy pregnancy. But as the pregnancy progressed so did the problems – growth scans were ordered, frequent ultrasounds. We began to dread ultrasounds, which had once been such a cause for excitement and wonder were now a source of fear and anxiety, “What would they find next…”

 

At one point we met with one of the perinatologists (who was not our usual provider) and left that appointment with paperwork in hand about suspected skeletal dysplasia. When asked for more time to meet with the doctor (after meeting with the geneticist) we were hastily told by her that she had a schedule to keep and could not fall behind. This was a small breaking point for us. The next day after that dreadful appointment with the guest perinatologist my fluid started leaking or so I thought. Back to the doctors, then Labor and Delivery – four visits in 3 days overall. All said that the baby was low resting on my bladder; there was no rupture of membranes. I called my usual perinatologist and he disputed the “skeletal dysplasia” suspicion, he felt the baby was just small (basing this on my stature, I am 5’1”). He was calm and reassuring, but scheduled me for a two week follow-up. In the interim I continued working, had a wonderful visit from my mom and trusted my doctors. This is my one regret – I should have walked everyday into the doctor’s office and asked to be examined, I truly felt that this all couldn’t be normal.

 

At this next appointment I was 24.5 weeks pregnant. The ultrasound lasted for about one minute before the technician left the room to speak with the doctor. At this point our panic has skyrocketed. The doctor (our perinatologist) entered the room and told us that I had little fluid due to PROM (premature rupture of membrane). He told us he was sending us to the University Hospital in the nearest city (about 30 minutes away) to be admitted. WHAT? We teetered between anger, betrayal, frustration and despair. This whole appointment felt surreal.   I remember the next minutes thinking about Monopoly and that card where you cannot pass go, cannot collect $200 – you have to go straight to jail. I know a weird analogy, but I could not go back to work to closeout any current projects, I could not go home to collect my things. It was not that the hospital was jail, but what was shocking was the absolute loss of control and any sense of normalcy. Thankfully I do remember the kindness and gentleness of my doctor as this new plan unfolded and he promised to meet us at the hospital at the end of the day.

 

Within an hour we were being admitted to the University Hospital on indefinite bedrest. What would follow was two weeks of lying in bed with ridiculous “moonboots” as I called them to help prevent blood clots. I had frequent monitoring sometimes in my hospital room and sometimes on the Labor and Delivery Floor. The irony of it all is that this “antepartum” group that I was a member of (although I never met any of these other ladies) shared the same floor as the “postpartum” group. The hospital did their best to keep “us” from being to near the newly expanded celebrating families but we often heard the jubilant gatherings of new moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents. The nurses were kind and wonderful and we started a calendar countdown with the hope of getting to at least 32 weeks.

 

The emotions of this experience were such a range of both positive and negative. Continue reading

“Growing Into Motherhood”–Adrie’s Story

 

I have just a few very special mothering journeys to share with you this week, and so I hope you enjoy this lovely piece by long-time reader Adrie.  Her story is here for your parenting inspiration:

 

 

 

Growing Into Motherhood

Before I became a mother, I thought that I was a patient person.  Along with so many other things, I spent the first few years of my daughter’s life learning just how impatient I actually am.  Patience doesn’t just mean waiting for our child to pull on their own shoes when we really need to get somewhere.  Patience means being willing to allow our children – and perhaps most importantly, ourselves – a lot of time and space to become who we are. 

 

We live in the midst of a strange paradox.  Most people with skilled jobs spend years going to school, practicing specific skills, and apprenticing or interning with experienced elders before actually starting their work.  Parents are created almost instantly, and we expect ourselves (and our society expects us) to be skilled right from the start.  Continue reading

“Growing Into Motherhood”–Michele’s Story

I bring to you today our fifth story of one mother’s journey into motherhood.  I love Michele’s story, her candor, her experiences and I love her last little story about her oldest son at the end of this piece.  I hope you find her words inspiring and this brings you joy.  Here is her story:

 My parenting, had it been what I thought it should be twenty years ago, would have me in an asylum most likely, because I grew up with the typical household that yells. My parents expected what they expected, didn’t always teach it first, and at times, not at all. They loved us, they cared for us, they just did it the way their parents did it. Continue reading

“Growing Into Motherhood”–Emily’s Story

 

For your inspiration today we have Emily’s story, tracing her journey in parenting, homeschooling and Judaism.  I am so pleased to bring it to you and hope you find joy in her words as I did.  Here is her story for you: 

A Mother’s Experience Growing into Motherhood – Emily Milikow

In my earlier years as a mother, when my husband would leave for work, I often felt envious as I watched him head out the door, into the world of relative freedom.  At other times, my thoughts would drift into the clouds as I found myself dreaming of sitting at a quiet office desk with the morning paper and a cup of coffee (which, in reality, was an anxiety-ridden experience when I actually had this !).

Now, when my husband leaves for work, I instead feel guilty that I get to stay home with the kids, knowing that we’ll have a day filled with play, art, cooking and gardening.
The change has come about ever so slowly and I’m still changing every day, evolving into the mother I want to be. Continue reading

“Growing Into Motherhood"–Angela’s Story of Motherhood and Faith

 

This is the third post in our series of “Growing Into Motherhood”, and I am pleased to bring you this post by Angela concerning her journey into discovering a religious path.  Many mothers who read this blog have a strong spiritual and religious life, but some of you are searching and trying to figure out how to attain this, so I thought Angela’s experience might be helpful to you.  Angela’s story and her suggestion in the last paragraph for seekers really stirred my soul, and I hope it will stir yours as well.    Here is her story for your inspiration:

 

Motherhood and Faith

The strong desire to be introduced to the mysteries of God is often much stronger in small children than in adults. And if children are responded to in the right manner with no arbitrary force, then their joyful awareness of getting to know God and of coming closer to Him will be accelerated up to the most intensive thinking and living with him.”

- Edith Stein

 

When Carrie asked me if I would write this blog post, I was of two minds: immediately excited about the opportunity to help some fellow mamas on their journey, and also intimidated, because I’m such a work in progress on my own journey. But I’m hoping this might be just a bit encouraging or illuminating for someone,  that it might lead them to think about Higher Things, and that it  might help them nourish their children with a life of faith. Continue reading

Kimberly’s Story: “Growing Into Motherhood”

I come to you today with joy in my heart as some of my long-term readers have agreed to share with you, dear reader, their own unique perspective and journey as they have grown and changed and developed into being a mother. Our second story in this series comes from Kimberly.  This is her story and journey for your inspiration:

 

Last week I felt like a new mom again. I hadn’t given birth or adopted another child; I simply found myself parenting in a situation I had never been in before and  in the moment everything I tried to do was failing. Puberty has begun for my oldest and as I tried to help him through an emotional storm I found myself feeling every bit as helpless as I did when I first had a newborn in the house.

Later I sat and reflected and asked myself what my child needed from me and the
answer was the same as it always has been. Presence. Not just physical presence,
but emotional presence.

I used to think that the three most important things in parenting and homeschooling were environment, rhythm, and health, and I still think they are significant tools for peaceful and joyful parenting, but I’ve come to see presence as being the most important gift to give my children. It has also been the very hardest lesson for me to learn. Continue reading

“Growing Into Motherhood”–Tanya’s Story

 

I come to you today with joy in my heart as some of my long-term readers have agreed to share with you, dear reader, their own unique perspective and journey as they have grown and changed and developed into being a mother. Our first story in this series comes from Tanya.  This is her story and journey for your inspiration:

 

Growing up, I had always said I didn’t want to have kids.  It wasn’t that I thought children were loud or messy or inconvenient, I just had no idea how to deal with kids.  They confused me and left me feeling nervous.  What do I do, what do I say?  So I thought that meant I wouldn’t be a good mother.  After all, aren’t you supposed to have that innate mothering nature?  So my plans were to go to college and pursue a professional career, one that didn’t seem “suited” to having children anyways. 

 

Then I met my future husband and everything changed.  Continue reading

Three Books of Import–Christian Book Reviews

 

I am back doing less work and projects right now, and more reading.  I recently finished “Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home” by Fr. Anthony Coniaris, which was lent to me by a dear local friend.    Thank you, dear friend.

 

There is something so peaceful and soothing about this book.  When I get bogged down in “what is this all about – parenting, homeschooling, juggling all these balls in the air” – this book reminds me:  “the primary lesson for children is to know the eternal God, the One Who gives everlasting life” (St. Clement).  A balm for the mothering soul, and such a great simplifying thought. Continue reading

Gaining Clarity

I am back from vacation.  Did you all miss me?  I am feeling grateful and gracious these days (more about that in a later post), but I wanted to talk about what I did on my vacation:  I kept silent quite a bit, I prayed, and I thought.

It doesn’t sound super exciting, does it?  But it was, to me, a time and a moment to gain clarity over several issues that I have been wrestling with this summer.  In some ways, this summer has been a Summer of Muddled Thought, of transformation and growth to be sure,  but at times perplexing and challenging and just muddy.  I guess it really has just been an extension of “The Overwhelming  Year”, if you all remember that post and its follow-up post.

I had two things that really came together this past week and juxtaposed themselves on top of each other. I love it when life does that, don’t  you?

The first thing  was regarding this practice of silence.  Continue reading

Sunday Inspiration From “Beginning to Pray”

 

“Beginning to Pray” by His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony Bloom is a classic that I think really  should be read by anyone on a journey to draw closer to Our Creator.  Here is a link to read a brief description about the really interesting life of Metropolitan Anthony:  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Anthony_%28Bloom%29_of_Sourozh

 

Here is an inspiring quote from this book:

 

“What we must do is to collect all knowledge of God which we possess in order to come into His presence, but then remember that all we know about God is our past, as it were, behind our back, and  we are standing face to face with God in all His complexity, all His simplicity, so close and yet so unknown.  Only if we can stand completely open before the unknown, can the unknown reveal itself, Himself, as He chooses to reveal Himself to us as we are today.  So, with this open-heartedness and open-mindedness, we must stand before God without trying to give Him a shape or imprison Him in concepts and images, and we must knock at the door.

Where?  The Gospel tells us that the kingdom of God is within us first of all.  If we cannot find the kingdom of God within us, if we cannot meet God within, in the very depth of ourselves, our chances of meeting Him outside ourselves is very remote.”

 

Metropolitan Anthony has many wonderful things to say about prayer, living up to prayer, taking up one’s crosses, going inward and how to do this, and so much more.  Here is the link to this book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Pray-Anthony-Bloom/dp/0809115093/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310776866&sr=8-1

 

A lovely beginning to a day of rest –

Many blessings,

Carrie