November 26, 2014

random thoughts on being thankful

I have learned that it is okay to be thankful and stressed out. It is normal to feel depressed and hopeful. It is beautiful to cry.

November 25, 2014

toddler sees a quarter moon

I picked up my son from daycare yesterday, just after the sun had set. We walked outside and he saw the quarter moon.

*GASP* "What happened to the moon?! Did it broke?"

November 24, 2014

the first view of the christmas tree

Yesterday I put up the Christmas tree. Yeah, I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet. But I'm so excited to celebrate the season with my family, and we're hosting Thanksgiving, so I am in a bit of a rush to set a festive atmosphere. I am waiting until after Thanksgiving to put up the ornaments though.

Anyway, the boy woke up on the wrong side of the bed after taking a long afternoon nap. He would just randomly scream at nothing, wail after stubbing his toe or getting frustrated with a toy. I told him he could help me set up the tree, and he was certainly interested in playing with the tree stand while I hauled the pieces upstairs. After finally coaxing the stand out of his hands (more screaming), I got the tree set up and told him to come look at it. He preferred to play on the stairs, so I left him alone. After a while, he made his way up the stairs talking to me or himself.

After a few minutes I realized it was very quiet. I walked around the kitchen corner to find him standing still, staring open-mouthed at the Christmas tree. Six feet of gleaming white plastic with brilliant, twinkling lights in front of the living room window. I smiled to myself. This was the tree that we bought when I was in the midst of depression in 2010, as it felt like a beacon of hope.

The season of wonder. The one I've been waiting for so I can finally see it through his eyes. The chance to show how beautiful the whole world is because we're celebrating the birth of Jesus by exchanging presents and baking cookies and decorating everything from the state capitol building to the artwork on the refrigerator. The season of joy, love, and hope.

November 19, 2014

the redemption

The other night, I was sitting in a restaurant with two women -- one a good friend who'd supported me through my entire motherhood journey, the other a friend of hers who'd joined our prayer study. We were talking about dreams and visions, and I recalled one that I haven't shared in this blog before.

On a random day at the gym, early in my pregnancy, I saw a vision. First I saw a woman with long, dark hair (who I assumed was my OB-GYN) delivering our baby. Next, I saw my husband in a t-shirt holding the baby. I understood clearly that God was telling me Everything Will Be Okay. Visions for me are very rare, so I paid attention and was shocked to the core.

Here is how things came full circle to fulfill my vision.

On a snowy evening the day after Mother's Day 2010, I went to the hospital where I learned I was experiencing my first miscarriage. Days later, I went to a clinic across the street from my OB-GYN to have my D&C to clear out the tissue and prevent infection. The doctor who helped me had long, dark hair and empathetic eyes. It was first day of the worst year of my life.

At 5:00 a.m. in late February 2012, I began the labor pains that, 22 hours later, would bring me my son. My OB was unavailable that day.

Guess who showed up to deliver him?

As I told this ironic part of my story, the other friend (who may just become mine as well) spoke up and told me that as she was listening, one word flashed through her mind. Redemption.

That word was for me.

Redemption from the ashes of my miscarriages to the miracle of our child. Redemption from the pain and guilt of delaying parenthood to the humbling, awe-inspiring bliss of overcoming infertility.

The dictionary has seven definitions for Redemption:
1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.
2. deliverance; rescue.
3. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.
4. atonement for guilt.
5. repurchase, as of something sold.
6. paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note.
7. recovery by payment, as of something pledged.

Redeemed. Rescued. Atoned. Recovered. All that and more, Lord, all that and more.

November 18, 2014

random thoughts on being the best mom

When I step back from the temptation to feel guilty for not following dozens of authors' opinions on The Best Way To Do Everything For Your Kid, I realize the truth:

The best mom I can be is doing my personal best, and that makes me the best mom for my kid.

November 17, 2014

antidepressants are helping

It's a funny thing, antidepressants (ADs). On the one hand, I see them as beneficial for so many people. On the other, I tend to consider them the very last option for myself. I'm not really anti-medication, I just prefer to find natural ways to nurture myself first.

The first time I took ADs was a severe (to me) depression that followed my infertility diagnosis. Now is the second, and this time I don't feel depressed so much as I am anxious, stressed, feeling guilty, and suffering sleep disorders. Well, it turns out that anxiety and depression are like fraternal twins. I also have learned that, sometimes, regardless of the healing that follows depression, it can come back through a simple chemical imbalance.

So I shouldn't feel guilty about needing help. I cannot deny a conflict in my heart because I will always be profoundly grateful to God for his gift of my son, but for now I'm moving forward with medication. After only two weeks on the AD I can honestly say that I feel like a new woman. I'm not crazy-happy-unicorns-and-rainbows happy, but the ball of tension I have carried around in my gut has subsided. I'm much more patient and joyful with my family, and my son has been doing better because of it. Case in point: the other day my son was making ugly faces at me in defiance for gently telling him to take off his shoes. I made a similar face and genuinely laughed out loud, and he reacted by also laughing hysterically. It was awesome.

I guess this is my season for getting practical help while continuing to seek closeness with God, family, and friends.

my son's questions at age 2

After church yesterday, my son was very chatty in the car and started asking me some questions.

"Mommy? Do we eat trees and leaves?"
"No, we don't eat trees and leaves. But some animals do."
"Oh.... Do we eat plants?"
"Yes, we eat lots of plants."
"Do we eat animals?"
"Yes, we eat animals. But only some of them."
"Do we eat Daddies?"
"Uh... no. We do not eat Daddies."