Wednesday, February 16, 2011

peace on earth, part two

my pregnancy was a difficult one. i was in bed about 22/7 for months. i had to strip my life of everything "non-essential". this meant even our new puppy- truly (my) man's best friend, my two jobs that were bringing in significant income for our family, and our foster son. i couldn't care for myself let alone anyone else. i was isolated and worse, i was unproductive. it drove me crazy. but i couldn't do anything about it. as the months wore on and my sickness passed, my energy never returned. simply taking a shower and blow drying my hair required rest breaks. for the first (and last) time all of my children were in school at the same time and gave me amazing "free time" every day, but most days i sat on the couch or took a nap. i felt so guilty. but something was changing. there was peace in our home. peace like we've never experienced. voices were low. arguments were few. rushing was non-existant. we were spending less money. feeling less tense. fuses that once were short now took long to ignite. eggshells were not under our feet. the difference was palpable.
then, the baby arrived. with delivery came back my energy. wow! it felt GOOD. there was so much excitement. so many things i wanted to do. people to see. time to make up for. sure, he slowed me down a bit, but i had a carseat and a diaper bag. we were good to go! and go we did. it felt great! i felt worthwhile again. i was getting stuff done. people were happy with me. i was saying "yes".
and then, judah got a fever. i wasn't too concerned, but a fever in a newborn is an automatic trip to the ER. we loaded up the boys and prepared for several hours in a crowded waiting room. but, as soon as i checked in and before sonny had even parked i was already seeing a doctor. within minutes judah was on oxygen and blood work, nasal swab, catheter, x-ray, and spinal tap were being ordered. after enduring the horror of all of those things a gurney and two paramedics were strapping his carseat in for a ride in the ambulance to a hospital with a NICU. the next three days were truly the worst ones i have endured. of course, our world stopped. i don't know what we had planned for those days, but we weren't there.

the day we were released was so exciting, and also happened to be the "blizzard of the century". the entire city shut down for almost a week. judah and i didn't leave the house. i then started to want to get out, but realized (with help from my husband and pediatrician) that judah really shouldn't be going anywhere. since he feeds every hour and a half or so, this really limits my freedom. as if to answer that longing, there was another blizzard. more snow days. more staying at home. immediately after the snow days the boys' school had mid winter break.
today is two weeks from our release from the hospital. i went to a preschool valentine's party and took noah to a movie once in those two weeks. otherwise i have not stepped foot outside my house. today i was planning on it. i was going to go out and be productive. i was going to get things done. it was going to feel so good.
for some reason, i just did not feel peace. i felt conflicted. but i pressed on. i was going to do this. i had an appointment and i couldn't let the person down. i had already rescheduled due to our hospital stay and i am reliable. i keep my word. i get stuff done.
i opened my blog to check for any new posts from my favorite blogs and decided to check on my posts. what could i write about this week? then i saw the draft from december that i posted yesterday. hmmmm. could all of these circumstances have a theme? could they all be telling me something?
i canceled the appointment. i wrote this post. and now i'm left to sort through what i think all this means. could i have an unhealthy need to do stuff? do i get much of my self worth from the opinions of other people? am i afraid to slow down because of what i might find in the quiet?
i think so.
have i been convicted to do less before? most definitely. i've even pared down my schedule and become less busy. it was a step in the right direction, but nothing has so radically changed how i live as the past 10 months have. it would be so easy, so natural, to just pick up where i left off, but then i would have learned nothing.
to parent in the way that i want to, i need energy. i need patience. i need time. i have none of those things when i am "doing". to be the wife i want to be i need to listen. i need to be calm. i need time. these are the things i want to be about. these are the things i want to be "busy" with. CAN i get it all done? yes. i've proven that before. i can accomplish a lot. and i get a lot of praise for doing it. and i love it. sadly, it leaves less of me for what matters most.


Tonya said...

You are an amazing woman, and you are really learning a lot!! Thank you so much for sharing. These are themes that have been surfacing in my life for a while now too, and it helps to know someone else is there with me. And you seem to be "getting" it much more than I am, lol. Thanks again for sharing, you are awesome. :)

Jeana said...

Thank you, Kristal. Your transparency is wonderful. I struggle with these things quite often, too--especially about getting my self worth from other people's opinions. May you have peace in your sorting out today. <3

Denee Longan said...

That's so hard, Kristal! But yet so vital. I've recently let some commitments go as well. It honestly feels freeing. I can be a happier, more peaceful person. I can be a better wife, mom & caregiver. It's hard, but people are surprisingly understanding, I've found. And if they're not, at least you have peace before the Lord about your choices.

Carolyn said...

So true. Thanks for your post!

Liz said...

I'm so glad you're my friend! Even though we haven't seen each other much lately, you are still able to inspire me. You've turned your experience into a beautiful lesson about that has certainly left an impression with me. I've been thinking and feeling all these things lately too, except I haven't had the forced slowdown/hospitalization part (yet). What really scares me is that I've been feeling this rushed-ness ever since I've been working on my blog more. I guess we all just have to find our balance. Thank you so much for sharing this, and I hope we can talk about it more soon!

Ron said...

What great words, what great insight. Thanks for sharing from some of the deepest places of your heart. Words that we all need to ponder in this fast paced world.
Love ya honey.
Keep writing from the heart. I am a fan!!!!