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Finally showing!

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I had meant to post about it, but here I am at 21 weeks.

Let me say this: I no longer judge pregnant women. Maybe for smoking, but really– I had no idea. I envisioned a maternal world of healthy eating, vitamins and exercise, with my ever-present strong will to guide me. My strong will abandoned me, however, at exactly 7.5 weeks. Pregnancy has a way of taking you down a notch, perhaps in preparation for how sleep deprivation and spit-up will later humble you– although I cannot imagine how anything can steal your dignity like gratefully throwing up in your car at a stop light. Some of my poor friends had it much worse, but I got enough of morning (=all day) sickness and aversions to get an idea.

Everyone asks you what your cravings are, but forget cravings: I hated almost every healthy food I used to love. I had never been a picky eater but I finally got a bit of sympathy for what my husband experiences when I drop a generous helping of vegetables onto his plate. I thought motherly instincts would kick in, but reminding myself that choking down a vitamin would impact my baby’s neurological  development seemed to have no impact. I know that sounds unimaginable, and that is partially why I am writing this down: because I am already forgetting how awful it was and how weak one’s will can become when nausea enters the scene. So if you are pregnant and sick, you have ALL my sympathy.

Thankfully, for me the second trimester has been completely different. As long as I constantly eat, the sickness has disappeared, and the lovely parts of motherhood have begun. The sweet, obvious belly made its appearance and everyone around me instantly doubled in kindness. I don’t suck in my stomach anymore for pictures. I can go twice as long without washing my hair. I can feel the baby now– not the uncomfortable all-night-long kicks that I believe are coming later, but the tiny movements that remind there is a person inside. I finally feel like a mother, not just a sick pregnant lady. Here’s to the second trimester, then, and to hopefully posting before a another one goes by!

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August 12, 2012 · 7:43 pm

What I Am Not

This is my family, minus two brothers and a sister-in-law. I am thankful for them.

I have been unbelievably discouraged by work lately, and have had to face the awful thought that has only lurked here and there before: maybe I can’t do this. Even the thought is quite a blow to my pride.

The thoughts go like this: Really, now. You just “aren’t cut out” to help the disadvantaged, even though that’s what Jesus said to do. You really can’t handle what thousands of urban public school teachers handle every year. Single mothers are doing your job and managing. You– who has received more love and care than almost anybody– you can’t do it?

The past two weeks I had parents get so angry at me they pulled their daughter out of school. I have another who had to get staples in his head from a “domestic disturbance” and has been so defiant since I’ve had to suspend him twice. Another is caring for her baby siblings all night and literally can’t stay awake during the day to get through reading. Since coming to me for reading her scores have dropped by half.

I know that this is nothing unique to my school, and sounds straight out of a movie– the kind where a passionate, unorthodox teacher bursts onto the scene, wins over all the rebellious students and defies the expectations of them all. I wish! Sometimes I do know what to do, but even then I just can’t get it all in.

I am not a teacher who has burst onto the scene but I do not mean this to be self-depreciating, either. I am having to come to terms with my limits. Perhaps I am more fragile than I have claimed; perhaps I am more  vulnerable to stress and difficulty than I like to think. I compare and compare and compare, and want to be TODAY one of those tough women who can handle anything, with grace and wisdom and awesome hair, too. I want to be able to handle anything at work and come home and have energy left over for my husband and friends.

The reality is that I am doing my best, and yet there are people better at this than I am. It’s actually a wonderful thing to accept that. Of course there are those who are better! Of course I am not the answer! In the end, for a time, God has given me this. If it came to the point that I had to look for something else, it would be hard but it would not be the worst thing.

I don’t always come home burdened with students and work, and some weekends, in fact, I enjoy my blissfully stress-free moments without a thought of the week before. or the week to come. (Is that what it means to compartmentalize? Must be nice.) This weekend it’s hard not to dwell on some of the bad stories that surfaced this week, but I am incredibly thankful for a Saviour to whom I can go.

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March 3, 2012 · 3:04 am