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First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Getting Down, but Going Up

I'm getting down in the time left in this pregnancy, but going up in pounds.  I'm almost 36 weeks now!!  As this (gaining weight in pregnancy) has not before happened to me, it's all new territory.  I get to feel what most pregnant women (I've heard) feel about their bodies when preggie.  I have to say, it doesn't feel too good.  BUT it DOES feel good to feel the baby moving around and know that it's a strong one and as healthy as we can tell from all indications.  YEAY for that.  ^_^

I've had and been able to take a lot more time away from being the sole care provider of and for my children in the last month and a week or so than EVER before.  It's been a gift and blessing to me.  I'm the kind of Mama who is basically always with the kiddos.  While I'm thankful that I get to be that kind of homeschooling stay-at-home Mom... because of my hardworking hubby!, it IS exhausting in a way only women in the same situation can understand.

In the final trimester of each of my pregnancies, I've had this overwhelming desire to GET AWAY.  Yes, even when I was preggie with my #1... I just wanted to get away from my job (involving children).  I wanted Jess to take me off somewhere so that I would not have to deal with "little people" for a while.  It didn't happen.  It didn't happen with #2 and it didn't happen with #3.  During my 3rd trimester with the last two, I wanted to just go to a hotel a few blocks away on the beach and spend the night alone... truly alone.  I daydreamed about being able to take an undisturbed shower and read without any interruptions... and - maybe even - watch TV or a movie alone - again, the whole "no interruptions" being a key drawng/attracting factor.  Didn't happen.

This time the whole hotel thing is totally out of the question, of course.  And, really, doing anything for myself to take care of myself away from my family (because it basically always costs money... read: gas money, specifically) is way out of range of our income, which, because Jess is drastically underemployed, is just not possible right now.

During December someone I've never met made a suggestion, which the Spirit turned into a challenge.  She said, "When my husband was unemployed for 2 years, we found great comfort in attending the temple weekly."  Of my natural self and to her, in reply, I said I couldn't possibly do that because of our financial sitation and the fact that my hubby was already making tremendous sacrifices of time to help me be there with my family as much as we were.  But over the course of about two weeks, the Spirit translated that sweet Sister's statement into, "You should really try to get to the temple more right now.  It's easier for now.  Tea is older.  Jess can stay home with the girls sometimes and you can still accomplish your family goal for temple attendance.  You can get to the temple alone the other weeks."

At first the idea of those temple trips all on my own did not strike me as anything more than going more frequently to serve the Lord and sort of petition Him for favor in the whole job situation.  The idea of sacrificing the gas money was big, but going alone would cost less gas (taking the car instead of the van) and if Jess was willing, maybe I really SHOULD do it.  After I'd been a couple times on my own, Father shared with me another purpose for my efforts: to drastically reduce or completely eradicate any post-partum depression I might experience after this baby's birth.

I've been made aware of some of the Patterns in my life... the ones Father has allowed/created so that I might learn and grow.  I think I've shared the whole under/un-employment pattern of past pregnancies.  In addition to that there is the "Growing Faith and/or Temple Attendance Relative to Reduced PPD Experiences" Pattern.  When I was preggie with Ria I was not terribly faith-filled.  I was not attending church.  I did not pray... not much and not often, anyway.  I experienced 7 months of horrible, deep, dark PPD... undiagnosed, but I know what I went through and it was one of my very own 'valley of the shadow of death' sorts of things.

When I was preggie with Kat, I went to the temple once.  It was an awesome experience.  I could tell Kat was aware of the proceedings of the family temple trip and was, at least, aware of those for whom we were doing work.  It was amazing.  I was also attending church each week by then.  I was doing my best to hold a calling with the right heart about the service.  I was praying sometimes... probably mostly at night.  After Kat was born I experienced 5 months of PPD.  It did  NOT set in right when Kat was 4-6 weeks old as with Ria, though, it took a few months.  The 5 months of PPD I did experience, though dark, were not of the same pitch black quality I'd experienced of PPD after Ria.

During my pregnancy with Tea, we were making out monthly temple trips as a family and had been since we moved when Kat was 3 weeks old.  (Probably impacted that PPD after Kat, too!)  After Tea was born the PPD that did manifest did not show up until she was 5 months old (older than when the stuff fell on me after Kat) and it only lasted 3 months.  The darkness of that PPD experience was significantly less velvety with thickness than that which I experience after Kat and, compared with the PPD after Ria, it was, relatively speaking, a bright moonlit night!

Lord knows when this baby will come forth.  If s/he is born very near due date, I will have made it to the temple 9 or 10 times (as long as things hold out and I'm able to catch a ride or afford the gas as the case may be), 6 or 7 without Jess or the girls along, just detween December 31 and March 6 (due date).  It has not been easy these last few weeks.  My psyche has been hammered, my family has been in a bit of emotional and some physical upheaval... the deceiver is working overtime on us, for sure.  But the hope that Father has whispered to me through His Holy Spirit is worth the effort!  To have NO PPD (regardless of texture of blackness!) would be a miracle of the truly awesome sort.

I hear a scoff, "A miracle?"  You think not?  What scientific literature can YOU point to that indicates that a woman who has once experience PPD will EVER experience anything but WORSE cases of the same?  Can you even find one case of someone who has had reduced PPD in subsequent pregnancies?  All that I've found myself, heard from others' reading or heard of via others' experiences indicates that PPD is a kind of depression that hits when it hits - usually hard, and only gets worse and more UNmanageable with each subsequent birth.  So, given that I feel the confirmation of truth in this, I will shout, "MIRACLE!" in the experience I've already had!  Not to mention if this problem I have encountered in PPD is completely vanquished through the 'simple' effort of greater service to the Lord in His Holy House!  I'm feeling very hopeful that it will be so.  Yet I acknowledge that the prayers of His faithful can never EVER hurt... so, if you feel so inclined as to devote some of your heart and mind to this effort of mine to be so in line with the Lord and His Word, Will, and Way as to experience none of the "typical" darkness I've endured previously, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on my (and my family's) behalf!

So, though the time left in this pregnancy is getting down, I am going up in Hope and efforts to be faithful and Faith Filled... as well, of course, as seeing the scale go up.  BLAH!  ;)


Aliandria said...

The day of miracles has not ceased! The only things required for a miracle to take place are your faith and the Lord's will. I know that your faith is great (and will grow even more by going to the temple), and the Lord wants us to be happy and of good cheer, so I truly believe your miracle will happen! Thanks for being such an example of faith in Christ! You're awesome. =)
-Sister Ali Hansen (Summer 2008)

vicki said...

Happy for you re: the temple. So my prayer for you will be that you "be in line with the Lord and His Word, Will, and Way," and that the miracle continues. WIth much love

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