Monday, February 6, 2012

Birth, anxiety, and life lessons

I think I'm beginning to mature. Yes, I know, some of those closest to me would say "well, at 43, it's about time." However, I said "beginning to" so I'm not actually there yet. Still, I see flashes of insight that can only come from being at a point where I can accept myself and my place in this world. I am beginning to see that there is a bigger plan and that this life, while the blessings are abundant, is not as I would have predicted or chosen.

I went to visit my friend in the hospital this past weekend. She was 6 or so hours post-birth of a beautiful little angel and it was truly a blessing to be able to see them both at that moment in time. There is something so wonderful about a mom and a fresh little person. Even if she's done it many times before (and I think even more so then) the wonder in her eyes at the miracle before her just makes it such a magical thing.

I have to laugh when I recount my discussion with DH when I got home. "You should have seen her" I say. "Six hours out and an IV port in her arm, connected to nothing. That's it!" A mix of wonder and indignation on my part. I guess, after searching my memory, I haven't really visited a new mom in the hospital since I started having kids. So, for maybe 10 minutes (but probably more like 6), I felt sorry for myself. You know, the one who has tubes running in and out of most orifices for at least 24 hours post-op each time a new miracle arrives? (Yes, we can debate birth plans and outcomes but, really, that's not where I'm headed).

I think, although we are a result of the choices we've made, we are ultimately part of God's plan. Everything is either because He deemed it or because He has allowed it to happen. As much as I wish He would just steer me down the proper path, He is a good enough parent to allow me to fall and get back up. The most important thing, in my "maturing" process, has been my focus when I get back up. It used to be outward-looking, blame-placing, navel-gazing. Now, even during my most doubt-filled moments, I have to look up. I have to say, "I'm done here. I'm scared. I'm spent. I have no more." Always. Always, He picks me up. Always, there is a reason (I know this, even when the reason is far from my grasp).

When I studied Existentialism in college (another post for another time) there was a phrase that keeps popping into my head these days, "It cannot not be this way." I'm sure it wasn't exactly that because the syntax is terrible but that was definitely the idea. There is no other possibility for this situation in my life. More and more I find that to be true. This is how I explain my path to this marriage, these children, this life of mine. Now, however, instead of thinking I'm running the show, I know that He is in charge. Yes, I make dumb (DUMB) mistakes that are allowed to occur but I am always welcomed back. All I need do is ask.

So, I don't have an answer to why I have to deal with such difficulty in giving birth (or why, after so much difficulty, I am still open to trying again) but, ultimately, that doesn't really matter. The reason may be as simple as me learning that I'm not in charge of everything. So, in these days of anxiety leading up to the "what-ifs" of baby #5, you will find me at Mass, at Adoration, in quiet reflection. I know you can't bank grace and I don't think that's what I'm doing. I need all these graces now. The rest, I pray, will come when they're required. I am just so amazed that it works this way. All I have to do is ask and trust? How can it be that simple? Why didn't I know this at 25? Hmmmm. I guess, somewhere, there was a plan.

(For the record, I know that my hospital visit was to see and hold the miracle of new life. At a time when I was getting caught up in the tangential concerns surrounding my pregnancy, it made the big picture so much more clear. What a wise thing for a 6-hour-old to know ;) )

No comments:

Post a Comment