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For a long time after Hannah was born, I didn’t write. Anything.
I didn’t want to write. I didn’t know what to write about even if I did want to write. I didn’t have time to write. I was too tired to write.
I didn’t read anything either. From the beginning of February to the beginning of June, I read maybe two books. Usually, I read a book a week. But I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t have time.
I didn’t know how to make time. Being a full-time mother was just so all-consuming. I didn’t really know how to deal with the identity change. I didn’t know how to deal with what felt like a severe loss of myself.
I don’t blame Hannah for this. I just couldn’t adjust. I didn’t know how to go from being “mother of a dead baby” to “mother of a living baby.” I didn’t know how I was going to survive worrying constantly about this tiny, precious, perfect creature that had come into our lives. I didn’t know anything at all.
And then I began to accept that even if I didn’t know how, I had to do it anyway.
I have never been a person who loves babies. I didn’t hate them, and I didn’t necessarily feel awkward around them – I just didn’t like them much. Especially young babies. The babies that do nothing but eat and poop and sleep. I didn’t get the big deal about them. And, of course, everyone said that would change when I had one of my own.
Well, yes and no.
I love my daughter immensely. She’s pretty awesome, and yes, even adorable at times. But . . . the older she gets, the happier I am. The more I like her. The easier it is to deal with her. Even when it isn’t actually easier to deal with her, if that makes any sense. She was okay as a one-month old infant. As a nine-month old baby, she’s a lot more okay. And while I sometimes think about how tiny and helpless and precious she was seven, eight, even nine months ago, I don’t want to go back to that. I don’t really want to do the newborn thing again.
I love my baby, but that doesn’t mean I love babies. It took a while for me to admit that, because I felt guilty about it. I mean, babies are great, and I’m happy for all the people I know this year who have had beautiful, healthy babies, because that’s awesome. But babies aren’t easy for me, and that’s just something I’ve come to accept.
About six weeks ago, I started reading in earnest again, and I started thinking about how much I missed writing. But this is still the first real writing I’ve done since then. I’m out of practice. But I was starting to miss it more than ever. It’s not something I want to let go of. I probably won’t have time to write every day – Hannah the nine-month old is still as much of a handful as Hannah the one-month old. But I know that if I don’t do something now, the longer it will take me to do something later.
And I’d like to get a little practice in before November and Nanowrimo come ’round again.
So it’s time to face the wall and work on getting to the other side. This is where I’m starting.
If 2011 had a word, it was change. If 2012 had a word, it was healing. If 2013 had a word, it was hope.
2014 does have a word, and it is patience.
The One Little Word project is not my idea, and it’s been around much longer than when I first discovered it late last year. At its core, it’s a journaling project, incorporating some scrapbooking and photography elements. The main thing is reflecting on your word and bringing it into your daily life. And this year, I want to be more conscious about being patient in all facets of my life.
This will, I think, be a year that will require patience, mostly with myself as I adjust to this new life of active motherhood, but also with Hannah and Geordie and with family far and near. And beyond just my relationships with people: I’m hoping for patience with my writing (including this blog!), with challenges in the kitchen, with expectations of the future. I want to be patient and not rush things – I want to enjoy Hannah’s babyhood and be present in her life. At the same time, I know I’ll be balancing my joy at finally having her here with us against the grief over Lauren that still remains and will always remain. I want to be patient with our future; whether we will be staying in San Antonio or pursuing adventures elsewhere, I want to relax and enjoy the small things as well as the big things.
I want to welcome patience into my life, along with its companion words: calmness, peace, compassion, kindness, composure, and poise. This is what I want for 2014: to take things as they come, to greet them without fighting them, and to treat people with the grace and gentility that I would hope for in return.
To be as calm and serene on the inside as I try to be on the outside.
So, I took a break for a week while Geordie’s parents were visiting. I’m not much into doing the internet stuff when I’ve got guests. Also, it was Geordie’s vacation, so we had him at home too. We did lots of touristy stuff and took lots of pictures and ate out way too much, and we all had a good time!
Last week, I also had my first prenatal appointment and first ultrasound! The appointment with the midwives was pretty standard – a lot of talking, a lot of making sure all is healthy and good, a lot of blood-taking. The ultrasound appointment was shorter but perhaps more exciting. I can’t begin to express the relief we felt at seeing that little heartbeat. Baby is developing nicely at the moment, right on schedule. The official Estimated Due Date is December 8, which is about what I figured.
Other than that, I haven’t got much else to post at the moment. I have a couple posts from last week (namely the FFwD post for Friday) that I want to get written and posted. But that’s about it. I am starting to feel a little less yucky, but my appetite is still a bit wonked out, so I’ve been trying to stick to simple foods. And easy meals! This week’s meals don’t involve much in the way of recipes, and most of them are simple techniques I’ve done lots of times before and aren’t overly complicated. We’ll see how that works out.
Mostly, for now, I’m just trying to get back in the groove of writing. Taking a week off might be nice, but it’s not always easy getting back on track. I figure writing a little bit is better than continuing to write nothing at all! I actually have quite a few things I want to write about, it’s just getting my thoughts organized and written that’s the hard part. My stomach may be feeling better, but I still feel a little discombobulated in the head. Also, tired. Napping is pretty much a daily thing for me right now.
Anyway. That’s all for today!
Nine weeks down, thirty-one weeks to go!