Friday, February 25, 2011

Irrational Fears

Thank you all so much for passing along your congratulations. It means so much.

One huge weakness/huge problem of mine is always worrying and being controlled by what others around me think. (I sometimes place blame for this fault, but recently just decided it doesn't matter where it came from, it is just time to overcome). Anyway, that being said, I really, really wanted another baby, but I was terrified about what other people would say.

I have friends from all different circles. I was afraid that my new Ds mommy friends would think I was foolish for dividing my attention away from Addison who obviously still needs so much help.

I was afraid that my grad school and work friends would think that I am now this crazy person whose life is dedicated entirely to popping out babies and give me twenty years and I'll have twenty kids and a TV show.

I was afraid that all of my old college friends who have all been recently having just the most perfect and beautiful babies would look at the one baby that I do have with so many health problems and think that I'm doing my little family a disservice by making all of the same "mistakes" all over again.

I was afraid that all of the doctors/therapists that we see on a regular basis would look at my growing belly in disgust thinking that someone with such obviously bad genes and apparently unhealthy lifestyle would really be better off with just the one "burden".

It sounds crazy to myself as I'm typing this out, but these were my legitimate fears. I warned you that this was a very real problem.

I think these fears first started a year ago when I was sitting at Chubbs' NICU bedside 24/7 and secretly listening into the nurses gossip and other patient's conversations. (Don't judge. I was bored.)

Anyway, a couple of weeks in a single mom with a preemie baby moved into the spot right across from us. As I sat and listened to loud conversations between the nurse and this mom's sister, I gathered that this was not her first preemie. Apparently, she also had a three year old who was also born early and also had health problems. I don't know all of the details because I only heard what they offered up, but I heard bits and pieces that built up the the conclusion that the sister was going to convince the mom to get her tubes tied because obviously she can't do the pregnancy thing right because both of her kids were so unhealthy and she simply should not have any more kids. The nurse was vehemently agreeing the entire time.

I sat very still and listened- looking at her baby and then back at mine. My baby was way sicker than hers- attached to way more tubes than hers- they left the NICU way before we did. The irrational fear was installed that perhaps the nurses said that about me when I left for the night. From there the fear grew into a monster as I looked around me and saw hardly anyone else going through the same health problems (on top of the Ds). My daughter was on oxygen for nine months- you can't go through that without questioning: Was it me? Did I do something wrong?

Obviously, I have overcome those fears enough to announce our newest miracle. Yes, it was in God's plan to give us an extra special order the first time. Not in our original plans, but now we wouldn't wish for anything else. Now for our second baby, we can trust Him just as much.

When you sign up for the whole pregnancy thing, you put in your order for that one perfect baby- beautiful, smart, interestingly wonderful- the whole package of physical, emotional and mental perfection. Sometimes you don't even realize the expectations that are perhaps a mite unrealistic. You take all of the vitamins, you cut out things from your diet, you rethink everything you do and eat to reach the ultimate goal of that perfect baby.

When you're at long last handed that baby that you grew for nine long months- vomiting for- getting fat for-going on bedrest for- laboring for- all of a sudden, the old concept of perfection flies out of your head, you look down at what you've been given and decide that you couldn't imagine loving any baby more. You then assign that baby the label of perfection- different than the one you originally imagined, but much more real because now you have a face to assign to it.

When that "order" comes back with a bit of a surprise- it doesn't mean that you made a mistake. It means that God has picked you for something extra special. He trusts you with an additional responsibility- ultimately for additional reward in your parenting experience.

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I could look at this objectively. I will admit that everything I do with this pregnancy- I still way overthink "Standing in front of the microwave...did that give her the heart issue" "I put my laptop on my lap...did that contribute to any of her problems?" Everything I do I think through very carefully.

But at the end of the day- I trust God to give me another perfect baby in His perfect timing (which seems to be six months from now).

My irrational fears may have caused me some sleepless nights and some jealousy at the babylicious perfection all around me, but through it all, I settle on happiness and thankfulness.

To be trusted with Addison, my first perfect child....and preparing for a second perfect child- no matter what labels might accompany said child....I feel very, very blessed.

Side note: I really think that developmentally, it will be really good for Addison to have a sibling so close in age- I dream that perhaps they will learn and do some of the same things at the same time. Addison is very competitive- with that extra push, who knows what she might accomplish? (-:

Anyway, I wanted to elaborate on yesterday's post. I felt a bit weird about the brief paragraph referencing this fear after hitting "Publish Post". I feel much better now after giving some background.

Thank you so much for going out of your way to be excited for me. It has really helped put the last of those silly fears to rest. And even if you're not excited for me, that's OK too. I'm getting to the place where I don't need the excitement of others to fuel my own. (I call that growth!)

This blog has helped me so much this past year deal with all of the changes in my life, and I look forward to continuing to do that. Even if the challenges now take a slightly different twist, I hope you will all stick with me. For those of you who expressed concern that I would no longer have time to blog, I assure you, this is way too much fun to stop now. (-:

9 comments:

  1. Oh phew...!! No lapses in baby-blogging! It will be double the laughs and double the exploits to creatively amuse us all with! Thanks for all of your time, efforts, photography, and bearing of your heart that were so transparently shared this past year. Have loved every paragraph of it!

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  2. Just a quick note to say that I believe that He entrusted Addison to you because you are such a special person and a special mom (and Aaron likewise a special dad) and that this baby is just as forunate to have you and Aaron as parents and Addison as a sister! :-)

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  3. Hello I just wanted to write and say Congratulations on your coming baby.:)We too are expecting a new little gift in September.It is an exciting time and it is perfectly okay for you to be SO excited about having another baby.God opens and closes the womb.I love Psalm 139:14 it says I will praise thee;for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;.....God makes no mistakes and you are right Addison is perfect.God has knit together this new little one as well and we are rejoicing with you!!!!!Nikki from Vt.

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  4. You will probably get over more of these fears as you have more kids. I am a lot like this but am getting to the point where I care less and less. I think it's because you learn that you have to be their voice (as you are really learning with Addison and her extra needs). You get to the point where you know that other people's opinions do not matter, what you are doing does.

    I also do not blame you at all for wanting more kids. I want more and more and more (though it is not likely). You are just one of those women who love kids and love having them. That is something you shouldn't ignore. You are a great mom and a great person - very caring.

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  5. I think you just got richer...email me for the scoop:)

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  6. Loved this post, Deanna. The thing I love about your blog is how completely honest you are about stuff that a lot of people won't admit. Let's face it, I think most of us moms face the fear of being judged. There's a lot of unnecessary mom-guilt out there and it'll always be there. It's hard to deal with at times but we just have to realize, as you have, that each child is unique and comes with his/her own special set of joys and issues.

    Arden, for instance, has a few tiny friends a few months younger than her who are far beyond her where gross motor skills are concerned. It's tough to not scrutinize everything we do during the day and try to figure out where I'm going wrong. My mom reminds me every day that She is her and the other babies are them and I need to stop comparing, worrying and feeling pressured.

    You have every right to have as many children as you want. Addison was made in the image of her Father which makes her perfect. This next baby will be the same, extra chromosomes or not.

    Glad you're keeping the blog up....I need my Addison fix :)

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  7. It makes perfect sense to worry about those things. As I think about my someday second kid, I worry about the same things. Will people think I'm crazy for having more? I know some people will...we've already been asked if Claire will be our only one. I always say, 'no, why wouid she be' with a completely innocent look...

    I also had to smile at the laptop on the lap worry as I'm typing that way right now!

    Addison is perfect, Claire is perfect and the second baby will be perfect too!

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  8. Deanna, I think you are an amazing person and I am so glad to have "met" you. I love reading your posts, they are honest and real.
    People judge others no matter what, so I am glad you are getting over that fear of what others think, cause in the end you cannot please everyone so why bother trying!
    You dont even have to have a reason for wanting another baby, you dont have to have a reason for the timing or anything...Its your family!
    And you are not taking anything from Addison, she will always get all the love and support and help she needs from you guys...Instead you are giving her the best gift imaginable, you are giving her a sibling, nothing is better than that!

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  9. I felt the same way when I got pregnant with Landon (well not exactly the same). I thought for sure everyone would look at me and think I was crazy for having another baby when Landon was still a baby himself. I did get quite a few "wow, they will be close in age" or "you're going to be busy" in that annoying *tone* of voice. Once we found out Sutter had Ds I thought, oh my gosh maybe all of those people were right and we should have waited, but you know what, God had the perfect plan for us and he does for you too! Landon grew and developed SO much after we brought Sutter home and I know Addison will too. It is amazing to watch your baby become the big sister and once you see them together all of your fears will disappear.

    I say have as many babies as you want and who cares what others say or think! You are a great mom and any baby would be lucky to have you as a mom!

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