Wishing it away

28 Feb

I’ll return to the daycare hunt story tomorrow, but for today I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind nearly constantly since Tuesday.

It stemmed from a comment from Belle, that was so on the nose and astute that it took me aback. On my ultrasound update post, she wrote, “Hang in there and try, hard as I’m sure it is, to enjoy this and not wish it away.”

After I read it I knew immediately that she was right. I have been wishing this pregnancy away. Not wishing Turtle away, but wanting desperately for this time of uncertainty to pass as quickly as possible. I find myself looking at the calendar and lamenting how many months are left between now and June. I find myself telling people that time is passing too slowly.

I wanted to be pregnant for so long but now I just want my baby to be here. I just want to have him out of me and in the hands of the doctors who will fix him. I want to be spending time healing him, not just “waiting around” for him to get here. I’ve compared it to knowing you have a mountain you must climb but having to wait to begin climbing it.

And that just doesn’t jive with my personality type. I don’t sit on problems. If something is bothering me, I’d prefer to address it head on. I need to talk things out immediately. I need to make a plan and then take action. It feels like, my son is broken. I cannot sit idly by knowing that. I want to make him better as quickly as possible.

But I realized on Tuesday night that what I’m doing right now is part of the process of healing him. It’s giving him as much time to grow and mature in my belly before we put his body through the stress of surgery, central lines, etc. The more time he has inside, the better his chances of healing well and healing quickly will be.

Everything is out of my control. Completely. And I’m trying my best to make my peace with it. I’m trying to trust that whatever happens with his dilations is for the extremely capable doctors we’ve chosen to worry about. The only thing I can control is taking the best care of myself, body and mind, that’s possible. In that way, I am taking care of him. I am helping him. I am healing him.

I have been wishing my pregnancy away. I admit it. And I didn’t really realize it until Belle said that, which I’m not even sure how she picked up on it because I didn’t think I had touched upon it very much here on the blog.

It really bothers me that I’m wishing it away, considering what a miracle it is, considering it might not happen again, and considering how long it took to get here. Considering that this is Turtle’s pregnancy and it’s fleeting and I’ll have him outside of me for the rest of my life (universe willing) but only inside of me for the next few months.

Regrets. We all live in fear of them, though I have certain regrets that I’ve made my peace with. Mistakes I made in the past that I wouldn’t do over again, but I understand why I made them and I accept them and myself for making them. But this is a big one, one that would be really hard to get over.

When I got married, I made a painstakingly conscious attempt to BE PRESENT on my wedding day. To treasure and enjoy every moment. And I did. I was there that day. I experienced it all. It wasn’t a blur. I remember almost every part of it.  I want to do the same thing with this pregnancy but it’s much, much harder given the circumstances, and the fact that you can be present for some of the time but I don’t think you can sustainably live in the moment all the time without a great deal of practice and meditation.

Still, I think I owe it to Turtle, and myself, to try harder. Right? Or am I being hard on myself? Am I overanalyzing, as I tend to do? I really don’t know anymore.

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13 Responses to “Wishing it away”

  1. sams February 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I think I have been doing the same thing but for different reasons. I want my babies here, but I have been so sick and uncomfortable for the entirety of my pregnancy that I’m ready to be done. I find myself thinking things like, “Oh how I wish babies were full term at 24 weeks.” But I know I need to stop and try to enjoy this pregnancy more because we don’t plan to have any more babies after this. So this is my one shot.

  2. ewagner123 February 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    I don’t think you’re overanalyzing. Pregnancy is tough (physically and emotionally), especially with the added stress you’re going through with Turtle’s health issues. You are living with a ton of uncertainty now and I’m sure you just want to fast forward so you can get onto the process of helping Turtle overcome his condition. That said – YES! – focus on keeping him cozy inside and growing so he’ll be nice and strong for surgery(ies). Enjoy feeling your belly and his movements. It’s simply the most amazing thing on earth! I have to remind myself of this too several times a day! Hang in there.

  3. Courtney February 28, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    I think this is a major revelation, and you’re lucky to have had it, honestly. So many people don’t realize they’re doing this until it’s way too late, and then there’s no way to get it back.

    I love what Belle said, and I don’t think for a moment that you’re being too hard on yourself. AND – I think most of us can relate in some way and understand. Who wouldn’t want their baby born so that he can be fixed up as soon as possible? We all would want that. I know that when we were unsure of what was going on with Wilson, I just wanted to get him here so that we could “fix him” (if needed) and move on. I wanted to fast-forward to the fixing, and not go through the process of him just “being” within me. And that does make me sad. I still relished those days of uncertainty every time I would feel him move, but (as you know) I was living in “hurry up and get here” mode.

    I just love this post! The best part about it is that you realized this relatively early, and you have plenty of time to live in the present!

  4. Belle February 28, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    I really, really want to reach through this computer and hug you right now.

    I’m so sorry for that comment. You are doing WONDERFUL and perfect things for Turtle right now. You are giving him a warm, loving environment. You are feeding him good food so his is strong. You are taking deep breaths so he receives oxygen rich blood. You are planning for his birth so he has the best possible care. You are doing everything just right.

    Could you live a little more in the moment? Of course. We ALL could do that – especially those in this community. It that a good goal to strive for? I think it is. I try to live in the moment, too. And I fail a lot. I love that I’m aware of my falterings, and that I’m present enough to alter my state of thought. I think that alone is success.

    I’m going to get really crunchy on you here, I hope you don’t mind. I’ve been slowly reading Awakening Loving-Kindness by Pema Chodron. In it she says, “But loving-kindness toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything. [It] means that we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is not to try to change ourselves. … It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.”

    From this I take that part of the journey towards living a more present, whole life is accepting where we are right now. Not where we want to be tomorrow. You are doing an amazing job and I know Turtle loves you, completely and without reservation. xoxo

    • Shelley February 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      Don’t be sorry! Oh my god, don’t be. I am so thankful for that comment because it helped me to have this realization that I think was only healthy and good for me to have. I love that quote on loving kindness and I’m going to work hard on accepting all of it – even the times when I’m wishing it away or worrying myself silly. You’re right, I am also appreciating it in the middle of wishing it away!

  5. Hattie February 28, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    This is so true. I don’t mean that I think you have been wishing it away. You are the only judge of that. I just mean that it’s easy to do. My pregnancy just went past my due date by almost two weeks. Instead of focusing on frustration and anxiety, I intentionally spent time focusing on his movements and the look and feel of pregnancy. I am so happy to have that time and the memory of just sitting and feeling.

  6. Theresa February 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    I’ve been doing it too. With twins having a higher chance of premature labor- I keep wishing time away so we can get to a “comfortable” point. You are not alone.

  7. Amy Skins February 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    Girl, I get you. I am of the same cloth. The “I know the flight isn’t until tomorrow, but can I please leave for the airport now?” cloth.

    I did not enjoy pregnancy very much. It was a whole lot of waiting. Very boring. Interrupted by moments of discomfort. And I had a low-risk pregnancy with no anxiety about the things on the other side of the birth hill.

    I hope this comes across the right way, but I think you would feel this way – this anxious, wanting him to be here way – even if you were having a normal, low-risk pregnancy. And I think you’d probably have some guilt about it if that were your reality too.

    Pregnancy is about waiting and letting your body build his body. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t need your conscious mind to do that. And that’s frustrating for us proactive, thinking women.

    I’m not saying it’s not worthwhile to make yourself stop and smell the farty mcfarterson roses every once in awhile. Just saying – you are normal. You feel like you are not normal, but in some ways you are. Be kind to yourself.

    • Shelley March 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      I love that thought, that my body doesn’t need my mind to build his body. LOVE that! Takes the pressure off of my ever worrying mind.

  8. Keiko March 1, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    I’m in tears sympathizing with your post right now.

    • Shelley March 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      I’m humbled by that, Keiko!

  9. Esperanza March 1, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    I was so crippled by anxiety during my pregnancy that I absolutely wished it away. I didn’t cherish it at all. And I do regret it. In fact, it is one of the big regrets of my life, that I didn’t enjoy it. I spent so much time worrying about what could happen that I’d didn’t experience the perfect pregnancy I was actually having. After all the time waiting to have that, what a horrible waste. I PROMISED myself that if I were ever pregnant again it would be different. And now I am and I want to keep that promise to myself. Thank you so much for reminding me. I’ll be writing a post about this soon.

    I think you have every reason to want to wish this away, there is so much frightful uncertainty ahead. But I do hope you are able to revel in it a bit, because it is a miraculous thing and you will miss it when it’s over. And some day, you may regret it too.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Promise to Myself | Stumbling Gracefully - March 2, 2013

    […] early pregnancy monitoring, I read two important posts: Promises, over at Unexplained Rantings and Wishing it Away over at Tales from the Waiting Room. Both reminded me of a promise I made to myself in the months […]

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