Monday, February 13, 2012

Tears, Joy, and Life

I sat on the floor of the room that's about to become my son's nursery in tears. Tears that shook my entire body ran down my cheeks and I was crying like I hadn't cried in months - maybe even years. A simple miscommunication, a frustration of not knowing how to react to my mood swings on Steve's part had gotten us in an argument... and landed me in a spot where I knew I needed to walk away and regain my center.

It landed me in the middle of my office - my son's future nursery - sobbing as hard as I'd sobbed in years.

It wasn't that Steve had done some great offense that we couldn't have talked through and worked out like normal human beings. It's that over the course of the last 6-7 months... I've lost the control I typically have over my emotions and something had spilled me over the edge. Nothing is more frustrating to me than not being able to control my emotions. It lands me in this cycle...

...I become overly sensitive/emotional...

...I get frustrated that I cannot control it...

...I become emotional about my emotional state...

...I get frustrated I am exposing my husband to this side of womanhood...

...I become emotional that I can't be the best wife possible... get the point.

Welcome to being pregnant.

Add to this the complication that every cry-fest also runs a huge risk for me to get backed-up sinuses and a sinus infection. Without the ability to take my normal decongestants after a good cry (they're on the pregnancy no-no list), I need to rely on nature to drain my nasal cavities. This means that one good cry equals a week's worth of a runny nose. A few good cries means you may as well think I have a cold.

As the tears run down my cheeks and I feel the pressure building inside my sinuses... I open the door to see my distraught husband with a look of complete helplessness on his face. He wants nothing more than to take the frustration away, and I don't even know where to begin to tell him to start to help. This makes me want to cry even more...

It's right about this point in the breakdown that I - in my head - simultaneously thank God for providing me with a husband who loves me, an overall healthy pregnancy, a son who seems to be growing well in there, and no morning sickness to speak of... and curse Eve for that eating that forsaken apple.

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth..." (Genesis 3:16a)

We all know the story of Adam and Eve and the Serpent and the Apple, so I'm not going to rehash it... but it was the first sin that was ever committed. As a result of that, we have our first set of consequences. Painful pregnancy and childbirth for the ladies, a lifetime of hard work & toil (and unmentioned in scripture - but also dealing with the wife's painful pregnancy and childbirth) for the men.

Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and while many women truly enjoy the beautiful process of creating a human being inside our own bodies - this process is not one that does not have its consequences. Books have been written about how to deal with the discomforts of pregnancy: backaches, hemorrhoids, morning sickness, postpartum depression, UTI's, stretching ligaments that support your uterus... the list is endless and the symptoms are different for each and every woman.

But there is a promise of new life at the end. 

It hit me yesterday while sitting in church (after another crying fit that morning)... I sat down after taking Communion and bowed my head to pray. The first thing that poured from my heart was acknowledgement of my condition.

I am broken. I am a sinner. I am pregnant. God made it clear in Genesis 3:16 what this meant. For me, this means a breakdown of my normal poise, patience, clarity. It means frustration at the limitations that pregnancy imposes. It means random outbursts and crying fits.

But it's not all bad news... It means that for 40 short weeks, God gives me a glimpse into what it means to take part in His creation and make a life. It means a small little boy will be brought into this world who will depend on me, who I will love with all of my heart and who will love me back. It will provide me with an opportunity to not only experience a small glimpse into taking part in God's creation... but also a small glimpse into the unconditional love He has for each one of us.

A part of Him is in each of us, for we are created in His image. A part of me is in my son, for he is 50% my genetics. We frustrate the daylights out of God, and there are consequences for our behavior... but He forgives us. I know there will be days when we will have conflict with our son, and we'll have to "ground" him or help him see the consequences of his behavior... but we will forgive him.

And in that moment of recognition... I swallowed my cracker & grape juice and thanked God for this amazing blessing of parenthood that He has bestowed upon us. Somehow, that perspective eased the frustration of the emotional roller-coasters and helped me to see that this will all. be. worth it.

1 comment:

Becka Leigh said...

When I was pregnant, BJ was both unfortunate and fortunate to miss most of it. Fortunate because he got to miss the major breakdowns.... But he got to deal with the ones after, so I guess that balances it out somewhat?

But you'll get through it big sister! All of the pain, anguish, emotional breakdowns will be worth it when you get to hold you son for the first time. There is no greater feeling in the world. Brings tears to my eyes just remembering it.