Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hopeful Journey

We always hear that life teaches us lessons that we need to learn; that life has a way of making us more equipped for challenges that are yet to come. I could not agree more with that now that I am experiencing a sensitive pregnancy.

For the longest time, I was having the time of my life. Apart from feeling fatigued, I didn’t really feel any kind of morning sickness during my first trimester. Sure I lost a bit of appetite but I did not have the usual nightmarish experiences that other pregnant women talk about. I felt very fortunate and thought I had it all! Then just when the second trimester ‘honeymoon’ kicked in where I no longer felt fatigued and had a lot of energy to do anything and just keep going, I had a threatened miscarriage. It’s been close to four weeks now since the first bleeding episode and up to this date, there is still no explanation for what caused the bleeding / spotting. I can only say that perhaps it was my body’s way of telling me to slow down. It was my body reminding me that I can no longer lift the usual things that made me feel strong; that I cannot just walk fast and do things swiftly; that I cannot go out as often and feel independent; that I cannot expose myself to the usual stresses that I have been so used to all my life. It was perhaps life’s way of nudging me so that I realize that things have changed and will further change.

People always say that with the coming of a child, EVERYTHING changes. Maybe it took some bleeding for me to further open my eyes to the reality that the change is happening sooner than I would have preferred. With the birth of a child, a parent has no choice but to shift priorities, preferences, routines, and sometimes, even identities. Once the child comes, your world just needs to slow down. The whole experience of parenthood / motherhood, from pregnancy to raising your child, is really much like waiting for a fruit to ripen. It’s a process and one you cannot rush through. Much care is expected though you know that success is not always guaranteed. It is a time of hope, as well as anxiety. There is now this other person you need to care for, attend to, and prioritize. You need to be patient, both with your child and yourself. You will not understand a lot of things that are going on, you will grapple and learn things the hard way as you try to be the best parent you can be. Ultimately, you will end up giving up a lot of things. 

But none of this will matter so much, for you know that nothing is more important than this other human being in your life. Everything else may seem negotiable, but never the welfare of your child. I know this now even though I’m just midway through this pregnancy. Life has made me choose a new reality, one that constantly reminds me that above all other identities, I am a mother. I am to be the greatest advocate of my child