Monday, June 13, 2011

Busy and Blessed

I really thought I would post more once the baby came, but now I'm so busy getting back into my routine that I hardly sit down at the computer anymore. My evenings are mostly dedicated to nursing de bebe and trying to keep the house somewhat habitable, while my mornings are much shortened now that I can go to Daily Mass again (YAY), plus the kids have morning activities two days a week. So I'm always on the go and blogging is pretty much one of the last things I have time for. Still, it's nice to be back in my life again!

Also, I have nothing very inspiring to say. I really don't know what God is trying to tell me with this anxiety. It doesn't matter how much I tell myself that there's nothing I can do by worrying about it, and that no matter what, I know God will be with me. I still am just constantly terrified that something bad is going to happen. Mostly I'm concerned about the baby; she's only 2 months old and still at risk for all sorts of random things like SIDS, meningitis, pneumococcal fever, etc.

The irony is that she is the healthiest, easiest baby ever. She sleeps well, eats well, poops well and is growing by leaps and bounds. She's smiley and content when awake and enjoys being on her own on her activity mat or in her stroller. She has sometimes put herself to sleep just by cooing, without any rocking or feeding or singing on my part. She charms everyone wherever I take her and I've had more than one person marvel that she's so perfect, she almost looks more like a doll than a live baby.

And yet I am constantly concerned about every hiccup and sniffle. Much more than is normal or necessary. I've talked with my husband about whether I need to get on medication for this, but as long as I'm able to function I don't think it's worth it. Most anti-anxiety meds enter the breastmilk, and though the studies show that the large majority of babies aren't affected by it, it seems sort of ironic that in order to alleviate my deep concerns about the baby's health, I have to do something that might compromise...the baby's health. Also, given my history, the chances are that I'll get every single last side effect possible. I'm functioning well and not having any violent thoughts of any kind. I'm just really scared all the time.

And I feel like such an idiot about it. I have been blessed to an extent most people in this world never experience. What am I concerned about? That some strife might enter my perfect, charmed little life? At the doctor's office the other day I read an article in National Geographic about Child Brides in India that broke my heart. The worst thing that could possibly happen in my life wouldn't even begin to approach being married off against my will at age 11. Even if my daughter were kidnapped like Elizabeth Smart, at least in this country I would have the police looking for her, and there would always be the hope of her return. In many countries around the world, girls and women are abused their whole lives and it's a complete non-issue.

I don't even want to ask for prayers because it's SO stupid. I personally know people who have suffered real tragedies, or who have actual mental illnesses that need medication. Better to pray for them than for me. I've been offering it up for friends who are going through infertility, and for those without medical care. In poor countries, child mortality is twenty times higher than in wealthy countries.

The unexpected positive of being so anxious is that I am truly treasuring each moment with my baby. I don't mind anything I need to do to take care of her, even diapers or waking up in the middle of the night or holding her for hours and hours because she doesn't want to be put down. If the worst does happen, I will know that I loved and rejoiced in her every minute of her life. That in itself is a beautiful gift God has given me to sustain me through this time.

Luckily, I am much too busy to dwell on it. But I thought I'd post simply because it is one of the foremost things on my mind. I'm looking for any good book recommendations on trust or managing anxiety, if anyone has them!

In the meantime, I am trusting that whatever comes, God will be with me. And I am thanking Him for all my wonderful blessings. Praise God with heart and soul and voice!


Anna said...

My first thought is to wonder if there is something that you need inner healing for (although if so, I don't know why it wouldn't have come up with one of your earlier kids). Asking God to show you *why* you're so scared would probably help, one way or the other.

Tienne said...

That's a really interesting idea, Anna. It hadn't occurred to me to ask why...mostly I've just been praying that God will protect the baby and give me wisdom to know if something actually is wrong. I'll bring this up with my Spiritual Director, too!

Lizzie said...

I've been reading your blog for a while and wanted to delurk just to say my initial thoughts were the same as the first commenter re: inner healing. After I had my son, I really struggled with similar fears and anxieties and my life was completely changed by reading 'victory over the darkness' by Neil T Anderson. Also, my spiritual director at the time guided me through 'elijah house' ministries which was amazing. I know you don't know me from Adam and I could just be some crackpot but I'm sure you'll find a priest who knows of both these ministries and will vouch for them!!
God bless and I'll be praying for you.
Ps I first found you via conversion diary

Ubermom said...

Brilliant blog and beautiful baby! I just popped over after you sweet post on my own blog. Funny enough, I am focusing on the poor today at my little corner of the web.

By the way, give yourself a break on the worrying. You are a mother and will worry more at some times and less at others. It is human and normal. Think of the Seven Dolars of the BVM. She worried tremendously! She sanctifies this concern for our children and while it should never become overwhelming or paralyzing it is appropriate to some degree.