Friday, July 17, 2015

good grief.

Lately, we are crossing off items on the to-do list that is 'Preparing for Baby'. We are assembling nursery furniture and examining our finances and trying to imagine our home with a little person in it. And last week it overwhelmed me. 

The dilemma of space and furniture and sleeping arrangements in baby's first most needy weeks overwhelmed me to tears. The issue is that we are preparing our guest room to double as a nursery, however, for the first few weeks of her life, her Grandma P will be a guest in that room. So the solution is to move her crib and her changing area into our bedroom. Which seems like a straightforward task, right? Only, as I sat on my bed, tape measure in hand, examining our room and imagining a crib and diapers and a little baby, I grew hot with anxiety. 

This was MY space. This was my bedroom, my corner of the world where I retreated when I needed refuge. This was my haven with my husband, our little island where intimacy was created and nurtured, where we have long talks that can sometimes only be had after the lights have gone out and we're safe under the covers. My bedroom is where I dance to salsa music when I'm alone or where I examine my undressed body in the mirror away from anyone else's eyes, or where I make messes out of clothing when I'm headed out with the girls, then conveniently shut the door to the whole thing when company comes over rather than clean it up. My bedroom is quite literally the place in the world where I feel the safest.

And someone new was going to live in here.

Someone needy and someone desperate for my attention and someone who, frankly, as much as some moms may cast a side eye at me for saying this, I anticipate needing  retreat from once in a while. And my anxiety grew hot as I realized that I would need to share my safe place. 

And do you know what? It made me sad. I wish I could say that imagining my tiny newborn girl nestled in her crib just an arms reach from my bed filled me with an idyllic sense of calm and joy and I smiled longingly at my now child-free room and then a soundtrack of beautiful music swelled in the background. But I'd be lying. Instead I had a mini-panic attack and my face grew hot and I threw the tape measure and buried my head in the pillows and I cried hot tears that came from a place losing a little bit of my self to this new person. 

And I did something I've been doing more often when these feeling well up and overwhelm me. Instead of feeling guilty for being selfish with my space, instead of chastising myself for not feeling all-encompassing joy at the prospect of a new addition to my life, instead of comparing myself to mothers who seem to float seamlessly into the world of motherhood, I gave myself permission to grieve. 

I gave myself permission to grieve for a moment the loss of a corner of my world that would forever change when this little person arrived. I cried and felt scared and gave myself time to name the feeling. I let the tears fall and sank deeper into the pillows and just let the feeling of change, big scary change, wash over me because sometimes that's the only thing I can do. 

Then I looked at my room, blessedly free of anything child related and sighed the deep sigh and ran my hands over my belly, with its skin taut and tiny fingers and toes nestled inside. And my heart grew taut too as I realized that this is becoming a mother. This is making room for my daughter. To grieve and grow and let new and scary changes wash over me and to give myself grace in it is becoming someone new. It's becoming a mother. And I laid on my bed, my island of refuge, and cradled my belly, my daughter, and knew that I would not regret any of it. I will make room for this person in my home and in my life and it is good. I will move her crib in and she will share in the space of refuge that we've created here and it will be a new season for me. No music will swell in the background as I do it and there is some pain in the growing, but it is good. 


  1. Tori Denmark7/17/15, 10:18 AM

    Cari, This is fantastic. You write with so many emotions that I feel as though I am feeling those emotions with you.. You are such a great person, but even better you are so REAL. You show women, younger(like me) and older, it is okay not to be society's perfect, and it is okay to be completely real with people. I feel like everyone(or maybe just me) feels the pressure to be a perfect woman, a perfect wife, a perfect mother as in accordance to societies standards. However, you showcase perfect in a completely different light. I love you, and Travis and I will continue praying for you and R throughout this journey!

    1. Thank you fro sweet words, Tori! I think when we get honest and say the things it feels like we're not supposed to say, it's so refreshing to know that there will be friends encouraging us on the other side, so thank you for that encouragement!