Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Before I forget...

I have been meaning to write this post for oh, say, about 4 weeks now! As I was in the thick of new baby stage I knew what I was feeling had to be recorded somewhere or I would forget all the "stuff" that has come with having this new baby in our home. Well, before I forget, I am writing as fast as I can right now while the boys are miraculously napping for a short time together today.

Where do I start? I guess at the very beginning... once upon a time a young mother prayed a big prayer for another little baby. The Big Man upstairs was feeling gracious enough to deliver this prayer to this young mother on July 22, 2011. Well, actually this little prayer was answered sometime in October of 2010, but mama got to meet this sweet baby boy on that very hot day in July. Mama welcomed the beautiful new baby with a heart full of joy, humbleness, love, and amazement. Another beautiful healthy baby boy... how could I be so lucky, she thought?!?!

The first sign of a rocky start should have occurred to this mother that first night in the hospital room when that sweet baby boy wanted to do nothing but nurse all night and cried in between all these nursing sessions. Surely, any other mama would recognize a baby who would not go ignored! Sweet little beautiful baby boy came home and sure enough, he proved he did not intend to be known as the third son who just did whatever he was told and was as flexible as could be around everyone else in his family. Sigh...  As Baby Boy and Mama got to know each other, she started to notice this baby boy was not as much alike on the inside as he proved to show on the outside. Though he closely resembled his older brothers outside, his mannerisms did not match up. Big brothers were known as easy, laid back, calm, comfortable babies. Baby boy #3 was showing he did not care for that role.

Mama wasn't sure if it was a mix of everything or just the bumpy start to baby boys first few days (weeks I should say)... but she knew inside she didn't always feel that pure joy that is supposed to come with being handed the best gift in the world and the very desire of her heart. After only a couple weeks Mama was finding her insides were feeling quite tired, anxious, weepy, guilty, stressed, ugly, and just plain bad at times. Mama found herself up many nights crying in the middle of the night, impatient, annoyed, and just down at times. After bringing two older baby boys home and adjusting so well with them, she just didn't recognize herself most days. In between some really great and sweet and fun moments, Mama also found herself at the bottom of this roller coaster ride feeling the opposite! Who was she? Where had her old self gone? What should she do with this new Mama? Only One could possibly know...

Mama had to admit to herself that she was having a hard time transitioning to three little ones in her home. She also had to admit that she really needed some help, something that she didn't let herself do often, but she knew she needed it... from her poor husband living with the roller-coaster wife, from her friends who seemed to all have it together much better then she, from her neighbors who had no clue how much she needed to say yes when they offered to take her big boys or bring a meal or clean her floors, from her kid's friends mom's who made a play date look so easy at the drop of a hat, from the kind people from church who sent some money her way to help cover her maternity leave from her self-employed job, from the nice chiropractor who adjusted her rather cranky baby and made him fuss much less, from the kind firefighter who offered to carry her groceries while she juggled her 3 kids at the grocery store (was I that obvious!?!?), from her kind friends who let her just be tired and weepy and a little crazy.... as you can see in this story, what Mama started alone became nothing short of a group effort as she moved forward with her sweet new baby and new family of five.

What Mama was already learning was that He was not finished with her.  She knew becoming a mother had taught her so much about herself, about God, about life in general. She was rather surprised when the third time around God once again was twisting her and turning her to make her even more into who He created her to be. Mama had been torn up before and learned mighty life lessons as she hung on for dear life, hanging by her threads. It seemed, in Mama's eyes, that she was experiencing the sometimes hard but very loving molding process once again. And what would a story be without a "happily ever after" ending? Mama knew they existed, but for a bit she forgot. You see, as young Mama let herself get stuck in the yuck and muck of her immediate surroundings, she forgot about the very big story really happening. At the end of all stories, He is there. The best part is that He is there before and during the story too.  While the story may lead her down twists and turns, it always ends up right where He planned for her all along. Mama was reminded of this good ending as she read through Lamentations one day. A reminder that happily ever after ends with her Creator, the ultimate life giver and hope of this world....

At the end of the day Even though I have been so tired at times, felt so yucky about myself at times in the last few weeks, failed miserably at figuring out just what my baby needed at times, and just felt overly overwhelmed... I was reminded of God's very steady and constant love and desire for me to do well. The mix of little sleep, a semi-unhappy baby Carson, new routines and schedules, a rough start to 2nd grade for Jaxon, a family budget that was feeling very stretched, post-pregnancy hormones, mom guilt, and the very true reality of Satan using a little bit of bad self-esteem and taking it a mile on a new mom has had me at moments feeling just yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Nobody likes to live in yuck. Adding Carson at just this time in life is teaching me sooooo much. While I don't like living in the yucky places, I do love and appreciate what I learn while I am there.

I had to write about this before I really started to forget. I don't know when it started happening but while I go through the motions here and embrace this stage of life, I am finding the joy seems to out weigh the yucky feelings much more these days. Those first few weeks were really hard and the last couple months have been a roller coaster for me. It seems we have more good days then bad now and I am loving that little Carson has started to find some routine to his life and is becoming such a happy little guy. He still isn't the best napper, but he is happy when he is awake! I seem to be able to juggle having 3 boys with a bit more style and grace then I started off with and everyone, I think, goes to bed at night feeling loved, happy, and cared for in this house. We are laughing and having fun and making great memories. I am learning a lot and know that it is in the really hard places where God shows me the most about myself. I love, love, love my new baby boy and being mommy to three amazing kids. I love my very hard working husband. I love my very understanding friends. I love my helpful family. I love my community and this place in life. God IS good and life here is a crazy ride sometimes...but who would change it? Not me :)

5 comments:

Maribeth said...

Ah, yay for new light, new insight and now, new muscles you didn't know you had. What a stretching process, though! Thanks for sharing such poignant, honest thoughts, Jess.

Jenna Grover said...

what an honest and refreshing post - loved reading it! let me know if there's anything i can do!

Ashley Schrage said...

beautifully written Jess!

photography by emily said...

I am always soooooo thankful for honesty like this... it makes us other moms who think we are 'failing' more times than not feel like we are not alone... and better yet, not crazy! You are such a wonderfully amazing and beautiful Christian woman who I admire greatly. Seriously, thank you!!

Cori said...

Beautiful post! I can relate to so many things that you wrote!

Keep growing! :-)