Friday, January 28, 2011

Saying what I mean, and meaning what I say

So, I heard the baby's heartbeat this week. Whew. I have been holding my breathe for a few weeks now, and it feels good to inhale finally. I usually don't approach medical intervention this early in a pregnancy, so I have never had the experience of going to an appointment and not hearing a heartbeat. That is what happened two weeks ago, and then because of a "weak" pregnancy test, the midwife expressed some concern about the viability of this pregnancy. I had a blood test done, and it came back "appropriate", and then, this week, after a lengthy attempt, we finally heard the little flutter of a teeny, tiny heart beat.

It seems that for all the contentment and peace I had in my last pregnancy, this one has offered equal measures of anxiety and fear. Firstly, hoping and praying this baby is born into the world and into Holy Baptism. Secondly, how is my 45 year old body going to take this? Thirdly, how am I going to do all I need to do this year and beyond? Next year schooling with a 2 year old and an infant. Of course I have done that before, but it was so challenging, and I was so much younger. Whew.

I know this child is a gift. There is an excitement about this new turn in our road that is bubbling just below my surface. I want to let it break free, but the fear in me is keeping it down. So if you all have any extra prayers for me, it would be for me to embrace and believe, "Be Not Afraid".

I find I am being called to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. So many people asked me after Melanie was born, when I was 43, if I was going to have any more. I always said, "I don't know. Not up to me." A flip little response that kept some rudeness at bay. But in my mind I thought, "Probably not. I mean, I am 43 for heaven's sake". Many, many times I have been questioned, grilled even, about why I have so many children, how many more will I have, how many is "enough". I have always answered that I am open to life, so I can't answer the how many question. Then, when for 5 years I had no babies, and I thought that time had passed for me, I grieved and realized the flip side to "open to life". And then Melanie arrived, and "open to life" took on yet another meaning to me. And now this one expands the meaning once again.

The little platitudes I have passed out to curious onlookers, like "open to life", "there is always room for one more" and "I don't know how many" are being proven to be the God's Honest truth. I know I meant them at the time, but I have to say I didn't really know what that all meant, practically speaking. Honestly, I still don't. I don't know what all will be asked of me, but I am doing it, one day at a time, one prayer at a time. I do not want fear to block the blessings, so I am trying with all my heart to maintain my joy, and hope that peace will follow. Pray for me~


Blogger Melanie Bettinelli said...

Renee, I'm praying for you. I know some of those fears. I want to be open to life but it is a struggle. I'm only 36 and I've had 5 pregnancies in five years. And already I feel overwhelmed. Not sure I can keep up this pace for possibly another decade. I know I need to trust to God's plan; but it isn't easy.

January 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your beautiful family, that God showers you all with the graces and blessings you need to get you through your fears and anxieties, and increase your hope and joy.


January 28, 2011  
Blogger Alea said...

I will pray for you and for those around you who may be tempted to make comments. I can't understand why people feel they need to judge others by the number of children they have. I feel so blessed to live in a rural area where most of us share the same faith and we all have lots of kids.

January 28, 2011  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Wow, its been awhile since a visit here. :) Blessings and prayers for you, dear. Let the Lord hold it in His Big Hands and Mother Mary in her loving Heart. :) Amen St. Gerard, pray for you.

January 29, 2011  
Blogger Beth said...

Hi Renee,

Oh....wanting to shed the clutter here, too. Found you through a link from EFoss' blog. You are BRAVE and an inspiration. Before I even HEARD of the concept of allowing Our Lord to determine the size of your family we decided to "attempt to allow one more" at my tender age of 33. Oh how young I was then. I would have welcomed one each year or more. Here I am at 42, my dh is coming into the church and I am trusting that Our Lord has a perfect plan for us and our family. I would love to have more children or adopt. The tricky thing is....I can talk my husband into anything. Even if he's not convinced, he trusts my judgment so thoroughlyl, he'd say "yes" to anything that I proposed. I don't want another life to me my prompting but something that is on his heart. So.... I very much admire your courage and openness to life. I'll pray for you.

January 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother-in-law had my husband when she was 47. She was the only pregnant woman at her 25th college reunion :) Obviously, I am very, very grateful that she was open to life, and I believe that my husband kept his parents young in many ways. God bless you and your family, especially your newest little one!

January 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, have a listen to Marie Bellet's "Nine More Months One More Time."
(This is Marie's website).
(This has a longer clip).

It's brilliant.

January 29, 2011  
Blogger owenswain said...

Just prayed for you now, my dear, long (in Internet terms) friend. God bless you.

January 29, 2011  
Blogger Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

What exciting news!
Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers, Renee, and especially asking the Mother of God to place her Protecting Veil over you.....

January 30, 2011  
Blogger Renee said...

Oh, my. That Marie Bellet song just is amazing! I think part of my feelings of "isolation" if you will, is I don't know anyone doing this now. I have no "role model". But just listening to someone else articulate the exact mix of emotions is so freeing. Thank you so much for suggesting it!

And thank you, so much, everyone for your support. I can't tell you how badly I need it, and appreciate it.


January 30, 2011  
Blogger Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

I will pray for you! May God grant you and your baby good health, and may you have what you need to carry you through the joys and challenges of the years to come. God bless you!

January 30, 2011  
Anonymous Kelly@inthesheepfold said...

What a great post!

I had surprise babies at 43 and 45 not long after I had made a comment to our parish priest about embracing a new life even if I were 49.

Say what you mean, mean what you say!

Grace and peace to you! May the Holy Spirit give you wisdom to juggle your many roles.

The will of God will not take you where the grace of God can not keep you.

- Kelly

January 31, 2011  
Blogger Jennifer in TX said...

You can be assured of my prayers for you. I am so happy to hear that you heard your precious little heartbeat! Hugs to you and may Our Lady wrap you in the comfort of her mantle this pregnancy.

January 31, 2011  
Anonymous aileen said...

You and the little one are in my prayers, Renee! I'm so glad you got to hear a heartbeat!

I just went to a family gathering over the weekend and was bombarded with questions like, "How many kids are you planning on having?" and "When will you be done?" I also got the flat-out, "You're crazy." And then had another cousin tell me, "Every time you have another kid, your dad's hair gets whiter. You should stop." WOW. I love my cousins, but I am so glad I don't live near them and that we are blessed to live near/spend time with like-valued friends and family.

I know it'll just get worse, now that we're crossing into the realm of "big family" according to society's standards. It's nice to have the support and example of others also fighting the good fight. :)

January 31, 2011  

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