God is good. And He chooses to bless us with relationships. He created us for them. He is really good. Anytime I momentarily forget that I look at Annikah’s curly ringlets of hair as she laughs, or feel my husband hand of reassurance and love on my back, or read a specially picked out card written by our family, or see the amazing smile of my friends here that transcends cultural differences.
We’ve experienced a big life change in our family in the past few weeks! Praise God that He has answered our prayer to conceive another child, as we’ve been praying and trying for 6 months. We are excited and happy for this new life and this new opportunity for relationship and we are certainly blessed! It is early, really early but when one thing is dominating your thoughts to not share it feels too weird to me. I know there is some sort of taboo in telling people before the 12 week mark but I just can’t get with that. Especially since if something did happen I would need to share my feelings about that too. Writing here is sort of like my ongoing journal of my life, of what I learn, how I grow, why I am always screwing up, and what I experience, and well, that includes everything. Well, almost everything. It is just that other people happen to read it (which is still surprising to me :). I cannot write blog entries that fail to recognize this one huge new reality. It sort of feels like lying, or at least like cheating on you all. Strange, I know. So for Mother’s Day I want to say thank you to my amazing Mama and my fabulous Mother-in-law. I learn so much from you and I pray that I can love my kids in the way you both do. And I want to announce I will be doing the Mama gig again.
So all of this is a huge rave! We are excited and a bit terrified not just because growing a human in one’s body and then pushing said human out is a bit scary but because even though we are supposed to “know what we are doing this time” we are also sort of starting over since we have to figure out what this means in Africa. The timing comes at a point where I am accepting this place as home, we are feeling better about communicating in Kiswahili, and we are seeing real progress on the school. All great.
now the rant, at first we thought I may not be that sick as the symptoms were not terrible the first few weeks. However, over the past 3 weeks the sickness (all day, a man made up the term “morning sickness”), nausea, vomiting, weakness, etc has been really wreaking havoc on my body. And on my spirit. The only time I feel ok is when I am asleep, and even falling asleep has been a challenge given the way I am feeling. I have tried to take it easy, tried to eat different foods, and Jason has been doing all the work of taking care of Annikah and the housework since I cannot really do anything. I just feel worthless. And I know if I were reading this I would respond by saying “your body is telling you to rest” and “you have to not worry about doing and just be” but that does not make me feel any better. It actually makes it worse since I can be my own shrink on the whole thing. Especially given the hours I have spent laying in bed thinking….I worry I am starting to lose it. I am trying to will myself to eat, will myself to feel better. It is amazing how eating is such a simple thing but when you cannot do it it affects everything else in your life. It is becoming increasingly difficult to eat as most of the foods I feel like I can stomach are unavailable and the few things I might want here are ridiculously expensive on our island. Argh!
In additional to being a crappy wife and mother at the moment…..seriously Annikah watching 3 movies a day on the laptop is a little much, the part that is really weighing on me is that I also am not able to continue to build into the relationships I have developed here since walking in the heat is not possible (after a couple black outs at home, not serious only a few seconds but scary enough). I am still inviting visitors in most days but it is so difficult to be hospitable and to think in Kiswahili when feeling so drained. Just as with Annikah my brain is just not functioning properly, sort of like part has been disconnected. Most of the day my only thought is concentrating on not throwing up or gagging. This must be a common occurrence as Annikah even brought a little container from her duka and said “me like Mama” and proceeded to cough and gag into her container….what a legacy I am building. She is so sweet as every time she hears me throwing up she comes over and kisses my leg and says “you feel better Mama?” That is the stuff that makes it worth it.
Over the past 3 weeks I have spent most of my time praying for God to make the puking stop (or provide some serious drugs that will do just that), to give me the endurance to wait it out (seriously I am such a wuse, so many people deal with prolonged sickness and without the joy of a baby at the end), and for our team and the people here, and reading or watching things on the laptop.
As each day passes I feel increasingly helpless and hopeless. I can barely leave our house right now. The worst part is that last time I was pregnant I rarely craved any food at all (I was also very sick then) but this time I have many cravings and things I would love to eat but they are not available here. If we were back home I could get that Burger King chicken sandwich or Panera salad or any of the other number of things I feel like I can eat. Here I can’t even get access to lettuce most of the time! Yesterday I felt like eating sliced turkey so we drove to the only store on the island that has sliced turkey and we were even willing to get raped and pillaged at the price of about 8 bucks for 4 tiny pieces and they were out! Are you kidding me? I am sure at some point I will be able to laugh at all of this. That time is not now.
I have had several dreams about feeling like myself here with friends or being back at home but when I wake up and immediately feel like total crap I just feel so defeated. OK, I know I am pathetic. I am a pathetic slug on the couch. But I am hoping through letting everything out and asking any dear souls out there to say a prayer for us as we try to deal with this new reality; the blessing and the challenges.
So this Mother’s Day I am both excited and exhausted and I want to give a shout out to all the amazing Mamas out there who love, nurture, and cherish the kids God blesses us with. It is a tough but rewarding job…even from the start.