I need to be really honest here: I'm not holding up all that well right now. Actually, I'm not really "holding up" in any sense at all. We're getting closer to Ewan's arrival every day and there are still a host of unknowns that need to be dealt with -- questions that need to be answered, work that needs to be accomplished, and realities that need to be handled. My due date is 5 weeks (just 35 days!) from tomorrow, and we don't have the luxury of being able to take our time figuring things out.
There is much above and beyond Ewan's heart condition that is beyond our control: the dismal job market, the amount of income we receive from James' oil investments (which have taken quite a tumble recently), and when Ewan will arrive -- just to name a few. Right now, I'm the only one working, and that means that I'm the only one who can take care of certain things: maternity leave paperwork, short-term disability paperwork, making sure I have as much time off with my baby as possible (which means working as close to the due date as I can without losing my sanity).
The combined reality of Ewan's heart condition (and all that comes with that: the wondering, the extra appointments, the financial concerns, the emotional stress, etc.), James not having a job, not yet knowing how we are going to manage our financial obligations while I'm on maternity leave, the steady stream of ignorant or downright insensitive comments about my size or about pregnancy in general, having to work full time until it's time (and my job -- like yours -- has its share of incredibly frustrating days too), the general lack of free time away from work in which to check off anything on my personal to-do list, and the everyday obligations of life mean that I am and have been operating at a level of stress that doesn't leave me a lot of wiggle room in the patience/ability-to-handle-the-unexpected department. There is nothing in reserve.
And instead of getting better, sometimes it all just feels like things are getting worse.
People who know me well know what this means: everyday things -- even the tiniest frustrations and mishaps -- send me flying off the handle. Spilling food down the front of my shirt (again). Dropping something on the floor. Not being able to blow up an exercise ball by myself. Dropping my planner at work and watching all but two pages spill out. Having a paycheck that was taxed at a higher rate, resulting in about 20% less take-home pay. These are the the proverbial straws that break the camel's back -- the things that bring me to the point where I might, for example, get to my car and start sobbing, shouting unreservedly at the top of my lungs at God in all-out hysterics, telling him how desperately I need a break from all of this and how I cannot handle ONE MORE THING. You know, just like I did about three hours ago.
This is more than hormones and it's bigger than knowing how bad all this stress is for me, so I better just take a nice hot bath with some candles and chill out. I am worried about what this kind of stress could do to Ewan. I'm concerned about how this could affect what has been an otherwise healthy pregnancy (the last thing we need is an early onset of labor). I am worried about how I'm going to remember being pregnant with Ewan. While we've experienced so much joy in knowing he was coming and now that he will be with us so soon, the inevitable, implacable realities we go to bed and wake up with are starting to overwhelm and suffocate the joy out of it for me. I feel like this should be such an exciting time for us -- expecting our first baby!! -- and instead I'm finding myself filled with dread. And guilt for feeling that way.
All of it together is just too much for me to handle. I want him to stay safe for as long as possible, and I don't want my stress to hurt him. He will have plenty of challenges soon enough. If there was something tangible someone could help with I would gladly ask for it, but I honestly don't know what that would be right now.
God has taken such good care of us throughout this whole ordeal, providing even for our smallest needs, I have a hard time believing that He would abandon us in these bigger things. He knows what we need and often makes His provision known at the last minute and at the height of the impossible. But I feel so lost in contending with these day-to-day realities that comprise my present, in confronting decisions that I simply don't know how to make, in stresses and frustrations that I cannot ignore or delay or shrug off. I can't live in this place where I'm constantly falling apart. I only have a few short weeks left of being able to take care of my baby, and I don't want to screw them up.
I just don't know what to do, except say Jesus, help with every breath, and hope with every fiber of my being that our morning does not delay in coming.