A year ago, I was just returning to work after maternity leave. It still feels weird to call it maternity leave. It was bereavement leave. I had no baby. I had no desire to return to work. I had no desire to do anything other than go to the cemetery every day. Sometimes multiple times. Brent and I were preparing for our trip to Faith's Lodge, where we experienced tremendous hope and healing after losing Harlynn. It was only a year ago. It still seems so fresh, and yet so long ago. Today, I'm home on maternity leave after delivering Little Man, trying to heal up so I can return to work. I'm looking forward to working again, and to what each day has in store for me and for our little family. It's a different place emotionally, but laced with so many similarities.
I often feel like I'm walking backwards. I'm facing where we've been. I'm facing what we've been through, and where we've come from. I'm walking ahead, but with my back turned to the future. I have no idea where I'm going, how I'm getting there, or what's in store. I'm continually focused on what brought us here, that moment in the hospital, and how it forever changed us. Yet while I'm focused on it, I'm still able to progress ahead, even if it isn't the way others think I "should".
I've found it is possible to take one step back and still move forward. I am moving forward...just doing it backwards. It's almost humorous, but I'm proof-positive it's entirely possible. I'm not turning my back on losing Harlynn or how it has shaped me, and I'm also not giving up on moving ahead in life. I'm getting there, even if it is a different way from everyone else.
I'm not avoiding the future, though, or what is has to offer. I'm still approaching it with curiosity, hope, and eager anticipation. I just choose to be more surprised than I would have before. That said, I'm still making consciously aware decisions regarding the paths I want to take...I just may not be able to see or figure out exactly how to get there.
You can join me in praying for these next steps I'm about to venture on - no matter how backwards my approach may seem to others.
For starters, it's high time my family get our health under control. Being pregnant for two years running has lent itself out to numerous cravings - none of which are healthy (save for the one time I craved broiled cod filets, and the one time I wanted a salad as a meal). Chili dogs, mini donuts, and milkshakes have all crossed my mouth (and mind) as absolute staples - must haves - to fuel myself. Yes, I only gained 20 pounds with Little Man, but that was after gaining more than 40 with Harlynn, and hardly losing any of it prior to becoming pregnant again. My cravings have led to poor nutrition for the rest of my family as well. Not just my cravings, but my lack of energy in desire while sorting through my grief. Then my lack of ability due to being on bed rest. Then from recovering from surgery. So....I owe it to my family to get us back on track, so we can be a family who healthily enjoys time together rather than wasting away in our own sea of blubber. (No more tubs of frosting for me...) I've done some research and have decided to adopt a plan I'm encouraged to try, stick to, and reap benefit from. Not just for myself, but for my household. If you'd like to check it out, visit TrimHealthyMama.com. Or, check out this sneak peek of a dessert I tried and loved, and figured that even as picky as I am, I can get on board with this plan.
I'm not just looking to shed pounds, but I'm looking to adopt a way of eating that will satisfy our hunger and our cravings, and won't poison my family with chemically charged ingredients, and - let's be real - I have to have me some butter. This is a plan I can get behind, and their scripturally-based foundation isn't one to be taken lightly. So pass the butter, and the smaller pants, please...
Also, and this might come as a surprise, but I really enjoy writing. There's this little contest going on this month, and five winners get invited to a writer's luncheon, and an appointment with a publisher. I'm not saying I'd even make it past the first sentence in a judge's eyes, but I'd like to enter and just go for it anyway. So, I'm going to. I have no idea what I'll write. I have no idea what my submission will be. I just know I'm going to have one. The Lord hasn't revealed to me what I should write about, but I'm trusting He will. I've got one too many stories to tell, so His guidance is what I need to rely on for this.
I have a couple of weeks before I start working again, and could use your prayers that my adorable, lovable children, let me do things during the day. Little Man has a tendency to only want to be held, cuddled, or otherwise paid attention to. While I'm happy to oblige and cover his Little Man head in kisses, it has caused me to miss or severely delay meals, lose additional sleep, and force Little Miss to be more on her own than she would like. Little Miss, in her own right, has become more clingy, desiring more of my attention, and on top of that, wants to smother her baby brother in kisses and hugs. Additionally, I'm tied to a breast pump every few hours, and even if I schedule things between feedings or pump sessions, it's very hard for me to go anywhere. I'm really looking forward to being a contributing member of society again, so I need to find some sort of routine and balance in my first responsibility of being a wife and mother, so I can also excel at my other responsibility of being a worthwhile employee.
I don't have the time to get started on the wonderful things that are happening with Harlynn's Heart and how that will be a better organization in the months ahead. Exciting things are taking place, and I'm honored to be a part of it still, a year later and beyond.
I'm going to keep taking my backward steps, though I'm sure in actuality, I've modified them to sideways now. This way I can see both where I've been, and where I'm going, and not miss anything in between. It's all a part of who I am today, and who I'll end up as later on. I'll get there.
Besides, the view from my side is pretty sweet...