11.23.2008

crossroads

Why is it that every time I come to a big fat unknown, an uncomfortable fork in the road, I always take pictures of my feet? Maybe it's neurotic, maybe it's symbolic. That's what I'm doing today. Taking pictures of my feet, my fun new sparkly shoes, and fretting about the future. Funny, because if I've learned anything in life, it's not to fret. Not worth it. God always works everything out. And oddly, He'll work it out 100% better than you ever originally bargained for. But today, I can't even help it. So sit down girlfriends, grab a cup of hot apple cider with me, and allow me to vent.

This babe is now 20 weeks--that means he's half fully grown! And in another 20 weeks (give or take), he'll be making his debut...ready or not! It's not that I'm wigging out about mamahood itself. I've never felt better, more anticipation, more excitement ever. This pregnancy thing is bliss. But in the mean time, we do still have so so many details to work out...

Let me explain: I can't even decide what kind of pie to make for Thanksgiving dinner. I stink at making decisions; always have, always will. Combine that with a nervous-bird personality who would prefer to have every single detail planned out for at least the next year. Marry that personality to a complete laissez-faire husband, who's favorite free-time activity is "chilling" and you've got the story of my life. But I love Jeff, dearly. Good thing I do enough fretting for the both of us. While Jeff just goes with the flow, undoubtedly, these decisions will continue to consume my thoughts for the next months. It will probably take a notebook full of pro/con charts and an epic blog post for me to even begin to sort things through...

1. I can't decide where to deliver this babe. Confession: I'm ultra anxious about this birth, and it has nothing to do with blood, sweat, or tears. I'm anxious because I so badly want this birth to be as natural as possible...I want to deliver in a place, with people who support that. Please no c-sections, no inductions, please no epidurals, and please no epi--well, you know where I'm going next. Of course, that is, if all is otherwise well and low-risk for the baby. The ICU nurse in me wouldn't think of delivering outside of the hospital. That's a given. But anyway, I feel like the OB medical community and individual birth philosophies are a huge can of worms that I just won't open right here, right now. Suffice it to say that I'm struggling with finding health insurance and a provider that will work for and with us.

2. We're thinking it's time to leave S.F. We've loved it here, but always knew it wasn't our ideal place to raise a family. We're thinking we need a better support system, perhaps some more space, and a more family-friendly environment. But the question is when do we move? Where? Should we sneak this big transition in before baby is born or wait 'til a few months or years after? Plus, the housing market is so buyer-friendly right now, we're thinkin' we might even be able to scrape together a down payment. (Aghm, but of course not here, the 'spendiest place on earth!) But purchasing a place seems so final. The reality is there's no one perfect community that has all of your family, all of your friends, the best church, and the best schools all in one place. I need to get over that. Right now, it's about prayer+priorities...

3. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mama. My mom stayed home with us, and growing up, I couldn't imagine it any other way. I always thought I'd want to be there for every second of my kids' precious childhoods. Until I found the job of my dreams and realized the luxury of combining 2 incomes. Fancy dates at fancy restaurants have replaced Ramen noodles, and we're quite comfy. But more than that, I seriously love nursing. It's amazingly rewarding. I can't even begin to tell you. Part of me dearly wants to hang on to this nursing career...and even if it's just one or two night shifts per week, I think it might be feasible. But part of me just wants to invest all of my energy into our family and our home and my little crafting enterprise on the side. Advice!?

There you have it...me...completely unraveled. However, there are 3 things I know for certain: First, God already has all of this worked out, and is shaking his head at my inner turmoil right about now. Second, I know we'll eventually get to wherever we're going. I just need to have faith and keep on praying. As they say, this too shall pass. And third, when we get to wherever we're going, I'll be right back here to blog about it. I don't want to miss a second of this crazy experience called life. :)

14 comments:

Elijah's Mom said...

1. I wanted my birth to be completely natural too - so, so much. I did choose an OB and even the teaching hospital, but everyone was soo supportive of my birth plan. Honestly, I think a lot of places are these days. Even once I chose to get the epidural (dilating 1 cm every 2-3 hours is absolutely exhausting!), everyone tried to encourage me to stick with my birth plan. If you do go with an OB, you can interview them and make sure they support your choices/hopes. Hopefully you can find one that is supportive! My OB did a good job of having a dialogue with me about all interventions and that really helped me feel more comfortable.

erica said...

First off, I don't know how I first came across your blog, but I love it. Although you don't know me at all, I too live in the bay area. I am going to be bold and just throw out a suggestion that you guys should move to Petaluma. Assuming that you've never visited, it has a charming old downtown, lots of victorian homes on the west side of the river, a few boutique shops and plenty of antique shops, and some pretty surprisingly good restaurants. Plus it's a small town with farms all around the outskirts of the town - so you've got the countryside in your backyard, but SF is only 40 minutes away. Many people who live up here commute (mostly via the bus) to SF for work. Anyway, that's just my two cents. =) Thanks for all of the inspirational posts!

mama b said...

jess, just wanted to encourage you a little in your natural birth plan. i was devoted to delivering naturally, but i still wanted the safety of a hospital. i had a doctor who supported me, which really helped, and we prayed for a long time that the nurses who wound up in my l&d room would be too. we stayed at home for a LONG time after labor started...i waited until contrax were 2 min apart and 1 min long, and i'm so glad i did. when we finally got to the hospital, i was already at 8 cm, and i delivered 4 hours later. it was rough and hard, but so worth it, and my labor & birth experience was the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me. i can't WAIT to be in labor again. it is amazing. now, i couldn't avoid the episiotomies. my doctor literally said to me while pushing, "you just weren't built for this." so i had to have 3. yuck. but the recovery wasn't horrendous, and i didn't think it was a big deal.

anyway, just wanted to say that with prayer and planning and determination, a natural birth can definitely happen. many many blessings to you!

Casey said...

oh i feel ya jessica! so many decisions, and even though 9 months is long, sometimes it doesn't feel long enough to make these life changing decisions! my sister had a natural birth, and unfortunately had to let your doctor go, she wasn't fully supporting it. Find the right people, and everything will fall into place!! I will be praying for you jessica!

Chelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelle said...

Bless your heart, dear girl...how much you have on your mind and heart. This post was so precious. And can relate myself, thinking of some of the possible uncertainies in our near future,and feeling as happy as I am about it, a little bit like a ticking time bomb. :) Praying that God just fills that mommy heart of yours with peace in all these unkowns. I was pretty nervous over how things would go during Annabelle's birth, wondering if I would be strong enough to handle the pain and endure the labor and delivery process. We were incredibly blessed to be able to have Annabelle at home, completely naturally and both of us would say looking back that her birth couldn't have gone better. And Jess, when it's your turn God will give you His strength and grace to see you through...but as parents we so badly want our babies birth to be a good experience...praying God really gives you and Jeff some assurance as you make some of these big decisions...

Also, wondering if you have ever seen that documnetary called The Bussiness of Being Born by Rikki Lake? I have heard it is really good.

Please forgive the novel sized comment!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess. This is Peggy from ILC. I love reading your posts :) makes me miss being pregnant. I have a 2 month old little girl that keeps me busy. I thought I'd offer some advice. Natural labor is the best from everyone that I talked to before having my baby * and its not as painful as some would have you believe but exercising does help immensely*. I don't know if any of the hospitals around you offer water births but doing the birth that way is so awesome because its relief without drugs. I did that and its almost like taking a bath after the biggest work out ever.A water birth along with the breathing techniques you'll learn is all you'll need. Oh and what mama b said is true as well. You'll learn when you have your contractions that standing and pacing/walking feels so much better then sitting and once you get to the hospital they'll have you lying down obiviously to monitor the baby so the long you can stay at home before going in the better. My labor was kinda funny though since it was first one my husband thought he needed to go by the book * when my doctor said to go to the hospital when the contractions were 5 minutes apart*. I started at 3 am and was keeping track til 5 when they got harder and I woke him up then he took over and I know they're just getting worse he says "They say the early part of labor is 12-16 hours " and I'm thinking "Your nuts!" so finally at like 8:30 he calls the doctor and the doctor had us go in and I was 8-8.5 cm already in only 5 hours. Plus the doctor that delivered the baby was actually my doctor's partner * who doesn't do a lot of water birthes but said he'd do it for me* this is the funniest part since he wasn't used to doing water birthes he forgot to take his pager out of his pocket and it fell in during one of my pushes.Well if you ever wanna chat or having any questions I might be able to answer you can find me on facebook. Congrats and God's blessings :).

Cottage Mommy said...

Oh, I so know these feelings...my hubby and I have very similar personalities as you and yours! When we were pregnant with our first my hubby did not have steady work, was looking for a job and got an interview in S. California and one in the town he grew up in. We ended up taking the one where he grew up, where family is and he started working before our boy was born. I stayed in our old town to work and deliver baby. I literally moved to our new town the day we took our baby home from the hospital. Not ideal but God totally provided a place with support, a job that let me stay home with baby. It was all an unknown while I was pregnant. Long comment but just to confirm what you already know...God is good and He provides and He has good plans for your family! And crazy changes can happen during this time in life and it works out!

rinse*repeat said...

Hello lovely Jessica :) I am not, nor have never been, married or pregnant so I absolutely zero experience dealing with any of your current worries.

But I'm wishing, hoping and praying that you, Jeff and little baby boy find peace and joy in whatever you decide and wherever you land. :)

Was that the longest run-on sentence ever? YIKES.

Julie said...

My sister was a nurse when she was young and married and loved it. Then she stayed home and raised her kids, after that went back to work as a nurse where she LOVES working now. So just an idea, maybe choose to be a nurse again somewhere down the road? Or on a part-time basis? I have a feeling once the baby is here you'll have a better understanding what is right in your particular situation. I will pray for you about your decisions, all of them, right now. :)

Secondstreetdesigns said...

Hi there. I am a nurse too... and I was just as concerned about modern medicine verses natural birth. We unfortunately had alot of things go wrong, so I had no other option, but I always thought if I had a normal first delivery i would consider the natural alternative for number two. Except now we only will have one......but I am thankful for modern medicine, I know there are lots of regulations, but lots of women's lives have been saved.
I also struggled with staying at home. But that is the awesome thing about being a nurse. I have had a variety of positions since having Aidan, including casual and part time. Prior to having a baby I was 100% committed to staying home, but when I thought about never being an RN again I realized how much of my identity comes from being a nurse. Maybe that is wrong and selfish, and I should be content finding my identity in being a mom/having a home business, but my husband and I spent alot of time praying about it, and felt a peace about having me continue on. He is involved in a start-up business which means I will someday have to be the benefit holder, so I am glad i have been able to keep my skills up. And since I LOVE being a nurse I also viewed working as social "me" time, with the paycheck as the perk.

Oops.I am sorry my comment is so long.

kt mac said...

I cannot even begin to understand what your going through right now (having never been in that situation myself) but want you to know how I have been thinking of you and upholding you and Jeff in my prayers. That little baby of yours is going to be so loved and beautiful and I know as you put it to the Lord he will unfold his plan for you guys and direct your steps.

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Proverbs 16:3

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Thanks for all your comments lately Jess, they make me smile :)
x

Miss G said...

Jessica, oh how wonderful to read your post and know I'm not alone. Funny how just three days ago I was fretting and crying over where we're going to live in the future, feelings/questions about my work, etc., etc. Oh my! I too like to know everything. How hard it is for me to not be in control. Thanks for so candidly sharing your thoughts and feelings.

I've been married for less than a whopping two months! How about if I just focus on being a newlywed and enjoy where I am right now? hmm . . . easier said than done at times but certainly a good idea.

I like that you take pictures of your feet at such times though. That's fun.

I too have a hard time making decisions. I think I'm getting better but sometimes it's definitely overwhelming.

I also live in a big city (and went to SF on my honeymoon! Have I already commented that?) and haven't thought that I'd like to raise my kids there at such a point as we do have kids. I grew up in a large city but in Dallas where I live, I have no desire to raise kids there.

As far as working after the baby, my sister-in-law is a nurse and has an almost two year old. She works two days a week. I think there are pros and cons although I can't say for sure since I'm not her. Anyway, I agree with another commenter that working again after your kids are bigger is always a possibility. For what it's worth . . .

May God bless you as you trust in Him and make all of these decisions. Kelly

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