Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blessed, Not Stressed

It's cheesy and lame, but true.  I should feel blessed, not stressed.  It's not so easy to remember at certain times.  So I am silently chanting that mantra everytime I start to feel my shoulder blades tensing up at the thought of the list of things I have yet to do.

I whispered it to myself at 2am this morning when I thoroughly terrified myself, David, the dogs, and possibly the next door neighbors, by starting awake from a nightmare, screaming bloody murder.  It was a terrible dream about driving and getting into a horrific car accident (crashing into a river) and Little Mac wasn't buckled in and her little body went flying and I tried to catch it but the gravitational forces kept me from being able to lift my arms at the same time David got sucked out the window and the van we were driving splashed into a river and I was pinned against the door and it was about to hit a concrete wall when I woke up screeching and choking.  It was horrifyingly real, to the extent that while I was having the dream, I actually told myself that this wasn't a dream.  Whose psyche tortures them like that?

I repeated it again when I woke up kind of sniffly this morning and chalked it up to the pregnancy symptom of being kind of stuffed up in general.  Then I repeated it yet again when my sniffly nose unexpectedly dripped blood onto the carpet.  Bloody noses are yet another pregnancy symptom that no one ever talks about, and not a fun one!  I had never, ever had a bloody nose before I got pregnant.  In the last few weeks, I've had a couple small incidents, but this was by far the grossest and lasted the longest (through my entire shower--ew).  I've been sleeping with a humidifier for a while, but evidently it's no match for the sudden drop in temperatures and blasting furnace air that I've been breathing.

I muttered it as we half-heartedly tidied up the house last night in preparation for David's grandparents coming to town.  We were both so exhausted after long days of work that we did not do a thorough cleaning.  Instead, we had to prioritize (kitchen clean, bathroom clean) and let the other stuff go (clean laundry folded but not put away, dog hair not vacuumed off the couch, Christmas decorations still in their containers stacked up in front of the bookshelves).

Earlier this week, I took a deep breath and chanted it when I mopped up rain water that leaked through the roof of the back room of our house, when I cleared my schedule to make appointments to get an estimate to have our car fixed, when I wrestled down the dogs to put in their ear drops, when I got swamped by last minute e-mails from students who want to meet about their essay the day before it's due.

It was easier to feel blessed when I wasn't screaming, bleeding, cleaning, or penciling yet another appointment into my planner.  Fortunately, this week also found me writing thank you notes (I love writing thank you notes--is that weird?), wrapping Christmas presents, writing final exams (the semester is so almost over!), and celebrating the birth of my friend Stephanie's twins:  Evelyn Grace and Elliott David.  (Aren't those adorable names?  The babies live up to them, I assure you.)

So far, our holiday season has been a pretty good balance of things that stress me out and things I feel very grateful for (with a few things--and people--falling into both categories!).  As the semester draws to a close, I hope that I can start tipping that balance further in the right direction.  By the time Christmas Eve gets here, you should find me lounging with my feet up, snacking on holiday treats, watching favorite movies, and reading just for fun.  No papers to grade, no meetings to attend, no class to plan.  Just celebrating the spirit of Christmas.  From the comfort of my couch.

Oh, yeah.  And waiting for one Baby Duck to make her appearance.  This round belly (and even the aches and pains and grossness and indignities that go with it) is the ultimate reminder that I should feel blessed, not stressed.


  1. YAY for the end of the semester! That will make everything seem less stressful. Vivid pregnancy dreams are so awful sometimes! That was a doozy!

    It's really hard to feel all sunshine-happy-miracle when you are physically miserable. I mean, intellectually I'm excited about the baby, but mostly I just want to be able to pick a sock up off the floor without swearing.

  2. I've just followed your comment from Glow in the Woods, and this post really broke my heart. All that joy, anticipation and hope and to have had it all so cruelly snatched away from you.
    I am so desperately sorry.
    I lost my firstborn baby girl in August 2008. I write about her as well.
    I'm so, so sorry about your precious Eliza.
    My heart is with yours.

  3. God I feel so terrible about hitting your car. 17 years of driving without an accident and I pull out of my garage like I do everyday and totally forget about the new obstacle to move around. I have been so out of it lately...I am so sorry!!!