Book Review: A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism
by Melanie Bettinelli on October 16, 2012
Next week I’ll be hosting a stop on Sarah’s blog tour for the book; but I have so much to say about this book and I couldn’t wait until next week to post my initial review of Sarah Reinhard’s A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism
Now in the sixth month of my sixth pregnancy, I’ve long since stopped looking at pregnancy books. I began leafing through my advance copy of my friend’s book as much from a sense of duty and less because I expected to find anything new and helpful. I should have known better. After a few dips here and there, I began to read the entire book cover to cover, not wanting to miss a thing.
Pregnancy is a uniquely challenging experience, not only physically, but also spiritually. Yet it is precisely this spiritual dimension that is so often neglected in books on the subject. Even the few Catholic books I’ve found, however, fail to fully address my spiritual hunger. Sarah Reinhard’s Catholic Companion to Pregnancy is the book I wanted and never found when I was throwing up daily with my first pregnancy, when I lost Francis, my second, to miscarriage, when my third pregnancy found me too tired to chase after my active toddler. It’s the book I kept hunting for with every positive test. The book I’d given up on ever finding.
The reflections on the mysteries of the rosary are themselves worth the cover price. Sarah, who I think of as Mary’s biggest fan girl, had the brilliant insight that if you pray two full rosaries (the traditional, joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries as well as the new luminous mysteries) the number of mysteries equals the 40 weeks of an average pregnancy. Beneath the “What to Expect” structure stands a second scaffolding of walking with Jesus through Mary. Additional treasures are the practical exhortations on living the Christian life, drawing on the vast wealth of traditional Catholic devotions. “Faith Focus” sections are sprinkled with quotes from the Catechism and Church documents, suggesting litanies, prayers, devotions to saints, and other pious customs. These are wonderful introductions to the depth and breadth of the Catholic tradition and help to guide the reader through the spiritual journey of pregnancy. They strike a nice balance: perfect for a convert or seeker who knows nothing about the Catholic Church, yet meaty enough for a woman deeply rooted in her faith. They extend an invitation to go deeper no matter where you are.
Also included are special focus sections on eating disorders, unexpected pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, and many more. The book concludes with sections on labor—with wonderful, concrete spiritual tips for that unique spiritual and physical challenge (Oh I wanted those as I was preparing for Bella’s birth!)—and on baptism, bringing the journey of pregnancy and childbirth to the fullest conclusion as the newborn child formally enters the Church community.
The short chapters could be read at a single sitting or you could also read a section a day and stretch a chapter over the course of the week. As I’ve found, even if you begin this book later in your pregnancy, there are not-to-be-missed gems in every chapter. If you’re like me, you won’t want to skip ahead to your current week but will happily linger on every page. This is now the book I will suggest for all expecting moms, whether on their first pregnancy or their tenth., whether deeply religious or tentatively searching.
Please check back next week for more, more, more about A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy, including excerpts from the book, exciting giveaways, and a special reflection by Sarah on the fifth glorious mystery, the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Also, be sure to check out all the other stops on the blog tour. The featured reflections are a perfect way to pray the rosary for the October, the Month of the Rosary and Respect Life Month.
by Melanie Bettinelli on February 05, 2012
Karen Edmisten’s new book is shipping early! I got my copy
yesterday on Tuesday (but then on Wednesday Anthony spiked a fever and I’ve been holding him almost non-stop while battling his ear infection ever since and so I was unable to finish this post.) I am honored that Karen chose to include a short poem I wrote. Although I didn’t write it directly about my own miscarriage, that experience obviously informs the piece. I wrote it when I was asked to pray for a mother who had recently lost a child to SIDS. But at the time I felt funny about publishing it. It seemed too raw as a response to a stranger’s grief. Then I remembered it almost a year later when a dear friend had a miscarriage. I went back and re-read it and found that it was good. And true. So I published it. I have been told by many women that my little poem has brought them comfort. Now, nestled inside Karen’s gem of a book, I have hopes that it will reach many more than it could tucked away here in my blog’s archives.
But oh I was going to write about Karen’s book. Did I mention what a treasure it is? I thought I was done grieving our baby Francis but as I’ve perused these pages I have found my tears flowing again. In just three weeks the anniversary is coming—five years since that terrible day. And yet that date, February 25, lies just between two wonderful anniversaries that have since joined our family’s calendar of celebrations: February 20, Anthony’s birthday, and March 4, Sophie’s birthday. I think God knew what he was doing when Sophie was due almost a year to the day from the day I lost Baby Francis. This is the way the world is, death and life so intertwined you can’t pull them apart. Had Francis not died, I’d not have my Sophie. It is a grief and a joy both. And now Anthony. It is a miracle when you consider that after the miscarriage I was told I had cancer and was going to have a hysterectomy. I went through such a dark week, thinking Bella would be the only baby I’d get to hold. And then there was Sophie… and Ben… and Anthony.
Life after miscarriage. Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in that sisterhood of grieving mothers because mine has been such an easy cross when I know so many mothers who struggle so under such a heavy weight. But I do know that whenever I hear of a mother—or father, let’s not forget the fathers—who has lost a baby, I know my heart now reaches out in a way I don’t think it could have before.
And then there were these words, that Colleen penned recently after losing yet another of her babies:
But I hold in my heart the greatest of all consolations, the hope of heaven. For I realize, that even when my body is well past the age of bearing babies, even if I should live until I am 100, always, I will be an expectant mother, until the day I hold my babies for eternity.
I love that. I will always be an expectant mother. There is still that eagerly awaited little one, the one my arms ache to hold and that hope of a longed for meeting in heaven.
I hope that After Miscarriage finds its way into many hands, many homes, many hearts. The stories, poems, prayers and memories Karen shares are a beautiful balm for grieving parents because they are full of the healing love of Christ.
by Melanie Bettinelli on May 03, 2010
[I wrote this last year and hesitated to post it at the time. But on re-reading it I’ve decided to go ahead and put it out there. ]
God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living….
For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.
Wisdom 1:13; 2:23-24.
No one scorns the haiku for being shorter than War and Peace
Nor scolds the daffodil for being briefer than a redwood
But this little life cut off so young
We mourn and cry “too soon too soon”.
Surely the Author knows when to end each tale
So should we all
For in the beginning death was not
And though there is a plan perhaps for even this little sparrow’s fall
Still we cry
For we know that a sparrow was meant to fly.
by Melanie Bettinelli on October 04, 2009
No words can take away the pain of miscarriage, although faith and time can lessen it. Some parents find the words of St. Bernard of Clairveuax helpful. He wrote to a couple that had a miscarriage. In response to their question, �What is going to happen to my child? The child didn�t get baptized,� St. Bernard said, �Your faith spoke for this child. Baptism for this child was only delayed by time. Your faith suffices. The waters of your womb � were they not the waters of life for this child? Look at your tears. Are they not like the waters of baptism? Do not fear this. God�s ability to love is greater than our fears. Surrender everything to God.�
Your faith spoke for this child.I never had a doubt that God honored my plea for my baby to be received into his arms when I realized I was miscarrying and in the middle of the night placed my hand over my cramping womb, whispered the baptismal formula and named our baby Francis. I knew that the waters in my uterus and the waters of my tears were enough so long as the words and the will were there.
One commenter on Mr. Darwin’s blog post said a young man told her her baby was in hell! How terrible that anyone would tell a grieving mother otherwise than that her faith was sufficient for her child. Our God is a God of love and mercy, a perfect Father, whose Son told us that a father would never hand his child a stone when he asked for bread. How could we want more for our children than he would give? How could He condemn our children when we beg Him to hold them in His loving arms? Is it possible for me to love my baby more than my Heavenly Father does?
* * *
And that would have been all I wrote except that before I hit submit I came across these thoughts on St. Francis by Kate Wicker:
“Francis was to become a man who wanted to laugh with joy at his freedom in God’s beautiful world and weep with compassion and love at the sufferings of his Lord, and he never seemed to know which to do.”
I haven’t always been sure how to react to God either. Do I cry? Laugh? Rejoice? Mourn?
God is too big to conjure up just one emotion. There have been times when I’ve been in awe of Him. Being close to nature or giving birth to a child can do that to me. I feel so small as I experience an indestructible sense of wonder: God created this mountain, this dancing dandelion’s white fuzz puffed into air, the depths of this vast ocean, this new life nestled in my arms.
There are other times when I don’t want to accept the atrocities of the Passion of Christ. It’s too painful. Wasn’t there another way? I don’t understand. I don’t understand. And I’ll shudder thinking of Jesus, bloodied and battered, crucified for us all. And I’ll cry when I hear about a child who has suffered, hollowed out and starving because there was nothing left to eat. Or I’ll weep in confusion when I’m reminded of the woman whose baby was ripped from her arms in tsunami that formed in the same ocean that seemed so beautiful to me once but now seems violent. Again, I’ll say: I don’t understand.
And suddenly I made the connection. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before; but when I read what Kate said about not knowing whether to laugh or cry, it suddenly occurred to me that today I should be celebrating the feast of St Francis for our baby Francis who went to heaven via miscarriage more than two years ago.
It’s a funny synchronicity, writing about the miscarriage and then reading about Francis.
It’s an odd connection, really. I love St. Francis, have a special affection for him. As does Dom who attended Franciscan University. And yet we’d almost certainly not have named the baby Francis had it been full term. That wasn’t one of the names we were considering. But somehow when I knew I was miscarrying it felt right. That was the name for this little one whose face I would never see.
For each of our children we’ve tried to acknowledge their patron saint on their feast days. Even if it’s just picking a rose and looking at a holy card of St Therese for Sophie Therese. But until just now I never thought to do that for our baby Francis in heaven.
I suppose I should try to think of a suitable way to acknowledge this day, to remember two beloved Francises in heaven. Perhaps that’s enough. Remember and talk about them. And yes say yet another prayer that one day I will see all my children together joyful in heaven.
by Melanie Bettinelli on May 19, 2009
This morning I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended a Bible study group for mothers at our parish. I’ve felt a little adrift ever since we moved here in November, knowing no one at our new parish except the two priests. Of course this past winter was absolutely terrible for getting out and exploring and meeting new people. I was exhausted and nauseous and the weather was… well it was winter in New England, nuff said.
I know in two more months I’ll probably be going back into retreat mode, dealing with the arrival of baby Benedict and all that entails. Fortunately God has given me a golden season right now, a lovely, leafy springtime. I have energy again and am not too debilitated by my sciatica and aching back. The girls are both taking simultaneous afternoon naps, leaving us nice wide-open mornings. Time to reach out and make some connections while I can. In the past few weeks we’ve enjoyed story time at the library, meeting other mothers of 2 and 3 year olds. Now a new Bible study starts up at the parish that actually meets at a time I can make and even offers babysitting. Time to meet other moms from church.
I had no idea what to expect, but I was certain that this was something I needed to do and I’m so glad I went. I’m not looking to make a best friend or have deep theological discussions about scripture, though neither do I discount these possibilities—anything is possible; but for me that’s not what this is about. It’s about stepping out of my comfort zone to make connections and become a part of a community. I hate going to Mass every Sunday and not knowing anyone. Oh there is almost always at lest one nice soul who stops by to compliment the girls. We are starting to get to the point of recognizing some faces and even saying hi to a couple of people. But I want to feel like I belong, like I’m a part of something, not like I’m just visiting.
And so there I was, walking into a room full of strangers with Sophie in my arms and Bella at my side. Shy introvert me. At least the girls sort of provide an ice-breaker. There’s an automatic script that everyone can go through when you’ve got a baby in your arms: how old is she, what’s her name, etc. It’s familiar and comforting and made the whole process a little less stressful for me.
It was a small group, I was so glad. Just four other women plus the woman who was babysitting. Everyone else already knew each other, of course. It’s not a large parish, not a large town for that matter. They were all very welcoming to me, though. One said she’d noticed us at Mass and complimented me on the girls’ behavior.
The Bible study manual the group is using is a Marian Bible study for moms put out by Our Sunday Visitor. Lots of annoying fill in the blank workbook questions of the kind that drive me crazy; but I know are helpful for getting discussion rolling. Otherwise the layout is rather good. Lots of meat to chew on. Today’s chapter was on the Annunciation and began with the angel’s visit to Zacchariah and the went on to a bunch of prophetic Old Testament texts that point to the Messiah, then on to the actual annunciation from Luke. We skipped over a few sections for the sake of time.
I liked that the intro to the chapter framed the discussion specifically for moms with an anecdote about the author losing her cool while trying to do too many things at once. A spaghetti sauce moment she called it. Much of the discussion revolved around the virtue of patience and giving up our need for control to allow God to be in charge. Everyone shared several anecdotes about her home and children, I felt like I got to know everyone else a little bit. Surprisingly, I think I probably talked too much rather than too little. Odd to find myself spilling my guts about my miscarriage and cancer scare to women I’d just met an hour before.
I was glad our pastor stepped in at the beginning and end of the session. He was understandably called away in the middle. He was able to help guide the discussion a little deeper than it might have gone without his guidance. And since he’s a family friend, I feel like I have a prior connection with him that made it a bit easier to slip into being a part of the group. Especially when at the end when we were wrapping things up and chatting he commented on being able to see the Bettinelli in Sophia.
I felt like a bit of an intellectual snob at several points during the session. I’m pretty sure I’ve read and studied theology more than any of the other women. I’m a huge reader and in the past few years I’ve really tried to get better educated about my faith. My husband and sister were both Theology majors after all and I grew up in the Catholic bookstore that my parents owned. I met Dom at a Bible study he was running that really challenged me at time. And I know that for my intellectual pride can be a stumbling block. So I think on that level this Bible study will be good for me. It will challenge me in a different sort of way, to focus on faith not as an intellectual exercise, as can be my wont, but in terms of my motherhood, my vocation, the daily trials and tribulations. And at the same time it won’t be the same kinds of challenge and support I get from my online friends, who though they are all very different are still all so much more like me than any of the women I met today. Even when more women join, I suspect it will still be a group of women very unlike me. One of the women said today in a moment that floored me that she’d never considered Mary as a person, a mother who’d had faced challenges and trials. She was just a pretty image, a beautiful, perfect woman.
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 18, 2008
A reader emailed to ask if I had any advice to give for consoling some friends of hers who had suffered a second miscarriage. I thought it was a good general question that I’ve not seen addressed anywhere and so thought I’d share my thoughts here as others may be wondering the same thing. I’d also like to invite readers who have had miscarriages to share anything that someone did for you that you would recommend or something you wish someone had done.
It is so hard to know what to say to someone who is grieving and especially who has lost a child to miscarriage. There are no public rituals of funeral and burial to help you through the grieving process and it is hard to talk about with people so it is easy to feel like you are alone in your grief. for me the blog really helped not only because I was able to write about it (here, and here, and here, and here) but because of the wonderful outpouring of prayers and sympathy and encouragement from my readers. I really felt like I was surrounded by people who cared and understood. In that respect I think the mass card is a great idea because it is a sign of their being a part of the Body of Christ, of being connected in prayer with the universal Church. I’d have loved to receive something like that. I’d encourage other friends and family members to send cards as well, if you know anyone in their family or circle of friends you can prod in that direction. Those little gestures mean so much and the cards themselves are a physical token with the child’s name that they can keep as a memento. I started to realize this fall that I really wanted something that I could touch or hold that was connected with my baby. Our faith is incarnational and we do so need to connect to spiritual realities through our senses. When you lose a baby so early it feels kind of abstract and almost as if it never happened. I wanted something to cling to.
For me one of the best things anyone did was to give me an object with Francis’ name on it. I blogged about that back in February. My sister’s roommate had made mugs for Dom and I when we were married and she made one when Bella was born and so having one for Francis really meant a lot to me. That’s very particular to our family, so I wouldn’t necessarily suggest going out and getting a mug; but perhaps there is a way of memorializing the children which would be appropriate for their family. Giving them some kind of token which they can associate with that baby or even planting a tree or a flowering bush in the baby’s honor. I’d think a small statue of Mary might be something I’d have appreciated. I’m not sure about something baby-themed such as a baby blanket or shoes. For some parents that might be a comfort, for others it might be too painful, I think it’s too hard to tell unless you know them really well.
You said they named both children. That would be one of my first recommendations for parents who’ve had a miscarriage. it is so important to acknowledge that these are immortals souls who are known to God and somehow, mysteriously have a place in his providential plan. I’d encourage them to pray for their children every day and even ask their intercession as the Church allows us to hope that God’s mercy extends to these innocents who died before they were born. We always add Francis to our evening prayers with Bella and Sophia. Saying that name out loud every night helps me to not feel like my child is forgotten. I also found great consolation enrolling Francis’ name in the book at the Shrine for Children who died unborn at the NY Church of the Holy Innocents website. I’d encourage them to do that. It is nice to know there’s a name physically written in a church in a book that sits where people go to pray. The website says: “Here, a candle is always lit in their memory. All day long people stop to pray. On the first Monday of every month, our 12:15pm Mass is celebrated in honor of these children and for the comfort of their families.” For me and I suspect most parents who have very early miscarriages the lack of a memorial or grave site to visit or any physical mementos, as I said before, is particularly hard.
One helpful word of advice that we were told was to expect to feel sadness not only on the anniversary of the miscarriage but also when the baby’s due date came around. Dom read something about someone whose wife started to feel blue without even being consciously aware of the date. When he told me it made sense and so I kind of knew to expect it, which helped when I started to feel blue. It helped to be able to memorialize that date on my blog and have support then. So if you know when that will be, you might be prepared to give some additional comfort and support at that time as well. Knowing someone else remembers and cares might be a great comfort.
Also, for me it helped just knowing how many other women have gone through this loss. I was surprised at how many people shared their stories with me and then I also started reading blogs and stumbling across miscarriage stories online. It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone. Being able to talk about it helped. If she isn’t a blog reader already, she might take some comfort in the online community and you might help point her in that direction. The Catholic moms I know online are such a great group of loving women who support and encourage one another so beautifully.
I know too that at the time Dom expressed how often people seem to ignore the father and focus on the mother’s loss and pain. It’s important for friends and family to remember that he is grieving too, not just the mother. I know for men it’s more complicated as well because in the early stages of pregnancy, before their wives begin to show its all rather abstract. It’s not that they don’t care but that they don’t have that physical connection. I know too that it is very hard for a husband to watch his wife suffer through pregnancy, childbirth or miscarriage because he feels so very helpless. So I’d especially love to hear from any fathers out there who have lost children: what have people done or said that helped you or what do you wish someone had done or said?
I can’t think of anything else right now, but I welcome any additional thoughts.
I’ll also pray for them as I pray every night for all parents who have lost children.
by Melanie Bettinelli on May 03, 2007
From Dale Price, a father’s reflection on the hope that those of us who have experienced the pain of miscarriage have for our unborn children. Excerpt:
I have no particular objection to Limbo. But I don’t see a problem with the theologians’ work, which simply says that parents of unbaptized children have hope.
Not a certainty, not a free pass, not happy-clappy sentimentalism and definitely not an excuse to put off the sacrament or to convert it into an ultimately-meaningless initiation ceremony, but hope.
I don’t see where this is a problem, not when there is baptism of desire. Yes, I know that the article says only adults can have the desire for baptism. But the Tradition also demonstrates that the parents can ask of Christ what their children cannot.
There are three telling episodes in the middle of the Gospel According to St. Mark which stand out: the raising of Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5, the exorcism of the Syrophoenician woman’s little daughter in Mark 7 and the exorcism of the boy after the Transfiguration in Mark 9. In each case, the parents begged Christ in faith to heal children who were incapable of asking for His help on their own. In each case, Jesus delivered the child. We would have baptized Edmund, as we have all of our children, but that proved impossible. Now we have to ask Christ to do what we could not—in fact, to do what only He can do, whether the recipient is born or unborn. And we have hope that that will happen.
Hope is enough.
Read the whole thing here
*Wiping the tears from my eyes.*
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 27, 2007
Forwarded to me by my dad, who is a secular Carmelite, from one of his sisters in Carmel:
My family in Carmel,
I humbly ask for prayers for my son, Justin, and daughter-in law, Cristina. They suffered a miscarriage yesterday. Cris was 10 weeks along. May God bring them comfort and peace.
In Jesus’ name,
Please pray for them and for all parents who have lost a child. I pray that they are given the same abundant consolations I have received through the intercessions of all who have been praying for me. God is a loving Father and never abandons us in our time of need. May he send his Spirit upon Justin and Christina and fill them with his peace.
by Melanie Bettinelli on April 13, 2007
I woke up at five this morning from a very restless sleep and an anxiety dream about waking up more than an hour after the time we were supposed to be at the hospital. Tossed and turned until the alarm went off at 5:30.
Dom went and woke up Bella—we really hated waking up a sleeping baby!!! Wouldn’t it figure this was one of the rare mornings she didn’t wake up howling at five-five-thirty?!? I nursed her for a half hour or so while Dom took his shower and dressed.
Then we left Bella with my mom while we went to the hospital. She cried for a bit, of course, but was then fine until right before Dom came home. (I told him there was no sense in him sitting in the hospital waiting room while I was in the OR. We live not five minutes from the hospital.) Bad enough for Bella to have a morning without mommy. No daddy, I figured, would be really hard for a little girl.
As for my part, it went very smoothly. Thanks in large, I’m sure, to all those prayers everyone’s been saying. They didn’t use a general anesthesia, just a sedative and a local. I thus expected to be awake and aware during the procedure as I was during my c-section, a thought which actually distressed me a bit, even though I knew the sedative should keep me calm.
But I recall going into the OR and chatting with the nurses and anesthesiologist as they put warm blankets around me and set up the “Cadillac” stirrups, as one of the nurses called them. Then, the next thing I knew I was waking up from a very peaceful dreamy sleep and they were telling me the procedure was done and they were moving me to the recovery room. Once there, I was tucked in under warm blankets again, had a very welcome glass of ice water, and then fell back to sleep. Then I woke up and had some juice and hot buttered toast and drifted back to sleep. When I woke again, I had more water and then began praying the psalms and canticles I know by heart. Then, I said a rosary, the sorrowful mysteries, on my fingers. I was very calm, relaxed and prayerful.
Finally, I woke up all the way and read my book (Eifelheim) for a while. I was so glad the nurse had agreed to carry it into the OR for me so I could have it with me when I woke. I hate staring at the wall with nothing to read. Eventually I was ready to go home. Dom came up and chatted with me, then went back to the waiting room to be with Bella and my mom as I got dressed and was discharged.
When I got to the waiting room, I saw Bella in my mom’s lap with her back to me. I called her name and she looked about, joyfully, and finally spotted me. I sat down and they put her in my lap and she just clung to me, a very sleepy, very happy baby. (She wasn’t able to go down for her morning nap without me to nurse her to sleep. As I knew she wouldn’t.) Bella fell sound asleep just as soon as the car had pulled out of the parking lot. Poor tired little girl.
We stopped by McDonald’s to get some food. Dom hadn’t eaten yet today both because he was too busy and too anxious to think about eating and, he said, because he knew I’d not been able to eat and he felt so helpless with nothing to do. It was the least he could do to feel some solidarity with me. So sweet. We wanted to eke out Bella’s nap as long as possible so we drove to my favorite little park in neighboring Marblehead and sat in the car looking out over the Atlantic as we ate our burgers and fries. Bella finally woke as we pulled up to the house, about a half hour after we left the hospital.
She had lunch, played for a while and then had her regular afternoon nap. (I slept too.) So she seems back on schedule.
My doctor called Dom when I got out of OR, while I was still in recovery. He said everything went well and looked fine. Of course, we won’t get the pathology report until next week, probably Wednesday or Thursday; but it’s good preliminary news, at least.
I’m taking it easy this afternoon; but I feel fine. Minimal cramping. Much less than I expected. More like the biopsy than the miscarriage and easier than most of my menstrual cramps.
Thanks again to everyone who has been praying for me. I’ve really felt all those prayers sustaining me and am sure that today went so smoothly because of your prayers and support. (I’ve been praying for all of you as well.) Just a little longer and this will hopefully all be behind us and we can get on with our lives.
Though in some ways, I’ll never be the same. This experience has changed the way I look at so many things, especially intercessory prayer. I will never look at a prayer request in my inbox or on a blog in the same way again. I have been so blessed, I know I am called to pray that others will receive some of the same blessings and consolations that have been given to me.
by Melanie Bettinelli on March 28, 2007
This post at Testosterhome made me remember something I meant to write last week.
As Lent began I was so tired and I felt so lazy. I knew that a lot of it was the first trimester sleepies. I’m not being lazy, I told myself. It’s the baby. (And the fact that Isabella was still not sleeping through the night.)
And then the miscarriage. And about a week later suddenly I found myself bounding down the basement steps to throw in a quick load of laundry before breakfast. Well, not literally bounding, that would be foolish and land me with a broken neck; but I was bounding on the inside. And I realized I had my energy back. Suddenly those steps didn’t seem like an insurmountable obstacle, to work my way up to, maybe after a full breakfast and then a little rest.
I knew pregnancy was taking a lot out of me, but I didn’t realize how much. After all, after Bella was born there wasn’t this sudden surge of energy. I was recovering from surgery at first and then dealing with being a first time mom with a baby who never slept more than half an hour at a time.
Of course, now I don’t have any excuses. If I don’t get up off the couch to do the laundry, it really is laziness.