Friday, August 24, 2007

Pregnancy as a Life Lesson in Lack of Control

This entire pregnancy has been a huge life lesson for me. I've never been a complete control freak, but I like being organized and having things prepared. When Eddie and I discovered that I was pregnant, it was a huge blessing. It was also 8 months earlier than we had planned. This was lesson number 1 in you can't control everything. The plan had been that we would hopefully conceive in August or September and the baby would be born at the end of the school year. Hopefully, I wouldn't have to miss any work time. Instead, the baby was due in October and I was looking at missing 6-8 weeks of school.

Oh, well. I decided I could live with it! Babies are totally worth giving up time in my classroom and it was just one baby. Eddie and I could totally swing one baby. So, ha! It was totally doable.

Then, 2 weeks later, we were told that we were expecting twins! Twins! That threw me for a loop. One baby I could figure out, but 2 babies! At one time! Huh?! I started getting a little anxious. In fact, I developed a twitch under my left eye. This was a little more stressful. I made an appointment with the human resources department so that I could start planning for missing work and having 2 babies. Not to mention, that Dr. Hartford had let drop that I would need to go on bed rest at 25 weeks (i.e. the week Summer School was due to start). I assured the HR department and the Summer School Director that I would not need bed rest and that I would just cut back my hours a bit. After speaking with HR, I had a better idea how I needed to save money and started to feel a bit more under control. Again, this was kind of totally doable! It was a little worrisome. My summer school salary was much needed if I was going to make it work.

As time went on, my body started to feel like it was being taken over by aliens. After having lost over 50 pounds and actually enjoying exercising, pregnancy was a rude awakening. Anyone who has ever been pregnant will tell you about the nausea, the constant sleepiness, the frequent trips to the bathroom. It seems like you have no control, whatsoever, over your body. That drove me crazy. I had so many things to do: exercise, grade papers, plan classes, web design work. Yet, my body would not let me do any of it. I felt like crying all the time. This was yet another hint from God that I was not going to get to be in control this time.

Then came June. You may have read my previous post about my journey to bed rest. That was the rudest awakening. I did not even make it to 25 weeks before I found myself lying flat in a hospital bed on IV drugs and strapped to a contraction monitor. I think this was the point when I started to surrender. I mean, how many times do you need to be hit in the head before you finally duck? I got the message, God, you can give me a break now!

For 10 weeks, I just let my body rule and waited as the babies grew. When we finally hit 32 weeks, I actually started getting excited about the end. When Dr. Hartford returned from his 9 day trip to Hawaii, I asked him about scheduling my c-section. We agreed to try for September 6 at 7 am. I should have known better. Making any plans during this pregnancy has proven to bring some new lesson to come slamming down on my head. Sure enough, the hospital wasn't able to schedule me for September 6th. Or 7th. Or 8th. Another subtle reminder from God that I don't get to decide how this pregnancy goes.

Now, here I sit, again with a murky end to the Twinsie Journey. I have finally just let it go. Millions of women have been pregnant and not known when their journeys will end. Who am I to declare that I will be anything other than one of their number?

Pregnancy has definitely been a life lesson for me. I've been in control of everything for so long, that I needed to be reminded that it was truly just an illusion. I can only imagine the chaos that the birth of the Twinsies will bring. I'm sure I'll try to be in control of feeding times and sleeping times. I may even try to plan an outing when they are 2 weeks old. And God will return to slap me in the head and bring me back down to earth. Sometimes you really do have to just LET IT GO. After all, what is the point in trying to hold desperately onto control when life is so much more fun when you roll with the punches???


  1. yeah... it'd be nice if we could control everything. but then we'd be god. and not ourselves. conundrum!

  2. I love your blog. I read it all the time. You are doing such a great job. It is hard to keep your eye on the prize so to speak when things don't quite go right. You are an inspiration to me!

  3. Jennifer- Your sense of humor and perspective in the face of seemingly daunting circumstances already makes you a Super Mom and will stand you in great stead post-delivery. In keeping with the sentiments of your recent entry, one of my favorites: Want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans :)
    xxx, Bon

  4. Jennifer Cook! Wow! Julie Sarrazin just sent me the link to your blog. Great news for you and your husband. I'll look forward to following your journey as parents.

    Class of 1990! :) Kathy Voss (now Bliss)

  5. By the way, there is a whole community of 1990 alumni on MySpace. We're all trying to find each other. Mind if I pass on your blog address?


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