Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tuning Out and In

I spent a good several hours this morning reading some great parenting and pregnancy blogs. Since I lean towards the crunchy-all-natural types, I read a lot about attachment parenting, natural birth, and "peaceful parenting." Oh, and I found some awesome Jewish parenting websites! (my love for the Orthodox persists)

Then I took the dog for a walk on this rainy morning, just out and back, while chatting with a friend in England. Even though I worked up a sweat, the breeze felt lovely, so it was a good combination. And I thought, "I don't need that."

I don't need to be a part of the mommy wars. I don't need to have a stance on every new issue. I don't need to say that my decisions are best or better or even justify them at all, except to God and my family. I can do what I think is a good idea, change it as needed, and just do what needs to be done. I don't have to subscribe to those blogs to keep "up" on these issues, I don't have to worry about what other people are doing, I don't have to let everyone else's cacophony of fears into my head: I can tune all of that out.

I have such anxiety about being a mother. I woke up the other night realizing that I have not yet picked out a homeschooling curriculum or the brand of cloth diapers we'll use, and panicked. (I had our pediatrician picked out before we were married) My control freak tendencies, which took a vacation while I went through my I'm going to jump on a plane and go to Australia by myself and then go to law school in a new state and then fall totally in love with this guy that's just left seminary phase, have returned full force. I play things by ear when it's just me, but now that it's the baby, I feel so out of control. A whole other person in my life, who according to some parents, can be born just wanting to scream and will never be soothed until they're 18 months old? How will I ever survive? How will I ever live up to my mom, who is super mom?

Mom, at my wedding, watching my picture be taken...she's run two marathons, countless other races, all after the age of 50. She teaches 9th graders English, teaches 4th graders CCD, and makes dinner every night. She's my hero.

And the truth is, I still don't know. I don't know who this little person is that God has sent us, I don't know if I'm going to be any good at this, but I have to let some of this go. I have to walk away from some of this craziness and just say "You'll help me, Lord - you promised." And maybe eventually, if I say that enough, I'll believe it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The (former) Atheist Easter

Growing up, I have vague memories of maybe once or twice getting an Easter basket- my apologies to my mum if it was far more frequent than that! But Easter was never a focus for us, we who didn't believe in God. Unlike Christmas, there hasn't been any grand secularization of Easter, so what was there for us to do? Easter was a blip for us, a non-holiday, something my Christian friends did. I associated it with tacky fake grass, tons of chocolate, and getting dressed up. Why the heck did they call it a religious holiday, anyway??

It was probably even more confusing because most of my friends were Protestants, so it's not like they had been denying themselves candy all Lent! 

Easters even after being Catholic have been fairly anti-climactic! My favorite ones are when my mom or dad came into the Church, and then it was  BLAST! But it still bears little resemblance to what my friends talk about: big dinner with the whole family after everyone goes to Mass together. This year, my parents are coming to our house for Easter and I am beyond excited. I want to start our own family traditions and celebrate it up big style! But I don't know what a traditional Easter meal looks like, I don't know how to dye Easter eggs (or when to do that...), I don't know if there are any movies associated with this holiday...

So tell me, if you would, dear readers: what are your Easter traditions? Help me figure out how to celebrate this holiday with all the splendor it deserves!! 

Monday, March 19, 2012


The truth is, I am not a people person.

 It was not until I read "A Florence King Reader" that I felt I could truly identify with someone on this issue (which is saying something, considering Florence is the beloved lesbian monarchist and Anglican who maintained weekly column in the National Review for years) Florence is witty, biting, and not just a little bit tired of humanity. I am not sure that this is entirely virtuous, but I feel like I know everything she is saying. The large majority of human talk and squabble I feel I could quite comfortably ignore for the rest of my life. Walk away and live in a log cabin with dogs, occasionally waving at the postman, hammering away on some ancient typewriter and having an evening pipe and whiskey. I could clomp around in waders and wear plaid, say things like "confounded machine!" while whacking my cast iron stove with my walking stick.

One of my favorite magazines and also the way I want to dress. 

But maybe the deeper truth is, 'tis life that's made me this way. In looking for a picture of myself to typify my attitude towards humanity, I couldn't find any of me alone. All were of me in groups, looking relatively happy. I love my friends, so perhaps what's really  happened is - now they all feel so far away, and the nature of friendship has changed. How does one maintain friendships after marriage? When suddenly living 10 minutes apart and having busy schedules feel like insurmountable obstacles - what then? Suddenly, all that fills my personal landscape are short phone calls, short and polite conversations with neighbors, or else dinners wherein we pat each other on the back for believing the same thing. 

What does true community look like, after one is married? This I have not been able to discern, and in my poverty of spirit, have instead started to become a misanthrope, disillusioned and generally isolated. I suppose I will have to learn, but in the limbo between "just" being a wife and being a mother to a baby, it has seemed a bit...difficult. Have I made it so? I do not have children to make mommy-friends with, and my single friends have more freedom than I. To be honest, my heart yearns for them - all the dear girls that made me the best version of myself. 

St. Patty's Day 2009: me, Colly, and Jen (Tom is taking the picture)

Ally, me, and Jen in France, 2007

Law school break - Erin treated me to an Auburn game!

Oldie but goodie - April, me, and Shae for homecoming spirit day in high school. Go Bears!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Corrections, etc.

Hm, maybe I sounded too harsh about the kid-thing yesterday. Lets correct this by saying: all kids have their own personalities, and sometimes that will change your ideas about parenting. However, when certain things are really important to you, you can make them a priority and don't let other people tell you that it's impossible. There, much better.

All of my images of parenting come from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Obviously I have no idea what I'm talking about.

The gala was fun. It was the big fundraiser for Catholic Charities, so we were glad to go. I got home much later than anticipated because my exam started an hour and forty minutes late (no kidding), so my nap ended up being only about 40 minutes long and when I awoke, I was in no mood to get dressed up. But I did it. I sat on my floor listening to Disney songs and carefully applying make-up. I do love seeing Tom in a tux, and feeling like I wasn't a total scrub next to him. Since I had been out of town and had to take the car (we only have one), a friend in the parish offered to lend us one since she and her husband have three cars. Great! We said. We had no idea which one they would give us, or even what three cars they owned. This is what they pulled up in:

Or something like this. It's a Lexus coupe, that's all I know. 

Uh, what? Yep, that's what they were lending Tom in the absence of our rinky-dink 8 years old sedan. So needless to say, this is what we drove to the gala, feeling like we were very different people indeed. I rarely wear that much makeup or underwear that has that much elastic, and I'm pretty sure Tom enjoyed driving a race car. It was also nice to not feel a bit funny when we pulled up to the valet at the Ritz, where the event was being held; at least we weren't as inconspicuous as usual! 

The event was as lovely as one would expect. The thing that boggled my mind the most, though, was the live auction. Dinner with the Bishop? $8k! 10 day cruise on the biggest cruise ship? $21k! The only thing we thought about bidding on was the week long trip to Ireland, including airfare. It went for $6k, which was an incredible deal, considering all that it included. However, we decided that we would much rather use that money towards other, more practical student loans! The amount of money that people could just spend, right then, on the spot was incredible. I know that my town is full of rich people, but when confronted with these off-the-cuff decisions, it really surprises me. In the other room, there was a silent auction, where items like a 90-foot yacht were being auctioned starting at $5k. 

These are the circles we often move in simply because of Tom's work; we meet wealthy people in the church, and they invite us to events like these. We enjoy them, but I always wonder a bit afterwards - just how many rich people are there? Tom and I consider very thoroughly whether or not to turn on the A/C, because it will cost money. The man I was sitting next to just donated over a million dollars to have a building named after him. Whoa. I do not envy these people, it just seems odd to me. I cannot conceive of having that kind of freedom...or responsibility. I am sure that is why God has chosen not to give it to me. 

I hope you all enjoyed your St. Patty's Day, and are having lovely Sunday. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Head is Exploding

Whelp, it's Friday morning. Today my in-laws are leaving, after 9 nights and 10 days of staying in our house. Later today, I am driving east (3 hours). That's because I am staying with friends overnight, because I have a huge exam tomorrow (MPRE - ethical portion of the Bar), on that side of the coast. Also! We were invited to a swanky-swanky gala thing tomorrow night, so tomorrow after the MPRE, I will drive 3 hours home, and get ready to go to a black-tie ball.

Did I mention that normally, getting out of bed and making breakfast makes me exhausted??

So, in about lets say 30 hours, I have to do the following things: study for my test (haha right not done doing that yet!), drive 3 hours there, find a floor-length dress that makes me feel attractive and doesn't cost a bajillion dollars (which will be quite a feat when all I feel is bloated and acne-prone), get a hair cut (no really this has to happen), at least get the chipped polish off my nails if not re-painting them let alone get a manicure, make sure the dress I find is either the right length (hahaha) or get it hemmed (I'm 5 feet tall!), get my picture taken at CVS (MPRE requires a passport sized picture), take the damn test, drive back 3 hours, hopefully take a nap, get ready for the gala, and then show up, looking not angry at these people for making me spend time and money just to show up looking half as horrible as I usually do. All of this, and all I'm hoping for is to pass the test and that no one will post pictures of the gala online so I never have to think about how I actually looked (in my head, I can pretend I was strutting it like Angelina Jolie, pre-leg psychotics).

In case you missed it...she did this all.night.long.

And yet despite all this, gentle readers, I have not only taken the time to write to you, but I am also going to direct you this lovely gem of an article I found on the internet. And because you all know that I am so hesitant to say what I think, I might as well come out and say: I disagree.

I grew up with a mom who never fed me fast food and didn't let me watch television. I grew up rarely getting less than an A and not disobeying my parents. Part of it, I'm sure, was my temperament, but part it was also knowing that my mother expected nothing less. For the record, my husband was exactly the same way (maybe that's why we like each other so much)...and so was his sister. I then went on to nanny for a woman who did the same thing with her kids. I have friends who parent this way as well. I wouldn't say I judge people who do differently as in thinking "you're a bad parent" but if I hear people say "I want to do that, but it's just not possible" my first thought is, "oh, you don't want to parent that way, okay."

Now wait! I'm this way with myself too. I completely believe I was lazy in law school and that's why I wasn't in the top 10. No amount of justification on anyone else's part can convince my otherwise. If you really want something, you do it. If I really wanted it, I would have gotten it. I believe I am not in the shape I want to be in because of my laziness and that this same laziness is the source of my less-than-stellar prayer life. I do not blame anything or anyone else; I blame myself.

I feel this should be the same thing with parenting. If you are not parenting the way you want to, then it's your own fault. Granted, some things we need to let go of (no one will be as clean as they think they will be when they're parents - no one), but in general, if not watching TV or no fast food, is really important to you, you would make it happen! This is the way people operate. All of these women lamenting that they can't parent the way they want are the ones that also make time for girls' trips to the beach, to have successful careers, to fit in their pre-pregnancy jeans - goals that are big achievements! These aren't lazy people. They are women who make decisions about what they will always do and what they will let go. They have decided that parenting, because it involves not only disciplining yourself, but also others, is too hard and so they will let go of some of their ideals. They don't want it bad enough.

I think this is acceptable - it's a part of life to realize what we can compromise on and what we can't. But lets not waste time saying that it's just part of parenting that we park our kids in front of TVs or feed them fast food. It's not. It's part of what these people have decided their parenting will be.

Now! Having enraged everyone just enough to ensure rabid anger, I am back to my exploding head! Adios!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Somewhere Far Away, and Beautiful

I grew up in a suburb of Orlando, called Windermere. Now home to Shaq and Tiger Woods, when I was growing up it was a little place surrounded by orange groves, with the only grocery stores being a Goodings (20 minutes away) or a Piggly Wiggly (also 20 minutes away, but in the opposite direction). Windermere is surrounded by lakes (its town motto is "among the lakes" because it is situated on the Butler chain of lakes), and for the large part it's best vistas look like this:

It is lovely and sweet. Although just minutes away from the back door of Disney, it feels secluded. A 30 mph speed limit the whole way makes it feel even more like just a quiet small town, and nothing at all like the concrete jungle one encounters on I-Drive or similar tourist areas, just minutes away. Growing up, my favorite thing to do was just stand in my front drive way at twilight, smelling the orange blossoms and feeling the evening breeze - maybe catch a glimpse of the herons flying back home to the lakes, or hear the owls in our pine trees. I was never far from beauty. 

I cannot forget the "queer ache" (Anne Shirley) that always arose in my heart whenever I beheld a scene too beautiful for my heart to hold. It was all so glorious and I wanted to enter it more fully, live in it somehow more completely, be a total part of it. I wanted it to never leave me, to never again look upon anything base or ugly, busy or concrete. Only this - this ethereal glory that was all around me but evading me entirely. On family vacation in Tennessee, on the Ocoee river, I thought for sure I would never leave. I would stay there, become a water nymph and live in the swirling tides of the river, forever. 

The cabin we stayed in, Welcome Valley Village, in Tennessee

I was young then, but it hasn't ever really left me - left to a life of too much reading, and plenty of time to wander across hill and dale, I have often felt most myself in those places wild and beautiful, far away from any city. I do not know how to reconcile this now, living in a city that once was jungle but is now given over entirely to those seeking the early bird special and a quick view of the sunset before getting home and turning in for the night. It is not big enough to have a skyline or old enough to have charming squares, and so avoids any urban appeal, but it is not small enough to have the benefit of mostly local places to shop or congregate, and so avoids any small town charm. I often feel sad for it, and its lack of beauty. 

At times I feel like the sprite in Disney's Fantasia 2000, in the first part of the Firebird Suite scene: beset upon and downtrodden by forces out of my control, that destroy so much of what I love. I am a native Floridian, and grew up in areas that were mostly orange groves or swamps. Even Disney, for all everyone harangues it, has actually left thousands of acres of its land to be wetlands. On Disney back property, the large majority of it is green space.  But what is there here? Chain restaurants and strip malls? How can I raise a child here - where will they learn of beauty, where will they spend those golden hours of sunrise and the blue of twilight? 

A fairy tent, in the nature preserve by our house 

And in all this sorrow and frustration, I glimpse my role in creation. I realize why I am doing my meagre pallet garden, why I have planted azaleas by my front porch, and why I am fighting the grasshoppers that threaten to chomp my mint to nothing. I have long wanted to join myself to the beauty of the world and now I can try, little by little, to do so by improving my own little plot of land. It's such a small offering, but I can make it. There is beauty here, even if we have to seek it out more than I had imagined. Even if I can't live somewhere far away, in a sweet country town or a charming big city, I can find beauty here - or else, create it. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012

Allow me to pontificate about current events for a while - something I think I woefully regret when it comes to the wider world. Any thoughts of yours would be appreciated.

My wonderful sister-in-law (who should keep a blog cause when she did, it was hilarious) sent me a link to the famous Kony 2012 video. I watched it, and was impressed with the passion of the filmmakers, who have been at this for nine years, and their personal involvement with many of the victims. I love people who see a problem and want to find a solution, instead of just showing people "look how awful this is."

Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, a military group operating in central Africa, including Uganda. His most infamous crimes include kidnapping young children to make them sex slaves and soliders in his army; he forces them to work for him by slaughtering their families so that they have nowhere to go. 

Right after Tom and I got married, I woke up one day and realized I knew nothing about the Rwandan genocide. So I went to the library, got tons of books, read all about it online, searched news archives, and only then watched the famed movie "Hotel Rwanda." It blew me away that all this happened during my lifetime and I knew nothing about it. Rwanda's political situation now can barely be called stable, but at least it's not all out genocide. I was struck with sorrow realizing this happened under the watchful eyes of the world and no one did anything to help these people.

This is the Ntrama Catholic Church altar in Rwanda. During the genocide, people came here for sanctuary, only to be cut down and burned alive. Nearly one million people of the ethnic group Tutsi were murdered by the ethnic group the Hutus in 100 days during the summer of 1994. There was no distinction made between man, woman, or child. 

The situation in Uganda (from my 24 hrs worth of research) appears to be different. This is not purely a situation of ethnic cleansing, although there are ethnic tensions involved (Kony is a member of the Acholi ethnic group, which started it's military activities because it felt slighted by the Ugandan government, who they allege favors other southern ethnic groups more). Kony's army appears to be quite small at this point in time, about 250 armed members, and although they are still active, they are mostly on the run and in hiding. They are not active in Uganda at this point in time, but have moved to South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Central African Republic. The video in question calls for international pressure so that Kony will be arrested this year and brought to justice by the ICC (International Criminal Court).

A map of Africa. Uganda is the tiny purple country next to D.R. Congo; directly beneath it is Rwanda. 

There are many who have criticized the group running the publicity, the Invisibile Children Incorporation, claiming they keep too much of their funds. I am fairly dismissive of this. Without going into their finances too much, I think it's admirable what they're doing. Shouldn't there be people, prophets of our age, that stand up and cry: this is wrong! Even if we don't like the company, we can support their message and their point. It is wrong - this man should be brought to justice. They're not calling for him to be killed, they're calling for justice. That is a good thing to do.

And yet a part of me wonders. When the genocide in Rwanda was over, restoring a working peace was nearly impossible. Survivors talked about how the men who had raped them or tried to kill them were walking free, because they had not yet been prosecuted - or when they were, they got off or were only sentenced to a year. The man that took over the government after everything that happened is Paul Kagame, who led the Rwandan Patriotic Army (an army of Tutsis led to beat the Hutus and stop the genocide) and he is still the president - he has been the president (in reality, if not in title) now for 26 years. He alone controls the allegiance of the RPF and so holds all of the power in the country. The government owns all of the industries and major companies; there are rumors that Kagame actively supports discrimination against Hutus, doing nothing to quell the hatred and resentment between the two ethnic groups that started the genocide in the first place.

When we intervene in places where politics are vastly more complicated, in which corrupt government is a way of life, how can we ever be sure that we are doing any good?  I would have thought that the toppling of Saddam Hussein was a magnificent achievement, but you can see that brought us little support - from Iraqis themselves, from our own countrymen, from the world community. Did we do good in Iraq? That question may not be able to be answered yet. Of course I believe that Kony should pay for his crimes; they are ghastly. But I am unsure if we are the ones to make him do it. I have a feeling that if we remove him from power, the LRA will continue, or at the very least, ethnic conflict will not cease. Just as Iraq is not now a sparkling example of democratic government: it is now open to insurgents of all kind, waiting for a new dictator. I would hope that the use of child soldiers would cease with Kony's capture, but this practice is not limited to Uganda - it wasn't started there and it won't end there. Child soldiers are used in Chad, the DRC, Somalia, Haiti, the Phillippines, they were used in Chechnya, Libya, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka.

Although I want to be swept away with fervor and belief that finding and charging Joseph Kony is a good move, a move for justice, one we can actually say "there we did good," I am caught. I wonder if we should intervene - I wonder if it will do more harm than good, due to forces we cannot now perceive.

Mirror of Justice, pray for us.

Speculum Justitia by Klauber, 1750

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Pregnant

I have only been pregnant for 7 weeks, but as a chronic over-thinker, I have experienced many emotions and thoughts in these short 7 weeks. To clue you all in on how crazy I am, I decided to write some of them down for you.

5 Serious Pregnancy Thoughts

1. I have been chosen for the holiest vocation on earth. The most perfect human being that ever lived was the Blessed Mother and her vocation was to be a wife and mother. I don't know why this didn't occur to me earlier, like when I got married, but for some reason it's just hitting me now. God is asking me to do what he asked Mary to do (to a smaller degree) - to care for and raise His child, to raise that child to be ready to accept the mission God has for him/her. This is an incredible calling and I often get weepy just thinking about it.

2. Pregnancy is motherhood bootcamp. I have had some morning sickness and food aversions, but definitely not as bad as others I know. Despite this, I have acquired the aura of a martyr for my slight pains - I am frustrated that I get sick easily, that I tire easily, that my body no longer belongs just to me. Nearly immediately, pregnancy forces a woman to sacrifice and suffer for the sake of her child. Although at first I was very frightened and more than slightly annoyed, I now realize that God has designed it this way for a reason. Motherhood, being like all other vocations, is a calling to love - and love is to will the good of the other, to sacrifice for their best good. God calls this to mind immediately by making the first trimester such a trial: I am made to focus, immediately and intensely, on the need to forget myself to care for this child. This has been humbling and very difficult, but incredibly important.

3. Christian community is essential. Tom and I originally wanted to wait to tell everyone we were pregnant - at least until we were out of the first trimester, especially since we had miscarried last time. But I found that not telling people was causing me a great deal of anxiety and fear - I had no one to pray with me, no community to rejoice and care for me, no one to speak to of my little one. I realized that even though we do not know what God has planned for our little one, that not speaking of him/her doesn't mean that they don't exist - and I would need the support of our community especially if God chose them for Heaven sooner than we'd like. So we told our parish this last weekend, and I am so glad we did. People cried, laughed, rejoiced with us - our priest blessed us, our friends blessed us, children came up to "say hi to the baby." As I looked at all the people that crowded around to congratulate us, I thought that how glad that I'm not trying to do this without them. Of course it will be hard if our child does not stay for long, but I need this community - I need their prayers, their blessings and support. I need grandmothers to talk to me about what to eat, friends to tell me my feelings are normal, little children to show me what faith is when they look reverently at my (unchanged!) belly. They are teaching me how to love my child through my fear.

4. I have no clue who I married. Don't get me wrong, I always knew my husband was kind and caring. Yet it hasn't been until now that I have realized the depth of his love and compassion. During my struggles with physical infirmity and emotional instability, Tom has cared for my every need. He went from never doing laundry (literally) and being very frugal about eating out, to doing all the housework and never saying a peep about whatever food request I made, with nary a complaint. On days when I feel I can't get out of bed, he insists I stay in and brings me whatever I can get down straight to my pillow. He asks if I'm staying hydrated, encourages me to take naps, and pooh-poohs my apologies about being abysmal at housework. I realize that I cannot be sure I would have been as patient and loving if he were to be ill, and it amazes me that he understands so thoroughly his vocation to love me through service and self-sacrifice. Pregnancy has brought me to a new appreciation of the gift that is my husband.

5. I am a selfish jerk. I don't think I ever realized this before. Don't laugh - I know that I'm a sinner, but I think I always had a problem thinking "well yea I'm not great, but hey Lord, at least I'm not THAT guy." My mom told me that she and my dad had been concerned about me getting married, because they both know how independent I am. But then they realized that Tom would always let me have my way and they relaxed (I'm not kidding - this is what she said!!). Yet when we started TTC (trying to conceive), my mom said she's had her concerns again. "I don't think you realize how independent you are," she explained to me over the phone. "You always find a way to do what you want - and what you want is usually some sort of adventure." I have never thought about myself that way, but I guess I can see where that comes from: I wanted to study abroad at Oxford, so I did; I wanted to go to Australia, so I did; wanted to leave DC and go to law school, so I did. I have never thought about life as having limits - to be fair, I don't think I was ever taught to (that's all you, Mom).
Now I am faced with this pregnancy and there are things I cannot do. I can't make it through the day without a nap. I can't eat whatever I want, either because of sickness or health concerns. I can't have a few margaritas. I can't run outside (no, really - I tried, and almost passed out). I am faced with physical limitations that I have never experienced before, since I have lived my life as a mostly healthy privileged young woman. It has been incredibly difficult for me - I resent not being able to drink, not being about to get through my day doing whatever I usually do, my need to ask for help. I have realized how selfish I am that I am so used to having my life my way and so begrudging about the slightest accommodation for the this blessing I have been praying for, for quite some time. I am not who I thought I was - because I was giving out of my excess, not out of my poverty. Now I am having to give from what I do not have to give - I do not have stores of patience and peace from which to draw. I am squeezing blood from my stony heart. It is an amazing experience to have during Lent - God is calling me to sacrifice and I am learning what that really means.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am Waiting for a Child

That's what they call being pregnant in France - waiting for a child. And Tom and I, we are waiting for a child. We'll be waiting for about 33 more weeks. It seems like a long time at this point.

We've had some rough spots already: doctors concerned about my progesterone, etc. The prospect of weekly shots still lingers on the horizon, but for right now, baby seems to be doing just fine. We had the first sonogram on Monday and it showed a wee babe doing exactly what they should be, and a nice strong heartbeat. Tom got very excited, but I just started at the screen thinking "I swear the midwife is just pointing to another shadow...that doesn't look like anything, let alone a baby!!"

My wonderful in-laws come tomorrow, so I'll be excited to have new people around. I have had some "morning" sickness, so I feel like I don't get out as much as I used to - feeling a bit isolated. It'll be nice to have some company!

If you detect a lack of exclamation marks, not quite the jubilant air you'd expect one like me to have, forgive me, dear readers. I am waiting as best I can - through fear, and loneliness, and doubt. The days seem to stretch before me - an eternity until I can hold my child, be assured of his or her safety, really allow myself to believe that I am a mother. I know as time goes by, it'll be easier to be joyful...but right now I'm just waiting, as best I can.