Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Changed By Motherhood

This morning, I was doing something I never used to really do before: enjoying a long hot shower. Before I had a baby, showers were short and functional, and that was how I liked 'em. While my showers are still pretty short compared to most, they're insanely long compared to my old standard! It started me thinking... in what other ways have I changed since giving birth to Eowyn?

For one, I still take a lot longer to eat. During pregnancy, my long-lingering nausea forced me to eat veeeeery slowly. That habit has out-lasted its cause, and I don't mind. It's nice to savor every bite, and to be in no hurry to finish. I think it makes me eat less at a time... which may be why it feels like I'm constantly eating!

The long shower is one I don't quite understand. I noticed it as soon as I was out of the hospital. All of a sudden, the hot water was a cocoon I didn't want to leave. Maybe it's because I'm unreachable in there... no infant demanding to be held or fed or patted or otherwise tended to... maybe it's because my back & neck are so often tight from breast-feeding... maybe it's because there's nothing like hot water to soothe a sleep-deprivation-induced headache...

The thought of cruelty to children-- abortion, infanticide, abuse, neglect--physically sickens me. I remember hearing the ban lifted on embryo stem-cell research while I was pregnant, knowing my own child wasn't much bigger than the ones being destroyed. I almost had to pull over to throw up. Evil against children has always made my blood boil, but never before had the reaction been so deep-set that it was physical. Two days after we brought Eowyn home from the hospital, I read an article on the wide-spread infanticide and abortion of little girls in India, and I cried & cried, thinking of my own precious, helpless infant. The thought of a baby being murdered by the ones whom she most trusts to protect her-- the ones on whom she is dependent for life... it turned my stomach and I had to stop reading. Abortion, especially partial-birth abortion, is uglier and more unthinkable than ever. Adoption & foster care, on the other hand, are proportionally more desirable than ever.

The temptation to worry or think horrible "what-if"s is here with my baby, too. I have to literally talk out loud and tell my thoughts and Satan to stop. Putting my daughter in the Lord's hands has become a habit, easier and easier, but I was never tempted to worry before.

Weirdest of all are lingering aversions. It was quite a while before I could use my face-wash without feeling nauseous, since the smell kept reminding me of morning-sickness showers... Then there's one children's CD that I used to listen to a lot with my preschool students, and for some reason I especially associate it with 2nd trimester illness. I gave a copy to Hannah & Noah a while ago, and while I was there Hannah asked to listen to it. I tried to tough it out for her, telling myself that it was all in my head, that I needed to be able to listen to it or I never would... but after two songs I was so nauseated that I couldn't take it anymore! Sorry, Hannah. She didn't understand why it went off, and Val's best shot at explaining was "It's hard to explain, but the music is making Aunt Christina feel sick." lol.

There may be more... but my baby's crying & I'm the only one who can feed her right now... :)

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