Sunday, March 11, 2012

Heartbeat

I survived college. I survived it well, too. I juggled a lot of things throughout the years: projects, papers, exams, painful homework assignments that took way too long to complete for far too little reward, every-night language study, hours of flute practice, a happy social life, service in the church, sleep...eventually I added courtship-engagement-marriage, grading huge stacks of papers, writing multiple lesson plans per night and teaching multiple classes each day to the whirl. I got it all done - perhaps not as proficiently as possible with fewer demands on my time, but done and done well. Somewhere during all of that college hubbub I decided that come what may, I could do it all. The process might be painful, but I could meet the requirements of my daily schedule, whatever they may be.

I remained determined that this was so as I headed off to Cambridge. Though I faced many different challenges (which tested me to my limits - I came back a wiser, more pensive person), I actually had far greater latitude with my time than I had experienced in a very long time. Thus, I came back from Cambridge with the same belief that whatever came my way would get finished, regardless of the challenges.

It is now March and I am panicking! I realize now that my attitudes were far too confident! Too late, though, to save me.

I'm trying three new things at once - three very new things. I've never written a dissertation before, and sometime a few weeks ago I realized that I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel utterly lost. Always a good feeling 3.5 months before the due date! STRESS!

I'm also working full time for the first time in my life. It's a great company; they need me and are putting my skills to work! Very rewarding in its own way, but very time-consuming also. Most of my energy is used up at work, which is really, really not a good thing when a dissertation is waiting at home. The job is definitely the most dispensable of the three current demands on my time, but I have made a commitment to them and I feel terrible when I even consider walking out on my co-workers and employers.

The third new thing?  Pregnancy.

And hopefully this is where you understand that my panic paragraph above is mostly jest. Life is good and I am grateful. But I also laugh cynically and shake my head at the girl who carelessly assumed that all things magically finish themselves somehow. Pregnancy, as wonderful as it is (supposed to be), has drained ALL of the energy out of me. I lie on the couch and stare at my closed computer lying on the floor across the room hoping wildly that this darn thesis will write itself. I have yet to see the magic paragraphs, so I'm begrudgingly beginning to accept that now I really WILL have to do it all. It's not going to be pretty.

Shame, too! My topic is SOOOOO COOOOL.  Can I emphasize that enough? And I have sacrificed so much already for this program. I would love to finish it with a bang! But my thoughts are currently elsewhere.....

Like on the heartbeat I heard for the first time last week. I was so terribly afraid that there would be no sound to hear. As if to confirm my fears, the doctor had a challenge locating the heartbeat and for many long minutes there was just the soft whir of nothing. She found it eventually, though, and for the first time in my life, I listened to a sound that was almost beyond my comprehension. A heartbeat, from my stomach! I finally felt a glimmer of awareness that there was a small life growing within me - a beautiful, healthy life!

Before then it hadn't felt real at all. The sickness and the discomfort felt very real, but despite all the hopes and prayers Dave and I have had throughout our marriage, I have recently felt mostly flat. I don't know how else to describe it...just flat. No emotion, no understanding of the life-changing implications. After an evening of tears one day, Dave helped me decide to spill the beans to our family members, like, right. then. I needed their excitement to boost my own feelings of excitement, and their happy tears, cheers and choruses of "For s/he's a jolly good fellow!" definitely helped. I love that we can share news like that and know that those who love us the most are rejoicing in the most pure and beautiful ways for the happiness that a new little life will bring to us and to them. Family is truly the most precious thing in the world, and that is why this trial is going to be worth it. For all the added stress that my dissertation will now bring to me as time pounds towards the deadline, I know that the reward will be worth it. I'm working on copying and pasting that concept from my head to my heart. Difficult right now. But getting there. 

10 comments:

Melissa said...

i think it takes a long time to realize/recognize that you're going to have a baby, when you feel it move, then something clicks in you. especially when you begin to feel better and not need to nap every single day, twice a day =) you guys are going to be fantastic parents, levi and I are both very excited for you two to have a kid! congratulations!! and good luck finishing your dissertation! stressful!

Ladyfair said...

Mazal Tov! SO very excited to here about all of these things in your life.

Paulita said...

our much-beloved amy - thanks for this beautifully written glimpse into your heart and mind at the moment. some of those happy tears from family streaked the cheeks of Dad Fisher and I . . . we are so thankful that you and david will have this much-prayed-for opportunity to experience the agony and the ecstasy of parenthood. and we have the ultimate confidence in your ability to do that SOOOO COOOOL topic justice. we believe in you!

Kelsey said...

Congratulations! That is excellent news!
And I can empathize with how hard it is to focus on school after you find out you are pregnant. Energy is low and your mind is elsewhere. We'll keep you and your thesis in our prayers!

gail said...

Amy and Dave, the realization of having a baby will take time. When you wait awhile for a baby, for whatever reason, it is hard to imagine that there is a little life coming. Just enjoy the next few months, love the whirlwind and know that everything can be put off, but the baby coming. He/she will come when they want and then your life will never be the same.

Allie said...

Congratulations, Amy and Dave!! Although I hit glimpses of reality while pregnant (especially the ultrasound!) I don't think that it was really until we brought him home that I finally realized that this little guy that I fell in love with was actually ours and that we would get to keep him. The love and worry you will have as parents will come, whether sooner or later. As for school, good luck and hang in there. It's not the most important part if your life anymore, but you are so close! Hopefully you will get some energy back in the second trimester and will pump on through it. Congrats again!

Becca Meservy said...

Hey Congratulations! Good luck figuring this out! It's true that's it's strange and wonderful - I hope you flourish. :D If you ever want to talk just give me a call. So excited for you - love you!

Gaylene said...

Congratulations! We were at your dad's birthday dinner on the 4th and he just mentioned that with all your morning sickness, you were struggling a bit keeping up on everything. Needless to say, I jerked my head around and blurted "Amy is pregnant?!? Nobody told me that!" How happy we are for you. It's hard to believe that my little niece is pregnant with a baby of her own. You will be wonderful parents!!

Sarah said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!!! I'm so happy for you guys.
And as for writing your dissertation....

1. Open a new Word doc.
2. Type the following (without the quotes) "=rand(12,8)"
3. Hit Enter

Voila! 3 pages in no time flat :)

(okay, so that's probably not going to work in reality, but hopefully it brought a smile to your face!)

Christine and Lyndon said...

Congratulations! This is the best news I have heard in a long time. I am so happy for you two! I totally understand the being drained all the time. Rest as much as you can.

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