Adventures of Ingrid

I see pictures of others, houses filled to the brim with babies. And it confuses my mind a little bit; I’m not quite sure how to feel. I am excited for her—for the marvelous, wonderful child she is growing in her womb—and yet sad for me. And yet happy for me.

I always thought a big family was in my stars. I pitied those who came from 3, or 2, or god-forbid, just one. But when I can’t even confront the underbelly of that thought, when I can’t even squeak open just one of my eyes to peek at the magnitude, this is when I worry that it’s not right. For how could it be right, when so unexamined?

My son is ready. My husband is ready. We’re just waiting on me.

When I remember the feelings and the very vicious and terribly mean thoughts that poured through my brain like a waterfall, drowning any sense of sanity, I immediately retreat into that safe space of “I’m not ready”.

But I’m getting worried; What if I’m never ready? Is a singleton, then, what was actually in the cards for us? These racing thoughts leave me feeling hollow and guilt-ridden. This depression, my anxiety; it must somehow be my fault. It’s all my fault. If only I was stronger, more like her, less like me. And the guilt is so very heavy. But is the weight of guilt a good reason to make a life-changing decision? I turn it over in my mouth; once, twice, three times. Pregnancy, Birth, Motherhood.

Either way, there is no peace. Each option leaves me cringing in anxiety, in fear. This isn’t one of those things that can wait, really. Time marches onward and children grow up. But I can’t deny the fact that oh boy, is it nice to finally be even just a little bit comfortable. That I’m not sure I want the whole big-family-thing. That I can’t imagine handling any more than I already do.

So for now, I close my eyes, I pick up a book, I divert my attention. But more and more I’m trying to lean into these scary thoughts. Simmer in them as more and more bubbles rise to the top. It’s uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. All I can promise is that I’ll try.


Your Wheel’s On Fire

Today wasn’t all happy, but this moment was.

The three of us, squinched into his little big-boy bed, you on the one side, me on the other, and him in the middle. “Book?” he said. So you read two. We kissed him and closed the door, and all was silent. For about an hour.

I started to hear the thumps, hitting the ground, books on the wood floors. “He’ll go back to sleep,” I told myself. Soon he was wailing. He’d found the lollipops—and eaten three. I walked in, to him standing in his bed, arms out, tears streaming down his soft sweet cheeks. “Mama, mama,” he sobbed. I wrapped him up tightly, climbing back into his bed and fell down on my back. He lay his head in the crook of my neck and shoulder.

“Song,” he said. I couldn’t make out the word though—”what?” “Sing, mama. How ’bout…” I sang song after song after song, knowing I wouldn’t have a moment like this with him maybe ever again. His breathing slowed. My songs slowed. My eyes closed. “Bye bye, mama.”

your shell

I wish I knew how to go back. To the time when I was light and bubbling and safe. I want to go back to a time before I knew what hate felt like. Before i had empathy for the dark, damp souls of the world. Before I realized I was one of them, too. 

The love I have for you, my child, is heavy. It runs deep, like an ocean of blood, red and sticky and full of fear. You are so very very light, and I am your armour. I wrap my body around yours like a turtle shell. And when you’re scared, you tuck your little head into me. You see, I’m your protector. I am carrying all of the evil, the hurt, the wicked. I am keeping it off of you. But I fear it might be leaking on to me. And now that I’ve been touched by it, I’ll never be the same. 

It’s worth it, for you. Anything is worth it, for you. You are the sun. You are the air. You are my god. 

But it’s heavy. It’s so very heavy and I just don’t know if I can last any longer. I won’t desert you, but i just wish. I wish very very hard. To be able to turn back time. 

I climb in bed, hair still wet from the shower and body tired from the hard day’s work. You’ve been asleep for a little while now, and I laugh to see you’ve stolen my sleeping mask. Stick straight, back down, you rest your weary spirit. 

We’ve got a ways to go, you and I, but slowly, slowly, we’re finding the peace we both desire. We’re passionate people; we feel the fire in our bellies. But passion can come at a price. And it takes so long– it could take a lifetime, I suppose, but I have faith that we will find that balance. We still face off from time to time but we yell a little less. When we get mad, we forgive a bit quicker. 

You and I, we had a dream. We knew our love was epic. We felt our love was bigger than any love had ever been. Maybe we were a little naive and a bit self centered, but I still believe all those dreams were meant to come true. I still believe our love will change the world for the better. You are my mirror, and you show me all my flaws. You show me the skinned knees and deep gashes of my heart. You show me all the little things that they’ll stop me at the gates of heaven for. But you also show me my beauty. You show me the places where I shine. 

For every dream, there is a day-to-day. We are living our dream, all the while building new ones. We’ll get there if we just keep going forward. Chugging along slowly but surely. 

Don’t Forget to Dream

One of the first reasons that I fell in love with my husband was his ability to dream, and dream big. And even more astonishing was his ability to follow through on those dreams. Never afraid of discomfort, he always figures out how to make the least expected dreams work. Thanks be to God that I get to join him on his adventures.

I strongly believe that putting your dreams down in ink or speaking them aloud has profound power. It is the first step in realizing them. So I will now be doing just that. Today, on the day after Mother’s Day, as a 25-year-old, in a job where my dreams are crushed on a daily basis, I am here, putting my dreams out for the world to catch.

1. I dream of chickens. Beautiful, heirloom hens that give my family eggs of all different colors.

2. I dream of designing. Whether it be graphic design, or interior design, or surface pattern design… doesn’t really matter. But I want it to be my job to use the creative alleys of my brain.

3. I dream of bees. A wooden hive in my backyard, and a couple kids that will collect sweet golden honey.

4. I dream children. I want my family to be a tribe of love and adventure. I want Thaddeus to be the oldest of many.

5. I dream of yoga. I want to get better. I want to teach. I want my body to be limber and svelte.

6. I dream of dancing. I want to learn the art of contemporary dance.

7. I dream of action. The struggles of being a mother in 2015 in America are real and raw. I want to change that, and bring support to mothers all over our beautiful country. I want to fight for their right to chose either work or home, or both.

8. I dream of intimacy. With my husband, I dream that we will find a cure for the pain, and a freedom in our love.

9. I dream of creating. To design my own home, nestled in the blue ridge mountians, close enough to both our families, but far out in the clean air. I see light and wood and love.

What dream is on your heart, today?

Protected: When we found each other 

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Why I chose LIFE

Once you know what it feels like, to encapsulate another being, to be pregnant with love and a little baby heart, you truly can’t imagine. How someone could ever reject this. How someone could possibly ignore that real feeling, deep in your womb, of another life. My heart aches, my head pounds, my eyes leak. For all those babies. Who can’t fight back. Who feel an iron grip clamp down around their precious and tiny leg, and swiftly rip it off. Those unassuming little beings, so mired in trust, surrounded by a warm pool of fluid. Until one day, for reasons they will never know and reasons that mean nothing–absolutely nothing, compared to this life-and-death– their sweet little womb home is ripped open and, like a helpless ant on the pavement, they are ripped to pieces. Except they are not an ant. Just like my darling little boy, now 6months old, they are a human being. A person. And the very same mother who they wholeheartedly trust, gives them up to Death. A terrible, painful death. It hurts my heart to think of their thoughts, as it is happening. So confused. So bewildered. They are not prepared for pain. They are not prepared for violence. They want only to grow. They need only to grow.

I look at my sleeping child. He is a miracle. Such an amazing, sickly-sweet miracle. I remember the way I cried when I found out. I remember the terror I felt grip my heart, for my miracle was unplanned. I was too young, I thought, too poor, too unprepared. I woke up every day for a week, too depressed to even talk. I was mourning my life. Mourning that my life would be over. (Oh how wrong I was!) And throughout the pregnancy, miracle after miracle, my baby kept surviving. It is still so hard for me to believe sometimes, that he is here and he is healthy. But I remember the terror and to all those mothers– the ones with the tiniest humans just beginning to grow inside of them– I wish I could be there with you. At that scary moment when you realize life is about to change. I want to hold your hand and kiss your hair and tell you. Your baby loves you. Your baby is real and she needs you. Don’t hurt her. If there is one thing I can guarantee, it is that you won’t regret choosing life. Be brave. Be brave. Choose love.

*cross posted on my other blogs*