5 things I am tired of people saying…

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I am currently 17 weeks pregnant. When I announced the news publicly on Facebook most people missed it as apparently I was too subtle. Posting my scan picture was not for me so I posted the picture below:

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I have since discovered that everyone I meet is a pregnancy expert and wishes to share their wealth of knowledge with me, while I am entirely grateful that I have people to talk things through with, there are 5 things I’m tired of people saying:

1. ‘Your life will never be the same!’ (with an added look of glee)
Actually, do you know what? I really believe that my life will carry on just as it is. I hadn’t taken into account the thought that things would be different. Excuse the sarcasm but stating the obvious isn’t helpful. Also, why is everyone suddenly so happy at the notion I will have to change my life and at the fact that I have no idea what is coming? It isn’t exactly encouraging.

2. ‘ Have you felt the baby yet?’
No, the answer is no and now I am starting to get anxious about it. Actually, it is completely normal for me not to have yet. How about waiting for me to tell you about it?

3. ‘Have you decided on names, what are they?
Yes, names are decided. No I am not telling you. I am allowed some secrets. The likelihood is you won’t approve of my choices and I’d rather not see your ‘really?’ face.

4. ‘Don’t plan anything in advance, you don’t know how you’ll be.’
Ok, I will just assume that I need to stay in my house for 12 months after the birth. Again, this isn’t encouraging. Yes, it will be different but it doesn’t mean I am not allowed to do things. For me, having some things planned will give me things to work towards.

5. ‘Insert birth horror story here…’
All births are different. Yes, I am aware that it isn’t all fluffy clouds and rainbows but going into minute detail about all the complications, difficulties and issues that were encountered isn’t going to help me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that people want to talk about it and share and be part of the whole thing but I am still me as well. I haven’t become just a pregnant woman. I am still able to talk about anything and everything.

Also, I am anxious enough as it is and dealing with that. What would be really helpful is for you to talk about all of the good things about being a parent. How about sharing some of your joys and happy memories?

How are you feeling?

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Image courtesy of [Michal Markol] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is also quite interesting coming back to write a blog after a couple of days break. I feel I have lost my groove somewhat.

This weekend was very busy. Saturday we went to London to stay in a hotel and to see Les Mis. I had won a competition and this was the prize.

Sunday morning, I was leading worship so we left the hotel just after breakfast and then after church, It was time for planning and making resources.

I haven’t been sleeping well recently, waking up in the middle of the night remembering something that I need to do and then not being able to switch off.

When the alarm went this morning, I was less than impressed. As well as teaching a full day, it was parents’ evening. I don’t dislike parents’ evening. I do dislike it on a Monday.

I probably share the thoughts of a lot of you regarding Mondays. It is a time to get settled into the week, a day to set your pace for the week. I feel like I have been thrown off kilter and will spend the rest of the week catching up.

The evening went well, I had books for parents to look at, half term assessments, I was able to talk in detail about the students.

Yet tonight, I sit here barely able to keep my eyes open. A few of my students asked me if I was ok today, one if them gave me their analysis of how I was feeling from reading my face.

The truth is, I don’t know how I am feeling. I don’t feel myself. I feel faint and lethargic and drained of all energy. I appear pale in my complexion and am unsteady on my feet. Part of me has concerns that my fainting and blackout episodes are going to start again.

Times like this it would be easy to spiral, to almost give up. This is when I have to cling to my faith. To focus on what I know and not how I am feeling. My feelings are fickle, changeable, unreliable.

One of my favourite verses is from Jeremiah ‘I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and hope.’

When I begin to feel as though I can’t go on, or life is overwhelming, I read this verse and hold on to the truth.

I have a future and hope.

Navigating Monday

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The day began with a lack of milk in the staff room fridge which caused much consternation first thing on a Monday morning. Thankfully, as I was nil by mouth I was not affected by this travesty.

People started to drift into the staff room, some smiling, some already carrying the spirit of the grinch. Such is the way in a school staff room, it is law.

I was stationed at the photocopier, my designated spot prior to 8am. It didn’t feel too bad being back but then I enjoy my job, as much as I may grumble at times, teaching is as much a part of me as the blood that courses through my veins.

My first class were ‘bouncing’ as we like to call it. Fresh from a half term break and not at all enamoured with the idea of being back at school. There ensued a number of conversations about appropriateness of behaviour and the revelation that thrusting one’s genitals while stood at the back of the classroom was not something that I was happy to tolerate.

My second class were the picture of perfection, intelligent conversation ensued as we discussed a ‘thunk’, we worked as a class to complete activities, we laughed (heaven forbid!), we journeyed through the learning process together and I was just a hair’s breath away from them all climbing on their desks and exclaiming ‘O Captain, my Captain!’

What was the difference between these two classes? The main difference was how they had been engaged by their tutor for the first fifteen minutes of the day. It may sound insignificant, but it is one of the most significant moments of the day for students. Handled well and there is a good foundation to start the day with. Handled badly and you end up herding cats for the rest of the day.

I am going to have to have some difficult conversations tomorrow about pastoral care. The part of my job I like the least, but the welfare and well being of the students is my priority and for those of you who may feel I am too liberal, this is affecting their learning, which affects their progress, which ultimately affects their achievement.

My hospital appointment had to be abandoned as part way through my test (an hour in, in fact) the equipment malfunctioned. So, I now have to go through the whole ordeal again within the next week or so.

Funny isn’t it, how life has a habit of throwing things at you that just knock you off balance? I thought I may get some answers today regarding my health issue but again I am in limbo. I know I have to have some difficult conversations tomorrow and that I won’t be popular for it.

This is where my faith kicks in, where I don’t focus on the opinions of man, where I don’t look at life through the way I am feeling, but through what I know.

I have hope, I have courage, I have strength.

Trusting I will be ok whatever happens

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Today is the 1st November. The start of a new month. The rundown to Christmas.

I look back over this year and wonder where it has gone, not that it hasn’t been packed full of memories.

I am busy making more memories on holiday this week. Laughing, crying (mostly at films) being myself.

When I say being myself, I mean feeling relaxed, not filtering everything I say through a ‘will that sound right?’ thought process that often renders me silent. I am not constantly replaying conversations and incidents at work in my mind micro analysing. I don’t have a constant tension headache.

It is something I need to work on when I am back at work. Something I need to be mindful of.

The Monday I go back to work I need to leave early to go to a hospital appointment. Earlier in the year I started feeling dizzy, then fainting, then having blackouts.

I have seen a cardiologist, had a heart scan and no answers, my ecgs show an abnormality but it is benign. I am now going to have a tilt test.

I have low blood pressure, I always have. This test will be another route to establishing why I faint/blackout.

I have had dizziness but no collapses for months. Then, out of the blue on Monday when we got in, I started feeling dizzy and the next.thing I knew I am sat on the floor and grey/white with all the colour drained and my heart beating rapidly and chest pain.

This scared me because part of me thought it had stopped, that it was over. I now realise it hasn’t and it makes me apprehensive.

I have my test on Monday and then I see the cardiologist in a month’s time.

Am I hoping for answers? Yes. Am I guaranteed them? No.

So what do I do? Do I over analyse? Do I just go back to how things were before? Do I plump for a little denial?

Life is hard at times, there aren’t always simple answers. At times we struggle. At times we don’t.

I don’t know what I am going to do. I know that I want to trust that whatever happens I will be ok. I know that I want to start enjoying life more and by that I mean even the mundane moments.

Who’s with me?