The night after Thanksgiving 2008 I realized I was pregnant with our fourth child when nausea hit me hard as our family gathered for a karaoke party.
I was sick for the next four months. During that time my husband started a new job, and we moved twice, to two new towns. I also spent most of that time certain that I was miscarrying, yet again. I spent all of that time wrestling an overwhelming feeling of dread and worry.
That was unlike me. I had 6 previous pregnancies, 3 that I miscarried, and 3 who are my lovely children. Even though I had various difficulties in my pregnancies, I'd always loved being pregnant. I think the pure creation of it all just amazed me. Enough that morning sickness, or backaches, or sleeplessness didn't really get to me.
All Spring and Summer I battled myself. I wanted to be a good mother and wife, and all that entailed. I consider these my most important, even sacred, roles. My loving husband and children deserved more from me than what I gave. I went through the motions, but was too often short-tempered and full of self-pity. And I couldn't shake that fog of dread and worry.
Our baby was born as the school year began. Within a week he was admitted to the hospital, was later diagnosed with hydrocephalus, and at two weeks of age he underwent neurosurgery to place a shunt. He recovered very well, and is now a healthy and smiley almost 5-month-old. I'm so grateful.
So, 2009 was challenging. Not earth-shattering. Just challenging like life has a tendency to be. Through much of it I felt almost overwhelmed, but not entirely. There were still good times; we bought our first home, we enjoyed beautiful hikes and drives as a family, we had lovely visits from family and friends, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary, we welcomed our sweet baby into our lives.
But, I have realized, without a doubt, things need to change. I need to change. Who I am and the life I live, how HAPPY I am, is up to no one else but me.
And so I resolve, no, I vow, that 2010 will be The Year of HAPPY.
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