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Pains make me afraid… (baby no. 2?)

When in bed with my mucle pains and fever (some sort of flu or infection) last weekend, I began remembering the labour pains. Because the localisation of these pains were largely the same as the pains I head when giving birth. And I thought that I’ll never be able to give birth again, because of the anxitey resulting from having this much pain.

Due to my lack of control over my body when growing up (incest experience) it is very important to me to have control over my body, or at least feel that I have some sort of control. Whenever I experience some sort of pain, ranging from my period to the ultimate pain experience giving birth, I’m filled with anxiety. I’m afraid of the pain in a way I can’t explain. And hence, I don’t understand my reaction.

 

And, in relation to this, I think a lot about having a second baby. Before last weekend I associated having babies with the joy and excitment of being a part of God’s creation will, and looking at the ultrasound pictures, wondering how this little person inside me is going to be. He’s so close, yet so foreign to me!

But, having rekindled the memory of the labour pains, and especially all the anxiety I had after the birth, I’m in doubt as to whether to have a second baby or not… 😕 The question is, am I in a position where I can decide whether to have or not a second baby? There are so many things to consider!

The Church’s teachings

According to the Church’s official teachings, a marriage is a lifelong commitment (it’s actually of such great importance that it’s considered as one of the sacraments) between a man and a women. The marriage is formed to the benefit of the man and the woman, but also to the society. The marriage is the smallest “building cell” of a society. And every marriage must be entered into with an openness to having children. Or receiving the children that God gives the couple, thus taking part in God’s creation will or order. The Church also teaches that the only acceptable form for contraceptives is abstaining. And it is up to the couple to decide the number of children. The children is seen as a gift or blessing from God.

The society’s “teachings”

The main trend in Norway is to have one’s first child at the age of 29-30 (woman) and then having two to three kids. A lot of peoples have their kids fairly close in age, probably because of their starting age and then they want to get done with the kids being small and needy, fairly quickly. Kids are seen as both a good and a blockage thing. It’s seen as normal to have kids, although not everyone’s prepared to make the “sacrifices” one must to cater properly for the kids’ needs. Having been adult without kids for some years (maybe as much as 15 years) one develop certain habits and routines, and a number of new parents find it hard to cut down on clubbing, boys- and girls- outings, and personal fitness programs. It’s not seen as normal to bring one’s children along to all the things the adults does. Going to cafés with a baby is ok, but not if the kid’s passed 1-2 years. Gyms have babysitting facilities, and going to restaurants for dinner, the kid has to be at home or looked after by someone else. In southern Europe this is different, there it is common to see large families having dinner at a restaurant at 20.00 and on, all ages present.

The couple can decide how many kids to have, and the publically correct opinion is that a mother should continue persuing her career and self realisation anyhow. Having children should not block or put one back from these goals. 😐 (NB! Being a mother is not seen as a valid self realisation goal.) Having children is just one of the roles and functions a woman has. Along with being a wife and partner, career woman, friend, and so on. 🙄

My “teachings”

To me, being a mother is the most important thing I can be. It has given me a purpose for living. All my past and my future life will be used in order to be the best mother I can be. It is great to have been chosen by God to participate in his creation will/order. He saw me fit to be a mother, and I’m forever grateful.

I’m first and foremost a mother, and thus, I let the consideration to my son overrule any other consideration. I don’t care for having a career, that doesn’t make me happy. Being a mother does!

Then, if God wants me to have a second baby, and He thinks I’m fit and capable, then I will. But how may I know? I pray for Him to give us a second child if that’s what He wants. I’m very content with having only one, because the one is such a large and valuable gift! He’s all I ever could have wanted! He’s perfect!

I also pray for the Lord to give me the courage and strength needed to give birth to a second child, if I’m having one. My son deserves a sister or brother, and I know we have room in my family (time, love, space etc), both the small one and the more extended one. I mustn’t let my anxiety win, but I need to find out how to overcome and live with the anxiety as well. I think I would regret having only one kid, should it be due to me being afraid of giving birth and worrying too much for the future… none of my worries have been true so far, it’s due time for me trying to worry less!

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Mummy, you mustn’t sleep!

Yesterday me and my son went to an evening mass, and when entering the church, after doing the cross mark with the water at the door, my son asked (loud of course) “the priest’s where?”.

Being an evening mass, the church wasn’t full, but everyone was quiet. I told him that the priest would come soon. We brought along some of his small cars to play with and a book for him to look in. He’s only been to Sunday masses earlier, and then the church tends to be more than full, so yesterday he got some space to move around in and to look at the other church-goers.

He walked around a bit, but when we were standing, confessing our sins and praying, everyone was closing their eyes and head down, he said “look mummy, everyone’s sleeping!” 😉 also a bit loud… and then when we’re supposed to kneel and I can’t do that because of knee pains, I sit at the front of the seat and close my eyes and tilt my head down, he said to me “mummy, you mustn’t sleep!” I smiled and told him I wasn’t sleeping, I was talking to God and Jesus quietly inside me. “Oh, talking to Jesus, ‘tly”, he replied. After kneeling for a bit we raise up to pray the Lord’s prayer, and one of the women raised up standing before the rest of us, and my son commented, pointing at the woman, to everyone’s hearing, “she stands, she stands!”

I try not to be stressed about my son making small noises and comments like these, but I must say it’s a struggle. The priest has told me not to be afraid of bringing him along, because it is better for us to come and him to make some noise than us not coming. That helps me. But I’m very conscius about what the other church-goers may think. On the other hand I wish to make him comfortable in the church room, feel somewhat at home in the house of the Lord, and to do that I need to start early. I want him to think of church as a good place to be.

My husband is non-denominal (he doesn’t belong to any church) nor does he believe in God, but he respects my beliefs, and he’s ok with me giving our son a catholic faith. It wouldn’t have worked, had he not been ok with it. So I don’t have him beside me to help me with the boy in church. I’ve never had any other man/boyfriend that my husband, so I don’t know how it is to be married to a person of the same faith, but I think it would be nice if he shared my beliefs and we were able to talk about it as two believers not as one believer and one agnostic. He doesn’t give me any faith input. But he’s good in so many other ways, so I didn’t let the faith issue decide.