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Getting a Kick in the Priorities

Guest blogger Janalee Card Chmel is co-owner of MA! motherhood with attitude and is a Denver-based freelance writer. She was shocked at the age of 40 to find out she was pregnant. Follow her journey each month.

I am just finishing Week 28 of my surprise pregnancy, which means I have about 11 weeks to go before I meet this wee one. We’ve opted not to find out the gender, yet again, because despite the tactless, graceless, tantrum-throwing way I behaved when I discovered I was pregnant, I do love surprises! I truly love that moment when the doctor says, “It’s a girl!” (so far that’s all we’ve heard) and my heart instantly says, “Yes, of course it is. I think I knew her all along…”

Looking back on the last 28 weeks, I recognize that one of the most rewarding aspects of this journey began when this baby started kicking me. Let’s face it: This has been stressful on me and on my family. Not only did we have zero maternity care insurance when we discovered this blessed bombshell, but we have a two-room home for a soon-to-be family of five. Since May 27 – the day I looked at that pink stick in my bathroom and let loose a string of words not truly maternal in nature – we have made incredible changes in our lives!

But, as a friend recently pointed out to me, the most dramatic and important changes have been emotional. I’ve gone from panic to peace, from resentment to readiness, from self-pity to unabated joy. I truly believe now that this was meant to be and that there is a profound reason that I am not in control of my own life.

And just when I start to slip back into panic mode, the baby kicks me and I snap back into peace. The kicks help me keep my priorities straight…

  • Basement remodel over budget?! Panic panic panic. Swift kick from this supreme priority growing in my belly… and back into peace.
  • Freelance client giving me impossible deadlines? Freak freak freak out! Rolling flip in my belly while I’m on the phone… and back to bliss.
  • Uncertainty over the future (my abilities and our finances)? Fret fret fret. Middle-of-the-night nudge in my belly… and back to sleep.

I think it is a rare gift when we are forced to get back to our most basic priorities and that is what I’ve been given with this new child. I find that I’ve returned to the simplistic view of my goals and even my expectations of myself. Life is about to get both harder and easier and I need to keep my priorities straight! Physically and emotionally, it will get harder because new motherhood is physically exhausting and I will need to extend my emotions to three incredible children. But the other expectations I place on myself (work, clean home, three-square meals, etc) will have to be reduced… and I find that I like the forced re-prioritization.

So, dear baby in my belly, thank you! You have already helped your mommy straighten out her priorities… the first of many miracles you will deliver upon your arrival.