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Thursday, August 22, 2013

I've tried writing this post for five weeks now. Obviously I haven't been able to finish it. Let me preface by saying that there's really no gauge for the tears lately. I bawled putting a fitted sheet on the bed last week. Like legitimately cried over a piece of cotton with impossible elastic. I believe I even yelled at my plush King-size bed ("Which corner? Which CORNER?!") like it had anything to do with the crazy woman who couldn't figure out how to make it. 

This roller coaster ride makes it very hard for me to discern whether or not these are real emotions coming from a true place within me, or if they're just an unfortunate result of Mother Nature making up for my lack of morning sickness in the first trimester by kicking my hormonal crotch biscuits extra hard. But after so many weeks and so many tears, I can only submit that this is a very real, however unfounded the feelings may be.

When I first found out we were pregnant, it was hard for me to be as excited as I wanted to be. Please don't misunderstand. We were and are thrilled. Over the moon. Blessed out of our little minds. Really and truly, we are. From the moment I peed on that stick, though, a quiet voice inside my heart was whispering--very softly at first but getting louder with each passing week--that something wasn't quite right.

As thrilling and wonderful and terrifying as it is to be carrying life within me, I know why I was struggling to be as happy as I truly wanted to be. I knew what that tricky voice was trying to get me to believe with its thousands of destructive lines. Your family is so far away. How can you possibly go through this without them? Will your baby even know them? Its deceptive musings were fogging my mind like an afternoon cloud, and I couldn't shake them no matter how much I tried.

I've gone through many emotions, wrestling with it all. I've been angry with God for putting us here in Texas. I've resented Grahm and the job he loves. I've been completely dissatisfied with my own career. I've hated San Antonio: the traffic, the heat, the distance from everywhere and everything. I've wanted to pack up and leave. I've longed for Nashville, where my parents are. I've longed for home.

Home is a funny word, isn't it?

For 22 years of my life, I associated home with my parents. My little sister. My sweet brother. Oklahoma. Red dirt and blue skies. Now nearly two years into marriage, I'm realizing that my definition of home needs a major overhaul.

In some ways, that little voice in my head is right. My family is far away and that is incredibly hard during this life-changing time. I wish with all of my heart my mom was a short ten minutes away instead of an unbearable 16 hours. I know I'll have so many questions ("Is it okay if her poop looks like that? How do I get the crying to stop? When will his belly button thing fall off?"). I know I'll want to show her everything ("He rolled over! He stood up! She pooped... again!"). And there's nothing wrong in those desires.

The problem arises when I allow that discontentment to seep into my mind, robbing me of the joy of this moment. The wonder of life within me. The beauty of growing a family with my best friend.

Maybe one day, my parents and I won't be thousands of miles apart. Maybe one day we can drop by their house unannounced and beg them for some free babysitting. Maybe one day my baby will know his/her Lolli and Pops beyond a picture or a computer screen.

But I have a new home now. A family of my own here in San Antonio. And for right now, God is really teaching me to silence the voice in my head that keeps telling me This isn't going to be okay without your mom and dad and to rest in Him. In Grahm. In our life together--our wonderful, wonderful life. It really is enough. And it really will be okay.

30 comments:

Kaity said...

I legitimately just got done drafting this same post about our life in Pittsburgh. I understand more than you know <3

Honestly, what gets me through is just the peace and understanding that one day we'll be back home. All in God's timing.

Erin LFF said...

Bless your sweet heart, Jena. I feel for you, really I do. Even though Jared and I aren't parents yet, his parents are 11 hours away, my only sister and her family are 8 hours away, and we're about 1 hour from my parents. There is just TOO much distance between all of us, and I think about these very same things a lot. Praying for peace and comfort for this season of life for ya girl!!!

Shannon W. said...

Jena, Tyler and I have struggled with the same thing. I always thought as soon as we graduated we'd be back in Tulsa... I'm finding that even though I'm far from my family, God has put a lot of people in my life in St. louis that love us like family. It will never be quite the same. I miss "home" a lot. The other day I cried while I ate some cheese. Not sure why.. :)

Ashley @ ThisUnscriptedLife said...

I know just how you feel. My son was born in Germany when my husband was in the Army. That was VERY far from our family in Louisiana. After that we moved to Italy. Not much closer to home =(
We were then blessed with 3 glorious years when we were able to move back to Louisiana and our son (then age 3) could REALLY bond with his grandparents. My heart was exploding with happiness. Around Noah's 6th birthday we decided to move to Illinois. It was the best decision for my husband career. I was heartbroken. It's COLD here. We don't really know anyone. It's not my ideal situation. Now a year later we are expecting our second child in September and we are once again far from family. It's hard. I'm so grateful for the baby girl we've been given and I try not to dwell on the fact that everyone is so far away. BUT I miss "home" I still have hope that we will move back someday. Until then I'll just make the best of things here. I hope you can do the same =)

Kevin and Alli said...

This post is perfect and the voice of so many young wives. My husband and I have lived 30 minutes away from my family at the most - now, less than 5 and while we were pregnant, we actually live in their house for a few months while moving.

But still ... I think girls/women have a hard time giving up their happy "homes" to start anew, no matter how fun and wonderful and exciting their new lives and husbands are. It's scary.

I remember that about 2 days before our wedding, I started to get extremely emotional and sad because I felt as if I was leaving my family. I was so scared that everything would change and never feel the same.

You are right, though: as wives and moms (and good, happy daughters) we need to trust our hearts and our lives with Him and him(hubby). It is a process.

Good luck with the pregnancy. At the very least, your momma is just a phone call or Skype date away.

Kayla Peveler said...

Oh Jena, I feel for you! I'm so sorry you can't have your mom right by your side through all of this -- but I'm glad God is teaching you amazing things through this. My mom is across the world in Hawaii, and my in-laws (same as Erin!) are 11 hrs away. It's crazy, but we know its for a reason :) love your sweet heart, girl!

Sasha Savy said...

This is a wonderful and honest post. I hope things get better for you. I couldn't imagine doing what you're doing, but actually in about two years we are likely moving although only four hours away from our families. It bothers me to think that by then our daughter will be at that fun stage of wanting to visit and we'll be far away. Not to mention when we have more kids. I hope things get better for you! Just think of that sweet little bundle :)

Laura Nelson said...

oh this is me. this is so, so me. we had been trying for about a year with no luck. we found out 2 weeks ago that we were expecting & we were both so happy, but a little sad. both of our families are in virginia, and we're in utah. the closest family member i have is 3 hours away and it's awful to think that i'll have to be alone for some time and my child won't get to know his/her grandparents/aunts/uncles that well. luckily, we have faith & God on our side :)

love this post, and bless your heart for posting this. i would never have the courage to, & it's so great that you do!

Katie said...

Oh my goodness, I totally agree with questioning emotions...sometimes I have to ask myself, ok is this pregnancy emotions or would I truly feel like this not pregnant. I've cried more times pregnant than I have in my whole life, ha! So, I totally get it.

As far as your situation goes, I'm sure that is so hard. I'm originally from South Dakota so all my life, my family (besides my Mom) has been over 1,000 miles away. Unfortunately, it is so different than I want it to be, but I've learned to lean on my husband in more ways that I ever thought!

Claire Berard said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! What are you thinking making me cry this early in the morning! Oh my goodness! Sweet friend I totally understand this! I grew up in San Antonio, and when Chris and I got married we moved to Dallas 6 months later. Talk about traffic!! OMGoodness!! Another 6 months later and I was pregnant. I had all of these emotions and so I totally get this! We were away from family for 13 years. Eventually it got easier, but whenever we would come here to visit, it would get hard again. So, now that my kids are 12 and 8, we are back. Of course I don't need them now like I thought I needed them when they were little, but it is nice to be back home. To visit my sister and brother whenever I want. To spend time with my mom and dad. So, just know... God will work it out. In His timing. We prayed forever asking God to move us back. 13 years later, we're back. Now, I miss Dallas and my besties that had become family to me there. We really need to get together soon. Please.... let's figure out when. I'm serious... email me... today. :) Hugs! Claire

Heather said...

You are not alone. I am 21 weeks, and when I got that positive pee stick I was living 25 min away from my family...which was new to me and the furthest I have ever been from them. I'm now tucked back safely in to my home town, 3 min away from my mom and 10 min away from my dad. I couldn't imagine being a plane ride away.

Helene in Between said...

ooh that is so hard. i would want to be near my family (hence we haven't moved to europe just yet) but it's so hard. i think it's totally fine to be sad about this, even with preggo brain

Nicole said...

My parents are 10 hours away and it's hard knowing that my child won't know them or be around them as much as my in-laws. I wish we could all be close together. It's definitely hard, but I know that my parents (as will yours, I'm sure!) will just HAVE to make that extra effort to make more visits :)

Marie said...

First, Lolli and Pops might be the best grandparent names I've ever heard of. You win.

Second, I know you guys are going to thrive no matter where you are, but I totally get missing your parents. My best friend's husband is in the military and she was so sad when they had their baby for the exact same reasons. But it has been amazing watching her grow as a mama, and I'm excited to see what God has in store for you guys, too :)

Jenna said...

I am 10 weeks pregagnt TODAY and I feel the EXACT SAME WAY!!!! My Mom passed away 8 years ago and I just KNOW that all this pregnancy STUFF would be SO much easier if she were here... and my husband's family lives 3 hours away so I feel like I have NO ONE to help me with the "baby stuff!"
BUT I am so glad that you are pregnant the same time that I am so I can read all of your funny pregnancy shenanigans!! I will pray for you that things get easier.. chin up girlfriend! :)

Whitney said...

Jena, I am crying right now. You took every thought and emotion that I have and put it into a blog post. I so would love to have a baby but I am so afraid. My family is so far away (SC) and I fear all of these things. I had no idea your family was in Nashville. I wish I could just hug you right now!!

Charlotte said...

Jena I found your blog through Whitney above...

The word "home" truly is so tricky. This post was so well-written and I think it really resonates with a lot of us! I lived away from home for a year in Illinois and my family is in SC. In December, I moved home and then a month later moved to a town 1.5 hours away from my parents.

But where my parents live will ALWAYS be "home" to me. I grew up on a farm, and that land will always be my home.

Even being 1.5 hours away from my parents and my "real" home, I long to jump in the car and hit the road to be home in Cameron, though my new home is Beaufort.

You have such a great outlook on this now! I'm sure its hard with having a baby on the way, but I'm sure one day you'll look back and say, "Wow, I really was where I needed to be." Hang in there!

Ashley Wright said...

This feeling is all too familiar to me too! I've been living away from my family for 3 years now and I have a one year old daughter that they don't get to see very often. But, it makes the time we DO get to spend with them so much sweeter! Thank you for this post!

Jay T said...

I teared up a little reading this. I lived 4 hours away from my family for six years and I hated every minute of it! I kept thinking that if I met someone where I lived then if I had kids they'd be far from my parents and I hated that thought. BUT I'm sure you'll make sure your baby knows who her grandparents are and the times you're able to see them will be SO SWEET! (I don't know why but I just picture you having a baby girl.)

Breanne said...

Well, I'm not pregnant (yet, haha) but I've been going through very same feelings, maybe mine is coming from culture shock. I had a full on sob fest the other night which I can count on one hand how many times that has happened in my life because i missed my family so much. I was stressed out about how much I was missing out on.
I just recently moved to the Amazon, from Texas, with my Husband and the other night I just lost it. I had always lived close to my family and my husband's family. We plan to live here with our children and this thought has already crossed my mind so many times. :(
Thankfully the love your parents will have for their grandchild will be felt no matter how many miles separate you.

-Breanne
www.leavesofthetreesblog.com

Lindsey A said...

I live 16 hours from my family, too, and it does suck. But then I think about FaceTime and Instagram and Vine and how much more it would suck if those things didn't exist. My mom gets to see him do all the fun things because I make sure I post it so she can. It's hard, but it's definitely easier than it would have been just a few years ago, and I try to focus on that. Everything will work out. Don't stress!

Alexa said...

Who gave you permission to peek into my heart and put all the feelings into words?! Seriously, I have so many emotions about being hours from my and my husband's family, especially when we think about having kids one day, and those emotions always end in fear and sadness. I've learned it's OK to feel that way though, and that home does change, sometimes more often than we'd like, but as long as we're willing to adapt, things can be happy! :) Thinking about you so much, sweet girl.

Amanda said...

I really appreciate you sharing this, Jena. I'm sure there are others who feel the same way and appreciate your honesty. It's hard being away from family. I'm sure if/when we have a kid I will feel the same way too.

CoastWithMe said...

Oh Jena...I can only imagine how you feel. My sister lives a short 6 hours away....but to me it feels like 18 hours. And she had a baby a few years ago and was kind of in the same position. Her husband couldn't leave his job and she was completely on her own out there and shared many of your concerns. But everything turned out just fine and she's made a home for herself and her family. And I know with all my heart that you will find your home and happiness too. You are going to be an amazing mom with the a kick ass sense of humor (one of my favorite things about you). And you are lucky to have your sidekick Grahm who loves and supports you. P.S. Who knows where life will take your family a few years down the line. God always has a plan. :)

Amy said...

::hugs::
I can only imagine how hard it was for you to write all of this out..as well as to process it.
<3
God is definitely moving in your heart and teaching you new lessons...even though they don't seem to be easy lessons (none really are huh?)

Lauren said...

I felt the very same way when I got pregnant. It was the one thing that made me sad about my pregnancy but as time goes I see where I am now more as home and where I was as less of it. I still miss being close to my parents, trust me, but when I visit them I now miss "home" and know home is where my little family is.

Ashley said...

It really is so hard being away from family...especially when you're about to bring a little one into the world. I hope that people will come into your life and will surround you with the love and support that you will desperately need as a new mom. I think they will...I hope they will.

thenancefamilia said...

Amen, sister. Being far from family is definitely hard, but like you, I'm thankful for where God has us now and the community he's surrounding us with. I know if my mom was in the same town I wouldn't have any friends and just hang out with her, so maybe it's a good phase for us haha let's hang out soon!!

Allison said...

Being away from family would be so incredibly hard, but you have one amazing husband. You are wise to be seeking contentment in your new "home." I will be praying for you!

Andrea @ Love is... said...

I can relate to all of this so much. We aren't to the stage of having kids quite yet, but I've had the same concerns & worries you talk about here. You've got a great outlook on it though, so I have every bit of faith that you're going to get through this amazingly!