How I got this way is…


I haven’t had time to take a lot of pictures lately, but here is my 14 week belly. I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant so as you can see, we haven’t had time to take a belly shot THIS week. It really hasn’t changed that much.

What HAS changed, finally, is that I’m crying at EVERYTHING. And I’m completely unreasonable. Ask Henry.

Here’s the result of my hard work on his desk area in recent weeks during my home organization blitz. I put up a map of he used during his hike across England – of the Lake District – and he actually broke into tears when he saw it. Also,last Saturday we cleaned like your anal-retentive Aunt Rita and I set up the organization system we bought at Ikea for the front and nursery closets. The room is totally different now – almost ready to start decorating for baby!! I can’t tell you what a weight it is off my shoulders to have a place for everything. Especially all of my little pieces I use for jewelry-making.

So…THEN we went to a going-away party for friends we will miss and THEN I hosted my second annual Arbonne & j swank designs party – which I would call a roaring success given the fact that I gave everyone very little notice. I sold a lot of jewelry to dear friends. It warmed my heart to see them trying it all on. It was like the sale room at Anthropologie. I was trying to get rid of all my stuff from last Fall to make room for baby and new jewelry.

Last night Henry and I got a massage from our dear Merm and we started talking about how she thinks cats are as social as birds and then we got to talking about having cats as kids and how those cats were like our best friends. She said there were so many times when she’d been punished that she would be rocking and crying on her bed and her cat would come and comfort her. One time, she said, the cat even wiped away a tear from her face. Sort of jokingly but mostly not she said that Jesus had often used the cat to announce His presence to her.

I’m crying right now because I just discovered right this minute that He did that for me too. There was more than one time between the ages of 12 & 15 when I was alone in my room thinking I didn’t know what I would do with myself if Tigger ever died. Buying him for me was one of the most theraputic things my parents could ever have done for me. come to think of it, I have a scar on my leg where it got cut on the tailpipe of our moving van when I went under it trying to coax Tigger out.

The other day I was reading real birth stories in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and started sobbing at this story about this couple whose baby had to be rushed to the hospital because of water retention on the lungs right after he was born. They thought he was going to die because of an infection but he was alright. After 6 days in the hospital when they were finally in the car on their way home and he was crying, they put in a Bob Marley tape they’d played a lot while she was still pregnant with him and he immediately stopped crying, looked around and fell into his first deep sleep. She said it was like, “It’s okay now. You found me. I’m home.”

It made me think about how we don’t realize how much babies take with them what happens to them at birth and before, including ourselves as babies. We just don’t think about it. I know I’m more emotional than usual right now, but I also feel like I’m being enabled to mourn some of those things that happened to me in a way I never could have before if I wasn’t carrying a child myself.  As babies, each one of us tried and tried to reach out to and gain the attention of our parents and if they were unavailable or unresponsive, we tried again and again – sometimes for years – always hoping and expecting their smiles to be turned back to us.

My mom and I have talked about this, so I’m not revealing something better left in therapy. Well, maybe I AM…LOL…but rest assured that I’m not taking it to the internet as my first confidante.

I know when I read that story and when I thought just now about Jesus coming to me through my cat, I was and am mourning the loss of love and attention I should have received. It didn’t just happen once, either. In college my mom told me there was a period of time when she was so depressed she wasn’t getting out of bed. I just so happened to be around 9 months old at the time and so when I called out to her from my room as I did over and over and over again and she didn’t come…there was something that broke in me. Something that maybe will take me a lifetime and beyond to be made whole. I don’t know what my baby self did at the time to try to make it all better. I don’t know how Jesus showed up then so that I knew I wasn’t alone. I just know that when she told me, everything made more sense.

I was like: so THAT’S why when I was at Bible camp in the 10th grade and everyone was throwing away their “secular” cd’s and I threw all of mine away but didn’t throw away the only one which needed to be thrown away because I’d been too embarassed to bring it in the first place – because it was a Hanson cd (yes. Mmmmbop.) – and then when I got home I did throw it away and it was a huge relief because I’d been OBSESSED. I wouldn’t have been caught dead with a poster in my room found looking at a Tiger Beat in Walmart. The closest I ever came was keeping VH1 on all the time when I was babysitting, hoping I’d see one of their music videos. In fact, that’s how it all started: with the Mmmbop music video. To this day I don’t know what it was about those boys that captivated me. I think it probably had something to do with them seeming to have a life which was full of all things mine lacked: happiness, success, an outlet for their talent, hard work, a close relationship with their family. The fact that they were cute blonde boys with rosy cheeks probably didn’t hurt either. In any case, sometimes I would get to feeling so guilty that I was thinking about them all the time and imagining myself in their lives that I literally started to pray for them.  I hope this is funny enough on its own and I wish I was in a different mood because I’d really like to re-create for you some of those prayers.

You might have to settle for The Neverending Story III, typed in installments, which I recently found among my old journals at my parents’ house.

Anyway… to counteract the facts that I was a) a young teen, b) homeschooled since the age of 8, c) living, for the most part, in the middle of nowhere on a plot of land that didn’t even have TREES, and d) pretty depressed as a result of having a sick mother who didn’t get out of bed 2-3 times a week and a father who was traveling 3 weeks out of every month trying to provide for us (really the list could probably go to l or m), I cultivated a rich fantasy life. And a dependence upon outside stimuli like t.v. and food and books and music to make me feel better.

Maybe it’s starting become clear why I need to get rid of the internet. Which, incidentally, might not be able to happen due to needing it to start a new business!!!!! Which I’m really excited about!!!! But, so, I WILL be getting rid of netflix for sure. Dirty, dirty netflix. You’re just as bad as Hanson.

2 thoughts on “How I got this way is…

Add yours

  1. Jen you are too cute! Just thought I tell you how much I enjoyed your blog. I wish I could write this freely. I stumbled upon your blog while checking out your jewelry, which by the way is amazing. I also love the pictures of your place, it kind of has that anthropology look that I love and am currently trying to recreate in our new house. Congrats on your pregnancy.
    Michelle “Young” Moore

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