Friday, July 17, 2015

An Excursion to see "Cinderella"

For the first pregnancies, I repeatedly said, "Yes, I've delivered several weeks early before, but you never know what could happen this time. I'm not counting on an early arrival!" I tried really hard not to lock myself into a notion of when my babies would make their appearances.

But on this fifth time around, I finally felt like I could expect my baby to be born in the thirty-seventh week. I didn't even try to be open to a baby that would arrive any old time . . . or, frankly, make me feel like he or she will never come out.

So here I am, at 39+2, discovering that I am a pathetic Catholic when it comes to accepting God's providence and will for my life or offering up any physical or emotional suffering for those who suffer much more than do I. Pathetic. God has held a mirror in front of my eyes and I can see just how (not) spiritually mature I am.

Mary says she will draw hair on this picture of the baby if our baby turns out to be a girl
--because girls have hair.
Apparently I'm happy to be holy as long as I'm physically strong, competent, and in charge! I'm tired of being unable to care for my own family, having to rely on my husband, babysitters, and friends. We've already taken off more time from school than I anticipated taking off in the entirety, pre- and post-partum, yet Baby hasn't even arrived! I tell myself that this really will be a blip on the radar in retrospect, but every little annoyance and struggle seems so BIG right now. 

For three weeks, I've virtually not left these four walls except for doctor's appointments and my daily shuffling and lurching around a quarter-mile loop in our neighborhood. Each day, I take a different child with me on the walk and they're finally learning how to walk slowly enough for their Mama.

Mary on a walk with me

Mary on a walk with me

This is why Hollywood starlets disappear from
public appearances during their third trimesters.

Today my midwife prescribed me to get out of the house and find some joy, get my mind off this baby. (Which reminds me that I feel additional wretchedness that I'm so self-pitying when some women routinely anticipate their babies going to 42 weeks, so watching me fall apart emotionally at 39 weeks must be beyond annoying.)

For months, I've been wanting to take John and Mary to see Kenneth Branagh's "Cinderella," so we did that today when I discovered that the movie was still showing at one theater in an 80-mile diameter at one time per day. The timing was particularly good given that Mary recently discovered my nearly forty-year-old hardcover copy of Grimm's fairy tales and we've been reading aloud several of those superior, and dark, fairy tales to each other nightly. We decided to analyze the new movie as compared to the original fairy tale and to the Disney cartoon of 1950.

Snacks cost nearly four times as much as our tickets.
When I told the children where I was taking them, Mary (6) gasped and said, "We need to dress properly!"

The movie was wonderful and charming, closer to true to the fairy tale than anything I've seen, and gave my hormonal self ample opportunities for releasing some tears. Just seeing Cinderella walk out in her wedding gown made me burst into tears anew!

Now I am back at home in my four walls--trying to work on my gratitude list that I have four safe walls and a soft bed, that I have a husband who can run the home, that we have the means and gift money to hire so many hours of babysitters to assist right now, that I even have a baby, and a healthy one at that, ready to be born, and the list goes on . . . 


  1. Oh, Katherine! I hadn't picked up on the fact that you were expecting this baby 3 weeks early! That is a huge mental hurdle to have to overcome when you don't have the physical resources you're used to. Rest assured that you are not the only less-than-holy, impatient pregnant mama. I'm sure that God knows how grateful you are, but He still tests our limits and pushes us farther than we think we can go. Baby will come in God's good time and it will be perfect timing!

    I loved Cinderella, too. So glad you were able to see it on the big screen! I didn't think it would live up to the hype, but I also loved Inside Out this week. Very good lessons there about empathy. What have you been watching from your list?

    Hang in there! God bless you!

  2. So curious to know how you resolved transverse baby! Would you be willing to share?

  3. I've been thinking of your family...last night I even dreamed that I came over to help clean up baked beans and load the dishwasher. These last weeks and days are so so many gentle on yourself....I know it is a most horrible feeling to not be able to care for everyone and to perhaps feel distant from those you love so much....this will all pass....but I know it's hard right now!! The last 2 weeks of my last/4th pregnancy I couldn't get out of mind was just so tired and full of thoughts of how the labor would be (the one before it was too fast and somewhat traumatic)....the kids all survived and although it was hard to feel "useless" I was grateful my mom and husband could help hold down the fort......praying for you!