I am a perfectionist. As a result of my condition, I am also a control freak. I have a tendency to do most things for myself because I want them done a certain way, and when things aren’t going well for me, I tend to try to figure out what I’ve done wrong and how I can fix it. I put a lot of pressure on myself and sometimes the pressure mounts and peaks and explodes in an emotional meltdown, which usually results in crying. Not a pretty sight.
I haven’t really used this blog as a forum to talk about my spiritual beliefs or to reflect on morality or religion. I haven’t avoided it exactly, I’ve just tried to keep things light and fun and not too serious. But every once in awhile something happens, I shift into a reflective mood, and I have to sort it all out. Something like that happened in the past few weeks and I have been trying to make sense of it. Three weeks ago I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. You may be thinking that’s not a big deal, that many women go through it and it’s easily managed…and you would be right. But for a perfectionist like me, who’s had a “perfect” pregnancy thus far, it came to me as a huge failure on my part. After all, I changed my diet, I got pregnant, I kept myself healthy and it’s been smooth sailing.
Back in April, when I saw those 2 blue lines on that pregnancy test, I got down on my knees, thanked God for His blessing, for this beautiful gift, and cried my eyes out. Praised Him and sobbed. And it’s been pretty much all about me ever since then. I got myself healthy and I had the power to keep myself that way. I wouldn’t suffer from the ailments that other pregnant women complain about because I had it all under control. Then, despite all my best efforts, despite my diet, despite any knowledge I thought I might have had, those test results came back and I was branded with this diagnosis, gestational diabetes. Suddenly, I wasn’t in control anymore. I had a nurse telling me what to eat and that I had to test my blood everyday and report back to her with the numbers, so that she could monitor me. For me, this felt like a huge insult to my ability to take care of myself and to know what’s best for me and my baby. Then I went to the doctor and they told me that because of the diabetes, I would need to have an ultrasound and a non-stress test every week for the duration of my pregnancy. Again, I felt like somehow I had done something wrong and that I was being punished for it. “We have to watch her. She’s a bad mom and she can’t take care of herself.” You might say I have some serious issues with pride.
You would think that I would have learned this lesson by now….that I am not in control. The journey to have a baby has been a long one and for a long time I tried to be in control of it too. I took my temperature daily to find out when I was ovulating, I tried ovulation strips, I obsessed about things happening with my body that most women don’t even notice. I was sure that if I did everything right, I would eventually get pregnant. And all the while, I heard a little voice in my ear telling me to let it go, hand it over, it wasn’t my situation to control. Sometimes I was able to do that…for a little while. But my need to be in control always took over and I ended up right back where I started. Eventually, the rug was pulled out from under me and my chance of ever becoming a parent was snatched away from me when I went through a painful divorce. I was forced to my knees and forced to give the situation over to God. My only option was total surrender.
Now I find myself in this place where I truly never thought I’d be. In fact, just a few weeks prior to taking that test, Michael and I had a serious talk about foster care and adopting. But God had other plans for us. And I’m still learning lessons the hard way. Still stumbling along on this journey and making mistakes. I’m sure I will make many more. And I wonder how many more times I will have to be humbled to realize that I cannot be perfect and that anything good or perfect that comes from me is not my doing alone. Our little girl is not my perfection. She is His perfection.
Once again, I have to let go. Let go of control. Let go of perfect. And put in all in the hands of the One who made any of this possible.