Thursday, May 03, 2012

Goals (one two years late)

I just had a birthday, my 32nd.  This is the first year that I feel old.  These last two years, but mostly this year, have aged me.  When I turned thirty I made 30 goals for my 30th birthday.  I put a lot a thought into my goals and chose goals I felt would stretched me but that were realistic in my opinion.  I started out very well on my goals until eventually one goal trumped all others and my efforts kind of ceased.  That goal was to get pregnant.  I made it a goal because I was afraid to be pregnant again.  It had taken me a long time to decide it was time again but eventually I knew it was right and then I became excited about having another baby.  I got pregnant and then had a miscarriage.  Miscarriages are so sad and hard.  But eventually I got pregnant again and I knew it was a girl from the beginning.  I got sick quickly and stayed sick the entire pregnancy--though it got much better by the end.  With the addition of Gestational Diabetes, the pregnancy was easily the toughest of the four.  My attention quickly turned from my goals to just trying to make it through each day.

When the doctor used words like "death" in reference to Laila and Gestational Diabetes, I took his counsel seriously and did exactly what he told me to and more.  I pricked my fingers four times a day, kept a food journal, went to the dietitian on base, ate almost perfectly (only making my numbers go high a few times), and exercised every day but Sunday for 45 minutes.  The hardest part for me was driving to base twice a week for non-stress tests.  On a good day I'd be away from my family an hour and a half for the test (base was a half hour away).  I often sat in the chair thinking, "Why the heck am I doing this?  If my numbers indicated a problem, I could understand but they don't.  I'd much rather be home with the boys doing something useful or fun with them."  I got to sit for a long time because Laila didn't like to rest during the tests--she just moved and moved and it was hard to get an accurate reading.  After the non-stress test, I would frequently have to get my fluid checked and sometimes get an ultrasound.  So by the time I was done I'd spent a lot of time away and I have to admit, I really felt it was unnecessary.  But I was determined to do what was needed to get her here safely.  It was such a relief when she finally got here and I was able to be done with the stress and worry and morning sickness.  

I've wondered about her pregnancy many times since then.  Recently I wondered, "What was the purpose of all that stress?  Why was it really necessary?"  As I considered it, a thought came to me.  For the first time instead of viewing those non-stress tests as an overwhelming, negative experience, I saw it positively.  I realized that twice a week I got the privilege of going to the hospital to hear my daughter's heart beat.  I learned a bit about her personality as I saw what things made her heart beat faster or slower.  I remember how active she was in my stomach, always kicking, perhaps more than any of the boys.  I think now that those "extra" tests that at the time were such a hassle, were a blessing.  I won't ever have a chance to hear Laila's heart beat again.  Now I wonder if part of the purpose was to allow me as much time with my daughter as possible.  Once during the pregnancy Mike gave me a blessing and he told me that when I began to feel overwhelmed or anxious that I needed to stop and consider Laila and her special spirit.  That was hard counsel for me to follow.  I tried to follow the counsel but at times felt so anxious and busy and overwhelmed with the pregnancy that stopping to consider Laila was difficult.  Some mothers talk about how they feel instantly connected with their babies from the beginning.  That just isn't the case with me.  I always hope for that but truthfully, it isn't usually until after they are placed in my arms that I feel a real connection.  With Laila, I was excited for her to join our family but mostly, I was just consumed with getting her here safely.  

So now I wonder if it was God's way of making me stop.  Just stop and sit and listen.  Listen to her heart.  Feel her move.  Think about her.  

It is unfortunate that I wasn't able to have that perspective at the time but I'm grateful for it now.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want a repeat of Laila's pregnancy but knowing what I know now, I'd do anything to be back in that chair listening to her heart beat again.  

I completed my goal two days after my 30th birthday when Laila came into the world.  

Now, two years later, I'm posting another goal.  I grew up in a home with music but I have never felt comfortable performing in front of people.  It just makes me embarrassed.  I made my goals to stretch me and performing in front of people is a stretch for me.  So I decided to sing a song and tape myself singing, and post in on my blog.  I never did it.  Now, two years later, I am completing my goal in honor of my Laila. Here is a video of me singing I Will Carry You by Selah.

I just want to say to Laila, "It was an honor to carry you for nine months and I will carry you forever in my heart."  


18 comments:

Jess and Jen said...

I love to hear ALL my sisters sing. Wish I heard it more often! -Jess

Amber said...

You write so beautifully. I wish I could express myself half as well as you. I must say I have always loved your voice. I remember when you moved to Utah and I heard you sing a small solo in choir. I was amazed. This song was beautiful. Thanks for letting me blog stock you. You inspire me on so many levels.

Gillian Mohlman said...

you are so talented Adrianne! I miss singing with you and hearing you sing. I have always loved your voice so much! The words are perfect- and I wish you extra love right now. I can't wait until you and Laila are reunited some day- it will be a great reunion! I am glad you can see it a blessing that you got to hear her heart beat more often and see her in ultrasounds. Love you

gilly

Taylor Venable said...

Adrianne, everything about this post is so beautiful. You have the best outlook of anyone I know, and I'm blessed to have you presence, memories, and your beautiful singing voice in my life!

Team Clark said...

You Clark sisters are all so lucky to have such beautiful voices! Thanks for sharing your voice. I would love to listen to it all the time.
And what an amazing gift that heavenly father gave you with an insight into your crazy, hard pregnancy, that otherwise didn't make sense. I'm so glad you received that answer and that you were given that special one on one time with Laila.
Keep smiling that beautiful smile of yours -
Amy

Frances said...

Makes you embarrassed!?? You have such a beautiful voice! I loved it and what a beautiful tribute to Laila.

Jenn said...

Your voice is amazing! So clear, crisp, and goreous!! Love the song! It was fun to see you on video...you are beautiful!!!!

Nancy said...

That was so beautiful!

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow! I don't have words! It was absolutely amazing! You should never feel embarrassed to share that wonderful talent the Lord has blessed you with. :)

Gillian Mohlman said...

I just listened to this again.. love it. you are awesome. lets sing a duet together!

Lokodi said...

man, did you really have to post that? I'm crying like a baby now. That was so beautiful Adrianne. I forgot how beautiful your voice is. I always knew you sang well, but it's been so long since I've heard it. Thank you for sharing. The song was very touching too. I appreciated the words you wrote too.

Lindsey

Jess and Jason said...

You are beautiful. Your writing, your singing, and you. Thank you for always sharing so much with us.

Lisa said...

That was beautiful. You have such a wonderful voice, and you are truly a beautiful person in so many ways.

JC Choate said...

That was awesome Adrianne-

Zach and Nikki said...

Beautiful! I love your voice- I'm so glad you posted this, it was great to hear it again- and such an appropriate song!
I was also happy to let my husband hear your voice as well, he's heard me talk about it, now he's heard it as well.
Thanks, Adrianne!

Mandi said...

Well done, Adrianne. You are so impressive with the way you constantly try to better yourself and stretch yourself to do hard things. I'm also impressed with how much of yourself you're willing to share with others. I love reading your blog and am grateful there's a way to know what you go through. You're a beautiful person with a beautiful talent. Thanks for sharing it.

Joe and Liz said...

That is beautiful Adrianne. Thanks for sharing that!