Monday, December 3, 2012

Guest Blogger: When Plans Go Awry

Hello, my name is Maria Sudduth and I'm a planner. I have been married to my high school sweetheart Joshua for almost nine years. After many years of trying to conceive and finally giving up altogether, we welcomed our beautiful daughter Micah in May 2011*

So often in life we have a plan of how our life should turn out. We have all our major events mapped out like a well-planned road trip. We know in our head when we will finish school, get married, have kids, buy our dream house and get a dog. Unfortunately, life is not as predictable as the childhood game we all played and once loved. What happens when life doesn’t go according to our plan? 

As I said earlier, I am a planner. That is what I do. I used to use my free time to calculate how much money I could save for the entire year. I would plan a vacation months possibly years in advance (please note there was always an itinerary). I was always trying to plan a way out of my home-city, looking for some place smaller and quieter. I was always planning for the future, when it hit me, what’s the point? My plans NEVER come to fruition. Something ALWAYS goes wrong. 

After I married my husband I thought we would just automatically have kids right away. I took the very thought for granted. Imagine my surprise when six years passed by and there is no child. Once I finally did get pregnant, I miscarried the baby. It took me six months to grieve that child and try again. We had passed the first trimester. This time it was real. We were going to have a baby!

Naturally I did what I do best, I created a plan. I did all my research. I decided I was going to have a natural birth with no medication. I was going to breastfeed for a year for many reasons, but mainly because it was free!!!

Once again, imagine my surprise and my utter disappointment when I had labored naturally for twelve hours and was then told I needed to have a C-Section.  I had been at nine centimeters for five hours. Nothing was happening. The doctor is telling me she is stuck at a transverse angle and is not coming out.  Since this is supposed to be a blog and not a novel I will not tell about my entire traumatic hospital experience. Needless to say, I did not get my planned birth.

I tried to breastfeed. I visited the lactation consultant once every two weeks for four months. I tried everything possibly known to man before they told me you are not producing enough milk for your baby. I had to switch to formula if I wanted my daughter to gain any kind of weight. Another blow to my infamous plan, I was crushed.

So my question is, what do you do when things happen outside of your control? Your baby is born with special needs, your husband loses his job, your spouse leaves you, a family member dies and the list could go on and on. I just chalk it up to life’s not fair, but oftentimes that does NOT make me feel better. 

It’s all about perspective. The only advice that I can give is take one day at a time. Rejoice in the small things. Thank God for what you are going through, even though it is not what you necessarily had in mind, it is what you have been given. Through so many trials in my life, I find myself acting like a spoiled two-year old ready to throw a temper tantrum. 

Two-year olds are famous for a couple of things, but one of them is called the egocentric phase, which means everything is about them. I find that as soon as I put the focus on myself is when I become negative and bitter. The comparisons and the “why me’s?” start and turn into a full-blown pity party. As long as I am thinking of others and those that are less fortunate than me I am able to keep a good perspective on my reality. There will always be someone that has more than me. There will always be someone that has less than me. I thank God that I am smack dab in the middle.

Until next time…God bless.

*We are currently expecting our second daughter in March 2013.

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