Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Warrior Goddess

Life, Wisdom and War.

Roughly translated from Greek, that is what my daughter's name means.  Zoey Athena.  As I'm wrapping up the final hours where she will be in my womb (I am having a c-section in just about 24 hours from now), I am tingling with anticipation!

My husband jokingly at first said "let's keep it Greek, Athena" for her middle name.  The more we thought about it, the more we liked it.

Her name, as with my son's came after thoughtful consideration as to the meanings behind the name.  My son's name means "protector of human kind" and seeing him in his nearly 6 year old self (will be six the day after his little sister's birth) he lives up to his name completely.  He's very selfless (as much as 6 year old can be) and is constantly looking out and helping others in need.  He is so excited about his little sister and has already proclaimed to the world he will always be there to protect her.

Zoey means 'life'...Athena, for those who don't know is the Greek Goddess of wisdom, war and a bunch of other things such as courage, strength, arts, crafts and skill.

She has always been my favorite Goddess when studying Mythology.  No, I am not pagan, nor do I necessarily believe in the actual existence of the Goddess Athena.  I do, however believe in a God and Goddess moving and flowing as one being.  I am LDS, in that faith we believe that we do have a Heavenly Mother, but we don't know her name.  The reason, we believe is that God holds her in such high revere that he didn't want her name trampled on like his is today.  Being we don't know her name, I feel like the name of an awesome Goddess is a way of showing respect and love towards her and my gratefulness of the divine feminine that I hold dear to my heart.

The most interesting part of it, is that of the "war" part.  I have joked and others have too about her name meaning "war" and how that will reflect greatly in her teen years.  But when looking further, the war part is the strategy part of battle, the discipline.  Athena never delighted in blood shed, she is all for standing up and fighting for a cause and ending a conflict as quickly as possible...unlike her brother Ares.

This pregnancy has been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences.  I have witnessed and been a part of some of life's greatest joys as well as life's deepest sorrows.  In the last nine months, I have experienced physical and emotional pains from my health problems, my husband going through major surgery, financial woes and other personal struggles.   I have witnessed dear friends go through deaths of spouse, parent and child...I have had friends go through divorce, through major surgeries, through other trying times.  I have celebrated with many friends over pregnancy, births, weddings and other successes.  I have become even closer with friends.  I have never felt so guilty, so helpless, so dependent, so sad, so strong, so peaceful, so happily blissful.

And through it all, my baby girl has grown and experienced this all with me.  Right now, she is kicking furiously, I think she already knows she's being brought into this world at such troublesome times, not giving up, showing me that she is one tough cookie, a fighter, a warrior.

So, it looks like already she is living up to her name.  We couldn't have named her more aptly if we tried.  She is indeed a Warrior Goddess.

The Finish Line Is In Sigh

As my time being pregnant winds down to a matter of hours now, I sit in reflection.

The last few years in preparing for this little one to come has been one hell of a ride to say the least.  When people say they are "planning" or thinking about trying to have kids, rarely is it years in the making.  Mine took quite a few years of nudging from my hubby as well as my own physical and emotional changes.

When I was pregnant with my son, I had a beautiful pregnancy up until my 8th month when I was rear-ended.  The last part was spent in agony being there wasn't much they could do to "fix me" while he was still in there.  It took me a few years to even THINK about having another baby, I was so gun shy and in pain over everything.  I finally had to tell my hubby one night to back off about having another baby.  He's was more than eager and I emotionally wasn't.

Finally, a night arrived where I was coming to terms with the fact of another child...that was a little over two years ago.  When I say coming to terms, I mean I was starting to be okay with the idea...I still wasn't quite ready to go for it.  I had felt more at peace than I ever did with the idea, although still scared to death about it.  But I knew in the back of my mind that there was another little spirit waiting to join our family.

The next day as I was heading to work, I was in another car wreck, this one, so much worse than the first.  I won't go into details, but it sucked...and set me back in the process of trying for a baby.  After about 6 months of heavy physical therapy and getting my pain back under control, out came my hubby again prodding and pressuring me.  I was very angry and frustrated at him, myself and the universe.  I was diagnosed with PTSD, and would have meltdowns on occasion when something would trigger the accident.  I felt my hubby wasn't being supportive, that he didn't understand what I was going through (and how could he, he wasn't there?)...I was VERY angry at God...doing the "Why me?!" routine.

There was a low point in all of this...I was heading home from work and was in such agonizing pain while driving home, I did actually contemplate running my car into a cement divider, ending it all, right then and there.  Something snapped me back into reality and I turned a corner.

Fast forward...I knew I wanted to have another child, I knew it was time to start talking and thinking about it. So, I talked with my pain doctor as well as my OB-GYN.  They all were in agreement, I was perfectly healthy, female wise to try again...but my back problems would be a main concern.  The conclusion:  Be in the best physical shape possible before trying to conceive.  They all said the same thing, "You're back is going to hurt, how much depends on how good of shape you're in."

That turned me down an amazing road that helped me develop even closer relationships with friends.  Especially one in particular who I now call my sister.  I looked for a sport to get into, something with an end goal.  I was doing yoga at the time, but that wasn't enough.

Talking with my friend over it, she mentioned cycling and how she was doing a marathon race about 7 months from then.  She challenged me to do it with her.  I took the challenge and she helped me set goals, even helped me become a vegetarian in the process, something I NEVER thought I'd do.  The marathon was to raise money for MS...and it just so happens that I have a friend, a young mother of two had been recently hit hard and diagnosed with this horrid disease.  The marathon became a two fold mission.

I told my husband of this goal and promised that if all goes according to plan, after the marathon we'll start trying for baby number two.  He put his full support in me, encouraging me along the way, even putting up with all the vegetarian meals I made.

Well, it started slow, cycling a few times around the neighborhood daily...then out passed the subdivision, soon across the city...I got up to 30 miles in one day.  Within these months of training I dropped thirty pounds and 4 dress sizes.  It was truly an amazing experience and I look forward to doing the marathon and training for it again and again.

With the marathon over, and my goals met, we started trying...I was really worried as during my training I had  surgery after being diagnosed with Endoemteriosis...a painful female issue that can hinder pregnancy.  A couple months in, and my heart started to hurt...I had finally come to grips with having another child and I felt like it was slipping through my fingers.

And then, right after Christmas, I discovered I was pregnant.  We were so excited!  What a great gift!!!

This pregnancy has been a rough one with heartaches of life and lots of pain and exhaustion, I know that come tomorrow morning, when I'm holding her in my arms, it'll all be worth it.  All the pain, all the planning, all the ups and downs.