Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Motherhood - Chapter 7 - Pain and Pleasure

It is 3 am. I have been up for the last 70 minutes with pain in my lower belly area keeping me from going back to sleep. I got up and took a couple of Tylenol about 50 minutes ago. I was hoping this would help and I could go back to sleep. Obviously that didn't work so well.

Maybe I will turn on Little Bear. That show always makes me sleepy. Noble likes that show and will sit on my lap through almost 15 minutes of it. It is a sweet time of day for me because I get some sleepy cuddle time with him, even if it is only for 15 minutes.

"30 days. I can do it right? 30 days." This is what I say to myself and the girls tonight as I soaked my aches in the bath. "Tell me I can do it girls. 30 days." They are good cheerleaders. They tell me I have come so far and I can totally do it. Then they sit with me on my bed after I get out of the bath and lotion my legs and feet and scratch and "massage" my back while I read to them.

There is great love in the room. Even my 5 year old can feel it. In a break from reading we talk about how we can feel Camille with us at times like this. Lauren notes how she can feel it Camille right then because of how loving we are all being to each other. We all feel it. And even through my physical pain, I know that this is the reason I suffer - so that I may have more of the sweetness of such experiences with my children.

Our first mother Eve knew there would be pain involved when she partook of that forbidden fruit. But she chose to suffer so that she could also know the sweet pleasure of posterity. And so motherhood is an eternal balance between the sublimest of pleasures and the severest of pains.


Gwen said...

I think you are the best mom ! Hang in there.

Christina said...

I loved this post. You are an amazing example of strength and sweetness as a mother.

Anonymous said...

question, and this will show my ignorance! You say that Eve chose to eat the fruit so she could enjoy the pleasure of posterity.

but in the bible, I interpreted the passages in Genesis to say that Eve was tempted by Satan, after being instructed NOT to eat the fruit, and gave into temptation and sinned? and were cast out of the garden?

would love your thought!

Stephanie said...

Dear Anon,
Your question is totally valid. As I understand it, different religions and even different people within those different religions understand the fall of Adam and Eve differently.

In the LDS faith we have what I think is a more unique understanding or look at the events in the Garden of Eden. We see that in the Bible, you are right that Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat the fruit and they did. But if you look closely you will see that the first commandment give to Adam and Eve is to multiply and replenish the earth. Then they are to take care of the garden and they are told they can eat any fruit except the fruit from the tree of knowledge.

The LDS doctrine, we believe that Adam and Eve could not have children without eating from the tree of knowledge. It may seem that this is not something the Lord would do -- give two commandments that could not both be kept. But He also could not "punish" Adam and Eve by casting them out of the Garden of Eden and making them life in a world of pain and sorrow unless first they did something to merit or even choose such a life.

So in the LDS faith we do believe that Adam and Eve transgressed or disobeyed God by taking of the fruit but we don't usually refer to this as "sin" since they were doing it to keep the first and greater commandment of bringing posterity into the world.

Personally, I think Eve knew the choice she was making. She was tempted by Satan and I think he did use trickery to beguile her into thinking he was her friend and not the enemy. But I think she wanted children and to know the good from the bad enough to take that bite. I admire her for the courage I believe that took. And she took the brunt of the pain of bringing children into the world upon her for her choice. Her "blessing" was the greater pain but in someways the greater pleasure as well, at least in my opinion. (Course I am not a man and don't really know what it is like to be a dad, but I am glad I get to be the one to feel the baby growing in me even though it can hurt --- ALOT.)

I hope that helps explain what I meant in this post. Let me know if you have any other questions. I am happy to explain further my views.


Anonymous said...

Oh my . . .

Anonymous said...

I am the first anon---

Stephanie, may I just say again that I so totally appreciate your candid remarks and your willingness to address issues?? Thank you! Seriously!

(and I hope you start feeling better. pain = contractions??)

Thank you again--


Cardalls said...

Stephanie...I think you explained
Eve's choice perhaps better than anything I have ever read! You made it so clear!

LDS mama said...

Great explanation, Stephanie!

The only thing I don't quite agree with is:

"...The LDS doctrine, we believe that Adam and Eve COULD NOT have children without eating from the tree of knowledge..."

Stephanie said...

LDS Mama,

I am taking that stance based upon the scripture in 2 Nephi 2: 23 that says that had the fall not happened then:

23And they would have had no achildren; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no bjoy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no csin.

Also in the Gospel Fundamentals Manual Chapter 6 there is a lesson on how we view the Fall of Adam. This is a quote from that lesson listing how the fall effected Adam and Eve: "Their bodies changed. Now they could have children. They could become sick and feel pain and sorrow, and someday they would die. The changes that came upon Adam and Eve are called the Fall of Adam."

To me that sounds like they "COULD NOT" have children before partaking of the fruit. Perhaps you read it differently?

Here is a link to the lesson if you want to read it.

Hope that explains where I came up with that.


Amy said...

You are so right about feeling your loved ones nearby when you are doing what's right and being loving. I always feel that the closer I am to my Heavenly Father, the closer I am to my own angel, Ella.
She only lived two hours after she was born.
My mom mentioned you on her blog and how you speak Camille's name with reverence.
I absolutely know what you mean and I do the same with my daughter's name too.

LDS mama said...

That makes so much sense! And makes me want to read more on that subject! (even though you've explained everything so perfectly already) THANK YOU!

Kr!sty said...

I LOVE this post. Very well said.