I will be thirty seven weeks pregnant tomorrow, so I’m thinking more and more about the big day that’s coming in the very near future. I’m trying to visualize what I hope the experience will be, trying to manage my expectations with reason, trying to be optimistic, realistic, determined, resilient and ready all at once. I don’t *think* we have three weeks to go before we meet our little bean, and yet you never know with these things, so I’m aiming to be mentally prepared, but not jumpy. Packed for the hospital soon enough, but not too soon…
I was just telling Jason that I’m not quite sure how to feel at this stage. Even having done it twice before, I am torn between wanting baby to be here and wanting baby to stay tucked inside a little longer. The latter will likely win out for now, but the fact of the matter is, we’re teetering on the fence between two realities. Baby is nearly fully baked and getting hard to carry. Nights with a newborn are beautiful and challenging and long. So which is better? They’re both wonderful for about a million reasons. It’s easy to think the grass is greener when your back is aching and you can’t stand up without help (or at least without looking a little crazy). It’s also easy to look back and think, “Wow. A few weeks ago you were tucked away and I still had a little bit of control over my time.”
Life is always a juggling act, and while juggling, it sometimes feels like we could be managing something lighter or softer or easier. The truth is though, we’re all just busy honing our skill and juggling exactly what we need to be in order to grow and change as people. For today I’m juggling this baby in utero, and in a matter of weeks I’ll be juggling newborn mama life again. Both are amazing. Both are hard. I will do my best to embrace the changes as they come.
I confessed tonight that what I’m most looking forward to in the coming weeks is our time in the hospital. I know, I know. That sounds weird, and maybe especially so for a crunchy granola type mama like me (just confessing I’m guilty as charged). But truly, the most magical parts of new parenting and birth for me have been the hours that Jason and I have spent getting to know our newest loves in the confines of the quiet, wee hours in the hospital. Time almost stops while we’re there. Our hearts and minds can focus on our sweet new baby, and we’re not obligated to be juggling other things so much, because our number one priority in that space is welcoming new life.
Of course, with siblings in the mix now, we’ll be putting on our mom and dad hats in different ways from our hospital room, too. But with grandparents and friends prepared to care for our older kiddos for a few days, it will be a precious, precious thing to welcome Henry and Eloise our sacred, new baby space, and then to reclaim it for the sake of soaking up all of the firsts again as we parent our freshest gift from God.
I am in love with that time. The middle of the night feedings and the quiet. Jason next to me sleeping while I admire what God has created between us, swaddled and snuggled in my arms. The phone calls to people we love, sharing the news. The decision to name our baby something meaningful and fitting when we know it’s right. The anticipation of heading home and welcoming our babe into our space and family…it’s like Disney World for a very expectant mama–all of the glitter and magic, and being transported to a different space and time for just a little while.
When the time comes, I pray that my heart will be ready. I pray that my body will be rested. I pray that my mind will be clear and sound. I pray that God will watch over this baby in delivery, and over me as well. I pray that he will strengthen us as parents to become parents again, and that He will help us to embrace our three babies well, together, as a new version of our family unit. For the hands of our doctor, for nurses and for the care we will receive. For the caregivers who will lovingly look after Henry and Eloise while we’re gone. And for peace. So much peace. In every detail and moment and change.
when the time comes…