September Baby? Maybe not…

Paradigm Shift: A radical change in thinking from an accepted point of view to a new belief.

Since January 20th around 2:15 pm, It has been an accepted fact to me that I would be having a baby this September. Every due date calculator, my first dr visit, my first ultrasound, everyone said the same thing. My due date varied between Sept 27 and 28, but I had no doubt in my mind. This September, I was having my baby. 

Today is September 30th. It is 6 am, I woke up with my husband feeling exactly the same I do every morning; sore, tired and impatient. “Baby will come when baby is ready. He just needs to ‘cook’ a little longer” While these phrases are spoken out of love, experience and (probably) sympathy, they still don’t put my baby in my arms. 

Of course it’s inevitable, he will be here. He will come meet us. He can’t stay in there forever (right?!?!). 

The ridiculous part is that I’m only 3 days past my due date (“only”? feels like an eternity). Many women have gone far longer than this past their due date and God Bless them, I don’t know how you do it. I’m clearly not very patient. Patience is a virtue? A virtue I evidently lack.

I’ve tried to bribe him “Hey Jackson, if you come out I will wrap you up all warm and love you and everyone will be so nice to you” That didn’t work. I’ve tried to threaten him, I even told him that if he is born in October we are changing his name to “Fart Obama Bante”. Somehow, THAT didn’t even work (it would’ve worked for me!!). Everything that could possibly be ready is ready. 

So here it is, the last day of September and I’m starting to think, I’m not having a September baby. I hadn’t planned for an October baby… 

Psalm 27:14 
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

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It’s the Final Countdown!

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I am finally at the point where I can say “NEXT WEEK IS MY DUE DATE!” Next Friday is D-day. Now obviously, that doesn’t mean squat – but I have gained a lot of knowledge in the past 38 weeks and 3 days, so, take it for what it’s worth, here are my pregnancy lessons. (Of course each pregnancy is different and this won’t apply to everyone, but this is what I’ve come to find out)

*As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, a blinking light begins in your brain which never ever turns off. There is not 10 seconds that go by that you can possibly forget you have a life growing inside of you.

*Everyone has opinions and while advice can be invaluable, there isn’t always a “right” and a “wrong” way to do things.

*The second trimester is, in fact, magical (with the exception of round ligament pain)

*By the end of pregnancy, your every thought is consumed by “when will this child be born!”

*There is no way to express the love you feel for the child growing inside of you. It’s unlike any love you’ve ever experienced. 

*The movements, jabs, pains and elbows kind of become second nature. (i think it will be very strange when he’s born and I don’t feel him anymore)

*Family and friends are wonderful and supportive and make you even more excited for your baby, because you know he or she will be born into a great deal of love

*You start to think seriously about the state of the world your child is going to be born into.

*You google EVERYTHING. I probably have about 4,692 google searches that start with “pregnant and…” (i.e. pregnant and sore back, pregnant and stuffy nose” 

*In that same vein, you will find some HORRIFYING things on google. Chances are “pregnant and stuffy nose” does not mean there is something wrong with your baby, but you WILL find horrible stories out there.

*God created a perfect life within you, no matter what. He or she is perfect and a creation of the Almighty. You will be in awe.

*Getting closer to the due date, every little twinge, pain and weird feeling brings about nervousness and excitement.

That’s what I’ve got for now. I’m definitely no expert. Some people may hate me for this, but I’ve had, in comparison, quite an easy pregnancy. If God blesses us with another child (way down the road!), I know I will learn about a million more things. But as for now, I’m ready to meet my little guy, hold him close and then come to the NEW realization that I have NO IDEA what i’m doing!!! 

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38 Weeks, 3 Days! Come meet us, little boy 🙂

waiting, waiting

I hate waiting. I hate it. I hate lines, doctors visits, CALLING CUSTOMER SERVICE, waiting for someone to come over. I’ve always been this way. I remember being little and waiting for friends to come over and sitting staring out my window looking for their parent’s car. 

My friends know how much I hate waiting. In college, I would stand at the bottom of the steps of Hannah dorm, saying “come on! come on!” If I’m meeting friends now and I get somewhere first and have to sit there waiting, I will most likely NOT be in a great mood when they get there. All in all, I’m pretty punctual.

One of the most frustrating parts of being pregnant is that it is a constant CONSTANT state of WAITING. Especially now. Full term, no reason not to go, yet I’m still waiting. And the hardest part of this waiting is that I have no way to know when I will be done waiting. And I can’t do anything to do to hasten the process. I can’t send Jackson a text saying “WHERE ARE YOU?” or, when i’m feeling more polite, “ETA?” I can’t stand there and yell “COME ON!” I can’t do anything but trust God’s timing and plan. It’s a very helpless feeling. 

When we got married, it was a long time of waiting, but I always knew the exact countdown. I always knew the day, the hour, the minute and the details. All this unknown is very foreign to me. Could be tomorrow. Could be in a month. 

This got me thinking – this is very similar to life as a Christian in general. To live life in such a way where we don’t know the day or the time or the hour when God will call us home. Could be today could be 50 years from now. We press on, we live our lives in anticipation of the glory to be revealed, we look toward the promises of what is to come. 

Philippians 3:13-14 
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 4:2 
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

I will always hate waiting, but I think I need to realize that there’s beauty in the waiting period. There are moments of grace and peace. In being tested in my patience, I’m gaining strength. Instead of constantly feeling like I’m waiting, I can enjoy what’s around me and trust in God’s promise that the wait will be over. 

patience, patience.

 

FULL TERM!!!!!!!!!

WE’VE MADE IT!! 37 Weeks today! Baby Jack is officially “full term”. 

Now I see some good and bad in this. The good is, of course, that his organs are all functioning as they should be (presumably) and if he made his entrance today he’d (presumably) be good to go. 

The BAD news is that he probably won’t make his entrance today. Or tomorrow, or next week. I’ve never been so ready to “meet” someone in my entire life. It’s strange how quickly your brain adapts to pregnancy, yet there are still times I pass a mirror and think “whoa?! Who is that large woman!?” The kicks and the bumps and elbows and feet that dig into my sides and my ribs have become second nature. Having to go to the bathroom EVERY TIME I STAND UP, while VERY annoying, has just become a way of life. Josh has gotten pretty used to it and will even say “you probably have to go to the bathroom don’t you?”

My beautiful best friend Debby said yesterday “now you’re like a ticking time bomb!” And that is so true. I could “go off” at any time. At any point, my body could say “it’s go time!” I don’t necessarily LOOK like I’m about to pop, but who knows? I’m ready and I’m not ready. Someone wrote “due dates could be off, you could still have 5 weeks to go!”. The very thought of that is pretty frightening, yet the thought of him coming next week is also frightening. 

I take peace in knowing that no matter when he decides to come and meet us, no matter the manner, he will be here! God knows the day and the time and the hour and that’s all I can look toward! 

So here we are, full term, God knows how long til he’s in my arms but I, for one, am getting pretty excited 🙂

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Little Tiny Baby

It’s been a while since I’ve updated – and SO many things have happened.

Let’s start with – We moved back to Michigan! It came down to it being the right choice for our family and we are happily back in Michigan and Baby now is being delivered at Royal Oak Beaumont hospital. It was a hard decision and one that required a lot of prayer and consideration, but we’ve definitely seen it has been the right choice for us 🙂

On to BABY!

People have remarked throughout these later months of pregnancy that I was carrying pretty small, I always just thought it was perhaps cause I was tall-ish and I’m just carrying small. After a couple visits and an ultrasound we found that the baby was smaller than he should be (7th percentile). All of a sudden my nice easy pregnancy I’d had up til that point was a scary one. They told me if he didn’t start showing signs of growth I could be induced. All of a sudden I was dealing with possible early induction, NICU, premature labor, premature baby. My only hope was to eat and pray (and love. Sounds like a book). Because of his size and their desire to keep cautious of his development I began having 4 weekly appointments. 2 non stress test per week, one ultrasound and one OB appointment. 

Needless to say, it’s been a busy few weeks. Especially with the worry, the incessant weighing of myself (I didn’t gain any weight between June and August, so I was hoping to see some improvement there – i never would’ve imagined how exciting it is to seem the scale going UP), my baby shower, adjusting back to life in MI, having my stepson every other week, etc.

Well, praise be to God, all we’ve gotten has been GOOD NEWS!

The non stress tests have been perfect

At my ultrasound yesterday he had gained weight and had moved up from the 7th to the 11th percentile!

He has weekly biophysical profiles and passes the tests like a champ (he gets that from me, I’ve always been a good test taker).

He moves around like it’s his job (it kind of is at this point, isn’t it?)

I’ve gained weight 

We are at 33 weeks 4 days and it’s becoming more and more real that this baby is ACTUALLY coming. Our baby shower was beautiful and made us much more prepared for his arrival. I’m beginning to really realize that this is going to end with a CHILD. We’re so close and still so far away. I’m impatient, yet anxious. I’m excited, yet scared to death. I want to meet him, yet I want to keep him safe where he is. I can’t wait to see my husband hold our newborn son. I can’t wait to dress him and hold him. I have ZERO idea what I’m in store for and part of me feels so ready and part of me feels completely unprepared. 

Just a few more weeks, little man!!

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33 Weeks Exactly (and 29 years old exactly)

 

 

Fearfully and wonderfully made

It’s official – Josh and I have already figured out how to parent. We have discussed how our son will be raised, disciplined, encouraged. What sports he will play, how well he will do in school, what his demeanor will be, even what kind of girl he will one day marry. No need to worry, we’ve got this.

 

ha.

 

My due date is 3 months from today, so we’ve spent nearly 6 months preparing for our precious little boy. It’s incredible to think that this little creature wiggling inside my stomach is going to have his own personality, his own quirks, his own habits (good AND bad). We have some control over certain things, but when it comes down to it, God has created (from his conception) a unique, wonderful little human. No matter how much we plan, what we say we’re going to do, I keep having to remind myself, WE HAVE NO IDEA.

Most of you know, Josh already has a 5 year old son. I love him dearly and have been in his life since he was 2 years old. He has his own quirks and personality, but the difference is, we don’t spend every day with him. Every time we see him, there’s something new he’s picked up (this time, it was ending every single sentence with “right?”) With Jack (I smile just typing his name!), it will be my little idiosyncrasies he picks up. And Josh’s strange little habits. I’ll hear him say something and think “oh no, he got that from me…” 

When I first became a teacher back at the tender age of 23, I thought I was all set. I had taken education classes in college including:

adapting for diversity

foundations of education

adapting for exceptionalities

child psychology

adolescent psychology

classroom management

etc etc

But once I became a teacher, I realized that most of those classes were (sorry education professors at Concordia!!!) a COMPLETE waste of time. A teacher does what works for her with her class. Some classes I used a gentler approach, some more stern. Some responded well when I was laid back, others when I was actively engaged. There’s no guessing how a class is going to respond to your lesson plan for the day. Sometimes the things I thought would bomb ended up being the most memorable classes (Who would think 5th graders would LOVE Schubert’s Der Erlkönig?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuG7Y6wiPL8)

So it is with children. Josh and I have it all planned out, sure – but that’s because I love planning things. Maybe Jack will be a calm baby but maybe not. Maybe he will love soccer but maybe he’ll be more of a football fan (ugh i hope not!!!). As parents we have a duty to steer our children in the right direction, but so much is up to them. Children aren’t like clay you can mold into whatever you like. God created us all differently, with our wants and desires. 

Psalm 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”

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Fearfully and Wonderfully made. Unique. The child who, in just three months I’ll be holding in my arms (that seems so close AND so far away!) is unlike any person who is ever lived. God, in his loving mercy, has given me THIS unique child. I have no idea what he’s going to be like, but the very best thing I can do is give him the care and love he deserves and he was intended to receive. The rest will be just little fun surprises along the way 🙂

No, he probably won’t be a 4.0 star soccer player who is kind, strong and can play the guitar like a whiz but he will have his own talents and strengths, now I just need to be patient and trusting!

Mothering moments

So, part of being a step mom, is being a “part-time parent”. For nearly three years, without realizing it, I have slowly started learning the ropes of mothering. There are moments when I realize it. Most of these moments come when I hear some of these phrases come out of my mouth:

Because I said so, that’s why!

You’re going to sit there until you eat all your dinner, even if you have to sit there all night!

Good mooorning sweetheart. Good morning. Time to get up. Time to rise and shine. (break into singing) Rise and Shine and give God the Glory Glory! Come on. Get up. Enough. Time to get out of bed. We’re all tired. Come on. OK OUT OF BED NOW! (I always start out so nice!)

The difference with being a step-parent or part time parent, however, is that once the child’s time with you is over you go back to your “normal life”

Two weeks ago we had my stepson with us for a week and then last week we were watching my nephews for the week while my (lovely wonderful) sister went on her honeymoon. All in all it was about 2 and a half weeks total of “mothering” – probably a longer stretch than I’ve done before. Every morning waking them up, getting them ready, making sure their teeth were brushed and they’d eaten, getting them in the car, dropping them off, going to work, picking them up, doing any activities they needed to do at night, feeding them dinner, bath, story, bedtime. By yesterday when my sister came home and I was off “mothering” duty, I was EXHAUSTED. (Please don’t hate me yet, full time moms, I do have a point). There were great little moments, each day when we picked my stepson or my nephews up from school they were so happy to see us. The night time snuggles, the look of pride in my nephew’s face when he sounded out a new word he’d never read before, the feeling of wholeness sitting down with my husband and stepson eating a homecooked meal. All these wonderful moments I’ve had the past two and a half weeks that aren’t part of my “every day normal life” will soon become the very things that get me out of bed in the morning.

Last night my husband and I were laying down watching a movie when all of a sudden I could feel Baby moving more than he had before. “Quick, feel!” Josh put his hand on my stomach and much to my joy, I felt the baby move “did you feel it?!?!?!” he smiled “Yep! he’s a little boxer!” (I always say he’s dancing in there, Josh says he’s boxing… it’s more “manly”)

That was the first time Josh got to feel his baby. I’ve been feeling him move for weeks (not as distinctly as he started to within the past week though). There was one of those moments. So here it starts for me. Where it’s not just here and there I have those  moments. Everyday I will be able to look at my son and see his face and know that through the power and grace of God, we created a beautiful thing: a life, a future and a billion “moments”.

Am I going to miss getting off work, going home, putting on my pajamas and being dead to the world? Probably. Am I going to miss happy hour, nights out with friends, impromptu plans. Yep, I already do. But one thing I’m NOT going to miss are those incredible moments where you realize your own insignificance and the inexpressible joy that comes from being a mother.

🙂