Sunday, November 29

40 weeks

As usual, the weeks have been moving along quite nicely, and that's so odd to me. I get on BabyCenter and read about how many women are downright livid that they're still pregnant, about how they break down and cry anytime someone asks them how much longer they've got, and how they are ready to go to jail for murder if their family calls one more time and asks if they're gone into labor yet. :) For me, I have really enjoyed being pregnant. There are many things that have been rough - the aches in my bones, the difficulty sleeping, the stretch marks (ugh), the inability to cozy up next to Victor without making a scene, the overall lack of mobility that once was mine - but there have also been so many wonderful things that I have treasured. I have loved talking about my baby and my belly with people, total strangers even. I have loved having that belly loved on. I have had gorgeous skin that has not been a source of stress for nine, almost ten months now! I have watched my body change so much, watched it accommodate new life, and have felt that life thriving in me for around 25 whole weeks now. I have had the most pleasant dreams about this baby, and a peace about being a mother that I never knew (or thought) I'd have. And whenever I feel I cannot see an end in sight, that I will go on in total discomfort for the rest of my life, :) I remind myself of the good things. And since there are so many for me, it is fairly easy to turn that frown upside down. :)
Even so, it's getting harder. I am so thankful to have weekly appointments now, because I find myself living for them. "Just make it till Tuesday" has been my motto since my appointment last Wednesday. This appointment will be especially fun, because we'll be planning our induction date!
I had hoped to have Miles by this point. I had hoped for a small, or at least average-sized November baby. That's really all I've hoped for in this pregnancy, aside from the obvious healthy mom and baby. It looks, however, like I'll be having a rather large December baby, and that's the ONLY thing that's got me down. I don't care that I'm still pregnant, not at all. But my selfishness is getting the best of me - the selfishness that wanted that "little baby". Those don't run in our family, I know, but I wanted one anyway.
"You'll love him anyway." Oh heavens, YES! I know this very well. I will, I do! But who doesn't get an idea of how things will go in their minds and hope for those plans to pan out? I'm just looking at some of these clothes he has, and he's already outgrown them. My baby has already outgrown some of his clothes, and he's not even here yet. I hate that. If he's going to be getting bigger and bigger, it's not fair that I can't hold him through it. Instead, I'm just getting more stretch marks!
Wow! I'm being a lot more negative than I thought! Suppose it really IS getting harder, then, huh?? ;)
Emotions are a funny thing. Because while I'm wanting so much to go into labor this moment, I am simultaneously wanting to keep it at bay! Victor and I - we have a good thing going here! We have all our time to OURSELVES! It ours, ours, OURS! No sharing, no responsibilities, sleeping in when we want, eating when we want, doing what we want, it's been fan-flippin-tastic. I've had enough people tell me these days are soon to be gone that I'm panicking just a little. I don't WANT to give up the free time, the down time, the us time, the me time! I've never before been responsible for something 24/7. And for a first-timer of 24/7 responsibility, holy cow! What a thing to start with!
Oh, the hormones. I can pull myself out of this "I'm so ready, so NOT ready" cloud in an instant and laugh at myself. Everything's gonna be fine. These feelings are actually a little funny, and sooo not fair not being able to control them! :P
Ah, sweet baby. Just come on out and let's get this party started already! It's the waiting that's the killer! Oh, and if it's possible, try to manage that growing of yours, ok? I've gotta push you out of what I will soon be swearing was NOT made for nine pounds!!

Well readers - friends, family, heck - strangers, it's been fun. Crazy, emotional, but one fun ride. Driver, I think this is my stop. (...I think...)


38 weeks

(Note - this was actually written on my computer 2 weeks ago, but I'm just now remembering to update my blog)

This is a very raw post, and I have no idea where it will end up. Here it goes!

This morning started off like every other morning for the past few months, I had been restless since daylight, but was still in bed trying to catch a little more sleep. Victor got up, got ready for work and left as usual, and I got up shortly after. I had the two leftover cinnamon rolls that I'd made for breakfast yesterday and a tall glass of chocolate milk (Kroger makes a great milk mix, by the way.) I got a load of laundry going, and started looking around for things to do. There's not much to do these days; what I can do is done and what isn't I can't do because it involves carrying, moving or bending beyond what I'm able to do. :) Needless to say, I've been a bit bored lately.

Anyway, I finished watching Dark Crystal (those 80's movies get weirder the older you get), got the safety eyes put on Alison's elephant, checked Facebook, and decided to lay down for a bit at around 1:30. A few minutes later, Victor called. "Whatcha doin'?" "Oh, nothing. Just laying down." "You feel okay?" "Yah, there's just nothing else to do." :) "...I just lost my job."

My hands are still clammy from the news. Apparently his work has just lost over a million dollars (when you work for a Christian company that relies heavily, if not mainly, on giving and the economy goes sour, these things aren't so shocking) and Victor's job just didn't dodge the bullet.

I didn't really say much - the panic, dread and tears that I think should have come didn't. Rather, I was reminded of my conversation with my sister just the day before. Jehovah Jireh. The Lord provides. Katie was telling me her own story about when she and Matt were first married. It was 9 degrees outside, and their heater had given out. They left for church that Sunday, but soon the engine light came on in the car. As if having no heat (and no money to pay for repairs) wasn't enough, a dead car wasn't going to help. So they turned around and went home. By the time they'd gotten home, the lock on their door had already frozen over. They went to the neighbors to get (what's it called? The un-freeze stuff?) something to get the lock open, and when they got in, the house was so cold. They decided to trek a mile or so to Mom and Dad's house, even thought Mom and Dad had no electricity either (from the ice storm). But they had a fireplace! Once Matt got a fire going, he grabbed his Bible and just let it fall open. Jesus feeds the 5000. That's where it fell! So together they read the story and were reminded that our Jesus can take the piddly things and turn them into something grand. They knew everything would be fine, even if they were totally clueless as to how.

Later that night when they went home, they could smell something burning. They went to the heater, jaws hanging almost to the floor - the coils were hot! Not only had Dad tested the current the day before - and there was none - but Katie has disconnected the power. But the crazy thing had turned on, gotten power, and was warming their house.

"I've never in my life experienced something so miraculous and real" said Katie to me yesterday. And that's not the only time she has seen God work something wonderful in their lives. She said something in the story that caught her eye that she'd never noticed before was how Jesus approached Philip and pretty much said, "Hey man. What are we going to do? It's getting late, these people have been listening to me all day, they're hungry, but there's no food. What are we going to do??" Katie said it's like Jesus wanted Philip to come to that realization of, "Oh no! I don't know! What ARE we going to do??" so Jesus could step in and work his "magic". :)

So earlier this week when Katie's car gave out, she called Matt to tell him. "No! I was JUST praying for HELP this morning, for more money, provision! This is the total opposite!" said Matt. "Matt. How many times has God taken care of us? Will he not again?" and just like that, Matt said, "You're right. I'm being like Philip. Let's get to the place where God can work a miracle faster than that. God, it's yours! We can't do anything! Take it!" he said, and the way Katie told me, it sounded almost humorous. :)

"...I just lost my job."

What are we going to do? I don't know. But it's out of our hands. "Krista, God has always provided for us. And He will now." Do you want me to state the obvious? We're about to have a baby. That has enough worries of its own. But now without a job? Are we not poor enough already? But no. All I could say was, "Well, it looks like we get to go on an adventure." I'm a little scared. This isn't how I thought things would happen. And while it's not good news now, I think it will be eventually.

Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say, REJOICE!

What do I have to rejoice about? For starters, I'm going to ENJOY the time that I now have at home with Victor! Until such a time comes with this is no longer a burden and Victor finds a new job, I am going to enjoy the time I have with him. Every day I thank the Lord for how he has provided for us. What do I have to fear?

Saturday, November 7

37 Weeks much better. Now that Miles is full term and can come any day now, I feel a sense of relief and excitement that just wasn't there last week. I was able to get out and take some pictures of things I've made recently for Miles (which was a lot of fun). Any day now, my little boy (!) will be wearing this outfit. There's no way that couldn't make any emotional pregnant lady feel better! :)
Last night I found a link through BabyCenter to a live birth. A couple had set up a session through, I'm guessing, their hospital and were broadcasting the whole thing. It was really well done, didn't show anything sketchy at all, and was absolutely amazing. Victor came in and started watching it with me (all on his own!) after he heard those first few cries. We both just sat there, quiet and amazed, while the reality of what's about to happen sunk in even more. For him especially. He walked out of the room, got our smallest dog, Audrey, came back and sat next to me and just sighed. He almost had tears in his eyes. "This just got real for me." He had a happy, small smile on his face. It was a very precious moment. I think we just sat there for a few minutes before snapping back to "now" and both saying, "We're SO not ready!" :)
Miles is now somewhere in the neighborhood of 19-20 inches long. Most places I'm reading from say babies at this stage are just over 6 pounds, but I'm pretty sure Miles is more than that, since at 34 weeks he was 5 lbs 5 oz (at best guess). Babies put on about a half pound each week, so I'm guessing he's closer to 7lbs. Hopefully not more. :)
He's fully baked, and ready to make an appearance any moment. It's a crazy thing living with that knowledge. It's an electric, exciting and slightly unnerving feeling that makes going out a whole new ballgame. We're about to go to WalMart, and I've already got a game plan in mind if my water should break. Granted, all of this will likely not happen for another week to three weeks, but I want to be prepared. I am so excited! Waking up every morning is a little more exciting than the morning before. Will today be the day? What might happen? HOW will it happen? Am I packed and ready?
37 weeks. Thirty-seven weeks. It's gone by so fast, and one of life's most altering experiences is upon us. I am about to be called to be someone other than I have been my entire life. I am about to become a mother. And Victor, my husband - that guy I met so many years ago with whom I have acted like a total kid myself - is about to be a father. We, together, are about to be charged with the greatest responsibility I know of; the care and faithful upbringing of a life that has been trusted to us by God. Um... WOAH! That is big. Very big. And scary. And one heck of an adventure that is gonna rock our worlds. The closer I get to my due date, the more intensely I want to hold my baby, to stare at his face and dream about our life together. We may be poor, we may be riddled with flaws and nasty imperfections, but I'll tell you what - this baby is going to be loved so much. And that love will demonstrate itself not only in words but in actions. And one of those first actions that I am most eagerly anticipating is kissing all over his face and tummy. :) I can't wait to see him smile. I can't wait to smell him after a bath. I can't wait to wrap him up in a blanket and sit with him snuggled between me and Victor on the couch. I can't wait to watch him sleep. But even more, I can't wait to share with him the riches of life that God has blessed us with. The seasons, and how each is special and unique, the smell of fun things made in the kitchen, the thrill of just being a boy - mixing, mashing and making a mess, the comfort of a warm hug and kind word, and the peace of knowing that he has a maker who made all of these things possible, and did so just for him.
Oh yah. Life's about to get a little sweeter. :)

Monday, November 2

36 Weeks

I've written the first line to this post like five times - but each attempt sounds like such a negative start that I end up erasing it. Things like, "I'm absolutely drained" or "I feel awful" just seem like such a terrible way to start a post. Alas, it's the gospel truth. This past week has been rough. Before I was pregnant I was on a low dose of anxiety medicine, but man it made such a difference in my days. Just getting to the point in my life where I thought I even needed to talk to a doctor about the way I felt (and how it just didn't seem normal or like *me*) took years. It's a hard thing to grasp that emotions, just like muscles and bones, can get out of whack and need fixing. Even harder to recognize that and seek out advice other than your local girl gossip. :) I can sum it up by saying shortly after high school, during my first year of college, I started feeling - I can't quite describe it - down, gloomy, totally unmotivated and super nervous - like, I could throw myself into a panicked frenzy over such a small thing. I wrote it off as adjusting to college life, but after several years of battling with this emotional mess, I finally decided to ask a doctor if it was possible to, gosh I don't know, actually have something wrong with my emotions? Looking back, I almost laugh because it was so obvious, but I had never EVER given any thought to the subject of anxiety and depression. And if I would have, I would have surely written if off as malarky. It's so easy to do that when I don't understand something.
Anyway, my sweet doctor just smiled and said, "Well, yah..." and got me on a low dose of what I can only describe as the pill version of sunshine. I felt like my life was mine again. Food had flavor, the world had color and life - MY life - had purpose. You just don't know what living outside of that knowledge (even though you tell yourself) is like until you've been there. Since then, I have been the "me" I missed for so long. You don't have to understand it, just believe me. And believe my dear husband who has seen the light return to my countenance. :)
When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I wanted to know was how or if that medicine might affect the baby. Turns out very little has been done by way of research in this area. I literally have one doctor telling me it's fine, that nothing bad has been found for it or other drugs in its class and another telling me that it actually could be harmful. I just decided to wean myself from it to be safe at around 20 weeks. While I've not been thrust into the pit of despair like I thought I would, life has definitely been different. A normal, un-pregnant me would have a difficult time coping with the return of anxiety and depression. But a pregnant me? Oh I'm just a mess some days. :) Crying, feeling weepy for days, and exploding like a volcano when I can't get a pizza into the oven because the thawed dough is stuck to some plastic wrap. And then crying about it for an hour... (you get the picture?). It's nearly impossible to distinguish between what's just pregnancy hormones and what's a result of my anxiety. But this past week has been a challenge for both me and Victor. I've been up and down and up and down and am just tired. The smallest things bring me to tears (and I am not by nature a crier!)
What used to happen only once every few weeks is now happening every other day. I just feel like I'm losing control of everything.
BUT at the same time, I'm beside myself with joy about becoming a mom. All of the good things in life are still so good to me. I just have this new ability to turn on the tears (or the anger or the panic) like a switch! It's exhausting. So this week's post is just me saying that I'm ready, more so than ever, to be done. Almost every kick from Miles still makes me smile. His little nudges and turns still warm my heart. But it's time for me to get back to being me again, and I can't as long as I'm carrying him.
I know it's natural to get that "okay I'm done now! :)" feeling towards the end. The excitement of the unknown and the anticipation of the big day is hardly something one can just put out of mind. And the absolute and unending discomfort of the final weeks, I firmly believe, serves only to add to that feeling of "doneness". :) But on top of that I'm trying to manage all these restive emotions.
My emotions have long been something I treasure. Life, I believe, is so much sweeter, more colorful and enjoyable when you have a rush of feeling accompany an experience. But these days I find myself wishing I could be a stoic and just let these next few weeks wash past me without feeling it. It seems like it would be easier that way.
So that's where I am. Don't get me wrong - which must be easy to do after I've just written hundreds of words about being down - I am still loving life. I'm smiling right now just thinking about how awesome Victor has been lately, and about how much fun we're going to have with little Miles. There is an overabundance of things that I am thankful for, things that make me glad and things that give me a little spring in my step. I'm just having to cope with sudden interruptions of bawling my eyes out or blowing my top or breaking into a nervous sweat for no reason. And it's draaaaaiiiiinnnnniiiinnnng. :)
To the moms who've been there - you rock. I never knew what would be required of me during pregnancy. So much, it seems, and yet I'm glad to have done it. To the moms who don't yet know they're moms - the end can get hard, but focus on the things you know are true. And focus HARD, because every fiber in your being will tell you your world is crashing around you. And to the dads - keep being the men of character, encouragement, strength and love that we need you to be. It's a selfless duty that may or may not yield a tangible reward, but your efforts will be reflected in your wives. I know that after today (I was so disappointed after going to the doctor and not getting checked for dilation which set the stage for me to be short-fused and weepy) the only reason I'm breathing easy is because of Victor's great hugs and wise words.
*Whew!* I'm glad to have written this all out. It's all a part of my story, and I know I'll be happy to have it down the road. Now all I want to do is kick back on the couch with Victor and snack on something. :)