The Final Stretch

We are so close, yet none of this feels real yet. I was in the elevator the other day and was standing next to a 4 day old in the arms of her beaming mama and I felt a sense of sadness before I remembered that I too have a daughter to meet soon. “Am I really going to get one of those? Like really?” was the thought that passed through my mind. See, the only reality I can hold onto today is that I am pregnant. The thought of her making it safely into my arms is an entirely different thing. Perspective. Experience. Fear.

I have good days where I relish in the beauties of expectancy. Sometimes I sit in the nursery just because. I think it allows me to let my guard down a little bit at a time. But it all stays in there. There is no proof of a baby coming anywhere else in this home yet. Her bassinet, her baby swing, her bath tub are all put together yet tucked away in one safe place, just in case. We had a false alarm trip to labor and delivery 2 weeks ago. My husband scrambled to get our hospital bags packed (that’s one way to do it) while I timed contractions and tried to focus on the possibility of giving birth that night. When I got into the car I saw the car seat installed in the back seat and I am pretty sure no words were needed as my eyes pierced through my husband as if he were crazy. When we got back into the car to go home that night, he knew what he had to do. The car seat is now stored away in my trunk. I can’t fathom driving around with an empty car seat in my car for weeks.

We very recently started calling her by her name out loud instead of “baby girl or chunky butt.” She has a name. She is real. She is our daughter (Repeat). The first time we said her name we both giggled as if it sounded odd to call her by something normal? real? human?

My birth plan is simple: monitor baby at all times, no medical students, put that little girl on my chest asap and get her here safely. Bam. Perspective. Experience. Fear.

My mind is consumed with panic during this final stretch. What if they are missing something? What if she isn’t kicking hard enough? Where is the umbilical cord? Is that amniotic fluid leaking? Could I have an infection they are missing? Will weaning me off these medications be too much for her to handle? Oh crap, did I just eat unpasteurized cheese? Has she been sleeping for too long? Move baby move! Move again please, a little harder this time baby. Sleep? Only if I feel movement between my bathroom breaks all night long. If not I stay awake and pray with a racing heart, sometimes crying and begging over and over for her to move. Then I feel her little thump thump and I tell her that I love her. This cycle begins again with the next bathroom break an hour later. My morning starts with a look from my husband and we compare each other’s nights rest. Sleep is not going well for him either. Sometimes he reaches over and feels my belly in the middle of the night as well. I know he’s doing the same thing as me in his head.

This final stretch is nothing short of agonizing if I am being honest. I just need her here. I need her in these arms, breathing and crying and proving to me that this is real. And preferably without one more person telling me that once she is here I will wish I was pregnant again. I won’t. I really won’t. I will be grateful for every long sleepless night with her here.Where I can see myself that she is breathing. Where her newborn cries mean that she’s alive. Where my delirious exhaustion comes from caring for her and not from longing for her.

87a9615d-b743-4ca3-b609-7c92e45aa1a1This morning I sat outside on the deck, big cup of tea in hand and tried to soak all of this in and find a moment of peace and calming. I began to pray aloud and the tears just flowed as I sat there looking at my son’s lighthouse that holds his urn all while feeling her bounce around in my belly. I was overwhelmed by the pain and the joy all at once and I felt so close to the Lord as I cried for her safety and thanked him for both of my children. I felt his presence and peace flow upon me reminding me that He is carrying me through this. He has not left my side for one moment and He hears the many, many prayers for our family. I hate how human I am sometimes. But if I am being really transparent, I am not sure the fear will subside until she arrives. We are taught how love can’t exist where fear resides because perfect love casts out fear  (1 John 4:18) but this is where I am so imperfect. I think my fear exists because of the great magnitude of my love. Again, forgive my humanness. Perspective. Experience. Fear.

I’ve been waiting so long for this final stretch but it feels so incredibly long. Will you join us in prayer for her safety and protection, peace over our hearts and minds and a safe and healthy delivery ahead? Thank you & so much love to all who are joining along this journey with us. We couldn’t have done this without our village of support and prayer warriors both near and far.

 

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