Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Enter the Stressing Phase

Less than three weeks and our baby girl arrives. Most pregnant women nest at this phase. I stress. Sure. I'm cleaning and prettying the nursery and buying cute little baby things on Etsy. But, mostly I'm worrying and freaking out.

With all three of my pregnancies, I have completely worried about everything little thing that could possibly go wrong. With Julie I was convinced she was a "mermaid". Every time we had a sonogram, her legs were crossed, so I was certain she would come out with conjoined legs. I'm not sure what I stressed about with Johnny, but I'm sure there was something.

 Even though I have delivered two healthy and beautiful babies, I am most worried about this baby girl. Here's why. I'm 36. In other words I'm over 35---that magic number when birth defects and other issues increase. (I'm hoping maybe the odds are in my favor since technically I was 35 when I got pregnant.) I already have an unexpected issue: placenta previa. Because of this I have to deliver the baby 3 weeks early. This means the baby is at greater risk of problems---like difficulty breathing or other immature bodily functions.

I know it's important to remain positive, but it's hard. I feel like I'm inundated with stories of babies born with problems or lasting challenges. Just last week, our former pastor in Chicago welcomed a beautiful 9-pound baby girl into the world--3 weeks early. She's still in the NICU because of breathing issues. Then, there are the stories of the babies who don't make it, or the moms who die at childbirth, or the babies who showed no signs of complications en utero but are born with lifelong health defects.

Obviously we will love our baby girl no matter what, but I just can't help but worry. Here are my goals for these next 2 1/2 weeks:
1. Pray for the best.
2. Think positively.
3. Focus on the beautiful family we have.
4. Dream about our new baby girl.
5. Enjoy these last couple weeks! (Christmas shopping, pedicures and de-caff pumpkin spice lattes.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Miss Independent

Julie didn't shower or brush her teeth all weekend, and for breakfast she ate cocoa puffs, chocolate muffins and hot chocolate. But, I couldn't be more proud of our exhausted, dirt-caked girl after her first weekend away at Girl Scout camp.

Julie has spent plenty of time away from us---either with grandparents or at friend sleepovers. But, this was her first big weekend trip. I wasn't too worried about her feeling sad or scared, but I wondered whether she would have fun or get along with the other girls. And I was sure she'd be a grumpy mess when I picked her up today.

I was in for a surprise.

Julie greeted me with smiles and plenty of stories about hikes and horses and a little Brownie fairy named "Sparkles." There were ghost stories and s'mores. Bugs and dirt. And little songs and jokes they made up on the trip.

And her Brownie leader told me she was amazed at Julie's self-sufficiency. "She did everything herself and didn't ask for help!" she told me.

I couldn't be more proud of my little Brownie.

The first night at camp. Julie's on the far right in the hot pink.

Horse back riding adventures. Julie is on the far right.

Julie and her little friend Rose getting ready to head off to camp.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Five more weeks with my pumpkin

That's me and my pumpkin on Halloween---about 32 weeks prego.

My sister Kelly says it looks like I'm holding a yoga ball.

I probably should be offended, but I absolutely love my big old pumpkin. The bigger and rounder my baby bump becomes, the happier I feel.

I have a few Facebook friends who constantly complain about being pregnant. They feel fat. Their feet ache. They miss drinking wine. They hate when people touch their bellies and they are furious when someone comments about their size.

I guess I can understand all that. There are plenty of unpleasant aspects about being pregnant. But, overall, I think it's something to be proud of and enjoy. The time you carry another human being is fleeting---40 weeks (or in my case 37). And the time you are able to carry another human being is also fleeting---(At 36 years old I know this too well.) It's a blip on the timeline of your life.

And this is our last baby, so I plan to cherish these remaining 5 weeks. I want to stop and feel my baby's moves and kicks and stretches. I want to dream about what she will look like and be like. I want to eat ice cream, and show off my bump to the world.

 Touch my belly. Ask me whether I'm having twins and look surprised when I say "no."  Or exclaim "You must be due any day now!" in amazement.

I will just smile, puff out my belly and proudly waddle away.