The Ugly Truth

Feeling so out-of-control of everything the past few weeks has really brought to light some secrets buried deep in my heart.  Dark, ugly secretsLike, how prideful I am as a pregnant woman.

I see this picture I posted on my Instagram feed some months back and cringe.  The heart of it was so braggy…so self-centered. 

//instagram.com/p/oGjwctsyc8/embed/
You see, secretly, I felt that the easiness of my first pregnancy was all due to me.  I ate good, tried to stay active, and purposed to stay positive through it all.  My feet barely swelled, heartburn was non-existent, and I delivered a healthy baby boy at 40 weeks, 1 day with no Pitocin, no epidural, and a less than 10 hour labor.  Motherhood ended up being far more challenging than I expected, but I loved it and eventually thrived as a stay-at-home mom.

Then I became pregnant with Baby #2.  I expected nothing less than the easy pregnancy I’d had before.  I planned on staying healthy and active, keeping up my garden, being an amazing mother to my toddler, and babywearing until the very end, when I’d go in and deliver another healthy baby with a short, easy labor.  I would be even more prepared this time.  I knew what to expect.  This wasn’t my first rodeo.

As the weeks of my pregnancy went on, I found myself slowly losing more-and-more of the “control” I thought I had.  First, one of the ventricles in Baby Girl’s brain was slightly enlarged (which, thankfully, resolved itself).  Then, excessive contractions and cramping almost landed me in the hospital at 25 weeks.  I found myself having to go much slower than with my first pregnancy.  We had to turn down outings with friends, for fear that the heat and walking would be too much for me.  I tried to pace myself, but still found myself pushing…perhaps too much.  Heartburn and breathlessness plagued me incessantly. 

Still, I had some control. I was going to be ready.  I had lists made of what all needed to be done before baby came.  They included everything from deep cleaning the house to making freezer meals to packing everyone’s bags to being stocked up on paper plates. 

Every shred of control was lost when I found myself hospitalized with preterm labor at 35 weeks, 3 days.  I was sent home to face the daunting challenge of strict bedrest for the next week and half.  All of my best laid plans went down the tubes.  At night, I’d hear my son crying for me and just ache, knowing that I could not go to him…that someone else would have to.  I found my independent self having to rely on others just to bring me water, change my son’s diaper, or find the extra box of cereal in the kitchen.  I had time to think…and I thought a lot.

I thought about how prideful I had been.  I thought about how nothing, as it turns out, had ever been in my control…nothing was due to my superior actions as a pregnant woman.  This had been a hard pregnancy, with unexpected twists and turns, and it was okay to admit that.  It was okay to embrace that, knowing that nothing I had experienced this go around made me less or more of a woman or a mother.

Right now, my baby carriers are collecting dust, my garden lays fallow, and my son is having to learn that Mama can only do so much today.  At 37 weeks, 2 days, I wait in limbo…waiting for the arrival of my so very wanted baby girl.  I no longer have any expectations of what her birth will be like.  At this point, my once decidedly-pro-natural-childbirth self would even welcome a C-section, if it meant that I would have my little girl in my arms at last and that this pregnancy and everything that comes with it would be over. 

Today, I know that I’m not “Super Pregnant Mommy”.  Today, I feel very out-of-control.  Today,  I know that that’s perfectly okay.          

//instagram.com/p/tnzZ8bsyQM/embed/

Advertisements

When Plans Fail

I was so determined to be ready when Baby Girl Baker made her grand entrance into this world, somewhere around her due date.  Before she came, the house would be spotless, the freezer full, bags packed, and all arrangements made.  According to that plan, I’d be cleaning my house right now, waiting for my parents to arrive, and looking forward to the baby shower this Sunday and more relatives visiting this coming week.
Yesterday morning preterm labor sent me to the hospital where I spent a restless night tossing and turning, hooked up to monitors and IVs.  This morning the doctors let me go home with orders for strict bed rest.  I’m 35 weeks, 4 days pregnant, and we’re trying to get Baby Girl to at least 37 weeks.
So, instead of doing what I think I should be doing, I’m lying in my bed with instructions to only get up to use the bathroom.  I won’t even be able to make it to Baby Girl’s shower this Sunday.  There’s so much to be done, but nothing that I can do, and little chance that I’ll be able to before she makes her arrival.  Things like this, they can’t be planned for…or planned around.
Yet, I see God’s hand so clearly through all of this.  I see that He’s using this to whittle me away…to make me stop trusting in myself and my “plans” and to start trusting in Him.  I see that I need to stop thinking I can be Super Mommy all the time, with the perfect house and the perfect plan.  Because I can’t.  Expecting myself to be that way only sets me up to fail.  I see that His timing and His plans are always far better than ours in the end, even when we don’t understand why now.  I see that it’s going to be okay.
I just have to make it a week and a half.  I’m sure that the dust will sit, we’ll be eating out of pizza boxes, and my poor husband will be too tired for words…but we’ll make it.  And soon, one way or another, our precious baby girl will be in our arms and this will be all over it.  And it’ll all be worth it. 

33 Weeks: The Honest Truth

It’s been one of those days.
I just loaded up my two-year-old son in the car for no particular reason other than in the hope that he’d fall asleep.  We’ve been prisoners in our family room all morning while a contractor puts in new flooring in the rest of the house.  It’s too hot for this preggo mama to go outside, and I have no errands that need running.  There are a billion things I need to do and want to do, but they all involve the rest of my house.  My mind has been going since 5:30 this morning when I found myself wide awake in the pitch black darkness.  And it hasn’t stopped.
Looking at the calendar fills me with stress as I think about the things I need to get ironed out for MOPs, and the things we need to do to get our house back in order before Baby Girl Baker makes her appearance in seven short weeks, give or take.  
But then, but then…
I drive down one of my favorite streets, just because I want to.  I suddenly realize what a gorgeous day it is, despite the heat.  I stop when I see this:

I take a deep breathe and let the simple beauty of it all seep into my soul.  The old barn, the lazy clouds, the wildflowers, and the tall green grass…all gifts for me from the Lover of my soul.  I breathe in.  I breathe out.  I feel God’s love and His peace washing over me.  I am reminded that I am in the center of His will, and my perspective is changed.
I remember the seven weeks I still have left, the 20 freezer meals I’ve already assembled, the deep cleaned family room (thanks to this morning’s imprisonment), and the friends and family that I can depend on.  Most of all, I remember that God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.  
I decide to skip the chemical-laden drink that I thought was calling my name and I drive home instead, toddler thankfully now snoozing in the backseat.  I plan on taking this opportunity to take a rare nap of my own.  The honest truth is…33 weeks is hard, but I am blessed.

33 Weeks, 3 Days

27 Week Pregnancy Update

Baby Girl Baker has been doing well.  She continues to kick (and punch and flip) up a storm.  Miles has caught on to this, and one of his favorite things now is to push on my belly and tell his “seester” to move.  He really is in love with her.  He’s constantly wanting to “snuggle” with the baby, “feed” the baby a cracker”, and talk to her.  The other day he told me she said she was hungry for a cracker.  All bets are off when the baby actually arrives and he realizes just what a baby really entails, but for now he’s into it.

I, on the other hand, have been having an interesting ride.  This pregnancy is so very different from my first.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m having a girl instead of a boy, or just that every pregnancy is unique, but it baffles me sometimes.  I’ve had quite a lot of Braxton Hicks since very early in this pregnancy.  Never one to slow down, I’ve had to be more cautious and aware, as they seem to come on when I’ve overdone it.

The weekend before last we were very close to going up to the hospital.  I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks (sometimes more than 6 in an hour), plus some very strange cramping.  Thankfully, after gallons of water, tons of epsom salt baths, tylenol, and pretty much laying down all weekend, they subsided.
Last Tuesday I had a normal checkup scheduled anyways, and they decided to make sure I wasn’t showing any signs of labor.  Much to my relief, I wasn’t.  The doctor just chalked it up to every pregnancy being different and said this one might just be harder. 

So, since then I’ve just been extra careful about not overdoing it.  I’ve also upped my protein intake, and am carrying a quart-size mason jar around with me to make sure I’m getting at least a gallon a day of water.  So far, it seems to be helping. 

I’ll leave you with a picture I took last Thursday at 26 weeks.  I am SO big compared to last time.  It’s pretty much all belly…just a really big belly.

Here’s a comparison from 27 (almost 28 weeks) with Miles and 26 weeks with Baby Girl Baker:

Linking up with Mommy Moments at The Life of Faith: