Thursday, February 2, 2017

36 weeks - thoughts, reflections, and excitement


This pregnancy is coming to an end. (Well, I use "end" loosely. I'm 36 weeks tomorrow and, while I don't wish to go 13 days over again, I'm not ruling it out of the possibilities.) Although I won't miss breathing heavily, the nightly heartburn, and the constant need to pee, I will miss Veda being in my belly. I really like and enjoy being pregnant even if it means I get fat face, my voice changes, and I have to do gymnastics to put on my pants.

For those of you who know my life (or who read this blog), you may remember that Duke came on his due date and Nova came 13 days late. Because their birth stories turned out to be so absolutely and perfectly matched with their personalities, I am so curious to see what this little babe will do. Will she be full of surprises? Will she be "nice and easy," as Nova once claimed over her? Will she be stubborn? Will she be early? Will she be late? Will my labor be any easier than the other two?  

I have no answers to these questions, but I love not having answers. I love this part - the wondering and the waiting. I wish that at any point in my life, I could jump back into being 36+ weeks pregnant for just a few minutes to feel these unique feelings of anticipation.

But even beyond the last days of pregnancy, the labor, and the childbirth, I am so excited to see our family of five take shape.

I know there are plenty of things I could be worried about. How will everyone adjust? Will Veda nurse? Will Nova do okay suddenly not being the only girl? Will we all lose our minds in this house? Can I really tote 3 kids around all by myself? Etc. But honestly, I haven't worried about this stuff that much. I have talked about it and thought about it, but I haven't really worried about it. I guess that's maybe part of the third-time mom gig though. There are things you know and can plan for, and then there are things you just have to let happen. So instead of losing sleep over worrying, I have mostly lost sleep over the things I'm most excited about.

I am excited for that first moment of meeting Veda. "Meet" doesn't even really work as the word to describe it. I mean, how do you describe the moment when you finally see the baby you've been dreaming about, planning for, talking about, and carrying for 9 months? "Meet" hardly does it justice. It's one of the most beautiful, most overwhelming, most perfect moments in all of life.

I am excited to watch Colt. I love watching Colt in new-dad mode. The way he carries me through the labor and delivery, the way he pushes through exhaustion to support me, the way he jumps up to change all the diapers and fill all the requests I make of him, the way he cares for me. It's odd because it's the most tiring season of all of life, but it's also romantic and dreamy.

I am excited to watch the kids experience all of it. To see Duke become a big brother again, but with a completely different perspective and understanding this time. To see Nova practice her mommy-ing skills on a real little person. To see both of them step into new roles, new responsibility, and new big-ness.

I am excited to see this house burst at the seams. It's something I don't think I ever imagined when we bought it. I envisioned having kids here I guess, but not necessarily three of them. There's something sweet about using up every inch of every floor and every shelf of every closet. While moving and getting a little more space is something we'd love to do at some point, we are patiently waiting for the right house and for God's timing. Until then, the five of us will be here together.

I am excited to see who I become. With each child - the pregnancy, the delivery, the first months - God is very intent on teaching me things. He chisels away at me, working through the grime of my sin and wrong beliefs. He teaches me about his character and he teaches me about mine. It might sound strange, but I like myself better with each new baby he has given me. I like where 30 year old Claire is way better than 25 year old Claire. Each new baby has made me a better person, a better wife, a better mom, and a better friend. Don't misunderstand me - I can list all of my flaws and struggles out for you quite easily. But there's a lot of self-awareness that comes to the surface in newborn land. God does some meaningful work in me through motherhood and, while I don't necessarily enjoy the learning process it takes to get there, I am always thankful for it. What a beautiful thing it is that God uses the blessing and the weight of most wonderful gifts to mold me into who I should be.
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