Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grace for the moment

Juno is not going to happen today. But thankfully, rest is.

I decided not to stress about tracking down that elusive orange and white striped shirt. It was too much work, and I would rather save my energy for labor. The baby room is finished, except that we need to get his changing table moved in under the window. But that's minor. His clothes are organized, thanks to my dear friend, Kim. His mural is jungly, colorful and splashed all over two of the walls, thanks to Jazzy. His crib is sturdy and built, and his dresser is a delightful monkey brown, thanks to my husband. And thanks to me, baby is cozy and safe in his domed incubator. For how much longer I do not know. I only know that I've been telling him for a while he cannot wait until after Nov. 11. Now I know why - my OB will be pheasant hunting and I would much rather not give birth with the to-be-announced on-call doctor whom I've never met, thank you very much.

Here are a few baby room pics to satisfy your curiosities: The crib: thank you, Josh.

The dresser: thank you, Kim.

Me in front of the glider, thanks to Linda (my mom-in-law) and a happy yellow giraffe, thanks to Jazzy - I spend a lot of time in this corner of the room, taking in the color and the silence and the idea that one day soon, a baby will occupy this little space. Can't wait to see his face and snuggle him up close.

This is me today, baby still tucked up high despite my efforts to walk him down further into my pelvis. He will drop when he is ready, and I guess I can thank him for delaying my waddling. I do waddle, but not unless I'm tired. If you look closely, you can probably see that my belly button thinks the baby is done. So it's only a matter of time.

I visited a photo blog today with the story of a beautiful home birth. I cried. I always do. I'm not having a home birth, but I am aiming for a natural one, and there is something so compelling about the strength of the woman in labor. Especially one who decides to go through the intensity of naturally birthing her child. I swear it's not the sense of martyrdom that inspires me. I just feel I want to do this, even though I can't fully explain why. So I'm prepared for a natural birth mentally, but emotionally, my goals are happy and healthy baby and mama. And I will do whatever I need to do to get that.

As for my goals to rest and enjoy myself and the last few weeks pre-baby, I think I've done fairly well. I was falling apart-ish on Thursday and Friday, but mostly because I was tired and four ten hour days in a row with long nights to boot is hard on a girl. Especially girl with 25 extra pounds condensed somewhere in her mid-section.

Yesterday was beautiful though, rejuvenating. Walked in the park with Alison, then Kristen cut my hair so that it's light and swaying again. Kim came over with 3 month old Luke and helped me organize my baby dresser, which I had made to be an insurmountable task. She proudly stood next to each finished drawer and admired her work, and I couldn't help but agree. Tiny onesies and shirts and sleepers, set in rows according to age and size and type of clothing. I will never cease to be impressed by people who enjoy organizing; I hope to always have them for friends.

I believe you and I can all expect our tiny, adorable addition to arrive within the next 8-10 days. Please pray that he does, and pray that I will continue to walk in this beautiful surrender and soak up the grace available for every moment.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The last few weeks

[[Hoping I can make this costume happen by the weekend. How often can you dress up as Juno for Halloween? And look, I'm due this holiday season too. :) ]]

Well, I was going to call this post "The last two weeks", but realistically, I have no idea when our little guy will get here. Due dates are funny things. I think they should be called Baby Arrival Estimates. If something is "due" at a certain time, then any time before that is "early" and any time after that is "late". But that's such a North American thing, trying to time nature. Seriously. Who does that?

Because of this cultural misunderstanding, I've watched several of my friends and acquaintances deal with varying degrees of frustration while in the last few weeks of their pregnancies. Facebook status updates exposed their struggles. I know that a lot of people simply get uncomfortable and just want that part to end, and I can't really speak to that because I'm not uncomfortable, actually. I sleep well most nights and have minimal pain, with the exception of the sensation of my pelvis separating. I even feel attractive, which is something of a gift, I think.

So anyway, I didn't want to be anxious or stressed like I've seen so many other women become. I didn't want to spend the last few weeks before baby wringing my hands, pacing, pissed off at my helplessness to control the situation. At first I thought if I distracted myself with my "babymama bucket list", spending the time check off a bunch of fun things I won't be able to do after baby, maybe that would help. At church yesterday God gave me a new perspective. (I like this one better.) The waiting period before baby, I learned, is supposed to be like Advent. Let me explain. During Advent each year, we prepare our lives and hearts for the really big gift that God gave us in Jesus. In real life, two thousand-ish years ago, only Mary and Joseph got ready for Jesus, but his birth impacted the whole world. Here I am, in Kansas in October of 2010, and I'm waiting for my little baby to come too. He is a gift to me, to Josh, to the world. As are all children.

So what do in the waiting? The trick, I believe, is to let myself long for the arrival of the baby while simultaneously resting in God and trusting His timing. I have heard plenty of suggestions on how to stimulate labor and if I googled, I could find thousands more. But I want to try my hand at surrender, at letting God decide our baby's birthday. Not that I'm going to take off work and sit on the couch, waiting for labor to start. But I want to find the balance of letting myself go in longing to see and hold our little one, and yet still feeling happy and content in the moment. I know, I know, it sounds impossible. But so far, I've exceeded my own expectations for health and enjoyment of pregnancy. So why not imagine that I could enjoy these next two or three weeks? I'm going to start there.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nesting and posing

Baby Room from Josh Siders on Vimeo.

In case you would like to see the baby room and the progress we've made so far. Don't worry: a crib is coming. He will not be sleeping on the floor. Password for viewing is: baby room. Yes, you do need the space in there.

I got some maternity pictures taken yesterday. They're here if you're curious.
I'm quite happy with them. I found a picture on the internet of this lovely, pregnant woman and I knew that style was what I wanted. I'd been procrastinating on taking the pictures because I knew it would take me an hour to get ready, curl my hair, and the works. It was hard to get motivated, but that picture I found was the kicker for me. My good friend and super talented photographer pal, Emma, took the pictures in the baby room and I had them in mostly edited form by the end of the night. They are still a few that we will touch up or probably change the background. But you will get the gist of it. There are about 50 in the album so if that overwhelms you, just click fast. Or just check out a couple. But I thought I would share them since I was so happy to finally get them.

In other news, I'm having a pleasant last few weeks of pregnancy. Not sure what I was expecting, but I did think I would be much more uncomfortable or grouchy than I've been. Instead I've been rather at peace, enjoying myself and taking time to listen to the silence that will be a memory soon enough.

Don't get me wrong: I'm looking forward to the arrival of our little man. Josh and I look at each other several times a week and one of us will give the other the countdown. "Only five weeks left!" We will say say, incredulous, but at the same time, we both know we have no idea what is about to happen. No matter if I am three days or three months from his birth, I still have no frame of reference for parenting, for love and diaper changing, for birth and breastfeeding. I am grateful for the patience and grace God is giving me. I can tell I am being prayed for, so thank you for your prayers. I can feel them deeply.

And before I go, congratulations to my good friend, Ingrid, and her hubby, Mike. They found out they're having a girl today. I'm excited for her. Ings and I went through a lot together as we waited on God for our babies. I'm just really happy for them, and if you're interested, Ings, I'm sure I'll have oodles of wisdom on parenting in the three months between when our kiddos get here. Go ahead, ask me anything....starting in five weeks, that is.