Anticipation has been high, for all of us.
For the past week or two it has been getting higher.
Today is the baby's due date. 40 weeks.
If I don't go into labor today, I will, once again, enter what we have come to call "the 4th trimester".
I try to keep the dishes and kitchen cleaned up.
I wash and fold all of our laundry every Monday and Tuesday (usually it's Wednesday or even Thursday till I get it ALL folded, but at least it's cleaned).
Last week I washed the kitchen floor one day, scrubbed toilets and sinks another day and scrubbed the shower/tub another day.
Soon it will be time to do the bathrooms. Again. If baby doesn't come first.
I keep giving little people their baths, which means getting in a most awkward and uncomfortable, stomach and baby -squeezing position for several minutes at a time. With the warmer days and outside play, baths are happening a little more frequently.
Contractions start and stop.
My ankles swell most days now.
I wonder if I should plan to make supper or not.
I think ahead, considering how many days the girls would be with grandparents and if that would include a Sunday if I were to go to the hospital "today". Then I wonder what the weather for that Sunday would be and if I have warm or cold -weather church clothes packed in their bags.
My phone rings. It buzzes with a text or two. People wondering if I've had the baby yet.
Friends empathize and give welcome encouragement.
I wonder if each twinge is the start of something.
I go to bed each night wondering if I'll wake up to a flood of amniotic fluid.
I wake up each morning wondering if we will have the baby "today".
This period of waiting is not easy on the mind. I am ready but it isn't time yet. My body is getting ready. I can tell it and the Dr. visits confirm it, but it's not time yet.
I have mixed emotions continually. I feel eager and excited about the baby coming. At the same time I feel anxious wondering if I will actually go all the way to 42 weeks and end up with my third induction. I get excited because I know that even if I would end up going as long as 42 weeks, it is only 14 days away! In FOURTEEN DAYS we will be holding our baby.
I listen to music at home and in the car when the time lends itself to enough "quiet" that I can spare my brain to listen. :) Music that feeds my heart and soul. I sing and listen to the music in church. Most of the time if there are no distractions so that I can really worship with the music, I end up in tears. Just... because. Because my emotions are a wreck and I am trying, trying, trying to wait patiently on God's timing. Because I want to KNOW and I can't know. Because I know He is in control and has all things planned out exactly as they should be. Because I know He is watching over me, gently giving me the strength I need each minute of each day to get through one. more. task. laden with the heavy weight of this precious life I am carrying within.
Perhaps it's just because I am at the end stages of this pregnancy, or perhaps there's an uptick in pregnancy related articles going around the internet, but there have been several articles and blog posts that have been an encouragement to me in various ways. I would like to share the links here, for you to be encouraged from if you're in a similar situation, and for me to be able to find again in the future.
This blog post quite possibly encouraged me the most. It put a name to the "place" I am in right now.
"The Last Days of Pregnancy: A Place of In-Between"
Reading this post about Prodromal Labor - start and stop, start and stop... helped put into perspective exactly what is going on when I spend 30 minutes having cramping or contractions that don't result in active labor. (This is the first pregnancy I've experienced anything other than a very few, painless, Braxton-Hicks contractions so this Prodromal Labor is quite new to me.)
Not related to before the birth or labor and delivery, but this post provides an excellent list of ways new (and by "new" it means had a new baby, not just first-time moms!) moms can be ministered to. I have been on both the giving and receiving end and both are a real blessing! I would add that especially after the first week of post partum, I would have welcomed a sit and chat (or come and help) visit from people most of the time. There were times when someone dropping off a meal and leaving immediately was good, other times I would enjoy some adult company and another set of hands to help with potty trips, diaper changes, reading books and another set of ears to listen to the older children. And one thing I would add to the list as something that could really be helpful to a mom would be to offer to give her older children baths. Not that I want just anyone giving my girls baths, but most people that would come to visit I would gladly let them take care of that exhausting and physically challenging for new mommies task!
On the recovery side of things, this post was good to read knowing that I have never been "back to normal" anytime near 6 weeks post-delivery! :-)
*I do want to add that aside from the linked to articles or blog posts, I am not familiar in any way with the sites of these posts. I also did not re-read over each one with a fine-tooth comb just prior to sharing these links so I may have forgotten if there was any content I specifically did not agree with.
In the meantime, this time of in-between, waiting, continues. I hope to be sharing our 3rd child's birth-day celebration with you soon!!