Saturday, August 28, 2010

Soon to be 4

3 1/2 weeks to go in this pregnancy and I have the usual mix of emotions: anxiousness, fear, joy, excitement, and a little sadness. Anxious of what labor will be like and how the first few months home will be. Fear that I will not be able to give both my children and my husband the time and energy that they deserve, and that they will not know how much I love them all. Joy that our family is expanding and a little girl is coming into our midst. Excitement to see her develop and how similar and different she is from each of the rest of us, and excitement to see her daddy hold her for the first time. Sadness that the chapter we are in is coming to a close: that we it will no longer be just the 3 of us, that my days will no longer be Mommy and Dean. I rock Dean before bedtime and naptime just so I can sit and hold him and let God know how thankful I am for him. Those peaceful moments where he lays his head on my shoulder and lays against my chest make up for even the hardest of days.

As exhaustion takes over and my physical movement becomes more and more limited, I can't stop thinking of all the things that I wish I had done before now; moments that I will never get back. Luckily my pregnancy hormones do not allow me to stay in one emotional state for too long. As quickly as I dive into sadness for what is "lost", I jump right back out and get so excited about watching Dean and Riley grow up together. Watching Dean teach her how to get into mischief, seeing them play with their cousins and swim at the lake, opening presents on Christmas morning, Dean trying to give Riley a bottle or get her to play with much to look forward too.

When I was pregnant with Dean I was completely convinced that I would give birth at least 2 weeks early. I was enormous and by measurements, so was Dean...well, enormous considering my normal size and frame. When the 2 weeks prior came and went, I was encouraged by my physician to schedule a c-section as early as a week before my due date. Josh and I both agreed that this was not in the cards for us and opted to push on through. When my due date came and went, an ultrasound was scheduled estimating that Dean was approximately 10 pounds. Of course there was worry that I would be able to pass a 10 pound baby and again a c-section was pushed. We declined. At a week overdue my doc had had enough, and said that they wanted to schedule an induction. By this point, I was just so ready to have the baby I would have agreed to just about anything. Well, I won't go into detail about my labor, but let's just say it was quite abnormal. I never got to experience the excitement of the first contraction or my water breaking. I missed out on getting to call people to say I was going into labor. I didn't even get to practice any of the relaxation techniques that we had learned in class.

People have asked me if I'm nervous about labor or giving birth. I immediately say NO. I know it's going to be hard. I know it's going to hurt. But I also know that a baby comes out of it. And I know that with that incentive I can get through anything. Josh and I packed a bag today and talked about our plan for what to do with Dean. It was so fun to see him practically giddy about the whole process. We day dreamed about Dean coming to meet Riley for the first time in the hospital, what songs we wanted to put on the labor playlist and post-labor playlist (such iPod nerds, I know), and what bottle-feeding from the beginning will be like (again...another story that I may tell another day).

3 1/2 weeks to go...or 2...or 5...the not-knowing when it will happen is sometimes harder than the physical weight of it all. I know one thing though. This time, I'm not letting myself get emotionally attached to the notion of Riley showing herself early. In fact, I am trying to think of it as being 5 more weeks so that I can be pleasantly surprised if she comes earlier :) Reverse psychology I suppose.