Monday, August 24, 2009

excitement in the air...

It's so hard to believe the end is really here...We will be holding our new baby daughter in our arms tomorrow, and there is no doubt we can all feel the excitement in the air.

my last belly shots
The kids and I all slept in today.
Brooke woke me up at 8am.
Brayden slept till 9:30am
(partly because he was up in the middle of the night. daddy even found him sleeping on the couch with the tv on at 5:30am...so we don't know exactly how much sleep the little guy had.)
While Brayden was sleeping, Brookie and I played together.
She has been really interested in playing with her babies and perfecting her big sister skills.
I also finished up some housework- things I know I won't be able to get to right away after the baby is born (washed all our sheets and bedding, cleaned out the refrigerator, dusted, watered all the plants, etc.)
Both kids seemed exceptionally affectionate today and wanted all of mommy's attention.
Brayden greeted me in the morning saying "I can't believe the baby's coming tomorrow!"
"It's going to be 2 girls and 1 boy, just like Ian!" "I'm so excited the baby is coming tomorrow!"
He has always been my little cuddle bug....today he was especially.
Brooke followed up by saying "I love you mom and I love our baby so much!"
We had breakfast in the living room, on the floor, with tv trays (per the kids request)

The kids took these photos (I'm trying to cover up a bit because I am still in my pj's)
While sitting next to Brayden, he felt the baby kicking...he said "Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, she's coming out something fierce!" He had me cracking up.
I was also relishing on the fact that Brayden was calling me "Mommy" all day long.
I know the day will come when I will graduate to just "Mom." Right now I am either Mommy, Mama, or Mom. My ear was in tune to hearing his little voice say "Mommy" throughout the day today.
There is a quote from an American writer (Dorothy Evslin) that says;
"It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear."
I am so excited to be adding another set of fingerprints to our family, but I also know that my little guy will seem that much more grown up tomorrow once she arrives.
Today is my last day of being pregnant!
While I am so excited to meet my baby, there was a tiny bit of bittersweetness in knowing today would hold my last moments of being pregnant and experiencing this miracle.
Between housework and play this morning, the home was filled with worship music ...arms raised, tears falling, I was able to take time to thank God for my life, His provision, and His love.

As a result of Brooke getting into a basket of mine today (that she should not have been in), I came across the scrapbook I had put together after having the miscarriage. I hadn't looked at this in months. Looking back, I am truly thankful for that experience. I think it has allowed me to appreciate, enjoy and understand the blessing of this pregnancy and this life more than I could have had I not experienced it.

I also began to think about all the ways God protects His children....many of them unknown to us. There are things in life that happen (or don't happen) because it is His way of protecting us. My heart's desire was to try for a VBAC. My C-section for tomorrow is actually 6 days prior to my due date. Brayden and Brooke were both 10 days early. It seemed reasonable and probable for this baby to come early too. However, there is a reason God has kept her inside my womb for this long. Instead of being disappointed, I am thanking Him and trusting Him. What didn't happen for me might quite possibly be His way of protecting me and my baby from something I couldn't have foreseen.
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are!
And today is also Darcy's last day of being Daddy to two children.
He will soon be a Daddy of three.
And "climbing the wooden mountain" won't be as easy with a 3rd on his back :)
And it's our last day of being a family of four, as well.
Darcy came home from work early. We had a picnic lunch outside and took the kids to the pool.
I couldn't decide what sounded good for dinner...and finally settled on eggs, turkey bacon, and peanut butter toast.
Not only does this man bring home the bacon, he cooks it too.
I surely love him.
After dinner we played a family game of Candyland.
And just enjoyed eachother's company.
(Darcy attempted to take a last photo of me with the kids...)
This is what you get when you are dealing with a 4 year old.
Oh behold...I can only imagine what our future family photos will look like.

It's been a good day. I pray tomorrow that the Lord will protect both our baby and myself. That she will enter this world safely...already loved and adored.

I John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Thank you Faithful Father...for all that You are.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Journey...

"Any day now"...that's what I've been told. Had my last Doctor's appointment today. Baby has dropped, I am measuring smaller, even dropped a couple of pounds. I am 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. My Doctor says my "cervix is perfect and can't get any more ready...now I just need to contract." Any day now brings much anticipated excitement and has forced me to reflect on the past ten months ...What a journey it has been.

On December 21st we found out we were expecting. What a gift and blessing this was. After having a miscarriage in November, this news was met with so much joy and thankfulness to a loving and merciful God, the ultimate Giver of Life.

And thus...our journey began to bloom.


Looking back at these photos now, I feel like I hardly even look pregnant. At the time, my tiny baby bump looked so obvious to me.
Many shared moments of joy
The day we found out we were having a girl is a day I will never forget. I was truly shocked. I was so certain we were having a boy and had even written a little poem about "his" announcement (weeks before my ultrasound). The night before the ultrasound I decided I should write a backup poem in case we were having a girl...I'm glad I did; it's the little poem I posted when we announced the news back in April.
With every passing minute, my excitement grew as the news of a baby girl settled into my mind, capturing my heart.
Days and months passed...
with dreams and wonderment of you beginning to unfold.

And so the baby bump continued to grow. I never took so many photos while pregnant with Brayden or Brooke. I did, however, have professional belly shots taken with them both- but not this time around. Perhaps a tinge of guilt that I didn't do this for baby 3 is what sparked these chronicled monthly and weekly candid shots.
Or perhaps it's because I know this will be our last and there is part of me that wants to savor these moments, holding onto these treasured memories.
Aside from the obvious physical journey that has taken place, there has also been a journey of our hearts.
We've been shown things we need to let go of,
and reminded of things in life we should hold onto.
Our perspectives have been challenged,
sacrifices made,
paths chosen that have been filled with uncertainty.
We've had to carefully listen to God's voice, even in times when He felt distant and we were straining to hear Him.
And it has been a journey on our marriage- which has grown stronger through life's challenges and circumstances...as we continue to learn to walk in dependence and trust.
At times it has felt like we were riding a wave...coasting on the top in joy and peace. While other times it felt we were drowning below in fear and uncertainty.
All the while we are still learning. I'm still clay that's being molded and shaped- trying to get through this life and become the woman God intended for me to be.
By definition, journey is just "traveling from one place to another."

These past 10 months have been miraculous and challenging.
Filled with joy, and at times tinged in pain and all that this life brings...
but beautiful just the same.
And any day now, another journey will begin as the dynamics of our family change and we welcome our new daughter into this world. What a thrilling privilege this will be.
Life is uncertain. We'll still have our struggles and pieces of our journey that we'd rather fast-forward through...But it'll be a journey worth taking, worth living, and one that'll teach us to keep our eyes on the Lord...the One and only thing that remains certain...the One who carries us through this life and each journey we encounter.

Thank you Father for these last precious 10 months, for this journey.
Any day now...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

nesting frenzy

In the midst of my nesting frenzy yesterday I came across a scrapbook filled with many childhood photos of me. I previously remember mentioning that I thought there was a photo of me on my 4th birthday with a doll cake (similar to the cake I made Brooke for her birthday this year). Well, here it is! A little blurry, but that's the cake...and that's me with the blue dress and wide smile.
How ironic that it happened to be my 4th birthday too.

I also came across this photo of me (in pink) and some of the neighborhood girls playing dressup. We didn't have "princess dresses" and costumes back then...We just raided our mommy's closets. Guess Brookie's not so different from her Mama afterall. (I especially love the wicked witch of the west shoes I am wearing.)
And, now we all know that Brooke's pa-donka-donk (as daddy calls it) came straight from her mama too....along with the extra long coin slot. Lovely.

And my OH my... Yes, a nesting frenzy I have been on! Yesterday I felt a sudden compulsive urge and need to clean and organize. Why this is hitting me a week before baby is scheduled to arrive is beyond me...Well, I know it is all part of the pregnancy hormones, etc....but it makes me wish I would have started "many-a-projects-many-a-months-ago."
I am still trying to figure out why I felt the need to open up and clean out a trunk, two sofa tables, an end table and a coffee table (all of which have not been opened up or cleaned in the last 4 plus years since we've lived in this house). Suddenly, it felt urgent.

I also washed all of the cradle bedding, moses basket bedding, Brooke's old burp cloths, bibs, blankets, newborn clothes, the new hand-me-down clothes, the bouncy seat cover, the swing cover, the baby bathtub, old baby towels, washcloths, cleaned out 3 drawers and 2 baskets to re-store some of these things...and what else did I do yesterday?

We are in the final countdown. She is coming a week from today and I am so very excited. All along I have been telling myself that as soon as she is considered full-term, I want her out! And now I am wanting her to gently cook just a few more days...safe and sound inside the womb. I am so ready for her arrival, and feeling really at peace with having her delivered via the planned cesarean section. Thank you Lord for this peace. I am most certain that this will be our last baby...meaning it is my last pregnancy. So, with that in mind, I want to fully enjoy these last 6 days.
6 more days of experiencing this wonderful miracle of life growing inside of me. 6 more days to feel her squirm and move, to hiccup and kick...
and to wonder about her...
her little sweet face, her personality, her spirit.
it has been sweet wonderment.
We have much to learn about each other...until then, I am pondering these moments, breathing them in and resting in peace.