Thursday, January 24, 2013

Almost there

I'm 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant today.  Holy cow.

I'm getting so close to meeting our little miracle.  I can't wait.  And yet I'm terrified.  Haha.

The more I think about labor and delivery, the more I remember what it was like with Caroline.  That was such a defining day in my life.  For a few months after she was born, I replayed that day over and over again.  It was my only day with her outside the womb here on earth.  And there was the "normal" parent awe of seeing your child born.  So that day was very meaningful to me, for obvious reasons.  After a few months, though, it was no longer on the forefront of my mind.  It was one of those ephemeral memories that you pull out on occasion to reminisce.   

Now that I'm drawing close to that day with this baby, it's making me remember again.  I had a relatively easy labor and birth with Caroline.  I have no reason to believe Everleigh will be any different, except for the fact that she'll be full term and bigger and all that jazz.  It makes me slightly nervous to think about it all.  I mentioned in my last post the concurrent emotions of fear/anxiety and excitement.  Definitely still have all that going on.  I am terrified and excited beyond belief at the same time.  I can't wait to meet Everleigh, but I am incredibly nervous. 

I had a check up with my OB this morning.  She told me I had progressed a bit, and that when I go into labor, it will probably be pretty quick.  That is both awesome and nerve wrecking.  Haha.  Since my mom is flying in from out of town, I would really like for her to be here when Everleigh is born.  If she's not already here when I go into labor, she might not make it in time.  Bah.  I have to keep reminding myself that God is in control, and Ev will come when she's supposed to.  If Mom is here, then awesome for me.  If not, then I'll manage with God's help.  :)  While my mom is an awesome labor coach that would be an enormous help, I've come to realize that this time around, I think I want her here for moral/emotional support as much as for the help during labor. 

I don't know that I can properly put into words what the end of this pregnancy is like for me.  It's all new to me, since I didn't get this far with Caroline, and her birth was slightly abnormal because of her condition.  The waiting for Caroline was hard in its way, because we knew it would be the end.  The waiting for Everleigh is hard in a different way.  I can't wait to meet her, but I'm afraid to at the same time.  I mentioned a lot of the reasons for that in my last post, so I won't go into that too much this time.  Suffice it to say that I am just a big ball of conflicting emotions. 

In all of this, though, I can tell you I feel a sense of the supernatural.  This is all one big amazing miracle to me.  Every fear is underlaid with the awe that I am not in control, that this is bigger than me.  Every feeling of excitement is laced with the incredulity that God has seen fit to bless us with another precious girl.  Every anxiety is undercut by the knowledge that God is the one in control, not me, so I can't screw up my kid enough to thwart God's plan for her life.  This is not just another labor, delivery, and all that comes after, to me.  It's a miracle that goes beyond me, Cameron, and Everleigh.  It's another way to point toward God and the Son He sent to Earth. 

So, as the hormones rage, the feelings march through, and the truth fights to be acknowledged, I am just doing my best to remember the greater things.  God is in control, He's got it all figured out, and I'm just along for the ride to give Him the glory.  As imperfectly as I'm doing that.  Pretty soon, I'll have my precious daughter in my arms and can rejoice in His goodness all the more.  I can't wait to see the face of this little miracle.  Thanks for listening to my rambling.  :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Full term musings

Holy cow, I'm considered full term today.  37 weeks.

Everleigh could come any day now.  For the next 4-5 weeks.  I'm going to lose my mind.

I am having a lot of unexpected mixed emotions.  I think I've been so focused on keeping her in for a while because of the craziness earlier in my pregnancy, that now I'm like, wait, what happened?  I can have her now?  Relinquishing that "Don't come yet." vibe is proving a little difficult.  At the same time, I can't wait for her to get here.  Cameron can't either.  He wants her now.  Yesterday would be preferred.  Haha.  He wants "his turn" as he puts it.  I've gotten to hold her for nine months, and now he wants to be able to.  It's rather endearing, actually, to see how excited he is.  I can't wait to see his face when he holds her the first time.

And comes honesty time.  Yeehaw.

I am scared out of my mind sometimes.  For many reasons.  I have the semi-irrational fear that I'm going to lose Everleigh at the last minute (cord accident, labor distress, etc).  I know it's unlikely, and I'm not overwhelmed by it, but the nagging doubt is there nonetheless.  I'm also scared of bringing her home and screwing up royally as a mom.  Also semi-irrational.  Now that I'm full term, I guess it's all just kicking in.  I've never had a chance to take care of a newborn.  I delivered a child, held her for a few hours, and then had to let her go.  This time...there's no letting go, in the physical sense.  I will be "stuck" with Everleigh until adulthood.  I am so incredibly grateful for that, but it scares me too.  Haha.  I think that's probably pretty normal.  What new mom isn't a little nervous about her abilities?  I have a feeling I'll be praying a lot in the near future.  Prayers like, "Lord, please don't let me screw up this poor child you've blessed me with."  :)

This is also bringing back memories of my delivery with Caroline.  While I've birthed a child before, it was a weird situation with weird results.  It was not a normal delivery/birth experience, even though I went through a relatively normal labor/delivery.  She was early, and therefore small.  We didn't have to worry about APGAR scores or billirubin counts or jaundice or breathing support or anything like that.  We knew she wouldn't make it before she got here, and because she was already with Jesus when she came out, it was really unnecessary to do much of anything besides clean her off and hold her for a while.  Now, I have a healthy baby coming.  I'm going to have to wonder if everything will be ok when she comes out.  She'll be bigger, she'll be more developed.  Labor and delivery will be different because I'm full term instead of at the beginning of my third trimester.  I almost feel like I'm going into this as a first timer because it's the first time things will be "normal."  It's making me a little nervous, even though I generally know what to expect.

I'm also ridiculously emotional.  I can thank the lovely pregnancy hormones for some of it, but not all of it.  It's kinda made me sad to think that we can't have Caroline there to meet her sister.  I was extremely tempted to buy a little outfit for Everleigh that said "Little Sister."  I decided not to, partially because I know that it would raise some questions when out in public that I wouldn't necessarily want to answer, but I might go back and get it anyway, and just use it at home.  She'll always be a little sister, even though she'll be the "oldest" at home.  It's such a weird dynamic, and it's so hard to deal with sometimes. 

I have my hospital bag packed, and one of the things I'm taking with me is my Caroline Bunny.  If Caroline can't be there in person, then she'll have a surrogate in her bunny.  I know for some people that might sound silly, but it is what it is.  There will be amazing joy when we get to meet Everleigh face to face.  But there will be a hole there, too.  Our missing daughter.  The one who's gone on to our eternal home, so she can't be here in our temporal one to meet her sister.  It won't be the main focus of Everleigh's birthday, but it will be a part of it.  There's no getting around it.  Hopefully my bunny can help me feel a little better about it all. 

I know having a baby is an emotional thing regardless your history.  It's a miracle, and it should be emotional.  If you feel nothing when you're expecting, delivering, and raising a child, well...I don't know how that's possible.  I also know that because of Caroline, we're probably slightly more emotional in some ways.  I've done my best this whole pregnancy to place my fears and anxieties at the feet of Jesus.  It hasn't been easy to do.  I've failed on many occasions, and allowed the feelings to rule.  But I know God is sovereign and has everything under control, even when I don't behave as if I believe it.  I'm having to lean on that now, as I face a delivery that is coming sooner than later. 

I miss Caroline these days.  I wish she was here to meet her sister.  I feel a little cheated sometimes, that my family will never be "whole" here on earth.  There will always be someone missing.'s the path we've been given to walk.  It's the path Christ has allowed us to walk to give Him glory in our suffering.  So I want to keep glorifying Him in my response, even though I'm imperfect and frail.

And while I do have a lot of fears and anxieties, I am ecstatically happy to be so close to meeting Everleigh.  We feel enormously blessed to be having her.  I can't wait to see what she looks like.  I can't wait to meet her and hold her.  I can't wait to bring her home and make her a part of our lives.  I can't wait to show her off to all the people who have showered us with prayers, encouragement, gifts, and love.  This precious miracle is going to be the recipient of more love and rejoicing than she will ever know.  I'm so grateful to have so many people who love us and support us. 

So...after saying all that.   I am so happy to be full term.  I can't believe it's almost time to meet Everleigh, finally.  I can't wait, even though I'm a little nervous.  To God be the Glory, great things He has done.  Thank you Lord for our precious blessing. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

It's officially 2013. 

We've been through our first full year without Caroline.  We're starting the year when we'll get to meet Everleigh in person.  Quite an eventful year coming up.

I will never forget Caroline.  I've said that many times before.  And it's true.  I have no desire to forget her.  But I will say that as time goes by, it's getting easier to face the day to day without her.  This Christmas and New Year season has been a little difficult because we were remembering last year at this time, when we were dealing with Caroline's immediate loss.  She was born on the 15th of December, her memorial service was on December 29, and her funeral was on January 7.  So...there's been a lot of remembering. 

I also had to kinda deal with the feelings of "unfairness" that we weren't getting to buy her Christmas presents, and we weren't getting to take Christmas pictures of her.  Last year, I signed her name on our Christmas cards, and I didn't this year.  There were a lot of times where I really missed her in that regard.  It wasn't an overwhelming pain or anything, just a lot of twinges of "what might have been." 

It did, in a lot of ways, make me look forward to next Christmas, when, God willing, Everleigh will be here with us to celebrate.  It's made me look forward to this year in general, because we'll have most of the year with her.  If she comes on or around her due date, she'll be born barely over a month into 2013.  I can't wait.

If you're reading this post and have recently lost a child, hang in there.  I know that it's difficult, especially at first, to look forward to the New Year when you've lost someone precious.  Just know that you're not alone.  There are many of us who have been where you are.  I'm always willing to hear from you (see the contact tab at the top of the blog).  Last year, New Year's was hard for us.  Our loss was very recent, and we were just ready to be done with 2011 and move on to 2012.  And we weren't really sure what 2012 would entail.  Now, looking back, it was a pretty good year.  We definitely had some challenging times, and there were times that I wish would have been easier, but ultimately, everything worked out like it was supposed to.  I am so grateful God has brought us through our first year without Caroline, and is now allowing us to look forward to another special blessing. 

I hope that you all have a wonderful year this year.  Even if it's a difficult year, just know that God is still there, and there are people who can support you through it.  God bless you all in 2013!