39.5 weeks – Birth Eve

29 weeks 2

#realpregnancy #nofluff #noBS #ALLthefeels #atonetime

I don’t know that I had any expectations of how I would feel today, but definitely didn’t expect to be this overwhelmed and anxious. I’ve spent the entire morning analyzing where to start in getting “ready” for tomorrow (I will be admitted tomorrow night for induction). In my mind, there is so much to do and I will never have enough time or energy to do it! There are floors to sweep and mop, rugs to vacuum, last minute nursery details, food to prepare for when we come home…(should I make freezer meals or go ahead and cook things)…. EVERYTHING needs to be sanitized before I bring her home!! (insert crazy eyes here), I have to get Moose ready for his vacation with Aunt Michele, do I have everything I need in my hospital bag, is the car seat installed correctly, am I even qualified to drive her home in a couple days….OMG!!! My brain is on overdrive and I can’t shut it off! I don’t know how much of it is hormones and how much of it is just my OCD.

But today is hard. Today is very hard. And, I’m exhausted.

I wonder what’s going to change after tomorrow….I mean, probably EVERYTHING. How will this affect my relationship with my husband, will I have the “instincts” that everyone keeps telling me will come naturally, will I be a good mom, how is Moose going to react and will he still know how much I love him, how are we going to balance running businesses and a new baby, is my mother going to make me lose my freaking mind, how will we make meetings, how is Joe going to continue with his crazy training schedule, how do you eat when you breastfeed, will I even be able to breastfeed, when can I work out, how long does baby weight stick around….it’s crazy how something so tiny can affect our entire world.

I say all that to say this….I struggle with control. I struggle with powerlessness and the fact that I have zero control over what is about to happen in my life. I try to feel the false illusion of control by controlling the list of things above and making lists and plans and working through all of these questions in my head….but deep down I realize that at the end of the day I am powerless. Birth is not something that can be controlled or cataloged. Bringing home a new baby is not something that has a manual and step-by-step instructions. Fear is a huge part of this journey, and the ability to walk through fear is making me grow exponentially….and I get that.

I’m learning about trust….something I have struggled with for most of my life. I’m learning to trust my gut, my doctor’s expertise, my body’s readiness to do this, my husbands willingness and ability to coach me through and support me, my mother and father in law and their love for us and their new grandbaby, my program and my tribe of women who will help and guide me through becoming a new mom, the growth that has happened in the relationship with my family-of-origin over the course of my pregnancy….I’m surrounded by infinite support and love, but trust has never come easy for me….especially when I am not in control and feel I could fail or not live up to expectations I have set for myself or that (I think) others have set for me.

So….that’s today, almost at the end of this part of our journey. So much fear…yet so much excitement and joy to finally meet this tiny miracle. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in fear and anxiety that I forget what a blessing I will be bringing into this world. I forget that God chose ME to be her mother, and that I never imagined I would be so blessed. I never wanted to be a mom….but now, I can’t imagine anything greater. A tiny piece of perfection, made with love, and forever to change our hearts and lives. T-1 till we #makewayforLillyK.

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39wk bumpdate – Adventures in Pregnancy

We made it to 39 WEEKS! Depending on which app I open, she is either the size of a Watermelon or a Pumpkin….either one is much too big to be hanging out in my belly (rib cage) for too much longer! The aches and pains are getting to the point where I’m just DONE….DONE being pregnant and ready for her to do all of this wiggling, jabbing, kicking and rolling and midnight hiccuping outside of my body. But, we are so close! Everything is much more difficult these days….from tying my shoes to shaving my legs or just trying to get in and out of the truck or roll over at night to find a more comfortable position (which is impossible at this stage, let me tell you)….but in all that bitching and whining, I can’t help but smile. My body is creating a LIFE, a tiny miracle that will become the center of our whole world. Although it is definitely difficult on some days, she is 100% worth every second, every ache and pain, every sleepless night….and I can’t wait to meet her!

39weeks

 

Ever since my stitch removal 2 weeks ago, I am able to do things that I have been restricted from for over 6 months. I’ve been walking a lot more, and usually get in about 4 miles a day for the past week or so. It feels so good to be active again. Even though it’s just walking, it is a big deal for me right now! Just walking a few miles a day absolutely exhausts me, but makes me feel so good.

The closer I get day by day to labor and delivery, the more anxious I get. I think it’s only natural. I mean, I’ve never done this before, I’m not sure exactly what to expect, and I know it will hurt. I’ve read all the books and apps and listened to all the stories from my lady friends….but I can’t help but still feel a little anxious and scared about it. I have a very loose birth plan, and have made it clear to my doctor that my only real “Plan” is to get the baby out safely and as easily as possible. Outside of that, I’m pretty flexible. I have girlfriends who have come into the delivery room with high expectations and firm birth plans only to be disappointed and realize that birth is messy and not something that goes according to our plans all the time.

The other point of extreme anxiety in my life today is my journey through the post-partum period. As someone who is in long-term recovery from a severe eating disorder and exercise addiction, I can’t help but plan ahead to make sure that I have a healthy idea of what to expect from my body, my mind, and from the experience. If I’ve learned anything in recovery it is that any experience is what you make it. It can be good or bad all dependent on my perspective. I do worry about losing the baby weight, I do worry about what “bouncing back” will look like and feel like, and I do worry about having unrealistic expectations of myself and relying on old behavior to solve my fear and anxiety, I do worry that I will push myself to do too much too fast, or that I’ll become depressed over my weight and appearance…BUT, I also realize that by being open and honest about my fears, it gives them less power. I know that I will have to practice grace with myself, and do what is best not only for me….but for this little miracle. I want to breastfeed for as long as possible. In order to do that, I will have to take excellent care of myself to provide her with the best. I also know that as she continues to grow up, I will become an example to her of how she should think about her body….and I can’t hate my body and teach her to love hers. Doesn’t work that way!

It’s still incredible to me that I have created a life inside of my body. That she will become a beautiful, brave, and wild creature of her own…I can’t wait to meet you Lilly Kate.

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37 weeks – Adventures in Pregnancy

I breathed the biggest sigh of relief this morning as soon as my eyes opened and I realized that Lilly and I have made it to 37 weeks. No matter what happens now, she is going to be ok! It’s that magical week when all of the pregnancy apps tell you that your baby is fully developed, just putting on more fat with the remaining weeks. What a journey it has been, and what a miracle she truly is. I think the challenges of this pregnancy have made me more grateful than I could ever have imagined, and have taught me so much about the joy and sacrifice of being a mother. I’ve learned so much about myself, my marriage, and life in general. I’ve learned who my friends are and who they aren’t. I’ve learned that “Family” has nothing to do with blood. I’ve had to dig into my spirituality, learn to trust the process, and that I’m not in control. I’ve truly surrendered to my powerlessness and come to a place of peace and understanding that would have been impossible for me to achieve had I not been brought to my knees. I can’t describe the joy and anticipation I am feeling.

She has defied all odds. Doctor’s always told me that it would be difficult for me to get pregnant and even harder for me to carry a child to term. I decided that I was ok with never having children, that I was going to live an exciting life and didn’t need to be a parent to fully enjoy my life.

In the last year, we’ve gotten pregnant twice without missing a single birth control pill. In February of last year I had a miscarriage, and in September, we found out that little Lilly was there. We thought we lost her at 16 weeks when I started bleeding uncontrollably, but with some medication and surgery, the docs were able to save her and stop my pre-term labor. I was put on extreme exercise restriction, modified bed rest, and told not to lift anything over a few pounds. I was terrified that I was going to lose her, that it was just a matter of time…

From that point in my pregnancy, it has been hard to let myself get excited. I’ve been cautiously optimistic, and hopeful. I’ve prayed more in the last 6 months than in the past 6 years…..but for the first time, today, it hit me that I’m going to meet this sweet angel and that she will become everything we never knew that we always wanted. The relief and the gratitude is indescribable. She’s going to be perfect, she’s going to be healthy, and she is going to be strong. It seems that God has a plan for us and for little Lilly, I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. This is truly His plan for us, especially through all the challenges we have faced getting to this point. This journey has been incredibly taxing…emotionally, physically, spiritually….but, not for a minute did I want to quit. I’m so blessed with amazing love and support. I’ve been built up throughout the entire process and never went through a moment not feeling the strength of my tribe behind me. I can’t wait to meet this sweet girl and be her mama.

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