You know that feeling when you anticipate something big is about to happen in a movie? Your heart starts beating a little faster. You don’t know when or how, but the mood changes with excitement. We have officially entered that stage of pregnancy. Last week doctors gave baby boy permission to come whenever he would like since he was 37 weeks and weighed over 7 lbs. What that means for me is I am off modified bed rest. I went straight home after the appointment to pick up Cooper and hold her in my arms, something I was forbidden to do for over two months. Instantly, I was amazed at how liberated and confident I felt.
I am grateful to be given the opportunity to feel like myself again. To be there for Cooper and my husband. To cook dinner. Can you guess my dish of choice? Yes, squash. My mom returned home to Portland, Oregon, Monday night after helping with Cooper for almost five weeks straight, so Monday night I was on my own. I set out the ingredients, pulled Cooper’s table into the kitchen and started preparing my squash dish. To be completely honest, Cooper wasn’t as focused this time around in the preparing of dinner because she became distracted by her toy stroller. So while preparing dinner, I was also trying to sooth her love-hate relationship that comes with trying to put the doll in the stroller while it decides to slide back out. By the time Cory came home, I had moved dinner outside to our backyard and was excited to show off the meal I had cooked, standing on my own two feet, not forced to sit down based on doctors’ orders. I was thankful for this week’s #bebetter52 challenge because not only did Cory and I both go into the house for seconds, but it also gave me some direction on how to cook something healthy that night.
“Are you ready?” I remember this question before Cooper was born.
In general, I believe this question refers to “Is the nursery complete? Is the car seat installed? Have you packed your bag for the hospital? Because how in the world do you actually prepare for what is about to become one of the biggest life-changing events of your life?
You might think welcoming a second child would come with a sense of confidence. Maybe, but I am not quite sure. There are still many unknowns and a few newborn realities I have probably forgotten. I have come to understand I associate my readiness to how much energy I have devoted to worrying about it. If I haven’t wasted nights tossing and turning over the uncontrollable details of the “what ifs,” then somehow I have convinced myself I haven’t prepared. How messed up is that? So the fact I haven’t had time or energy to worry about:
-the car seat
-the pushing during labor
-the sleeping disruption
makes me feel like I am NOT ready. The most comical part is the false association I have created in thinking worry equals preparation. If my experience with Cooper’s birth story taught me anything, it is that being present is the only type of preparation over which you actually have control.
I need to remind myself worrying is counteractive to preparation.
I need to remind myself the reason I should confidently answer that question with a “yes” has nothing to do with worrying but everything to do with all the true moments of preparations.
-During therapy dealing with effects of PTSD of Cooper’s birth
-At the dozens of doctor’s appointments monitoring my uterus, cervix and other factors that would make me more at risk for hemorrhaging.
-While enjoying all the moments playing dolls with Cooper and talking about baby brother’s arrival.
-While reflecting on all the spiritual moments and confirmations that allow me to trust in God, over my own plan.
-While being at peace and grateful for a husband who brings such support into our marriage which allows me to feel confident and secure.
-And while nesting, creating a comfortable home to welcome baby boy.
So at this point, we are waiting. It is a crazy realization that as I sit here typing, my water could break in 10 minutes, or still be weeks away. I am currently 38 weeks, and doctors think he might come this week. I need to enjoy the moments when I am not wasting time worrying over things out of my control and enjoy the time together as a family of three.