"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

happy due date to me!

Today is November 13, 2014. 

It is snowing.

It is my due date. And yep, I'm still pregnant. 

Thank you kind lady at the gym yesterday who proceeded to tell me at least 5 times that baby has DEFINITELY not dropped yet so I still probably have a while. Thank you. 

It is also the day that a precious couple, whom I don't know personally but found their blog yesterday (https://vaporandmist.wordpress.com/about), will have a c-section to deliver their 2nd baby who has been diagnosed with acrania (where the skull does not form) (after their first baby passed away after 10 precious hours of life from anencephaly). They are hoping so fiercely in God for her healing and life- however long that may be on this earth, but more than that they are consumed with God's glory in it all. Seth was getting home late last night from work and I saw down to read their blog and just cried. Through it all, the doubts, the emotions, the fears, the questions, the faith-shattering moments- they have kept their eyes on Jesus and trust His plan in their sweet family. 

To be honest with you, I've been in a slump this week- battling discouragement so much and a constant fountain of tears. Thanks to those who have been praying and encouraging me- you have no idea how much it means to have you hold up my hands.

When I stand back and look at this in the big picture- compared to other people's struggles and what they have to go through- it pales...I mean I have been so blessed to be pregnant and have had a perfectly normal pregnancy and nothing is wrong. So what is the big deal?

I've been paralyzed with fear. I am not afraid of being pregnant longer- after 9 months, what is 2 more weeks (though it does feel like an eternity at this point)? I am so so so afraid of another birth like Gracie's. The thought of it freezes me up with anxiety and numbness. I've been holding on to fear like a comfort blanket. It's not the first time I've done this. When something traumatizing happens to me, my go-to is to grasp fear until my knuckles are white so I feel "safe". In my mind, if I fear it, then it won't surprise me again and will at least hurt a little bit less than being caught off guard so badly. I don't realize I am doing this until I break. 

Last night, after a delicious dinner of frozen pizza and canned soup (call me Betty), Seth and I were talking about this labor. I sat on my birthing ball in the living room (like a good girl trying to promote an open and relaxed pelvis :)) and just bawled. We talked about placing our hope in God and trusting Him. I told him how insanely afraid I was and how I felt like God was going to withhold this good desire because I want it so bad and am probably making it too much of an idol or desiring it too much and by holding onto fear so tightly at least I could be a little bit ready to handle the disappointment again. That's another thing I naturally go to in my thinking- instead of seeing God as the God the Bible describes- I sometimes see Him as strict, ungracious and controlling. 

He's not those things. We have been learning and re-learning this lesson and last night Seth cupped my tear-stained face in his hands and reminded me: to speak Truth over myself and to command my heart to obey what the Bible says even if my feelings are in a completely different field. 

So I type this truth regardless of my conflicted and fear-tending heart: God is sovereign, He is loving, gracious, kind, compassionate, merciful, holy, just, patient, faithful, forgiving, perfect. He lavishes love. He sent Jesus, His only son, to die for me. Since these things are true about God, I can be okay and God is good. No matter what. Because really, in the end, it's not about me and what I want, it is about God getting glory. 

I have no idea how and when this little guy is going to come into the world. I do know that whether via vbac or c-section, he will come in the next couple weeks. Two weeks from today is thanksgiving. Though I'd prefer to go before then (please God!!) I guess that would be a mighty big thing to give thanks for :). 

If you've read my blog much, you know me and my songs. When I find one that ministers to where I am at, I play it on repeat. Well don't worry, this time is no exception. The song this time is "It is well" by Bethel Music. It talks about my eyes being on God through it all and that it being well with me. Here are the lyrics and the youtube link .(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txg5nOIZYO8) 

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can't see
And this mountain that's in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well it is well with my soul 
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Redefining acceptable for myself...(but seriously baby boy you can come anytime)...

Well the count down is on. 6 days to be exact. That is until my due date- November 13th. I thought I would have had him by now. By this point with Gracie, she was almost 3 1/2 weeks old. I am getting so antsy. I feel so overdue because she came so early, I've never been this pregnant. And baby boy is quite content in there- not really showing any signs of impending birth. I am having a hard time being patient.

I think I've placed an expectation on myself to "go" early. My self-imposed perception of society is that to have an acceptable birth I need to go early....that making it to my due date is like saying "you failed" and going overdue is just really bad. I realize this sounds ridiculous to probably most readers, I'll admit, I have ridiculous and irrational thoughts. I mean I'm a nurse, I teach childbirth ed. I know that facts about brain development being the best in a full term infant, etc.

I liken it to how society says that in order for a woman to be beautiful she must be thin. It's such a lie, ridiculous and a prison we put ourselves in. I'm doing the same thing with childbirth. I've been looking at my due date as an approaching day that will just label me as a failure because I haven't had my baby by then. I've been the queen of placing expectations on myself and my unborn baby boy, trying to command my body to do something it is clearly not ready to do. Good luck with that. My OB actually told me that AVERAGE is to go 4 days past due date...so if that is true why do I make my own definition of average?

My super generous and thoughtful sister in law gave me an incredible gift today of watching Gracie so I could have some alone time to do whatever I wanted to before little guy enters the world. I was trying to decide...should I clean the house? Organize? Sleep (yeah right, thank you sciatic nerve)? Go to a coffee shop? I asked myself "What is something you won't be able to do for a while and really enjoy doing?". Going to a coffee shop and sitting there, uninterrupted for a couple beautiful hours. So that's where I am at as I write this...collecting my thoughts and listening to music. Seth told me he had some verses to send with me for me to meditate on concerning preparing for labor and delivery. So I set up my computer and ordered my coffee and settled in to read them.

Wow, were they just what I needed. I needed to take a deep breath and just let God refocus my thinking and  perspective. To step back and to just rest in the fact that this is really out of my control and is in God's. That He doesn't desire me to be miserable in my thinking and the mental trap I put myself in, but wants me to realize that He gives perfect peace, His grace is sufficient, that He goes before me, that He is with me, that He loves me lavishly and has a plan for this birth to bring Him glory and me good- whether or not that is in alignment with how I think it should it go.

We've got our birth plan, our doula, our bags packed (basically), our plan for where Gracie goes, etc. We are ready, so so ready. Now to practice waiting and not wishing this time away.

Honestly, I am just *slightly* anxious at the same time. As "ready" as I am, I know the risk of going for vbac instead of repeat c-section, especially if I go overdue. I am trying to make my heart be okay whatever the outcome, but I am afraid of major disappointment if I have to have another c-section. As crazy as may sound, I just want to have this baby naturally (ask me while I'm laboring and I'll most likely tell you something else). I have to lay this down and trust. Keep trusting.

So here's to enjoying a day out and one more date night with my hubby. Here's to believing that God is so good and His grace is so sufficient in my weakness of thought, strength and attitude. For this moment, at least, I'm practicing resting in that (in an hour when I have a hormonal emotional swing, I am going to need some redirecting again :)).

Here is my set up for a couple beautiful hours today:

 Here I am at 39 weeks and 1 day (yes at this point, that 1 day matters). I look huge-er in real life, and feel even huge-er than that :).

Gracie LOVES babies. I mean like turns into an ecstatic child when she sees one and exclaims on the top of her little lungs "BABY!".  I hope this love for babies continues once we have a newborn that cries and eats a lot and takes mommy's attention. However, currently it is precious...I doubt she really understands what is about to happen but she will come and give my belly kisses. She will run up to my belly and say "Oh Baby!" and pat it. And probably my most favorite is she attempts to tickle my belly and says "I get you!".)

Here is a picture of Gracie on Halloween:

Happy Friday!!