Approaching Labor

This pregnancy has been a bull ride.  Which is why you haven’t heard much from me for the past, oh five, six, seven, eight months.  With one hand on the bull and the other trying to keep track of a toddler, I haven’t had enough free hands for typing for a long while.

Today I am just under two weeks away from my due date on September 24th.  September 21st is the date that I miscarried during my second pregnancy.  September 18th is my birthday and the date that I began the miscarrying process.  So the coming weeks are full of significant dates for me.  To me, it’s not as much coincidental or ironic that this baby is due around the same time that I miscarried last year, as it is redemptive.  Of course I’m praying that she would be born on either the 18th or the 21st because I love redemptive stories, but regardless, God’s faithful hand is on this entire event and He knows when baby girl should and will be born.

This pregnancy, like I stated, has been a bull ride.  Some days I’ve felt incredible – kind of like a super woman when I’ve been sweating it out at the gym or keeping up on projects around the house or doing something adventurous with my son.  However, plenty of other days, and probably more of them then the super-feeling ones, have been incredibly difficult.  There’s a good chance I just blocked a lot of it out the first time around, but I truly don’t remember pregnancy being so hard physically when I was pregnant with Cameron.  A lot of it probably had to do with sitting at a desk all day at work and being able to rest every evening while my husband cooked dinner instead of scurrying around to finish household tasks and wrangle a squirmy toddler into his bed every night.  Yeah, that could have something to do with it.

That being said though, I am fortunate.  I haven’t had any pregnancy complications or anything abnormal.  Just a lot of the normal pregnancy symptoms that are difficult to endure over a long spread of nine months.  Of course the nausea, headache and fatigue in the beginning months.  Then the belly aches, cramping and the acid reflux that set in.  Then the back aches.   At one point, my skin itched so badly every night that I couldn’t sleep.  Waking up every morning for the past eight months having only five minutes to get something into my stomach before I feel sick – yep, can’t wait for that one to go.  Someday soon I’ll eat again because I’m actually hungry, rather than to stave off nausea.  Now, in the final stretch, I’m getting weird nerve pinches in the lower half of my body and I literally feel like the baby is between my legs when I’m walking around.  Getting up to use the restroom seven times a night wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to roll myself off the bed like an elephant seal flopping towards the water.  And lastly, there have been times where I’ve just had a real winner of a personality.  Enough so that on more than a few occasions I have closed the door to my room and taken fifteen minutes by myself because I’ve recognized the boiling pot of hormonal imbalance inside of me and decided it was in the best interest of everyone around me that I take a little timeout to let the emotions fizzle out as I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook.

But with labor approaching, I’ve actually found that this last week has been one of my best.  Maybe it’s because I know that this entire pregnancy journey is truly almost over and I’m already beginning to feel giddy about that.  In the half marathon that I ran last year, the last two miles were the easiest and most exciting because I knew I had already completed the bulk of the work and I could see the finish line floating on the horizon.  So I turned up my music and just jammed my way to the finish line, legs wobbling and arms swinging around.  And whether you believe me or not, I can honestly say that training for and running a half marathon is SO much easier than completing a pregnancy – both mentally and physically.  In fact, I’ll take a full marathon over pregnancy any day!

I’ve definitely been preparing for this labor differently than I did my first labor with Cameron.  For my first labor I read a lot of crunchy books and decided that I was going to prepare for the most calm birthing experience possible.  I decked out my hospital room in white Christmas lights to set a nice mood-enhancing glow.  I comprised a few different playlists of worship music that would carry me through each contraction.  I came prepared with a soft labor gown and fuzzy socks to help complete my cozy hospital stay.  This time, while I do plan to incorporate each of these items in my labor experience, I will also be showing up to the hospital ready to kick down the door because I’m going to have AC/DC’s Thunderstruck playing as my mental theme song and more adrenaline pumping through my over-sized body than a seventeen year old boy on steroids.  If it wouldn’t result in judgement and possibly sub-par medical treatment or arrest, I might even show up with my face streaked in war paint and a club of fire to start waving around at everybody.  This time, while I may be wearing fuzzy socks, I am coming prepared for an all out war, followed by a peaceful flood of emotion as I get to finally hold my daughter.

If this sounds a little over the top or exaggerated to you, then you have either A) never given birth or B) had better labors than me in the past and I therefore envy your experience.  My labor with Cameron was 24 hours, my miscarriage labor was 4 hours and I am just hoping and praying that this coming labor falls a bit closer to the 4 than to the 24 hour mark.  I’ve been drinking that delicious Third Trimester tea for months now and popping those red raspberry leaf capsules daily as well so hopefully my uterus is nice and toned like the box of tea promises it will be…but soon enough I will be finding out for sure how my daughter plans to enter this world.  She will either come out to a tune of clanging gongs and birds chirping or she will always have a strange, yet powerful affection for AC/DC and probably never know why.

Here are some cute pictures from the nursery and where I found some of these items – This is by far my favorite room in the house right now, which will hopefully help me feel all sunny during all those 3 a.m. hangouts with my girl.

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Dresser: yard sale (and my super cool husband reconstructed it into this masterpiece of femininity!), Changing pad cover: Iviebaby.com, Mirror: thrift store,  Arrow sign: World Market.  And I am still missing one key piece of art to hang in that gap on the wall.

photo (13)Dresser hardware: Home Depot

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Mobile: re purposed a Christmas tree ornament and painted some brown tags from Michael’s gold, Canvas: spray painted it baby pink and then splattered gold paint.

photo (7)Nightlight: bought this strand of lights on Amazon and then put in a jar from the dollar store

photo (8)Elephant bank: Thrift store, Squares: Target spice racks painted white, Flameless candles: Costco

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Shelves: Ikea spice racks painted white, Lamp: Target (with a soft pink bulb – they are my favorite and create perfect soft lighting), Hamper: 3Sprouts (bought on Amazon)

photo (10)Couch: Ikea (Craigslist find), Ottoman: Ikea (gift from a friend), Ottoman fabric: Spoonflower.com, Rug: Ikea, Side table/stool: Ikea and spray painted pink, Pillows: yardsale but originally Target, Wicker dresser: Bed Bath & Beyond

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Crib: bought second hand, but painted gray a few years ago for Cam’s nursery…took 9 hours…so I don’t recommend painting a crib unless you feel like tackling a long, long, tedious project, Crib skirt: queen bed skirt from Bed Bath & Beyond that used to be on my bed, Crib sheet: Circo brand from Target (probably the softest/fuzziest sheet in the world!) White crocheted blanket: made by my aunt, Coral blanket: made by my grandma

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