As you probably saw on Facebook, our sweet baby girl Audrey arrived on July 17th. I am excited to share with you Audrey’s birth story and all about her first few days with us. However, first I want to share briefly about the weeks before she arrived.
Here are some feelings I jotted down the week before she was born:
As I sit here anticipating the arrival of our daughter, I can’t help but feel like a ticking time bomb. Every day I wonder if this will be the day. This wondering can stir up a wide variety of feelings from excitement over meeting her to anxiousness about all the things I need to do. I know many people at this point are really ready to not be pregnant anymore. I certainly look forward to feeling more normal in the future, but I know that things are going to get harder rather than easier when the time of being pregnant ends and the baby stage begins again. That is not to say that it will not be ridiculously wonderful to hold my baby girl in my arms, but those first few weeks are exhausting.
As I near the end of pregnancy, I want to be able to do “all the things” in order to prepare, yet I know that no matter how much time I have I will never be able to get everything done. So each day I try to check more things off the list, thinking about what my highest priorities are as I try to anticipate what things I will panic about when I go into labor. When I went into labor with Parker I was not overly concerned with things that needed to be done– I painted my toes and wrote in my journal. However, when I went into labor with Austin, suddenly I felt the need to clean, and when I couldn’t do it anymore, my dear husband had to pitch in… until the labor got so intense that I had to just let it go.
Besides the emotional roller coaster of the end of pregnancy (my emotions seem to be much more challenging this time around for whatever reason), there are also fun things happening with my body physically. For starters, I’m tiring out way more quickly than normal. I find it hard to stand for any length of time, and I find it necessary to take naps again most days. I’m having Braxton Hicks contractions multiple times per day (I’m not sure if I even had those when I was pregnant with Parker). Sometimes my back will really hurt. The other day I was nauseous in the morning (what is this the first trimester again?). I know this is all normal pregnancy stuff, and it’s not a big deal really, it’s just frustrating at times when my body just can’t keep up with me.
Fortunately, after I wrote those words I prayed about the stress I was feeling in my last days of pregnancy, and God reassured me that anything that needed to be done would be done before the baby arrived and that anything that didn’t get done wouldn’t need to be done. So each day I began to ask God for guidance on how I spent my day so that I could find a balance between rest, family time, and preparations, and true to His word, God sorted everything out for me.
One of the things I had been anxious about was having the stuff we needed for a baby girl. Of course we had many baby items from the boys that we could use for her like the co-sleeper and the bouncer, but we did not have a single item of girl clothes. Thankfully, a small shower was thrown by my close friends, and not only did I get to enjoy a really wonderful afternoon with friends and family, I also received enough clothes and other baby basics to get us through the first few months.
The other thing I really wanted to have was a dresser which could serve the dual purposes of holding her clothes and functioning as a changing table. Clint and I like to buy quality pieces when we buy furniture so that it will last, but money is also tight right now, so we were struggling to find the right piece at the right price. Thus, we were thrilled when Clint stumbled upon an Ethan Allen kids’ dresser and bed set on Craigslist for a great price. The wood stain on the set was a bit outdated, and it had some wear and tear, but Clint sanded it down and painted it white (my color of choice for baby girl’s furniture), and we stained the wood on the top just because the it was so pretty (and it made it look more interesting).
When I finally went into labor there were a few little things I wanted to take care of during early labor, but I did not feel stressed– I felt ready to meet our sweet baby girl. Birth story coming soon… 🙂