Wednesday, December 4, 2013

last pregnancy post

Well, tomorrow is officially our due date! The thing about due dates is that they are merely an estimate. A very very small number of women actually go into labor naturally on their due date… only about 5%. Either way, they give you that date at your first prenatal visit and it is engraved in your head whether you want it to be or not! So, tomorrow is December 5th, our little one’s estimated arrival, and he still seems to be nice and cozy inside. I am not experiencing any consistent contractions yet, however, I had my weekly checkup yesterday and I am 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced so it really could happen at any minute. It is all just a big waiting game now! God has been teaching me so many different things throughout this pregnancy, and He obviously isn’t done quite yet because I’m now learning how to practice a whole new level of patience ;) It isn’t always my first response to praise Him for this sanctifying time and focus on how He is growing me through it, but I am learning nonetheless. I wake up most days and say “Ok, is today the day!? It HAS to be. I can’t possibly be pregnant for one more day” but the truth is, I am just being impatient and selfish because my pregnancy really has been a blessing. I am not in pain (only slightly uncomfortable at times), I am not having any major medical issues, and I am receiving wonderful medical care from amazing doctors. I am truly blown away by God’s provision throughout this entire pregnancy and am humbled that we haven’t experienced any problems. 

While I could probably name a lot more reasons for my “why I wish he was already here” list, I am going to choose to focus on the blessings of our baby taking his sweet time! For one, we went and picked out our Christmas tree last week and have since completely decked out the house for Christmas! I am slightly obsessed with Christmas time and absolutely love having the house decorated. I also can’t get enough of the wonderful smells surrounding this season (and it’s an added bonus to be pregnant with a Christmas tree inside because my senses are so elevated that I get to enjoy the smell times ten, ha!) I wasn’t sure if we would have time to decorate before the baby came but I am so happy that we were able to get it all finished and we get to welcome sweet Everett home to a house full of Christmas love! I truly can’t even fathom a sweeter thing in the world that snuggling up with a tiny newborn surrounded by Christmas. Eeek!

Here is Everett's first Christmas ornament (thanks Ashley!) and our tree. Oh, and don't mind the giant reindeer on the wall. I like to pretend during the Christmas season that Russ's beloved deer mounts are reindeer. It makes me feel better about them being on the walls in our living room... :-/

One more thing about Christmas decor before I move on. I received a beautiful manger scene as a Christmas gift last year and I set it all up the other day. A few days later I was reading another blog of a lady who had just given birth a few months ago and she said one of the things she focused on during her labor was Mary giving birth to Jesus in the manger. I hadn’t even thought of that and was so glad the Lord led me to this blog to read that before I go into labor myself. Can you even imagine those conditions? She was merely a teenager. She was surrounded by animals and filth. How did Mary even know how long to push for? What was going through Joseph’s mind? Goodness, I have about a thousand more questions I want to ask them in heaven one day! It must have been the most terrifying yet thrilling experience as Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world. My little human mind cannot even grasp the full greatness of what it must have been like to carry and deliver the Son of God.  I learned a few years ago during a Christmas Eve sermon that the distance Mary and Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 100-120 miles. That is the about the same distance between Columbia and Charleston. Mary walked and rode on a DONKEY while 9 MONTHS PREGNANT for 120 miles then gave birth in a manger, which was realistically probably more like a cave. I truly cannot think of a more humbling birth story... such a reflection of God’s heart.  After meditating on all of this for a few days while being 9 months pregnant myself, looking at our little ceramic manger scene in our living room will never be the same. I am so moved by the magnitude of Jesus’ birth.

Another thing I am thankful for is each extra day Russ and I get to share as a family of two. While we are both more than ready for our precious third family member to arrive, we have been trying to soak up the days of just being “us” before Everett is born. We have been staying close to home the past few weekends and taking it easy watching football and spending time with family and it has been very nice and restful. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, minus the part where I ate entirely too much and felt sick for a few hours afterwards… oops! I really didn’t want to be eating ice chips in the hospital for my Thanksgiving meal so I was all like, “Woohooo! I’m 39 weeks pregnant today and I’m going to eat whatever I want and not stop until I feel like I am dying!” Not the greatest idea I’ve ever had. Besides that, it was a wonderful day with 25 of my family members. Everyone decided to come to Charleston to celebrate this year so I wouldn’t have to travel being so pregnant and all. We had a great time with everyone and the food was delicious as always!

Russ has been joking for several weeks that I was going to go into labor during the Carolina/Clemson game. When people would ask him when he thought the baby was going to come he would joke and say “Well, he’ll probably start crowning right about kickoff.” Ha! Clearly that wasn’t the case, and although we wouldn’t have cared one single bit if he did decide to come then, it was nice to enjoy (from our couch, of course) our FIFTH victory in a row over Clemson! My parents drove up for the game and as soon as it was over everyone said ”Ok, he can come anytime now!” We have a deep love for Gamecock football in this family! Oh, and speaking of that FIFTH win… check out this picture of Everett from our last ultrasound. Perhaps a little foreshadowing for the big game?! The ultrasound technician even told us that it is rare to get a picture of a baby’s full hand like this. She told us she normally gets a fist and can count 4 fingers but rarely does she capture the full “high five.” Guess it’s safe to say we have a little Gamecock fan in there ;) Everyone was posting their “fear the thumb” pics on social media and Russ randomly remembered this ultrasound picture and we couldn’t stop laughing so I had to share!

Who knew that you could write about the powerful birth of Christ, the Carolina/Clemson game, and being a glutinous fool on Thanksgiving day all in ONE long rambling blog post? I hope the mix of shallowness in there didn’t throw things off too much, ha! Either way, this will be my last pregnancy post, the next time I write it will be to introduce our baby boy! We have no idea when that will be, but are continuing to trust God’s perfect timing for bringing our little miracle into this world. It brings me peace to know that the Lord has known the exact day (down to the very second!) of Everett’s birth before the beginning of time. So, for the next however many days, I am going to choose to rest in that powerful truth and soak up the last little bit of having this precious child inside of me.  It has been such an honor to carry our blessing and I can’t even imagine how much more exciting this journey is about to get when he is finally in our arms! Thank you to everyone for all of the encouraging messages, emails, texts, and prayers. We are so grateful!

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