before he comes

It’s September 25th. The day before I’m due to have a baby. How on Earth did this day ever come?

In some ways, I feel like I will never have this baby. Like he’s just cozied up inside of me and will be for the next… I don’t know, forever? Part of it is that [praise Jesus] I’m not awfully terribly uncomfortable like it seems so many women are as they approach 40 weeks. I think another part of it is that labor just comes when it comes, right? There’s really no this-certainly-happens-the-day-before-you’ll-go-into-labor things. Any indicators of being “close” to actually popping out a human are awfully vague, and usually mean baby’s coming in either the next several days or the next several weeks.

For the most part, the waiting has been ok, but it messes with the part of me that prefers to plan and more importantly mentally prepare for things. It’s so odd to caveat all your plans with “well, as long as the baby’s not here yet.” I’ve sort of been making two sets of mental plans for the next couple weeks and its striking how wildly different they feel. For example: Friday I’ll meet my friends at a coffee shop and study for NP boards for as long as I can handle. OR I’ll be passed out on our couch (that’s what you do after labor, right?) with a new baby, my mom will be in town, Jer will be home, and my in-laws will be on their way. It’ll be buckle-down-and-study mode, or sleep/vacation/family/not-at-all-thinking-about-boards mode. Vierd, ja.

The crazy thing about having your due date riiiiight around the corner is that once you get this close, you start to think about the very real (and seemingly likely) possibility of going past that date, and by more than just a couple days. I can sort of wrap my head around this kid coming Friday, or Saturday, or even Sunday. But October? Even second week of October?? Ohhhh Lordy. I don’t know if my brain can handle fourteen more days of wondering, dual-planning, caveating.

Of course I understand that shortly there will be a tiny human in my house and I’ll hardly be able to fathom having written this blog post. I guess that’s sort of what inspired me to ramble a bit here today. I have this sense that everything is about to change, but here I am, still my normal self, pre-baby, pre-parent, unaware of what the other side of all of this actually holds.

Its a quiet, peaceful morning here in my home today. The last several weeks really have been good. For the most part, the Lord has marked my days with peace and contentment through the waiting. I haven’t been consumed by a desire to fast forward, and for that I am extremely thankful. Jeremy and I have really enjoyed putting the baby boy’s room together, and home life has felt a little more sane than usual. We’ve been able to do some of the things we love to do together most, and I’ve been struck by what a joy it is that we share so many of our quirks [read: crazy]. We took a trip to ikea the other night and both fell completely in love with a not-really-actually-very-babyish floor lamp that we both saw as perfect for the nursery. We responsibly walked away from the lamp, and shortly after both agreed we better have a second look at the lamp, which we ultimately brought home with us.

I think Jer’s gotten into a bit of a groove with his studies and work commitments, which is huge considering the significant increase in intensity and sheer hours required that this semester and the beginning of fall have brought. I’ve had great times of work and study for boards with my grad school friends, and its been such a blessing to spend time with them again after having not seen much of each other since the end of our program.

There’s really no rush for baby to arrive. I’ve been praying and praying that he would come at the exact perfect right time, and I really believe that he will. God knows aaaall the factors to consider surrounding his arrival–far more than I do–and that’s comforting. The boy will come when he comes.

This God–his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30.

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beautiful mornings and stroller dramer

I rise before the dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.

Psalm 119:147

What a beautiful, short but sweet passage of Scripture. After hearing these words preached on Sunday this past weekend, Jeremy and I have resolved to cultivate a habit of getting out of bed before dawn, as the sun is coming up and before it feels like the rest of the world is up to remind us we had better get moving on all the tasks of our little lives.

Today was my first day. I woke up around 4:30am to work on possibly getting a shift, so after about five hours of periodically interrupted sleep and one and a half lying in bed before 6am arrived, I was seriously tempted to stay put. But I really am convinced that slow, quiet time in the Word and in prayer warrants high prioritization, and that I want to build a habit of doing this every day, before I can convince myself there is too much else to get done. So I got out of bed.

What a sweet time. The sun was just beginning to come up, a low glowing along the horizon. The house was quiet and dark, and in spite of my fatigue, this little morning chunk of time with God was a wonderful blessing to me. There is so much going on in our lives right now, and yet so much will change in the next month that could make these past few months feel like a time of rest. What a gift to be able to have this morning. I really want to treasure these last weeks before we become a family of three, being marked by peace and patience as I inch closer to our due date.

Jeremy and I bought a stroller last week. [First off, let’s just pause and recognize how bizarre it is to suddenly find yourself in a place where you’ve acquired an insane amount of knowledge on something like strollers, suddenly also having actual opinions on what you want out of something like a stroller. Its very, very, (can I add one more?) very strange.] I sort of set my heart on a sweet stroller called the Maclaren Techno XT. One of my friends has it, loves it, thinks its awesome, (which it is) etc. Its only downfall is that it’s a $350 (WHAT?!) stroller. So off to Craig’s List we went, looking to see if anyone in the Chicago area happened to be off loading one of these babies.

We were in luck! Found a seller getting rid of a five-year-old Techno XT for $40–INSANE. There were apparently some minor issues with it, which we were totally cool with. A bit of sun bleaching on the seat, and the mechanism which keeps the stroller folded up was broken, so instead of a handy dandy fold-and-grab type of situation, collapsing this thing would be more of a fold-and-hook-your-bungee-around-it-so-it-doesn’t-fall-open kind of thing. No big deal, we thought, because we like most of our possessions to have a little bit of ghetto flare.

We drove hecka far for this thing and it was pouring rain and getting dark when we got there. Naturally, instead of having us into her dry garage, our Craig’s-Lister had us stand under a tree [read: in the pouring rain] in her front yard to look at the thing. It looked a little different than I was expecting after seeing her pictures on Craig’s List and it struck me as looking older than five years. It was missing some key features that I thought were a part of the techno xt model, but then again what did I know? I had read a bunch about strollers and of course creeped on families with strollers in parks a little to get closer looks, but I’d never actually really tried to buy a stroller myself. I felt a little unsure, but I was really motivated to get out of the pouring rain, we had just driven and hour and fifteen minutes for this thing, and the stroller was FORTY BUCKS I mean come on, that’s a ridiculous price. Could we seriously do better? We could always resell it if we changed our mind, we told ourselves.

We forked over the cash, threw the stroller in the back of the car, and were on our way.

Now the thing is, Jeremy and I are not amateur Craig’s Listers. Nearly all of our furniture and house decor came straight from the list. We’ve bought and sold a crazy amount of things on Craig’s List. We are totally the kinds of people that will paint and then re-paint a room because we’re not pro at choosing colors. We are not the kinds of people who buy stuff on Craig’s List that we don’t actually end up wanting.

But I was becoming increasingly suspicious of this purchase we just made. So I started doing a little research. Turns out the stroller we bought was actually not five but at least nine years old. Also that it was recalled. For amputating small childrens’ fingers. Ohhhhhhhhhkay.

YOU LIVE AND YOU LEARN, PEOPLE. I was on Craig’s List that very night, looking for better options, and armed with questions like, “HOW OLD IS THIS STROLLER? WHAT KIND OF CONDITION IS IT IN? HAS IT EVER EATEN ANY OF YOUR CHILDRENS’ FINGERS?”

Fortunately we found a great other option. Not a fancy pants Techno XT, but still pretty fancy in the pants, and honestly totally more appropriate for our own stroller needs. PARENTHOOD, MAN. It’s coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!