(Folks tend to get worked up, jumping into fix-it mode, when someone shares from their heart. So, I feel the need to add these words: I’m fine. Feeling deeply isn’t bad. Just read it and enjoy it. Try.)
Everything changes tomorrow. We’ll become a family of four. Hopefully no sooner than tomorrow because even though I was hoping for yesterday, this morning has reminded me of all the things I’d rather have in the “completed” category before daughter #2 arrives.
It’s not a pending doom; I’m not that melodramatic. It is a change, however, and a big one that I know I can’t be perfectly prepared for. That’s part of the problem, really. I’d like to only see beautiful packages with bows all around me. This is a figurative desire. I definitely don’t want all that in my face. Taking down Christmas decorations a few weeks back reminded me that I do better with less stuff in sight. The sigh of relief to see all that seasonal decor return to the basement was palpable.
So yes to figurative packages and bows. Yes to knowing all that needs to be completed has been completed. Yes to even knowing what needs to be completed. (What am I missing? Oh dear.)
We’re a really good crew, the three of us. I’m looking at a picture of us right now, one Ella enjoys relocating at will. Thanks to her independence, it’s currently right in front of my face. We’re a family. We drive each other a little batty sometimes. We laugh a ton. We’ll still be that and have that but differently.
Some time ago, I realized that I was mourning the loss of being a family of three. Again, this isn’t meant to sound melodramatic. Perhaps I’m simply in my feelings a bit too much but I found myself wanting to remember the way we are for as long as possible. It’s not that I don’t love the little one inside me. It’s that I’m not the most flexible person. I used to think I was. If you’d interviewed me for a job back in the day, flexibility would have been one of those golden traits I would tell you I had. Ha! I mean, I’m mature enough to roll with some punches. I like habits and the ability to kick them aside when needed. But I don’t consider myself flexible except for when I do P90X yoga stretches next to my inflexible husband.
And it’s also the unknown. For as much as I can talk, sing, preach about finding our security in the Lord, I’m a bit nervous as to what our future’s about to look like.
There have been moments during the last couple of days when I’ve more intently looked at my toddler, hugged her, kissed her, played with her, hoping with all my heart that nothing and no one makes her feel unloved in the days ahead. I want her safe, emotionally safe. Stress free. And I definitely feel as if her dad and I know best how to provide that reality for her. In truth, I want her at the hospital with me all the time but yeah, that’s not at all realistic. And a toddler watching a C-section—yeah, not a good plan even if the hospital offered it as an option.
Right now, only my husband and I know our new little girl’s names. Just as with our first, we’ll announce them once she’s born. We like the zero-feedback route. What’s done is done. We’ve had her names for months, for most of the pregnancy, I think, and we reconfirmed spellings the other night. I’d like her big sister to be the first family member to know her names. I doubt Ella will remember the moment but the sentimental everything-should-be-fair piece of me wants it that way. Even my OB and all the nurses can work with “Baby Jeffery” for a few hours, right?
How do people have large families? How do women continually go through pregnancies? I won’t be finding out for myself. I will be learning to love the two girls I’ve been given. If any more children enter the picture, it won’t be via my uterus.
To the women who’ve birthed tribes, I salute you. To the women who’ve lost them, I stretch out my hand. To the men and women who’ve embraced parenting (no matter how the children have come), thank you for your example. I keep reminding myself that we’re not the first, we’ll be just fine.
But yeah. Everything.
She just moved. It felt like a kick. I think there may be a competition for feistiest female in our household.