Change is in the air.
For the last two nights, it has finally been cool enough to sleep with the window open. Although fall doesn’t officially begin until the 23rd, it certainly feels like it is here when I wake up each morning. Although I love warm weather, my very pregnant body is quite thankful for a break from the heat.
Fall brings with it one other major change apart from the weather. Little Mark will be making his appearance in exactly three weeks. Time could not be moving more slowly.
The last couple of weeks have been filled with all the preparations that come with the birth of a little one. Clothes have been washed, folded, sorted, and put away. Final purchases have been made, and baby items have found their homes at various points around our house.
Admittedly, I felt much more prepared last time around. The house was ready to go and my bag was packed, long before Isabelle was even close to full-term. I can remember sitting on the couch the week before she was born, smiling about the fact that the house was scrubbed, her room was ready, my bag was packed, and the pantry was full. I had read all of the books and had mentally prepared for life with a baby in the house. My type-A personality was content with all that I had accomplished. Little did I know how unprepared I was for what came next.
This time, I procrastinated many of the necessary baby preparations. I think part of me felt that if I got things ready too soon, then the result may be the same as last time. There was also a fear that painful memories would return when I moved many of the items originally intended for Isabelle back to where they were in July 2014. However, this week, I packed my hospital bag and began putting the final items where they belong.
I feel like fear has been a constant obstacle for most of this pregnancy. Many of my blog posts this spring and summer seem to center around overcoming the inevitable fear that has come with each step. Having walked the path that I have in the wake of my last pregnancy, I know too well what can go wrong. I know the risks and statistics. They linger in my head like the smell of garlic after an Italian dinner.
I’ve done several things in an attempt to calm my busy mind. First, I find myself at daily Mass much more frequently than I have gone in the past. I figure that it is one of the best things that I can do for Mark. My prayers are constant for his good health and a delivery that results with him crying in my arms. Additionally, I have tried to keep myself busy doing things that I enjoy. I walk regularly (and think about how I plan to run again once I am able). Preparations for our parish youth group’s winter retreat started in August and have kept my mind occupied as we piece together the schedule. I’ve also been much more consistent with meal planning this summer and have enjoyed experimenting with a few new recipes. Finally, I’ve taken advantage of each opportunity to spend time with family and friends. This has been challenging since I can’t travel more than an hour from home, but my family has made a few trips to visit since they aren’t local. My mom even spent close to a week with me at the beginning of September helping to get things ready for Mark. It was fun to have her here.
Thankfully, God blessed us with a VERY active baby. His constant wiggles are a reminder that he is doing fine and that all possible precautions are being taken by our doctor. My weekly appointments are long, but each has ended with the conclusion that Mark is healthy and strong.
I just have to keep my mind occupied for three more weeks.