Hello! I can't wait to see you a week from tomorrow. Since I haven't seen you in almost a year, I wanted to let you know a few things.
Right now, everything is a BIG deal to me - losing a toy, needing a drink, trying to do something just so - and I have a flair for the dramatic. Please accept all the action with serenity if possible. It's okay to tell me gently to calm down, that we'll work it out.
I am very particular but can't always explain what I want or why. Don't be afraid to ask my mom or dad how I like things. I may freak out anyway; I have trouble with change sometimes and I am still very intense. The good thing is that I will talk a lot more, once I figure out that you understand English.
We are a late night AND early morning family. I still don't sleep much. If you need to disappear and nap or just take a break, that's totally fine. Daddy frequently slips off at night and mommy sometimes tries to get in an extra nap in the morning. We gave you the back room so that you can get enough sleep, even if they don't. I am perfectly happy with 7 hours a night and a 2 hour nap, I can't figure them out but I'm used to it now.
I'm fully potty-trained but sometimes I'm in a hurry, so when you go to the bathroom, watch where you step.
I'm not used to people understanding my English, so I might say rude things every now and then. Sorry.
My mommy still gives me too many choices, and my daddy doesn't give me any, so you'll have to find your own way with that if we're on our own.
“Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else.”
~ Fred Rogers
I saw this quote here, and it captures so well what I feel at this moment. I am treasuring these last few days with just Raccoon, yet looking forward to meeting Robin as well. Push and pull. Change and balance.
During this pregnancy, I have let go of many dreams I had in the past. My family is not going to look like I imagined it, and that's okay. My life's purpose isn't what I thought it was, and that's okay. I won't be doing much else besides family for the next few years, and that's okay too. By letting go of these things, I am opening my life up life for new dreams to grow.
I was reading another little boy's birth story, and something his mother wrote impacted me, "My body was ready, but my mind put its foot down... The mind can affect labor and birth in monumental ways." Honestly, I thought Robin would have come by now, but maybe my body knows that my mind isn't as ready as I think.
I chose a motto for my pregnancy today, a little late, but still helpful:
Strength for today (a prayer).
Robin is healthy and beautiful.
Once she is here, we won't know how we ever lived without her.
I have written in the past about my worry that Raccoon watches too much TV. Getting through this pregnancy has been tiring to say the least, so I have pretty much stopped worrying about TV time all together, and just tried to make the best use of his and my time that I can.
But lately, I've seen something that has made me feel encouraged. Despite free access to his movies and shows whenever he wants, they're always his second choice. If I ask him if he wants to play, or go to the park, or read books, he quickly says yes and turns the TV off. If we have had a day out, he doesn't miss the TV or his iPad at all. Although he watches a comparable amount of TV - or more some days - than a few other children we spend time with, he is not addicted to it in the same way that they are. This is entirely by grace and not anything I've done, as I tend to have an addictive personality myself. Yet it makes my heart so glad to hear his little voice say, "Yes!" if there is anything else more interesting to do.
The mommy guilt still overcomes me at times when I see him sitting at his little table, watching a show, and not asking me for anything. I feel like I should be playing with him, savoring our time together 24/7 before the baby comes. Such little things make him content sometimes. Even if I can't offer to play, he loves to have me watch with him (my little extrovert!) and we talk about what's going on. Tomorrow is one of our days. I will try to be present with you, to show you how cherished you are. Sweet Raccoon. I love you so much.
"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow."
Today we visited some family who live out in the country in a house where we used to live when Raccoon turned one year old. He learned to walk there, and fell in love with mud in the huge yard. Today he cried and cried that he didn't want to leave. "I miss living here. It's so much fun. I want to stay with my cousins. My animals at home aren't fun." He fell asleep after 5 minutes in the car.
It was an awesome break from the city. Maybe we'll live there again some day.
Everything on my to-do-before-baby list is done, except for my goal of picking out and printing off pictures from Raccoon's first 39 months. So far I am only up to his 4 month pictures. I know that somewhere around two years old, I worried if Raccoon was a happy child. At some point, anxiety and camera phobia took over my sweet boy, but looking back at his pictures, I had forgotten that he was a very smiley baby.
Besides helping Raccoon see that we cared for him as a baby just like we'll care for baby Robin, I also have two other reasons for this photo project... I want to remind myself that we both survived his baby years, and also, I am a second child. My brother has an album all to himself, and I have some solo pictures, but it's pretty much the two of us from there on out. If I have my favorites of Raccoon printed off, I hope to be somewhat fair in remembering to take a similar amount of pictures of Robin too.
Raccoon has only had three salon haircuts in his three years of life, apart from a few random curls I've trimmed myself. I took him yesterday for the third one, hoping just to even out the ends a bit, but the hairdresser pretty much left my little guy looking like a shorn lamb. I know it will grow back, and even with it so short, I can see his curls ready to jump out again. But I still felt sad. There is something magical, at least to me, about baby hair.
I saw the most adorable baby in church the other day. She's four months old, but so alert with these wise-looking eyes and the most beautiful chocolate-colored skin. I longed to ask her mother if I could hold her, but I didn't.
A family of four, a boy and a girl, this is what most outsiders will see when they look at us, a statistically "perfect" family (read what I think about that here). But I can't help feeling that somewhere out there is a little black girl who is meant to be my daughter. Maybe I'm just missing SB. Maybe my heart thinks that having another adopted daughter will fill up the hole left by N and J, quieting my feelings of failure. I don't really know where the feeling comes from, but it is there all the same. Like the girl says in the movie A Walk in the Clouds, "The heart wants what the heart wants."
I have always been a planner, an achiever. Since college or before, I had a very specific vision for my life as a mother - two biological children and two adopted. Us being a family of four was supposed to be the beginning, not the end. But if all goes well, I am having my tubes tied the day after Robin is born. We are done. This is not the road I planned on taking. This is not where I expected my life to be. But here I am and some choices cannot be undone.
My little black heart daughter will forever stay somewhere out there.
We have had three years together as a family of three. I was thinking recently that you probably won't remember these years, to you it will feel like you always had a sibling. I am glad to be a family of four, but I will remember that it was not always so. Since getting married, your daddy and I have been a family of two, three, five, four, two, then three again. You never met your three older sisters, but they made me a better mom before you came along. I didn't think I would have another daughter after them, but then baby Robin surprised us. Four daughters and a son. I wish I could hear you say to people, "I have four sisters." You would get a lot of sympathetic looks and some comments like, "No wonder you're such a sympathetic man." That thought makes me chuckle even though I know it will not be so.
You and I have had a perfect day. I am glad that this morning I set everything else aside just to play with you. I made you some cutout knights, we sat on the floor, and we went to the park. Just you and me. After lunch you told me you were ready for nite-nite and we fell asleep, snuggled in your bed. It has been three years of you and me being two peas in a pod. Going everywhere, but mostly nowhere, together. I have seen every tear, heard every word, lost it with you, and found myself with you. Things will change soon, things always change, but there will be plenty of room for more adventures.
I was having contractions quite constantly yesterday afternoon, evening and all through the night. I finished packing for the clinic just in case, but then this morning they stopped. It was nice to think of meeting Robin so soon, but I'm fine with waiting a few more weeks too. It did inspire me to finish a few things on my to do list, I'm down to just 2 very important things left.
My husband took Raccoon out shopping this morning so I could catch up on my sleep (a first!). It was amazing to sleep in such a quiet house. For three years I have been the light of Raccoon's life and he's never wanted to be away from me. Then all of a sudden, he's ready to go and never looked back. All because of the promise of a buying a large plastic snake. It is wonderful and suffocating and maturing to be needed so completely by another little person. Then it's over. So today I am celebrating his growth and a little sad, all at the same time.
I got up to pee last night (for the millionth time it seemed), and felt this out of the blue. I'm not generally the "got a word from the Lord" type of gal, so I wanted to write it down somewhere public but not obvious, so that hopefully later I won't seem crazy. The last time I felt like this was in February of last year, "You will have a baby this time next year," and that one came true, against all odds. So please excuse the weirdness for a day.
She will have a second miracle child.
Weeks pregnant: 37
Raccoon's age: 39 months
Things left on my absolutely have to do list: 3
Weight gained so far: 35 lbs
Psalm I read today: 68
Books I checked out of the library just for me: 3
Books for Raccoon: 7
Days until my mom comes: 22
Months since I've seen her: 10
Minutes until I take a nap: 5
I finished a large work commitment today and it feels great. My next work thing isn't until April/May. I feel like I can finally say I'm ready for you baby Robin! I made room in Raccoon's bureau today for Robin's clothes and for the first time, I could actually picture using them. I could imagine a little bit of what having her be a part of our family will be like. I am definitely loving my word of the year -peace- and feeling more of it.
Most of my posts this months are probably going to be baby related, sorry to be a bore. But I pretty much only have one thought left in my brain at this point, "When will she come?" My clinic dr said he's guessing Feb 3 based on her measurements today, which matches up with how I'm counting the weeks. I'm fine with that since I know that this time around 3 weeks will fly by. But he also said that she's at 6 lbs and may come anytime now. I'm fine with that too. I'm feeling a pleasant sense of well-being today, which hopefully will last however long it is until she comes.
One of my childhood friends just had her baby today. She'd waited ten days or so to see if she could have a vbac but her body never got started, so today she had a c-section. When I visited her at the clinic this morning, I felt envious that she knew exactly when she'd get to meet her daughter. But I know and hope and pray that baby Robin will be here soon. It's seeming more and more real every day.
My pregnancies have been very different, mostly because of how my life has changed from then to now. I don't have as much time to sit around and ponder my large belly this time around, so I feel like having a baby in a few weeks is going to be a shock. I look at the baby stuff and feel like I'm a little girl playing house. I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that our time as a family of three is almost up. After thinking about this, I decided that it's due to several key differences in my pregnancies:
I didn't have much to do except wait
so I noticed everything.
I don't think I bent over once.
Each day crawled by but
I don't remember feeling very tired
because I slept/rested whenever I felt like it.
I am chasing after a 3 yr old
so I don't notice anything, except that
it's hard to bend over and sit on the floor.
The days go by on fast forward.
Sleep? I used to know what that was, a long time ago, now
resting = sitting down to some afternoon cartoons.
I think, I can't possibly be at the end of this pregnancy, it's only been like 6 months, right? Nope. My adjusted count is 37 weeks, the original one is 39 on Sunday.
Although today isn't my birthday, we had a family party combined baby shower for me today. It ended up being more of a general family get together, but I'm glad everyone came. I live in a culture of meticulous greetings, and it was fun to hear everyone's good wishes for another year and the new baby.
I turn 31 this month. Birthdays, in both my family of origin and the one I married into, somehow never seem to turn out quite as well as one hopes. I should know this by now, but I often still end up feeling disappointed at the end of the day. Others that I know seem to be resigned to this, but I still hope for a little magic each year.
I almost feinted in the shower on Wed and I've been feeling a little off ever since, so today I took advantage of my husband's day off to go to the doctor. I didn't go to the birth clinic since my doctor is on vacation, instead I went back to my general doctor who also does prenatal care. I really like her and I trust her tell-it-like-it-is attitude. I've had some concerns since my last appointment, but she reassured me that all is well. Given my other doctor's too-cheery attitude, I appreciated her more sober appraisal. She said my blood pressure is low, which is probably why I've been feeling faint. She also told me that baby Robin is in position and ready to come. She doubts that baby Robin will wait more than two weeks before coming. I should be 36 weeks on Sunday, but she says it's more like I'm at 37. I've been in denial that it's so close, somehow it feels like I've lived through this pregnancy on fast forward. We just now, as of yesterday, have a plan in place for Raccoon when my hubby and I go to the clinic, assuming that my sister-in-law can get here in time (she lives about an hour away). I don't even have a crib or a diaper bag yet. I haven't packed a hospital bag.
Two weeks. It all of a sudden hit me - I'm not ready for this. I don't feel prepared for labor. With Raccoon, I read books, took classes, talked to other moms, searched endless websites, and prayed. A lot. I have this feeling that baby Robin is going to come quickly, but part of me says, what if she doesn't? What if this time around it's harder than it was with Raccoon? Am I really ready for this? I had a short and positive experience giving birth to Raccoon... but what if this time is different/worse/harder?
Then I think about meeting my amazing little girl. Seeing her for the first time. Snuggling with her. Introducing her to Raccoon. And my other worries fade away.