I am now 36.5 weeks pregnant and ready to deliver yesterday. This little lady dropped into the birth canal at 33 weeks and has stayed there ever since. The pressure from this change has been less than enjoyable and caused these weeks to feel long. I am thankful that she avoided coming during the time that would have required a NICU stay, but I am happy to evict her now!
A few weeks ago I finally found the right fit for me in grief counselling. Some times it takes trying 4 people before you find the right person. She has been a great blessing in this final trimester as she prepares me for the emotions of welcoming this new life and also forcing me to see areas that I am avoiding. It wasn't until I began meeting with her that I finally realized I was unintentionally avoiding bonding with baby girl 3.0 as we call her. The fear of losing another precious life makes us protect ourselves, sometimes subconsciously. It has been good to force my heart open once again and risk pain in order to find the pleasure of deeply loving the life inside.
This little girl is our third daughter. Not a new Hope, not a replacement for Hope and will never be expected to fill the life we lost in Hope. In understanding that and desiring to separate the two experiences, I've been taking steps toward making this little girl a new experience. We have re-decorated the nursery for the first time since Sadie was born. It is no longer pink, brown and white. It now has bursts of colour and a 'few' extra hearts around. When I walk into the room, I find it refreshing and it no longer feels like Hope's room. We also finally decided on a name for the baby and have begun referring to her by name. I have even allowed myself to purchase new things for her. Yes, I have a lot of sleepers and clothes in pink, but they all bring back memories and I need some fresh memories as well.
My bag for the hospital is packed, the baby's bag is packed and we are now in the waiting stage. The doctors are surprised my body has held out this long. I could go tonight, or I may have to wait another 3 weeks. I guess that's the beauty of the human body, we can only guess, but will never know for sure. Truly I desire this little girl to arrive in the next two weeks. I would like for her birth to be in no way associated with Hope's death. The 21st is really hard on me and although some feel that delivering on that day would be healing, I feel it would be too much for me. I want to celebrate this new life and not have deep sorrow creeping into the day. It will already be emotional with all the memories that will come. If you'd like a specific prayer, a delivery well before the 21st would be ideal!
Sadie is very excited for the arrival of her new baby sister. She talks about her often and plays in her room with her dolls. I think she'll be a wonderful helper for me and fall in love easily. I'm hardly sleeping currently, perhaps this is in preparation for the lack of sleep to come. I could really use some good sleep to get through the next little while. Each night I have contractions, pain and discomfort that keep me from sleeping. The constant movement is keeping Shawn up in the night and we both look forward to me sleeping better one day.
This year Shawn and I decided to be intentional about seeking the Lord in our lives. We started to read through the Bible and have really enjoyed the routine of being in the word each day. It has created more of a hunger for me to dig in on my own and brought my prayer life more passion as well. I would appreciate prayer to maintain this discipline as life will be much busier with a new baby in the home. My walk with God through our journey with Hope was intimate in a way I've never experienced. I learned so much through it and look forward to our girls being older and having more time to share this experience with others. The desperation for God is not as strong in my current walk, but I know my need is the same and I try to make him a priority in my everyday life.
Hopefully my next post will be to introduce baby girl 3.0 to you all. I often try to picture what she will look like, and look forward to finally seeing her face and having the pleasure of being her mom. Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We know that this next stage will come with blessings and difficulty and we covet your prayers.