Well, we are officially in the final countdown to meeting this baby! T minus 13 days, give or take! If I don't go into labor on my own, the doctor has offered an induction at 39 weeks which I plan to swiftly take her up on. I have no desire to be induced, but the stress and anxiety of carrying this little peanut has worn me to my bones, and the sooner I can safely hold her (or him), the better. The influx of excited and anxious text messages I'm getting from friends and family make me realize I'm not the only one sitting on pins and needles waiting for something to happen! I hit 37 weeks a few days ago, making this baby officially "term" and now even my NICU nurse of a mother has given her blessing for her grandbaby to arrive. ;)
While I have had a couple moments of "Hmmm...this could be it!" So far they haven't panned out and I am still here at the computer sitting waaaaay back in my chair because the baby literally has his or her feet hooked under my ribs, making leaning forward impossible.
Josh was off all of last week and is off all of this week too, which has been just the most ridiculous blessing and perfect timing because last week I suddenly became a lot more uncomfortable and less useful around the house! I had this insanely long and overwhelming "To Do" list on my iphone that I dreamed of completing before the baby arrived. Not just little stuff like, "pick up diapers" but big, daunting stuff like, "Do Taxes, Finish mini bedroom re-model (we closed in what was once an Arcadia door and is now a beautiful new red wall), and Buy Car". Seriously, that was actually on my list. Josh has been driving my itty bitty teeny weeny perfect for a 19 year old college girl Honda Accord coupe since I outgrew it when I got pregnant with the twins. We knew we'd need a car for him that fit three car seats and could safely drive on the freeway (neither of which was true about our Accord), but we have put it off and put it off because we just haven't been absolutely positively sure we would need a car that fit three car seats. Honestly we still aren't, but with less than two weeks until this baby is set to arrive, we decided we needed to pull the trigger. We felt like God gave us a great big "Go ahead!" when He blessed us with a HUGE (relative to a teacher's salary, mind you) and completely unexpected bonus check for Josh. We didn't think twice about what we needed to use that money for and immediately started car shopping.
Believe it or not, I was able to check off every single thing on my "To Do" list as of yesterday! Last week began with finishing off the bedroom which is now officially baby ready (this little one will be rooming in with mommy for a few months so I can obsessively check its breathing every four seconds). The very next day God blessed us with a car that fits our needs and makes Josh look a whole lot cooler (have you ever seen a six foot, four inch man exit a sweet little two door coupe? It isn't very masculine). Buying that car was quite the experience as we decided to just "stop and peek" at a Dodge Durango I had scoped out online. It was on our way back home from picking the kids up from school, so all four of us walked into that dealership having no idea we'd be held hostage there for over four hours.
Loooooooooong story short, we felt the car was perfect for our needs but it was about a million dollars (to our family anyways) above what we had budgeted. Unbeknownst to me, my normally reserved, avoids confrontation like the plague and would rather walk on hot coals than argue with a stranger husband is a master negotiator when it comes to car salesmen. I shouldn't really call it negotiating though, because what basically happened was Josh told the guy what we were willing to pay, and forty-seven hours later, that's what we paid. It wasn't easy though, said guy laughed in our face, took over TWELVE trips back to his "supervisor" to show him our offer (which, by the way, did not change one single penny any of these twelve times), and walked back in, every time getting us a little closer to where we wanted to be. All the while our poor hungry children sat in the little children's play area like perfect angels even though we were subjecting them to pure torture by keeping them in this car dealership for so long without so much as a piece of gum to hold them over.
It all ended when, after four hours, Josh said, "I'm sorry but we are going to have to go home and sleep on this." This was after the obviously defeated salesman was within $250 of what we wanted to pay. I mean really, at this point, if I had been alone, I would have said enough already, you're close enough, let's make a deal. Not Josh! He kept talking about the "magic number" and how if they couldn't get there, we were leaving. The salesman said, and I quote, "I am one million percent sure my supervisor will not okay that number. But I will try."
What do you know? I had lifted my large and incredibly uncomfortable self out of the chair I had been trapped in for hours getting ready to walk out the door, when our friend the salesman walked in with an offer from his supervisor that said, "You win." (Seriously, that actually happened) And that was it! Finally!!! My mouth nearly hit the floor and Josh just smiled as if to say, "Yeah, I did win."
I. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Buying cars. The salesmen are sleezy, they always play ridiculous games with you, and I swear they think we have the IQ of a pinto bean (How many times can you lower my payment? As many times as you can push my payment plan out until I'm ninety-seven years old. I still know I'm paying the same amount!!!). It is never, ever a pleasant experience, but I have to say, this one was at least entertaining. I said absolutely nothing during the entire interaction. Nothing. And if you know me, you know I personally have no problem with conflict and staying quiet about things is not my strongest characteristic. But I just sat there, rubbing my belly for effect, watching Josh deal with this guy and having a little too much fun doing it. At the end of it, the salesman said, "You know, it is usually the wives who are so stubborn." Josh looked at me as if to say, "Yeah, that's been my experience too." But he just played it off like I'm normally that docile and sweet. ;)
So anyways, we have ourselves a new (used) car that fits our whole family and then some! We also have a completed bedroom, taxes that are done, clean carpet, a groomed dog, a packed hospital bag, and a bunch of little but really important to a pregnant lady stuff that needed to be done all finished! Josh still has the rest of the week off, and due to my inability to sleep or function the way I used to, I'm officially on maternity leave! So if you put those together...we are off the rest of the week together with no pressing things to do hanging over our heads! While it would be lovely if the baby came now, I decided this morning that God has given us a rare gift and we should be enjoying every second of it! I don't remember the last time both of us weren't working and we had no kids (we still have kids, but they're in school til 3:00!). Today we took in a matinee, had lunch, and most importantly, took a nap!!! It was blissful. And I still get a few more days of that! We are both so anxious and excited to meet this baby, but at the same time we know how much we will miss these moments, so we are doing our best to sit back and enjoy things.
So how is baby? Great! It did another flip back to the breech position (bad baby!), but I'm pretty sure it flipped back a couple days ago, even without the use of an ironing board. We will know for sure after our ultrasound tomorrow. I am still going to the hospital twice a week and the doctor once a week. Things have been looking really good, with the exception of a few little scares concerning my amniotic fluid level dropping and the baby's heart rate not liking my near constant but apparently ineffective contractions.
I get a lot of "How are you feeling?" type questions, and it really depends on who's asking whether or not I give a straight up answer. I have some people say, "You must be miserable by now," and that is one thing I just cringe at. Let me clarify something right now...there is nothing about this pregnancy that comes within a hundred miles of "misery". Misery is carrying a baby you know to be dead. Misery is waking up to a nightmare you had about losing your baby only to realize that it wasn't a nightmare, it was just yesterday. Misery is being at your lowest and so far down in the pit that you can't even see the light above. Heartburn, a sore back, and a lack of sleep are not miserable. They're inconvenient.
So, no, I am absolutely not "miserable". I'm uncomfortable, I'm tired, I'm so anxious to have this baby safe in my arms. I'm thrilled about the time off I'm spending with my family before this little one stirs things up quite a bit. I'm in absolute awe that we've made it this far. Of course I have complaints, but it is simply impossible to complain to anyone without completely offending the mommy in me who has experienced so many pregnancy losses. When I text back a response saying I'm starting to get uncomfortable, or when I mumble to Josh how much it hurts just to roll over in bed, or when I am in tears because the five Tums I just downed at 3 a.m. are doing absolutely nothing to calm the fireball in my chest, I can actually hear the woman who buried her tiny stillborn daughter chastise me and say, "How dare you? How dare you complain when you have everything I ever wanted?"
I have people tell me, "You're allowed to complain a little you know." But the truth is, I'm not. No one who experiences pregnancy after a loss is allowed to complain. It's against the rules. It offends the memory of the babies we never got to carry to term. It eats at us like all guilt does. And you know what? That's okay. Because it has helped me cherish this pregnancy so much more, and it really puts things into perspective. Eight years ago when I was pregnant with the twins, I remember thinking that the absolute worst news I could possibly get at each ultrasound was that one of the babies had turned breech. Oh to be that naive again!!! And sometimes I long for that naivety, just so I could go a whole night without waking suddenly and frantically trying to get the baby to move so I can fall back asleep for one more hour until it happens again.
But at the same time, I appreciate these moments and days and milestones more that the woman who was pregnant with twins did eight years ago. That's a gift! And I have a feeling it will follow me well after this baby is born. I will never feel right complaining about my lack of sleep or painful breastfeeding or any of the stresses that come with a new baby, because how can I complain when I longed for that baby so very much? Other moms can complain. Other moms will complain. I will too at some point, but I will feel horrible for doing so. And that's okay, because I know it will give me more patience than I ever would have had if I hadn't lost the babies I did. Those experiences changed me, and I don't think it was in a bad way at all.
All of that being said, I positively cannot wait to hold this baby in my arms, finally!!! I think of that moment, and I am totally overwhelmed by it. What will it feel like to hold years of hoping, praying, and waiting in my arms? What will it feel like to look into the eyes of someone who is the reward for all our family has been through? How absolutely sweet will it be to hand this baby over to Eisley and Jake and watch them smile and marvel over the miracle they've watched grow inside mommy for nine months? To get to watch my children's prayers be answered right in front of my eyes, after years of praying with them...It can't come soon enough!
I promise to keep you all posted! I hope my next entry will include pictures of our sweet new baby, but don't hold your breath! The twins had to be forced out on their eviction date, and I have a feeling this one will too! But even if that happens, I'm less than two weeks away from meeting my baby, and that is very exciting!!!
I don't have any pictures this go round, mostly because I'm lazy, but I will try to post some next time! Thank you so much for your continued prayers as we approach Baby Time! I know you are all so excited right alongside us, and I can't wait for everyone to share in our joy!