Friday, August 17, 2012

Standing Still (Hopefully Last Pregnancy Update?)


I had my weekly OB appointment on Monday and was sent for a routine non-stress test to the hospital because another patient was already using the monitor in the office.  (My doctor's office is connected to the hospital so it wasn't a big deal.)

I walked into the maternity floor and sat in the room I was supposed to be in, and a nice nurse came and set me all up, and then left me alone...and my mind started racing.

Last week on this blog I talked about how much I love having babies...I love the hospital stay, the smell of the sheets, the excitement, the visitors, everything about it.  It's all true.  But that day, actually BEING there, in the hospital, on the floor where I'll soon be staying-and maybe it was just my state of mind at the time (anxious, worn down from parenting five children 24/7 all summer long, and very very uncomfortably pregnant) I began to feel the opposite.  I had a bit of a brain break-down.

Like this is REAL.  I'm really really having a baby.  (I didn't just eat a whole watermelon like it looks like above!)  This time, I didn't just remember the good stuff...that seemed to all vanish.  The smell, sights and sounds brought back all of it...the hard stuff too.  The frightening physical pain towards the end of labor that there is no preparation for (no matter how many times you've experienced it!), the overwhelming love I feel when that baby is born but that is soon followed by the same dose of overwhelming responsibility, that quiet time when everyone leaves to go home after the baby is born-Jeff to the kids at home-and I am left bone-tired and in bed (and yes, in love with the bundle in my arms) and with quiet that leads me to think, "Holy Moley, can I handle all this?  What was I thinking 9 months ago?  I'm just a kid, I can't take this baby home! They shouldn't let me! And all the ones at home that still need me?  I can't do this!"  No matter if this was one baby or six (!) I know those teary feelings, that weight on my shoulders, will come again.  I will feel very, very vulnerable.  I will feel self-doubt.  I will feel scared.  Scared to death.

And for a minute that day, I thought, hooked up to those monitors the other day, watching the little heart beat go up and down, "Maybe I'm OK with just staying like this-hugely pregnant-forever.  This just might be easier."

But staying stagnantly, endlessly pregnant is not really an option, nor do I really want that. (God, no!) But moving forward requires so much of me, and the reality of it all is enough to make me, for a moment, let my mind choose to travel over the hard stuff.

My nurse came back and unhooked me, and everything with that sweet little baby looked good.  And I got myself up out of that chair (no easy task) and walked (waddled?) my way out of the hospital.  I got in my mini-van and drove home and fixed lunches, and swept the floor, and refereed arguments and answered endless questions and drove someone to a practice.  I had to stop entertaining my doubts, my fears, my anxiety, but was almost grateful that I had the quiet time to do it-to get it all out of my system.

44 comments :

  1. I'm so very excited for you. The anticipation is making it's way down to Texas :) Just for the record, I'm thinking it's a girl, but my fondness runs deep for little boys too :)

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  2. I know those feelings, ALL of them. So, so well. You have such a great way with words.

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  3. I think we always wonder if/how we are going to handle a new baby (or babies!) But Sarah, my dear, you are absolutely capable. And when you are maxed, grace will fill in the gaps. That baby is one of the luckiest souls ever - to come to you. Sending lots of encouragement and love. And btw, you TOTALLY look like you swallowed a watermelon. Whole. ;)

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  4. I love that belly Sarah! Brings back so many memories. :) And isn't it true? That no matter how many babies you have that feeling of total terror still creeps in. I remember after having my third thinking "why do I feel this way? I should know how to do this by now!" But it really is the most overwhelming experience ever - for the good and the bad. You are such an incredible mom Sarah and I agree with Cath that this baby is so blessed to be entering your home. I CANNOT WAIT to hear if it's a boy or girl. I'll be thrilled either way! From here on out just take it one day at a time (or one hour... ok... one minute at a time!). And if you're having a low day, email me. :) I will cheer you up like you've done for me countless times!

    xoxo,

    Erin

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  5. Oh my goodness all I can think of is all the hard work it is giving birth but that what we end up with is oh so worth it. And you will have many hands to help you I am sure.

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  6. I have butterflies for you reading this. How blessed this baby will be to be born into a good, loving family with a wise Mom who a perspective that very few others have. Mostly, if your teenagers are being difficult, you get to go snuggle with a sweet innocent baby!!

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  7. Oh my, such truth! I totally remember those feelings with our number 4. All will be well and soon you will be smelling that new baby's head, such a beautiful gift. Know that many are thinking about you.

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  8. Everything is going to be okay. This little baby will be the love of every person in your home. Somehow, miraculously, we moms manage to get through those first few weeks/months of new baby and all that he/she entails. Here I am at 49, with 10 children of my own, grandchildren too, wishing I could be where you are one more time. The excitement and sheer fear all at the same time, but oh, what a gift we get--a sweet little wonderful smelling snuggly little person directly from heaven coming into our homes. I am happy for you and your family. Also, your belly looks adorable!!

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  9. I think that panic-y feeling comes to keep us on our toes. To remind us that even though we can do it and will do it, this is serious business- bringing a child into the world- and it needs our respect and awe. Now, put those labor thoughts right out of your mind. When the time comes, you'll do what you need to do:-). Blessings, Sarah!!

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  10. I would prpbably worry about you more if you weren't a little anxious! At the end of the day, it is always worth it. Some days will be better than others. But you, dear Sarah, know that better than most! Thinking of you and praying for a quick easy delivery! Can't wait to "meet" this perfect new member of your family!

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  11. Soo very true Sarah... I felt just the same when I had my little almost 3 years ago. It had been 7 years since my last! I have scheduled C sections, so it is a little different but scary just the same! I was alright up until they came to take me to surgery and I remember saying to Steve,"I changed my mind! I can't do this!" But of course I did and I would do it again and again and again! Prayers and best wishes!

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  12. I've been reading your blog for a good year or so now and just had my first baby---two days ago! I've written before to tell you this but have to do so again, now that I'm "on the other side" if just barely: your perspective and common sense have been so helpful to me. Best of luck with your new baby.

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  13. I will be praying for you!
    I can't wait to see baby pictures!

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  14. Sarah, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Cannot wait to find out the sex of this new dear soul blessed with you as its Mommy.

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  15. you look fantastic! Just focus on that sweet newborn smell and kissing that delicious head. think of the joy that this little one will provide to everyone in your family. You are in our prayers. RIde the wave!!

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  16. First of all, I LOVE how your baby belly looks! I wanted to let you know I prayed this morning....for you...for anxiety....for peace.

    Cannot WAIT to hear/see!!!!!

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  17. Sarah, Your belly is beautiful and looks like a "boy" belly- its all in front!!!!!!!!!

    I totally related to your thoughts of pure anxiety after the baby is born and hubby has left the hospital to go home and take care of the other kids. I definitely felt that way after #4 too. And you know its all going to be just fine but exhaustion and (major!) hormones set in and all of sudden it feels like waaaaay too much. I know you know it will be just fine but its definitely a little overwhelming!!

    We're all here and cheering you on from from and wide :)

    Love you!
    Your friend and loyal reader from Chicago,
    Amy W.

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  18. P.S. Just read your post called "Love it and leave it" and it really rings home now with kids starting back to school.

    I LOVE your blog. It always speaks to me when I need to hear certain things at the most appropriate times. How do you do it? You are so gifted.

    Thanks for being you.
    Wishing you a restful day,
    Amy W.

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  19. When I had that little spiritual whispering that told me it was time to get ready for baby number seven, I was terrified. How could I possibly handle another one? I turned to an amazing lady I know who raised 11(!) great kids and asked her how she knew that she could do that. When the Lord whispered that it was time for another baby, how did you know you would be enough? She just smiled cheerfully and answered "I was never enough!" But I did what the Lord asked of me, the best I could, and he made up the difference." It was exactly what I needed to hear.

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  20. May you have a safe delivery with your new little button. So many firsts to look forward to, with all of your children! This isn't the last for anything! It's the start of something new and wonderful again!

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  21. Praying for you! Remember: If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it.....

    PS I think Abby is going to have a sister.

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  22. Praying for you! Remember: If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it.....

    PS I think Abby is going to have a sister.

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  23. I don't know how you do it, but you always seem to capture just how I feel or have felt on just about everything! I guess it just shows that as women we all have so much more in common then the world would have us believe. I think with each child I was a little MORE scared right before delivery. I would have a little panic attack...and then carry on! (Then I am nostalgic so I only remember the good things.) I will be praying for you that you have a quick and safe delivery! Best wishes going your way!

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  24. You're going to be a rock-star mom of 6. I truly can't wait to see pictures of this sweet baby (girl! ) ;) I'm guessing when you are describing your pain before birth, you don't go the epidural route? I am ALL about an epidural! Have a great weekend!

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  25. So wise and so true, you explain those feelings we all have as mothers so beautifully! All the best Sarah for the home stretch!

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  26. Oh, you have such a way of perfectly describing things. You hit the nail on the head with that post. I just had our #3 baby 2 weeks ago and I am tired...and feeling all of that responsibility. And I, too, had one of those internal breakdowns remembering all the pain and yucky stuff. But holding this sweet little baby is so worth it and being pregnant forever would not be, despite all the worries and challenges that come with a new one.

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  27. Can't wait to hear about your new baby! I wake up every morning wondering if there will be a photo on your blog. You are such an amazing mom...my hat is off to you! I only have 2...born 7 years apart and can't seem to get it together! Prayers for you and your sweet family!!

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  28. I was so hoping for a belly shot!! Beautiful! You are what I always wished I looked like pregnant. :)
    And all I have to say is...
    You can do it! You can do it!
    This is so exciting....

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  29. Sarah, good luck! It is precisely because you have been through this that the anxieties arise. And it is always a unique and miraculous experience. You will draw on your amazing inner strength as a mother to see this through! Enjoy every aspect of these next few weeks! And even though inquiring minds will want to know all the details....just know that all your wonderful readers are thinking about you and praying for you, your baby and your family!

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  30. Oh my gosh - I had my second six months before a major international move (our first of many) and I was just terrified. It was probably the worst possible timing for my career, family stability, and at the time 23 month old... or so I thought.

    You have been such an encouragement through it all. Turns out this little boy is what keeps me going on days when homesickness is overwhelming. His brother loves him (just as you said he would!) And I don't care nearly as much about the big career as I thought I did. In fact, mothering is more challenging, and more rewarding. (Too bad it doesn't pay the bills.)

    You are in my thoughts, and I keep looking to see if there is a little babe yet.

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  31. SO excited for you, Sarah! Can't wait to "meet" this new little one! I hope you can put your feet up and eat all that ice cream until the day arrives. xo!

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  32. Sarah, any minute now ! And .. I know. Sat down to nurse a baby this morning, potty training three year old announced her need to go, doorbell rang with FedEx man looking through window to see me walk across the room to the bathroom holding baby and exposing all, phone rang and I heard the message left by my oldest ... And I sighed "what have I done". Good thing these moments pass.

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  33. Oh boy oh boy oh boy, there's nothing like that 39th week feeling of "What have I done?!!" is there? And of course there is lots of difficult to go with the good. But you know how I felt every time? Even when I was worn out from having so much to do, I was always so grateful to be un-pregnant. I remember waking up to nurse the baby and being able to go back to sleep just like that! No tossing and turning and avoiding the vena cava and trying unsuccessfully to get comfortable--nope, just closed my eyes and off I went every time I got a chance. Of course, there weren't quite enough chances for comfort, but still--it's worth it to get un-pregnant, PLUS having a new lifelong love? Wow!

    Glad you had that chance to experience those feelings. Now let's pray for a safe delivery and a very healthy #6!

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  34. I can only imagine. I know I have those moments with my daughter and I just have one. Hang in there. You are a great mother with so much love to share. I can hear it in all your posts. Taking time to recognize the challenges of motherhood can be such a relief too. Giving our all for our families is no simple thing. But there is no better feeling than loving them so much.

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  35. How exciting!! I was in my doctors office today for the 6 wk follow up after the birth of our 5th baby...9wks ago, things have been so crazy I forgot all about needing to go back! I sat in the waiting room looking at all the pregnant moms-to-be, thinking of how this was our last baby and how sad I am that I'm not one of those moms anymore. Then I came back to reality and remembered the 2mo, 2yr, 3yr, 4yr, and 5yr old I have at home! My love for babies is such a wonderful weakness! Good luck to you... can't wait to see pics of the new him or her!! :)

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  36. I wish I lived close so I could come get my baby-fix :) That baby is so darn lucky, not only to have you as his/her mother, but to have that sweet family of yours to dote over him/her. She/he will be the apple of everyone eye. I just can't wait to hear if it's a she or a he. You are going to be a natural, just like you have been with your other kids :) Prayers coming your way.

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  37. You are human?! I had my doubts:) Best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy delivery and many hands to help following...

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  38. The day before I went into labour with my 3rd I was in the hospital being monitored and I could hear a lady in labour in another room. It absolutely freaked me out, but I ended up having an 'easy' labour and birth (easy is not really the word though is it?!). You will get through the hard physical, and those first few months, while they are so hard, they are also so precious. You will be fine. You're an inspiration to us mums trying to do this for real. Sending you prayers and thoughts from Australia!

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  39. May God be with you and make you strong for those moments, Sarah!
    Both my daughters were born by c-section so I don't know what birth pain is, but, both times, I experienced the panic when left the hospital and came home with the baby and I said both times: "I'm not able to handle this!" And, thanks God and my husband, in the end I was :-)
    All the best to you, Sarah!
    You are a great woman!
    And, once again: thanks for this blog!

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  40. It was the best of days when I stumbled across your blog. My children are grown adults now with families of their own, but oh how I wish I'd had your blog to read when I was in the thick of parenting. You are so wise. Your blog should be required reading for all parents. Mostly I think I did all right with my two boys but I know there are things I could have done better. You offer just the perfect mix of example and advice. I wish you all the very best with the imminent birth of your newest lucky little soul. I don't know you personally but I just know you will do great!
    Kindest regards, Michelle
    PS Thank you for the book recommends. I just finished So Far Away and loved it. Working on Mrs. Mike now. :)

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  41. I actually held my breath when I clicked on your blog today Sarah! I am so excited for you, but after having three of my own I know what this period feels like too. My last two were both 10 days "late" and I had a lot of time to stew in the uncertainty of it all. Whew. I hope it helps to know that I am keeping you in prayer and that you cross my mind many times a day. Which is saying a lot because my mind is basically mush right now, haha! Anyway...you are going to do beautiful job with this sweetie pie, just like with your others. You are truly an amazing mom. Not perfect, none of us are. But the world would be a much, much, better place if there were more mamas like you. Hang in there!!!!

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  42. So great to hear that the crazy feelings with the first are normal with subsequent births. I have an almost-two-year-old, lost a baby in January in miscarriage, and am due with another this January. I'm worried about how holding this baby will feel when the reality hits me again that I didn't hold the one before. Knowing that someone else--someone else like you!--has experienced all of the doubts and fear too will make mine a little lighter. Thank you. I am holding this in my heart and mind until January. In the meantime, I can't wait for the baby reveal here! God bless.

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