Friday, July 18, 2014

To My Sweet Sam

Dear Sam,

Today I really saw your face for the first time, and it brought tears to my eyes. You look exactly like your older brother and sister. Your cheeks are so chunky and your lips so kissable that I've looked at your picture at least 20 times since I left the doctor's office a few hours ago.

I was alone for my appointment this morning and I thought about a lot of things on my way. This was my first visit back to the hospital where you will be born in over 2.5 years. It is a place where I have experienced the very worst and the very best moments of my life. Having you seems like the best ending I could think of to a long and winding road. As we passed by the main building, I said a prayer for every mama, daddy and baby who sat inside, especially those who are sick and afraid.

You father and I know what it is to feel sick with fear, but we also know what it is to be filled with great joy. You, Sam, are a great joy. You have given me such a gift with this pregnancy. I felt bad for a while, thinking I wasn't concentrating on you as much as I did when I was pregnant with your brother and sister, but I've realized that is actually the beauty of it. I have so enjoyed being pregnant with you, sweet boy. The only thoughts I've had have been happy ones in between the chaos of life, we have had so much fun together already. We vacationed with some of my oldest and best friends and watched your uncle get married, we've spent countless hours at the beach and chasing after your sister. Being pregnant with you has allowed me to be more ME than I've been able to be before.

Because you are the third born, have a bossy older sister, are a boy...all of these are reasons I may not remember to tell you how much you were wanted. Over a year ago, I prayed hard for a little boy. One morning I opened up my Bible and read a verse that said "you will have a son"....I felt something settle in my heart at that moment. I knew that one day you would come.

Months later, when I had given up all hope of your arrival that month, a rainbow appeared and once again something settled in my heart. You were coming.

And now we have a date. On August 5th you will be here, and I will hold the final piece of my heart that I will put out into this world in my arms. You were a son of God even before you were given to me, sweet Sam.

All of my love,
Your Mama

Monday, July 7, 2014

35 Weeks

35 weeks is a big one for me. I gave birth to Rip at 34 weeks and 5 days, so with Gracie and now with Sam hitting this milestone feels like an accomplishment to be recognized.

This pregnancy in general has been so different for me. Everything thus far has gone according to plan, I feel good and there is no reason to think my delivery will be anything other than standard (well, as standard as a third c-section can be). I keep wondering what would be different if this was my first pregnancy, if I didn't know having a child could be any other way. A lot of things probably...I would be a different kind of mother, wife, good ways and in bad.

I have prayed a lot about finding peace in accepting that this will be my last pregnancy- my body (not to mention  my husband) is telling me three babies in 3.5 years is enough. I prayed to find peace with feeling finished with this stage in my life. Its a hard thing for anyone, and I think I could probably keep going trying to "complete" our little family, but deep down I know we are complete and this is what is best for all of us. Two boys and a girl is more than many, and I am very thankful.

I am also extremely grateful to have experienced pregnancy this way- I think having my first "normal" pregnancy makes it much easier to call this the last. I would be lying if I said writing this was not hard, that in my head I am not thinking what if something happens between now and delivery, or something is discovered when he is born, but I don't feel that it will. This pregnancy has carried with it a sense of well-being that I've never experienced before.

I don't have any new stats on Baby Sam, my next ultrasound is July 18th and we will schedule the section date that day...I really can't believe I am having a baby in less than a month! At my regular appointments I have been measuring perfectly and Sam's movements in my belly are consistent and reassuring (albeit a little more so a night, which makes me think my days of any kind of sleep are very, very numbered).

By this point with both Rip and Gracie I had reached puffer-fish proportions on all parts of my body but, miraculously, that has not happened yet with Sam. My belly is MUCH bigger than ever before, but everything else seems to be only slightly lumpish. My wedding rings are still on, which is nothing short of amazing based on my previous "man-hand" pregnancy experiences.

This is an especially good thing this time around, as I will be traveling 6 hours to my brother's wedding this weekend. At 36 weeks pregnant. And, God Bless 'Em, my brother and his sweet, adorable fiancé have asked both Gracie and I to be in the wedding. So we can all just say a prayer that I can waddle myself and my meltdown prone two-year-old down the aisle. Preferably without going into labor.

But here's the thing- the fact that I can actually go to Knoxville, be in a wedding, and look forward to a fun time with family at 36 weeks pregnant absolutely astonishes me. Like I said, I am extremely thankful and more than a little amazed by this "normal" pregnancy. Not quite as thankful that I will be the one with the spreading nose in all of the wedding pictures, but its all about perspective, isn't it?

More and more excitement is building to get this baby in my hands. I can't wait to see if he looks like his brother and sister, if he is calm or feisty (please Lord, I love my feisty girl but calm sounds so nice), how much he will weigh, what his birth story will I've said, the name Samuel means "asked of God". Once again, it is truly for this child I've prayed, and I just can't wait (well, I can wait at least another three weeks) to meet him.