I get a lot of questions about baby boy's arrival. The basics, of course, like when, followed up by comments along the lines of You're so close! And usually there are comments about Aren't you just ready to be done being pregnant by now?
We are incredibly excited to meet our little guy, but I'm not feeling overly anxious to start going into labor, and I'm not feeling anxious about not going into labor. I know every day brings us closer to meeting him, which is so exciting. I told a few close friends the other day, It feels like Christmas! And in the same breath, I'm content with him being in there for a bit longer, as long as needs to be. I don't like being rushed (and his birthday will be an exciting, eventful day, whenever it happens)! All that said, there has been some speculation from my midwives that he might not linger until after his due date. At only ten days out from my due date, we'll know soon enough...
When having children of our own was more of a hypothetical discussion, Nicholas and I talked about how ideally, I would stay home with our baby for the foreseeable future, with the possibility to perhaps work PRN here and there when the timing felt right, if it was necessary, or if I wanted to. For someone who's always worked, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't mention a few mornings here and there riddled with some guilt over not working during this waiting time. And if we still lived in Texas, I would likely still be working, probably up to my due date.
But in a different state, moving late in pregnancy, and with so many transitional tasks to complete, it made more sense for me to take time off. And now that we've completed almost all of the urgent moving-related tasks: change of address forms, new licenses, buying furniture, unpacking boxes, setting up the nursery, etc. sometimes, especially the last week or two, I find myself asking myself What now?
What do you do when all your normal routines are disrupted? When the activities of your life drastically change?
It's taken some heart-wrestling at times to acknowledge that (1) my worth does not come from anything I do (career, or otherwise), and (2) I want to be thankful that God allowed the timing how He did so that getting a new job before baby boy arrives wouldn't have been feasible anyway, for me. This is a heart lesson for me, in an of itself, the lesson of resting and trusting (and growing this baby). I am not always good at resting, and who knows this better than I do? The One who created my heart.
These weeks, although not filled with nursing career work, have not been idle. And I know when Baby DeVries arrives, my days will certainly be full, while also looking drastically different than ever before.
About 8(ish) weeks have passed since we moved back to the Midwest, many of which were hectic. It feels so good that just before baby arrives, we're settling into a bit more of a routine, albeit temporary. I have loved getting up with Nicholas super early and seeing him for even a few minutes. Even a bit of time feels so precious with his long work days. And then, since it's a short-term luxury, I've been going back to bed for an hour or two more before starting my day.
Once I'm "up," then it's making breakfast for myself, which has been oatmeal or eggs or a recipe of a variation of apple pie oatmeal that my sister in law gave me (soo good!). I make myself a cup of coffee, grinding the beans, heating the water, pouring it all in the aeropress. And since we're awaiting our couch and the our kitchen table with benches isn't particularly bump-friendly, I take my breakfast back to bed. Sometimes I read my bible study, or lately, I've been writing out and re-reading some verses for labor and birth.
I plan out my day with my bullet journal, usually it's errands- or organizing-focused. And I often stop at my in-laws at some point during the day, and sometimes meet friends for walks or errands. I do laundry and setup logins for HSAs (and various other exciting things like that), run and empty the dishwasher, tidy up, etc. And then in the afternoons, I find out which commuter bus Nicholas caught, and what time he'll be home. I've actually enjoyed cooking so much more these past few weeks, even though the meals have been simple. There's something about beginning a fridge and pantry afresh that better allows me to see what we have and use is wisely.
He gets home between 6:45-7:15 usually, and we eat right away, talk about our days, unwind a bit together (he catches up on his computer and I usually knit, read, or knit and watch a podcast). And then, since we don't have a couch, and since the next day is generally an early morning, we hang out in bed, watching a bit of Netflix on the contraband TV ;) and make plans for the weekend or the rest of the week. Sometimes, I brew us tea, peppermint of some variety for him, and (lately) red raspberry and nettle with honey and lemon for me.
It's a very different routine than the one we had in Austin. And yet, I'm enjoying this on in its own right. Granted, we know our life will turn upside down with baby boy's arrival, but I think routines and rhythms of life are fascinating, how they naturally form and shape out of the midst of life circumstances, and how they're always changing. Even if this one lasts for a brief period longer, I'm glad to have sat down and noticed the sweetness of now, right on the cusp of everything changing.
A couple other little life moments I don't want to forget:
- Nicholas reading out loud to the baby, while we drink coffee and eat leftover waffles in bed
- visiting the local apple orchard for one special preview day where they sell their amazing pumpkin- and cinnamon-sugar donuts (for national donut day) + how it was cool enough to wear a sweatshirt in the morning
- noticing how green everything is in our town
- long walks with friends
- our area rug for the living room arrived! We are still so excited for the couch, but that will be delivered
- talks about baby boy's middle name
- eating a yummy "apple pie oatmeal" recipe my sister-in-law gave me for breakfast
- getting a pedicure with my mother-in-law (such a fun treat!)
- impromptu weekend dates, including a trip to the BMV, holding hands and a walk around downtown, perusing the farmer's market, a shared iced decaf latte, and some knitting on a park bench while he got his hair cut
- weekend visits with puppies
- noticing a few freckles on my face and some lighter bits of hair around me face from some time outside
- cruising around in a family friend's convertible (so fun on a beautiful day!)
- sewing a zippered pouch for my mom with some adorable fabric she gave me. I made a matching one for myself, so I can think of her when I use it. And she made me a banner featuring the same fabric. I just need to decide the proper place to hang it! Sewing still feels a little more cumbersome than knitting, since it requires hauling out the machine, iron, cutting mat, ironing board, etc. But I had fun!
- knitting like crazy on my Tecumseh sweater. I think this is the creative version of nesting--wanting to finish up projects, or at least get them more finished. I'm setting aside my socks, since they're currently in a perfectly mindless state where I can pick them up anytime.
- baking cookies and bread and basically anything that sounds good (& hopefully some will make it to the freezer too ;)
- wearing overalls (shortalls? that's what I've always called the shorts version) that a friend and coworker in Austin gave to me before we moved!
There is grace for these days of waiting, days of anticipation of baby boy, and there will be grace for the shorter nights and disrupted moments and newborn snuggles and one-handed life that is right around the corner. I wrote this on my Instagram a few days back (something I'll likely keep up more than the blog after baby boy arrives, although I do still plan to write here as often as possible :)
I had my 38-week appointment today (baby boy and I are doing great), talked to my mom on the phone, kept looking in the backseat at the car seat we just installed this weekend, imagining a little boy there soon, ran errands with my mother-in-law, sat in the nursery (our favorite room!) with my coffee & knitting, ate leftovers and apple slices, & just generally felt thankful for ordinary days like today.