Pregnancy is a pretty amazing journey, a time that encompasses almost an entire year of your life. From deciding that you are ready to make way for a new baby, to conceiving, to nurturing and caring for your body to ensure both you and the baby's health: looking back, I realize how long this process actually takes. But all of that time, all of that preparation, is so necessary to prepare you and everyone else in your life for what is sure to follow. Our lives will never be the same after this baby arrives and the reality of one chapter closing while another begins deserves some time for reflection and mental preparation.
Despite the leg cramps, heartburn, nausea, lack of sleep, and joint pain, I have loved all three of my pregnancies. I embrace this journey more than any other in my evolution as a woman because it such a powerful and emotional process that leaves me feeling stronger and more in tune with who I am. I am constantly amazed by my body and all that it is capable of: the growing and stretching and morphing into a figure that is almost unrecognizable. This is what the female body was designed to do, this is what I was made for. And I count my blessings daily that my health allows me to perform this miraculous act, that we have been so blessed three times now. I don't waste my time or energy lamenting on my former body, my previous self: vanity has no room in this pregnancy space. Instead, I dive down deep inside myself and thank God for hips big enough to carry a baby, legs strong enough to walk right through, skin elastic enough to accommodate this massive belly. Maybe I'll regain my former figure after this is all said and done, maybe I won't. Either way, I'll have a growing family to show for it and I'll take that over a size 0 pair of jeans any day.
The days are winding down and I feel the imminence of labor upon us. I am having contractions off and on throughout the day, the baby has dropped significantly, and I feel myself moving inward. Monday was my last of work thanks to Shawn's insistence that I rest: "You've done enough" he tells me. The bags are packed, family and friends are on alert, carseat in place. It is the time during pregnancy that requires the most patience: the time at the end when everything is done and all that's left to do is wait. And I am enjoying every minute of it. I've been rocking Brees and holding her every chance I get. I went to Mass with Belle this morning at her school and relished in the one on one time with my oldest. I've been hugging my husband just a little big tighter, a little bit longer, as we steady ourselves for our hearts opening yet again. After months and months of planning and waiting, the time has come, the big show is about to begin.
Part of me feels nervous and anxious, praying for health and a safe delivery. The other, more faithful part of me knows that we will be fine: we've done this before, the rest is out of our hands. It is time to trust my body and believe that it is capable of great and mighty things, no worries are necessary. I will have the love of my love by my side, my own mother on the other, an amazing and caring doctor whom I trust, I will have everything I need.
I thank you all for reading along and being a part of this journey. Your love and support have encouraged me in so many ways this past year and I am thankful for the opportunity to share this life changing event with others. My heart is filled with peace and love right now, a sense of complete gratitude for all that we have been blessed with. This has been one amazing and glorious ride.