I’m finally thrilled to meet this baby. Not that there wasn’t always an element of thrill but it was masked in a lot of other things: shock, concern, busyness, for starters. Now I sit and watch this baby roll around, seeing his movements through my belly, and I can’t wait to hold him in my arms. In 10 weeks, give or take, Luke’s going to be kissable. My boys will finally see the little brother they’ve been waiting on. I’ll watch my beloved become a daddy all over again.
There’s also a good amount of apprehension with the excitement. That breath-catches-in-my-throat moment when I realize I’m going to be in labor again. My body is going to contract and agonize in order to bring this baby out to be kissed and there’s no getting around it. I’ll face those moments in the delivery room when I’m not sure that I can keep going and yet realize that I have no choice. There’s no other way but through.
I’m looking for some black leggings and a couple of tunic-length tops to wear in the hospital and those first few weeks (months?) post-partum. I want to be comfortable and covered and, to whatever extent I can feel it, cute. I’ve found a few books and a magazine to take to the hospital with me because I know how some of those moments can torture me. There’s nothing to do. Sometimes the baby won’t even be there. I’ll feel horrible. I’m just supposed to be enjoying my baby; what’s wrong with me?
Apprehension. There’s nothing like doubting your mothering hours after giving birth.
Then there’s the homecoming: the chaos of bringing myself and this new little one into the energy and excitement of three older brothers who don’t want rest or peace and aren’t up all night. There’s the stunning awareness that I have nothing left for anyone; I seem to leave it all in the delivery room and come home empty. There’s no walks to the park, no evening quiet with the husband, no falling into bed at the end of the day to sleep all night.
It’s the sorting out of the new me, the new family, the new normal. My body will slowly recover, with my spirit lagging slightly further behind. I’ll fake some smiles and whisper prayers of thanks when the energy comes back enough to read to the big boys without falling asleep or when I can wrap the baby to walk down to the playground. I’ll feel my way through the nights we are up, soothing me and him until we both learn a little better.
Some things seem less scary because I’ve done them before. I know to take the magazines and remember it will all pass. Sometimes the anxiety can get worse because I know what’s coming. There were times after I had my other babies when I wanted to cry when someone talked to me and yet I knew it would be worse if I stayed home by myself. The time when my baby is tiny is short and yet most of me is glad when it passes.
There’s a quiet that spreads over my soul as I approach welcoming a new little one. I would like the outside world to quieten with it, but not even my own home does. Instead I use that time, that extra space, to pray over this child and my own heart as I wait his coming. Because if there’s ever a time that I need Jesus, it’s in the delivery room. It’s when we carry our baby out to our own car to come home and I realize we are responsible for his life and soul. It’s when I try to settle back into life when some part of life seems to have left me. But He’s always been there. I have no doubt He will be this time too.