This is going to be another post with lots of words and no pictures. It just takes such a great effort to get stuff loaded off the camera, and I would rather write. Plus, it's sort of calming for me right now since I'm a basket full of emotions.
Today makes one week until we meet our precious daughter. That means only one week left of constant heartburn, waddling like a duck, lower back pain, pelvic pressure, and uncomfortable contractions.
It also means only one week left as a family of three. Only one week left of devoting all of my attention to one child. Only one week left of Mommy/Eli dates. Only one week left of afternoons spent with just the two of us. Only one week left of falling asleep next to my precious boy. Only one week of this fleeting season that has been so beautiful, so challenging, and so rewarding all at the same time.
There is only one week left until the winds of change begin to blow for our family, and to be honest, that terrifies me. Simply put: I do not like change; even the good kind. I'm comfortable with the security of my current circumstances, but I suppose our personal growth becomes stunted when we are comfortable. So we let go with a sigh and pray like never before that we'll land on our feet as we walk into this new season and find our new normal.
Of course getting to the new normal is never a simple task. It's not as easy as going into the hospital, leaving with a baby, and living happily ever after. Although, I suppose that was my expectation with Eli.
No, finding your new normal is a slow process that is painful at times as it requires growth and change, and essentially dying to one's else. It's about realizing that those rosy dreams you had of motherhood where just that - dreams. The reality is that this new role is full of self sacrifice, sleep deprivation, poopy diapers, and sometimes even periods of depression. It's full of marital changes and possibly a few unexpected financial challenges from time to time. It's a world where other mothers can be your best friend or your greatest enemy. It's a season where you need your husband more than ever yet want to prove you can handle this thing all on your own. It's a time in your life when you learn that your Mom isn't always right, but you probably will be - at least when it comes to YOUR baby. It's an emontional state where you read every book, question your every instinc, but ultimately decide that you know best...you really do know best.
Yes, brand new motherhood is a season of life that stretches you until you think you might snap like a rubber band and go flying around room waiting to smack someone in the face. It's a time when you experience the growing pains of change in nearly every area of your life, yet find such sweet joy in the face of a little boy.
And so here I sit, only one week away from meeting our precious daughter, content with the rosy picture of holding her in my arms, learning her every feature, and letting my heart grow another size. Yet this time, I am challenged by the reality of what is to come - both what I know and what I don't.
But I have this blessed assurance that no matter what comes my way, I have done this before. I have survived sleepless nights. I have successfully battled fevers, boo-boos, and cutting teeth...sometimes without a doctor. Ha! I have been down this path before, and there is comfort in that.
So, as I eagerly anticipate the birth of this precious child, I am little less naive about what motherhood might hold. I am fully aware that it should really be called "the good, the bad, and the ugly," and that there will no doubt be more growing pains as we find our new normal. However, I have gained enough wisdom to know that in the worst of these moments there is a still, quiet beauty that no experience on earth can ever compare to.
I know without a doubt that "This Too Shall Pass." And I know that in the midst of balancing work, family, and overnight shifts, Eric and I are the on the greatest adventure of our lives. I know that we are team turned family, and we can face this thing called parenthood together - even if Ellie does even up the playing field a bit...ha!
It's a bitter-sweet week as we soak in the last precious days as a family of three yet look ahead to the lifetime that awaits us as a family of four.