I am 11 days away from my due date. (Not that I'm counting or anything.) I have two other kiddos, a job, and a really long to-do list (I mean…who doesn’t?).
We finally had some time to get the house in order. Our daughter’s bassinet is set up in our room, her baby clothes are washed and folded, the Rock ‘n’ Play was taken out of storage and cleaned up, and the car seat is installed.
I even have my hospital bag packed. (New pj’s and all! #TreatYoself, mama.) Our snack bag is packed, and we remembered big sister gifts for our daughters. Our “Who's going to come stay with the girls if I go into labor during the middle of the night?!” plan is in place. My maternity leave coverage is under control at work.
Basically, what I'm saying is that I'm feeling good. I'm feeling ready to meet my new baby.
So now...we wait.
We wait for her to decide it’s time.
We wait for those frequent contractions to start.
We wait for the cramping, the gut feeling that yes—I know this is really happening.
We wait to hear her cry and feel her body on our chest and in our arms.
We wait for this special, life-changing moment to happen.
But with waiting can come frustration, impatience and worry.
At this stage of pregnancy, the waiting seems like f-o-r-e-v-e-r.
It feels like the lower back pain will never go away. Like the discomfort of getting in and out of bed because of our large bellies and sore pelvic bones will always be part of our lives.
Like we will never fit into our clothes again because the baby will just set up shop inside of us for all of eternity and we'll just have to forgo clothes and only wear sports bras and sweatpants for life.
But we’ve got this, mamas.
I've decided that after all of the logistical prepping is done, I need to take some time to soak this moment in. I'm feeling like I have things semi-organized, so it's time to stop worrying and time to start preparing my heart for what's to come.
It’s time to start getting excited.
You see, I've basically been telling anyone I encounter that my due date is less than two weeks away, “Unless she wants to come sooner which would be fine by me!” But the truth is—we can't will our babies to come when we feel ready for them.
We have to sit. To wait. To be patient. Because they come when they want, when they're ready, and when our body gives them the OK.
So no more nesting. No more willing my daughter to come out.
No. Now is the time to appreciate the magic.
Because this is a surreal, intense moment that you only get to feel so many times in your life.
We are days away from meeting our daughter. Our new family member who will contribute amazing things to our family that we don't even know yet.
We are days away from holding our sweet, cuddly baby who will grow into a toddler, a child, a tween, a teen and an adult—who will have her own hopes and dreams, likes and dislikes, favorite colors and songs and activities.
We are days away from being introduced to someone who will change our lives for the better.
We are days away from making our (soon to be) middle daughter a big sister.
We are days away from watching my body do one of the most incredible things it can possibly ever do.
We are days away from smelling that intoxicating newborn smell.
We are days away from feeling our hearts stretch and grow and fill up with all the love in the world.
We are days away from truly witnessing a miracle.
So I want to slow down. I want to frame this moment in time. I want to remember this feeling of anticipation and excitement. Of hope and promise.
Because I've done this two other times before. I know how fast those first few weeks go by. I know (as clichéas it is) how I'm going to want all of this back one day.
Right now, I don’t have to wish for it to be back. It's right in front of me. I want to be in it, as much as possible. So I’m slowing down. I am focusing on being present with my girls, with my family. And I am waiting (as patiently as possible) to be introduced to my new sweet baby girl.
(But I can’t help shouting (via caps lock) to the internet—I. AM. EXCITED!)