Monday, January 31, 2011

4 to 6 weeks

It's officially happening. God is starting to prepare me for the arrival of a second child. The nights of full sleep, or even just waking up once to pee are officially over. It's now up to pee 3-4 times and rolling over every 45 minutes or so each night. My days of sleep and feeling rested are over, at least for a year.

And surprisingly, I'm okay with that.
33 weeks pregnant and measuring at 35. EEK!

Dominic's going to be officially joining our family in just a month or so and I'm starting to get a little nervous. People are constantly asking me, "Are you excited?" Well, yes. I'm excited to meet this new child that God has blessed us with and allowed me to be a mother of. But am I excited about losing time with my first child, losing sleep and possibly losing my mind from being busy and overwhelmed? Um, no. I'm a wee bit frightened.

But I have to say, I think I'm going into the arrival of this baby with much more mental preparation than I did with Gabriel. Here are just a few things I've learned from Baby 1 to Baby 2.

1. The first 3-4 weeks will totally suck. There is no getting around it. There will be no sleep. I will be completely exhausted. But it will eventually end and I will get into a rhythm.

2. I will absolutely take all the help I can get from family and friends. I am not super mom and God has put these people in my life for a reason. Sometimes that reason will be to take Gabriel on a play date or hold Dominic while I take a shower. I am not above asking for help.

3. The laundry and the dishes will pile up. Eventually I will get to them, but I am not going to stress out if my house is not vaccuumed and everything is not in it's proper place.

4. My husband is my biggest ally. We will work as a team to transition our family from 3 to 4.

And the biggest thing I learned from Baby 1 to Baby 2 -

5. If I start to get sad or depressed, it's okay. But I will immediately let my doctor know and take action to get out of my slump as quickly as possible. I will not isolate myself from others and will try to get out into the world as quickly as I can.

I realize that with Baby 2, new insights will be realized and if/when we have Baby 3, I'll have even more things to add to that list. Right now, Baby D is measuring about 2 weeks early, so the arrival of our newest little guy could be here in just a month. Hopefully the transition to having a new child and Gabriel's transition to having a new brother will go smoother than I could ever imagine. Here's to God stretching me.

On another note related to preparing for Dominic's arrival, we've been working hard on getting his room ready. Michael and I cleaned out our guest bedroom, strategically hiding more junk in the garage and attic. Michael's been amazing, painting Dominic's room and being his perfectionist designer self, adding little touches that will make his room unique. I've been sewing like crazy and putting together Dominic's bedding set. I decided to make his bedding this time around and am happy to say that it's turning out fantastic! So far, I have the crib skirt and one crib sheet done. I'm about halfway done with his blanket, but it's coming along great too. I've included a couple of snap shots of his room and bedding in progress. It's not finished yet, but it's really coming together nicely and should be finished in the next couple of weeks. Our little guy is going to be stylin'!

I also celebrated turning the big 3-0 with an amazing 80's themed birthday party that Michael hosted for me. It was so much fun! Seeing an 8 month pregnant girl dressed in flash dance attire is a sight to see, by the way. I didn't even think it was possible to get my bangs that high anymore. My friends were great, dressing up and really getting into the theme of the evening.

I know the next several weeks are going to fly by and before we know it, we'll be a family of four. Right now, I'm just so thankful to be surrounded by good friends and family that are willing to come on the ride with us!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Final Countdown

Today marks my 31st week of being pregnant with our second child. I'm astonished that 31 weeks have already gone by and that in just about 8-9 more weeks, we'll meet our newest little family member.

Over Christmas, Michael and I came to the realization that subsequent children tend to get the shaft. I realize that a lot of this is accounted for by the fact that we're chasing after a two and a half year old all day, every day. But I don't want this baby to look back on the days before he was born and think, "Gee, Mom and Dad, thanks. I feel robbed." I haven't been as diligent about taking pregnancy photos to document my growing belly. My pregnancy journal is not nearly as detailed as I'd like it to be. We have yet to paint his nursery (although we're working on it this weekend), or buy him a crib or even a car seat for that matter.

But does that mean we love him any less? Absolutely not. We can not wait to meet this new little addition to our family and for Gabriel to experience what it's like to have a little brother. I'm sure after his arrival, we'll be very busy spoiling him with hugs, kisses and all the things we did to let Gabriel know we were so happy to have him in our lives. In the meantime, we need to get the ball rolling and prepare for his arrival a little more efficiently. I tried getting more efficient by taking a picture of my growing belly over Christmas!

Big baby at 29 weeks - already measuring 2 weeks early!

This pregnancy has been 180 degrees different than my pregnancy with Gabriel. First of all, I was extremely sick the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy - leading me to believe that he was going to be a she. Second, I haven't gained very much weight (praise God!). Third, I've been much more laid back (after my initial 16 weeks) about the safety and well being of this baby boy. Early on in my pregnancy I was very worried that something was going to happen to cause me to lose the pregnancy. I had several friend who were due around the same day I was that were losing their pregnancies and I was sure that I was going to be next. We experienced a miscarriage before we had Gabriel and it shook our world up for sure. But towards the 15-16th week of my ridiculous worrying and crying spells, Michael turned to me one night and said,

"Do you trust God, Kristina?"

I looked at him through my blurry eyes, tears still streaming down my face and was about to retort, "Well yes, of course I do."

But I stopped and thought about it. Did I trust Him? I knew I trusted Him with my marriage, with our finances, with our job situations, with our friends - with a whole lot of things. But did I trust Him with this pregnancy?

"No. I guess I don't. I want to. But I don't know how."

It took a lot of praying and encouraging from some solid Christian women as well as my amazing husband to teach me how to trust God with all things, including this new little life inside me. And the incredible part of my learning this was, once I put my trust in Him, my worries of another miscarriage went away. It didn't mean that I didn't understand that it was a possibility. But it meant that I could trust Him to take care of me - good or bad - and that in the end, His love for me would never fail.

Thankfully, this pregnancy has been very smooth and for the most part, very enjoyable. As the weeks go by, I get more excited about finally being able to meet my new son. It's going to be a change for sure, going from a family of three to a family of four. But it's something I wouldn't trade in for anything.

We can't wait to meet you, Dominic.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Year was 1981....

Today is the day. I'm officially in a new age bracket. Today is the day I turned 30. And on such days, it's fun to look back at what was going on the year you were born. Back in 1981:

1. The first DeLorean sports cars roll off the assembly line.

2. Prince Charles and Diana Spencer marry July 29.

3. Music Television was born

4. Tom Cruise makes his acting debut.

5. Sandra Day O'Connor becomes first female Supreme Court Justice.

6. A stamp only cost $.15!

7. The 1st space shuttle called the Columbia launches for the first time.

8. Olivia Newton John's song, "Let's Get Physicial" is a number one hit.

9. The US Agriculture Department tries making ketchup a school lunch vegetable

10. Atari releases home version of Pac-Man in the US and sparks a huge craze

It seems to me that most people "my age" don't really freak out too much about turning 30, and I didn't think I would either. But to be honest, it's a little unnerving to say that I'm no longer in my 20's. Not that I feel like I'm old and playing my last round, but there's something different, something, "maturing", about turning 30. Here are just a few things I've realized about myself now that I'm thirty and officially an adult.

1. Coloring my hair is no longer just for fun. It really is a necessity to hide all those grays.

2. Staying up past midnight is absolutely crazy and if I chose to be so nuts, it will take me at least 24 to 48 hours to recover from loss of sleep.

3. My body does not bounce back the way it once did.

4. I now relish a cup of coffee.

5. Naps are a gift from God.

6. The experience of being a wife and a mother far out-way the fun I had as a 20 something girl, playing the field.

7. Staying at home on a Friday night, curled up on the couch with my husband is my idea of a fabulous date.

8. Friendships are not disposable and it's important to put forth the effort to keep them active, alive and healthy.

9. Staying true to my convictions as a Christ follower are of greater importance than trying to fit in with the main stream society.

10. God willing, I've only lived a third of my life!

Those are just ten of many things I've realized and I'm sure the next 30 years will bring about more epiphanies. I know in just the upcoming year I have a lot to look forward to! Here's to you 30. May you be the beginning of a great era in my life.