Sunday, January 29, 2012

full of joy and gratitude

This morning as I kissed Wes goodbye for work, I had the sudden urge to write.  For the moment, everyone is still sleeping peacefully and all is well, so I thought I'd give in and write.

So much has happened since I've really blogged, I'm not even sure where to begin.  My heart feels like it is spilling over with gratitude, joy, peace, and awe about so many wonderful things in our lives right now.  It feels so good to experience that kind of contentment....being sick and treating it holistically, being out of our old place and finally moving forward with our lives has truly been a few of the scariest, most challenging experiences of our lives....but also some of the most rewarding by far.  Life just feels so rich right now.  It feels so right.  Like we are back where God me there is no replacement for that kind of peace and joy.

Spending three or four months in bed has a way of putting you so far behind in practically all areas of life: I haven't pulled out my camera since Christmas, uploaded photos since September, I haven't exercised much since learning I was pregnant, I've watched and let my family watch way too much television, the house has quickly fallen apart and everyone's forgotten what it's like to clean and pick up after themselves, etc.  Needless to say, January has been one of the busiest months because rather than resting after a busy Christmas, I've had to whip everyone (myself included) back into shape and back onto a solid routine.  Man alive, it was a lot of work.  There are still a few kinks to deal with, a few loose ends to tie up....a little more to do, but I feel like we are now "normal" busy and behind instead of so far behind I don't even know where to start.

Things are slowly seeping in as we make room for them.  The house is pretty clean at this point (thanks in part to Flylady and thanks in part to an amazing housekeeper), everyone's pretty well rested and back on the daily routine (with some improvements), we've had some time for more "fun" things - extra things - lately.  I had a massage and pedicure at a spa this week (Wes' Valentine's gift to me last year), this weekend we fed the ducks, made cookies, went for walks, played in the snow, had a movie/pizza night, I had a much needed girls' night with one of my best friends, Wes had some guy time at basketball (a new hobby he's decided to pick up), and read lots of books.  It's been so hard to stay in survival mode past Christmas for a bit, and even harder to ask for help when I need it, but I was thinking yesterday as we enjoyed a completely fun and relaxing Saturday, that it was sooo worth it!  It's so much easier for me to be "in the moment" when I am not overwhelmed with the chaos around me.  I feel peace when things are running at least semi-smoothly.  It's easier to find that "balance" we all look for, as well as the fact that my mind feels clear and refreshed instead of foggy and bogged down.  I feel grateful and inspired and motivated instead of overwhelmed, overworked, and overburdened.

Our family is in the process of undergoing many changes from big to small.  It feels like there's so much gong on I don't even know where to begin to share or explain it, but I will say that it's been a good thing, and everyone seems to be adjusting fairly well.

I am excited to see things continue to unfold.  I am in awe as I watch our boys all suddenly seem to grown up.  I am blown away when I realize that there is less than 18 weeks (give or take) to when little girl Stewart arrives and brings with her many more changes for the better to our family.

On to pregnancy news.  I am getting more and more excited and happy about my choice to go with a midwife/birthing center this time around.  It's starting to really sink in:  the approaching need for lots of "practice" for hypnobirthing relaxation, the need to prepare in every way for this big change and not spending a couple days in the hospital, but going home the same day I give birth (or the next morning if that be the case).  Every time I go visit my midwife, I feel more and more comfortable, excited, and relaxed about the upcoming joyful even that will be our daughter's birth.  I am excited for Wes to have the experience of "catching" our baby, excited and overjoyed to hold her the moment she enters the world, to soak in those precious moments when our brand-new baby girl arrives straight from heaven into a calm, peaceful, joyful environment surrounded only by a few intimate onlookers rather than armies of doctors, nurses, interns, etc.  I am so grateful that both baby and pregnancy have allowed me to qualify for such an experience with good health and a peaceful spirit.

My last appointment was Friday.  After having the best ultrasound I've ever had (I know how silly that sounds, but our experience seriously doesn't even compare to anything I've experienced before as far as an ultrasound goes.  I learned a lot, felt like I really got to know my little girl a little more, and enjoyed the process as the tech took the liberty of not only telling me repeatedly how beautiful our little daughter was, but explained in detail every part of the ultrasound and what she was checking, and how our little one was faring.), it was fun to cement i the experience by having - for the first time ever - the ultrasound results explained to me.  I had no idea how much they can tell from an ultrasound!  (Did you know they can estimate pretty accurately how big the baby's head will be at term?  I didn't.)  I love how my midwife turns having a baby from a medical experience into a family experience, involving everyone in a fun and loving way.  She is an amazing woman and I feel so confident in her abilities.  I love the way she wants to ask me questions, know my thoughts regarding pregnancy and birth, give me choices whenever possible (did you know you don't have to drink that icky stuff for the gestational diabetes test?!  It's actually more accurate to eat what you would normally eat for breakfast, not eat for two hours, and then have your blood drawn to see how your body is doing on your regular diet?  I know.....totally awesome.), and hear about every ache and pain and question, no matter how big or small, that I have.

I have had lots of good conversations with both my midwife and my best girlfriend (who will be acting as my doula) about labor and giving birth.  I have devoured my hypnobirthing book.  Interestingly enough, different parts have stuck out to me this time around....perhaps from not having to worry about focusing on how to explain and express our preferences but instead focus that energy into how to prepare for the big day.  I can actually visualize holding our wet, fresh baby close to my chest, watching her take in the world around her for the first time.  I am actually excited to see how different things will be, how differently a newborn will respond to such a different environment.  I have a feeling I will wish I'd learned about all of this much sooner!

Well, I have little people crawling on my bed now as I type, so I guess it's time to save my thoughts for another day.  I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday.  Hugs!

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