12 February 2010

**Update! Just put eleven new bibs in my shop - including boy prints, girl prints AND a lot of great gender neutral prints. Oh, and you'll notice I now have a new shop banner thanks to that guy I like so much. Thanks, babe!**

So, I'm pretty sure Hazel has taken from me (along with my girlish figure and any nutrients she might be requiring) my ability to:
  1. walk into a room and not break something (not the least of which includes a $150 camera lens and running the front end of my van into a florist truck. Argh!)
  2. keep track of my belongings (lost so far: camera cord, phone charger, new favorite navy cardigan, and so on...)
  3. write anything coherently in prose form.
Somehow, the only way I can think is in list form. Any ability I possessed to compose thoughtful prose before this pregnancy has gone out the window completely by now. My emails are disjointed and I'm randomly replacing common words with completely unrelated words (the other day my mind wanted to type "master" and my fingers typed "mortgage".) I'm a little bit looking forward to reclaiming my faculties this spring. :)

All of this to say, brace yourselves for a slew of lists in the coming weeks. It's the tidiest way I can think to communicate and be even a little bit clear. (You seriously have no idea how many edits I had to make even to that last sentence when I proofread it).

My list today:
Preparing for baby
(in which I will do my best to evaluate my level of preparedness for
our girl to arrive in the various facets of my life.)

Riveting. I know!

  1. Physically: I had a really encouraging appointment with my midwife on Wednesday! And, to my great joy, I have already begun to progress! (If anyone feels like cheering or anything, this would be an appropriate time to do so!) I have been having a ton of contractions (counted out 12 in an hour last Saturday evening - that's 1 every 5 minutes!) and was preparing myself to hear that they hadn't produced anything. Instead, I was so pleased to hear that it was not all for naught! I'm still aiming to keep this girl in until she's term at 37 weeks, but I have to say I wouldn't mind meeting her then as opposed to 41 weeks like Oliver! Just saying.
  2. Mentally: No, I'm pretty sure I'm not mentally prepared to have a baby right now. (Another reason why a little more time before she decides to arrive wouldn't hurt!) The thought of actually being a mother to two children is literally a brand new thought to me these past couple of weeks. (I know that sounds ridiculous). I've spent the last eight months -subconsciously and consciously - not allowing myself to go "there" - to get my hopes up (because I'm all dark and twisty and wounded I guess)- protecting myself from the possibility of disappointment. (Wow, that last sentence was rough. Sorry.) So, actually imagining a real, live baby in the moses basket next to my bed or in our van with us, or in the clothes I've made for her, or generally fitting into our lives is a huge stretch and occasionally a little overwhelming. Why did I waste so much time doubting?
  3. Spiritually: Hm... spiritual preparedness... Well, for one thing, I'm daily repenting to the Lord for my fear and doubt. (I wrote an entire post all about this and it's been saved as a draft for over a week. It's a little bit unpretty - and as you can imagine the prose is very disjointed - and I'm a little embarrassed to actually publish it.) Let's just say that God is working faithfully in my life and on my heart. First, convicting and forgiving me of my sins of doubt and fear, and also restoring me and preparing my heart to be a mother to this precious child he is giving us. I have learned so much about the Lord's character and about trusting Him in this pregnancy. He is preparing my mind and heart for her even when I cannot do it myself. I'm amazed.
  4. Practically: It turns out you don't actually need very much to bring a baby home and take care of it. And though that may be true, it's hard to convince a nesting Mama that she doesn't need handmade booties from France or seventeen pink sleepers that will last only three months. Especially a Mama who could do NOTHING with her nesting instinct in her last pregnancy, knowing that there would be no baby to bring home. I've been "expecting" a daughter since the fall of 2007, so now that I finally have the opportunity to have pink things in our home, I'm just a leeetle bit excited! That said, I really think we've got everything we need. I'd still like to get some of my favorite lotion and shampoo for her because it smells SO good and reminds me of when Oliver was an infant. And, I have a few finishing touches to make on her moses basket bedding. But the basics are there. We have a nursery and have been blessed with lots of hand-me-down sleepers and things from cousin Beatrice. And as you know, I've had the joy of making a number of things for her myself. I have a hospital bag almost completely packed and we're basically ready when she is! (This feels really good to say - I've lost a lot of sleep the past several months not feeling practically "ready" for her.)
  5. Emotionally: It just depends a little bit on when you catch me. I've been very anxious about labor in particular since this summer when we found out we were expecting. The last time I gave birth was a very different, very traumatic time. Now, I'm planning to go back to that same place and experience a completely different outcome. I've been so nervous about this that I've already made one trip to the labor and delivery floor just to walk around and acclimate myself to the idea that this is not a scary, horrible place of loss. But the truth is, in the past week or so the Lord has replaced all of that fear with a peace that just passes understanding. I don't know why I'm not scared - but I'm not. (Again, I've wasted a LOT of time this pregnancy on doubt and fear). This is Hazel's birthday, not Oliver's or Evie's. It's going to be unique to her and not like either of her older siblings. That helps.
I've also been less anxious about losing her in these past couple of weeks. I've been certain over and over again that something was going to happen and Hazel could not actually be ours to take home. Putting up her crib and making bedding for it was a real leap of faith for me - for us! God has been so good as I've repented of these fears to replace them with peace and clarity. If nothing else, those thoughts of "the longer we have her with us, the more we have to lose" have been replaced with "she doesn't belong to us but to her Father in heaven. Every day he gives us with her and with her brother and with each other is a gift." Turns out we have nothing to lose, since all we have is a gift from God and we give it back to him in humble thanks.

Aaaaand, that's all the listing I have in me this morning. Now for some quality time with Oliver, followed by some quality time in my sewing room. I've had a lot of requests for boy bibs as well as more girl bibs since nearly everything in my shop has sold out. I've got about a dozen new patterns that I plan to add this afternoon and I'll be sure to tweet about it when they're available.

Sorry about a post with no pictures. No pictures and instead, emotional baggage. :) Y'all are wonderful and encouraging and I really look forward to all of your kindness every day. It really makes a difference for me and I'm grateful.

Blessings, friends!


Melanie said...

Oh, Raechel, I don't think anyone minds your emotional baggage! I can particularly sympathize with your nervousness about the delivery and going back to the same place you delivered Evie. I suspected that might be particularly challenging. I discovered at the end of my last pregnancy that I have an aversion to ultrasound machines that was completely unexpected. I walked into the room for what was supposed to be a "fun" ultrasound and suddenly felt ill and scared. It was then that I realized that all of my (maybe 8?) previous ultrasounds had been under troubling conditions and most had unhappy outcomes. I'm so glad God is leading you to a place of greater peace and trust!

I can definitely sympathize with your state of mind! I am 32 weeks and have just developed an annoying habit of leaving ingredients out of recipes even when I have them right in front of me. I also know what you mean about not being mentally ready for a new baby. I haven't thought about it a whole lot either, not out of fear, just out of busyness and trying not to think too far ahead! I think that's actually pretty normal at this stage--sounds like neither of us is quite to the point where you can think of nothing other than wanting the baby out!!! Enjoy your last few weeks of pregnancy--I'm trying to value my sleep while I can. :)

Christine said...

This is a good post. Really, it is. Not brain dead at all. (I promise to always let you know if you are acting brain dead. It's just what friends are for.) I like what you said about repenting, repenting, repenting. How often do we waste time on fear and doubt in the prime of our lives? I sincerely hope and pray that these next couple weeks only fill you with joy and happy expectancy. Much love and hugs and PINK!

Tricia said...

So excited for you and your sweet family to be adding pink to your lives!
I am due March 27th w/ our 3rd but will be having my baby the week of March 8th. I had a placental abruption w/ my second baby and although he was ok (my dr. acted quick and got him out by emergency c-section) I am a nervous wreck this time. Constantly checking kick counts, thinking I don't feel him.... I cannot imagine the emotions that are going through you after the loss of your sweet Evie. God is so faithful to bring you all through that time and help you to heal while you get to experience the joy of life w/ Hazel!!!
Know that all of us are praying for you and a safe delivery. Can't wait to see your sweet Hazel--especially can't wait to see Oliver and Hazel together!

aprild said...

Raechel -
I noticed you had asked about Gro Baby and Flip diapers. I have been using them on my daughter for about a month; She is seven months old. I had been talking about using cloth since before she was born but was unsure that I would be able to keep up with the whole washing, drying, preparing of cloth diapers. I finally decided to make the switch and LOVE them! I am actually using GroBaby and Flip diapers. I also have one Bumgenuis and have found a few others that I want to try at some point. I love the GroBaby diapers! They are easy to use as a first timer and I really like that the covers can generally be used a couple of times before they need to be changed. They don't have a huge selection of covers but what they have is cute. I personally like the velcro closure so that I can adjust it to my daughter. She has a small waist but chubby thighs. I'm not sure how they would have worked as a newborn (she was small 6.6 with really skinny legs). I love that the insert snaps into place so that it does not move around. I have never had issues with leaks. I use the Flips more as an extra diaper but also like them. I have not had problems with the folded insert moving around (although my daughter is not crawling so I'm not sure how they will work then). The covers are not as soft as the GroBaby and not really a selection of covers. I have used the Flips over night several times and if I add a booster to the folded insert I do not have problems with leakage. Hope this helps. Congratulations on your daughter!

Susan Graham said...

Hugs!!! As a mommy that has had issues with having babies I can tell you that God's Grace goes before us and covers us and our doubts. It's not that we doubt Him and His goodness but rather we are wounded little birds who approach with caution. I think He understands. :) Go Team Pink!!

Kristin said...

Praying for you during this exciting time! Can't wait to "meet" little Hazel!
Blessings, Kristin

Marcella said...

I ordered some bibs. So excited for them to come for my 1 year old girl, Calista. Hope everything will go well as you prepare for Hazel. God's blessings to you all. With my prayers for peace.


Chantelle said...

I love how real you are, I find it so very refreshing to read. I really look forward to reading your posts. I am super excited for you and your soon to be addition to the family Hazel!!!

We have been trying for about 6 months now for baby #2 with not alot of success due to possible polycystic ovarian syndrome. I know it hasn't been long that we've been trying, but I long for another baby already. I know the feeling you describe about thinking of being a mother of 2!! And I am not even pregnant yet. I am sure it will come naturally and it sounds like Oliver will be a great big brother!

Brittanie said...

I feel like I could have written all that emotional baggage stuff myself. My second pregnancy was so very hard. I too felt like Erin wasn't really going to be coming home, like Cora didn't. Going back to that hospital was so hard.

I got that same peace you did. I was so grateful for it. The sweet tender mercy of the Lord is an amazing feeling.

Best of luck to you as you endure the rest of the uncertainty before bringing Hazel home! (hugs)

Makenzie Leigh said...

"If nothing else, those thoughts of "the longer we have her with us, the more we have to lose" have been replaced with "she doesn't belong to us but to her Father in heaven. Every day he gives us with her and with her brother and with each other is a gift." Turns out we have nothing to lose, since all we have is a gift from God and we give it back to him in humble thanks."
This was amazing, and it has opened my eyes.. I have lost a lot of people close to me, all very close to me.. and lately I have found myself fearing that I will loose other people that I love, that I know are not ready for heaven, to face the fact.. they wouldn't get there.. if they left earth tonight.&seeing this post&reading this quote.. gave me a hope.. &that they do belong to God.. it also gave me encouragement.. that I need to speak up even more then I have in days past.. because everyday is a gift..that I need to take advantage of so that I can see them for eternity.
Thanks for this quote.
&I will continue to pray for your&all of yours.

Emily said...

Just wanted to thank you for this post. Your blog is one of only a couple of blogs that I still follow (due to time constraints) written by people I don't know.

Anyway. We didn't lose our precious Elise in March but we came close when she was born at 27 weeks, 6 days and spent 75 days in the NICU. I found myself unexpectedly pregnant last fall when Elise was only 6 months old. We had hoped to wait a good long time before trying again because of the possibility that we have another preemie.

Although I pray that everything will go well and I'll go to term (I'm 22 weeks now), part of me struggles with feeling like it won't happen. And part of me even struggles to feel like my precious little baby girl will even get to come home. I want to throw myself into the joys of pregnancy but always feel this little bit of caution, knowing that everything could change in an afternoon (as was the case with Elise - healthy pregnancy right up until the day she was born).

I've always loved the name Evie (a family name) and have planned for years to name my second daughter (if I had two) Evelyn and call her Evie. Now that we know we are having another daughter, I struggle with even wanting to call her by her name and keep finding myself calling her "the baby" or occasionally "baby girl" but only a couple of times (when I have been extremely purposeful to do so) have I called her Evie or Evelyn.

Reading your post made me realize why I struggle with it. Naming her makes her real. It means that if I lose her I don't just lose my "baby"...I lose my Evie. Thank you for the encouragement to repent of my fears and to come boldly before the Lord asking His will, His strength and His peace be mine.

I'm not at a place where I can actually blog about such things and have tended to keep things more upbeat except for rare occasions. So I greatly appreciate those can be vulnerable before an online audience and let the Lord touch others through them. Thank you for being you and for allowing the Lord to work through you.

Nicole said...

Bring on the emotional baggage , sister! Who doesn't have any? And who doesn't need a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen ? You made sense to me! maybe that's b/c I am suffering from a pregnant momma brain too! LOL :) I wish you sleepful nights, rested days, happy moments with your sweet Oliver, and lots and lots of pink!!
*and Mommy and Daddy time too:)*

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

I think what you are going through with feeling like you are losing your mind is pretty common. I remember being pregnant with my first and going into the store only to find out my keys were not only still in it but the car was still running. Yep...got lucky my car was not stolen!

I'm glad you are finally able to let yourself "go there" and enjoy the new feeling of excitement about bringing this new little one home. It won't be long!

Blessings, Amy

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Loved this post and am on my way to look at the bibs....

Chelsa said...

Just so you know everything single thing you listed-- I felt and in some ways are still feeling. I HAD CORBIN last week on the 9th! I really can't believe he is one week old. Some of your thoughts were really good for me to read, even now that he is already here. I hope you don't experience the anxiety that I have been feeling even since Corbin has arrived. I have been terrified God might decide to take him back... We already had to give Andon back and that was hard enough, but now that Corbin is here (after not allowing myself to "go there" mentally of thinking of him actually coming to live with us for 8 months) it is terrifying to me to think something might happen to him... silly? yes. I've been repenting and asking for peace regarding this as well. I'm working on it... I can't seem to put him down! thankfully big brother Brycen is just as in love with him and isn't one bit jealous, only gets mad when I hold him too much and HE wants to hold him! haha! I hope everything w/ your labor goes perfectly and I can't wait to "meet" Hazel Wren!

The Bee Hive said...

Hazel is going to have a beautiful and restoring birth! Can't wait to see her, I am now a fan of little girls! :-)