Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On the subject of his birthday

The windows of our third story apartment have been let open, letting the sweet cool smell of fall push in.
It's that time of year again.

The leaves change color... deep reds, oranges, and yellows swirl to the ground below, and the landscape around us changes. The landscape around our home, our new apartment, is changing too. In February, we decided to downsize our living situation and move into a downtown apartment in our small college town. It has always been a pipe dream of ours to live in an urban setting, forgo our car and be right in the middle of things. And so we downsized.
And then the week after we signed our lease, we had a shock in the form of a positive pregnancy test.

But we love our new home. It is small and a little cramped but overall, we are enjoying this new lifestyle. We have downsized, but we're on the verge of upsizing of our family.

For the past six years, Fall has been our season of grief. Our Owen season. The cool breeze that stirs the fallen leaves stirs my heart too... to remember, to linger, to grieve, to sit with my son's memory and just be. Just be his mommy, his mommy who misses and loves him.

We are coming up on his seventh birthday this November. Less than eight weeks to be exact. But this year, I am struggling with the reality that soon I will have another sons's birthday.

I am less than nine weeks from my due date.

Just one week- that is all that separates Owen's birthday and Cooper's due date.

Today, I had an honest discussion with one of my doctors about their birthdays. I don't want Cooper to be born near or on one of Owen's days. To be very honest, I want Cooper born in October, preferably at 37 weeks. I want him out safely before something happens. I don't have the best track record during the third trimester.

Owen was stillborn at 36 weeks, and with Hannah Mae, our goal was to get to 37 weeks and induce (though that did make me extremely nervous). But in the end, she needed to be born early at 35 weeks because she began to show signs of distress. This happening again, with Cooper, is a huge fear of mine. But all my doctors want us to try to get to 39 weeks...which puts Cooper's birthday on Owen's 7th birthday.

On my way home this afternoon, I let the fear come. I rolled down the windows of my car as I drove down the now familiar roads of our new(ish) town. The fear, the stress, the anxiety of this last trimester can be crippling at times, paralyzingly me. As the tears welled up in my eyes, my mind drifted back to our beach vacation a few weeks ago and I imagined myself sitting at the oceans edge. The waves rushing up and pulling back over my feet. Washing me. Over and over and over again.

He who washed us in his blood... let us love and sing and wonder...

I had a moment of peace, and then another, and another. The Lord God has chosen my children's' birthdays... each one of them.
Hannah's and Ruby's unexpected and joyful births.
Owen's silent and sorrow filled birth, his beautiful and sad birth.

I am not naive to think that I won't struggle with this, and have fear and anxiety until I deliver precious Cooper. But The Lord has held us. He has washed us. He has always been faithful.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Goodbye, sweet sticky Summer

The last time I was pregnant during the summer was seven years ago. There was a long heat wave in Georgia where the high temperatures stayed above 100 degrees for over two weeks. 
We lived in a one bedroom apartment with no central air. I was twenty-something weeks pregnant with Owen and so so hot and miserable. Chris dragged our mattress into the living room where our little window unit hummed all night, trying to provide some relief while we tried to sleep. 

We went to the beach earlier that summer too. It was the week before my anatomy scan. I was 19 weeks pregnant, and barely showing. Chris broke his shoulder boogie boarding in the rough waves, and I read and napped on the beach, relishing in my last vacation before vacations changed forever. Next year, I would have a little baby to care for, to watch over, to enjoy at the beach. 

This summer, I'm pregnant again. 
We went to the beach. I'm 29 weeks pregnant. I'm hot and miserable. 
And happy and full. I'm showing quite a bit, enough where my great aunt asked several times if we're sure it's not twins. 

We took our two precious daughters with us. One loved the beach, the other not so much. It was as relaxing a week as you can have with a four year old and one year old who never stop moving and exploring, and with one kid who still does not sleep through the night. 

I'm ready. And scared. And unsure and overwhelmed and ready. 
October is just a month away.