This is my journal entry from a week ago that I wanted to blog to capture my thoughts of labour/delivery and parenthood, before they become realities. Really how can I know what to expect? So I wanted to write down my thoughts so I can reflect on them after the fact. I invite you to share in them with me and we can reflect together in a few weeks time (and maybe laugh at my naivety) with a little more experience to guide my thoughts.

Can I savour this moment? It’s been a grey winter. We haven’t left Chilliwack area since Christmas. We have an impending major life change approaching in a time line that I can’t control, nor precisely define. I’ve had a busy, but very productive and pleasant work week. And now I sit here with my laptop, with this blank work document ready to have words scattered on its page and I am excited to write and I am excited that I am excited to write. The sun is shining and today I am going to go conquer Teapot hill at 8 months pregnant and I feel healthy and my baby feels well within me. I have less than 2 weeks left of work before I embark fully mind, body, soul into this new endeavor of challenging parenthood. I come from employment where I feel accomplished and where the remuneration is considerable to a vocation where I have no idea how I will fare with the certain challenges and where the hours are long and there is no punch clock and where financial benefits do not exist.

Can I savour being here, by myself, empowered by the Holy Spirit living within me and having a quiet moment to let Him fortify me with calm and excitement all in one time of reflection. People tell me at work to enjoy these days, because “boy, life will change soon.” And the look in their faces give these words as cautions for what’s ahead. And I do not rush the future, but at the same I do not fear, nor do I dread some of the changes. However, in this moment I am thankful for my uninterrupted quiet and think that perhaps I could develop myself as a writer in these next months. That I could carve out time to escape the wild life of being mom, to sit in a moment and think and put those thoughts onto a page that will last. That I can be open in sharing my life in the way that makes me feel so real and so enriched. Can I mention it again, that I love to write and I love to love to write. What I mean is that when I have thoughts that I want to share and they formulate themselves into words that I can put on paper, well it makes me feel so satisfied. I can savor these words and I can reread and re-experience these words. So here I am in that place and I thank you for joining me here and for sharing in these moments and in these words. Isn’t life just too rich to not want to capture it somehow?

I am excited in these moments! While I look forward to being more limber and being able to walk briskly (never mind run) without clenching my pelvic floor so I don’t feel like I’ll pee myself at any moment, I am also savoring these last moments of pregnancy. I tell people I really feel quite great and it is true! My body is being good to me and that foot that presses out from my belly is so unreal; that foot belong to my child whom I’ll get to meet in a few brief weeks. Physically, pregnancy is a crazy phenomenon. Stop and think: there is a child growing inside of me! The human body is amazing. While I embrace my spiritual existence, I welcome being human, being a physical being. I thank God for the health He has given me that I am able to move my body and stretch it and in this pregnancy that I am able to be part of a physical miracle that is so commonplace we perhaps, fail to stop and think enough about how incredible it is.

In this last month of pregnancy, my feet are starting to swell, my hands go numb just sitting, my belly makes me less agile, my hips ache at times. But I am doubly alive! I love my walks and I love my prenatal yoga. Because it has grown so gradually, my belly doesn’t even seem that big to me. I look in the mirror and picture where my abs once lied and then I realize ‘my goodness look at me’! Now I know that part of how my pregnancy is progressing so well is simply luck, genetics, just the way this pregnancy is. But I am embracing being as healthy as possible in this pregnancy. It was good to keep running through the beginning half of the pregnancy, pushing through the incredible 1st trimester fatigue. It was good to go hiking, to explore Kauai on foot, on kayak. It’s been great to keep limber with my prenatal yoga. It was good to go to the gym and modify my once intense work-outs to maximize what I could do. It is lovely to enjoy walks with Ryan and by myself along the Vedder trail. Physically, I feel as ready as one could possibly be for labour and delivery. In many ways I look forward to this physical challenge and accomplishment (hence really not wanting a c-section). I say “bring it on!” I’ve run a half marathon, but I have never given birth to a child; that will be my marathon (and Ryan will be my ‘running’ partner)! No pain, no gain! So I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I expect endorphins to kick in. When I run, I run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute. So my contractions will be my run interval and my break will be my walk interval. At about Km 10 in the half marathon, I knew I could do it, but there is still a lot of road left ahead. I imagine labour will be like that too; so much pain and in the beginning so much time ahead. But I want to press on, knowing Ryan’s right there beside me, ready for the endorphins to kick in when I hit KM 19 and only have 2 KM to go and my legs are tired, and the pain will get even more intense, but the goal is just ahead. In a way, I just can’t wait for labour. Let’s do this thing! (And I pray that God would allow a smooth delivery with respect to aspects out of my control such as baby’s positioning and baby’s progression through the birth canal and baby’s general health during labour and delivery.)

So here I am in these last weeks in a ‘funny’ state. I don’t mind being pregnant, I’m really not that uncomfortable. I have some moments of quiet which will soon require much more effort to obtain. Ryan and I can sleep in on days off. I can arrange my schedule. But I am ‘ready’ for this next challenge.

I cannot speak of this next challenge without discussing my current thoughts on impending parenthood. I suppose I have a similar philosophy to labor and delivery. Really you can only be so ready, and so I feel as ready as I will ever be and therefore, let’s just do this thing and see how we do! (Yesterday, I had a mini-epiphany. Well perhaps that’s too dramatic a statement. But, you see I’ve been really not wanting to deal with grumpy people at work lately. The irrational people. The people who have a mandate to make life miserable for everyone. I realized yesterday, that though I have only 2 weeks of work left, 2 weeks of potential encounters with ‘grumpies’ that I am responsible to deal with, there is life ahead of potential ‘grumpies’ living in my OWN home! So let me just consider that dealing with grumpy people is a life skill well worth having.)

After going through our prenatal class together, I think this little bundle growing inside of me is going to capture our hearts in a way we cannot predict. Neither of us are newborn fanatics, but I think we will think she is adorable whether she has a squishy head or baby acne etc. We love her already. We call her by name. We desire life’s best for her. Becoming a parent makes me think of what I want to teach our child. I love to teach and I am so thankful for all the formal and informal education I have been granted. I can only feel that through the differences in Ryan and me, our daughter will have a solid foundation to thrive in life and I cannot wait to start learning from her as well.

After all this writing, I just can’t wait to meet you baby girl and announce your arrival to this world!