This is due date week. While I don't want to fixate on the date, I am. After all, it's been almost nine months of looking toward this week as the final culmination of an awesome act of God!
As a result of last week's labor fake-out, our hospital bag is packed and we are, I think, ready.
Right now though, prepare to read some due-date-week stream of consciousness writing. I have had so many jumbled thoughts of anticipation, worry, excitement, confusion that I don't even know if I can get them all down. But for the sake of treasuring my jumbled brain, I think I'll write a bit today, without a final destination in mind....
In some ways this pregnancy has felt like nineteen months instead of nine, but other ways, it feels like just yesterday when we found out actually were pregnant. I find myself having mixed feelings about actually having the baby, about actually delivering a baby that will no longer be physically attached to me. Am I weird?
I have enjoyed "hanging out" with my hanging-out stomach, feeling the baby move around, and anticipating motherhood for the past nine months. There is a selfish, control-freak part of me that wants to keep the baby in my stomach, where nothing can harm him/her, and where I know I am always literally a heartbeat away.
Of course this is not reality, and of course I do want to HOLD and SEE this precious baby. It hasn't been until recently that I have even entertained thoughts of the baby's gender. I think I was so mesmerized by the realization that a BABY was inside of me, let alone a BOY or a GIRL baby. That wasn't important to me. What was important was knowing that he/she was continuing to grow and was safe and was someday going to be ours.
Ironically, today Princess Kate is in labor in England, and the world is awaiting the news of the Royal Baby. She's been in hiding for the past month so as not to be super-stalked through her last moments as an expectant mother. I know I've become slightly annoyed with the "Wow, you're still pregnant!" "That baby's not here yet?" "Poor girl. Still plugging alone, huh?" comments from people at church or the grocery store. However, getting some perspective, I bet Princess Kate would have begged for that kind of normalcy right now.
In all of my anticipation for this baby's birth, I do feel sad in a way that Chris and I are no longer going to be Team Knipe, party of two. Instead, it will be Team Knipe, party of three. I know that the third addition to our unit will be so fulfilling, in more ways than we can know. At the same time, I have cherished our time together as a couple, just us.
When we were trying to conceive for so long, all I wanted was to add a third member to our family. I couldn't even go a few hours without thinking about it, yearning for it.
I pray that our marriage, our bond as the ORIGINAL Team Knipe, party of two will withstand all that this new baby and this changing world will throw at us--- times of blessing, times of despair, times of joy, times of mundane diaper changing and dishwashing.
The past two days I spent on the couch. I had a lyme disease flare-up, which basically left me feeling 113 years old (aching joints, fever, headache). With an additional 30ish pounds pulling on my joints and a baby who likes to dance in utero, I was not feeling too hot. I couldn't get comfortable. I was hot. I was cold. I couldn't sleep. I was fearful that in this time of exhaustion and pain, I would go into labor, feeling already like I had been hit by a MAC truck.
But through it all, Team Knipe, party of one, took care of me. I didn't even need to tell him what I needed. Chris just knew. As I reflect back at this weekend, where I was a jumbled, crying, mess of a very pregnant lady, I saw Chris being exactly who I needed, divinely appointed to love me up!
I know that life isn't perfect. I know there will be days and nights when Chris and I are not on the same page. I know the baby will add a new element to our Team, but the reality is, we've got a really good Coach. The best one in fact. We have an all-knowing Coach, who knows what's coming next, who sees just how we all need to know love and peace. As long as we keep the Coach front and center, we're going to be fine.... all three of us.
For now, we wait. The waiting is made just a little bit easier because we know the Coach has been waiting to give us this gift for a long time too. His timing is perfect; He knows the best day and time for baby Knipe to show up. So, we wait with Him, for him/her.