Monday, November 30, 2009

Now That I've Finally Sat Down To Type This, Someone Will Start Crying Or My Battery Will Die. TRUST ME. (Also, now, Nate's Birth Story: Part One.)

It's December. Effective tomorrow, it's December.

Thanksgiving has passed us by, as have the move and the birth...(well, hey, would you look at that. CRYING. Will be back to finish this post in a week or so.)

Sure enough. It IS a week or so later and here I am, listening to my little Nate scuffling in his chair next to my bed (don't even get me started on the possibility of sleeping in the pak-n-play...or sleeping in the chair for that matter...) threatening to wake up and need me. And, thus, keep me from writing this post YET AGAIN. It's not that I have ZERO time to sit down and write his story. It's certainly not that I have zero INTEREST in writing his story. It's just that by the time we get the big boys to bed (it's still hard for me to believe that Jacob is now a "big boy") and I get the kitchen cleaned up from dinner the time that I have to work on this little critter's Christmas stocking becomes less and less. And THAT project actually has a deadline. All that to say, thanks for being patient.

At any we go.

First, let me just say that I take my hat off to those of you who actually have babies the normal way. Having a planned c-section takes a lot of the stress out of the waiting, for sure, but it also is SO EASY. I'm sure that there are many graces that God gives to you when having a baby (regardless of which way that baby comes out) but by the time The Night Before The Big Day was upon us, all I could think was "I don't know how anyone could go through labor and delivery after all of this." I was SO. TIRED. I was SO. EMOTIONAL. Plain and simple, I was exhausted. Granted, we were still in the process of moving into a new house, but even setting that aside I just don't know how you all do it.

My biggest concern amidst all of the busy-ness of Project House and Project Baby was that the house would be so all-consuming that we'd get to the point where having the baby was just another thing to be crossed off on the to-do list. In the grand scheme of things, that second project is so much more important than the first and I didn't want to lose it, you know? As it turns out, I did kind of lose it...but it didn't really matter all that much. Because I was still there. I still remember everything. And? Because I still get this little baby FOREVER. God has entrusted this precious soul to me and even though the circumstances surrounding his birth were hectic, the rest of his life is before us. THAT is what is important to me. THAT is what I'm thankful for.

That said, I think I'm going to take a lesson from Arwen and stop here. Let me do this in little bits...smaller chunks of writing = smaller blocks of time (for me and for you!) = more time for me to change a certain someone's diaper. (I'm beginning to sense a certain aroma wafting up past my nose.)

Tomorrow: The Night Before The Party.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Calm Between The Storms

Six weeks ago I had two items on my pre-baby To Do List. One: make Baby's Christmas Stocking. Two: Complete this years Christmas Shopping. The logic was simple - having a baby six weeks before Christmas would completely erase those next six weeks in terms of Getting Things Done. And, as you know, Getting Things Done before Christmas is quite a task. I figured the task was easy enough - take the stocking from looking like this:

to looking something like these:

My life was so much simpler back when I made Christopher's stocking. I knew it would be a project...didn't know HOW MUCH of a project I was looking at, though. My mom had made our Christmas stockings, and when I found kits similar to what she 'd done for us, I knew I had to do the same for our boys. Turns out that they're a liiiitle more intricate these days. And boy do they take a lot of time to complete! As life would have it, by the time I started working on it my little newborn was in a lovely pattern of being asleep by 9pm for three or four hours. At that point, I'd flip on that night's Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie and get to work. I got in nearly two hours of work each night, and yet the stocking STILL wasn't finished in time for Christmas. (It WAS, however, ready in time for New Year's which worked out quite well because that year we spent Christmas in Tahoe with my family and then had a big Second Christmas with Tim's family on New Year's Eve.) That last week was all I needed to get it finished and it was so lovely. And I was so proud that my boy would have this stocking every single year.

Life was a little different when Jake came along. He wasn't NEARLY as good of a sleeper, so my work time was really chopped up, but the fact that he was born in May meant that if I planned well, there was no excuse to not have it completed. Plus, by Jake's first Christmas, Chris was old enough to know what's up and I JUST KNOW he would have questioned why Jake didn't have a stocking for HoHo to fill. (Yes, HoHo. He still calls him that. EVERY SINGLE DAY BECAUSE HE LOVES HOHO SO VERY MUCH.) (Did I mention this takes place EVERY SINGLE DAY?) (GOOD.) This second time around, I thought it would be fun to keep track of how many hours it took for me to complete the stocking. Every night I logged my start and stop time, and friends? It took me thirty-six hours.

THIRTY SIX HOURS went into the making of that Christmas stocking. And, yes, I am just a little too proud of that.

That said, I knew that Nate's stocking was going to take a long time. I knew that there would be NO time between his birth and Christmas. I KNEW I need to start it at the beginning of October and work for at least ONE HOUR every night in order to get it done on time.

And then we went and bought a house - a process that absolutely destroyed every plan I had on my pre-baby agenda.

Don't get me wrong. I love the house. I WANTED to buy the house. I wanted to be IN the house before the baby arrived. Obviously, right? Wouldn't that make so much more sense than trying to move with a newborn? Of course it would! We'd been looking for a few months by the time we found this house, though, and as my due date was getting closer and closer I was beginning to accept the possibility and then the (I thought) reality that we would not be in a house before the baby came. I resigned myself to bringing Baby Nate home to our 3-bedroom town home (in which every room is occupied AND now that Tim works from home, no longer has a kitchen table as it has been converted to a work space) and I convinced myself that everything would work out just fine! After all, what does a baby need beyond a few jammies and a place to sleep, right? Right! OKAY, I had a few mild panic attacks, but beyond that, I was fine.

But then the price dropped on this house that I had already seen and written off because 1) it was way out of our price range and 2) I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong - it was fancy and lovely, but the floor plan wasn't my ideal and, let's face it, it's easy to "not like a house" that's too expensive for you to buy. BUT I DIGRESS. We walked through the house again (for me. For the first time for Tim.) Again I didn't like it. But Tim LOVED it. You can ask Shelby. She was there. I really didn't like it. I had Serious! Objections! And then my dear friend Shelby (who was SUPPOSED to be on my side) admitted that she liked it. And then my other friends presented easy solutions to my objections. And THEN Amy and the Blathering crew had this joke about First World Problems. And THEN I realized that maybe, just maybe, the fact that the (big! beautiful!) laundry room was not exactly where I would like it to be was not quite a valid reason to walk away from this house.

AND THEN!!!! My DAD talked me into it. My. Dad. This is a whole other post just waiting to be written.

From that point everything happened quickly and our situation changed from accepting that we wouldn't be out of our townhouse before baby was born to moving into a big, spacious home exactly one week before my scheduled c-section.

And then my head exploded.

Well, not quite. But that's how the past few days have felt. Like my head is ready to pop off...and my bellybutton too.

Suffice it to say, any plans I had to be ready for Christmas before my birthday even hit were erased from my psyche. Christmas stocking? What Christmas stocking? Shopping? Sorry! Mortgage! Getting ready for baby? Installing infant seat? Washing baby clothes? Finding bassinet attachment to pak-n-play? Fat chance!

I'm seriously losing more and more of my mind with every hour that passes. My body is getting ready to evict the baby, my brain is trying to keep everything straight, and my emotions are...well, rocky at best. But it's all good because all of this is a visible sign to me that God does answer our prayers. He does carry us through. He DOES give us blessings beyond our wildest imaginings. He did it last Thursday when we slept in our new home for the first time, and He'll be doing it again THIS Thursday when we hear that precious little squawk for the first time.

All of these blessings have been a challenge in many ways - not the least of which is the fact that we've been so busy and so scattered, that I feel like we haven't even had a moment to anticipate the baby. Yes, the physical preparations, but even more so the emotional excitement of what is to come. And yet, anticipated or not, he comes. And won't that be an exciting day?