Monday, July 27, 2020

As the final weeks slip by

The other day, I realized that I've been so focused on my struggles that I haven't been able to enjoy this period of pregnancy very much. 
We love watching a local 4th of July fireworks display 
from our yard each year!

In the eyes of some people, this may seem like something rather silly to even think about. I know that some women loathe all 40+ weeks of pregnancy with a passion, and are only too glad for the baby to come out. These women are simply trying to survive those seemingly endless months. Yet, we all have different experiences and perspectives. For my first two kids,  I had physically "easy pregnancies." So, even with the standard pregnancy complaints, I had been able to enjoy my time being pregnant, for the most part. 
My four-year-old was so excited to show me how he gave
Mr. Incredible an "ash cross on his forehead." Even in the thick
of Ordinary Time, my child was thinking of Lent, I guess. 

This pregnancy, however, has been different. 

My midwife told me that she likes to give this gift box to new moms, 
and she decided to give it to me early-she knows that I've been having a hard time,
and it completely brightened my day :) 

I've found myself crumbling under the weight of taking care of the kids and house, and I've grown very overwhelmed on some days. I haven't been nearly as disciplined with exercising this time, so I've gained more weight and have not been as physically fit and active. Once the  third trimester hit, I began intensely struggling mentally and emotionally. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I noticed that much of this pregnancy has coincided with a global health crisis (no wonder it's felt so different from my other pregnancies!). 

My husband wanted to make a water table for the kids, but
he didn't like any design he saw online.
So, he designed his own version of a "water table," 
bought supplies, and assembled it.
It's basically a mini-splash pad for our backyard, and
we all love it a lot! 

We all have coped in different ways, but I finally thought that I had succeeded. I was relishing life, taking great care of the kids, and caring for the tiny baby in my belly! I was doing this! But, about a month and a half ago, many anxious and depressed feelings and thoughts started to hit me all at once. I'm grateful for my husband and my midwife, who have been very supportive and have been helping me take steps to get better. I started therapy, and that's been doing a lot of good, too. But, this is a process; a journey of wellness and healing, a time of struggle and joy, and I can't expect everything to change overnight. There have been some really hard moments, and some days that I do not wish to re-live, but God is using all of these circumstances to help me grow. 

I made gnocchi for the first time! It was way easier to make than 
I anticipated, and it was delicious. 

I don't want to simply endure this time while moaning and groaning about how hard it's been. I'll never get these weeks back; I don't want to let them fly by without my notice. I have about a month or so until this baby makes an appearance, and I don't want to wish that time away. So, I'm making a choice to enjoy this final stretch of pregnancy. I realize that the hard moments will continue to come, and that I'm still in the process of struggling through my problems and working through therapy, but I can choose to savor the goodness and blessings that God sends my way through it all. Joy and sorrow are not mutually exclusive, and indeed, they often come together. 

My husband and I bought this five years ago, and never got around to even
unboxing it. We FINALLY unboxed it and played a "tutorial game."
It seems fairly complicated, but it was fun, and I'm excited to play it again with him :) 

I can't imagine what challenges will come my way in the coming weeks, but I do know that I'm going to more intentionally try to enjoy this journey in small ways. I'm planning out fun activities to do alone, with my husband, or with the kids (I've begun treating myself to the show Psych when the kids are asleep, which I'm thoroughly enjoying!), and I'm setting aside time to get together with friends as we're able. Each day is a gift from God and an adventure to be explored. I'm excited to see what He has in store for me! 
Enjoying a solo walk to the park (with Baby)!


  1. You are looking beautiful, Mama! Sending prayers during these final weeks of pregnancy. Xoxo

    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth! It's crazy how the days are flying by so quickly! I hope that all is well with you!

  2. Been thinking of you but every time I read a blog post I'm on my phone or Kindle instead of laptop! Finally able to type something. Sending lots of love and hugs to you! My pregnancy/birth/postpartum with our third was so very challenging and continues to be, but I know God is with us and at work in our lives. You are not alone! Praying for you!

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I'm about halfway through the therapy program (the group follows an evidence-based curriculum for pregnant and postpartum ladies) and I've been thinking about how I'm in a much better place now than when I first reached out to the counselor all those weeks ago.

      You have been in my thoughts and prayers as well! I recently read your article about postpartum stuff (on Natural Womanhood) and loved your honesty and insight, and how you are sharing your experience to help others. God is doing great work in and through you, and I hope that you continue to get the support you need as you continue to raise your sweet children with your husband.

  3. Hang in there. Each and every pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period can be wildly different. However you are feeling about it . . . it's ok. I'm glad that you are reaching out and getting the help - that is a fantastic witness to your children of how to take care of yourself. I will be praying for you, especially during this last month.

    1. Thank you so much for the prayers and reassurance, Ann-Marie! The first several months of this pregnancy had felt so similar to my other two that I was not expecting things to get crazy in the third trimester! It's been a good opportunity to really grow.

  4. I'm sorry this has been a more challenging pregnancy for you. However, it's amazing that you have support and that you were able to get in this therapy program (it sounds great). Grace during these last few weeks!
    The "splash pad" looks great! My kids would love having something like that to play with, especially give how hot it has been here.

    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! (I actually gave birth last night, so that's exciting) The "splash pad" is really cool. I told my husband it's funny, when I put together a "water table" for them, I basically stuck some bowls on a short table and let them have at it. When he, on the other hand, wanted a "water table," he designed this whole crazy contraption! It's really awesome, we all love using it, and he made it in a way that the different parts can be replaced over time if they wear out/get broken, which is nice.