So we made it....FULL TERM! In a few short weeks we will be holding our little girl! Words cannot express the excitement we feel radiating through our bodies at the idea of meeting Lorelei and spending a lifetime with her! The specialist says he would like to see her stay in until 39 weeks and we have had that talk with her, looks like she's being obedient so far. He projects her weight will be around 7 pounds which is kind of smaller considering John and I were both big babies (yet everyone around me thinks she's gonna balloon up to 8 or 9 pounds by the time she gets here), but whatever, so long as she screams when she comes out and she BREATHES, I could care less how much she weighs! The good news is I am FINALLY at a point where I am not too worried about the birth or even her for that matter, she has kept me entertained with her excitement over the last week and everything we have learned about over the last 9 months has assured us of her health and well-being. She is DETERMINED to enter this world and live a beautiful life. There have been challenges though, you know me, never getting to a good place without bumps in the road.
The last month has been quite the emotional roller coaster (overused term but until someone comes up with something else I am stuck---it explains my feelings so well). I've gone through periods of absolute elation and absolute fear!! It brought to mind a visual I made up about tears of joy versus tears of sorrow. I see tears of sorrow draining all of the joy out of your body through your toes and pulls so hard at every element of your body and soul that love leaks out of your eyes in the form of tears. Whereas tears of joy occur when your body and soul is OVERFILLED with joy so much so that tears of happiness are forced out of your eyes. I prefer the latter, yet I went through both scenarios before reaching my current state of bliss.
The tears of sorrow flowed as I though of my baby boy and how much I miss him still SO SO SO much! I would be thinking of Lorelei and all of things we would get to experience with her and my heart would break at the truth that my son never got to experience ANY of it with us! Songs that used to make me smile as I sang them to Trey would reduce me to a hot emotional mess! I spent SO much time feeling depressed and heart broken that I began to doubt my abilities as a mommy. How can I possibly be a good Mommy to Lorelei when I can't keep myself together when it comes to her brother. The reality: I am horribly brutal on myself with these matters and hard to forgive, but I HAD to come to a point where I forgave my lapse in strength, allowed myself to grieve my son, and pick myself up again (followed by a brief chiding of myself for beating myself up). Eventually the depression, guilt, shame cycle lifted, I took a deep breath, and once again, asked my Angel Son for strength and OF COURSE he delivered!
The tears of joy weren't necessarily tears every time, mainly a feeling elation at every thought pertaining to our daughter. A lot of the time when I was down and out, I tried to steer my thinking by envisioning the things that will make me smile like staring into my daughters eyes, singing and talking to her, holding her, nursing her, etc. My husband assured me he would probably be an emotional mess when she gets here and I smiled and told him to just hang out by me, most likely, with Lorelei screaming, we'll all be emotional together! He has also talked more about Trey in the last few weeks, promising that we will take Lorelei next summer to "Trey's Beach" as he put it, the beach where we released Trey's ashes. When I put Trey's picture in our suitcase so that I can have him as a focal point, John said that he had no doubt that Trey would be there with us! And he was INCREDIBLY open to including Trey's picture in our maternity photos! It feels good to be in a strong place together in regards to our son!
We have busied ourselves with getting everything in the house an the car ready to bring her home and with everything we prepare we get more and more excited. He is such a protective, loving, proud daddy, which hasn't changed a bit from our time with Trey. Although we're both nervous about the whole thing, our excitement and love outshine ANY anxiety we have! We just can't wait to love on her for a lifetime!
Other things try to creep in and steal the thunder of our joy, yet again, our joy is too big!! Yesterday I started to arduous task of finding daycare for Lorelei for when I go back to work. As I look at the various day cares with plans to invest in Raman Noodles, I have yet to find an environment that compares to the environment I have created in my home for her and I am plagued with guilt. I have seen lots of caring people at these places, yet I am already in the frame of mind that no one can care for her the way her daddy and I will. In my perfect world, my mom and my (preferred) Mother-In-Law would be a hop, skip, and a jump away and would spend the work week at our house with their granddaughter so day care would not be an issue OR an expense!
I am still amazed that people give you a "look" when you mention that you're going plan to go back to work 6 weeks after your baby is born. My truth is that I want to save my off days to spend with Lorelei at the times she needs me the most, dreaded sick days, although I am praying she has few!!! My maternity leave officially ends (if she is on time) the week of pre-planning (I teach first grade) so my first day back is the same day as when the kids come back. It's a difficult time of the year to miss and plan for. It is the most difficult in setting up your classroom, routines, dynamic, environment, and procedures and I, as many teachers are, have a hard time handing over the reigns to someone else at such a crucial time of the year. I am sure to be a nervous wreck during those weeks if I choose to stay at home with Lorelei a little longer thinking about what is going on in MY classroom. But, as ANY Angel Mommy knows, our plans are not necessarily set in stone nor do they fit in our perfect mold of life. She might get here and I might decide that I can't go back to work right away or a C-Section (please no!!!) might keep me out of work a few more weeks. So, I have planned and organized in the off chance that I will not be back at work and if that scenario pans out, I'll just have to let go of my need to be in total control of my classroom and let my daughter take the wheel for awhile.
I have also had to fend off the words and attitudes of other parents in regards to the tiresome infant days ahead. I have had my fill of hearing about how much sleep I will lose and how tired I will be. I don't need to hear about the endless loads of laundry and diaper changes I have to look forward to. There are too many other comments to even pay mention to because they only get me in a tizzy! I know these comments come as vents from parents who have been there and I get it that these are the realities of parenthood, BUT I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!! I KNOW these challenges are coming and I embrace them. These challenges don't hold a candle to NEVER bringing your baby home and never watching them grow up. I don't think ANY new Mommy should have to hear these gripes from other parents until they are ready to vent themselves. Angel Mommies especially deserve to be kept out of the complaint loop, they would have gone to hell in back to have any and all challenges associated with parenthood with their Angel Child. These challenges will come and go, but at least they are there. Sleepless nights take on a whole new meaning when your child dies.
With all of this going on, we are still riding high on cloud nine. Lorelei will change us heart and soul and we look forward to the transition! As we evolve into Earthly parents, I can only hope that we make our Heavenly Son proud. I am sure he is as elated as we are, dancing on his cloud knowing that his little sister's arrival is eminent!