Aside from the “How are you feeling?” question, there are three inquiries that continue to come up in conversations with friends and family:
- What are you and Josh doing in these last few weeks of freedom/before you never sleep again/become parents?
- What are you most nervous about?
- What are you most excited about?
I’ve found these simple questions interesting…and difficult to answer. I’ve realized that my uncertainty comes from…well, so much uncertainty! I don’t know what to expect! But I’m going to try and give a little response in order to reflect a little more and to satisfy my curious loved ones.
What have Josh and I been doing to enjoy our current state of life before we embark upon our new adventure as parents? This one is easier to answer. We’ve had 3 1/2 wonderful years of enjoying each other just as a couple – we’ve traveled all over the country, gone over seas, had many nights out with friends, weekend trips and much more. We’ve actually desired to add children to the mix for quite some time, but between me finishing school and Josh’s deployment, we discerned that it was best to hold off until after his return. So we’re glad (and scared!) that the day has come! We don’t know the reality of having a newborn (obviously) but we expect our world to be rocked. Right now, I savor the little things, like every moment that I can hop in and out of the car with ease when I need to run to the store. I am grateful that I spent my (possibly last) Saturday completely relaxing, reading and resting. I am thankful for each and every quiet moment that Josh and I have together. I am thankful that I can make dinner and do housework without interruption or distraction. I cherish every moment of sleep that my increasingly uncomfortable body allows me to enjoy. No, we are not doing any special “last hoorah” before the baby arrives. We feel like all 3 years have been a big hoorah (with it’s challenging moments, of course, but you get me). Just like with other phases of life, it means changing, adapting, and growing…but it doesn’t mean our life is over! It will just be different. I bet parenthood will be the hardest thing we ever do, but we say “bring it on!”
Here’s a little something we did on October 30th before the baby emerged: we took a lantern tour of Penn State! It was a really cute idea! The line was pretty long, but it was worth it. When we got up to the front they divided us into tour groups by colored bracelets and then we could have some halloween treats while we waited for our turn. The drum line performed, as well as several dance groups from the school. When it was our turn, some student ambassadors lead us to various places around campus. At each stop there was a student dressed up as a historical figure from Penn State’s past – ranging from the first PSU Heisman winner to the man who wrote the alma mater to the first female student to graduate from Penn State. It was very clever and fun to attend as someone new to Penn State. And I’m not really up for scary shenanigans, so it was perfectly my speed. We concluded the tour from the top of the bell tower of Old Main. They only open up the top about 4 times a year, so we’re glad that we had the chance to check it out!
What am I most nervous about? I am definitely nervous about birth, and the unexpected that goes along with it. But I am probably more nervous about feeling overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for a little one….feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing and being sleep deprived on top of it all. What if my little baby gets sick or I don’t know what it needs? I’m also nervous about people seeing me parent – because everyone has such different ideas of what “good” parenting looks like and what is good or bad for a baby… and I’m already feeling a little overwhelmed about all the advice that is about to come my way. Not that I think I’m above advice – I’m most certainly not. It’s just overwhelming to constantly sift through people’s advice, no matter how well intentioned. I oscillate between emotions of panic about immense responsibility and knowing that everything will be ok…that women and men have done this for thousands of years…before birthing classes, before all the birth and parenting books and trends and gadgets and what not. I have a faithful God, a loving husband, great family and the highest quality of friends that I know will extend their love and support in the difficult times when I’m feeling less than adequate.
What am I most excited about? Firstly, I am just so excited to meet this little person that I’ve been intimately connected with for 9 months. I haven’t always felt that emotional connection many women talk about, but this little one and I have shared everything! And I can’t wait to meet the babe and find out if it’s a boy or a girl. What he or she will look like and what little personality quirks are already blossoming forth. I’m excited for cuddling, and happy baby noises and bath time. For soft skin and sleepy eyes. I’m excited to see the world through a child’s not-so-jaded eyes. Story time. The eager expectation with which children anticipate holidays. Playing pretend. I’m excited to see Josh with the baby and how he comes into his role as father – he’s so excited for her/him to arrive and I just know he’ll be a great dad.
We’re in the last week leading up to our due date now…your prayers are always appreciated! We’ll keep you posted! And it won’t be long until we see who wins the Baby Dill Guessing Game!