preparing for Sister's arrival!

welp, there's something happening that I can no longer ignore or deny, y'all. I HAVE TO PUSH A BABY OUT OF MY BODY. and I have to do it SOON. I've put off thinking about it for months.. but now? it's literally right around the corner and time to face the reality: I have to give birth again. 

if I'm totally honest, the thought of going through another labor and delivery kicks my panic mode into high gear. like, break out in a cold sweat, heavy breathing, genuine panic. my labor/delivery with Silas was brutal. so brutal, I never even wrote out his birth story (which I kinda regret, but in some ways, it's still super fresh and I remember every part of it. soo, maybe I'll still share at some point. HA). but basically, it was long (29 hours), crazy intense, had several close calls with his heart rate plummeting, didn't have my doctor there, horrible staff, the list goes on. I was exhausted and starving by the end (it'd been over 2 days since I ate at that point) and in crazy amounts of pain from a bad tear. I really believe all of these factors combined contributed heavily to the baby blues I had for 5-6 weeks after his birth. it was just ROUGH.

so because of all that, I've been taking small steps to do what I can to make this experience different and hopefully (much) better than my first. and most of all, praying for the grace to walk out whatever is in store. don't get me wrong, I'm not naive. I know that it's almost impossible to prepare in a lot of ways, simply because every baby and every situation is so unpredictable.. BUT doing something is always better than doing nothing. so this is my something:

(side note: we had no idea we were going to be admitted with Silas when we were - it suddenly became an emergency induction at 37 weeks so there wasn't much time to prepare. the house was a wreck when we got home since we'd left that morning, not knowing we wouldn't be back later. we barely had our bags packed (and as a first time mom, I had no idea what I'd REALLY need). it just felt like we were constantly trying to play catch-up for the 4 days we were there - lots of scrambling around and general chaos). 

this time, here are a few things that have helped calm my mind and help the whole process feel way less overwhelming:

     - making sure must-do's were taken care of (haircut, pedicure, wax, you name it)

     - scheduling a cleaning service to come while we're in the hospital (so we come home to a

       fresh house).

     - purging clutter and minimizing our belongings several months in advance. less items in the

       house = less stress/cleaning/clutter/chaos in general. newborns are stressful enough, y'all.

     - making a labor playlist, full of worship music. this one took time and emotional energy to 

       prepare, but worship songs are so powerful for me.. to remind me of how big my God is, 

       how temporary this pain will be and how he has equipped me and I CAN DO IT.

     - mental pep talks. I don't mean "be the best you" and "you are a labor goddess"

       and weird stuff like that. BUT I do think labor has a mental component! and constantly

       telling myself there's no way I can do this definitely doesn't help. so this time, I'm going in

       prepared for the pain I know is coming, but encouraging myself that there IS a light at the

       end of the tunnel and to hold on to that.

     - having a schedule set up for company after we come home. I don't do well by myself, esp 

       when I'm overwhelmed. and the transition between 1-2 kids will likely be overwhelming in 

       the beginning. so we've planned for my mom to come out and help for almost 2 weeks, 

       which carries us up, almost to the day, when Matt is off for the week of Thanksgiving. 

       he then goes back for a couple weeks and I'll have several friends stopping by in that time, 

       until he's off for another 2.5 weeks for Christmas. all that to say, she'll be almost 2 months 

       old by the time I'm actually by myself entirely. THAT gives me so much peace of mind, I 

       can't even tell you. 

     - meals. we are super ridiculously blessed with an incredible church community that helps 

        provide meals once we're home. so 2 weeks of meals + the canning I did last month, sets

        us up for a decent amount of time to not have to worry about food. best feeling ever.

     - grocery delivery. we have a service at our local grocery store that works out to $8/mo for 

        unlimited free deliveries to your HOUSE. it's glorious and amazing and I'm never going 

        back. knowing that I don't have to get my postpartum self, a toddler and a newborn out

        the door and through an hour of grocery shopping, takes SO much stress off me.

     - hospital bags. we obviously had our hospital bags last time, too.. but this time, I was much 

        more conscious and thoughtful about what went in them. I'll do another post with details 

        of what's actually in them, but I definitely included things like snacks and a comfy gown to 

        labor in, since we were stuck last time with no food and I hated the hospital gowns

        with a passion, etc. again, just tried to think back on what we wished we'd had/done

        last time.

     - essential oils. after months of learning more and more and seeing benefits of EO's, I 

        took the plunge and ordered a starter kit. I don't think essential oils cure everything and 

        solve all the world's problems, but i DO think they have value and can help with a lot of 

        things. I'm excited to use them for practical purposes, like sleeping & wellness and all that

        jazz. and I'm also excited to try them for some emotional support with postpartum 

        hormones. doing what I can to be proactive and prepare and try to avoid the blues this 

        time around. 

 

okay, that's a lot. but I truly can't tell you how helpful it's been to be able to look around and know that things are taken care of. the house is stocked with everything we need, plans are in place for after we come home, basically we're as prepared as we possibly can be. and that brings me to my last point:

do all we can do and then let go and trust God.

and in some ways, that's the hardest part. I'm scared, I'm anxious, I'm fearful. I don't want to have the same kind of experience as I did last time. I don't want to feel those awful hormones or disconnect from my baby like I did last time. it genuinely terrifies me. BUT. I have done everything I can do to prevent, prepare and ensure it's different this time around.. and that's truly all I can do. the rest I have to loosen my grip on and hand over to Jesus. 

I have to remind myself that He is worthy. He is capable. He is good. I'm trusting and believing that this will be a redemptive birth. that it will be smooth and "easy" and beautiful and just a complete 180 of what our last one was. my God is big enough to make that happen.. and I also trust Him enough to know that even if it isn't what happens.. He's still good. that's where I want to set my heart and mind as we walk into this next week, knowing what's coming. praying and believing that He can redeem and restore and also fully trusting that I'm his girl, he LOVES me and He is for me and has good plans for our family. 

okay, if you made it this far, you deserve a cookie or something. HA. but seriously, I needed to get all that out of my brain and down on "paper"… so, thanks for sticking with me, friends. xo.