>Third trimester stresses

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>Apparently being a procrastinator affects every aspect of my life, including emotions. Up until now I have felt really good about things- about my pregnancy and about our living situation. But about a week ago, a week before hitting my third trimester, the stress and worry hit me with a vengeance.

This last month had been kind of busy and hectic with a few visitors coming to see us (that was fun!) and an unexpected out of town trip. Before I knew it January and most of February had flown by and when I started looking at my calendar, the dates began to add up and I started thinking, “Oh my goodness!!! I’m entering the third trimester in one week!!!”. Yowzahh! And that’s when all the negative feelings began.

First off let me explain that we have made a big decision for our family. Sometime around December Steve began talking about his desire to move back to Georgia. Up until then I really hadn’t been thinking about the future or our decisions about where we would live or anything like that. I was really trying to just soak up the moment, breathe, and let God lead the way. When Steve expressed his opinion about returning to GA, I was actually kind of surprised and didn’t say much about it. Mainly b/c he’s the one who wanted to move away a bit more than me and I didn’t want to affect his opinion until he had truly given North Carolina a chance and thought things out. Well after another month or so (and many conversations and many prayers) we’ve made the firm decision that GA is where we are meant to be for at least the next few years.

For the most part I am super excited to move back. It just feels right. Like one of those moments where you have to go away to realize what you’re missing and realize what you really want. Or something like that. Logistically it makes a lot more sense for us- with cost of living being MUCH higher up here and with teacher’s salary being MUCH lower, it’s hard to feasibly make it work here. But more than that, we feel like Georgia is suppose to be our home for now. And there’s a zillion reasons to feel that way……family and friends and too many other issues to get into right now. But suffice it to say, we both feel at peace with our decision. Honestly, there’s not a week that goes by that we don’t thank our lucky stars for backing out of the house we almost bought here in NC. We didn’t understand our unsettled feelings about it at the time, but now it makes more sense. Not to say we will forever live in Georgia, but for now, it’s where God wants us.

Of course there are a few things that I am not happy about leaving. For one I am going to be sad to leave a couple of good friends that I’ve made here…..two awesome women that I admire and look up to and have so much fun with. They have just been such blessings to me over the last few months and I will deeply miss seeing them on a regular basis. (Of course we all three have ties to Colorado, so I’m thinking a regular ski/snowboarding reunion trip will have to start appearing on the agenda!!). And also I will really miss the church that we’ve been going to. I cannot express how much I love it! The preacher, the music, the nursery…..all of that is amazing, but more than anything it’s just the people! They are beyond kind and outgoing and welcoming and so very down to earth and real and full of love and acceptance. Every Sunday morning is one of my favorite times of the week and I just hope, more than anything, that God brings us to another church home in Georgia that we fall in love with just as deeply. I know He will. The church is not a specific building, but a group of Jesus lovers and they are all over the world- not just here in NC!

Ok, so back to the stress stuff. Having made such a big and permanent decision feels great – YAYYY!! But then there’s the reality of it all……finding a job, finding a house, and moving – BOOO!!!!! Hold on- is it just me or does this feel like de ja vu??? ha ha! Yes, it is true. Just about this time last year we were going through the same motions- looking for a job, a house, and then moving. Of course this time we’ll have another little human to tend to in the midst of all this transition. Uggghhhh………can I just whine for a second and tell you how tired I am of moving?? This will be move #4 within one year. I get exhausted just thinking about having to break out the old tape gun again 🙂 Now let me stop my little pity party just for a second to say that I do realize our blessings outweigh our stresses by like a trillion. I am grateful for the fact that we actually HAVE places to move to, especially when so many are losing their homes right now with the economy (or never had a home to begin with). So I do realize that. Please don’t think I don’t. But I am stressed about the transition part all the same. Maybe it’s just the nesting part of pregnancy right now, but I am desperately feeling the need to feel planted, rooted, and secured in ONE place. To have all our belongings (especially the baby products) under one roof and not be scattered amongst our apartment, my grandmother’s basement, and my parents’ basement (where we are storing a lot of our things right now).

So all the job hunt/house hunt/moving stuff is one worry on my plate right now, but there’s a few more:

– the health of our baby. I haven’t really worried about it until now, just felt it was in God’s hands and realized that worry wouldn’t do much good anyways. But now with each doctor visit I get closer and closer to the time during Bailey’s pregnancy when the doctor found I was measuring small and put me on bedrest. That happened at 30 weeks and I’m 28 right now. Every time she puts that measuring tape on my belly I just hold my breath and say a little prayer and hope not to hear any bad news. 8 weeks of bedrest was tough last time, but now, being away from family and friends and having a toddler to watch- I just can’t imagine.

– the delivery. B/c of my low amniotic fluid w/Bailey I had to have a c-section. It was fine and went smoothly, but if at all possible I would love to have a natural birth this time around (and hopefully with no medication if I can……yeah, yeah…..I’m a bit masochistic). That’s why I’m going to a midwife instead of an OBGYN this time. I’ve had a wonderful experience with them so far- much more personal and caring and so far they think there is no reason for me not to be able to have a natural birth. Let’s hope that continues to be the case!

-the name. Ok, I know this sounds trivial, but it’s really been something I’ve worried about. Finding a name for Bailey came so easily for us. No big discussion or debate; we both just loved it and it felt right. This time around, not so much. We have names we both like and kind of agree on, but nothing that we’ve fallen in love with like Bailey. Steve is still holding strong to Bear, which at this point just makes me cringe. And it’s not just him! All of our family has jumped on the Bear-wagon and joked around saying how no matter what we name him (if it’s a boy) they’ll call him Bear anyways. Ahhhhhhhh!!! Maybe they’re just joking, but I’m a little worried that it’s turning into one of those jokes that goes on too long and is becoming a reality. I’m all for a nickname that occurs organically, but to completely call a kid by a name other than his given one just b/c it’s a joke gone too far??? That’s not good! Sorry people- I just do NOT want a son named Bear. Sorry. Just don’t. And since I’m responsible for half his DNA and I’m carrying him in my belly, I should get a say. So there. There’s my name rant. ha! BTW- if you have any name suggestions that you really like, we are open to hearing them!

– Bailey and the baby. So many emotions here. 99% of my feelings in regard to Bailey and this little one are all of excitement. I’m almost just as excited to see how Bailey reacts to her little sibling as I am to meet him or her! I know she’ll be the best big sister ever and I just can’t wait to see her love all over him or her! But there is 1% of me that worries about making enough time for Bailey while getting adjusted to life w/a newborn. It’s been just the 3 of us (and just she and I during the day) for two and a half years now. I don’t want her to ever feel left out or neglected or anything like that. And on the same token I want to be able to give our new little one as much attention and love and nurturing as I can. Having talked to a few older moms I found that these feelings are normal and just common sense tells me that it’ll all work out perfectly fine, but it’s still a feeling I sometimes have so I thought I’d throw it out there. I also sometimes wonder how in the world I’ll ever be able to love this new one as much as I love Bailey. That might sound ridiculous, as if love was a limited resource, but just knowing how much I care for her, it feels a bit unfathomable at times to imagine loving someone else just as much. Of course I have a feeling that when he or she is born, God will do a little number on my heart to make it grow to a size I thought impossible- a bit like how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes bigger and busted out of that little cartoon box. I can’t wait for that moment……it’s a gift that I know comes from God and one that I can’t wait to experience!

– just the little details. I know that in the grand scheme of it all these things aren’t that big of a deal, but just being the Mama, I would love to be able to get a little nursery ready for the baby- just to feel more prepared and ready for when he or she arrives. But being in an apartment that we’re planning to leave a month or two later, it’s just not possible. And that’s ok. I just hope I can figure out where to arrange everything within the three bedrooms. Right now we have Bailey’s room, our room, and a guest room/office. Now I need to add another / to that and make it a baby room too. ha ha! I just want to logistically put everything- the bassinet and changing table and baby clothes- in a way that flows well and where there’s enough room for everyone to feel comfortable and for visitors to still have a space when they come.

So I guess that’s it. Finally! ha ha! Now even though these things are sometimes plaguing mind, I do know that it will all work out ok. Ultimately these things are out of my control and worrying doesn’t help at all. Sometimes when I find myself going down a spiral of stress and anxiety I think of that late 90’s song by Baz Luhrmann about wearing sunscreen- you know the one that wasn’t really a song b/c he was speaking instead of singing the whole time. One of the lines says something like “Worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing gum”. I think that’s pretty fun and very true.

But more than that, worry just takes my focus off of God and His sovereignty over my life. If He is who I believe Him to be, then I must rely and trust Him in all these areas and details of my life. It’s good to rant and talk to friends and vent at times – and I definitely do those things – but at the end of the day nothing calms my heart like just giving it all to Him. So that’s what I’m trying to do with all these emotions that have crept up on me. No matter what happens with the baby, with the delivery, with our job/living situation, anything- I want to praise Him and love Him and trust Him. It’s all I know to do. He’s taken care of my heart up till now, even amidst bad things, so why would this situation be any different??

On a very random note, I’ve started trying to tackle the Old Testament from beginning to end, something I’ve never done before, and there’s TONS of good and weird and confusing stories in there……ones I’ve never picked up on before from just reading the “regular” Sunday school Bible stories. But it’s good and interesting stuff. I’m learning just how involved God has been in the lives of His people- how much He cares and how much He fights for us and forgives us and how much He wants a relationship with us. Here’s one of my favorite verses right now and it speaks to me and what I’m struggling with these days:

“Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still'” – Exodus 14:13-14

I love how the Israelites continually fall back to doubts and questions about God’s goodness (SO very human and relate-able), and yet God never gets tired of them and just keeps reminding them of how He’s redeemed them before and how He’ll continue to do so. The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still. Love it and oh so true!!

Finally, I’ve been super slack about taking pics these last few weeks with the belly. But here’s a few that are around 26 weeks (i think!). I’m getting big!

figured I’d be a little fancy and change up the background from our boring white wall- ha! ha!

Bailey loves when I do this- hold her and tell her she’s sitting on the baby. she laughs and points to my belly “baby!” it’s so cute!!

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4 responses »

  1. >it will all work out just right and you will love #2 the same as #1 and all the moving will work out cause ya,ll have family and friends that will help with pleasure,, love yall

  2. >I thought of you as I read in my daily devotion book today’s (2/26) devotion:I AM LEADING YOU, STEP BY STEP, through your life, Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day. Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy – even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent (turn away from those worried thoughts) and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.Scripture for today: Deuteronomy 29:29 & Psalm 32:8Devotion book: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

  3. >Don't know you Caty Morris, but I think we are kindred spirits. I was thinking of Jesus Calling as I read through Renee's post. Renee, I have the book and I'm giving it to you next time I see you. You are loved and dear and we hate to lose you here, but can I say this?–I'm so happy that you're having the baby here!! Can't wait to journey through this with you guys! Lots and lots of love, Caroline

  4. >Ah Renee, it's kind of reassuring to hear you worry. You've been so zenlike recently, I felt like I was even more neurotic! Not that I'm glad you're stressed…just that I relate to the worrier in you.My sister in law went through a lot of the same stresses when she was pregnant with her 2nd. They're 18 months apart and she was worried about managing a toddler and a newborn, especially since she was nursing. She also asked her parents (my in-laws) how you love anyone as much as you love your firstborn. But, despite all the stress (and a few tears right after the little one was born and everything was hectic), she is doing SO well! She said you just DO love them as much, even though it doesn't seem possible. Like you said, your heart just expands or something.Also, the first few weeks after the birth probably are going to be stressful. Nursing an infant for 45 minutes while Bailey wants to play with Mommy will be tough. BUT those weeks will pass and you will learn how to cope. They won't be that young and fragile forever, and soon enough they'll be playing happily together! It's just tough at first. My sister in law said she literally sang that country song "You're Gonna Miss This" to herself when she felt overwhelmed.I'm so proud of you for balancing so many concerns and staying positive! Best of all, you're so grateful for all your blessings! It's refreshing. Oh and about the bedrest – these family friends of my parents had 3 kids and decided to have one more. Well guess what – it was twins!! And get this..the mom was put on bedrest for the final 4 months of her pregancny!! With 3 kids under 6. It was realy, really stressful, but they made do. Friends made them dinners, watched the kids, family helped, etc The twins are little girls now and were healthy and the family gets along! So even if the worst does happen and you get stuck with bedrest again, you will make it through!Also, one last thing. I honestly think it's good if Bailey feels a shift once the baby arrives. I don't mean that I don't care for little Bailey's feelings, and I would never want her to feel left out. But she won't! It's just good that kids realize they're not the center of the universe. Bailey's used to having you whenever she wants, and it'll be good for her to realize that Mama has to be with brother/sister, too! It will be good for her character. My mom said I freaked out when my sister was born (we were 2.5 years apart btw), but I got over it and I think I'm a better person for having a sibling! I love my friends who are only children, but let's face it – they're a bit spoiled with all the attention, and all the money! So I firmly believe it will be challenging but also ultimately good.

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