30 Days With Aria Beth

You are the rose of my heart,
You are the love of my life.
A flower not fading nor falling apart,
If you’re tired, rest your head on my arm.
Rose of my heart.

Aria Beth has been with us for one month. Thirty precious days. Some days have been filled with tears and worry, but most days have been filled with cuddles and 2 a.m. Johnny Cash listening sessions while gliding in our rocker.

It feels as if we have waited for her for lifetimes. In just 30 days those lifetimes have become mere seconds. She has made every heartbreak diminish just a bit. She has made each needle prick and countless minute in waiting rooms worth it. She has made me stare at her in wonder and praise God for making it to 38 weeks.

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Waiting For A

Cloth diapers are in the first drawer. Blankets are on her ladder. Richard Parker is patiently waiting in her crib. Almost every afternoon, I impatiently sit on her glider.

We just had one big ultrasound and that was going to give us some final answers, but that didn’t happen.  So, here we are waiting.

We’re waiting to know how we’ll welcome her into the world. We’re waiting for the best time to place our hospital bag in the car.  We’re waiting for the drive to the hospital.  We’re waiting for the monitors to get hooked up to my big belly. We’re waiting for the moment the nurse lets us know that it’s time to either push or prep for her arrival. We’re waiting. We’re exactly 7 weeks and 6 days away from her official due date. We know the wait may take a few days less or even a few more. But we’re waiting.

In the middle of this waiting room, I find myself growing agitated with the smallest thoughts.  And, nervous. And, I find myself pacing back and forth in my mind. Do we have everything? Are we ready? Is the checklist cleared off? And in the middle of it all, my yearning to finally hold her has driven me to tears. I’m ready for you, A.

Even though it’s been mostly a blink of an eye, it feels like we have been waiting for a lifetime for this precious one. We’ve waited through blood tests. We’ve waited through exams. We’ve waited through ultrasounds where we see her beautiful face. We’ve waited through His moments of silence.  We’ve waited through His perfect timing. All I feel like we’ve done is wait.

But through it all we wait to reach the perfect little one who is “more precious than rubies” (Proverbs 3:15). We wait for the moment that we can count her toes and fingers. We wait for the moment daddy can finally hold her. We wait for the moment where we hold our entire world in our hands. The moment that we can dedicate this new life to the Lord.

Oh, precious girl, we’re waiting for you.

3rd Trimester – My Truth

We have made it to the 3rd trimester y’all!  We’ll, we’re a week into the final starting line, but here we are! It’s been something. For months, I’ve asked friends about this and that and nothing compares to actually experiencing it myself.  So, in honor of reaching over 90% viability with Baby A. . .I give you the truth about my pregnancy.

The Beauty

When I first felt her flutters it was scary. I didn’t know if it was gas in the middle of an important meeting at work (just keeping it real, y’all) or  a sensation that I needed to tell my doctor about. After a few weeks, it was finally easy to tell that she was giving me some love taps.  Now, she rolls.  She punches. She stretches and refuses to curl back up. She now uses my bladder as a soccer ball and even lets her daddy feel her when he gets home from work. I think we’ve got a serious boxer or yoga instructor in our future.

We finally finished her nursery. I am a planner, so I thought I knew exactly what I wanted.  I soon realized that what I wanted was too much of a mix, so we just started putting different items in her room.  We didn’t get a full nursery set that cost over $1,000, but instead opted for pieces that were identical in color and just enough of a match. We expanded our color palette just enough to allow some femme frills and reminders about where she’s come from (cultural items if you will). I find myself just sitting in the glider and rocking away some afternoons. She won’t be sleeping in her crib for quite a few months, but this will be her first home.

I rub my belly a lot. Most of the time it’s because I simply don’t know what to do with my hands anymore. A part of me feels like I need to shield the belly (you’ll see why in just a moment) and another part of me just likes cradling her. With these belly rubs comes some perks. Being patted down at a concert venue? Not for me anymore. Being given the chance to skip someone in the Target line? Why, yes thank you. It’s the little gestures that others make when they realize you’re carrying a tiny human with you – it’s nice to know others are concerned even though I’m just a stranger to them.

The Not-So-Pretty

Some days I wake up and I’m ready to walk Bella not only ONCE around the block, but TWICE.  Amazing, right? Then, other days I can barely twist my torso or lift my legs up. Round ligament pain and some other pelvic muscles leave me in tears some days. Do I have time to just sleep it off? Nope. Up we go.

I have let maybe 3 non-relatives touch my belly. Those 3 people have prayed over this baby as much as we have and they get the privilege of trying to feel for a kick.  Now, just because I’ve let those individuals rub my belly, it doesn’t mean that only three people have touched me. I have wanted to karate chop people lately. Do no touch my belly.  You do NOT know my baby.  Really, this has been a pet peeve of mine. I’m quite non-confrontational, so I’m often times just shocked that someone would touch me. I simply want to scream “Hands off – you put no work into this baby, so you do not get special privileges.” But, instead I vent to my husband and blame him for not taking his body guard role.

Hormones. I had been doing pretty well with my emotions until about 26 weeks and then you all were free game. Give me a nasty look? I’ll cry. Paper jam at work? I’d throw it all in the recycling bin with a fury you’ve never seen before. My husband didn’t come to me as soon as I called his name? No church softball scrimmage for you tonight, sir. I need to ignore you for the next three hours.

To be honest, it’s been an experience that I can’t explain. After previous losses, I find myself saying what I think people want to hear when they ask how we are doing. When others know that you’ve lost babies before you all of a sudden (at least for me) want to protect them from hearing another sad part of your story. So, some days I simply talk about how quickly she’s growing and her movements. Other days I only mention that I’m excited to meet her. Honestly though, I want to say exactly this – even though it will be quite a string of consciousness:

I’m terrified. I’m in love with her. I have grown closer to my husband than I thought was possible. I still cry when I think of our other babies. I feel guilty that we have made it this far and they didn’t. I am excited to dress her up in bows and dresses. I pray that she’ll accept Christ and love Him. I worry about her first heartbreak. I wonder about whether she’ll be an engineer or artist. I want to hold her in my arms, but I don’t want to share her with the world. I’m nervous about being a mom and knowing what each of her cries means. I love her. I love her. I love her.

We have 10 weeks and a couple of days left in this part of our story and it still feels surreal. But, this is my truth and I’m ready (I think) for baby to arrive.

Namaste Mamí – Finding Jesus & Yoga

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

Y’all, I have found yoga. Well, I’ve actually had yoga in my life for the last year or so. I don’t get too crazy with it and I’m not exactly consistent with it, but I have found yoga. I’ve even made M come down on all fours for downward dog a few times.

This has been a pretty tough pregnancy.  Well, the first 18 weeks were tough and at times scary; yet, I didn’t find myself crying or worked up in a frenzy.

Instead of jumping into the negative like. . .

I focus on the now. Well, that was until yesterday in my first Prenatal Mind & Body class in downtown Charleston.

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Hola

I think my first language was spanglish. Keyword: Think

I was exposed to English during trips to the grocery store, on the radio and everywhere else I happened to be – I mean as a baby you don’t have much say in where you go, right?

But, my father was a minister with a Hispanic congregation and I learned to sing and read in Spanish through that experience.  My grandparents were predominately Spanish speakers and they took care of me quite often.

I was a Spanglish child.

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