I’m not sure it is possible to express just how deep our gratitude runs for each of you. How would we have made it through the last several months without your outpouring of unconditional love and support.
So many of you have called, written, brought food, helped with Cooper, celebrated birthdays, prayed, and loved us through this. As we soak in the moments of this last week before Audrey is born, it is important for you to know what an incredible role you play in our lives. We have been overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness. Chris and I pray that life brings you only joy and happiness, but we know the reality is we will all continue to have bumps in the road. You show us compassion and grace while reminding us what is means to really care. We have grown and will be better because of you.
Mostly I feel ready for next Tuesday. Ready for what? Not sure. Just ready. Will it be a beginning or an end?
I suppose, in some ways, both. It will mark the end of this pregnancy, the end of Audrey’s life inside my belly and the beginning of whatever life will be for her on the outside…whatever life will be for us, for Cooper…and for you, our dear family and friends.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to undervalue what you have. I look back to when I was about five and all I wanted to do was play house, dance and beg to have my ears pierced. Then, around 13, when it wasn’t as socially acceptable to play house, I babysat for family and friends who graciously trusted me with their children. Babysitting brought me such joy, I couldn’t wait to be a mama myself…like really couldn’t wait! Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be older. “I can’t wait until I can walk to school…I can’t wait until I’m an actual teenager…I can’t wait to drive…I can’t wait to graduate…I can’t wait to get married…I can’t wait to be THIRTY!” Why did I do that? Why did I seem to wish my life away when it was so wonderful at each stage? If I could have one wish, I would go back and tell that girl to enjoy the moments…to enjoy the simplicity.
I read a quote this week by Frank A. Clark that read, “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” We hire photographers for weddings but rarely do they photograph funerals. We capture the smiles and the laughs yet the furrowed brows and teary eyes aren’t usually framed over the mantle. But, sometimes, those hard and wildly painful experiences teach us more about life than the seemingly perfect ones. It is easy to be thankful for the happy moments…how often do we feel grateful for the hard ones? It takes effort, intention and lots of humility.
We’ve started asking Cooper at the end of the day, “Were you able to help anyone today?” and “What did someone do that was nice for you today?” His responses are exactly what you would expect at 3 1/2…”I didn’t poop in my pants! That was helpful!” But the hope is that he’ll think about what we’ll ask him throughout the day and make an effort to be a helper and be compassionate. Funny thing is…I don’t think I realized how much it would make me think about how I am living. We all know that what we say doesn’t make near the difference to our kids than how we live…lead by example, right? So when he then asks us what we did to help someone or how someone was nice to us today, we consider it a valuable learning opportunity for our little family unit as a whole.
My grandmother, Barbara, will welcome her first great-granddaughter to the world next Tuesday. When she was in the hospital with my mother, she had a lovely lavender gown and robe which she wore. She has passed this treasure along to me as a keepsake, and it is beautiful. Not just to look at but to think of the memory which it holds. Here is a photo my mom took this past weekend, I’ll treasure the gift forever.
The final appointment was today. That’s it, we’re done. Just like that. This time next week I’ll no longer have a belly full of Audrey. Everything looked normal on the Non-Stress Test, she moved a little less than normal so they want me to monitor her kicks and punches carefully. Yet another new sonographer pushed a gel-covered wand over my belly today learning and measuring our girl, it is never a problem it just seems to mess with the accuracy of the measurements. And did it ever! She measured Audrey to have gained over a pound in the past seven days! Can you imagine if that were true? But the doc clarified that it wasn’t the case but he did think she has gained a few ounces and made it past the 3lb. mark…I guess we’ll know for sure very soon.
She is still breech, her head is tucked just under my right ribs, her bottom is down over my bladder with her feet tucked in tight. Amniotic fluid was about the same and there were no other findings that were different than what we already know.
We are still waiting on answers on a few things, particularly when our meeting will be with the neonatologist. This is an important meeting to Chris and I and we are eager to make it happen.
I think I have asked every question I can possibly think of about having a C-Section…I’ve talked to the doctor, my dad, Carrie, Debbie, Krystal…and many more. Each one being a bit different than the other but glad to have even a small idea of what to expect with the delivery. There I go again…plan, prepare, plan, prepare…que sera, sera, Rach!
As always, thanks for reading my musings on life. I have found writing to be incredibly cathartic and even if it simply goes out to cyberspace, it helps.
I wish I could hug each of your necks right now, but instead I’ll simply bid adieu by wishing you a
restless restFUL night’s sleep.