Progress–in baby steps

Ah…fall is here! 

This past summer was quite a new experience for me.  Normally the hotter it is, the busier I am.  I’ll be out there weeding, hedging bushes, and chasing around with the kids.  This summer was a hot one, and I found myself sluggish, lacking motivation, and feeling exhausted.  I also felt like I was struggling with some perinatal depression.  In reading through my hospital prenatal binder, I read this caution:

“Avoid making any big changes during pregnancy, as this can contribute to perinatal depression.”

Oops.  I’d have to say that tearing your house apart and having to live with it for several months probably constitutes as a “big change”.  Also, I know very well that the helplessness I faced due to the chaos around me directly contributed to those depressed feelings.  Each time something got done I did improve slightly…yet we’re still not done, and I still struggle.

After all, at this point we’re 6 weeks from baby’s due date.  My heart aches when I think about the fact that, inevitably, this little person is going to be born into this chaos.  Not only do I struggle to function well around here, but once he’s born and I’m busy tending to him, trying to heal, and trying to rest…well…I don’t like to think about, period.  Though my energy depletes quickly these days, I long to put everything to rights in bits here and there so that when he’s born things already have a home and I can focus mostly on baby and recuperation. 

I have to keep reminding myself that we are getting there.  The upper cabinets went in and the doors went on both the uppers and lowers.  We are still waiting on the refrigerator cabinet to go in–and since this is a huge cabinet, many things still are spread throughout the house and I haven’t really organized the kitchen since I’d have to do it all over again when that last cabinet is completed.  The trim and the hardware also need to be installed, as does a small countertop between our dining room and kitchen.  The electric boxes have been put in here and there, and the mudding is getting closer to being done.  I think that soon the priming and painting can be done, and then the stove could get hooked up and the fridge can get moved back into the kitchen.  Then we can have our dining room back and sit around one table like a family again.  More importantly, I can make real meals!  I’m truly grateful for the toaster-sized convection oven that we purchased from a friend at a garage sale–it has saved us time and time again…but I NEED my full-sized oven back!  My mom is hoping to come visit us over her mid-quarter teaching break in a few weeks.  The point is to help me make and freeze meals for after baby comes.  So, the goal is to have the stove hooked up by then.  That seems lofty, but my even loftier goal is that the whole kitchen would be done.  It’s just time, already!  I never dreamed that the whole process would take so many months! 

Should we have ripped the kitchen apart when all of the cabinets weren’t even built?  Obviously that was not ideal–but the project was NOT going to happen over the school year.  There’s just not enough time in my husband’s days to have been able to put towards so many projects.  Plus, with a new baby coming and my hubby coaching basketball this year (the season starts less than a month after baby’s due)…As difficult as it has been to wait all this out, I recognize that summer was the time to get started, and I just pray that things really will come together in the next few weeks and that baby can wait it out before he comes.  He’s been giving me some “scares”!  I need him to make at least a few more weeks in there!

Though I feel much better in this fall weather (I actually have SOME energy, as opposed to summer when I longed to lie in bed all day long), the discomfort I’ve been feeling was what I dealt with in just the last month or so of my other three pregnancies.  He’s not up in my ribs nearly as much lately, but I feel a lot of pressure at the other “pole”.  Sometimes I’m afraid he’s going to poke a finger through and then have to be born.  I’ve also had some pretty painful contractions already–which I think happens depending on his position.  He still has enough room to really wiggle, and every now and then he chooses to wiggle frenetically when I’m supposed to be catching up on rest.  Besides, I have to stop by the little girls’ room very frequently (night or day), anyhow. 

We are so excited to meet him and put a face to this little wiggler…but we truly hope that it’s not for a few more weeks, at least!  However, at my last appt. a couple weeks ago I was told that he seems like a very big baby and that we had better do an ultrasound at 36 weeks to get a better look at everything and make sure he’s doing ok.  I do look forward to getting checked out thoroughly and learn if the discomforts I’ve been feeling mean that we’re progressing at all.  I’ve never made much progress until I was in active labor, so that would be a new experience for me! 

As my husband reminded me again just the other day, if we could know ahead of time what certain life events would bring, we would probably have entered them with so much more fear of what lay ahead.  I am trying to turn my questions and struggles over to the Lord and trust in the plans he brings before us each day.  What I do know is how happy and content I am to be home this year.  I adore having each morning during the school week with Little One!  He is so precious and is really growing up.  He loves preschool even more this year, and while he’s away at school I can rest or get bits of projects done.  I am trying to organize baby clothes into drawers and rig up closets, of sorts (our house sorely lacks closets).  While I think of my students often and wonder how they’re doing or how it’s going for their new teacher, I don’t regret that I chose to stay home this year.  It’s where I want to be.


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