I would say happy Bump Day, but I would be remiss if I didn’t first off recognize the significance of this particular date in American history.
The memories of that tragic morning are still fresh in my mind, and the aftermath of that terrible act continue to impact us on a global level. Appropriately, I spent the morning at an American Women’s Association meeting, which reminded me that Americans are resilient and confident and friendly and open and hopeful and diverse. And we’re going to keep on being Americans no matter where we go in the world, and hopefully, Jonathan and I can be good ambassadors for our often misunderstood and scapegoated country.
Over the past year and a half I have become more patriotic than I ever thought possible. Living outside of American borders helps me to see my home country much more clearly, for all of its accomplishments and also it’s many faults. When travelling Europe, I used to try to stay under the radar and hide my blatant American-ness from the naked eye. But after a year, I finally realized that I am proud of who I am and where I come from.
And yes, I want to learn the local ways of doing things and be culturally sensitive wherever I live or travel, but I’m not going to shirk off my own culture and traditions as if it’s something to be ashamed of. So I’m gonna keep on saying ‘y’all’ and spelling things the American way (labor instead of labour) and giving the temperature in Fahrenheit and reminiscing about Target and Big Gulps because I’m American, and I refuse to let anyone make me feel like that’s a bad thing to be. Humph.
Anyway, back to baby bump news….At 34 weeks I am only 6 short weeks from my due date. I think I look more pregnant than I am because as our gardener, who comes every two weeks, was leaving yesterday he told me goodbye and remarked, “I guess the next time I see you, you’ll be plus 1”. I hope not, unless we have a premie on our hands…
And later that day I was checking out at the grocery store and there was a baby crying in the next aisle. The checkout clerk remarked, “You’ll have one of those soon enough. In fact, you better get back home.”, as if he were concerned that I might go into spontaneous labor right then and there. In their defense, I really do believe my petite frame grossly exaggerates how big my bump appears.
It’s a total optical illusion. Even Jonathan swears that this baby will be born sooner than 6 weeks time, and guesses that we’re working with more of a 4 week timeline. Eeek! It’s only 3 more weeks until I’m full term, so he could totally be right!
I’m excited but also apprehensive. I know that my world will be turned upside down in ways I have no context for comprehending at the moment. For the first 2 months, I expect it will be all hands on deck and my life will be a constant loop of feeding, burping, changing, feeding, burping, changing.
I talked to a few of the girls from the AWA ‘Moms and Tots’ group this morning and they confirmed my suspicions but assured me that once you get through the crisis mode of the first 2-3 months, life adjusts, routines form, and what you are left with is a much different world, but a better world.
I just pray that my husband and I can be supportive of each other. I pray that I’m humble enough to allow our gracious friends and family to help us out with getting us back on our feet after baby. I pray that I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t face the many painful challenges of breastfeeding. I pray that my labor is swift and uncomplicated and that my body gets the rest and attention it needs to heal quickly. More than anything, I pray that our baby is healthy….and it wouldn’t hurt if he were a good eater and sleeper too.
I pray about all of these things because praying is all I can do; because none of this is in my control. I can’t truly prepare for any of it. I just have to trust that the grace of God will be present during this chaotic time in my life. That He will keep me sane and functioning and competent enough to care for a newborn. I pray that He replaces my selfish and stubborn heart with one that wants to serve and sacrifice. I pray that in my helplessness, I will remember to call first on His name and I pray that he will provide me with the patience and stamina needed in those newborn months.
Wow, I kind of feel like I’m drowning just thinking of what’s to come. Hopefully, I have at least another 3 weeks of relative freedom before the baby arrives. Sorry this was such a serious post. Sometimes they just turn out that way.
Here are the bump pics for the week: