That’s right! My due date is tomorrow! If you would have asked me how I was doing this past Monday, I probably would have answered melodramatically with some type of “Woe is me!” response. The next day however, a friend of mine sent this excerpt from Pope Francis’ recent exhortation, Amoris Laetitia:
“171. With great affection I urge all mothers: keep happy and let nothing rob you of the interior joy of motherhood. Your child deserves your happiness. Don’t let fears, worries, other people’s comments or problems lessen your joy at being God’s means of bringing a new life to the world. Prepare yourself for the birth of your child, but without obsessing, and join in Mary’s song of joy, ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant’ (Luke 1:46-48). Try to experience this serene excitement amid all your many concerns, and ask the Lord to preserve your joy, so that you can pass it on to your child.”
What poignant words from our Holy Father. I needed to read this at that moment in time. Monday was a rough day. I know that pregnancy hormones can drive you nutso, but I was letting so many things discourage me. Other people’s (well-meaning) comments and expectations were beginning to feel like a terrible weight on my shoulders. Little did I know that I mostly put them upon myself. For those of you who have been pregnant recently, you know how the last few weeks can often feel like an eternity. Sometimes you don’t want to see anyone just to avoid the comments, sometimes you just want to completely extricate yourself from the outside world. But as Pope Francis encourages, “Don’t let fears, worries, other people’s comments or problems lessen your joy at being God’s means of bringing a new life into the world.”
What a privilege and a gift it is to be able to welcome this new child! This reminder of the beauty and joy of motherhood has been indispensable this week. Moping around and just waiting for the baby to come will not do a thing for my family or for myself. Plus, it’s true, I am not going to be pregnant for forever! I know it sounds silly, but every mom feels this way at some point in time. Therefore, this is my prayer for the remainder of the pregnancy and afterward, “…ask the Lord to preserve your joy, so that you can pass it on to your child.”
In other pregnancy related news, I have at least two weeks left! We have not checked for dilation once for the past few weeks, which I am grateful for. My doctor doesn’t encourage cervical checks unless you’ve actually been having contractions. She knows that dilation doesn’t mean much unless you’re actually in labor, plus unnecessary cervical checks can introduce unwanted bacteria. I know I probably would have gone crazy obsessing over dilation. I know some mom’s who have walked around 3cm or 4cm for weeks, while on the other hand some women can dilate very rapidly. However, the baby’s heartbeat is looking great, and I’m currently measuring 39 weeks (as of yesterday).
I’m still not experiencing any contractions, and I have no idea what will happen this time. With Lúthien, contractions didn’t start until the day I went into labor (and then wasn’t born until a day and a half later). I’ve been carrying this baby so differently than last time (very low), so I’m hoping for a much shorter labor which is usually the case for the second birth anyway. This baby may be low, but he or she seems to be in a strange position though – so we’ll see!
And to end, Ross will be able to catch the baby! I mentioned to my OB that he expressed interest in that and that we assumed that the hospital wouldn’t allow it, but she said that she is “all for having dads catch the baby.” When I told him he was over the moon. 🙂 Our doc will intervene if necessary, but nonetheless the prospect of Ross catching the baby is so exciting!