Well I’ve been on a bit of a writing hiatus, as my mind has been more preoccupied with the final stages of pregnancy and prepping for baby. But today is my due date, and despite the fact that WE ARE READY, baby has still not arrived. At home preparations are most definitely complete – maternity leave started, nursery is finished, car seats installed and hospital bags are (for the most part) packed and ready to go. But alas baby Guetter still eludes us, teaching me my first official lesson of parenthood already – throw your expectations into the wind. We can prep and plan and wait and research all we want, but this life will unfold as its meant to, whether we be ready or not. I’m trying to make the most of this ‘bonus’ time and soak up my last peaceful days at home. But, I typically like to know when big things in my life are most definitely happening, and this loss of control, paired with the physical symptoms of being 40 weeks pregnant, makes this a somewhat anxious and uncomfortable time as well. Yet, I know it will not last, and so, with having accomplished all of my tasks at home, and determined to occupy my mind and fight the boredom, back to this blog I turn. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about the overall experience of being pregnant and, for the most part, I can say it was pretty positive for me. Sure, I’ve had my share of physical discomforts (probably every single symptom there is to have) but it’s been manageable and, thankfully, there have been no serious health issues. While I was prepared for the physical, the emotional side of pregnancy took me by surprise a bit. I’ve always been a pretty reserved and even-keeled person – I don’t experience many emotional highs and lows. But these past 9 months have most definitely been a roller coaster. The first trimester was filled with anxiety. Worry that the pregnancy would stick, worry that the baby would develop and be healthy, worry that I would make it to the magical second trimester. There was not much else in those first 8 weeks or so other than physical misery caused by overwhelming exhaustion and nausea, and worry, worry, worry. It was not a fun time. In the second trimester, my anxiety was replaced with joy and an overall heightened sense of emotions. October walks through the fall foliage on my lunch break were blissful and reflective. The nausea was gone, the baby was healthy, my energy returned and, to put it simply, I was in a really, really, good mood. I don’t know how else to explain this period other than I felt everything more intensely. I felt completely alive. I felt creative and motivated and excited for life – that’s the time I started this blog. I wish I could say that period of bliss lasted longer, but by November I was anxious again. I received a new job offer and made a major career change, which caused a lot of stress. In the middle of it all too, we took our trip to California, which was amazing, but the timing felt off and it did not fully offer me the reprieve from work stress I had been needing. I felt like the stress followed me all through our trip, as an underlying dread of what I would have to deal with at my current (soon t0 be old) job when I returned. By December I was settled in the new position and confident I made the right decision, but I’ll be the first to admit I did not handle the stress of the transition well at all. In January and February things kind of settled down and I found myself not overly joyful, but not overly stressed or anxious either. I threw myself into preparing for the baby and projects at my new job, and was mostly productive, accomplished, energized and satisfied during this time. And that brings us to March, which has been mostly (another) anxious month – stressing about finishing last minute preparations on time, finishing projects at work before starting my maternity leave and wondering when baby will make her appearance. Overwhelmingly, I’ve worried more than I thought I ever would throughout these past 9 months but I think that’s somewhat normal for a first pregnancy and I’m hoping I can counter balance that with more joy and zest for life once baby actually arrives and we head into spring.
And where does Paul fit into all of this? While clearly baby and I are the stars of the show (ha!), poor daddy-to-be falls under the radar sometimes. This can’t possibly be an easy time for him either. His life is on the brink of a major change as well, and there’s not much he can do but wait and watch his used-to-be-cool-and-fun-wife turn into a fat, hormonal, crazy person (ok that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get where I’m going with this). One of the things I’ve always loved most about our relationship is that we are always on the same page. We truly have always made a great team. But over the course of these past 9 months, staying on the same course has been challenging to say the least. At times we were in completely different places. Mostly it’s due to the fact that motherhood for me began the minute we found out I was pregnant – while for him, I don’t think it’s truly ‘real’ until the baby is born. He hasn’t had to sacrifice nearly as much as I had, and not much he does, at this point, impacts the health of our baby – while everything does for me. He can go on living his life (mostly) normally, while I lose more and more of the person I used to be pre-pregnancy every day. He’s still been there every step of the way – he looks out for me every day and makes sure I’m feeling well. He deals with my mood swings and irrational arguments. He listens and asks the right questions and checks ‘The Bump’ every Sunday night to read about next weeks progress. And he’s checked off every single item from the to do list as soon as he has the time to do them – but sometimes it feels like he’s more than a few paces behind me. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just a new dynamic for us, and one we’ve had to adjust to and grow into together. At any rate, I know we will join forces once again when the baby is born and work well together as parents. I can’t wait for him to meet our daughter. I know he is going to be so enamored by her. I can’t wait to witness the moment when this finally becomes real for him. I know he’s going to be a huge mush for her (sorry Paul, but it’s true) and I truly can’t wait to watch him fall in love with her.
But enough of the deep stuff – I want to finish this post off with some fun stuff! So for now, enjoy some photos of the finished nursery. It’s currently my favorite room in the house and I can’t wait to welcome baby to her new room any day now!
And, finally, I will add that the generosity of our friends and family has been incredible. So much of what’s in this nursery was gifted to us – it was so super easy to create such a beautiful space for our little girl with all of the support we received. We are one lucky and much loved family already!