Patience has never been my virtue. My life experiences to date have been a reminder of this. One of those lessons that I have to keep learning over and over again - despite the fact that when I look back, I can see that all of the amazing things in my life today were delivered not when I wanted or expected them, but when the timing was right. So, it should really come as no surprise to me that during the final weeks waiting for my daughter to arrive, I fell into my default mode of impatience.
I realize that I have a set of expectations, based on my last birth, that this baby should also come two weeks early, and the labor should be half the time it was last time, so 2.5 hours. Given those expectations, I have plans and back-up plans to get our kids cared for, and me to the hospital quickly so I don’t deliver the baby in the car. (Note: I have even packed towels in the car in case this is a scenario that we are presented with.) My husband and I have prepped the nursery, I even took time off work before the birth this time around (because I was insane not to do that last time.) I have basically created the ideal conditions for our little girl to arrive (on MY schedule) and so I expected her to come during that time. And while I know how ridiculous this sounds, and how things like this never go as planned, I was really bummed (and slightly annoyed) that she didn't arrive last weekend.
And what’s worse – two weeks ago we were on a family vacation in wine country and the whole time I was wishing and willing her to stay put and not come early, so as to not cut our vacation short. But the moment we get home, I’m asking her to kick things into gear and be born already! A lot of demands to put onto a little one before they are born, I’m ashamed to admit…
So, I am having to do a major internal, mindset reset this week as I enter Week 39 of my pregnancy. I need to move from impatience and frustration to acceptance and trust. I need to let go and let this girl arrive on her own timeline. And even as I write this now, I’m not there yet, but writing it and putting it out there makes me feel a bit more accountable for actually embracing this new perspective.
And I must admit, in shifting my outlook this past week, I’ve seen some great benefits.
For starters, I’ve gotten some amazing time with my son – my first baby who is about to be a big brother and who can sense something is up but not sure what to make of it all. I have been able to get some really special mommy/son time with him, without the distractions of work, and help him move through this transition. So I am soaking up every snuggle, kiss and silly antic and relishing in these moments with him.
My husband and I have also been able to capture some quality time for us too, even grabbing an impromptu little date night. We so appreciate and value this time to connect, as we know the demands of a newborn, plus 3 other kids will make it harder for us to get that time, so we are taking advantage and savoring those moments now.
I’ve also been able to get some time for me – something that is hard to do with a toddler, two step-kids, and a full-time job. During this first week of maternity leave, I have been able to take care of myself, my body, and get some time alone to think, reflect, write and connect with my unborn daughter. I know that me time is something that is so rare when you are caring for a newborn and a toddler
So despite my aching back, subtly contracting belly and raging heartburn, I’m trying to take in the all of the gifts that this extra time has to offer. And while I do that, I have the chorus of Tom Petty’s song The Waiting playing in the back of my head…
The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part