The anticipation of joy

The anticipation of joy

Three pieces of French toast in the skillet, all for me. Shawn’s already at work, purple paisley tie in place, and Noella is napping with lavender chest rub on her chest, and her humidifier on high because she’s sick/allergies/teething/who-knows-really. I make myself some coffee, pour some orange juice, and give myself a shot in my belly. I give myself that shot every morning, and I’ll continue to until the baby is six weeks old. Although it’s not pleasant, it’s my daily reminder that I’m pregnant. Of course, her kicks and movements are also a reminder that I’m pregnant. It’s our second front row seat to a miracle we never knew if we’d get to experience. And I love it so very much. I try to visualize what body part is poking me in my side, and tickling me under my skin, and I wonder for the 7500th time what she’ll be like. I wonder if she’ll look like Noella. I wonder how her eyes, personality, and newborn preferences will differ.
Yesterday Noella made a loud happy screech about something (probably Cheerio’s) and the baby in my belly responded with full body flips and kicks. They say babies in utero can hear and respond to noises from the outside, and this was no doubt a clear response. It warmed my heart because it was like they were communicating. There was a connection between sisters, even if they weren’t fully aware. The same movement happened the other day when Noella was screaming in an attempt to boycott a mandatory diaper change, and it just made me smile to think of the little one hearing and knowing her sister’s voice/cry/screech/laugh/scream.
Noella loves to pick up my shirt and “look at sister” which is so cute until we’re in public and then it’s so many shades of awkward, and the public is exposed to the belly bruises from my shots, resulting in looks of confusion. It’s also adorable when she lifts up her shirt and looks at, pokes at, and pats her own belly. I died a little the other day when she crawled over and gave the baby pictured on the wipes box kisses. ONE THOUSAND HEART EYES. Aside from the way she violently throws her dolls, and ruthlessly slams them to the ground, I think she’ll be a great big sister.
It feels like a far away dream I’ve been dreaming my whole life to have a baby, and then two, and then to think of them meeting, and to see Shawn holding another newborn baby girl, and to see and hold her in her first moments of life. It’s beyond me!
But the reality of those first few months, and the adjustment does overwhelm me at times. I need God to give me strength. We don’t have family here to help, Shawn will have to go back to work, there will be nursing demands 24/7, and the frenzy of two under two, and a house to sweep and meals to make, and laundry and dishes, a dog to feed, no doubt a scorpion or two to kill, two to bathe and dress and feed again, all mixed with who-knows-what postpartum insanity and hormonal rollercoaster of the day. Oh my!
I’m so so excited and ready, but I acknowledge that I need God’s strength. I know that now, having gone through it once. I want to soak up every sweet moment when our time as a family of four comes. So I pray now for the strength I’ll need then – and it’s a strength that will be available to me by God’s grace! And meanwhile, I’ll enjoy one of the sweetest things pregnancy has to offer: the anticipation of the joy that is to come. And three pieces of French toast to myself!


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