my body is an instrument.

 

A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me. It isn’t very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That’s OK. It was your home. It’s where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it.

since hitting my third trimester a few weeks ago, i’ve thought plenty on the pain & the discomfort, what i can’t do and have trouble with, the heartburn, midnight vomiting, legcramps, exhaustion, the terrifying rising number on the scale. being so hugely huge. all the uncontrolled changes in my body, and the reality that my body will Never be like it once was.

my self-conscious vanity, comparisons, relatively small discomforts.

when all the while, God is doing this beautiful thing. using me in a more physical, tangible way than i have ever been used before.

Our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages….Scars and stretch marks and muffin tops are all part of your kingdom work….So realize that your body is a testimony to the world of God’s design. Carry the extra weight joyfully until you can lose it joyfully. Carry the scars joyfully as you carry the fruit of them. Do not resent the damages that your children left on your body. Just like a guitar mellows and sounds better with age and scratches, so your body can more fully praise God having been used for His purposes. So don’t resent it, enjoy it. { Rachel Jankovic }

so i will honor God with my body { 1 Corinthians 6:20 }
i will adorn myself with a beautiful spirit { 1 Peter 3:3-4 }
because i am in God’s own image { Genesis 1:27 }
and because, yes, most especially now,
i am wonderfully made
{ Psalm 139:13-16 }
(originally posted July 2011, right before having my first baby!)

things that surprised me as a first-time mom.

:
how constant it is
how little control i had
how small and intricate she was
how her crying tore me in half

everytime i feel babyjune kick, i think about how she is big and strong and healthy enough now to live on the outside-of-me, and might even be doing that in the next 24hours or couple days or week or maybe 2 weeks.

to say things are different when the baby is born is not worth saying but something does change other than the many obvious things–the baby changes from the hope-of-a-baby, the imagining-of-a-baby, the sweet babyname and babynursery and clothes folded and laundered and waiting, to a real live in-your-arms baby.

an in-your-arms baby is different.

i’ve been getting ready, reading books, talking with people, watching videos, but i have a feeling that having this baby will be exactly like when i had zu, in some ways–its not the head-knowledge that’s going to do it, its the body-knowledge, the mothering-reflex that i was born with, all that is what is really going to do it in the end.

preparing is good.
but you’ve either been someone who has stayed up in a hospital all night, tremblingtired and in wonder and so afraid, holding the tiny slip-of-life that was carried in your own body for nine months,
or you just haven’t (yet).

i have. and i know that no matter how the very specific things go–the way she comes to us, the way i feed her, the photographs and visitors–i can do that one most important thing, be her mother.

getting ready

with my sister in town earlier this week to help me play with zu and decorate the nursery, nesting has been in high-gear. here’s what i’ve gotten done so far: 

~ organized the baby-cabinet. dollar store bins for zu’s sippys, snacks, spoons/forks, and june’s bottles, misc., and more toddler snacks at the top. its been a wreck for so long that i’m still surprised every time i open it to complete orderliness.

~ cleaned up my littlest petshops for zu. these are special toys that i plan on only giving to her to play with when little sister is getting fed, so she will be occupied and not feel too neglected. by the way, the new littlest pet shops look terrifying.

~ washed and readied the cloth diapers. a few  of my used one-size-fits-all cloth diapers didn’t survive past zu (they were pretty old, donated by Giving Diapers Giving Hope), so i thought i might have to go ahead and buy a few more covers (i use prefolds and have 11 covers right now), THEN i found 13 more infant covers and about 20 more prefold inserts that are size small that i had completely forgotten about!! so if i do have to buy more covers, it won’t be for at least 3 months after june is born.

~ hung up my post-partum clothes in my closet. i wear the same things first trimester as i do “fourth” trimester, so i just pulled out a few go-to things. it helps to not have to worry about fitting into things immediately upon coming home with a newborn.

~ organized all pumping/nursing/feeding related things.  i’ve got all that necessary stuff sorted and in a pretty box in my room. preparing that felt like preparing for war, but i feel like my attitude in general is a lot more relaxed than last time.

~ went through zu’s old baby clothes. this part was just for fun. i actually had this organized about 4 months ago, but i wanted to show my sister some of the cutest outfits.

~ worked on the nursery. karen helped me hang up pictures, pick out some free prints to frame, and make some art for above the bed. june’s nursery is also the guest room, so that’s why we have a bed in there; now all the nursery needs is the hand-me-down dresser, crib and bedside table that my mom is bringing when she comes in a few weeks.

the guest bed

artwork

(more pictures to come when the nursery is all the way finished)

~ miscellaneous: took some old toys, decor, and clothes to consignment, changed out some curtains in the living room, organized my office desk, moved some stuff to the garage,  (mostly) packed the hospital bag, and checked out a bunch of books on natural childbirth.