To the Ladies Still Waiting

There is something very strange that washes over me when I read the blogs of ladies whose due dates are close to mine.I read about sonograms and blessings of unborn babies and I almost feel the familiar thumps and bumps from within.I still have not taken down my ticker. My children are enjoying readingwhat Sarah would have been doing had she stayed put six weeks longer.I hold her and nurse her and hold her some more. And still, I miss her--I miss those last few weeks of pregnancy. I miss being full of life and expecting joy.  This is for those of you who are growing quite large...

  • Rub that belly often. Give your toddler some massage oil and let him go to town. Let him rub and rub and rub and when he does pray together for your new baby.
  • Count every kick and with each one offer a prayer of thanksgiving for God's reassurance that baby is well.
  • Pack your bag with thoughtfulness and care. Include some things which will bring you comfort in the hospital: a favorite pack of gum, a box of granola bars, a pretty mug for tea, a favorite inspirational book for mothers,  holy water, a book of prayers, warm socks, an iPod...I could go on and on, really. Pack for the celebration of welcoming new life. Look forward to spending warm happy hours cocooned in your room with your sweet baby. There's really nothing this side of heaven so dear.
  • Keep writing. Even if you don't publish all your thoughts right now, record them. You'll want them later. And
  • take pictures. I have only one picture of myself pregnant with Sarah. And it was taken pretty early on.  We left for the hospital in a frantic, blood-covered hurry. I'm so sad not to have some happy belly-hugging BIG  pictures. 
  • Enjoy those weekly OB checks. After chatting with the doctor or midwife, stop at the craft store or the bookstore or get yourself a treat from the donut shop (no one will weigh you again for week). Pretty soon, it will be a bit more difficult to get out and about.
  • Do your advent prep and your Christmas shopping. Wrapping presents for your big kids while listening to Christmas music as your baby rolls around inside of you is a rare blessing indeed. Eat it up!
  • Go to confession now and to Holy Communion often. Stay in a state of grace. You're going to need all the help you can get.
  • Pray. If you don't already have a prenatal prayer routine, get one. Make a prayer book of your own. Print out prayers for expectant mothers, offer continual novenas to patrons of mothers or midwives or nursing (or all of the above). Take the prayers with you to the hospital. You will be surrounded by friends when you deliver and those friends will celebrate with you when you hold your baby.
  • Go to sleep at night with your husband's arm around your belly. The warmth of his hand will relieve some the aches and the gentle pressure will reassure you that he will be there, ready to protect and cherish you should you awaken in labor.
  • Relish every last second of the third trimester. Enjoy being an outward sign of God's abundant goodness. Smile. Bless the people around you. Take good care of yourself. Love that baby safe and sound within you.Look forward with joy!