I’ve been feeling like a manatee these days, but our maternity photos came back and we ALL look great! 35 weeks and counting…
Today is the start of my third trimester, and I can’t help but marvel over just exactly where the time has gone. This baby has been with me through one road trip to Nashville, two hurricanes, three birthdays (not mine, obviously, but my mom’s, dad’s, and Kennedy’s), three major holidays and the preparation for a fourth, lots of ups and downs with regard to aches and pains, and a weight gain of about 16lbs after an initial weight loss of 8lbs (so I’ve actually gained 24lbs).
I’ve told all my friends and family that it’s likely that this will be my last pregnancy. I have no idea what the future holds, if I will want another after our son has arrived, or if it’s even in the cards according to God’s plans for us, but because I’m treating this like it’s the last time, I’m going about things very differently than I did before.
This is where I come to a tough spot in this blog post, because I’d normally freely divulge just what my intentions are with the remainder of gestation for our son and how I want his delivery to be both similar, and different from, his sister’s. Normally, I’d write in depth about all the ways I’ve changed since August 2013, making me a different kind of mom now. I am not opposed to speaking about these aspects of my newest bundle and myself, but I don’t want to put much onto this blog for the time being as part of my larger move to become a more private person (hence why I set fire to all my social media accounts this year).
My skirting the larger subject of labor begs the question of why I bothered to bring the subject up in the first place. It’s simple: I am anxious to meet him. I’m anxious to see how much better at this I’ve gotten since the first time around. I look forward to the day, whenever it comes, that I can hold him in my arms. I anticipated meeting my daughter this way, but I was so new to the mom experience that I was a little too infatuated with just pregnancy. Pregnancy is beautiful (as is breastfeeding, attachment parenting, cosleeping, etc.), but it’s definitely just 1/8 of the tip of the iceberg. Raising a child these past three years has taught me that there is much more that awaits. I do enjoy the bump as an accessory, though.
It’s been fun sharing this pregnancy with Kennedy, as evidenced here:
The season has finally changed here, as evidenced by this crazy cold temp we welcomed in the other morning…The seasonal pattern down here is very different from how it was in SoCal. In California, I’d spend most of the year longing for the sunny, warm weather of spring and summer because summers there are bearable. Fall and winter are bearable too, but beach-going in those off season months means ridiculously cold water, so you just kind of chill on the sand, and it’s usually windy, so not always the most ideal beach conditions. With the beach only about a 10-minute drive away, a dip in spring or summer is easy and comfortable; water temps are much warmer from March through August/September. But overall, the weather is easier to contend with because there’s not much severity (or at least there had not been in the first 20 years of my living there) with regard to heat or cold. Climate change (whether anyone wants to admit it or not) has brought severe heat and dryness to the area, and winters have gotten colder (it even snowed in certain parts of the Inland Valley in December 2014).
This post isn’t about weather patterns or global warming. Sorry if that’s what you came for.
Here in Florida, the opposite is true – I pine after cool weather months as they are a relief from the severe heat and humidity we face from May through September/October. I live much farther away from the beach now, so a dip in the Atlantic requires a day trip. I don’t mind that so much, but it limits us to only going on the weekends. We have plans and the room to add a pool to our backyard, so that will help us cope in the future. For the time being, we celebrate when the leaves change and the air becomes cooler and our AC unit stops kicking on regularly throughout the day.
Combine this change in temps with my current urge to nest, along with some killer specials at Michael’s, and Christmas has exploded early at our house.
I know, I know…”But Antoinette, you love fall!” Yes, that’s true, but I love Christmas even more. And, Kennedy is just that age where Christmas is becoming that perfect level of magical. She’s old enough to understand what the holiday is about, and young enough to still believe in Santa Claus (a nifty tactic for controlling tantrums and other bad behavior, by the way). She’s old enough to help out with Christmas baking and decorating, and young enough that she isn’t too cool for family traditions. I’ve been waiting for her to reach this point since she was born, so I’m in mother-daughter heaven with her a bit. I’m also in mother-son heaven with a growing bump to show off in fall/winter rather than spring/summer. When I was pregnant before, I thought it’d be better to be pregnant during spring/summer for ease of wardrobe. Perhaps that is true in San Diego where the temps are easier to deal with, but here, the North Central Florida heat killed my spirit and motivation during my first trimester. I wouldn’t wish such a fate on anyone, even those I can’t stand. Nausea + sticky hotness is just a fucking chore, so needless to say, I’ve been LONGING for it to get cooler out here. I’m not nauseous anymore, but I have other things to contend with by way of sciatic nerve pain, low back pain, hip joint pain, and Braxton Hicks contractions (which are more uncomfortable than they are painful). None of them are fun, but I’ll take those over the nausea. My back might hurt, but at least I can eat Chipotle again. 🙂
A growing bump also means a growing baby with bigger kicks and rolls, and though they sometimes send me rushing to the bathroom to pee, or keep me up at night, I’m so enamored with feeling my son’s movements. We’re also in the fun phase of planning for him where we’ll start (I say “we,” but really it’s just Fabian) painting and purchase matching sheets. I got curtains on sale at Kohl’s a few weeks back and plan to have the glider rocking chair reupholstered. Decorating has kind of been my jam lately, so it’ll be fun to create a new space for a baby boy – something I haven’t done before.
The incoming holidays also mean more time that we get to spend with family, something that has always been a priority for me regardless of the time of year. As I’ve grown and changed this year, I’ve found myself clinging tighter to my family as my inner circle, basing more of my activities around my opportunities to involve them. Especially as my parents get older, it’s important to me to keep setting aside the time for them, even through the differences I experience with them (particularly, my dad). We aren’t meant to move through this life alone; my belief in God and Jesus means that they serve as my Creator and Savior, but belief in them doesn’t cancel out the need for companionship and a sense of purpose. My purpose used to be vague to me, and in many ways it is still undefined to me, but through the growth and development of my own family I’ve come to appreciate the place I have in relation to them, and the value they all hold for me. That’s probably one of the things I am most grateful for this holiday season: realizing my importance through my family.