I've become well acquainted with the 4 o'clock hour this pregnancy. After tossing and turning in attempts to find comfortable positions for not only my rib but my aching hips, I usually throw in the towel around 4am. I wake up and lie in bed next to Tim and listen to his rhythmic breathing, hoping it will lull me back to sleep--sadly, it rarely does. On some mornings, I find myself scrolling through the pictures on my phone, looking at the faces of my growing babies and feeling ever so helpless in my attempt to slow down the time. How in the world is Genevieve going to kindergarten next year?! And how is Mya already about to sign up for her 5th soccer season?! And can we talk about Elle--she is her own person now; she no longer sits in the shadows. She has her own opinions and thoughts and is well versed at telling her sisters she doesn't have to play what they want her to play. And Birdie--oh my bird--she is a crazy as they come right now with her constant runny nose and wide gap-tooth smile.
It seems like only yesterday that I was gearing up for labor with each one of my babies. And now their aging beautifully. My girls are really beautiful--inside and out.
And so here I sit in the dark, waiting for "baby brudder" to tell me he's coming. Am I ready for him? We'll see. Is anyone really ready for such a big life change? I haven't been shy in writing about this pregnancy; it has been incredibly difficult, reminding me of my age and how many times my body has been through this in a short amount of time. There have been a handful of days where I feel well, but mostly, it's been nine months of pure sacrifice to carry this little boy. And because of the level of difficulty that has been associated with this pregnancy, I have often found myself disconnected from him. I hope that feeling instantly disappears the moment I hear his soft cry and touch his warm skin.
Every day I find myself rubbing my soccer ball belly as I try to cement the feeling of being pregnant in my heart. I'll probably suffer from phantom pregnancy for the rest of my life, mistaking gas and indigestion for possible pregnancy, even though I'll always know pregnancy will not be possible after this baby. So although I have struggled through what seems like the worst of the pregnancy symptoms with this baby, I am trying to enjoy the last kicks inside my belling, knowing they will be my last. I just want you to know that moving on from this phase of life--while necessary--is extremely personal and hard. I'm choked up as I write. But I am hopeful as well as I wrote before; it's just that 4am makes me more weepy than I generally am later in the day.
Perhaps the next 4am post will be written with a baby at my side, perhaps not. This baby seems to be stubborn like his sisters. But we'll see.