Overall, I feel overwhelmingly lucky at how well this pregnancy has gone. The only major hiccup was my own clumsy fault. My body has done what it is supposed to do and the normal pregnancy aches and pains have been on the mild side.
That being said, I'm a whiny pansy. I really am. I haven't done well with the limitations my pregnant body has, especially when the end point seems so far away. The end point, my due date. It not all that far away any more. 47 days (45 if you go by the ultrasound). I'm finally feeling like I can do it. I may have to do things at a slower pace and take more breaks, but I can get through the next 7 weeks, its not that long. I may have to ask for help more often, but I have great friends and family and they get more annoyed when I don't ask and try to do something stupid myself. I spent so much time worrying about being able to survive this summer that I just realized I made it through the hardest part, the monsoons are here and they are fantastic! I'm going to focus on enjoying these last weeks of my pregnancy, since it is likely to be my only one.
With my 3rd trimester about half way over, our to-do list seems to get bigger and bigger. I think it just seems to get bigger since the time is smaller. We have accomplished parts of each project, but not enough to cross anything off. Like our bag for when I go into labor. We have a bag picked out and a list of what goes in it, but it isn't packed, and we have to buy a lot of the things we need for it. Then there is the house, most of the projects can't be finished completely until we can clean out the office and turn it into a guest room. Does anyone want a drafting table?
The other thing that has been on my mind is the state of motherhood. I feel like we are at this weird place where we are first time parents and not, all at the same time. The most obvious thing for me is sleep. Every time A or I make a comment about sleep, it seems like everyone's reaction is "Just wait 'til that baby comes! Enjoy the sleep you get while you can!" Well, yeah. Having a newborn means you don't get sleep. Fortunately, that's what maternity leave is for. When we had foster kids we had work the next day. I think with A&A I took one day off, but that day was spend getting shots so they could be enrolled in day care. Taking 2 kids to the doctor and them both needing shots before you know them 24 hours was one of the most traumatic things I've ever had to do. By the end I wanted to cry with them. My trauma was only a drop in the bucket to what they had to be going through.
There are some things that I'm really looking forward to having my own children instead of fostering. She will be able to sleep in our room and in our bed if we want. Our first placement would have been able to be in our room, but she was too big for the bassinet we had, so she was in the crib in the nursery. The other big thing is FORMULA! We don't have to get up an mix a bottle every time she wakes up! I'm also hoping our little girl has a stronger immune system! It seemed like our foster kids were ALWAYS sick, and we were, too. Hopefully breast feeding and pushing daycare off a bit will help us not catch EVERYTHING! I also think the foster kids were especially vulnerable because of all of the stress of their situation. Poor kids. The biggest different is we won't have to deal with CPS! We don't have to arrange our week around when the kids are on visits or when we have home visits. We won't have team meetings and court dates. We won't have to get permission to cut her hair! Maybe one day we will have to deal with CPS again and it will mean the adoption laws in AZ have changed and we can both have legal rights to our kids. Then it will be worth it!
One thing I did find comfort in with fostering that I won't have with our own is the lack of permanence. At the most difficult times when I had given up hope, I found some comfort in the fact that the situation wasn't permanent. At some point that particular problem would be someone else's to deal with. When I couldn't comfort one of the kids when they were upset, it was easier to not feel like a failure. I wasn't the one they wanted to be comforted by and that was okay and normal. But that won't be true anymore. Fortunately it also taught me that usually that problem would eventually be resolved anyways. As my mother-in-law quotes, "This too shall pass".
I feel like I'm prepared for parenthood. You can't be prepared for every situation, but know our parenting style and work well as a team. I know there will be times when we feel overwhelmed, but now we will be able to take a break and have a babysitter. They won't have to have their fingerprint card and be on file with the agency. We can ask a favor from a friend or our family and get an evening out.
In the mean time we are focusing on the things foster care couldn't prepare us for; pregnancy, labor, and birth, breastfeeding, vaccinations (since we didn't have a choice before), co-sleeping. Later this week we are going to a La Leche League meeting. We were warned by our Bradley instructor that there will be a lot of women breastfeeding (scandalous!), most without using a nursing cover (even more scandalous!). Umm, yeah, its La Leche League, that's the point! Anyways, I'll try to write a blog afterwards about the meeting and about their book, "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding".
Well, that was a rather long blog for me, hopefully it wasn't too disjointed!