Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Here I Raise my Ebenezer

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.' 1 Samuel 7:12

The due date was supposed to be June 20 (2016)-- exactly one week after Noah's due date of June 13 (2014). I would've been 38.1 weeks pregnant today. I went into labor with Noah at 38.4 and had him at 38.5 weeks.


I'm really anxious for it to get here. So much life has happened in the last 9 months, but it's hard not to remember how much life hasn't happened. It's been, quite literally, a pregnant pause. I don't feel like I've dwelt unnecessarily on this day, but as Noah's birthday approached, I couldn't help but know that this day was approaching as well.

I think it's affected me more than I realized. I've always been the hurry up and wait type. Like, I get all worked up for this milestone or that birthday or these anniversaries, and find myself disappointed that life didn't turn into rainbows and butterflies once the obstacle was behind me. This week was no exception.

Ross has been working his butt off on a long to-do list, finishing the last 15% of a whole bunch of house projects for Noah's party this past weekend, and it's safe to say I've been in panic mode about it. Really nitpicky. Mean. Not fun to live with. But it HAD to get done. And it wasn't until I was in tears at midnight on Friday night that I realized... I need closure. I need to feel like we brought our first baby home to an eventually safe place, and to have that whole lost season of chaos behind me. And I need to feel like we did THIS baby justice. Even though we aren't bringing him or her home, I want to feel like WE COULD HAVE. Like the house is READY.

Last fall, I was so worried I wouldn't be able to bond with Noah, to study for my IBCLC exam, to finish the house, in time for this baby's due date. But we did!

And oh, the house. I feel petty talking about it, and I'm sure my bitterness comes through even when I'm trying to make jokes. Is it a first world problem? Heck yes. If I could do it differently, would I? Heck yes. Don't buy a fixer-upper at 28 weeks pregnant. It seemed like a grand adventure at the time, but after the wilderness we'd been through in the years prior to getting pregnant with Noah, I really should've used my third trimester to rest, to recover, to prepare. To draw inward and nest and connect. Not to work two jobs, sometimes both in the same 24 hour period without sleep. Not to come "home" to a suitcase in a relative's bedroom. Not to avoid the actual house we bought because the sights and sounds of a construction site instead of a home filled me with a deep sense of panic and loss of control.

There's still a lot of work to do, but we worked right up to the start of the party, and for the first time ever, our house has a DONE list! Every room except the laundry room has walls, paint, trim, no exposed wood putty... It's amazing. The sense of relief I felt after Noah's party was palpable and surprising, even to me. His party was a birthday party and a housewarming party and a "welcome back to the land of the living" party. I feel like it was a tangible chance to get some closure on his tumultuous newborn days. An Ebenezer stone for where we've been and where we're going. We can move forward into toddlerhood with one baby. We can graciously say goodbye to what could have been with the other.

I don't need rainbows and butterflies now. I just want to make it to Saturday, take a deep breath, and move into Sunday. 

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