38 Weeks: Monitor and Adjust
Leo and Missy (Pops and Mimi) hosted a wonderful baby shower for us a couple of weeks ago. Missy had the best baby shower game ever: Guests pair up and create the shower couple’s baby. Looking through our potential babies (photos below), I’m not sure whether to be honored or concerned… (just kidding guys!). We’re excited to see what our son looks like and I’m sure he’ll be at least as handsome as any of the babies pictured here. I know I’ve said it before, but being surrounded by so much love and support among our family and friends gives me such a sense of security and peace as we enter this crazy new world.
A post script to my previous blog entry (37 weeks: Testing the baby waters): I ended up staying off work Monday and Tuesday this past week – I felt physically exhausted and emotionally fragile. In hindsight I think I got hit with a big ol’ reality check – between my 24 hours of contractions, babysitting Violet, and feeling my baby drop much lower in my pelvis on Monday, I hit this moment of “Oh wow. This is really going to happen. Yikes.” The whole thing felt quite daunting and I couldn’t bring myself to face the office or much else. But then I dragged myself out to dinner with a friend Tuesday night (thank you Beth Huss!) and I woke up Wednesday morning feeling rested and ready for the world. When I taught high school for a year in Colorado, my mentor shared a piece of advice that has stuck with me: Monitor and adjust, then repeat. Grace and I talked the other day about the Buddhist perspective on suffering: We become attached to our expectations of things. We expect things should be a certain way for as long as we say so – as if we have control over the world around us. Thus we suffer when things change and our expectations are not met. By continually bringing awareness to (monitoring) ourselves and our world and adjusting as necessary, we manage to go on in the most peaceful way we can – a constant process of acceptance and adaptation.
So I’m monitoring and adjusting. I think my body was telling me to slow down and start conserving some energy and peace of mind — because this whole baby thing is about to get very real! I’ve adjusted by taking it slower and calmer at work and at home. I’m taking my time as I do everything.
Yesterday I took off work again and had a fantastic day. Ted and I had breakfast with his grandparents, then went shopping for prom attire (attending a Valentines “puppet prom” tonight with friends — I found a great $10 maternity prom dress at the thrift store), then my parents stopped by for a visit, and then we had dinner with Ted’s parents. It was a lovely day with family and with each other, enjoyed at a relaxed pace. I’m savoring these quiet and simple moments Ted and I are getting to share before baby comes along.
Today’s task: Pack the “go bag” for the hospital and start washing all of Pancake’s adorable clothes, blankets and diapers. This morning I read this nice article called The Chemistry of Attachmentabout all the hormones and drugs that come along with a new baby to assist in the bonding process – human evolution is fascinating! The article is also posted on the Resources page of the blog.