As these winter days go by, my thoughts turn to how life was one year ago for me.
Having found out that I was pregnant on January 6 of 2015, I was dealing with the first trimester issues that are common for me: heightened emotions, nausea (although mild and occasional as was normal for me, not severe and constant like some women have), fatigue (for example, the second wind that I usually get after I put all the kids to bed often abandoned me in those days and made me unable to stay up late to do anything productive at night), and physical growth (looking back, I sort of grin and shake my head as I remember how quickly my baby bump appeared). :)
In those days, Jeff's protective nature bumped up a notch. In fact, I jotted down a note that on January 16 of last year, he cautioned me to be careful when moving the couch (with him on it!) because of me being pregnant. :)
Back then, I was enjoying the song "I Get to Be the One" by JJ Heller as my little one grew inside me. And I was already tentatively looking forward to the music I wanted to listen to during labor, remembering that I had made a list long before I was pregnant of some songs I wanted during that time: "To Whom It May Concern" by The Civil Wars, "The Greatness of Our God" by Hillsong, and "Still" by Hillsong. As it turned out, when I really did make my labor playlist months later, two out of three of those songs were on it. :)
In January and February, so close to the beginning of my pregnancy, I was already thinking ahead to the end of it and to the beginning of life with my new baby outside the womb; and I was planning how I wanted things to go. I reminded myself, for example, that in the early days and weeks after the baby was born, I wanted to pump a lot when my milk was plentiful so that I could have a good supply stored in the freezer. That particular resolution makes me laugh now because as it turns out, I have hardly pumped at all and I have exactly zero bottles of milk in the freezer! The only times I've pumped, as a matter of fact, have been in preparation for the handful of times that I've been away from my baby--either on a date with Jeff or at a concert or some such outing. In those cases, as the date has approached, I've had to scramble to pump a bottle and have it ready for the babysitter (or for Jeff, on the odd occasion that it was just me going away from home). So much for making extensive preparations in advance! It was a good idea; but this time around, I have savored the time spent nursing my baby more than ever before and haven't felt the need to be freed, so to speak, from the bondage of breastfeeding. It's a privilege, not something that enslaves me. :)
More than anything else, however, when I think back to life a year ago, I remember how unreal it all felt. Despite the positive pregnancy tests, despite the first trimester symptoms I was feeling, despite the tightening of my waist in my regular clothes, I still felt quite a bit of doubt and anxiety. I had longed for a baby for so long, but knowing that one was on the way didn't instantly release my heart to bond with my new child and to leap for joy as I soared over mountaintops. It just felt so...well...unreal.
Last year, there were so many unknowns; but what was then unknown has become known to us.
In February 2015, he was a dream. In February 2016, he is reality.
Precious Benjamin, how we love you!! Thank You, God, for this gift!