I just spent a few minutes writing a post (below) about how terrible and awful I feel, and how I'm having a very difficult time being pregnant. It is awfully hard and tough at the moment, but it is also, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
I am soooooooooooooo excited!!! :) I am overwhelmed a lot lately with all the 'hard' that comes with this time (that will hopefully be finished soon!!), but it feels like I have a bunch of layers of hard, starting at the outside - physically it's so hard, I'm so sick, then there's the next layer in of emotional hard - hard not being as 'there' as I want to be for the children, hard not looking after my husband and making his food the way I like to, hard being completely helpless and reliant on others to get my children to school, etc., being so useless, bla bla, bla Actually I think the emotional hard is a few layers all on its own.
But THEN, inside of me, right at the centre, surrounded by all the hard, is a sparkling ball of excitement and anticipation and wonder and gratitude and thrill and SO MUCH LOVE, that sends shivers and happiness through all my other layers when I can push aside the 'sick' and 'guilt' enough to let it!!!
Because we're having another BABY!!!!
We have 4 so far and there's not one among them who isn't AWESOME and AMAZING and INCREDIBLE, and one of the BIGGEST BLESSINGS OF OUR LIVES!!!!
And those little angels are sure excited about the baby in my tummy!! As often as I can stomach it they are lying beside me rubbing my belly and talking to the baby :) They can't wait to find out whether it's a boy or girl (tiebreaker round!!! ;)), and see it and hold it and cuddle it!! The girls are way too excited about how fat I'm going to get again!! ;)
Lately as I lie on the couch almost constantly, watching the children play, I often find myself just grinning at their awesomeness. I love the way the girls are joined at the hip every second they're not in school. Their imaginations are fabulous - they're mermaids, or princesses, or teachers, or pirates, or fairies, or doctors, or Mums, or aunties, or whatever the day brings. They look after each other, and they look after me.
In this whole long journey so far of me basically being almost completely useless to these girls, they have not waned in their wonderful and helpfulness. I am completely amazed at how incredible they've been - and I expect them to be good - they usually are!! :) But they are soooo thoughtful and sweet! They pray for the baby and me, they ask if they can get me anything, they look after their little brothers, they help out whenever they're asked cheerfully, and without complaint. I seriously can barely believe how wonderful they are. And I'm so grateful for them, and grateful that they're not just sick of me being sick and frustrated with the whole business and just wanting more attention. They are the exact opposite, and have been so comforting to all of us!! I never want to treat the girls like they have responsibilities like James & mine. We are the parents, and it's time for them to be children and enjoy their time. We definitely teach them to work and look after their things and look after each other, but not in a way that makes it their 'role' at this time. Their role is to grow and learn and progress and love and build beautiful relationships and be happy and feel free and safe. They'll be parents and homemakers of their own homes one day, and hopefully they will love it like we do!! I don't want them to have a bad view of having children or a home to look after through any negative connotations of growing up in a big family and having big burdens placed on them through me not doing my job properly, if that makes sense. Anyway, they have 'stepped up' at this time so beautifully and eagerly, without even being asked, and though they're helping me at times with things that I normally would never ask them to do, I'm so grateful that they're so kind and excited and happy to help, and they have seriously made this hard time so much easier for me by being such angels!!! I can't stress how awesome they are. And how cheerful and sweet!!! And they have been such comforts to their brothers when I am being sick or something and they've led them away to play and distract them while I sort myself out! Ana cleans the entire house every day she is home. Without me saying a word to her I'll suddenly notice that they toys are all gone, and she's gone about and tidied everyone's rooms and made their beds. What 4 year old does that?! And Maggie gets home and assumes a place as everyone's entertainers and defenders, and reads to her siblings and thinks of fun games for them all to play together while I try to pull myself together. They are both angels.
And then I watch the boys play. And they're soooo so different to each other. SJ is so quiet and sweet, and he has his own little world of cars and planes and dinosaurs, and he likes to share it with people, but it's special for him. He loves giving cuddles and kisses and grins shyly when he comes and 'plants one on me' ;) Christian just walks around trying to discover and destroy anything he can get his hands on at this stage, and he's so neverendingly cheerful and persistent and bouncy and loud, and loves being the center of attention!!! They, unlike the girls, have spent this time fighting hard to get a bunch of attention from me. If one of them is cuddling me the other will inevitably try to cuddle me too! - It has been very difficult for me when I'm super sick and it's really hard to have them crawling all over me, but what a blessing! I have these 2 completely perfect and adorable and so different sons, who are so happy and sweet and loving, and love crawling all over me lol. And SJ is starting to talk SO WELL, and loves testing out his language progress, and Christian is just so ridiculously confident in every way, nothing is a boundary to him. Watching them makes me feel so happy - until the terror of them both thundering towards me for some quality cuddle time when I feel like I'm going to be sick comes round again ;)
It's been my longest ever break between children, and I am SO EXCITED to have a newborn baby again :) I'm so excited to hold its tiny hands, and snuggle it all day long! I'm so excited to feed it and look after it, and be awake feeding it in the middle of the night like we're the only two people in the world who are awake at that moment. And I am SO excited for the love it's going to be getting from every angle around here!! :) SJ seems to understand this time that there's a baby in my belly (he was 100% oblivious with Christian lol), and he has been soooo gentle and sweet patting my belly, and the girls are all over it. They have been super big sisters/mother hens for a good 2 and a half years now (longer for Mags!), and are VERY excited for the new addition to our family. They are having fun anticipating whether girls or boys will overtake the other in numbers around here, and keep chatting about what all of it's physical features will be, from the curly/straight hair debate to whether one of the children will have 'matching green eyes like Mummy's', or continue the 'brown eyed baby' trend the rest of this family follows :)
And of course James is super excited as well :) At the moment he's all business trying to get us through this hard time and look after me and the other children, but he is the most incredible dad, I am so grateful he is my husband and our babies' father!!! They are soooooo blessed - we all are! - to have him!!! :) Sometime in the first few hours after bub is born, we always manage to have some time up at the hospital while our other children are with our mums, and I will rest while James holds the tiny new baby in his arms and gets to know him or her. It's such a beautiful time for both of them and I'm excited to see him bonding with the next one!!! :)
I know it's going to be hard/busy when bub is born next year. When we had Christian last year and suddenly had 4 children 4 and under it was struggle time for me - I think it took me about 7 months to feel like I got my head above water again!!! But what a blessing of a challenge!!! By the time this 5th one is born Maggie will have turned 6 already, and she and Ana will both be in school full time, so I'll just have the 3 at home each day. Every baby we have had has been such a happy, wonderful miracle in our lives, I really can't express how happy we are to know there's another on its way. We feel sooo blessed!!! When we were first married and it took us a long time to finally get Maggie, I don't think we could have imagined how blessed we would be to be surrounded with such beautiful children so quickly afterward!!
Oh and I know I said it but I'm so excited to have a newborn!!! I've always thought newborns were kind of boring, but since I've had mine, I've realised they're the most interesting, beautiful little things in the world!! :) I will happily spend hours just staring at my baby, laughing every time it yawns, excitedly pointing every twitch out to James, or whoever is 'fortunate' enough to be nearby ;) Babies are awesome. They have no downsides. Unless you count sleep deprivation as a 'downside', which you might be justified in doing ;) But they are just perfect, and straight from God, and it's so exciting to be holding in your arms the tiny bub that's been chilling out in your belly for 9 months!! And so exciting for all of us to shuffle down to a 'new normal' in our family, with another little bundle of fabulousness.
So although I mentioned 'the hard stuff' in this post, and in great depth in the post below this one, if you look at the video in the post below that one, you'll see how excited I am ;)