How to Grow a Human in 9 Easy Months

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's the final stretch!

I'm scheduled to deliver this baby via c-section on Sunday, August 16th at 9am.  (Mark your calendars!  Prayers appreciated!)  That gives me five days to groan and gripe and worry about all the things that will probably not go awry.

Looking back, sure, these last nine months have flown by.  It's easy to gestate a human when you have mere days getting checked off the calendar.  Since this is my last (to my knowledge) pregnancy, I've tried my utmost to caress my growing midsection with patience and gratitude, knowing these violent jabs to my ribs and aching hips/back are oh-so-temporary.

But, I'm ready.

From 6 weeks to 39 weeks! WHOA MAMA!
(Isn't the human body freaking amazing?!)

I'm eager to meet this little blessing in my belly, ready to smooch her face and nibble on her toes until others around me start to feel uncomfortable by my level of adoration (mothers understand this limitless ability to gawk at their newborn).

I'm ready to not be stopped in my tracks with Braxton Hicks or require a million pillows and a pulley-system to simply roll over in my own bed.  I'm ready to see my toes again and enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.  I'm ready to have my anxieties shift from pregnant worries to external concerns about parenting another new life.  Bring it on!

It bewilders me to think that only 9 months ago I didn't know what this week held in store for me.  That I thought my plate was full then, and my emotional capacity was brimming with everything I knew about at that moment.

But, when a new body grows within your own body, you start to realize how absolutely beyond your control most things are.  While this pregnancy hasn't lacked pains or challenges, I had nothing to do with the cell-building, nerve-developing, bone-growing miracle that took place right under my heart (literally).

I've always been pretty darn good at worrying.  It doesn't keep me from doing much, but it doesn't mean the fear isn't present.  Worry is familiar territory for most mothers, and it's step-sisters Doubt and Anxiety are always nearby.  They love to team up and try to steal away joy and hope and confidence, and if I'm not prayerful about staying aware of their whereabouts I can easily find myself entertaining them.

Then, I look down.  I see this giant beach ball churning under my shirt and I'm instantly reminded how I did NOTHING to grow this human.  Hands. Feet. Heart. BRAIN. All neatly woven together while I waddled through my day, working on school and household chores, showering and cooking, driving and walking, wolfing down cheeseburgers like I was making up for the vegetarians of the world.  All but ignorant of the minute intricacies that were being constructed atom by atom as my new little person formed within.

That's how I grew this human in 9 easy months.  I worried while God worked.  I trusted while God constructed.  I hoped while God created.  I don't know who this person is in me.  I don't know what she looks like or how she will act or behave or who she will grow up to be.  But, I've loved her from before I knew she existed - something else I've had no control over.

I can't wait to have this baby and introduce her to the world.  I can't wait to announce her arrival with triumph and celebration.  It's a wonderful feeling to exchange my worries for wonder, and as my final pregnancy concludes this weekend, I'm grateful for the last 9 months of ups and downs to carry this baby into the world that awaits her.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Let this season go down in Pardy history known as "The Summer of Change".

As a counselor, I can't recommend more than one major, life-changing transition happening at a time.  As a wife and mother, however, sometimes you just have to eat your own advice and swallow what life dishes up!

My husband lost his job in July. We're expecting our third child in less than two weeks.  I finished my Masters degree last Friday.  My oldest daughter starts Kindergarten tomorrow.  

So, here we are all at once, changing jobs, changing schools, changing rooms, changing roles, changing laundry, changing careers, changing routines, and soon enough, changing diapers.  Like it or not, CHANGE is the new normal in our home.

To say my heart is in a whirlwind is sort of an understatement.  On one hand I find myself weary and weepy and frustrated and fearful, totally in doubt of a foggy future that has been so scheduled for the last two years.  On the other hand, I feel giddy and excited and nervous, like every day has the potential to be Christmas morning!  (Not to mention pregnancy hormones are in FULL swing!)

There's no easy way to have faith.

That much I've learned in my short time on this planet; and no matter how many times my faith is challenged and stretched, it hurts.  Sometimes its a good hurt, like yawning so big my ears pop or touching my toes (something I have faint recollection of!)

Other times, it's a knife to the back, or the stomach, or the heart...completely debilitating and potentially fatal to my progress.  But, no matter how much I bleed out, it's not the end.  I just usually need a transfusion of the mind and heart to keep me going.  I need to flush out my own thoughts and plans and once again rely exclusively on the Creator's calendar.

Last week, I closed out a chapter of my life I never though possible.  I earned my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  There was a time in my life I wasn't sure I would ever get my Bachelor's degree, so to state this accomplishment is no small feat for me!  It still seems surreal, and I'm sure it will take a while to sink in that I don't have any more homework for the rest of my life!

Tomorrow, my oldest daughter starts Kindergarten.  She's excited and scared and a living example of all the emotions swirling around inside of my soul right now.  She's a feeler to say the least, and an expresser that puts my own transparency to shame.  The five-year-old lack of filter keeps me poignantly aware that she's standing on her own precipice just waiting to see what comes next.

Faith is my favorite oxymoron.

It's ugly because "having faith" means I also have the doubt necessary to need the faith in the first place.  It's beautiful because it functions regardless of my fears, fully dependent on the unchanging mercy that God continues to pour into me.  It's irrational, forcing me to live with expectation I have no evidence to hope for.  It's everything that keeps me going when nothing is giving me reason to charge ahead.

What changes are you going through in life right now?

Change is rarely comfortable.  Even when it's planned for, it usually comes with pains of progress or frustrations found through the process.  But, our unchanging God can do so much more through our changing souls than He ever could allowing us to remain comfortable and stagnant in our growth.
Deep breath.  Exhale.

Okay, change.  Bring it on.  Ready or not.  I freely abandon my own understanding and embrace the irrational courage that faith has to offer me in this insane season of life.  Lord, help your peace overshadow the anxieties I have, and help me and my family as we welcome the plans and timing you have for us!

Can I get an AMEN?

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