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Baby Eve

You know that feeling you get in the wee hours of Christmas Eve? You’ve spent weeks shopping, decorated every square inch of your home, made gingerbread houses with the kids, spent a few melancholy moments remembering lost loved ones, wrapping, cooking, baking, sending cards and calling old friends. Now, the moon is high and the Christmas tree is providing the only light in the room. The kids were tucked in hours ago and you and your husband finally pulled out all the Santa gifts. Now, you snuggle on the couch, crack old jokes that nobody else would understand, and feel a huge sense of simultaneous relief and excitement for the joy to come the very next day.

That feeling is so rare. That moment – after tremendous work, some tough emotions, silly whims, and then cozy love and comfort – only comes occasionally in life. Not even every Christmas.

And that is the moment I’m in right now with this baby. We are in Baby Eve.

When I look back on this incredible journey, I can honestly say that I am so proud of myself and my husband. In every way, we were unprepared for the news we got on May 27. A baby. We were having another baby. We had a two-bedroom home for a family that would soon number five, no maternity insurance, and had officially decided we liked where our family was. We were “done.”

Since that day, we have figured out how to insure this pregnancy and birth, carved another room out of the basement, traveled the emotionally epic journey from denial to pure excitement and, along the way, found we had the capacity to love each other, our daughters, and this new baby even more passionately than we had previously anticipated.

I’m in a state of bliss. And, truly, that aint nothin’ to sneeze at when you consider the state I was in when I was alone in the bathroom on May 27!

This bundle of joy is due January 28. I’m into those weekly doctor’s visits and am even having contractions! As they say, this could happen “any time!” I still have a few freelance projects to complete before I’ll feel totally “ready.” And actually, I’ve done close to zero shopping for baby gear, but that doesn’t bother me at all. Babies really don’t need much more than they come home from the hospital with.

I’m just ready to meet this new person. This wee kick-boxer. And I do feel like I’ve been given a gift. My mom used to say, “God’s gifts are good… but his wrapping department sucks.” Well, we had some scary wrapping paper to get through but we have received, already, many profoundly important gifts from this child.

Now, I’m ready to receive the child!

Guest blogger Janalee Card Chmel is co-owner of MA! motherhood with attitude and is a Denver-based freelance writer. She was shocked at the age of 40 to find out she was pregnant. Follow her journey each month.

Getting a Kick in the Priorities

Guest blogger Janalee Card Chmel is co-owner of MA! motherhood with attitude and is a Denver-based freelance writer. She was shocked at the age of 40 to find out she was pregnant. Follow her journey each month.

I am just finishing Week 28 of my surprise pregnancy, which means I have about 11 weeks to go before I meet this wee one. We’ve opted not to find out the gender, yet again, because despite the tactless, graceless, tantrum-throwing way I behaved when I discovered I was pregnant, I do love surprises! I truly love that moment when the doctor says, “It’s a girl!” (so far that’s all we’ve heard) and my heart instantly says, “Yes, of course it is. I think I knew her all along…”

Looking back on the last 28 weeks, I recognize that one of the most rewarding aspects of this journey began when this baby started kicking me. Let’s face it: This has been stressful on me and on my family. Not only did we have zero maternity care insurance when we discovered this blessed bombshell, but we have a two-room home for a soon-to-be family of five. Since May 27 – the day I looked at that pink stick in my bathroom and let loose a string of words not truly maternal in nature – we have made incredible changes in our lives!

But, as a friend recently pointed out to me, the most dramatic and important changes have been emotional. I’ve gone from panic to peace, from resentment to readiness, from self-pity to unabated joy. I truly believe now that this was meant to be and that there is a profound reason that I am not in control of my own life.

And just when I start to slip back into panic mode, the baby kicks me and I snap back into peace. The kicks help me keep my priorities straight…

  • Basement remodel over budget?! Panic panic panic. Swift kick from this supreme priority growing in my belly… and back into peace.
  • Freelance client giving me impossible deadlines? Freak freak freak out! Rolling flip in my belly while I’m on the phone… and back to bliss.
  • Uncertainty over the future (my abilities and our finances)? Fret fret fret. Middle-of-the-night nudge in my belly… and back to sleep.

I think it is a rare gift when we are forced to get back to our most basic priorities and that is what I’ve been given with this new child. I find that I’ve returned to the simplistic view of my goals and even my expectations of myself. Life is about to get both harder and easier and I need to keep my priorities straight! Physically and emotionally, it will get harder because new motherhood is physically exhausting and I will need to extend my emotions to three incredible children. But the other expectations I place on myself (work, clean home, three-square meals, etc) will have to be reduced… and I find that I like the forced re-prioritization.

So, dear baby in my belly, thank you! You have already helped your mommy straighten out her priorities… the first of many miracles you will deliver upon your arrival.