lottie's room [for real this time]

Lots of people kept telling me that it would go by so fast, that before I knew it she would be here. During a lazy summer of partial bed rest, I smiled and nodded and kind of, sort of rolled my eyes in my mind. Because those days were long. Those were the days of waiting and hoping to feel her move, of over-Googling symptoms I was experiencing or if something I had just come into contact with would be unobviously harmful to this baby. The days of lots and lots of ultrasounds where I'd pray over and over that she [or he at that point!] would be "perfectly healthy and whole," and then they'd tell me she was growing just as she should be each and every time. What a gift that was.

But all of those people were right. All of a sudden, the showers and celebrations that were, of course, highly anticipated have come and gone [and were so wonderful!]. The fruits of the third trimester that almost didn't seem achievable in our blueberry and kiwi stages are ever-growing on my baby apps: small pumpkins, honeydews, winter melons. What are winter melons? She's squirmy and strong and, even though I'm so ready to see her face, I know I'll miss her middle-of-the-night [and day!] kicks and twists. Diapers have been purchased and we've preregistered at the hospital and all of those sweet little clothes and wonderful hand-me-downs that had been staring at me for so long have been washed and put in their place. Speaking of their places, I am the perfect example that nesting hormones are a real thing. Not one to care too much about order [right brains unite!], I am - what one may call - obsessed with things being clean and organized, especially in the nursery. So much that I hardly know who I am any more. Beyond that, me and my full-term self would rather scrub my baseboards than do pretty much anything else. Hormones, y'all.

The nursery was slow to get started until Mama and Molly were here at Christmas to help light a little bit of a fire under me and help to get all the big items in their places. Before that, the incredibly patient Dustin painted [which I learned that he actually reeeeally doesn't like to do] and put together what furniture we had. And then, all of a sudden and just like this pregnancy, we're just about there. It's my favorite room to be in, peaceful and, well, especially clean.

There are several things in the room that are incredibly special to us, and I am in love with the creations of two extremely talented friends. Lydia outdid herself on the banner [which we finished like Lay Baby Lay did this photograph]. And my textile-loving and extremely talented best friend, Abs, made Lottie's precious lamb mobile. It is priceless to me!

Even though I'm loving the peacefulness and order of her room at this moment, I can't wait for it to be a working space. A space for sleep and play and reading and sometimes-needed disorder and, of course, plenty of diaper changes. Because when it is that, I hope that means that Lottie is a happy and thriving and growing little girl. We can't wait to see those [supposedly] chubby cheeks!


normalcy and not

I have a dear friend here in town that is newly pregnant. She recently ended that torturous wait time between finding out you're pregnant and your first appointment sometime between 8 to 10 weeks. As we were talking, I remembered my countdown app where I plugged in my first appointment date and obsessively watched the numbers tick away. It was one of the gazillion pregnancy apps that I neatly organized in a "Baby!" app folder on the first page of my iPhone. Later that week, I was filling out my weekly desk calendar [that I've decided I would not want to go on living without] and realized that I had almost forgotten that my 24 week appointment was the next morning, and, all of a sudden, I was super proud of myself. Not for the almost forgetting about my appointment part but because it seemed like a small representation of a pregnant lady who could have potentially chilled out a little.

But even with what seemed like a little chilling out [which, I'd like to think, was some growth in trust that pushed out some of that fear], I could sense a new rhythm of life slowly encroaching. A rhythm of being very much consumed in all things pregnancy which, I would imagine, could easily translate into being consumed in all things Lottie after she arrives. Now I totally expect for her first few weeks or months to be survival mode: all Lottie all the time. As I've heard it is and as it should be. But there have been a few instances lately that made me realize how all-consumed I've been. You know, like that time I forgot my best friend's birthday. Me. The birthday-lover. The best friend whose birthday I've been celebrating since we were thirteen. I pretty much hated myself for a solid 24-hours even though she was wonderfully gracious and understanding.

I expect for life with Lottie to be our new normal. For there to be less time for other things seeing as how I'm responsible for physically sustaining her to a certain extent [which, I couldn't be more excited for, by the way]. But I'm telling myself now that it'll just take a little more effort on my part to walk closely with this God-given community: family and friends, local and distant. To physically remember birthdays and prayer requests and important appointments. Because baby brain is a real thing, y'all. With each checklist made and each appointment attended all the while everyone else's lives also speed along, I'm reminded that community is a beautiful, messy, breathing thing. Something I'm passionate about, something I pray will be instilled in Lottie, something I'll have to work a little harder at in the coming months. And, when I forget someone else's birthday, I will give myself grace and remember that we're learning our new [and precious] normal.