What I have noticed though, and I think it was true of Asa in a different way, is that it just doesn't feel real to me. I have a hard time believing I will have another baby soon. Part of it is not having a room to decorate. That is usually a big focus of mine while I am pregnant. You all probably know by now that I love to decorate. I love getting their nurseries set up. But this baby will be rooming with us until Asa is out of the crib and can move out of the nursery... so I've had nothing to decorate. I did buy a couple of things for baby... a mini co-sleeper, a changing table pad and some cute baskets and sheets - so there is a corner in my room that is ready to welcome a sweet little one. And I know we have everything we need and more... it has just required much less preparation. But even that has been a blessing.
The hardest part of this entire stage is figuring out how to keep Rachel in it. That was easier with Asa.... but I think at this point, most people are safely assuming I have moved past that part of my life and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that Rachel automatically comes to mind anymore when they see me. I feel like I'm leaving her behind in so many ways and I hate it.
I've been putting off taking pictures - usually I have a ton of them while I'm pregnant and have professional ones done too. Honestly, I have had no desire to get in front of a camera at all. And trying to coordinate all the kids in a photo in this heat sounds like no fun. So, I have just a couple of belly shots all together.
Thankfully God has helped me to keep walking forward, one step at a time and today I realized He is doing for me what I can't do for myself right now.... and today I felt it.... I'm finally excited.
I knew He would get me there.
I got a bunch of things washed and ready.... car seat is ready to go.... started packing my hospital bag....I've even frozen 2 meals so far and plan to get a bunch more done so my family doesn't starve when baby first arrives.... and today, I figured out how to include Rachel in a belly shot.....
This has been killing me cause I haven't been thrilled with the way it looks to have her picture in a frame with us. It feels too unnatural or something. But every other idea I come up with seems like I would have to explain to everyone where Rachel "is" in the picture. So, I decided to try painting my tattoo of her handprint and pressing it on my belly.... and since the tattoo print is on my skin, it came out so good!
I had each of the kids in a different color of the rainbow..... seemed a perfect way to include them in welcoming our new little rainbow, while remembering that they ALL remind me of God's promise to me... not that everything will go the way I want, but that no matter what happens, He will be with me - He always has been.
This pregnancy has held a ton of changes in our lives... from not doing Rachel's 3rd Annual Race to leaving the church we have been at since I was first saved 9 years ago, where I also have to leave behind the playground I promised her while I was pregnant with her - and also the sanctuary where her little casket last was closed and where we last praised God together with her. As a general rule, I am not one who likes change, but I have been filled with so much peace and God has confirmed His will in our lives over and over as I have surrendered all of my fears and trusted Him and what He is asking of us. My heart is tempted to want to hold onto to these things as if they are her... but I know they are not.
I have felt at a loss for words because it's all just so huge and deep that I have a hard time explaining it...and it also just all feels so personal and almost as if trying to tell someone what God has put on our hearts could actually take away from how beautiful it is. (See, I can't explain it...)
But, if I was to try to sum up my feelings tonight, I would just say that it's been a long couple of years filled with so many storms, so many difficult things... and the last 6 months have been filled with changes that I didn't see coming and don't know what to do with... but I've never been more secure in the waiting. And I am so thankful that my God decorates my life with so much beauty mingled in that most of the time, it's all I can see.
I didn't doubt He would do it, but I am relieved to say that after a long, hard and somewhat detached 35 weeks of pregnancy, God has prepared my heart and I am ready for the next rainbow.