While pregnant with Jonz and after he was born, I realized there are better times of the year than others to have a baby.
Jonz arrival was perfectly timed. I got pregnant at the end of the summer after a mere two months of trying (I know what a huge blessing that is). I was still in school and soon found that my due date would be the day after finals ended for winter semester. Perfect.
Not being pregnant during the hot summer months? Fantastic.
Having a spring baby and not worrying about him freezing or getting RSV? Awesome.
No holidays to contend with or miss out of the fun? Great.
I decided that I really liked spring babies and that the months of April-June were probably the best time of year to give birth. That led to deciding which time of year would be the worst- December, of course. A December baby mean pregnant in the summer, major restrictions on Christmas fun with others, and stressing about sickness and RSV. It also means poor kiddo will feel jipped out of birthday fun as everyone is excited about Christmas and has little attention for another party or resources for another present.
I was so concerned that December was just a mean time to have a baby, for mom, child, family, and friends, that I calculated possible birthdates while we tried for seven long months to conceive the second time. I was just about to tell Bret that we were done trying for a couple months, to avoid having a baby in December, when we found out I was pregnant.
Al and Goose were not so well timed as Jonz. They were due December 1st. I decided that was okay. Far away enough from Christmas and Thanksgiving that we'd be able to make the best of it. The boys arrived three weeks early, two weeks before our anniversary and Thanksgiving, were just six weeks old at Christmas (which passed us in a blur of sleepy holidary merriment), and both were taken down by RSV by two months of age.
I was now beyond certain that I never wanted to have a baby in the month of December; November was crazy enough.
Years later, prayers were answered and we started trying for another baby. I was sure that after waiting so long for an answer that the heavenly direction meant we would get pregnant as soon as we started trying and thought we'd have a baby by the end of October or early November.
Two failed cycles later I was confused, but sort of humbled (you know, as much as I ever get). Painful symptoms soon had me sure I was on the cusp of failed cycle #3. So sure, in fact, that I told my husband how disappointed I was that there would be yet more waiting...Until I remembered December.
"Whew! What a close break. We'd have had a Christmastime baby if we'd been successful this month."
...Only what I'd thought was a rough case of pms turned out to be pregnancy symptoms.
In the excitement of being newly pregnant, I pushed December out of my mind. A month in, Bret and I got the calendar down and counted 40 weeks...and landed on December 24th.
A couple weeks later I called the doctor to make an appointment and was told my due date was not the 24th, but the 25th.
An ultrasound in July confirmed- due date is December 25, 2012.
Yes sir, people- God has quite a sense of humor.
I admit- I haven't been thrilled about the timing of this little one's arrival. But I keep getting little pieces of hope that brighten me up more and more.
There is a perk to having c-sections for me. I'm not allowed to go into labor so the doctor is planning on taking the baby out at 39 weeks. Meaning that not only will this baby be born before Christmas day, but barring complications (knock on wood-cross fingers-pray, pray, pray) we'll all be out of the hospital and home for Christmas.
I have worried a lot about being able to make this a happy holiday season for my family. I may not be able to bake as much, but I can still bake some tasty, traditional treats. And there's not much I enjoy more than a December evening watching a Christmas movie with my family. I should still be able to waddle about and help pick out a Christmas tree. I can place our loved decorations around our home. I can get all the shopping done before Thanksgiving...hopefully. We can still read stories and sing songs every night. And I can fill our home with the wonderful sounds of the season, hour after hour. I can even still take care of the inevitable sicknesses we'll have (pleeeeeeease don't let us get something horrible this year!).
We'll still have a lovely Christmas.
I'm actually excited for the hospital experience this time, too.
Well...you know, except for the i.v., the blood draws, the being separated from Bret during the most anxious time pre-surgery, the powerful drugs, the fire-like pain, the inability to move without said pain, trying to figure out nursing with my brand new crying machine in the middle of the night, and having an intern wake me up to check my vitals five minutes after I finally manage to fall asleep.
Except for all that, I AM looking forward to the hospital. I am better prepared to face it this time. There will probably be Christmas decorations. Everyone is nicer so close to Christmas (which means nurses will be more patient, right???:)) And I'll finally know who this little one is! Plus, with three kiddos, I expect that Bret's time off those first few days will be mostly taken up caring for the boys at home. Before, I needed/required/begged him to stay with me; even making him try to sleep on those uncomfortable fold out chairs. I am prepared to be alone this time around. So much so, that I'm actually excited for it. Think of all the alone time:) I plan on packing my laptop and some of my favorite Christmas movies. I will cuddle a new baby, listen to some of my favorite music, watch some happy movies, enjoy some regular chunks of solitude, and I think I may even try to make myself look presentable this time around.
My past two experiences, I have at least managed to shower in the hospital. But it took so much out of me that I would get right back into bed, wet hair and all. Saline and pregnancy swollen face, red and puffy eyes from lack of sleep, zero make-up, and air-dried hair (i.e. my many cowlicks left to roam free)= pretty, pretty girl. I am determined to at least try to look better this time around. Even if it means I just beg my mom to do my hair:)
But if perhaps I am not remembering precisely how difficult it is to raise one's arms to one's head and face after abdominal surgery and I am yet again shocked and drained by it- no cameras are allowed to be pointed at me. At. all. Just sos ya know.
There will be some special circumstances to worry about with this Christmastime birth, some for many years to come. But I have hope that this will be an enjoyable holiday season.
It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year.
Our family will be getting an eternal gift this year in a new family member. And during a season where many people are thinking more on the greatest gift we've all ever received, to boot.
So stayed tuned. It's gonna be awesome:)