1) Took all 3 kids and myself to the OB's office today. Baby's heartbeat is good. She's already measuring 8 or more pounds at 38 weeks. There are zero signs of an early delivery. So I guess it will be Monday before we meet our girl.
2) My regular doctor was on vacation. This new doctor was kind, but of course had to give me the complete, by the book danger report on having a 4th c-section. I don't know if I'll be this calm during my surgery, but in the OB office today I felt totally calm about the risk of an emergency hysterectomy.
I just felt totally peaceful. If I lose my uterus at age 35, it's okay. It's God's will. I definitely used that body part well. My womb has sheltered 5 souls. I'm simply so, so grateful that I got have another baby after 2 1/2 years of secondary infertility.
3) All the kids in my house have already regressed. It's like I suddenly have twin toddlers and a helpless 4 year old. After a full year of successfully sleeping through the night, both Alex and Maria now come to sleep in our room in the middle of the night. It stinks! Alex knocks over the fan. I have to step over his body to go to the bathroom 20 times in the night. I'm freaking out about adding a newborn to this odd sleeping mix. Jon just jokes that we should start inviting Hannah to spend the night in our room to make night time a true family experience.
4) I've run out of energy to clean. Baby Benjamin could well be brought home to a house with cobwebs, a sticky kitchen floor and thousands of legos stuffed underneath the couch. (It's a sure sign of having a 4th baby when I simply shrug my shoulders and reassure myself "Well, who needs a clean floor? The baby won't be crawling for another 5 months").
5) Another sure sign of baby #4, all of my nesting instincts are directing into getting the rest of the family ready for Mommy to spend hours nursing. Last weekend, I finally set up automatic bill pay on our checking account. I got Jon a new teapot and Hannah a super serious Anatomy coloring book which is actually a Kaplan study guide for Medical Students. (Hours of fun for my science geek and easy home-school lesson plans). I'm ordering some Father Corapi DVDs for my hospital stay.
Meanwhile, I'm going totally minimal on the baby prep. Right now, the new baby only has a few pre-washed clothes, a car seat, and 2 bottles of baby soap in our house. (The baby only really needs a holy, rested, Mama to cuddle her for the first 12 weeks, right?)
6) On Monday, the kind neighbor who was supposed to watch my kids overnight during my 3 day hospital stay, abruptly cancelled. As of this moment, I've got no idea of the "sleeping arrangements" for my kids next week or even if I can have someone watch them during my c-section on Monday. I'm trying to calmly "Wait for the Lord" to direct me on the new babysitter hunt. I promised myself that I wouldn't start to worry about this minor glitch until Friday morning. All things considered, the lack of a car and the lack of a babysitter are very small crosses to take into the excitement of a new birth.
7) I love the Catholic Church! I was getting very nervous about the upcoming c-section. On Saturday, I had a super holy chat with my parish priest during Confession. He told me to focus on how "wonderfully made" I am and how God has blessed our bodies with the ability to heal. It's so helpful to stop fearing the actual surgery and instead focus of the wonderful, physical healing power that Christ extends to a life in grace.
My local Carmelite Sisters are so dear. They are planning a "baby Blessing" ceremony for me with a priest in front of the Blessed Sacrament on Sunday. (The day before my c-section). It sounds elaborate and gorgeous. I'll try to get some good pictures to share with all of you dear readers.
Pray for me!
Also, give me your prayer intentions. I've got lots of suffering to offer up in the coming weeks. You can leave a comment or email me with a private intention.