I don’t think I quite appreciate just how big a deal this is…I am 3 weeks away from becoming a mom. Well, technically, I already am a mom, but in 3 weeks, I will actually have to take care of this baby other than what my body is doing on its own right now. From late night feedings and a million diaper changes, I know my life is going to change dramatically. I am so excited and just a tad bit nervous.
This year has felt, in many ways, like a whirlwind. Ben and I packed our things and moved on May 29th of last year. On that same day, I found out my uncle was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. We were staying with my parents for about a week and a half until our stuff arrived up in Bend. The first morning at my parents house, I was officially offered my job that I now have at Mountain View. I turned 30 while we were staying there with my parents. That seemed like the least eventful part of the stay. And then, on June 8th, we left my parents’ house and trekked our way up north to Bend.
Last summer was a beautiful time for Ben and me. Neither of us were working for the first month and a half we were there, so we spent a ton of time exploring our new town, seeing the sights, and enjoying the beauty and novelty of living in a new place. For me, it was the first time I’d ever lived outside the San Fernando Valley, and it was the culmination of 3 years of marriage. Ben had spent the first 3 years of our marriage in school, planning on a career change to make possible moving out of Los Angeles.
The summer was not all beauty and roses, though. My uncle was progressively getting worse, and on July 18th, only 7 weeks after his diagnosis, he passed away. I still can’t believe it, nearly a year later, and it reminds me to be grateful every day for the time I have with the people I love. I drove down to Shasta by myself at the end of July because Ben had just started a job and was unable to come. It was nice seeing my family, but the circumstances were, of course, horrible.
The next month of summer, I spent mostly by myself because Ben’s job took him 3 hours north. Just like the year before, he had to take a job that was far away from me. It was hard, at first, being alone in a new town, but I was able to find things to do–one of which was to start seriously researching fertility and having a baby. I began reading and talking to friends, and really tracking my fertility to see if we could time conception so that our first baby would be born near the summer of 2015. I didn’t want to start a new job and then tell them I had to leave half way through the year, so we agreed we would only try for 2 months (which would put me due at either the end of May or end of June), and if it didn’t happen, we’d wait one more year. Amazingly, God blessed us on our first try with the conception of our son. God obviously wanted us to become parents now!
Around 6 weeks into my pregnancy, I became utterly exhausted. This was a challenge with my new job. Starting a new school is difficult enough, but I also took on being the Speech coach, which requires me to travel about once a month for tournaments for several days (and coming home at midnight or even later after long bus rides). At week 6, I flew down to my good friend’s wedding in Los Angeles. That’s when I really felt how pregnant I was…I didn’t look pregnant at all, but I was so exhausted by the end of the weekend. Two weeks later, I had to travel to the first tournament. Again, at 8 weeks pregnant, I was utterly exhausted, but thankfully I had no morning sickness, so no one knew I was pregnant. I was able to hide my exhaustion fairly well, but it was a challenge!
Me and Shannon when I was 6 weeks pregnant.
The fall and winter were full of traveling. Thanksgiving, we drove to my parents for the week, in December, I flew down for my sister’s bridal shower, and then a week later, we flew to Missouri for Christmas to visit Ben’s family. In January, I flew again for my sister’s wedding. I decided after all that traveling that I was done with all major trips after that. I loved seeing everyone at all of these trips because the hardest part of this move to Bend (for me) has been being away from my family, especially my sister who is so far away. Even so, traveling while pregnant is a challenge while working full time.
The spring was filled with quite a few tournaments–one in January, one in February, one in March, and one in April. Each of these is a weekend extravaganza. My team is wonderful and very easy to work with, so at least I didn’t have to worry about behavior or discipline. But I think the result of all the traveling and newness of my job is that on the 3 weekends a month that I did have off, it was all I could to just sit in a funk and watch Netflix to recover from everything.
I haven’t gotten much exercise this pregnancy, and I feel like I’ve been trapped indoors for months. I know I could have done better about taking care of myself during this pregnancy, but considering all I’ve taken on this year, I feel like I’ve done my best. I am so thrilled that my son is going to be born at the end of May (I hope!) because I’ll be able to spend the summer with him, enjoying the beauty of nature, the sunshine, and a break from work. I can’t wait to snuggle my little guy in my arms and see what he looks like.
Through all of this, Ben has been very helpful to me. I don’t know what I would have done if he had been working full time too. Ben’s taken over most of the household work, including cooking, for me, since he hasn’t been working since October. He will start working again in June, a couple weeks after our baby’s born, and he’ll be taking over childcare in the fall. We’ll need about a month of daycare in September, but after that, Ben will be staying home for a while, and even though I’m slightly jealous of him, I am so happy that our son will be able to be with one of us for most of his first year of life. Ben will make such a wonderful father of a little boy. I know he can’t wait to introduce him to fishing, hunting, hiking, and all things outdoorsy. I’m sure our little Squirt will be out in the garden with him and on Ben’s back on all his adventures, and I’m so glad to have a supportive partner through all this.
I am now just waiting…it’s May and I’m 36.5 weeks pregnant today. I haven’t had much time to reflect this year whether due to my busy job, exhaustion, or just business in general. But I felt like I needed to look back this morning and see how far we’ve come in the last year. Not all of it has been easy, but it certainly hasn’t been boring! We live in a beautiful house in a beautiful town, and we’re about to be parents. I have a beautiful summer to look forward to…all our family is coming out to visit us at some point, and I just can’t wait to meet my son.
Here’s to almost being a mom!