One of the things that took place during my blogging absence over the past couple of weeks is that I crossed into the third trimester of this pregnancy. I'm actually 29 weeks today. It's so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I only have 11 weeks until my due date, but really, she'll be considered full-term in just 8 weeks. What?!? I know that at this point in pregnancy with Liam it seemed so unreal because I really couldn't fathom what to expect. This time around it seems unreal because I know how much life is about to change. Since I can't know Cora's personality yet, or how we will fare with things like delivery or nursing, I can't accurately gauge how difficult the coming year will be. I do know it will be a lot of work. However, I also know how much delight a new family member can bring ... although it is so hard to imagine how we will love another as much as we love Liam.
This pregnancy has been pretty laid back, so far. I still think it has been very similar to my pregnancy with Liam: nausea & exhaustion in the first trimester and an easy-breezy 2nd trimester. I didn't really track my weight gain week by week with Liam, but I do feel like I've gained at a slightly slower, more consistent pace this time around. I feel healthier, in general, with this baby, as well. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that I don't work full-time like I did when I was pregnant with Liam. This time I cook at home more, get to rest & put my feet up during the day more, and I'm generally more active. I'm really praying that I don't swell up like a beach ball the way I did with Liam in the 3rd trimester. The last 6 weeks, especially, were really miserable and I would love to avoid having that happen again.
In some ways I feel much more prepared emotionally for Cora to arrive than I was before Liam came. I am more confident as a homemaker, which means that cleaning, cooking, etc. are less overwhelming and tend to take up less time than they did a few years ago (since Josh and I lived in other people's homes until 3 years ago, I don't feel like I really started practicing homemaking until we'd been married for nearly 3 years). I know that my house is going to be a wreck, for a while, once she comes; and I know I'll feel like my body is a wreck, as well. This time, though, I don't think those things will bother me as much because a) I know they won't be like that forever; and b) I know what little steps I can take to make those obstacles feel less overwhelming. This is a relief.
In other ways, though, my emotions feel a bit more fragile than when I was awaiting Liam's arrival. Since it has been a couple of years since I've worked full-time, our financial "cushion" is no longer what it once was. I'm a little ashamed at how frequently I've let myself become stressed and anxious, when I know full well that God will provide; and that, often, the protective cushion is what makes us blind to the fact that God IS the one who is providing. It has also been difficult, emotionally, to know how much Liam's world is about to change. As much as I don't want to raise a child who believes he is the center of the universe, selfishly it feels awesome to devote so much time and attention to one little person ... especially a person who is so adorably responsive. I pray and trust that Liam & Cora will be wonderful friends, but I know that her entrance into our family will slightly alter my role in his life. This is also good, because I know each new stage will alter my role in his life, until one day he is a grown man who chooses to leave & cleave to another - someone we pray for every night. Anyway, I know I'm getting at least a couple of decades ahead of myself, and in having a second baby I'm hardly pinning on Liam's boutonierre before he walks down the aisle; but these are things that pregnancy hormones cause one to consider.
And now I've spent a huge portion of a post about my pregnancy with Cora talking about her brother. Sorry, sis. Not to worry ... I predict that in a very short amount of time this blog will explode with pictures of you and anecdotes about how amazing you are. All concerns about delivery, finances, family transition, and post-baby body are diminished when I think about getting to meet and learn all about our new little one. A sweet little girl whose eyes will lock with ours, whose hands will grasp our fingers, and whose smiles will charm us. The anxieties wash away when I think that, in just a few months, we won't be able to imagine life without her. In fact, I already can't.