Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweet Baby James

He's here!

James Francis made his debut on Thursday at 3:32pm at a sizeable 8lb. 8oz. and 20 in. long.

We came home on Saturday and everyone is doing well. James loves to eat and lets us get a bit of sleep. Monica calls him "Jim" or "crying" and likes to mimic him when he really gets squawking. We all have adjusting to do, which seems like that's all you do in the early weeks, really. Newborns change so fast!

Monica hasn't been too interested in holding James, as you can see by this pic:

But she will give him little kisses on the top of head and "hugs" which means she touches the crown of her head to his, kind of like these guys:

I'm excited to get to know our little man and continue to make him more and more a part of our family. We are truly blessed!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

All Aboard the Party Bus

Here's a picture of Monica's favorite play time activity. I like to call it The Party Bus. She piles nearly all of her stuffed animals on the musical car and drives very wrecklessly around the house. I guess it's some sort of "imaginative" play, which is fun to see, but it's a little painful when she runs into my ankles.

On another note, I'm still pregnant. The due date was yesterday, which came and went without much fanfare. I'm definitely having contractions and moving in the labor and delivery direction, but no baby as of yet. I can't decide if knowing there's progress and still no active labor is more nerve wracking than the situation with Monica, in which nothing happened until I went into labor which lasted 24 hours. However, it is a comfort knowing that this labor will be further along when it does start and therefore, will most likely be shorter.

We started a novena to St. Gerard a couple of days ago, but now I'm thinking that we should have started it over 2 weeks ago. Alas. All in God's timing, no matter what. I hope we'll have some good news to post very very soon!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

T Minus Two Days

Yup, still pregnant.

My due date is on Monday and the gracious contentedness I cited in the last post seems to have waned...a lot. I've had a lot of prelabor symptoms which keep me hopeful that this little guy will make his appearance soon. However, there is really no way of knowing, and it's starting to drive me batty. I was 8 days late with Monica, so it's not as if I have a history of early deliveries. There's just this serious urge to meet our son and not be pregnant any longer.

I've been re reading Story of a Soul (as you can see in the side bar), which is the autobiographical work of my patron saint, Therese of Lisieux. I try to read through it about once a year, as it is very encouraging and humbling and grounding. This read has been no exception. In the chapter I finished this afternoon, St. Therese is recounting her excruciating wait to enter Carmel, the contemplative convent she believes is her true spiritual home on earth. Her sole desire is be with Jesus and to live the life of work and prayer she believes she is called to. However, she wants to enter the convent at the unheard of age of 15, which presents a lot of problems in obtaining permission from the superior, the local bishop and even the pope himself. It seems to her at times that her heart's desire, her life's dream, will never be realized.

I feel you, Therese. It is totally irrational for me to think that I will always be pregnant, but there are moments when I really wonder whether this child will join us or just feel the need to stay in the womb forever. I know on an intellectual level that this is preposterous, but I'm not as rational or intellectual at 9 months pregnant as I would like. Reading about this saint, this spiritual friend, who had similar feelings (despair, hope, longing) is a comfort. I'm not alone in the human struggle of waiting and frustration. While I cannot really connect with a burning desire to enter a convent, I do understand the desire to fulfill what you truly believe is the next step in God's plan for you. Those times when it is so close you can almost see it and feel it are some of the most challenging.

So, deep breathing and prayers for patience are the order of the day...or the next several days. And, with past graces as proof and the support of friends and family on earth and in heaven, the last few days of this chapter can be peaceful and joy-filled.

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Favorite People

Here's a recent picture of Monica and Kevin. I just love it! That is the best picture of Monica I've seen in months. Seriously. I could just eat her up!

And, here's one really-pregnant-belly picture. That smile is not completely genuine, as it was super hot and I was feeling quite large. However, being only 10 days away from due date, I know it's almost over.

I was laying in bed this morning thinking about how a chapter in life is about to close (pregnancy, parenting only one child) and a new one is about to open (two kiddos!, newborn-ness). There are moments when reality really hits you between the eyes and you realize it's time to appreciate the present and not exclusively focus on the future, which is very easy to do while at the end of pregnancy. The serene and quiet moments of reading to Monica and snuggling with her before naptime have become more cherished and memorable in the past few days. Life is going to take a monumental turn very soon. The grace of contentment is one that I am enjoying to its fullest.