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On Meeting Baby Face to Face

Yesterday marked the estimated due date of Little Lenzi.

I can hardly believe baby will be here any now. This last trimester has flown—there have been so many classes to take, books to read, as well as furniture to donate, build and rearrange. It’s felt like a whirlwind. There is always a list of things that can still be done before baby comes, but emotionally (and physically!) we are oh-so-ready.

You guys, our village, have been so incredibly supportive, it overwhelms us. From beautiful baby showers and generous gifts to cards, prayers, and words of encouragement, we have been surrounded on every side with so much love and celebration. We are completely aware that we will never be capable of parenting on our own, and we are so deeply grateful that we will not have to. We know we can call on you to listen, to help and offer guidance and believe us when we say we will!

This time last year I was two months out from recovering from my excision surgery to remove advanced Endometriosis, wondering if it would all be worth it—if the excruciating monthly pain would subside, if our chances of conceiving naturally would really improve as much as we hoped they would and if we would be one of those lucky couples for whom this treatment worked. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that this is our new reality—that after three years and ten months of waiting, we are finally about to become parents.

I’ve discovered this year that the most popular question to ask a pregnant woman is, “How are you feeling?” It’s a perfectly normal and reasonable question, but the depth with which I answer depends on the asker. I usually try to keep my response quick and upbeat. Sometimes I’ll be honest and share more, but like the more casual, “How are you?” I’m not sure how much the asker truly wants to know.

Coworkers have mentioned that they aren’t used to seeing a pregnant lady with such a consistently positive attitude. When they say that, I take that window of opportunity to let them know why. No matter my symptoms of the day, how could I ever be ungrateful for this amazing gift I spent three years waiting for? Even on the most challenging days, this baby is worth every bit of discomfort that comes along with it.

Once my rounded belly became undeniable, I started wondered how many women I pass on a daily basis who are struggling with infertility, especially since we live in a town with the third highest birth rate in New Jersey. I wonder how badly my joy is rubbing salt in their wounds, and it makes my heart ache because I will always identify as an infertility warrior despite being about to experience parenthood. The pain of those years was not erased by this answered prayer, it simply makes me more grateful for where I am now. I find myself wanting to explain to people that this is not just another run-of-the-mill pregnancy—that I had to fight so hard to get here—but I recognize that total strangers do not need to know all the details.

Not finding out whether it’s a boy or girl has actually been a really fun waiting game, and has given us plenty of conversation fodder with friends and strangers alike. At this point I’m pretty sure I can tell you every wives’ tale ever told about predicting the sex of a baby! The overwhelming majority of guesses have landed on the side of boy because I didn’t have morning sickness, my skin has been amazing, and I’ve been carrying “all belly.” But of course, everyone could be completely wrong!

As I think about meeting this child, more than anything, I am so excited for that moment of recognition when I finally get to see its sweet face. We have tried to sneak a peek at baby’s face during ultrasounds a couple times, but they have always had their hands up, blocking it from view. I guess when we said we wanted to be surprised, baby took that very seriously.

A long time ago, when I first began sharing about our infertility struggle, a dear friend left me the most encouraging comment. We were both trying to conceive at the time, and she said that though we had no idea how or when we would meet them, that God knew the faces of our children. I have carried that hope and truth with me so close to my heart all these years. And at some point in the next two weeks, that promise becomes a reality.

I can hardly think about the idea of seeing this tiny person—of finally recognizing someone I have only ever seen in my imagination—without being completely overwhelmed by emotion. This is unlike any other experience I have had before—being so intimately close to someone that they are actually underneath your skin, and yet still a stranger. I am in awe daily of the strange the biological process that is pregnancy.

After forty plus weeks, I am so ready for the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding challenges, the foggy mom brain and all the overwhelming love that comes with it. I know I am about to experience a whole new world of challenges but I will do my best to welcome them. I can not wait for the fast-approaching day when I will sit on my couch and snuggle this long-awaited, brand new tiny human that we get to call our own.

 

 

photo credit: Brooke Bacon Photography

3 comments

  1. Verna (Great Gram) Brewer

    Beautiful words from the heart with gratitude. You will be awesome parents because you are walking by faith.
    I’m thinking pink and lace.
    Lots of Love and prayers,
    Gram & Grandpa

  2. So so good, sister. You are a kind, big-hearted, empathetic woman of valor. Your baby boy/girl and family are made richer for it. Loved hearing the culmination of your pregnancy reflections, and trying to be patient just a little longer to see that sweet face, too. LOVE!!

  3. Looking forward to face time soon!

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