Friday, October 5, 2012

It's happening... again.

No. Not labor. It's more complicated than that. It's that crazy mix of anticipation, excitement and a little trepidation about a new baby coming into the Culbertson Clan and upending things again. Don't get me wrong, I am super excited. I can't wait to find out if this baby is a boy or a girl and to see that little face and hear that little cry. We have always talked about wanting a larger family... (although I realize that four kids is nothing to some more "experienced" parents.) We've gotten a number of people who ask us if we're nuts or look at us like, "good luck with that" when they see us with the two little ones and the huge mama waddle I've been rocking. This little one is a blessing. And we know that. Life, itself, is a miracle. So, if we know all of this, why do I feel a little anxious at times?
I'll admit. I don't always feel nervous. Actually, until recently, I've felt much calmer about this pregnancy than the first two. We are still tweeking things in the nursery. (Which is mostly together and ready to go... with less than a week until baby is here.) Names have finally been narrowed down. (Although we'll let you know what those are on delivery day.) I, as of a few days ago, now have a hospital bag packed. (Jon is still totally convinced that the baby will only come on his/her scheduled csection date, so he does not have to pack until the night before.) We weren't really rushing or making a crazy amount of fuss. Maybe it's because this is our third. Maybe it's because we still don't know if there's a little boy or little girl in there. Maybe it's because we combined this with moving and trying to get a new house in semi decent order before baby arrives... Who knows.
One week before baby's scheduled delivery date... 
But now, it's started to hit me. We will have to answer to "Culbertson, Party of Five" at restaurants. Someone will always have to hold two kiddo hands (at least for a while.) The delicate balance that is brother and sister will be upended. I realize that this last one, especially, is sorta' odd to think about for those who already have two children of the same sex... but for us, it's been nice to have a "girls time" or "boys time" for each of us with the kids. And vice versa. Maybe it's because Sam is so much younger than Ava was when we had him. He is really starting to develop his own personality. He thinks his sister is hilarious and wants to be just like her. Sam's vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds and we're finally hoping to get out of the point and whine stage when he wants something. There are about ten funny things he does/says each day that   I text to various people or tell Jon about when he gets home. (Today, Ava put one of those sleep/eye masks on him, but since it was, obviously, too big, he had it around his chest yelling "BOOBIE!!!" while running around the house. Yep. That's my kid.) 
Ava is in the inquisitive/independent stage. Lots of questions. Lots of things she is trying to figure out how to do or decipher on her own. She is full of interesting comments or questions and everything is still so amazing to her. She is such a big helper and is so ready to meet her new sibling (which she is SURE is a girl... just so we will outnumber the boys.) So, why would having another blessing like either of these two causing any concern? 
I don't think it's the actual having another baby that is the issue. I've done this. We've prayed about this. We know (sorta'- although every kid is different) what to do with a baby. We know that God will help us and give us patience with all of the baby chaos of the first few weeks. I think it's that I'm afraid of missing something with the other two. I'm afraid I'll be so consumed with the baby and his/her needs that I'll miss the cute things that Avery or Sam do or say. Even if it's unintentional. I know I can, at least, rationalize and talk to Avery about the new baby needing more attention. I can set aside some time for her and she'll understand what I'm doing. I'm not sure about Sam. He is super excited about babies in general, but how will he react to having to share his snuggle partner? 
The kids decorated my belly for baby.
I've been assured by those who already have more than two kids that we will adjust and the kids will adjust... and I believe them. I just know that change is always a little daunting... and exciting at the same time.  Here is where I have to go back to that confidence that, if God can create a tiny human life from the raw materials we have inside, I have to figure that He can, surely, help me with my time management skills and powers of observation of every day miracles. If He can sacrifice his son for my salvation, I'm going to guess it's not a stretch for God to be able to make me able to handle three children. Even taking them grocery shopping if I have to.

I'll have to do my part. To open my heart up again. To be open to change and new routines and schedules. To learn to really take the time to listen to each one of my kids. And, with less than a week to go of being a family of four, I'm ready to take on those changes head on and meet the newest little Culbertson in the cul-de-sac. :) We are praying for this transition and new phase in our lives... and we hope you'll join us in those prayers.