On December 1, we found out we were expecting our third baby. The second pink line was extremely faint, but the nausea was not.
We were hoping for a baby even though it is very clear that our lives are full. I know that we never fully feel ready for the change a new life brings, and yet there comes a point where the desire for a new little baby is so strong that we can’t deny it anymore.
A couple of weeks ago, we found out that our baby is a boy—a third boy. We hope to welcome our little son in August. So far the nausea has abated, but there’s no glorious second trimester energy I was counting on.
My first two are 2.5 years apart. Having a new baby in the house was extremely hard for my oldest. That transition was a challenge for all of us. Now our second son will be a little over 2.5 years older than our third. I’m hoping for a better transition but also trying to remember that those first few weeks will be different and often challenging. I keep asking people with three kids about the transition. The best advice I've received has been this: the first six weeks will probably be hard any way you cut it. I have to keep in mind that it will turn our routines upside down in many ways, but again, I am excited!
I hesitate to share goals, but I love reading other people’s. I love getting ideas and seeing people make progress. As I worked out goals for this year, I tried to keep in mind my limitations. So here are my goals for 2018, the year we plan to welcome our third baby. I think having realistic goals is so important for my mental health; with no goals, I feel adrift, as though life is just happening to me.
My word for the year is steadfast. At the beginning of the year, I thought of how happy I had been with the previous year (even though parts of it had been so hard). I wanted to hold firm to what I knew going forward. I keep finding more and more Scripture related to the word "steadfast"--from verses about God's steadfast love for His people to verses calling us to remain steadfast. I love seeing a word become more meaningful to me throughout a year.
Goals for 2018
1. As much as it depends on me, to grow a healthy baby, have a strong pregnancy, and prepare for a strong delivery.
With both my boys, I prepared really hard for their births not because I wanted a natural birth (as Erica reminds us in the fabulous book Nurture, ALL birth is natural!) but because I wanted to be as strong as possible so that the labor, delivery, and recovery could be as smooth as it was in my power to make it.
At first, the thought of doing it again—the preparation, both mental and physical—seemed daunting. I thought about just letting everything happen this time. But I never regretted the time I spent preparing for birth or the health choices I made, even when they were inconvenient. It wasn’t about bragging rights or some experience: it was about what I thought was best for me and for the baby. This week in particular, I've been trying to be more consistent with prenatal yoga and focus on my posture.
2. To prepare for homeschooling in the fall by establishing life-giving and joyful rhythms and routines.
We've already been working on this one through establishing morning time and trying to find a rhythm throughout the day. I believe little children learn the most through play, nature, and reading, so those are the things we focus on. I also have a list of skills I would love the boys to learn before the baby comes.
3. To love Liam and Walt well and help them cultivate strong relationships with God and one another. To be present and play with them (filling their tanks) daily.
I'm learning that giving them my full attention makes such a difference in all our lives. It has taken me a really long time to truly enjoy slowing down to the level of my children. I used to be always thinking of all the things I needed to get done. I'm getting slowly better at living in the present and noticing the beauty of the world thanks to our sons.
Trying to help them cultivate their own relationship has helped me being more intentional about how I respond to their squabbles. They seem to be getting along better each day, and I love to see that.
4. To love and support Jon and cultivate our marriage, especially spiritually.
We're trying to plan more frequent date nights too!
5. To continue to write and nourish my own creativity.
6. To live responsibly and steward well so our stuff and money don’t consume us and we can be generous.
7. To cultivate my prayer life and be steadfast in prayer and praise.
A huge part of this has been figuring out how to get back into prayer journaling or a prayer routine of some sort. I used to have days of the week for specific people in my life and I loved that.
I always love new ideas and “10 habits that will change my life.” But this year, I realize that I need to hold fast to what works, to what I know, and to God’s love for us. I love seeing how these goals have been bearing fruit, even just a few months in. The focus they give me, especially on hard days (which we have had a lot of lately!), helps me tremendously.
How are your 2018 goals going?