Firstly, let me say that staring labour & delivery in the face for the third time doesn't make me feel much of an old hand. But reading Amanda's highly entertaining & thought provoking blogs on the pros & cons of her first pregnancy compelled me to reflect on the matter from the privileged position of being on the other side of (almost) 3 pregnancies.
I am now more pregnant than I've ever been - both of my 1st two had arrived by now! I have been alternately impatient, irritable, resigned, and nervous about having this baby. I finally realized that these extra weeks are a gift: I have been given the gift of a true Advent. I have spent my month quietly (as quiet as it gets with a 5- and 2-yr old!), doing the advent calendars (all 5!) with the kids, coloring our Christmas projects, making batch after batch of cookies with Lars. We are waiting, waiting for the birth of a special child, and more than ever I am so aware of what Mary was asked to do. I mean, seriously - a 4 day road trip on a donkey?!!?!?! She HAD to have been anxious for that baby to arrive, Holy Child or not!
In this time of Advent then, I have been racking my brains about how the pros & cons might shift with the benefit (limitations?) of experience. This evening, it finally hit me. It has to do with one of my favourite passages in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3. You know: to everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under under heaven. I watched Torbjorn referee some battle between the kids, giving me a few seconds to NOT mother & take a load off, and the lightbulb pinged above my head.
I realised that just as there is a time to be a new mother, there is a time to be a mother to a pack of kids. There is a time to spend reflecting on your last few days as a woman - not a mom- and there is a time to reflect on creating more chaos as part of the big cycle of life. There is a time to treasure your husband for being totally involved in your pregnancy and singing to the baby in your belly every night; there is a time to treasure your husband for loading the dishwasher, reading all 6 bedtime stories to the kids, and bending over to pick up all the toys off the floor & water the Christmas tree. There is a time to plan carefully for the nursery and fold all the new clothes over & over, just as there is a time to drag all the gear from the attic for the last time and smile over the memories that each piece holds. There is a time to be horrified by just how big your body can get, and a time when you can't remember what exactly you started with and being ok with that. There is absolutely a time to pore over the pregnancy/parenting books, searching for The Answers, and equally there is a time to accept that the kids have the answers, and they will let you know what they are if you can train yourself to be still & pay attention.
There is so much more. But perhaps the most telling is the thought that occurred to me as I started this: just as there is a time to be blown away by the powerful thing it is to love a tiny person THAT much, there is a time to be blown away by the exact same feelings for the third time. I guess that no matter how many times it happens, it doesn't lose its magic.
Torbjorn is intrigued by the philosophical implications of having time to reflect on these things and put words to my thoughts simply by dint of the fact that the baby didn't turn up as early as expected. I am intrigued by WHEN this damn baby is going to turn up!