As the year draws to an end and we start our third trimester, I’ve got to give a shout out to my amazing husBen. He has been faithfully by my side at every single midwife appointment, even offering to weigh in and pee in the cup, just like his preggers wife. He has fearlessly navigated through my hormones and the rollercoaster of emotions that seem to come upon me without warning. He has stepped up his game in the kitchen and prepares most of our meals these days. And have I mentioned the grocery shopping, banking, and other chores he’s taken on? And before going to bed, he reads the assigned chapters in his book for our weekly birthing classes. Not only has he done all these wonderfully supportive things for me and our petite bebe, but just this past weekend, while I was away leading a staff retreat, he transitioned our junky extra guest bedroom (or should I say extra junky?) into a nearly-nursery space.
Our future nursery has been in a state of flux for most of the second trimester. We passed along the bed in there to a friend in need of a warm place to lay his head this spring, but we didn’t really start tackling the room until I got over the extreme fatigue of the first trimester. Let’s be honest, I’ve really only spent one day working on the room. It was a full day, nonetheless—but just that one day.
With my organizationally-minded mom by my side, we cleared out about half of the closet of clutter, which included a photo enlarger from my college days that I have not used since college, my craft supplies, our stash of wrapping paper and gift bags, Christmas decorations, random clothes from bridesmaid dresses to coats, and a few wedding gifts we still haven’t found a use for, yet. After several hours of sifting through the trash and treasures, we had to call it quits for the day. Though we made some great headway, the room was left in an in-between state. We may have dropped off a couple of car loads of “treasures” to the church garage sale after that one fine day of hard labor, but the nursery still looked like a scene from the show Hoarders, with random forgotten belongings haphazardly littering the floor. And there the room sat for eight weeks.
That is, until that marvelous husBen of mine jumped back into the sorting game this weekend. Unbeknownst to me, while I was out of town he transformed the junk room into workable space. In fact, I’m in awe of how much he accomplished during one little staff retreat. The room is now a clean slate, ready to be arranged, decorated and adorned. Maybe I need to go out of town more often!
Now, I may have dropped a few hints here and there. He knew how anxious the room was making me feel. The start of the third trimester really turns up the pressure on getting ready for baby. We still have a long way to go, but my vision of a fun, festive nursery is no longer blurred by the clutter of our past.
When husBen finally walked me upstairs and humbly showed off his handiwork, I was brought to tears. He has given me an early Christmas gift—one that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed. As we hugged in the room that some day soon we will snuggle with our little one, I told him he’d given me the gift of Hope. Hope that we would be ready. Hope that we could do this together. Hope in the knowledge that he will be by my side through it all. Hope that, as St. Julian of Norwich said many centuries ago, “all shall be well.” Hope that our lives will be able to open wide enough to welcome in this new little one.
That gift of hope will carry me through the wintry days of this last trimester, which will certainly bring new challenges and adventures. I am so very grateful to have such an incredible partner with whom to share this journey. Thanks, husBen for allowing me to focus on growing a human, while you take care of other things in our life. Thank you for the gift of hope.
I know that family looks different for each of us. Some have sisters, parents, or dear friends helping you prepare your nest. Others may feel like you are going at it alone, which can be both empowering and overwhelming at the same time. However you are getting through these 40 weeks of preparation, I pray you surround yourself with a loving support system that fosters a sense of hope in you.