Sunday, July 3, 2011

39 Weeks

While in China, I feel like I am writing to all my American friends and family. Now that we're in America, I feel as though my audience comprises of my China-community. It's weird to live on the flip-side of things.

If you want to be technical, I will be 39 weeks pregnant in just a few minutes. I'm not sure how exact a "due date" can be, but it feels strange to be so much closer to having our baby. In some ways this pregnancy has felt eternally long. When I think about it, it's encompassed most of the school year and most of the summer. Being pregnant for nearly 10 lunar months....oi.

The word of the month for me is, "uncomfortable". I'm so uncomfortable. Here is my uncomfortable list. It might sound like complaints, but I'm trying very hard to be content with all these symptoms because it is worth it. Whatever it takes for this baby to have a good start to life.

1. I can't breathe. It feels like I'm suffocating--even though the baby has dropped significantly, there's still not much room for my lungs. It's how I imagine breathing with only one lung must be--or with punctured lungs.

2. Heartburn is always just around the corner. Sometimes, it's not a problem at all. While at other times, if I just put my flip flops on I'm all of the sudden attacked by acid all the way up to my throat.

3. Water retention. It makes me feel and look very swollen. I can't wear my rings anymore because my fingers have exploded at least 2 sizes. Flip flops are the only comfy option, so I'm thankful that it's summer time.

4. Constant soreness. When picking up one's foot six inches becomes them most painful part of your day, you know you're sore. When you realize how often you have to pick up your foot six inches, you start to wonder if you will ever be able to get into a car, put on your pants, or walk up the steps again without wincing.

5. Fat-whale-syndrome. My wardrobe options are pretty slim these days. I can't wait until I can wear something other than the four shirts that still fit me...sort of...

6. Inability to sleep. There is no longer a comfortable sleeping position.

7. Always thirsty. I wish that I could walk around with an IV so that I wouldn't have to feel dehydrated all the time.

8. Always tired. So. Lame.

9. Always so hot and sweaty. I used to feel cold most of the time, so it's hard to get used to being so hot no matter what temperature it is. I think the ideal temperature is 40 degrees. Just put me in a freezer.

Ok....There's my list of how I feel. Which brings me to my next soap box.

I'm beginning to get tired of all the questions that people ask. It doesn't matter if it's family, friends, or complete strangers--the questions are always the same:

1. How do you feel?
2. When are you due?
3. Do you know if it is a boy or a girl?

How do I feel? Well, that's a 10 point sermon.
When am I due? Ugh. I don't even feel like typing it.
No, I don't know know if it's a boy or a girl, but we think the baby is a girl.....Which invariably is answered with, "Well, all that matters is that the baby is healthy. You'll be happy with a boy or a girl".

Gender isn't a huge issue. The only thing inconvenient about having a boy is that we don't have any boy things at this moment, and gender neutral isn't really existent anymore. But even shopping for boy things after the baby is born--if the baby is a boy--wouldn't be that bad.

But what really annoys me is the part about, "all that matters is that the baby is healthy"....So, what if the baby is NOT healthy. What if the baby has to spend extra time in the hospital for special care. What if the baby is born with a health issue that we do not know about at this time? What if the baby is blind or deaf? What if the baby doesn't develop or learn 'normally'? What if the baby isn't healthy? Then, will I not be happy? Will I not be overjoyed to meet our baby? Will I not love this baby unconditionally?

I know that I'm over analyzing this sentence--but when you hear it almost everyday (and sometimes 10 or more times in day), it causes you to think. It doesn't matter if the baby is a boy or a girl. Likewise, it doesn't matter if this baby is healthy or not healthy. This baby is a human being who will be loved regardless of how God has fashioned her (or maybe...him). Of course, I hope and pray that my baby is healthy. I hope that the baby will come into the world as safely as possible. I hope that there will be no complications. I pray and pray that the baby will develop and grow and learn right on track. But I know that a lot of this is out of my control and that really what I need to be doing is trusting God to take care of our family no matter what the situation is.

All that really matters is that we are living in accordance to God's plan and trusting in His provision. My to-do lists, my anxieties, my qualms with people's statements, my physical discomforts---these are nothing.

My top three things to do this week is to find contentment in my discomfort, to find patience with the world at large, and to trust in God's timing for our baby's arrival.



  1. Julie, you are right in that your China family is definitely keeping up with the "Hobble and Waddle" adventures. =) Everyone is greatly anticipating the announcement of her/his birth! And you're totally right... no matter if the baby is boy/girl, healthy/unhealthy, he/she will be loved unconditionally by God, his/her AMAZING parents, and all of us too! We can't wait to meet baby Johnson!

  2. Heartburn is said to mean your baby will have a lot of hair. Yay! Thanks for your reminder about healthy or not healthy not determining your contentment. This is a great reminder. I cannot wait to meet little Johnson! And I do read your blog on a normal basis so thanks for keeping your China family posted :-)

  3. This is a wonderful post!! I love your honesty and especially your rant! And Your baby girl is honestly so beautiful!!!