Almost There: A Pregnancy Update

Hello, dear friends. It’s been a little over a month since I shared on the blog, and I hope you’re all surviving the cold temps!

Who else is ready for some steady sunshine? We had blue skies on Monday, and less of a chill in the air, and everyone in my house felt like we’d been given an extra dose of joy! The sun shone into our kitchen and Chloe basked in its warmth, napping happily all day. I’m sure my friends and readers in other states are rolling their eyes at me right about now, considering California winter is mild compared to most others. But hey, don’t blame me! I’m not living in Minnesota for a reason! (Reason: I would not survive the cold, the end.)

As we not-so-patiently await Spring’s arrival, we’re also getting more anxious than ever to meet Baby Sowell!

My due date is officially less than two weeks away, which just feels too wild and wonderful to type, let alone be real. Some days, it feels like my pregnancy flew by, while on the others, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever! These days of eager anticipation seem to drag just a bit more, like the countdown to school’s end or Christmas morning. But like the Christmas season, even in the midst of a countdown, we are savoring this time, aware that everything will change right when it’s supposed to.

Kierra Blaser, a Christian doula whose resources I’ve been loving lately, shared on her Instagram: “This is a season to celebrate, not just a day to wait around for.”

In a blink of an eye, it will no longer be just Reed and Victoria Sowell, but a whole new person, our first born, will be joyfully added to our family! We are deeply looking forward to this time, but that quote so resonated with me...I want to wait in celebration, I want to enjoy these quiet one-on-one moments with my husband, and not just sit around miserably, waiting for the day to get here.

Throughout our journey, God has been teaching me to see waiting as an active stance, not a passive one.

It IS possible to wait with anticipation, intention, purpose, and joy! The Enemy knows if he can rob us of those things, along with our trust in a perfect Father, we will begin to see waiting seasons as a waste, a time of being held back, punishment, or missing out. When that happens, our perspective of God and our lives becomes badly warped. But when we instead invite God to shape our perspective in the waiting, beautiful opportunities are revealed. He knows we would rush and grab the things we think we want when we want them, and he loves us too much to let us miss the gold that can be found along the way.

Maybe you’re an expectant Mama, and awaiting your baby’s arrival feels challenging, or maybe, you’re waiting for something else and feel yourself being stretched in that space. Let me just encourage you: it’s a good space. This in-between space will teach us many lessons if we’re willing, and will fasten our hearts to God in a more dependent and intimate way than we could even pray for!

Here’s some of the gold God has offered me in my waiting:

  • Sweet date nights with Reed, going nowhere spectacular or doing anything particularly impressive, but full of connection, reflection, laughter, and memories I’ll always treasure.

  • Time to prepare the nursery, pack the hospital bag, and get those little practical details in order so I’m not stressed or hurried when labor picks up.

  • More opportunities to sleep in, go to bed early, and sneak in a few naps where I need them. I know I’ll be thankful for this extra rest!

  • The blessing of finishing this week out strong and completing all my tasks/responsibilities before my maternity leave begins!

  • Time to deep clean and organize parts of my house I know I won’t be able to get to for a while, and donate the things I don’t want or need anymore.

  • Special moments with Jesus, making a worship playlist, writing down verses and affirmations for labor!

  • Extra time in the morning to read my Bible, pray, and get ready! (I’ve been playing around with fun makeup looks while I have those additional, unrushed minutes.)

Why would I want to miss out on any of that?!

For a time, I wondered when, how or even if I would have a baby. Waiting felt inescapable. There, in the unknown, the Lord showed me how to surrender the desires of tomorrow for the joy found in today, and I’m so thankful he did.

At our last appointment Reed exclaimed, “We are the people who never thought they’d be here, but here we are!” What feels like a surprise to us has never been a surprise to God, and I know in my heart that he has a similar moment ahead for you. Keep waiting, hoping, and trusting, with great anticipation that God doesn’t waste a single day with those he loves!

Whenever asked how I’m currently feeling, I normally respond…READY!”

It really does feel like baby is running out of space! What used to be gentle movements now feel like elbow jabs! Baby has dropped which has made breathing a lot easier, but the pressure on my pelvic bone by the end of the day can be pretty intense. My hands and feet are swollen to a humorous extent...more often than not, they look like they’ve been inflated like balloons. My bladder feels like it’s the size of a blueberry and my back hurts if I sit too long.

These are all normal things to be experiencing at the end (or so I’m told!) so I’m just taking everything in stride and giving myself permission to rest when I need to! My birth ball has been a life-saver for when I’m working, and drinking lots of water has helped with the swelling! Overall, I feel my body getting ready, and I’m thankful for how hard it’s working.

It might sound funny to some, but I actually feel so excited for labor.

Sure, there will be pain and unexpected/unplanned moments, but I know the Lord is going to meet us in that room. I’m praying we have some divine moments with the L&D team, and feel eager to share our story and the Gospel with those serving us! A midwife will be delivering, and I’m planning on going unmedicated.

That being said, all my plans have been surrendered to the Lord, and I have invited him into all of my worst-case scenarios. Doing this has given me such a peace when I think about delivery, and I firmly believe I will be strengthened in a supernatural way. With the Holy Spirit, and my calm husband, I know that even in the pain, birth can be an enjoyable experience!

Reed is already the best dad, and has continued to be the most wonderful husband, stepping up in areas where I’d normally not ask for help, but need it. He has been so patient, gentle, attentive to my needs, and excited for baby.

On top of all that, he is impressively gifted at putting together baby gear! The Lord answered an unspoken prayer there, because I am the worst with instruction manuals, tools, and quickly grow impatient when I see the bag of parts. In other words, putting things together is NOT my spiritual gift. Reed on the other hand, has put everything together in record time without making a single complaint! Dream guy, I tell ya. Dream guy.

Thank you for praying for us and celebrating with us! I am so excited to introduce you all to Baby Sowell...I know he or she will be a testimony of God’s goodness, and a blessing to so many. (Not to mention, extremely cute…though I am biased!)

Now these are definitely the questions that fill my thoughts, not yours...but I’m curious: do you think Baby Sowell is a boy or girl? Any guesses on weight or day of arrival? Share in the comments below!

Find the joy,