I started and concluded this week with oh so so so many naps!

I have been starting to feel slightly overwhelmed (who am I kidding? I’ve always been overwhelmed). I don’t feel ready at all. You would think I’m an old hand at this, but there’s so much that feels so different this time! Maybe it’s wanting to do all the things I never did (BF, sleep sacks, paddy’s, sleep training, routines), remembering I’ve somehow raised all the babies before this one, being proud of that and in the wonder of how it all feels so foreign and so familiar.

Carmen's 34-week bump with a pineapple

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I’m allowing my instincts to take over and knowing I just used to have everything so organized for my other babies.

I’m trying instead of seeing a step back as a step forward by reclaiming rest and letting go, knowing kids mess houses anyway and how glad I am for that and to be making memories with them! With knowledge, I can breathe and all will take care of itself and fall into place as it always has. There is release and relief in that. I’m no longer in a life stage where I have time because our life is much fuller!

I have been using this time in different ways, feeling guilty that I’m not using this time right now to sanitize everything, make sure everything is washed and put away with freezer meals made. It sounds like such a dream, but I’m not putting the same pressures on myself, knowing it all falls off. Eventually, you can’t maintain this level of perfection.

I know future Carmen would appreciate all of this especially with this being our last baby. Having all these things done so I can savour the moments having done this so many times, I know that “these things” do help, but I also know that mess, despite my best efforts, no matter how organized, will still come and still overwhelm me forever.

I’m getting ready in other ways.

I have three children living life right now that I’m also trying to soak up, taking them swimming, playing games on the ground, picking them up, and constant time with them on my belly, which soon will hurt as they can’t climb on me. I’m trying to do the things I can right now, knowing soon I won’t be able to for a while.

Carmen's maternity photos

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Getting out of the house before knowing I’ll be housebound, going for walks with the baby before baby comes out, and it’s more difficult. Knowing this whole time, a baby comes while not really understanding that somehow. So excited but just not ready as so many say you must be so eager to meet this little one. I am, but I also know I’ll have to say goodbye to this time. Despite its uncomfortableness, I’m becoming most comfortable in this stage until it will all be different and new again.

Carmen's mother's blessing ritual with flower crowns

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I’m doing restful things like massages, Mother Blessings Rituals with flower crowns, having maternity pictures taken, connecting with loved ones, documenting, reminiscing, writing, taking courses, sloth-like movement, helping with peer support, networking, friending, taking ALL the baths, and napping! I am nourishing my soul for rest and recovery, and it feels so good! I’m tired, but my spirit is refueled! That’s what this time is.

Carmen's maternity photos with rainbow skirt

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

When I was in university and I had a big paper to write or was stressed, I dealt with that stress by taking a nap, and all things always did get done that had to. Everything is figure-out-able when the overwhelm can be put on rest mode for a while.

Carmen's naps at 34-weeks pregnant

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

So, like the pineapple, I stand tall and wear a crown, lifted up by the rainbows, support, and beautiful synchronicities that hold me as I lay.

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