At our church right now a baby boom is taking place. Caleb and I counted (at least) 7 couples that have just had a baby or are currently expecting. It is pretty fun because we have others that we can share this experience with. Whenever I'm around other babies I get so excited to have my own. I can't wait to hold Emerson, to feel his little fingers grasp my finger, to smell his sweet baby smell, and to caress his soft skin... I am so excited for him to be here.
However, at other times I feel a little intimidated. I know everything will turn out OK, but I usually like to have lots of preparation for big changes like this. Before I got married I read all the marriage books, did pre-marital counseling, and even attended a marriage conference! And Caleb and I did have a fairly smooth transition into married life. But having a baby is a much bigger transition than getting married. It will require much more self-sacrifice and change (i.e. half the amount of sleep I get now). How can I prepare for such a transition? Well, I guess my conclusion is just that I will continue praying that God will prepare us (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually). I think parenting is one of those things that you have to just jump in with both feet first. By the time we figure out how to handle a baby, he will be a toddler; by the time we conquer the toddler stage, he'll be a kid...etc. And then the second time around, baby number two will be completely different from our first! I'm not going to be perfectly prepared going into it. I just have to trust that God's grace will cover our mess ups and imperfections. Most likely we won't ruin our child. If anything, this situation will force us to rely on God's strength. We cannot do it alone.
In the end, I think the joys and rewards will far outweigh the hardships with parenting. I see my friends who are sleep-deprived parents of newborns, but their joy and love for their child outshines their sleepiness and exhaustion. I look forward to those joys and rewards, even if I have to face hardship and self-sacrifice to get there :)
One way we can prepare for Emerson is getting his nursery ready. We have finally pretty much completed it. You don't really need all these things for a baby, but we have been blessed with them. If Emerson came now, we would be ready enough :)
Bedding made by my mother-in-law!
A video tour if you wish to see it: