campus living, Faith, pregnancy and parenting

Shifting Seasons


Tonight feels like a writing-in night.

All the windows and doors in our house are flung wide open to receive the southerly breeze, like weary arms eagerly awaiting an embrace from a long-lost friend. I am sitting at my desk by the large front windows, and for once my commercial-strength floor fan sits silent in front of me, while my keyboard alone taps a semi-rhythmic beat.

Today is the first day of Autumn, and I for one say a hearty welcome!

Sydney has sweltered its way through the last few weeks, with an average temperate of 30 degrees. Today by early afternoon it hit 36. But then, blissfully, with late afternoon the storms came, bringing with them a powerful wind that literally swept the Sydney sauna away, replacing it with a refreshing chill that my over-heated pregnant body received like a blessing.

Dr M and I had a long night last night, and the looming presence of stubborn humidity didn’t help.

Too many nights lately, it seems, our restless offspring have taken turns sleeping in shifts, as if they’ve put their two little curly heads together and devised a scheme of slow parental torture, based around the medium of sleep deprivation. First one child, then another, calls out from their bedroom, Mum-mee, mum – ee … (multiply this a few dozen more times and you get the picture) and when that doesn’t seem to be working, dad-dee, dad-dee, until one of us finally rises and leaves the settled comfort of our bed, only to reappear after a short and hopeless period of middle-of-the-night negotiation, with a child in tow. Our tranquil sleep-environment becomes a wriggly mess of limbs and loud-kid breathing (how can they be so noisy and active as they sleep?). E in particular is not a self-contained sleeper, but likes to migrate, usually to my side, while I (plus our third child, still to enter the world beyond my belly) huddle on the precarious precipice of the edge of the mattress, and attempt a semi-comfortable position until morning.

Needless to say the change in weather has brought us some comfort.

And the weather isn’t the only element undergoing change. The seasons are in the process of shifting, all around us.

The college students are in ‘research week,’ which appears to bring with it a mixture of both relief and tension. Relief that the first three heady weeks of classes are behind them,  and a forced pause has stopped some of the scurrying, but tension too, the tension of the first-assignment deadlines for the year. For families, in particular, the time is challenging, as once more we attempt to re-negotiate that delicate balance of home-harmony and study-focus. I have no doubt our little domestic world isn’t the only one undergoing some upheaval.

The baby is busy moving, preparing for his entrance into the world, perhaps eagerly waiting in the wings to emerge. Maybe those large, persistent kicks and pushes I now feel are like knocks to say, “I’m coming out soon, get ready to meet me.”

I am in an inbetween season here as well, both eager to end this rather uncomfortable period of pregnancy, and scared I won’t get done all I need to do to be prepared.

It seems I am willingly running my own form of research week: hastily reading notes made before previous births on staying calm and active in labour, making extensive lists for my hospital bag contents (suddenly it seems so very vital what singlet tops and deoderent make it into my bag!) and praying in those middle-of-the-night tossing-and-turning periods that all will be well.

I seem both more exhausted and more alert than ever. Is this the rush of adrenaline that comes in preparation for the physical processes of birth? Even though so weary I find it hard to sit still.

Even though its baby number 3, it’s still in many ways so unknown. What will the birth be like? Will the baby be healthy? How will the kids handle their new sibling? How will we handle them?

Questions. Questions, Questions. Unknowns.

The seasons are shifting.

And once more I return to the one place that doesn’t change. The anchor for my soul. The Lord. My heavenly father.

The bringer of fresh, healing winds, the only one who knows the next season before it comes to pass.

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