Tell me I’m not the only one who digs to the very back of the shelf in hunt for the milk with the latest expiration date? Dates come and go… November, March, June — and then one day you reach for that gallon that has a printed label that passes your due date. That’s when you know you’re close. Really close. We’re only eleven days until reaching my official d-day (but who’s counting). All in all, it’s been a fairly seamless pregnancy — other than really bad morning sickness and feeling incredibly worn-out on this last home-stretch. Four kids can take a toll on one’s body; but it’s this body that I’ll be forever grateful for. Somehow your body manages to manufacture a human while you carry on with your everyday life. Cliche but true, there’s only one word to explain it: miraculous. People will tell you (yes, even if it’s your fourth time around) about how challenging it all is: the hours of labor, how many stitches to expect, the excruciating pain of it all, etc. But what most forget to tell you is, the very best moment of your life is about to happen very soon. I’m convinced that no matter how you become a parent — meeting your child for the first time is the single most intensely awesome moment of your entire life. I don’t care if you’ve won the lotto, climbed the tallest mountain, or sailed around the world; there is nothing more accomplishing, rewarding, and exhilarating than being a participant in new life entering the world. Nothing beats it. All of a sudden your dreams of a having a baby, nine months of carrying a baby, and then finally the delivering of a baby are all wrapped up into one little twinkle — a newborn’s cry. This brand new precious little human is now in complete control of your heart; and you’re officially a mother. And what’s more, the feeling isn’t reserved for only the firstborn! In fact, I can attest that with each child the feeling somehow grows! Perhaps it’s because you know the euphoria that’s faithfully waiting around the corner. Or maybe it’s because your heart has proven it has the amazing ability to hold a love that’s uniquely special for each child. Regardless, the feeling in those first few moments of new life never gets old. And the excitement leading up to it should be cherished and savored, as well. I’d be lying if I said I’m not nervous to go through the crazy discomfort that is labor and delivery. It doesn’t get any easier each time. And the unknowns of how it’ll all transpire can give even the coolest cucumber some level of anxiety. But I’d gladly do it again and again to get that same moment again. So whether you’re waiting for your first bundle or welcoming an additional child, I want to tell you… just breathe it all in, Mama. This is such a special time in our lives that should be savored and celebrated! And surely to be excited about! With every new day I can’t help but wonder if today will be the day our little love arrives. She’s sure to be perfect in every way; and I can hardly wait to see her with my own eyes, hold her with my own arms, and love her like I’ve never loved before.