The end of pregnancy is like a sweet reminder of the actual control I have over my life: not much. It’s a “sit back and enjoy the ride” kinda time because I’m not actually the one driving this bus. And, while we’re on the subject of enjoyment, it’s not. The final weeks are full of false alarms, late night ice cream runs, throwing your scale in the garbage because it’s obviously broken, and wondering if your water will break while you’re shopping in target (please Lord, at least let it be Wal Mart…).
I’ve spent countless hours googling the most ridiculous things, like “unplanned home births” in case I somehow find myself needing to deliver my own baby on my living room floor. Never mind that my first baby was an all day affair, there are still fears that I “won’t know” I’m in labor and will just spontaneously give birth. Because that happens so often.
I have cried so many tears, grieving the way life will change. I have soaked in the snuggles and book reading and puzzles with my toddler as if we have to trade her in to bring home this new baby. I have cried putting her to bed more times than I’d like to admit, because even thought she’s not going anywhere, it will be different. But you cannot tell a hormonal pregnant woman that things will actually get better and sweeter, because it’s hard to see or imagine. And because in the last few weeks of pregnancy there’s not a stitch of logic (or sanity) to be found.
The fears that my home and my heart do not have enough room to fully embrace another baby are oh-so real, but I trust that wonderful, miraculous things will happen when I see her tiny, newborn face. That she will complete our family in a way I didn’t even know was needed. I believe that I will fall deeply in love all over again and that my heart will stretch right around her tiny fingers and never let go.
I have never done pregnancy gracefully, but I am thankful that I’m here. I’m thankful that there are big changes in store for us, and that things are happening outside of my control. It’s good for me to have to let go once in awhile. Or for the rest of my life, because being a mom is the most unpredictable, challengingly beautiful journey with so little control. It takes you outside of yourself in ways that are so necessary, and reminds you that you do not hold the world in place.
But as a parent, you are entrusted with your world and your people and every little thing you do can make a big difference, for better and for worse. The reality of the responsibility in all of this is enormous–a blessing not to be taken lightly. And I still cannot believe I get another opportunity to raise another little person and love her with our whole lives. To teach her how to make strawberry jam and the importance of being a good friend. To help her learn how to live in a world that’s not all about her, but that God does have big plans that are just for her.
As we countdown the days or hours (or heaven forbid, weeks) until our next little babe arrives, I’m trying to slow down and take it all in. It can feel like we got here so quickly (and factually…we did). But it’s so easy to wish seasons away because they’re hard or long or uncertain rather than to soak in the small, sweet stuff that’s happening in the in-between.
I spent the first few months of Ruthie’s life wishing for easier, more predictable or just different days. And granted, there is a lot about the early baby days that are just plain hard and any sane person would wish them away, but I probably wished away some of the good stuff, too.
So here’s to living in the now…the unpredictable, the sleepless, the hard. But also the good, the sweet, the simple infant days that everyone says you’ll blink and miss. I could blink all day and I’ll never miss being pregnant, but I will miss the connection I have with my baby growing inside me. No one else gets to know her this intimately or feel her growing heart beating like I do.
Soon everyone will get to meet her and share in the joys of her life, the sorrows and everything in between. We will kiss her face and squish her cheeks and wonder where she has been our whole lives.We will get to know over time who she is, her tiny quirks and what her laugh sounds like like.
The little moments. The sweet stuff.
I don’t wanna miss it.
Whatever season of in-between that you find yourself in, I pray you don’t miss the sweet stuff either. I hope for you a fruitful season of waiting, because if there’s one thing pregnancy has taught me it’s that waiting is not a passive thing. There is a lot happening when you’re waiting for something to happen… life to be lived, lessons to be learned, and joy to be had. Even in the grief, the mourning loss, the letting go of what once was to make room for something new, there are moments that are gifts. Simple and good.
May you find freedom in letting go of control, letting go of what you hoped for or planned in order to fully embrace the unknown and the waiting with all the goodness it has to offer. And I will try to do the same.