It’s a game I don’t play well…
I like to know how things are going to happen.
One strong contraction followed by a plethora of little ones.
And I yearn for consistency and a rhythm.
And yet simultaneously, I don’t.
I am ready.
I am oh-so-ready.
It is coming.
It will be here soon, I know.
My doubts, my fears…this time so different from the times before.
Gone are my worries that labor will hurt.
Gone are my worries that I won’t know what to do when I hold the fruit of my labor in my arms.
(And I won’t.)
(Does anyone ever really know what to do?)
(Aren’t we all just floundering our way through parenthood?)
This time my fears are based on me, my memory.
Will I remember the feel of baby kicks and hiccups?
Will I remember the breathlessness that comes with each contraction?
Will I remember the cumbersomeness of a full belly, one which begs for mercy?
Because I thought I remembered from before…
But I didn’t.
But this time has been different, I tell myself.
I’ve purposefully taken the time to close my eyes,
Ignore everyone else,
And savor these moments.
I’ve committed them to memory the best I can.
And I pray that it will be enough.
I will remember.
Four babies, four times on bed rest.
This time so different from the others.
Instead of getting restless and pouting about what I’m missing in the outside world,
I’ve embraced the slow, easy pace that’s been forced upon me.
Read books – both to myself and to the children.
Watched movies – with them, by myself, with Marshall.
Done crafts and played games.
Taken long, leisurely baths.
Snuggled and cuddled.
Closed my eyes and listened with my soul.
Captured memories with my mind instead of my camera.
I am ready.
One foot stepping out into the unknown,
Ready to put a face to the new life that’s so long been a part of me.
And yet the other foot firmly planted in the here and now.
Waiting for just…the…perfect moment…
To step out,
To move onward.
When that moment comes,
I will hold my breath,
Close my eyes,
And jump across to the other bank.
I will leap from fertile soil
To dry, barren land.
Because this is it.
The final movement of a beautiful symphony that is my child-bearing years.
But here is the best part…
The dry, barren land isn’t really dry and barren.
It, too, is full of life.
I will continue to celebrate milestones.
I will continue to close my eyes and breathe in the tiny moments.
I will watch in awe as each of my children grows, changes-
In life, just as they did within me.
The cursor will keep blinking.
My story is not over yet.
Thanks be to God.