Labor of Love...the highs and lows of pregnancy
As I move through these precious (and uncomfortable) last days of pregnancy, I’m full of a host of emotions (read: hormones). I’m equal parts excited and terrified. Yet the baseline I keep coming back to is gratitude…that is, on good days when I’ve gotten more than three or four hours of sleep the night before. I know, I know, welcome to my new impending reality.
Launching on this motherhood journey at 40 is many things, namely, humbling. So, I want to take a few minutes and share with you what I’ve learned from that place of vulnerability.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a mom, a woman, or 40 years old to identify with what I’m about to share. Hopefully though, you’re a person who longs for expansion and growth…or simply…more.
1) Peace isn’t the point
Before I lose you from the start, let me explain. When I meet with clients for the first time in my office, we go over a stack of paperwork. It’s standard, boring, yet helps provide structure, history, and goals for the work we’re about to dig into. Guess what the most common statement I read in that “goals section” is?
“To find more peace.”
And believe me, I get it.
Here’s the deal though. Expansion and growth are by nature uncomfortable. There’s a constant cycle of contract—release, or two steps forward—one step back, involved. In a literal sense, pregnancy is perhaps the most beautiful and frustrating example of this. As I sit and write this, the left side of my body is screaming at me. Twenty extra pounds, an aching back, swollen ankles, and blazing Nashville heat are anything but “peaceful” at nine months pregnant.
So why does the human race continue to multiply if what we really want is peace, yet the human experience is full of discomfort? I think it’s because we want something more than “peace” in a traditional sense. We want meaning. We want purpose. We want joy. If we equate peace with an absence of pain and healthy tension in our lives, we will merely exist to numb the movements of life itself.
Wakefulness requires perseverance. Only through that perseverance can we touch pure joy. Despite my longing for more shut-eye right now, joy can’t be experienced when we’re numb and asleep.
2) Direction matters
A very wise friend of mine gave me some good advice once when I was grappling with a big decision. He asked me this question: “If you choose this path, are you running towards desire or running away from fear?”
Mic drop, much? I told you, he is very wise.
Comfortable in the controlled routines of my late 30’s life, I honestly could’ve been happy with or without kids. When I started down the fertility path a couple of years ago, I was always on the fence, unsure of how badly I wanted to disrupt the flow of a life that for the first time in many ways felt grounded—safe.
With a history of depression and body image issues, I had finally come to a place of self-acceptance and regulation. Did I really want to chance all that and bring another human being into my mess? Did I really want my whole life to be turned upside down, even if the cause was something so sweet and beautiful as a precious child?
I kept coming back to a resounding “yes.” That safety and control I thought I had was smoke and mirrors. It was really me just running away from fear.
I can’t wait to meet my son any day now. It still doesn’t seem real. Love is about to take on a whole new meaning and I can only imagine the ways it will continue to grow and humble me.
Desire is messy. Creation is also messy. Yet you and I were made to make stuff. Let’s be in this mess together and have something to write home about, yes?
Love & Gratitude,