And I’m not ready.
I can’t imagine hauling this belly around for many more days or dealing with the sleepless nights of seemingly endless bathroom trips and restless legs and warm-up contractions that feel very real.
I’ve had newborns before – and I think I prefer that kind of interrupted sleep to what I’m getting now.
And yet, I feel anxious about the impending birth. From when it might begin – to how it might progress (or stall) – to what choices I might need to make – to worrying that she might not be ok.
It’s all there inside me. Swirling. Festering. Bubbling.
Even while I feel supported and strong and able to do this, I also feel incredibly vulnerable not knowing how any of it might go.
I wish I could pause the birthing process at any time to gather myself – and then proceed with whatever grace and calm and self-confidence that I might need.
Instead, I will, somehow, move through whatever shows up, even when I’m not ready.
But eventually the birth will be over, and, God-willing, another little girl will join our tribe. And I, while adjusting to new motherhood at 41, will need to be patient as my body takes on some interim shape and form, and my breasts swell and leak, and I take stock of the battle scars of a later-stage pregnancy.
I will then be a mother to four individuals – each with his or her own unique temperaments and needs and ways of being. Not only does that mean more negotiations, crumbs, laundry, tugging at my pant-legs and things-to-worry-about-should-I-go-there (and I know that I will), but it also means finding the space within me to tune into each of their often indirect ways of expressing how they are feeling and experiencing their worlds, when I’d rather it just go away.
Because, in all of my postpartum weariness, it would be far easier to just deal with their reactions, rather than tending to the underlying emotions. And I know that I will make this mistake. Often.
I already feel inadequate much of the time as a mother of three. And now there will be four.
Damn. I’m not ready.
But I’m heading there anyways.
And when I think back to the major transitions in my life, I’ve always freaked out a little and, sometimes, a lot. I’ve never felt ready.
Perhaps that’s because we never truly can be. Instead, we find a way to show up when the time comes – and perhaps simply because there’s no going back – and summon whatever faith and courage that we can possibly muster.
It’s how, I imagine, we learn to rely on ourselves – on our inner strength that gets us through, even when it’s awkward and ugly and we’re raging like a lunatic inside.
Because the birthing process – for whatever it is that’s coming-to-be-for-us – is inherently messy. And sometimes down-right terrifying.
But it’s the only way through – and into our next chapter.
Whether we’re ready or not. So, here goes…
(In the meantime, wish me love and good fortune. My retreat from the rest-of-the-world is soon to begin. xo.)