At 39 weeks pregnant with baby number two, I can’t help but think about all the ways, despite the discomfort and aches of these last days, that pregnancy is such a beautiful connection with our world, a time of community and coming together, and a time of unity with the world around us. Pregnancy the second time around has certainly felt less glamorous for me, even though I’ve felt less swollen, had better skin, treated myself to more maternity clothes, and have been drinking decaf coffees (with a splash of the caff!). The first pregnancy was just different in how new and precious it felt. Everything glistened with hope and promise. My world was about to completely change. And I’m sure it shone through my face like the radiant sun. My dream of becoming a mother was coming truer with every inch that my belly grew. During this second pregnancy, I know full well the immensity of infinite love that lies ahead. But it seems buried underneath the everyday things that already consume me like keeping up with a toddler and keeping some semblance of organization in our lives as they are about to be changed again.
But despite feeling less together, less glowing, the world around me reminds me of the absolute beauty of it all. I feel completely in awe at the sense of connection that pregnancy brings. At 39 weeks, friends and family call more frequently than usual and text just to check in. Aunts and uncles (okay mostly aunts) are checking in by phone and email. Curious neighbors ask if the baby is here yet when Mike takes Tiki for his walks. Families we see regularly at church tell me they will be praying for me….weeks before my due date! And days before. One week the priest even said a special blessing over me as we left that morning. It brought me to tears (naturally, these days). Strangers offer their seat and hold the door. Regular faces on my commute offer their “Congratulations!” and “Good luck!” as they know time is nearing.
And every time I go outside it seems as if the birds are calling to me, speaking directly at me with their “caws” and “tweets” and sweet songs, serenading me at this time of connection with our universe because as mothers we draw on all the universe has to offer to bring these spirits into our physical world. We call on all those around us, those who have come before us, and creatures great and small to be a witness to the life-giving event of pregnancy and ultimately, share in this new life with us.
On my walk with Tiki today, I felt the sun cover my shoulders and back like a warm embrace, clouds dotted the sky, what a beautiful June day it would be to birth a child.
But the mystery of it all is that we just have no control over the miracle of life. So I wait, in joyful hope. I pray. I take in the abundance, the blessings offered by those around us. Not taking one bit of it for granted.
And in the wait, I remind myself of Ann Voskamp’s beautiful words, that “You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to receive your life, like a gift.” So I meditate on these words as we wait. Knowing that God is always good and we are always loved.