leaning into it

An older photo of Olive, relaxed into the moment and yet clutching what she loves

I am today 20 weeks pregnant with Strike 2 (and our ultrasound is Monday… can’t wait to find out if it’s a he or a she that’s been kicking me in the… well, everything!). Exciting!!!

But here’s the thing for me: pregnancy stinks. Notice I said “for me” – I know other women feel amazing, live in constant awe of the process and relish every moment of their babymaking experience. It doesn’t work that way for me. I’m constantly exhausted, ill every day, struggling against depression, and grappling with a myriad of other unsavory side effects of growing this little person. I love it for what it is – the creation of life – and I cannot wait to meet the magnificent little creature coming together as I write. I did choose this, after all, even this time knowing what I would be in for.  I know there are ladies who would kill to be in my position and I honor their desire, their longing, their space – but it doesn’t make it any easier for me when I’m praying to the porcelain god for the fifth time today, feeling as though it will never end and I can’t possibly take care of my family in the midst of it. I’m still wretched, even if it’s laced with happiness.

What I’m doing now is trying to relax into these harder times. I can feel so desperate, so overwhelmingly helpless at times, so clenched-up frustrated – but I’m learning that if I can unclench, if I can lean into it – there’s space. It’s almost like the moment expands to hold me, my darkness, and just a little extra, too – enough extra room that something else can be born and held, too – some peace, some calm, some serenity. Right up there next to the yuck. And then it’s all okay. I can make it through.

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