Holding On and Letting Go

The end of pregnancy is not easy, at least not for me.  I want to be clear that I express that with all the gratitude in the world for the privilege of carrying this child, for the gift of being pregnant.  I know there are many who would give anything to know what the end of pregnancy feels like, and it is not without acknowledging those warrior mamas that I share with you that, for me, it is hard.

It is physically challenging, yes.  Sleeping, eating, walking, and even putting on my pants, if I am being honest, are now things that must be done, but that are also just. so. hard.  The other night at 2:45am, I strongly considered waking up my husband just to help me get out of bed (for what felt like the 15th time that night), but instead I heaved myself over and out and did it myself feeling a bit victorious in those early morning hours over the smallest thing.  It’s all about perspective, I guess. And I am sure my husband appreciated my independence as well!

More than the physical aspect, however, it is the emotional component that is especially challenging for me.  I’ve been listening to a book called The Compassion Code: How to Say the Right Thing When the Wrong Thing Happens written by a sweet friend from high school, Laura Jack.  She begins her book by describing grief as something we experience when we move from one phase of life to another or when we find ourselves on the precipice of a change. It may seem strange to associate that word with the end of pregnancy when I should be only joy-filled as I await this new life, but to me it made so much sense.

To be clear, I can’t wait to meet this precious boy.  I can’t wait to hold him in my arms, inhale that sweet baby smell, and have him fall asleep against my chest.  I can’t wait to see what he looks like, and I can’t wait to learn who he is and to watch who he will become.  I am waiting on his birth with so much hope, joy, and gratitude for the gift of his life.  At the same time, I am letting go of this little family of 4 that seems to have just hit its stride.  I’m letting go of the fact that I can hold the hands of both of my children at the same time, and I’m realizing that even though my heart will hold everyone at once that my lap no longer will.  I am letting go of W’s babyhood that I have so desperately held on to and the fact that in a few short weeks he will no longer be the baby.  I am letting go of the precious one-on-one time I’ve spent with my M and the opportunities I’ve had to soak her up without interruption.  In a few short weeks, life will revolve around interruptions.  I’m also letting go of the fact that this is the last baby I will ever feel move around in my belly.  It’s the last time I will experience the blessing of pregnancy (and all it’s glory!). That season is ending for me, no matter what my husband says, and there is a certain sadness that accompanies that for me despite how challenging this experience has been. It has been the biggest honor, privilege, and blessing of my life to carry these babies.  I’m letting go of this life that I know and love and have learned to manage well, and I am walking towards a new reality that I pray will be just as wonderful.  It is still yet unknown though, and that for me is the toughest part.  “How will we…………? How can we………..? What if we……….. When will I…………” I know the answers will come, and I know I will figure it out, but for now this little life I have seems pretty safe and comfortable.  Walking into a new one feels exciting, scary, and…..hard.

So, as I (nervously) wait and wonder if that new life will begin today or perhaps tomorrow, I’m holding on to these precious moments of being a family of 4 and a mother of 2.  I’m savoring every second of it, and at the same time I am learning to let go of what I know and look forward joyfully, expectantly, and prayerfully for what is to come. I’ll return to you soon from the other side, from that new life, and as a mother of 3.  In the meantime, I will continue my work of holding on and letting go all the while maintaining a grateful heart and a joyful spirit.

Find the joy~

Jessica

You can purchase Laura Jack’s book The Compassion Code: How to Say the Right Thing When the Wrong Thing Happens here. I highly recommend it!

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