Okay, I admit it; I was really hoping for a Mother's Day delivery. No such luck. I know, I know; I still have thirteen days left until my due date. There's the potential that I could be pregnant into June, but I just can't bear the thought! I am way too excited to meet this little boy.
Sometimes I just sit and marvel at the fact that soon I am going to be holding my son in my arms--that he'll no longer be inside of me. I wonder what he'll look like and who he will be. How will he be like my daughter, my husband, me? What unique aspects will he bring to our little family, those pieces that are so him? What will it be like to love him on the outside? To know him in new ways as a separate, precious human being?
And, of course, there is always that shadow of fear that casts itself in small ways upon my excitement and anticipation, like a cloud that drifts overhead, blocking out the sun for only moments here and there. No, I'm not talking about labor; I've had lots of friends and family ask me about that, but the truth is, labor doesn't scare me much. Oh sure, I know it will hurt; I've been through it before--with Pitocin, no less. But, it's not frightening pain. I view it like running a marathon or performing in a very strenuous dance competition... It pushes your body to the limit, but it also gives you the most profound sense of accomplishment, of internal strength; the pain is a direct connection to God, almost like a prayer. He is so present in it.
No, the fear I am talking about is the knowledge that something could still go wrong. Only days left until birth, but what if something happens to my little boy? What if I lose him before I ever get to see his sweet face? In a culture that likes to tuck death away in an isolated, sterile little corner, it is easy to forget that babies die. My cousin lost his youngest little girl at about the same gestational age my son is now. My best friend's aunt & uncle lost their son weeks after birth. While Brian and I were attending a parents' Baptism class for our son last month, our priest was in another room, comforting a grieving couple that was supposed to be in that class with us, getting ready to Baptize their newborn child who had died suddenly and unexpectedly.
I assure you, I'm not losing sleep over all of this (though I am losing plenty of sleep thanks to typical end-of-pregnancy discomforts). I'm not living paralyzed by anxiety, but it is something I think about. And, that's a good thing. It lets me know how deeply I already love this little boy. It reminds me poignantly that I carry in my womb not a fetus but a child, my precious son. The twinges of fear give me a little poke in the soul that say, "You're a mother of two precious children; love them; take care of them." And, my soul answers back, "I will do all that I can...and then there's God."
There is God. In the waiting. In the nights of broken sleep. In the fear. In the excitement. In my impatience. In my exhaustion. In my womb and in my soul and in the soul of my son, there is God.