…Someone, please give me—who is born again but still so much in need of being born anew—
give me the details of how to live in the waiting cocoon before the forever begins?
― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
It’s so close I can almost smell it. Smell the sterile hospital hallways. Smell the sweat (I imagine, from both me and Andy) as we work to deliver this baby. Smell the divine emanating from the top of this newborn’s head. Smell the perfectly formed little hands and fingers, and the impossibly wrinkly toes.
It’s also so far. 35 weeks. We’ve come a long ways but to go full – term means 5. MORE. WEEKS. Why does that sound like an eternity? I have a feeling it has to do with being acutely aware of my longing to “get my body back,” and finally letting the twins jump on me and my belly without a thought, letting myself pick them both up like sacks of potatoes and not collapse, letting my feet run, my hands make and create and get on that sewing machine again, my eyes stay up late at night, and having an extra brain cell or two enough to comprehend and enjoy a good book. I’ve missed it. A friend I’ve not seen in so long.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, for that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience.― Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
Still. I know there’s something to be said about waiting. Living in on-the-edge-of-my-seat anticipation. Breathing in and out all the questions and uncertainty in the here-and-now as they form and transform me. Embracing and trusting the wonder of dreams I have about this little one knowing that he/she will be more than my most creative, imaginative moments could ever conjure up. I know waiting is good for us somehow. I always tell A to wait when she’s screaming for more raisins or Elmo. God does something immensely important to us in that cocoon space. These moments in the dark in that mysterious shaping – not so unlike the little one being molded in me – they’re undoubtedly significant.
It’s still a bizarre season for me though. I feel cramped. I’m tossing and turning with my thoughts also rolling around. I’m impatient. I’m exhausted … From me. My emotions don’t seem to ever be straightforward but always a mix of contrasts. Feelings of guilt for not having enough energy and strength for the twins especially these last few weeks we have with just us. Feelings of pure joy at the thought of #3. Feelings of pure terror at the thought of #3…and having 3 kids. Feelings of calm that it will all work out. Feelings of frantic anxiety not knowing how it will play out once the dust settles and we are on the ground floor of reality. Still feeling like “Am I doing enough? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing now?” Navigating all this is a mental and emotional chore in itself especially when I’ve got to lay down on my left side for a few hours everyday. I’m laying here watch these living days slip by so slowly and quickly somehow.
Toying with this quote from Voltaire:
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
In some ways it resonates with this season for me right now. And at the same time, I think that even in the expectation…the waiting, the countdown, the marking off of days and weeks – that’s living, too.