It’s a funny thing, to know that a story is headed my way. Sometime in the next few weeks, I’ll welcome a baby into the world. Hopefully, all goes well. And hopefully, it’ll be a moment I remember vividly for the rest of my life.
It’s just strange to know it’s almost here, and I have little idea of what it will be.
Sure, I know the outlines: the route to the hospital, the general way things might happen there, the home we will return to. But there’s so much that’s unknown: how long will my labor last? Will I enter it naturally or be induced? How big is this child? What time of day or night will it be? How much pain am I looking at?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, the idea that we can have stories waiting for us throughout our lives. This is one that’s easy to identify ahead of time but I wonder, too, when else this has happened. Was a graduation from school ever so monumental? Did I feel this way about my wedding?
I’m not sure. Maybe it’s just that I know that I won’t ever forget the event to come, in a way that will live in my bones, but maybe it’s something else, too. In the last year, we’ve been given a crash course in letting go of the predictable, allowing ourselves the uncomfortable lessons that come instead with the acknowledgement that most things can be taken away from us quickly. We’ve lost the predictability of our days, the standard ways of living that we took for granted. Everything might be different, at any given point.
So maybe that’s why I’m considering this so very much. My body and my baby’s body are about to work together, in the spirit of a natural magic that has been underway for nearly 10 months already, and I have little control over how that unfolds. There are decisions that have already been made for me because of the pandemic that have influenced the choices I’ll be given. Whereas in other times, I might invite more than one person into the experience, in this day that’s my limit; whereas I would never have chosen to give birth in a mask or remain only in my room while laboring, those are the protocols I’ll follow.
And the rest of it – who knows? I have some hopes about how it goes but at the end of the day, what I want is a healthy baby and a strong me. However that happens will be fine. And all the mysteries that end that day only invite new ones into my life. Who will this little person be? What will they adore, who will they love, how will they grow?
There is so much of this story that is yet to unfold. But there’s something I already understand: while nothing in my world has ever been so unknown, nothing in my world has ever been so wonderful, either.