It will be any day now.
In truth, it feels like any minute. We’ve made it 9 months, 1 week and 2 days, and we only have 2 weeks to go before the surgery that will change our lives.
The contractions become a bit worse every day, sometimes every hour. The pain gets lower and my back throbs again. I want to sleep all the time and somehow nest simultaneously, and I know it will be soon.
We had a false alarm over the weekend when the pains rolled in stronger, and the hospital nurses checked and rechecked and told me no food or water until we knew if we were going to move the c-section up. Stupidly, I thought about how happy I was that our last meal had been tacos. In the quiet of the room we discussed the anesthesia options and all the risks that could impact my Psuedo Tumor or cause my Complex Regional Pain Syndrome to spread, knowing we might have to make that impossible choice sooner than we thought. But just a few hours later, I was discharged and sent back home to wait, so here I’ve been since then lounging in my collection of colorful, waistband free nightgowns on this couch that I’m pretty sure will have my permanent impression in it soon.
I guess I don’t really have a whole lot to say. My mind is full of anticipation and this strange kind of disbelief that things are about to really change, forever. I lie in bed thinking about it, about how my whole life has been geared toward my own choices and how they will affect me. My school. My hobbies. My friends. My work. My travel. Where I live. Even what I want to do day to day with my own time. Knowing that it’s all going to change is terrifying in a way, because it’s the unknown. The unknown is always scary, and sometimes my human heart balks, selfish and afraid of the responsibility and what it will all mean for me.
Me me me.
But we wanted this, we chose this, and God so beautifully gave us the desire of our hearts – not in my timing, but in His. See, I’d always imagined I’d have children young. I’d start our big family in my early twenties and be the young supermom carrying the baby on her back and playing shows on the weekends.
That didn’t happen.
Maybe it could have, but it wouldn’t have been with the man that I now share my whole life with. I’d had such faith in my own timing, in my own visions, but I was wrong. If I had stayed on the path that I’d once so stubbornly declared as mine, then I’d be tied to one who was ultimately as different from me as the sun is from the moon, or I’d be across an ocean with a shape-shifter, and our family, our kids would have suffered for it. Now, those overgrown paths seem so hard to picture myself on, and I’m thankful that they crumbled and broke down – even though for a long time afterwards I thought that I broke with them. That the weeds grew over me too, and choked out the light.
But years later I found my breath. I slowly learned to let go, to wait. My heart started beating again and the sun came out. New hopes began to fall from the sky, and for once, they weren’t just mine but ours. It came later than I thought. It came unexpectedly. But still, it came, more solid and real than anything I had ever imagined before. And when we began to dream together of a big yard full of happy kids running beside the fruit trees, we didn’t know if it could even happen for us. But it did. And now the next chapter of our shared vision is due any day now, and though it’s so tangible in my swollen belly and the kicking babe inside me, it still feels unreal. That all those years of hopes and sadness and hopes actually turned into a real family that I don’t deserve, one that blasts through those old scar tissue weeds and pours into my new heart. And though sometimes my throat closes up in fear at the loss of the world as I know it, I keep imagining that I’m just Dorothy, about to discover Oz. I’ve been living in Kansas in my black and white world, but soon everything will be in color. A huge event will take me by storm, and then my eyes will have to adjust to the technicolor. Raw, chaotic, beautiful technicolor that I won’t be able to imagine living without once I’ve seen it. But for these last few days, I sit in Kansas thinking of the past and anticipating the future, and I watch the black and white sky for signs.
Who is this person inside of me? Though I have so many fears, my anticipation is so much greater. I’ve gotten to know his habits and personality for the last 9 months. I know he’s not a morning person. I know he likes to stay up late, and prefers to scrunch up on my right side. I know he gets the hiccups all the time, and likes Brian’s music. I know he kicks when I sing along to pandora as I get ready to go somewhere, though he might just be annoyed that I chose the Cat Stevens station again. I know he thinks it’s funny to punch anything on top of him, whether it’s a hand, a phone or an ultrasound monitor. I know he gets happy after I eat, and I imagine all the food falling down on top of him. I know he’s growing ridiculously fast, and that he’s strong, and already over 7 pounds. I know he’s hairy. I know the doctors have a hard time finding his heartbeat sometimes because he just can’t hold still.
It’s so strange to know someone, and yet not know them. Like a penpal you’ve never met. I can’t wait to know everything. And still on top of it all, the fear creeps in too often. I think of the CRPS, the Fibro, the Psuedo Tumor and the surgeries every 3 months, and I wonder if I can really be the mother I want to be, that I could have been years ago when I was healthier, that I need to be for him. If I can really keep up with a wildling babe who I know will grow to love this land like we do. I worry about the day to day that adds up to make a life. I want his to be a good one. I worry about the help I’ll need. I want to be there for him each day, to raise him. To teach him. To give him the kind of memories that I have, and not of a sick or absent mom. To shield him from the arrows that struck me. I want him to be happy. I want him to climb the forest trees and be glad he’s alive. I want him to splash in the mountain runoff and feel free. I want him to build forts with his cousins and learn to imagine. I pray that he’ll choose Jesus when the time comes. I want him to look at his grandparents and understand sacrifice. I want him to watch his dad and see patience, and how to love well.
And so I sit here in Kansas, and wait for the storm that will bring the color.
It will be any day now.