I'm about to give birth very soon and the waiting is getting to me.
I have a major monkey mind and waiting is sometimes brutal for me. I wonder, I rationalize, I bargain, I "what if" and "shoulda, coulda, woulda" all over the place. The biggest questions that are arising are questions for my new little one... "Why come here again if this place is such a mess?" and "Why come when the family is so big and you have only a portion of your mom and dad's attention to enjoy?" Whenever I ask these big questions- questions I know I am not going to get a response to- I go on this upwards and downwards spiral from meaningfulness to meaninglessness and lose my sense of control over whatever it is I think i have control over.
The truth is the spiral started earlier this year. A dear friend of ours passed away suddenly in a motorcycle accident. A few weeks before he was at our house having dinner, making us laugh as we enjoyed his presence and felt so grateful for him in the world. He was one of those people that makes things happen for himself and others in BIG ways... he had a very successful business in Asheville, NC which he started with just some intention and a pickup truck. He was good to everyone. He was kind. He was loving. He was very generous. Something lit him up when the Standing Rock situation happened and by his efforts, raised a ton of money from his community to donate to the cause and to get 3 semi trucks full of food and supplies to drive them up to North Dakota and personally deliver them along with some other people. And yet something or someone somewhere decided it was time he not be on Earth anymore.
It shook me. For many reasons. He was young. He still had a lot to accomplish. He was a father to a sweet little girl. And I don't have much experience with death. I couldn't help thinking these two thoughts on a loop for the days and weeks to come "Being good doesn't keep you here" and "What the fuck does it all mean?"
So here I am again in the space of "What the fuck does it all mean?" So, we'll have another little one, raise our baby to the best of our abilities all the while knowing despite our help, efforts, and intentions this little soul has a deep purpose all her own. So, what does it mean to be a parent really? Does anyone really know? Is there any ONE answer to that? Any RIGHT answer to that? I don't really believe so... so what am I here for besides to love them greatly and fiercely? What things do I do that affect them adversely? What things help them become more of who they are supposed to be.
I have NO idea.
A friend reminded me the other day that a few weeks before labor she began to have her panic moments so she told me to look on the bright side of this. It does make me feel a bit relieved that this is a somewhat universal reaction to oncoming labor and birth: the freakout. Yay... baby will be here soon! But all these unanswered questions floating above my head like a white puffy balloon of thoughts over a comic strip character's head make me feel unsettled and nervous.
I feel a sense of hopefulness and faith. The thing is I'm not sure what to put my faith in exactly. Faith in what? Faith in faith, I suppose for the time being... until this feeling of being lost gets settled and I can answer that with some more conviction in something other than faith itself. Another friend reminded me of the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and how he was doubting his faith in his journey which she paralleled to our pregnancy journeys... how when labor is near we think "well, I was certain about this path in the beginning, but now I'm not so sure." I'm not a Christian and have no interest or intention in being so, but the mention of that story really hit home.
What is the most scary thing about the whole pregnancy/labor/birth process to me is that any number of things can happen. And that the death of many things follows a birth. I will soon lay down my role as mother of 3 and become a mother of 4, something I know nothing about yet. My husband and I will go through yet another shifting and readjusting period and we don't know what that will look like. I will have less time for myself again with a newborn. A new little person will be in our house, someone we all will be taking care of and interacting with and soon be in deep relationship with. Something new always means something old has been shed. Perhaps my hesitation lies therein- resistance to change; resistance to rock the status quo and shed the comfort of what I have come to know. I remember in the days before my second was born, I cried and cried thinking "What did I do to our family?" because I was so fearful of changing what the three of us (my husband, my first, and I) had. I am standing in that place again today and while I know that it feels far better to ponder what will be added to our family, I can't help but feel afraid nonetheless.
I already love this little person, but I have no idea who she is. I don't know who I am with her in my life. I don't know who we all are in relation to her.
Life just feels like one big "I don't know" at the moment.