July 8, 2013

The Seasons of My Son

I enjoy winter.  Unlike most people I know, I look forward to the bare branches, white lawns, and grey skies.  I suppose it is the melancholy side of me that needs some months of the year to appease me and match my reflections and thoughts.  

And I like to bundle up in layers, cover my head, and hole up in our cozy place in the sky.  I need privacy and a chance to retreat because unlike what most people would think, I am not an extrovert and relish time alone- like really truly alone or with my love.

We learned I was pregnant on January 22 while we were away visiting family.  The news was welcomed but both Jason and I settled into our customary line of thinking: let’s just see where this goes before we think about it too much. 

And so for me, it felt so fitting to begin my 7th pregnancy in the season of winter.  I was feeling anxious about what would come of my baby and could not fathom seeing bright flowers and sunny skies when I knew this could sadly come to an end for us.  Once I was 6 weeks along, nausea and extreme fatigue kicked in and I was grateful for the excuse of winter to stay home and retreat.

I spent the time watching and waiting, hoping and praying, and crying and laughing through my anxiety in what would become the Winter of all Winters.  

It must be universal that spring signifies the promise of new beginnings and the hope that comes with that.  I am reminded of GOD’s promise to make all things new most in the springtime.  HE alone can end the winters of our hearts and minds.

As the weeks went by and after two good reports from the midwives on the status of this pregnancy, it felt right to be in the season of spring.  Flowers were budding on the trees, lawns were starting to show as the snow melted, and the sun was peeking through the clouds more and more.  

These things were happening as my baby did something so unexpected: he made it past the first trimester and continued to prove strong and valiant as the second trimester quickly came upon us. 

As the landscape of the physical world around me was changing, so was my body.  It began to round out and after having only speculated about what this change in me could look like, I was seeing it with my own eyes.  It was surreal and welcomed.

On May 2 we found out we where having a son and just hours later my Uncle Danny passed away.  The joy of new life mixed with the sadness of a life that had ended was a milestone in the Spring of all Springs.

I have never been a fan of summer.  I don’t like the heat or the humidity and I don’t like the sun barreling down on me.  For me, summer is much too extreme of a season and is sensory overload for the body.  One minute you are sweating profusely from the heat that rises from the pavement and the next you are shivering from the air conditioning blowing on your feet and nose.  

But most everyone loves summer.  They give summer a high-five and a nod of approval when she comes rolling in with her heat and sunshine.  The world takes notice of summer because she is hard to miss and is prominently on display.

Being this pregnant in this season of the year has been a bit of sensory overload for me.  I am less able to tolerate heat, sometimes my ankles swell and I can’t be on my feet as long as I am used to, and I am hungry all. of. the. time.  I am used to having a light appetite in the hot months but this baby demands food all day and all night.

When I walk down the street, I get smiles from old ladies, nods and winks from moms, and stares from everyone else.  It seems that most of the world takes notice of pregnant women.

I turned 35 a few days ago and while I always thought I would be done with having children by this time in life, it’s been exciting and humbling to anticipate the arrival of our son in this Summer of all Summers.

I love fall.  Always have.  Always will.  Fall brings cool breezes that put an end to summer, a color palette pleasing to any eye, and the chance to slow down after a season of playing hard and playing all day long.  Fall is the capstone of the year because it both invites reflection on the past year and anticipation of the new year to come.

Our son will be born in the fall and I am glad for that.  It seems the perfect time of year to welcome this sweet baby into our arms.  We have been waiting for this time in our lives for so very long.  We have dreamed of what it will be like and to have it be just a season away is more than we could have ever have hoped for after so much loss.

As I await the birth of this baby, I am reflective of the journey we have been on and excited for where it is leading us now.  It is safe to say that once our boy arrives, we will be living in the Fall of all Falls.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1