Today I went to church for the first time in a month, and it felt glorious. Well, just about everything feels glorious since being allowed off bed rest permanently. The freedom! Cleaning the house has never been so much fun.
At church, a couple of people commented that I do not seem very nervous or afraid, that I come off as calm and peaceful and happy.
They are correct -- for the most part, the fear is gone. But it isn't gone because there is no more risk. In fact, the risk feels greater than ever. Because I have let go of the last few strings I've been tugging at in desperate play for control. I have held nothing back. I have given this boy my full love and full expectation.
If he died now, it would be horrific. Worse than losing Eve, because it would be our second loss in ten months, and because with Eve we didn't really have many baby things ready. We had purchased almost nothing. When she died at 31 weeks, the most we'd done was gratefully collect hand-me-downs and put up the crib.
With Jacob, everything is ready. His things are washed and organized, and certainly beyond any hope of a return. The crib is not only up, but made up, standing ready for him.
And my heart -- oh, my heart. I didn't know that I could give it away so unreservedly again, but I have. And really, I am glad that I have. I am celebrating him, waiting to hold him with joy and anticipation that are beyond telling.
No, the risk is not gone, nor do I expect it to be. And every morning, the fear flares hot as I wait in agony for those first kicks of the day to reassure me that he did not leave us during the night.
Other than that daily morning terror, I am feeling very peaceful and very excited. I think it's because I know that at this point, we've done all that we could do. I count kicks twice a day, keep on eye on contractions, and my doctor and I closely watch this baby's precious heart and my wellness weekly.
We have done all there is to do. The rest is up to the prerogative of God. And so now we wait, and there is miraculous joy in it. I am so grateful for this beautiful time, regardless of what happens.
Maybe I will feel differently in a day, or an hour. Maybe the anxiety will return. But for now, it is being held at bay. I am reveling in the freedom while it lingers.
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The new edition of Sprout magazine is out, and some of my artwork is in it! You can check it out here. This month's theme is "playfulness."