It’s less than a week until my due date. While it feels like I’ve been pregnant for years, if I went into labor today, the baby would still be early. Time is definitely an illusion here towards the end. The good news is, we’ve gotten quite a bit done in the past couple of weeks. The amazing thing is how much there is (and always will be) left to do. I am definitely reminded of Abraham: “We are all on a perpetual cycle of joyous becoming. We will never get it done, ever, ever, ever, ever.” So while we aren’t “done,” we are ready. The car seat installation has been inspected (and approved). The hospital bags are (mostly) packed. We’ve lined up a friend to take care of our cats for us while we’re at the hospital. My birthing bracelet is complete, and beautiful! We have diapers, a bassinet for the baby to sleep in, baby clothes laundered and ready. It is all coming together.
What is left is the intricate waiting game of pre-labor. Unfortunately, I’m not handling it as gracefully as I might have liked. I pulled a muscle in my side last week—in my sleep, no less. My feet and calves are so swollen it feels like I’m lugging watermelons around. Every day it seems like my body finds some new and interesting way of throwing me a curve ball. I’d love to say that I view each new thing as part of my practice—and sometimes I do, although usually it’s after the fact—but for the most part I’m falling into the dangerous practice of living in the future, wishing I were somewhere I’m not.
I know that my practice for labor will be surrendering to the moment, accepting whatever happens, truly living “it is what it is.” What I wasn’t expecting was how much that would need to be my practice heading up to labor. As usual, reality is different from my expectations, and I have a choice about how to handle that. Some moments I fall into a funk, upset that I’m unable to get very much done. Other moments, I recognize that I need to start where I am, and that may mean I spend the day with my feet up, or it may mean that I get to run some errands or unpack a box or two, or I may be able to do a little of both. But whatever it is, it is exactly that—no more, no less. Finding peace with that is my daily and indefinite challenge.
And so here I find myself, in the rhythm of the unknown, celebrating my practice. As John Lennon sings, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” So today I choose to focus on that life that I am living, what that life really is for me today, and allow everything else to fall into place in its own time. It’s all we can ever do, really, but there’s nothing quite like having it show up for you rather literally to make you realize what life really is all about. Enjoy the moment. Or not—it’s up to you. But this is the moment where your life is being lived. How does it feel? Namaste.