I can feel the time drawing close. Every part of my being eagerly anticipates the upcoming event as I notice each little change in my body, every tightening of the womb, all the movements of the squirmy wee infant tucked inside my body. What a treasure, this experience. It never grows old.
I take the short fuse of energy as a great sign. I bathe, wash my hair, blow-dry, straighten, slap on a little concealer and mascara. I start a load of laundry, I remind the children to, "brush your teeth, and brush them good," then direct them tidy their bedrooms and the common areas. Evangeline toddles in and out of the bedrooms appearing to check up on people while she drags a blanket behind her and clutches a pink stuffed puppy I recently bought her.
I read the scriptures along with a few paragraphs in the my most recent nose-in-the-pages addiction, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out(Dan Stone and Greg Smith). I jot down notes, occasionally sipping my decaf Texas Pecan Coffee, with the sound of spoons clinging against cereal bowls serving as background noise in the kitchen.
Ripples across my stomach. Tiny limbs finding themselves pressed against each other seek to stretch, and the evidence of such activity makes me smile wide because, CanYouBelieveIt? there is another life growing within mine. Let me say that again. There is another life growing within mine.
Here I am, thisclose to birthing my fifth child, and this truth still send me reeling. How great a miracle, how awesome a gift. Oh what a God that would allow me to carry an eternal being, a precious child, within my body. It's the eternal part that gets me. A soul. A big spirit in a tiny vessel. I thank the Lord— thank Him for the chubby toddler who pokes her head around the corner and grins at me revealing itty bitty teeth with cute little gaps between each one, thank Him for the boys who are working together as a team to tidy their bedroom, praise Him for the answered "potty" prayer and how Keagan made it through the night completely dry, honor Him for the beautiful baby who will arrive soon and thank Him for these last moments of wrapped-in-my-skin intimacy.
I fold diapers while Evie snags a few, snuggles with them, hides in the pile. I laugh at her antics when she tries to put her favorite one on herself, and I have the sense to catch it on video. (I thought I uploaded it to YouTube, but... it's not there. Booo.)
At times, I slip into daydreaming about the birth. I practice breathing, as if I'm taking in the salty ocean air. Deep and slow and calm. That's where I go. To the beach of my childhood. Imagining my toes in the sand, the contractions as waves not to be fought or conquered, but waves to flow with, float on. Waves that take me into the shore. I relax my body, and it's not until then that I realize I've tensed up various parts, like my nose, my brow, my lips.... shoulders, even toes. It feel so good to breathe in, filling my lungs fully, but it feels even better to exhale. Goosebumps.
The little one is so low. Every morning I wake up, look at the bump in the mirror, and wonder if it's the day. She seems ready. Contractions come and go, and while they aren't uncomfortable or even painful, they do eventually wear me out. The heaviness of my womb is yet another reminder that the time is coming.
I think about how, once Molly Jo is born, we will have had as many losses as we do living children. Will I, one day when I'm in Heaven, experience the pitter patter of those five pairs of feet that never made it to my arms? How much better it must be for those little souls to open their eyes for the first time and see the face of Jesus. I mourned their loss, but they never had to know mourning, did they?
Oh life, it's so much more than what we see and experience ourselves, isn't it?