As 2011 slowly ended and my belly slowly got bigger, I found myself facing 2012 in a very different way than I had anticipated. Where was my baby? I thought he’d be here by Christmas? The days ticked by ever so slowly. Each day I found myself getting more and more quiet. There was a whisper in the air that was begging me to hear it:
As each doctor said there was no way I’d carry my baby to the next appointment, the whisper screamed to let go. The only person who knew when Chet was going to be born was Chet. I always made it to the next appointment. With every contraction I felt, the whisper encouraged me to let go. My doula encouraged me to let go. My head, my heart, my body, and my baby were still holding on tightly. Pregnancy was safe. My baby was cozy. There was an entire world outside of my body he wasn’t ready to meet.
At 41 days and 4 weeks pregnant, the day finally arrived (but not by natural choices). It was time to encourage Chet to let go of his safe home and to join the rest of his family. It was on that day that I finally realized that this journey was not up to me. I had planned and planned for the arrival of my baby and none of those plans included pitocin (not even the Plan Z option).
As my labor progressed, things changed. Meconium in my water. Chet’s irregular heart beat. None of these items were in my plan. At first it was a whispers and then it became a strong suggestion: talk of a c-section now filled our delivery room. As I absorbed the doctors words, I became paralyzed. I was not only holding on, I was panicking. Our doula looked at me with the most tender eyes: Go to your happy place Kristy. Go to Utah.
I finally let go.
I let go of plans, of wants, and of all my desires. I let go. I cried tears that had been stored all the way down in my toes. I felt vulnerable and alive and in love with my husband and my life. Christian stared at me with the same tears in his eyes, his supportive hand resting gently on my back, and we accepted life in that moment as it was presented to us.
We let go.
Less than two hours later, we welcomed our baby boy into the world. He joined the world in the way he had always wanted (the same way we had always wanted for him): Peacefully. Vaginally. Unmedicated (minus the pitocin). Supported by his mom. Encouraged by his dad. Surround by our doula, our nurse, our doctor (and the wonderful NICU team) who loved his first breath as much as we did.
The world stopped turning that day. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t know what time it was. I had no idea how much time had passed. I don’t know if the sun was shining or if was snowing. Like all mothers, that day changed my life. While I no longer hear the heart rate monitor in my head (as I did for weeks), while I know longer vividly remember the smell of a child being born, while I can no longer remember the wonderful pain I felt as my baby boy left my body, those two small words that started as a whispered and progressed into a yell have never left me.
Chet brought with him a lesson for me to learn the day he was born: In order to welcome life, you must let go.
I’m finding these two words in every aspect of my life now. Parenting. Marriage. Love. Yoga. Running. Eating. Working. Living. The more I let go, the more I want to get rid of things in my life. Material baggage. Emotional baggage. Social baggage. Self-imposed baggage. I want to let it all go, so the life that I’m intended to live can find me.
Every day I make the choice to be aware of how I hold on to unnecessary things. Every day I attempt to recognize how I fill my day (or choose not to fill) my life with the shallow instant gratification of technology and socially accepted norms. As I let go of each of these, one by one, I want to get rid of something else. I no longer want my cell phone near me when I’m playing with my children. I don’t want to rush to the table to see who is calling or to return a text. I rarely want to turn on the television to fill up the space in our living room. I don’t want quick and easy dinners. I want dinners that can be cooked together as a family and enjoyed over the dinner table. I want conversations as the sun sets and a good book I can’t put down. I want to escape from our life to places where the world is alive: the ocean, the mountain, the farm.
As I trade in these fillers, I am receiving the most wonderful gifts. I am truly present to experience life with all my boys. I’m connecting with my husband after a busy day of rushing around trying to get life accomplished. I’m finding friends who want the same quality in their lives. I’m finding peace on my yoga mat and a deep connection to the world while I’m in my running shoes.
I’m letting go……..to grasp what really matters.
Every day I am learning and practicing the art of letting go. Thank you baby boy for this wonderful life lesson.
I am finally living.
Thank you Follow Your Bliss Photography for the wonderful family photos.