Wow. To begin again, here in this place…these 100 days…this is humbling. It’s a great time for me to acknowledge how fortunate I feel that my belly is so full with baby, but also to take a step back and make note of exactly where I am today, just as I prepare to teeter over into a double digit countdown in the morning. It’s crazy. As with so many things, the days go by slowly and the weeks pass in a flash.
Tomorrow, I will be 26 weeks pregnant.
This baby is moving and growing, certainly, and I am, too. Not always in the direction I want to be in some regards, but always moving and always growing just the same. Today was not a day I would have been proud to broadcast to the world. The truth is, I’ve been feeling pretty raw this week–personal challenges stacking up and troubles here and there that are insignificant over the long haul, but that feel weighty to me in my current state of mind.
It’s hard to be real with myself sometimes, and it’s even harder to be vulnerable. This being said, I felt burdened today to begin this pregnancy countdown with the truth–not because it’s comfortable right now, but because it’s honest. Someday, when our little bean looks back on this time of preparation and anticipation for his or her arrival, I deeply hope that my authenticity will create space for our son or daughter to feel freedom to be authentic, too.
I woke up this morning ready to face the day, but by 10am, I was ready to call it quits. Some days are just like that. Our stay at home trio was housebound yesterday while our eldest (Henry) battled a stomach bug and I battled the mess that was left in its wake. This, coupled with our youngest (Eloise) having broken a bone in her ankle last week, and I was just a bit bummed about missing out on plans to get out of the house and into the temperate, sunny day peering in at me through the windows. We’ve been cooped up more than usual this past week, so a day outside together in the sunshine was going to be balm for my mama soul.
Today I got out of bed thinking we’d give our outside plans another try, but to my surprise (and admittedly, my frustration), Henry was not yet back up to speed. He spent the morning on the couch, poor Eloise limped along in a physical way, and I limped along emotionally. The living room still smelled like yesterday’s yuck, and try as I might, I couldn’t get rid of it. No cleaning or scrubbing or diffusing or sudsing did the trick. The house was stinky, and my attitude was worse.
These circumstances are no big deal, and they are absolutely no one’s fault. But the pregnant mama inside of me just wanted something to go right; I wanted desperately to have some sort of summer “experience,” wishfully thinking we must pack in lots of summer goodness before this baby belly slows me down more in the months to come. I suppose I’m in a “seize the day!” sort of mode, but there’s not a whole lot about life this past week that feels like it’s in the mode with me. Today was no exception.
There’s nothing remarkably awful about the day I’ve had, but the little things have just continued to pile on in a way that challenges my every effort to stay upbeat, to choose joy, to parent graciously and well. I got news before lunchtime that I didn’t see coming–a change of direction that calls me to prep my heart and mindset for future things in a way that’s not what I’d hoped for or planned. And I want to be strong before all of this–both the small things and the weightier things that I’m called to as a mom and an adult and a friend, but this morning I just wanted to (needed to) cry on the couch for a moment and not save face in front of my kiddos by “being strong” for one more minute or one more hour of this day.
Sometimes strength looks like being real and letting your guard down, even if it means doing something that the world has taught us is weak–something that will cause people around us to talk or ask questions and not fully understand.
So here we are, a 26 week-along state of the union from a harder-than-I’d-like-to-admit place:
My two year old and five year old saw me cry today–more than once, and I am feeling raw and jagged-edge as I enter into this countdown of days. I wanted to do it with so much grace and sophistication, but I also wanted to do it for the sake of remembering what was (and what is) real. I showered at 1:30p this afternoon, and I put on the comfiest pants and tank top I could find. I didn’t do my hair. I put Eloise down for a nap and Henry played Legos and I spent time trying to get back to what’s true by praying a desperate prayer and quieting my heart in the Word. And I took this photo, so I’d remember this upside down day and the following:
-what 26 weeks pregnant looked like
-what 100 days feels like
-why it’s important to be honest with myself and to look and dress the part without guilt
-that I’m still smiling daily at the idea of this baby tucked inside, no matter what comes as I wade through this crazy-beautiful season:
Because life is real, and some days are hard, and sometimes the dog photobombs your belly pictures and it’s all going to be ok, anyway.
This journey is an imperfect one, but it’s the journey I know that God has planned for me. There’s one more day on the books, and I’m grateful for it. I woke up with air in my lungs and summer calling outside. Maybe I’ll be able to answer it just a shade better tomorrow 😉
bidding adieu to triple digits,