Always Winter, Never Christmas

It is bleak and cold outside, the hours of light short and weak. All this seems a good match for my current state of mind. I'm just a few days past due, and yet I suddenly feel as if the pregnancy has been going on forever.

Funny—I have this faint memory of a few weeks ago, back when I was euphoric, and I was telling people that every day felt like Christmas Eve because of the anticipation. And yet every morning that Natalie didn't come I was still happy because I had a little bit more time to work and relax. That was a great feeling. Now, in my own body, I feel as if I'm lugging the weight of the world around. I've been having contractions for days, but they don't seem to be doing much, except for wearing me out. I guess I've entered the "Always Winter, Never Christmas" phase of the pregnancy.

It amazes me how different pregnancy looks from the outside—I remember seeing very pregnant women and how clear it was that they were soon to deliver. And yet, I could never have imagined the chasm of doubt and fear that they could be experiencing. Or how impossible it could feel.

Last Advent, when our friend Jarrod was dying of cancer, he quoted Paul Westerberg in his online journal, who wrote, "Miracles always happen when they have to." Jarrod wrote about how Advent is full of expectations—and demands. The darkening days only seem to add to the intensity of our jumbled felt and real needs. "As it builds up, we realize that we will not be satisfied in a waiting room of sorts," Jarrod wrote, "So we get up and actively long, yearn and crave, pretending that we we're actually doing something to bring the miracle about."

Like Jarrod, I can't will my miracle into existence. I feel the tug of her, though, as she struggles to find her way out. I try to be patient, because I know she has never done this before and it is dark and cramped in there. And I try to remember, as Jarrod did, that miracles happen when they have to.

Image provided by freefoto.com.


Julia said...

This is a beautiful post, Jenny, and your other recent ones are so funny. I got behind on reading your blog because I wasn't used to you posting so often. I hope you keep it up, despite the fact that your used to getting $ for your writing efforts. Like Molly said, I've been thinking of you a lot lately too and keep thinking that surely your baby has arrived. I remember those final dog days (no offense to Freda) of pregnancy when it's so hard to get comfortable sleep. And just for the record, I cast my vote with you that a king size bed is in order once the family starts expanding beyond two. We were on vacation with J's family while I was 7 months pregnant and sleeping in a king size bed at a beach condo-- it was the BEST sleep I got in the entirety of my pregnancy, though no one in the family could appreciate why I was more enthusiastic about this aspect of the vacation than even, say, the ocean. You all are in our prayers.

Ser said...

Oh, Jenny, she's coming! She's coming! I remember so well the waiting for Henry for the 8 days past his due date. I didn't have any contractions at all, which was scary in some ways (Did my body forget how to have contractions?) but not nearly so exhausting as what you are going through now. I'm praying for you.

Lucy said...

It's always winter and never christmas on this blog of yours. Your readers are left hanging, hoping against hope that Christmas has indeed come.

Rachel said...

Time to update sweetie! Christmas has come and gone and your home is full of presents.

Danielle said...

I just wanted to drop by and say I always enjoy your "Boundless" articles, and have particularly enjoyed "40 Days with Natalie" as I am pregnant with twins. What a great reminder to rest, recover, and treasure this special time of motherhood. Thanks for writing.

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