A New Season: Getting Pregnant and Becoming Stationary
My one somewhat major breakdown happened when I stepped on the scale at about twenty-five weeks of pregnancy. I did all that I could to fight off the moisture in my eyes as my midwife asked me what the number was that was blinking at me from the end of my toes. Once I had turned around and she saw my face, she swept across the room, dimmed the lights, and gently whispered to me to lay down on the plush daybed I was now rigidly sitting on. "You went from lover to mother so quickly," she said softly. I laid there, listening to her calming affirmations as I recovered my breath, but I could not stop repeating her first statement in my mind. She was so right: I had never had a season of transition from one extreme identity to the next...
It finally occurred to me that I had skipped the season where I could swallow the rain and bloom... Instead, I went from the frostiness of youth, where my husband and I had froze our responsibilities and remained young, running wild all over the world, straight to the relentless heat of pregnancy, where reality and change was as direct as the summer sun's rays. Our days changed from rainy motorcycle rides in Asian jungles to living at my in-laws home and apartment hunting in the middle of a cold Colorado winter. We were shocked to now be a part of the mindless interstate driving on the way to our prenatal appointments rather then carelessly weaving in and out of back alleys on our motorcycle in search of the perfect cup of coffee.
Missing that spring of my life had resulted in a quick defrost of emotions and thoughts that was now hard for me to process. On the one hand, I was thrilled to finally be a mother and felt overwhelmed with the great act of love that my husband and I had committed in order to make me this fresh, new woman. Yet, I found myself mourning my youth and questioned whether or not I truly took advantage of the freedom that encompassed that prior time of my life.
Did I reach my full potential? Physically? Spiritually? Spontaneously?
Because of my uncertainty, I began to battle with my changing body. If there was any possibility that I did not fulfill my youthful capacity, I was determined to achieve a labor and delivery that would nourish any shortcomings that were haunting my conscience. So, I pulled my leggings over my growing belly and began spending nearly two hours at the gym most days of the week in preparation for the marathon of birth.
I took on pregnancy as if I was training for the biggest athletic event of my life: I meditated. I visualized. I stretched. And I studied.
I declared and convinced myself that these nine months were not necessarily for me, (although I had always thought that I would be the type of woman that would feel the opposite) but that I would greet its sneakiness with all of my best efforts. My summer of this first pregnancy became robotic and systematic, and I often explained to those around me that I felt disconnected with the miracle my body was performing. It felt almost natural for me to operate detached from the emotional aspect of my transformation, and I think it can mostly be credited to the fact that I had made a leap from nomadic to stationary, traveler to nurturer, and lover to mother.
It was not until after our baby, Jack, was born that I actually felt the connection and nostalgia of pregnancy. I could now feel him move outside of me, in my arms, just as he had moved inside of me, in my womb. He bonded me to the feelings that I had suppressed and ignored, and flooded me with new emotions that I never knew could exist. For thirty-six weeks and four days, I had believed that I was denied a graceful season of self-development and preparation, but really, Jack had delivered me to the truest season of growth yet.
Our lives tend to turn and change from one season to the next but not always in the expected pattern. There are times of heartbreak, hardship, and regret, and they may come in that relentless and unfortunate order before you live through a chapter of warmth and joy. But, just as you begin to believe that a past season can never be topped, can never be surpassed, the leaves of your life will develop color, and you may experience your life's most beautiful autumn yet.
My hope is that I never move through my life mechanically again, that I give myself the grace to absorb the uniqueness of each moment. Looking back now, everything about returning home from traveling after a year to giving birth to a beautiful human seven months later could not have been more perfectly unplanned. It will forever be our story, and, of course, be one of the best seasons of my life.
Nothing gold can stay, but you can always find more gold right? We went from being "homeless" on a honeymoon, to building our little house of Monks pretty quickly. Change has always been something that Trevor and I seek, so we hope that you continue to watch and follow along as we constantly search for more of it.
XOX -Bree, Trevor, and Baby Jack Colter