Last December we moved from Panama to Guatemala. We moved into a new house, with new things, surrounded by new people and new places to learn about and get to know. In January I began a new job, teaching in a new school, in a new grade. All this newness was exciting and intriguing, but the party really got started when discovered I was pregnant. As if moving to a new country with a two year old and beginning a new full-time job wasn’t enough, my life went and got a whole lot more interesting.
I was really sick those first 5 months, I was managing my job and trying to be a fun, energetic mama for my son when I got home, not to mention a relatively nice, helpful partner to my husband. But man, I was exhausted and felt awful. I would come home after a long day of working with twenty 6 year olds and would barely have the energy to lift my head from the sofa once I sat down with a dramatic exhale. I wanted to play with Joaquin, I wanted to take walks and discover my new world and neighborhood with camera in hand, I wanted to cook a yummy dinner, I wanted to hear about Juan’s day, I wanted to write! And yet, most days it was all I could do to stay up past 9 o’clock.
I remember literally counting the days until this baby would come, dreaming of when I would not only feel better but have my body back. My first pregnancy with Joaquin, I really felt wonderful and claimed ownership of “glowing mama” wondering what all the fuss was about. This time around, I’ve been impatient, annoyed, and uncomfortable. It’s only been in rare, quiet moments that I stop long enough to look down and soak up what exactly is happening; the INCREDIBLE fact that despite my frustrations or discomfort, my body knows exactly what to do. Not only does it know what to do, but it is doing it no matter what ailment I’m whining about on that day in particular.
Now that I have hardly four weeks of pregnancy remaining, I am beginning to realize that I better snap out of it and really be present. Up until now, there has been so little time spent reflecting, less belly photos, not as many day dreams imaging what she will look like. I am realizing now that I have been so absorbed in day-to-day life and moments, that I haven’t really started making the space I need to make in order to fully embrace the changes ahead and welcome my daughter into this world the way she deserves to be: surrounded by love and light knowing how much she already matters to us.
Finally I am beginning to feel better, I’m not working at the moment, I have time with Joaquin and Juan to soak up the life we have as a family of three, I have time to explore my new country and city that I still hardly know, I’m inspired and energetic enough to write again, and most of all, I am finally in a place where I can really make that space both mentally and emotionally for the sweet little girl who is so close to her arrival. In hardly four weeks, my life is really going to change and I will be faced with a newness that far outweighs moving to a new country or beginning a new job. My role as a mother will evolve, family dynamics will shift, and most of all, I know that I will deeply understand why every single bump in the road these last eight months will have been entirely worth it. Ironically, I am sure I will only look back at this pregnancy with nothing but affection because it is what led her into our family and our lives.
So today’s post is to honor newness in all shapes and forms. Newness that is either thrust upon us or that which evolves over time. I hope it serves as a reminder to everyone that although making space for the new can sometimes take all we’ve got mentally, physically, and emotionally, there is always a reward for re-discovering who we are and what we are capable of.