Pregnancy Update: Christmas

The past couple weeks I've had more anxiety about motherhood. There are just so many transitions that I'm trying to prepare for and everyone keeps warning me about how much my life is going to change. I sometimes appreciate the advice and warnings, but sometimes I'm so nervous and worried in my own head that it is difficult to hear other people compounding my own concerns. Last night was one of those that got the better of me. I was thinking about how much I needed to do to try to keep unpacking boxes and get settled for the baby, while also thinking about the dinners we're hosting this week and trying to get enough things moved around so you can walk through the front door. After work, I ran a few errands to get some things to organize the house and some Christmas gifts for our new neighbors that have been so nice to us. By the time I got home to make dinner, I was tired. The dishwasher needs to be emptied. The other dishes are stacked in the sink. Clean dishes are still "out to dry" on the counter and need to be put away. I started dinner, but then Greg left work late since he's got a time crunch on his latest headphone. And then his commute was long and he had to make a stop at the auto parts store to fix something on my car.

By the time he got home and dinner was very much done and waiting, I just broke down. Again. Sometimes just the basics of life seem really involved and tiring and so the thought of adding more, such as a small infant who needs constant care, seems really overwhelming. I'm the worrying type so when I think about the future, I tend to think of all the obstacles that will be in that future and the pessimist in me doesn't remember to hope for the good. Greg tries to help me with this but it's not easy. So I finished eating and climbed in bed to cry for awhile. Again, not a rarity with me. Especially during the winter months or in seasons of major change (our first month of marriage). I try to keep remembering just how many moms there are out there. It doesn't take long to just think about the people around me, in my family, friends I see online, etc. There are a lot of people who have done this before me and it's not rocket science. A lot of people take on the life transition of parenthood. Most people survive labor and delivery. I keep trying to remember things and tell myself that what I'm doing is not that big of a deal. But then I think about every other "big deal" in my life and how it doesn't really matter if someone else has experienced it, it's new to me, and it's ok to be scared of what that newness will bring.

I was feeling all these feelings as I drove to work this morning. With my new, slightly longer commute, I usually listen to a podcast. But this morning I turned on my favorite Amy Grant "Home for Christmas" album. I put it on shuffle and sang some of my favorite tunes. Then the song "Breath of Heaven" came on. I've listened to this song many-a-times. I've played it on the piano. I've heard it sung in church. I've even done karaoke to it. I know this song. I started singing and then stopped to just listen to the words. I had never heard them in this way before. They had a new affect and the lyrics hit me deeply.

Cold and weary, with a babe inside. 
Holy Father, you have come and chosen me now to carry your son. 
I am waiting in a silent prayer. I am frightened by the load I bear. Be with me now.  
Breath of heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me. Lighten my darkness.  
Do you wonder as you watch my face if a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am, for the mercy of your plan. Help me be strong.  

In just 3 minutes, changing lanes on I-15, I felt renewed. I felt a connection with Mary and the nativity story that I wasn't expecting. I am internalizing the fear and anxiety she must have had as she approached this same life change, being a mother for the first time. Although I am well equipped with modern assistance, a savings account, a hospital, a husband I've known and chosen, a new home to raise our son, I'm still nervous. But she was even younger than me and had more unknowns in her future. We both carried "sons of God" and have been trusted to bring them into the world. It's a big task. I always knew it was a big task but having to experience it myself this year has made me understand how much it takes: not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.

This December has been an odd one for me. Combining my lack of energy with the new house and moving, I've had less time for the Christmas festivities that I so enjoy. I would have loved to participate in the #lighttheworld campaign and tried to figure out how to put more service in my month. I wish I could have made more handmade gifts for my family and friends. I wish I could have sent out Christmas cards and gone to see Christmas lights. But maybe this year the Christmas songs were all I needed to have my connection to nativity and the birth of Christ. Grateful for an opportunity to consider his birth in a new, especially poignant way for me this year. Merry Christmas!

P.S. If you haven't heard the song, here's a YouTube video of it:

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