Thursday, October 06 2016
Dear Baby Liam,
I believe life is a massive lesson in letting go. Not solely, but particularly letting go. When the test stripes said that I was pregnant with you, I had to let go of the accurate plans of my life which I had made up in my mind. When we first saw a gynecologist in Kigali in order to check about you, he talked about early pregnancy failure, because he didn’t see you. He said the diagnosis was to be confirmed in 4 weeks. I was devastated, how should I now let go of this beautiful gift that you were to me already?
4 weeks later, yet another geographic location, but you were there on the screen, with your little heart pumping extremely fast. And the whole deal about pregnancy itself, what else is it than letting go, allowing life to happen?
The most visible part of it concerns the body. Here the lesson lies much in embracing and loving the changes that are occurring with me. For a woman that is generally quite conscious about her body (this concerns the majority) it was a challenge to embrace the growth of my breasts, the fact that most of my clothes don’t fit me anymore, and at the same time seeing the beauty in this process. While I was and still am gaining weight, women around me are losing it. However, the process was easier than I had anticipated. Knowing about what happens within my body, where you happily jump around, twisting and turning in my belly that resembles more a ball now, is the biggest magic one can imagine. What is the body in this case, but a temple of love and miracles? For me, pregnancy is the time where I fall in love with my body again because it is where you live, Baby Liam, and it is where you find nourishment and protection. This is the first time I can ever recall, where I have become a friend to my body.
(Lucky I am, because not every woman is blessed with such transformation. I have seen some suffer from Eating Disorders during pregnancy, some neglecting their bodies with excessive and unhealthy eating habits – believe me, I have such days too – , and some not being able to enjoy this miraculous time with physical activity.)
Another aspect of letting go in pregnancy, but in live particularly, is letting go of expectations. Yes I did expect pregnancy to be a different story, the romantic image of father and mother at the prenatal class, being carried on the arms of my partner and treated as if I was the only woman in the world. But that is not even close to reality, yet what will clinging onto my romantic ideal image give me other than suffering and self-pity? The cause of my suffering was and is that I refuse to accept life as it is, I reject the idea of being alone right now, of going through my pregnancy without your Daddy. I so resistantly rejected the here and now that life did not even have a chance to be lived, just as it is.
Oh Baby Liam, letting go is not a singular event, after which all is fine. There is no such thing as the decision to let go of something, someone, or some habit. Letting go is a continuous process, which each time hurts anew, each time transforms us again, and each time affirms life as such.
To me, letting go is surrendering to life,