Of course, as my husband jokes, there are times when we want to say, 'unfortunately, it is still the now.'
While the concept of living in the moment is certainly not new and might even sound simplistic, the impact on my life has been profound. I quickly discovered how often I divert my attention away from the present, my thoughts being elsewhere. When I started reminding myself that it was still now, that I could only do what I was doing now, life became easier. I no longer had to focus on all there was to do. Instead, I shifted my attention to the one thing I was doing. This mindset was especially helpful on the days when the dishes were piled high and the laundry even higher. The days when my kids were cranky and Dan was working late, when I felt overwhelmed. I place my awareness on whatever it is that I am doing, instead of on the heaviness of my expectations and the length of my To Do list. When I do this, the day usually ends up going much more smoothly than the story I had playing in my head predicted.
Over the last few weeks, I went from feeling fantastic to experiencing severe discomfort. As I move closer to birth, the laxity in my sacroiliac joint is making it difficult to walk. My stride now resembles that of a duck... or a pirate. My midwives believe the baby is likely transverse, so when I sit down something big and hard often wedges under my rib. Experiencing pain is a sure fire way to bring you back to the present. As much as I want to enjoy and soak in this pregnancy, being uncomfortable admittedly makes it more difficult.
Yet as Dan and I talked through this I realized there is a big difference between being present and romanticizing the present. I can recognize the sacredness of this time, while admitting that it's not all rainbows and unicorns at every moment. In the spirit of One Thousand Gifts, I can continue to count all that I am grateful for (because there is so much to be grateful for!) and accept what is. I can look for the lessons to be learned. Slowing down is an inevitable part of life with a newborn. I'm getting some practice now. As much as I do cherish this time, I'm not meant to be pregnant forever. The discomforts of the third trimester encourage me to be open to the fact that this little one will soon enter the world and she and I will begin a new chapter together.
I also feel a swelling of gratitude for the stability that we have as a family. Sometimes I think about Evangeline's first mom and I wonder what her pregnancy was like. Was it easy? Was it hard? Did she know then that she would not be able to parent Evie? If so, facing those more challenging days of pregnancy would become substantially more difficult. My heart aches when I think about it.
We will continue to take things moment by moment. Or at least we will try.