And in the the past five months, I feel like I’ve aged at least ten years.
No one told me it would feel like this at 38.
I’ve shared my struggles to conceive.
And wanting to have a baby– even while consciously ‘taking a break.’
And now, my youngest is 5.
And I’m pregnant with my 5th.
(Please, hold the “b’sha’ah tova!” for now).
And I’m waiting.
Waiting to be excited.
Waiting to feel connected.
Waiting to feel some sort of eager anticipation for what’s growing inside.
Instead, I feel ambivalent.
My little girl, my youngest, brought me a picture of myself the other night and asked, “Mommy, is this from a long time ago? Because you look happy.”
What does happy look like when you’re staring deep into the unknown?
Motherhood, Womanhood, is complex.
Nothing fits easily into any one box.
And here I am, trying to jam another piece into a puzzle already popping out of its form.
Fear, wonder, love, care, doubt are all tangled in a growing, pulsating womb, waiting for my lagging heart to catch up.
Oh heart, when will you catch up?
When you feel the baby move, gingerly kicking against the walls of its home? When you think of its name? When you imagine its folded face, smell its newborn skin, run your finger tip over its delicate lashes and feel its warm breath?
When you see your children hold it close, giggling, over-joyed, their Friday night prayers finally answered after weeks and weeks of murmured blessings? Or when I push it in its stroller or bring it to work or finally sink into your couch after a long day, drawing it oh-so-close to nurse?
When you stop worrying about how your life will change? Body may morph? Career might shift? Home life will only get more stressful? Freedom will be almost gone, yet again?
(I sound so selfish. Ungrateful. The Sephardic in me waiting for that ayin harah. Shut-up, Yocheved. Just be happy.)
When I learn how to throw one more ball into the air and somehow, somehow, keep it hanging there high enough, for long enough, that some semblance of rhythm and order is maintained and they don’t all come crashing down around me, shattered on the ground?
(Maybe it takes 9 months to learn to juggle?)
So yes, “b’sha’ah tova!”
At an auspicious time.
May I feel connected to this growing life inside.
May I feel hope again.
And renewed strength.
May I learn patience.
Feel selfless love.
And find the courage to keep on juggling
One ball at a time.