A Holding Pattern, A Pregnant Pause
When you come to the intersection of fate and choice, it is not difficult to find yourself in a holding pattern.
Perhaps there is not a clearer picture of this paradox than labor and delivery. My wife, Courtney, is 39 weeks pregnant with our third child, so you can officially call me an expert. I've seen this twice, anyway.
I observed how labor with our son, Theo, had stalled because of Courtney's emotional state. It was at a rough time financially and emotionally. I had just lost a job that had provided stability after a full year of instability and financial hardship. I was depressed (unrelated to kids) and Courtney was scared (very much related to kids). Our firstborn, Hosanna, fought sleep like there would be no tomorrow, so how were we--how was she--going to do this with two? While Courtney was in plateauing in labor, I was working hard not to become frustrated at what seemed to me an obvious fact, for whatever reason, Courtney was resisting the process. That to say, some things lie within our power.
While there are many things we can control, many others we cannot. With this pregnancy, Courtney is ready. We are all ready. We're excited and can't wait for baby to be here. Squats and stairs have been done in copious quantities, and nearly every "hack" for bringing about labor has been tried (except caster oil, she's been there, done that, and NO THANK YOU)... Still, no baby. Maybe it really is our baby's choice, I don't know, but it certainly is out of Courtney's control. This time around, I feel like a pilot waiting for the tower to give confirmation to land. This reminds me how seductive the illusion of control can be, because not everything is within our power.
There are things we can and cannot control, yet who knows how far the ripple of our choices extends? I am learning to trust the process, to trust the unfolding moment, to trust the spirit animating the living universe and be at rest. I am also learning to lean in. Where my power lies, I want to be in action in all the right ways. Where I have barriers and breakdowns, I want to encounter them as soon as possible. Only when we face them can we move beyond them. As we have an innate intelligence that goes deeper than cognition, we can lean into the process and still be open-handed. I'm not saying I always love being in a holding pattern, but we are where we are, so we might as well choose to be there.
This too shall pass. Be in the moment and in the process. Before you know it, the plane will have landed and the process will be complete. The chapter will be over and a new one beginning. When fate and choice meet, enjoy the holding pattern and enjoy the pregnant pause.