Tuesday, May 20, 2014

30 WEEKS!!!

30 weeks?

Do you know what this means?

It means “well into the third trimester”.

It means a baby who only needs to add a few measly inches to her height.

It means . . . counting down instead of counting up! (“Only ten weeks left!” “Only eight to go!” “We’re down to six weeks!”)

Of course, there is danger in the “counting down” mind set; because . . . I do. I do count down. Weeks then days of counting down to one day. My due date. And when I reach that date . . . and then have to start counting UP again?? (“One day past due”, “three days past my due date”, etc.) I start to turn into a bit of a wreck.

Still, it can’t be helped. After months of counting up (“When I get to 12 weeks, my miscarriage risk goes down.” “As soon as I hit 14 weeks we’ll have an ultrasound and then tell everyone the news!” “At 20 weeks, I’m finally half way.” “As soon I get to 28, I’ll be in my third trimester.”), I am finally counting down!

I am so anxious for Summer to be here. I feel such a longing to have her here with us – to have us all together. I feel like I’ve been waiting and worrying and hoping . . . without even knowing it . . . for . . . I don’t even know how long. Sooo long. 

Still, I know I should be patient. I don’t want to rush this. Ten tiny weeks – ten little specks of time – out of an eternal existence is so short. Such a little piece of time left to contemplate what is happening . . . what is about to happen.

And I have been contemplative this pregnancy. I don’t know exactly why it has taken me seven pregnancies to wonder and think about the things I’ve wondered and thought about this time around, but I feel so mindful of . . . I don’t know the right words . . . just the “bigness” of what is happening, I guess. I wish I could have been this aware in prior pregnancies.

I don’t know exactly how things work – when a spirit enters a body, etc. But in thinking of sacred experiences others have shared with me, in thinking of Christ visiting Nephi to reassure him on the very day he was about to be born, and in thinking of my own feelings (as I’ve been about to greet my new babies) of a thinness in the veil – of goodbyes being said as we are preparing our welcomes; I feel certain that they are still very connected to the place and people they are leaving. I don’t understand how. Maybe they can be a bit static during this wild time when their physical bodies are being created? I don’t know, these thoughts aren’t doctrine – they are simply bits of speculation and feeling, bits of my ponderings that I hope aren’t inappropriate to share. I just keep thinking of Summer’s birth. I keep thinking of that moment of Summer’s spirit entering her body in some type of powerfully bound way – not a way as tightly and inseparably connected as it will be when we are resurrected and our spirits claim our bodies permanently, but still, in a powerful way – a way I am convinced does involve power – a power that will allow her eternal spirit to finally inhabit a body for its span of human years. It feels . . . so tremendous to me and like it is something bigger, more significant, and more amazing, beautiful and powerful than I yet realize.

I keep thinking of Summer right now. I almost start to cry – sometimes I do cry – as I think about the brave leap she is about to make. An exciting leap, one I am sure she has been anxious to make. When I think of her, I don’t sense any of that “wading in slowly”. I sense a spirit who will leap in fully no matter how deep and frigid the water is likely to be. Still, how did any of us dare when it came down to it? How did we dare to make one last goodbye to everything we’d known for all of our existence – everyone we loved – knowing that in a moment a veil would shut over our eyes – that we wouldn’t remember any of it? That we’d plunge into that water and come up with no recollection of where we’d just been or of why we were here?

Maybe part of it is because we weren’t saying goodbye to everyone we loved. We were going to be with some of the very ones we’d already said goodbye to and loved the very most of all.

I know we’ve all done it, but I want to hug my Summer for being about to do it herself. We talked about this a bit for Family Home Evening last night. I told my kids who they are – how strong and valiant I know they are – and how crazy it must be for Summer to be coming here without a memory of all the things she wanted to accomplish and do and become.

But we also talked about how lucky she was because she is coming to us. And we are going to do all we can to help her remember who she is, all we can to remind her of what she wants to accomplish and be.

My sister sent me this cool quote from Elder Anderson the other day. He says, “We hold in our arms (and here, my sister interjected ‘and our wombs’) the rising generation. They come to this earth with great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith.”

Isn’t that beautiful? I want so much to help my kids know who they are. I see it. I know it – maybe of them even more than I know it of myself. I hope I can help them recognize those whisperings of the spirit that will continue to remind them. That above quote reminds me of another of Neal Maxwell’s I love: “. . . when we now say ‘I know’ that realization is rediscovery; we are actually saying ‘I know . . . again.’I love that. I believe it. And I think we can know things. David O. McKay once said (in discussing our dual natures of having a body and a spirit) “. . . man is a dual being. He has a body, just as all other animals have. But he has something that comes only from his Father in heaven, and he is entitled, is susceptible to whisperings, . . . to influences from his divine parent.” Of course our spirits are. How could that not be true?

Anyway, I’ll stop my ramblings. As I said, they are mostly just evidence of the contemplative nature I’ve had as I’ve gone through this pregnancy (and only a small tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the thoughts I’ve been chewing on); and I hope it was all right sharing at least these bits here. Some pieces feel too . . . private . . . to toss down anywhere, but I hope these were OK and that my friends and loved ones who read here and don’t share my beliefs were able to, at least, appreciate my feelings and views of life and eternity – as I appreciate theirs.

Happy ten weeks to go!

Ooh. Also, for anyone interested. Here was a good little video clip I used with our Family Night lesson last night:


Kara said...

"And we are going to do all we can to help her remember who she is, all we can to remind her of what she wants to accomplish and be. " Made me tear up. Such a beautiful wording and frame of mind.

I have a theory about when a spirit enters it's body....thought about it quite a bit during my last pregnancy which was also during the time we were saying goodbye to my husband's father. One earthly life ending, another beginning. My theory is spirit and body are joined at the moment of conception, but like a person on life support, the spirit can leave and return until birth. Doesn't mean that it does, but the possibility exists if individuals on life support have out of body experiences. Another off-shoot theory, what's the big hoopla over abortion if the spirit isn't part of the body? All movements/feelings/emotions of an unborn infant are just twitches, etc.? I don't think so... :)

Nancy said...

Kara! Oh my goodness! It was so cool to read your comment and actually gave me chills. My sister and I had a very similar discussion only a week or so ago. She had read a man's recounting of an experience of being in a hospital and being hooked up to countless machines sustaining his body after some horrible trauma. Somehow he was able to have an out of body experience while these life support things were basically maintaining his physical body. We speculated your very same thoughts -- wondering if a mother sustaining and creating this body could allow a similar type of thing. I didn't type it in my post because it was all very speculative, but I love the idea; and yes, I don't feel comfortable with any notion that "abortion can be justified because the spirit isn't hooked with the body yet". Of course not. But you explained it perfectly. I think that moment of birth must just be a time when a more permanent connection is locked into place perhaps. Certainly exciting and fun to think about. Really cool for me to read your thoughts and see them mesh with my own wonderings!

Linn said...

This left me teary. I, too, have thought a lot about it and similar to you, have felt that there is something about the last one (or possible last one) that brings on deeper thoughts. At least for me. What you said is beautiful. I agree with it and with what Kara said. It just makes sense to me. Thank you for sharing. So happy for your and for your sweet Summer and for all of us that get the privilege of being a part of this incredible plan.

Marilyn said...

Such a sweet, thoughtful post. I love your thoughts on birth and especially about how we have to REMIND, not just teach, our children who they are. That's a new thought for me and I really like it.

Mr.Mrs.Pack. said...

Loved everything about this post.

Shannon said...

Somehow I didn't see this post until today. I don't know how I missed it. But I was going thru and deleting old emails and saw note of this post. I love it so much. And Kara, I don't know you, but I am that sister that Nancy was talking about and in my thoughts and subsequent theory, I explained it exactly as you just did. Nancy, you are so great at sharing spiritual and sweet experiences with just enough detail for us to feel it but not so much as to be casting your pearls. Just beautiful! I love you and I love or little Summer. I see her now at the top of the big platform at Lava Hot Springs, looking at the life guard, excitedly and nervously but happily saying, "can I go? Can I go? Can I go?!". Not long now, little one!

Nancy said...

That image of Summer on the platform dive at Lava asking if she could jump yet made me cry Shan! :)

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