Last week Dan was away, traveling for work. I know that to some women this might sound like heaven on earth, to have your husband out of your hair for a week. But I hated it. It actually shocked an surprised me how much I hated it. I do not like to feel needy and desperate, in fact I pride myself on NOT being those things. But all of those things I was, and there was nothing I could do about it. I sat and cried after he left, bawled actually. I was a hot mess.
But before you go thinking I'm a lunatic, I should tell you that I'm 4.5 months pregnant. So of course I blame the hormones for this intense reaction. But whatever the cause, I was not happy. The whole week was horrible. I was lonely and sad, not to mention nauseous and exhausted. And with Dan not around, I had to do hard stuff like walk to the refrigerator, and change the channel, and take off my shoes... all by myself! It was a lot to deal with.
And the fact that he flew out on September 11 did not help my distaste for the situation. I was petrified that entire day that something bad was going to happen. I texted him constantly, I tracked his flight on my phone every few minutes. At one point, they didn't update my app for about 15 minutes or so and I flipped out. Panicked. What the hell is wrong with me?! What am I so afraid of?
This was a new kind of fear for me. It was not a fear of being alone, or abandonment or anything like that. It was just a terrible fear that something bad would happen to my favorite person in the world. I felt lost and confused and I didn't know what to do with this fear. So for the first day or so I tried to drown it out with tv and grilled cheese sandwiches and other nonsense. But I had a sneaking suspicion that this fear was like any other pain or problem or fear that we face in life... it's best to sit with it and let it teach us.
So I put down the grilled cheese and got to work. I reflected on what this fear was, what it felt like in my body, what it might be trying to teach me. I thought about how much I love Dan and how happy I am to be starting a family with him and about the excitement in our lives right now. I thought about how much I have to lose. I thought about how I sometimes feel like this is all too good to be true and that any minute now, the rug will be pulled out from under me and I'll be called out for the sucker that I am for believing that I deserve this kind of happiness.
But I also thought about the long wait, the years of hoping and believing for a miracle. I thought about how God gives us the desires of our heart, and how my heart longs to be a mother. How I deserve happiness just like everyone else. I deserve love... this kind of love... the kind that leaves you with so much to lose that it breaks your heart anew every day.
Maybe this is what my mom was talking about when she told me that I will worry every day for the rest of my life after I become a mother. Maybe this new kind of fear is something that I'm going to have to learn to live with. Maybe this feeling goes hand in hand with this new kind of happiness. And maybe my heart is big enough to hold the love and the fear at the same time.
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2016
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