Where I've really been

Most mornings for the past month you'd find me out walking on the beach. I make the quick 5 minute drive from our house, park in the sand by the side of the road and walk the wooden board walk out onto the beach, which changes daily with the tides and weather, presenting its new face to me each morning like a surprise. As I start to breathe in the sea air I feel my body calming, my mind opening.

After what has been the longest blog-break that I've taken since I started blogging two and half years ago I am back friends, and I have missed being here. For the past month I have needed to retreat, cocoon myself and focus on my immediate surroundings, taking care of myself and my family. I'd like to explain why...

At the beginning of December I found out that I am pregnant, completely unexpectedly, it was really one of the most stunning bits of news that I've ever received. Not because I thought that it wasn't possible, but just because as someone who likes to be a "planner" I have such a vision for my life and future...and having another child was something that Frank and I had thought about, considered for a time, but decided that it was not a part of our vision for our future. Our family of four, Frank and I with Jasper and Carys feels so balanced, and with our move last summer we have been adjusting to our new life. On a deep level I had been finding such a peace in moving forward from my childbearing years. I was happy finally to put that behind me, to let it go, and to embrace the time ahead which I thought was going to be full of creating my art as my main focus, especially since Carys will start full time Kindergarten in September 2012, I figured 2012 was going to be about me diving into my art in a deeper way.

So, that was the mindset with which I faced the plus sign on the pregnancy test back in December, I looked at it in disbelief. It was not part of my plan!! I was really in shock about it, both Frank and I were, through the holidays as we traveled back up north to visit family and friends I look back and see what a state of shock we were in. The reality of it did not hit me until we returned home from our holiday trip. Looking forward towards the future I suddenly felt deep grief for the road ahead of me. I felt like I did not have the strength within me, the warrior woman strength that I know I need, to face another pregnancy and to have another baby.

Being pregnant and giving birth are like crossing a narrow bridge. People can accompany you to the bridge. They can greet you on the other side. But you walk that bridge alone.
-African Proverb

For me being pregnant is a time full of mental and physical stress, I know I've spoken here on my blog briefly before about the fact that I lost my first pregnancy in the 13th week. So for me in each of my subsequent pregnancies those weeks leading up to the 13th week are a time of great struggle in which I face fear daily choosing each day to go forward anyway. On top of that with this pregnancy I have had morning sickness much much worse than with any of my previous pregnancies, it has been so bad at times that I have spent days in bed.

This finally is my 13th week of this pregnancy, I start my 14th week tomorrow. I can't tell you how long it has felt already, but finally I am feeling this baby move within me and we have heard the heart beat loud and strong many times on our at home Doppler (that I have rented). I have also finally chosen a midwife and my first appointment is tomorrow. Things feel like they are moving forward, and over these past two months I have felt myself slowly broken open to this new future. Simultaneously feeling scared, worried but also blessed beyond belief. It is a strange uncertain place to be, in which I still must choose to put one foot in front of the other in trust daily.

My morning beach walks started in early January, they have held deep lessons for me. Sometimes the tide is very low and there is a huge sandbar for me to walk on, other times the beach is just a tiny thin strip and the waves roll up to my shoes.

Sometimes the sand bar is just a tiny island, almost covered by the tide.

At other times the beach feels wide as a desert and my whole being feels wide open and expansive with it.

Some mornings are cold,

the sea feels menacing and murky,

While other days are glassy and warm.

On most days the Dolphins are there, playing in the water close to the shore. Their top fins surface before they dive and really, they are so hard to photograph but absolutely magnificent to watch as they glide through the water

Watching these angels of the ocean reminds me of unbridled joy, of the little fish baby swimming in my belly, of the depths within the ocean that are there even though I can't see them...they remind me to have faith.