A Careful Expectation

The weather on February 19th in my neck of the woods was stunning. Cold, clear, crisp, and bright. God-sized handfuls of snow still lingered in the shady places and puffs of pure white clouds broke up the otherwise winter blue.  I settled the car seat shakily into its base, holding my tongue between my teeth until I got it at the precise angle and then “click”. My sleeping daughter threw out her fisted hands in a brief startle and then settled back to sleep.  She was 5 days old and we were leaving the hospital. I climbed gingerly into the passenger seat, careful to place my lap belt in a spot that didn’t aggravate incision and we were off. The distance between the hospital and our house at the time was short but between my racing thoughts and my husband’s never-so-slow driving it felt like an eternity. I was already wresting with my demons and pushing away the creeping symptoms of postpartum depression, but I didn’t know that at the time. All I knew is that my life was completely changed…and nothing was how I thought it would be.

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Do you know what comes up when you google “quotes about expectation”? A lot of stuff that people have said or written about heartache and disappointment. Because that is what expectation breeds. And yet that is a massive part of what life is and how we live it. We anticipate. We plan. We schedule and we imagine. We set goals and dream of a hopeful, beautiful future. But there is a giant elephant in the room as we prepare for life, because while we can close our eyes and picture how we expect even the next hour to play out, we also know that the calendar can become figuratively erased by one phone call or a 103 degree fever. At the same time, we can’t not plan. That is what pregnancy is! Showers and appointments and nesting are all things that we do as we expect the most remarkable treasure to enter our lives. It’s all necessary. Well, most of it is necessary…(says the woman who might be selling the crib that was slept in 5 times and traded for a twin-sized mattress on the floor…). But in the details of that expectation, fear and darkness have a way of taking hold even as we are imagining perfect peace and joy. The most pessimistic of parents don’t purchase a crib and bottles and clothing for their expected baby without some imagination of what it will be like. As we accumulate the gear we begin to read and we grab hold of certain ideas that resonate with our souls. “I will breastfeed”. “I will bottle feed”. “I will deliver my baby naturally at home”. “I will stick to my set birth plan so that my epidural is timed perfectly for delivery”. “My baby will start sleeping in this beautiful pine crib right around his 6 month birthday”. “We will put the kids to bed together every night so that they can both hear the same bedtime story”. And so on and so forth. What is wrong with that? Nothing! Absolutely nothing because our dreams are life-giving and powerful. But if those dreams become the plan? The expectation and not just the hope? That is where fear and anxiety find their breeding ground. Because Darkness loves nothing more than to crush our joy with disappointment. And life happens. Changes to the birth plan happen. Reflux and NICU stays happen. Babies who we long to breastfeed cannot, or ones we need to take a bottle so we can go back to work don’t. Siblings get sick. Jobs are lost. Pets die. And there is joy and beauty to be found in ALL of it, if we are prepared to let go of our expectations.

I was not prepared to let go. Most often I’m still not. I’m a stubborn, dreamy optimist and if you ask my husband he will tell you that I throw little fits when my plans fail. I’m learning to hide hope in my heart to last through those alterations. To envision a rough sketch, an impressionist painting of how I would like things to turn out with the details left to be filled in by life’s creator. You and I are right where we are supposed to be. Our children are right where they are supposed to be. If we can trust that, and lean into that truth as our saving grace, then there isn’t any room left for fear.

Will you commit with me to trust more and hold less tightly the vision of a well-planned life? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And as always, love on and love well.

275,589 thoughts on “A Careful Expectation”

  1. hi,i actually want to ask u that my husband is hiv positive and he is using medicine now but i was not diagnosed +ve till 3 times i had test¡­now what ca i do am also affected???wel am really worrid and scared too wel now we have safe sex but before we didnt hav .we knew he had hiv after 1 and half yr marriage ¡­wel he had nonpulmonary tv then he was diagnosed to have hiv¡­so should i check again or is it possible am not infected???wel i love him alot and dont wana lose him plz help me and if possible tel me if he can be cured forever¡­

  2. I had a dream that I was walking into a room. As I walked into the room there stood a huge lion. Very scared I was getting ready to run but just as I wanted to the lion leaped and got hold of me by biting me on my chest. I got the feeling of being overwhelmed and powerless the lion was in total control. I tried to push him away but he was too powerful

  3. I am 28 years old and I am HIV positive since 2010. I am strong and fit and it was difficult for me to accept but one day I told my partner about it and she went and got tested. We found out she is negative. She is very supportive and she is looking after me and make sure that I eat well. Now I am taking Odimune and I don¡¯t even have side effects. Can i mix alcohol and Odimune?

  4. I¡¯ve painful red eyes after I was first given odimune 3 months ago and then given atroiza last month,what shall I do to correct this?I can¡¯t see properly yet I have glasses which were prescribed by the optometrist.

  5. Hi. I hear people always complaining about Tribuss and side effects. When I started treatment the side effects only last a for few days not even a week. I¡¯m starting to worry if it could be that the drugs are resistant? Or is no longer working? I haven¡¯t gone again yet for the second check ups and the CD4 etc. Thanks for your concern

  6. When my mother was in labor for 36 hours she and my grandmother looked out the window at the same time and watched a coyote come out of a bush look at the pair of them then transformed into a bald eagle and flew away. Since then I have spoken to a shaman and he said they witnessed the trickster watching over my birth.

  7. You got it right. Panay ang claim. Pero napaka sensitive naman pag may nasabi ang iba na medyo negative sa Pinoy maski joke lang or depiction sa movies. Angal agad-agad. Then nauuna naman sa pagalipusta sa kapwa pinoy.

  8. I am hiv negative and my husband is hiv positive , and now I need a child , and my status I wanna keep it as negative ,what can I do? Sperm wash is its clean -hiv negative sperm? Tell me more .I really need a child , I ve got one whose hiv negative , I don¡¯t want to adopt and please help

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