It was Jesus who said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). The past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of losing while simultaneously gaining, and it’s been a theme throughout my pregnancy as I prepare to gain something but am aware of what I am also losing.
Over the last few years, as we were thinking about having kids, I was acutely aware of every leisurely Saturday morning, every uninterrupted sip of coffee and every bit of free time. Moreover, Mikey and I have had almost 10 years of adventures together – we’e lived throughout a lot just the two of us an it’s been awesome! From slow mornings to extended river trips, from spur of the moment movies to making our own plans, I am aware of the losses that I’m viewing more as changes in my life, and I feel ready for it.
Of course there’s so much to be gained that it’s hard to use the word “loss,” which has such a negative connotation to it, but the truth is that I – we – are losing parts of our lives and parts of us in gaining this child. And it’s happening even before this little babe comes – it’s happening during pregnancy.
For the first trimester, I felt like I just had a slowly growing bump but everything was pretty much as usual – I felt strong, overjoyed, grateful, and nothing really changed in my day to day. Then, as I moved into the second trimester, I slowly began to feel the changes in my body – more belly growth and baby kicks, varicose veins and back pains. I started doing BirthFit, which is much more than a pre- and post-natal workout plan, it’s a program based on four pillars of health: Fitness, Nutrition, Chiropractic and Mindset. I’m absolutely loving it and the breathing, workouts and mindset work (not to mention learning so much from their podcast with Lindsey Matthews) have been so, so beneficial for me as I’m partway through this pregnancy journey. Part of the loss is the change in workouts; I’m no longer doing pull ups (as of the time of this last video!) and have never started my workouts with 5-10 minutes of breathing before. 😉 It’s a change, a loss from the high-intensity, from moving and bending as I wish, from the same type of physical freedom that I had before.
But, it’s all worth it, and I’m actually loving the changes and transitions along the way!
Although I’m not moving as fast and my strength has gone down, I feel extremely empowered to stay active and each workout, walk, etc makes me feel amazing. I decided to celebrate Canada Day with a solo hike up Mount Yamnuska (lots of people on the trail, cell reception, busy day out!) and felt incredible in my strength as a growing mom!
(Ring Bandits – pineapple style – to the rescue when it comes to swelling, chubby sausage fingers from hiking and pregnancy! That big ring when in there right after I snapped this picture when I started hiking up.)
It was an incredible experience and I felt strong, confident, happy and full!
But at the same time, I’m mindful of what I’m losing, and I think it deserves time to reflect and mourn the changes that have come and will come instead of only looking ahead. Mikey left this week on the first Survive & Thrive Expeditions trip of the summer, and although I was anticipating not going on any trips pre-baby (as we were in a position to grow Survive & Thrive by training new facilitators for the trips before we found out I was pregnant), I burst into tears as soon as he left. These weren’t hormonal tears, these were tears of a loss of adventure, a loss of guiding, a loss of adventuring with strangers who I knew would become friends and would gain so much after a week in the wilderness. I stayed up until midnight with Mikey, our pre-trip ritual, watching him finish up the packing and checking his list over time and again.
(the night before he left, running errands amidst the packing and stopping for a mini DQ blizzard – love little moments like this!)
The buzz that I’ve been used to for the last nine years was there, except this time I knew I wouldn’t be going with him in the morning, road tripping down to Boise, Idaho and greeting people at the airport with anxious excitement. So when he left, the tears came, hard and fast, as I waved goodbye and headed back inside.
I think that’s why the hike felt so good – it was my own little adventure.
I took the time to really let go of my role in Survive & Thrive, even though Mikey hugged me and looked into my wet eyes and said, “We WILL lead adventure trips together again.” And I believe it! So it’s not a death, but it’s for sure a change and a loss, and this weekend I reflected on this loss. I decided my role is to create my own adventures this summer (after all, there isn’t much more time for me to do things solo!) and to pray hard for Mikey and the crew, and all those who will be attending the trips as participants. But it’s a loss, and I’ve felt heavy-hearted and reflective all weekend as I’ve been letting this reality sink in.
But you know what? I am so, so grateful to be at home, doing the important role of supporting those guys in prayer and growing a baby, experiencing all the emotions along the way.
(had to show some muscles and some 2XU Canada compression socks – pretty perfect with those maple leave for Canada’s 150th birthday!)
I am ready for the changes, ready to let some parts of our lives over the last 9+ years as a married couple go, ready to embrace new changes and step forward into new adventures together with Mikey. But taking the time to acknowledge the loss and change has been good for me, and it makes me more excited to embrace, Lord willing always with open hands, all that comes with it ahead. After every single trip on the river, Mikey and I would look at each other and say, “That was awesome! I wonder if it will be our last trip?!” as we tried to hold this venture with those open hands together, desiring that God would move to make it happen or not the next year. This is year nine, and with open hands it’s not as hard for those trips to be taken away from me as compared to if I was holding and gripping tight; my husband taught me that. I pray that as I enjoy the rest of my pregnancy, I hold it, too, and Mikey, our new home and even this little babe when it joins us, with open hands, for they are all gifts from God and his to do with what he will. For now, I’m looking forward to earnest prayer for my friends in the wilderness, fun times with friends at home in Calgary, and a few more solo adventures as I continue in God’s strength to move and grow and play and live out his story for my life.
Can you identify any loses and gains in your life right now? Have you taken time to give space to those losses? I’d love to hear your experiences, too, whether they relate to mine in terms of pregnancy and kids or not. Thanks for being part of my journey!
Live well & be well,