Today, popsicle sticks litter my bedside table and an empty glass lingers in the darkness as outside the rain falls and the darkness the hovers in the autumn chill. Nearby, a not-so-tiny-but-still-a-baby snorts, sniffles, and snores, giving me thought that perhaps we share the same sickness.
101.4, the thermometer reads. No wonder these chills, these aching of bones. My burning throat threatens me to never swallow again.
But today is the day. The day that led to the birthday. The day one year ago when different aches filled my body. The last day I was kicked from inside by her, what little squirming room she had left. The last day I would wonder if The Day would ever come, or if being 14 days overdue meant one really could be pregnant forever.
Fear often crept into my mind that day, and moments caused me to wonder if it would overtake my body, as well. But again and again, God brought me back to His peace, or adana, as we gave her in part of her name.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Yet the staying of the mind was itself a gift from God, too. In my unbelief, I prayed for belief.
Today was the day in which the end of the pregnancy began, though it was not until the next date, technically, at 12:22a.m., that she would be born.
Today is the day we would take a walk as a family, spot an owl in a tree in the light of the moon, return home and tuck our then only child into bed for the night.
Then, we too, would head to bed. But sleep did not come for me; only the surging of tightened muscles in the most painful way. Those dreadful things they call contractions. Their intensity elevated quickly, for the progress they had to make was rapid. Those are the aspect of that day I am glad are only distant memories.
But the real question of this day is no longer how labor could go so quickly on last year’s today, but how could a year go so quickly that last year’s today seems just like a yesterday, not a full year.
Happy Birthday Eve, sweet little Eden.