The afternoon before Jacob is born, I trudge up the stairs to my bedroom to lay myself down. September sun filters through the window, casting shadows from the orange leaves of the tree onto my bed.
As I crawl under the covers, I think, this is what hope feels like, and I exhale. I’ve been holding my breath for a long time.
I pull the comforter up to my chin, but not before hefting a body pillow between my legs. The comforter is soft and white and provides just the right amount of weight for a day like today, when I am all nerves and energy, waiting.
The shadows from the orange leaves dance across my body.
Something in me shifts—and it is good and it is holy—much like it did the night my therapist first said “it was rape” and my body filled with fire and rage and finally, acceptance.
I knew in my bones something was changing then. In my belly, new life was forming—new life given by God, and by my husband, who sat on the therapist’s couch next to me, and who only hours before had shown me his love in that way that only true love can.
A similar sensation burns in me now—not only am I growing a human but I am growing hope, too—an ember, but it is there and it is glowing. All that came before—all the confusion, the pain, the anger—will be redeemed in a new story. This body of mine that was once so ravaged is now bursting with the joy of new life.
My Creator, my Father, who designed me to carry this boy, has designed me to carry these stories as well. This is good, and I am not alone.
My belly is taut, but my heart is soft. I know in an instant, because hope does not disappoint: my son will be here soon.