The Wine: 2020 Stellenbosch Red Blend (one of the year’s Silver Linings)
The Winery: Dry Farm Wines Delivery (all the way from South Africa)
The W(H)ine: Pregnant Pauses (and with them, Poignant Causes)
I turn fifty in September.
5 - 0h.
Upon reflection, my life seems best outlined, if not defined, via its five consequential, consecutive decades:
The Lost Years 0-9),
The Teenage Traumas (10-18),
The Re-Producing Era (overlap at 18/19-28),
The Parenting Period (29-37), The Re-Parenting Piece (38-49), and in queue,
The Pregnant Pause and Whatever Happens Next…
I spent a spectacular (and entire) decade either pregnant or breastfeeding in the Re-Production Era (circa 1990-1998), with ne’er a moment to myself, even while unconsciously sleeping or locked not-so-secretively behind bathroom door.
A world unto its own. None compares. Nor should it.
For me (and I know I am blessed, rare and maybe even weird about this perspective), there is no greater glory like that of carrying creation, bearing babies, and nurturing nature’s best blessings. I mean, it hurt. Like hell. Five times over. (All natural, four birthed at home, one got stuck….another story for another day).
Still does, sometimes, when precious progeny picks disconnect over relation because in some ways, we are all still stuck. But there is no perpetual glory unless and until we let us/them go. Then, from the Womb. And now, from the Wound.
I failed for those ten years to understand the phrase, “pregnant pause,” since I experienced no pause of any kind.
Little did I know, then, what a difference a pause - pregnant or otherwise - makes.
The word pregnant goes back the 15th Century, understood then to describe something “full of meaning.” Thus, a “pregnant pause” consists of a moment (or more) of silence containing so much potential, just as a women’s pregnant belly yields such anticipation and excitement (presumably, typically, but I do acknowledge that is not always the case).
Dramatic, suspenseful, purposeful, and mostly, MEANINGFUL, this Pregnant Pause.
Who knew silence could accomplish so much. The sound of NOTHING.
Last night, because I could and NOTHING else appeared to counter the empty space, I embraced an entire evening of silence. Other than my tears, erupting from time to time as I waited for a text, ring, or knock, none of which came.
I think I am pregnant again. Full of seemingly inexplicable (and erratic) emotions, of anticipation about whatever lies ahead, and convinced if I continue to nurture my soul and my self, I will bring forth some new life…
The shift between early/middle and late stage labor for a birthing mother consists of a the most intensive phase before baby arrives on the scene, called “transitional labor.” While it’s usually (unless you’re me) the shortest, I know only one apt phrase for phase three: “Effing PAIN.”
Unless drugged or diced by attending doctor, this transition takes from BEing our very breath, yet allows for baby’s descent from womb to world, as cervix opens fully, momma sometimes throws up, throws out expletives (or partner), and likely swears off further pregnancies, forever.
Though it serves as the most poignant of all stages, as crowning occurs, and onlookers gasp and greet life anew, concluding nine months of anticipation, full of wonder, and well, Cause. The answer to why it hurt so damn much appears with infant’s first cough, or cry.
The five living I brought forth…I cannot even begin to speak of their glory. Not here, not now. But know their existence kept me going, keeps others loving, and makes manifold so many glories as they wield their wonder near and far.
My sixth pregnancy did not culminate in such glory. That one ended before her fulfillment, as many often do (we don’t typically talk about those). Lots of pause, seemingly no cause. Yet…
As I sat in silence, I noticed similarities between that long-ago decade (my oldest turns 30 this month - Holy Hiccup!) and the one before me now.
I had no idea what would happen next. Not then. Not now.
It hurt. I cried. (No vomiting.)
Of this, I know:
When we are about to bring forth a new creation, there are definite causes for pause, and defining reasons for pain, as well as descending adjustments of perspective.
What I did not know in my Re-Producing years, when transitional pain hit and pause was nowhere to be grasped, is that the Birth Process, of what/who/whomever appears next, is wrought with worry but also wonder, is a Midwife in and of it/herself, and offers us an OtherWorldly Offering of Opportunity to, Hit Pause, Embrace Pain, and…
Transform, Transition, and Transfix (ourselves & others) into Poignant Cause, a glory both before but BEYOND us, bigger and more blessed than who we once were, before the birth.
I’ll send tissues for the tears. That’s easy.
The Work, though, is up to you. And me. And we.
Whatever decade or decision or defining moment you find yourself wandering in or through right now (listen to today’s - 3.11.2021 - W(H)ine On The Vine LATalk Radio show for one shining example), know this:
Accept the Pause. Sit in Silence. Push through the Pain. And be Transformed by Wonder as you transition from one glory to Whatever Happens Next. #W(H)ineOnTheVine