In-Between

Everything seems to work out in the end, but what about when it’s not the end? What about that uncomfortable place between here and there?

Here we are in the middle, unsure of how this particular story ends: the one where our things are moved out of storage and into a new home. For now, we are at my in-laws house and then an Airbnb for six months in Leucadia.

I always looked at life as an adventure, but after having two kids, growing a bit older, and navigating grief, being flexible and allowing change comes with much greater resistance. My HSP-ness is heightened and I feel things, all the things. I’m like one of those lint rollers, but for my feelings and other people’s or places too. 

Most other big transitions in life I’ve managed with partying, workout goals, or work. Somehow staying busy so as not to feel the discomfort. But right now, pregnant and mostly a full time mom –  there is no numbing. There is just feeling and living. 

Moving feels right to us. The process has been smooth. And yet, we aren’t immune to the emotions, questions and fall out of a big life event. 

How exactly do I take the photograph off the wall that my dad helped me hang? How do I leave neighbors who helped me feel safe and well-loved? How do I leave a home where I know how to survive? A home that took a long time to feel like home. How do I leave the trees and trails that kept me grounded? Or walls that hold the condensation from my grief storms. How do I leave the room where Coura came into the world? My plumeria in the front yard that bloomed especially for us. 

Those questions are true. And so is this: our memories come with us. Who we are, what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown all gets packed and stored deep in the corners of our minds and hearts. None of that stays. 

Anxiety, fear and down days have followed. But I have the tools. My anchor is here, inside of me. The house was never my safety after-all. When I want to run from the discomfort and fear, my heart is saying, “Come home. Stay here. This is the safest place you can be.” So I am working hard with every deep breath to come back to center – to release what’s not mine and come home to what’s true. 

I am the anchor. I am the anchor. I am the anchor. 

The act of moving is an obvious transition, but aren’t we always in a transition? If not from the greatest one – birth and death – from one season to the next, from one goal to the next. We don’t often dwell in a beginning or ending before we find ourselves in the middle. 

As we were touching up the paint in the house, I saw the pencil mark my dad scribbled to effortlessly hang up my cherished “Aquabumps” photograph. I left the mark untouched. Even if it gets painted over one day, his mark has been made. Even when a new neighbor moves in, our time there doesn’t get erased. 

Transitions are loose and schedules are scattered. Uncertainty is what we are eating for all three meals, working to find a way to digest this new existence. One that’s not forever, but that is for right now. 

Everything is up in the air. 

I’ve always wanted to fly.

New Home // Home Birth

I strolled into Home Depot with my checklist scribbled into the notes section of my iPhone. Maisley sat in the front of the cart, casually along for the ride and intentionally preoccupied by her Trader Joes cheddar rocket snacks.

I’m never above asking for help in that giant store, so I flagged down the first orange vest in site. “Excuse me. Are you able to tell me where I can find a cheap garden hose, a sprocket to attach the hose to a bathroom sink, large storage bins and two smoke detectors?” I asked casually, without explaining why.

I felt like I was plotting for something big. Like I was an incognito, athleisure-wearing, mom-version of Walter White from Breaking Bad gathering supplies for some illegal debauchery.

Substitute the meth for some oxytocin, and our new home and home birth prep was underway.

The Home Part

After a year of searching, the magical combo finally struck at week 32 of pregnancy number two – we fell in love with a new home and our offer was accepted. A home still in San Diego county, but just far enough away to bring out waves of that uncomfortable feeling that happens with big changes or when you’re just about to take off on an airplane to somewhere unknown. A new grocery store, new network of friends and new everyday life.

Maisley will finally have walls on her room and Ryan and I won’t have to use our bluetooth headphones to watch TV together at night. We will have a backyard where our kids can expel their endless energy and most importantly, our own mailbox in which I can paint in any way I please (a dream I have always had). 

Despite everything that feels right about our new home, it feels bittersweet to leave our town home – the first home we bought together and the only one Maisley has ever known. It’s only been three years, but three big years of growth and change from newlyweds to parents of almost two.

Nestled into the middle of my third trimester, I think I’ve actually been relatively useful during the moving process. My pointer finger is stronger than ever and new directives are popping into my vocabulary everyday. Only time will tell if I am still married after our move-in date and furniture assembly. 

The Birth Part

Nothing like welcoming ourselves to a new neighborhood with a home birth. Placenta cookies anyone?

After having an unmedicated hospital birth with Maisley, our first daughter, I was pretty set on trying for a similar process with our next daughter, “sissy” (despite the intense memories of labor that still make my stomach churn with anxious butterflies).  But a planned home birth was never really in the plans. It always seemed a little too “crunchy” and out there. Was it even safe?

As it turns out, choosing to do a home birth wasn’t really something I chose. It was a feeling, an inkling, a deep sense of curiosity that slowly bubbled to the surface during my first few weeks of pregnancy. I think she chose it.

We went about the process of interviewing midwives to educate ourselves and see if this new type of care felt right. We found someone that we loved and were 90% certain about our decision – the last 10% was made on a leap and a prayer.

This new form of prenatal care has been empowering, informative and full of research.  Everyday fluctuates between excitement and fear about sissy’s birth, but I can’t wait to hold her and see how her birth day will unfold.  

Ryan will be the tub setter-upper. A lot of people ask about the tub. Will she be born in the water? Where will it go? Does it have a recirc pump to keep the water warm? (per my handy-man Uncle). If I’m feeling it in the moment, master bedroom and yes.

While I’m overwhelmed and sometimes panicked about the weeks ahead, my gratitude level is simultaneously peaking. Change has a special way of making me feel alive.

That and boxes. So many boxes, which unlike birth, won’t be spontaneously unfolding on their own.