It was Cinco de Mayo and a Friday. I was already three days late with our third daughter. The day before Adi had turned three. I had visited the doctor and they thought the baby would be here in the next 24 hours. So everyone stayed home from work. The girls slept at my parents house and we waited…

The next day I woke up and felt no signs that today was going to be the day. I’ve never been one to rush the arrival of a baby. I always say, “it’s up to the baby to pick their birthday.” But I felt guilty that everyone had stayed home and I couldn’t produce.

We decided to go for a walk even though I really just felt like embracing the kid free house and the quite by snuggling up on the couch. But Arnauld and I pulled on our hoods, to prepare for the mist and fog that had settled on the day, and we set out.

We walked about four miles that day, a usual route in our neighborhood. But I clearly remember how difficult each step was. How heavy my body felt. The way I needed to stop to support by overstuffed belly and will my legs to keep going. At one point on the walk, I remember being mid hill and thinking about how unlike myself I felt. I was winded and moving slow and slug-like. My muscles felt tired and weak. We took this same walk for the next two days. Further reminder of how my body was impacted by pregnancy.

A few months after Rose was born, there was a day that I needed a break and sent the big girls away with Arnauld. It was just me and Rose. I nestled her into the stroller and we set out on our first solo walk. We took the same route that Arnauld and I took that day where we were trying to persuade our little girl to enter the world. It felt like freedom. I found myself walking up that same hill that had been such a struggle just a few months earlier. I remember being so aware of the way my legs felt as they climbed that hill. There was a strength that I had missed and had longed for.

Walking this same route again this past weekend, I was brought back to these two contrasting walks in my past, my body even stronger now. I can be pretty hard on myself and after Rose was born, I didn’t bounce back with as much ease as I did with my first two kids. But I keep reminding myself of what my body has been through and given me. It is in these moments that I push my inner critic aside and keep climbing.


7 thoughts on “Uphill

  1. I relate to this post in so many ways–I have four daughters, and I’m pretty sure I’d still have four fetuses if it weren’t for pitocin–none of them were coming out on their own, and I wasn’t of your mindset. We evicted them. Pregnancy is SO hard on bodies, and SO worth it. I love the contrast that you captured in this post, and the greater meaning of the struggles we have depending on our own readiness for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our inner critics are the hardest on us. Your slice today is inspiring because you point out that even when we are feeling slug like, we keep on going, we keep on trying, we keep on believing. That’s what good teachers do every day. Thanks for that.


  3. Great ending! You are strong because you had three children! It is amazing how different we feel
    With each step post birth. Having the courage and drive to stay strong is a feat in itself! Yay you! Thanks for sharing!!


  4. This post is the epitome of the edict “show, don’t tell’. The descriptions of the walks are really vivid, so I was able to remember similar feelings around my pregnancies. This meant that when you came to your conclusion, I was right with you. You inspired me to remind myself to push that critic aside & climb. Thanks!


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