baby letters, week 36

Dear Baby,


We had our first photoshoot on Saturday, in the back field of the Wolff Ranch. At about 55 degrees, it was the chilliest day of the year so far, but the sun warmed us – especially my belly, with you inside. You must have felt the warmth and basked in the light because you were very quiet all throughout the shoot. I wore black and draped teal cloths around me. I also wore your Pops’ olive green rubber boots, because I couldn’t fit my feet into anything else. But I didn’t mind. It actually completed the look: Mother Goddess, country soul…I spent two hours embracing you in all ways and smiling at the miracle of life itself and at the miracle of life inside me.


Your Mema wandered down the lane to watch, and at the sight of her across the field, taking us in, my heart felt as once as calm as a glass lake and as electrified as the wings of a thousand butterflies sending ripples across that glass lake. She looked at me with the eyes of a mother seeing her oldest daughter – a daughter that had embodied the spirit of a mother since insisting on being called “Baby’s Mommy” to her doll not long after she began speaking – busting with life.


Standing in that field was freedom. It was beyond hope, or faith, or trust. It was knowing. And it was fiercely protecting you from anything that would prevent you from feeling the same way.

This week, our country lost Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and the timing was far from lost on me. I heard a line earlier this week, before her death: “Politics is a great vehicle, but a very poor religion.” I marveled at the poignance, the morning after I wrote a course module on spiritual health. You’ll develop your own meaning of spirituality and connection. It’s deeply personal, and I want you to find your own way. In truth, it’s for that very reason that I felt the need to write to you about this now. I’ve never used my writing as a political platform. However, the intricate links between the most meaningful events this past week – RBG, spiritual health, embracing the energy of Mother Earth in my childhood back field, and the truth that you’ll soon enter this world amidst the political chaos that is the United States right now – inspires me to share a few words with you.


I’ve never been religious, but I understand its power. To me, faith is something to make yours and yours alone – whether that’s going to church, connecting with nature, or trusting in the magic of deeper meaning and synchronicity. Spirituality also isn’t necessarily a constant. It ebbs and flows. It’s not about always feeling connected: it's knowing that it's there. It’s about understanding that you’re an imperfect human. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll feel like you’ve lost your way, but, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way to regain connection. You’ll know that you’re never truly alone.


I don’t ever want you to feel alone. You might feel like you don’t belong sometimes. Again, that’s part of the journey of finding your tribe, or your tribes, and recognizing that you might shift from one tribe to another at different points along the way. But you’re never alone.


I also want you to experience true freedom. I can put myself in the shoes of someone who is pro-life, or pro-family. Yet I don’t understand how you can be pro-family while excluding choices related to the family. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and, in my mind at least, pro-family means pro-love. Pro-connection. And, yes, pro-choice.


As someone who found her miracle with IVF, I honor the truth that conception is a miracle, no matter how it happens. At the same time, as someone who struggled with fertility for two years, who had three unsuccessful IUIs, one miscarriage, and months and months of trying to not lose hope, I know what it’s like to feel like your body is not your own. I know what it’s like to have the freedom of choice, and I know what it’s like to experience loss.


Sweet Baby, I want you to have that freedom. I want you to experience the freedom of making your own choices, on your own terms. Isn’t being pro-family about love and acceptance and inclusion of every family-related decision?


This is what I’ll never understand. This is the piece of religion that I’ll never understand. Exclusion. I just can’t wrap my head around it. And I don’t want you to have to try to wrap your head around it because it’s the reality you’re forced to live in.


So, there you go, sweet baby: a sliver of your Mama’s political beliefs. Or, more aptly, a sliver of her spiritual beliefs, because I have the darndest time separating the two, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Spirituality leaves space to find your own way. In fact, that’s kind of the point.


Little One, just as you found your own way to us, I know that you’ll find your own way after you’re born, and I will do all that I possibly can to make sure that you have the freedom to do that.


By the way, as you probably know, we are officially in the home stretch! Welcome to your birth month, or close enough. Will I meet you in one week? In six weeks? The jury’s out, but you know your time, and I trust you.


Until soon, my love. Until soon.


Love, Your Mama


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