Recently I've noticed I say the word "hope" a lot.
I was at yoga tonight and our instructor had us place our hands on our bellies to make an intention or prayer for our babies. I always say something to the effect of:
"I hope you're okay in there."
It sounds pretty weak when I see it written like that. But in my heart it holds so much power. It's as powerful an intention as "Grow strong and healthy" or "Feel the strength of my love for you." All wonderful intentions I probably should be putting out there for my little one. But no. All I can manage is: "I hope you're okay in there."
And I do it all the time. I have a few friends due around the same time as me. And I always say "I hope we'll have our maternity leaves together." Or "I hope our babies get to meet."
One year ago I was all: "I'm going to do this on my mat leave." And "I can't wait for our babies to be friends!" And now I'm just so much more careful with my words. But it always comes down to that one in particular. Hope.
It's a powerful word, though. So I find myself doing things that allow me to feel relaxed and calm and hopeful.
I brought Ryan's bear to yoga tonight. I have wanted to connect with both of my babies there but had been having a hard time focusing on Ryan when wiggler inside kept doing a little dance during savasana. So tonight I snuggled Ryan's bear with one arm, and held my belly with my other and I got to hold both of my babies in quiet stillness. And it gave me some hope that my family could still feel whole even with this physical separation.
Having the bear there also opened up a bit of conversation with at least one other mom. I'm not sure how many others were listening. She asked about it. I said it belonged to my son. She asked how old he is. I explained he would be 9 months but he passed away in September. She expressed her sadness at that. And the conversation moved on. That little interaction gave me hope too. Hope that his life doesn't always have to be a secret from strangers.
And then when class ended, I checked my phone (as all addicts do), and I saw a few photos sent to me from friends at Landon's Legacy Retreat in Manitoba. Photos with Ryan's name drawn in the sand. With messages saying they were thinking of us. And that just reaffirmed every hope I had that he matters. Even to people we've never really met. He matters. Our story matters. And my goodness, I love those ladies so, so much for just "getting it." (Even though they "get it" because they stand where I stand...)
So do I sometimes say "hope" when perhaps I should be using more optimistic language? Maybe. But I don't really think that "hope" has to be a bad word. Having a little hope is what has gotten me through every day of the last 9 months. And every day of this new, complicated, beautiful pregnancy journey.