A dream fulfilled is a tree of life, they say. But they forgot to mention it can be a burden too.

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I am pregnant with a dream fulfilled. A little boy, our second child. There are three and a half years between our kids, but we didn’t plan it that way. I expected our second to come sooner, but it didn’t happen like that.

Waiting and praying for the first child used up all my hope vitamins. I wrestled with faith and cynicism for nearly a year, but it wasn’t one year. It was ten months, ten disappointments before we saw two lines.

By the time we wanted our second child, I didn’t have the energy for hope. I prayed a few prayers. Tried to care. Tried not to care. But the longing from our first child traumatized me. I was afraid to dream, afraid to hope, even though I came out here and said brave things sometimes. But I was never brave.

Then in the midst of my half-hope, half-doubt, we found out we were expecting. I didn’t do anything fancy to get this kid, not like the last one. I didn’t pray as much, cry as much, yell as much. He just came, a surprise, and I felt like I didn’t deserve him.

A few weeks into the pregnancy, I thought we were going to lose him. But we didn’t. For whatever reason, life hung on and grew inside me. There was sickness in the early days, but there was always joy. And gratitude. And then the second trimester, when symptoms subsided and the pregnancy was enjoyable.

Now I am days from delivering, or at least days from the due date, and I am wide and cranky and tired. I have chubby feet and a separating midsection. I feel awkward and uncomfortable in my skin, and I know there will be much rehabilitation for this body to return to normal post-birth.

All the discomfort was enough to make me forget how overwhelmed with joy I felt when we first learned of this second child. I couldn’t believe my body could do it, had done it, again. My son would have a sibling. There would be four of us. Finally.

I longed with barely any bravery for this child, and when he first came into existence, I reveled at the news. But the past few weeks, carrying this long-awaited dream feels burdensome, like I just want this part to be over. Today, I remembered how I prayed with fear and doubt for him before he was even a dividing cell, how we fought for him when we thought he might be slipping away early in the pregnancy.

Today I reminded myself, despite the aching body, extra wobbly bits and a waddling gait, I fought for this. I wanted this. I knew all this discomfort was part of the deal, and I wanted it anyway. I wanted to carry this dream with my body, to make this exact sacrifice.

So here’s what I’ll be telling myself: no more whining. Put the kibosh on the complaints. Your life is growing another life, right inside you, and this is exactly what you wanted. You are growing and nourishing the dream, this time a human, and even though it feels burdensome today, there will be plenty of joy to go around any day now.

Have you longed for something for a season, only to feel burdened by its arrival later? Share your experience in the Comments below.

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