The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver
Today, Facebook reminded me that it’s been exactly one year since I became pregnant with my son. One year ago, on April 9th, 2019 I had a frozen embryo transfer procedure. It was successful, and on December 19th, 2019, I gave birth to my son Rio. This was my second successful IVF pregnancy. I had my first frozen embryo transfer procedure on August 20th, 2017. It was successful and I gave birth to my daughter, Maya on May 18th, 2018.
My life has changed in so many ways since my first pregnancy. It’s been less than 3 years and in that time I:
- Gained 60 pounds, grew a baby, lost 50 pounds and breastfed for 10 months
- Gained 71 pounds, grew a baby, lost 55 pounds (so far!) and have breastfed (so far!) for 3 months
- Quit my job and moved to a new state
- Started a successful business
- Went from having no children to being a mother of a 22 month old daughter and a 3 month old son
My body and life have in fact changed so drastically that I barely recognize either one of them.
The one thing that has remained (relatively) constant throughout this time is that I have maintained a connection with just how very precious life is. It was an incredibly long, difficult, painful, and beautiful journey for me to conceive, carry, and deliver both of my babies. I consider both of my children to be gifts from the universe, and they are my daily reminders that life is truly wild and precious.
I found the above poem by Mary Oliver while doing a course in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. The poem came at the end of a chapter entitled “Kindness in Action.” The chapter taught me:
- What you do affects how you feel. Most important: You can change how you feel by changing what you do.
- You can turn activity into a simple yet powerful way to raise mood and enhance well-being.
- Kindness heals; Unkindness (Aversion) Hinders
Today, I was feeling a little anxious, so I hopped on my treadmill and ran 3 miles. I focused on my breath, my pounding heart, and the sweat dripping down my body. It brought me back into a calm, kind place, and realigned me with the universe. Afterwards, I contemplated the last line from Mary Oliver’s poem, and I would like to suggest that if you’re reading this, you do the same:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I plan on cherishing every moment as the gift that it is.
Photos: 1) My babies on home lock-down 2) Maya’s embryo transfer day 3) Rio’s embryo transfer day 4) Me covered in sweat post run