I’ve been keeping this little piece of information a secret from the social media world for about..well, 26 weeks. I’m not sure why, other than it’s just felt so special to be able to keep it close. I really had every intention of not sharing until after I gave birth, but with the current state of things, it feels important to share now. I thought I’d be out in public and able to share the news in person. I thought people would be able to infer the news from seeing my growing belly. I thought a lot of things before this pandemic started.
I remember whispering to Adam in the middle of a church service that I thought it was time for us to start trying. It just felt like the right time. It took him a few weeks to feel the same way. But once he did, it was all over. We felt so lucky that we did not have to try very hard. (Add to that feeling – shocked, confused, overwhelmed.)
That was early December, and we were able to share with our families over Christmas. It was still a bit early, but with living far away, we wanted to tell them in person when we could.
But I guess I could have started this story a little earlier, in October, when we had decided that we’d like to plan to move back to Virginia. Adam was ready to start a business, and I was starting to think about launching a non-profit similar to the one I was at (which is a blog post for another time).
With a baby on the way, we decided that the end of March would be a good time to move home. We wanted plenty of time to be able to settle in and prepare for this new season. Little did we know all the things that would happen between then and now.
I had expected to get proper goodbyes with all our friends in TN. With church being cancelled the week we had planned as our last Sunday, and with social distancing as an expectation, there were a lot of things left unsaid. We ended up leaving a bit early because we just weren’t sure what those next few days would hold. We did get to have a quick prayer together (in a group of less than 10) as a packed trailer left our driveway. Such a mix of emotions as we said goodbye to our friends and goodbye to our first place together.
I had expected to get settled in Virginia and find a full-time job fairly quickly. This has not been the case. Turns out that getting a job during a pandemic while you’re pregnant is not so easy. However, it has given us a chance to slow down and reevaluate what we want in the next few years. I did finally accept a job, and though it’s not what I had envisioned, it’s exactly right for this season. I’m so glad God allowed us to dream a little.
I had expected to get plugged in at church and find a life group. I’ve enjoyed joining online, but it’s not quite the same. Though we still wouldn’t be able to be in church or connect with people in person if we were in TN, the level of isolation feels a bit different here.
I had expected to be reunited with family and friends. I’m not sure when we’ll get to do this. We are grateful for the people we are getting to see – mainly our families. I am settling for FaceTimes and phone calls and the occasional outdoor visit from a distance. Though everyone else is in this same boat, it feels extra strange to have moved states but to be trapped in our house.
While I have many reasons to mourn, I have many reasons to practice gratitude. This baby is strong and healthy. We are spending lots of time together and with our family. We live in a long driveway with plenty of space to walk and get outside. Our families are in good health. Smiley’s Ice Cream is still open for business. God is still moving and speaking.
I can find myself getting caught up in the whys and the doubts and the fears. But over and over, God is steadying me, reassuring me, giving me the truth I need to hear in these days. He knows all my days, and all the days of this baby. He will keep making a way.
Baby Hayslett is due August 8, 2020. We are waiting to find out the gender, so I don’t have much else to tell you! We are so excited to meet this little one and start this new chapter of life. I have been feeling lots of kicks and enjoying this time with Adam and baby so much.
I know we are all experiencing this in different ways. I know this pandemic will come to an end at some point. It is not forever. I hope I am able to look back and see the ways God was at work.