I’ve been trying to find a definition of hope. I know, this sounds like the start of a bad wedding speech – “the dictionary definition of love…”. But truthfully I worry that my last few updates have strayed a bit too far on the side of fear and negativity. I click back to the PALS homepage and see the call to choose hope over fear and I wonder if I’m doing that. But I know that this is a safe place for both – that enforced positivity or blindly washing over our fears is not the point of this space.

Issy at 33 weeks pregnant, walking her dog - Making room for hope again

Author’s Personal Collection/Issy Jorden

But still, am I choosing hope? Am I allowing the fear to take over, or is there room for both?

The best definition of hope I can summarize from my googling is, a desire for something to happen, and an expectation that that thing could happen. Perhaps not the certainty that it will, but knowing that it could, and willing it to be so.

I don’t know anything about golf, but at church this morning the preacher showed a clip of golfer Scottie Scheffler being interviewed, saying he had said to his friends that morning before play: “I wish I didn’t want to win as badly as I do. That would make the mornings much easier.”

Isn’t that the pain, the danger of hope? Wanting something so badly, knowing it’s possible, but also knowing you could be disappointed? We love winning and we hate losing, and entering into pregnancy means surrendering to an unknown outcome. And then we have no option but to hope, or why would we have considered another pregnancy in the first place? We try because we have to believe that there is a happy ending out there. That a pregnancy can end positively for us. It’s the possibility that keeps us going. But there is room for fear too. The very nature of hope means that what we hope for is not a sure thing, so I won’t feel guilty for my fear or my doubt. But I would like to try and make a little more room for hope. To remember that it’s possible that this pregnancy will end well.

We’re in the final countdown now. Four weeks, less than a month.

It’s Spring, and the sunshine has finally arrived in our part of the UK. I have conflicting feelings about the nice weather. On the one hand it feels full of joy, looks like iced coffees and dog walks and sitting in pub gardens. But in reality, those things often feel out of reach for me at the moment. I’m tired, walking for more than 10 minutes makes me achy and sore, sometimes going out in public to a pub or coffee shop feels like a bit too much and I’d rather stay home where it’s safe and quiet. I feel like my days are ruled by my anxiety, my fatigue, my heavy pregnant body. But even so – even if I sit on my sofa at home and look at the light outside, it still feels like hope. There’s sunshine out there, I can see it, sometimes I’m brave enough to step outside into it. I can hold onto hope for another 4 weeks.

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