How did I do that?
Men might have brute strength and be able to lift hundreds of pounds of dead weight or run miles without rest, they might even be able to open that pickle jar that never opens for us women, but they never have to endure nine months of carrying another human being, and then bring that new life into the world.
They might be strong, but we are tough!
God has given women a strength that surpasses physical endurance. How else would we withstand the hours upon hours of labor that it takes to birth that little baby that has been our constant companion for nearly a year.
But that is what lies ahead for me.
This post isn't about the future, but about the past. About these last seven months and the thrills.. and chills.. that have come my way.
What I love about being pregnant!
1) Knowing that I'm a part of something bigger than myself: Yes, I am carrying this baby, but I didn't invent being pregnant. I didn't design the human body and its ability to conceive, carry, and nurture life. Instead, this "miracle of life".. is just that, a miracle. A sign from God. He is the one that fashioned every intimate detail and planned it all out before time even began. Sure, I wish that He had left out the stretch marks and morning sickness (more on that later), but each time I feel Baby move, I feel closer to the Creator, the One who gave us this gift.
2) Feeling Baby move: From the first slight, barely-there, am-I-imagining-it-or-is-it-just-gas, flutters nearly 14 weeks ago, to the constant gymnastics and karate kicks that I'm feeling now, this baby has made its presence known. While thankfully restricting his movements to the waking hours, I smile each time I feel a little jab, knowing that it means Baby is safe, healthy, and growing stronger every day. And even though it's painful at times, and my bladder doesn't appreciate the extra bounces, when I feel Baby literally dancing inside me as I play a catchy tune or placing his hand against mine for a simple touch, I feel blessed beyond measure.
3) That I haven't had any weird cravings: It might be stereotypical, the frantic husband rushing out into the snow in the wee hours of the morning in order to bring back pickles, ice cream, mustard, watermelon, and brussel sprouts, all of which are going in the blender together in order to meet the cravings of his pregnant wife. Other than loving fruit throughout this whole pregnancy, I haven't experienced any weird cravings, a fact Micah is extremely thankful for. Instead, I merely like a certain kind of food (it's Mexican right now), but it's a passing fancy, not a give-it-to-me-before-I-kill-you type of thing. My stomach is grateful for the lack of pickle-mustard-and-horseradish shakes, too.
4) That I have morning sickness: Oh my, that was almost painful to write. Yes, as painful, inconvenient, messy, and disgusting as morning sickness has been, I am thankful because, well, "The sicker Mommy is, the healthier Baby is." Though at time I can't help but wonder if that is just a gimmick someone came up with to make the miserable experience less.. miserable. Or at least more worthwhile. We can do anything as long as there is a reason.
5) My baby weight has been all baby (and all out front): Some women, like my Mom apparently, gained weight all over with each of their pregnancies. Arms, legs, face, and of course, the stomach, they chubbed out. Considering my family history, I was expecting the same. Only, it wasn't to be. Not only have I ONLY gained baby weight and all that entails, but I've only gained it in front. Yes, this is something that I am very happy about. I never thought that I'd be one of the cute prego women, but I guess miracles do happen! Kind of makes me scared for future pregnancies though...
6) Knowing that I'm making Micah a Daddy: Never in my life (though I might be a bit biased) have I met a man who loves children more than Micah. Never. If there ever was someone who was meant to be a father, this is he. Since first meeting Micah and seeing him interact with his nieces and nephews, with children of friends, especially the babies, I knew that when the day came that he became a Daddy, that would be one blessed kid. As happy as I am to be having this baby, I know that in this case, his happiness might even surpass mine. Never has a wife and child felt so loved.
What I don't love about being pregnant!
1) Stretch marks: I got my first ones the week of Christmas. Yeah, Merry Christmas to me, and a Happy New Year. And while I cringe slightly each time I see them, my only real dislike comes from knowing the editing I'm going to have to do in my maternity belly pictures. I can't be too upset because I've had fat/hormone-induced stretch marks on various other parts of my body since the age of 13, so this is just one more place. Old news, if you will.... but I still would rather not have gotten any more, no matter how used to them I am.
2) Morning sickness: You knew there was going to be a flip side to my "i love morning sickness" entry, eh? While it does mean Baby is still "in there"... come on, every day for the first 4 months??? And 1-3 times a week since then? While a lot of the morning sickness has dissipated into puke-free nausea, it's still not a good feeling. I'm nearly 31 weeks.. isn't it enough that I'm carrying a 3-4 lb baby around and want to take a nap every five minutes? Do I really have to be rushing to the bathroom every morning, noon, and night? Couldn't we reach a compromise here? Once a week, every Thursday morning? Deal?
3) Braxton Hicks Contractions: Okay, so I know they're getting my body ready for labor, in order to stand the real contractions.. but OW! They do not feel good. In fact, they hurt! Thankfully, I didn't start feeling them until the past two weeks.. so at least they'll only stick around for 10 weeks, instead of overstaying their welcome like the morning sickness. That, and the fact that I don't have to leave my chair to have them.
4) Uncomfy sleep positions: Don't sleep on your back. Don't sleep on your stomach. Try not to sleep on your right side. Only sleep on your left side. Umm.. have you seen me sleep? I make tossing and turning look like an Olympic sport! Five minutes on this side. Flip to the other. Wedge a pillow behind my back. Sigh. Get up and go to the bathroom. Find out I really didn't have to go to the bathroom. Lay back down. Wrong side. Flip to the other side. Stretch my legs. Get a Charley Horse. Whimper in pain. Stretch my legs the correct way. Breathe a sigh of relief as the Charley Horse goes away. Curl up. Fluff pillow. Flip to the other side. Check the time on the clock. Sigh...... it's going to be a long two months.
All in all, I'm glad to see that I have a lot more things that I love than I don't. In fact, there is a lot more that I could have put on the list, but I would have gotten a cramp from typing. Besides, you get the idea.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Pregnancy = Rough
But so worth it.
So very worth it.