Maternity Moments: Part 1
Infertility was part of our lives for a better part of 4 years. For our first son 7 years ago...and then thinking for a few years after that - he was our first and last. Painful. Hard. Longings unfulfilled. A funeral each month. Sad. And now I am in the middle of a much more surprising pregnancy - our third. I am much older than when I had my first....and chasing around 2 others. I feel tired. It's week 34. Bending down to help with shoes and coats and book bags and basketballs.....I get winded...it's a different kind of load....the baby bump-awesomeness load.
I complain in my head a lot. And sometimes out loud to friends and my husband. And then again in my head. And it needs to be said:
I am simultaneously over the moon grateful to be pregnant AND irritated by the whole look!-someone-took-over-my-body! deal. At the same time. Not shutting off one or the other.....joy and curse in the same hand.
Knowing the privilege it is to carry your husband's child....and feeling like I may never return back to my self. Like I really stretched out this time, and this time, for good. Add hormones....and you've got a blender of fun when you walk in my door. Beware of Pregnant Lady. That's what my fence sign says.
A male friend recently pointed out to me that he feels the guys have gotten a better deal on the biblical "curse" from Genesis 2. That the toil of the earth will be hard for man has still yielded quite a bit of desk jobs.....not heavy handed farming and earth-grinding work. And yet the women, through decades and centuries....pregnancy is still the hard, unchanging work and burden it has always been. Of course there is still hard manual labor for SO many and the actually giving of birth has more pain free options more than ever before....but I liked that he was thinking as a woman for a moment. It was awesome.
We often hold joy and curse in the same palm. In different ways, pregnant or not. And it's not crazy; it just is. I do not love my baby less; but I am not blind to the extreme emotional, physical, hormonal load it takes to produce a child.
May the joy increase and the curse decrease....but may we also get the grace to see them both for what they are...and walk in dignity through them.