Sitting here typing, the weight of my belly now rests on my thighs
even without leaning forward. My two and
four-year-old get wedged between my girth and the wooden arms of the glider
chair and so they now prefer to stand, or have us sit on the bed to read books
before naps. My son, waist-high, often
gets belly-bumped in his forehead as I can no longer see his curly head when
he’s right below me. When he hugs me,
his spine curls backward to accommodate the contour of my convex body.
Simple tasks have become comical as I can no longer bend over to pick
up toys or tie shoe laces. Hands
immersed in sudsy water, I jump backward as I realize my belly has crept up
against the wet sink, absorbing the water run-off. I usually have a stain of some sort on the
belly shelf and catch a draft in shirts that no longer stretch over the
entirety of my new mass. I have to do acrobatics just to get out of public
To some women, I am a good luck charm, a picture of miraculous
life. To others, I am a curse; a
physical reminder of their loss or disappointment. And to others I am a sign of their fear and
dread, as they long for children, but fear having their bodies transform and
never return to the thin, fit bodies they fight so hard to maintain. Wherever I go, I am noticed.
And so I am trying to see and be grateful for the beauty and mystery
of this experience. It could be my last
chance for my body to provide shelter, food and home to a new life; this soul
that is being knit together.
The heel of my son pushes against my insides and I reach out to feel
the curve of it. It’s his way of
communicating with me here on the outside.
He wakes me in the night with his turning, shifting and stretching. Sometimes my insides pulse with the rhythm of
We are attached to one another.
Soon we will become two, divided and growing farther and farther
apart as he learns to be a man.
I wonder what he will look like; what his personality will be.
Will he have curly hair and green eyes like his brother or straight
hair and blue eyes like his sister? How
will he fit into our family and which parent will he be more like?
As I wait for labor, it is like waiting in the basement for the
immanent tornado of intense pain, loss of control, joy, hope and love all
swirling together in a powerful tunnel. I both
fear it and long for it at once.
I am acting strangely these days.
One moment I am laughing with my children, the next I am crying on the
bathroom floor, explaining to my son, “Mommy is praying.” I am exhausted, but wake up five times a night
and often can’t go back to sleep. I go
from wanting to lie on the couch for hours to painting the coffee table, sorting
all the teeny clothes again and cleaning out every junk area in the house.
It is these mood swings that remind me that I am in good company even
with wild animals who search for a safe place to have their young. I am both special and ordinary at the same
I’m not sure what the next few days or weeks will look like, but I am
trying to maintain a stance of surrender, attempting to trust that the One who
is forming this little one’s bones, muscles, heart and soul within me knows
what He is doing. It is a
minute-by-minute struggle to remember that peace is mine for the taking in
these strange days of waiting.
I cling to this promise of Jesus even as I know He is holding me now,
giving me life and knitting me together day by day in an on-going act of
Labels: motherhood, pregnancy