There’s some things I expected to happen during my pregnancy that never happened (or at least, haven’t happened yet…we’ve still got a couple of weeks). Like, I haven’t had a stranger touch my belly or even ask to touch my belly. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had anyone, even close friends, touch my belly without asking. I’m very happy about this, don’t get me wrong. I just wonder if my face says, “Don’t even think about it”? Also, thankfully I have not had anyone say something to me in the manner of, “You look like you’re about to pop,” or, “Must be twins!” I don’t even know how I would respond to that…
But one thing people have done during this pregnancy, that is also pretty annoying, is ask about our plans for other children. Besides the one I’m focusing on carrying/nurturing right now. It’s like, let me see how this one goes, all right? But also, the truth? I have really hated being pregnant. Maybe there’s been a few sweet moments here and there of anticipation or wonder over the little life growing inside me. But mostly it’s been discomfort, pain, and an increasing horror over the (also increasing) size and shape of my body. I honestly cannot imagine going through this, willingly, ever again. I may have even said to Robert a handful (a dozen) times that I am never getting pregnant again. We don’t want an only child, so adoption it is! We’ve both always liked that idea anyway.
But the truth is, 9 months pregnant is not the time to being saying “never.” I’m still in the weeds, still climbing to the summit or trying to finish the marathon or whatever metaphor you want to use. The main thing is, I haven’t laid my eyes on the prize yet. I haven’t met my little baby or looked into her eyes or gotten to know her. I have a feeling that a year from now, my perspective on pregnancy will be greatly changed, because I will truly know what the pain and discomfort produced. One of my favorite bloggers, Emily Henderson, put it this way:
“I think your first pregnancy can be the least fun in a way because you don’t really know how amazing the reward is about to be. I really wanted a family and of course I knew that the pregnancy would lead to that, but it’s just so conceptual, so abstract before it actually happens. But for my second child I think I’m going to like being pregnant more because I hold the result of my first pregnancy in my arms every day, and I know now what I can look forward to at the end of those long nine months. You really don’t know the joy of being pregnant unless you can imagine the happiness of the result.”
Elsewhere, Emily compares pregnancy to a super long flight to some destination that everyone tells you is fabulous but you have yet to visit yourself. The first three months you’re in a cramped jump seat in the back of the plane, with turbulence, right next to the bathroom, and you’re uncomfortable and sick and wondering why you signed up for the trip in the first place. The second trimester they let you sit in economy class and you kind of forget you’re on a plane for a while, except everyone around you gets to drink and you don’t. Then the last month or so, they move you back to that cramped seat and take away any bodily comfort or pleasure and also deprive you of sleep and all you’re thinking is, this place I’m headed had better be as amazing as everyone says it is! And then the descent is super scary and everyone’s sure they’re going to die, but you don’t die, and you arrive at this wonderful destination, and it all seems so worth it.
So yeah. I really relate to that analogy, partly because I’ve done a fair bit of traveling and have even had those super uncomfortable, long-haul flights to places I’ve never been and wondered, “Why am I doing this again?” But every single time it’s been worth it. Every single time. Of course, the discomfort and sacrifice and length of pregnancy is worse and longer than any long-haul flight, but I imagine getting to know my little daughter will also be an incomparably better and sweeter adventure than any I’ve had anywhere on the globe.
So I guess what I’m saying is, stay tuned. After baby girl is here (well, probably several months after), I’ll be able to give my true and complete thoughts on pregnancy.
What do you think? Did you love being pregnant? Hate it? Fear it or desire it? Somewhere in between?