Last night, a stranger walked by me commenting that he thought I was having a boy. There is something odd about pregnancy that makes you a public spectacle. Something very private is on full display for anyone to observe.
(And people are generally very sweet, including this one guy, and excited. He was right by the way. This post isn’t so much about them.)
At first, I thought this pregnancy would be different. Some days I forgot I was pregnant, and we didn’t tell our family and friends for a long time. The pregnancy weight didn’t accumulate for months, and Evelyn kept me busy.
Then, the third trimester hit, and I had to be done. I felt uncomfortable, and the familiar emotional symptoms hit at once, in full force. I couldn’t breathe under the weight of the discomfort, both in my body and in my heart. So, I took matters into my own hands – deciding I wouldn’t be the crying, hormonal, pregnant girl again.
I refused to give any credence to the raging hormones.
I would handle this pregnancy like an adult.
I would keep control.
And so, I shut it all down. The pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction, and I rationally stuffed ALL feelings deep inside. Once I had a baby in my arms, my marriage could resume; I would like my body; I would have my usual self-confidence again.
I heard somewhere that men are like the earth – solid and consistent. Women are like the ocean – with waves and currents and ups and downs. I’ve been jealous of my husband’s steadiness, while I am in a constant state of flux.
So, I fixed my eyes on the finish line – plowing through any emotions and willing myself to have. this. baby. And get it over with.
But my doctor has had other ideas. She keeps saying things about going past my due date and that the baby just needs more time. And she is right. I would never wish to jeopardize his health, but my method of self-care wasn’t working. Stuffing it all down created distance in my marriage and in my faith. So I felt like a spectacle, but with a distinct separation from all the community that God intended for me as a woman.
Here I sit – still pregnant.
Emotions are boiling up inside me and my cheeks are tear-stained in a vulnerable way that makes me embarrassed. The protective walls I built have kept me from two roles I should be putting first: a daughter of the King and a loving wife.
Maybe pregnancy is part of God’s way of drawing me closer to his heart. Maybe these emotions are powerful for a purpose and could be used for his glory. Maybe I missed out on big plans he had for my heart, because I tried to keep control of the situation. Maybe being like an ocean with ups and downs means that I can complement my husband, instead of being jealous of his steadiness.
I’ll leave this post hanging with “maybe,” because it really is just a starting point.
photo at 38 1/2 weeks