It has taken me (well, us) over 3 years to get to this place, this incredible moment in time that I didn’t think I would get to. A full-term pregnancy. After 4 pregnancies that resulted nowhere near term (you can read about those here and here and here and here), it was hard to stay hopeful, positive, optimistic. What wasn’t hard, to a certain degree, was putting our trust in God and being reminded no matter what, to be content. With a baby, without a baby. Rick was very, very instrumental to help me get to that place. I am not sure I was there all the time, or there perfectly, but, it was a constant thought that made way to my head and into my heart. Be content in all circumstances.
Fast forward, I am almost 38 weeks pregnant, proof below 🙂
I often get the question “how do you feel?” And by the grace of God, my response has been, I feel good. Because I do. I have had a pregnancy where I would say physically, it has been really, really good. I sleep. I sleep so well that I have picked up a really bad case of snoring in the third trimester and poor Rick is now the one who isn’t sleeping…bless his heart. I have worked out somewhat regularly throughout the pregnancy. (Disclosure #1 – as I am high risk, I wasn’t allowed to work out my first trimester. Disclosure #2 – by working out I mean very moderate exercise…walking, eliptical and the like…so no, I wasn’t those super moms running marathons or benching 100 pounds while the baby kicks me in the ribs.) While my energy levels have varied, for the most part, I have a good amount of energy. I have gained a healthy amount of weight. Sure, would I have loved to be the woman who gains 20 pounds? Yeah. But I knew from the start that wouldn’t be me. I set a goal of gaining 25-30 pounds and right now I am at 30. A little on the higher side of my goal but it’s okay. The ice cream has been worth it.
Emotionally? That is a different story. For me, I would say the emotional piece of answering the question “how do you feel?” is where I don’t always respond “good.” Why? Well, for the most part, it hasn’t been major but, my hormones have gotten the best of me at times during this pregnancy, namely the third trimester. Of course women talked about that and you read about it. But I found more women and more articles and blogs and forums and apps focused on the physical symptoms and hurdles you face being pregnant (weight gain, stretch marks, no sleeping, varicose veins, acne, heartburn, achy hips, etc.). So when I found myself with no acne and no heartburn, weeping tears at 3am wondering why I even got pregnant and how will my marriage survive and all kinds of other absurd thoughts (but VERY real thoughts at the time), I realized I needed to talk about this more. Again, physically, I was doing just great. Emotionally I was a wreck with a capital W.
I needed support and prayers. It comes as no surprise, the next day, when I shared this part of my pregnancy – the part where I questioned why I married Rick and why he is a jack @$$ (sorry, that was what I was thinking at the time), that most of the thoughts in my head were negative, the part where I wasn’t sure if having a child was what I wanted (ummm, a little late for that, Ann) and a thousand thoughts in between – with a group of women and vulnerably and weakly asked for prayers, I started to be lifted. I was lifted out of that place, one day, one hour, one moment at a time. I literally couldn’t pray for myself and needed the intercession of women I love and trust to help me. And they did. As I type right now goose bumps are covering my entire body. I honestly didn’t even really believe their prayers would work but I was so desperate, lost and scared, I had nowhere else to go.
Since that period of time in the beginning of my third trimester, I have, for the most part, been back to myself. I have had moments of emotional hormonal absurd breakdowns, yes. Like most pregnant women do. But the power of prayer – and continued prayer – had lifted me and continues to lift me. And, again, for the most part, I have really enjoyed this pregnancy.
I have thanked God for the miracle in my belly. I have cried tears of joy feeling this child move around inside of me. I have been able to pour love and creativity into her nursery, her first space in this world. I have had physical woes and emotional woes and I am thankful for both. Because that is what pregnancy is and that is what pregnancy does and it’s worth it. And ladies, I am going to bet I am not the only one who went through some extremely tough emotional times during pregnancy. May I encourage you? May I remind you that you are not alone? That your thoughts and emotions and hormones are real. Please, please don’t let them fester as they will. I let them fester too long and only wish I would have asked for help and been brave enough to share sooner. Talk to someone, ask for help, ask for prayers. I am not sure where I would be if I didn’t share the ugliness of my pregnancy and ask for help from women who I trust. Please, please do the same!
My days of being pregnant are coming to an end and while I am incredibly excited and ready to meet this little girl, this gift from heaven, I am also in awe at the last 38 weeks of my life. Things God has shown me. The trials faced between Rick and me. The ups, the downs, the tears of pain, the tears of joy. My changing body, a growing life inside of me. I am most certain that there is no greater miracle God shows us every single day across the world, than the miracle of life.
PS – I no longer think Rick is a jack @$$ and in fact, as I look back not only on this pregnancy but our marriage, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for him, his strength, his prayers, his leadership of our family. I can’t even believe I get this amazing guy to be the father of this little girl.
PPS (or is it PSS?) – If you are one who prays, I welcome your prayers these last couple weeks. Prayers for a safe and healthy delivery and that this little one would enter the world well, surrounded by love!