Archive for June, 2010

June 24, 2010

Don’t Go Changing

Obviously there are lots of physical changes that women go through in the course of pregnancy—bellies get bigger, feet swell, stomachs revolt.  As uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating as these changes are, I’m finding a natural ability to adapt to them, simply because I have to.

Picking things up off the floor is more of a struggle, so I leave things on higher surfaces now.  Walking up the stairs means being out of breath, so I brought a book to the Laundromat last weekend and waited out the wash cycle instead of going home.  Painting my toenails is a test in stamina, so I got a pedicure a few weeks back (yay!).  Solutions to any of these situations are fairly easy to come by, and no one thing stands out as particularly troublesome.

What I’m learning is that pregnancy is really a series of gradual changes, rather than one big event that changes everything. Well, I guess that’s where giving birth comes in, but I have another three months until I get there, so more on that later.

For now, I’m noticing that a bit of a change will happen here or there—like an increase in belly size or a decrease in appetite (yes, a decrease, but only so that I wasn’t eating like a monster anymore)—and I’ll have the grace of a little time to get used to it before something else happens.  Only in the first trimester was I fairly cognizant of which week of my pregnancy I was in at a given time.  By the second trimester, which is now just about at its end, I started to take things more day-by-day than anything else.  Happily, I now realize I’ve kind of gotten used to being pregnant.  While there are still minor adjustments to make each day, the whole thing feels more natural now that my head and my heart (and my stomach!) are a bit more settled.  I’ll chalk it up to prayer again, because that’s the only way I know to find this sort of easy peace.

Lately, though, I’ve started to think about how (or if!) I will return to some of my old habits once the baby is born.  Because there’s no “revert to last saved file” button in my mind, I wonder if in six months I’ll still be pointing to a remote or a book on the other side of the room and asking someone closer to grab it for me.  Will I still assume John will carry the laundry to the Laundromat?  Will I continue to strategize my way around longer staircases?  Will I be able to dress myself in clothing that fits me (not me and a friend) in a single swipe from my closet?

With so many adjustments to make, how many will require conscious decision-making?  In how many ways that I’ve changed will I simply change back, and in what ways will things never be the same?

I reach this point in my post and I think I should wrap up and offer some sort of conclusion.  But the truth is, I don’t have one yet.  I don’t know when I’ll fit into my old jeans again (but I know I will!); I don’t know how I’ll respond to taking care of a baby all day; I don’t know what challenges still lie ahead as a mother, as a wife, as a person. I guess I just know that no matter what I’m transitioning into or out of, I’ll get there somehow.  And it’s just a good reminder on one of the brighter days to know that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

June 21, 2010

Welcome Back!

We are back from a wonderfully relaxing vacation—a week of family, fudge, and the first time I’ve ever been tanner than John!  Vacation has a funny way about it, a kind of time warp.  Sunday and Monday, I felt like we had all the time in the world.  Tuesday, I didn’t know what day it was.  And Wednesday through Saturday seemed to last all of fifteen minutes.  As strange as the days felt, it was great to spend time slowing down, recharging, and reflecting on where we are at this point in our marriage, our family, and our lives.

Whenever I’m with John’s family (he’s one of six children), I am reminded in a very deep, very true way why I hope to have a larger family.  As I watched John and his siblings play soccer on a quiet New Jersey beach last Friday afternoon, I was struck again by how beautiful this family is to me. Each person has a different relationship to the others, but there is a pure and enduring love that lives so fully among them all.   Everyone has incredibly diverse interests and talents, but at the end of the day we can all sit around the dinner table together and laugh ourselves silly.  I love being a part of this family, as a sort of seventh child.  I love that John’s sisters don’t call me sister-in-law, nor do his parents think of me as their daughter-in-law.  I am simply a sister and a daughter.

My happy revelation this past week is that the advent of this child is the start of what will be the very best chapter of our lives.  We plan to have more than one child, more than two, even, and somehow I just realized that this Peanut, this first pregnancy, is how it all begins.

As I watched the soccer game on the sand, I considered what an honor and a challenge it is to be at the head of a new family:  shaping it, caring for it, guiding it—and being guided by it—as it grows.  Next year we’ll have a nine-month-old baby on vacation with us.  There will be a baby bathing suit and gentle sunscreen to rub on soft skin.  A big hat or little sunglasses to protect from the sun while we build castles in the sand.  Walks down to the water to splash at the edge of the waves.  And so many happy aunts, uncles, and grandparents to share it all with.

Wedged into my beach chair last week, I again had the feeling that I am “exactly where I am meant to be”—right then, with my brothers and sisters on the beach, and in imagining the coming months, when our baby will finally be in my arms.

Perhaps this all sounds cliché, but it is the absolute, honest truth.  My family is home to me, and I cannot be more grateful to God for getting me here.

***

In response to a request by some of you fine folks, I’ve finally taken a belly photo to share.  Here we are, our Peanut and me!



June 11, 2010

A Momentary Interruption . . .

Blog posting has fallen a bit off schedule this week, as we’ve been preparing for VACATION!

Stay tuned next week, though, for some thoughts from Long Beach Island, NJ.

All the best!

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