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.

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