I hate being pregnant.
Let me stop and clarify what that statement does not mean: I don't mean I"m ungrateful for the miracle of Evelyn. Or that I'm ungrateful that I get to carry her myself. Or that I don't recognize how amazing it is that G and I conceived naturally within 6 months of starting to try. I see God's hand in all of that, and His blessing on us to start a family, and for that I am deeply grateful.
What I do mean is that pregnancy itself is so much harder and more uncomfortable than I imagined. All those things I saw, read, and told myself before getting pregnant to justify why I never wanted to pregnant? They're all still true. And I still did this whole carry a baby thing. And they still suck.
When I search the internet to see if I'm the only one who feels this way, I find tons of articles, chat threads, and websites that assure me I'm not. Pregnancy sucks for lots of women. We don't all feel a joyful glow as we clutch at the muscle cramp in our side while vomiting for the 3rd time in the past hour and think "This is so worth it".
But today, something happened that made me realize I needed to be much more careful about what voices I was allowing to influence my pregnancy thoughts.
We have a new puppy (if you're on snapchat, you know this, because I can't stop snapping her! @simplicityandco), and she's learning to be in a crate overnight. She has been doing so well recently, but some nights she simply can't hold it. Last night, my poor girl had diarrhea, and I had to clean her (and the crate, and it's bedding) 3 times between 1:30 AM and 5:30 AM. As always, this leads my pregnant brain to think, woefully, "Buckle in. This is just the beginning of long nights and shit everywhere. It sucks, but you chose this, and you just have to realize your life is going to suck for a few years, then it will start to get better" (depressing, not helpful, but realistic. And if I'm anything, it's a realist).
So when I woke up at 8 AM and got to clean the crate for a fourth time, you'd think I'd be in a bad mood starting the day. But I'm not. You see, I stumbled across (okay, God put in my negatively-minded path) an article talking about what you can gain as a woman (not a mom, not a wife, but YOU) through pregnancy and childbirth. And it resonated with, encouraged, and uplifted my tired, scared soul.
I find that so many pregnancy articles are about the 10 things you can't do now that you're pregnant. The 5 things you need to give up. The 3 things that you've lost and aren't coming back post-baby. Can't. Don't. Lose. These are the words that commonly surround the pregnancy dialogue, all sugar-coated with the cliche sentiment "But it's worth it". GAG.
But hearing a voice tell me that pregnancy can empower me to learn my body in a new way. Can teach me confidence to a degree I've never had it before. Might help me to express myself more freely and with more love. THAT is a reason for this woman to struggle and strive through the discomfort, pain, and confusion that is losing your body to another being with hope. The hope that I will be closer to the woman God called me to be because of this. The belief that, while I may feel like I"m so much less than I was, the truth is I am becoming so much more, and loss is just part of that process. Realizing it's a process, and giving myself grace for the time it takes, however long that may be for me.
Thank you, Reader, for giving me a space to process as I grow through pregnancy, and to share with you where I am as I'm learning. I hope you find these posts real, honest, and encouraging. As always, reach out to me if there's anything you want to talk about! You can head to my Contact Page, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below! I love interacting with you.