Its 6:30am and we have been up for almost two hours this morning. My sweet Viola has been trying to beat her 5:30am wake-up record and has succeeded with flying colors… 4:30am has been the new normal this week. And as I continue to be optimistic about her reverting back to her normal crack-of-dawn wake-up time, I feel anxious butterflies in my stomach when I remember the pregnancy test(s) I took over a week ago. That’s right, Preggo again!
I told a friend of mine the good news, to which he replied, “are you ready?” That’s hilarious. I’m reminded of the stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan describing what its like to have a fourth child:
It’s like when you’re drowning…and someone hands you a baby.
I do feel like I’m still drowning a lot of the time. Its funny how my mantra for over a year has been: “One’s good.”…mostly due to the hellish labor and the high maintenance baby to follow. I thought I couldn’t do the first year again, therefore lets stop at one…that was too hard. But as my friend asked me to think about my “readiness”, I realized that giving birth and raising another infant didn’t scare me as much as the prospect of doing that with a strong-willed two year old. That’s terrifying. Even if the next one is high-maintenance, I won’t have the time or energy to cater to them like I did for Vi.
It is a good thing that it takes 8.5 months for a baby to grow, and Vi will be very different then. I admit I am afraid of taking care of Vi during the pregnancy. I have more intense nausea this time around with exhaustion upon exhaustion. But we’re hanging in there. My friend Courtney shared a blog yesterday written by a woman who overheard a very pregnant woman on her cellphone complain about her aches and pains and just wanting it to be over. Here is her response:
I heard it all, and I sympathized.
But you know what I didn’t hear?
The miracle of feeling your baby writhe, confined so tight in your womb that he or she could barely wriggle. The beauty of sitting on the cusp of an expanded family. The glorious knowledge that God has used you to bring about one of His most awesome gifts. The anxious, gleeful anticipation of waiting to meet someone whose lungs have yet to even draw breath.
I didn’t hear any of that, and it pains me.
As a woman who longed for so many years to walk in those stretched out, swollen shoes of pregnancy, I am keenly aware of the blessing wrapped in a burden that is late pregnancy. The physical signs of impending birth are, to me, so poignant that I admit, I find very little to complain about. Knowing as I do the emptiness of arms unfilled, I sometimes have to step away from women who curse their own blessed state so that I don’t shake them.
At first I was irritated that she had a problem with women being honest about their “swell” state. As someone who complains perhaps a little too much, I was rubbed the wrong way by her point of view, but I appreciate her candor. Especially after reading on:
There is much to be burdened by, yes. But sister, there is even more to be blessed by.
As I sat on the opposite end of the locker room bench, listening to you describe your body as “massive” and “disgusting,” listening to you announce how you couldn’t “wait for this to be over,” my mind went back years and years, to an experience I’ve all but forgotten. An experience with another expectant mother who had no idea that she was just hours away from meeting her baby. We had lunch, both of us pregnant, both of us nearing the end of the race. While we ate, my friend listed off the things she couldn’t wait to do without a baby growing inside of her. Drink a beer. Be intimate with her husband. Ride her bike. Ditch the maternity panties. Wear her favorite jeans.
Three hours later, at a routine check-up, she learned that her baby had died. She delivered a still little girl that night, and went home to a place where all of those things–the beer, the bike, the jeans– seemed empty and useless.
She would have given anything to have that baby back, safe, inside of her. She told me later–and I admit, I still didn’t get it for years–that she would do anything, anything to be that uncomfortable and full again.
She is absolutely right. Even before I read this blog, I have been praying that God would help me see joy in every day. The blessing that is happening RIGHT NOW inside of me. Many people can’t even have children, and here I am blessed with more than I had planned or expected. I think that’s pretty cool.