I wasn’t one of those women who enjoyed being pregnant. I was green with morning… no, scratch that, all-day-sickness. My legs were restless, my sciatic nerve screamed in pain, and ankles disappeared while my weight went through the roof. (Because I didn’t stop munching, see the aforementioned sickness.) I’m sure I enjoyed moments of it, but truly, pregnancy was not my favorite.
While the little bean(s) grew inside of me, there were times I was overjoyed with the idea of becoming a mom. There were also moments I was overwhelmed at all that I was giving up. So many things that I was used to, pre-pregnancy, weren’t an option anymore. My space wasn’t my own and I had a hard time adjusting to the increasing discomfort and constantly making decisions for the greater good. These are all the things I started thinking about as I was staring another week of social distancing and distance learning in the face.
Because so much of this is absolutely brutal. Families are split apart, careers are crashing down, kids are being asked to ‘play school’ full time, and parents are filling in as teachers, many while still working. The emotional toll this is taking makes the physical aspects of pregnancy feel like a walk in the park. (Oh, I miss walking in the park!) It’s hard enough to keep up with everything we should be doing inside the home, not to mention constantly fielding and filtering the news from the outside.
On a very superficial, selfish level, so many of the ways I routinely hit the ‘reset’ button don’t (currently) exist. So here we are, you and I, having been asked to adjust our decisions, restructure our priorities, and share our space to the point of discomfort. We’ve sacrificed our favorite forms of work and play, for a greater good and now, we wait. Ohhh the waiting. We’re not even waiting for ourselves, either. We’re waiting on others to make decisions for us. So it’s literally waiting, for the sake of waiting. I know this is a stretch, but truly, in so many ways it feels like, collectively… we’re pregnant.
Here’s the thing though, the entire 40 weeks are worth every uncomfortable, painful, moment for the gift that comes at the end. I think its safe to say that the farther into a pregnancy you are, the harder it feels. But I have to believe there are gifts waiting for us at the end of this uncomfortable season, too. Maybe it’ll be gifts of appreciation, attention, or joy from spending time together, growing closer as a family. Hopefully, before too long, we’ll have the chance to move in closer, lift each other up and love each other more. I look forward to the new-normal; to the life that waits for us at the end of this season. It won’t be without an adjustment period, and I don’t imagine it’ll be easy. But, just like any new parents, we have history to learn from and shoulders to lean while we figure it out.
My first pregnancy was 10 years ago, the second and third followed quickly. I haven’t had a pregnancy in 6.5 years. But, I remember those feelings well, and as I watch the kids that have grown, where babies were planted, I continue to choose hope. Hope that the new life that waits for all of us will be worth the pain, sacrifice, and stress. We won’t necessarily welcome new humans into the world. But, we might celebrate new, stronger relationships. If we don’t grow in number, we definitely have the opportunity to increase in strength and love. More than anything, we’ll look back and know that we stood together, (from a distance) for the greater good and became something that might even resemble a family.