When I think of pregnancy, I think of one thing:
Whether it’s waiting to see if that test is positive, waiting to hear that first heartbeat, or those long, arduous months of waiting to hold that baby in your arms, pregnancy is definitely a time of patience.
On Tuesday, I had an appointment at my dentist’s office for my six month check-up and cleaning. (You know, the one when you’re pregnant and it makes your gums look like a bloody massacre even though you swear to the hygienist that you’ve been flossing??) And because my dentist also happens to be my uncle, he joked with me a little about my upcoming bundle of joy.
“I guess you won’t be seeing me in six months,” I laughed. “I will be busy doing everything I can to get this baby out instead!”
He shook his head at me in reply. “I don’t understand you pregnant women,” he said. “If it were me, I’d want to do everything in my power to keep that baby in!”
Clearly, the man has never been pregnant.
But I will concede slightly to the point that there is something to be said for learning to embrace the wisdom of pregnancy and the lessons that waiting can teach us.
Image via j&j brusie photography
Lesson #1: Pregnancy, like parenting, is not totally in my control.
For me, these long ten (really, it’s ten, not nine, guys…we’ve been duped) months of pregnancy teach me that it’s not all about me. Yes, I’m the one carrying the baby and feeding the baby and in essence, growing the baby, but when it comes right down to it, this baby is still its own separate little being that will grow up to have his or her own life. I’m not just a vessel, of course, but then again, I am kind of a vessel…a loving, wisdom-filled, mom-my-kids-will-never-be-too-cool for vessel to usher them into the world. I can guide them and love on them and sneak all the kisses I want while I still can, but just like I can’t control when this baby will come, I won’t be able to control every aspect of their lives either.
Because I may be the world’s most selfish person and also because I happen to dread the last two months of pregnancy, maybe I need this lesson more than some, but the truth is, it’s a hard-earned one for me.
Lesson #2: Waiting = preparing.
And maybe it’s just me, but the waiting, especially in the third trimester, is almost necessary for me to face the challenge of the newborn days. Not to say those aren’t precious moments, of course, but let’s be honest too–there are a lot of sleepless nights. By the end of pregnancy, with insomnia and four-time-a-night bathroom breaks, I am convinced that my body is doing some serious prep work in getting me ready for life with a newborn again.
Lesson #3: Waiting gives me time to believe.
Tell me if you’ve ever stopped in your pregnant tracks and wondered, Can I do this? Am I strong enough to handle labor? Will I really be a good mother?
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first baby or your fourth, but the concept of growing an entire human being, bringing him or her into the world, and then being completely responsible for that life from here on out is a hard one to wrap your head around. It can be hard to believe that you really are the person for the job.
But you are.
Somehow, someway, through morning sickness, varicose veins, endless aches and pains, and a love-hate relationship with your pregnancy pillow, you will find a strength that you didn’t know you had.
Welcome to motherhood, my friends.