Monday, April 9, 2007

A Heavy Sigh (Wk 18: PREGNANCY)

August 30, 2005

It's been one of those weeks.

I'm tired of looking at my skinny profile in the mirror. Now there's something I never thought I'd say. But every day, I examine the tiny bump below my belly button, worried because it hasn't much changed in the past few weeks.

I'm tired of straining myself to feel the baby move. Just when I think I've felt something, I'll feel a muscle spasm in my leg with the same sensation.

I'm just generally irritated. It's spread to other areas of my life.

To cheer myself up, I started reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding last night. The descriptions of labor and childbirth, those first few moments of suckling, and a baby nuzzled against one's breast sent me into a land of roses and lollipops.

Fantasies in Babyland

I pictured myself cuddled up with a baby, watching his fingers curl around mine, listening to his gurgled swallowing. I pictured myself changing her diaper, swaddling her in a white blanket, and rocking her in my arms.

What will it be like to lay a pacified baby down to sleep? What will it be like to see him smile for the first time?

Will it ever come?

The Disease of Discontent

Yet I know that when motherhood arrives, I'll still have moments of worry, frustration, and irritation. Perhaps I'll have even more. It seems that I'm always setting my hope on idols that don't satisfy.

"If only we can start trying to conceive, instead of all this waiting."
"If only I can get pregnant."
"If only I can make it through the first trimester."
And todays, "If I only I could feel the baby move."

I am looking to circumstances to dictate my happiness. Since when has that ever worked? One god replaces another. Before baby fever hit is was, "If only I can find a satisfying job... If only I can buy my own place... If only I can marry the man of my dreams..."

I write all this with embarrassment, knowing that plenty of people would love to have my life. I am shamed by my own ingratitude. But what can I do but confess my imperfection? Honesty brings healing. So I lay out my sighs and look to a higher power, dependent on a grace beyond myself to lift me from this self-made mire.

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