Friday, November 2, 2007

Embracing the Miracle

I've been struggling, sometimes succeeding, with making peace with this new body. Your encouragement has been incredibly helpful and I thank you for that! Still, though, so often I feel as though my body is betraying me - committing mutiny and usurping any plans I may have had for it. It occurred to me last night, though, that my body is not betraying me at all but offering one of the greatest gifts I could receive. Duh, you say, of course! But, I'm not always the sharpest pencil in the box. It takes me awhile. And the nature of this pregnancy, the surprise that it was, did not allow me to prepare for the changes that would come.

It took me (and Boy Genius' dad - as much as I hate to admit it now, I did have some help) a year and a half to conceive my son. It was heart breaking at times, month after month of being disappointed, but it removed almost all apprehension about the upheaval that would occur when that little plus sign finally made its appearance. Admittedly, I still had a moment of "Oh, shit!" when that first test came back positive. "Now I've done it!" I was suddenly responsible for another human being - and felt completely unprepared. But the pregnant thing was absolutely welcome - something I had longed for for ages - and so I sailed through the weight gain and the discomforts with minimal trauma.

I was younger then, too, though not as active. Still, my younger body dealt with the shifts a little more smoothly, I think. I'm pretty sure my back wasn't killing me at 11 weeks as it is now. And I actually lost weight in the first trimester due to morning sickness - so the scale wasn't climbing until my belly was "out to there" and that made it seem a little easier to deal with. Also, I pretty much hated my body when I got pregnant -sad, true, but at least I wasn't mourning the loss of a physique I had worked hard to attain. Not that my body was "all that" before this little peanut came knocking, but it was certainly in a condition I felt proud of. I was aware of my imperfections but I was still pleased with the overall state of the union. And all that is VERY superficial - except when you consider that I've spent much of my adult life at odds with what my body was, thinking I was "fat" when I clearly wasn't, sitting on the couch and eating when I clearly needed to move, being critical of every dimple, every pooch. So, the feeling of satisfaction I was beginning to foster this summer was a welcome respite from a life of body hatred. And now this.

I think I have the wisdom now to understand that this is yet another lesson in self acceptance and in embracing the amazing things my body is capable of. Just like grade school, though, I tend to resist new lessons, wishing that the last one I learned would be "enough". Truly learning can be a painful process. Yet, here I am.

And I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didn't secretly wish I could have another baby. I had tried to make peace and accept the fact that my childbearing days were over but the emptiness was there. The silent wish that I could do it over. Sometimes our whispered prayers, the ones we don't know we're saying, are our most fervent. And, this time, my most fervent, secret prayer was answered. It would be blasphemy to deny my gratitude. So, I'm straddling the conflicting emotions of overwhelming thankfulness and underlying resentment. I've only gained five pounds, but the beginning muffin top and additions to my hips make me cringe. Then, I see the first picture of my baby, posted on the refrigerator and I catch my breath. My baby. And, for the moment at least, I embrace the miracle and let go of my anxiety. Something I've never dreamed possible is coming true - and I know from experience that that is always a good thing.

8 comments:

Bolder said...

well said.

Vickie said...

Not to lessen your feelings of anxiety or slight panic, you will survive this. You know how. You're just on a detour from something you can always go back to if and when you desire. Years ago (many!) I was very conflicted on whether to stay in my marriage or not. I had 3 kids then. I prayed for God to give me a sign, one way or the other. The sign? Another child. While eventually I did leave, I had the extra bonus of that 4th, although unexpected, child, who for the most part has been like your Boy Genius. So whatever despair, even minor, you feel from time to time, realize that this baby is a sign.

No Wetsuit Girl said...

You're experiencing something that I don't understand because I haven't experienced it, but if you'll allow me to try to compare it to something that we both understand... When I'm doing an important race I always go through many of the same emotions:
Before the race I look around and think "Oh crap, NOW look what you've gotten yourself into," and although I'm excited, I'm scared to death because it's too late now. Then there's always the moment where my body betrays me, where my mind says I can push harder and I just can't. It's kind of like you, who want to keep training to your full potential throughout your pregnancy, I just want to deny reality and go fast like those people at the front, and I get frustrated with myself for the genetic hand I was dealt. Then I get tired, things stop working like I want them to and I feel weak, even though fatigue is as natural in exercise as being tired or "getting fat" when you've got a butt in the oven. But then you finish, and the more you suffered, the more you were intoned with your body (even if you were begging it to become a different body through the whole ordeal) the more you appreciate what it took YOU to get there. Every time I've felt THAT, I never regret the journey. I think that after your 9 months of punishment and havoc are over it will have all been worth it... And you know it. That's why we sign up to do these things, right?

jeanne said...

these are such normal feelings! and yes, you really summed it all up very well indeed. Look forward to many more ups and downs along this, your longest marathon.

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

Great post. God certainly does work in mysterious ways.

greyhound said...

What a beautifully written post--not just because the subject matter is profound. You turn a well-crafted sentence.

The One and Only Tigger said...

This post was written from your heart. I am moved by what you had to say. I can remember when my wife was preg. and going through all the emotions (good and bad), but God would not give us any challenges that we are not able to conquer. Keep it up, and love every minute of it.

No Wetsuit Girl said...

You take too long!

New post please!