Physical: If you live in Northern Virginia, you know that this has been an incredibly humid week. Couple that with a pregnancy and it can be quite uncomfortable to breathe. The crispness of fall air is presently a luxury I’m anxiously awaiting.
As seen in this week’s Midnight Ramblings, I’ve discovered that once I wake in the middle of the night, it’s quite difficult to go back to sleep. Some of that is due to the breathing, some of that is due to the thinking and some of that is due to Bennett’s rocking and rolling.
If I’m being honest, this week, the physical changes have impacted my mental & emotional responses. I’ve noticed that if I become physically exhausted (probably due to lack of oxygen) or discouraged (probably due to the accumulation of armpit pudge), then it becomes harder to have the strength to be mentally & emotionally positive in other arenas. It seems as though there’s a certain amount of physical strength necessary to be able to keep the walls up that block out potentially looming depressants.
Mental: For instance, on a day when my body’s feeling like it’s in tip-top shape, then the fact that I need to wash my bedding is just another item on the to-do list. But if my body’s feeling sluggish, then having the bedding on the to-do list can spiral me into this How-Am-I-Ever-Going-To-Get-It-All-Done-?-Am-I-Going-To-Be-Pregnant-Forever-?-Does-Anyone-Know-How-Tired-I-Am-?-Woe-Is-Me, melancholy state of mind.
Or, to put it another way, I can ignore a stack of mail on the counter when I feel physically strong. It’s like it’s not even there. On the other hand, when I feel physically weak, that stack of mail begins to taunt me and can simultaneously push me into annoyance, rage, disappointment, despair and defeat.
It’s fascinating really.
Emotional: But… If I answer the question, “Am I going to be pregnant forever?” I experience one of two emotional responses:
I’m concerned about losing my resolve. Most of you know that I would ideally prefer a natural, unmedicated childbirth experience. To sum it up, I have more of a fear of needles, IV’s, scalpels and mind/body interventions than I have of pain. Additionally, I’d like Bennett to be born as alert as possible (sometimes epidurals can cause babies to be lethargic) since I want as few obstacles to come between us and successful breastfeeding as possible. So considering the fact that Brian and I will have had around two months to come down from the high of our Bradley Method childbirth classes, the concern about losing my nerve dances around in the back of my mind.
- Clingy disappointment.
It’s beginning to dawn on me that, no, in fact I will not in be pregnant forever. Every woman knows this to be true, but there’s more to it than that. I’ve found that in pregnancy, for months now, I’m never alone. First it started off as an mental awareness that another body was present with me at all times. Then, with the ever-increasing amount of movement in the womb, physically I began to feel like someone is always in my company, no matter where I go.
It’s only just occurred to me this week that once this is over, I’m not going to feel that anymore and there are going to be times when I go back to being 100% by myself. Solidarity has never been too difficult for me; but, then again, I’ve never grown such a literal attachment to another human being. So once I don’t feel Bennett inside of me anymore, will loneliness feel even lonelier?
I mean, I understand that he and I will rarely ever be separated in his infancy. But there’s going to come a time when I go back to work or, even on a smaller scale, when I drive to the grocery store and realize that for the first time since the beginning of 2012, I am completely and utterly, 100% alone. Maybe I’ll surprise myself and love the freedom, but that’s not what my heart is telling me right now.
Spiritual: Now, more than ever, this rise of emotion is causing me to want to cling more closely to the Lord. It feels like some wild, unknown storm is coming. I don’t know how to weather it, but I know I need an Anchor.