Saturday, October 3, 2009


"Everything is going to change!" This exclamation is one of the most popular given to those expecting by those who already have children. However, when people tell you this you generally assume that they mean your life is going to change when the baby gets here. And by "life" you think that they mean your daily rituals and your relationships between yourself and your friends and family. But I have found that this merely scratches the surface. Allow me clarify by changing that exclamation to the following: "From the moment you find out that you are pregnant not only does your life change, but also does your mind, body and spirit and the views you have painstakingly constructed about the world around you." Too deep and ominous? Okay, fine. I will just try to stick to the part about the amazing alteration your body goes through as I have experienced it. : )

Pregnancy has changed every understanding and comfortable reliablilty that I have acquired about my body in the past 24 years. In the first trimester late nights out with friends ceased and I became highly conscious of my eating habits as instructed by my OB. We got to see our baby at just 5 weeks 5 days gestation by ultrasound yet his presence was surreal. It wasn't until I looked in the mirror one day and saw the soft curve of my lower abdomen and began to tear up with a smile on my face that I accepted the fact that this was really happening. Then I began a slow losing battle with my favorite pair of jeans.

In the second trimester my body started to change dramatically. This not only caused self consciousness with every inch gained but also pure amazement at the fact that it was solely up to me to nurture and grow the new life that Jon and I had created in my womb. My physical body began to alter but so did the relationship I had been accustomed to between my body and pyche. Upon the realization that there really is a human life growing inside of me the internalizations I had about my body changed dramatically. I very quickly began to idolize my stomach; obsessing over it, admiring it, willing to protect it at all costs. At about 16 weeks I began to actually feel the importance of what my body was doing with each butterfly movement. And that importance grew quickly with each kick, roll, and hiccup that got stronger every week.

Then as I started to understand my body again, the third trimester snuck up on me. I discovered that I could no longer do the things that I was used to doing with ease. For example those yoga poses that I had relied on to keep my thighs from growing to gigantic proportions, finding a comfortable position to sleep at night, or perhaps simply painting my toe nails without getting the paint all over my feet. Now I have finally reached the final month and the excitment from the realization that I will soon get to hold and see the precious baby that, with God's help, Jon and I created is overwhelming. However, my body has become my personal enemy resisting any resemblence of normalcy. The ninth month should be in a category all of its own. Sleepless nights with constant back ache and days of seemingling ceaseless cramping alternate with those of energy bursts and fixating on whether or not the house is baby ready. My stomach has grown to gigantic proportions and feels at any moment that it is going to burst open on its own. My muscles have foresaken me and something as simple as getting into the car has become an ordeal. The child that I have been carefully nurturing in my womb for the past 37 weeks is head butting my cervix while kicking my ribs at the same time. And to top it all off, my uterus contracts involuntarily sending me into fits of pain but at the same time excitement that this may be it; I may be in labor and will get to have my baby soon! But then all of the sudden it stops and I start yet another week of waiting.

Everything I thought I knew about my body ceased to exist the moment the nurse came into the room and told us that I was pregnant. My body has changed immensly over the past nine months and I have a new found respect for it. Everything has changed and will continue to change and I'm sure that with my next pregnancy I will learn even more and all that I think I know now will be quite irrevelent and laughable. Good thing I'm open to change.

1 comment:

lainey said...

well said! :)