Never do I feel like more a of billboard for life choices than when I’m nearly full-term pregnant. What was cute a few months ago has become a spectacle. I can’t fit places or bend easily. Mostly I’m just huffing and puffing around these days. Add in 3 other kids I’m lugging through the grocery store, ages 4 and under, and suddenly the billboard has become more of a freak show. Even uninterested people can’t help but notice, count and pass me a thin smile.
But that’s just what pregnancy is toward the end. Big, miserable and exhausting.
A few weeks ago, when I finally shared my bump pictures, I not only got a lot of positive feedback, but also a lot of wisdom. One particularly wise woman commented on Instgram that I should celebrate my bump because it is the simplest and most profound way to make a pro-life statement. Wow, right? I mean, a big pregnant belly is so obviously pro-life that most of us overlook it. I had never looked at my swelling body as playing a role in the pro-life movement before that comment, but now I can’t look at it any other way, especially when I am out in public.
The only problem is that I don’t do big and pregnant well. My steps have turned to plods, my breaths to panting and anything extra–makeup, cute hair, involved meals–have been left far far behind. Instead I spend most of my day puffy faced and exhausted. Not only have people started calling me “poor dear”, but I’ve started calling myself that. And feel free to confirm with my husband, but I am not the “suffer in silence type”.
Most of the day the only mantra circling in my brain is “never again, never again.” I just can’t imagine EVER doing this pregnancy thing again, and that doesn’t feel very pro-life. I think most women get to this point toward the end of a difficult pregnancy, which this was been. I distinctly recall someone asking me if this was “my last” at the end of my 3rd pregnancy (ps, hey world, stop asking pregnant ladies this!) and I laughed. I said, no, this likely wasn’t going to be my last, but I never wanted to be pregnant again. Never. And, here I am, pregnant again.
I wish I could show the world how wonderful this is, being pregnant, growing a little miracle deep in my womb. I wish I could get beyond the nausea and exhaustion and discomfort, but I can’t. Not right now. After all these months I’m just tired. And even though I can’t imagine wanting to plod down the long pregnancy path again, I know I will, God willing. I know all of these small matters will dissolve the moment my baby girl arrives, and I’ll pray for more babies and, I will likely be pregnant again.
I know I will get there. I’m just not there right now. Not at all.
And yet, I want this body, this pregnancy, this baby and this moment to matter, to mean more than just that pregnancy is hard and I’m suffering. The choice to have a baby, or have another baby, is so much more than the acceptance of misery for 8 months or the annoyance of a few pounds you will have to work to loose later.
It is so much more.
The best I can do is work on saying and portraying to the world that this, all of it, is worth it, in the most absolute sense.
In truth big and pregnant is not the only pro-life statement I make. Every moment of motherhood is a participation in the pro-life movement, especially when the children are little. Once this pregnancy is behind me, my hollering 4 young children will still be making a case for big families and choosing life. And the way I react will make all the difference. The crazy “yes” we continue to say to life is a joy and though I am miserable now, I am still filled with joy and so very happy for these little lives I continue to be blessed with.
thanks for being here,