I have a treasured friend who is just about in her final month of pregnancy. It’s quite a period of time, the third trimester. Women at this stage are getting big enough to lose even the last positions that previously allowed for some comfort. And being so visibly pregnant invites more than just the bold to make comments and ask questions. “Wow, when are you gonna pop?” “Have they checked to see if you are having twins?” “Should you really be drinking that?” In what other stage of life is it suddenly acceptable to rub your hands all over a woman you have never met? And then there are the horror birth stories. ~~Why do we do that? The darling lady who just needs to put her feet up listens and smiles and answers the same five questions over and over again.
It may be frustrating, and it is probable that most would choose to skip some of these distinguishing experiences of baby-growing. Too bad! The problem is the wonder and miracle of pregnancy. It is just too amazing. All humanity is drawn to it. And why not? It is life! It is life.
Those who’ve been through it are even more in awe than those who haven’t. Personally, I am brought up short, forced to pause in a moment of reverence for the fact that I got to participate in this wonderment twice. I remember feeling life in me. Tremendous! Crazy! What superlative suffices to properly describe the experience?
My pregnancies were hard. So hard my husband couldn’t stand the idea of my doing it again after our last baby was born. But you know what? I tell you unequivocally that the hardship matters not one bit. I would do it a thousand times over. Of course the yuck of it is worth it just for the amazing human souls they produce. But there is more to it. Even a pregnancy that offers miserable pain that puts you on your knees is still phenomenally other-worldly.
So, poor mommas growin’ babies, I’m sorry for you. I know you are tired of having to go to the bathroom again. I know you’d like to just pop off that belly for two minutes so you can take your first proper breath in months. I know it takes restraint to hold that smile in place while people make comments about you being the size of a house. But soak it up; even if you have ten children, the wonder never ceases. You are a walking miracle and we all know it. We can’t always help ourselves. We are compelled to take part, to reach out and touch the future, even if we do so lamely. Bear it and bear it well. It will be over all too soon.