Friday, March 2, 2012

A Blessing Worth the Burden

Most women have some sort of unpleasant story to tell about pregnancy and/or labor. At the same time, I believe most women would tell you just how worth it, it is. Every woman has a different pregnancy, but most have one thing or another to complain about.

I am no different. Because my complaint is so visible, I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut about if it needs an explanation for inquisitive, shocked looks, or so I perceive them.

Allow me to preface this with just how grateful I am to be able to have children, and to be blessed in such a way as to feel motherhood from deep within me. Often times, I think women who go through pregnancy struggles and dare to complain about them are labeled as ungrateful and unappreciative, and that is just not true. However, my burden seems so insignificant...laughable really, that the mere mention of it makes me feel like the biggest jerk on the planet. However, I would be lying if I told you that I am a joyful pregnant woman.

I do not enjoy pregnancy. In fact, it makes me feel miserably unhappy with myself. I am grateful for it, the outcome is an amazing blessing, but I am not one of those glowing, joyful beyond all reason, loving every minute of it, pregnant women. I am excited the moment I see the plus sign, and then, once I've put on the first 10 pounds in 10 weeks, I have my "oh crap" moment. Then, I'm joyful and excited again when I'm holding my baby. That is the way each of my pregnancies has gone so far, and with each one I hope, believe, pray it will be different. But it's not. 

I know what you're thinking, and stop it with the, "You're supposed to gain weight! You're PREGNANT!" No. No one is supposed to gain weight this rapidly. I gained 70 lbs with Elijah, and it took a year to lose it. I worked out more during my pregnancy with Chastity, hoping things would be different, and I still gained 70 lbs. It took me 2.5 years to lose that, and now I'm gaining again at the same rate, if not more. I'm pretty much on a schedule where the very week I hit my goal weight, I get knocked up again (possibly Jelani's conspiracy to keep me unattractive to anyone else). I go from the high of being skinny again, to the high of being pregnant again, to the low of getting fat again. It's a vicious cycle.

I am only 16 weeks pregnant, and have already put on over 20 lbs. AND I've been exercising even more with this one than the first two, and still playing basketball once a week. I am expanding at such a rate, that I can actually feel the pain and discomfort of my skin stretching out. I'm not even halfway through and playing with the children is exhausting and I feel like I'm missing nine months of their lives, I can feel it in my joints, and I'm swelling up like a balloon. Basically, the only difference between me and the Michelin man is that I am slightly less white.

It's humiliating to put on weight this quickly, especially when you can see the shock in someone's eyes who hasn't seen you in several weeks or more. I don't feel like myself, and I don't like going out in public. So the easiest thing for me to do is make light of it, make fun of myself, and laugh, and I'd appreciate it if you'd just laugh with me, rather than try to argue with me.

Because, I don't write about this for pity. I don't want to see a bunch of supportive comments about how beautiful I am, or that you can't even tell I've gained weight (lock that nonsense down), because while you're heart may be in the right place, and I love you, that's just patronizing. 

No, I write this, because maybe, just maybe, there's someone out there who has suffered the same humiliation, who feels like a completely different person during pregnancy, who hates the way they feel, but loves the child they carry with all their heart, and maybe they just need to know they're not alone in this seemingly insignificant struggle to be happy during what should be a very joyous time.

And maybe, if you think to, you could just say a little prayer for me, that God would allow me to embrace my Michelin man image with joy for the next five months.   

Thanks for listening. :)