Saturday I was 26 weeks pregnant. The baby's organs are well on their way and those cute little fat rolls are starting to form under his skin. By this point most pregnant women have completed their genetic testing, done their glucose tests and feel like they're headed toward the home stretch: the 3rd trimester. Home free.
With Emily, I had some moderate nausea the first couple of months [thank you, husband, for holding my hair] but after about 10 weeks started to feel like a million bucks. I was that annoying pregnant lady who felt great, looked pretty good and was able to maintain the work slacks hemmed for my plethora of 4" heels clear through to the end. It wasn't until the last half of my 3rd trimester that I felt some serious exhaustion and discomfort.
This pregnancy couldn't be more different than if I were wearing Birkenstocks to fashion week [Sorry Bonnie, they're not cute. Even with socks.]. I had some moderate nausea my first couple of months, then a couple months of feeling great. Now I feel super-stretched out and can't sit in one position for more than 10-15 minutes because my back starts talking back to me. My hormones? What the bleep. Sobbing [no, seriously, not crying...sobbing] to the freaking Pretenders on the way home from the park? Who are you and what have you done with my body?
Today it was 75* by noon and Emily and I had met up with some moms at the fountains in downtown LO. Perfect day, great ladies, fun kiddos, cranberry orange muffins. Bliss. The conversation noodled around, and at one point I re-joined the conversation (after convincing Emily duck poop was not cooler than the fountains). A few months ago, a mom I've come to adore miscarried right about this same time in her pregnancy. She was sharing how she was grateful for the physical abnormalities that followed because it was easier to deal with than the reality of the situation. She had been far enough along that she had all the typical post-partum symptoms; but no baby to get her through it. Suddenly my aching back just didn't seem like such a big deal.
After the Pretenders incident, we got home and I put Emily down for a nap. She was exhausted and went down early, thank God. I didn't want to have my little meltdown in front of the peanut. As I stood in the kitchen with my hands on my forehead in total disgust with myself, I realized this wasn't the first time I had this kind of a moment. When I was mid-way pregnant with Emily, a friend who was also pregnant (and also several weeks ahead of me) had miscarried. I realize now that I can barely count on two hands the number of close friends who are either unable to get pregnant, stay pregnant or who have experienced a late-term miscarriage. Perspective? I can never find a good thesaurus when I need one...there must be a stronger word.
It's no secret I'm a Christian. Not a bible-beating Christian, but what my husband and I refer to as a beer-drinking Christian. I think we're relatively normal [look, I said relatively], but there's also no doubt in my mind this universe was no accident. And so I believe having had the privilege of knowing these women, often during these painful moments, has meaning. If it's to give me some perspective, fine. If it's to appreciate each day whether or not I feel overwhelmed by hormones, that works. If it's for some unknown reason, I have no doubt God will smack me across the forehead one day and show me what I haven't yet realized.