This photo is from our belly shoot, done by a lovely and talented woman we know from our community at church. It was such a fun time. I felt so beautiful, thinking about our little blossoming baby growing inside me. I now feel so, so, so much bigger than I was in this photo! Tonight an old man at wal-mart loudly exclaimed “Big Ol’ Belly!” as I walked past–it took everything I had (and thank goodness that my loving, gracious husband was around and helped me walk away and take a breath) not to give him the death glare and tell him “No, ya think!!? YOU have a “BIG OL’ BELLY!”…(rolling eyes)” But this pleasant little wal-mart run-in at least confirmed my sneaking suspicions that I am indeed growing bigger by the minute. It’s a strange feeling having that happen in front of the whole world–something I wish more pregnant ladies would discuss. Just imagine if another visible part of our bodies expanded so much over the same amount of time–we’d all need to talk about it! But now that I’m experiencing it: it’s a strange mixture between being a publicly on-display freak at a circus show some of the time, and yet also feeling like a very celebrated and important individual when you walk into a room at other times. Depending on which room, I guess, and with whom. And as an ambassador and believer in Christ, it’s my job to balance my own pride and anger (who do they think they are, trying to touch my belly or talk to me about my pregnancy! They don’t even know me!) as well as infuse the grace and peace of the gospel into people’s lives as I interact with them on these… semi-touchy subjects. A woman’s body is her body, and I will not step back from telling strangers to please mind my personal space, but it can be done with love. I digress.
So, tomorrow. Tomorrow will herald the beginning of the 31st week, and from then it could be only seven, eight, or nine weeks until he’s here. Or more. Come on, full term!!–and not a second more… please? Of course, I realize I have no control over this at all. I’m just hoping that my labor will progress and not stall because of fear or tension, and I’ve taken measures to help that happen: learning to breathe, relaxation techniques, etc. Since I’ve dealt with stress issues my whole life, I feel I have prepared a lot in the past for this very thing in my pregnancy. Trying to do what I need to do to prep and open my body and mind to the idea of pushing this baby out into the world. What a task! What a job! But there’s nothing more natural in the wide, vast world. Of this I must remind myself, “You were born for this.” And I’m certain every step I take towards “Go Day” that my confidence is building up toward that idea. It’s not easy, but I’m sure when I finally look into his eyes with tears in my own, and stare at his perfectly formed little face, nothing else will resonate but this train of thoughts: “Wonderfully knit together within me. Intended for and gracefully crafted. Beautiful.” This child was no accident, and the more I think of him as a true, separate person from me, and not just a part of my body like he seems, the more I know it to be truth. He will have his own life, God has plans for him unique to him as an individual. So awesome.
He’s going to rock my world. He’s going to rock Troy’s. It’s happening already–but we’re ready for it, anticipating, and some real excitement is building.
By this point, our deep awe and surprise and disbelief that a tiny human could truly be growing within me has somewhat subsided, and real joy wrapped in much excitement has begun moving forward to take the stage. We lie in bed at night and go over the days event’s, realizing that it feels our days are blending together and going so quickly–we sit, sort of holding our breath, with our hands on my belly waiting for the next big kick from our little man. When he has the hiccups, I smile and rub him for a little hello. I daydream more often than I did at first about how he will be, how he will look when I first lay eyes on him.
We’re getting there. It’s coming closer. Through it all, I am trying to do my part, and also embrace what actually occurs. Not always easy, but something to work towards. We are beginning to do more to get the nursery ready, and perhaps there’s even light at the end of the tunnel. Much to be done, much has already been done, and much more will come in the future.
With all my love at 31 weeks,