Someone said to me the other day, “You must be ready to pop, huh?” It got me thinking.
If by pop, they literally meant the skin on my stomach feels like it has stretched so thin it could burst at any moment, then yes, I feel like I am indeed going to pop. But am I ready to pop? I’m going to say no. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to meet our baby. Believe me, I do–I’ve never been more excited about anything! It’s more that I don’t want to wish this time away.
A lot of people might look at the pregnancy journey I’ve had and wonder (now that I’m in a safe zone to give birth) why I don’t just want it to end already. Sure, the contractions happening about every 5-10 minutes for the last 10 weeks haven’t been the most fun, but I like to think they’ve made me and the baby strong. They’ve bonded us; we’ve been through this crazy time together. Baby K will exit in some way at some point very soon, that I know for sure. What I also know is that I will only be pregnant (God willing) a few times in my lifetime. I’m going to embrace every moment of this time, this miraculous and uncomfortable time, and not wish any of it away.
How many of us have said, “I just need to get through __(X)__ and then I’ll be ok” at some point in our lives? I used to catch myself saying it all the time myself. It’s a natural feeling to want to get passed difficult or stressful times. We think that once we get on the other side of stress, things will be better. But the fact of the matter is, there’s always a next thing that comes up that we need to “get through.”
Often times, the most meaningful periods in our lives are the times we hoped to just get through. I teach high school students–mostly juniors and seniors–and they are notorious for their “get-through” mentality.
“I just gotta get through writing this paper, and then I’ll be able to relax.”
“When I get through finals, I’ll be able to have some fun.”
“When I get through high school…when I graduate, everything will be better.”
And I always tell them they’re going to regret that they wished their time away. Of course, they usually don’t believe me, but I can’t tell you how many students I’ve had come back and tell me they wished they would have listened. They get to college and realize there’s a whole new set of challenges that present themselves, much more difficult than their high school ones.
We are always being squeezed, tightened, tested. Really, life is a constant state of having contractions. How you react to the contractions is what matters. You take some deep breaths and take each one as it comes.
Instead of seeing these last weeks of pregnancy as an uncomfortable time I have to get through, I’m going to use them as an opportunity to practice patience, so the next time life feels like it’s squeezing me I’ll be able to face it with patience and with the knowledge that I won’t just “get through” it, I’ll take everything I can from it.