(At the time of writing this, I had about 3.5 weeks left in my first trimester of pregnancy.)
What. A. Time.
I was at a dinner when I got the sudden realization that certain processes that should have already been in progress for the month were, in fact, non existent (if you cannot decode what that would be, I cannot help you). I also realized that certain usual PMS symptoms had come along and just hung around with no relief – which was another unusual happening. That night I thought, “ahhh I’ll take a test tomorrow. Being a few days late hasn’t meant anything before, why would it now?”
24 hours and 4 positive tests later I was halfway convinced that this was actually happening. That’s right, I was surprised. Even though I’m fully educated on how biology works. It took 2 doctors visits and an ultrasound for me to be mostly convinced – not sure when I will finally be 100% in belief – perhaps when the kid pops out of the chute?
Here’s where it gets tricky for me. Talking about kids has always been a challenge, especially with other women. I was never the type who “couldn’t wait” to be a mother. My first thoughts upon marriage had nothing to do with birthing little people. When someone would come into the office with a new baby, I would go look at the kid as it was the polite thing to do, smile, and then return to my seat immediately as everyone else was lost in the coos and questions about how much they’re sleeping and who they look like. I like kids fine, it was just never my thing. So I realize the following may be unpopular thoughts on a first trimester. Or maybe relatable to you? Let’s find out:
When people would broach the subject of me producing offspring, I’d resent it just a little bit and respond in a manner that would, hopefully, just make them stop talking to me about kids. I did not want it to simply be assumed that I was eager to reproduce – especially because for a lot of years I was not sure that I wanted to for a number of valid reasons. It was something I prayed a lot about on my own, thought about, and had conversations here and there with a very select few people who knew me well and could respond out of thoughtfulness – not simply their own desire for me to have kids because that’s what I’m “supposed” to do. I found that these were difficult feelings to express to many women (not all, of course) without being dismissed or not heard.
And so, upon finding out that I was incubating an embryo – I cried on and off for a few days. And, honestly, they were not tears of pure joy. They were tears of fear, fear of losing my identity, tears due to realizing that, from that moment, my life had to completely change – from how I ate to the plans that I had put in place. My body is my job as a dancer – how would I deal with that? There were tears of disappointment in facing the fact that an event that I had worked for years to be in the right place for, that would be a definite boost to a career that felt like it had plateaued that I was scheduled to participate in was now off limits to me because I will be fresh out of child birth. So many tears.
On top of wrestling with these feelings, I am exhausted. A level of exhaustion I’ve never experienced (please hold all of the “well just wait til the kid is born!” comments, thanx). I get a 10 minute burst of energy every 4 hours and have become quite the unproductive and unmotivated human being as a result. Like, I wake up at 7:30am and legitimately need a nap by 10am. Going to the grocery store or taking a shower are activities that now feel like triathlons. It is intensely frustrating. I am constantly half hungry and half nauseous which is not a wonderful feeling. And because I’m so tired it is difficult to manage my emotions – especially because I don’t have caffeine as a crutch anymore to make up the difference….oooohhhhh I miss caffeine.
I don’t have a bump yet, but my pants are so tight, so uncomfortable. My go-to move is to simply wear a long, roomy shirt so I can unbutton them without suspicion sometime in the middle of the day for relief. It’s a whole new world for me out here in these preggo streets.
As I go through this with all of these feelings & changes, I asked God what to do with all of this stuff. I was reminded of my verses that I chose to guide my 2020, before all of this was a thing. John 15: 1-17:
When I started my year with this, I really felt like God was trying to get me to understand that striving was not the move for 2020. That the desire to bear fruit is God-given, and the process of bearing it is God-centered. I have this intense desire to produce, to have something to show for my existence, but sometimes I get so worried about my resulting work that, out of fear of it being average or disappointing, I don’t commit much at all.
God has been calling me to remember that I am simply the branch and He is the source – not me. That He has called me to bear fruit that will last, so my focus is to remain in Him, to commit, and He will prune away what’s not necessary so necessary things can grow.
I’ve also added in Proverbs 19:21 and essentially came up with this little reminder for myself:
His purpose, not my plans.
Look, as unpopular as it may be, I was not giddy with excitement upon finding out I was pregnant. In my opinion, it felt more like I was on my way to losing something then gaining. But once my emotions calmed down I was reminded of how God’s timing has never let me down. Not once. And whatever may be changing in my life is all a part of God’s plan to produce fruit. That’s what He said and so I trust it. I’d much rather rest in that than strive to do my own thing. He has always been faithful and will continue to be. That’s just who He is.
I am getting a little more ready for this new adventure everyday. I’m beginning to get curious about how this will shape the trajectory of my life in the way God wants it to go. The loss that I initially felt I’ve now reinterpreted as redirection to a place in life I must acknowledge I would not have been able to reach myself and the realization that this next chapter in my life will be what I make it. This beautiful little world-changer I’m baking is going to change it all – and I think, for the first time in my life, I’m ok with that.
Unpopular opinions or relatable thoughts? What do you think?