Everything you hear about the excitement and joy and anticipation and wonder of pregnancy is true. I was ready for this. What caught me off guard were the vivid, sometime frightening dreams. The constant fatigue and regular bouts of nausea. Running through grocery stores breathing through your mouth (which is really counter productive because I forget half the things on my list and have to go back). Last minute canceling of plans. And, of course, the almost physically tangible hormones that form into tears of all sorts. Social etiquette is a thing of the past. I pass out in exhaustion on friends’ couches, my thoughts blur mid-sentence, and my plate is cleared only half eaten. I fondly remember nights of uninterrupted sleep, not a dream in sight.
Then Peter and I found ourselves sitting in a sterile room, nervously awaiting the first news of our tiny baby. I worried that even with all these discomforts, something might be wrong. Fears, nerves and hopes all mixed together in the form of high blood pressure and a pounding heart. After a few minutes the doctor turned the ultrasound screen to face me. There really aren’t words to describe my feelings when I saw the heartbeat on the screen and our little baby wiggling around. I suppose the reality of the situation finally struck me – God is using my body to grow the life of another minuscule body. And even though it has happened billions of times, I realized what a truly wondrous thing it is.
I am already a mother, even though I cannot yet hold our little one. I am a mother because I am already beginning to learn what it means to sacrifice for your children. I may not always be thankful for it, and I certainly will not always like it, but these little pains and discomforts are all a part of the sacrifices parents are called to make. Right now I have to skip the morning coffee, glass of wine with dinner or late night plans. In a year we will have to cancel date night because of a fever, or have sleepless nights because of teething. And someday our child may have the gall to do what we did to our parents last year: get married and leave us 2000 miles behind.
If you think you have most things about yourself figured out at the ripe old age of 23, just wait. I became pregnant and realized that I hardly know myself at all. But maybe this is how it is supposed to be. My hormonal imbalance for the hormonal balance of another. My comfort for the comfort of our growing baby. My body for the house of our child. My life surrendered for yours.