And She Pondered These Things in Her Heart, Part 1
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. —Jeremiah 1:5a
Pregnancy, as with other major life changes, brings with it a range of emotions. I remember that fateful day in early November… just a normal Tuesday until I took that pregnancy test. The test that was different than all the others before it. I entered the bathroom feeling the weight of inevitability and the disappointment to come. Only it didn’t come. In its place I experienced shock and disbelief followed by waves of shear utter joy and thankfulness followed by more waves of shock and disbelief. I don’t know how long I stood there staring at those two little lines symbolizing the new life growing inside me. Two lines that had previously been so elusive.
In the months that have passed since that day, my emotions have continued to come in waves, up and down. Jeff and I experienced so much joy on the occasions of sharing our big news with family and friends. Yet though the changes in my body confront me daily, I still have moments of disbelief. Is this really happening to me? How can it be that another human being is inside my body?
I stare at my bulging middle, running a hand over my stretching skin, and whisper to the little one within. Hi, baby. How are you doing in there? I hope and pray you are growing strong and getting ready to come out and meet us. We can’t wait to meet you when you’re ready.
The emotion upon hearing that quick, whooshing heartbeat is almost indescribable. Anticipation as the midwife searches with the dopplar. Relief at hearing that strongest indicator of life. Joy in knowing everything is normal. Love for one I haven’t yet met.
Then there is the longing. Longing to feel the first kicks and somersaults from inside. Longing to hold this tiny one in my arms. Longing to know this unique little person.
I’m feeling more and more physically stretched these days, especially after a large meal. Whenever I mention this out loud, Jeff echoes my own thoughts: I’ve still got a very long ways to go yet. I often think of what Mr. Bilbo Baggins said on the occasion of his eleventy-first birthday: “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” Only without the thin part, obviously.
Roo is roughly the size of a bell pepper now at 18 weeks: about 5 1/2 inches long and weighing almost 7 ounces. He/she has doubled in weight over the last two weeks. Do you know about the produce to baby size analogy? It starts at a poppy seed, growing each week until reaching the size of a small pumpkin. It’s a little weird, but honestly provides some nice comic relief as well as a fun way to track baby’s growth.