Friday, February 4, 2011

Growing

It finally happened.

A couple of nights ago I took my wedding ring off--for good.

Or at least for the next month or so.  

I made sure to tell Cody when he came home from work.

"Hey.  I'm not wearing my wedding ring" I said as I waved my bare hand around.

He was startled.

"Wait, do you know where it is?"

Oh bless him.

I pulled off the ring while I could still do it with a minimum of struggle, and put it on a chain that my parents had given me.  The chain also holds a ring for the baby to wear when she gets a little bigger.  It looks like the rings my parents gave my sisters and me when we were little.

 

So I wore the necklace the next day and sent this pregnancy milestone picture and text to my parents:
"I took off my wedding ring last night."
The both knew exactly what I meant (my mom has had 4 babies, so it would be weird if they didn't!  Plus, they normally know what I mean.  I hope).

We're growing girls, my baby and me.

Last night, I worked myself into exhaustion just crocheting granny squares.  I flopped down on the couch with some pillows and watched television.  I wondered how I'd ever last another month.

It's times like this I think about my first doctor's appointment.  I was 8 weeks pregnant and both the nurse and my doctor asked how I was feeling.  I mentioned all the aches and pains that come with the first trimester.

"That's normal" they said.

I sighed.  I'd been afraid that all this unpleasantness was natural.  I'd only ever feared fatigue and nausea when I thought about pregnancy.  I didn't know I would hurt so much!  My body was changing and growing to accommodate a tiny, tiny person who seemed to need so much space so much sooner than I thought she would.  My back hurt and my belly cramped and even tendons in my legs were twinging from all the growing and stretching and changing.

Growth is never easy.

(And I do so little of it that I'm not too familiar with how it works.  Insert joke here about being short and stubborn.)

Then they asked about nausea, which I had and we all knew that was normal.  

"That should only last another month or so."

I knew that, too, but I had no idea how to survive another month 'or so.'

But then I found out I could take my normal decongestants and that helped.  And I ate popsicles every day and that helped.  And in two weeks, we told our families and work got busier and the weather got cooler.  The next thing I knew, I was 12 weeks along and having a fine check-up and feeling sick only occasionally and it was time to tell our friends the good news.  

And that's how every month since then has gone.  

I've put away smaller clothes and pulled out (or bought or borrowed) bigger ones.  I've been making plans at work for my maternity leave.  I've had showers and written thank-you notes.  We've made plans and read books and written lists of names.  Every month brings something new:  I hate a food or I can't live without it.  I walk slower every month.  I grow bigger.  The baby's movements move higher and higher into my ribs and it never fails to startle me.

Most of it is wonderful.  I'm tired, but I'm tired because I'm growing a baby who will be out in the world in just a month.  I move slowly, but I'm trudging everywhere because I'm carrying my big baby and this is one of the few times in my life that no one will ever rush me. I'm clumsy and easily tired, but I'm learning to depend more and more on others and my sweet husband is amazing at taking care of me while I'm busy with other important work.

With every new phase, I try to do something and fail miserably (Ex: roll over in bed without beaching myself like a whale).  All I can do is laugh and tell Cody "This is a very special time."  From popsicles to mood swings to ridiculous food demands to the time where I broke most of my toenails because I kept ramming my slightly bigger than normal feet into things, he's smiled and agreed with me.

(Actually, I think he was starting to worry I'd never learn with the whole stubbing-my-toe thing.)

Last night, after Cody came home, I made him take a break from working on his feet all day to rub my calves.  I even offered to rub his shoulders in return if he would just take care of my aching legs because I had no idea how I was supposed to get through another work day with these tired muscles.  Cody even rubbed my feet a little.  I felt myself relax all over.  I felt so happy and so grateful in that calm moment, just listening to Cody's quiet voice.

Then I jumped and yelled because the baby did some bizarre quick rolling thing that hurt both my hip and the area just below my sternum and I nearly fell off the couch trying to find a more comfortable position in .005 seconds and Cody dropped my foot because he thought he'd hurt me.  Also I think his heart stopped for a moment and I was completely freaked out by how much space this baby can take and still be able to move around like some kind of disco queen.

See?  This is a very special time.
On a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, Amber wrote, "I've heard more than one man comment that there was nothing more beautiful than a pregnant lady. It was not chauvinistic in any way. It was said with true appreciation. I suspect that it's a biological thing that God installed in order to keep peace at home. But they are sincere nonetheless."

I can only hope.

I've heard plenty of people say that pregnant women are beautiful, and I appreciate it when people tell me I look great, but I mostly just care that Cody still goes about finding me attractive like it's his full-time job and calling in life.  I've never seen him notice that many pregnant women, but he says I look amazing.

I'd never given a lot of thought to what I'd look like pregnant, although Cody and I both thought I'd gain more weight.  I remember my friend Jason telling me, "No offense, but I think you'd look really weird pregnant" a couple of years ago.  Ha!  But I do think I look weird.  Which is fine.  This is a temporary and special time where my hair is thick and my cheeks are rounder than ever.  I can also rock a V-neck like nobody's business for the first time in my life.  I miss sleeping on my stomach.  I miss NyQuil when I'm sick.  I like that people, even strangers, will smile at me just because I'm pregnant.  I guess that I appreciate the fact that my supervisor won't let me go home in inclement weather unless I promise her that someone is giving me a ride to my car because no one trusts me to waddle through the snow, even in the sturdiest of old Doc Martens (oh yes I did!  I wore Doc Martens and cords today.  And plaid.  I'm so glad I'm hanging on to my great sense of style throughout this pregnancy).

This is a very special time. 

And there's just a month or so left.

I'm looking forward to what's next.

2 comments:

Teca said...

Jen you are cute pregnant or not pregnant! I pray that I'm blessed with a good husband like Cody who will rub my feet whether I'm pregnant or not! LOL!!! I was thinking you were going to be the first pregnant woman not to have to take off her wedding room when I was at your shower last month.

Kelly said...

If nothing else, the removal of the wedding ring signifies that the little one is coming soon! Yay!!!