The Heart-Work of Pregnancy

heart work of pregnancyI am not a cute pregnant lady. I feel huge. Fat. Ungainly.

My regret over this is due more to the Klondike bars my husband and I eat in celebration once we have successfully put our five children to bed, than to the fact that I’m carrying a new member of our family.

I saw one of those cute pregnant moms at the park the other day. She had legs like sticks, toned arms, and perfectly round basketball tummy perched over her skinny jeans. I am probably 10 years older than this cute pregnant mommy. But even when I was ten years younger and pregnant, I never looked like that.

My skin is a map of stretch marks and scars from seven pregnancies. I have safely borne five children, lost one, and the baby I’m carrying now is not the first to rearrange my insides to his liking, pushing internal organs out of his way so he can kick and grow to his heart’s content.

More than my internal organs have been arranged, though. Yes, I felt a flash of envy for the cute mom’s figure (and I resolved to eat better – right after I finished french fries and sweet tea) but all it took was feeling my unborn son dancing inside to realize how many blessings I have.

My heart has been rearranged too.

This is Child #7, Baby Boy #3 (after four older sisters, one brother born straight into heaven, and one toddler brother currently ruling our family roost). He is a happy surprise, sent along by God as a bonus when my husband and I had thought our family complete. In some ways it feels like God said, “No, you two make adorable babies and awesome children and I still have heart-work to do on you both. I’m giving you another little guy to help that process.”

Pregnancy is full of lessons to learn: lessons of gratitude for each moment with the unborn child. Lessons of trust when we’re not sure how this child will fit in our home and budget. Lessons of rest, when it becomes obvious that Mom is going to have to take a few more naps just to get through a relatively uneventful week. Lessons of accepting help. Lessons of surrender, giving our plans over to God.

I may never be a cute pregnant mom. But I can be a thankful, blessed, and growing one. Will I try to lose this baby weight after Baby Boy makes his appearance? Of course.

But I’ll try not to lose the lessons I’ve learned carrying him and his siblings.

(I’m including one of our family’s Easter pictures. This is as close as I’ll get to sharing what I actually look like right now. The belly is there – behind one of his big sisters. We can file this one under “real life”: squinting in the sun, grouchy toddler, no one looking the same direction…)

family easter picture


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Comments

  1. No way! You’re totally cute. I was feeling very tall and large standing with you and Colleen (*both* of you!) Just think how huge and ungainly I was when I was pregnant.

    My husband told me that this was the nature of having children and to embrace it. I didn’t listen to him very well even as I doubt you’ll listen to me :)

    • Well, you’re sweet. :) I wasn’t fishing for compliments. It’s probably just a fact of life that every pregnant woman (“cute” or not) feels like a walrus. ;)