Google the phrase 'wonder of pregnancy' and you either get details for all the bodily changes that occur... or sarcastic comments about the 'joys' of heartburn, fatigue, nausea and water retention. I'm now seven months pregnant and I'll be the first to admit that most of my time is spent battling cycles of light nausea and hunger... trying to get a tiny bit of work done to boost my fragile career confidence... or thinking about how I'm going to get through the birth and the transition back to a job. Pregnancy is hard work! And we're taught to focus on the most practical, material, aspects.
Yet, last night, just as I had settled into a deep sleep, the little creature inside me delivered five sharp kicks worthy of a black belt to my side and I jolted awake, ever so slightly annoyed... and completely awed.
It was a lovely, mystical, life-affirming reminder that there is a whole person growing inside me. I don't know him/her yet... but that doesn't mean there isn't a intact personality just waiting to emerge and make its own destiny.
And the entire experience will be over in the blink of an eye. (Ok... in some ways, thank goodness!)
Before I know it, this little one will be half my height, doing puzzles and running off to play with friends, much as my joyful 2-year-old son already does.
Do I wish my husband could also experience the wonder of carrying new life first-hand... oh undoubtedly! What a different dimension we would exist in if MAN could carry a baby just like WOMAN. If I were God, this is the first thing I'd change! After being pregnant, I've no doubt whatsoever that sexual equality ends with pregnancy. Until men have periods and experience the vulnerability of being pregnant, giving birth and breastfeeding, equality will always fall by the wayside.
But never mind. Here's my wish for all you pregnant mothers out there: just for a moment, just today... close your eyes... lie down... put your hands on that giant, gorgeous, vexatious belly... and bask in the beauty and sensuality of being pregnant. That ripe, round tum holds a whole world of youth and happiness ... and you'll only be its sole custodian for a few short months!
This gift of womanhood is unique and mustn't be diminished by the artificial demands of so-called 'sexual equality' ... nor by the banal pressures of the job market. Hold them off as long as you can and don't feel guilty or de-valued just because you're not out there doing deals, running a business or climbing the career ladder right now!
Sleep... dream... indulge yourself... be grateful that your pregnancy is safe and healthy unlike so many poor mothers out there... enjoy the hormones (if you can)... and enjoy the quiet closeness of life and the immortality that nine months of mere inconvenience are granting you.
Ummmmm....now please excuse me while I go lie on the sofa like a beached whale and allow my poor, crushed stomach to process that horse-pill of a pregnancy vitamin that's making me belch!