Friday, December 4, 2009

The Body, How It Changes (and also: Why I am Thankful For My Disease)

Blargh. The belly is getting more unruly, and all of the little muscles in my groin/stomach/pelvis are starting to soften. A lot. Yesterday on the Reformer in Pilates class I actually had to get off the machine and stop during these inner thigh exercises. They're the ones where you put one foot on the bar and then slide the other leg back and forth on the rolling platform while standing up. They used to kill my inner thighs, now they are not as hard, or, at least, they didn't used to be so hard until this week. But apparently now my inner thigh muscles are softening so the baby can slip out easier (not that it's going to be easy). And it kind of sucks. I feel like a weakling.

Other body things include an insanely itchy lower belly/chest. I know it's because of the expanding tissue and stretching skin, but nothing seems to help. I also left my super-expensive organic belly balm somewhere in Washington state, so I'm back to using organic baby oil on my belly and boobs. Perhaps it'll magically show up again, hopefully.

Peter with his clown hair and Elka making her pouty face because she thought camera had not taken a picture. But it had. Whidbey Island, November, 2009.

And . . . what else? I have to pee constantly, but then I barely pee when I go to the bathroom. I'm sure this will get worse. I'm getting more worried about twisting something or hurting myself due to the softening muscles and joints. Apparently Nickie, our doula, wrenched her back when she was pregnant getting up from peeing! Everytime Haiko yanks me on his leash I think whoo! close one!

I'm sure there are plenty of other random petty complaints, but my biggest realization throughout this pregnancy is that I just am not okay with complaining about this pregnancy! It is a gift, pure and simple. I went into it with so much trepidation and fear, thanks in part to the medical community's underestimation of my ability to be healthy, and to carry a baby healthfully, thanks to my disease. But I am so healthy right now! My acupuncturist moved my appointments back to every two weeks, because I am so healthy. She checked my pulse points on Tuesday, smiled, and said, "There's nothing as beautiful as a healthy, strong, pregnant woman." That meant a lot to me.

So here's the thing: my disease has made me appreciate my pregnancy so much more. I am, in many ways, thankful for it. I don't take a moment of this pregnancy for granted. When the little guy kicks me hard, I am thankful that he is so strong, and that I am able to provide a home for him in my body that is welcoming, healthy, and safe, for the first 40 weeks of his life. It is hard for me to listen to healthy women complain about their pregnancies. I know that it is hard for everyone on some level, and everyone has issues, but this ability to carry a child, in spite of all its chaos and difficulty and hardship, is a gift, pure and simple. And for those of us who have a disease, who have had heartbreak trying to get pregnant or stay pregnant, every moment is a prayer answered.