Monday, March 16, 2009

Soul Searching...

Things are plugging along. I am almost into my third trimester. I am so grateful to my boy and God for making this pregnancy relatively easy. I've been trying to think of the reasons why I was so resistant to the idea of being a mother up until a few years ago. I know the major reason is that I was raised in a very dysfunctional and abusive family and I was afraid that I would create a similar environment for my child. I'm still afraid of that but I just remind myself that I am not my mom or my grandparents. I know better than to hurt my child the way my siblings and I were hurt.

The second reason is that a baby is a huge responsibility. I have four siblings and I have always been the responsible one. When my sister was busy rebelling as a teenager, I was going to school, making good grades, and working part time. When my brother started getting into trouble in the 3rd grade, I was busy helping my Mom take care of my two youngest brothers. My mother and I have always had a relationship where I take care of her, not the other way around. The thought of someone being completely dependent on me is scary. I want someone to take care of me for a change but it seems like I'll have to give up on that wish. Other than my husband, I seem to meet people who are not self sufficient. I don't like that quality in people so I tend to avoid people like that. Of course, if that's all you're meeting, then that makes for a rather lonely existence. I guess I can remedy this fear by making sure I raise my boy to be self sufficient. The only person you can truly depend on in this world is yourself.

The third reason I did not want to have a baby was pure vanity. I know how babies change your body. I watched my mother and sister have babies and it was not pretty. I have seen a lot of physical changes since I've been pregnant. My skin has gotten splotchier. My psoriasis has flared up more often. My breasts looked like I had implants for the first 4 months or so. Now they're pointing downward toward my stomach like two missiles. I've gained more weight than I'd like. My heart races for no apparent reason. I can't tell I have to pee until I stand up. I'm thirsty all the time. My gums suddenly started to bleed and swell at the drop of a hat which I guess is a good thing because it forced me to be more vigilant with my teeth. I've started getting numbness in my right hand and forearm. I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting.

Everyone tells me that my belly is huge for only being 6 months pregnant. My belly is probably the only thing about this pregnancy that I don't mind. It's the only change that really makes sense. Surprisingly, I like my belly and I just smile when people say that because I've always known that my belly would be bigger than most. All of the women in my family are this way. Our bellys get really big when we're pregnant. The rest of my symptoms, I really don't understand. I understand the reason why the breasts swell but it would make more sense if they started swelling around the baby's due date. Mine started swelling the minute I missed my period. My husband can't even touch my nipples because they're so sensitive.

So despite all of these symptoms that I dreaded, I realized that they're not so bad and they certainly won't kill me. I don't know how my body will fare once I'm done having the baby and breastfeeding but I do know that this is one experience that I won't regret.

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