|From 5 Minutes for Parenting|
I was talking on the phone to my sister last weekend, lamenting my falling-apart-disease and my advanced maternal age and my weariness with being pregnant in winter. And while she felt for me, she also let loose a deep sigh, and she said, "I would give anything to trade places with you right now. I love being pregnant. I love being in labor. I love having babies. I just love it all."
I laughed, because I know it's true. Emily has wanted to have kids since she was in grade school. She is extremely bossy maternal, and she has an infectious love for all things children. Even now, when she has two of her own, she salivates at the idea of adding more to her brood.
I, on the other hand, came late to the mothering game. I was 28 before I even thought I might want to entertain the idea of starting a family someday. (And even that was mostly the result of friends plying me with stories of the miraculous epidural.) I turned 30 just a few months after Natalie was born. And while it's true that I astonished everyone - including myself - by falling head over heels with parenting, to the point that I had two (almost three) more children in the next eight years, I have never - and I mean never - opined that I love being pregnant.
Pregnancy to me is a mystical means to an end. I'm fascinated by the uniqueness of it. I marvel at the creativity it showcases.
But I also freely admit it's bizarre and uncomfortable and sometimes flat-out exhausting.
Later that same night, after my conversation with Emily, I said to my husband that I wish gestating a baby were more like wearing a backpack. What a relief it would be to be able to take off the precious sack for even two hours and hand it to my husband so I might go get a cup of coffee without huffing and puffing and feeling the baby roll into my bladder and kick against my ribs.
But that's not how the process is designed. Women are the bearers, the creation vessel. We get the glorious with the grinding, the magnificent with the mundane.
Still. I can't say I love it.
How about you? Do you love being pregnant? Or would you be happy to let someone else do the gestating for you if you could still have the baby at the end?
Kelly is 26 weeks pregnant with her fourth child, a baby boy who is sadly nameless. She blogs about her daily life at Love Well.