I had a meltdown on our babymoon.
A meltdown over puffy feet and swordfish.
It seemed like everywhere we went on our babymoon my husband, was getting a better deal…simply because he wasn’t pregnant. He raved about the medium rare steak he enjoyed at a new Orleans restaurant as one of the best he has ever tasted, while my meal was dry and uninteresting.
Then the next day, arriving in Florida, we went to a local restaurant known for their fresh seafood that came highly recommended by the bed and breakfast owners and it didn’t disappoint us my husband. My husband enjoyed one of the best seafood meals of his life and was able to choose from the three of fresh catches of the day. Three fish which are on the no-no list for preggie ladies because of their high mercury content.
I scanned the menu for other seafood options, there were none. Steak was out… because paying for a filet of well done steak to me is like paying Mc Donalds $30 for a Big Mac patty…the only option left was the breaded chicken…which tasted to me like an oversized chicken nugget.
Laughing over the discrepancies between our dining experiences, I went to bed dreaming of the beach.
The next morning I woke up with one thought, “how quickly can I get to the beach???!!!”
After breakfast we were packing our beach bag and Rene noticed that my feet – once delicate limbs – were now the size of an ogre and had swollen to resemble a puffed pastry. My ankles had also disappeared! Fortunately ankles aren’t a requirement for beach entrance so undeterred I kept loading up my beach stuff.
My husband, the rational, patient one in our marriage, put his beach towel down and started building a tower of pillows on the bed, for me to elevate my feet, turned on the fan and handed me a bottle of water.
“Babe, we have to reduce the swelling before we go out into the heat and humidity.”
Appreciating Completely annoyed with his loving concern, I plopped myself on the bed elevating my feet and scowled at Rene like a five year old instructed to finish their peas before dessert. After 2 minutes I enthusiastically said, “hey! I think they look better!” “Babe I still can’t see your ankles,” Rene said.
Commence: my 2 year old tantrum about pregnancy which in between sobs sounded something like…
“Everything you have eaten this vacation has been delicious, while everything I have eaten has been gross and now we’re here only 20 minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and I can’t see them because I’m pregnant and my feet look like Shrek’s….and I’m just sick of being pregnant and I just want a break from being pregnant…but you don’t get a vacation from being pregnant and….
I’m just tired of my entire life revolving around this baby!!!!”
I silently continued my sulking, counting the ways pregnancy was ruining my life:
Everything is now about him: my eating schedule, my diet, and my sleeping schedule.
Everyone is obsessed with him: how big is he, when is he due, what’s his name, is he moving?
I find strangers and friends in conversation, making eye contact with my belly, not my face.
In the same 24 hour period: I had experienced nose bleeds, nasal congestion, headaches, back aches, stabbing hip pain, round ligament pain, forgetfulness , discovery of varicose veins and cottage cheese lump thighs, fatigue, grouchiness, and unexplainable tears during cat commercials (maybe the most obnoxious pregnancy symptom so far, I’m definitely not feeling like myself if a commercial about cat litter brings me to tears).
If I experienced all of those symptoms in 1 day normally I would think I was dying.
I remembered a conversation with 2 awesome Momma friends who love their children really well, and welcomed me into the Momma club with these words,
“Charity, what you are entering is the great death: Motherhood. It is a death to yourself, but if you will let it, your death will draw you closer to Jesus and ultimately bring you abundant life”
I began to have some breakthrough in the days that followed..
I was dying, but there were some things in me that needed to die before I could become the kind of Mother I always thought I would be: kind, patient, sacrificial…you know not the kind that gets mad at their helpless unborn infant for needing food without a high mercury content because it creates such a giant inconvenience in my vacation food plans.
Gag…..no that’s not preggo reflux….but me gagging at the sound of my own selfish self – my selfishness that complains about sacrificing a few petty and temporal comforts for the good of the child they have begged God for.
I think there’s a good reason God gives us 9 months of inconvenience, life altering stuff to prepare for our newborns and its because we need a revelation and deliverance from our own selfishness – before 2 a.m. feedings, early morning poop explosions and no more holidays or weekends.
We’re all selfish…I’m selfish…clearly…and we all have layers of selfishness we didn’t even realize were there until something as completely reality altering as growing another human reveals it to you.
Lately I have wondered if my hips are preparing to birth the largest baby ever made, or seeking revenge from years of going unnoticed and being stuffed into skinny jeans. They
ache feel like they are being stabbed with a knife… all night long. Sleep over the past 2 months has been a tenuous dance between not needing to pee and finding the right combination of 10 pillows and muscle cream rubs, which can dull the pain for about an hour, allowing me to sleep for a whole 60 glorious uninterrupted minutes…before I get up and do the pregnancy night shuffle again: pee, rub on more sore muscle cream, rearrange 10 pillows too redistribute weight on opposite hip.
Its hard between 1 and 6:30 a.m. to remember – this is worth it – I am dying – but I am living more than ever before… I am sustaining and growing another life. As our sweet baby boy grows, may my selfishness die, so he and I can really live.
Ok Mommas and Dads! Have you ever felt like you were dying in parenthood? Why and how? Any preggo mommas with advice about alleviating hip pain while sleeping?