the cosmic joke on pregnant women.

I was out running errands with Jones the other day, feeling tired and hot and like I’d rather take a nap.  We passed my midwife’s tiny little clinic, and I (of course) thought about the upcoming birth and what I needed to do to prepare (kegels, anyone?) and how exercise would probably help me endure, but it was the last thing I felt like doing.  And suddenly, it hit me — the interesting and not-so-funny joke that God requires women to perform one of the greatest emotional and physical feats of their lives (giving birth) directly following nine grueling months of pregnancy. (And amazing, and wonderful, and mysterious .. but still grueling.)  I thought about how I would like to be in the best shape of my life when I give birth, but will probably spend the two months prior waking upwards of three times each night, sitting a lot because standing and walking are uncomfortable, having my emotions frazzled by hormones and the task of waiting, and craving (and eating) a lot of ice cream, sweet breads, and other don’t-eat-if-you’re-training-for-a-marathon foods.  Let’s make a list of all the things during pregnancy that don’t prepare us for childbirth, shall we?

  • months of throwing up.
  • crazy vivid dreams that interrupt sleep and leave you tired and listless.
  • baby pushing on bladder that also interrupts sleep.
  • uncomfortable and swollen nether-regions.
  • sudden and emotionally-draining outbursts of sobbing over the strangest things.
  • forgetfulness and hazy-thinking. (Did I write “walk for one hour” in my planner yesterday?  Noooo, I couldn’t have.)
  • not-so-healthy food cravings.
  • the emotionally-taxing experience of gaining weight and having to be conscientious of the scale (ick).
  • the complete morphing of your body into something rather unrecognizable.
  • all the strange things about pregnancy that no one mentions to you beforehand.
  • complete lack of motivation and desire to exercise (see above).

Just writing those things leaves me in awe of what God has asked women to do in giving birth.  Perhaps its one of those “10 Israelites facing an army of 10,000” things, often read of in the Old Testament — God wants all the glory, and makes certain that the stakes are high so His power can be shown.

I don’t know about you, but I think the stakes are pretty high in the case of the pregnant woman.  What an amzing thing we’ve been asked to do!


5 thoughts on “the cosmic joke on pregnant women.

  1. Oh, my. I was just talking to ladies at VBS this morning, telling them it was hard to quit having babies. This makes me not miss it quite so much. 🙂

  2. despite these things, i’ve thought it will be a rough milestone to quit having babies — there’s just something about this time of life 🙂 glad i could help you out, though, jen 😉

    and to the other jen — i hope the little babe in your belly is doing well, and i am so excited to see/hear about his entrance into the world! wish we could sit down and chat. miss you, girl 🙂

  3. you are hilarious- and oh so right girl!
    ps- exercise and staying in shape did NOT help me during labor. seriously i ran ALL through pregnancy with anna- i did boot camp aerobics 3 times a week. i even did sprints in that class… and I pushed for 2 stinkin hrs and ended with a c-section BUT a precious baby girl.
    labor is WAY harder then 1/2 marathons.. and i actually screamed that while i was pushing. my friend told me i could do it without drugs cause i did 1/2 marathons.. but she is OH SO wrong. 1/2 marathons are fun and easy! 🙂

  4. As I was reading this, I was thinking, “It’s because if we could do something to prepare ourselves perfectly, we’d get all the credit.” And then I read your conclusion at the last.
    I agree–it’s a mysterious, wonderful, amazing, painful, excruciating, yet incredible thing….and God will carry you through it.
    With or without drugs. 🙂

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