I find so many things can live inside the worried mind of a mother-to-be. I have never known such a mix of joy, excitement, worry, and loneliness,
We were told last week that boy baby (Twin B) is not growing at a proper rate. He has slowed down. When there are two placentas, and both of the placentas look the same size and both look healthy they essentially say, “We don’t know what causes this to happen.” There is a general agreed upon understanding that it could be that only one of the babes got the ultimate spot for circulation and the other babe had to settle for second best which would leave him with less nutrients. The doctor then told me that I wasn’t allowed to even shop at Costco and that I had to spend at least 6 of my day time hours laying down on my left side. He also spoke very briefly about underdevelopment of little boy baby. All of these things filled my heart with fear. … and Fear loves to have my thoughts, my time, my allegiance. But, I refuse to live in a place that gives fear more glory than God and thoughts of death more time than thoughts of life. We have now been going to fetal monitoring twice a week and everything has seemed fine, although, it is not always that easy to tell, I am taking it one day at a time.
I am now officially 34 weeks, so as long as those babes are doing okay, they are pretty much ready to go.
I have more stretch marks than any pregnant woman I have ever seen, and even when I look up stretch marked bellies on google images, mine are right up there with the most covered. I am calling myself the purple tiger. My right side has significantly more of them as they stretch out the length onto my back and pull forward because of the right side being more full of baby stuff.
At the beginning of my pregnancy I was constantly looking up and pinning all the exercises that I could do while pregnant and what worked the best to keep your body as close to your pre-preggo size. Then I was told that I wasn’t allowed to exercise. So, I started pinning all the post pregnancy work outs that had all the pictures of women that I would obviously want to look like. I was in such a place that when they told me that I am most likely going to have a cesarean (due to the positioning of the little ones), I was vainly calculating how much longer I would have to wait to run and begin to get my “normal” body back. I was grieved about the cesarean for that simple reason: longer recovery.
And my selfishness rules my mind.
I was standing in front of the mirror one day staring at my stretch marks and feeling upset about them and how stretched I am and how I would always have these marks in one way or another, and I felt God say to me, “Jaki, I don’t want you to value what the world values.” …. “And I don’t want you to teach your little girl to value those things.” For the record: I don’t believe that God was telling me that he wants me to live an unhealthy lifestyle in my weight and food etc. But, He was telling me to get over myself. To see the beauty in carrying two little lives. To know that those lives are more precious than any flabby skin or tiger tread upon what is mostly a private part.
He was asking me to teach my little girl the value of the human life as not seen through the lens of “how skinny?” or “how pretty?” … if I view myself through that lens, then by modeling it, I will constantly and consistently speak that into her even if it isn’t in my words.
It is a journey that I have never mastered: looking in the mirror and being happy with what I see. I am not “self conscious” and I am not timid in myself, and I probably put on confidence in that area really well as I have never WANTED to value that so highly. Even still that monster lives in me, seeking constantly to tell me all the reasons why my body doesn’t measure up. SO … I am trying it out. I am staring at my belly in the mirror and saying, “wow body, you are cool, bearing life and all.” … and warming up to this idea that something of that magnitude could truly, actually reach my inner self. My body is incredible. It sweats, it digests, it walks, it builds callouses up on my feet in the summer so I can trod barefoot wherever I please. It laughs loud, bends where it should, hears noises and grows hair exuberantly…
So I know… the first picture I posted is FAR more appealing to look at, but at least some of you ladies can say, “wow, at least I don’t have THAT many stretch marks” hahahaha. This is my beautiful belly. It is stretching as it holds life that is growing and moving and kicking. I am huge. And in all honesty, with every bit of me, I desire that those babies would get bigger and healthier inside of me and so… consequently, I guess I desire to get bigger.
I am heavy and sore with limbs that go numb or shoot pain. I am still nauseous almost every day and yet, the wait now is only 3 more weeks and I will be holding two little humans, two little personalities, two little dreamers. And I have been told that I will be more tired than I ever imagined possible.
And as they grow, I will know love deeper than I have ever known it.
Wise leaders have told me that the first real challenge to your selfishness is marriage and the second and far greater one is parenting. …. so, little babies…. here is my body, do as you will to stay healthy and continue to grow. I will seek to love this tent that God gave me that is blessed to house you for such a time as this.