This evening, I was watching a TV program where the female presenter was cruising down a river in Europe sipping wine, eating handcraft chocolate and living the glamorous life. And I am thinking, “I wouldn’t mind going on a luxurious cruise and sipping wine in Europe right now.” But the reality is that whatever snaps of comfort I would find in my sleep i.e. no trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night, no vomiting, and no leakage, I consider luxury.
My belly is expanding quite rapidly. I cannot see my toes anymore. I have a few maternity clothes that I have bought or been given that I can wear to go outside. But most of the time when I stay at home, I have resorted to wearing Joel’s shirts, jackets and my own track pants with ugg boots.
One of the joys in this pregnancy for me has been feeling our daughter’s flutters more prominently in the last two weeks. I have begun to recognise the times of days she moves around, and I am now looking forward to feeling her. I still feel a bit awkward talking to her (and so is Joel, probably) but we are getting better at it. Practice makes perfect, eh? I am really looking forward to seeing the movement on my belly in a few weeks time.
Aside from the flutters, pregnancy has continued to pose its challenges on me. In my first trimester, I had a full-on morning (afternoon) sickness, when I would vomit at least 3 times a day; and spend most of the time in bed feeling exhausted. Coming up to the 2nd trimester, I started off feeling almost back to normal. Then, since a month ago, I have been struggling with severe reflux that would make me cough persistently. Initially, I thought I was catching a cold seeing that it is winter. But when I went to see my GP, he just smiled and said, “I think I know what you have. It is probably reflux. But let me examine you first.” He proceeded to check me, and then said, “Yep, reflux. I can prescribe you some medication but it is nothing to worry about.” So here I am, sitting as straight as possible, chewing my dinner like a cow would chew its grass, and avoiding laying down even though I am sometimes so tired that I can barely stay up.
Just like at the start of my pregnancy, when I was so naive thinking that I would never get morning sickness, as I entered the 2nd trimester, I thought I would also get away with reflux. But I am learning this a hard way. There is no getting away from what I cannot control. So instead of feeling embarrassed, miserable and grumpy, I have chosen to accept my condition, breathe deeply, do my kegel exercise, and invest in good panty liners because I am going to need several of them a day!
In my struggles, I have been reminded by the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4 about our current suffering. Although our contexts are vastly different, the point he made in verses 17-18 has been of encouragement to me.
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For Paul, the eternal weight of glory was worth every beating and every shipwreck for he lived with the eternal perspective – God’s kingdom. In my pregnancy, even though I feel like I am just slogging through with the physical discomfort in my ever-changing body, I have begun to grasp the sense of peace that only Jesus can bring. For in my current struggles, there is a new life within me that is constantly growing and developing. Even though I cannot see our little girl yet, she is my perspective at the moment. Yes, it is hard, taxing and sometimes lonely, but God is with me and he gives me enough strength to endure each day as it comes.
Please pray for Joel and I as we are getting to know our daughter better. And for me to have the strength and stamina to endure the hardship that this pregnancy may bring.