When you're pregnant for the first time, your life is full of excitement and new experience. You hate the nausea. But you think it's sort of funny that you're eating mac and cheese at midnight. You buy lots of maternity clothes. You wait and wait and wait for the day you can justify wearing them. You take a nap whenever you want. You exercise. You barely gain any weight. You pour over books and soak up all the knowledge you can about this thing called pregnancy. You smile. A lot.
This is what it's like to be pregnant for the sixth time...
When you drop something, you stare at it for a while, trying to decide if it's worth picking up or not. Unless it is worth more than about $10, you leave it there. (When you drop the soap in the shower, you asses how clean you are and debate stopping your shower right then, instead of picking it up to finish cleaning yourself.)
When you do what are supposed to be effortless kegel exercises, you feel like a 300 pound man with a large gut trying to do a sit-up.
You are 27 weeks. You are having to dig into the largest maternity clothes you have. You nearly cry when you remember that during your first pregnancy, no one even noticed you were pregnant until you hit about 30 weeks.
You struggle with extreme feelings of hatred toward all thin people and especially anyone wearing a belt.
When you're going out and you want to make yourself look a little nicer, you pause to reflect...because it is literally like putting lipstick on a pig.
You have a hard time getting your leg up to put on your pants. This used to happen to you in the last two weeks of your pregnancy. Now it begins in the second trimester.
You pull your knees up to your chest every morning before you get out of bed. You want to make sure it is still physically possible so that when it comes time to deliver you won't pull every muscle in both legs.
More on bending over...You borrow your parents grabber. The one they needed years ago when someone had back surgery. You use it to clean up around the house. To pick up the clutter, trash, toys...You think that all you need is a yellow jumpsuit and you will be like a prisoner picking up trash on the side of the road. After all, you feel like a prisoner in your own body.
Your relationship with food is nothing if not strained. You feel huge, but you're so hungry! You want to eat anything and everything, but the scale, heartburn, and reflux are mocking you at every turn.
You deal with the reactions when you tell people you're pregnant with your sixth child. Sometimes they lean forward because they need you to repeat it. They want to make sure they heard you correctly. Sometimes you even have to hold up six fingers to make them understand. When it gets through, you smile. Because even though it's sort of embarasing, you are proud and wear it like a badge of honor.
You pee. All the time. You have to go really bad. All the time. But when you sit down, it comes out like water from a crimped hose. A strained trickle.
But most of all, you spend most all of your reflective time in awe and wonder of the fact that God has chosen to bless you yet again with the feeling of a baby in your womb. That He is using your feeble body to bring another perfect, supernaturally formed life into this world. You wonder if He really is this good. Can it be that you will nurse another baby on your breast? The humble realization of how small you are hits you between the eyes every time your baby kicks you in your continually full bladder.
When it's your sixth time, you are so over the leg cramps, cankles, and weight gain. But you are also much more acutely aware of how much of a privilege it is to be what you are for these seemingly long (but so short) weeks.
You are pregnant.