You Grow, We Grow
The lesson I’ve considered to be most salient during this second trimester of pregnancy has been this: Our growth (that of my growing family) is interwoven.
With pregnancy, there comes so much joy. Yet it was the pains I encountered as my second trimester began that made me realize this important lesson of family growth. And also, that there can be joy in the transitional pain we encounter as we physically and mentally grow. After all, our bellies aren’t the only things being stretched here.
The round ligament pains that a lot of women face when the second trimester hits are startling to say the least. In my head I kept thinking, “Are these pains actually typical? I feel like someone just stretched and ripped a rubber band that was inside my body.” (It’s a sharp, stretchy, stabby feeling for those who haven’t had the privilege of feeling them for yourself.) You know… all in good fun!
As part of this pregnancy, I have been determined to not complain about whatever is ailing me. So I hope I do not come across as complaining about these pains. On the contrary (as I mentioned in the first paragraph that there can be joy in the transitional pains associated with pregnancy), after I experienced these pains and let out my curse word of the moment, I would also think, “This is a positive sign. My daughter is growing and this affects me. From here on out my growth (and that of mine and my husband’s) and her growth, are on a collaborative trajectory.”
This is not to say that our growth is undifferentiated; independence is a value we hope to instill in our daughter. We will look to her and her growth as unique to her. Her growth will be due hugely in part to her own accomplishments and personal goals that derive from her own internal drives. We want to raise her as knowing that she’ll always have our unabashed support, while also facilitating development of interests that are truly hers and not those necessarily imposed by myself and D (though we will be introducing her to Harry Potter and heavy metal as soon as humanly possible – you have no choice in these, kid).
As my belly grows, there are many more processes occurring. My relationship with D is not the same as when we first found out we were pregnant. It has undergone, and continues to undergo, its own evolution. As my belly grows, it is because my daughter grows. I get to nourish her and initiate this bond of being attentive to her needs; I am allowed practice before she is even born.
What better way to start a life than by knowing we’re able to listen to what our bodies are telling us? That these sensations aren’t simply our bodies creating these nuisance signals just because they can. Rather, these joys, pains, discomforts are informing of us that changes are imminent. If we listen and accept these experiences, we can hopefully more readily adapt as we move further into the journey of parenthood.
In the end, what I do hope to convey in this post, is how pregnancy may likely inform us of the adaptations we’ll need to make when our little ones are out in the world. Again, this is coming from a first-time pregnant mom, so perhaps my reflections should be taken with caution. But the adjustments we’ll need to make affect our children, and the adjustments our children will need to make will affect us as parents. I have a feeling at least that much will be true.