Thursday, November 4, 2010

Loving our pregnant selves and carrying our cross...

Happy day everybody. :) I'm in a very good mood today, despite having a somewhat long evening ahead of me. All parish catechists in my diocese have to attend a seminar entitled "Protecting God's Children," dealing with the prevention of sexual abuse. Pleasant? No. But I'm enjoying my foray into catechesis, and this is a necessary component. It'll be even tougher since I have a difficult time staying awake past 8:30 pm these days, and this shindig runs 6-9:30, but I'll make it. It's at a parish right near my house, so I don't have to drive far at all. And I'll be glad that I did it once it's over.

Anyway, I was dwelling on my pregnancy body image post from yesterday. I hope I didn't sound like a whiner. This blog is very important to me, and I feel that it's essential for me to blog about everyday things that I experience and believe. These are the types of writings that I find most helpful and cherished to me, and I always hope that my experiences provide some kind of help and camaraderie to others. I tend to be very honest about my feelings, and this is how I honestly feel.

I will grant, I'm thinking mostly of that dreaded 3rd trimester, those last 3 months or so. You know. You haven't seen the tops of your thighs in months. Forget about trying to, you know. I'll just say it: shave. Your belly button has been pressed beyond recognition, and your cankles making putting shoes on pretty unpleasant. Having a defined waistline is so far in the past you wonder if that time was even real, or some fantasy world in which you floated effervescently through the air. Walking and even talking don't come without you getting out of breath due to the pressure on your diaphragm and lungs. Sleeping through the night without having to up to pee? A thing of the past, baby. Turning over in bed or getting up off the couch require the intervention of a third party, or perhaps a crane. Pants with panels are your constant companion, and by this point, you begin to fear that you will outgrow even them. You are retaining so much fluid that you begin to wonder if water will spout out like a geyser should you nick yourself.

That's not an easy time, you know? Is it worth it? No question about it. But it's a cross to bear.

Relevantly enough, my Living Faith entry for yesterday, the feast of St. Martin de Porres centered on carrying our crosses:

"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27

A friend of mine was pregnant with her fourth child and in the process of building a new home when her husband's army reserve unit was called up for duty in Iraq. The anxiety and strain of their separation showed on her face as the months wore on, and I asked how she was holding up. Her reply was one I'll never forget: 'I just want to carry this cross well.'

Our response to the crosses in life - our trials and sufferings - makes such a difference! Some may choose to dodge a cross, give up on a commitment or escape through disordered coping mechanisms. Some will take a cross and parcel it out to others through blame or complaints. But some will embrace the cross with the knowledge that Christ has already borne every burden and gives us the grace to be strengthened, rather than crushed, under its weight.

Today Lord, for love of you, I want to bear my cross well."

This really resonated with me. I have nothing to complain about. I am so blessed to have this precious baby to carry, and I love him or her so much already. Eventually I will have my body back, and I can get back into shape. But that's all temporal. Most importantly, I will have this new soul with me for all eternity.

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