Last week, I pulled on a pair of underwear and thought, “What happened?”
Tight. All over.
And these were the underwear that I wore at the end of my first pregnancy.
I stepped on the scale, the number staring me in the face.
Well, that makes 25 pounds so far…
And still 13 weeks to go.
I tried to put it out of my mind, but when my husband asked me what was wrong, I just started crying.
Now, I’ve been through this whole thing before. I know how this goes. You gain a few pounds in the first trimester. Things kind of “explode” in the second trimester. But it’s the third trimester when you really start packing on the weight.
In my head, I know this.
I also know that I was able to drop the weight after the birth. I wish that the way that it melted off me for the first two weeks had continued until I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. But the truth is, after those first weeks of blissful, unintended weight loss, losing weight resumed the same old narrative that it has always had in my life.
Losing weight was a fight.
I’ve won that fight three times already.
Up in the 190s and then down to the 130s.
Up to the 170s, then down to the 130s.
Up to the 180s, and then down to the 140s.
But it’s still hard.
I am used to navigating the seasons of my life when I need to “batten down the hatches.” I become goal-oriented, willing to forego what I want in the moment for the results that I want in the future. Even when it doesn’t pay off immediately. Look at how I spend my time: I teach. I write. I knit.
These things come easy to me because I have control.
But this season of my life is markedly different.
Pregnancy is a time of growth and expansion. That’s pretty easy to see. It’s probably the most widely understood parts of pregnancy–that you grow bigger and bigger and bigger.
But if you’ve never been pregnant, let me tell you how this is effectively me internally.
At 27 weeks, this baby is now pushing up against my rib cage while at the same time kicking and brushing against my pelvic bones. Since this is my second pregnancy, I’m feeling round ligament pain. My lung capacity is starting to shrink so I’m taking more breaths per minute now. My stomach is compressed so I can’t eat a full meal like I used. I feel so stretched on the sides that sometimes I wonder how I’m going to possibly contain this baby for another 13 weeks without my stomach just splitting wide open.
13 more weeks…
But the physical stuff is a lot easier to deal with than the emotional stuff. And the emotional stuff is a lot harder to see.
It’s not just that I’ve gained a lot of weight. And that I have more to go.
It’s that I’m struggling to let go.
Struggling to surrender.
Struggling to relinquish control.
Struggling to humble myself, once again, to this great task that lies ahead of me.