I am a body, full of flesh and bones, muscle and skin. Human in fullness, even more so — human inside of me. There is nothing like pregnancy, nothing.
Because I live in my head so much, it is easy to forget this body of mine, this physicality that I have. It is easy for me to try to choose mind over matter most of the time. I try to push through tiredness, persuade my way through aches. I’ll just keep moving; put on the kettle for a cup of tea to refresh; change the music to reflect how I want to feel.
Yesterday, as the kids sat at the table playing playdoh and my husband and I were sipping our coffee, I tried to hide my weariness. Instead, tears that I couldn’t hold back ran down my cheeks as I confessed to my husband that I feel like I’ve held our weekend back. My guilt over projects left undone, a house that is unclean came trembling out. He shook his head and smiled gently at me: his kindness spoke truth that I had been reluctant to accept. I am so quick to offer grace to others, and so slow to see where I need to be graceful with myself.
Something about pregnancy forces me to reconcile my inner mind with my outer body. I have no control over this thing going on with my body, and my physical limits are very real. Hormones mix with this growing body, moving slower daily and less limber, quick to shed tears over nonsense. Sleep becomes more evasive in that nasty trick of nature readying my body for sleepless infant nights. Precious babe settles heavy on my back, my legs slow me further. Faithful meal routines fail to satisfy. Tender little ones, here in present, clambering for my physical body tire me quickly. I want to be clear that these are not complaints, merely observations that I need to tally for myself. I need to see clearly this physical reality in order to recognize my limits and extend grace within.
I humbly surrender to this body. This strong, powerful force to be reckoned with. This same body that in a few months time will know, again, how to birth this babe, and I will surrender again and again to know deep in my bones the unique gift of being a woman, a life-giver.
These aches, this weariness is for me to wrestle with. Some days I know that it is a reminder of my limits. Other days I am reminded of my strength to viscerally breathe through, deepen and strengthen, knowing that it is a short moment of discomfort for longer lasting joys.
For now, I see the limits that are mine to embrace. The weather has shifted cooler, quickly, and I will nestle under blankets while little ones rest, and I, too, will rest.