Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Little Peanut

[I apologize for my loooong absence. Explanation to follow...]

I woke up last night at 3am and lay in bed for at least a half an hour, resisting the urge to reach over & grab the crackers waiting for me on the night stand. When I finally succumbed, the noise of my crunching was similar to setting off land mines in a quiet library. Luckily, Chris didn't move.

At 4am, I caved, realizing that the crackers weren't going to cut it, and wandered into the kitchen to drink a fruit smoothie. It was like I was some giant marionette, and the "person" pulling the strings-- deciding when I sleep, when I eat, what I eat (& how much & how often), and when I want to throw it back up-- is a tiny little thing the size of a peanut.

Yep, you guessed it: I'm pregnant. Two months pregnant, to be exact. In fact, I just read that this week, our little peanut is developing eyelids, arms & legs (even elbows), the tip of it's nose, and (drum roll please), no longer has a tail. Excuse me? A tail? It's better to find out some things after the fact. I feel uncomfortable thinking that the little guy getting me up in the middle of the night to drink smoothies has a tail.

The story goes that earlier this summer, Chris & I were praying about going back to Uganda. Our original plan was to start a family after 5yrs of marriage, but going to Africa would mean postponing those plans for another year. At the time, neither of us really had any desire for children. Not that we have anything against kids, as an age bracket, we just aren't the type who coo over our friends' babies (cute as they are), or could even imagine having one in our lives. We were just so happy with life at that moment, exactly the way it was. We simply prayed that when the time was right, God would give us the desire for children. I was kind of afraid that that day might never come.

But then, sometime this Fall, I looked at Chris and thought about how much I loved him, and how amazing it would be to carry a part of him with me... and even one day look into someone else's eyes and see him. I'm not usually the gooey, romantic type, and the feeling was so out of the blue, I was pretty sure it didn't come from me.

We had one month to decide about Uganda, so we said "Sure, why the heck not?", and I looked into Natural Family Planning. As it turns out, those Catholics are very effective at fertility, and the very first month-- in fact, the day we had to give our decision about Africa, we found out that we were pregnant.

Now, I know that we are supposed to feel euphoria-- that joy & anticipation should be oozing out of every pore... but that didn't really happen. That's not to say that we were disappointed, either-- it was more like "Oh, wow! I wasn't really expecting that." Plus, it's really difficult to mentally translate two little pink lines on a pregnancy test into complete life-change and a small human. Even when the doctors & my own body confirmed it, it was really difficult to be ecstatic about having the stomach flu for 12 weeks.

To be honest, I'm not very good at discomfort. Yes, I willingly chose to live in a mud hut for an entire summer, but besides that little blip on the radar, I'm a bit of a wuss. I hate being sick, and tend to get a little whiny about the whole affair. After feeling miserable for about 2 weeks, and realizing that I only had another 10 to go (hopefully), was pretty disheartening. Plus, we wanted to tell our parents in person, so I felt like I had this dirty little secret we were keeping from everyone relating to my "illness".

I felt guilty about not being happier. I mean, some people would kill to be able to get pregnant (and my heart really does go out to them), and here I was getting pregnant on the first try. I tried pepping myself up by thinking of everything I was thankful for, and even reminding myself that I would probably have been sick in Uganda this summer, too-- only without a bed or running water.

But last night, as I lay awake, feeling a will other than my own forcing me out of bed, and whispering "smoooooothie", I couldn't help but smile. It was the first time I had ever really realized that there is someone else in there-- not just some little parasite stealing my energy & health, but something all it's own that I am holding.

I am still not at a place where I can imagine a tiny human-- our tiny human-- existing in this world and in our lives. But I do think that God is slowly starting to change my heart, bit by bit, and I still have plenty of time for a crazy, irrational worry-wart, mama-bear kind of love to blossom out of the little smile that came in the middle of the night.