Wednesday, September 06, 2006The Blessing of Being With Child
Pregnancy is a time when we are very physically alert: we must pay attention to what we eat, how often we eat. We must be sure to drink plenty of hydrating fluids, especially water. We perhaps cry left and right about the slightest sad or sweet thing. Some of us completely lose our brain cells and can't formulate our sentences anymore or we forget the most basic of words... the list goes on. Sometimes I even feel like I'm a slave to the fridge!! I feel at times like I can't get "anything" done because I am always starving and having to eat... as soon as I clean up the kitchen from feeding myself and my 1-year-old, I am hungry again! -I also can't leave the house for the afternoon without packing lots of food. Otherwise I would have to spend at least $15 on protein bars, water, burgers, etc. -Meanwhile I haven't gained more than 5-10 lbs... I am just getting into my 2nd trimester and find myself worrying if I have gained enough, if the baby is growing enough... Our cares and worries are ongoing and constant! Our bellies grow and our hips expand... our wardrobes change and we have to think about clothes that fit our changing body. We have to go through that awkward stage of swimming in maternity clothes and busting out of our normal non-pregnancy clothes. Pregnancy is a very PHYSICAL time of neediness and changes. It is a very EMOTIONAL time of neediness and changes. Needless to say, it can be a thoroughly exhausting time!
In general I'm pretty confident, happy and energetic when I'm pregnant. (Of course I'm only on #2... I hope this lasts!) I don't find it to be a terrible time or anything. In fact I love being pregnant...I feel most radiant and beautiful in this state and most "in bloom". However, I DO of course have to "deal" with the inevitable aspects of it which I've listed above. Often the physical aspect of this time is so dominant that I forget to focus on the holy, beautiful blessing and miracle that it really is!! Do I take this pregnancy for granted? -No. Not a day passes when I don't give thanks for this blessing of a new child. However, I think it's vitally important that we take time out throughout our day to breathe, relax, rub or place a hand on our belly and thank God for the blessing of this new and miraculous life within us. -To perhaps take a bath in candlelight and pray for the well-being of our child, of ourself, and to speak in our hearts to the little one on his/her way into this world. -To remember that this is a time when we are in BLOOM... when our body is doing what it was meant to do! We have wombs, which are designed FOR someone else.... How beautiful!
Pregnancy is a SACRED time and goes by so quickly... let's enjoy it and marvel in it's many wonders while we can!
I'd like to quote from an article called Mothering and Justice by Juli Loesch Wiley, which was in the Fall 1996 issue of the Caelum et Terra journal. It was so beautifully written I could cry. Reading this the other day is partially what "woke me up" to the miracle of being with child . She writes:
She goes on to write about about breastfeeding, "The Abundance of Her Glory" :
According to the research brought together in Fr. William Virtue's Mother and Infant, breastfeeding teaches the tiniest infant some immensely important lessons: (1) that the Universe is good, (2) that he has personal power: the power to elicit a response, and (3) that his deepest needs and appetites can be satisfied in a committed relationship with one loving person.
Did I say "the Universe"? From the infant's point of view, yes, indeed! Research has shown that the newborn's sight, generally hazy and undefined, is designed to come to a focus at one specific distance: 8 to 12 inches, not much more and not less. Why 8 - 12 inches? Because that's the distance from a nursling's eyes to his mother's face while he is being cradled at her breast. Increasingly, within weeks of birth, he's not looking at her breast. He's looking at her eyes.
She fills his whole range of vision: she satisfies his hunger and thirst, succors him with warmth and comfort; the timbre of her voice (the higher female tone) is precisely the range of frequencies his ears are fine-tuned to hear. She is his Universe: to the nursling, she is the Immensity.
~Sia in Vancouver, WA