I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Pregnancy has been such an unexpected gift; it’s brought joy, excitement and hope into my life. It has also carried struggle, tiredness and fear with it. It’s left me feeling unmotivated to get daily tasks done around the house, antsy because some days I’m cooped up inside all day – especially when I was experiencing morning (all-day) sickness. Pregnancy has been exactly what I pictured it to be and yet completely different than what I expected.
Entering into my third trimester, I can look back at the past several months and understand why pregnancy creates certain seasons in our lives. Just as our developing babies need time and space to grow, mature, become healthy enough to breathe in this life, we need it too. We need time to grow and change, we need space to go through all the emotions of preparing for this new life, we need a season where our energy ebbs and flows – without our control – because that’s what we are being prepared for. We are being prepared for unexpected changes, unforeseen problems that arise, long days and even longer nights. Pregnancy is a season of preparation – for both the joyous moments and the challenging times.
The word that keeps circling back to me when I think of the last 6 months is grace. I think about the grace I didn’t give to myself when I was feeling tired and sick, the grace I didn’t give myself when I begrudgingly asked my husband for help…again because I was exhausted and doing anything made me nauseous. Grace I didn’t give myself when my body was changing – when I was gaining weight but didn’t quite look pregnant yet. And the grace I wish I clung to when yet another day past and nothing got done around the house.
Looking back at those early pregnancy days, the advice I would give myself would be: to let whatever needs to happen simply happen. The two biggest things I needed to give myself, or simply let happen, were to accept grace for my lack and to slow down. I’m an introvert and enjoy living more slowly, although it’s taken time to learn, and have my time and space be more quiet. It’s natural for me, and for my husband, to say no to things and crave relaxing nights at home. But when I’m forced to slow down, to stop and rest, I hate it. I really enjoy making my own decisions and choosing when it’s time for my body to be on the go and when it’s time to slow down. But I’m learning (the hard way) to let whatever needs to happen simply happen.
The three biggest ways I’ve been slowing down while being pregnant are:
- Sleeping in. I might still set an alarm, but I’m loving being able to give my body the physical rest it needs!
- Reading. The first trimester was rough, but now that I am feeling better and in the last leg of pregnancy, I’m creating more time to read the books that have been on my list for a while!
- Working out. Since my body is changing, so are the ways I’ve nourished my body, especially when it comes to exercise. Instead of running and doing more fast paced activities, I’ve slowed down to stretching every morning, going on long walks and still lifting weights every now and then.
Lately my husband and I have been sleeping in more, spending mornings together at a slower pace, going on more dates or simply hanging out with one another more often. I’ve personally been reading more, writing again and taking naps when I feel it’s a must. I’m loving this season and the time my husband and I are spending together; I’m cherishing it because I know in a few short months there will be another little love taking up our time and our space. Are we absolutely thrilled? YES! We cannot wait to hold, to nourish, to rock, change, play, rest and laugh with our little babe. But for now, we are enjoying the slowness this season is naturally offering to us.
I’m still learning to let go, to rest more deeply and give my body what it needs, but as time continues, I’m seeing there’s splashes of more grace as I let whatever needs to happen simply happen.