"...suffering is one of the universal conditions of being alive. We all suffer. We have become terribly vulnerable, not because we suffer, but because we have separated ourselves from each other." -- Rachel Naoimi Remen

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Pregnant Belly

I know it won't matter then.  But one of this world's great mysteries, one of the things I'd like to ask God when I get to the other side, has always been why there are so many unwanted pregnancies and yet so many families who want to be pregnant but cannot. 

In the early 1970s, one of the main points of law that our Supreme Court focused on when deciding Roe v Wade was the woman's right to privacy.  And no matter how you feel about their ruling, it's true, pregnant women have no privacy.

When I was pregnant it was fun at first, but then I found myself complaining.  I'd joke with a work friend who doesn't have kids, saying, "I just need to make myself a t-shirt with my due date and 'it's a boy' written on it, so people will stop asking me questions."  I didn't like strangers touching me.  At six months, a female patient told me I must have twins in there I was so big.  A month later a male patient told me I looked like a house.  I knew it silly to complain about, but I really couldn't go anywhere without some commentary.

How must women with unwanted pregnancies feel?  I can't even imagine. 

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a little commentary now. 

In that first pregnancy, I had a good friend who was in the process of adopting.  Her son is one day older than mine now.  I did my best back then to check in about her progress because I knew when I walked onto the ward where she worked that everyone gushed over me.  I wondered how she felt about that.  Did anyone gush over her?  Without a belly to show off, I doubted that. 

Waiting for an adoption is full of hope and wonder.  It promises new life that'll change ours in ways we can't expect.  I'm optimistic and excited. 

But waiting for an adoption is also quiet.  Man, I miss the belly.  I'm thankful I had that experience and sorrowful for those who never have such good fortune.  I didn't know I'd long for those days again.  Ladies, I'm begging you, don't take it for granted.  Those ultrasound pictures you get/choose to post online, the loving folks who are just curiously excited for you: drink it up.  Be thankful.  Be joyful.

Be kind.  Be also mindful and empathic of the men and women around you.  With or without a belly, they might have something worth hoping and gushing for too. 

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