My 5-Year-Old Son, My Reminder of the Big Picture

Tomorrow, I will be 31 weeks pregnant, and, as of yesterday, I am up 56 ½ pounds. I’ve been on bed rest—first full and now partial—for the past five weeks, and now that I am getting out occasionally, I’m shocking people with how much I’ve “popped.” Even my family members are stunned at how monstrous my stomach has become, so the comments on my largesse are rolling in.

On Monday, Presidents Day, my husband worked from home, and he took our son and me to lunch at a local restaurant. When the waitress, who has served us multiple times over the years, saw me walk through the front door, she blurted, “Mama is due…”

I smiled.

“When are you due?”

“Oh, not until April 23, so I have more than two months to go. I just get big.”

Surprised, she asked, “Are there two in there?”

Once again, I had to override my instinct to tell the truth, to say that there were twins, but we lost one. That would have been too much of a burden on this nice woman, an acquaintance just trying to make conversation, so I simply assured her that we’re only having one.

Later on, to meet my required four to six daytime hours of bed rest, I was propped up in my bed, resting next to my son, and my husband walked in the room, getting the full view of my stomach, rising up, mountainous. He teased, “Your belly is ridiculous!”

I turned to my son and asked, “Daddy thinks my belly is ridiculous. Do you think it’s ridiculous?”

He said, “I think it’s beautiful.” Oh, how I love him…

I’m so uncomfortable, with asthma, nosebleeds, heartburn and incontinence, on top of the physical burden of this weight, and I’ve been feeling isolated and depressed as a result of my five weeks of bed rest, so I’ve found myself focusing on the minor day-to-day irritants of this third trimester of pregnancy. But, with one sweet comment, my son made me remember the big picture: This is beautiful, because I’m a vessel carrying a miracle.

And, for the rest of this pregnancy, every time I field a comment about my size, every time I struggle with body-image issues, every time I cringe because I’m feeling yet-another sharp pain as my belly expands further, I will remember that any physical and emotional discomfort is worth it, because I am a big, beautiful vessel carrying a miracle.

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